Sunday, November 25, 2007

Of Feelings and Rainstorms and Dancing

Weight loss is a good thing, right? Right. Except that it may bring up things that had been oh-so-carefully buried. A few weeks into my weight loss program, I found myself facing a torrent of issues I thought were long gone.

Dealing with so many things--past and present--all at once put me in a place of sadness, futility and despair. In this state, I saw all the emotional work I had already done crumbling into a pile of rubble. I reached a point where I could no longer even feel the presence of God or hear His voice. The only words my heart held onto by its fingertips were Job's "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." The only prayer I had left was "Your will be done in me." I walked through a dark torrent of rain for what felt like forever, holding on, sometimes tenuously, to the hope that regardless of how I was feeling, God was at work in my life.

And then...

Breakthrough after breakthrough. One of my sisters told me that she was learning to not let her past abuse define her as a victim. That made me realize that it had been years and years since I had thought of myself as a victim--I saw that there was much ground I had already covered. Issues were revealed to me that allowed me to release other things that were holding me back.

And God's words were being delivered to me from various and sundry sources, including an email from someone with whom I rarely communicate. "The Lord is at hand." "Be anxious for nothing." "I will never leave you nor forsake you." "You are my hiding place, you shall preserve me from trouble, you shall surround me with songs of deliverance." "The Lord your God is in your midst, the Mighty One will save, He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

He, of course, was always there; it was just my feelings that were different. This was my lesson in the fragility and fickleness of feelings; my reminder that we are to "walk by faith and not by sight." Or feelings.

And then I found a quote by that prolific writer, Unknown, that touched my heart: "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain!" The Lord was so gracious, He even showed me His message in terms of my lifeling passion--dance.

Life is rough. We each have own battles, our own ghosts, our own baggage to deal with. It is the nature of life in this earthly realm. Many times our hardships are consequences of our own poor choices, often they are the results of the poor choices of others, and sometimes the storms just come out of left field for no apparent reason.

But we always have our choice of responses. We can choose to live in misery and despair, to give our lives over to anger and coldness and bitterness. We can engage in self-destructive behaviors. Or we can choose to hold on to our faith in the Lord, by our fingertips if need be, and dance in the rain.

Let's boogie!