But how long do I have to wait? What if I’ve been praying for so long and each time it seems further away yet right in front of my eyes that I can taste it. Like it’s being dangled like a dollar on a string and God’s like, “you gotta be quicker than that.”
Why is it that we have to praise in the midst when I’m barely able to stand?
When even the simple tasks of the day seem too daunting?
When conversation with others is more of a chore than it is enjoyable?
What do I do with not wanting to be anymore?
What if this walking zombie is more pleasurable than actually trying?
What if my misery is more comfortable because I can still feel here?
But then I think, if I can still feel then that means I’m not completely hollowed out and there’s something I should be exploring, right?
These are all valid questions that swipe through my mind like a dating app. What is it that I should be doing during this season of wait?
If I can be honest, I’ve been postpartum for a little over 7 months now, and I’m learning who Tanaya is all over again. The things I used to enjoy, I don’t really enjoy all that much anymore. It’s like I’m seeking something more, but can’t quite figure out what that more is. Like, I know it’s in God, but what is it specifically?
Now that I’m a mom, I’ve been in this transition trying to put the pieces back together.
Some time ago, in Bible study, I shared some challenges I’ve been going through. With tears in my eyes, I spilled my emotion on the table about the transition I am in. How I can’t seem to grasp my value, how I am having a hard time figuring out who I am now and not knowing how to articulate how I feel enough to pray it through.
I couldn’t make eye contact with anyone. I remember hearing an interview with Michael Jackson saying that he started wearing sunglasses in his Thriller days because he didn’t want people looking him in the eye. He felt that it was the most vulnerable thing to do because then people could see your soul.
He was right. Have you ever made really long eye contact with someone? It can be uncomfortable! I usually shy away from eye contact because I am unsure of myself at times, and I don’t want someone to see the crisis in my eyes lol!
So, last night at Bible study, I looked down at the glasses I took off my face and laid on my notebook. My highlighter was in between the frame where my nose would have been had it been on my face still. I stared at that tortoise design dancing along the frame like I was studying for a big test. As if this inanimate object was calming me because it couldn’t stare back. But I could feel the eyes intently listening in.
Can eyes listen? For this illustration, they can.
So, I’m sitting there pouring my heart out and being so transparent about what I’d been going through. The constant push and pull of my life. The struggle to even want to be around people, the isolation I felt was happening, but not wanting. My dad (who is the co-pastor of the church and co-leader of the Bible study) asked me if I felt that I needed to be isolated. I told him I knew I needed to be separated but not isolated. Because I know that isolation comes with danger in the spiritual realm.
The devil is alive and well. He can see when we’re ill mentally, spiritually, and physically. He literally watches our every move, and if it ain’t him alone it’s his little minions. He’ll make small problems seem bigger; he’ll taint everything we look at until we just want to be by ourselves.
But that is a problem.
You see, the devil waits like a cheetah. He waits for that sick one that is walking behind the healthy group of zebras. The one that is slowly but surely being left behind just so that he can pounce. Have you ever seen a large cat chase a herd to separate them and get one alone to take down? If you haven’t, then you seriously need to watch more Discovery Channel.
Anyway, he will do just that. Make you think, like I have been, that you don’t need anyone because they don’t understand you anyway. He whispers truth sprinkled with lies in your ear as YOUR voice that you are alone in this. That it won’t get better. And it makes you go within yourself and hide. That’s when he casts the shadows over your eyes.
His wickedness playing on the only way he can get you. Your emotions. Your body. It turns you inward, makes you focus on your circumstance, and causes you to retreat into darkness.
Before I knew what I was saying at that table, I realized I let that happen to me. Not in its entirety, but enough that I was now sitting here in a place Satan wanted me to be.
I believe God did want me to delete all my social media and get in His presence more. But while I was doing that, I was retreating into darkness. I was dabbling into something darker than what God intended because Satan and his demons were swarming me and my husband, to get us alone to attack.
But that night, I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to speak up.
So, I’m sitting there half listening to Bible study, and instead, I’m looking up scriptures. Not totally sure of what I was going to say, but knowing I needed to spill it. It was like the words were sitting on my tongue ready to vomit out of my mouth. I felt the nudge constantly in the pit of my stomach, but not wanting to be so vulnerable in this room full of folks that don’t know what was really happening with me. I knew it needed to happen though because I haven’t felt such an urge in a long time.
So, when Bible study was almost over, I spoke up. I vomited out 3 scriptures I wanted to present first. Matthew 11, Luke 41, and John 15. I talked about Martha and Mary when Jesus came to visit (Luke 41-42), I talked about Jesus saying “Come to me all who are weary… (Matthew 11:28-30), and I talked about Jesus being the vine (John 15:4-8).
Look at what you made me do. I just couldn’t share the excerpts without at least sharing the scriptures.
So, I was sitting there reminding myself of these things as I was talking out my feelings. With tears in my eyes, voice shaking, temperature rising, I expressed to my family about my struggles. And they accepted me with open arms.
Imagine, if I’d left that Bible study still holding onto all of that baggage? I feel that I would’ve become more isolated and miserable. I feel that I would’ve regretted it. I feel I would’ve felt even more alone. And God knew that which is why I believe he placed it on my heart to share with His people.
I left there realizing that I was almost that sick zebra being separated from the rest of the herd. I was almost gotten alone and I was justifying it. I almost let the cheetah (Satan) get me by myself so that he could convince me I am nothing. But I am something, I am strong, beautiful, loving, resilient, etc.
Because God says I am.
And when God speaks, it is so.
So, what lies have you believed that are making you look at life through a negative lens? Can I nudge you to ask God to remove the illusion of darkness and tell him to show you the way out?
Do it, I dare ya, and let me know how it goes because your release is right there waiting in God’s open arms.