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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Most wonderful time of the year?

I LOVE Christmas. All of it, everything about it from start to finish. I love the lights, the crisp air, the crunching of snow, the music, the colors, ornaments and the memories they carry, watching people get blessed, the giddiness of little ones, the anticipation, the joy, the food, the friendship, the love and the celebration of Jesus, all the cheesy movies and the hot cocoa…..

This year it is different. Actually the past few years have been different. This year I have chosen to actually let myself feel the authentic feelings that refuse to be plastered over with a smile and a false pretense. This year I hate Christmas. Yes, I said it, and I used the word hate.

This year the never ending streaming of Christmas music leaves an actual physical ache in my chest. This year I can’t even walk into the storage room that houses my decorations, let alone put them up. This year I can’t stop crying, and my aching soul is filled with shame at my selfishness, and I’m “should-ing” all over myself.  I should be: happy, joyful, celebrating, thankful for what I have, thankful I’m not worse off, thankful period. But I’m not.

  Instead I’m wrestling with God for answers. A God who I know doesn’t owe me anything, a God I should be in awe of and respectful toward and yet He is the same God who appears to be failing me time and time again. Doesn’t He see my pain? The Bible says He does. Does He care? The Bible says He does. Aren’t these longings and desires from Him? The Bible says they are. Then why do they feel like torture?

This Christmas I do not want any gifts. Truly and honestly I just don’t want any part of it. I am in too much pain. My soul is in anguish and it’s all I can do to just lift my head off the pillow. My season of mourning continues and it goes against everything that my mind is screaming at me. It goes against every message being broadcast across our nation, our church, our neighborhood, and even my own mind. Yet it is very real and it just is.