Personal Reflection: God Moves In Mysterious Ways

Sometimes I wish that God would just send me an email laying out exactly what to do. WHY does He have to speak through my head and my heart when they’re so messed up? Sorting through my personal emotions to discern my spiritual convictions is like trying to pick out a certain carrot in a melting pot of vegetable soup. 

Yet, God says that He will guide my steps. He will guide my steps when I feel like I’m about to step on thin air instead of a solid stepping stone. And since fear (what I’m experiencing) is the opposite of faith (what I’m lacking), I need to remind myself that the God who has worked out so many things, is good. He desires to direct me, He WANTS me to be where He is, and as long as I’m listening, even if what I think I hear is wrong, He’ll turn me around. Right. 

Deep breaths.

“Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God to get here soon.” (Thanks, David)


Season of Healing

I’ve already posted about Grace in Hardship, but it seems that I still have more lessons to learn. GOOD lessons! See, I’ve been through a lot, and I’ve endured a lot, and now I am healing a lot. And man, oh, man, is God showing me a lot of beautiful things because of it.

1.) Healing takes time. I’ve often thought when having to “work through something” that the process should just GO QUICKER. I mean, once I’ve decided to forgive someone, can’t that issue just go away? Or once I’ve realized that God’s healing a wound from my past, can’t it just be healed, like immediately?  But just like our physical wounds don’t heal immediately, neither do our emotional ones. And why is that? For me, I’ve found that that’s God’s GRACE. Oh how beautiful and sweet it is. My healing process is slow, and it’s painful, and it is freeing. It’s God leading me by the hands slowly. I get the picture of a small child holding her father’s hand while they walk through a dark room to get outside, where it’s light and refreshing. You walk slowly, and he guides you because you’re scared and unsure and sometimes, it just takes time. The Father knows what’s best, he sees the other side, and he knows how to get there. You just gotta keep holding his hand and follow, whatever that pace may be.

2.) I am not broken. For a REALLY REALLY long time (okay, up until two days ago) I had this sinking fear that I am completely broken and always will be. That the moment I think I’m healed and healthy, some other nasty and ugly thing will poke it’s head out and prove me wrong. That I’m doomed to fear and failure. That, perhaps, I’ll just have to learn how to cope better. But a wonderfully wise woman reminded me that we are NEW CREATIONS and we were created in His image. That God’s plan is to redeem us and bring us a new life, life that if full of hope and purpose. Not doom and gloom. So even though I’m flinging off the muck from my past, eventually, that muck will end. And sure, I’ll probably acquire some new muck along the way, but it certainly will not be as difficult as the muck that’s been buried deep for a really long time.

3.) It’s not about where you’ve been, or even where you are. It’s about how far you’ve come and where you’re going. I heard this football analogy recently, and while it may not be the BEST, it’s a good visual. Imagine your life is like a football field, and the whole purpose is to get to the other side to score a touchdown. Some people start out by getting the ball on the 25 yard line and some people get the ball in the parking lot! But if you’re moving forward, yard by yard, you’re all in the same race, wherever you first got the ball. So, I may have gotten the ball way back on the 2 yard line, but I shouldn’t be discouraged. I’m MOVING FORWARD.  And I have people helping me make the right plays to advance. (Gah, I love when I can tie God in with Football.)

4.) Not everything is God’s will, but God uses everything for His purpose. It’s easy to be angry about sins that are committed against us, pain that people caused and walked away from without a scratch to themselves. It’s easy to be bitter and scream at God “WHY!?!?” But “why” is the wrong question for me to be asking. There may not even be an answer as to why, or the answer may be incredibly complicated. Perhaps I’ll find that out someday, but for now, my question is “So, what now?” How do you heal this and use this? How can this be for you? I have amazing people around me who have experienced tremendous pain, and that pain, the story of healing from that pain has helped heal my own. I’ve developed community and known a deeper more tender side of God because of it. I honestly don’t know that I would opt out of those experiences if I couldn’t keep what I have now…Community, relationships, love, wisdom, faith…those things I treasure and I LOVE that they have come from an ugly place. It reminds me of how nature rebuilds itself. Forest fires result in MORE LIFE and FRESH GROWTH. Often, when we abandon something, nature takes over and makes it even more beautiful (I could babble on forever about the parallels of our physical world with our emotional and spiritual ones. I LOVE IT.)

Yeah, there’s a lot of lessons. And I’m sure there’s more to come…

My Wedding

ImageMy Wedding was beautiful and it was sweet and simple and lovely. But a part of me wasn’t THERE for my wedding. I have, what can best be described as, a kink in my emotional connections. Even after only being married for less than a year, I already look back at my wedding and think it would have been different if I had been different. If I had been more present emotionally, perhaps I would of had a different experience.

None of this has anything to do with the man I married. Or, perhaps it has everything to do with him. He is the most wonderful, loving and loyal husband that I could ever ask for. He is a GIFT to me and I have no idea how or why he chose the broken mess that is me, but he did, and I am so BLESSED because of it! But part of my story, part of what I am walking through is this irrational fear of abandonment and my (seemingly) innate ability to literally “disconnect” emotionally when I fear it’s possibility.  At the time of our wedding, I wasn’t even aware that I did this, and that what I was feeling (or lack thereof) wasn’t normal. I wondered why I didn’t have that boisterous enthusiasm that I’ve seen in so many other brides. I thought perhaps it was nerves or just me. Yeah, I think I thought it was just me. I WAS UNABLE TO BE EMOTIONAL and I felt so abnormal because of it.

I made a lot of decisions mostly because I didn’t know what to do and the thought of making decisions entirely on what I wanted was overwhelming. I mean, how was I supposed to know what I WANTED? I didn’t even know who I was. I knew how I wanted people to see me, so that is what I did. I chose themes and images and decorations and songs based on how I wanted people to see me. Sure, I liked most of it, but it definitely wasn’t UNIQUE to me. I didn’t feel like it had that quirky part of me in it. It was safe, and presentable.

The funny thing is, it took getting married and it took this wonderful man who confronts my crazy to realize the deep rootedness (rootedness?) of these things. To realize that I struggle A LOT with being vulnerable and sitting in that vulnerability. Vulnerability makes me want to hide or run. Preferably both. and I was making this choice to open up my whole life, forever, to someone that is promising to never leave me. That takes a lot of trust and believe you me, A LOT of vulnerability and it was terrifying. At the time, the only way I could handle it was by disconnecting. My heart mourns for the wedding that could have been had I BEEN there.

But, I have to have peace. I can look at those pictures of us and see a huge mark in our story. The day that I began to find myself. The day that I chose to drop my fear, or at least hold it with my hands open and say “I can’t let go just yet, but I know that I don’t want this.” It marks the beauty that is marriage and the holiness that is the fruit of marriage. I remember being told that marriage isn’t intended to make you happy, it’s intended to make you Holy. Sounds scary, but me being more Holy is me being more like Jesus, and there is nothing more satisfying than that.

So, although my wedding day wasn’t exactly how I expected it would be, I know that I WASN”T how I expected to be. But because of that day and the vows that were made, I am different. It was like diving into the deep end and being strengthened by the struggle. I regret nothing except that I would have found freedom earlier. But that is a very slow and very tedious process for me; one that I’m happy to have Geoff on the journey with me for. I am thankful for that wedding day, and I am thankful for the journey it began.