If you read this blog regularly you'll have noticed I'm not writing much these days. I'm experiencing a stubborn bit of writer's block. I have little passion or ideas for it.
I know why.
It's because things have been radically out of whack since early January. I'm convinced the whole experience is a spiritual issue, but also related to a stubborn problem we're dealing with which threatens to upend our lives here.
I've tried three times to write about what this block feels like, but the words clot and my mind fades to blah. I feel constipated emotionally. I'm confused, sometimes bewildered by the unwelcome experience, and fear creeps in unwanted although less so than a few months ago. The future right now is more uncertain than I ever remember. And there's an unnerving "quietness" pervading my psyche when I pay attention. It doesn't feel good like the "peace that passes understanding" might. It feels like the cruel calm before our lives are utterly upended and changed against our will; like the bottom is going to fall out from under us and we'll be engulfed to be no more - when we are deep in the fear part of it anyway.
Curiously, though, I'm not depressed. I know what that vile "black dog" feels like having been enshrouded for 5 months in the middle of 1995. This 5 month experience feels more like "get ready to go through the toughest thing you've ever faced." It's eerie as if we're living on borrowed time before being overrun. I've never felt as such before because I've never walked this particular emotional landscape before where no real shape is in view except a looming deadline.
At the same time, I'm not sitting around passively waiting for disaster to overtake us like a tsunami. I'm working harder than I have in a long time to turn things around, stabilize, and get back on Terra firma. Because of the nature of our struggle I have to do everything I can, as much as I can, as often as I can. So far my efforts are not turning much around, but there are bits of progress. Just nowhere near enough. And I can't just do nothing. I'm trying new things and going back to work I'd begun a few decades ago. That part feels good, but is not substantial enough to be a solution ...yet anyway.
Sometimes it feels to both Tricia and me as if God is testing us more deeply than ever our ability to trust him where we are most vulnerable and the stakes are the highest. Other times, the whole experience feels surreal as if our lives are just out of phase existentially and we don't know how to get them back in phase. We have no means to do so. Something is just off; just not right, and we can't put our finger on exactly what it is. It's stubbornly illusive. At the same time, one way or another we're holding fast to God: praying much with vehemence, and working all the time to believe He is not leading us into ruin. Where else can we go?
Sadly, I'm not doing justice to what this dilemma is like. I'm just not able to capture here in words what our current experience feels like. But I'll tell you I never want to be here again that's for sure. The stakes are way too high and so far we appear to have very little substantial influence over our circumstances. There's too much coming at us from too many directions.
And we're running out of time it seems. If the problem doesn't turn around and soon our lives will change beyond our control or so it very much appears right now.