Saturday, May 14, 2016

Tell God... I haven't Given Up (On Him)

If you asked me a few months ago, I would say I had been an adult for a while now and was probably getting really good at it, thank you very much. Plus, this summer, I will be celebrating 21 years of giving my life to Jesus and receiving the Holy Spirit (with the gift of speaking in tongues!). Which means I'm also an adult Christian, right? Wrong.

It seems to me like life lately has been a game of the more you know, the less you understand. Or the less you know, really. And in the middle of figuring out life and relationships and friendships and hair and workout regimens and diet cleanses, my faith has been tested beyond anything I could ever have imagined I would be able to survive. Picture a mustard seed in a tin can attached to the bumper of a Just Married truck heading out on a cross-country mountain trip. Or maybe my faith is a Martini, alternating between shaken and stirred. In any case, it has been a sometimes fun ride. At times I have wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. And I have.

I've cried in a ball on my bed, I've sat down and cried in the shower, hopelessly exhausted and beaten down, I've cried in the restrooms at work (and realized too late that my makeup kit was far away), I've cried my eyes out privately in frustration or anger or prayer, or in the middle of thousands of people in worship. I've cried for myself and I've cried for others. Most times recognizing that God was much bigger and in charge of whatever was happening to me or a friend or colleague, or really just because of how helpless I felt.

Surprisingly, a lot of times I have been able to brush myself off and keep going. I push through in praise or just dig deep in scriptures that I find a place to stand again, and I am able to keep going for just a little while longer.

But other times, those other times, I really just can't. That's when I feel like I need someone to carry a message to God. To tell him that my angst and frustration and despair is not because of anything he's done or hasn't done. That I'm not doubting the hope he ignited in my heart on the first day of 2016. That I know he can heal my friend's grandmother or take her to heaven so her family can begin to grieve after two years of waiting by her deathbed. That I know I will find a job that allows me to live a balanced life in the city I love. Or in another city or country that I will learn to love. That I know that when the time comes and my lease runs out in this valley of indecision, that there will be another place waiting for me to live in. That I know that one day I won't have to carry this constant guilt of canceling plans on friends every time one more thing comes up at work. That I know that my best friends in the world will find the jobs they so desperately need and deserve in this city. That I have not given up on him and his promises to me and my family and friends.

I really need him to know. Because at these times, I am just a girl on her own in the middle of crises. A girl surrounded by love but at the same time dealing with real problems that no one else can carry, problems that one day seem so tiny and the next, almost seem to overwhelm me. And the days that I really struggle to keep myself or anyone else afloat now far outnumber the days I feel like I am on top of the world.

While I wait, I know that God has all of this on his mind. And he cares much more than I know about every detail of my life and the ones I care about. Like the Psalmist, I have never even heard of another God like him, so frightening is his love and power over the whole world. So tell him I have not given up on him. But I am just a girl, maybe finally learning what it is like to be a woman...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Married Exes

As much as I avoid it, it is inevitable that I am part of at least one relationship/marriage talk every week. When girlfriends - and guy friends - get together, we talk about old and new relationships, other people's relationships and maybe our feelings about things in general. And for some reason, at a lot of these discussions I come across as being disengaged or nonchalant.

A girlfriend made this accusation the other day and then commented "You will probably feel different when your exes start tying the knot". Her comment stuck with me, mostly not because of the fact that I have had maybe one now ex-boyfriend to be concerned about, but because it is fascinating that a lot of us actually take our emotional cues and responses from how we feel about what is going on with others and not ourselves. What is it about the events in other people's lives that makes us look at ours in a totally distorted way?

For me, it isn't necessarily my exes, but I am more than guilty of reacting to situations because of how I see myself in relation to others. Like how I thought yesterday that maybe I should be out in Central Park playing in the snow with my dog because everyone was out there, even though I absolutely hate being in the cold and snow. Or planning a major birthday getaway because as my friend just said "Because it is your 30th" ignoring the fact that I hate big birthday celebrations.

Lately I have found myself pausing and questioning my feelings and reactions to things. Why do I go to the places I go to? Or like a certain song? Or spend time with certain people? Why do I feel the way I do about relationships and marriage? What exactly do I feel about these things? For me, it has been so healthy to be able to say unequivocally what I want and do not want because I have thought about it and decided for myself.

What are your "married exes"? The things that make you feel or do things that you ordinarily wouldn't do or put pressure on you to place yourself on a timeline that has nothing to do with your life and experiences.

How do you get those things out of your mind so you can focus on being yourself?


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Is This Thing On?

Yes! Yes it is!!

For months (exactly 18 months and 9 days) I have missed writing and sharing with you all (if you are still here).

Have I been writing? Yes, a whole lot. But for some reason it has been so difficult to share the deepest thoughts I have put on paper with the world. But not anymore.

As we crossed over into 2016 I took a look back at the last year and realized I had had one of the best 365 days of my life. Even with all the headaches and worries and sleepless nights, I don't think I have been happier. And for the first time I can confidently say it is not because of the presence or absence of anyone. It's just been me, Jesus in my heart and God around me. And it feels amazing.

And I realized at midnight on January 1, 2016 that there are so many more happy days ahead. What do I have to look forward to? Everything! More love, laughter, friendships, faith, falling in love, getting a ring, eloping (just kidding, dad, maybe), picking out outfits for my puppy, getting better at yoga, getting into kickboxing, getting better as a rockstar at work, longer hair, nicer skin, whiter teeth, the list is endless. But at the heart of it all I realized and for the first time I absolutely believed that the best days are ahead of me, and I am so excited to meet every day this year.

If you know me, you know I will have the cloudy, moody days at well. But it's okay. Because they will be great learning experiences and I will shake them off and face the many firsts and agains that are coming.

And more importantly, I WILL BE WRITING THIS YEAR. A LOT! I haven't figured out what I will be focused on this year, but I have decided there is no harm in letting the world know what I am thinking and feeling as the year unfolds. So let's go.

How did you come into 2016?

Love and Light,
dizzydami x.