Peaks and Valleys
|November 9, 2012||Posted by mamasdance under Heart Strings|
Today I am 27. It is my birthday. And so, like many of us, I woke up with a hint of excitement, and laid in bed reflecting on the year behind me. What are my over all feelings about the year ahead.
Tears well up in my eyes as I think about the last year. Because although there has been much joy and blessing, the last year has been one of the most difficult of my life. I have battled in my heart, and in my mind, to choose joy for the day. To have gratitude. To be free of shame.
For me, it is very difficult to admit when I am not doing well, or overwhelmed. I want to do it all, no matter how difficult, I don’t want to admit that it’s too hard. And as I go about my days, struggling with my self worth and role in my community, family, and world- I can’t help but tell myself you are simply fulfilling all the “cliche” self doubt insecurities… snap out of it. Seize his grace, pull it together.
Yet I have found myself wondering why… Is it diet, is it sleeplessness, is it grief, is it… depression. Am I depressed. What is depression. With 2 parents who have suffered from depression, and a father who took his own life- my instinct, out of what I believe is one of survival, has been to deny the validity of it. Because I can not understand it, it is beyond my control, so if I don’t acknowledge it, it can’t touch my life anymore. IT can’t steal from me, it won’t. Yet here I am, wondering… where is my joy. I can’t put on the happy face much longer, yet, I find it sometimes. I do. And then I wonder, what is real. Is it the sadness and loneliness, is it the moments of joy… am I selfish. Sometimes it is tears… sometimes anger. Perhaps it is simply emotions… my hormones. My body. I fear what it means for husband, my children or my close family and friends. Because I know the responsibility I have felt when my mom is alone, or that my dad had nothing left to live for. I felt as though we were not enough, as though I was not enough. And what was once a solid ideal of my self worth, began to dwindle, and become one of question…. Do I have value? What do I have to offer.
And so, all of the fear… the fear of being like my dad, or crying in front of my kids, or admitting to my husband I feel alone… it feels so great, that it becomes easier to deny that there is anything wrong at all. And I feel like history is repeating itself. “It is really not that big of a deal” I tell myself. It is unwanted attention, it is judgement. It is failure. Smile, get over it. Laugh. Get out of bed, get out of the house… do something you enjoy. Begin to dream again.
The thing I know, deep within my heart is that nothing I have is enough. While my husband and children are very great gifts, they are not what I need to get through this. I know what the answer is, and today I am going to say goodbye to the fear and the shame I have tried to shove away, only to see it grow.
Today I turn to Jesus.
Today I say, it is a new day, his Mercies are new every morning. He has turned my sorrow to joy, my mourning to dancing. In my mind, I tell myself I should have nothing to mourn, no reason to grieve. I am a picture of the girl who has it all. Young love, 2 sweet boys, dreams fulfilled, a heart for Christ, a life redeemed. And yet within all of those joys, there has been great sorrow. Loss of my dad, witnessing his death, abuse, loneliness, abandonment, secrets, lies… A family that was left in shambles from the aftershock of my dad’s depression and suicide, that is in as great a place of brokeness if not greater, than when we were first struck by tragedy 7 years ago. I think as much as I wanted to just be “adult” about it all, losing relationships is so much harder on me than I would ever like to admit. Some of my greatest friends, mentors, my dad, my mom, my sisters, my brother…. our relationships are on such a surface level, if even still existent, because ultimately we all have needs not being met, and we don’t want to say we need help. We don’t have the courage to be real, to face the truth. Sometimes I wish I could see the world as my children do. To offer unconditional love, to see a need and believe we have something to offer, instead of being afraid of someone wanting too much, something we don’t have to give.
The greatest loss of relationship this past year has been my relationship with Christ…. I have felt like the friend afraid to call. Because it’s been so long… I want to, I miss our friendship… but I can’t explain how we fell apart. We used to be so close. I was full… yet for the last year I felt lacking, without anything to give. As a wife, a mom, a friend, a daughter, an advocate, an artist, a mentor. Today I am reminded that in my weakness, He is my strength. That in my times of trouble, he is my strong tower. Today I am remembering the mountain tops and the valleys. The moments defined in my life that are the pillars of Grace and Faithfulness. Help in my times of trouble. The giver of life. Every good and perfect give comes from God. For this I am thankful. Today, I remember the greatest gift.
I am humbled by God’s greatness in comparison to this small girl in a vast world. That in his greatness, with an admonishment of needing Him, I feel His presence, and His peace. And the tears return, as I feel the arms of a dear friend holding me tight, telling me “I’ve missed you too.”
” The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name and trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”- Psalm 9:9-10