Tightrope

This is the second time it’s happened—hitting a wall, that is. You know, the emotional kind. You know you’ve hit the metaphorical wall when you can’t think, you can’t process conversation, you can’t make a sound. The air gets stuck in your throat and the universe seems to pause. In moments like these, I’m not sure if it’s easier to know why you’ve hit the wall or easier to not know. All I know is I knew. I knew why I hit it and I know now.

It seems to be really easy for me to think God is the source of my trouble. I’ve grown partial to the understanding that it’s possible to run headlong into God’s work and suffer pain, not because He’s trying to hurt you, but because you ran into Him by running against Him. At this point, I don’t know if it’s a general rule of life, but it generally feels true for me.

We were talking. I was currently speaking when she interupted me, “Don’t be so literal.” I didn’t think I was. Without warning, my mind began churning out arguments in defense of accusations—she hadn’t even accused me of half of the things flooding my thoughts. The first and only sign necessary to signal that this is about something else. It’s about the first time I felt whacked upside the head by a passing remark. Both times I’d been talking with people I had met through church. Neither one meant their comments in a hurtful way, yet I was crushed by both of them. This brings me back to God.

The stunning simplicity of these interactions was like being suddenly blind-sided by a huge wave, knocking me back and leaving me strangely bitter. I attributed this to God since He was the topic of our discussions. Now I’m wondering if that’s really the case. I suspected a dutiful “thank you” would bring me through it, but I carried mounting guilt and shame out of my interactions with these people. Something didn’t add up. Maybe, despite their best intentions, my friends’ words had been appropriated by a demonic agenda. Maybe God had nothing to do with it. After all, aren’t the righteous supposed to be able to run into Him and be safe?

Maybe it’s been part of an assignment to derail my pursuits, to steal my joy, to convince me that advancement will only lead me in circles of futility. Yet here I find myself, in the words of Misty Edwards, “walking on a tightrope stretched across the universe, way too high to go back from where I came, overwhelmed at the miles I’ve yet to tame. I’m too far in to turn around now and I’ve got too far to go to sit down now…” I wonder how this will all play out.

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