I Made a Mistake of Living Life Between a Rock and a Hard Place.
I draw a happy face on my rock with chalk and name him Hank. Then a rain storm rolls in and washes him away, so I draw new friends and give them new names. Maybe Jack or Jill because they know what it’s like to try their best and still fail. The rain storms keep coming and my new friends melt away like crayons in a car on a hot day. It doesn’t take long before I run out of chalk and all that's left is the same rock that actually represents the loss we all lost except unlike my sisters who lost a mom, I lost a thought.
It’s not my fault that I can’t bring myself to cry when I think about the glimmer in her eye when she smiled. It’s not my fault that I don’t feel a skip in my heart when I think of her cackle of a laugh that could be heard a mile wide because I don’t know what that sounded like; I’ve only heard it described. Don’t get mad at me when I can’t cry or ask someone in the sky, “why?!”. It’s not that I can’t sympathize, it’s that I can’t bring myself to forge despair for a human that I held close to my heart before my memory was strong enough to keep her there. The memory of mom was gone before my long term retention was turned on, and that’s not my fault. I’m sorry you don’t understand.
The hard place across the way is actually nothing visible, but rather ideas that start forming like a snowball at the top of a forgotten peek somewhere across the ocean of reality inside my mind. The thoughts are nothing to begin with, but as they tumble and roll they collect both velocity and mass. Then, as a four door pick up that doesn’t clear a curve and collides face first with death, these thoughts crash into my frontal lobe making themselves known as the reason I’ll always be alone. The lies of this anxiety tell me that everything is wrong whether it is or far from, and my tummy turns to knots while my finger tips go numb. I’m terrified of thunder and I avoid late nights because that’s the worst time to wonder.
But the thing about rocks and hard places that I didn’t know is that they’re only as big as I let them be. I can force myself inside of an eight ton boulder and scale to the summit of a brick wall, but I can also put a pebble in my pocket and step over the curb because life does not end with a hearse.
Follow me here.
So, you know that state between sleeping and being awake where you think so hard about how badly you need to shower that you can almost feel the warm water rinsing days worth of filth down the drain only to open your eyes and realize you’re still lying in bed with the same invisible pain? You know you have to get up to use the bathroom, but maybe you can forget about it just a little bit longer because the weight of your sheets is compressing your nervous system just enough to make you feel a little better. Not enough to throw your razors away, and not enough to make you eat that day, but enough for three or four seconds of peace before the foreign outside air kisses your body and makes goosebumps grow underneath your lanugo.
You know the feeling when you're lying on the couch eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, which should leave you as relaxed as a ham, but the tension in your chest is winding so tight that if you don’t exhale that inhale exactly right it will snap? And then what happens when the tension snaps? You never know. Never knowing adds to the tension because you could be shot into a fit of hysterical laughter or be 94% convinced your life has absolutely no meaning, but either way the only logical solution is self destruction, and you don’t want to die but you can’t bring yourself to admit that you’re not fine so you lie until the only person you’re fooling is nobody.
Still with me?
These feelings for me are real, but the rocks and hard places are only as big as I let them be; in fact I don’t even have to carry them because someone volunteered to do it for me. He said “I love you Freddie-Leigh, so I’ll give up my life to set you free.” He came down from Heaven fully aware of His Father's will. He washed Peter’s feet knowing the next day he’d still be killed. He healed the woman who bled, the man who couldn’t see, and although I wasn’t around then, He knew he’d heal me.
The only reason I can live with the realities of this world is because my peace does not come from deep breaths and meditation. It comes from the Son who poured himself out as a selfless libation. Now I drink of the living water and sing praise without hesitation because He came to heal the sick and to shed love on me, a sinner. Now nothing on Earth or anywhere ever can change the fact that my eternity has been bought by the blood of God, and my friends that life is bought for you and the whole world too!
I didn’t know it way back when quite like I do now, but I Jesus is life. So, no matter what rock or hard place I’m stuck between, my true joy for eternity is found in the King.
Leigh inside a rock for the fun of climbing inside a rock.