Updated: Jan 30
“Sin had left a crimson stain, you washed me white as snow…”
Driving down the road these words came to my heart. Singing in the car (without a radio) I was reflecting on all that God has done for me, and how messy that process has looked in various moments this last year. My heart began forming words to why I would have written in the midst of those harder days.
One thing I found this past year, at no fault of their own, is that people didn’t know what to do with me. Few understood, others made assumptions, fewer saw the dark nights. Only a trusted few saw me hiding in corners or bending over exhaling just to remind myself, “If I can breathe, I’ll make it one more second.” Not only did my Ex leave me, the whole process got tangled with well wishes, good intentions, and stupidity. This isn’t someone’s fault, it’s just reality that when we are in pain we need a hospital more than a family reunion.
What I’ve written concerning the dynamics of messiness is not pretty, it’s not censored, it doesn’t have a conclusion. It does have some foot notes, but let’s be honest. I don’t always write for conclusion, I write for the heart to be expressed—staining trees with ink is something I do to process. I hope this allows you to process, to be human, to have empathy for others— and to cast off self-expectation in approaching God as if He doesn’t lay down in the pain with you. Because, he’s the only one who held me 100% through all of it.
“In the darkest night, I find myself hidden beneath the shadows of a forest I never knew. I can barely move. My bones and muscles ache. It’s cold and wet, leaves have settled too high, a muddy cover upon my face. Ages are passing by.
“I’m so tired of exposure. I’m contemplating suicide, not demise. You say I need to heal, but I’m saying watch me bleed. You say I’m stronger than I think, I’m saying do you see me sink.
“This sacred world of perfection is all just personal perception. It’s one thing to say it’s safe, another to become my dark and lonesome space. A cave in the ground is all I need for salvation to take place.
“I can see the ground before my face. I can feel the sun on my back, but I’m drowning in the shallows between. I’m breathing in water and exhaling air. Telling me to sing hallelujah isn’t legitimate fair.
“If His power is made perfect in weakness, then fuck off, I’m already on my knees. Let the process take its place, give me space to bleed. Can’t you see the filthy is made Holy when you let it stink?
“Can I just lay me down to sleep? I would ask, “Oh Lord, my soul please take—so into mourning I would not awake” Isn’t it better to be the woke 2, rather than the porcelain that broke?
I want to “conclude” with this: I had amazing friends that stood with me. Without them I would have been sucked into a black hole. They allowed me to get space when I needed it, and they came close when I asked for it. Particularly Joseph Harris and Curt Messer have been with me as pastors in this time. I have to be immeasurably grateful for Ricky Paris and Pablo Contreras, the men who pulled me out of the darkest moment, allowing me to get my head and heart going the right direction. I can see how this post could provoke , “How is he really doing? Is he sound? Okay!?”. Truth is I’m good, and I’ll probably be releasing some more of this stuff as I’ve come to a place I can clean up some messes and acknowledge what was really going on. What left a crimson stain is getting washed as white as snow.
In depression people often wish to disappear, it’s dark and hopeless. Telling us to “improve” our mindset etc. actually feels more like you’re saying where we are doesn’t matter. Just listen. Criticism feels like our demise, not Hope. Just say,”Yes I hear you, yes I love you.” When we have good days, then let’s talk about the tools, but ultimately time allows clouds to pass by and it’s our choice to look at the sun. Sitting with us may just be the breeze we need to make dark clouds pass.
*A play on words. A “Wake” being a vigil the night of a death or before a funeral. Sometimes it seems death/darkness is better than mourning loss in our life. This line was partly inspired by the time I asked my barista how she was doing and her response was ,”My brothers wake is tonight, so not so great. And…I can’t afford not to work.” Those type of days are harder on us than dying.