//when the sun goes down and the lights burn out

The last two nights I’ve spent several hours on my back, staring up at the sky. It’s been so clear that not only are planets bright and visible, but the galaxies behind them. I squeal every time I see a shooting star. It feels so personal and special, somehow, even though I know thousands – maybe millions – of other people are doing exactly what I’m doing at that very moment. Looking up, I wondered if maybe God sends us phenomena like this so we remember to look up. So that we can see the artwork above that we’re usually too focused on ourselves to notice. In a way it was very therapeutic, even worshipful.

Ever since things blew up last month, I’ve been different. I’ve noticed this difference. I’m more withdrawn. I’m more anxious – names of people are mentioned, or cross my mind, and I’m seized with residual fear that makes it hard to focus on anything else. Apparently, even the shape of my eyes changed overnight, according to my Mom. They’re sadder. I hadn’t thought it affected me this much, but the truth is, my heart was broken in a way it had never been broken before.

I was talking with Arielle and telling her how stupid I felt, and she said, “Mirri, there are things that scar us deeply and when the scars are rubbed or pressed, the pain comes back. Sometimes it’s ‘phantom pain’ so to speak, and other times the memory of that pain and guilt is so real that it tries to consume us. I don’t think it’s stupid. I think it means that we have a burning fire to not repeat the mistakes of the past and that’s why the memories are so potent.”

When I told her I knew I was withdrawing and I didn’t want to be, she said she had noticed it, too. “A bit of your energy and fire is missing. I even wondered if TCOT [The Color of Truth, a novel I’m writing] was a part of your healing process and if in writing it, you’d regain what you’ve lost. It’s a season. It’s autumn or winter in your spirit right now and you’re putting one foot in front of the other on the way to spring.”

That’s the thing. Usually, I live in spring. I’m not used to winter. If something isn’t personally connected to me, it’s hard for me to feel deeply about it. This was so personal that it felt like someone I used to trust had reached into my chest and ripped my heart out. The last few years have been a big trust exercise for me – learning to put my faith in people again, to believe what they say and to be fully honest no matter what might happen. I felt like I’d reached the top of the mountain and an avalanche had sent me back to the bottom.

But the last couple nights, lying on the deck and watching stars rain down, felt like a cleanse. Like a reminder that whatever I’ve done has been forgiven and wiped clean. My savior has forgotten about it, and I should, too. Before I went inside the night before last, I stared up at the quiet sky and prayed, “Please. Just send me one more.” A moment later, one of the brightest stars I’d ever seen shot across the sky and was gone. I almost started crying, sitting in the dark, because I wasn’t alone. That shooting star was a miracle for me.

I don’t know when I’ll ‘have my fire back.’ I think I need The Color of Truth right now – I need a project to fully engross me, something to dive into. And I’m so grateful for family who loves me and friends I can lean on. I’m so grateful for a God who listens to a pathetic prayer on a back deck late at night. I need to focus outward and less inward, and I need to realize that winter doesn’t last forever.

“We shall have spring again.”

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16 thoughts on “//when the sun goes down and the lights burn out

  1. Mirr, I don’t think you know how many of us love you and the extent that we do.

    Lody’s right — she always is, but especially in this case. We all have those wounds, the ones that look healed atop but are still open underneath. We’ve all fallen from a precipice to rock bottom. But as you know, God is always there. That shooting star proved it, didn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I struggled with fear over many things for several years and only this past May has God really brought me through an enormous healing process. I understand the fear of trust, honey. I’m here for you, if you ever need someone to talk to who’s been through that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t get a chance to stargaze often, but I love looking up at the night sky when the moon is full. It’s just so beautiful.
    Mirriam, I wanted to let you know how much you and your blog have inspired me. You’ve inspired me write more and feel less awkward about my parents reading my stories. You’re honest, funny, and a light for Christ. And thanks to your blog, I found pretty much all of the other blogs I follow now. I know I don’t comment a lot (most of the time I feel like I don’t have anything interesting to say) but I always love reading your posts. It brightens my day to when I see a new post on your blog. So thank you, Mirriam.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d forgotten about the meteor showers, but last night I saw a shooting star out my window through the trees. I entirely agree with you. They’re wonderful and make me feel alive and happy.

    I’m so sorry about your feeling down! *hugs* Praying for you. I hope your soul will find full healing. I love you so much but I know God loves you more. <3

    Whenever I'm in a tough time, I like to remember the words of a song "Blessings" by Laura Story: "What if Your blessings come through raindrops, what if Your healing comes through tears, what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near; what if my greatest disappointments and the aching of this life, is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQan9L3yXjc

    Love you, Mirri, as always. <3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (Oh, and it seems not to have posted all of it but the other line I thought of was this:

      “When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
      We know that pain reminds this heart
      That this is not, this is not our home
      It’s not our home”)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This nearly brought tears to my eyes. I don’t even know why. Maybe it echoes some of my own winters of the soul. I’m glad you’re starting to find healing, and that you ARE putting one foot in front of the other. <3

    The quote at the end reminded me of a line of poetry (by Percy Bysshe Shelley) I have on my wall: "O Wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?" And this whole post reminds me of a song too (I forget who sings it), but part of it is: "Praise God, we don't have to hide scars."

    You're deeply loved, Mirriam. Thank you for the inspiration you are.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. <3 Mirriam. So beautiful. Inside, out, in the spring seasons and even in the autumn/winter seasons. I pray The Color of Truth is a story that renews your fire to burn oh, so bright. Remember–grace, grace, in every season HE is still God. Who holds the stars and Who holds your beautiful heart.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I am there…. this- just about every sentiment- could me. And all I can tell you, is what I keep telling myself: “CAST your cares on the Lord, for He cares for you.” Read over the promises He has laid out for us, the ones revealing “His plans for good and not for evil, to give us a future and a hope.” Remember that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are IN Christ Jesus. And… He makes “beauty for ashes”. And… He has got you in every season through which you pass. You are being sung over, You are His previous child, and You are unconditionally loved… <3

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think one of the things that hurts me the most physically and emotionally is seeing people who I know to be so happy and bubbly all the time suddenly touched by frost. They sort of wither inside of themselves, and it kills me because they’re so happy– and when happy, joyful people are crushed… it’s misery. And you are one of those joyful children of pure sunshine in my mind.

    I don’t think I can express how crushed seeing you sad hurts. And I mean /really/ hurts.

    I get what you mean by this post. It makes so much sense to me.

    ‘gaze into my eyes
    when the fire starts
    and fan the flames so hot
    it melts our hearts
    Oh! the pouring rain
    will try to put it out
    but /not/ this time…’

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Love you, Mirriam. You’re a star yourself, you know, shining out into the darkness. I know how hard it is to be in the winter. But as my good friend Samwise Gamgee said, “A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer.” Hold onto that. ♥ Let me know if you ever need anything, and I hope your summer dawns again soon. <3333

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m so glad you found the quietness of the night sky to lose and find yourself in. It’s often those elusive thin places that bring the healing. Many blessings to you in this season of your life!

    P.S. This post is beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Arielle has got to be one of the most poetic (and wise) people alive. And you’ve got to be one of the strongest. I’ve noticed these things happening to you in me this past year and a half and I’m so grateful that you can open up and speak about the things that the rest of us can’t (or won’t). <3

    I'll keep praying for you, for healing, for continued courage, wisdom, and strength. All of that //is// behind you. You're a better person now. And the amount of love you have for everyone is proof of that.

    I love you. <3
    (And I'm excited for TCOT. It sounds incredibly promising. ;) )

    Liked by 2 people

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