The feeling of being unworthy and sad and lonely and confused is almost too much for a heart to bear at one time. The weight of the world threatens to overtake and push down til life is all but extinguished except for a weak pulse. Ok, so a bit dramatic but trust me, it's quite stifling! I did manage to get myself moving and into the car. Amazingly God quickly brought to mind His presence within me, something I began to feel so forcefully while surrounded in emptiness over a year ago- I am known by Him. If I feel invisible to the world around me, I am KNOWN and LOVED by HIM.
Our church called a new Pastor. You would think this would be a happy time of fresh blood to instill vision and healing. Instead it has caused me to reflect on the fact that there are so many people in my life who don't really know me, who can't offer me affirmations of who I am, who weren't close by when I couldn't stand on my own two feet and needed shoulders to lean on. I miss friends who noticed me when my teeth were crooked and supported me when we fell so far down financially that I couldn't see my way clear. Whether it's reality or not I feel that I am surrounded by people who don't know the depth of my heart and the stories that God has given me, who most importantly haven't witnessed the transformation of His redeeming power and provision in my life. Hence, the invisible feeling.
It lingers, the pressure of a lifetime worth of tears waiting to push over the threshold. My husband has said to me before that I am stronger than I think I am. I know it to be true but I wish it were not so. I don't want to be strong. I am full of contradictions. I want to be noticed yet when I am I shrink away fearful that the spotlight was wrongly placed. I desire and crave community, a group of people growing together and meeting the needs of the body. Yet I fear what I want the most. I fear you getting to know me. I fear you not liking me. I fear God. I fear the power and glory of His name.
I know I have worn down trails with the sameness of my daily living and when I have stepped off the path and branched out I have found many rocky patches, places where the trees haven't been trimmed and lined with boulders not wanting to budge. I bump my head and watch as my feet get bloody and don't want to push on. I run back to the well worn path because I fear not knowing if the pain is worth it. I am a creature of habit, be it or for good or bad. I desire to go and blaze a new trail yet crave the comfort and ease of knowing the way. I have driven the same road for the past 3 years to take my daughter to the gym. A few months ago I decided to find a different route to get there. It took many weeks before I could will my mind and arms to not get in the turning lane when I desired to make a change and go straight. Now it's easy for me to make the choice at the light. My hands don't go left instinctively anymore when I want to continue on straight ahead. It took time and effort to get to that place.
I still fear the changes taking place that were set in motion over the last couple of years within my church. Most of all oddly enough I think I fear that not enough has changed. Everything is strangely too familiar and has carried on pretty much the same. It's too easy to remain the same old me in my present circumstances. God has graciously carried me through this time despite my kicking and screaming and wanting to run off to another country for a fresh start. In my perfectionist personality I have a tendency to want to scrap something and start all over again if it's not quite right. That's what I have been fighting within myself. I fear living with my failures in plain sight, always having to work through them, struggling with relationships that aren't pretty which need lots of prayer along with a heavy serving of grace. I am a warrior yet often I live as one defeated and resigned to status quo. I want to be radical and live as one known to be loved and see what that love can do through me.