where to start?

I can’t get over this feeling that God is punishing me. That I was created to love others well, but never be loved, or capable of receiving it, even from Him. How can I have such faith in God’s promises for other people but not believe they are for me? I was created with this sickness and it makes me feel like lesser of a person. Less of a woman, less of a saint. Why do I get so angry that this is the hand I’ve been dealt? I see those I live falling in love, getting married, having kids, careers and even serving Him in great ways – in schools, hospitals, and even overseas. And I take pills to function, try not to starve from being broke, and long for a boy that obviously didn’t want a future with me. My brain knows all the Sunday School answers, and my heart yearns for it to be true because the alternative is just plain impossible to take.

the Great Sadness.

an excerpt from The Shack, by Paul Young.

“The Great Sadness had draped itself around Mack’s shoulders like some invisible but almost tangible heavy quilt. The weight of its presence dulled his eyes and stooped his shoulders. Even his efforts to shake it off were exhausting, as if his arms were sewn into its bleak folds of despair and he had somehow become part of it. He ate, worked, loved, dreamed and played in this garment of heaviness, weighed down as if he were wearing a leaden bathrobe—trudging daily through the murky despondency that sucked the color out of everything. At times he could feel The Great Sadness slowly tightening around his chest and heart like the crushing coils of a constrictor, squeezing liquid from his eyes until he thought there no longer remained a reservoir.”

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God has not given us a spirit of fear.

“you’re a quitter,” “you’re giving up ’cause you’re not strong enough,” “this is wrong, too,” “it won’t matter; you’ll never be happy,” “because of how God made you, you’ll always be hurt,” “things like love and friendship don’t last a lifetime, not for you,” “they will all leave; you’re going to be alone,” “God can, and will, take things you love away from you so you’ll learn a lesson.”

these are lies the enemy has been feeding me. and yes, I know they are lies, but needless to say, it’s not easy. it’s amazing what fear does to someone. and though I know fear never comes from God, and that He has equipped me to deal with it, I don’t always succeed. fear ruins things.

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different loves.

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

I know that there are different types of love languages, that we give and receive love differently. so what do you do when you are put in a situation where the love language involved needs physical proximity? ’cause I feel like that situation is smacking me right in the face over and over again.

it’s no secret if you know me that my close relationships are very important to me. and if you really know me, you know that my love language is quality time (and physical touch as a close second). so me being 12 hours from those I am closest to has proved oh so very difficult. and the longer I am here, the harder it is becoming. granted, I am thankful for the modern technology of email, facebook, and especially skype. but we all know it’s no substitue for spending real time together.

so I’ve been attempting to receive love differently, with words of affirmation especially, but even those are sparse. and as time goes, I fear how time with an absence of love in a relationship affects the it. it’s amazing how deep love languages run in us. while I am amazed at how uniquely God has made us, it is seeming to only hurt me right now.

unemployed thoughts.

February 12, 2011 2 comments

tomorrow marks 6 weeks I have been here in New Orleans. So much has happened, mostly inside of my head, but one thing has not: a job. I would estimate I’ve filled out close to 50 applications by now, and it’s been a difficult and frustrating road. there is so much that is done online these days that any advantage I would gain in a person to person meeting is never given a chance to develop. that’s the frustrating part. the difficult part is that I never know when I am rejected from a job (except Dick’s Sporting Goods, they rejected me within 12 hours…) and so I don’t know whether to wait, or keep looking, getting ever more desperate. for example, this past week I had my first interview at a hotel downtown. during the interview, I realized how much I would hate this job, and how the money may not even be enough to sustain me here. the interviewer even implied I was overqualified for the job. it was quite an odd tactic. nevertheless, if they offer it to me (I should know by mid-week), should I take it? cause it’s not looking promising anywhere else.

and now high school basketball season is over. so my supplemental income, which was my only income, is now gone. the funny thing is, I’m not worried about the money, about affording rent, etc. I need a purpose, something to do, a reason to get out of bed. because for the past 6 weeks, there have been few days with such things. and it’s spun my world on its head. fears I never knew existed have come to light.

and so I pray.

tonight, while I was praying (while I was watching tv on the Internet, believe it or not) to fend off the demons of fear and anxiety, God gave me a word. preserve. even if I never fall in love, never find a career I love, never have a family, lose my loved ones, you know what? He will preserve me. I pray I do fall in love, have a family, and get to do life with those I love back in Kentucky, but this word He gave me is true either way. He will preserve me. thank God.

He will preserve me.

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He knows.

February 2, 2011 1 comment

I’ve been here in New Orleans for almost 5 full weeks now, and most days I find myself breaking down in tears. In the shower, at my desk while trying to reading my Bible, in my car once arriving back at my apartment from wherever, and especially while trying to worship at church.

Tonight is no different. I had a crying session in the shower after a basketball game, and then calmed myself down enough to eat a bowl of cereal (which is a huge victory these days). And when I was catching up on my blogs, I came across this post from Jon Acuff. I read it when it was originally posted, and it touched me then. But tonight, it was as if God was speaking right to me through Acuff’s words, namely this section:

““I know, my son, I know. I know, my daughter, I know. That thing you wanted is not going to happen. Not the way you’ve always dreamed. I know this hurts. I know this stings. I know you feel like I am distant or not aware of where you are and who hurt you and what you think life was supposed to be like. I know in moments like this you doubt that I can count the hairs on your head or have your best in mind. But please, I am not done. I have barely started to reveal your life to you. I am the God who satisfies your desires with good things. That is me! And when it comes to your hopes and your fears and your dreams, I know, my son, I know.”

I think of this moment as the “soft x.”

I think of the tenderness of Israel with his arms outstretched and crossed. I think of our desires and our dreams and the times they don’t work. And above all, I think of a God who wants to tell you he hears you, he loves, he knows you. He is not disconnected or disinterested in who you are and who you want to be. Today, he says,

“I know, my son, I know.””

It’s all I have to cling to right now. That God knows how I’m feeling every moment. He knows.

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chill.

in the few weeks I’ve been living here in New Orleans (nola), I have often felt stressed at the lack of urgency of things. this doesn’t surprise you if you know me, as I used to be very OCD about thing being done on time and by the book. in the last few years I’ve become immensely better with this, mostly because of my church, Tatesbrook.

but if there’s one thing the state of Kentucky is OCD about, it’s their basketball. when I started officiating, I quickly realized how precise and ordered things are, and somewhere deep down, I tremendously appreciated it. now that I’m officiating in nola, the chill nature of the culture here permeates into their sport. it’s most definitely not a basketball area, but it’s pretty strange to go from showing up to a game 30 min early (60 for a varsity game) in dress clothes & on the court with 15 min til game time to showing up in uniform 15 min before game time, many times before both teams arrive.

this example is only a part of the relaxed way of life here. now that Carnival season has begun, & I’m learning & taking part in the traditions leading up to Mardi Gras, I’m sure I’ll only get more examples of this. I’ll keep you posted.

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