Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Struggle Within

I've taken many weeks off from writing, yes even in my private journals.  It isn't that I haven't had a desire to, quite the opposite really; it is more that I have been struggling with coming to terms with the thoughts in my head.  I won't lie, this battle, the one where I am struggling to be the confident, independent divorce is colliding with the career woman, single mom of three, who longs for a forever someone, is wearing me out.  People divorce is so very hard.  I have read countless articles, books, blogs, not to mention listened to radio programs, podcasts and other divorces' advice, but I am still not healed.   Listen to me, no matter what you may want to believe and some may convince you to believe, there is no cookie-cutter way to get through divorce.  Most especially if you were the one left hanging. 

I've fought God, myself, and others in this process.  I've had good days and horrible days.  I've had days where I thought I could conquer the world and days were I swear I'd pull the trigger on myself if I thought I could muster up the energy to load a handgun.  It's true.  Divorce will rock you to the core.  It will take everything you thought you knew about yourself and throw it in your face - in a not so gentle way.  In the wake of divorce you are going to have to find who you are on your own.  There is not a single sole on this planet who is strong enough to answer this question for you.  But it's ok, I'll understand if you are trying, I did.  That is one of the problems with being in a relationship for so many years, you lose your identity as you work to nurture those who are in your care, or at least if you are me  you do.

People I have TRIED.  I have been alone-alone and I have been together-alone.  I have sought my completeness in friends, family, and even those I gave my love.  Each time I have come up empty, more incomplete actually.  I have not found what I was looking for.  Sure, in some point of time I thought, rather felt, healed, but the truth of it is I wasn't and I know this because to this day I am still not.  I know this because of the battle within.  This battle in my head on who I am.  Of who God wants me to be.  Of what I thought and think my deepest desires are.  And then of what I think God will let my deepest desires to be. I have this supreme fear that what he lets me have and what I want will never align.  (Do not read this as I want a mansion and a million dollars.  I am not a materialistic person.)

I think I fight Him the most, I also run to Him the most.  I am sure, no, I know for a fact He wants me to turn to Him.  And I do, but honestly only after I have attempted to do it all myself.  That's me.  The girl who has had to do it all herself for so long that she learned the hard way never to count on another person for a single thing.  Oh, don't misunderstand, I've wanted to, and in my own way I've given so much of myself - emotionally, physically, and financially - in the hopes it'd be reciprocated with the same fervency, but it never is.  IT. NEVER. IS!  It seems I find myself always back to the same place.  I find the same results.  Always.  It is my life cycle.  And when I find myself there I run to Him.   I never ask Him to direct me in the midst of it all.  He does though, when I struggle, kind of like I am right now.  He tells me that I know what to do, that I know the right things and the answers to all my questions if I would just have the courage and strength to make them known.  Then I struggle with myself and the situation and continue down the same path.

I'm miserable.  Each day I want to hate the ex-Mr. even more, but can't pull myself to do it.  Instead I replay in my head all the things that I could have done differently, all the ways I could have been the woman he needed me to be during all those years in order to keep him here, but I wasn't.  Then in the next thought process I think, no, it wasn't me.  I can find my peace, I can find me, I can do this adult grown-up thing all by myself no questions asked, but truly all I end up doing is laying in a heap at the feet of Jesus pleading for the heartache and pain to go away.  Begging for him to fill the void and answer my deepest desires.  And He answers me by waiting.  Waiting!

This struggle I am in, this struggle within, the right vs. the wrong, the me vs. God, the calendar vs. eternity, it isn't going to let up.  It isn't going to go away.  No, in it all the only answer I have is to Let it go.  To give up.  To just not DO any thing...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Searching

I like scavenger hunts, always have.  I don't know if it is the thrill of finding the item on the list, or for someone like me who is a list maker, the joy of crossing off the item from the list.  When I was little and we would travel back and forth from home to the city, roughly a 3.5 hour drive (eternity for a kid), my brother or cousin and I would make up a list of things we'd have to find to pass the time - different state plates, landmarks, colors of cars, etc.  A few years ago my Sunday School class did a timed scavenger hunt around the town where our church is. We broke off into 4 man groups, all with the same list of clues and had to ultimately find the final answer.  In each of those times I can remember the smiles and the excitement and the sheer fun of the event.  However, those were just games. In life we often find ourselves searching, searching for something that can't be "crossed off a list" so-to-speak.

I'm searching people.  I've looked hard. I've looked deep. And, yes, I've looked up.  I'm finding that the harder I search the less I find.  Hear me out.  In her book, The Single Woman (SW), Mandy Hale shares, "We're all waiting for something. If you're still waiting for it, it means you're not yet ready for it, whatever "it" is, so stop looking at waiting as a punishment and start looking at it as preparation!" What does all of this have to do with searching?  Well, sometimes when searching for something you have to wait for all the clues to come together. You have to wait for the dots to connect and sometimes, sadly, you run out of time before you find everything. 

In this waiting game,  you know the one where I have repeatedly shared I wish I could have a forever someone, I'm searching for the answers to why things aren't going faster.  What "items" on this list that God has made concerning me have I not found?  What is still so broken with me, my life, my situation, that I'm not enough, not ready?  That's what it all boils down to, isn't it?  That me, myself, am not good enough for another person?  That the other person wants nothing to do with me in a forever sense, right now.  Today.  It hurts even more that I have to be here, in this place, not due to any choice of my own and while the other person is living the life they wanted I am not.  No, I'm searching, desperately searching, and longing all the more.

Have you been there?  Have you searched so hard for the answers to the pain?  For love?  For someone to share your life with?  Have you wished so hard for something, sometimes daily, that it consumes all that is in you?  I have.  This scavenger hunt is not fun for me.  This one leaves me empty and defeated, broken and without hope, void and joyless.  In the waiting there is, to a degree, supposed to be no level of doing.  Not doing in that you aren't to live your life, but not doing as in trying to hurry God along.  He has his own time in everything.  In all honesty, the hardest part in giving it over to God is placing unyielding trust in Him and that timing.  And in so doing, sin not. SIN. NOT.

SW goes on to say, "The time between when  you wish for something and when it actually comes true is a vital season.  Sometimes the moments spent waiting for something are even more important than the moment the something actually happens. And not all wishes are meant to come true. Some wishes are only there to teach us how to wait. These wishes are no less magical; they may be even more so because they bring us not an instant blessing but a lifelong lesson.  During those seasons of waiting, remember this: The stretching of your faith is immediate pain that results in ultimate gain.  It is in the waiting that we become who we are meant to be."

This leaves me to beg the question, "who, Lord, am I meant to be?"  What things do I need to cross off this list of my life?  What have I not yet found?  Why am I waiting, painfully, day-in-and-day-out for the next clue?  Will time run out before I finally get to where I'm supposed to be? The waiting is killing me, the searching even more...