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It's interesting to look at your life, past to present, and think: "It has all led up to this...." And then wonder where it will lead to next.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Content... Maybe?

I am forever searching for contentedness. If that's a word. I am 24 years old, married, with two kids, and I'm only just starting to feel like a real adult. For the last three years I've felt as though I'm just playing "grown up", that I'd wake up one day and find to my relief that I am still 12 years old-- my only real concern being, when would my boobs ever grow? Only I really wouldn't want to go back. Even in my "carefree" days I was always searching for contentment. I finally feel like I may be making some progress. I'm giving myself some slack. A little anyway. I'm trying my best to let go of the reigns and trust that God's got my back.

I haven't really spent much time in the word since Gabriel was born. Instead of writhing in guilt like I normally would, I decided to enjoy a little break from deep thinking. To be honest, I'm still not sure if I should be writhing in guilt or not, but I'm taking my chances. Not that I am ignoring God. We still have quiet conversations, and He is still a part of my every day. For the longest time I felt like me and God had a deal. My end was to read His word and pray and try to be good. His end was to in return take good care of me and make me a better person. The problem with this deal was, God didn't hold His end of it. I'm not entirely sure He even agreed to it to begin with. In fact, I'm pretty positive He didn't. When I failed at my end,  He still took care of me. And sometimes even when I held my end, I didn't feel taken care of. And I sure as heck didn't feel like a better person for the most part. This left me feeling rather precarious. My mortal soul was in my hands and I didn't feel strong enough for that burden. Yes, yes, grace, love, forgiveness. I know all the right lingo. But deep down I pretty much felt like it was all up to me. Something new is happening now. And I think I might like it. 

After I found out I was pregnant with Aiden, a lot changed. I was 21, a junior in college, and Aaron and I weren't planning on getting married for another year. I had a lot of support, but I also felt very judged-- mostly by the people claiming to live by grace. It stung and I had trouble fighting all the doubt that filled my mind. Aaron and I got married and started our "adult" lives together, but we didn't quite fit. We didn't fit in with the college kids anymore, who were our age, but we also didn't fit with the family crowd. Most of all we felt we didn't fit in the Church. A little snipit from a journal entry of mine during that time: "I find myself reading books that speak about rebuilding the fallen church and transforming the complacent Christian life and they spark something in me that longs to be an active part of Christ's body, the Church. But what do you do when the church doesn't seem to have room for you?" I was starving and it felt like the church was dangling a little piece of meat out in front of me, pulling it away every time I reached for it. At one of my worst points, I wrote:

"How in just a few short days do I go from a "seize the day" mentality to questioning the very purpose of my life? I think it's slowly been dawning on me that my past dreams and goals for my life are never going to be. I'm ok with dreams and goals changing, but no matter what I feel like doing with my life I feel like I am destined to never reach it. I know it's early on to be losing hope on life, and I still do have hope, but I feel it slipping out of my hands each day. I want to live for God, but my disgust for Christianity distracts me from that desire. I love Aaron, but the stress of living seems to slowly be sucking the passion out of our love for each other. I love Aiden and all I want to do is be the best mom I can be for him, but the mundane routines of each day, week, month are slowly draining me of any passion for life. Right now I feel like my purpose in life is to take care of Aiden, keep the house clean, and not spend too much money. Maybe because these are my purpose I am losing the identity I thought I once had. Maybe this is why I freak out when the house is messy, feel guilty when I want a break from Aiden, and feel like a failure when I spend more than $30 dollars on groceries. I wish I could find passion for life again. I can not live a life without passion. That is the only thing I know for sure. I know death is not the answer, so I guess I have to fight back and keep searching. But how do I do that when I am so drained, so tired, so lost in this haze of anger? I am angry all the time. I don't trust anyone-- not even myself. I feel a deep desire for something more and then a pang of convincing fear that I will never find it. That I will lose myself to impassivity, self-doubt, and hate. Lord, I want to cry out to you but something keeps telling me you will never answer! I may physically be here for a life time, but my soul feels like it is dying."

I am happy to say that I can now see that God was working in my heart even then. I can laugh now as I read my journal entries, joking about how I sound like an emo kid. But even though there were no tear stains in that journal, I can still feel the pain I had then and thank God he brought me through. I still have my bad days, sometimes weeks, but I am learning to rest in the truth of His faithfulness. Rest. I like the sound of that. Physically, I am exhausted. Despite the fact that I am sleeping better than I did my entire pregnancy, I feel like I could drop if I gave myself a moment to shut my eyes. But as far as my heart goes, I feel rested for the first time in a really long time. Maybe this won't last forever, few things do. But I have to admit I'm thankful for it regardless! 


Sam said...

love it!...isn't it funny to look back on 21-year old 'you' (by you, I mean, me, I mean us, I mean collective you :). kind of strange. and yes. he is faithful. I'll join in and be thankful for the place "you" are in today! hurrah!

Breka said...

Thank you. For so many reasons.

(Also, I'm 25 and still waiting for my boobs to grow...guess I'll just have to face grown up problems without them.)

littlenelsonlady said...

<3 i love these words. thanhks for sharing Faithy! you are inspiring me!

Caitlin said...

Though I can't empathize exactly with what you went through, being still childless, I felt a similar way when Jeremy and I got married. We were the first ones from our group of friends at Montreat, and I felt like people figured because I was married, or even engaged, that I didn't want to hang out anymore. But I so desperately did, and when I was continually left on my own, feeling friendless, I began to turn inwards as well. I still struggle with the friend issue, I'm not great at making them, and it's the biggest thing that Satan uses to crush me in my vulnerability--but God is stronger, and He helps me not assume the worst of situations and feelings. God is working in me too, maturing me, and helping me become someone worth being a life-long friend with, and while self-doubt still creeps up on me, about all kinds of things--intelligence has been a big one lately--I am getting better at turning around and facing it head-on with God and my best friend of a husband supporting me the whole way.
Gosh, I tend to write novels in your comments, sorry. I hope what I have to say is helpful or encouraging in some way. Thanks for your words, Faith, they always have something to bear on the way I'm feeling or have felt before, and undoubtedly will feel when I begin to have children.


Caitlin said...

I've been thinking about this a lot, and I wanted to be sure I was clear here. I now realize that I was the major party to blame in my own little pity party for myself back then. If I wanted to hang out with people I should have gone out and done it, it was nobody's job to come to me whatsoever. It was probably a fair assessment to assume I didn't want to hang out because I was married, because I rarely told anyone differently. I've learned a lot from that time, and though I regret not making as close of friends as I could have, I'm not likely to make that same mistake again.
Anyway, I just wanted to be sure that nobody felt like I was pointing fingers and guilting anyone. It was my fault. Period. I've learned. And I appreciate the friendships I do have with everyone from Montreat, and look forward to cultivating them again in the future. :) Very much.


Faith said...

I look forward to hanging out come september!