Monday, September 23, 2013

Heart work

Ugh. I'm so tired of crying all the time over every little thing. I feel like a tweenage girl.

I really miss having a small group that I can be open and honest with- thank goodness for the interwebs.

Why am I so fickle and so easily hurt/upset. Over DUMB things. Like other people getting new cars. Or being selfish, like they always are. Or having friendships you wish you had. Why does it suck so much to try and do things 'right' and watch everyone else pass you by, doing it 'wrong' and seemingly happy about it all.

Just feeling like a lonely oddball tonight. And feeling sorry for myself. It's pretty ugly.

You know, when you get upset over one thing and then you just start crying over everything that has ever gone wrong, or hurt you, or isn't fair.

And then you feel guilty because there are hostages in a Nairobi shopping mall, and Christians in Pakistan have been picking up body parts of their family members for two days after a bomb went off outside their church, and there is so much garbage that animals all around the world are dying, and Diana just lost another son (that makes 3 sons in heaven), and on and on and on.

And then you just plain feel exhausted of life not being fair for you or anyone and wondering where in the world is God in all this pain, even though you know He's right there in the midst of it all...it doesn't always feel like it.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has nights like this.

Ugh. I seriously hate social media on nights like this. I un-"show in newsfeed"-ed a bunch of people and pages tonight in an effort to stabilize this emotional rollercoaster. I may have to just quite it. Like I did with music. For my emotional sanity I pretty much only listen to worship music now. Even though I love other music, I just get so moody, it's not even worth it.

Anywhoo...here's praying for a good night's rest and some stability in the morning.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What I'm waiting for

Tonight while I was driving home from my parents' house, I was thinking about 'what are you waiting for?' and 'what do you really want?'

I feel like my answers were divinely sent...and that I've known them all along, it's just that now I can put them into words.

What I really want? Focus and direction. I want to know what God has called us to, without any doubts. I am tired of just doing what is in front of me without a passion, focus, or goal in mind. I am soooo goal oriented, it's not even funny. I feel like God not giving me a goal is like a cruel joke...or a growing opportunity.

What I'm waiting for? God to reveal what all this waiting has been for! I know He's working. I know this time isn't wasted. But that doesn't mean I have to enjoy it!! Hindsight is always 20/20 and I can't wait to look back on this season and think, "WOW God, your presence is so evident! Thank you for having perfect timing and for guiding us."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Slap

I feel like I was slapped in the face. Or salt was poured on an open wound. Pick your metaphor.

I begged to be allowed to attend the women's retreat with Sullivan but there was no budging on the rule. And that's okay- really. I trust that they prayed about it and made the correct choice. It still sucks and hurts but I trust. However, what I didn't realize until yesterday was that the words they sent back to me were empty. And that hurts even more.

I felt (and frankly still do) that I haven't been this in need of help/support/mentorship since high school/early college. I am desperate. My emotions are out of control. Raising a VERY strong willed boy is hard work and I have no idea what I'm doing. Being married to and parenting alongside someone who does not share my faith and convictions, is so so so hard. Add an infant on top of that. Financial struggles. And lots more and you get one hot mess. Me.

What I realized yesterday was that the response email I received was full of empty support. Words written from a safe distance behind a computer screen. Am I supposed to feel better that they prayed for me? Is that what Titus 2 exhorts women to do? Just pray from afar. Once.

Well, I think it requires more. I think that when someone pours their heart out, begging to be included, sounding as desperate as I did back then (it was even worse then when the hormones were raging more than they are now) you have to respond. In person. And yesterday, I realized that it hurt that no one did. That they essentially heard my pleas for help and left me to drown.

And yesterday, they asked me to help 'rescue' other people. To join them to mentor our church's young women. Which I would love to do. With all my heart.

But I'm currently drowning. I'm literally barely staying afloat. I'm clinging to Christ, my life preserver, for all I'm worth. Until someone offers me a hand- there's no way I can offer a hand to help others.

So I cried. A lot. Like all day. And I dreamed of saying nasty things to get my point across.

Instead I 1) settled for asking to be removed from the list for this and future requests (because until you have an ounce of a relationship with me, you haven't earned the right to ask for my help after you abandoned me in (one of) my darkest hour(s). And no, commiserating on facebook is not enough support for a new mom) and 2) told them again that I'm drowning.

And then today I decided to create my own life raft. I'm working on getting a women's group started for women like me- who are drowning but don't just want to bitch about it. Instead, they're looking for a safe place to be tired, vulnerable, hurt, tired, inspired, encouraged, and challenged. I'm still happy. I don't doubt any of my choices- in a spouse or to have kids- but I need someone to float with. And hopefully together we can rescue each other. I'm praying God sends a 'Karen'- someone just enough older and farther down the road to help lead the way. Otherwise, this could be comical. A bunch of drowning victims trying to save each other.

You never know. God likes to work so that HIS glory is shown.

Friday, September 6, 2013

God's not done

I read this blog post yesterday by Jen Hatmaker. You really need to read it before continuing to fully understand the quotes I'm using.

"God, we're confused." 
"I'm not done yet." 

Let me be fair: When I recount our line as "God, we're confused," that sounds tame, almost like a little old grandma who got lost at the corner of 5th and Lamar until a kindly police officer asked if he could help her and she chuckled and shook her head and said, "Well I guess I got a little confused!" and they shared a knowing laugh about who can figure out all these confounded streets down here? and he pointed her west and she made it to her destination just in time for the quilting guild. 

When we said "we're confused", it involved crying and wailing and days when I couldn't get out of bed. It included a string of months where, I swear to you, time stood still. I sobbed over other people's happy adoption news as I typed nice words on their Facebook pages. It included a phone call from my mother-in-law after my daughter told her, "I'm worried about my mom." My hair started falling out in clumps and my fingernails peeled off in layers. I lashed out at Brandon and my kids and Jesus on bad days; on worse days, I wondered aloud if God had any control at all over this chaotic, broken world. I doubted his invervention and questioned his sovereignty. 

So yeah, that's what I mean by "confused." 

When I say, "I'm confused" what I really mean is that I'm tired. I'm tired of not knowing, of not having clear direction. I'm tired of not knowing when God will be 'done'. I'm tired of not knowing more of my/our story. I'm tired of wrestling with the 'what now' question. I'm tired of trying to figure it out. And just like Jen, my confusion, my exhaustion, my frustration has ended in tears, anger, depression and unfortunately Ryan and the boys have suffered. 

That being said, over the last year or so, God has been working on my heart in the area of submission. (Such a yucky word!) Especially because I'm such a feisty, strong, and independent woman married to a laid back, non-church-going man. It's very easy for me to just take charge in pretty much any situation but especially in 'spiritual' matters. God has been slowly refining my heart to care about what He cares about- Ryan's heart. Griffin's heart. Sullivan's heart. Meaning, I'm becoming more and more willing to change who I am to be who they need me to be. To be who God can use to reach them. 

The thing about being refined? It's slow. And painful. Think gold being melted in a fire as impurities are burned away. Pleasant, right? My heart aches from being stretched so far. And yet, I wouldn't have it any other way. At least not now, not after God spoke so clearly at Visioncast.

And again with this, the end to Jen's blog post:

"When God said he wasn't done yet, he just wasn't done yet. He wasn't speaking in code. It wasn't a trick. The story was still in the middle, but I wanted to flip ahead to the end, past the conflict and struggle and straight to the happy ending. As Keeper of the Story, God knew the whole plot. He promised us way back that he planned on seeing these two children all they way from brokenness and abandonment to our home in Texas, an unlikely journey if ever there was one. And at the risk of whitewashing the difficult middle, we have one of them here and the other will be here Sunday, so he was faithful. 

God doesn't promise us a clean middle part of the story. He never said we wouldn't encounter antagonists and drama and surprise twists and heartbreak. We weren't assured a G-rated plot where good feelings are peddled and no one dies or leaves or fails or waits. God promised things like healing and restoration and redemption. Which implies there will be injuries and broken relationships and losses. When he speaks of beauty from ashes, he seems to know there will be actual ashes to resurrect beauty from. 

If you are confused right now, if your story isn't going the way you thought, or if you're tangled up in the messy middle where hope is deferred, dear reader, it could just be that God isn't done yet. Your story is not finished. Every hero and heroine must wade through the conflict to get to the end, and you can trust God because he is good. If you have nothing else to cling to, remember this: God is good. He loves goodness and justice. He heals and redeems. He is on the side of love and beauty. He is for you. He is never against you. You may be against you, other people may be against you, but God is not against you. 

It is okay to be confused; I'm afraid that is our lot as finite creatures dealing with an infinite God. Some of God's best heros were confused in their subplots. But I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on. Because God is good and he is for goodness. 

And he just isn't done yet."

I'm just not done, Sarah. Love, God

Visioncast 2013

A work in progress...I'm still searching for the words. Come back soon :)