This word and I have a long, sometimes up, sometimes down history. I’ve said before that I used to pride myself on not showing emotion and being completely unemotional about most things in my life, good or bad. This would cause me to look critically at those who practically puke out emotions and then wear those emotions for all to see and take pity upon. I never wanted to burden others with my thoughts and feelings, those who did that to me, I couldn’t stand. Didn’t they know they looked pathetic and like they were begging for attention? It was better to be unmoved, not needy, not dependant on anyone, basically, alone.

As I moved into college, that island mentality slowly began to erode. Finally I could say I was open to people and relationships, and it felt good to give up that island.

Now, I’m learning in a whole new way what it means to leave nothing hidden. How is that even possible for someone who practiced NOT sharing what was really going on? There are so many things that I have convinced myself are not worth sharing. They are unimportant. Meaningless. Just not worth it. That easily translates into believing that I am those things.

Scary, since I always thought I had a very solid and positive picture of myself. That is a revelation I should unpack.

Whoever said that the person who you loves you the most will never make you cry is either a liar or found a man who is so close to perfect it makes you want to puke.

My guess is that at some point, that guy got pretty tired of the Mr. Perfect act and one day all of the pent up emotions came flowing out in some fashion. I would venture to say that it was not pretty.

I have shed more tears in my truly amazing relationship than I have in the course of my whole life to this point. Does that mean there is something wrong that this guy is making me cry? Not at all. In fact, I think that it’s the complete opposite. I think it is an amazing gift to have someone care enough to dig through the mess that I am sometimes to make me better.

 Has he hurt me? Yes. Have I hurt him? Absolutely. Have we shared our past hurts with one another and cried on behalf of the other? Of course. Has he had to tell me the hard things about myself that I would not recognize without him bringing them to light? Yup.

We are simply two sinners living in a sinful, fallen world giving our best and failing often. Thankful for grace.

Isn’t the point of the most intimate earthly relationship to change and grow and be refined? All of those things require a recognition of failure and identification of areas that need to be uprooted and removed for good. None of those things come without emotion and it’s not easy to change ourselves and long-entrenched habits.

I used to pride myself on not being very emotional. It took something very deeply personal to make me cry. What I have learned is that no one can ignore emotions. They are real and they need to be felt and examined as they lead us to the core of ourselves and the things that need removal and the things we need to work through.

Feeling emotions of all kinds also allows us to feel with greater intensity what others are feeling and much greater joy. You can’t truly appreciate and experience the high times in life without having gone through and know what it means to be in the deep low times.

If I have someone in my life willing to stick around through all my life-changing, gut-wrenching, ugly emotions to get to the high and beautiful points, I should be very grateful.

So, to the man who rubs my back and tells me he loves me as I sob even after I have hurt him, thank you. That seems very simple and inadequate, but you have made me feel deeper than I have ever felt before. I love you for that.

What to do when I know that I should be content and happy with where God has me and with what God is doing in me, but all I can feel is frustration? At things in my life not being where I want them to be. At the fact that there does not seem to be any forward movement. At feeling stuck.

I know that “the heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9), my feelings are not to be trusted. They are, I believe, used to bring me down and focus on myself in my time of struggle. What I’m dealing with is how my frustration is paraded in front of me all the time. With no clue when it will end.

The healing of my spirit comes from James 1. A balm to my weary soul. When my mind will not be still, and my heart longs for answers, James 1 is the glorious Father speaking into me the words that transform my entire outlook, my attitude, my spirit.

The struggle ends. The sweet rest begins.

I have been wondering why I started this blog in the first place. Why would I do such a thing when I have never considered myself a “blogger” type person nor am I into writing my thoughts for all the world to see. And why would I start something and then ignore it completely? What purpose does that serve?

For a while I didn’t know why exactly I felt the desire to start a blog, something I was pretty sure I would never do, ever. After a sleepless night, I think I have the answer.

When looking back at my life, especially my Christian walk, I have tangible items, books to pull out and see what my thoughts were about life and faith at 15, 18, 20, and I can examine my heart and what God was doing in me. I have a written history of my faith. 

Over the  years, I have discovered that writing is essential to my growth and the tool the Holy Spirit has used most often in revealing my heart and His and where I need to change. One of the most frustrating things about myself is my inability to know what I think or how I feel until I sit down and begin to write. Without thinking, I can write and begin to see what is in my heart and mind. Finally, blessed clarity is usually close behind.

God shows me His heart and speaks through the Spirit there. That is the part I cherish. What also frustrates me about myself is that I can easily stop my writing and sitting quiet before the Lord for a very long time. This affects me greatly. My relationships all suffer and I am so cloudy in my head, I can’t tell you what I’m thinking, feeling, or even speak with much clarity at all.

For me, not writing is sin. For me, this space to pour out what is in my heart for all to see is obedience to God. Nothing is hidden from Him.

I’m beginning to think that we all have something we are waiting for.  The promises we are anxiously waiting to come to fruition, the dreams we keep close to our hearts. It may be how we get through the day or it may be why we can’t sleep at night, too preoccupied with the thoughts of what we are going to do when those dreams become a reality.

They are great to think about, but what about the Giver? The loving and kind Father who wants to bless us with every good thing is waiting for me to turn to Him and focus simply on who He is and not just what He can give. Contentment is only found there, looking into His face where things and stuff fall away.

What I want is to long for eternity the same way I’m longing for earthly things.

 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

I am learning how very selfish I am. How my heart is void of love towards other people. Without care I run around attempting to accomplish the many goals I have lined up for myself and rarely stop to take a breath and think about anything, much less others. I place myself first, in front, ahead of, and before anyone else almost all the time.

I find this ugliness never more true than when I am waiting on God. That sounds horrible. If I am waiting on God, then I should be seeking Him and waiting for Him to reveal to me His path, selfishness has no place there. It’s true for me that I am most selfish when I’m waiting. It may be that I am so preoccupied with whatever that glorious thing or event to happen that I build my entire life around waiting for it. Planning for it. Thinking about it. Praying about it. Dreaming about it. When what I’m planning for isn’t even a reality yet.

I’m builing my life around something that doesn’t exist in the present moment. It takes up my time, my thoughts, my emotions, and my heart and I become so fully wrapped around it that I can no longer see everyone and everything around me. This is one of the traps I fall into most of the time. Beacuse I am waiting on God to move, nothing and no one else matters nearly as much. How selfish.

What the Lord is calling me to do  is to love in the waiting. To see the people around me and to simply love them for who they are. To know that He who has promised is faithful, and not to invest my whole self into something that is not reality yet, but rather invest into those who are. Loving them self-sacrificially and seeking to meet their needs above my own. Constantly looking away from myself and seeing the things God will have me do right now. Dying to self all day every day.

I am old enough to know that I make a mess of things when I decide I can put my hands in the mix and try to accomplish these goals with even the best of intentions.

I am humbled to know that I can’t even simply love without the greatest Lover of all time giving me the grace and the power to do so.

When we are waiting on what we know that God has promised us, it can be extremely difficult to be a gracious and patient waiter. Maybe the waiting part is what we have resigned ourselves to and can accept that the promise may be far off. But when we don’t know when the promise will be fulfilled, how it will be fulfilled, or we simply are not good at waiting, we miss the joy and beauty along the way.

It’s as if God has given us hope of our true longings, that He placed in our hearts to begin with, and asked us to trust that He can do a better job of giving us what we want and need than we can. We somehow think that we are able to bring about our desires if we can just get our hands on them and make it happen. How often that blows up in our faces. By often, I mean every single time.

God desires to use the time of waiting to shape and mold us. To soften our hard edges and to quiet our spirits and to speak only when we are quiet enough to listen. That is when he calms us and soothes our anxious thoughts with greater promises and  words meant only for us. When we finally reach this place, we wonder why we thought we knew better. Why it took so long to wear us down to the point we could relinquish our hold.

Maybe next time we’ll let go a little sooner.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.