Friday, October 14, 2011

Gentle My Desperation

The past weeks have been really hard on me. My hopelessness from last week has only intensified this week with the death of Goshen College professor, Dr. Miller. Midterms were also this week, adding more stress and depression to my life. Especially on Wednesday night, I felt completely surrounded by sadness and depression for no particular reason. The last two days have been a lot better, but in the pit of my stomach I still feel an overwhelming feeling of sadness and hopelessness that I try to ignore because I just want to feel happy, or at least just ok.
This feeling has pushed me into praying a lot. My relationship with God has really gone through ups and downs the last few years, but this week I have felt the need to communicate with God and do some soul-searching. I have been reading In the Sanctuary of Women by Jan L. Richardson, a prayer book given to me by Rachel, the pastor of San Antonio Mennonite Church. I would highly recommend the book to anyone... it is filled with prayers and reflections of women in the Bible. One part that I have been reflecting on is the idea of hungering and desiring. A prayer in the book goes, "May your longing lead you far and farther still toward the place where what you desire can be met only by God. May your hungering bring you home by another way."
The author describes how life is about going on quests and how each road leads us different places and teaches new lessons. Part of the scariness and blessing of journeys is that we are never quite the same when we return. The same is when we truly experience God - we can never be the same. I am hoping that the deep longing and pain that I am experiencing now will teach me valuable lessons and make me a stronger person. I hope that it will bring me closer to God and help me to use my life to help alleviate the pain of those around me. My mom sent me a prayer the other day that described perfectly how I have been feeling. I leave it with you below.

Come, Lord Jesus,
Touch me
with love, life-giving as light,
to quiet my anger a little
and gentle my desperation,
to soften my fears some
and soothe the knots of my cynicism,
to wipe away the tears from my eyes
and ease the pains in my body and soul,
to reconcile me to myself
and then to the people around me,
and then nation to nation,
that none shall learn war any more,
but turn to feed the hungry, house the homeless
and care compassionately for the least of our brothers and sisters.
Reshape me in your wholeness
to be a healing person, Lord.

Come, Lord Jesus,
expand me
by your power, life-generating as the sea,
to accept
and use my power,
to do something I believe in
and be something more of who I mean to be
and can be,
to inspire me to dream and move,
sweat and sing,
fail and laugh,
cuss and create,
to link my passion with courage,
my hope with discipline,
my love with persistence,
to enable me to learn from difficulties,
grow in adversities,
gain wisdom from defeats,
perspective from disappointment,
gracefulness from crises,
and find joy in simply living it all fully.
Release me through your power
to be a powerful person, Lord.

Come, Lord Jesus,
startle me
with your presence, life-sustaining as air,
to open my heart
to praise you,
to open my mind
to attend you,
to open my spirit
to worship you,
to open me
to live my life
as authentically and boldly as you lived yours.

Come, Lord Jesus,
be with me
in my longing;
come, stay with me
in my needing;
come, go with me
in my doing;
come, struggle with me
in my searching;
come, rejoice with me
in my loving.

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