Saturday, March 21, 2009

it's raining...

it's not pouring, but sometimes it sure feels like it when your heart is hurting.  

Lately I've really been wanting to ramble my current slam of thoughts.  I'm still so new to this whole blogging thing.  Sometimes, I write with abandon...laying my vulnerability out there for all to see.  Though, recently I've found myself to be reserved, actually caring what others might think when they read this.  I once had a friend accuse me of always being negative (I had been having some rough times....ya know:  a miscarriage, lost my job, my best friend, at the time, went crazy...just simple things really) and it has instilled in me the fear of ever expressing too deep of feelings/thoughts that might relay an attitude of being 'negative', too often.  I don't want this blog to be my 'Woe is Me Session' (yuck) but I have to be honest and admit that this winter has been a hard one for me.  Actually, let me rephrase that....this period of my life since moving out to the beach, away from any close family or friends, has been the hardest season of my life. Each year here presents new trials, usually with relationships, that I must forge through...always leaving myself to ask the question: "what is wrong with me?"  Before moving here to get married and live with my husband, I never had such relational challenges.  One of my closest girlfriends pointed out to me, today, that it is most likely due to the fact that this is the first time I have lived away from my family and any close dear friends.  I have had to survive on my own, I suppose.  So, maybe I stink at discerning who would be a good new friend!?  haha.  I am such a relational person.  I truly cherish my friendships.  I have a quality about me that works for and against me, at the same time:  I don't guard myself and I invest quickly.  I give my trust very quickly and am not afraid to be vulnerable.  As you can see, this can typically be a good quality to have in a friend, but it has also led to much pain.  You'd think I'd have trust issues by now....Lord knows I wish I did!  Sometimes I actually wish that I would guard my trust and heart a bit more protectively...I get hurt and often vow that I will not entrust myself to someone so quickly the next time.  But, I always fail.  I get excited, like a little girl, to meet someone new (geesh, sounds kinda desperate, don't it?).  Anyway, now this sounds like I keep allowing myself to get my feelers hurt...that I must be some overly-sensitive girl who can't hold a friendship...and maybe that is the case...??  But, deep down I don't feel like that is what it is.  I have just met some disappointing people on my journey of living out here.  Mark has continually warned me that coastal people are a different/challenging breed.  But, I acknowledge in the same breath that I, of course, have my own hang-ups and these relational trials have served to teach me a new revelation about myself that I must submit to the Lord and grow from.

So, yeah.  I have been feeling a bit blue lately.  My health has become a big challenge again and that is a daily struggle that I try not to let get me down.  Mark and I are currently wading through an issue that I struggle with and everyday I look at him and sometimes feel myself thinking that he deserves so much better.  Financial struggles are finally hitting us and we find ourselves asking what is next? ...should Mark find a new career?  ...could we/should we move away from here (fingers crossed!)?  My spiritual walk is the driest it's ever been - I want to feel Jesus so badly right now, but I struggle through the muck to even believe that I am capable of feeling Him. And, this place is stinkin' lonely.  I am a stay at home mom.  I love my job but I need companionship in the baddest way.  But, this week I found myself stunned from another let-down friendship.  My heart is aching and bewildered.  Boohoo. Woe is me.

It's raining...but I know it's not pouring.  It's not pouring because these are mild trials in the grand scheme of it all. I know that.  It doesn't make it all hurt any less.  But, when I hear about another friend's current trials I am put in my place and shown how challenging it really could be.  But, right now, I am still aching.  I am in my muck.  Am I I over-dramatizing?  Perhaps.  But that is how I feel.  I wear my emotions on my sleeve, in plain sight for all to see.  If I were to sit here and write out some emotion-less post about food or health, I would not be true to myself and my current frame of mind.  So this is 
where I'm at.

I started re-reading Captivating by John and Stasi Elderidge the other week.  Yes, it is a very trendy Christian book, but it is still worth the read and I highly recommend it.  It points out how, too often, women struggle with feeling like they are not enough yet, at the same time, that they are far too much.  Holy cow, I soooooo relate to that, don't you?  I catch my thoughts wandering to places, thinking:  "I'm not enough of a serving wife"..."I'm not a patient enough mother"..."I'm not a thoughtful enough friend""I have too many opinions"..."I react with too much emotion"..."I over-think too much".  Can anyone else relate to this?  Anyway, so this book is great because it delves into those struggling thoughts and begins to reveal to you, as a woman, that you are neither too much nor lacking but that you are just right, for that is how God designed you.  This is the briefest summary of just 
a portion of this book...but all that to say, it is pretty darn encouraging especially for the struggles I am currently facing.

I have to keep re-realizing that while I do the best I can to learn and grow to be a better, loving person, I am still me just as Jesus created me and some people will embrace that while others will reject it.  I thought/expected friendships to be opportunities to embrace each other's differences, quirks and all - a striving for unconditional love and acceptance. And, I still believe that's how it should be.  It is a sad world for those who do not view or treat friendships in the same light for their relationships will be lacking.

I am left dwelling upon one of my most favoritest quotes that I relate to in a very intimate way:

Then the time came when the risk it took
To remain tight in a bud was more painful
Than the risk it took to blossom.
~Anias Nin

To my true dear friends:  May we continue to blossom into the beauties that God designed us to be...quirks and all...and love each other, unconditionally, for them.

My dear husband and best friend for life

Mi Madre, who has loved me unconditionally since I was in her womb

Lacey Jean, my bosom buddy - though, I'm more bosom and she's more booty...maybe we should be 'bosom booties'?

Katy, my beautiful dear sister and one of my closest friends

Becky, my adopted sister in Christ and friend who tells it like it is (we're at a costume party in this pic)

Brooke, my lifelong friend since childhood - we shared Barbies and played chipmunk

...just to name a few.


Mark said...

I am proud of you. You are a lesson to me in vulnerability, the hardest, most valuable lesson for a guy like me to learn. Love you.

Lacey said...

I love you. Friendship IS about embracing differences and quirks. We become better people when we are challenged by others and their nuances and knowledge. You have definitely helped me grow in the time I've known you. I have learned to be more honest and not ashamed of who I am through you. Thanks. :)

Julie Kohl said...

I love you, my dot. To God and many, YOU are captivating! Unique, quirky, beautiful, intense, passionate, loving, vulnerable...and bold enough to take a risk. You are blossoming and God is at the center of that. You have a wealth to offer and I am blessed to call you daughter.
I love you to China.
Yo Mama

Brooke said...

O, I do love you so. Life sure can be hard at times, and relationships are God's way of making us grow--of this I am sure. I will be there for you always--even though we are separated by distance. You are my heart bud and a gift from God to me, my friend!

Vivian said...

While I haven't known you long, I have been touched by your vulnerability and grace. I relate to much of what you share, and it's only when I hear an amazing woman like you share her insecurities that I get why people always tell me, "Stop being so hard on yourself!"
Those who are closest to you know what a blessing you are, and ultimately Christ WILL carry you through the trials -even when you don't feel Him anymore. (From what I've heard, He's kinda in the business of turning mourning into joy :) )