Beauty Beyond Bones recently wrote about the grief that comes with recovery. The mourning of a lost youth, of times and memories never to be had. Life lost to the void of not living fully.
And I think I understand.
I’m saddened, and on occasion, angry, at all the hours I’ve racked up doing things that do not ultimately matter.
From a young age, my parents have always taught me that all the riches of the world cannot buy another hour of life, that time is the currency of existence, that I must seize the moment.
And, when I am able, I live by those words. But…
On the car, how much life have I spent tapping my feet to the telephone poles whizzing by, and adding up license plate numbers? Instead of losing my hours adjusting objects in my room, I could have been spending them with my family. Learning how to cook with my parents. Or picking up a new game with my brothers. Maybe helping my sister with some homework.
What conversations and friendships could I have had if I wasn’t too anxious to try? All those bus rides, flights, waiting rooms, breaks between classes, and everyday situations with strangers and aquaintences, not tapped into frequently enough, seeds left on rocky ground.
The lunch hours and weekends spent alone,
Days and nights, biting my lip and picking at my skin, instead of getting on with a life,
So many canceled plans, and so much wasted energy convincing me to go, to keep going,
Staring at a wall, as if it held some kind of cryptic message in its texture.
Too often I’ve pressed a pillow on my face instead of standing under golden sunshine, not believing in my own ability to leave the room. Waiting so long to begin.
Snacks, meals, and good company I’ve turned down. To this day, I do not know what foods I truly like and dislike.
Long days holding in, or recovering from, a panic attack, or sometimes a successive chain of them, lasting for hours. Waiting for a crying spell to end, and taking notes as usual before it does. One time, I cried my way through a midterm and got an A, as if it was just a runny nose. And survival can be a chore.
I’d like to make peace with that.
And I sat in regret
Of all the things I’ve done
Of all that I’ve blessed
And all that I’ve wronged
In dreams until my death
I will wander on
Audioslave, Like a Stone
This bridge always gets me – leaving it here feels so personal. But no, I cannot continue to sit in regret in a room full of emptiness.
I’ve been attacked by thoughts that tell me nothing I have done so far has been worth living for.
But I know they are wrong – because my Savior has redeemed every moment of my life, without exception.
Because I have a life in God, I live it for Him. My life has purpose. I may not know for what my suffering has been for yet, but it is all for good. Day by day, I am being formed under His hands, and through every season, God is preparing me to do things that I can’t even imagine yet.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10, NKJV
An abundant life… to an outsider, mine may not seem so. Yet, I am lacking of no good thing. There are many more around me who have everything, everything but life. As for me, I am led by the good shepherd, the One who will lead me to green pastures and through my best life. For life, and life more abundantly, praise the Lord.