OK, so everybody over 30 will probably smile at that title. I guess I'm showing my age! This is one of those nights when I feel like I should have some profound truth to share with you, my dear readers, but instead I must admit to feeling relaxed and wonderful and not one tiny iota of profound. Though we've been on vacation for quite a while now (officially over a month, but there was much work in the middle), I'm now really settling in and feeling comfortable with the fact that it's really OK to relax.
I've been dealing with some difficult emotional things lately. Much of my previous post skirts around the issue. You see, this past year was completely draining in every emotional, physical, and spiritual way. Most of our friendships and community ties simply had to be put on the back burner because, plainly stated, we had no time. Any free time I had, I slept. Now, point number one: I don't want to live another 2 years like the ones I just lived through. It's too much and I am not able to care for others the way I want to when my mind is constantly clicking through panic-stricken mental lists of things that I have to get done before my head strikes my pillow at night or the world just may fall apart. It's wonderful to have such a sense of responsibility - and to be trusted to come through time and again - but it will absolutely eat you alive if you aren't careful.
Point number two: when our hectic academic year came to an end, I really didn't want to see anyone or do anything. And I mean ANY thing. Doing yardwork was too much. Vacuuming the carpet? Too much. I could barely change the toilet roll! Seriously, In the past two weeks, I have spent some quality time on my duff. I felt like a flower or some beautiful growing green thing that you think has been damaged beyond repair, is dead and rootless and lifeless with no substance and no hope of regeneration. Then, one morning after a long wait in forgetfulness, one morning that is slightly brighter, sunnier, and warmer than any you've felt for a long time, on that morning one tiny bit of green pops out. That tiny green token represents a life that refuses to end, a spirit which longs to renew itself and grow strong and beautiful.
This week, I have seen one tiny green point in myself. For the first time in many months, I think that I have not destroyed the most beautiful parts of me, but instead only buried them for a winter that could not be avoided so that they could spring again, alive, and more vibrant than before.
Point number three: when the smoke cleared from the battle that was our year, and we looked around, only then did we see the devastation of the battle field. Where we were once a part of a vital and loving community, we saw only dead relationships. The Word says we are all members of the same body, and the emotional pain that I felt when feeling so lonely and so forgotten, having spiritual members cut from my own body - simply because we had to do what we had to do this year - was excruciating. A sniper hidden in a nearby tree on our particular battlefield, the enemy immediately fired upon my every insecurity: there must be something wrong with me. I lose people in relationships all the time. I never get invited to anything.
It was difficult and I was emotionally devastated.
But a friend - the one I mentioned in my last post - gave me a shield: the truth. Now I can recognize both the lies and the concerns which are legitimate and need to be addressed. I am happy to say that I spent some great time with my friend last night, and had old friends - whom we haven't really seen in months - over for dinner tonight, and it was wonderful to reconnect and find that our relationship is still there and viable.
So now I am left with a peaceful, easy feeling, knowing that God does have a place for me in this community, and I only need to be vulnerable enough to remind everyone that I'm here.
See my little bit of green showing?