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Finding Sanity: Under the Indigo

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

So, if you know me, you know I’m kinda wrapped up close and tight with color. It wasn’t always this way… not quite.

Freshman year, sophomore, I swear my favorite color was gray. Then, well. I started the spiral. Falling in love with hues and vivid.

Let me introduce you to Alyssa coming hot off the summer of 2020 when the Holy Spirit of God began bursting into my mind and imagination and heart. It was right before junior year of college. I decided to ask Yahweh for a word for my semester. I got a color.


I loved it. Aaaand I had no idea what to do with it.

Indigo. My friend Maddie told me it reminded her of water. Like the ocean, or a lake or river. You dive in. Deep. Surrender to the water. Let it wrap around you and swell above you. You sink in strong. Completely enveloped. Intimacy.

I was deep that semester. Deep, deep in. My heart fresh open and hopeful after finding friendship and life that summer. Life that splits laughter from your lungs and melodies from your veins. I wanted it all.

It’s funny, how I sought it. Piano, solitude, skipping lunches, just Jesus. My heart was empty most days, not full. But the emptiness is what brought the seeking. And the persistence and the honesty. Empty brought intimacy.

I’d slide my trillion heavy backpack and slip off my shoes—holy space. Lie on my back and trace the ceiling tiles of that prayer room, talking to Jesus. He was near, he was far. He was enough, he was never enough. I knew him, yet I did not, so much more truly. I wanted him. And I didn’t, too—parts of me weren’t ready.

Right before I jumped on the plane that took me eight thousand miles around to Southeast Asia. It was January. Blizzardy. I decided to get all my vaccinations at one time. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Fever, chills, aches. Also, COVID times.

I quarantined on campus in our designated building for invalids. The Haak. It was empty. It was solitude. It became a war-zone of split passions.

Jesus came to me one night in my mind, speaking like he does so gently. Flooding my mind with pictures and images, sounds, smells, sensations. Teaching me about the world. About darkness and light. About spirit and earth.

He told me the darkness didn’t need to be feared.

He said, trust me. Lay down your control. Let me take over.

Take over?

Suddenly, it was too dark, too hot, too close. Claustrophobic. Loud. I needed out.

No, Jesus. No, I’m not ready. I’m nothing if I don’t know where I am and where I’m going. I’ve got to hang onto sanity. Got to hold onto control from what I can see right here in front of me.

What I thought I wanted.

And he? Was just as patient and kind as ever. He was soft and tender and loved me even still.

But saying “no“ to sweet Jesus was the wrong cost. Because I said “yes” to me. Yes to MY will, my way, my reality, my mind, my sight.

Hell. All within me became as turbulent as the sweet, beautiful southern Thailand Adaman Sea. That’s where I found myself spring of 2021.

My reality was a storm. It was the gray blowing in. It was woundedness and powerlessness and abandonment. It was all the wrong and nothing good or beautiful. It was all my choosing. All my way of staying in control. Fixating on the shame-inducing. Inflicting more damage.

It’s wild, because days before I traveled to that sea in southern Thailand for spring break, I sat with a handful of paper scraps, some glue and paints and a soul brimming full of pain and pushed-down honesty.

Somehow, it came out. Covered up under smears of cobalt and midnight. On the back of the teared-up papers I pieced together into a vessel. It dripped with my crimson heart juice.

This is what spilled out. In five minutes what I’d held down by the throat. This is what I wrote under the paint.

I can't handle it all. What I hold, it is too great.

And I was broken, then. But the broken was perfect. I’d already been there, but I hadn’t know. It was the honesty, the emptying my soul. The silence and solitude with a greater unraveling and exposing of reality.

It was like jumping into the waters. Clothing behind. Skin tingling cold. Hair wrapping ‘round. Into truth. Deeper into the hurting, wild truth.

Maybe intimacy is like indigo. Letting go a little more of life. Of your vision. Of your stability. The feet beneath you. Or the ground, too. And your sight. And the comfort wrapped around you.

Maybe it’s a little like stripping down to the end, or the beginning. And jumping in wild into mystery. A fool. You close your eyes, you let go of the earth. You plunge into the wondrous depths of dark swirling into light. Water flavoring oxygen. Rainbows undiscovered kissing your fingers and toes.

Maybe intimacy, indigo. Maybe it’s good. To let go.

How? It’s fearful, to be sure. It’s wonderfully terrifying to leave the known. The dark is vast, vaster than you could ever comprehend within your one finite being. But the dark isn’t to be feared, after all.

It has a purpose too—is what Jesus told me that night. You see, in daylight, a fire is dull. But in black, amber glows become riveting, dancing tongues of light cutting into all else. Impenetrably, unforgettably brilliant. Other. Holy.

For a long, long time, I didn’t trust Jesus. I had fear for dark. Or fear of the light, really.

But now. Now, I see his eyes of fire shining. They are shining with pure love. This light is burning the distance between us. To jump, holding nothing back. Letting go of reality. Control. Sanity. The ground beneath. The sky above.

To jump into love is jumping into fire. It's all consuming. It will demand all. HE will. But that’s just it. I would leave it all for intimacy, indigo depth into a reality beyond my control. It’s freedom to give yourself away. It seems insanity, I know. But it’s the only way to live, really live.

Under the indigo.

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