Thursday, August 9, 2012

Honesty is the Best Policy...

This is going to be the most brutally honest and vulnerable post I have written so far. To be honest, I'm nervous about posting it for the whole wide world to read (not that the whole wide world reads my blog....but you get the point). But I feel like if this one post can help someone else, then perhaps some good will come out of it. So if you are afraid of things that are emotional then I suggest you go to another Internet page. Because this baby has got all sorts of emotions.

This morning I broke. I broke on Sunday morning during the alter call. And I broke again today. Sunday was one of those crying-until-you-have-no-more-tears-left sort of things and today would have been had I not been at work. Instead today was a cry-a-little-bit-and-then-fix-your-makeup-so-no-one-else-will-know kind of days. You women know what I'm talking about. You men probably think I'm crazy. I'm okay with that.

If you read my post yesterday, then you have a bit of an idea of what's going on. If you didn't read it yesterday, here is a quick synopsis: Roman was going to go back to school for one more class. We thought this was God's plan so he could get his dream job. Apparently we were wrong because he can't get a student loan and we can't pay for  school out of pocket. So now we are back to square one.

If it was just the job/class thing, then that would be fine. But there is so much other crazy stuff happening in our lives. I have had a pinched nerve in my back for two weeks now. I can't run. I can't sleep well. I can't even sit comfortably on the couch. It has gotten to be ridiculous and aggravating.

I am starting a new job in two weeks. Don't get me wrong, I am excited and happy....but I am also incredibly OCD human and I hate change. So with the excitement and happiness comes a great deal of stress. And then to top it off, I found out yesterday afternoon I have an interview for another job on Tuesday. So now I'm stressing out because I don't know what I'm going to do if I get offered that job as well. And I'm also stressing out because interviews are stressful to begin with.

On top of this, Roman and I are going to looka house on Sunday to rent. Again, very exciting, but very nerve-wracking. Mostly because our budget is going to be pretty tight if we do it unless Roman finds a full-time job soon. But it is beautiful and everything we want, which makes the decision hard.

And I totally bombed the worship service this past Sunday. Or at least, I felt like I did. I couldn't find the melody. Somehow what I practiced sounded nothing like what actually got played. So I felt like a total failure on that one. Which leaves me really nervous about this Sunday.

And then there are all the other things in life: a tight budget, a cruddy air conditioner, a dog who chewed up a pillow last night, and the fact that I ruined dinner last night. Yes, these are petty things. But petty things add up. And when the petty things add up to the big things.....well, life is just messy sometimes.

As of this morning, I was still handling things somewhat well. Until I walked back to the break area to get some coffee. I generally don't drink coffee. But I didn't sleep well last night and I needed a little bit of caffeine to keep my eyes open.

There was a co-worker back there. He pointed to my belly and asked if I was pregnant.

Y'all. I am a kind person. I am generally patient with people. But that man does not realize how close he came to being slapped in the face. I laughed it off. Got my coffee. I even talked with him like I wasn't offended at all (which was only by the strength of God). And then I came back to my desk and tried to shove everything back down. I joked with two of my friends about the comment, trying to turn it into a joke and make it not so painful. And then after about an hour and a half of trying to shove and play off the hurt, I just broke. That was the last straw.  

Life is just so messy sometimes. And Satan loves to kick us while we are down. I think it is his most favorite thing to do in the whole wide world.....kick Christians in the face while they are already down.

I had every intention of creating busy work for myself to get my mind off of everything. But somehow my hand wound up reaching for some sheets of paper and a pen. I started writing a letter to God. I normally write in my prayer journal, but I didn't have it with me today. So He got a letter written to Him on two pieces of printer paper. I felt like He wanted me to be honest. And so I was. I am so glad that our God allows us to come boldly to His throne, otherwise I'd be in a lot of trouble (Hebrews 4:16).

I rarely let anyone read my prayer journal. Even my husband. But today, I am going to post what I wrote. I am not asking for your sympathy. I am not asking for you to feel sorry for me. I am asking that if you know of someone else who might be going through something like this that you show them this post, because if one person can benefit from what I'm going through, it will make it all worth it. That is truly my intentions with this post, because I know people go through a lot of junk like this sometimes. I think a lot of times we Christians cram stuff deep inside of us and don't let others see what we are going through, and that is not good. I believe we need to let other people see our struggles so that they know they are not alone. We can't act like everything is perfect all of the time. So that is what I am doing. I am showing you guys that sometimes we get knocked down, and that is okay. Life is not always great, and that is normal....

Deep breath. Here we go.

"Lord, I am trying to hold on. But I feel my grip is weakening. I do not know what You are doing, what the plan is. My mind is so tired. I wish I could just have some time to think of nothing. Gosh, I need another cruise. Even in my sleep my mind is running! Everything feels like a hurricane. I have this interview on Tuesday. What do I do if I get the job? Which one do I choose? What about this house? Do we take it? Can we really afford it? And the worship team....are You sure I can do this? I am not so sure anymore. I'm not so sure I have the talent or the energy. The biggest question of them all.....what about Roman? Lord, I need him to find a job! I feel like I'm a terrible wife because it seems like I have so much on me. He is frustrated God. He wants to step up and support me. I am begging You to please let him!
I am so weary Lord. All of these questions, all of these uncertainties. God, I can't breathe! I just want some rest from all of this. How much longer do we have to go in this? We have trusted You. We have put our hope in You. We have been faithful to You. You have been faithful to us. I know You will provide. I just need something. Anything. Some sort of encouragement.
People tell us these Christian phrases like "just trust Him" or "He will do something in His time". I need some meat. I need something more than that. I know all of that stuff. I know they are trying to help. But that is not helping. It just makes me upset.
I feel like I'm just getting squeezed on all sides. I'm not sure there is a single area in my life where the pressure is absent. Even my stinking dog keeps eating my pillows! I mean, what in the world is going on?
I refuse to retreat. I refuse to back down. But I fear my grip is slipping. I am afraid that I am about to fall. I said I would walk through the fire. I still will. But can the heat turn down for a little while so I can get some rest? I can't even run to burn off some of this anxiety because I can't move! And then to add insult to injury I apparently look pregnant today.

I just have so much to do all of the time. And all I want to do is sleep. All I want to do is get away from it all. You have certainly taken Your lover into the desert and surrounded her with thorns. I am trying to be still so that I can hear Your voice and let You work. But I want nothing more than to break free and haul butt into the city. To just get away from all of this. But running away is not the answer. It may bring temporary relief, but it would damn my soul to hell. So I will continue trying to settle down. To not be afraid of the thorns. And then I hope to hear Your beautiful voice speak gently and softly to me. And maybe, perhaps my soul will find the rest I long for. (Hosea 2)

You are beautiful.

You are majesty.

You are faithful.

Thank You for listening. Thank You for letting me be so bold with You. Thank You for what You are doing, even though I can't see it right now. Search my heart and cleanse it. Purify any thoughts or feelings that are not of You.

My hope is in You, Lord.

I will not depart from this path You have laid before me.

I am trusting in Your faithfulness.

And I will, as patiently as possible, wait for Your Hands to guide us to the next step.

Hedge us in. Shield us from any attacks. Purify our marriage. Grow our love for each other. Keep us on the right track so the enemy has no room in our marriage. And Lord, give him some strength and peace as well.

I love You. We love You. You are good. You are mighty so save. You are faithful. You are our King. You are our Lord. Thank You."

So that's it. I basically threw up all of my emotions onto two pieces of paper. In the middle of a work day. And that's okay. It is totally necessary sometimes to come boldly to the throne of God and tell Him how you feel. He doesn't want a fake relationship with us. He wants all of us....the good, the bad and the ugly.

No, I did not hear a loud booming voice from heaven after I finished writing this. No, my back did not suddenly get healed. No, Roman did not get a phone call with a job offer. But yes, I do feel a little bit better after spilling my beans to God. Yes, I do feel like He heard me.

And for now, that is enough. Because I know the troubles in this life are only temporary. And I know that God is working and moving, even though I can't see it right now. And I do feel like there will be a relief coming soon. I know He will not make us wait forver. 

Life is awfully messy. A lot of churches speak a lie that goes something like this: "Become a Christian and all your problems will be solved." That is simply not true. Sometimes I wonder if being a Christian and running after God gives you more problems in this life. BUT, being a Christian gives you a strange peace and strength to run through the fire that you would never have if you weren't running after God. There is a strange peace that comes with not knowing what in the world is going on, because in your heart you know that God has it all under control. Because He does. He names the stars and knows every creature that breathes. And He holds each of our little lives in His hands and weaves us into His plan. So even though me and Roman's lives are every bit of the definition of chaos right now, I am strangely okay with it. I will have emotional break downs sometimes. We all will. But at the end of the day, I am okay. We are all okay.

So for all of you out there that I know are going through similar junk in your is okay. It is okay to have a complete crying break-downs at work. It is okay to write or speak to God and let Him know how you feel. But once you get it out, keep pressing on. I will not lie to you, it will be hard. It will be messy. And you will be tired....but He's got you. He's working. Even when we see nothing and we feel nothing, He's still working and He's still there. Rest in that knowledge. Go get some coffee and settle in, because He's crafting a story out of our lives that is truly out of this world. And that's pretty cool.

I will leave you with one of my most favorite sections of verses out of the whole Bible. A true comfort at times like these....

"That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."                                             ~Matthew 6:25-34

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