My head and my heart are full.
I always find it funny how, at times like this, I have the hardest time finding the words I need to express my head and heart accurately. In my usual state of being, I could easily be considered a talkative person. And yet, when I want the most to say what’s on my mind, it feels like the flow of words gets cut off. But, for the sake of giving it a shot, I proceed.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the word transparent lately. One account I read of the word defined it loosely as being something sheer enough for light to pass through, sheer enough that objects inside or behind the something could be seen. It’s a word that I strive for on a daily basis, because I feel that in a world full of people who are pretending to be what they need to be or what they should be or what they want to be…we could all use a little reality.
In transparency, I must say that these past few weeks have been rough ones. I find myself at every turn feeling less and less confident about the things I used to place the most faith in. The things that used to feel safe and comfortable feel–for lack of a better way to describe it–empty and lonely. For example, my music. My entire life, I’ve been told that I’m a gifted musician, a gifted lyricist. And these past few weeks, as I’ve been preparing my music for a show that took place last week, this sneaking suspicion has happened upon me. A suspicion that in my music, much like in the bulk of my life for the past two decades, I find myself saying things that sound like the “right” thing. Less what I feel and more what I wish I felt. Less what I think and more what the people around me think. Less truth and more wordy and inspirational ways to say things that don’t really inspire me or speak to the truest place of my heart. Less reality and more another part of a very intricate mask I’ve spent my life wearing, a mask meant to tell the world, “Hey. I’ve got this together.”
As I stumbled over that inkling, I can honestly say that I panicked. I felt humbled and paralyzingly startled. To the point that I told my husband (in all honesty, not in a moment of dramatic exaggeration) that I wanted to put my keyboard in storage and forget about it all for awhile.
I don’t want to say things that aren’t real. I don’t want to write things that are contrived or in any way false. I feel like there’s too often so much mystical verbal baggage that comes with our faith, especially when it’s a faith you’ve grown up in. You know the right things to say. You know what’s going to get an amen and a pat on the back from a well-meaning deacon who couldn’t be more convinced your heart is walking closely after God’s, even when the reality behind the curtain seems far from that.
My heart is just aching in ways I can’t describe for a reality that I can’t put my finger on. I feel shackled to a world of pretension that I wasn’t created for, and it is exhausting.
And I know, even in the midst of the exhaustion, that there is something to be learned from this, that God is in the process of refining a heart that so desperately desires that refining, even when it hurts. I know that these are the pains that come with being a broken creature in a broken world, with an old creation giving birth to a new one. But to be honest, that knowledge only deepens the ache I feel for the kind of completion I was born for.
“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” – CS Lewis