right? it really is just another day. my birthday. i woke up and didn’t feel any different. in fact, i actually didn’t even remember it was my birthday until a good hour into the day. my husband and i celebrated on sunday and today, wednesday, holds what most days do…laundry to fold, dishwasher to unload, dogs to feed and gardens to water, words to put to paper and a run to clear my head.
i remembered and immediately sent a text to brad stating something like “happy birthday to me”. he called and apologized for forgetting this morning too and i realized it really didn’t matter that much to me. in fact, i’m fairly certain i sent the text more because i had wanted to point it out to myself. this fact that it didn’t actually mean much to me.
was i wanting it to mean something?
here’s the thing. i’ve been pondering a lot lately the idea that i don’t want to ponder things so much any more. i’ve always been a bit of an “over thinker” and i have certainly been accused of getting lost in la la land on more than one occasion. this is fine for the most part (unless of course it is getting in the way of priorities and whatnot — which i will admit has been known to happen a time or two) and some of my best thoughts or ideas or prayers have come from this place.
where it isn’t fine however, is where it has been taking me lately. i’ve been caught in this sort of weird juxtaposition of an intense need/want of pondering and an equally intense fear/avoidance of the very thing.
because i’ll tell you what. when the subject of said pondering is something weighing heavy on your heart, it is a scary place to be, and so far in my experience, i can never quite “think it out”. so i avoid it (which, ironically, leads to “over thinking” all sorts of mundane, time-wasting, frivolous things and thus leads me on a straight path to absolutely nowhere but a non-productive hour, or two…or three…) and go about my business trying to ignore this heavy cloud looming just over my shoulder.
this works for the most part. well, i’ve deluded myself into believing it works for the most part. what really happens is i keep on living, quite happily, enjoying being a wife, trying my hand at this writing thing, doing life and making plans and then as the cloud gets ignored it grows into this huge shadow of a thing and just explodes into emotions and tears. i then try to suppress them and push down because i think “i should be over this already” or “i’m being ungrateful” or “there must be something wrong with me”.
this begins a cycle of my husband believing he has done something but can’t figure out what (this breaks my heart to think about), me not being able to express exactly what i have been feeling due to avoiding it in the first place and then me thinking brad is the one upset with me, which in turn gives me one more thing to be upset about.
all because i have failed to do what i should have been doing in the first place. this would be not pondering it (no worries there…avoidance is the name of my game when something is bothering me), not suppressing it, and not over-thinking it. rather, what i should be doing is facing it – head on – with my Father in heaven who has been calling me to do so with Him for some time.
why is this a lesson i must learn over and over? i am afraid to get down and dirty because why? it might hurt too much? i might end up in tears i am unsure will stop? i might actually HAVE TO HEAL?
why does it take reaching the point of realizing it hurts more to hold onto something than it does to let it go? i could try and get deep and introspective about this and launch into a diatribe of angst and how life works and life’s seeming injustices amongst other things, but the point is to diminish pondering, not to exploit it. to simplify things, not to blow them up into something so much more than they are. so my answer to the question is simply this. i am human. i have an innate desire to control my own life, to avoid hurt and protect my heart. funny thing that in trying to do so on my own only leads to hurt and heartbreak.
the older i get and the more time i spend with God, the more i understand His reasoning in calling us to Himself. in His desire and ability and will to “be the answer”. such a simple plan that is complicated by us stubborn, free-willed people. i heard something on the radio the other day that stuck with me. the dj was talking about our need for control over our lives which in fact uncovers our need for faith like a child. as adults we struggle to try and direct our own destiny while children say “you’re here to take care of me? cool!”
Father, give me faith like a child.
He has the answers. He knows my days and my hours. and He knows the whys that i don’t have the answers to. He’s here to take care of me? cool! because i am certainly ready. to give Him my broken pieces. to search for healing and trust that healing is there. to know that He wants only good for me and that sometimes there are a few deep and dark valleys in order to come fully into the light.
my dark valleys pale in comparison to the valleys others are going through or have been through. i know this. but a valley is a valley to the person walking through it. no matter how deep or dark. God sent His son as a light to the world and i am hoping, make that praying, that i don’t take so long to remember that this light is what extinguishes the dark. it is His promise. and if there has ever been a keeper of promises it is Him. He doesn’t promise it will always be easy (though some are easier than others, thank You Lord!) and He doesn’t promise it will always be quick. but He does promise He will be there every step of the way. He does promise to go before and behind us, He does promise to be our strength and He does promise we will make it out okay.
in fact we will make it out better. i have learned this many times before. it takes only looking back on His faithfulness to see that learning processes have only made us stronger. that when we have leaned on Him to get us through we have grown in ways we never could have on our own and some of the best parts of who we are have come through some of the worst things that have happened in our lives.
not to be all doom and gloom. there are certainly great parts of who i am that have come through wonderful experiences and blessings. that being said, there is something about learning from mistakes, finding out that with God we are “stronger than”, and knowing we are more than conquerers with Him that empowers us in a way like none other.
that is my prayer for this day. this ordinary day that just happens to be my birthday. a day i decided to lessen my pondering and attack issues at hand with a powerful Force – the God of angel armies to be precise. my prayer is that i will remember His faithfulness at a much quicker pace. that i will give Him the glory He deserves by trusting that with Him this is something i can face head on and it won’t be so bad. that He is light in the darkness and that the climb from the valley floor is not so steep as i may have thought when i was trying to do it on my own.
it is true. my valley is not as deep as many out there, and i pray one day i am quick to look back on this valley and count it as a time i trusted and conquered with the One whose outcome is never less than victory. may it be a learning experience i actually learn from. and may i embrace healing to live in the present with peace and look forward in hope.
rest for my soul. this is what peace brings. and who doesn’t want that?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29