Thursday, October 20, 2011

On This Side of Eden

Well friends, it's W here. What is on my mind most presently is the fact that I will be starting a new job soon (!), but I still have about a week and a half until that happens so I suppose I'll write here to distract myself.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be living after the Fall. You know, after the whole "Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit" thing.

This is what it means for me:

I was created to live in a world in which I do not live.

M mentioned this once, and it blew my mind. As such, I've been thinking about it a lot recently. This phrase has actually done a tremendous job in helping to assuage the guilt and self-condemnation that I often feel about not being good enough, or strong enough, or whatever enough. I have to remind myself that my sensitive soul was made to live in perfect communion with God, without the knowledge of anything evil, with eternity at my fingertips and a body and mind free from pain and illness. That is the environment I was MEANT to live in, when the Lord created me in His image and crafted me in His heart before the world even began.

When I remember this, I feel less bad about not being able to "hack it" out here in the fallen world. I no longer feel weak for crying when I'm sad, or cursing when I'm mad, or feeling defeated when I'm frustrated. I may try my best to develop good coping skills (an ongoing effort, ha!), but the final word is that my soul was never meant to bear the pain and brokenness that often surrounds it.

The other side of the coin, for me at least, is then to acknowledge the brokenness and accept it as reality for this life. I have a hard time just realizing and being okay with the fact that FOR SURE my life is going to suck sometimes (many times?) in the future. I hate knowing that I will inevitably get hurt (physically and/or emotionally), that my loves ones are definitely going to die at some point, and that in general, a lot of pain awaits in the future. I mean, that thought is really, really not fun.

But if I don't accept it, then I live in an idealized world where everything should be jolly, and it makes the crash even harder when things inevitably aren't. And if I spend all my time striving for things that are a "sure bet" for goodness and not pain, I will be constantly let down.

Henry Cloud says (...duh!) that we will never have a home here on Earth if we spend all of our time searching for that which only exists in Eden.

You know, that perfect job, and house, and husband, and life. How often do I find myself wanting to leave one thing for the next under the guise that it must be closer to perfect than the last?

I will never have a home on Earth if I spend all of my time searching for that which only exists in Eden.

Such a powerful thought. I think M needs to internalize this reality for her dating life, haha. But really, how does a person just accept that things are going to be bad sometimes, and people will hurt you sometimes, and life will just suck sometimes and be okay with it?

I don't know the answer. I never know the answer at the end of these posts. What I do know is that my hope and joy must lie in the promise that one day I will cross over to Eden itself and be redeemed into the holiness and perfection that my soul was created for and longs for. And until then, it's my job to bring as much goodness as I can into this broken world, to create as much love as I can from the Lord who lives inside me, and to be patient and enduring in the face of challenges.

But it's still no fun being on this side of Eden.


  1. I absolutely love this, Mallory. That is such an important thing to think about. I especially loved your line, "but the final word is that my soul was never meant to bear the pain and brokenness that often surrounds it." I am like you, in that I have this super sensitive soul that always seems to be getting hurt. And I am always made to feel, (sometimes by others, often by myself) that there is something wrong with my sensitivity. But you're right. It's okay.

    Also, I love what Henry Cloud said. I definitely need to internalize that one as well. Which book is that from?? I should start reading him....

    LOVE YOU!!!! So glad to know things are finally falling into place for you with the jobs. It's great to not only KNOW what makes your heart sour, but actually to be able to do it. Yay for you!

  2. Love this. I also wanted to point out that I assume katie meant "soar" and not "sour." ;)