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A Season of Pain

I am in a season of pain.   A season of sifting and changing.  And that is not an easy process.  In the past, I have been through these periods and I know the other side brings real revival, but the process – the valley – is not fun.

The thing is this season on pain is very different than it has been in the past.  And a large part of that is my not trying to just get through it – I am putting the work in to try and resolve the issues this time.  I am living in the pain in an effort to finally understand and to finally do more than bury it.  I am ready to rid my life of it.

I am tired and I am weary.  And sometimes I find it hard to fall to the one whose arms are prepared to catch me.  God keeps waiting for me and when He sees that my stubborn self is not getting there…well, He does what He is best at.  He makes the first move.

Friday night I was at the hairdressers getting a hair cut.  It had been one of my worst work weeks in a long time.  I felt beaten.  My back and legs/knees were aching.  I had been up since 3:30 in the AM with the worst case of acid reflux I have ever had and I was tired and my throat hurt.  I had been to therapy that afternoon and I was still reflecting on the ways in which I don’t give myself enough credit at times and that change is a slow process.

When I came in that evening I had decided to cut my hair shorter and get highlights.  But as I came in, they told me it was about a 45 minute wait and I almost said, never mind.  But I didn’t – I went to Tropical Smoothie and got a drink to wait out the time.  When I went back in it was clear that this was not going to be enough time and I was in for a long wait.  A younger woman came in and added the names of her 2 kids to the list and did as I did – went to get smoothies.  When they came back, they were really cute.  They ended up called before me as I had arrived near a shift change and no one who would be able to commit to my hair for 2 hours was available.  Once finished they left.

A few moments later, the mom came back in and I thought – oh, she must have forgotten something.  I even looked over at the station where she had been waiting for her kids to see if I saw something.  But when she entered, she stopped and sat next to me.  And she said – this is going to sound really weird, but God told me to come in here and tell you that He loves you and you are beautiful.  She said He literally would not let her leave until she did this.  I hugged her and told her thank you for letting Him speak to you and she left for the night.

And then today when I got home from church, I was worried about carrying a bunch of things into the house and my knees were in a lot of pain and I was trying to not cry as I stood up.  And then out of nowhere, there was a man and a young boy.  And they had roses.  And he handed me on and a card “from the children of God.”  Inside the card said “Rejoice always.  Pray continually.  Because Jesus loves you so much.  Have a happy day.”

In the painful seasons of my life in the past, God has not felt as present as He does now.  And I am continually amazed at how I feel like this is validating the pain of the moment.  I am meant to be here.  I am meant to be going through these things.  I am in the right place and while the valley is a tough place to be, He is with me.  I just needed a reminder.

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Whom Shall I Fear

I have felt stunted when it comes to writing here on the blog.  I have at least 10 posts started.  And yet each time I have talked myself out of finishing it.  I am not really sure why, but I can’t seem to get my thoughts together enough to finish one,  Tonight however, I feel like I have to write.  To get something out of my head in hopes of letting things go.

I believe I have mentioned before that I am working towards some huge life changes.   Changes that each day I have to remind myself that I signed up for this and that I am not only ready for but that I can DO IT.  That has been as much a challenge as the actual changes.  So if you are not aware, here is what I have coming in the next 13 months or so.

Change #1 – Weight Loss Surgery

After years of defending my position of NOT have surgery, I have come to the realization that I can’t go on the way I have been and surgery is the kick start I need to make the HUGE life changes necessary.  I am trapped in my body right now and I live in constant pain.  This is not a life I want to continue.

Change #2 – Cognitive, Behavioral, and Mental Health Changes

Part of losing the weight is understanding why I gained in the first place.  Therapy and life coaching is part of that.  It is bringing up a lot of things that I don’t choose to talk about and I certainly don’t like to think about.  The best thing I can say, is that God is bringing me around full circle and the issues I am working on in therapy have had a way of coming up in other places – reinforcing these ideas over and over.

Change #3 – Marriage (!!!) & Wedding Planning

So this Feb I got engaged and next May I will be saying “I Do” to a sweet man who loves me completely.  And I feel the same way about him.  This is a first for me and a lot of these months is not just planning a wedding, but also trying to get ready for the commitment and changes that come with the marriage.

Change #4 – Moving

Once I get married, I will be moving to Leesburg.  This is a change I am not really ready for.  Of all of the changes, it is the one I am most worried about.  It makes the most sense – my job is flexible and J already owns his condo.  But I have been so much better living in the country vs my time in the busyness of NOVA and I don’t really relish moving back up there.  I am not sure that anyone really understands that but I am a better person down here  – less angry, worried and stressed.  I am hoping that the fact that I will not need to commute to work will help keep me in a better place once I move.

That is a lot right?  A lot for one year at least.  These are just the big things – there are a ton of smaller things that I have for this year as well.  I feel like God has been prepping me for all of these changes.  Now I just need to trust that He has this in His hands…what is meant to happen will.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked advance against me
    to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

Then my head will be exalted
    above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Psalm 27