12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
I chose this title because I never did completely understand what that song was about.
For the vast majority of my life, especially the last year, I have never understood who God was. The past few months, I have been reading books by “Grace” writers, trying and hoping I could believe that God loved me unconditionally. So many people have encouraged me to believe this. I’m glad they can believe it for themselves. I pray it for my children and my grandchildren. Even my husband can believe it.
But today, I’ve realized that either I am not a Christian, or that God is not the God I think He is, or there is no God.
God has been very good to me through the course of my life. I have two of the most loving, smartest, beautiful daughters, and they married wonderful men. I have three precious granddaughters and another grandchild on the way. I’ve lived in Europe. I was safe on countless trans-Atlantic flights. I have friends who actually like me.
In the past months, I have wrestled with God, yelled at Him, been angry with Him. That was all incredibly sinful. The ache of my heart has been such that I thought if I just shouted loud enough and long enough, God would relieve my pain. I have begged and prayed for God to give me the faith to believe that He loved me unconditionally, but there has been no “sudden” revelation like so many folks write about.
The truth is that God gets to do with His creation whatever He wants. He’s been better to me than I deserve.
In the Old Testament, God said, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” He (I don’t think) actually hated Esau, He just gave the blessing to Jacob. Esau still was cared for by God, but he was not chosen for the blessing.
I saw my therapist today. The session veered way off from where I had planned. I don’t know what happened-I started talking and was suddenly overwhelmed with frustration about how little change there has been in my spiritual growth in the last year. I think my therapist was stumped and really didn’t know what to say. He doesn’t understand my inability to always believe that God loves me unconditionally, and who can blame him? No one I’ve spoken to about it does.
So I thought I was making progress, but today I rolled back down the hill a little. Maybe I should stop reading Christian writers–there’s too many different theologies out there, even with writers that I agree with 98%. It’s the 2% that’s driving me nuts.
I’m still feeling some animosity from time-to-time with the fiasco therapist. Honestly, WTH? He lost his cool and he knows it, but he won’t admit it. My husband and I both agree on that.
This morning, my husband sent me this link to a John Piper devotional. It puts a spin on forgiving that I’ve not really ever considered.
After reading, I almost felt a little bit of fear for those who fall into the hands of an angry God. I printed it and took it to my therapy session today and my therapist said he thinks it is spot-on.
I think I’m going to read this devotional over and over. I honestly believe it will help me let go of some anger and resentment I’ve felt for decades.
If you are struggling with forgiveness, read this devotional. It’s given me a new perspective.
Yeah, I know. I keep “promising” to stop posting and then I’m back again.
It has been such a weird few weeks. I’ve started a new plan of therapy with my original therapist, which is crawling along (did I mention that patience is not my long suit; hell, it’s not even my short suit–it’s a singleton club (hopefully, people will understand enough about the game of bridge to know what that means).) My husband and I celebrated our 35th anniversary, which evoked all manner of feelings, emotions, and pure, old anger in me. My dad, who is 90, is back in the hospital for one set of problems that became an entirely different set when he had a small stroke in the speech center of his brain. He’s doing fairly well for his age and condition.
I have been awake since 2:30 a.m., which is never a good sign for me. It means I will be fighting to keep my head off my desk by 10:00 a.m. I’ve chased my spiritual rabbits round and round this morning, which I’ve done so much of in the past 13 months, you’d think I’d figured out the meaning of life by now–if not everyone’s, at least my own.
It occurred to me around 7:00 a.m. that the four most difficult words to say and mean are, “I trust You, God.”
Anyone who tells you that’s not true is either smoking something, selling something, or they are an atheist. Honestly, if every Christian could say those words AND mean them, this world would be a completely different place. We would be totally different people.
I have been living with some level of fear for 13 months. I had struggled with fear before, but this is the longest bout with one of my most severe fears. So how come deciding that I will say “I trust You, God” fills me with even more fear?
I know exactly why it is–because now God is going to have terrible things happen to me or those I love just to see if I really mean those words. Honestly, that’s how my brain works. Is that incredibly sad or what? God, my creator who has said repeatedly that He loves me, scares the pee right out of me. Here’s the deal; if I trust Him, I’ll get punched in the stomach, or thrown down and molested, or blindsided like I was last summer, or be thrown a couple of cheap shots from a professional that writes on the company web page–“It takes a lot of courage to pour your heart out to a ….. therapist. Vulnerability and honesty can lead to rejection or change, both of which can knock the breath right out of us. Pat yourself on the back for even thinking about sharing the hard stuff with someone.”
See, I have been well-trained to not trust, and I really don’t. I am always wary. And as I was typing that, I was suddenly filled with intense sorrow for not trusting God, who offered up His Son to make me righteous and adopt me into His family. I would NEVER offer one of my children up to God as a sacrifice.
satan loves to speak as though he’s “concerned” about my relationship with God. “You’re a terrible sinner; how can God love you?” As though he really cares about how my sinfulness makes God feel. No, satan knows that if I can feel mired in my guilt and shame, I will want to either hide from God or spend so much time begging for forgiveness-that He’s already imparted-that I’ll be paralyzed and stand in the middle of the road–the prodigal that just can’t believe that her dad is so glad to see her back home that he’s throwing a party.
Does it matter how lavish and beautiful the party is if I cannot make myself attend?
The four most difficult words to mean…”I trust You, God.”
A few months ago, I wrote a post about prayer and cited different scriptures which all described the way to pray, but they were all different.
I’ve been reading a lot of “grace” writings lately because it has become obvious to me that nothing I do can improve my standing with God. But that, too, is incredibly frustrating because I’ve written a couple of the grace writers and asked them how to overcome my inability to believe that God loves me unconditionally.
When I asked the fiasco therapist about this, he said, “you have to come up with the faith to believe.” Well, scripture says Jesus is the author of my faith, so how do I “come up” with faith? Another person said much the same, “your faith will lead you to believe that.” Then, one of the grace writers responded by saying faith comes from “looking at God’s unconditional love for me.” I thought I had to have faith first.
They all agree that there are no conditions on God’s love and grace, but the Bible verse for today on a certain website is, “If you keep My commands, you will remain in My love.” John 15:10a. Sounds a little conditional.
I am also sick to death of people who keep saying,”Your miracle is just around the corner.” or “God is going to do a mighty work with you.” Really? How do you know that? Got a direct line to God? Or is it just easier to march out a little platitude that sounds good?
Have I prayed? Yeah, I’ve spent hours and hours in prayer, with tears running down my face, anguish screaming out of my heart, on my face on the ground, on my knees, with my hands lifted to heaven….
How much better are things after more than a year of heartache, grief, prayer, begging God to work in my heart, begging for peace? They’re worse, at least for me. I am grateful that my husband is in recovery; I truly am. But so many things in my life seem to indicate that my part in all of this was to find him a 12-step program and a therapist. I’ve spent a year in therapy and one of the therapist was such a smug, narcissistic bastard that the sessions many times were about what had happened to him in his life, and how he felt about how the session was going. He can’t even admit that he screwed up. He will dance all around it, but he won’t admit it. I have since talked with my other therapist and read a blog by a psychologist that hints at the problems with narcissists who get into the counseling field.I’m still working through the decision about whether or not to confront him. He was always so in favor of me doing that with my siblings.
Work has been crap this week. Some of my co-workers are lazy and screw up often. The problem there is that the boss doesn’t like to confront anyone about anything. I have told him repeatedly what the major problems are and he keeps saying we will have a staff meeting about it. The first time he said that was six weeks ago.
I don’t know if I will post much anymore. Writing is supposed to help with releasing some of the stress I feel. It doesn’t; putting it down in black and white just makes me angrier.
You know how in the fall and winter months there can be days when it’s raining, and if you have to get out in it too much you feel as though the cold has seeped into the marrow of your bones? That’s where I am with deep sadness and grief right now. It has settled into my bones and there doesn’t appear to be any way to “warm up” and make it disappear.
I’ve given up. I’m tired of people quoting Romans 8:28–And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Or maybe that is true and I don’t love him enough. Or maybe the Potter gets to do exactly what he wants with the clay.
There have been too many people in my life who were supposed to love me or care deeply about me because of the relationship we shared, but instead chose to kick the shit out of me, sometimes quite literally, and sometimes with words, which actually carry so much more venom and long-lasting pain.
My 35th anniversary is Monday. We’re scheduled to go out to eat with our kids (which I specifically had to ask for; they didn’t offer.) And I am wondering if it is really a wise thing for us to do because I’m not exactly sure what we will be celebrating.
It feels like the life is just draining right out of me. I’ve never felt so old. And I don’t think I’ve ever felt this hopeless. A year ago, it was horrible because the trauma was so fresh, but after the first couple of weeks, I really thought things would get better, especially in a year.
Haha. Joke’s on me.
My husband will go to the last meeting with the “fiasco” therapist; I can’t make myself go and not punch him in his smug, narcissistic face. My original therapist really thinks it would be good for me to write a letter to the fiasco, just to practice confronting people who’ve treated me like crap. So, I have to think about that.
Trying to work through forgiveness is another joke. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive my siblings or my in-laws. It’a all I can do not to put a really bare bones, honest critique on my fiasco’s FB page. I’m sure he’d take it off as soon as he saw it. He wants positive only, not honesty.
It’s hotter than hell here today. How apropos.
I wrote this on July 2, but didn’t finish it, so “yesterday” was Monday, July 1.
My original therapist is back from vacation, so we had a session yesterday. We talked about the work and method we will be using to “distance” my feelings from my painful memories.
The really frustrating part is that it will not be quick. I’m wondering how much longer I’m going to be in therapy. Well, that’s not it actually…it’s more, when the heck am I going to be able to move past my past?
I don’t look forward to discussing particular memories with my therapist. I haven’t even gone into detail with my husband about a few of them. When I’ve tried to journal about them, I get angrier and angrier until the writing is almost illegible and then the journal goes flying across the room.
I’ve decided to write my “fiasco” therapist a letter. Haven’t thrashed it all out yet, but I think I need to do it. It bugs me now to think about how much time I spent with him, and yet I’m no further along than I am.
We’re having a friend over for supper tonight. This person is single because he/she cheated numerous times on his/her spouse. This person is in recovery for screwing up his/her life. It’s good to be around people who can’t pretend anymore. I have some friends who are still trying to keep the mask on, but when your “public persona” gets shredded and broadcast, even if it’s because you’re the spouse, you know from then on that nearly every person you meet is hiding something. It might just be gross insecurity–in fact, for so many, it is exactly that. I freak some of my friends–the ones who are still trying to hold on to the persona–out when I am baldly honest about how I’m doing or what I’m feeling. The funny thing is, I censor myself with almost all of them. I think they’d wet themselves if I ever cut loose with exactly what was going on in my head.
So, it’s much more comfortable to be around folks who can’t pretend.
What’s the worst kind of person to run into? Someone who says they can’t pretend, but they’ve jumped miles ahead in the recovery process in a short period of time and now they have all the answers.
Right…as Bart Simpson would say, “Eat my shorts.” Sorry, readers, I know that’s rude, but it’s nowhere near as rude as a “recovered” poser dishing out garbage advice.
It’s the 4th of July. Wahoo! I don’t have to work today or tomorrow; you’d think I’d be loving it, but there is a slight sense of unease about not earning money these two days. Still, today’s been a great day so far. The weather here has been absolutely blissful the last five days. After the horrible, scorching summer of last year, this summer has been incredible.
We have a wonderful friend over. We ate lunch together and now he and my husband are “jamming”…well, a mild jamming. But it’s fun to listen to.
And Monday, I get to go back to my therapist and start on the relaxation part of the process we’re going through. I hope the relaxation part doesn’t take more than a couple of sessions because I’m ready to get this show on the road.
I don’t know what I will do if this process doesn’t help. I may reject the world and move into a nunnery. I’m nearly fed up with the world anyway. Does anyone not wear a mask and act as phony as a three dollar bill?
Anyhoo, hope you’re having a wonderful holiday.