I’m feeling messed up. Don’t worry – nothing terrible is going on. It’s just that I usually hope to write with a positive tone. Pointing out the sunshine breaking through the clouds, so to speak.
This may not be one of those days. I’m lifting that self-imposed rule. I’m writing for my own processing. If you care to follow, read on.
Past couple days have been rough. I’ve been getting hammered by thoughts rooted in the past. Thoughts that try to bring shame, guilt, condemnation.
Yesterday I gave up trying to be productive and wasted hours watching old reruns on DVD.
Today was Sunday. That meant church.
My men’s Sunday school class is going through a lesson series called 33. The current module is “A Man and His Work”. I drew a picture on my church bulletin during the video portion of the class.
Then, it was my turn to run camera in the “Graphics and Productions” (GAP) booth for the worship service. I think I actually did a decent job today.
Driving home, rage began boiling.
Not road rage at some other driver. Internal rage against myself. The temptation was to handle that rage in ways which would (temporarily) relieve the pressure, but would also leave additional wounds to be faced later.
I considered texting a friend. But figured that wasn’t a good idea while driving down the interstate.
So I started to pray. There was snot involved.
Fear over my future stirs up rage over my past. I told God that I’m afraid of what He’ll tell me / ask me to do regarding my future. That led to my crying, confessing, over and over “I need my dad”.
Not the dad I remember.
But the dad who would have fought for my heart. Who would have defended me. Who would have come along side to work with me. Who would have lovingly kicked my butt when needed.
My confession is a confession that I still need fathering.
By now I was driving on a winding scenic state route. I dared tell God, “You don’t seem very good right now”. Not accusing Him. But trusting Him enough to be honest about my perception.
The very second my confession escaped my mouth, my eyes caught a striking view. The roadside bank leveled out to reveal clumps of bright yellow mustard plants. Beyond, a dogwood was displaying brilliant white blossoms against a back-drop of vibrant green springtime grasses.
It was humorous. In spite of my questioning God’s goodness; He was using the wild beauty of His creation to embrace and calm me. At least for a moment.
I wish I could say my battle ended then. It didn’t. Perhaps God used that moment of beauty to give me courage to continue to “fight the fight”.
At home I began writing. Referring to my childhood relationship with my dad, I wrote, “I didn’t want to do what my dad told me to do. Even the productive stuff. Work.”
THEN I blew up. I stood, walked away from my computer, and started yelling at the top of my lungs. At my dad. Cursing. I guess my rage wasn’t against myself after all.
I sensed God’s quiet voice, “Let it out”.
My dad’s been dead for several years, so I can’t hurt him by anything I yell into an empty room.
He confuses me. There was good in him. There was also evil. (And yes, I know the same is true of me.) Since he is dead, that part of him which was evil, which hurt, is gone forever . And yet it remains and continues to breed pain. Maybe that is what is forcing me to go deeper; admitting the rage, resentment, and rebellion that I still hold.
Rage, resentment, and rebellion that I now wrestle with before my other father.
My true Father.
Whose goodness I question at times.
But Who still shares with me His beautiful fields of flowering mustard and white dogwood blossoms.