J Walking

J Walking

Battling blue

I think I’m battling the blues… and wrestling with God.
It is hard to figure out where one ends and the other begins.
The blues part is fairly straightforward – nothing feels quite right, decisions are hard to come by, enthusiasm for most things is low… the blues.
But so much of that feels like it is coming from this unexplained standoff I am having with God.
And that, of all things, seems the silliest of all things. Why on earth am I on a standoff with God? What is there to be standing off about? Yet that is what it feels like… it feels like I’m giving him the stiff arm… which, of course, is absurd. How do you give the Creator of the universe the stiff arm. Kind of like a turtle thinking he could hold back that 41-foot wave a surfer conquered the other day…
Not sure how to break through…

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Larry Parker

posted November 8, 2008 at 12:33 am

Good to see you back on Bnet.
How is your health? Not only the obvious question about the Big C, but is it possible that “the blues” are depression? Nothing will make you more existential and doubting the divine, if you’re sensitive and intelligent to begin with, than a case of clinical depression.
As someone with bipolar disorder myself, I hope you have an assessment done — and you will of course be in my prayers.

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posted November 8, 2008 at 12:51 am

To those who put their faith in God, all things are possible. As one who battled depression and rejection for fifty years and whose parent battled it for even longer, I can assure you that by prayer and grace, (and good doctors) it can be overcome.
As the saying goes, “Hang in there baby.”

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anne jackson

posted November 8, 2008 at 9:36 am

i’m not sure how to break through either. but i am right there with you, stiff arm and all.

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posted November 8, 2008 at 9:54 am

I find platitudes always help.
I think of how in the old Testament, the Philistines attacked Israel and Pharaoh had his heart hardened against Israel at God’s command. When God wants you on His side you’ll be there. Maybe there’s a reason you’re wrassling with Him.

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posted November 8, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Good to see you back. I don’t have an answer except to say I have been there, more than once. I pray for the grace to put one foot in front of the other, and try to take especially good care of myself until it passes.

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posted November 8, 2008 at 6:07 pm

I hope your enthusiasm returns! And I’m glad you’re back at J-Walking. I only discovered this blog right before Culture11 starting borrowing your time. I’ve kept coming back to J-Walking hoping for new posts, and now my patience has been rewarded! : )
Don’t rule out the time change as part of your blues. Being done with the workday after dark can be a downer…
Blessing to you!!!

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posted November 8, 2008 at 6:23 pm

Blessings as you journey through. Wrestling is full contact– He’s not let go of you.

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Ulysses Castillo

posted November 9, 2008 at 5:52 pm

If you don’t have a spiritual director, now might be a good time to find one. If you don’t know where to look, try
If you won’t get a spiritual director, then I’d recommend Gerald May’s book “The Dark Night of the Soul”.
In essence, the way forward is to explore it with another wise, non-judgmental spiritual listener.

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posted November 9, 2008 at 6:22 pm

Hey I am not going to give you advice. My bet is you have had your fill of that. I will pray for you…right now. And pray that your stiffarm can at some point turn to an embrace.

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posted November 11, 2008 at 5:15 pm

Acedia would be the word. Kathleen Norris writes of that awful sense of being unable to move, act, think that is not quite depression and not about sloth or laziness. Acedia is a word for moments such as those you describe.

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posted November 11, 2008 at 8:53 pm

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

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Your Name

posted January 20, 2009 at 10:01 am

Today is Inauguration Day and I just discovered your blog. I noticed your “Blues” entry was the week of the Election. First of all, I hope you found your way out of the pit by now. Been in and out many times myself. Could it be that your blues were due, as mine have been lately, to the profound conflict you feel over the election of Barack Obama? The thought that a black man could be elected to this highest office of my country brings elation to my spirit, but because I disagree so deeply with many of his policies and promised “changes”, I tremble to think what is ahead for us. In addition, I have this deep grief to deal with over my disappointment with President Bush and the death of so many dreams I had on his Inauguration Day 8 years ago. I think these things are enough to give anybody the blues.

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