Sunday, May 3, 2015

Writing With Too Many Words

I've started writing a few blogs lately, but they turn into ramblings without any purpose. Writing that is more suited for a journal than an online blog open for the world to read.

I've been living a life of false strength for a while now. Putting up walls that appear to hold everything together because I am so afraid to show weakness. Afraid to show that I don't have it all together because I have put so much pressure on myself to have it together by now. I've been divorced for almost 5 years now -5 YEARS!!! Some days it feels like yesterday, but most days it feels like a lifetime ago. I have very few memories of being married and those I have are great memories of being married...not so great memories of the person I was married to.

In many ways I do have my life together. My kids and I have  great home in an safe city. We have friends who care about us, family close by. I have a well-paying job where I am appreciated, have medical benefits and have a flexible schedule. We are so blessed with always having food and money for fun adventures. The boys have a stable environment, they are thriving in school and sports and are (for the most part) happy, friendly boys.

Life is good.

Life is also lonely. For too long I have been trying to do life alone. I let people in just enough so I don't need to show them the tough parts. I'm really struggling with feeling sorry for my divorced life right now. My boys are getting a sister soon and their dad is leaving for months again. Neither of which have anything to do with me, but both impact my life immensely. Nights like this are the most lonely - where I need a shoulder to cry on just to cry, but need to stay strong for my boys. I feel needy and selfish. I have even withdrawn from God so much that I am often afraid of crying out to Him. Afraid to have Him hold me and love me. Afraid to have Him break these chains of unworthiness. Afraid to live again. Afraid to accept that this life will follow me no matter how much I "have it all together". Marriage is not meant to be broken, but I am not meant to be bound by the chains of divorce.

There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain...

Yes EVERY chain. Even my chains. The ones I am coming to realize I keep putting back on myself. I need to be strong...not this false strength I've been hiding behind. But the strength to face this unwarranted fear of crying out to Jesus. To surrender my control issues (I am also realizing how much I like to be in control) and reach out to my Father to hold me and love me. To be strong enough to stop caring what people think about how I look or what I do. To live for Christ. To live for my boys. To live for me.

And, once again, I'm writing with too many words...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2015 - The Year of GRACE

I don't like to make New Years Resolutions, but over the past few years I have had a pretty clear message from God about what character virtue He wants to grow in me and this year it is grace - grace for others, but more than that, grace for myself. 

I grew up feeling like I had to be perfect to be loved. Love was very conditional in my home. I felt like everything I did was wrong. I wasn't allowed the grace to make mistakes and certainly wasn't shown mercy when I messed up. 

This carried over into my adult life where I left I had to be perfect for my husband to love me. To wound me deeper, once that perfect shell started to crack, he left me and our kids. I felt like I would never myself again. I hated who I was because if I wasn't good enough for my husband, who would I ever be good enough for?

With counseling I learned to love myself again, and drawing near to God, I learned His unconditional love. I knew He made me in His perfect image. That He loved me as I was and I loved me as I was...but I still felt that it wouldn't I wasn't good enough for anyone else. You see, God loved me because I am His child. I accept me and love me because I know God does, but I'm flawed. I lose my temper with my kids. I go long periods of time without picking up my bible or go to church (that's another blog topic), I'm overweight again, I have dark circles under my eyes, I leave my dishes for days sometimes and I leave half-full water bottles everywhere while we are experiencing a drought. Who, outside of God and myself, is going to love that?

Someone will one day. God told me that. 

He also told me that I need to give myself grace. If I don't need to be perfect for Him, I certainly don't need to be perfect for anyone else. I am wonderfully made by Him and I need to give myself grace to make mistakes and know that I didn't fail. Know that I am worthy of being loved - flaws and all. At work. At home. At church. With friends. 

He also reminded me that people aren't out to get me when they mess up. Others make mistakes. Others don't meet my expectations. Others make my life harder - but not on purpose. They're human, flawed - and wonderfully made by God too! 

I used to be one who gave everyone the benefit of the doubt. I though people had good intentions, and if they didn't, I was kind-hearted enough to forgive, but I always thought the best of people first. 

This is the year I go back to being that person. The years I give grace to people - even my ex-husband - and myself. Give people the freedom to make mistakes without fear of ruining a friendship, getting yelled at or feeling like a failure themselves. 

"but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

I want my heart to overflow with His Love and Grace!