i sit in a hot, steamy coffee shop before my shift starts in an hour to force myself to do some writing. i sit with two drinks, both hot. the african autumn sooths my soar throat, and, hopefully, heals. the hazelnut latte tastes like memory. i sit to remember the rhythms of my life and to uncover a way to return.
i am currently frightened of being alone with my thoughts. carl, an elderly gentleman from the north, frequents our coffee shop. he meets with other regulars to discuss religion and politics and social justice. he knows the baristas by name and informs us of his time away so we dont suspect his death. he approached me on monday at work. leaning in, he stated, "things have been off for you lately. you do not seem yourself. I have been joking with you to cheer you up, but something is going on." with watering eyes, i nodded my head. he proceeded to suggest i do some writing and here i am, writing.
people told me the first year after graduation is the hardest. "hardest" doesnt touch this. i anticipated the feelings of drifting and the frustrations of being metaphorically lost. especially as i am still living in clemson, i prepared myself for the loss of friends to new cities, new jobs, new lives and for the words laced in disappointment as professors and friends discovered i was delaying graduate school. those were the "hard" things i was warned about.
what i did not anticipate was a loss of myself and my desire for graduate school, a shift in my life priorities, a questioning of everything i had ever done or said. i did not know relationships would change shape and turn to intense pain. i did not know other humans could hurt me as badly as they have. in the name of "love" declaring their desires for my life and their disappointment in decisions i have made.
for a month, i have intentionally turned to the Lord to beg Him to show me how to find acceptance and love and approval in Him alone. i feel like i make progress and then satan attacks again through the thoughts of my heart, the looks of a stranger, the words of a loved one.
how long must i cry for deliverance before you will appear, Lord? how much longer must i endure this pain before you will restore my soul? where is your purpose in this? do you have a plan? am i following you or am i gravely deceived? how can you feel so far away when i know you long to be close? Lord, please at least give my soul peace.