This Pit

There’s a pit in my stomach. A new-ish one that seems to stay with me. And inside that pit, there is a funnel cloud of whirling, swirling, raging emotion. And I can’t reach it. I can’t access it to calm it or soothe it or self-talk it away. It seems too out of reach for me to take hold of it and give it to Jesus. It seems unaccessible.

So it lives in me. This deep ache, this heaviness. My mind knows it’s grief and the bittersweetness of the passage of time. The beginning of too many goodbyes.  Sometimes it steals my breath. Like being in a pool of water where you can see through to the light, but  your mouth can’t get above the water to take in the air. And for now, I think this is my “new normal.”

Perhaps it serves as a weight to keep me more grounded? Maybe a gift that happens as you get older and there is less and less of you. As the world has whittled away the excess and as the Lord has refined us, maybe this pit is designed to keep us from floating away? Like a paperweight to keep us from scattering in the winds?

It’s uncomfortable, yes, but at the same time I’m so aware that it is adding dimensions of the human experience to my life. There are emotions we don’t know, even as we hear others describe them, until we experience them ourselves. This pit- it makes me more fully human.

The challenge becomes learning to sit with it without allowing it to consume me. As if a black hole has formed inside me and my job is to keep it from sucking me in from the inside out. Maybe it’s to be an energy source that propels me forward?  The energy of the whirling, twirling is to create a force within me that makes me move?  Or possibly a reminder that time here is finite, and I better make the most of it?  Perhaps it becomes a different kind of internal clock that keeps time and counts it down?

Regardless of its purpose, it is here and it is real. And for now, until I learn to embrace it and incorporate it into my life, it feels heavy and burdensome. So if you see me and notice I move a bit slower, please be patient with me. My insides ache.


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