Overthinking, keeping my mouth shut and living in hope!

Just the other day I was thinking, or I should say overthinking(you know me) about this last year.  It has been a while since the second greatest tragedy in my life.  One long, traumatic stretch of time passing, sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly.  In the beginning it was so painful to see happy couples, I kind of wanted to walk up and tell them not to get to comfortable that it would probably all fall apart one day. That seemed like it would be a bummer so I kept my mouth shut. Every once in a while I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs that the world was a cruel horrible place, I wanted to grab happy people and shake them and tell them to wake up and recognize the terrifying truth, there is no happy formula and you will eventually get your heart broken.  Every once in a while, these thoughts rumbled mercilessly in my mind.

In the end, I didn't say that to anyone....well okay there was this one person but for the most part I did good.

Theses thoughts clouded my judgement, cast fear into my heart, and strangled my voice...who I was seemed lost forever and yet....

Learning, growing, teaching and preaching, yep all that stuff came back up.  It took a few months, okay maybe five, for things to come back but who's counting. Somewhere in me there was always hope, seeds that had been planted for years, but it was still hard to pray, hard to hear God, everything was just so damn hard in the beginning.

So now here I am living in Lubbock(almost a year now), going to my new church(love it), a new job and finding the rhythm of a new life. I've been intentional about taking care of my heart and finding the hope, joy and laughter again.  It hasn't been easy, by nature we tend to focus on what we don't have instead of what we do have. However, I made new friends and started serving in my church.  I filled my life with fun music, inspiring people, online messages, old friends and new friends, books and I found myself hopeful again.  Not for the old, but for the new life and the new me.

I don't quite know this new me.  Sometimes she seems broken and fragile and sometimes she seems determined and feisty.  This new me is different, for sure.  I'm easier and less hurried but I am also much more sensitive and contemplative.  I am naive and yet seasoned, tainted and yet hopeful....sometimes still confused but nothing like the last years of my other life.  My other life that was filled with doubt and confusion.  Now my confusion only rest in my own head not in my circumstances.

In the midst of all the transition hope has shown up, not because of a new man or a great salary or a big change in my circumstances.  It came because it has always been there.  Always in my heart. What had gotten me through losing a child was also getting me through this valley of despair.  Where every headline was heartache, where I couldn't see past the pain.  There was God always whispering in my ear, His love, His faithfulness and my worthiness of His love.  Yes, in the darkest of moments that worthiness issue still rears its ugly head (damn it straight to hell).  Yes, I am still cussing a bit but now I don't condemn myself...I don't even think that will continue forever but if it does, oh well.  

Hope crept out of the corners of my soul and into my mind.  It grew and grew and before I knew it, life just looked better and brighter.  It isn't always rainbows and unicorns, this Thanksgiving was hard.  Everything is so different, and there is one that I shall always miss.  I just tried to keep a count of things I am thankful for running through my mind.  The truth is, I am thankful for so much and an attitude of gratitude is always the answer to the paralyzing grip of yesterday.

So today I thank God for where He has brought me, for His constant companionship, for the pieces he is putting back together and for the freedom to experience His love in a new way; a truly unconditional love.  I suppose that is the greatest gift in all of this, a deeper understanding of His love.  You see I have grown and at the same time diminished.  Turns out growing and humility(diminishing of self) are tied pretty closely together.

I know it may seem strange that someone could grow in Christ while living a bit of what I would have considered a bit of a slacker Christian life.  I am not at church every time the doors open anymore, I don't live by a particular set of rules but more by what I think Jesus would do, I try to love people well and I love myself better than I probably ever have.  I cry easily, apologize profusely, speak authentically, I talk to God in front of my fireplace or on my patio and sometimes I cuss. Sometimes when I cuss I am surprised and I laugh out loud; not that I said it, but that my God still adores me in spite of what I said.   That is the beauty in the brokenness.  I am finding a new balance and in the process I may swing a little too far one way or another but I am confident that God who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it and so I live in HOPE and that hope continues to multiply.
Thanks for loving me.

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