My prayer tonight has been to find a reason to live beyond my children, my grandchildren, my husband and ministry. To understand this you have to know that I have always wanted to be a mom and homemaker. I never desired a job really that put me out in the workplace. Yes…here I am. I took myself off facebook today because I look sometimes a hundred times a day to see what my children are doing…to hear what my grandchildren are doing and saying. That’s not healthy. I had unrealistic expectations that in these golden years we would be full…full of Sunday dinners, full of children, full of love and connection and friendship and need of us…of me. There is none of that. So now I need to find my new peace state where I am happy with myself and with my life. I need to find my reason for living.
At first I thought…well, Allen and I have been together 40 years – 37 years married – so it should be him. But…what if he goes first? My reason would have just left the earth. I have to be okay with me. I have to put into my soul. I have always been the one to put into others, to call and set a time to get together, to text and message. One of my greatest disappointments in life has been that people don’t seem to like me. I am not sure what I do or don’t do…but I will never be the one in that group of women laughing and having dinner with and shopping with other women. I have to be okay with that. I need to continue to be here for others, but I also have to take care of myself. I’m not sure what that even looks like because taking care of myself was always in taking care of others. But now I’m empty. My soul is pretty dark and shriveled up right now. Life looks dark and uninviting. I miss my kids. I love them so much and they will never know the depths of my grief over them until we get to Heaven.
So these are my thoughts tonight. I am not sure where this journey will take me. But I know I have to take it to survive. My dark night of the soul has been so long…I never struggled really knowing my place in college or beyond…it was mapped out for me. But now the map is meandering and not defined.
I can’t tell you where I’d be if I didn’t know Jesus. He is the foundation and the only reason I have stayed this long. I hope I please Him even now as I struggle and wish things were different.
It seems my whole life I’ve been trying to “fit in.” As a child I was the youngest in the class beginning Kindergarten when I was four…a whole three months before I would turn five. I thrived in school; except socially. I think I’ve been stunted in that area the rest of my life. I was shy around boys forever it seems. Now, I prefer talking with men. Let me rephrase that. I usually prefer to talk to men. I don’t feel the judgment or the attitudes that sometimes us women throw around at one another. From time to time I sense being “set aside” by the male company like my opinions don’t matter, but unfortunately, I find that most in church settings amongst male leadership.
Tonight at my Counseling training class we broke up into groups…teams of four we will be with for many months and years ahead. We had to share about how we came to Christ. That was easy. He’s done so much for me and has been my all for so many years. Our team of four was only three tonight and the other two women have had very different lives from mine. I could tell they clicked with one another. I trust that my counseling pastor and Holy Spirit know who I need to be in a group with so I’m tentatively hopeful that at some point God will show me my part of fitting in. I can see areas I’ve struggled in that I could help them with…but they are fellow counselors…not Life Care Recipients. They haven’t come to me for wisdom or help…just friendship. That’s the part I find difficult. All of my friends over the years have fallen away. My best friends from high school gave me up a short two years after graduation. My best friends from college it took a bit longer…but other than facebook stalking me…they don’t really have any input in my life and haven’t been there for me for many, many years. One of the statements made tonight came in the form of a question and answer. “How do you know who your real friends are?” “They are the ones when you are hurting who stand at your door and knock.” I looked sadly at my husband and said, “Wow…that doesn’t bode well for us, does it?”
I wonder sometimes if it’s me since so many have left me over the years. I mean, I see women laughing and chatting together in stores and restaurants all the time. But I’m incapable of empathizing and small talk that other women enjoy so much. I’m pretty serious. I love a good joke and chuckle a lot to myself. Maybe I’m insane. 😀 But life is so short I have a hard time not being real with people and most women don’t like that I guess. I’ve mentioned before that I take a lot before I say anything…but there comes a point when someone is bellyaching or constantly harping or gossiping that I have to say…enough….and that’s when it comes.
I wonder if the same will be true of these women…my team. Will they come to love me? Will we come to love each other and our differences and gifts we bring to the table? Will I ever fit in? Am I really made for this counseling thing? I am a truth sayer. I must trust that God knows that and is able to bring just the right people my way who need my gifts. I was once kicked out of youth group leaders (as the youth pastor’s wife) because other leaders didn’t want me in there … my friends….my peers. I cried so hard that day and went to the pier to contemplate whether life was worth living if I couldn’t minister where my heart was. I learned another hard lesson…in that death of my dream and vision…that God’s journey for me …if I submit…is much easier to bear and worth far more than my dream…but if I fight it….He will still take me down that road…with me kicking and clawing all the way…but with no peace for me. If I desire peach…I must trust…and I must listen well to His voice…and submit to His plan…whether or not I fit in…ever.
“Human tragedies: We all want to be extraordinary and we all just want to fit in. Unfortunately, extraordinary people rarely fit in.” ― Sebastyne Young
haha You read things like that and it gives a reason…so I must be extraordinary because I don’t fit in…oh my….I wish it were true…I think it is more that God knows if I were to fit in…I could not give Him glory quite as well. I must trust that He knew that when He made me. I am extraordinary to Him and that’s all that matters.
John 14:14-16 “You are My friends if you do what I command you. “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.…”