Christian Life in Limbo: How Low Can I Go? REALLY LOW
My life has been in limbo for an exceedingly long period of time. I am in the pit. And no, I haven’t buried a loved one, and all my cats and children are in fairly good health. Wait, I take that back about the cats. I just left them at the vet to be dipped in a sulfur solution to kill a fungus.
Y’all, A FUNGUS. What is this new hot fresh McFrizzle?
Yes, the choir hymns encourage, “don’t worry be happy,” and reference the scripture line and verse. I diligently highlight all the Good News in the Good Book. Then I hold my breath in anticipation for the bar to be raised and I will walk upright, even if just for a moment. Alas, I am run down, worn out, and hung up to dry.
I know many of you reading this will identify, we are in the same boat.
A life in limbo, collecting remnants of hope, wearily trying to stay steady under an impossibly low limbo pole.
You know, I have had the limbo song stuck in my head for days now. “How low can you go? How low can you go?” It seems as though the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter, more clear. Then, suddenly, without much warning the whistle blows and a heavy steam engine slams into me head on… I am fully coherent to the fact that the light was just another speeding locomotive. And once again, the tunnel is further than it’s ever been and miles from where it was just a few moments ago.
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I will not lie to you, I am discouraged.
In fact, the energy it took for me to sit down and write this is energy I robbed from the children. I replaced the “cook dinner” energy into “order pizza online” energy, and traded straight up for, “write a blog post about life in limbo” energy.
By now you must have gleaned the knowledge, “she is blogging for herself more than for us.”
Guilty as charged.
So when I sit down to write, it usually starts with a title. Hateful critics call it clickbait, but that’s just because they don’t know me. Those are the actual thoughts that pop in my head, and here is the place I resolve them. Click on that… wait, I mean, “Jesus loves you.”
And, He does.
He loves them all. And – you all, and me all. All of us. And He, Jesus that is, is wholly invested in all the things that have me weighed down, trying to maneuver my size 14 butt under and impossibly low limbo pole. Christianese and happy platitudes aside, I find it most comforting to admit, they aren’t helping. However, the Word, when I read it out loud does something to me.
Every morning for the past few months I have logged in online and clicked on my Facebook and then created a live video about a particular scripture for each particular week. And last night as I tossed and turned, shadow dancing the current crisis, I finally gave up and began scrolling through my cyber life.
I am not a fraud. I am a lot of things.
Chubby, weary, tall, busty, compassionate, obstinate, and a wordsmith. I like Thai food, chips and salsa, and Hot Yoga (well, wait, I like being done with hot yoga.) Pilates, spin, and swimming are my favorites, also, Zumba and the Sunday nap, but I confess, I haven’t done much of those things lately. Wait, the Sunday nap has been frequent, also on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and twice on Saturday.
Unable to sleep by night, I have succumbed to some wickedly powerful naps. If napping were a vocation, I would be the boss, advancing quickly in the ranks to CEO. Negotiating fair trade and equal pay for the lonely, depressed, and life in libo day sleepers, right after I wake up.
Sorry, I dozed off.
The point is I ended up watching my Facebook live videos, something I rarely if never do. And that is when I saw it. For just a few minutes as I recite scriptures, I look truly peaceful. I know how low the limbo pole is and I also know, I am not an actress. So, at 3:46 a.m. I tried reciting scripture over and over and over in the hopes of achieving some peace under the low limbo pole. And I woke to find my bible as my pillow, drool and sweat from my sleep deprived brow, forever ruining Psalm 34.
Rarely do I tell myself or you, my reader friends what to do. The work was accomplished on the Cross. We needn’t attempt to impress Him or buy the gift He freely gave up on the Cross. However, scripture is like magic. He simply must be real. I have counted sheep and prayed the alphabet, and nothing compares the His powerful Word.
Sure, it has been used, abused, and misinterpreted. Please, don’t tell me all things work together for good. I know, but that is like lemon juice in a paper cut when someone is this low under the limbo pole. On the other side, upright, yes I will recall and worship that which He made good. But here in the limbo pit, please, not that one.
So I smoothed out the page on which I had rested hard and read it again, Psalm 34…
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to Him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
So, undone by this revelation… when I look to Him I am radiant. When I have those moments alone with He and His word, I am delivered from my fears, and never I am covered in shame.
I write this to encourage, stay in the Word.
The road is long, my patience has run out. I am all the things that one would associate with “simply depressed.” But depression and anxiety are never ever simple. Still, He is Jesus. And while it is hard to admit, I have collapsed beneath the low bar of the limbo stick, He catches me.
I am not in trouble, in this place – He is fully aware of my heart, my soul, my desire, and when I will recover I will see the light – light that is faith fulfilled, not a speeding train.
Of the greatest detriment to the heart of a woman is the Christian speak that depression, anxiety, stress, a foul mood, or season of stink is a lack of faith. He is my everything. I do not cease to love even at my lowest. Dear sisters, He adores you. He is the champion of our wholeness and the author of our triumph. What is most ridiculous is the idea we must be 100% on in order for Him to bless us – or hold us tight.
Jesus, Son of Man was created for just this season. He came to bind up, heal, and comfort. Never once did He says, “I came to condemn and terrorize, and if you take Prozac or St. John’s Wort, you are weak and pathetic, and I have no use for you.”
I looked it up, He never said that.
No, He came to help and when He finished the work and returned to sit at the right hand of the Father, He sent a HELPER, not a condemner. And I hate limbo. I want change to come today. I want the tunnel to have finally ended, and I need Him to answer me now. However, I believe He will.
I believe Him.
I like Him and I love Him.
And He is the last drop of hope stirring in my soul.
I implore you, do not lower the limbo stick even an inch by entertaining the idea that limbo is a punishment or Him out to get you. And while all things will eventually work for good, that doesn’t have to be the scripture that feeds a weary soul. For He knows the plans, and He has carried the burden, and He loves; For He is love.
As cold sheets beckon me and I list my hope, again and again, He sits patiently with me, adoring me, His girl. I pray, “Sit with your girls, Oh Lord of our hearts. Here in the rubbish, ashes, and stink of limbo, You are the only hope.”
Rage on weary friend, He is our hope.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
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