Fighting the Undertow

un·der·tow [uhn-der-toh] noun
1. the seaward, subsurface flow or draft of water from waves breaking on a beach.
2. any strong current below the surface of a body of water, moving in a direction different from that of the surface current.
[from dictionary.com]

One of the things I’ve been struck with the most lately is something I wrote in my last entry:
Life continues on. It doesn’t seem like it will when we see the charred remains and ash is still resting on your car in the morning. But, one day, you drive home and realize the smoke isn’t pluming into the sky any longer. One day, it does begin to rain. You celebrate another birthday, another homecoming.

But today, I’m still a little overwhelmed. I am, however, praising God for the rain, for the fact that He protects, and for the blessed assurance that He both sees and knows each and every one of us. 

And it’s true. Life continues on. It has after several horrible and tragic events occurred, as it has for millenia. Fires destroyed houses and lives. Cancer has walked people we love into incredible places of faith. A gunman took lives in a movie theater, of all places.

It is nothing new to me that life is hard, but I too easily stuff it away and let it simmer under the surface, which is what I’ve had to fight for the past few years as I’ve moved my way out of depression – because if I don’t fight the undertow of this world’s trajectory, it is too easy to be pulled under.

So I’ve been in hiding, to a large degree.

As an introvert, I expend incredible amounts of emotional energy to be around people. It’s not that I don’t love people – because I really do – it’s just that it takes me longer to recharge after being social. The fact that I now work most days in a given week means I’m now social more days every week.

It’s good, and it stretches me, but it’s been hard to recharge in ways that are effective, and so this blog has taken a back seat, and I want to apologize for that.

Christopher and I were talking the other day about how freestyle isn’t really the most efficient use of your energy (because we went swimming, so we were talking about it), and how if we were in the middle of the ocean (I’m assuming there would be no sharks to eat us, but maybe he thought differently), we would want to do something that was more efficient to get us through the waves and back to land (eventually, because the ocean is BIG).

And I think that’s kind of where I’ve been. I don’t splash around a lot on the surface, making it look like I’m trying to make my way through the water – I’d rather slip underwater and glide with the current rather than try to fight the waves (like with a nice breaststroke). But I’ve definitely been processing under the surface – lives being changed by fire and cancer, a former classmate’s death in a movie theater, and even the stupid stuff that really doesn’t matter so much like our cars both getting hit in the church parking lot in a freakish accident that I’ll get into later this week.

It’s not that I’m completely processed, but I’m working on getting there, and I’m now at the stage in my processing where I really should be writing a lot more than I am, so maybe you’ll hear a little bit more from me.

But what it all boils down to is that Jesus is the only way for me to fight the undertow. The grace that rescues me in this life and allows me to stand in His presence in the next is the only force that isn’t degrading from this world’s entropy – His grace won’t get shot down in the middle of the night by a crazy man; it won’t burn with the hottest of blazes; and it will always be in mint condition (unlike our car).

And I have to cling to that, even when it seems like there’s nothing to do but to keep swimming and make it to land somehow. It’s the only thing that can keep this world from pulling me under.

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One thought on “Fighting the Undertow

  1. Hi 🙂 Yeah introverts!! 😀 I TOTALLY understand your 'it takes energy to be around people' because I'm your little spectrumite buddy after all… Yesh, it's easy to go along with life and not process things – always moving on to the next thing, but you're right. They do catch up with ya. Good thoughts!

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