Thursday, December 5, 2013

This Shell I've Become

My daughter says there is an insect that lays it's eggs inside a spider. When the eggs hatch, the spider is eaten from the inside out.

I feel like that spider; this being eaten from the inside out. I walk around feeling like a shell of a person, just going through the motions most days.

The shell is becoming so brittle and disfigured that I don't even recognize myself anymore. I look in the mirror, and I don't know who is staring back. I guess in some ways I look the same; but in so many ways, I look different.

Hopelessness and Depression show on your face you know. Smiles are less frequent; eyes are less vibrant, almost lifeless. There is a playfulness that is gone.

I read something the other day that I had written. I honestly don't even know that woman anymore. Surely, someone else wrote that.

Come to think of it, someone else did write it; someone with hope, purpose, a faith that was tested, but not shaken to the core.

This person that sits today and writes this; she's not that same person. She died about 2 years ago and many days, I don't think she will ever come back.

Sometimes change feels permanent.

I look in the mirror and I think about what I've become. The feelings are overwhelming. I can no longer decipher truth from lies.

Hopelessness is a constant companion. Unknown always stands right there and taunts me.

And Shame and Embarrassment show up everyday to mock me.

I'm ashamed and embarrassed of my life. If feels and looks so different, and I don't like it. I've lost so much, but the worst of it is the faith that has been shaken to the core; so much that at times I wonder if it's even there anymore.

I so badly want to grieve. I want Grief to show up and overpower the other feelings, but I don't feel like I can grieve, like somehow I don't deserve to grieve.

So Grief stays at bay while I drown in Shame, Embarrassment, Hopelessness, and the Unknown.

I know many others that have struggled much more than me. I just moved. That doesn't deserve Grief. I haven't earned the right to grieve. I haven't lost a loved one. I haven't watched my child struggle through cancer. My husband has a job. I have a house nicer than most in this world will ever see; and yet I don't like it. It just doesn't feel like home yet. Shame tells me that I'm a horrible, selfish person for not being thankful.

And so I don't grieve, because I don't feel like I can. My heart so badly wants to, but my head tells me I'm wrong.

Embarrassment stands there and whispers in my ear, "You are such a failure. You can't even handle a move. Others have lost so much more than you, and their faith still stands. In fact, that's their strength. You! You, on the other hand; your faith is almost lost in the rumble. You aren't even standing anymore. You are pathetic. If people only knew how far you have fallen into a pit, they would just shake their heads and whisper amongst themselves, 'She had such promise. I really thought God was going to use her. Look at her now.'"

This shell I've become; it's all I know now.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Today sucks. Yeah, I said sucks, but oh well. I don't really have another way to describe it. I'm frustrated beyonds words right now (well, apparently not too much or I wouldn't be typing, but you get the idea). And when I get really worked up, it gets my vertigo and migraines going. Fun times. That alone should stop me from getting worked up, but it doesn't. I guess I just like living on my yacht at times. That's what I call my vertigo, because it is the kind that feels like I'm rocking on a boat, and I figure it might as well be a yacht. But I'm totally not fond of the ocean or really any body of water so I hate being on my yacht. I guess I should just calm down. I'm trying. I tore apart my closet to try to calm down, but the vertigo was too much so I had to stop until later. No, I didn't tear it apart just because I'm frustrated. That would be bad and probably make the Other Nut not so happy. We are tearing it apart to make it into an office for me to study in, because I keep telling myself that one day I will apply to take some classes at DTS and maybe if teach and speak again. I'll probably just end up with a cute office to pile junk in, but the closet already has junk in it so why not make it cute.

I know some of why I'm frustrated-it's something that just won't go away, no matter how hard I try to make it go away. Really God? You can't just make this problem go away. I've tried to obey authority, respect wishes, blah, blah, blah-and yet, it's still there. Even moving didn't work. Man, what is it going to take?! Oh, you mean actually be mature about it and healthy about it? Yeah, you would have to throw that in. You always do don't you; be mature and healthy about things even when it hurts. UGH! But I don't want to be. I want to throw a temper tantrum and kick and scream. Oh wait. I did. Hence the vertigo and migraine. Maybe that is why I still struggle with vertigo-a reminder of me getting worked up about this stupid life and not resting in You.

Nice! I just heard one of my cats puke. I don't really like having them anymore if you get the idea. Maybe it's time they get some terminal illness.

I'm frustrated for other reasons as well, but of course, You know what they are. I don't get it God. Why am I here? Why does it seem like that everyone else is still doing what they love, and I'm not. Every where I look, someone seems to still be doing what they love. Well, really I'm mainly talking about teaching, speaking, and writing. It's annoying really.

The bottom line is I'm jealous. Yep, that's right. I'm jealous. I know it sounds pathetic, but it's true.It's not that I don't want them (no one in particular) to be successful. It's just that I still wanted to be doing it too. I've spent all year wondering why You took me out of it. I haven't figured it out yet really. But honestly, I probably haven't been asking the right questions or really listening. You do after all say that if I would seek You with all my heart, I would find You. And I guess with finding You, I would be closer to finding an answer.

I don't like this jealousy though, I can tell You that. It is consuming and choking. I spend so much time comparing myself to everyone else that seems to be doing what I want to do. I spend so much time feeling sorry for myself, because I'm not. And then I get nothing really done. It keeps me from just doing what You want me to do, regardless of what anyone else is doing. It keeps me from really hearing You, because I'm too busy watching what someone is doing. It really is quite captivating, but not in a good way.

I don't know. I guess I will ponder this and write more later. Kids are almost home, and we have tutoring to make it to. Hopefully, this day won't end with "it sucked."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Test Post

Well, since I really know very little about technology and blogging, I thought I would do a test post to make sure it really is blocked. I guess I started to realize that I know so little that people could still be reading, and I would have no idea. Like, if someone is signed up to receive posts through email, do they still get them?

Oh my, I hope not since my writing will definitely be more random train of thoughts sprinkled with a lot of frustrations and missed desires.

And yes, I was already asked why I just can't journal the old fashioned way-well, because I'm just not going to (which if you know me, you might find that a little backwards since I love all things old fashioned and vintage and really dislike technology as I type this on my laptop in a social media forum-yeah, I don't make much sense-just another reason to go to private setting).

Friday, February 15, 2013

Changing My Blog to Private

So, in a short while I will be changing my blog to a private setting (if that is what you call it).

Honestly, right now I just need a place to write down my thoughts, even if they are completely random and don't make much sense.

I just need to write, even if it is a raw, even if it is something that I would look back on later and wonder "why in the world did I write that?"

Basically, I just need to journal; me and God and no one else right now.

Yes, I could do that on paper in a cute little journal, but I type much faster than I write-and my thoughts and feelings are many.

So, if you try to find my blog and it is says, "I'm sorry, but you are not invited to read this blog," please know that it is not something you did or that I blocked you from reading and didn't extend an invitation.

I just need to write in private. For how long, I don't know.

Yeah, I know-my possible 1 reader is suddenly sad. (but you live with me and sleep in the same bed so you already know my random, crazy thoughts)  :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

When I Can't Feel Jesus

Right now, I can't feel Jesus; His presence, His love, His care-they all seem so far away. I've listened to music over and over desperately wanting to feel and believe those words. I've prayed over and over again, although not very eloquently or precise, to feel His presence. I guess you could call it more of a mutter; my prayers that is.

This is the first time in my Christian walk that I have experienced this at this level.

Let me say this about it-

It. is. scary.

Is this it? Will I ever feel His presence again?

Oh, I know He is there. I know He will never leave or forsake me. I know He loves me-so much that this love sent Him to the cross for times such as this. I know He cares. I've taught the Bible enough to know these things.

But I guess I'm at a place where I just don't feel it.

My bones are dry, and they need life breathed into them. My heart is empty, and it needs reminders of things known to fill it up again.

The other night as I was desperately searching and depressed, I told the Other Nut that I just don't feel Jesus. He said he knew.

And he just sat beside me.

I asked him how he loves me so well, especially during this time when I feel so unlovable.

"Because God loves."

So when I can't feel Jesus, and I'm wrestling with the unknown:

The Other Nut comes in as I'm taking a bath, sobbing for relief and the presence of Jesus, and he slips his hand under the water to find mine; and he holds it, praying and crying out to Jesus for me.

When I can't muster up enough strength and courage to go to church, he tells me it's okay and that everything will be okay. Then he gently kisses me as I drift back to sleep in my despair.

Later, when I don't feel like I deserve to go to lunch with my family after church (if I can't make it to church, why should I feel like I should deserve to go to lunch?), he tells me that I'm believing a lie from the enemy.  Then, my whole family shows up with take-out just to be with me.

My daughter brings me my favorite, diet coke, sets it beside my bed and gently kisses me.

Sometimes my middle daughter, little Hazelnut, kisses me and tells me that everything is going to be okay when I'm the one that should be telling her that.

The Other Nut sits quietly beside me on the bed as I sleep, usually holding my hand or stroking my hair.

The Other Nut encourages me that I will find my way back, to not lose hope.

When I'm afraid of the health issues with my brain, he tells me he will always be around, right there for me, and that we will find a doctor that can help.

And when I can't feel Jesus:

I get an email every day that begins with "Dear God" from my best friend. It is a verse, and a prayer that my soul so badly needs. It is a prayer that brings much needed comfort. It is a prayer that brings much needed tears, because right now tears are good for my heart. They are helping to soften it.

She is standing in the gap for me 6 hours away, and I so badly long to hug her for these prayers.

And so I realized today that when I can't feel Jesus, other's are being Jesus to me.

So maybe I actually am feeling Jesus?

All of these things are just Jesus in the flesh; loving me, being with me, and caring for me.

I'm not there yet, this place that I want to be. I want to know beyond a doubt that I feel Jesus. I want to be content in the unknown, knowing Jesus holds it all in His hands.

But until then, I have people that are slowly showing me Jesus and helping me to feel Jesus.

And isn't that what this whole Kingdom living should look like on this side of heaven; others showing us Jesus, helping us feel Jesus when we can't?

So, little by little, these dry bones are finding breath again. Little by little this heart of mine is slowly filling up with the things that I know in my head, but don't feel in my heart.

And that gives me hope. I wonder what will come out of this hope?

I can't wait to see!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Darkness

When I first moved here, I felt like an Israelite wandering in the desert. I was fully convinced, just like they were, that God had moved me here just to watch me wither and die.

I wanted to go back to Egypt!

But as my time here grew longer and longer, I realized that maybe I wasn't in the desert. I mean, at least the Israelites had manna and could see God!

I didn't feel that I had either one.

I couldn't put it into words exactly how I felt until one day I was talking to the Other Nut, and he said the words for me.

I'm not in the desert after all. It's like I'm in a huge, dark room; one so dark that I can't even see my own feet. A darkness so dark, it almost seems thick, like you can cut it with a knife.

It's scary being in such darkness. I don't like that I can't see my own feet.

And I can't see God.

These two combinations make moving in the right direction kind of hard. So I've spent the last year trying to figure out where to walk. I've bumped into every wall around me as I've tried to find the light switch.

I haven't found it yet.

You know, I think it's natural to not like the dark. There is something about the darkness, that even though it doesn't affect my oxygen supply, I feel like I can't breathe. The darkness makes me want to find the light and find it quick! I don't think I naturally immediately sit down and wait for the light to come back on.

You know the dialogue. Someone sneaks in and turns out the light, and you immediately say, "Hey! Who turned off the light? Turn it back on!" And if they don't, you shuffle with hands stretched out until you find the switch and turn it back on.

"Don't do that again," you say.

But even worse is when the electricity goes out, leaving you in complete darkness that also is eerily quiet. Gone are the normal, everyday noises that fill in our day and night; the hum of the refrigerator, the constant sound of the bedroom fan, and the sound of the A/C or heater kicking on. We almost don't notice them until they are silence by no electricity. And I don't know about you, but the Other Nut and I don't just sit there wondering what happened. It is such a strange sense, that it even wakes us up in the middle of the night when it happens.

We find ourselves immediately fanning out, again with arms outstretched, searching for flashlights.

Because we like some amount light, even if it is a little bit, to help us find our way. Sitting in the complete darkness, not knowing exactly what happened is unsettling. It isn't until we have an idea of the cause of complete darkness and silence can we just sit and wait. Wait for someone to fix it and turn the lights back on.

And strangely, the resuming hums of the typically unnoticed appliances are soothing.

This darkness, the one the comes with the loss of electricity, is the one I feel. Completely dark and eerily quiet. I can't seem to just flip a switch to fix the problem. Gone are the comfortable hums of my previous life.

Dark. And eerily quiet.

And I'm waiting to hear the humming of God's voice break through in the midst of my darkness.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Crisis of Faith

They say most people have a crisis of faith at some point in their lives. I just never knew mine would come as a result from a move. I always thought it would be from something bigger. Don't get me wrong; I don't wish something bigger to happen just to justify this crisis of faith. I just didn't think that moving would be that moment for me. I know so many people that are going through far worse things than a move, and their faith still seems solid, maybe even stronger. Not to say that they haven't fought for their faith during these times. Not to say that they haven't had moments of questioning and a few choice words with God. I'm pretty sure they have.

But their faith still stands. And again, it seems even stronger.

At least they still want to go to church.

You know, having this crisis of faith come as a result of moving has left me frustrated, disappointed, guilty, and quite frankly, embarrassed at myself.

I mean really? Moving?

It's coming up on a year now. February 9th to be exact. I'm sure some would say, "Aren't you over this by now? Can't you get your stuff together by now?"

No, actually I'm not. And no, I actually haven't gotten my stuff (during this crisis of faith, I really want to use another word) together by now. In fact, my stuff seems even more thrown all around than it did before.

Because, I also thought I would be over it by now. I also thought I would have my stuff together by now.

I didn't think I would have all of these great friends and moving right along just fine, not missing so many things about home; but, I at least thought I would be moving. I at least thought that I would have an idea as to what I was supposed to be doing with my life by now.

I had no idea that I would still feel like I had very little purpose in life. I had no idea that I would carry so much guilt around with me; guilt over not being friendly enough to people here; guilt over not doing enough everyday to keep up with people back home; guilt over not having enough energy to answer and respond to every email. (My inbox has messages left unopened or unanswered, and my phone currently has 17 blinking messages that I just don't care to listen to. That's better than the 51 that I just recently listened to so hey, that's progress.)

I think of people back home and feel guilty, as if somehow I burned bridges just because I moved. I feel guilty that my faith seems so small and easily shaken by one stupid move.

Yesterday, we visited a church to hear a preacher that I have wanted to hear. I've quoted him in my teachings many times, and I got a chance to hear him yesterday. And I got a chance to hear some great worship music. I sang (quietly), and I cried.

But probably not for the reason you might think. I didn't cry, because I was so excited to be singing. I didn't cry, because I was listening to some really great worship.

I cried, because I realized that I was singing words that I'm wrestling with even believing right now. I cried, because I'm not living like I believe those words. And maybe I don't believe them right now.

Songs about blessing the Lord with my soul-my soul feels too wretched.
Songs about God constantly pursuing us, because He loves us with a constant, passionate love-I don't feel pursued.
Songs about His kindness and goodness-I don't feel them.

And the guilt was replaced with shame at these thoughts. I cried under the weight of shame, wondering if He was done with me.

Is that it Lord? Are You done with me? Do I hang up my passion in the back of my closet watching it collect dust? I would rather it be gone to have to see it when I go in there. Won't you just take it away, this passion of mine?

Shame tells me that I'm horrible, because I should just be thankful for salvation, that anything else that I desire is just being selfish. Maybe it is.

Do you remember those days? The days where you were just so thankful for being saved, because that was enough; this salvation through Jesus.

My nutcase wraps tighter and tighter around me in the form of guilt and shame. I can't breathe under the weight of them.

And I wonder if I will ever breathe again.

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