sometimes i wonder how i will stay strong

picture found here.
My husband is sprawled out on the couch, taking a late afternoon nap. One of our dogs is resting between my husband and the back of the couch, his paws at my husband's head and his head on my husband's chest. Our other dog is curled up on the chair in our study, her paws dangling off the edge. Our early afternoon walk wore us all out.

I've passed the time writing. I've taken my first completed novel and ripped it to shreds; I'm now on page 60 of the total rewrite. After weeks of silence on this blog and silence on my novel, I've found a sense of inspiration, and I am doing my best to embrace it. As much as I want to disappear into myself and wait for all of our circumstances to change, I know this is the time that calls for me to not hide but to give everything I have.

We attended a worship night at church last night. Coming home from work, I was excited to go, but then I input further information into TurboTax and watched the numbers of what we owe to the IRS increase even more. I'd prepared myself for not receiving a refund, but seeing the too-large number sent me reeling. My husband coaxed me and reminded me that as much as I want to be in control of everything I am not. He told me that he would rather be homeless and living in a box with me happy then live in a house and have money with me worried about everything.

I'm doing my best to let go. I'm trying to not hold on so tightly and to remind myself that it's only money, this is only life, and there's only so much I can do.

We eventually left the house last night. Knots were still in my stomach, but I pushed myself out the door. We talked over sandwiches and discussed our hopes for the future. We remind ourselves that things will get better, that some of our circumstances are changing, but it is often hard to remember that.

I want to be a person who has joy no matter what. I long to be aware of the fact that my God is bigger than anything that might happen. I want to be at peace no matter how many bombs are going off in my own life. But I'm not that person. I'm the person who cries and then cries some more when things don't go the way I want them to. I'm the person who worries over every little thing and doesn't know how to be content only in the moment.

But I'm trying to learn. I'm doing my best to change. I want to feel at peace with where we are. I want to remember that everyone goes through tough times and that these are the times that make us who we are.  I want to stop comparing my life to the lives of others around me. I want to stop feeling like I do not measure up to anyone else. Because it doesn't matter where everyone else is; it only matters where I am.

At worship last night, circumstances were mentioned multiple times. Songs were sung about trusting God no matter our circumstances, and I often found myself silent while others around me sang. I wanted the words to be true for my own life, but I knew then that they were not.

I focus on what I can see and what I can touch instead of on other things. I want everything to be in line. I have a plan, and I want all events to follow my plan. Things rarely work out the way I have planned, and every time the plans fall to pieces, I do as well.

Through all this, I felt myself leaning into God and wanting to know more about His plan and His purpose for all these things. I've heard it said that God uses the difficult times in our lives to teach us about Him, to remind us that He is always working. When things are difficult and when the things of this world fail, what else (or who else) do we have to look to?

I want to trust in things unseen. I want to not focus on only what I can see and touch. I want to believe that His way is better than mine. I want to whole heartedly say that I want for His will to be done in my life, and I want to be content with whatever circumstances I'm facing.

It's something I am working on currently and something I will have to continue to work on. I'm not sure what will come of it. I'm not sure how my life will change. I'm not sure if things will get better or worse or remain the same. All I can know is that it's time for me to not be in control and to not worry over every little thing. It is time for me to hope in something more and to put my whole faith in something more.

He is real. His promises and his words are real. The moments in which He has met me are real even if I myself struggle to believe them.

(title from "hello, i'm in delaware" by city and colour)


sharing different heartbeats in one night

picture found here.
I've been silent for almost two months. The words that once flooded my mind disappeared. The hope I felt for something new turned into fear, and rather than tip-toeing through the fear, I sat and wrapped my arms around myself.

I'm still sitting with my arms wrapped around my legs. My face rests on my knees, and I wait.

I want to say I am waiting with hope and joy and the promise of better things to come, but I'm not. I'm waiting, air burning in my lungs, and wondering what will come next. I'm terrified of what the future hold because I'm not sure any of it will be better than the past. I tell myself not to worry and remind myself that God has a plan (always) and that His hand is on me.

But to be honest, I don't currently know if it's true. I don't know if there is a plan. I don't feel His hand on me. I feel alone, caught in a tidal wave of emotions. I fight against the water, reaching for the sky, but the water fills my lungs and the waves throw me against the rocky bottom.

The subject isn't pretty. And the aftermath is even less pretty. Tonight it ended with me, suffering from a sinus infection, crying on the phone to my mother and then crying on the shoulder of my husband - soaking his shirt with my tears and snot.

After the tears and words, he took my hand, and we prayed. At the end, we were silent. I wanted a booming voice to come out of the sky and give us clear direction. I wanted to be reminded that there is something else out there. Instead, there was silence. A sense of peace settled, and my husband said he felt "okay" and thought that, for now, it was fine to feel "okay."

I'm afraid of being "okay." I'm afraid of calming down and being at peace. I'm afraid because I don't think it will last.

Life is difficult. Everyone knows this. We all struggle. We all fight our own tidal waves. We are all battered and bruised and gasping for air. Some of us have an easier time of breaking through the waves and others wonder how they have survived for so long without drowning.

I have no words of wisdom for myself, or anyone else, who might feel like they are drowning. I've read books and felt that I was close to the surface, but I've been wrong each time. My tidal wave is different than another's. There are no comforting words to be found. I simply have to continue to fight to break the surface - even though I am bloody and bruised and have lungs full of water.

(title from "heartbeats" by jose gonzalez)


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