When I was a brat-child (trust me, I was the worst), I would run to my room, slam my door and throw myself dramatically onto my bed after a fight with my parents. There I would fume and dwell on whatever angry thoughts an 8 year-old can conjure.
Eventually, I would hear a knock at the door. It was one of my parents (God bless ‘em), trying to talk some sense into their moody child.
That’s usually what I would tell them. Go away.
But they would come in anyways, occasionally having to pick the lock on the door because I remained resolute in my refusal to let them in. (Like I said, I was the worst… I can only pray that my children WILL NOT BE LIKE ME in that respect.)
There’d be some appeals for me to calm down and talk things through with them. But I – being the hardheaded child that I was (am still…) – would usually take some coaxing before I’d finally come around and let them in to what was going on.
I’ve written a bit about my post-grad life crisis before. This crisis has brought me to a (much needed) coming-to-God-because-I-have-no-other-options low point that can only happen when literally everything you’ve foolishly wrapped your identity in – a career path, friendships, your home, or even your diet (ugh goodbye gluten aka everything good in life) - gets shaken up or taken away altogether.
It’s uncomfortable and I can’t say I’m enjoying it AT ALL, but I can say that it’s been necessary in teaching me that I need to let go of my control issues, which has me fighting hard against because I am controlling to the point where I wonder sometimes how people tolerate this part of myself without wanting to physically harm me (I would).
And that has me struggling with the final frontier of my control issues: my emotions.
On Tuesday, my roommate invited me to listen to a speaker at a local church. As the speaker was leading prayer, I started – GOD FORBID – getting emotional, not necessarily because of what the speaker was praying about (honestly, can’t even remember what she was saying…), but because I felt like God was asking me - quite blankly - why in the world I was so afraid of letting go of control (answer: um BECAUSE). And so tears started coming, and I got pissy because public displays of emotion are SO NOT MY THING and how dare anyone, even God, try to invoke such a thing from me.
“We’ll talk about this later, God.” And then I stuffed my emotions away because no, no, no, they were not going to happen in public. I told God that we would talk about it when we got home, as if He and I were some couple getting into an argument in public or something.
So I slammed the door closed in my metaphorical heart room and shouted GO AWAY to God and willed myself to get through the rest of the evening without emotion and without any prying into the less-than-desirable parts of who I am from anyone, even God.
Yet He kept knocking. And hasn’t stopped knocking.
We need to do more of this, don’t we? We need to keep knocking, keep pursuing the people in our lives, even when hateful words or cold silence may be waiting for us on the other side. Because isn’t this what we want for ourselves? Don’t we really just want someone that desires every single part of us enough to keep vigil outside our door even when we yell at them at the top of our lungs to GO AWAY?
I don’t have a pretty conclusion to this post because this story doesn’t have an ending yet – let alone a pretty one. I’m still fighting for control, fighting against letting go (such a nice theory in concept, such a ridiculously impossible-seeming idea in practice, am I right?!), fighting against opening up and being comfortable in my emotions. But I am learning this about love: it’s simply a knock on the door.
"If I Ever Feel Better" // Phoenix
I could gush about this song to no end, but I won't because I am an adult that has restraint. But seriously, if every song could be as intelligent and catchy at this one, then maybe I'd listen to the radio more (and maybe the world would be better place). The lyrics are genius.
"I better learn to accept that there are things in my life I can't control."
UGH PHOENIX, YOU'RE BRILLIANT AND EXTREMELY PERTINENT TO THIS POST AND I LOVE YOU.