Sunday, August 29

Sitting out on my balcony tonight I began the basic run down of what had gone wrong. My thoughts began with the question, "why did he push me away?" He told me that he didn't have the capacity to meet the needs that I had. He told me that it wasn't worth his time and energy. Shocking. Mostly because those same words had been supposedly preempted with "I love you" and "I want to spend the rest of my life of you". How does that balance out? Yeah, still wondering about that. Anyways, I felt as if he was being selfish. I was hurt that he could say he loved me and then go on and not prove it with his actions. It was then that I began to piece together a pattern that I had seen all along. I realized...he doesn't believe in himself. He doesn't even know how to love himself. Therefore, how could he reach out and love me or anyone else for that matter? He works so hard to prove to everyone that he can take care of things, that he doesn't need anyone to do it for him. And at the end of the day, he is alone.

But my thoughts and ultimate conversation with Lord went on from there. I began to think about why it was so important that Shawn and I stay together. Why was it so important that things work themselves out? Of course, I loved him. Of course I wanted to see good things for him. Of course I wanted him to walk out his life with joy and abundance and peace. But there was more. I saw a pattern in my own life. I wanted to see him saved because that meant that my testimony meant something. His salvation meant that all was not in vain. His salvation justified that my walk with the Lord was right and good. Wow.

Talk about raw honesty here...I don't even believe in myself and in my own walk with the Lord.

I have about three good friends, Shawn included, that I have prayed for for years. I am still waiting to see them come into the kingdom. I know that they will. I guess the question lies in this, will I trust God to help them run their race? Will I trust God to continue to work in their lives as I move on in my own. Will I trust Him as I let go? Because the truth is that they belong to Him. The truth is that I have to move on.

I have my own race to run.
Lord, help me to believe You. Help me to believe in me again.

"The fact is, at this point in our journey, we have only three options:

1) to be alive and thirsty, (2) to be dead, or (3) to be addicted."

(The Journey of Desire by John Eldridge)

From The Journey of Desire by John Eldridge:

"One thing I have come to embrace is this: we have to let it go. The more comfortable we are with mystery in our journey, the more rest we will know along the way...'Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet posssessing everything' (2 Cor. 6:10)..If we will remain open to sorrow, we can know joy. Somehow being empty allows us to make others rich. And if we are willing to let go, we'll discover something most surprising-that all is ours...Once we know what we want, we must learn the grace of release."

The author of this book says that there are two things that pierce our hearts...affliction and beauty. He goes on to say that beauty is what heals our hearts after great affliction. I took a walk today and looked up at the blue sky. I smelled the greenery of the landscape where I live. I felt the warm breeze of a cooler August day. I felt better, not so caged in by the agony of the past few days. I remember that seven years ago, when I was going through the very same heartache, the only thing that gave me any sense of hope was finding a patch of blue sky to focus on. I have no idea why it made me feel better. I just knew that if the sky could show some sort of clearing, that so too my heart could find a way to be clear of the gloom that surrounded it. My heart aches at the thought of the past six weeks, the past 10 years. I wanted it so badly, wanted it to finally work, wanted to see the miracle I was sure of.

A few weeks ago, I was glad that I had found freedom to live my life. Today, I am still glad. The pain is an indicator that I am alive, that I am still able to feel. And although what I had thought was a sure thing was not, I am sure that God has had a plan all along. I am sure that God is restoring my heart. I am sure the He will do as He promised and make all things new.

Sunday, August 22

1 : the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
2 : an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change
1 : Marked by the ability to recover readily, as from misfortune.
2 : Capable of returning to an original shape or position, as after having been compressed.

I watched The Notebook last night with my roomate and another friend. Yes, it was a chic flick. Yes, I did shed a few tears (which surprisingly does not happen too often). I made a connection with the storyline though: two people fall in love as teenagers, are separated by life circumstances, and then find each other again at just the right time.

The movie is told from the perspective of an old and gray couple who are experiencing their last days. I have hardly seen such a beautiful portrayal onscreen of lifelong love...true love. It was weird, there were lines in this movie that I have said myself, there were moments that I have lived. And they were not just the romantic, goosebump moments. They were the painful, heartbreaking moments. The ones where, if you aren't living in the movie, you think you are seeing the end of the relationship.

Which brings me to my point. Love, true love, pure in form and created by God, is resilient. I didn't think about that word until tonight when I hung up the phone. For about a week I have been feeling hopeless. I'm having a hard time not giving up. But the truth is, this thing has lasted through years of circumstance and changes. It has risen from the dead when I thought life could no longer exist. He is the only one I want to love for the rest of my life. When I am old and gray it is his hand that I want to hold. And so I have to trust that this love will be enough to hold us in the days to come.

God, you are love. Hold us and lead us as we walk out our days.

Saturday, August 21

I had forgotten that the act of following our hearts is full of risk and consequences. I had forgotten until just this week how raw and vulnerable I could actually feel.

My reality is questioned on all sides. I stand alone, knowing the direction that I have wanted to take and straining to see if that is really where I am headed. My greatest strength and weakness lie in the same place. I dream beautiful dreams and then believe that they will surely come to pass. And it's not that I am a hopeless romantic full of fairy tale ideas that will never come true. It's not that I feel the need for something flawless and perfect. I just want the best.

I have walked away from the church, and found that I am only a child in my walk with God. And I have trusted a heart that may not be trustworthy at all. I am not even going to contemplate the choices I have made recently. I am not going to live in regret. I went forward with a full heart and I will continue to do so. It's only that...I am remembering the pains of a struggle I faced long ago. I felt sure that all would be different this time. And it might be that all will turn out better than I can see right now. But it looks empty and dark in this room.

Thursday, August 12

Paul said that he had learned to be content whatever his circumstances happened to be. Well, there is a novel idea. Easier said than done, Paul, but I think you've touched on something. I was reflecting on this verse as I walked into Wal-Mart to return the 3rd Lord of the Rings movie. Nothing out of the ordinary, except my heart was aching to be with someone 100 miles away. There is nothing I can do to be closer to him right now. There is too much to be talked out, figured out, planned out. I want it all settled now. I want security now. But I am learning that prayer is the key. Prayer puts my heart at peace in the midst of chaos. It is giving birth to confidence in the God who has given me the gift of faith. It is giving me the strength to believe that hope does not disappoint us. It is giving me the ability to wait upon God.

What if I could be content with him or without him? Is that possible? Will there ever come a time when I will be with him every day? Will there ever come a day when I will be secure that he will never leave again? I am trusting that God hears my prayers. I am trusting that God is moving in the midst of us.

I wonder if he hears the tears in my voice when I hang up the phone. I wonder if he feels the same kind of longing. I wonder if he is making plans. I wonder what God is speaking to his heart. Only time and faith will tell I suppose.

Love is patient.

Tuesday, August 10

Fresh air
Your warm breath
My weary head upon your chest
And nothing else could
Steal away this place
But do not leave
Cause here alone
I am still
Til you are home
Come home
Come home
To me

Monday, August 2

Walt Whitman ~ excerpt from Song of the Open Road

The earth expanding right hand and left hand,
The picture alive, every part in its best light,
The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not wanted,
The cheerful voice of the public road?the gay fresh sentiment of the road.

O highway I travel! O public road! do you say to me, Do not leave me?
Do you say, Venture not? If you leave me, you are lost?
Do you say, I am already prepared?I am well-beaten and undenied?adhere to me?
O public road! I say back, I am not afraid to leave you?yet I love you;
You express me better than I can express myself;
You shall be more to me than my poem...

From this hour, freedom!
From this hour I ordain myself loos?d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master, total and absolute,
Listening to others, and considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.

Sunday, August 1

...You move me
You give me courage I didn't know I had,
You move me
I can't go with you and stay where I am so,
You move me
Here is how love was to me
I could look and not see
Going through the emotions
Not knowing what they mean
And it scared me so much
That I just wouldn't budge
I might have stayed there forever
If not for your touch
You move me
Out of myself and into the fire
You move me
Burning with love and with hope and desire,
How you move me....

~Susan Ashton~

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life,
and there are few who find it.
Matthew 7:13,14