Archive for June, 2013

What of despair?

There is a despair, deep within, that I pin-pointed today that brought tears to my eyes the moment I re-called it. Years ago I studied textile design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. I didn’t settle easily into my course.
I was an “A” grade student at school having worked hard to obtain the results I did. But with no direction, I decided to pursue a course at Art School. My reason, I chose not to go to ballet school (having been accepted two years previously) and so I thought I should do something creative, therefore rebelling against my so called intellectual abilities. My maths teacher was not happy.
Art School was different. The people were different. Therefore I had to be different. And so I became different. I worked hard to come up with concepts and ideas. I theorised and agonised and therefore produced “work from the heart”. My thinking became different. And my hair was cut from long (chestnut brown) to short (bleached). I swam every day. And did not eat an ounce of sugar. I was thin. I got good grades and my teachers were happy. But I was not.
After three years of full time study I took time out. My head got in the way and my heart was numbed. Depression set in. Deeply.
I agonised about life’s choices. And what of God? I had an experience which revealed to me that there could be a God but I panicked and therefore believed that I was running away from him. I didn’t understand him. I felt like Jonah running away from his commission. When I went with my grandfather to his church, the minister preached on Jonah confirming what I thought I knew. I was running away from God but he was watching. I went from person to person asking them what they knew of God. Most said to me that God was love. Love? What is love?
I felt unlovely therefore unworthy of this thing called love. I dug myself a pit and stepped inside. I lived out of a pit of despair. I came out only when necessary. Despair became my comfort and friend. I took him everywhere I went.
My parents at the time did not understand. They didn’t know what on earth was going on in my heart and mind. I became unreachable. I didn’t understand myself.
One day, I cried. I cried out of a part of me that needed touching, needed reassurance that everything was okay. I needed reassurance from God that he had not indeed left me out or forgotten me. That I was in the palm of his hands and that He cared deeply for me. I needed to know that He would set me back on track to a life worth living and that He would turn my life around.
Psalm 40:2 (NKJV)
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
The Message version says this:
A David Psalm
40 1-3 I waited and waited and waited for God.
At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
a praise-song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
they enter the mystery,
abandoning themselves to God.
It took a long time before I really understood. That God was doing a good thing in my life saving me from ultimate disaster.
In my darkest hour I wrote a poem. I will share it in my next post. Only afterwards did I understand its significance


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