Problem and Perspective

My roommates moved away.

It was the first time I had ever lived alone and I didn’t like it. Weekdays were okay because I worked, but the weekends loomed.

I was bored – how much cleaning can an apartment stand?

I was lonely – why was nobody calling?

Worst were the existential issues: if I die here now, will anyone notice or care?

Saturdays began to be a big problem; this huge tract of time without structure or purpose, full of dark pockets of self-pity and gloom.

Around this time I quit writing poetry because my poems were becoming uniformly bleak.

Then one night I began a conversation with myself:

“Okay, Lorrie, what is your problem?”

“I don’t like weekends. They’re too hard.”

“What’s too hard about them?”

“I’m afraid of them. I don’t know how to manage them. I don’t know how to handle being so alone, and having nothing to do.”

“What exactly are you afraid of?”

“I don’t know, maybe that this is all just too much for me. I’m not ready to handle life on my own. Maybe I’m not really capable, or significant. Maybe this will destroy me.”

Really?”

“Okay, I see how stupid that is. How can weekends destroy anyone? Besides, as soon as I said that, I remembered that God is here, He won’t let me be destroyed.”

“Yes. What do you think God is doing in all this?”

“Let’s see: God loves me. What if I looked at all this as something He has brought me to because He loves me?

He loves me, so He has brought me here.

If I loved someone, why would I bring them to the exact thing they fear? The only reason I can think of is to show them that they don’t need to fear. It’s like shining a light under the bed for a child who’s afraid of monsters – “See? Nothing there.”

“God wants me to not be afraid of long, lonely weekends!”

It’s funny how a moment gets frozen. I remember the wooden surface of the desk because as I stared at it, lost in this conversation, I was suddenly flooded with joy so intense that it lit the space like a camera flash and forever locked it in my memory.

I still had to face the problem of what to do but now, instead of crippling fear and uncertainty, I had this joyful confidence that God was going to help. He really cared about me, even about how I spent my Saturdays!

I’ve used the same method since. First I define the problem and then I put in front of it the fact that God loves me and so He has brought me here. I let that certainty steep for a while, until it saturates my perspective.

Love brought me here.

I can trust Love.

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About Lorrie Spinney

"What is Real?" asks the Velveteen Rabbit, and the Skin Horse answers that it's what happens when a child loves you. I am real, because I've been loved by two girls. But they're grown now, and I'm not yet as real as God means me to be. So, with my pastor husband, in our tiny wilderness town of northern B.C., I am learning to let Love make me Real.
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3 Responses to Problem and Perspective

  1. Tracy Krauss says:

    Yes! This approach is so simple and so sensible, yet yields an awesome result. I love the line,”I was suddenly flooded with joy so intense that it lit the space like a camera flash and forever locked it in my memory.”

    Like

  2. Thanks Tracy, I’m really appreciating your comments. And that you are reading my blog!

    Like

  3. Kathryn Coleman says:

    Beautiful.

    Like

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