I’ve gotten really good at sleeplessness.
It started happening again on the Race, this weird combination of restless legs and eyes that wouldn’t close and a mind that ran around like it was being chased by someone with a machete. It’s continued since coming back.
I biked a solid fifteen miles today against the most ridiculous headwinds Colorado’s shifting seasons could send down the valley… and even though I arrived at the Bean out of breath and exhausted, for now, at one thirty am, I’m not even the least bit tired.
In the interest of recounting the parts of reentry that aren’t so shiny, let’s just call this what it is, ok? It’s the most random side effect ever. You’d think-at least, I did-that I’d come home from a year away totally exhausted, totally willing to crawl into bed for a month and a half and just decompress.
But I haven’t been able to do that. And suddenly I find that I am running out of time to do that, running out of time to just sit and stare at nothing and just be. The truth of the matter is that, like most people from my squad that I’ve spoken to on the subject, I’ve spent a lot of wasted hours catching up on the seasons of TV shows that I missed and avoiding the one thing that brings peace.
Today I very cautiously brought my Bible to the Bean and opened it up to Matthew. I’ve been feeling so convicted lately that I can talk this Christian talk thing out pretty well, but even with going overseas for the Kingdom, I don’t know that I do a very good job of walking it out. I want to know point by point, the things that Jesus tells us to do as believers and what to expect from a Christian life.
I mean, if we are to be perfect as Jesus is perfect (Matthew 5:48), then doesn’t that mean we’re to expect the same things He experienced? Like visitations and protection from angels… And, by the same token, visitations and temptations from the Devil himself? To travel, homeless, with no place to rest my head? Will I be asked to go into exile for a time? Will I be killed for who I claim to be, a daughter, a beloved of Christ? Will there be unrelenting communion with the Father? At last, will there be that?
Because I can’t be held accountable for what I don’t know. But I also can’t claim ignorance when I have access to the answers.
I’ve started making a list. I want to know what I believe. I want to know what a relationship looks like, what obedience looks like, what love looks like. Because I know that right now I am not nearly poor enough in spirit, not nearly meek enough, not nearly merciful enough, not nearly pure enough, not nearly peace-seeking enough, not nearly persecuted enough. But how I long to be.
Maybe the only thing I am enough of is mournful, for this season that has ended. Sometimes there is such a well of grief in my chest that the only thing to come out of me is the memories of children held and gardens dug and wheelchairs built. Sometimes the only thing before me are my teams in all their brokenness and saving grace. Sometimes the only thing I see is a boy coming up beside me to stand guard as we approach the homeless man and the reckless way he became the one I was afraid of instead.
And sometimes the inside of my eyelids are papered with the letters I wrote, the journals I filled and the smear of G2 pen ink from where my sweat, blood and tears fell on any given day. Because that tells the story of what I’ve given this year and what it took from me.
And that story is everything that was needed.
I have no regrets. But that doesn’t mean I’m not grieving.