I want to numb the pain. I want to follow suit with everybody around me and do something morally irresponsible just to distract me from the turmoil that’s going on inside me.
I want to.
But I can’t.
Because I have rigid morals, and I can’t not toe the line. It’s obedience for the sake of obedience, for the sake of not doing anything wrong. It’s perfectionism.
I vaguely remember that at one time these morals I’ve formed meant something to me. I’ve made the behavioral choices that I have because of one really big factor: I have been loved perfectly by the Father, and my heartfelt response is to follow the guidelines He’s set before me.
I vaguely remember all that. But I don’t feel it tonight.
Tonight I remember just enough of high school youth group to know that this is wanting to ‘treat the symptom instead of the cause.’ Tonight I am processing just enough to know that dumb decisions now can mean hefty consequences later. Tonight I am present just enough to know that tired, emotional thinking is not rational thinking.
I could easily drop out of school right now. This very instant. I am more than ready to gather the few belongings I consider most precious, climb into my car, and start driving West until I have to pull over somewhere to sleep. Then I’ll sleep just long enough to find the stamina to keep driving, and carry on that way until I’m home. I could. Right now.
I could easily get drunk right now. Sloppy, pass-out drunk. From everything I’ve heard, it’s a great way to get out of your head. And if I get drunk enough, then it’s not me making whatever dumb decision comes next: it’s the alcohol, so I can blame that and ignore the fact that I’m still the one in charge of whether I’m drinking or not. I could. Right now.
I could easily take everything out on someone right now. Friends are passing anyway; why not just pick a friendship to end abruptly in order to purge myself of some of the ick I feel? There are plenty of nasty, hateful things that have fluttered through my head in the 19 years I’ve been around, so it’s just a matter of reaching deep inside, retrieving them, and phrasing them so they’re most effective at tearing apart the heart of whomever I’m targeting. I could. Right now.
There are plenty of other options. None of them wise. None of them leading to abundant life.
Because the temporary relief that this world offers is a cheap knock-off of life. (Aka ‘Melissa: remember how we both know that you know this, so don’t go do something we’ll regret later!)
Right now it hurts inside, and I can’t see God’s bigger plan from where I’m standing, and that kind of sucks. But I know that I know it’s still there, and I know that I know why I’m trusting in it.
I could whisper my fears and my doubts and my hurts to the one who designed my heart. I could trust the truths that I’ve stored away for moments like this and remember that however dark the night may seem, joy comes with the morning.
That’s what I choose.
Because numbing the pain won’t fix anything.
And I know the one who will fix everything in its time.
“When My Heart Is Torn” by Phil Wickham