0

Still Waiting

Good at waiting?

Nope. That’s not something I have mastered in my short life here on Earth. It drives me crazy, to know how incredibly calm and patient God is. Immediately, shining the light on my inability to have that kind of supernatural patience, calmness, and respect for each of our unique needs. I don’t care if I’m not ready, I just want to jump right into the middle of it all. My theory is as I run around in the circles of the chaos, I’ll eventually find where I’m supposed to be going. Sounds great eh? Not really, because I have learned through trials (ironically!) that it would overwhelm me and shut me down. It’s too easy for me to withdraw socially, and isolate myself and let myself descend into depression. I don’t want it to be an option for me anymore.  I am attempting to take the refined sugar out of my diet, which hasn’t happened yet…I am learning to fall, but to get back up and try again and again.

This story actually started in earnest probably when I was little, like so much of my story, it has a base in what I lacked. You can read about my foundational issues here.  Since my conversion in 2000, I have been waiting for 17 years to meet the man who would be my husband.

In a few months, I will be celebrating my 42nd birthday, but I never thought I would still be single in my forties. I had it all planned out in my head that I would be married long before I reached my fortieth birthday. On the brighter side, my sister arrived to surprise me for my 40th birthday. She did, and I didn’t even have any time to think because my sister knows how to keep me laughing, smiling and rolling my eyes.

Are you good at waiting?

Probably in some way you are. There’s an ebb and flow to the waiting process. Sometimes it’s hard, I mean it physically hurts and other times a peace flows because remaining in the present moment is exactly that: a present to be aware of what is going on in and around yourself. Getting orientated with your surroundings. Don’t shove me into something I’m not sure about. Just don’t do it. Waiting allows for the slow peeling of who you really are. It shows you the unpredictability of life – doesn’t it? I haven’t always made the best decisions or choices or had the best attitude about living. But I don’t want something like a lack of a husband to stop me from reaching my goal of becoming a published Christian author.

The other thing I have experienced through waiting is that I feel as if I am being punished for something I might’ve done, but it remains invisible to my knowledge. I’m not like everyone else because I am waiting for something that should’ve happened years ago. Anything can and will trigger the brokenness that I carry around in my heart with the belief that I’ve done something wrong. He won’t tell me anything except to remind me to trust and stay quiet, instead of doing what I would normally do, which is be angry and bitter. I’d rather not be constantly tossed into an unending circle of anger because that is what it ends up being.

Yes, we are all waiting for something, it might be a spouse or a healing and you don’t get the reasoning for this season of disappointment and birthdays passing by. Waiting is something that we are familiar with whether or not we believe in something greater than ourselves. But that doesn’t make it easier or does it explain the why’s. It’s this mysterious way of life that some of us have the privilege of going through. There is always the struggle between your desires and His desire in a revolving door of choices that through no fault of your own (sometimes) that can drag you down.

In the end, I am learning that not knowing the mysterious side of life isn’t a bad thing. It depends on my ability to hone the gifts He has given me and concentrate my time on who I am, in spite of what I am not in the eyes of those who put more value in appearance. It’s a token of time that I will not get back, and a place where I can decide what it will look like to me in retrospect.

 

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,

in quietness and trust is your strength,

but you would have none of it.

Isaiah~30:15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

Keeping Calm

never-be-in-a-hurry-do-everything-quietly-1

He’s in the eye of my storm. It was one of those weeks when everything seems to come colliding down like waves in an ocean. Every weakness I thought that had been healed had pushed itself back into my life. At least it seemed that way.

And wondering where God is in all of this?

I know it would be easy to say, and I have in the past thought, believed, and pouted about how God isn’t here statement. I work in a low-income housing building(s), I know not only my clients but also quite a few of the tenants that live in the building as well. It’s the perfect place to love others as Jesus teaches us to do, but the actual  act can actually look like something else sometimes.

Over the summer, both of the elevators were replaced, and we’re is still waiting for the second elevator to be inspected before it can put into service. In the waiting, there is one small elevator in service. It is here that you see some of what lacks in everyday living, namely kindness, courtesy and generosity being extended to those who need it. There were some factors that didn’t help as I was tired and peeved that I hadn’t seen my supervisor in a couple of weeks, and I was assuming that she was hiding from the clients. I was feeling frustrated at the fact the people in front of me were filling the small elevator with two grocery carts to move in. I wanted to scream, but I knew that wouldn’t accomplish anything. So I scowled at the two people who really didn’t seem to understand.

Changes coming

I don’t love my job nor do I hate it. But I have learned how important support from management is to a low-level employee, which is what I am. Nothing is all about you, and sometimes when you learn that it either perplexes you or you sigh with relief. At first, the anger I experienced when waiting to use the elevator surprised me, its intensity trembling inside of me.

He helped me to remember that he was still the eye of my storm, and he still had the power to bring the waves of contention to a stillness that most of us have never experienced. By that Friday, I finally saw [in person] and spoke with my supervisor who I had not seen in over two weeks. I don’t like just communicating by text and phone, for me, it’s not real enough. There’s this invisible screen that separates us that isn’t enough for me. As she spoke, I listened, there was no anger, in fact, and I started to understand why the state of my anger rose to such a high pitch inside of me.

Previously, my mom had reminded me that triggers that appear out of nowhere, can mean it’s just a burden for me to carry, a burden for someone else. That’s right, I was carrying someone else’s burden, but in the beginning, I didn’t realize this because it feels like mine. It’s a reminder that nothing I have or want to pocesses is mine, to begin with, and especially when something comes hurtling out of nowhere that you need to pay care.

Paying Attention

It wasn’t until I left the building with my schedule for next week that I realized that I felt free. I didn’t have the heaviness that I had carried. I could fill my lungs with fresh air and just remain little in all of this big, confused world.

0

Hindsight is Perfect

 

Michael stood in the last row on the very end in my kindergarten class picture with the biggest teddy bear. He had chocolate brown eyes, black hair that never seemed to be in place with his cow’s lick and a proverbial runny nose courtesy of his all season allergies.

He was this paradox in my life from the time I was five until I was 24 years old. He was a constant in my life. Being with Michael was always fun, especially on P.D. days. I learned how gross boys could be, but I chalked it up to boys just being weird, always dirty and entertaining. He didn’t like it when I was sick, and he would attempt to kiss me when I was feeling better. Even though I would pretend indifference as he attempted to kiss me when I felt better. I would never admit it ,but I liked that he missefile000202384719d me. I could just look at him, and that would send me into fits of laughter

In high school, we kept in touch mostly by calling each other once a week, and I think I believed everything would stay the same. But it was then that I saw changes taking place in him. Nothing concrete, but like bread crumbs being laid down, I saw, heard and sensed the confusion that slowly developed in him.

The entire time I was friends with Michael, I wanted him to notice me, but I was always in conflict with myself because I didn’t know where I stood with him. I had this bad habit of mixing his name up with my Dad’s name, and I would call my Dad; Michael. I knew something wasn’t right, but I didn’t know I was looking at Michael for what I really needed from my Dad. I knew psychology would probably explain why I kept mixing the names up. Communicating well was not in my vocabulary at this time. I kept everything locked up tight inside my head. I was quiet, shy and very observant but Michael was able to see beyond that. He would always remember me.

It wasn’t until he moved away for University that I began seeing a side of him emerge that I had never met before. He had purposely chosen a program that would take him away from home. The home was not the oasis that most would assume about his family. His parents were both teachers, and while it made for great appearance sake, things were fraying at the edges in his family.

I remember one year when Michael had come home a few days before Christmas, and of course, he hadn’t even started his Christmas shopping.   It was probably my only chance to really spend time with him. One such year, I remember as he met up with some friends and he started talking to them. It was like he pretended that he didn’t know I was standing right beside him. I had started becoming invisible to him. On reflection, I realize it had been happening longer than I wanted to admit to. I had him on such a high pedestal, I could only see his good side. There were some other situations that showed me that we weren’t little anymore. I began to doubt his loyalty and friendship to me. I even wrote him a letter at one point, about our friendship, and his solution a bouquet of a dozen red roses. At some point, I started hearing a silent voice, and I believe it was God, who spoke. “Michael is not the marrying kind.” I ignored this, but it was the truth.

Around the time of my initial conversion to Christ(1999) when it seems like God simply picked me up, and everything that I was avoiding and had suppressed was unearthed from me.  For me, that meant acknowledging my feelings. Every single one I hid from because they scared the crap out of me. It was around this time that I noticed that Michael had this friend that didn’t seem like the kind of friend Michael would normally hang with. Michael always had to work hard for his grades in school, and was in no way a nerd, but this ‘friend’ was very much a nerd. These bread crumbs that I saw while he was in high school had never disappeared.  He never stopped trying to tell me what he feared I think the most, at the time, was his sexuality.

I don’t remember the exact circumstances but I remember the age that we were when I last pexels-photo-105041saw him; he was 24 years old, and I was 23. He was four months older than me. My mom had heard the news on the radio, and a neighbour confirmed hearing his name as well. Michael had been charged with sexual assault of two young boys. I wish I could remember exactly what he wearing and looking the last time I saw him but I don’t. In fact, I don’t have a single picture of him as an adult, and I don’t think that’s an accident. I don’t remember my thoughts, but in the weeks and months ahead I experienced so much anger towards him. He had stopped being that person I thought I knew.

I don’t know where my decision to break off contact with him came from, but I knew couldn’t deal with his stuff and my stuff at the same time.  I did what I thought was healthy at the time. I told him I couldn’t be his friend anymore. I wrote him a letter. He never tried to contact me, he respected my wishes. The innocence of our friendship had faded a long time ago, but I had just assumed I would be his friend in some way for the rest of our lives. But he has never left my heart.

I always believed my heart was burning for him. I wanted a friend who would always be with me, always listen, always want and love me, but it wasn’t Michael; he was badly chipped. I wanted him to be what I needed, and if only he would truly ‘see’ me everything would be better. I pinned all of the solutions to my problems to Michael noticing me. It took a long time before I realized he was just a boy, who just wanted to be loved and accepted by those around him. Yes, he’s an adult now, but there are parts of us that never truly grow up, and stand tall to be that man or woman that we were created to be.

Published previously in 2014

Luke~24:30-32

1

Au Revior

 

SONY DSC

In my last post, I incorporated some words that had been on my prayer radar (in my journal) for some time. In my daily ongoing stuff, there are words that stay with me as I wearily walk through life. I might be wary in my path, but I keep thanking Him for the things which bump against me. Sometimes it’s the hard surfaces that ribbed us in the wrong way.

Over two weeks ago, I received email which will remain unanswered. Numerous times I have tried to explain without the anger, disappointment and hurt that I was feeling. I’m not trying to push my emotions to the situation aside, but I thought and wanted to defend what I had perceived to be wrong.

So I set off to pray about this email and ask Him how he wanted me to respond.  All I wanted to do was back off, have some time to be quiet and just be with him. Did I mention quiet? Did I mention way too many emotions to list here? No, but please be assured they all showed up.

I may have in my last post mention something about thanksgiving. As I struggled to hear the Lord, I thanked him for all that seems to be going wrong. I keep thanking him for all the things I do not like, and the funny thing is, he shows me how it is a part of his plan. I can’t see this plan, but nor do these situations seem to languish in pity anymore. My anger, disappointment and hurt remain, but of it become clearer to me, but he hasn’t provided me with any answers. Thanksgiving isn’t me being brilliant, it’s the Lord who reminded me. He’s clever enough to suggest something that yes, will benefit me but more likely in the long run glorify him. Soon in the near future, I will think back fondly to the time when my answered prayers were simply struggles. that I couldn’t  see the answer was just waiting to stand up and introduce itself.

Delighting in everything He allows to cross your path. I am seeing in my struggles that His love for me remains. It is easy to think through that we must walk through these hard times with the world’s burdens heavy on your shoulders, and yes, I will admit to having many of those days. But taking the time to stop and thanking Him for these ‘unbearable’ has increased my ability to continue on with the knowledge I am not alone. He is in charge, and my troubles don’t change that. It is why I can trust in Him, or at least start.

Of course, I am thank-full for what is good in my life and grateful for what he continues to be faithful in my life. Saying words out loud instead of letting the words bounce around in your closed mind, opens the heart to His side of things, if of course you are open to receive these blessings.

It used to be that when I wrote, it was best done when I was depressed. I don’t know why, but as an adult it has completely reversed that I am better to write when I am not down. Hindsight is great. It allows for a greater space in all the places where the hurt and sadness, the joy and peace, to converge together and I have the clarity that didn’t exist before.

 

2

You Belong Here

photo-1444703686981-a3abbc4d4fe3 (1)

 

One.

It was all I was allowed to pick after I had written a letter to my Guidance teacher detailing all the bullying from my classmates. I don’t remember how long the letter was, but I felt was at the end of my line, and I wanted – no needed to get this all out in the light. According to my guidance teacher, the entire staff meeting had been all about the letter I had written. They came (the teachers) up with one option: suspend one of my classmates in a class of 30.

All I wanted was to belong.

And I didn’t know then, but I know now that belonging meant that I could come and go as I liked. I wouldn’t have to adhere to a certain guideline for anyone to like me. I wanted friends but the kind who I could really be comfortable to be myself and to be fully in His truth of who I am.

Yet, it doesn’t seem possible when it’s only right when each gender is being treated equally and fairly. It spikes my ire because that’s not what it’s about at all. God has created each of us equally and it’s not based on our gender, it’s based on one thing: we are His children.

People complain that the Church needs to change. We need to change doctrine and dogmas that were made hundreds and thousands years ago because they’re outdated. We have to get with the program and make the Church more applicable to the 21st century.

God has blessed me to be who I am, and nothing I do will enhance or lessen it. But first I need to accept it. If I didn’t accept who I was made to be, I would still be going around in circles searching for something that wasn’t created. It’s easy to hide and press down our emotions to satisfy those around us.

 Stop.

I started looking inward, and at every step, my focus was to find out who I was. It wasn’t easy or neat. It was very painful. I learned that sometimes the only way of getting to know who I was, was to sit in the very emotions that I wanted to avoid. Yes, that meant the fear, the loneliness, and the anger because I needed to know the lies in order to know what truth was. Gradually as I learned, I found out that I wasn’t a terrible person, in fact I was an interesting person!

Whenever I get impatient with God for taking too long with me, it’s always helpful to remind myself that I am unique in His eyes. He is not finished with me because when he’s done I will be His masterpiece.

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John ~8:32

2

My Door of Happiness

 

photo-1443616527314-4fbb6da1dcf5

 

It wasn’t until this week that I felt this tug of war, this struggle between my anger and the hope God has given me for His plan. It was as if the anger was trying to squeeze out the fire of hope in my heart. At the start of the day there is a confidence in me, the day is starting out good, and that the blessings that God longs to pour on me will be received. He’s watching and waiting on me to make a decision, which will it be? Hope or anger?

In it all, I am seeing how He pursues me, searches me and seeks me and this is what makes me whole. He is never still though it does seem like he isn’t doing anything. He will fill me if I allow him, but first I must make room to for Him to dwell in me, and this happens in His pursuit.

The struggle isn’t anything new to me, but a finer awareness of what I am still choosing. There’s still this confused and angry girl in me, trying to be heard, and refusing to be told by my Father that His ways are better. I may desire what God wills for me, but it doesn’t make it any easier to tell my will that it’s time to walk down a new road. Romans ~ 7:15-20

Mostly for me it’s a choice; to stop and listen to what’s going on the inside of me. A while ago, I asked God what I can do about the anger that I felt spewing inside of me. It seemed so out of control, and yet I know that there was nothing I could do, nothing I could change except me. The Lord told me that I can accept what is before me, and I can do this through allowing His hope to penetrate the places where anger

Hope is my door of happiness.

When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed-door that we do not see the one which has been opened to us.

Helen Keller

When I first read the this quote, I quickly squashed it in my head because I had always thought that we must wait for another door to be opened, but the quote stayed with me and the more I pondered it, the more I realized about how it is God who waits for us and not the other way around.

 

4

Finding a Beat

.photo-1416838375725-e834a83f62b7

 

For some odd reason, I like telling people that I don’t remember my twenties. But most people don’t ask me why.

My simple answer is I was deeply depressed. Normally there is an ebb and flow, but I was a flatliner, and  believe me it was the grace of God that I didn’t try to commit suicide. Yes, I did have thoughts, but never to the extreme and I don’t really have the answer as to what kept me off the ledge.

I think for anyone, and anyone who in their twenties, it’s the question that begs to be asked, ‘What am I to do with the rest of my life?’ Some of us are fortunate to find our place pretty quickly, a job, a spouse, children and a house. That wasn’t the case with me, and for a lot others. When I was 29, and fearing the 30’s, and not knowing what to expect, I had two people who came up to me at two different times and tell how much  they loved their 30’s. It almost gave me something to look forward to.

It was at this point, I was on medication, so I was able to experience what normal felt like, and it was like a cool breeze being blown lightly on the inside of my heart. My heart/ my soul was thirsty and lapping up what light it could. It didn’t look so dark on the inside of me. However, the thirties were still challenging for me, it wasn’t that I got off easy because in many ways that’s when more intense healing came into my life. I can see now that, it was because I could handle more, everything has its time and place, even though we might not agree with it at first.

It certainly didn’t happen overnight, and it come with a lot of growing pains, and not to mention some really confusing situations as to how was I to handle this circumstance(s)? There is no instruction book on how to be a responsible adult, except what your parents teach you, and even that sometimes doesn’t help you out. Heck, your parents didn’t get a instructions book on how best to raise you and your siblings.

A few weeks ago, I speaking with a woman whose daughter is in the middle of her twenties. I hadn’t seen her daughter all that much since June, and I wanted to know how she was doing. Her mother shrugged her shoulders, and admitted she didn’t really know how to read her daughter, but just that she was angry. Life doesn’t turn out the way you and I imagined it would when we dreamed about it.

Our dreams our cultivated in part by the environment that we are reared up in and the culture that surrounds us. Nothing is perfect or fair about it. We make choices and in the years ahead we start to see them play out. I’ve leaned through a lot of mis -takes and that your attitude factors into a lot  of what I have learned.

In the last five years of my thirties, wisdom has been showing itself in the little things. It doesn’t push it’s lessons on you, – no, that’s for you to determine – are you going to resist, or are you going to be open to leaving your heart wide open to Him. When the burdens inside of me become too heavy and I want to disappear. I remind myself that I’ve overcome so much, and that there’s so much to come. Invite Him in and let His word touch the edges that are frayed to be healed.