As a ferocious planner, trust has always been a hard issue for me. I’ve always had a desire to know. To know what’s coming, what tomorrow brings, what the future holds… Unknowns are my darkest foes. Like jack-in-a-boxes, you never know what the box of Life holds or what to expect.
In the past, I’ve shrunk from the idea of dropping my plans into God’s hands and trusting. Even as a child of the Most High, I pushed away the nagging thought of my lack of trust with fingers of determined rebellion.
Although “I know what’s best,” never graced my lips, it did envelop my heart.
However, as 2020 progressed, the future became a misty fog that not even my pensive mind could penetrate. Uncertainty clouded my calculated plans and twisted my thoughts with anxiety. No longer was my path linear, assured. I began to see the fickleness of life in its fullest image. The soaring number of deaths, echo of gunshots, broken homes and people all pointed to the fragility of life. Something I hadn’t grasped until then.
Ultimately, the root of my trust issue was my misplacement of trust. Instead of putting my trust in my omniscient, loving Creator, I put my trust in the future. And, as evident in the 2020 crisis, endless trouble accompanied this decision.
No one knows what 2021 may bring. Though I understand the circulating notion that — when 2021 rolls in — the world will return to its previous Utopian state, I can’t help questioning the stability of this ideal. Humans love normality, comfort, assurance of the future… Normality is often associated with immutability (no change). And if this is true, normality can never be attained.
The world is always changing, lives are always changing… One day Life shines her bright, warm rays on our faces, the next we feel the icy chill of a storm. The house of cards we’ve worked to construct flutters to the ground with one breath of wind. Even in 2021, we’re left in the debris of our shattered dreams.
It’s in these moments where we feel the stark transience of Life. Like a hermit without a shell, we crawl around in search of protection. Families, friends, finances, grades, homes — all carapaces to shield us from the aching pain of our vulnerability. Yet even these things are capable of change.
Amid the darkness, we can feel the temptation to drift away from the God who let this happen. The One who allowed our shell to shatter.
But here’s a strange thought: Perhaps we’re meant to feel vulnerable in order to fully see our need for Him?
Maybe he takes away our shell to point us to a sturdier one. One made to weather the changing tides and brooding storms of life. Shaped with tears, sturdy arms, and love. One that can only be worn with the presence of trust.
In defiance of the prevalent lie pervading Christian culture, you don’t need to have it all together to face God. The right words, the perfect lifestyle, happiness bursting from your heart… none of this.
You can approach His throne of grace from wherever you are in Life. With a loss piercing your heart. With laments escaping your lips. With a cluttered mind. With disbelief veiling your eyes. With a broken body. With fists clenched in frustration.
We can stagger into our Savior’s arms and trade our shards of broken promises and lost hopes for the comfort of His refuge.
Because that’s just it: We change. Our world changes. But He never changes. Nothing — not our rebellion, not our sin, not the pandemic, not our thoughts and emotions — can prevent him from loving us. Our ugly, sin-stained hearts, dark lives, and hopeless souls only make Him draw nearer.
I wrote this poem a few months ago. It was a precious moment when I felt the Lord guide my pen across the page. Sitting down to write it, I didn’t have a plan. The words just flowed onto the paper, and this poem “Note to Darkness” was born. When I finished, I surprised myself by its depth… realizing that it almost alluded to ideas of suicide (slight warning). Don’t worry, these words were not a reflection of my mental state; rather, they were a response to the darkness in the world. A battle cry, a candle I could shine in the middle of a cold night. All that to say, I hope this short poem I penned in a calm frenzy reminds you that there is more.
Note to Darkness
A heavy weight cloaks her heart, As Darkness closes in, The last traces of light vanish, Leaving emptiness to settle, “Succumb,” Darkness whispers As it crushes each dream A tempting offer When all she wants Is to feel no more But the blood in her veins, The pulse of her heart, The breath falling from her lips, Remind her: There is so much more to life “No” echoes from her lips Small but defiant “No,” the note she leaves Darkness
Are you a planner like me? What do you do when you feel the weight of this world? What are your hopes/goals for 2021? Comment down below. I’d love to hear your thoughts! (: