Frayed Edges / by maureen maniquis

Disappointments can really take you down if you let them.  I feel like I am in a constant struggle to rise above the fray of hopes dashed.  Just when I think the weave is taking shape and holding strong, sure enough, the edges begin to unravel and fall apart.  The endless words of hopeful prayers seem as empty as a broken glass.

I’m usually that person who sees the light at the end of the tunnel, the silver lining in the cloud, the glass half full.  I’m the one who encourages others to see that everything is from the hand of God and has its good purposes.  But every now and then, I unravel.

You see, sometimes deep down, I question God’s love for me.  I read about it.  I know it in my head.  But my heart doesn’t feel loved by God.  When those edges begin to unravel and I see the dreams falling apart before my eyes I just can’t seem to find anything to hold on to.  I ask myself, “Is any of this even true?”  I mean what is the point of praying?  Why bother? 

It’s in these moments that I’m distracted from the past graces of numerous answered prayers.  I can’t seem to look forward to future graces yet to come.  I am wallowing in my emotions instead of standing on his promises.  I’m trying to stand on my circumstances which are never solidly reliable.  The edges are always fraying as the days roll over and change the weave from my expected image.    

When I have finished with my rant and worn from the wrestling between heart and head; I reach for the Psalms.  I always know that it is here that I will find a kindred spirit.  In this book rich with raw and honest emotions I know I am among the everyday hearts of faithful humanity seeking to understand.  Here in this ancient text I hear the cries of confusion; the boldness of hearts seeking answers from the One who made them.  Sometimes the voices are accusatory.  Why God, why?  Where are you?  Others groan in despair and suffering desperate for relief, while others bow in awe of the majesty of the God who made the heavens so beautiful.  But no matter the posture of the heart, here in the Psalms, the songs of the heart are working it out before the only One whose power rules the world.  It is a school of prayer, a lesson in speaking or singing the groaning of our hearts. Whether our heart is bitter or sweet it is here where our voices find their safe expression.  

And as I start with my questions, hostile or humble, my heart begins to gradually find a rhythm.   A melody, a back and forth that rocks my soul to a calm.  I remember, once again, that he is the Father and I, the child. He is in charge, the Most High God, the One who spoke everything into existence.  He is watching out for me.  He loves me.  And his weave is perfect.  It only appears to be fraying because I’m stomping on the edges and he pauses to catch my eye.

“Why am I discouraged?  Why is my heart so sad?  I will put my hope in God!  I will praise him again—my Savior and my God…But each day the Lord pours unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.”  Psalm 42:5,8NLT