Monday, September 8, 2014

Hard Stuff

I keep coming back to my blog thinking, "Today is the day. It's going to happen. I'm going to write something and it will be profound!"

Instead, I stare at a blank page and see white space while thoughts of this and thoughts of that squabble for preference like kids in the back seat of a car, each one wanting to sit here or there and not one of them getting their way. Yep. It's been like that. FRUSTRATING.

Yet I keep coming back hoping that something stirring in me - something significant will push it's way to the forefront and just overtake me like a toddler's hissy fit! ...but in a good way - a productive way - a way that leaves you, the reader going, "WOW! You've gotta read this!" I know. STRE-----TCHING.

But all I've got is what I've had all year - weariness, exhaustion and the attention span of a nat! How's that for profound? Hello! Are you still there? Just checking because I probably would've stopped reading at around the second paragraph. 

In truth, this year has been one of the most emotionally and relationally challenging years I have had in a while. The sheer mental capacity I have had to engage in has been staggering. Before I go further, let me just say that it's all been good. I've had some extremely difficult conversations where I left knowing, deep down in my knower, that our relationship would never be the same. It would be better than ever!

Yet, the amount of work it took to get me to have those conversations, the emotional and spiritual preparation involved has been some of the hardest work I believe I have ever done for myself. MYSELF. Yes, I did this for me. 

I put myself through sheer agony for the sake of just a tiny bit more of relational and emotional maturity. Crazy, huh? It is, only if you are used to shallow, inauthentic relationships. I've had those. I'm not interested. I want something more and I want to be more. So for the sake of relationship, I needed to address some issues in me, in my relationships and more importantly in my relationship with the Father. 

Wow. That one was the hardest and I didn't see it coming. I'm pretty honest with the Lord about my stuff. I say what I feel (respectfully) because I figure he knows it all anyway. How silly to withhold from him what he already knew even before I did! 

But, whew doggie! When that gate opened and I was really honest with him about what I had been feeling, I almost feared for my life. Could I honestly take anymore emotional outbursts? Do I dare say what I think I might be feeling about what I've been experiencing these past few months? Not that he can't handle it but I DON'T THINK LIKE THAT, or perhaps maybe I do. I've just refused to admit it. That's probably closer to the truth.

Even then, outburst and all, getting that stuff out in the open did something amazing. The frustration I had been feeling which had been seeping out onto others and showing up in other less desirable ways, slowly began to melt away - not all in one day. No, that would've been nice, but over the next few days I simply felt different, less burdened and agitated. My attention span is still that of a nat but if you lived in my head you would understand, with all the balls I'm juggling up there and ideas drifting in and out from the nether regions and beyond... It's truly mind-boggling how I manage to dress myself everyday! Maybe that's why I pick out my clothes for the next day on the night before. See. Rabbit!

Pouring out all that stuff before the Lord, just letting it all go not sure of what would come out was scary and yet liberating. He's a BIG God! He can handle our frustrations, disappointments, fears, struggles and whatever else we can throw at him.

He's also a loving God. I remember him asking me, "Cheryl, what's really going on? What is it you're afraid to say?" I don't remember much after that. Thankfully!

Why is it we are afraid to say the hard stuff? What makes us think that if we keep it all inside it will just go away or maybe get better? Those are lies - big ones that cause us to hide a part of ourselves away from others, from ourselves and most importantly from the Lord. We're asking him to mold us into the image of his Son, but when he gets to that one little room in our hearts, we can't quite seem to find where we put that key. Hmmm... Odd isn't it? 

I've said some hard things this year, been through some hard experiences, had some hard conversations, looked at some hard places in my life and as difficult as all of that has been, for all the anxiety I've experienced, for all the tears I've cried and nights I've spent trying to figure it all out; I can say that I would do it all over again - every single bit because I. Am. Different. I'm not who I was on January 1, 2014. I've not arrived but I am still on the journey and making headway. I'm still exhausted. I am mentally and emotionally spent, at least until the next crisis comes along and God proves to me that I have way more in my emotional, spiritual and physical tank than I am willing to admit. I have seen Jesus show up for me in the midst of struggle. He has been present in my anguish and faithful in my weakness. Why on earth would I give up now?

Well would you look at that? I guess I did have something to say after all.

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord 
in the land of the living. ~Psalm 27:13