Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Expectations

Life has them.  Sometimes we let them take us too far.  We let them take over our rational thought. Expectations can really work a person over.  I'm there.  Today.  I have in my mind this expectation, this unmet understanding that I let myself walk into.  I let myself think that things were starting to figure themselves out.  I expected this of myself.  I expected that as things started to have dates and glimpses of closure I would be just fine.  I'm not.  Fine is not a word in today's vocabulary.  Instead today I am filled with hurt,pain.  Self induced of course.

I had an expectation of life finding its new normal.  In 9 short days is the first court appearance.  Yes, we're moving right along aren't we?  Actually, no.  Not fast enough if you ask me, but we all know my issue with patience.  Honestly, I'm ready for the day after that.  To wake up and put on a smile  and look into the face in the mirror.  Yet I'm afraid that person, the one in the mirror, is going to  look the same as the one in the mirror today.  Sad.

Each day I tell myself that today is the day.  Today is the day I am past this, past the crying.  I'm not.  I did it again today.  It had nothing to do with him, it had everything to do with the loneliness.  I'm lonely here people.  I must admit, I have some of the world's most amazing people for friends.  These people mean so much to me, for which I will never have an adequate enough vocabulary to tell them so.  I hope that they know, I try in my own way to tell them.  But, (yes,I know it is horrible to follow that up with a but) I'm still alone.  Their love is overwhelming.  But I'm still missing that one love, that one companionship.

And that is the expectation I have each day.  The expectation that I will wake up and I won't have the need, the yearning for that love anymore.  That the love of my family, the love of my friends, the love of my Jesus will all be enough.  That all that love will be enough to fill me to a point where I don't feel like this. I really did try to convince myself this was possible.  I'm sure there will be a time when it will be, but now isn't it, though I want it to be.  Desperately, I want it to be.

I hate to form a new expectation, mostly I just hate to put a definition to what is going through my head. What I expect is that this will take time.  I expect, some time in the future, to find love again.  I expect to be a part of something real and special and whole.  I expect to end this loneliness.  But I also expect this won't happen like I'm envisioning it now, even though what I see in my mind's eye looks good. (Hey, I'm a girl...we see things through the eyes of a Disney movie at times!) What I really need to do is put my expectations away and trust.  Trust that what should happen, will. Trust that Jesus knows me more than I do and He already has it figured out.

But there are still expectations...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Celebrating a Rough Night?

I had a good day.  Work was one of those days where you are so busy you don't realize that almost 10 hours have gone by until you look at the clock in shock.  I think this is a blessing.  I got some great news today at work too, some that made me squeal with joy.  Naturally, I felt like celebrating.  So, what does a single (yet still legally married) woman with 3 children do?  She takes them out to eat.  Yes, my social life is the envy of all.  No, really, my girls are gorgeous!  But so is their mom - Ha!  We went to one of my favorite places - Buffalo Wild Wings.  What?  Of course!  No, I am not one of those girls who cuts a piece of lettuce into 5 niblits before she can eat it, heavens, why waste so much time?!  It was a fun time out.  My middle little was especially excited, there was a ball game on.  Yes, she is a child after my own heart. She loves college hoops and professional football.  Makes a momma proud. Something tells me, when the time comes, I'll be blockading the door from all the boys.  My littlest little, her favorite game is tic-tac-toe and we played many, many rounds.  How on Earth a 4 year can play that good, I have no idea!  Alright, so maybe, just maybe, mommy puts the O's in the wrong spots!  My biggest little, my precious pre-teen.  Oh, she makes my heart smile.  She's so smart.  I love to hear her sing and tell me all about her music.  It is her passion, music.  I have NO clue where she got it from. I couldn't carry a tune if it jumped on my back, but she can and it is magical.  (Yes, she sang throughout dinner, in her own little world.  I love to watch her when she doesn't think anyone is.)

Then we came home.  Home to an empty house.  It gets me every time.  Oh, some days are better than others.  Some days I'm so busy with house work and school work and mommy work, but not tonight.  They all ran up the stairs to play with their iPads (I'm still so thankful the school let them start bringing these things home!) and DS's.  Which left me here, at my computer, to sit and contemplate all that isn't.  My heart isn't full, my conversations aren't shared, my bed is empty, you know all those things that if you had a spouse that lived in your home you'd have.  So, what'd I do...yes, exactly.  I cried.  Not those dainty, little, softly streaming tears. Nope these were in your face, "I have some water that desperately needs to export itself from my eye sockets" tears.  (Yeah, kind of that gross!)  It's amazing that it still affects me like that.  I honestly think it has less to do with missing him, than it is with missing the idea of him.  The idea of the joy a husband brings.  The pleasure of the companionship and relationship.  That's the sad part, not having someone to share life with and yet not being able to even try to.  Legalities and all.  Curse me for my morals and my beliefs.  Curse me for wanting what only time can present.  Blast it all.

But God must have known.  He must have known I was having a rough night.  My phone JUST NOW stopped ringing and beeping.  Text messages galore and a 40 minute phone call with my mom!  Seriously, who does this?  Who speaks to their parents like this?  Oh, wait, I do!  And surprisingly enough, my mom is an ok person, alright, yes, that is a bit too weak...she's a great person who is turning into a good friend.  *shudder* but true.  (Note, she'll probably be calling once she reads this to ask me to explain my thought process or to cry, or both - I can't really say, but she'll call and that's cool.)  But before that my friend Anna sent my this beautiful reminder, (oh, have you guys found your Anna yet?  I'm serious you truly must) the one I want to leave you with:

"He is there - in the sunrise and the sunset - in the wind that gently blows - in the laughter and smiles and prayers of  your girls - He is all knowing and all sufficient - alpha and omega - beginning and end - Yahweh - king of kings and Lord of lords - and He desperately loves you!" - Anna

Yes, I cried.  Told you she was amazing.  Now to celebrate the rest of my evening with God's truths.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Patience

One of my greatest weaknesses is lack of patience.  Truly, I come by it honestly.  I mean, if any of you know my mom, yeah, just sayin'!  But I'm not here to do finger pointing, after all we all have the choice to be our own person.  No one can make us do or be someone we aren't.  Alright, this is going down a different path than I had wanted it to.

It's true.  I am not a patient person.  Yes, I am one of those toe tapping, finger strumming, body fidgeting, hair twirling, people who display in all matters known to man my utter disdain for waiting.  I hate to wait.  Period!  End of story.  There are times when I think a New York minute isn't fast enough and heaven's I've never even been there!  (Yes, I do realize it is a figure of speech.)

Lack of patience isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it can make a person do things that aren't always right.  And I think that is what has had me so frustrated lately.  I mean I just spent four months praying, crying, waiting, praying some more, pouring my heart into anything and everything that would bring my husband back, and waiting yet some more to only come to the point I am at now.  I mean it is enough to make a woman crazy!  Justifiably so, right?  No.  Regrettably and sadly NO.

I think I'm getting this patience thing, albeit slowly...pun intended.  There's something to be said for things that take time.  There is a beauty in waiting for the picture to fully develop.  Actually, the true gift is often in the moments leading up to the receipt of the thing you've been waiting for.  What I mean is:

No, I did not want my husband to leave me.  No, I did not want my marriage to end.  And most definitely NO I did not want the title of ex - anything.  But through those four months God did something to me, through me.  In the process of the waiting, he taught me how to be still.  He taught me that giving Him the timeliness of everything brings about a special comfort that only he can provide.  Now, I'm not deluding myself, I haven't mastered this thing.  In fact, it is something that I'm currently dealing with, or rather being dealt with.

You see, I want to move on.  Now.  Right this second.  I want all this to be done.  But, its taking time.  It has to.  It has to so that I can actually heal - completely.  God isn't through with the me he's making.  He needs more time.  Oh, this is not in the least bit for His benefit, it is purely for mine.  He needs me to see the me He's making - one painstakingly slow day at a time.  This is the patience that I am learning.

So, as I attempt to speed up certain processes, force issues and circumstances, berate myself over failed this-es and that-es, I need to remember one thing: God wants the best for me and in the process of writing my story, I need to give him the time to do it - His way.

This is a quote that I found at the very beginning of this journey:
"Patience is not the ability to wait, but how you act while you are waiting."  - Joyce Meyer

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Words I Would Say

For those that have followed me for a while you know about the epic level of ick I have going on in my life right now.  You know about the heartache, the pain, the tears, the...well, you just know.  You also know that when I have something that is just too much for me to handle I deal with it by writing it out.  It's a passion really, not just a way for me to express myself when I don't really want to call someone up and say it.  This makes it more personal, yet not quite so.  Yes, I am a walking contradiction.  Either that or the two halves of my brain are fighting again!  Ha!  No, really, I've had something that I'm being dealt with over.  This is something outside of my failed marriage, my wayward husband, and my tear soaked posts, yet it is something that is also a part of each of those.

God has been dealing with me, ever so gently, for a few weeks now about one thing.  At first I thought it was funny that He'd be putting the pressure on me before I even knew what it was.  But, He did.  Why?  Because He knows me.  He knows who I am.  He knows everything about me.  He made me after all.  Oh, and before you think this is one of those things that gets you off the hook because I am being brutifully honest, um....nope, he knows you the same way too!  Anyway, it started as a small nagging, and this past Sunday at church I went to the alter about it, and much to my surprise, the Pastor's message was on it.  It....I know, you're dying from the suspense.

My weaknesses.  We all have one.  We all have that thing, or in some cases things, that keep us from from really experiencing the wonderful joys and blessings the Lord has for us.  Weakness isn't necessarily a bad thing.  It can be a good thing if you channel it up; if you give it to God.  He told us,  "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9) But it is the doing and the realizing and the reacting to this truth that makes us strong - that allows his strength to win.  Truly, it is only through our relationship with Him that will give us strength.  Why?  Because when we bow to the weakness, which is really just sin, it starts to sever us from the Lord. 

And when when we begin to stray from Him the weakness completely takes over.  And when the weakness takes over we miss out on the best.  I know this because God only has the best in mind for us.  Oh, I'm not saying it is the easiest, I'm simply saying it is the best.  I know I'm being purposely vague here, it wasn't my intention to share my weakness in so many words tonight.  But don't worry, I will be doing that over the weeks and months ahead.  I know because I have a feeling it is the next chapter to the book God is writing about my life.  He's doing that for us all, you know, writing our stories.  However, some just stop letting Him before He has a chance to get them to the best part.  I don't want to miss my best part.  Honestly, I'm anxiously waiting for it.

One last thing, and only because it is what brought me to tears when I read it today in 2 Timothy, is a couple of verses I want to share. Don't worry, I've paraphrased them for you. Simply this:  Don't trust everyone you listen to, or especially what they have to say.  While being faced with your weakness you are going to have people telling  you what you want to hear, helping you justify it.  You may even seek out people for that sole purpose.  Just know, that regardless of where you go, God is already there.  Not because He wants to bring fear upon you, but because He wants to save you from yourself.

I love this song.  It is one of my all time favorites.  I think it fits today.

THE WORDS I WOULD SAY - Sidewalk Prophets
Three in the morning,
And I'm still awake,
So I picked up a pen and a page,
And I started writing,
Just what I'd say,
If we were face to face,
I'd tell you just what you mean to me,
I'd tell you these simple truths,

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say,

Last time we spoke,
You said you were hurting,
And I felt your pain in my heart,
I want to tell you,
That I keep on praying,
Love will find you where you are,
I know cause I've already been there,
So please hear these simple truths,

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say,

From one simple life to another,
I will say,
Come find peace in the Father,

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
Thank God for each day,
His love will find a way,
These are the words I would say

Saturday, February 16, 2013

24 Hours Later

Yesterday happened - he's officially gone.  I helped him move.  Yes, I know.  I even sat there with him while he signed the lease for his new place - 12 months.  One year.  That's how long he is committing to being away.  I shouldn't say it like that, really, because he has already made the decision to go, this is merely another step to the process.  Each step he's taken has moved him farther and farther away.  I want to tell you I didn't cry yesterday, really I do, but I did.  I didn't cry while sitting there watching him sign his lease, I didn't cry while carrying his things up to his apartment, and I didn't cry while driving him back to the house so he could pick up his other car. BUT I did cry when he told me he loved me; when he felt the need to utter words that I've longed to hear for months.  I told him not to tell me that, not to lie to me, because love does not leave.  Love DOES NOT walk away.  He clarified himself, he told me he will always love me because I am the mother of his children.  I tried not to let him see the tears fall, I tried so hard to keep my big girl pants on, but they came.  They flowed hot down my face.  I was looking almost 12 years in the face and watching it all fade away.  I kindly asked him to get out of the van and I left.  I couldn't bear to see him pack more.



My new hair...
So what did I do?  I went and got my hair done.  I spent money I didn't have, but I wanted to do something for myself.  I wanted to feel nice.  Now though, I don't know why.  It seems so self-serving and wrong to have spent what I did on something that won't last.  What a waste.  That's how I feel today - what a waste.  I don't even know how to begin to process all my thoughts, feelings, and emotions.  I understand this journey is going to be one day at a time.  I understand that yes, one day I'm going to be able to look back on this and know its for the best, but for right now all I really feel is alone.

I hate that word.  Alone.  It is a hard word to say, a hard one to comprehend. I've been alone before, here in my house, but there has always been the underlying comfort of knowing that I still had someone to share my tomorrows with.  Yet today is yesterday's tomorrow and I didn't I have someone to share it with.  I didn't have someone to wake up to and smile at.  I didn't have anyone.  Before one of you goes off and tries to remind me that I have my three girls, yes I know this, but you cannot have grown up conversations with children.  It isn't fair to them.  Enough said, accept it.  They stayed at their dad's last night anyway and my parent's house tonight.

Actually, this weekend, I planned it so as not to have them here.  It's not so much that I didn't want to cuddle them and love them, but I needed to be able to process.  I needed to be able to think and cry and scream and cry some more and figure out what an empty day looks like.  I needed to be able to really, honestly, and truly think it out and not be interrupted.  I needed to be able to sit here and tap away fervently on these keys with the tears running down my face.  Honestly, I had a laundry list of things I was going to accomplish this weekend.  A hundred different things to show myself that I could take this step and walk comfortably.  I found though, that all those things I'd planned were just going to delay the inevitable.  That once I was done checking them off my list I was still going to end up where I am right now.  So, I decided to forgo all that time filling stuff. And here I sit, processing. 

I've cleaned some, cried some, cooked some, cried some more, read some, cried yet some more, watched a movie, and still I cried more - ok you get the picture.  I knew there would be tears, just not this many especially knowing I've cried so much since October.  Guess I have more to go.  I'm looking forward to the day the tears stop, not because I'm happy he's gone, but because I have healed and know that I have brighter tomorrows ahead - all of them just 24 hours later.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Boxes

I started packing his stuff this past weekend.  First it was just for something to do, something to keep my mind busy.  Then as I continued it became necessary.  Honestly, it became down right therapeutic!  I know now that the man that I married isn't coming back to me and I need to let go of the one he has become.

I started in the kitchen, giving him all of the things there were duplicates of.   He'll be happy to know most of it is Pampered Chef.  Then I moved to the living room and boxed up all of the games, movies, consoles, etc.  I'd have packed up the Blue ray player and surround sound too, had I known what to do with all those wires!  But, I figured we might as well enjoy the last week of TV we will have, since he will be taking that with him. 

Next I moved to the bedroom closet.  That's where I felt sad, I mean, here I was packing away the things we'd amassed over the years.  I packed those childhood baubles and keepsakes that he had stuffed in the clear back, I packed the board games he had as a boy, and the game systems he had as a teenager.  All of those mementos of time he never got rid of, I'm sure more for sentimental reasons than anything else.  He is a sentimental person.  One of the things about the real him I will miss.

Today, I will do a little more.  He says 'thank you' to me after I tell him what I've accomplished.  I want to believe he means it, but I can't, not any more.  Truthfully I just want it done.  I just want it all complete so that on Friday, when he gets the keys to his new place, he can put the boxes in his cars, his friends' cars, and go.  After all, leaving is what he is really good at.  He's been doing it repeatedly for months.

But then there are the boxes that aren't tangible, the ones in my head that I have to start packing too.  The box that holds the milestones, the one that holds the hurts, the joys, and the struggles.  The box that holds all the plans that will never come to fruition and the one that holds the broken dreams.  Each of these need packed and stored, deep, deep inside, so far back that I won't be able to dig them out.  I need to do this, I need to move on.  I need to find healing. 

However, to make space for these new boxes I need to pull some out.  I need to pull out the box that contains my strength, my self-confidence, my perseverance.  I need to open the box that contains my laughter, my belief that there are good people out there, and my trust in others.  I need to empty the box that holds my love, faith, and patience.  These are the boxes that I will need most over the days, weeks, and months to come.

I need to have the strength to conquer each day; the self-confidence to know his leaving wasn't because of me, but because of him; the perseverance to continue on even when I don't have the will to do so.  I need to find how to laugh again; to know that there are good people out there that want to give their goodness away; and to be able to really trust another.  I need to remember that love can't be holed up, but that giving it away is the only true way of finding it; that my faith in the Lord will carry me through; and the patience to wait for what is meant for me.  I'll find it because God has designed it just for me.

But I also have that small bit of realism, some would call it doubt, in me too.  I am human after all.  I will have good days and bad days.  I will have days, like today, where I woke up refreshed, energized and ready to slay those demons, only to end it in an emotional puddle while on the phone with my dear, precious, friend Anna.  She reminds me that this is a process and that it is ok to have emotions, but to also give myself time, real time, to heal and to not chase something else, but to keep my eyes on Jesus. 

I think the hardest part is knowing all of this and still being able to manage it all.  Why?  Because some boxes are boldly labeled:  Do Not Stack.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Seven days

I haven't been able to sleep.  My mind is so full, full of all these things.  Things I can control, many that I can't.  It was almost midnight before I was able to close my eyes, but I was awakened at 3:40 by the sound of the front door slowly opening with the ever so quiet entrance of the one person who has turned my life upside down.  He thought he was being stealthy, I could tell by the purposeful movements, but he wasn't.  After turning on the TV, fixing a bowl of cereal, and waking our 4 year old (unintentionally), he sat down to watch Star Trek.  I had the nerve to ask this morning, why, after all these months has he finally started coming straight home?  For many months now he's slept in his car at work, or in the parking lot at Walmart or McDonald's, or any such place he felt the need to tell me. Truth or not.  Except for now.  Now, when I desperately want peace, he's back; back to being where he should - even though he really isn't.

And that's just it.  He is moving out in seven days.  Seven.  One less than eight.  A week from today.  He will be gone, completely, entirely.  This shouldn't be too much of a surprise; after all, he hasn't been home for many months.  Yet, this finality, this willful choice to move away, to chose everything and anyone but us has me in even more turmoil.  Over this time, as you've read, I've sat here behind this keyboard pouring my heart into the one thing that brings peace to my soul, my writing.  I've shared my angst, my pain, my hopes, my dreams, my brokenness, my faith, and today I'm going to share one more thing - my fear.

I'm about to enter into a place I've never been.  A place never, in my wildest dreams, I'd have ever thought I'd go.  I'm not alone in this, there are many women out there who have done this and many more, sadly, who will.  I'm going to be a single mother.  I'm going to be a woman whose husband has moved away.  I'm going to be categorized, marked by that invisible brand that labels me - rejected. I want to believe that I'll wake up a week from tomorrow with this profound sense of relief and strength, but I don't even know what the balance of today will bring.  I just know one thing - I'm scared.

Will I be enough?  Will I be able to provide for my children?  Will they really know that their mommy is doing everything she can to keep them safe, to show them they are so very much loved?  Am I going to be able to kiss away their fears, dry their tears, parent even when I'm too tired to do so?  Am I going to be able to show them that love can conquer anything?  That together, the 4 of us will be a good family?  Will I be able to grow them into good, respectable, functioning adults?  After all, that's what we're to do, make them good big people, one day at a time.  Then there are the things around the house.  Will I learn to do all those "guy" things?  Yeah, I'm sure I can Google it and find a youtube video of some over zealous person fixing this or that, but that still means I have to. 

Then, last, will I ever be able to love again?  I know it is too soon to even contemplate this.  Too soon to even want to, though in my heart there is the desire too.  I mean, I just spent over 11 years being in love with someone.  I don't want to jump, but I do want to fall.  I want to feel that warmth again, that comfort.  I want to know what it's like to be loved by someone as much as I love them.  But, again, it's too soon and I'm being selfish for even thinking that and going there.  I can almost hear you berating me for having such thoughts. 

I have in my mind several of God's promises.  He'll never leave me or forsake me.  He loves me unconditionally.  He will provide for me.  He will comfort me in my times of trouble.  He will be there, when I stop long enough to seek Him.  There is no fear when you have the Lord, and lastly, let tomorrow worry for itself.  So for now, I'll keep these tucked in my heart, reminding me that the Lord is on my side.  That He wants all these things for me too, but I need to keep His timing in check.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

There She Blows

OK, lovelies, it was bound to happen and today it did.  In fact, I was really taken aback by the way it happened.  Really it is a commonplace occurance, one I've actually experienced a time or two myself over the years. In the past it had reared itself, most often, at the wrong time, and in some cases at the right time. It manifests differently for us all and the presentation of it is just as different.  For me, today, it was highly embarrassing. It being...

Anger

It's a beast.  It can ravage you.  It can take weeks and months worth of work and destroy it in a single swipe.  It can make you into something you never wanted to be. 

I can explain it away, really I have an excuse.  No, really, there is no excuse.  It was unacceptable the way I expressed myself.  The funny thing is just this past Sunday in Sunday School we studied about Anger.  The right kind and the wrong kind.  Today, I had the wrong kind.  You see, I let the Mr. get the best of me.  He knows how to push my buttons.  He knows EXACTLY what to do and in this case NOT TO DO to ruffle my tail feathers.  The unfortunate thing is, I let him!  I let him get under my craw.  WHY?

Perhaps it had to do with months of bending, twisting, yearning, waiting, searching, hoping, wanting, and believing.  Really, it had nothing to do with any of that.  I simply wanted to be mad.  I'd spent too much time not getting angry that I chose to get angry over this one thing.  This one thing that I'd have never let bother me before. 

And instead of pointing it upward, I pointed it at friends.  I pointed it at people I care about.  I pointed it in a very immature way.  I want to take it away.  I want to make my choice words go away.  I want to show that I can be the big girl all the time.  That I can be the adult in every situation.  But today, today I was a child.  I was insecure, whiney, crazy, and just plain aweful.

But...yes, the infamous but, I called Anna.  Really, you ALL MUST GET AN ANNA!  My dear, precious Anna, she is amazing.  She talked me through my littany of woes.  She helped me boil it all down to what it was and at the end of it, I feel better.  I see my triggers for what they are.  I see that it is a weapon used because it can be.  The Mr. knows how to keep me where he wants me.  He knows too much. But Anna reminded me of a real gentleman, my Heavenly Father, who not only knows me but really loves me.  Who thinks I'm special and worthy of love.  Who doesn't want to see me suffer or hurt.  Who feels my pain just the same.  Who longs to hold me and comfort me.  Who wants to dry my tears and calm my fears. I don't need to get angry, in the way I did, because I have Him.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

This Journey

There are a million quotes that talk about journeys and the paths we must take in life.  Some are inspirational and some leave you wondering what the author was actually taking while on his particular journey.  This journey I am on started at the end of October last year.  In the beginning I didn't see it for what it was, oh I read a few of the road signs, like "caution: bump in the road" and "rough terrain ahead," but I naively thought it'd be a quick obstacle and life would go on as normal.  Yet, those small obstacles steered me into bigger ones, like "caution: road closed," "no guard rail," and "falling rocks."  Obstacles I was not prepared for.  I mean, they are things you learn about in driver's training,  read about in books, and see in movies, but they aren't things you actually have to encounter; until you do.

And now I am where I am today.  I can't say the journey is over, but I can say I've come through that portion of the rough terrain.  My husband isn't coming back.  He has chosen to move on and will be moving out completely on February 15th.  Fitting actually, why not celebrate Valentine's with a broken heart?  It will be my first one alone in 12 years.  I know this year will be a year of many firsts, and like everything I have to start somewhere.  I hate to be a cynic, but this is somewhat apropos. I look back over these months and see that I did fight the good fight.  After all, what wife wouldn't?  Don't misunderstand me here.  It isn't that I don't love him, truly I do, but I have to let go. For my own sake. I have to start healing.  My heart needs to start healing. 

This past weekend was one of my best ever since the journey began.  It was the first weekend I didn't check my phone a hundred times hoping he'd texted or called.  It was the first weekend that I got to do something for me.  My little brother, who is actually in his 30's, came over with his son and watched my girls for me so that I could have dinner with my friends.  I want to tell you what an AMAZING group of ladies they are.  These lovelies listened, cared, cried, and helped me to laugh.  They helped me to understand that I can grieve the loss of my husband, because truly the man I married is dead.  In his place is someone I don't know.  Oh sure, he looks the same, sounds the same, walks the same, and has the same name, but this new him is a stranger. One I still pray for.  One I hope finds his way back to the Lord.  But, healing comes from grieving.  I needed to let go.  These precious women not only showed me that but they also gave me some gifts; each one had a message and a purpose, the thoughtfulness behind them was heartwarming and exaclty what I needed to know.

On top of that my mom treated me to some new clothes.  Through all of this I have managed to lose about 35 pounds and let's just say my clothes looked F-U-N-N-Y on me!  I had drawers that were saggier than a baby's in a wading pool.  It was BAD!  It felt so good to find things that fit and made me feel pretty.  (The new sizes were an added bonus!) She also got me new bedding.  For absolute obvious reasons this was a must have!  I slept better last night than I have in months.  Yes, my room is girly and frilly, (ok no lace, no doilies, no ruffles, no pink, and no bows) but it is me.  White with bold colors in an indie type design.  I can't wait to paint and accessorize...that is going to happen Valentine's weekend.  My gift to myself, well, if tax returns come that is!  I'm actually excited to have this oasis of mine.  Perhaps I will share it, probably I won't.  Sheesh...people that's MY space!  Ha!

Then today, today was an amazing day at church.  There are going to be tough days ahead.  This journey will be filled with many more obstacles.  I'm going to encounter more signs in the road.  Yet, I know that I have, not only the love of some amazing friends who are in this with me, but also a church family who prays for me, and a God that loves me.  I'm not alone.  Yes, I'm going to have to finish this journey.  Yes, I'm going to learn some things along the way that I really, really don't want to learn; things that were never in the text books.  But, I know, with all my heart, when I finish this journey I'm going to be better.  I'm going to be ok.  I'm going to be able to look back and say, I did everything I could - and.it's.ok.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Sometimes an Analogy is All it Takes

This has been a super hard week for me.  I mean really, really hard.  I've cried, I've been sick, I've cried some more, ok, let's just leave it with - I've cried.  Well, crying may be a bit too calm of an emotion.  What I've really done is sobbed - gut wrenching deep, soul crushing, heart-breaking sobs.  After all, it isn't every day you find out the worst about the one you love the most.  I've gotten some texts, some instant messages, some phone calls, and some wall posts all telling me it's going to be ok; that this too shall pass; that what doesn't kill me will make me stronger; that God will never give me more than I can handle; that I'm strong enough to get through this; etc, etc.  Here's the thing - I don't want to just get through this.  I don't want to just over come this.   I want to win this.  I want my husband back. 

But I fear he isn't coming back.  Today was the day he told me he was signing the lease on his new apartment.  The one he is getting near here to be close by his children.  The one he won't be sharing alone.  There have been no intentions shared with me.  I don't know what to expect, what to think, what to do; I'm sitting here struggling to understand where it all went wrong and waiting for him to give me some guidance.  After all, that has been what he's done for over a decade - guided me.  He's been my everything, and now he will be that for someone else.  That thought alone brought me to my knees so many times today.  So many times.  I was crying so hard at work that I called a dear friend.  I'm scared I told her.  She said, I know this is scary.   I'm so afraid.  She said, I know.  I'm so alone.  She didn't agree. 

You see I have many friends.  Many wonderful friends, a loving family, and a loving church family.  This is going to be a long road.  One I never thought I'd travel.  One I always imagined other people walk down, never me.  Yet, here I am almost 35 with 3 beautiful children, debt beyond what I can afford on my own, and only me to take care of it all.  Not exactly stellar credentials.  I am so worried, frightened, scared, unsure of myself, and devastatingly sad. 

Then my dear friend called me again just as I was getting off of work.  Truly, you all need a friend like her.  She listens to every word, she cries with you, she cries for you, she prays for you, she lets you know that you are loved, that you are special, that you will be ok.  And even when you don't agree she loves you and says it all again.    She reminds you of how special you are.  How much God loves you and how special you are to him.  She reminds you of what a gift you are to so many people (here's where I remind her she is more than a gift, she is a treasure). She reminds you of all the things about you that make you amazing.  She tells you you are beautiful and wonderfully made.  She is precious.  It was while we were talking this afternoon I remembered an analogy I heard many, many years ago and I couldn't wait to share it with her.

I heard this analogy about 7 years ago while I was going to counseling.  It was at a point in my life where I had made some unfortunate choices, ones that took me to a place I never should have been.  Thankfully I had a husband who loved me more than my sin and chose to help me through it. In a moment of some sort of clarity, I had sought a Christian counselor.  This ended up being the right decision.  You see in one of my sessions we talked about dependency; the right kind and the wrong kind.  We talked about what happens when we chose to turn towards those things and people that cannot give us what we really need which inevitably causes us to continue to look harder and harder, searching more and more, only to be left empty still, craving to be filled with something, longing for the relief that fulfillment alone can bring.  And he used an analogy that I have never forgotten.

The Tick and The Dog.  What he told me was that I was a tick and I was trying to make my husband the dog.  I was attempting to feed off of him for every emotion I had.  I was looking for him to bring me happiness, fulfillment, love, joy, peace, etc.  And because no human is capable of that when I didn't get it from him I started jumping from one thing (host) to another trying to get filled.  The less I found the more I searched, the more I tried to find a host to fill my emptiness, my void.  But that is the thing, nothing, absolutely NOTHING, is going to fully fill you like the Lord.  My problem was that in all that searching I forgot to look up.  It was my husband who brought me back to church, my husband who prayed with me and for me, my husband who longed to have the me back he loved.  He chose me.  And the 7 years after that had been tough, but good, and even at times, great.  Then we are where we are today.

You see I know my husband is looking, he's searching, he's trying to find something to fill him, but like me he is going to have to find the real source of fulfillment.  I've tried to tell him, to show him, but he has simply moved on.  I will continue to pray for him; after all, I love him.  But that isn't the reason for this analogy.  No, it is because again, I am looking for my husband to be all those things.  Sadly, he is gone, but the Lord isn't.  He alone can take away my pain.  He alone can fill my emptiness, my void.  He alone can bring back my happiness, my love, my joy, my peace.  He alone can do all these things.  Oh, how I wish I could get my husband to know this too, but he isn't ready to listen to it.  Trust me, in ways, I've tried over these past 3+ months to show him this truth.  In the meantime, I am again, the student of this lesson. I need to find comfort and rest in the only arms that can really give it - Jesus.

I hope, my dear lovelies, as you read through this journey I'm on that my words offer you something.  I know they are my outlet, my peace.  I really do chose what I write thoughtfully, especially as of late due to the sensitiveness of the topic, because words can do so much.

- M