Breathing Through Hot Water

I am so damn tired.

I am so weary of being strong, capable, and resilient.

Right now, I am breathing through hot water, and I can’t do it much longer.

The Universe Never Wants Me Distracted

Two years ago, I was too busy burying my beloved grandma to be worried about the Election. Here we are again.

I am busy with life, but I voted. I get [expletive] done, but Lord, I am tired.

I have battled numerous storms mightily over the past few years…losing my career, struggling to find my identity (because like so many of my generation I defined myself by what I did BEFORE by who I was AND to Whom I belonged), medical diagnoses that changed our family forever, growing up, growing older, finding my place. I am reminded of a book I studied in college less for its subject matter but more for the profoundness of its title…if I was going to theme this phase of my evolution, I would entitle it When and Where I Enter.

Religion.

I grew up the daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of Baptist preachers. There was never a time in my life without Faith. Faith was discipline, a routine I practiced religiously.

Religion is a habit, like brushing your teeth, and that, as a foundation, is not a bad thing.

Practical Fractions

I was also raised a very good girl, which means I’ve always understood what to say (or not) and when. My facades are flawless and numerous, and this too is not entirely a bad thing; I am merely
exposing different facets of my personality based upon my surroundings.

I expose myself in practical fractions. It’s what we do. We are work professionals. We are mommies. We are corporate wives. We are neighbors. It’s not a bad thing, and our society is so naturally fractured that it’s probably something people expect.

I became so proficient at adapting that I stopped thinking about it at all. I wasn’t being dishonest per se, rather I was being politic. And then, storms came.

When Storms Come

Here is what I know of storms. When they hit, there is very little time for extraneous. When stuff gets real for me, when all I can manage is to focus on the next hour (not even the next 24 or 48), I eliminate EVERYTHING non-essential to live with only what I need (which astonishingly, isn’t much).

That, dear one, was the origin of my three-word prayers.

Three-Word Prayers

Three-word prayers are my ultimate confession. Three-word prayers are the moment I concede that God knows my heart, so I can get right to the heart of the matter (since He was the Heart of the Matter).

“I give up.”
“Lord, have mercy.”
“Help me, Jesus.”
“Really, God, REALLY?”
I embraced three-word prayers the moment I acknowledged that I could trust myself to be real with God. That since God fostered my brokenness, had waited patiently through all my failed attempts at total surrender, God could handle the honesty that simultaneously horrified and terrified me.

If God was truly Omnipotent, I was only wasting my own time.

I’m in Need of a Three Word Prayer

The impassioned expression of my hopelessness, three-word prayers are the end of the line. They are also the most uncomplicated prayers of my life.

They concede that I have taken off the mask I reserve for God, and confess that I’m still helpless, still hopeless, still not just broken but ground into dust AND unable to draw breath except By Divine Grace and Mercy.

What happens when storms come? For me, it was the moment my practical fractions were no longer necessary. It was the moment of my integration, into just one image, Imago Dei, that being enough. Perhaps this was the moment I became myself?

So, Here’s it Goes

“Dear God, [expletive].” That is all I can manage right now.

I keep failing at the line between hubris and faith.
All the prayers I can offer right now are cuss words, and I’m tired.

Fortunately, I’ve learned that God can handle it, even if no one else can.

#ThreeWordPrayers

Lord, come now.
Hear our prayers.

One Reply to “Breathing Through Hot Water”

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