by Ellen DuBois
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
"What do you want from me?" I cry out to God in a moment of fear. "What is it I'm not hearing?" I know I'm not getting it, but I don't know what there is to get. I know it's wrong- wrong to drown in self pity; wrong to focus on what I don't have instead of what I do; wrong to be so wrapped up in me that I feel selfish and ashamed.
Still, crouched on the floor in a little ball, crying until my stomach hurts and my eyes sting from the mascara running into them, I cry out again, this time more softly, "What do you want from me?"
I know I'm supposed to be happy- not all the time, but some of it. At least some of it! Was I so bad in another life? Is that it? Perhaps I made some terrible mistakes. Did God send me back to earth to pay Him back? Retribution?
No. I know that's not true. I know I'm reaching. My heart tells me God is not a cruel or vengeful God. He is love. He is love. My breathing quiets for a moment.
I've created this situation. I've made the choices. I've landed in a spot that feels like an uncomfortable, binding shoe that won't come off.
The tears spill from my eyes again in a gut wrenching cry that makes me double over and hold my stomach. My life runs through my mind like a movie- happy, sad, full of promise, full of wasted time, but full, nonetheless.
I am missing something. Is my mind so cluttered that I can't hear the answer? I pray to the Holy Spirit to cleanse my mind so I can hear what I'm supposed to. Please, cleanse my mind.
The dam breaks. Negative, sad thoughts form a pool and I'm drowning. I see myself caught up in the undertow- and I am running out of strength.
"What do you want from me?" I beg, treading the waters of my own mind until I can no longer keep up with myself. "Please, God. Help me."
I hear nothing, feel nothing. God's not listening to me today. Perhaps, He's grown tired of my complaints. I am struggling to keep afloat, yet my mind is weighing me down like cement bricks upon my feet. Happy. I just want to be happy. Was I put on this earth to fight to be myself? When will I feel loved? When will being me be enough? I want to go back, I cry inside. I want to start all over again and be a child. I was happy then. I knew love, acceptance, comfort and warmth. Being me was always enough.
I know I can't go back, but that doesn't stop the desire from burning. My life, my miscarriage, my divorce, my panic, my fear, my relationship, my God!
I am still. The pool is draining. All the 'my' thoughts. I feel a warmth. No, I feel a love. I can see a bit more clearly and I know I've been unwise and selfish to the point of self inflicted blindness.
The pounding in my chest slows to a calming rhythm. The vice grip on my chest loosens and my body, spent and shaking, leans back upon the base of the ottoman.
I whisper, "I'm sorry." I want to strike the word my from my vocabulary. I want to erase all those times when I got so buried in myself that I couldn't possibly know God. How could I hear Him if my headphones were blasting?
And, I am still.
"Dear God, forgive me. Please, show me the way. I've tried so hard to figure it all out, and fell upon the steps, scraping my knees. I have succeeded and I have failed. I have cried and I have laughed. I've been blessed and I've been ungrateful. Please, God. Just tell me. I know I can't do it alone anymore. Look where it's gotten me? Look at me, God, please. I don't want to be like this anymore. I don't. Please take it, take it all. Take my life and take me. My flashlight's gone- the batteries are dead. But, I know your light never goes out. I'm yours. Just tell me what you want from me and I'll do it. Please."
And then, I know. I hear it, feel it, know it, become it as God's answer fills me up, streaming through my blood and making my heart warm, my tears dry.
Had I not reached this lowly state I would not have known. Had I not become so filled with pain that I feared bursting I would not have known. Had I not questioned, for the very first time my entire worthiness and reason for existence, I would not have known. I wouldn't have known the need to surrender, because I would not have felt the need to surrender. Surrender my life to God.
I sat in a crumpled heap on the floor and felt the loving arms of the Father surrounding me. I felt the loving hands of Christ soothing away my hurts, pains, guilt and battle wounds. I cried like a baby in the arms of God, and He never turned away, never let go, never stopped loving me.
It was then I knew what God wanted from me- because I'd just done it.
Ellen M. DuBois
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