Oh Great God
You are as confusing as You are breathtaking
As mysterious as You are bright
Oh Zealous Redeemer
In times such as this, faith cannot be explained
Nor can we claim responsibility for it
Oh Mighty Fortress
Protect us from our creeping doubts
Shield us from the whore of lies
May not we stumble into the traps of bitterness
As we wonder why
Oh Perfect Understander
What is it to rejoice in new life
And yet, to grieve the sting of death
Oh Unending Provider
You extend unmerited grace as we question
The outcomes You’ve allowed
Because You know that in the questioning
We crawl closer to You in our search for answers
Leaving us to dine in communion together
Even when the whys are left in waiting
Ya’ll… I KNOW you remember this song. I’m sure some of you hate it as much as some of you love it and feel all 2005 when you hear it.
I have a necessary relationship with “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter.
2005-2006 was pretty rough for this chick. While 2005 was the year I graduated high school (which to this day was one of the most relieving and liberating days of my life), I also went through some rough transitions. Earlier in that year I was broken up with, which just SUCKED SO BAD at the time. It was the worst! And thinking about it now, I feel silly even bringing it up. But at the time, it was so devastating to me. (You can read all about it in my LiveJournal…. if you can find it).
So “Bad Day” along with Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone” got me through most of that. Oh, and Jesus… I guess. Or maybe it’s better put that Jesus allowed those songs to keep me going, since I really wasn’t going to surrender anything to him, even though I claimed that I was a Christian.
I also did a semester at FIU, which I was not excited about at all. So, 2005 was weird, but kind of normal life. Then 2006 happened. I can look back at 2006 and pinpoint what may have been the beginning of the #RealLife Sanctification process.
My family started falling apart at the seams. It was one of those things I think I always knew was going to happen, and it was like a waiting game to see when the shit would finally hit the fan.
It hit, and the fan flung suffering all over us.
An argument turned into chaos on the front yard which pushed me to slam pictures on the terrazzo tile inside because I couldn’t contain my sorrow and rage anymore. My sister disappearing into the dark night as my brother cried in the garage while begging me not to go stay at Jessica’s house.
(It is really hard for me to share those last two sentences, because it forces me to relive them. I’m still forgiving myself for leaving my little brother in that hell).
The rest of that year is still one of the most painful years I’ve ever known (although the past 6 months are really trying to top that). The chaos only kept on coming, to the point where my mom and I never knew if everyone was going to be alive by the next day. People at church treated me and my sister like outsiders. My life was literally falling apart and all I got was a lot of religious platitudes.
(Disclaimer: if we went to church together during this time, please don’t hear that as a condemnation on you or our Church. I was just as guilty of doing to others what ended up happening a little bit to me, so there is no judgement coming from me. We’re all sinners in need of grace).
For the sake of everyone’s dignity, I won’t share much more details of that year. But this song… this song stuck with me. Back when Motorola flip phones were cool, “Bad Day” was my ringtone for everyone. I just wanted to hear it anytime, all the time.
One of the only redeeming moments of 2006 was when I had to spend the day in Downtown Miami to 1) go to court over a parking ticket and 2) visit my dad in a psychiatric ward. So pretty much the two worst things ever. After court, I had time to kill, so I took the Metro Rail to Dadeland mall, and let someone put makeup on me in Macy’s. I don’t even know why I did that, but it made me feel better. I got back on the Metro Rail to go to the hospital, and my phone kept ringing…
Cause you had a bad day You’re taking one down You sing a sad song just to turn it around You say you don’t know You tell me don’t lie You work at a smile and you go for a ride You had a bad day The camera don’t lie You’re coming back down and you really don’t mind You had a bad day You had a bad day
I didn’t answer it. I wanted to keep hearing the song. In that moment, listening to “Bad Day” on the Metro Rail with my face fresh with makeup and strangers all around me, I felt like I was going to make it to 2007. I even started giggling, and said, “how bout you’ve had a bad year,” and giggled some more.
So, it’s 2014, and I’m still alive!
Maybe one day, ya’ll can convince me to talk about my closet ZAO obsession in 10th grade.
It’s been long and painful for myself and a good deal of people around me right now. People that I love dearly. Not to sound bleak or depressing, because there are glimpses of light here and there. And I know all of life’s seasons won’t be as trying as this one.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a poem during perhaps my biggest crisis of faith thus far. One day, I’ll be able (and allowed) to share so much more with whoever reads these things, but for now… for now, a glimpse into the desperate recesses of my heart.
A thousand times and then some more, my soul gives out and You carry it across these deserts and through scorched valleys.
When will we come to water, my Lord?
These glimpses feel like mirages dried up like the dust, and just as the dust forms spinning cones, so my head is a storm. And when the storm comes through, it levels my heart and all of it’s towers. I have more than one tower of Babel, my Lord. But of course, you know it to be so.
Sure, I’ve asked You to make it new, but never I imagined it to be such an occasion as this. What a devastation to the actual soul that sits in my bones somewhere between my spirit and my flesh.
This is far too much to bare, and just like my towers, You know this to be true as well. Which is why You stand waiting for the candle’s flame to die out. For You scoop up the ashes, as black and lifeless as they are, and You carry them with your hands across the land of death and into a new place, a place I’ve not been before.