Sunday, December 11, 2011


Earlier this semester, the band Icon For Hire released an album called Scripted. I have listened to it countless times by now. A major theme on the album is the way we hide behind our sicknesses, our heartaches, our masks, and use them as excuses not to move forward and heal. The song “Get Well” in particular hit me like a bullet to the chest.

I like hiding behind things, things that give me some sense of security and worth and validation. I also like hiding behind my imperfections. Some of you who have known me for a while might remember the time I was incredibly ill for 6 months when I was 16, right before I started college. It got bad enough that for a while I was too weak to climb stairs or carrying things or live like a normal person in general. I remember one day realizing how much of a crutch it had become:

“I can’t socialize, I’m sick.”
“I can’t get a job, I’m sick.”
“I can’t be brave today, I’m sick.”

And after I realized that, I realized how selfish this was. Only then I began to get well, because I wanted it and actually started taking care of myself.

I don’t know how often you played games like hide and seek as a child. Games of that sort were my favorite. I learned how to wear the right clothes depending on the environment, how to scope out areas ahead of time (yes, I was pretty hardcore when it came to hide and seek). Most importantly, I learned how to be absolutely still, hardly breathing, not disturbing anything, so that no one would know I was there. See, hiding effectively means being more or less paralyzed. That’s part of the game.

I’ve been hiding behind both sicknesses and pretended strengths for a very, very long time-- well over a year now. Looking back over a year of these blog posts I see snapshots of the soaring highs and aching lows that I’ve visited in the past year... I see the places where God was faithful and it changed me. I also see the places where He loved, but I ran away and hid behind my sicknesses again as soon as possible.

I’ve spent a semester sleeping about 4 hours every night, eating maybe one meal a day. I’ve been taking a full load as a senior in college while working three jobs and trying to keep up with my family and my friends. I’ve been trying to work past some things from the past while facing some major changes in the near future. And all of these things have become walls I can hide behind when it comes to my relationship with God.

“I can’t talk to You, God-- someone needs me.”
“I can’t rest, God-- I have to be a good enough student.”
“I can’t trust You to handle this, God-- I can’t stand the thought of failing.”

My trip to Wisconsin taught me just how paralyzed I have been, in a lot of places. It also taught me that there is still hope for me anyway, that there is so much joy waiting for me. But I have felt an ongoing pressure, compelling me to be willing to actually come out of hiding and take hold of truth again. Because another thing the Switchfoot shows earlier this semester and then my trip to Wisconsin taught me is that I had lost so much of myself. I was reminded of that even more over Thanksgiving when my boyfriend visited and I saw broken places in myself that were, quite honestly, terrifying. So here is me saying the absolute hardest thing for me to say, something that desperately needs to be said:

I can’t do this.

So I’m stepping back for a while-- leaving the grid, moving off facebook and twitter and forums and away from the noise. It will probably be for a few weeks. I’m dismantling some of the things I hide behind, disrupting the cycles I get trapped in. I’ve been praying about this for weeks, and God has made it blindingly clear to me that this is what He is asking from me. It’s incredibly counter-intuitive to me, and I feel like I’m letting a hundred people down, and I feel like this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. Most of my friendships are long distance and maintained online, and this will be effectively isolating myself for quite a while. But if I’m honest, the past month has proved to me that I can either be obedient in this and continue to heal, or else completely lose myself behind my sickness. I know which one I want.

“Denial doesn’t need to be my friend when I’m a healer that’s in need of healing. Is it okay to not know, not have the answers, and simply be someone who is searching for Someone to save me?” - Disciple

So for the details. I will only be using the internet for uses related to work and my NewReleaseTuesday writing until sometime in January. This means that if you desperately need to contact me, I will be checking e-mail, but I can’t promise answers or that I’ll see it quickly. My basic goals involve reconnecting with God, sleeping, spending some long overdue time with my family (particularly my sister, who is visiting for the first time in two years), getting a photography portfolio assembled and coded, playing guitar a lot, translating Greek... oh, and probably watching Return of the King (because it’s still the best movie of all time, even if it is over 4 hours long).

I’ll be back though. I promise. And I’ll certainly be actively praying for many of you. Since I won’t get a chance to say it-- have a beautiful Christmas, friends. Remember that it is about rescue.

Thanks so much to so many of you who offer me so much kindness and grace and support-- I am so very blessed. Peace to you tonight and in the days to come.

- Elraen -

“Burn away the pride, bring me to my weakness, until everything I hide behind is gone. And when I'm open wide with nothing left to cling to, only You are there to lead me on.” - Sanctus Real