I have not felt God's comfort much lately. (That's not entirely true. Last week when I felt I would have to battle the doctors to convince them to admit Grace He reminded me that He would fight ahead of me, and certainly He did. But His words, though comforting, couldn't seem to reach into my heart enough to warm it back to life. Nothing could.)
No food, tea, wine, music or book have brought comfort. Rest has not been restful nor recreation enjoyable. Small pleasures became cold too quickly. All prayers seemed to dissolve into the empty sky.
I just finished reading "until we have faces" by CS Lewis. In it the main character charges that the gods have never answered her questions. What she discovers is they could not, because until she became her true self, she would have never heard the answer anyhow.
I realize I have become a different version of myself. A fighter, protector and survivor. These are all good things. But I have distanced my heart, hid it, so that my pain could be bearable. By doing that love, comfort and joy have not been able to reach my heart either.
I now know why I haven't heard God, but I'm so thankful he reached out to me in a way he knew I could learn, through reading. But I had to shed my protection to become my true self again.
It's only been half an hour since I read the final chapter, only fifteen minutes since I resolved to bring my heart back to the surface and to take off my many masks. It's a weaker me, a more vulnerable me, certainly a more fallible me, but I feel like I can breathe again because it is the real me.
And I thank God for answering my prayers to find me, even when I couldn't find myself. And breathing deeply again I can see Grace's smile and be warmed by it to my core again.