Sometimes I am in chaos. I call it confusion. It’s like free floating in a tornado during a lightning storm. It must be akin to what I imagine primal chaos to be.
Impartial standards are grounding. So I return to the Bible, my impartial standard, and to the very beginning of it.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Genesis 1:2 King James Version (KJV)
without form is connected to the concept of confusion. It is the “to be laid waste” part of the definition that grabs my attention. (if you haven’t taken the opportunity to click on the link and read the definition, take some time now to do that. ) It was the action point “to be” not as describing an ongoing condition but as though some great momentous battle had occurred with ongoing results that riveted my gaze. There was a spot in space that was acted upon. The result of that action was desolation, waste.
Abandonment is an action that lays waste…facilitates a state of chaos… in the lives of children. Their resultant waste condition is a perpetual turmoil and tumult of thought processing, emotional disorientation, and vulnerability of heart in relationships whether those relationships are of supreme importance or a micro bit of insignificance.
I have written before about abandonment and the struggles I experience because of suffering abandonment in early childhood. Some, but not all, of these are: The Ghost in My Life, Lord of the Stir Point, #addiction and #family, Compassionately Challenged, Routine Brings a Harvest of Joy, Forgive Him?
At the risk of sounding obvious, childhood is a precious time of personality and coping development. These formative years are so important. They lay the foundation for our approach to people in later years. Recently, I discovered one insidious consequence of abandonment experienced in childhood: the repeated dealing with a personal chaos, a confusion of mind for no apparent reason and at seemingly random segments of time.
Part of the frustration with these episodes is the lack of gaining control over them. Another is knowledge that we cannot survive the storm without help. Confusion draws us ever closer to the seductive power of lies from within and false comfort from without. We look desperately around for someone to help but help is nowhere to be seen It is not caught up in the storm with us whirling about. For some of us the moment (s) of confusion come unexpectedly. Instead of a head on collision, we get T-boned from the side and end up like so much scrap metal wrapped around an uprooted tree.
As I was reading through the Bible’s book of Esther, I saw that confusion hit the entire city in one afternoon totally by surprise. Why? The king was talked in to turning his back on (abandoning) a whole people … moms, dads, boys and girls, aged and infants… sold not merely as slaves, but sold to die. The story is here in Esther 3:14-15.
The result of abandonment is a state of confusion. Think about that. In the book of Esther it was both a state of being and the communal state of an entire capitol city.
Confusion is worth thinking about. It has facets of meaning. Here is the Dictionary.com definition. I have highlighted the situations that those abandoned find familiar or deal with daily because of childhood imprinting.
1. the act of confusing.
2. the state of being confused. (verb (used with object), confused, confusing.
3. to perplex or bewilder: 2. to make unclear or indistinct: 4.to fail to distinguish between; associate by mistake; confound
5. to disconcert or abash:
6. to combine without order; jumble; disorder:
7. Archaic. to bring to ruin or naught.
8. disorder; upheaval; tumult; chaos:
9. lack of clearness or distinctness:
10. perplexity; bewilderment:
11. embarrassment or abashment:
12. Psychiatry. a disturbed mental state; disorientation.
13. Archaic. defeat, overthrow, or ruin.
We find this confusion in Esther 3:13-15. "...but the city of Shushan was perplexed [at the strange and alarming decree].
One minute the captives in Susa were going about their daily business, the next they were sold to utter annihilation. The result of this abandonment by one’s master is perplexity…confusion.
[H943 bûk BDB – to perplex, confuse, be confused Strong’s – To involve, to be entangled]
It is my experience that abandonment by a parent or a boss, or any person in authority whether the relationship is close or not– whether the abandonment is physical or emotional– gives birth to confusion of EF-5 storm damage.
Abandoned children are thrown into chaos. We are entangled in the inability to reason. Our thoughts are jumbled. Our abilities to associate are often mistaken. We are embarrassed by communications that don’t come out as we intend. Little decisions and big ones become gargantuan efforts to focus. We get discouraged when others seem to be doing so well and our own inner view sees only devastation.
Abandonment during childhood embeds this chaos into our daily lives. This inescapable personal flaw is just as epic in scope and just as difficult to process for us as it was for the Jews of Susa during Esther’s time. Just like them we must humble ourselves and beg the King of Kings — our only source of help — for mercy and a powerful way forward that brings life.
Often the trust in God required to turn the tables on confusion also requires Esther’s attitude of “ If I perish, I perish” It is the abandonment of ones self and circumstances to the pleasure of the King’s choices. The great treasure of belonging to King Jesus is not only his matchless power but that our King is entirely trustworthy. He is loving and kind to all that He has made.
1 In You, O Lord, do I put my trust and confidently take refuge; let me never be put to shame or confusion!
As I sought to understand confusion better I found these nuggets of truth:
Confusion is a lethal weapon in the LORD’s arsenal. Therse are a few of the outcomes from God’s use of confusion:
- to make a noise, to put in to commotion
- vexation, disturbance
- move noisily, discomfiture,to put in commotion, destroy
- vexation, panic.
Why would he use such devastating tools? Take some time to read the stories linked to the words here and share what you learn in the comments below.
When these weapons spring from seeds within the boundaries of our own psyche not of our own planting, the fatalities… the waste… increase exponentially.
We cannot catch confusion. It catches and traps us in the whirlwind. We can, however recognize recurrent items zipping past us and do something about it. If the LORD has taught you how to fight against recurrent confusion, please share your insights in the comments below.
The primal place of waste in Genesis holds clues for recognizing and praying about confusion.
[H8414 – tohhu – BDB formlessness, confusion, unreality, emptiness- formlessness of prmieval earth, empty space – that which is empty or unreal – wasteland, wilderness, solitary places – a place of chaos – vanity Strongs to lie waste, a desolation, a desert, a worthless thing, in vain, confusion, empty place, without form nothing, nought, vain, vanity, waste, wilderness]
If you feel like you are in a desert then you need the help of King Jesus. If you struggle with feelings of worthlessness, you need King Jesus. If your mind seems like it is empty, you need King Jesus. If your life seems like an endless wandering, you need King Jesus. If vain things and vanity of self plagues your persona, you need King Jesus. If you find patterns of solitary behaviors touching down inside of you wreaking havoc, you need King Jesus. If you exist in and prefer existing in places – internal or external — that have issues against reality, you need King Jesus.
If this storm you experience is not of your making and abandonment has birthed your confusion, call out to the LORD of Creation and He will calm it time and time again. YAY!!! Perhaps God uses confusion so that His glory may be made known to everyone with greater brilliance.