In Search of Lost Time

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.

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Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

10 thoughts on “In Search of Lost Time

  1. secundsite says:

    there are so many crazy cycles in life that are emotionally charged…you say things plainly and really like that…I hope this helps: once years ago, I attended what most people would term no-account country storefront type church with few attendees let alone ‘members’…but a black evangelist and prophet if you will who happened to be an ex-NFL lineman in the 1970s, said something that I will never forget – he said there are a lot of people who wish they were sitting in the chair you are in and in this church right now – the implication being that the people he knew when he was living the life he had dreamed of (NFL) and the partying and everything which made his career very short, he knew first-hand because he used to live for the things of the world only and once traded his almost-new van for a ‘rock’ of cocaine because he was cash poor at the time; in short, many would never know the meaning of life in God’s care because they passed on to other things seeking and not finding; some people avoid the gospel message because they believed a lie – that God doesn’t care.

    I’m glad you know the Truth!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emily Susanne says:

    Wow this post is so honest and beautiful! I have felt this way before, as I’ve struggled with anxiety, disordered eating, and health issues. But I’m doing better and God is redeeming me! There is nothing He can’t heal. John 10:10 has been a lifesaver verse for me. The speaker at my church today said that each day is a fresh start with the Lord. We are a new creation in Him. Sorry for the rant. Stay lovely. 💙

    Liked by 1 person

  3. wellshrink says:

    There is a tension between facing time wasted, feeling regret, and seizing the current moment. You beautifully capture that tension. Yes, you wish that you had used those God-given moments to live them differently. Yet, even those moments that feel “wasted” may be part of God’s plan. And, our response to this current moment is to live it fully and, in this case, avoid the urge toward too much regret.

    Liked by 1 person

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