I was talking to my friend earlier tonight and she said something along the lines of, "I feel like I'm carrying too many stories inside of me."
I could only nod, because I'm feeling the same way right now. Too many stories, both mine and others, all loud and frantic inside my brain but unable to be written out in a coherent manner. They attach themselves to the curtains, swing from the chandeliers, misbehave like hooligans. These stories sit inside of me, like murky water, stagnant and unmoving.
As I was walking up the stairs of a tall office building earlier today, picking up a child welfare check for a new volunteer position that I'm really excited about, my friend called me. She asked how I was doing and I sighed, "It's been a hard last couple of days."
I went away over the weekend and the whole time I was there I felt guilty for not being here. Now I'm here, surrounded by the 'normalcy' of school and I can only wish for the freedom of there. I'm never quite feeling settled within myself.
In the last couple of days, the automatic negative thoughts I have are louder. Sometimes they roar and my voice shakes as I howl back, "You're not true!"
I'm more emotional than normal, stumbling around. I apologize for needing constant reassurance, for a sharp tongue that sometimes gets the better of me, for the burden I think I am on those I love, for needing grace and grace and grace.
I'm tired. I have this desire to give and give and give, to pour myself out into things and people that I love - after all, isn't servant hood the reoccurring theme in my classes lately? - and I always forget the little bean dangling from my wrist, the one that tells me I need to take care of myself too.
Tiny things trigger this cascade of emotion. Moments when I'm touched the wrong way, when someone says the wrong thing, when another beautiful girl in the dorm shares her heart with me, a comment said by a well meaning friend. None of these bad things, and certainly not the source of the emotional responses I've been having, and yet when stacked on top of one another, they feel like too much.
I berate myself for not being better at juggling. Then I remember that clowns juggle, and clowns are creepy, and I am grateful I'm not a clown.
I sat in chapel this morning, remembering the yoga challenge I did back in August. I'm still coming to terms with the fact that this is a good body. Not only this literal, physical body, though I'm still learning to redeem that too, but the body of Christ.
I was sitting in class recently and I realized that so much of what I hear and take in, I'm taking in through that 13 year old girl filter. The strongly stubborn Jesus doesn't love me and There is no such thing as a good God. And I'm afraid to say it, because I'm at Bible school after all. Aren't I supposed to be among the super spiritual, the ones that trust God in every trial and never waver? Those are my people, right?
I want those to be my people.
But my faith wavers. Some days I'm not even sure what I believe, or if I believe at all. I don't want to be here, and I don't know why I'm here. I want to pack up everything into my car and drive somewhere far away.
Family issues, struggles in my relationship, health concerns, my past, they come up and I fight the urge to say Consider this trial a pure joy? are you kidding me?
I'm not sure where I stand right now, and that feels like a very powerful thing to say. The movement I can feel happening in this body is exhausting, and strong, and often leaves me breathless. And I'm not sure yet where it will go, or what will happen.
Maybe some day I will have it in me to write all these stories. That was my goal with this blog, the last school year and this one. Instead I'm finding some stories you have to carry with you a good long while before they even make sense, before you can write them out and begin to make peace with them. That's kind of what my stories are like right now.
I'm practicing the giving of grace. I'll carry these stories until they release me. It's all in the process of redeeming. It's exhausting, and uncomfortable, but I whispered the words a long time ago when I decided to become a writer over my stories and I whisper it again over my heart now:
I will carry you