At the end of myself
Lizzy Lee // September 5, 2018, 1:00 pm
I gazed nervously around the room.
I’d been trapped here for long enough with only the voices for company. Some mine, others … dark whispers.
- Talent is wasted on you. So what if you’re a good creative? You’ll always have to try twice as hard as the men to prove your worth.
- You’re horrible at relationships. You always say the wrong things. You’ll always be misunderstood.
- You have no friends because you keep running away. You just hide where no one can find you so no one can hurt you. You’re always going to be alone.
I buried my face in my hands. I wish this room wasn’t as familiar to me as it had become. Yet here I was again — the place I run to hide when I cannot face reality.
But the voices that live here can be even crueler than the invisible monsters I’m running away from.
In my haze of deepening despair, I turn to the only source of light in the room – the small voice in the corner.
“Is there nothing I can do?” I ask despondently. I had kept my shadows closer than His light, and now I can barely make out His face in the dim illumination from the corner. The room is small, yet He still feels so far away.
He shakes his head lightly, and I can almost see a small smile crossing His face.
With desperation in my voice, I begin to ask: “Maybe, I just need to read Your Word more? I know there’s an answer there. I know there are sermons waiting that will set me free. I know there are other voices I should be heeding and not the ones that live here with me, in the darkest part of my heart, in the most helpless recesses of my creative soul.
“I just need to get my act together and stop wallowing right? I just need to find the will to open my Bible again, right? Right?”
“If it was so easy, why are you still here then?” taunted one of the dark voices, as the shadows began closing in once more. I close my eyes, pained, because that voice was right.
I knew where the answers were meant to be found. But I didn’t have the strength to find them. I sat exhausted on the floor, and begged Him again: “What do I do? Is there nothing I can do?”
Silence from the corner. Then, quietly, the small voice replied, “I love you.”
I let out an exasperated sigh. “Yes, yes — I know you love me. But what should I do?” I asked impatiently.
“Do you really believe I love you?”
“Um … Yeah. I know you do. But you love me and I’m still stuck here.” I pointed out in irritation. Why did I have to spell out the obvious?
“Lord, I can’t find the strength to get out of here. I can’t find the strength to open that door and let Your light back in. I’m tired of walking out of this room only to find myself back here three months later. I’m tired of thinking this room was gone for good only to realise it didn’t go away. I’m tired that my weaknesses are always the same. I’m tired that the same things are allowed to haunt me again, and again, and again!”
“I love you. Can that be enough?”
Silence. “I still love you.”
“Why is that your answer to everything?” I asked waspishly. “It doesn’t even answer my question. I asked you what should I do, and you tell me you love me.”
Again, the smile. “Precisely. That is precisely the answer to your question.”
The light grows slightly, as I give it more attention for a moment than the shadows that cling to my mind.
I love you till the very end, till the very day we meet face-to-face, and even then, I will love you for an eternity more.
“I love you. Can that be enough?” He asks.
“Can it be enough for you that you are mine? Can it be enough for you that … even before you had anything to bring to the table, any gifts to beautify the world with, any ability to bring My word to My people – I already loved you?
“Can it be enough, that even if you don’t have the strength to find Me in my Word, or believe the words of your friends, that if you just knew one thing – it would be that I love you?
“And can it be enough, that when you have given up on yourself, and believe in isolation that everyone else has given up on you – that I will never give up on you? That even if you never write another word, never create another piece of art, never make another film, never minister to another person again … I love you?
“I love you till the very end, till the very day we meet face-to-face, and even then, I will love you for an eternity more.
“Can that be enough for you?”
I opened eyes that I didn’t even realise were closed. “Even if I end up back in this room again?” I whispered as I wiped away tears.
“Especially when you end up back in this room again,” He affirmed. And the light grew visibly brighter.
I looked around the room. The shadows were still there. But the Light shone merrily now, and the shadows didn’t seem as intimidating as they were a moment ago.
“Will this feeling ever go away?” I asked, as Light drew near and pulled me into His embrace.
“My voice is louder than any shadow,” He said confidently as He held me close. “There is no voice more powerful than mine.” He waved to where I thought the shadows were: “Those are the voices of accusation, but I am the Voice of Truth – you listen to Me.”
“I’ll take that,” I said. And at the end of myself … there You were.
There You were.
This article was first published on Lizzy’s blog, and is republished with permission.