My heart wakes me up a few nights a week- rapid, staccato beats that charge me with adrenaline and fear. Or the slow, heavy, rhythmic pounding that echoes in my ears.
God, I don't know what to do with this heart of mine. I don't know how to comfort it, how to speak to it. It's like a small child that runs into my room in the middle of the night, crying about monsters under the bed and nightmares.
"What's wrong with you?" I ask it, and it shows me a picture book of horror; memories; faces; the darkened possibilities of the future: pure dread.
Time spreads out before me and I am immobilized, overcome- all the things I can't control, all the opportunities to hurt and be hurt.
I am painfully aware that other people exist.
That women are chained to beds and raped for mens pleasure, or chained to sewing machines for mine. God- how can it be that children cry under beds, and marriages dissolve, that it's so cold outside and there are human beings shivering on sidewalks, that I am me and they are them and what does that mean?
I am terrified of repeating mistakes, endless ground hog days of selfishness, and more than anything I am afraid of being afraid for the rest of my life, and I just want to be with you in heaven.
But saying I want to be in heaven is a nice Christian way of saying something much darker.
So instead I say 'you are loved, you are loved' over and over again, 'it's going to be okay,' the only picture book I can show my heart is you, God. I can only whisper to it about trust and faith, explain that some pain is good, and that I'll be more responsible with it in the future, I'll guard it better. Christ please help me protect my heart.
Perfect love casts out fear, and my anxiety is a hunger pain for You. It is a physical indicator that something is wrong.
Help me to trust that you have me, to know that fear is pointless, that Christ wills me to change the things that overwhelm me. Help me to treat my heart, my emotions with respect, to not relegate them to the red headed step child of my senses, help me to pay attention to my heart during the day, so it stops waking me crying in the night.
Fix my eyes, so I see redemption and beauty and hope, instead of despair and brokenness.
Things in the world should break my heart, but please keep it from breaking me.
God, you are strong, you are working and moving in this world, you love me, you love them, you love me....
Slowly, slowly, my heart is comforted and reminded, and we both go back to sleep.