Living in the Yuck - Elisabeth Klein

So I ran away from my life last weekend because I almost had to. I was compelled…..practically lured into the desert by God. And so very much good came out of my time away that I’m still processing all that went on between Jesus and me, and I am so very grateful.

But today, I had a day. Nothing huge happened. Nothing bad happened. It’s even beautiful outside. And, again I proclaim, I’m not hormonal. But I am feeling raw and vulnerable and like I have tears just at the rims of my eyes waiting for permission to spill out, but they aren’t coming because they know that I will shame them for having no reason for being.

I do not know what’s wrong with me. Even with all I worked through last weekend, I do not know why I have not quite felt like myself the past several months. Why I am dancing with swirly panic on a pretty regular basis these days. Why I feel overwhelmed at the thought of my future. Why I’m sad. Why I’m uncomfortable in my life, that, to the outsider, looks exactly as it has the past couple years. But I am feeling all of these things on and off lately.

On Ash Wednesday at my church, we were given a small rock and told to write a word on it that, if I recall, symbolized what we were giving up or laying down or taking on over the course of Lent. Without knowing the inner turmoil that was going to sweep into my life, I wrote down FEAR. And I went on to participate in a six-week small group experience walking through Lent with a handful of other women, and we all looked at our trials and fears and sin and pain and we were open with each other and with God, and the heat turned up for me.

I am someone who prefers to feel peace. Give me calm and quiet over conflict any day, especially after my past twenty years. And if I’m not feeling what I’d consider to be a positive emotion, I will typically try to do something to change that. It’s good to feel happy and joyful and grateful and excited and anticipatory and hope and purpose and passion. It’s not good to feel sad or angst or worry or stress or overwhelmed. So, I would try to cling to the good emotions and I would run from or stifle or mask the bad ones, with shopping or eating or joking them off or pushing through or pretending as my go-to coping mechanisms.

But this season of my life has been characterized by no longer pretending. I am sitting in my discomfort. I am living in my yuck. I am not running from my pain and the sadness and my fear. I have invited it into my life. I have told it to pull up a seat. And I am, what seems like quite a bit lately, uncomfortable. I have a small cloud hovering. But I’m not shooing it away. I’m looking at it. I’m walking under it.  But you’ve got to know, I absolutely hate it. I’ve realized though that I don’t want to run anymore. That every emotion is part of the human experience. That the yuck helps me appreciate the joy, that the chaos helps me embrace the calm. Even right now as I write this, I am feeling it.

There are times when I can wave my magic wand of three quick tips to change my mood and it completely works. But then there are days like today. And today, I went for a walk and breathed in deep on this gorgeous spring day. Nothing. And I took my daughter to see a movie. Nothing. And I made sure to drink even more water. Nothing. And I texted a couple friends and they texted back. Nothing. And I folded laundry and changed into jammies and ate some dinner and watched a favorite show and even now, I’m writing. Nothing. And, early on in the day when it settled over me for longer than the twenty or so seconds that I’ve gotten used to, I asked Jesus repeatedly to heal me in whatever this thing is, to enter in. And nothing.

Life is hard, sweet ones. Some days are just sad days and you can’t put your finger on it. Some moments you’re lonely for someone or something you can’t even picture. And we can pray and we can reach out but all we can do is keep moving and trust that hopefully one day, things will feel better.  Because we weren’t made for here and things will inevitably always feel just a bit off, some days more than others, but one day…..sigh…..one day, this will all be behind us and everything will be new.

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” –Revelation 21:5-


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