Friday, September 21, 2012

I dreamed a dream

I had a dream when I was young.

I saw myself living a life, not quite so different from what it is on the outside, yet very different from what it is on the inside.  I had hopes and dreams for an inner, spiritual life.  I had a dream my life would be so different, not, as Fantine, from this hell I'm living, but from this desert I'm living.

I could be bitter, but there are too many bitter and hurting people on this planet.  They didn't start out bitter.  I didn't start out bitter.  Too many people think God has given up on them, or don't believe in God anymore because what did He ever do for them?

I think back to before I had any real regrets.  Who was I then?  What changed?  Why did it change?

Things changed when I made a decision to do things my way.

God did not abandon me.  I went my way.  I didn't leave him completely.  I just decided to do this one thing my way.  I made a wrong decision, and I suppose you could blame it partly on low self esteem, and low self-confidence, the result of years of being bullied, but mostly because I wanted something and I was afraid of losing it.  Even if something better might have come along.  I made a bad decision because I wanted immediate happiness and I was unable to trust that God would take care of things and make them all right.

I was happy for awhile, even though something was always missing.  But that small something that was missing grows bigger and bigger with the years, until it seems there is a bottomless chasm in my soul.

There was a time, a few years back, when regret ate my soul every day, and the longing for my life to be so different than what it was seemed overwhelming.

I could have turned my back on my life, searched for something new.  But in the end, it would have made me bitter.  Bitter people are, I think, people who have made wrong decisions, then instead of taking responsibility for it, try to flee it, looking for happiness in the wrong places.  I made some bad decisions in the past.  I realize that.  I have no one to blame but myself.  I have, with mediocre success, put that behind me.  When I look back, it is not without regret, although some day, I hope it will be, this kind of thing takes time; when I look back, I try to remember who I was, before I decided to go my own way.  I want to be that girl again, only wiser.

I do not think I will ever be truly happy in this life.  But I do not think God meant us to be truly happy here.  That is for a different place.

I am happier doing, not what I would prefer to do, but rather what I know to be right.  This is where I need to be, right now.  If my soul feels parched, perhaps it is because that communion, that connection that I so desire, is to be found in prayer, and I do not pray enough.

What is the one thing that everyone truly desires in life?  Is it not to be able to share one's soul with another?  To be able to share every dream, every desire, every thought with another?  When people are bitter or hurting, is it not when that dream; that connection with another person goes wrong?  But even more so than having that connection with another person, is not having it with God perfectly fulfilling?  I say this as much to myself as to anyone, because I forget it too.  If there is something missing in my life, perhaps it is because I have not spent enough time sharing my soul with God.

As a deer longs for a stream of cool water,
So I long for you, Oh God.
I thirst for you, the living God.
When can I go and worship in your presence?

Day and night I cry, 
And tears are my only food;
All the time my enemies ask me,
"Where is your God?"
Psalm 42:1-2