This is my fourth holiday season since I “left home.” The first year was tough, but felt good because I was no longer getting berated, belittled, abused and attacked. But it was horrible because I’d just left my family and felt wretched about it. The next year was a little better, and we even spent Christmas Day together. My husband and I were talking and our family was still family-ish. Last year was really rough. I was struggling with emotions and loneliness and not knowing what to do about this “boyfriend” and going through Divorce Care and realizing that some friends and family were no longer there for me. Parts were good, and I had both of my sons for Christmas Day. But there was just so much emotional crap thrown in there. Yeah, and some people close to me were going through some tough stuff as well. I wrote about that last year. I guess this year is a little better. So far. I am STILL lonely. I STILL struggle with depression and hurt.
But I’m leaning more and more on Jesus. This morning I just didn’t want to get out of bed. I felt so stupid for being a foolish woman who has driven everyone away because of my damn standards. I stopped and realized I was listening to lies. I asked Jesus to wrap His arms around me and hold me. To tell me how much He loves me. That I am dear to Him and that He is near to me. Romans 8:38-39 tells us, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I am starting to value His presence more than other people. And that is huge for me. Because no matter how much people love us, they are fallible, disappointing. But He is perfect. And His love is perfect. And it drives out fear. I have plenty of fear for Him to be kickin’ out.
I’m slowly healing. Slowly. The hurt isn’t as raw as it was. It isn’t as devastating. It’s there, it’s big, but it doesn’t OWN me. I’m not sobbing on the bathroom floor. I cry, but it doesn’t OVERWHELM me. I want Him to OWN me, to OVERWHELM me. The horrible beauty in being crushed is that we are so ready to surrender our uttermost to Him. We don’t care about our self anymore, we’d rather just disappear. It makes turning all of it over to Jesus simpler. I was just thinking this afternoon, I just don’t know how to do it. How to be a person. I don’t know how to be a friend anymore because it hurts. Because I feel so empty. So broken. But not having friends around me, caring about me, having fun, is so miserably lonely. I just don’t know how to do life anymore. I wish I could opt out. So how simple, then, is it, to tell Him, “You take it, you do what you want with it. I don’t know how to do it, you do it.” That, crazily, gives me something to be thankful for. That he can work through such sadness to create what I know will, eventually, be beautiful. Not because I believe I deserve being made into something beautiful, but because I know Him. I see what His hands have wrought. And everything He touches is His Glory.
I’m practicing being in the moment and being thankful. I’m trying to recognize when my expectations are misplaced or I’m believing lies. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” I’m to find my delight, my joy in God. Not other people, my home, clothing, family or events or circumstances. And if I’m finding my delight in the LORD, I’m not expecting those other things to be all that. Those things come and go, for sure. Instead, I can focus on Him. He doesn’t change. He doesn’t disappoint. He is beyond what I can hope for. And believe me, those words don’t just roll of my tongue. I’ve had plenty of times when those words would have made my eyes roll. I wanted something else. I wanted things to be the way I expected contentment to look. Family, home, love, friends. And all over Facebook, that’s what I see people being thankful for. And I start to tear up and feel sorry for myself. But if I’m practicing thankfulness, I have to find Him and praise Him. And then I focus on the most amazing things. Like breathe. Sunlight. A general love for people, not the ones who love back. His face. And I can find real Joy there. I wonder if that verse doesn’t mean that He will give us the things that our heart desires, but that He will create desires in our heart.
God, create a pure heart in me, and renew a right attitude within me.
Although I’m still hurting, I know I’m healing. And I know my Healer. He is faithful and good. He has big arms for hugging. Big enough for us all.