I haven’t written on here for 2 1/2 years. But I thought I’d start using it to journal again with so much going on inside my head and no where to go except outwardly in negative ways. I felt this would be much healthier.
8/11/16 – Journal Entry
Lately, I’ve felt like I’m barely staying afloat in a sea of uncertainty, disappointment and sorrow.
With all the difficulties, loss and heartache I’ve been through in my lifetime, and even with my melancholy personality, I’ve always managed to keep my head above water and come through being thankful to God for even small things that have overshadowed the negative. It is true that this year has been so painfully hard on my family as a whole. I know everyone has struggles and most are far worse than this. But these are our struggles, our hardships, our losses, our grief. And it’s very real. Very painful.
No, 2016 has not been good to me and my family. That’s no secret. Since the first of the year it’s been one blow after another. One devastation after another. One loss after another. From sudden death to unplanned for upheaval and loss to unexpected divorce. Too much to list between family and friends. The one good thing I can say is that after Michael lost his job this past spring after 8 years at Southern Company, God opened the door pretty quickly for a better job where he feels appreciated because of his vast knowledge and years of experience in his field. We were thankful and blessed in that the Lord provided for us financially in amazing ways during that time. We aren’t where we believed we would be financially through this job opportunity … yet. But we are doing okay.
Even so, this spring ended and led into a summer being the worst on record. Even worse than the summer of 2008 when my Dad passed away that August, (hard to believe it’s been 8 years this month – I sure miss my Dad, my friend) and for the months before as Michael and I had been experiencing immense personal turmoil, as well as his Dad having major physical problems. Then the following summer after we had filed for bankruptcy, lost our home and had to move into a rental home, still going through personal turmoil. Even worse than the summer of 2014 after my mom died after a traumatic event and I had to go through all the years and years and mounds and mounds of stuff accumulated at my parent’s house to have an estate sale that September, with the memory of her death still fresh in my mind, and my life in personal turmoil at home once again. (Note to self: never leave behind that kind of accumulated mess of belongings for my kids to deal with when I’m gone.) Even still worse than the summer of 1989 when I realized that my first marriage had become a disaster and was inevitably headed for an ugly end.
In a sense, this summer has been worse than all those put together in that there is no positive ending at this point. No light at the end of the tunnel. No sincere, heartfelt feeling of “all things work together for good for those who love Him”. Right now, I can only feel heartache, loss, disillusionment and disappointment with many unanswered questions for so many things that have happened this summer. For the entire year, for that matter. And still ongoing in nearly every way. My faith has seriously wavered. I’ve been shaken to the core and I have been unable to find much positive, few hidden blessings or something of real value to be thankful for in all that has happened. Though I’ve tried.
I prayed so hard and so diligently for my family and friends through all of these things. As usual, I was the “prayer warrior” and friend everyone had always been able to count on, and would spend my days going through my list of things and people to pray for beseeching the Lord on behalf of family and friends. And, along with a few close friends, I prayed desperately for weeks and weeks with great hope that this particular situation in these last 3 months would turn around for the better. But it only continued to dramatically escalate and worsen. It has resulted in the unexpected, the least desirable outcome, and me throwing out everything I’ve ever believed before about Christianity, church, prayer, my personal walk with God, my children’s walk with God, even things I believed about myself. I’ve been here before. I’ve started fresh from a clean slate before. But this time I’m out of words to pray and feel literally upside down in my world in the worst way. Maybe it’s an accumulation of everything that’s happened throughout the year, but I’m truly struggling to find comfort and the kind of “peace that passes all understanding” no matter how many times I hand it over to God.
I once had someone I greatly respect tell me I get too personally involved in things in order to try and control them, and therefore keep repeating the same old cycles. Well, all that has undeniably come to a screeching halt. I have no control over this situation or the people involved. They will have to walk their own path, as painful as that may be. And it will be. I cannot fix it this time. I cannot fix the one person that needs it the most. I’ve done street ministry, deliverance ministry, been on prayer teams, prayed for, counseled and helped drug addicts, prostitutes, ex-cons, troubled teens, struggling couples, even a daughter in devastating pain from personal loss of her own. But I cannot help this person, this time. This person whom I love from the depths of my heart and know all too well the road she has chosen. It will not be glamorous as may be believed. The hardest thing to do is to sit back and watch it happen. But that is what I have to do. I can’t even control my own story, much less this one. I can only walk the dimly lit path before me to the best of my ability. And my only word from God at this time for this person is to ‘love her … like Jesus’. I’m not even sure I know exactly what that means anymore.
Yet, I do know God isn’t finished with this book. It may feel like the end, but the end has not yet been written. Even though this one chapter has ended with sadness and grieving for what was and what could have been, and the next one will be incredibly difficult to get through, as well, God is the author who holds the pen. This is HIS book. He can write it much better than I. Only He can make the necessary changes in the characters and in their situations to give this story a beautiful ending. Or not.
I will continue to try and find the courage to keep treading water, (more like flounder about without a life vest). And if I go under, my only hope is that I will not fall into some dark abyss but deeper into God. I’m holding out for the latter.
In conclusion, I can say that at least our family has their lives. There is breath within each of us … still. For that, I am thankful. And will be thankful for every breath after. God is still good. I can honestly say I still believe that. I believe He is the author and finisher of our faith, of all things. So for that I am also thankful. He hasn’t done this to punish anyone. None of this has happened because He is mean or because He is mad. But He doesn’t always do things the way we want or expect or that we in our human mind can conceive is best. Only He writes a person’s story from beginning to end the way He knows is best for them. He won’t break someone’s will, but He does change a heart and can rewrite the story better than before. If we allow Him.
This is my truth. The raw truth. And life goes on …