Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Warning:  This post is not my usual chipper, uplifting, see the silver lining kind of post.  :)  Maybe by the time I get to the end it will turn into that...we'll see...

I'm struggling.  Bad.  It's been a tough weekend leading into this week.  And I'm tired of struggling.  But we are not home yet and struggle is the name of the game for now.

I am single.  I am 38 years old.  I lost my mom almost four years ago.  I have no children.  I have so many dreams for what I want in this life.  However, here I sit.  At 38.  Single.  No children.  No Momma.  And not any closer to where I thought I'd be by now than I was five years ago.

This past weekend I holed up in my apartment...which I know is not smart for me to do.  Several years ago I was diagnosed with depression.  I took some medication, went to counseling and got better.  And it is something I continue to struggle with from time to time.  I have become better at identifying what sets it off, what can lead to it and what I can do to stop it when I feel it coming on.  Like NOT sit in my apartment by myself for over 48 hours straight.

The weekend started out fine.  I cooked like a Paula Deen wannabe.  I cleaned.  I did laundry.  I attempted to do homework.  And I slept.  However, as the weekend wore on, I became more and more homesick and depressed and sad and angry.  I can truly look back at my move last summer and see that God had a hand in it.  Things worked out too well for Him not to have been in control.  However, since that time, my family has been dealt some hard blows. (I've written about that in previous posts and won't rehash it here.)  And as I usually do, I play my part as the stoic one, trying to make sure everyone else is ok and keeping busy so I don't have to deal with how I feel.

See, I'm a stuffer.  I stuff feelings.  The year after my mom died, I spent almost a year stuffing down feelings.  I did whatever I could not to think about it.  And the outcome was not pretty.  So the grief process took me about twice as long as it should have.  See, feelings have to come out...either now or later.  And if they come out later it can be pretty harsh.  So all through last year, I stuffed.  Again.  And again.  And again.  And it all came rushing out this weekend.

So I sat.  I thought.  I pondered.  And I sunk deeper and deeper into the pit of loneliness, self pity, anger and doubt.  Then to top it all off, I had a dream Sunday night that I was shopping for my wedding dress with my Momma.  Talk about a punch in the stomach!  For years, while she was still living, I prayed that God would allow her to live long enough to see me married and to see her grandchildren and to see what God had in store for me.  And then she was gone.  Before any of that took place.  I was angry for a long time about that.  I thought I had dealt with that.  But after that dream, all that anger and hurt and questioning came flooding back.

One of my favorite verses is Psalm 37:4 - "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."  I have long clung to this verse.  Not in the way of "God will give me whatever I want."  But more in the way that if I live in Him and seek His way He will in His time give me the desires He has placed within my heart.  I kept reminding myself of this promise.  And I have questioned it before...but never as much as I do now.

See, life's not fair (not that you had any doubt).  It's not fair that I don't have my Momma hear to help me pick out wedding dresses.  It's not fair that idiots who abuse their children and who drive in cars without putting them in car seats and who call their children names get to have children while I sit here childless.  It's not fair that people can be on their second marriage (due to death or divorce) while I haven't experienced my first (and hopefully only) marriage.  It's not fair that people can talk about how their mother gets on their nerves while I just wish I could pick up a phone and hear her voice again.  It's not fair that I've just seen my own daddy and three of my cousins experience the same loss of their moms this past year.  It's just not fair.  And that makes me sad and upset.

Trust me.  I've heard all the pat answers.  "God will work all things out in His time."  (Yes, I know.  But this doesn't help while I sit still waiting.)  "When you stop looking, the right guy will come along."  (People come on!  Really? I haven't been "looking" for years.)  "You need to focus on what God has blessed you with and stop looking at what you don't have." (Uh, huh.)  "You can have the good memories."  (I don't want memories.  I want my Momma!).  And on and on they go.  And I, too, have been guilty of saying these exact things to other people.  But they don't help.  And my most hated phrase of all - "I know just how you feel."  Um, no, you don't.  You aren't me...so you have no idea how I feel.  Just as I have no idea how you feel.

When you are in the pit of the despair and pain, words mean very little.  What you really need is a friend to listen, to let you cry, to let you scream and to just be there.  To say "I don't have the answers.  I don't know what to say.  But I will be here to hold your hand until you get through this."  I know people mean well, but sometimes those words only make it worse. Sometimes we just need to be.  Just to sit and cry and scream and be honest with God.  Sometimes we need a "Jonathan."  My cousin, Kimmie, sent me the sweetest text today and told me to read I Samuel 18:1-3.  Jonathan loved David as he loved himself.  We all need people who love us unconditionally and who are there through the tough times.

This morning driving to work, there was thick fog everywhere.  And the songs that I kept playing over and over were Steven Curtis Chapman's "Jesus Will Meet You There" and "I Will Trust You."  And God spoke so clearly to my heart.  Just as I couldn't see the road very far ahead of me, I knew that my destination was there.  And I knew He could see beyond what I could.  And He knew where He was leading me.  But at that moment I could only go so far.  And He was willing to meet me there and guide me the rest of the way.

And that is how life is.  During this moment of struggle, I can't move.  I can't see beyond the fog.  I can't see how all of this is working out for my good.  I don't understand why God has withheld from me the things that I so deeply desire.  Not things that I want just to have.  Not material things.  But actual desires I truly believed He placed in my heart.  I know He gives and He takes away.  But I'm getting a little tired of the taking away part.  Or the withholding part.

And God understands.  Jesus will and does meet me in that moment.  In this moment.  And He asks for nothing but honesty and trust.  See I don't question my faith.  I know beyond the shadow of a doubt I have been saved by the blood of Jesus.  I know beyond the shadow of a doubt I will see my family again.  I know beyond the shadow of a doubt He is with me every step of the way.  My faith isn't what is waivering.  My doubt comes in when I think back over Psalm 37:4 and wonder why I haven't received those desires...some of which I will never receive.  I doubt that some of those promises are meant for me.  My head knows they are.  But my heart is broken and a little skeptical right now.

And that's ok.  See, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and darkness and forces of evil.  And I know this very well.  I am an emotional, passionate person.  When I feel something, I feel it with every fiber of my being.  And while this is who God made me, the devil also knows this...and he loves to torment me in this area of my life.  I guess you could say this is becoming the "thorn in my flesh" as Paul struggled with.  He begged God to take it away, but He never did.  So this battle is not against man.  It's against a force we cannot see.  And it's brutal.  And exhausting.

But we are not home yet.  We were not made for this world. And as I sit here, still struggling, still hurting, still questioning, still doubting...I know that He is here in the midst of it all.  I know that I am not ever going to be comfortable here.  And maybe that was the purpose of this past weekend and few days.

See, I'm sad that I don't have a family of my own yet.  I'm sad that my mom won't be here if I ever do get that.  I'm sad that there is so much pain in this world and I can't do anything to ease that pain.  But I'm not home.  I'm not meant to be content here.  This past weekend I so, so missed my family.  And still do.  I ached to see them and hear their voices.  I miss my dad.  I miss Bryce and Noah.  I miss everyone else back home.  I'm homesick.  But as more and more of us move from here (earth) to there (heaven), I'm becoming homesick for my real home.  Because I also ache to see my loved ones there and to hear their voices again.  And I'm so ready to see my Father and have every question answered and every doubt erased.

I'm so thankful that no matter my struggle, no matter how angry I get, no matter how I argue that life is not fair, God never waivers.  He is there, and He is faithful.  And He understands.  He can handle my anger, my questions, my doubts and even my arguing with Him.  The Bible is full of stories of people who struggled.  People who questioned.  People who doubted.  People who argued with God.  And in that, we are all kin, this human race of ours.

Will I ever get the desires of my heart?  I have no idea.  The way it's looking lately, I'm thinking probably not anytime soon.  But then I'm reminded that the greatest desire of my heart is eternity in heaven with my Savior and Father and Creator.  And that far outweighs any other desire I have.  And I have to trust Him even when I don't like where the road is leading.  Because only He can see through the fog of this life and lead me, through the struggle, safely home.

Jesus Will Meet You There

I Will Trust You

Where I Belong