Sunday, February 1, 2009

All Those Names

"The real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back, in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind."--CS Lewis

Amazing. So I am not the only one that awakes each morning and wrestles with the day and longs for that other voice. I struggle with all those names from the past the most. Names that a child would take in, names that an adult would wrap their clenched fists around for decades. Shame that surfaces as evidence that I have held on to blame that should have been stripped down to the naked truth long ago.

We all grow up with other names like skinny, four eyes, various nicknames, it’s only natural. Probing deeper the knife cuts and twists with a list that repeats through the day in a persistent dripping manner like a faucet that cannot seem to be fixed. I hear the names: unacceptable, hypochondriac, paranoid, ungrateful, marginal Christian, and perhaps the lie from the Enemy I disdain the most, anorexic. That one cuts to the core but I understand that not all people are knowledgeable of the fact that weight is not a mathematical equation when one lives daily with disease.

Then names bob up from my own pity pool of tears as well, without warning. They sputter off stupid, looser, forgetful, and my latest is damaged goods, now that I have topped off the pile of physical quirks with autoimmune disease. This is wasted time this self-taunting, adding to the already toxic pile. Why have I answered to these names for so long? Why would I allow them to even be heard as a child of God?

I have no excuse as an adult for recording these names, but I do think chronic illness sufferers are more at risk to be branded with some needless titles, as often misunderstood as so much can be invisible to the eye and so completely foreign to what other people experience. If for anything, so far it has made me cling to that which is spiritual and go deeper during this season than relying on people. Glancing back from where I am now, I see a God who longed to be more intimate with me, to love me more than anyone else could. God wanted my attention and more of it. At any rate, this name calling all comes at a high price. It can cause us to love and seek to please inappropriately for approval sake or may rob one of never truly loving fully or allow one to accept love freely back if one doesn’t love themselves first. It steals the freedom that is truly offered in Christ.

My best solution lately besides washing names and shame away down the drain each night, is allowing the unnecessary baggage fade. It’s in just dropping one name at a time quietly at the feet of the One with nail-scarred hands and remembering where worth is found and where it is not. It’s a total shift of focal point, a retraining of a stubborn child to walk an entirely different path and I have not achieved it but am more aware of it. I am separating truth from falsehood daily. I’ve tossed the blame a while back, but kept the names like an obligatory gift that cannot be returned. Stupid I know. There I go again....

So this waking to the light of a new day, feeling my heartbeat, regardless of pain and imperfection, I lay still and aware of each day being full and pregnant with life. It is my life and spirit connected to the Spirit in that this new practice occurs and fills the spaces that all these names took up. I refocus my human blurry sight and focus on the Light and that bit of Light within me and greet the Living Water, Spirit, Bread of Life, Abba Father, Lover of my soul each morning and throughout my day. It helps to get the focus off me and where it should be. That is familiar territory, but this quiet whisper back that I must strain to hear is ever new, and calls me: Joyful, Hopeful, Beloved Child, Over-Coming One, Friend of God, Acceptable, and Beautiful in His sight. I startle at this reality of love, that I’ve once again pushed down too long and I seek His face. My heart sings and spills "I have found the One whom my soul loves" and He has a name and has named me.


Ganeida said...

Thank you, not only for visiting but for having the grace to leave a comment. :) I have *visited* you before but was too shy to say anything but I guess I'm over that now.

Heather said...

Such a thoughtful, honest post. I know so many of those names too. Keep listening to the good names...

Renee said...

What a beautiful honest post Jan Lyn.
I hope that you can not only wash those negative hurtful names down the drain but replace them with others lik strong Jan Lyn, courageous Jan Lyn, ..... thoughtful, kind, beautiful, honest, friendly.
What a good reminder for all of us.

Jan Lyn said...

Thanks so much for all stopping by. As you see, I am working on honesty which has taken a long time for me, and also in attempt to be a voice for those with chronic illness that find themselves in similar situations. I appreciate your encouragement!

Ganeida, I am so happy that you stopped by here and said hello! I enjoy all 3 of your blogs. I've enjoyed a glimpse into your world and homeschool.