I first saw my monster on March 24th, 2013. But she had been there longer than that… much longer.
Unlike most of her kindred, she did not chase me wildly through the streets and turn me into a bloody carcass. If that had been the case I would have known how to handle it.
No. She was a malignant growth, silently ripping into me, beckoning me with a persistent hand to come along as her unknowing and unwilling partner over the past few years.
Somewhere along the line I had a dull realization that things had changed.
This monster woman was more edgy, irritable, unreasonable… The real me, the soft me, ran to the bathroom or sat fearfully in the car, hoping for a moment of escape from the tyranny of her visitations.
Then the Monster Me set up a permanent residence. She told Dream Me that this was the real world: monsters, fault lines, shaky hands, exhausted body, foggy insanity. She said that Dream Me was the laughable hallucination. My dusty dream-self gazed around sadly, wishing things could be different.
I asked for help, fearing exposure. Instead I got a reinforcement, a rejection of my dream, and being told this was normal. New mom, house project, new business? You’re just doing too much. Keep going, you’ll figure it out. Pat on the shoulder. You’ve done the best you can. Accept grace.
I kneeled down and believed it. But things only got worse, and Dream Me finally began to scream and weep inconsolably.
REAL grace finally found me. At that point, my monster began to lose. Good overcoming evil.
Two women gathered around me to really stop and pray. I remember I said:
This mean, ugly person woke up, she is with me and she won’t go back to sleep. What can I do? What should we do? (Tears.) My life is being ruined! I have this coexisting good/bad self. If this is normal, it’s scary.
Then there was a picture in my head.
When my family moved to our new home, we were without a stove for months. We survived with a campstove, but it had a leaky valve which burned extra fuel brightly in a tall flame. I saw a bright red X struck over the leak, and suddenly the huge flame was the Monster-me, cut off. She disintegrated.
At the time, we all thought this was about stress and coping.
I wrote this in my journal from my pastor’s sermon later that morning: “Christ is overcoming evil. Evil is bent as a power on my destruction. Romans 8:29 — In Christ we see the original and intended shape.” I also drew this picture:
No one had any idea that six months later, I would be at the cusp of such a thing literally taking place.
God alone has brought that picture to pass, of cutting off the leak at the source. Oh God, thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you. If I weren’t feeling so bad, I would dance this morning. Instead I am going to cry and go make my husband some breakfast.
New International Version (NIV)