This morning I woke up and glanced at my reflection in the mirror with a slight pang of disappointment. It seems that time slips like sand between my fingers and I’m changing, fading without even knowing what is happening. I’m only twenty and already I feel old. I know, I know, many of you reading this are probably shaking your heads and rolling your eyes.
“Dani, you have no idea what old feels like.”
My physical appearance hasn’t altered that much over the last couple of years, but I certainly feel very different. I am tired, not simply in the sleep-deprived sense of the word, but in the sense that Jane Fairfax was tired when she told Emma, “We all know what it is to be weary in spirit.” Every time I find myself on the verge of a respite, something else changes, something else is lost, another disappointment leaves another weight on my heart. All this baggage taunts me, tempting me to give up, give up on loving people, give up trying every morning, give up on smiling, give up praying, give up pursuing God.
Time takes its toll and sometimes the weight of what I have already lost overwhelms me. The forecast of my future begins to look like a long bleak road of gradually losing everything and everyone. But then the voice returns to me, the voice in my mind that always wants to turn everything on its head, the voice that I can’t silence no matter how noisy and chaotic the depravity of this world becomes.
I always have hope. Though I often lose sight of it, hope remains all the same. Somehow I rediscover it again and again no matter how weary in spirit I become. This morning I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and reminded myself of my hope. I reminded myself that my hope was never in my ability to hold onto everything. My hope was never in God protecting everything I love in this life. My hope was never in anything in this life. I only deepen the wound when I tell myself that I can keep things the way they are, keep them from changing, keep them from fading, keep them from ending. Everything in this world ends. If I have any hope at all, it must be beyond the grave.
You say let it go.
You say life is waiting for the ones who lose control.
This life was never about gaining. From the moment we take our first breath, our life begins to slowly slip away from us. Life is not about holding onto our youth, our health, our family, and our friends. It cannot be or else we are all striving in vain. My knuckles have turned white and my breath is failing. I’m so tired of holding on. I’m so tired of living in the fear of losing what I have now, instead of rejoicing in the fact that “to live is Christ and to die is gain”. This life has always been about losing. We don’t gain anything until we lose everything.
Don’t give up, though your feet are weary
And though the devil takes His toll on your troubled soul
Don’t give up, though the night is long
Though the road goes on and on, there will be an end to it all
So don’t give up
Photo by Emil Pakarklis