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A Heart Pursued

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Hope has two daughters; their names are Anger and Courage.Anger at the way things are, and the Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.

St. Augustine of Hippo

This is my third or fourth attempt at starting this post. I know what I want to say, but I don’t really. I know how I have been feeling the last week, I want to convey that but  my internal editor walks in and crosses it out. I want perfection, but I know that wanting it will not solve a single thing, and besides I do not like the word, perfect. Okay, let’s go for clarity.

Sabotage

The slow burn of remembering and feeling the unworthiness of my being keeps coming up. Somehow, it has slipped into little

crevices and cracks in me. Instead of allowing blessings and light, I pushed them aside, convinced that I don’t deserve what I want. So why does He grants this same desire to others when I know I am not the only who has deemed herself otherwise.

The only hold out is my permanent vocation. Maybe this isn’t important, but I don’t have peace about where I am. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been single so I am not saying it is the worst thing in the world – that it is not. It’s hard, at least for me, to truly find firm footing in this world as a single. I think there’s this under current that doesn’t know how to truly embrace the notion of singleness because it doesn’t include having flings with that friend who is armed with benefits. Maybe it is the hope of something more, the dance inside of me that though fades with time leaves its lingering aroma. A calling card of sorts from the Holy Spirit.

Ever since I can remember I have loved words, and I would space providing would write anywhere. It’s been a long road, and I don’t see it coming to an end anytime soon, as I’ve only started writing my novel. It’s not my first attempt at writing a novel, but this time I know it’s different because I plan on finishing this novel, no, it won’t go to the bestsellers, but I am going to write novels until I believe I am ready to approach my way to publication, and in the process realizing a long-held dream. Here’s a perfect example of where for years, I didn’t think I was worthy enough to write and pursue my heart desire. It’s taken a while to believe that yes, I  do have a talent for writing!

Yes, being single is easy because you don’t have the all pressures of being in a relationship that is til death do you part. I don’t know all the pro’s and con’s. All I do know is I expected to get married like everyone else, but the reality is the Lord has never allowed me to part of the ‘popular group’. I can stomp my feet all I want but it won’t help me. I have tried different avenues in my desire to be married, and all it does is frustrate me.

Or maybe I am attached to the idea of my happily ever after?

Maybe I don’t even believe that the Lord has someone for me, maybe I’ve just gotten tired of waiting on something that I don’t know will ever materialize. I don’t know how to pray for something that seems impossible. All I want to do is let go and move on, but what happened to the happily ever after, and is it still possible despite trying to push that nagging hope that is locked inside of me.

The quote that starts out this post comes from a book that I have yet to start, but this quote really intrigues me. I have the anger, but I don’t yet have the courage. It could be as simple as having that courage to keep praying for my heart’s desire to be filled.

 

 

 

 

 

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3

Seeing Double

photo-1429637119272-20043840c013 Last Friday, I left my wallet at the Library. It wasn’t until I got home that I discovered that I didn’t have my wallet with me. It was confirmed by the message that the guy from the library left. If I could’ve hurled blood-curdling screams I would’ve, but I do have neighbours, and I didn’t want them to think I was off my rocker. It didn’t help that I was already mad at the receptionist when I went to go pick up my paycheck. I don’t know if she didn’t listen to me, or couldn’t hear me. It was a bad scene inside my head. It was already not the greatest week for me, my clients were all doing things that well, according to my supervisor could easily boot them off the schedule. I have a bad habit of measuring my worth by what the popular group is doing, and lucky for me there is a plethora of triggers just waiting to be used. But lately the Lord keeps bringing up this subject of worth in my life, and as much as I would like to press next, I just don’t think this is going to happen. When the Lord wants something, He usually gets it. I don’t have an exact marker of when it began, but I figured that I could stop the pain that I felt, the pain of rejection, of not knowing if I was loved. Today, I know it’s better known as a defence mechanisms, but I thought it was taking care of myself when no one else knew that I needed help. If I could keep myself hidden, and no one problems then everything would be good. Right? Not so much I have discovered. I fed myself messages that I thought would help me get through the day, words that would deflect the loneliness, anger, frustration, whatever emotions held me captive that particular day, week or month. It’s starting to back fire on me. On the way back to the library, I tried ignoring the pain caused by the blisters caused by the constant rubbing of skin and leather. It’s not the sandals fault, in fact, these are not those cheap ones that you would expect to cause blisters. No, I am not breaking them in – I had them for a few years. Nor were they cheap.  I could’ve before put some band-aids on the open and oozing blisters, but I decided that the pain wasn’t that bad, and besides I was used to it. Afterwards as I took the time to put some plasters on them, I felt immediate relief. At the time, I was angry and I was determined to show myself no mercy. But underneath it I think God is trying to show me the possibility of more, something a lot better than what I have been forcing on myself. There’s several sides to me depending on who I am with. It started because I didn’t know I could feel certain emotions against people I believed I was to love. I was never encouraged to take care of myself, and I’m not blaming anyone but myself because only I know what I need. My needs have a voice, and one of them is knowing that I am worth it, that I am not this terrible person that I have told myself for years. A big part of the problem was I didn’t know who I was in Him. Didn’t know that I am all the things and more that I have always wanted to be. I don’t know the ‘more’, and that’s for God to disclose at His pleasure, and that is one of my weakness. I’m afraid that there isn’t anything, that it’s just space. That space is where the darkness pervades and eats up the light where God is and is waiting for me to tell my’ bullies’ to get lost. You see he’s given me what I need to get rid of the ‘bullies’, I can believe the lies or I can focus on the truth, hope and love that he has given me. I can blame the depression or I can renounce the belief of the lies that I have believed for so long. But the Lord seem to be saying to me, “That’s enough.” Enough of what? Denying His birthright in me, His plans for me,(Jer~29:11-14) I don’t have to go between two personalities, two beliefs because the one that God has given me is full of His life.

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Remember Who You Are

 

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Breathe.

It’s something we take for granted, something we forget that it’s an action that keeps us alive. Remember every inhale and exhale involves the scared. Simple actions can create triggers inside people and without realizing it, they let go of who they are.

I am worthy.

My sister instructed me to repeat those words, I just wanted to talk and she just wanted to be the good sister that she is to me.  It was all coming back and how, I did feel unworthy of so many things. Ask and it shall be given to you. Matthew~7:7    I didn’t ask, but it didn’t mean it wasn’t in my heart, and of course, He knows our thoughts, desires, wishes for He desired them first.

I don’t want her to talk so much, but she was trying to show me through the experiences she went through that she undersands me. I forget sometimes that she grew up with me. I realize how little I knew of who she was growing up. She remembers things about me that I did and now I do not remember.

A fire has been lit in her, and for every situation that is beyond her control, she surrenders to her Lord. Yes, she is His, just as much as He is hers. Never would I imagine that I would be about learning how much I can trust her. He is faithful and trustworthy in all things.

She did listen but not as silently as I had wished, hoped or would’ve tried to control. As I struggled to listen and wonder what relevance her experience(s) had to do with my situation. I closed my eyes and breathed.  Silently You drew out what you needed to tell me, and everything came rushing forward to me. Incidents that happened over a week and a half ago, suddenly lay naked in front of me. The pain I refused to let go of didn’t pierce my heart anymore. The pinch lessened as my understanding expanded in my heart, and the anxiety,doubt and anger dissolved.

Put on a Pedestal

No I’m not on a pedestal, but I put someone else who is a sinner just like me in that position. I don’t know all her struggles or triumphs, but from where I stand, sit or lie, her vantage point of view is better than from where I am standing. I will never know everything about her, but I have been focusing on what she has, but not on what she lacks. What she lacks, I have in an abundance, and what she has, I don’t know if I’ll ever have.

I love words, which probably explains my love of reading and writing. I like letting words work themselves all around in my head, and I silently say each syllable. I repeat this word as one would chew on their food. How do I feel about it? What does it remind me of ? What colour is it? Maybe what I lack is a gain, a reward that will continue to bloom in my life until it has been exhausted. When it is gone, I will go back and remember who I am, and I will remember to breathe.

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Pieces

Big moments of panic are overcoming me, so I light a candle with the intentions and praying that I can leave all ‘icky’ feelings at the foot of the cross. Trying to remove myself and finding a place to pray, trying to find ‘my mountain’ in my small place.

My order and structure side of me is starting to overtake, and a blip of my perfectionism is barking out orders to everyone who will listen. Signs of Spring have leaked into the air, and I stand still wishing to be a part of the silent, but everything has slowed. Silence doesn’t seem to offer what it once did.photo-1416339134316-0e91dc9ded92

Order doesn’t not exist in the way I want it to, but more like a haphazard way, and sometimes staying in my emotions provides a way back to peace. It  is calm before the storm because in the far distance I can hear rumbling thunder. Wind swishes through the branches, through the leaves and He is the master pruner taking what is His.

When I was diagnosed with Depression, I felt as if I was being forced into something that I didn’t want, and God probably saw(and sees) it as his child(once more) resisting His wisdom. Learning to realize the fear I experienced came from my thoughts. My reactions and perspective on life, generally was how I received things. I learned to breathe, to repeat calming words to reassure myself that I was safe.

Perspectives differ and it is then that I realize how fragile relationships really are. The lines that are drawn in the sand, and it is too easy for those safeguards to disappear. Walking on a tightrope through others has lent to me the ability to stay clear of unseen dangers up ahead.

Dreams have let you and me down, and we unconsciously followed the movement to where we are now. The waves of sadness, fear, anger, hurt and envy twirl in amongst the forced life we thought was what we wanted.

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Winding up Your Rant

Do you trust in God?

I know without even asking that yes of course you do. I mean why43e39040 wouldn’t you? You pause in your answer, and maybe there is something slinking in the background that makes trusting a little shaky? A dark shadow that doesn’t want the light to shine on the problems that it is entangled with the question, can I trust in You. I tell myself it is a better and safer option to just trust in myself because I know I can get it done in a timely manner.

I have no problem believing that God is my provider, and is providing me with everything I need. I see proof of this every day. Do I trust the Lord with every aspect of my life? Maybe I do, and probably I don’t.

It’s easy to make decisions that push the Lord to the next country, continent, planet …

The other morning, I ranted all my thoughts down and then it was my intention to send it off to my Spiritual Director. Lately, certain things said to me have been triggering thoughts and it has a tendency to wreck my thought process. After I decided not to send the rant, I had a nap, and then afterwards I re-read the rant. Below each paragraph I would jot down a couple of thoughts relating to that particular section.

Resistance

I haven’t dealt with this word for a while. I guess another good word would be distraction. Do you like distractions that help you not deal with what is in front of you? On the other hand, do you love a good challenge? Just like my mixed temperament of melancholic/phlegmatic, I can picture myself balancing myself back and forth on my feet as I bump my boxing gloves together letting my opponent across from me know that I am ready for whatever he/she throws my way. Today I will deal with this and tomorrow I will pretend that I don’t have a single problem!

What do you normally do when you resist to letting God enter a situation in your life? Eat chocolate, stop paying your bills, or skip out on your children?

First of all, I don’t sit down or write out a formal invitation, He just seems to get entangled in all of my goop – and no I don’t mean Gwyneth Paltrow’s website. It is icky, sticky, and smelly. How do I know this? Well, no one, and I mean no one wants to deal with anything that is considered goop. It’s uncultured and that means I have to wash my hands, fix my hair and change my socks! Things like my emotions are goopy like the gunk in the corner of your eyes. So let me explain, first you have fear, but fear is only the beginning because it’s the pathway to the anger that you’ve been hoarding in your closet for years. Anger is just the screen door in the summer kitchen because once the summer winds down, you’ll have to enter into the kitchen where control is waiting for you to acknowledge that you can’t put your trust where it’s appropriate – in Him.

Control

It’s not a favourite topic of mine, it’s just that it’s been taking up too much space in me and it is time for it to find another place to inhabit. Something like across the city would be preferable to me.

I’ve been having problems with feeling dizzy lately, and I’ve been avoiding calling my doctor. My doctor, God love him, loves to ask question, and lots of them. That’s how control seizes you and you start seeing things that aren’t really there, again convincing yourself that you can only trust in yourself. Yes, the bible says you can put your trust in God, but sometimes you need to experience it for yourself that He is. Everything you do is in process of becoming who you are in Him, not outside of Him. Instead allowing His plan for your life to come to fruition and making a way for it.

 

 

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Let’s Begin!

It’s official!

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I have started my journey, well it began when I was born, but the no longer knowing which way to go was initiated quietly. This month I have griped, complained, screamed and given up altogether. When I saw the quote below something seem to nod inside of me. Maybe I am beginning to retain that I am not the one in charge of my big adventure: The universe is bigger than I thought and no I am not descended from the stars.

When we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.
Wendell Berry

The air I breathe is hot and dry. The thoughts running around in my mind blame me for not being more disciplined, kind, thoughtful and strong. It’s as simple as needing a word of affirmation from my supervisor, who in a straightforward manner has never told me that I am a good worker. Each day, I set out to do my best, and every day the Lord challenges me to go one step further to give His best to the clients, to give my all to him.

“Christ with me
Christ before me
Christ behind me
Christ in me,

A few weeks ago, the words of Isaiah 30:15-18 wandered into my heart, reminding me that I am to be quiet and trust in Him because that is where my strength comes from. Don’t be the wild horses that Isaiah warns the Israelites about because His graciousness won’t come near, and or allow the graces to trickle down on them. Instead they will rage, which leads them around in circles in an aim to find something that will calm the fire that is burning in their souls.

Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,

Maybe it’s just the January blah. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to spend time in a place that was near to the warm sun, blue skies and clear blue waters. I’ll have a drink of Pina Coloda with one those little pink plastic umbrella’s floating around in sweet frothiness.

No, I don’t think that will solve my problems except prevent the inevitable, which is something I am learning about in trying to discipline myself through doing the things I don’t want to do. Fours years ago, it wasn’t like this, but truthfully, I don’t remember how it was or if it really was a concern for me.

Prayer is normally what upheld me, but it didn’t in the beginning, and as time continued, it kept falling and falling until it was broken. My  prayers, which I claimed was how I ‘breathed’ disappeared into some kind of far away land that sucked it out of me. I can’t ever go there. I didn’t even know if I believed that God answered prayers.

Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,

The almost physical sense of God passed into oblivion, and a silent, invisible guidance has replaced its place inside of me. Even that definition doesn’t do it justice. His being resides inside of my soul, and he doesn’t demand control over me. Stay where you are because he will come for you. He will not forget his promise, unlike us who promise but seldom deliver. Comfort is easing itself back into my life, but there is still much work to be done.

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Rule of Life

St. Benedict is known for many things, but it’s his Rule of Life that he wrote for his religious community that is most familiar to me. My Spiritual Director suggested that I construct my own Rule of Life. Something that will and can lead to my heighten awareness of Him in my everyday life.

Christ in every eye that see me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.”

– St. Patrick

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Everything I Have is Yours.

 

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For every wild animal of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. Ps ~50:9

 

In the parable of the prodigal son, I have always identified with the older brother. At first, I didn’t know why, and even a few years ago, my sister made the comment that she had always felt that I was the older sibling. I felt vindicated, when she made that remark because it confirmed what I had always felt. It wasn’t because I was always telling her what to do – no, it was quite the opposite.

I am reading a book called, Unbound by Neal Lozano, that I am reading with a friend, and at the end of each chapter, we discuss what was impressed upon us. So far, I have finished reading up to chapter three. In this chapter, Lozano speaks about the story of the Prodigal Son, and his perspective on this parable. The Spirit was able to show me things I had never considered or been open to before.

The parable aptly demonstrates the Fathers love for his children who have gone missing, and who have left His pasture to pursue their own passions. The younger son knew what he was doing in leaving to do what he desired. He wanted to exercise his independence from his father, but living a life apart from the Father, he found didn’t fill his cravings the way he had hoped, but realizes he is empty without his Father.

Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard the music and dancing, and he called one the servants asked what this meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come and your father has killed the fatted calf because he has received him safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. Luke ~15:25-28 NRV

Pride doesn’t like celebrating anything that doesn’t put itself first. I was convinced that the Lord didn’t see me the way I wanted to be seen. As part of His family, I am called to rejoice in my brother and sisters victories in Christ. Instead, I was stuck in bitterness, control, fear, etc. All I could see growing up were the gifts that others had, but I refused to acknowledge the gifts He had graciously given me. The graces He was waiting for me to open up and discover but wasn’t because of my inability to receive His love. Part of this may have been that my earthly father never invited me experience life; he was content to watch from the sidelines. He refused to open his heart to receive, but in doing so, I learnt that it was good way of pushing the things aside I wanted away until I didn’t think they mattered to me anymore.

His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have served you and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’ Luke ~15:28-30

Rejection. Jealousy. I thought had prepared me for life, but I had only gained the ability to hide in my anger and fear. The Father called out to me, but I didn’t know how to respond to His love that he lavished on me as a child and now as an adult. Learning about the amount of control l had allowed in my life has shown me how many times I haven’t done His will because I was busy doing my own. As a result, many of my past choices came from a place of anger – venomous anger deep inside of me. All the while I believed that I was trying to be obedient, but I was probably being (without wanting to) disobedient. I didn’t understand why it always seem to rain on my parade, but I had already created an image of what I thought my heavenly father was doing to me.

And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.’ Luke~15:31

More than ever, I am discovering He is always with me. No matter the situation. Instead of pushing away his affections for me, I am trying to be genuine towards them – welcoming them into my heart. It wasn’t with open arms in the beginning, but through plenty of stumbling and fumbling, I am standing taller in my knowledge of His dynamic presence in me. Not everything we want and what He wants to give us is the same. Most of what He wants to give me is not what I would expect, or when I want it. I am truly starting to live in the life that I think and hope speaks more of Him and less of me.

It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this brother was dead and is alive; he was lost, and is found. Luke ~15:32