Yesterday was hard. And I mean the hardest so far. Seems some days I am bombarded with epiphanies and realizing things about myself that I can’t even think straight. My brain goes faster than my hand can write. I feel a poem itching to get out but I don’t have time to even allow it to materialize. Then, there are other days, where the sadness creeps and stays like a surprising yet steady summer rain. I just want to cry. And I do.
As I pondered what to write yesterday, I was trying to think of something motivating, inspirational, but then it hit me. I need to write what I’m feeling…what I’m really feeling. It’s that whole being transparent thing. And this blog is supposed to be about my walk, not my desire to help others (although I hope it does.) ‘Transparency’ means being who we really are: faults and all. I admit, I sin – we all do – and I cannot always be strong. I’m just me. I have my own fears and insecurities just like the next guy. Sometimes being transparent means being vulnerable. Vulnerable scares me…that’s how I’ve been hurt before. But if I can’t tell God what I’m really thinking, from the depths of my heart, then how can He help me? And if I can’t be myself with my readers, how can I really help anyone? Why would they care to read what I have to say? And how can anyone, including God, help me? By being transparent, some of you might be sitting there saying, “Yeah, I know what you mean” and we connect…just as the body of God’s people is supposed to do. (Romans 12:4-5) And to be one functioning body, we have to be truthful to each other. (Ephesians 4:25) We help each other in this way. Being honest with myself, you, and God, I speak the cold and ugly truth…and grow from it. And…maybe, hopefully, someone else out there does, too. (Ephesians 4:15-16, you gotta read 1 Corinthians 12:22-25)
So what the heck has me so upset. Well, I could say bills, work, kids, etc, but it starts with my head not being in the right place. Off and on for the past few days I’ve thought about gambling – it just pops in my mind. I discard them easier now but, I think it mainly stems from my desire to escapre the thoughts I’m having about my special friend. I hate to even say that. I feel like that’s the one thing I just can’t fully let go of. I feel so flawed, so weak, so low. If you love something set it free, blah, blah blah. I try to, and for awhile there, I did , then we’ll start texting again and it isn’t long before I find myself wanting to be with him all over again. I wonder if that will ever change. Is this a pipe dream? Is he a distant crutch? It doesn’t consume me but it still hurts. See, I could handle talking occasionally but I don’t think he can. Then again, I don’t think I can either because the thought of just being friends means I might have to one day watch him date someone else – that would be devastating. What hurts the most is, we talk for awhile, then find we have to stop. There is an area we can’t go no matter how bad we both want to. In order to let those feelings subside, we have to quit talking. He told me the other day that we just ‘can’t get too comfortable’ with each other. What the? How in the heck do I do that?? If I had the recipe for a perfect life and if I had that kind of perfect control, don’t you think I’d be cooking it?? It’d be on the daily menu! Heck, I’d be canning it and selling it online (a brick and mortar store would be too much of a hassle with all that business, ya know.) So…I am at an impasse. If I want to quit hurting I have to be proactive and do something about it. I have to remove the temptation. At least for now. I can’t just sit here and cry and blame the world (which is what a lot of people do and it really ticks me off.) Thing is…I know what I have to do. And I don’t want to say it…let alone…do it, which is why I’m sure many others opt to sit around and complain instead. But I can’t. I’m walking with God and I’m being honest with myself. I see my growth and once you see growth, it’s hard to stop. It’s hard to settle when you know there is much more to be gained by persevering. I want to continue my growth and sitting around moping isn’t gonna do me a darn bit of good.
When we didn’t talk for a week or so in the beginning, I was doing much better. I had my focus right. The occasional “thinking of you” message was enough at first. I was just glad he was thinking of me. While I may have been holding onto the hope that we would eventually work it out, I was letting him go. I didn’t have the need to constantly check my phone or wonder what kind of message I could send him in hopes of starting a conversation. I’m starting to get to the point; every time my phone goes off I look at it in anticipation wishing it was him. I thought about him a lot before, but it was…different. When we talk I am happy and content at the time, yet when it gets to the point it has to end, I feel like my heart is being ripped out all over again. It’s like pulling off a scab – it’s gonna bleed again and the healing process willh have to restart from the beginning. But just like a scab, if it keeps getting peeled off, it’s gonna leave a scar. I see that my desire for him is pulling me away from my walk and his desire for me is pulling him away from his. We have to walk with God alone. Not together. I have to talk to God, not him. There. I said it. Now I just want to cry again….how do I let go??
Those who know me, you can see my analytical side working impulsively in my life. As any good programmer knows, you have to think it through, have a plan. I can’t just end it with crying. I have to find a resolution. (This may appear as confidence but sometimes the duality is a curse.) So, I am determined to answer my own question for myself and for anyone else out there who feels they are in a similar situation. I can’t just have a bunch of people moping around crying now, can I?
So, how do I let go? Well, I do a lot of things and sometimes by force. I stop watching TV and I start reading my bible. I may re-read notes that I’ve taken. I pray to God – and by pray, I mean have I full out conversation with Him as if He was sitting right next to me. I tell Him how I’m feeling and ask for what I need help with; sometimes I even ask Him to help me figure out what it is I really need cause I just flat out don’t know. I STOP listening to secular music which ALWAYS gets me down, especially when I hear one of ‘our’ songs. Instead, I listen to powerful Christian music. Something uplifting and empowering that reminds me of who I am and who I am striving to become – like this one, Fireflight: Unbreakable. And if it gets really bad and I can’t talk myself out of the slump, I talk to other spiritual people or my advisor. She’s out of town this week but I recall what she told me before: ‘lay it at the cross, Angie, even if you have to lay it there a thousand times.’ And she’s right. God gives us a way out by allowing us to cast all our cares and anxieties on to Him. (Psalm 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7). Laying it at the cross means giving your worries and fears to God. When you realize the scope of God’s reach, when you can begin to realize the amazing depths of His love for us, when you can get a mere glimpse of the amazing power God holds, then you can understand that He can handle it all. And most amazingly, He wants to. We can’t have it all and neither can we do it all. We sure try to, but we can’t and that’s because we aren’t supposed to. God wants us to lean on Him. I will surely fall alone but with God, He will sustain me. He will pick me up. He will forgive me, guide me, if I ask Him. (Think footprints in the sand.) He will not put me through more than I can bear and when I feel I am being tempted beyond my resistance, I can turn to Him – always. (1 Corinthians 10:13, Psalm 55:22) Because I can appreciate His astonishing love for me, I am motivated. Because I can visualize Him throwing a rope down to me in my pit of self pity, I want to get back into the light. I long for it. And what gets me is, God can and does show me the love I’ve longed for all these years: the acceptance, the security, the stability. He is my ROCK.
I am reminded of my favorite verse Romans 5:3-4, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” This is all a test and I just need to hold on. Regardless if my special friend is there in the end or not, I know I will be there. I’m the one who has to make it through this. If he or anyone else is in my future, what good is it if I lag behind, unable to greet him? I cannot waver. I have to put my trust and faith in God and persevere. This too shall pass and I shall grow stronger as a result of it.
Most of life is about attitude. Joyce Meyer said it best: if you want a hot fudge Sundae, you’re gonna end up going out and getting one. If you think you’re fat and ugly – you are. If you think you’re stupid and never do anything right – you don’t. This is what she called ‘wrong thinking’. If I keep telling myself I have to be with him, I’ll end up believing that, too. Instead, I need to tell myself to give it time and in time we will see if we are to be together. I can see that some secular music sets us up to fail with wrong attitudes. Of course I miss him but I don’t need to sulk about it. It is what it is. You know…since she did such an excellent job on this topic I’ll spare you my spill and just add her video below. I really enjoyed it. It helped me to re-train and redirect my thinking from ‘poor me’ to ‘what can I do to make the world a better place today for my kids, my friends, my Lord’.
As the bible instructs, I need to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. (Philippians 4:8) God doesn’t want me dwelling on ‘what if’ or ‘why’…He wants me to think bigger. I need to think about heavenly things not things of this earth (Colossians 3:2). I’ve said it many times and I’m gonna say it again, the mind the devil’s playground – I’ve GOT to shut it down. Just like laying my burdens at the cross, I may have to do it a thousand times. I love Romans and especially this verse in 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” That explains so much of what I need to do when I feel down like this. I need to renew my mind, allow this test to grow me. Submit to His will and leave mine at the door. I know where my will has left me before and I know it’s that child-like behavior in me that just wants to stomp my feet and demand my way, but, I’m not a child anymore and I’m putting those childish ways behind me. (1 Corinthians 13:11)
“Faith is moving without knowing”
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” ~ Ephesians 4:15-16
“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” ~ Romans 12:4-5
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” ~ Ephesians 4:25
“On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.” 1 Corinthians 12:22-25
“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” ~ Psalm 55:22
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” ~ 1 Peter 5:7
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” ~ Psalm 55:22
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” ~ Philippians 4:8
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” ~ Colossians 3:2
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:11