Reaching the Perimeter

Reaching the Perimeter

January 02, 2020 1 Comment

All things pass; God does not change.
God is change.
All manner of things shall be well.

 A few days ago, I found myself repeating these words as though they were a prayer, a mantra, or scripture. In reality, they’re a disparate hodgepodge of other women’s words cobbled together to give me something to steady my thoughts.

When I am having trouble focusing on the day ahead or when I feel paralyzed by the enormity of my “to do” list, I use Bible verses or lines from my favorite books as mental walking sticks. I grasp those lines, hold them in front, and use them to move forward.

Those three lines held me up that day though the intentions underlying them have little in common with one another. The first line comes from St. Teresa of Avila, the second line is lifted from Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, and the third line I borrowed from Julian of Norwich.

The paradox of these sentences comforted me. I felt secure in the fact that God does not change, but God is change. I feel God encourages change in us. Though I do not feel very well, I trust that all things will be well again. At a later date, there will be change, and I will feel well.

For the last several weeks, I’ve felt very thin. I feel thin like a hair, a small pat of butter searing across a large pan, or a coin likely to fall in the gap between seat cushions. I feel thin because my time is stretched. I’m trying to make one hour last for eight, but the hour can’t reach around the span of the day. I’m making my time suffer for my inability to think carefully and honestly about my capabilities. I made the critical mistake of thinking that I am capable of all things when in reality I’m only capable of a few.

I said, “Yes, you may take” when I should have said, “No, I don’t have enough to give.”

As I rush to accomplish and to cross items off a list, I feel every second of my time letting out a gasping breath. I’m running out of breath because there’s no moment during which I can pause and take in air.

All things pass; God does not change.

I have no control over my time. I cannot go back and change what occurred, but this season of life will pass. My circumstances do not change the person of God.

God is change.

God creates change in our circumstances and us. I have changed as a result of this season, and I have learned that saying, “I do not have enough,” will have to suffice. I do not believe that God created us to be boundless. It is a mistake to think we are limitless or infinite. Boundaries are necessary. When we reach the perimeter, we can pause. We can take in air and go home.

All manner of things shall be well.

There is another day. God creates change in our circumstances and us. What is unwell will pass. What is unwell today will be well tomorrow.

 

 

 

_______________ 

Gyasi S. Byng lives in Rochester, New York. She is PhD student at the University of Rochester where she teaches a writing course on robotics and human identity. She received her MA from Florida Atlantic University and her BA from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Her recent publications include “I Have Never Been Strong” in Open Minds Quarterly, “In the Waiting Line” in Apogee: Reclaiming the Margins, and “Beige Girl Problems” in Rivet: The Journal of Writing That Risks.


  

 

 

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Photo by Ocean Ng on Unsplash

 

 



1 Response

Gabrielle Helo
Gabrielle Helo

January 12, 2020

Beautiful! I love the merging of these lines. I love the discovery of the ability to refuse—so necessary for those who want to give.

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