James 1:27

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the
Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let
the world corrupt you.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Life is hard= FACT.

I have been wanting to start a new blog for so long. I think I want to put this one in the archives of Isaiah's amazing story. Since this is an adoption blog, I thought I should start a whole new one. Makes more sense. Blogging/writing is very cathartic for me. I don't do enough of it and really want to get back into it.
I am pasting a link to a blog below that I LOVE. I echo so many of Glennnon's thoughts...about living life out loud, being real even in the hard times etc. That is just me. That is my personality. I can't be any other way. I know at times it can overwhelm people and often people don't know how to respond to blatant honesty or hard issues presented......but IT IS LIFE. The older I get, the more I realize that LIFE IS HARD. It's not going to get any easier. Yes, there are mountain top moments and valleys. I know they will come and go. But, the fact remains, this life is hard. Especially when we are trying to really LIVE it and not numb ourselves to all that goes on around us.

I think I have spent the last year or two (and am continuing on this journey) of processing the fact that life is hard. That there are no promises of an easier tomorrow. That pain is a given. That there are NO GUARANTEES of any sort. Except the guarantee of God's goodness and His sovereign plan. I am continuing to wrestle with this fact.....to hold onto the Truth that God is good and I can trust Him- NO MATTER WHAT. I don't want this to be head knowledge, I want it to be bet my life on it heart knowledge. I want it transform my thinking and my view of this life. I am getting there. But it is not easy. There are no easy answers for my type of personality. Some people are just ok with life, just okay with the fact that it is hard, just find it easy to trust in the goodness of God no matter what the circumstances may look like. I don't know why, but this has been hard for me. I won't pretend it hasn't. I won't give the "pat answers" that make light of the things that I feel, struggle with,, and wrestle through.

Life is a process. I KNOW God is in the process. I know He is weaving my story. I know it will all result in good things, ultimately. But the day to day moments- they are hard sometimes. And I wrestle with them. And I don't have easy answers. And I want to be real. And I want to let people know that they are not alone. I know that feeling alone is one of the worst feelings in the world. When you know that there are others like you struggling with the same thing- that brings comfort. For some people, there isn't so much wrestling. But for me and for many others, there is a lot of it. God has made me the way I am. I can't be anything other than that (while working on all my shortcomings, of course). I am not one to pretend everything is ok when it is not. I simply cannot put on a happy face and make small talk. I times I have to and I do...but inside I am empty. And inside I know I am not being true to myself. But, I know it can be a lot for others to handle. I know it can overwhelm people. So it's a struggle to find the balance of being "real" but also functioning in this world on a level that people are able to talk to me without feeling completely overwhelmed.

Reading Glennon Melton's blog (momastery.com) has been an awesome thing for me. Although I don't agree with all her view points, I have learned so much from her. I have learned so much about myself. I have learned that it is OKAY to live life out loud...okay to be bone honest in the struggles...okay to say everything is not okay.....okay to let the world know it......and that these things about me- they can be a gift to others. Life has been hard. And it has been amazing. And beautiful. And brutal. Glennon calls it brutiful and I whole heartedly agree with that- beautiful and brutal all wrapped up into one. Worth it- definitely. Amazing- for sure. Painful- you bet. Confusing- oh my yes. But, I will not give up. I won't give in to the lies that threaten to overtake me. I will battle. I am victorious because I have Jesus.

I have so much I want to say. So I am saying that I am going to start a new blog. It may not be until after the holidays, who knows.

Moving has been hard. SO much harder than I thought it would be. I thought I was all adventurous and free-spirited. I guess I am in some ways. But, I realize more and more- I do not like change. This change has been harder for me than I ever thought it would be. I have and am experiencing deep loneliness, struggles with depression and anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, and the list goes on. That is not to say I am not glad we moved here. I know God brought us here. I have already learned so much. And He has provided in awesome ways with friends and a church and community etc. But, it's just hard. Making new friends is hard. I realize that I just long to be known...to be understood. Like I said, I don't do good with small talk. I left a community in Jacksonville where I was known and couldn't hide and was called out and held accountable and encouraged and taken care of. It feels so good to be known and to be understood. More times than not, I have realized, "wow, it's me and you  God. That's it. You say you are more than enough, so I guess I need to learn what that really means". Because it hasn't been easy. There have been so "escapes" to fill the void when I feel empty. Going to see a friend or staying busy has not been the option that it was before. So, when I feel that void, I am left with a hole; a hole that I could normally and easily fill with conversation, idle chatter, busyness, even Bible study (of course good things).....but, He has and is bringing me to a deeper place. A place where there is nothing in immediate reach that I can grab onto to make me feel better. I want instant gratification. I want to feel better NOW. I don't want to wrestle through it. But, I am forced to. And I know, in the long run (and short run), that is a good thing.

I don't know why I thought it would be easy. The first month or so was hard, but right now it feels even harder. I think the newness has worn off. The leaves have all fallen so the beauty of all is gone, life is settling in, the excitement is wearing off......and I am left me with ME. They say you take you with you wherever you go. SO TRUE. And with less things to fill that space, ME is a lot more than I thought I was. I don't know if that makes sense or not. I am free writing here. And I am not going to go back and re-read this to make sure it sounds okay, to make sure my punctuation and spelling are right, to make sure I don't sound too wacko....I know I am not supposed to start a sentence with "And", but I don't care right now. I just want to write. I just want to be real, unpolished, not trying to impress anyone. I just want to be me.

I thought my struggles with depression would get better upon moving. I don't know why I thought that. And it's okay that they didn't. I am ok with that. It's just that it's hard. And it has sucked trying to find new drs, as over a dozen drs have turned me down bc of the medication I am on. There is a huge demand of drs here and not a good supply. So they get to be picky with whom they accept. And it's easier not to accept someone that is "damaged" (I am okay with this term), someone that may require more care or more follow up. Phone call after phone  call I was denied a primary care doctor....even psychiatrists denied me. But, thankfully, I have found an awesome primary care doctor who loves my kids (he has a special needs child of his own, and his compassion is amazing), and who is very empathetic to things like depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.

I am having surgery for endometriosis on Dec 12. The pain has gotten continuously worse over the last year or so. Sometimes it is excruciating and debilitating. I have an amazing Jesus loving ob/gyn who is supposed to be great at surgery for endometriosis. I also have had multiple throat infections since being here (nothing new, if you know me). I saw an ENT who told me my septum is completely deviated and he is shocked that I have not had surgery. He was SO emphatic about it that I had to get a second opinion, just to make sure he wasn't just trying to make a buck by convincing me I needed surgery. The second ENT that I saw indeed confirmed that my septum is pretty much awful and completely "deviated", and that I have reflux (first ENT also said this), and that my CONSTANT and recurrent throat infections and PAINFUL sinus infections are most likely due to these issues. He wanted to take the approach of doing a CAT scan and also putting something down my throat to make sure I didn't have throat cancer...I didn't like this approach so much. From past experience, I know that CAT scans open up a whole can of worms. Not to say that of course there is a place for them and they are amazingly helpful in the medical field...but I just DO NOT want to go down the road of CAT scans, follow up apts, checking for cancer etc etc. That road was NOT a good one for me (if you remember my lymph node issues). I got my tonsils out a couple years ago thinking that would help with my chronic throat/sinus issues. It has not helped at all. I just get strep less often. The dr back then told me I had a deviated septum, but we gave no thought to it for some reason. I guess bc we were watching my lymph nodes to make sure it was not was lymphoma, so that took a back seat.

I have been sick so many times since being here. It has been SO hard being away from family and friends. I have amazing in laws who have watched our kids for us all the time, since they were born/adopted. I rarely had to go to a dr apt with one or either of my kids. I often got to grocery shop and put the groceries away alone (I esp. love putting the groceries away alone part). I got time alone with friends, dinners out, bible studies, prayer times, connections, etc. SO many luxuries that I am so thankful for. It has been months since I have had a "babysitter". I think I am a bit exhausted and drained. I know this is commonplace for SO many moms and this experience has given me even more gratitude for the past years and more empathy for moms that do not have family in town. Eddie and I haven't been on a date in months and months...can't remember the last time. And to be honest, we have had our struggles since we have been here. It has brought us closer, but it has also brought out some crap. It is not a great or entirely healthy thing to go so long without any alone time with each other, away from the kids, just spending time focusing on the other. This is something we need to work on changing. I realize now how important this is in a marriage. You always hear that, and counselors and books and everything else always tell you how important it is to keep your marriage first and to have "date night", even if it just means walking around town together without spending any money. We haven't done this in I don't know how long. And we desperately need it.

Eddie has been working so hard and has done an incredible and amazing job at balancing his new job as general manager, at being there for our kids, at being there for me and putting my needs above his own. He is always encouraging me to go off by myself to read the Word, to read books I love, to nourish my soul. I am so thankful for that.  I am so thankful for him.

There are wonderful things about Asheville. We feel God led us to an amazing church home called "Fellowship Asheville". Such real people, such open and accepting and honest people. It's been such a blessing. But no matter how great a church family is, it's just hard starting over. It's just harder getting to know others and getting to be known. That is just the way it is. I am thankful for connections that I have made with friends. Allene is one of the most amazing women I have met in life and I am so thankful for her and her friendship. Also, she has a 5 year old daughter, Keeley, who is incredible (their whole family is, really), and has developed an awesome relationship with Leah. Heather, a fellow adoptive mom that has reached out to me and made me feel ok in my own skin, ok to be real....any others that the Lord has blessed me with. I am so thankful for these relationships. Again, it's just that change is HARD. Developing new relationships is HARD.  I remember going through it back in Jacsksonville when we first moved there. I longed for friendships yet it was just hard to put myself out there. So even when people reached out, it was hard. Now, years later, they are some of my best friends in the world, and it is hard to remember those times when it seemed difficult and lonely. I know the same will be true of my relationships here.

Leah is doing awesome in school. She is completely excelling and loves it so much. Literally not one complaint about anything. She is just an amazing kid. So sensitive and kind and giving....so thankful for her school, West Buncombe (yes, totally a country name!), and for her new friends and teachers. Isaiah is totally turning into Mr. Mischevious, getting into something he shouldn't every second that I turn around. His personality is showing through and it's awesome to see. I love having time home with him. I love picking up Leah from school and hearing about her day. I love coming home and reading with her and hearing her sound out words and then get them and then get so excited because she learned new words! Being a mom to these two amazing kids is a blessing beyond measure and I am so thankful.

So, I am thankful for so many things. Yes, this is a hard season in life. But, I am realizing, that is ok. I don't have to be ashamed of it. I don't have to hide it. I don't have to pretend that everything is dandy. Some days it is and that feeling of depression seems like a distant memory, and the next day it is right there and it's hard to imagine it ever not feeling so hard. But, it's ok. I am learning- it's all a process and it's all ok. God is IN THIS. He is meeting me where I am. He is growing me and changing me and challenging me. He is making me rely on Him in ways I haven't had to before. He is showing me that He is enough. That I can trust Him. That hard is ok, not something to be afraid of. That I can let go and let Him take care of the details. That it is worth it.

So, all of that to say, I am going to start blogging again. I am going to probably start blogging at a new spot, so I will let you know (whoever "you" is, my ten readers:)) when that happens. I was just about to say please excuse all spelling mistakes etc (I wrote it out but then pressed the delete button), but then I realized that is me people pleasing. It's ok to make spelling mistakes or not make total sense or be all put together. It is OK. It is REAL. And that is what I want. Here is the link to Glennon's latest post that I would have written a lot of myself  word for word, if I had had the words to say.:) Maybe it will help you understand me a bit more, and why I think/act/speak/write the way I do.