I got a little scolding yesterday about my lack of writing. Sometimes I feel like I am just bursting out with things to say, burgeoning with thoughts ideas, goals, hopes, thinkerly things, but I can't quite seem to assemble it all into coherent material. It's frustrating.
I've used the phrase broken about myself many times these last few weeks. I am not a fan of anything medical, despite my long and very exciting medical history. But this summer I get to run the gamut of tests, probes, scans, pokes and invasions. Not because there actually is anything wrong me, simply because there might be. Once you have a history of being broken in a new way, doctors take notice. They want to really look into what's wrong with you so that they can, maybe, prevent someone else being broken in the same way you were. As for me, I'd much rather be left alone to make my own way and take care of my own self. While every doctor reassures me that there is no reason to think anything is wrong and that everything is merely "preventive medicine," beneath all their smiles (and the somewhat disconcerting gleam of interest at handling someone medically unique) beneath all of that is the never ending hum of tension that all this scrutiny brings. It makes me tense and out of sorts. It makes me feel afraid and very out of control.
But I ball all that anxiety up and shove it off to a little corner in the pit of my stomach and pretend like that time I really did have cancer that everyone acted very concerned and as though I had everything to worry about, not that they were acting just like they are acting now, and that in fact, I was found to be very, very broken. Unfortunately that ball of junk hums like a radioactive bomb. Sometimes it's louder and sometimes it's quieter, but it is always there: reminding me of dates written on my calendar, reminding me of all the reasons why they'll probably find something wrong, reminding me that its all been borrowed time up to now anyway.
And isn't that the rub? This morning I sang the lyrics, "My whole life is yours. I give it all forever to your praise. Forever I will say: have your way. Have your way." But are they just empty words? Because it could be that this is where my train might jump the track. My brother is sick, and I can't fix it. I might be broken, and I can't fix it. This whole world is filled with crippling illness, hurt and disease, and I can't fix even the smallest part of it. Not only that but every day between sunrise and sunset there are a million things that could, maybe even should go wrong. Here I am eaten up with anxiety that we might find the monster in the closet, when the real truth is that my life can change irrevocably, tragically in one moment and I might never even see it coming.
Do I mean it when I sing it? Do I want His way or my way? If you want the honest answer it's, "Yes, when it feels good, and absolutely no when the fear buzzes and gnaws and the unknown looms inscrutably deep at my feet." What I've learned about brokenness is that it usually happens unexpectedly fast that there is no preparation for it. When healing does happen, there are still fault lines, you see. Sometimes they tremor in reminder, and sometime they crack open again and release all those things you thought were mended, and behind you. Those fault lines will make you stumble, and that is why surrender isn't a moment, but a process and healing isn't a promise, but a gift slowly revealed and grace, oh grace, it's limitless for all the time you need to stand on firm, unbroken ground again.