Thursday, January 21, 2010
Days 17-21 It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better
Truly I don't even know what to say. I gasped when I realized that I had not written this week; it's shocking to realize how overwhelming I find change. It seems that right now I am in the midst of very tumultuous change. I am still clinging to old ideas, old behaviors, old fears, old habits of thought, and so on. There really are no adequate words for this part of the process. In all honesty, I really thought this would be easier - I wanted it to be easier. Instead, something just is aching and I can't quite figure it out.
Joan said something to me the other day about the old story of the teacup in the china shop. I think the story is something like this:
The teacup tells that she wasn't always so lovely. At first she was just clay, messy, wet and lumpy. A potter began to fashion the clay; as he pinched and poked and spun her, she complained that it hurt and wished the rough handling would stop. After a while, the pinching did stop - and then she was locked up. She got warmer and warmer and wondered how it could be that she was going through something even more uncomfortable - no, painful - than all that pinching. She realized with shock that she was in a kiln - burning! She desperately wanted the burning to stop. Eventually it did, and she was sure that the hurt and discomfort was over and done with for good. The potter then started smearing paint all over her - it stung, it was wet and gross feeling, and she just wanted to be left alone. Once more she found herself burning in the kiln, disbelieving her wild misfortune. Suddenly, it was over. She was carefully polished and placed on a shelf. All who saw her admired her exquisite beauty, not to mention the skill of the potter. (Me, being a tea drinker, would dare to add that all who saw her also secretly desired the feelings of warmth and calm that being with her would bring.)
This finding my worth business is like most things worth having: it's hard work. And this week I don't know that I've been up to the challenge. I feel battered and bruised, teetering on the brink of some sort of abyss. I really don't know why - it just doesn't seem like it should be this hard. Right now I don't want a shortcut to get to the end - I just want to be left lumpy and messy. The mess and chaos are familiar, even if they are destructive in the end. (A moment of dark humor here: I blame my rekindled passion of reading. I have torn through five novels and am on the sixth right now - all of them about higher ideals, love, loss, and... change. Stupid books - they make me feel.)
Lest anyone think I'm on the brink of despair, I'm not, I assure you. Or maybe I say that to assure me? In any case, there is a part of me that realizes that this is temporary, no matter how eternal it feels. I do wish I could turn off my emotions right now, though that would prevent me from actually becoming the person the Lord wants me to become. I am worth... something. I think this week I have to just cling to the fact that I am worth something, but right now that something is elusive and undefinable. I just have to ride out whatever this storm is. It's just very difficult - and because I have read a few good books in my life, I know the standard plot: it gets worse before it gets better.