Sometimes there are moments of clarity in which you are forced to get real with yourself. For some of us it requires less blood and gore than others (I’m one of those ‘walk right in to the wall 800 times’ kind of girls, myself). I pondered the word ‘REAL’ as I sat down tonight with my blank screen and obligatory post. One of the Relevant 2010 mottoes is “Real. Intentional. Blogging.” But do we always feel like being real? There are seasons where blogging comes easy – times are good and things are going smoothly, and there are times when life seems to be coming at you from every direction like one of those tennis ball machines – thug, pthug, thug!
Most of the time, I stay away from the blog when I’m feeling the bruises of bombardment… but every now and then I just have to ‘let it out’ regardless of the consequences. It isn’t always easy to turn your problems in to ten-point articles. Keeping them on the inside does nothing but intensify the hurt. Reality gets in the way of easy blog material because sometimes the ‘real stuff’ isn’t always as pretty.
So here I am tonight… after everyone is snug in bed… when I should be paying the bills and getting the paperwork on my desk in order (or grading Math, or cleaning my purse out, or folding laundry, or figuring out how to get that awful smell out of the front-loading washer)…
I stare at the screen, but I can’t write. Something is stuck. All the blog posts in my head (most of them happen to come to me in the shower for some reason – maybe because I’m ALONE?) have been really whiny lately.
I’ve been filled up with lists of whiny questions; things like:
-Why does my 11 year old have to suffer in pain and worry that she has cancer in her spine?
-Why am I having a baby so late in life when I hardly have the energy to handle the three that I already have?
-Why does there always seem to be three or four extra days in a pay period when the money has already run out?
-Why do I have an aversion to cooking dinner when we have 40$ in the account and can’t afford to eat out?
-Why is it so hard for all of us to get our chores done and get out of our pajamas?
-Why have I only been on one date in the past 4 years with my husband?
-Why do my best attempts at “getting school done” always get pushed aside for doctor visits, medication, and grumpy mornings with two tweenage kids going through puberty?
-Why am I the only one in the house who knows how to change a toilet paper roll?
-Why does the baby have to write on everything with Sharpies?
-Why do I have to go to the store every day to buy 2 gallons of milk?
-Why aren’t there enough hours in the day to actually get the house clean, school done, the baby taken care of, meals cooked, planning finished, paperwork filed, and the checkbook reconciled?
-Is it even possible that I can be burned out on homeschool this year when it isn’t even a week in to October yet?
These type of questions aren’t easy to answer.
They require grace and forgiveness; vulnerability that grates at your soul like sandpaper. Everyone laid bare… everyone in need of forgiveness (even yourself).
They require honesty.
And as you know, change is not always easy when things feel broken. It hurts bad.
Sometimes it takes looking past the homeschool curriculum and the xrays and the mechanical pencil that started WWIII before the kids even cracked their ‘prayer journals’ open for school. There’s something deeper that isn’t right. Something quiet and hidden inside. Something hollow.
But if we ease out of our shell and take a good look at the reality behind the veneer, we can address the pain and the hurt – put the pieces back together. We can pony up with a heavenly posse to tackle the attitude issues that are keeping real healing from happening. That’s what I’m doing tonight. I stayed up to clean off my desk, sure… that was the original self-programmed “I CAN DO THIS” reason… but I knew God was calling me on the carpet when I sat down and couldn’t find more words in my head besides, “Why, Lord?”
“That’s what I wanted you to ask, Heather.” He whispers as I stare over at my dusty Bible and consider picking up my own prayer journal that is quite a few days overdue.
The tears come because I was finally quiet enough to listen. I recognize His voice. And then the ‘admitting that things are broken inside’ and that ‘I can’t do it all’… (the thing He’s been watching and waiting for)… it happens quietly – when I’m finally alone.
“Be still, child.” That’s what ADD is like for a grown up and her ‘Big Daddy’ in the sky (I’m sure he considers medicating me often). “Just let me minister to you.”
I figure that God is not too small to answer big questions. I know he has the answers. So I’m going to ask them and He’s going to whisper to me from those neglected pages about things that will make me better. Maybe my circumstances won’t magically change, maybe our medical issues won’t instantly disappear, and maybe the bank account will stay empty… but all of that will be miraculously OK when I am filled.
I know this. He’s done it before. Funny how that first step hurts so much and then there’s peace… and you laugh at yourself for being so stupid to wait this long for the filling up again. “Yes, Lord, Yes… I’m just empty. That’s why everything is broken. I’m spent. Please fill me again.”
I always forget that my questions and problems are not too trivial or too big for Him. And that’s what gets me in these messes to begin with. I’m so glad that I didn’t shy away from letting my fingers talk to this blank page tonight. I may regret posting this tomorrow (I always do when I get ‘too REAL’), but I know there’s probably someone else out there that needed to hear it or He wouldn’t have prompted me to be so brutally honest with the entire internet.
He’s waiting for you, too.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain on the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine and you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” ~ Jesus (John 15: 4-5)