musings on life, love, and the world in general

“Broken Together”

I was listening to the radio today, and this song came on. It has always sounded so pretty, but for the first time I listened to the words. It is so relevant to what has been such a theme for me in the past couple of years. I am realizing that being broken is not all bad as long as you have someone to walk with you in that brokenness. I have felt for so long that I had to do it all alone. That there was no one really to walk with me in my pain, in my need. I know I have God, I know this beyond a doubt, but the need for community, for companionship is strong. The desire for others to step into the messiness with you and help you to glue all the broken pieces back together is undeniable. Maybe all the pieces do not come back together perfectly, but the repairs make me unique and somehow stronger.

I have someone who is here for me. He wants to hold me together, to offer to spot me when I am afraid to do it alone. It is hard to let him, to trust he won’t drop me. To believe he will reach in at the right moment and give me the support I need. The amazing thing is, that he wants to try, and even more amazing is that I want him to try too. I want to let him spot me. I want him to even knowing sometimes he is going to miss me and I will fall. The best part is, he will be there to pick me up and dust me off when I do.

This one is for you…

m

This Says It All

11081138_886800178029011_2959046100006842002_n

Right now I am obsessed with finding just the right eyelash primer. Yes, it is important, I tell myself as I read yet another web posting the best-selling eyelash primer of 2014. I read the reviews and am still undecided. So, I go to Ulta yet again, and buy another tube of eyelash primer, just to see if this one is better than the one I got the day before. I mean really, I want to know just how long I can get my lashes to look without the help of falsies. At this moment in time, it seems that there is not a question in the world that needs answering more than this.

As I run around busying myself with the mundane I wonder what it is that I am avoiding. My world is really full of wonderful things, I am finding a sense of fulfillment with God that is better than I have ever known, my heart is full to the brim. So what is making me want to shop till I drop for eyelash enhancers? The question runs around in my makeup filled brain. Well, it is not that filled with makeup, just partially.

As I was in my group on Monday night when it was my turn to speak I could not stop crying. As I talked about the things that I have been through over the last 10 years I could not stop the tears from steaming down my cheeks. There are five of us in my group, two men and three women. They are kind and compassionate, the type of safe environment that accepts my tears and allows me to just be me. I heard the pain, I am not quite sure what it is all about, but as I calmed I felt the hurt still sitting there, in that hollow place in my chest. It was lurking, waiting to burst out at another convenient welcoming time. The drive home was with my husband, Jim, and as we talked, the tears slipped over my cheeks. I talked with him about the fears I have, the fears of my illness coming back, of being sick. It reminds me of how ill I really was, of how I did not feel like I was allowed to really tell people how bad it was, of not really even knowing it myself. I finally know how bad it was, now that I finally feel so much better.

I read about a woman who was feeling bad of and on for some time and  went to the doctor because she was feeling a “little tired”. She told the doctor it would come and go. The doctor told her she had a severe case of mononucleosis. She was shocked, questioning the findings as she did not really feel that bad. But she went home and followed the doctor’s orders and finally got better over time. She said when she was finally well, she was shocked by how good she felt, it made her realize how sick she really was.

That was me only multiplied. As I look back over my lengthy illness, I see it slowly became who I was. It changed not only my energy level, but my physical body, my mental and emotional state and even the way I looked. It was so gradual that no one even saw the major transformation, and the things that I did know, and see, were discounted as aging or some other excuse. The failing of all parts of my being sucked me dry, and as I became less able to function, my sense of value, of who I was and why I mattered also withered.

I have been spending some time working on photo albums that cover the span of years during my illness. I see the change, the gradual and progressive change in the person caught in the lens of a camera. Caught in that picture and caught in a whirlwind of something that was slowly making me into someone I did not know. As I gradually recovered, started getting better, the illness played games with me, just when I thought it was over I was no longer in remission. So the game of finding the right medication, the right combination of drugs to keep me well began. That has lasted over two years, until finally the FDA approved a drug that is just for what I have. I started twice daily shots about 6 months ago. It is very expensive, making me wonder how much I am worth. It would seem a lot, and I am grateful for insurance each day.

As I become more comfortable with being well (it scares me just to say well) I need to feel the fear and process it. I understand that I have been sick for such a long time and it is something that is hard to let go. I want to embrace life and not run from it. I want to make a difference. To tell others what a person can go through and come out better because of it, in spite of it. I want to have this time of wellness and live in it, but I am afraid it may not last. Perhaps that is what makes a person really live each day to the fullest. The reality that this day may be the best one they ever have. What a shame it would be to waste the best day ever.

m.

True Love

Can God really fill me up? Can He give me enough that I am made whole in ways that are at once profound and relevant. I believe He can. I have been through a journey of transformation for some time. Searching for what was missing and have found I was what it was.

I have been married for 21 years, and the man I married chose to move into a career in the ministry at about year eight. He said he felt called to do this, and I believe he was. I got to witness the journey as my husband and I found a church together that we liked. We attended irregularly but liked it and trusted that God was real and Jesus was the savior. It became so much more important as we had children and we wanted to pass this growing love for God to them. We had a pastor at our church that we loved as well. He was dynamic and well liked. However pastors are known to move on, and he did. This was about the time when my husband was asked to be a leader in our church. It is a position called Elder, and while we searched for a new pastor, the Elders were very busy helping to fill the role of the missing pastor. We also started attending a wonderful small group Bible study right around the same time and it was amazing. All the aspects of our faith were becoming such a huge part of both of our lives and I felt the love for and of God filling all the nooks and crannies of my being.

When I think of the transition and how I watched my husband change, I attribute it to his being faithful about reading God’s word, the Bible. He began reading it daily and did not miss a day. He was learning and growing in his faith in trans formative ways. The change came to a head when in a class and he was asked to name what he would do for God if he knew he could not fail. He wrote the words “become a pastor”. This was a true moment of telling God “Yes”. I watched Him say yes to God, when it would have been so much easier to say no. I watched him change and grow into a husband that was truly a man of God, a man that loved his Lord. It was a gift.

We had recently purchased a home that I never wanted to leave when he felt the tug on his heart for God, to follow God wherever, and I did not hesitate to say yes too. Yes to my love and to my Lord. It was a moment that changed the life of not only myself and my husband but of our two small daughters who are now PK’s (preacher’s kid’s). A title which has yet to kill them.

As that journey began it seems that I began to lose myself, that the joy of the Lord faded from my heart and I began to just hang on while we moved on from one phase of the journey to the next. I forgot to keep doing the things that connected me to My Lord. I forgot that when you do not spend time with someone, you forget who they are. The longer you stay away, the less you remember what it was you liked, what you loved in the first place. That is a dangerous place to be in a life of faith. God is not someone I want to leave behind.

The next few years were difficult. But I know God had pulled me through life altering challenges in the past so I hang on, I hang on with my fingertips. Clinging to the tendrils of a faith that had once been as strong as steel, wanting the connection that in my brokenness, I remember, and want again. Brokenness and I are not strangers, God has rescued me from the pain of lost relationships, drugs and alcohol, cigarettes, and health challenges. Now he is showing me a way back from the dark place I have been lost in over the last couple years. He is leading me a step at a time, holding me by the hand and guiding me gently and confidently back into the light of His presence.

I feel the call of his voice, telling me he is enough, that he loves me, that I am not alone and I can be filled and whole. I hear him telling me that he is enough, that His love will last never leave me (Psalm 118). I run to Him each morning to listen for His words of encouragement, and when things seem to be too much and I want to run and hide, I know He will hold me up (1John 4:10). I feel transformed with a love that cannot be described. It is too big for words. This is a love that is enough.

m.

Peter Wells’ book was a real find. I discovered Peter here at Word Press and his short stories touched me. He has a style that is a bit disarming. He writes things that leave me wishing life were kinder, or happier, or more…. complete. I almost always want to hear more. But it is a huge part of the charm in his style.

I read “Living Life Backwards” in just a few days. I was caught up in the story, wanting to know what was going to come of the variety of characters in that sleepy community where they lived. I loved the insights into the mind of Bill, the main character. He was so measured in all of his actions. Everything he did had a purpose behind it and the way he processed his thoughts made him so very real to me. I felt for him and the life he lived. His life lacked so much of what we all seek, he had a sense of desperation that was sad and small. I so wanted him to have more, be more, feel more.

The story takes several unexpected turns that took me off guard, made me wince. But it made for a good story. A story that held my interest all the way through and ended too soon for me as Peter Wells’ stories often do. I liked the book a lot and especially enjoyed the work that went into developing the characters backgrounds, emotions and motives. It was a novel that was worth every minute it took to read.

m.

Yay…

Group was hard tonight. Out of the seven people in the room, five of us cried. Not that crying is bad, it just shows the difficult week we all had. I struggle with the knowledge that I feel like I am not really allowed to feel the grief I do. I feel as though it is not my right to feel bad about the things I do, when others have had those they love die, or lost something that is somehow seen as relevant or normal to grieve for. I beat myself up for my sadness and the waves that wash over me with no real warning. I want it to be over, to feel the relief of healing or of numbness, but that is not really healing. Sometimes I think it would just make it all settle for a time, give me a sense of happiness again. I have times of that too, but they are hit or miss right now.

I am grateful to have people to journey with, to share with, to grow and move through hard times together. Things just feel in flux. I am in a time of uncertainty and I want to know where I am going. It is hard to let go of control. Many of those in the group have lost their cheering section with the loss they have suffered, and I understand that feeling. I want a cheering section, someone to be my cheerleader, my support system. I think I have it, but perhaps I do not know how to believe it. To trust that they really are cheering for me. Do I have my hands over my ears as they chant my name as I run toward victory? I maybe just need to listen harder, to lower my hands and let them hold mine as they help me run the race. Believe they want me to win, to succeed, believe they think I can. I need that.

Reading

I just started a new book, “Living Life Backwards” by Peter Wells. He is someone I discovered here at WordPress. His style and voice really captivates me. Makes me feel so many things. I think this book will be a journey worth taking.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 251 other followers