DRAFT, from a few days ago
I’m digging and clawing at my chest today to seek and unearth the treasure-chest of my heart that is buried within deep and dark mulches.
It’s a simple box I am looking for, wooden and smooth. And yet when I open it, I am shocked but at the same time I am not shocked at the treasures that lay hidden there: black obsidion, pieces of volcanic rock like black ice/glass that are sharp, too sharp for me to touch. The emotions that are deep and hard and want to make deep-fossil impressions on my soul it seems. They are horrifyingly beautiful: anger, depression, sadness, and yet I want to hold them in my hands, examine them like an geologist that I always dreamed of being as a young girl. And yet, this geology lesson is too hard, too painful for me currently. And at the same time I want to slam the box shut and just re-bury the box-heart even deeper so its even harder for me or anyone outside of myself to even reach.
I want to abandon the shovel.
Today, I’m picking up that shovel again.
And really, its not even me picking up the shovel it seems. Sometimes I don’t even want to. Most of the time, I don’t. I don’t want to examine all of my thoughts, all the emotions because I know they will come in waves. I swear, some of the steriods they give me alongside pre-meds/nausea meds dictate a timeline of emotions for me. I can look at the calendar and point to you that this day I will be anxious, this day I will become an insomniac, this day I will want to cry at everything and this day I will become easily angry and frustrated at everyone and everything.
My medicated emotions. sigh.
These past days though, He has been unearthing my emotions, a silent gravedigger of my heart, seeking out that simple box-coffin of my heart. He is pushing, pushing it from underneath, slowly bringing it to the surface. As he has brought it to the surface, he opens and touches it and examines it as the Ultimate Geologist. He throws the black obsidion-silent anger of my heart and the other hard-gemstones of my soul into the rock tumbler.
Rumble, rumble, tumble, tumble.
It is His Word, His Holy Spirit, His people that are the rock tumblers, smoothing out my stone-cold emotions and placing pressure on them to change them in ways that I could not have possibly ever done on my own.
(this is what and why we call it grace.)
I didn’t even realize the Geologist was doing this silently, behind the scenes.
I tried coming to His Word, his intruction manual of the rock tumbler and didn’t find any relief or change there it seemed. And yet, it was secretly working on my heart in a powerful exchange and change:
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
He promises His word is active and working on my heart. Indeed, it is even when I do not immediately see it, feel it.
ROCK TUMBLER OF THANKS.
There is a lot to be grateful for in small, everyday things that the rock tumbler has been provided for me, has been transforming my bitter stones into beautiful gems of joy that I can hold and share and now extend towards others.
- Receiving letters of encouragement at just the right timing, when I all my soul was doing was longing for some sort of comfort (psalm 119:81-21)
- Delivery of my books I’m reading: Spiritual Depression by Martin Lloyd-Jones and O Love That Will Not Let Me Go by Nanci Gunthrie. Praise God for Amazon, and for words—that even though written a long time ago—are still withstanding and addressing my heart. Thank you for giving them their insight and willingess to share.
- For my brother Skylor and how he reminds me often of how God has used this cancer to bring him and me closer to Him.
- For breakfasting at Angry Baker with Cara. Thank you God for longstanding friendships that relish over great coffee and delicious scones.
- For catching up my old college roommate Maria and just going back and forth, sharing the ways God has changed us and moved in our lives the past couple of years. Her laughter bringing back so many memories. And to smile and think about us last time we were in Java Central as seniors. Oh how much He has done, how much has changed!
- Seeing Jasmine and her mama multiple times this week and seeing again how God brought us all together in His goodness through the crappiest of times
- Receiving from Josh not only surprise gifts of ginger (man how I love ginger!) but also the gift of openness.
- Reconnecting with Anita over lunch and leaving with spring between my two hands: beautiful yellow daffodils.
I could keep going, you see. The rock tumbler is always on, transforming my ugly heart into something so much more valuable. He uses people and his word to strip my emotions—which are good because they are indicators, signalling me to go deeper and examine—and shake and break them to their core to see the beauty of the promises that satisfy those emotions.
In my hands, I hold precious gem-promises that glisten. I never imagined that underneath those stones were these elements of grace, of truth waiting to be seen.
Its truly comical. When I was younger, I loved learning about rocks, fossils, gemstones, constantly looking down at the ground, constantly collecting. I still have my simple cardboard box that I deeply cherised that has gems such as amethyst, quartz, pyrite. These were my joy at 8, 9, 10 as I held them, examined them, searched intently for more to add to my collection.
And here I am now, searching intently and seeing an even greater joy in the stones laid in my heart that form there and are taken and shaken and tumbled into eternal gems of beautiful, personal promises and tangible experiences of joy and grace.
Replace my temporary cardboard box at 8 and switch it now for the eternal treasure-chest of my heart at 23 that will be with me in this life and the next.