Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 143: Games

Dating is not my problem. Dating is just a manifestation of the problem. And the past few months of "not dating" has allowed the real issues to manifest themselves in other ways. Stupid ways that I have to deal with again and again. Ugh! Every time I get to what I think is the root of the problem, it manifests itself in another way and I have to tackle that issue too.

Most of my best thinking takes place in the shower. Or while I'm driving. (Coincidentally, some of my worst thinking takes place while I'm lying in bed trying to fall asleep. Stupid insomnia doesn't even lend itself to clear thinking!) Anyway, today I started thinking about things that have been happening over the past few months. And one thing came to mind. It happened about a month ago (I can't believe it! It seems like it's been years and just yesterday all at the same time.) But about a month ago, someone said to me, "This is all just a game to you, isn't it?" And at the time I (wrongly) thought "Challenge Accepted." And then I set out to prove that it wasn't just a game.

And later as I was thinking back on the comment, I realized that it was another one of those comments that cut me to the core. And did I really prove him wrong? Or did I just confirm exactly what he thought? Why did it bother me so much? Was it true? Was it all just a game? Did I really think that? And if so, for long? And why? Because games aren't a big deal. They are not emotional. They are fun. Or at least that's what I told myself. I couldn't have been more wrong. Have you ever seen/played a game?  
Games are emotional. And even worse- competitive.

Love is not a game!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 142: Loneliness

That is my prayer right now. For loneliness.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 139: My Life is a Lifetime Movie

Last night at my DTR group I shared my story with them. Yes, it's been a year since we started meeting but this just happened to be the best time to do it. And when I think about how much I've changed in the past year, I realize how different my story would have been if I had told it at the beginning. Not because that much has changed physically, but because of how much has changed in my life. How much I've grown and opened up.

Throughout the past year, these women have gotten glimpses into my life through stories and prayer requests and break-ins, but last night they pretty much got the whole story. Which went something like this: "So you know that thing I told you about? Here's the 5 years of back story about that..." And then they began to put all the puzzles pieces together. All the little pieces I had given them over the past year came together and they were able to see the big picture of my life. Where all the multiple break-ins I've done fit in.

They also told me that my life could be a lifetime movie. Which I have been saying since college. Oh, to be a kid again! But it's frustrating. And then I told them about the mom curse. And today someone told me that they felt as if I gave up. It was like someone had stabbed me in the stomach. It was the curse all over again. And I couldn't hold back the tears. And I'm tearing up thinking about it now...

So that's where I am tonight. There's no resolution. There's no neat little story wrapped up and tied with a bow. There's no beginning, middle, and end. There's no lesson that I've learned or ways I've grown. There's just hurt.  There are tears. There is fear that it's true. Did I give up? Would I do it again? Has anything changed? Have I changed?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 137: Struggles

I haven't done this in a while. Written. I haven't really felt like it. My mind, as usual, is all over the place. The good news is that I have slept through the night the past two nights! Sweet rest! It's amazing how much energy I have.

Anyway, tonight I went to a connection class at church and then went down to the river for a picnic with some friends. The weather was perfect! And the view... spectacular!

Everything should have been perfect. But something was holding me back. My mind. It was racing. Looking at the people around me and the history that they didn't even know that I had with them. Thankfully, because they didn't know, they were able to be normal and have a good time. It was another one of those "maybe it's time to move out of Memphis" moments. Sometimes it's just too much... everything.

But I have been thinking a lot about the next 45 days. 45 days! Insert slight freak out moment and mixture of fear and excitement! I'm nervous about it. There's a lot I want to do and accomplish in the next month and a half. And I am actually looking forward to everything, which is a huge shift from the terror that I had about it recently. I'm excited about what's next. Even though there have been struggles and I have gone through some tough things in the past 4 months, God has been teaching me so much! He has shown me so many things about myself and how I deal with certain situations and why. He is definitely preparing me for the future and what He has in store for me. Crazy thought: I really want to be married!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 130: The End is Near

When I first started this challenge, six months seemed like forever long away. But now it's getting close. Even last Thursday I was telling my growth group that I didn't know if I was ready for it to be over (Funny, I never thought I would ever be the one to say that!) And then Thursday night... And I freaked out! What if nothing is different? What if I haven't changed or grown at all? What if things go right back to how they were before I started this? I know that I needed this time away from everything to process things, but sometimes I feel like I've been running away and avoiding everything and when this is over I'm afraid that I'm going to have to face this head on. And what if I'm not ready?

Last night, a friend reminded me that I have two months left (52 days to be exact) and all the what-ifs ran through my head again. And then you get the calculating me that tries to carry on a conversation while in my mind, I'm totally freaking about about dating.

*While I'm typing this, I'm thinking about how much things have changed. How much I have changed. The fact that I am even freaking out about dating shows how much I've changed. But I'm just nervous. About everything. 

So my prayer, as it has been for months now, is for peace. A lot can happen in two months and I'm trusting that God will continue to teach me things and draw me closer to Him through this process.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 128: Calculating

They asked me a question. My mind goes crazy thinking of hundreds of things. And then I try to filter through everything to get to all the necessary things that would answer the question. And then I try to filter things down even more to what I actually want to say. To find the exact words that will express what I'm thinking and feeling without giving too much away.

And then comes the next questions that usually follow: What are you not telling us? What are you trying to hide?

And sometimes I wish I didn't think so much. I wish someone would ask me something and I could just immediately answer and not worry about what I'm going to say. Or what they're going to think. Or how they're going to respond.

But I can't help it. I feel like every sentence-every response- is calculated and I hate it. It makes me feel like I haven't  grown at all. And I'm working on it, but it's a long, slow process!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Day 123: Whirlwind

This post may be a whirlwind of emotions because my day has been a whirlwind of emotions! I think about anything and everything pretty much all the time but mostly while I'm driving. So I often think about ideas to write about and today they have been everywhere! This morning on the way to church I was thinking about how the past few days have been rough. Just emotionally trying. I was drained and worn out but also definitely brought to my knees. And I was thinking about writing about that and about how I was worried that I was slipping back into the old me. I was worried about compartmentalizing my life and isolating myself.

And then I got to church. And Bryan ripped all that to shreds. I have talked to Bryan about my thoughts on all that and even blogged about fellowship versus community before. But today, especially in the midst of just wanting to isolate and run away, it was exactly what I needed to hear. So convicting! "Not everyone should know everything, but someone should." So then, even though I know that I have written about it before, I was going to write about how thankful I am that I have Peter, James, and John in my life. That God placed them in my life when I needed them most and that they are truly women that are with me on the mountains, but also go down into the valleys with me. And because of that we sometimes have hard (and much needed) conversations. But I am so blessed to have them!

Tonight, I went to dinner with friends. And to be honest, I had been struggling with this group. For multiple reasons. One being that I didn't know what we were. Or what I wanted us to be. Was it a Bible study? Okay, I could be in a Bible study with them. Was it friends hanging out? Perfect, I love hanging out with women in the body. Was it a community group? For various reasons that wasn't what I was looking for. When I thought it was moving more towards that, I backed off and have just recently started to cautiously get reconnected. But dinner was great tonight. I think part of it was the sermon today. It made everyone really evaluate what we wanted this group to be and to get more on the same page. And I got to have some great conversations. I hope that this will be the start of maybe something different and that God will continue to grow these friendships.

After dinner, I was able to fellowship with people that I haven't seen in a while or don't see often and catch up on life and be encouraged in ways that I didn't think I even needed. And encouraged I was! Not just by the words but by the thought behind them. And by my own thoughts. That I was able to hear the words for what they were and not read anything into them but just enjoy the sentiment. And think about how far I've come. And I could write a whole post full of parables about my excitement with not getting overly excited.

Through all this time, I'm trying not to stress. Trying not to think about the future and the conversation that was coming. It's funny how God takes everything away from me so I have nothing to lean on except for Him. I wish it didn't have to get to that point, but I'm stubborn and sometimes that's what it takes.

I missed my quiet time yesterday. Well, I started it and then was running late and got busy and never finished it. So while I'm waiting on this phone call, I decided to finish what I had started. "You sneaky, God!" It was exactly what I needed! Things that would have been good to read yesterday, were exactly what I needed to hear tonight.
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love towards those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:10-12
And then I prayed. And cried. And waited on my phone to ring. And the conversation was nothing like I expected. (Although I really had no idea what to expect) And then I hung up and prayed some more.

So there you have it. All the things I thought about writing about today all rolled up into one... I've heard this song a lot in the past few days. (It seems like I've been dealing with this for weeks! How has it only been a few days??) And every time, I feel like God just has me stop and listen to the words. So great! He truly meets me where I am!

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior, has ransomed me
And like a flood
His mercy rains
Unending Love
Amazing Grace

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 122: The Bane of My Existence

My mind. My mind is crazy! Sometimes I can imagine wild adventures and can daydream for hours about places and events that would never happen in real life. Tonight, I hung out with friends and was able to laugh and play games and just be in the moment. But the second I stepped into my car, my mind started going 800 miles a minute thinking about everything. This morning, in a belly dancing class, we would be practicing different skills and my mind would dart away somewhere and I would totally get distracted and lose focus.

I hate that I feel like it has a weird power over me sometimes. I hate that I'm so stubborn that it takes something like this for me to learn a lesson. I hate that I feel as if God has to literally take me by the shoulders and shake me to get my attention. I hate that I feel like I'm going through the exact same things over and over again.

I hate that my mind races to the past and brings up so many past insecurities. Past hurt. Past feelings of inadequacy. I feel like I could take a blog I wrote earlier and just copy and paste it to this one. I hate that. Why does it feel as though I'm not learning anything. I'm frustrated. I just want to learn from all this. The first time. I just want to start over.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 121: This Won't Make Sense

At least not to you. I need to clear my head. And I want to jot things down to remember what's been running through my mind the past 36-48 hours. So while the memories and emotions are very real to me, they may not make sense to other people. But let's be honest. I don't care. I write this for me. So stream of consciousness...ready, go!

Excited. Happy. Content. Convicted. So much has changed in four months. I never thought I would get to this point. I can do this. Things can be different. I'm not the same person. This is nice. Change begins with the heart, not behavior modification. Confused. Why? Desire. Things are still different. Frustrated. Mad. Hurt. Bitter. Tears. Enraged. They're not all the same. Thankful. What's the root of the problem? What's the bigger lie? Hopeful for the future. Convicted. Productive. Worship. More tears. Craving. Taking steps towards healing. Mending relationships. Asking forgiveness. Hunger. Sanctified.

So that's pretty much been my life since yesterday morning. There have been tears of anger and frustration but also tears of joy and hope. It's been quite the roller coaster! I am continuing to speak truth to myself. And praying for God's will to be done in all circumstances. Thankful for what He has already done and what He is continuing to do and show me everyday.