Skip to main content

Seat Fillers and Taking Back My Fire

We put seat fillers in the places and spaces that God has reserved for someone or something else. Impatiently, we try to fit cubical objects into cylindrical spaces; discontentedly, we clog the arteries of our dreams and desires with fatty waste that is, at minimum, unnecessary, and at most, life-threatening. We are impatient with our dreams and goals, and our seat fillers--the drug abuse, that man or woman that ain't good for us, that career of convenience we chose over a life of passion--set us back instead of pushing us forward. 

God wants to push us forward, to have a faith that is content with the empty seats in our auditoriums--a faith that, in the midst of emptiness, is full and fervent. 

Lately, I've been identifying the seat fillers in my life in a desperate attempt to save myself from myself. I've cried out to God, "forgive me for not waiting for and anticipating the people and the places you have been preparing for me, for not trusting that my gifts will make room for me, for placing my self-inflicted limitations over your infinitude." I've filled those empty seats with red wine and bourbon, obsessive compulsions, boyfriends I didn't need, red flags I didn't heed, and people that didn't serve me. I've played house with the devil and my soul has been evicted from my body. This shell that I'm renting is crumbling under the dilapidated infrastructure of self-doubt and pity, struggling to stand without its soul; and how amazing it is that this heart has survived for so long without its soul-mate; but the air hits her differently now as she pumps blue blood through these veins, giving faint life to the extremities that are searching for her fire. 

I'm here today, with a shortness of breath, frail and faint, stumbling through the wilderness, feet away from the flame that got away. I've emptied my seats of the perpetrators and cleansed my temple of damaging lard. I reach for a flame that I knew well, once. I'm fighting for it now--not to become the person that I used to be, but to rise from the dead with the wounds still fresh and become the person that I am destined to be. 

I release all fears and insecurities. I am no longer grabbing, holding, or squeezing anything and everything that I've falsely convinced myself will connect me to God. I've learned that God, and anything else worth having, doesn't need to be grabbed onto or squeezed tightly--that God is there whether you're holding on or not, and that you can be dead while grabbing on to a life that is toxic. I am steps away from my flame. I feel her fire upon my fingertips as my blood slowly turns from blue to purple, making its way to a deep red. I anticipate a breakthrough...finally.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Are You Leaving Us?"

Within Methodist ecclesiology, there are bishops that appoint ministers to serve congregations. Methodist denominations--such as the United Methodist Church, African Methodist Episcopal Church, and African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, among others--operate under some version of this ecclesiological practice. I won't bore you with all the details. Additionally, I am not Methodist and have never been a part of that way of doing church so my experiential knowledge is limited. Much of my experience has been in the churches that practice some version of congregational polity and ecclesiology in which the local church decides who their minister(s) will be.

Within that system, the ministers, themselves, have greater agency--agency in the decision to apply, be interviewed and, if offered a position, say "yes" or "no." The congregations have agency as well. In most cases, ministers are at-will employees of a church, meaning there are no end dates in one's contr…

Why I Quit Church...

On Sunday I quit church... for the day, at least. It was the most beautiful and painfully passionate act of self-care I've ever done.Hi. My name is Mia, and I live with an anxiety disorder. It's 4:30 on Sunday morning. My first alarm intrudes on the three hours of sleep I've managed to acquire. I begrudgingly assess the state of my vocal cords and decide whether or not they are well enough for me to sleep another thirty minutes. I hit snooze. Minutes later, my second alarm assaults my rem cycle. I pimp-slap my iPhone and decide whether or not I'm going to steam (a process in which I stand over a pot of boiling water for fifteen minutes to lubricate my cords). I, instead, opt for the less time consuming process of making tea, buying me an extra fifteen minutes of sleep. at 5:15, my third and final alarm goes off. I roll out of bed and into the shower. As I lather, I do minor vocal warm-ups and meditate. It's 6:05. I'm clothed, tea is made, hair is done, shoes ar…

Pile Up Your Affirmations

I haven't blogged in a while. I suppose it's due to many reasons. First, many of you know that I relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina at the beginning of April. I got the offer of a lifetime to come down here and do full-time ministry, focusing on the fields of spiritual formation and community outreach--which are two of my favorite things in ministry. I left New York after 8 LONG years of hustling and self-discovery, saying "yes" to God and the unknown yet again. For my final sermon in New York, I preached about God's command to varying groups of people in the book of Genesis to "fill the earth" (Gen 1:28, Gen 9:1, Gen 9:7). I  knocked down the Towers of Babel that I'd built over the years and I ventured forth into the mystery. 
This journey has been a tumultuous one. It has been one of many ups and downs over the past 18 months. For the most part, I am grateful--grateful for the opportunities that have come my way--for the accolades, for the aw…