The Art of Mirriam Neal

yellow flicker beat


It’s been a hard year, for a lot of reasons. The last few months have been especially difficult. We’ve spent a lot of time weeping and shaking angry fists at the sky and snapping at one another when tempers boil to the surface. It feels like difficulty upon difficulty has been heaped on our heads and we’re not sure how to deal with all of it, like it’s crushing us, pushing us into the ground. We’ve had the uncertainty of where we’re going to live and the mingled emotions that come with the house not selling, we’ve been unsatisfied with ourselves but reluctant to change, and two days ago my dad’s brother and the last of his first family died of a sudden heart attack. I despise hypocrisy, so I won’t say I feel his loss very keenly – I hardly knew him, and mentally associated him with corny jokes. (He had a bumper crop of them, if you will.) But this has been a huge blow to my father, whom I love and care about, and the whole family has taken the brunt of the news.

During times like these, it’s hard to see much good in the big picture, and it becomes more important than ever to me to notice the small things. To stand outside and let the wind, smelling of spring, push my hair back while the clouds sail quickly in front of the moon. To smile at the ladybug who comes out of nowhere and lands on my shirt, like a small attack-hug from a stranger. Surprise notes from friends in the mail. In these brief moments, it’s like I can take a breath and get my head above water again, but the relief doesn’t last long. I hate conflict. I hate it. I will go ten miles out of my way to avoid it and I’ll think that all the tension is rolling off my back while my insomnia and dreams where my teeth fall out tell me otherwise. I can write maybe a paragraph a day, and summoning enough creative energy to work on my looming pile of art commissions feels like a monumental effort (and I usually scrap my attempts anyway because they suck).

Surrounded by family and with friends I love only a text or Skype call away, I still feel very alone. Even as I try harder to cultivate a deeper relationship with God, I find myself longing for a physical relationship, for that thing called romance. I received a friend’s wedding invitation in the mail and I cried, because while I try to do everything right, I still don’t have a Significant Other, nor do I have any prospects.

In short, I feel like I’m trying harder and failing more epically than ever before. However, in the middle of this seemingly endless swamp, one truth remains – I’m running toward God, instead of sitting and accomplishing nothing. This particular life-dragon is chasing me in the right direction and sometimes, that’s enough.


20 thoughts on “yellow flicker beat”

  1. I’ve had a lot of rawness this year too, and so have a lot of the people I love: The joke among my family and friends is: “2014 won’t die. It’s an undead zombie year still holding on, lurching after us.”

    I’ll be tucking you in my prayers as the LORD reminds me of you. I know you’re always on His heart <3

    If you haven't all ready, listen to For King & Country's new single, "Shoulders"
    And also, Phil Wickam's "Carry My Soul."

  2. I will be praying for you Mir, and don’t worry God has someone for you. Your very own Bellamy. 😉 He’s probably just stuck in a tree somewhere.

  3. *hugs* I won’t say I understand what you’re going through, because in truth, everyone’s minds and situations are unique–but I will say I can relate. Keep running, and keep noticing those small things. Each of them is part of God’s love letter to you. <3

  4. I wish I could just hug you. Those feelings sound very familiar to me. There is this thought that kept me, And I will share it with you (and anyone else who might need to hear). Sometimes it isn’t about us. Sometimes it’s about the other person. Pour prayer into that significant other, allowing God to direct you, because it is VERY possible that, while He may use this waiting time to grow you, the other person isn’t ready. Pray for salvation, protection, encouragement, peace, help, comfort, joy, ears to hear and eyes to see, wisdom and discernment… etc… Hang on. Trust in, cling to, rely on, and Believe… Psalm 27:13,14 is what I am clinging to. There HAS to be purpose behind it, and it just might be urgent need for him. What if he doesn’t have a godly family praying for him, and what if he is struggling, what if he is being stubborn in hearing and obeying, etc…???? Wait and pray. You will need to do that even when you DO find him. This is relationship bootcamp. You CAN do this. I am sorry firbyiur aches, missings, frustrations, grief… praying for you. Love you, friend. (Italy)

  5. Y’know, if you really do want a significant other…I recommend taking steps towards that. He might just drop out of the sky but then again he might not! Go get involved with whatever place has the most quality Christian guys near you. Maybe?

  6. oh, wow, this resonated… i just had to let a toxic friendship go recently, and with exhaustion already present from spring semester (ew xD) it’s been really hard… thanks for reminding me where to keep running to. <3

    1. I did that exact same thing late last year and it was SO RELIEF, like amputating a gangrenous arm – but at the same time you still expect the limb to /be/ there.

  7. I think what hit me most is that everything just builds and builds. Because it’s never just The Problem. It’s The Problem, and The Issue at work and The Annoyance that comes from living with other people and The Struggles of daily life and the limited time we have, not to mention The Isolation and The Fear that seem to attack whenever you feel vulnerable. I guess it’s a good thing that we have a God to run to… A God who is like, “Pssh, I can take care of that” (although not always when we want Him to) because we certainly can’t. 😛

  8. I’m so sorry you’ve been feeling this way – I can certainly relate, since these past few months have been particularly rough on the mental health side of things for me. Making sure to appreciate the small things is so incredibly important – it’s easy to get bogged down in the bigger issue, but sometimes it’s the little victories that can turn into hope for a happy ending. Stay strong, love. xx

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