2014 A New Year

My goal (I don’t do resolutions) for 2014 is to allow myself to hope and dream again, to listen to the whispers of my heart and entertain the possibilities and the what if’s.

 I enjoyed New Year ’s Eve. I spent the early part of it having coffee/tea with a new friend, who graciously found me important enough to take the time to get to know me better. It blessed me tremendously, and spoke to my heart, as a huge part of my struggle/ story involves the belief of the lie that I am not wanted or wantable. I left there feeling wanted.

The rest of the evening was spent at my brother and sister-in-laws house with 4 wild and carefree kids and 3 wild and carefree adults. We watched movies, there was dancing, laughing, hair braiding, nail polishing, playing, and just being silly. It was fun, they are the most important people in my life, and I am grateful beyond words for them.

Yet, there were still places in my soul that were not satisfied, and my deep longings and brokenness wouldn’t allow me to fully embrace the feelings of excitement and magic that Ryan Seacrest animated, while the hoopla of Times Square, jammed with people, cheered on the dropping of the ball.

And then the count down, 10,9,8….. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!! and the reality of my singleness, my longings, and the weight of yet another year to get through, snapped against my heart like a rubber band, that ever present sting rising to the surface. I hate it. I hate the shame and the self-condemning thoughts of not being totally satisfied with the gifts I’ve been given, and for still wanting more.

The truth is that I’m not excited for another year. And in my process of healing my soul I’ve chosen to sit with the truth of my feelings. I’m not going to pretend that I’m excited or that everything has the essence of being shiny and new, or that I’m starting off with a “clean slate”. I’m not going to pretend that the sting of not having a significant other to share the traditional “Midnight Kiss” with wasn’t there. It was there, along with the shameful and selfish thoughts of “Uggghh another year, how many more of these am I going to have to endure God?”  Mixed in with the condemning thoughts of, “Do you know how many people would give anything to just have more year, one more DAY, with a lost loved one? And here I am not appreciating or wanting the days I’ve been given!” Shame, ambivalence, self-contempt, realness. 

 I will not force myself to pretend to feel fully satisfied, not anymore. And truly I don’t think any of us will reach the fullness of true contentment this side of Heaven. I believe longings and desires come from God to help us move closer to Him. So, that’s what I have chosen to do this new year. I have chosen to continue exploring the longings of my heart, and the places that are not satisfied. I have chosen to feel my feelings, to sit in them instead of masking them, and to actually ASK God aloud, what is it I’m REALLY wanting? What is it You are trying to lead me towards? Then, I will do my best to listen and allow my heart to be open to new possibilities.  I will continue to tell myself to trust that God really does want His best for me.

Jeremiah 29:11  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

Psalm 107:9   “For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.”

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Shifting

I’ve noticed something shifting lately; I can feel it deep inside me. It’s like the seasons slowly blending one into the next, my soul is shifting, and these are the verses that have been washing up on the shore of my heart over and over again like tireless waves against the rocks.

Psalms 42:5- “Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation.”

Matthew 5:4- “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”

I have been in great need of comfort, and up until a few months ago I hadn’t realized that my soul had many things it needed to mourn in order for that comfort to come. There are things I wasn’t even in tune to, things that I had looked away from and ignored for many years, in hope that they would grow quiet by themselves, and then there are the bigger things, the ones that seem to ache with each breath.  And so I have been in mourning.  Facing pain, and freeing myself to comfort, slowly, deliberately, and with the gentle guidance of God. Something in my soul is beginning to shift.

My desire to be a mom is one of the bigger things. The longing to carry and give birth to my very own child has been rooted deeply in my heart. This desire has been with me from the time I was old enough to hold a doll. It is deep and it is real and it is a good, Godly desire.

The years have passed and with them the pain of this longing grows. It has become one of those longings we don’t talk about because the reality of it is just too painful, too deep, and just simply speaking it aloud brings tears.  Then there is the reality of this earthy place where we live and the earthly bodies that we reside in.  Things are shifting.  My body is aging, my reality is growing closer, my longings are losing the battle to their earthly reality, and I am in need of comfort.

I know that nothing is impossible with God, and that “anything can happen”, yet I feel the hand of God leading me, in mourning the loss of what may never be.  God is gently folding up this precious longing and placing it in my “hope chest” and with it, the comfort and the tears coincide.

I am lovingly reminded by my sister–in-law that although it is not the same, I “have” children. I am “Auntie” to four beautiful babies that I have had the honor of loving, and caring for from the day of each of their births, never missing a first word, first step, first food, or a birthday. I love them fiercely; I love them like a mother. God has also reminded me of the countless children I have cared for over the years as nanny, babysitter, nursery worker….and I feel Him reassuring me that even though it is not how I wanted it, or how I expected it, He will use me in spite of it.

My soul is shifting, my paradigm is changing. My vision for my future is slowly being renewed as I look at a different life, one without this longing and desire aching like an open wound. God has reassured me that it is ok to place this one in the “hope chest” and in my mourning He is blanketing me in comfort.  This longing may never be unfolded this side of heaven, or maybe it will, and both is ok.