Monday, October 27, 2014

The EX Factor

originally posted May 11 , 2013


I never wanted an ex, and I have to say, that fact that I do is both very unsettling and very unfair.

I spent the majority of my childhood praying for my future husband. i prayed for his wisdom and spiritual growth, both his physical and spiritual; protection- I prayed that he would love the Lord and and not be sucked into the evils that this world has to offer masquerading as fun and normalcy. Yet here I am, scarred, scorned and burned by the very person I thought I was praying for. I was not wanted...not enough anyway. I was definitely easy to get over-apparently. One minute he's laying on the floor saying he wants to die, but that God told him he wouldn't be alone long; less than a week later he is "in love" with a chat room girl in Australia.

He fell hard, and he fell fast- all the while sharing intimate details of both our lives in order to accumulate pity. Funny thing, she ended up burning him the exact same way he did me. But as is his way, he quickly moved on to another unattainable fling that he was "so in love" with.  # 2 didn't last either...and now he has moved on to #'s 3 and 4. (This basically is achieved by setting your sights on one while growing a "friendship" with another).

I say all this because looking back, I haven't had too many romantic "movie moments". The kind of moments where you can practically hear light songs in the background. Yet he is getting them with these girls.I just feel so old and stupid and ugly right now. This may seem pretty shallow of me, but I am woman and am prone to those moments. As I write this, I have just about 2 hours before my night shift at my new job (head hung low, it ain't glamorous), I am covered head to ankle in either violently itchy blisters from poison ivy or the crusted scabs that healing from them are leaving me with, I have re-gained at least 20lbs that I had lost...and I have been reminded  at least 8 times in 3 days that I will be turning 32 next month.

I'm beginning to wonder when my moment will come- my vindication. At what point, if ever, will God finally raise me from the ground, dust me off and show the world that i'm His daughter again? When will those who have wronged me be punished, those who have laughed at me stand with mouths agape, when those who have believed lies learn the truth????
This was actually written 4 days ago when i was at my lowest point this month so far. I have LOTS of these. Watching the people who have destroyed your heart and the hearts of those you love continue on blissfully down their petal laden paths is almost maddening. It's like they just get away with murder, because they did. They killed who we used to be,who we wanted to be with them. I know I am not who I want to be anymore, but I'm beginning to think that's the process. Seeds are buried deep within the earth with dirt piled upon them. They are hidden away from the light where it is dark and cold and it rains on them. This rain covers them in mud. But without that rain and the protection the darkness provides against the blistering heat of the sun, it would not be able to grow. And also, for it to grow, it cannot stay as it is. It does not get a say in what it will become. All it can do, is wait-seemingly alone for days on end-then, crack and split it's skin and give birth to new life. From within it will be given insurmountable strength to push aside the filth and cold and darkness and break through to the light and finally blossom into what it's Creator had in mind for it's life. That's why, whether it's an orchid or a redwood, it's a miracle....because quite frankly, those are the seeds that end up being put in places of awe and wonder- and it's the dandelions and weeds that get to easily and quickly sprout up anywhere the wind blows them. It's also those same plants that no one wants, and they get ripped up and mowed down again and again.

His Strength made Perfect in my Weakness

originally posted March 17, 2013

This skinny depiction of Jesus has always annoyed me to no end. Where people got the idea that He was this wimpy,whiny effeminate guy I have no idea. I mean, he was a carpenter in the beginning of His life.                                                                                  Have you seen what the world's idea of carpenters are? : 
Clearly, He was no wimp. And He also fished with his disciples and helped them haul up a net so full of fish that it began to break. That takes some serious strength!
And even His death; any regular man-let alone the wussy version of Jesus- would have died simply from the beatings He took, but Jesus survived the beatings, the crown of thorns, the lack of sleep and hunger/dehydration that came with the Crucifixion. Personally, I think it was the suffocation that finally ended Him up there. 

This past Friday, I learned firsthand how strong and tough my Lord is when I attempted my first no eat fast.
I have done different variations of fasting before- all very hard, but extremely beneficial and spiritually amazing. The first 3 days have always been the hardest. I've done the 30 hour famine my sophomore year in high school, the fasting from TV for a week as a senior in high school and the Daniel's Fast for 11 days 2 years ago (that was unbelievable!) But things in my life right now have been so painful, so confusing and so seemingly left-to-chance that I have been praying nonstop for answers and direction from the Lord, but with no seeming answers in sight. Some days it seems like there is no hope and I'm am terrified. Other days there are nothing but options upon option but everythig hinges on something else that hinges on something else. It's an insane domino effect. It's like when we were trying to buy the house here in WV. We needed a job here to get approved for a loan, but we needed a home with an address to be able to get work. See tat vicious cycle? That's kinda where I am now.

So the other night I woke up around 4:30am from a terrifying nightmare. I have always had this reoccurring dream that this monstrous wave is building on the crest of the sea a few houses down from where we used to live in NJ and just before it breaks, I rush inside and cover my children and hold them tight and cry and pray. We can hear the roar of the waves covering the house and glimpses at the window reveal dead bodies, cars and debris floating by or submerged. It's a horrifying sight, but somehow, we are always ok.

This time my dream happened much like all the other times, except for the fact that the wave crashed through that big bay window, glass shattering all around us and my children are screaming. I see the wide eyed terror on 4 little faces, my youngest screaming for me to help her as her curly head disappears beneath the rising water. I'm alone, one child drowning, one swimming toward me, one clinging to me choking and my only son is missing.

And I am alone.

There is no one there to help me reach  my babies, and I have to try and choose, split second, which to save and which to leave in God's hands. The grief is literally breaking my heart as I awake sobbing and shaking.
I realized in that moment that I HAVE GOT to get God's attention and decided to fast. No food, for at least 7 days or until He answered me. I wrote down my top 3 questions and the signs I requested (kinda like Gideon did) to verify what the Lord wanted me to do and tucked the little paper away in my Bible. 

The first hour or so, for whatever reason my stomach was in knots and I as i prayed I got hungrier and hungrier. Then after a bit, it just stopped. I made it all day without really telling anyone, but by 10 pm I was so weak. My head was throbbing and I just fell asleep to my oldest child petting my head. I awoke around 5am Saturday more in the worst shape then I have ever been in. Dizzy, nauseous, pounding migraine, weak and slurring my words( at least it felt like I was) I tried to sit up and drink some lemon water, but it just made me feel sicker. Sobbing, I stumbled downstairs and out to the kitchen where I drank some grape juice and nibbled on slice of bread. By the time i got upstairs I thought I was dying and passed out in bed. i haven't felt that weak and flimsy since S was born.

 I woke up late yesterday and just felt so pathetic. I couldn't believe that I had given in to my flesh so easily- and when I had so many important things to get answered. I am still loathing myself, and even though I know God hears me and knows my heart, I feel like I just proved to Him why He shouldn't take my prayers seriously. 

Jesus was no joke. He was no wimp. That man went 40days and nights in the wilderness without a thing to eat or drink. Yes, He is God, but He was also man and lived for 33 years in a flesh and blood shell that felt everything we feel. He went that long with 0 sustenance, was tempted with power and riches and the chance to give in and eat and could still have the strength and presence of mind to quote Scripture back and do warfare with the Devil. I love how Matthew 4:11 says the Devil left him, and angels came and ministered to him. I wonder if that means they fed Him, or ministered to His exhausted spirit?

At any rate, I have resolved to try and do the Daniel's Fast again. At least I am seriously thinking about it. I don't think I am strong enough to go without eating ANYTHING, but I don't want to let that get in the way of hearing my Father again. I need answers, ones that only He can give.

Nightly Ponder

 originally posted on January 13,2013
I have no idea where to begin.

      I just spent the better part of the night watching old shows that I grew up on, laughing and talking with someone I love dearly. But then the silence came- that silence that I crave all day long. Through the thumping of doors slamming shut and children's calls to each other from room to room, the worry of near empty bank accounts being squeezed of every last penny to appease the bill people , the pouring rain that has overtaken the forecasted sunny day...through all of the chaos and frustration and playtime and teachings I crave this silence; now that it's here, it scares me.

     I'm not sure I like it, especially when I'm the only one awake. I take my sleepy toddler by the hand and guide her back to her warm well blanketed bed, and it feels so good to have someone holding my hand in the darkness. Most nights, I am up and down correcting overwound children, or the ones with the bad dreams or who saw the scary shadows. It is during these times that I hear the silence. The faint snore coming from a distant bedroom; the rush of the wind outside like a train whizzing by; the whimper of our dogs twitching on the couch, dreaming of endless outdoor play. But it is also during these times that the reality of what is my reality hits me like a smack in the face and it doesn't matter that I was laughing and reminiscing just a few hours earlier- I am immediately pulled towards fear and the tears overtake me. It is in this darkness and silence that I see and feel in the physical world exactly what I cannot see but still feel in the spiritual one. 

     I used to feel as though I was so on track with the Lord and I resented my angelic reputation. I hated that the people I just wanted to simply talk to and get to know never wanted to give me a second thought or just a chance at a real friendship because they assumed I would look down from my pedestal at them and make them feel the way I feel people make me feel now. The saddest part is, I never would have. That is not who I am, and I never gave that indication.

     Now I'm stumbling around in darkness, crying out for my Father to hear me, to answer my call, to give me some guidance and direction. I know it is evil to ask for signs, but how else can I really know that something is from the Lord and not the Devil appearing as an Angel of Light? How do I know that everything that I was taught before wasn't wrong or askew or a mistake- based on generational misinformation? The only thing that I cling to is the Word, and even that has been twisted and misinterpreted a thousand ways by both well meaning and evil pastors and elders.I don't want to fall away- not now, not when the end is so very close. It's not fair, that if I was going the right way throughout the race that now I get lost and   lose my sense of direction.My soul can't afford to to be lost.

     And even now, in this evil physical realm I am forced to face utter failure. Fears that I have never once worried about have become my daily torment.There is no money. There is no way to provide for myself and my children without the help that isn't there. There is no emotional comfort- just daily spits in the face, so to speak. Things I craved and begged and asked for-humiliated at having to grovel for- are so freely given to another who has not had to endure what I have, who has not been put through the humiliation I have and who has not been there time and again and again forgiving and being let down in a vicious self destructive cycle. I watch my children try so desperately to get what should just be an honour to give to them, and now I have to dispense it twice as much to fill the void.The fact of the matter is, now I have to continue on in this world with no support or security by my side while others get to go and play like they are air-headed teenagers again.While they put in their paid allotted 8 hours and come home to video games and private giddy phone calls, I put in my thankless,never ending 24 hours of educating, and meal planning and budgeting and bill paying, and smooth talking debtors and fears, and 3am nightmares and 4am potty runs and checking measly online auctions praying to God another memory I have put up for sale has been bought by a stranger so that I can make ends meet and squirrel away for an uncertain and frighteningly lonely  future.

    So there I sit, by my window on the floor looking out at the darkened town. I wonder how many people in the houses that I am looking at are sleeping soundly and how many feel the way I do right now and are being robbed of their only peaceful time? I wonder if my entire life has been set up for something miraculous just before the end, or just a set up? Is all this torment for my eventual good, or will I just die a pathetic creature with a lot of wasted potential and a legacy left behind for someone else to learn from? Will this blog ever reach anyone? Does anyone even read it? No one ever comments. No donations are made. I read these articles of Joe Schmoes who took a risk and put everything out there and their blogs just blew up with fans and readers and people who care. I have never once done anything in order to get rich, but it would be nice to know that my thoughts and feelings aren't just screams from my heart that echo as whispers into nothingness. It would be a miracle to know that I matter in this world.That there is a chance my pathetic life could touch or entertain people enough to make a difference in their own lives. I want to matter.

     I don't want to walk alone in the dark anymore.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Who am I?

originally posted December 10,2012

One of the things I hate most about this new life is that I feel like I've lost my identity.

It's like, my whole life, I have been in training to be a wife and a mother- and not just a wife and mother- but a good one. The Proverbs 31 woman. It's been a long hard journey. There were days that I didn't feel like doing chores,like most teenagers, and learning new "womanly" skills sometimes seemed so demeaning.  had dreams of being a journalist, traveling the world in pursuit of uncovering truth, or a teacher, molding the minds of future generations. Why on earth would I care how to properly fold a fitted sheet or make a succulent roast chicken?
But then as time went on, what started out as a degrading bothersome chore, quickly changed into a ministry. I didn't just want to learn how to do these things, but I wanted to be the best at them. I wanted to marry a wonderful man one day and have him be the envy of all his friends and coworkers. Where other men were lamenting their wives' entitled ways of thinking when it came to frivolous spending, mine would be able to not just leave me a debit card and checkbook, but trust me enough to put me charge of the finances and bill paying. When he would come home and tell these heart breaking tales of run around wives who slept with more men in town then the number of hours their husbands worked, mine always knew exactly where I was and what I was doing. I was keeping home, teaching and rearing children and making sure to have a hot home cooked meal prepared and waiting for him,still hot but not burned, for whenever he returned for dinner. There would never be anything he would want for. I would put aside my exhaustion to fulfill his intimate needs, serve him and his offspring their meal portions first and make sure theirs were the largest before my own. Clothes were dutifully washed in a homemade soap, kitchen sparkling( not always, but I tried) and that was who I was.

I was Donna Reed.

Now I feel like a nobody. Yes, I still get up and carry on. The house will always need to be kept clean and as much in order as a house can be with 4 children and 3 dogs. Meals are still hot and home cooked and clothes still washed in that homemade laundry soap. But there is a void.

There is a void in me.
Who am I?

Am I strong for not putting up with less than I deserved?Am I setting a good example for my daughters, to never feel like you must change who you are and what you believe in for acceptance and love? Have I been reduced to being what people have whispered and accused me of being because they think they know everything about me, but really have no idea???

I know who my mother always taught me to be. I am a King's daughter- so that makes me royalty. I am, she would always say,  the head and not the tail. I am the Christian foundation for my children and the voice for them when no one seems to want to listen to their little cries of concern. 
But there are so many days when it just doesn't even seem fair or real or possible. I don't feel beautiful and strong or royal or the head. I feel lost and scared and defeated and like I've let everyone around me down somehow. I feel like a failure.

It's all I can do to barely remember the verses I grew up on. They seem so far away and faded now. I can remember bits and pieces, but references escape me. I try to hold onto what I know to be true, even when it feels like it doesn't apply to me anymore. He will never leave me, nor forsake me. That I am in the palm of His hand, and no one can snatch me out of it. I looked my name up years ago and it means bitter sorrow. LOVELY. I feel as though I've been set up to fulfill that name's meaning, whether I want to or not. I read a few months ago Ruth 1:20, where after being widowed and left childless, Naomi went back to the land of her people with her daughter-in-law Ruth and the people asked if this was really Naomi. I can only guess what the grief of her circumstances and years from home had done to her facially.

  20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”

Mara is a form of the name Maria. Naomi's grief and environment had worn who she had been away. Look it up: her name means "Beautiful, pleasant, delightful". Life had turned her from beautiful to bitter.
This is what I'm trying to avoid but it is so hard. Beauty just seems so far away. The Light of the Truth of who I am and was meant to be seems so faded. It feels like I'm wandering around alone in the dark chasing this light, and I just can never get close enough to it. So until I can believe I am somebody, let alone somebody that will find happiness again, I choose to hold blindly to the knowledge that I am God's Child, still.

My Prayer

originally posted December 29,2012
 " While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God."Hebrews 5:7NLT

I want to start out by apologizing. I want to humbly ask your forgiveness for every sinful thing I have done/said/thought based on this immense pain in my life. Even if the sin was unintentional or unknown at any time, I still ask your forgiveness. There is never any excuse for unrepentant sinning. I ask that you remove the consuming anger  I have towards those who continue to hurt me and  drag my reputation through the mud. Please restore me from having a heart of stone towards some to a heart of flesh towards all. I realize that this means I will continue to feel the sting of rejection and others' pain at times as they lash out at me in their own suffering. Allow my life to be an example,once again, of your never ending love and patience towards an undeserving world.  Please cleanse my heart and mind and renew a right spirit within me.

Jesus I ask that you please cover my children and all who sleep under my roof at any given point with your protecting hand. Cover them with your wing, as a mother bird shelters her fledglings from the storm. Please let my house, no matter where it may be, be a home and feel as such to all who enter it.

God, I know you have seen my suffering.I never questioned where you were in the past- you were always there with me, just as you are with me now and are already with me in the future. Please take away these unbearable and incessant feelings of fear( of what the future holds and what I cannot control), loneliness, depression, heartache,shock and brokeness. God, please restore my peaceful sleep again. Reverse this horrible insomnia that is eating away at my health and whatever shred of peace I am blessed with in my nightly state of unconsciousness. Grant me strength in my body again and protect me from myself. From eating unhealthily, from thoughts of committing crimes of irreversible damage to the temple you have designated to be my body for the time being.

Jesus I'm suffering so much right n
ow. My soul feels like it is dying everyday. I have never felt the weight of my own tears so strongly as they thud rapidly against my hands and run down to the desk into a cooled puddle. It actually startles me. They flow so freely and from such a sense of agony from somewhere within me, it's like what I'm going through and what I know to be the causes of this pain aren't even scratching the surface; it's as if my tears come from a secret reservoir of despair that even I don't know existed. Then again, maybe they just come from almost 2 decades of trying to be strong and carry on in my own strength. Maybe my soul is just plain...weary.
Jesus, I don't know what has happened to the life that I thought was safe and normal. You do. I don't know how I have gotten here to this point.You do. I don't know where I'll be in the future, who, if any, will be standing by my side supporting and loving me.You do.Please let this be enough for me- to know that You do, and You are already there. Let me never be swayed, or give up living this Christian Life.It is SO hard. I am judged not just by the unsaved, but by those who claim to be Yours- and these judgments cut so much further in me....

I praise you for being God. Against this awkward feeling of trying to give thanks when I can't see a thing to be grateful or happy for, I praise you. I praise you for having my life planned out and and I ask you to open my eyes to see and recognize the angels and guides you send into my life that are there to nudge me in the correct narrow direction.Please be with me in all my decisions,actions and words.Guide me as I try to guide my children. Keep us all safe from harm and please don't let my past mistakes and sins affect,scar or sway my babies from the Way Everlasting.
In Jesus' Name.

Starting Over

It's been a long journey-one that I had never in my wildest dreams or nightmares ever planned on taking and I am so very thankful that during the darkest and scariest times, I've never once been alone-although it most definitely felt like it most of the time.

I am nowhere near the end of this journey, I don't think I get that privilege until I finally leave this earth.Life is about ever learning and growing. I've kept another blog-a private one-that I'm not ready to reveal all my posts from. But it was revealed to me in a dream the other night that perhaps it's time to stop being so afraid and ashamed of the road I'm on...because really, aren't we all on a journey and going through storms?

So I will be posting 1 or 2...3 if I ever feel adventurous enough....posts from that blog, here and there. I never figured that when wrote that "the Journey is too long to go it alone" that I would be writing to myself big time.

So I guess that's it for now. The next few posts I put up will be from my other blog, in the order that I wrote it in. I pray this doesn't blow up ion my face somehow and that it can be used to heal someone's heart and mind, somewhere.
God bless.