The fog of my cold/flu has lifted and I’m gradually catching up on everything, so I thought I’d do a little journal check-in.
First, I’ve decided to start with ‘dear diary’ from now on. I realised I have veered into writing for this unseen online audience, and given my track record with trying to meet expectations that I think exist (whether or not they actually do or don’t is not always a factor), I think it’s best that I focus more on writing for myself. While still utilizing the accountability factor and occasional conversation.
Second, I’ve done some re-evaluating of the things I thought I needed to work on. That list of ‘resolutions’ I posted still stands, but my perception has shifted somewhat. There are things that I believe God has genuinely been nudging me to deal with and work on and grow in – which is fantastic, and a sheer privilege, and I find that so wonderfully encouraging that I just…it makes me feel safe. Like everything is going to be okay because God really is looking out for me and helping me learn and grow, even when I don’t have a clue (which is often). Specifically, these are things like returning to my first Love, God, and learning to seek Him more than ever, drawing nearer to Him, learning to hear from Him and discern His voice (not always His literal, audible ‘voice’, as a little reminder to my sometimes too-literal mind), obeying Him and continuing to pray for Him to change my heart where it needs to be changed (which He has done in a few areas, and it’s incredible), learning more about prayer, serving where He wants me to in my church, building up some good relationships so I can feed into the lives God has placed around me and so that I am not walking alone either. I could write for days about all the little things God has been pulling together in my life, through various circumstances and people and conversations and resources and how it’s all so ridiculously perfect. But it’s also 2:30 AM, so I’m aiming for a summary for now.
I have also realised that some of what I thought I needed to change about myself, about what I want, what I need, particularly when it comes to relationships and stability, etc….a lot of that was imposed on me by someone else and not necessarily accurate. And I believed it, I chose to believe it and obey that person in those areas as best I could, because I really thought he was hearing from God and that he was right. And there were a lot of things about me that he was definitely right about, and helped me with, and I have learned so much and grown, for which I am always grateful. But not everything that was a difficulty between us was because I needed to change, but because we really were not compatible. Not everything was because my needs were an issue, but because the needs he was prepared to meet did not line up with those I actually had. I believe he really wanted to meet my needs. I believe he really wanted to be there for me. But after a particularly enlightening conversation with my pastor’s wife who, it turns out in a profound twist of…well, not fate…Providence?, has been through something remarkably similar, I have realised that he was not there for me. I don’t mean that in the sense that he was deliberately absent and selfish and made excuses and would take but never give back. I mean, rather, that he was never there for me because God had him there for other reasons. For someone else. And maybe, I don’t actually know for sure, but maybe God has someone else for me.
Which I am pretty sure is why I felt such relief and hope and excitement after being out from under all those expectations and preferences I’d placed myself under, and tried to conform to because I thought it was morally right…when really it was just that person’s preference and extremely deep hope. Which seems kind of silly now, although at the time I genuinely believed it was a word from God, it was His will, and wow am I grateful to not be in that anymore. But that’s maybe an indication that I really need to spend time getting to know God more and being thoroughly grounded in Him. And getting to know myself and being thoroughly grounded as me. Either that, or said person really did a number in de-stabilizing me, and even then I think it’s best to take lots of time to make sure I have my feet under me.
Of course, now I get so excited that part of me wants to draft a new ad and get looking, but then when I have these little revelations I think better of it. I feel good, I feel better than I’ve felt in years, to be honest. God is drawing me out of struggles and frustrations and dry places that I’ve dealt with for a really long time. But I see too that perhaps there’s some things from that last relationship that still need to be unraveled. At the very least, I want to make sure the detangling process has been properly completed before I start any serious consideration of another relationship. I have learned a great deal of what to be aware of, what not to compromise, that it is okay to let someone deal with their own problems, and what things really should not be acceptable even if you do love someone deeply. But good grief I am naive and have a lot to learn.
Third, God keeps coming through. It’s a little bit overwhelming when I sit back and look at it all, actually. I’ve been rather frustrated with and disappointed in myself regarding my lack of discernment, how I keep getting fooled into thinking this is God and it turns out to be a mistake, or that is what God wants me to do and I pretty much just plow face-first into the ground, and it just feels like a lot of guesswork. And yet. I can look back and see times where I definitely did hear from God, it just wasn’t always when I wanted to hear from Him. And I see how He is drawing together all these threads right now, particularly in how He is teaching me to pray and now this latest study is about discernment, and just the people He’s brought into my life right now. God has it all handled.
So that’s it, really. Usual stressors, work is sometimes silly and frustrating, school looms over me, I never seem to have quite enough time for everything, extroversion is exhausting, and I would really love to be in Disney World right now (sans crowds, because again, extroversion is exhausting). But God is good, and step by step it’s all getting sorted out.