Confessions and Conversations (Confessions to single women and a private conversation with God)

In the last several months I am learning how to be single after being married for 7 1/2 years. Single women, especially with kids, I have the utmost respect for you. I am now walking in your shoes. My pain might be different then your pain, but I now understand the weight of making all decisions on your own. Always hoping you made the right choice. Even if I did think I was doing the right thing, I was always at complete peace when it was confirmed by my husband who I respected and loved. Its not only my husband that is no longer gone, but that peace I was given from his wisdom and discernment.

I now understand the nights of loneliness and how easy it is to fall into escaping your life with the TV, a Sci-Fi novel or Facebook. Spending your night writing honestly or in prayer before God will mean that everything in your life is real and bloody. I never had this much time before and as much as I don’t want it now, I do know its a gift and I feel guilty for not using it wisely.

I now understand what its like to feel that you don’t belong even in your own house. I understand how you accidentally pull away from all your friends who are still married, its just not the same anymore is it? And I understand how you don’t belong to any single gatherings unless you want to do more then just talk. There is lots of support but emotionally and mentally you just feel homeless.

There is a lot more I understand now and a lot more that God is teaching me. I am learning to walk in the dark and please don’t mistake this for a bad thing. In fact, I am able to listen clearer, notice more and judge less based on appearance when I am in the dark. Its scary but what better way to trust God completely then not being able to see whats in front of you.

So now, I’d like to share a conversation with you. One that I had with God a couple months ago. I wasn’t originally going to share this publicly, but I have come to realize that keeping it to myself would completely defeat the purpose of the conversation that I am about to share.

Me: Why can’t I sleep?
God: I believe you know why.
Me: Yes, perhaps I do.
God: I called your name, but you did not answer. Where were you?
Me: I . . . was distracted, watching a movie.
God: I see, and will this become a regular occurrence now?
Me: I don’t know, Sometimes it feels better then just the silence.
God: It’s numbing.
Me: Yes.
God: Is that why your distant?
Me: I don’t really know how to answer that.
God: You’ve been cheating on me.
Me: No . . . no its not the same. I just want to be in a different world, somewhere thats not my world.
God: to escape the pain and loneliness.
Me: Yes, I suppose . . . You took him away from me. You gave him to me and then you took him away!
God: I know you are saying this out of what you are feeling and not what you know, I am so sorry my love.
Me: You had the power to heal him and you choose not to.
God: My daughter, why is it now that you do not trust me?
Me: I trust you-
God: and yet you doubt my goodness.
Me: . . . forgive me, I know you are good.
God: Listen to me, and do not speak to quickly. You are trying to escape into something that is not real. And living an illusion, a lie. will only destroy you.
Me: Watching one movie is not going to destroy me.
God: Its not the movie, its the desire to escape your pain. A host of other things can do the very same thing- food, work, alcohol. Anything you want to do in order to block out the pain of being alone.
Me: I suppose I knew that, but it feels better to not think and be me, alone.
God: Then you have allowed yourself to be deceived.
Me: I guess so.
God: Tell me why?
Me: This is pointless, why must I answer you when you know? You understand better then I understand.
God: I know this is hard for you. It is not my intent to cause you pain but to clean your wounds. Please, answer the question.
Me: Sometimes an illusion is better then reality.
God: I could understand that if you were lost and you did not carry my very light inside of you. Please. . . open the eyes of your heart and ask me to take away what is covering that light and weighing you down.
Me: . . . fear? but what am I afraid of?
God: What are you trying to escape?
Me: From pain and sorrow and loneliness.
God: You are strong and you are not afraid of the pain itself. You are afraid that it will not end. You’re afraid it will knock you down and consume you.
Me: Yes, and it will if I allow it.
God: Allow it.
Me: What?
God: You have to trust me. You have to trust that I will take you out of it all when it is time. You cannot do this on your own, but if you want my help then you have to let me do it my way.
Me: This is insane! You want me to let the pain and sorrow consume me? You don’t want me to fight?
God: Lay your weapons down my love, keep your eyes on me and trust that I will deliver you.
Me: I don’t know how to not fight.
God: I will teach you. And in the end you will be complete.
Me: I don’t know if I can do this . . . what your asking is beyond what I can handle.
God: I know it is. Oh, and this is not a one time deal it is a decision you have to make day after day to not fight and surrender instead.
Me: Ok . . . this seems ridiculously impossible right now.
God: On your own, it is. I promise you, its worth it if you surrender to me, if you trust me. . . I love you, don’t stay away for to long.

* You have probably figured out how that ended, or began- depending on how you look at it. And now you have a little more context to explain my last post. Yes, the pain feels very consuming at times but how can we ever get rescued if we are never in trouble? And how can we ever be healed if we are never sick or broken? All of this, friends, is not a bad thing. Do not try and fight against the great pains and trials of this world. God, our lover and rescuer will give us joy out of our circumstances, a deeper love and understanding for others and a faith so unwavering that it can never fall.

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Envy in a Broken world

 

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This will probably be my most vulnerable post yet. My hope is that those of you who can relate to my story will not feel that you are alone, because I sure hope I am not the only one.  Along with the loneliness and sadness, I have felt recently some unexpected feelings of envy. It doesn’t stay because I talk about it with God, laying it bare before Him. Looking back I can picture my confusion as a child confessing that he has no idea how to get all the vasoline off his hands. I am assuming that this is normal, but its weird to me and I didn’t like it, so I asked God to get rid of it. In my weakness I have learned that its important to bring everything before God who already knows, but also trusted friends or family who don’t already know. I cannot be open and honest with God if I am not willing to be open and honest with others. So, I have already shared with a close friend my struggle and now I am sharing it with you.

A few days ago I listened and laughed and cried (later that night) to a life story from a couple of friends of mine. Married now with 4 beautiful kids, a heart to serve others and a deep love for each other, I allowed the thoughts of, “thats not me any more” to settle in deep. So many stories they shared I could relate to the same feelings, the same struggles, the same joys Chris and I had together. The same hardships in their marriage were very similar to ours, and we also experienced a deeper love and understanding of each other as we came out of those hardships. Their heart for God and desire to serve was one both Chris and I possessed as well. Hearing their adventures of faith, laughing together and choosing joy rather then focusing on the struggles took me right back to my life as a wife and even back to my life as a mother of 5.

On my drive home I battled with envious thoughts. “More than anything, I wish I could have that life back.” “I wish I had my husband back.” “I wish I had a house full of five kids running all around, laughing.” “I wish I had a life that was chaotic, full of life but dependent on God for what we need.” I knew I was wanting something else that wasn’t mine, I knew I was wanting it because it use to be mine but was taken away. I surrendered this to God but its still hard to be joyful, content and satisfied with what God has given me and what God as taken away.

Today I struggled with envy again, only in a little different way. One great thing I have realized that has come out of all of this is time for things I would have never had time for before. Tonight I saw a movie with one of my 13 year old friends 🙂 I don’t feel so old when I hang out with middle and high school students. Being a widow kinda makes you feel old. So, we went to go see “Heaven is for Real”. The movie was good, the book is way better, like most of the time. Afterwards, I am at home and Gabby is fast asleep. I think about Heaven. I think about Jesus and His love for me and wanting to be with Him. I think about Chris in Heaven and wanting to be with him. Then, I think about how Chris is there . . . with Jesus, but not me. My want and longing is so strong.  I feel anger and I feel envy. My anger is stemmed at Jesus and I ask Him, “What on earth could be so important for having me stay here when all I want is to be with you?” And my envy is at Chris. He’s there and I am here.

And then I ask God to help me with my discontented heart. “Father, help me to not be jealous of what my friends have here on earth in their relationships and love for each other.  Help me to say yes to your will with joy and peace and patient endurance. I look forward to being with you one day, but I know you want me here right now so I will be patient.