I feel, in this season, guilty for a lot of things. guilty for not calling my best friend enough, guilty for not reading enough pages and guilty of spending too much time scrolling. guilty for bombing that test that I could have studied for, guilty for not giving everything my everything.
overwhelming, though, I feel guilty for being dishonest.
in May, I’ll leave this place. I’ve joked about how I, still, after four majors, don’t know what I want to do. I’ve laughed about needing to save money for the months of unemployment that I’m afraid I’ll face. I’ve played it off like it’s all fine and like I’m okay.
it wasn’t until someone told me these words that I began to realize just how much I’d been ignoring my things. I think, sometimes, you just need someone who can and will speak some truth over you to pull you out.
Brenna, you are one of the most loving, kind, and strong people I have ever met,
and I see Christ’s work in you and through you so powerfully.
I know God is for you, no one and nothing can stand against you.
I haven’t slept a full night in about a month and a half. I either wake up needing a bathroom break or sweating so much that I rip my covers off or needing water so deeply that my throat aches. I’ve tossed and turned and knocked my shoulders out of whack. I need a chiropractor, a massage, and a week of recovery.
in addition to my lack of sleep, my body has been screaming at me, hah. my left eye has been watering for weeks. I’m constantly blinking away tears. my appetite is slim. my exhaustion is really real. I can’t really focus.
for a while, I thought my trouble sleeping, as well as all my body’s other screams, stemmed from the newness of things – a new residence hall, a new year, new classes, new friendships. but I’ve found that, really, it all stems from fear.
I’m afraid to graduate. I’m terrified to not know what I want. I’m afraid that, even when I do get a job, I won’t be enough for it. I’m afraid that I can’t ever be enough for myself. I’m afraid of being unemployed. I’m scared of being alone and without my college community. I’m worried about my health in terms of my anxiety. I’m afraid that I let things fester too long and that I’ll explode. I’m overwhelmed by fear and I’m paralyzed because of it. I’m numb to my fear because I didn’t want to admit that I was scared. and I’m afraid that my best won’t be good enough.
I’ve let these things sit on my chest. they’ve weighed heavy like an elephant refusing to move or like a cinder block that I can’t seem to pick up. I’ve let them sink deeper and deeper between my shoulders. I’ve blinked away the tears in my eyes and shrugged about how I don’t know why they’re there. I’ve pretended to be interested in lectures and sermons, while really, I’m fighting to keep my head here and not wandering off to all the things. I’ve had headaches. I really believe my body has been screaming to be noticed, I like to think things work that way.
I’m not sure where we got this from. where, or when or who or for what reason, we decided that feeling something, anything, was a bad thing. for whatever reason, we’ve decided that fear means weak and that weak is a nonnegotiable, so stuff it down for as long as and as best as you can. when we decided that being a real person with real feelings and a real heart beating in your chest was a bad thing.
how thankful I am to have people that will call me on my bullshit (1) when I ignore the elephant/the cinderblock on my chest and (2) speak truth over me when I feel most inadequate.
how ironic it is that my word for the year is “enough”. that word arose nine months ago and I’m just now seeing the fruits of its labor. how little “enough” I’ve felt and the lie of “not enough” that has sunk deep. and how ironic is it that my body has shut down to make me deal with my things. that it, in a number of ways, has quit working because I haven’t taken care of it. I mean this seriously – how thoughtful of my body; if not for that, I would have just kept going and ignored, ignored, ignored.
Sarah Bessey says this – “we simplify and sanitize and so we miss the healing we could have if we only spoke the whole truth. and so we go, disarming the fear with honesty, with empathy, with letting ourselves admit that its not okay and we need help to become okay, and then by empowering ourselves. and that night, I went to bed and I slept. I slept and slept. I slept like I hadn’t slept in months, easily and lightly and dreamlessly.”
God, help me to not be found guilty of simplifying and sanitizing. help me to speak the whole truth. help me to be honest to disarm my fear, rather than let my fear disarm me. help me to empower myself. help me to believe that you really do deliver. help me to know this, deep in my chest, let that sink between my shoulders rather than the fear that I bury there. unravel me with melodies, surround me with songs. help me to sleep tonight.