For a while now I've been trying to put into words why I've been away for so long. This year has been long and lean for me. In terms of seasons, I'd call it a hard Winter. My posting was scarce because I didn't know how to talk about it. I just couldn't find all the right words. Fact is, I'm still wrestling with that.
About 30 weeks ago, give or take, I started a process of digging and dredging up wounds and hurts and bringing them to Jesus. The work has been both grueling and beautiful. It's been both ugly and a buoy. I'm learning how to pray in a way that brings those parts of my heart and my sin to the cross. In alot of ways, before going through this tunnel, those were just words. Now they are life.
The setting was a small group of women. Strangers at first, friends at last. There could be no other way for me except to walk this out in a public way, having to be seen and known. By people. The risk was high because what was seen was difficult to show, but Jesus gave strength for the journey and continually showed me that great grace was (and is) covering me. Being found out turned out to be freeing. [I've exhaled a bunch this last few months.] I think I'll be treasuring this time for years and years and years. I imagine myself sitting with some of these women in Heaven, talking and laughing about this time, hearts bursting with thanks and love. Seeing it my mind, it makes me smile.
Over the course of my life, I had set up memorial stones in my heart. Most of them places I held onto to remember against God. Places he left me unprotected, prayers unanswered, disappointments and hurts piled one on top of the other, forming a heavy rock in my heart and fake smile to hide behind on my face. Because I didn't want to talk about it. I wasn't sure how to talk about it. How to tell people that "I'm so mad at God." I spent the last year talking about that, telling on myself and exposing my ugly. I spent a year being publicly angry, in a bad mood, wondering if it would ever lift. The hard part wasn't being mad because I'd been raging for a really long time anyway. The hard part was having to let people see that I was so angry and so broken in so many ways. One of the most valuable things I learned, and there are many, is this: I can be where I am, without pretense, without falseness, and I'm learning to be where I am without despair because I'm learning that my pain and my being in a "bad" place is not a death sentence, and it's not something I did wrong. I'm learning to take my grief and bring my lament to Jesus, and let him have it. Uncensored. I'm learning to pray prayers with teeth.
This year, the Holy Spirit has put his finger on many things. One of the most recent is expectation, and how my expectations have been my undoing, the thing that has robbed my life right out of my hands. The thing that has rendered me incapable of enjoying what I have, unable to see past what I thought my life should be like.
I turned 30 this year. We reached 8 years in our marriage, and this marks my 10th year of being a believer. Big milestones, and each one came heavy-laden with life-long expectations of what I thought my life should look like by now. My hopes and my reality didn't meet, and I hit a low, the likes of which I've not seen in years. Going through this tunnel, orchestrated by God, my life went dark and the pain only increased, and I became even more angry, more sad, more crushed, but I pressed in and pressed on, and now I'm seeing alot more light. I'm seeing myself being changed, inch by inch, and I don't feel so hopeless anymore.
Something I'm yearning for right now is to find my own voice, especially here, writing out my life and my heart. I've wrestled with insecurity and it's caused me to walk with a limp. I've wished to be wise like ___, witty like ___, funny like ___, popular like ___ and warm like ___. I've struggled, feeling like my voice wasn't good enough. Those fears have crawled all over my skin... thinking myself not enough, and hating the obsessiveness of searching for earthly fame. So I'm purposing to not slip back into that place. To not try to cover myself with that protective shell, but to instead look to Jesus to tell me who I am... that I don't have to seek fame here when Heaven already knows my name. When I really see that, that really is enough.
When I was in my 20s I envied people in their 30s because they seemed to hold something that slipped through my fingers. I had no idea how they got there, but I knew for sure that I wanted it, and wanted it bad. Even now it's hard to articulate, but I think what I was vying for, was that they knew who they were and they were just being that. I think I'm getting there.
I think I'm getting there.