I opened the portal,
Back in time
Revisiting the Dark Places
I had hope would forget me-
Night engulfed me in terror
Until I looked up and found-
Stars that light the way
Had been there all along.
I opened the portal,
Back in time
Revisiting the Dark Places
I had hope would forget me-
Night engulfed me in terror
Until I looked up and found-
Stars that light the way
Had been there all along.
I am amazed with the way I can can spin a web of denial and excuses in order justify myself. Should I be? It is a strong family trait on my father’s side, but it seemed to skip over him and land on one of his brothers, his eldest daughter (me), and once upon a time one of his sons. However, the real reason I should not be surprised is this:
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9 NLT
Deceit is defined by Dictionay.com as: the action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth. This has been true since Adam and Eve. They sowed fig leaves together as a pathetic attempt to cover (or conceal) their nakedness. When God called out to them they hid. They blame shifted, misrepresenting the truth. Because of this, they failed to repent. Hmmm I know someone like that…
How many times have I asked God to help me be on time and then ignored the Holy Spirits prompting not to start reading this or that on the internet when checking the weather…ooohhhh click bait…..info….shiny. I am not curious, but nosy. I have to know everything and every opinion and think about it and come to my almighty one. I want God to wave a magic wand that lets me be on time on MY terms. Besides if I waste time in the morning and then look at the clock and realize time is running out, I cannot skip exercise. I have depression and other issues so I have to exercise. It is nonnegotiable. Like I am allowed to be five minutes late because I have depression. then there is my blame ADD to blame. Sure…they both play a role, but God is ready and willing to help me be on time. Writing this makes me angry. I don’t want to be held accountable.
I don’t really want to focus. I love wandering. Except when I am writing and can keep my thoughts clear. It just happens when I write. All other times it is hard to focus. (except when read or watch T.V. to escape and not deal with anything) I like letting my thoughts wander most other times. I don’t want to be restricted by a bunch of rules and schedules. I don’t like to accept time as limited. Apparently, I wan to remain forever 12 years old.
The truth is I need to humble myself and submit to God and the Spirit. To repent and be healed. Sure I feel bad and frustrated about being late. Not enough to confess, and make steps to change. Not enough to think of the inconvenience I cause others. Nope. I have ADD world, suck it! Ofcourse I still want people to like me. As long as no one is mad or disappointed in me-that would be horrible. I might try harder then. Yes, I am thinking like a twelve year old at age 42. Sin will do that-make fools of us.
Then there is the issue of fear. Not having scattered racing thoughts is as scary as hell to me. I don’t like being in the present, in my own body. It feels weird and unsafe when my feet are on the ground and my head not in the clouds. I like the world of ideas and ideals, the world of possiblity. The present, the everyday things is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. If I can remain above it all, I can be safe.
Fear is never an excuse. (Sorry I was late t o work again, but I have trauma and didn’t want to be in my own body.) Working me.ns dealing with my issues, not forcing everyone else to deal with them by being late. I have no idea what other people are wrestling with. Yet despite their struggles they are on time.
My new favorite excuse is allergies and asthma. Sure they suck and slow me down a bit, but it’s not like I have cancer and can’t get out of bed. Some of my mental excuses are so bad I don’t say them out loud, yet rehearse them to myself…
Then there is the issue of anger attimes with some of the children I work with…
You see, it’s not really my fault.
I have not been depressed since I stopped taking hormones to regulate my period, which I only tried for a month or so. When I stopped I felt so much better, I was just so happy not to feel that way. I have had sucess with new medication, and my period is regular again, for now. The thought of loosing my period feels horrible somehow…at least in my early 40’s it seems to soon. Is it part of God’s plan?
I haven’t written in a while and looking back is interesting. I need to write more often, even with my busy summer schedule because I find I take a harder look at myself. I haven’t been depressed for about 2 whole months, and I honestly thought it had been 6 months since my last depression-that is how long it seems. When you have been battling forever, two months is an eternity.
I have however, run up against myself in other ways and found myself crying out to God for help dealing with 20+ children in my summer program. Thankfully my aide is wonderful, but two days a week< when numbers are lower, I am working alone. God has carried me and I am grateful.
Yet there has been a nagging sense lately that I am very comfortable. I get up, do devotions, exercise and go to work. At night I eat with my husbaand, we walk the dog, take showers, do devotions, and watch Nexflix programs, often with ice cream, and go to bed. Saturdays we can sleep in if we want or do whatever WE want, unless, of course we get invited somewhere or invite someone else over. Sundays if we are not with family are very restful. We even take naps sometimes. things we could not do if we had children. I love my husband and the weekends are too short yand I want more time with him. THe truth is we are busy and often run around a lot doing errands on Saturday, but arer free to do them together without worry. I do a lot of summer lesson planning. Children would make those things harder, right? Yet I, who am “worried” about aging find myself living in some cases as an older person whose kids have flown the coop. I often find myself cat napping on the weekends. Maybe I just feel guilty about everything, who knows. Yet amidist the Ice Cream and television programs and air conditioned bedroom I feel comfortable, and insulated. Is this what it means to be a believer?
Enter the in laws. I saw my father in law, my siister in law, her husband and two kids this Sunday. I wish I had a book for that uncomfortable hour or so no one talked and everyone was one their cell phone, except dad, who quietly enjoyed the veiw of the lake. I usually play kingwith the kids but was tired, restless, and board. I found myself thinking “I work with kid’s all week. I am taking time off from children.” However, I was unable to resist the urge to “run” with them. This game basically consisited of my sister in Law, Mallory running in circles around Dad;s house, trailed by her five year old daughter and two year old son. I feel a strange discomfort in those moments-not jealous, just…out of place. I felt the need to jump in, maybe for fun, maybe not to feel akward. We had brought our little poochan and soon I had her running around with the children. My brother in law got in the mix and soon the children were rolling around on the grass with him, wrestling. I sat on the law, leggs folded into a pretzle shape, just making myself available.
The two year old broke away from his dad. He ran over to me, gave me one of his shy smiles, and trough himself into my arms and gave me a long, deep, hug-snuggle. I was moved. My neice did it too after him and boy those kids know how to hug like they mean it. I don’t see them as often as I would like-maybe once a month at best, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. Geoff and I had been discussing adopting a foster child, and when my nephew through himself into my arms, I felt like God was showing me there was a child out there, not an infant, waiting for me, ready to through themselves into my arms and hug me. Broken children are after all still children. Love wins.
Yet that was just a momement and my feelings and insights change and come and go. Still, I cannot ignore it. I have to push forward and try. This involves risk, Taking in a child that has been through hell. I want to be excited, yet I find I am angry.
“Really, God, this is the way you want me to do things? Why cant I just do it the easy way and have my own child? A child the DSS can’t take away because they’re a bad match! I shared my experience with my husband, who had wanted to foster all along. MY main objction became taking the required classes to be able to foster or adopt a foster child. “I don’t want to take those seven classes” I fumed I had looked them up before. The topics included things like PTSD and Sexual Abuse and such. “I don’t want to hear endless stories of abused children! I am afraid the rage I once felt as a victim will boil up inside me and I will become a tigress who wants to hunt down the $%***%!! who abuse children and beat them senseless (as if I could) or shoot them dead! I am afraid of my inner deamons, not theirs! Just like that stupid adoption class we took about adopting an infant and how to talk to them about their birth mothers. I pulled out my best mocking sing song tone “Your birth mother put bad things that hurt her into her body so she couldn’t take care of you. Like that is an answer that will not confuse a five year old. It isn’t an answer. There is NO answer to these kind of hurts but Jesus. I don’t know how he healed me but He did-nit some book or some course or getting some answer. it was Him. I calmed down a little “I guess you have to try to tell them something…”
I am still angry this morning. Irrationally. At God, my husband, the world. I thought I heard Jesus tell me to write in detail about my past. It didn’t seem plausable. I had to cover for a few months when someone quit while they hired someone who was actually going to work. I wondered if I was wallowing in my past, having a victim mentality. Now I am in a place where I feel angry and I don’t know why. Maybe I do. My heart is hard. It is easy when busy to forget the past. To be in my suburban town with middle class and upper middle class kids. to shut off the news and believe that life is safe an comfortable. I never had that experience before. Now I run the risk of being confronted with evil. All the old struggles emerege. How can a loving God let little children be hurt so badly? Why aren’t these monsters punished? Why is life hard?
Another thought, a radical one emerges. These monsters are people. People God created and loves. The world is full of wheat and weeds growing together. God has a purpose and a plan in all of this. The Kingdom of God is not fully realized but it is here.
The other thing is my own hard heart, a heart afraid of being hurt. Yet I am good with children-dispite all my flaws- can I burry my tallent in the ground because I am afraid? Can I sow seeds in a hurting heart and trust God to do the rest, whatever the outcome. I can’t save anyone. That pisses me off too. I could take in a child, do everything right, and they could still end up a mess. But I want to save them! I want to love them and get through to them! I want to make a difference. Perhaps this is the desire of God, a God good enough to give His children, free will.
I have no idea where this path is leading, or even if it is the right one lord. Forgive my hard heart, and help me be made new. Thy will be done. Yet Lord only by grace can I know and do your will. Guide protect and lead my husband and I. Change our hearts, not just our situation. Amen.
I left the house this morning, beating myself up-
I was critical toward others in my mind,
Impatient with the kids-
The ground I had gained seemed lost.
Where was that positive gentle teacher?
I made a couple of big mistakes this week,
And I feel like I lost some ground.
Instead of accepting forgiveness,
I have become despondent.
God I need your love,
So I can give it away-
Help me to face the enemy within,
To accept your love,
and find your peace-
I reached for a cup,
I did not need-
I could have sought You
In my time of need,
But bitter brew runs deep in my veins-
Steam punk memories like smoke,
Wrap around my brain-
Better by far than being in the tunnel of exhaustion-
Do I trust You
To carry me through?
Doubts and questions flood my mind-
Three pills, several vitamins,
And countless cups of tea…
I feel a guilt I cannot shake-
For struggling with a sorrow I did not make-
Seeks to move me
Onto greener pastures-
I fear the letting go.
I want control-
I only have one answer-
Can I trust you with infirmities,
You have chosen not to heal?
I did not get to make?
A dream is a wish your heart makes…so says Disney’s original Cinderella. (My cynical dark side sings “A dream is wish dashed against rocks-and yes I am laughing at my own joke) The heart however, is unpredictable. The Bible even calls it wicked. Before you protest, here is the Oxford dictionary definition:
Evil or morally wrong.
Morally wrong, I think we can all agree none of us is perfect and everyone does things morally wrong. Often our motives our selfish and impure, as mine were in this case. I am talking about having children.
Having a natural child or adopting an infant is a lovely and noble thing. I found myself often daydreaming of a beautiful little bundle of joy. Never, ever did I picture a boy. Pink blanketed baby with matching rosy pink cheeks and nose. I imagined dress shopping and other things of that nature. Yet what I thought about most was how I could teach her from an early age how to handle herself, Make sure that she would not be sexually abused by kids in the neighborhood-just like I was. Teacher he self respect so that she wouldn’t be sexually abused as a young adult by a unstable and dangerous boyfriend just like I was. Protect her. I wanted to relieve my past through another child and make it right. And that my friends is not morally right.
When I found out I started ” the change” a month ago, I was devastated. I had just been prayed over for healing of my infertility. Then I got another period, my 3rd in 6 weeks. I went to the doctor and found out it was perimenopause. The window of my fertile years was slowly closing only to slam shut. I felt God was saying no to natural children, and our wallets had already said no to adoption. I was O.K the first week. Then it hit me hard and I could barely function. This feeling of overwhelming loss was swallowing me up, making my life feel like it had no purpose, no joy, nothing to look forward to. At the same time I felt like I was experiencing things long buried in my past. Not the shame or terror or rage or fear. Like I was grieving a loss from my 9 month (see the connection here?) relationship with an abusive man. The kind of loss you experience when something valuable is taken from you, almost like a death in the family.
When someone forces you physically or through intimidation and fear to do things sexually you do not want to do, it is demoralising. When someone threatens to literally kill you, it is the worst kind of rejection ever. It is a lie that says you are not worthy of living. They don’t just want you gone, but to no longer exist. You do not matter.
I cannot go back in time and change those things I experienced. Yet in my delusion I would be adopting a little baby girl, a little me. As if I could reverse time. It was pure fantasy. It kept me from feeling that horrible sense of loss. It is embarrassing to admit how selfish my desires were in all this, and how foolish. The bottom line is I am not in control, though time and time again I gravitate toward the illusion I am. I cannot stop abuse from happening. The fact that it did happen doesn’t have to define me. I am a child of the Most High King. Nothing can change that.
So yes maybe a dream is a wish your heart makes, but not all wishes are granted. God is not a Jeannie. What we get instead is sometimes painful, but always life giving. We are given truth, and the truth will set us free. The death of my dream gave me victory-and space in my heart for the right kind of dreams, the ones God has for me.
Amen and Amen.
Life sometimes feels like a Rubik’s cube I cannot solve, It is puzzling and beyond me and doesn’t make sense. I feel like I have been handed a mess.
I’m a mess. ‘
Does it matter.
Truth be told how I feel or do not feel at any given moment may matter (at times) to loved ones, and always to God, but in the grand scheme of the universe, not really. The world doesn’t cease to turn when I am depressed.
Am I leaving a dent-will there be a hole when I’m gone as in “boy that Tara did so much for our church/community/humanity (insert superhero or Saint picture here)
Yet that is pride. Some people never go recognized for all they do. They have a quiet way of doing good that is rarely recognized. Jesus said if you even give a cup of cold water in my name it will be noticed. God knows.
Others say it is who you are or become that is your contribution to society. So why are we here?
The Westminster Catechism states that man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. How do I do that?
I guess the reason I am thinking all this is because, growing up in a very family centered, Roman Catholic Family, I thought my purpose in life was to raise kids. If you had asked me, I would have told you otherwise-I would have quoted the Westminster Catechism or giving a more pious answer. The truth is, I have been waiting all my life to raise children. I feel I got what I think was a clear no from God, and I am now transitioning into menopause. Suddenly life seems empty. Shallow. Nothing can dull the pain. Not sweets, not caffeine, not TV. Nothing. I read my Bible and pray. All I sense is an inner desperation for God, and a realization how much I need Him. Yesterday I was glowing and full of peace…today…well not so much. I just want to go to bed.
The truth is, this is hard on my husband. He wants kids too. He is the main provider and we cannot afford to adopt. Then there’s my mom and dad who have one grandson they see too little of, due to the friction between my brother and the boys mother.
Yet that is NOT what is ailing me. It’s the empty promises of the world. It the illusion of control. It’s like nothing really is as satisfying as it used to be. Sad to say these things are shallow. Tea, chocolate, ice-cream, TV…all the things that made me feel better or numbed me no longer work. I don’t see having a good job or performance as what makes things fulfilling. It’s a nice feeling to get things checked off my list-but it that what give me or my life value? Or is it that I am a child of God?
However part of me thinks “who cares what happens to me if I do not have children? What is the point”. I don’t know why I feel that way. I am not ready to foster. If Geoff and I do, that road could lead to heart brake or joy or both.
I guess the point is to hold on, when there is nothing else, That and not let having children be an idol. Amen
Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him. Job