"I fear something has died in me because my heart barely aches anymore.”

I wrote that in my journal nine years ago along with, “I’ve been feeling just south of normal lately. I entered into menopause and I tell myself that must be it. I know that I prayed for life to slow down. The oppression I feel from the busy-ness of the world is overwhelming. I feel myself gaining in complacency daily; lost in the “things” that keep me away from the heart of devotion that I want, that I crave. I want you, Father God to be happy with me. It grieves me to think that you would be disappointed in me.”

I knew that the discipline of reading my bible every day and praying every day is what would cultivate my heart into a heart of devotion; a heart that would not just regret my sins for the sake of regret, but because I loved God.

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”   Jeremiah 29:12-13

So why do we as Christians think that being a Christian should look like a holiday instead of a war zone? Life isn’t hard because you’re doing something wrong; it’s hard because it’s a battle. Your prayer life is the only answer to winning that battle.

I’m not talking about prayer between all the steps and stops, but on your knees, door locked, heart felt prayer. That’s the kind of prayer that should be our daily prayer. It’s the only one that will unlock the contrition we traded away for apathy.

I tend to lend myself to dark observations and….I’ve never been stranded on a snowy mountain or lived through a war. I’ve never lived in poverty or known great adversity. So what does survival look like for someone who has never truly suffered? Menopause and the driving despair of it can only be seen after you’ve gone through it and come out the other side. Time only moves in one direction and they say time heals, but it actually means that you just stop remembering the pain. The pain of trauma, labor, soul sickness, despair, loss of a loved one… 

Some can walk through their grief without anyone ever noticing that sliver of ice that pierced their heart because they wear their masks so well. Others tip toe around their grief letting tears escape every now and then. Others drown in their grief, by all manners of device. But you have to walk in it; you have to feel all of it; it’s the only thing that will bring you to the door, to the knock.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”   Matthew 7:7-8

For me, my treacherous journey through menopause was only beginning because that same month, that same journal entry from above was followed by:

“I feel steeped in despair and looking back this past month and all the changes that have happened;

I know I should remember it felt like I was in a fog and unable to concentrate, unable to cry, incapable of touch. I know I should remember thinking I couldn’t be away from work, my church; that they couldn’t survive without us….but it all passed, that day passed and the whole week and forever thereafter is unmemorable to me except that my mother stopped breathing.”

Two people I love dearly have been thinking of killing themselves. I know those dark moments. I’m sure we all do at some point in our life. Here’s the thing and it worked for me…try reading your bible every day and coming to the Lord in prayer knowing and believing that He has full power to change you, mold you into a new creature. One that can find true joy in the midst of life’s fleeting moments of happiness.

You have to knock, you have to walk through the door, and you have to give yourself over to God completely. Time is only short or long dependent on your level of sacrifice.

And…in time

You will see the clouds part (despair)

You will see the sun (God’s presence)

You will feel joy (in the Lord)

posted by: just another daughter