“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”- Revelation 21: 2-4
I don’t like raw emotion and I really don’t like to cry so when it comes to my struggles I tend to keep myself busy enough to try and forget.
I had a wonderful talk with a dear friend the other day. We talked about ministry, family, and personal struggle. The person struggle part is something I’ve been avoiding. The trouble is, I can only forget for a while and then the monster will start to sneak up on me from that deep dungeon I thought I buried him in. When he sneaks back, I don’t even recognize what’s wrong especially when I am isolated and completely self reliant.
Do you want to know what self reliance did for me? Loneliness, insecurity (and anyone who knows me IRL knows I hesitated to type that word 🙂 ), depression and two pretty major cases of PPD, along with general sickness and unhappiness, unrest and imbalance as I tried to keep that monster buried!
It all changed in a small group that I didn’t think I “fit into”. Afterall, I had few things in common with the older women in the group. I stayed because it was “the right thing to do” but I didn’t intend to know anyone, let alone be known.
What changed this time? Good friends, honest friends, friends who challenge me to face my fears and conquer them with Christ. Friends who won’t take no for an answer but will always be there until I’m ready. Friends who see through me, into me and really want to know me.
How in the world did I find such women? I didn’t. They are purely a gift from God that, thankfully, I choose to accept. Though I can say, I was not a quick one to break.
Because of recent conversation with some of those women, I’m ready to face my fear.
A friend and I, walking barefoot in the sand, were brainstorming the characters for my current WIP and the conversation turned to each of us. Here we were, psycho analyzing imaginary people and we decided to try it on ourselves. So I asked her, “What is your core value? At the end of the day what does it all come down to?” Nearly an hour and several stories later we came up with a satisfying answer for her. Then it was my turn.
I discovered that my greatest desire is knowledge. At the end of the day it all comes down to what I learn, how I pursue a new piece of information or not get daunted by a task I can’t figure out. It all comes down to learning and what I can know.
I had an “ah ha” moment. That’s exactly why I’m having such a struggle. Now what to do about it?
For the next week I milled it over in my head and bounced some ideas off of Matt. “Why can’t I have balance? Why do I have to pursue knowledge to such a degree that I can hardly sleep at night for some current obsession, er’ hobby?”
He had a good thought. “It’s seasons honey, you just have to ask God to give you clear direction and allow Him to take care of the rest.”
Okay that’s all fine and dandy but I still hadn’t identified what exactly was eating at me so I obsessed for the next couple day as to just HOW I was going take this new knowledge and learn something from it so I could not be so troubled.
Hmmm, sound familiar? Maybe that’s exactly the trouble and I haven’t truly gotten to the bottom of this… this… thing. Have I?
So, after all that set up, here goes. The thing I hate to talk about. The current thing that I must surrender or continue to get eaten up by.
My daddy’s Alzheimer’s.
All the uncertainty that comes with that. How long? How bad? And the real chance that I could easily be next.
I really thought I’d forgotten about the fear, learned to live with the way things are now. I haven’t. I’ve been in denial.
You may have noticed that I put up a ribbon on my side bar but I don’t believe I’ve ever written about it. This is my one biggest monster right now. My greatest fear. A constant source of despair and confusion. I’ve prayed and fought it and hoped for a miraculous change but I feel I’ve lost that battle. It’s real and its not going away.
Well, I don’t yet feel better but I know that I need to face this thing. According to the verse I chose at the top of this post the way to win this battle is to go ahead and loose it, then forge ahead and win the WAR!