How can a person be so addicted to control? Why must it ALL be as perfect as "I" can make it? How many times must I surrender something? How many times do I have to mess things up before I finally GET IT--before I finally get that I haven't even come close to "getting it"? Do we all struggle with something...always? Guess the answer to that is without a doubt..YES!
I journal a lot. Since I FEEL like I'm just sitting and rotting in a land of wonder, worry and worthlessness...I decided to go back and look at the "state of things" from the journal entries at the beginning of each of the past few years. I share these...realizing they are private and I admit some trepidation. Hopefully though, someone else is helped by reading how brutally honest I can be. :) Notice these aren't summaries of years past but just the first journal entry of each year. They are as follows:
Jan 13, 2004: Dear God, I've been hurt. There is an ache that goes bone deep. An ache that penetrates the soul. An ache that bleeds. I have that ache. It isn't new. I've had it a really long time. The bone chilling pain that rocks my reality & I'm confused. I wonder how to respond the "right" way. To respond or not. Slowly, ever so slowly I'm dying. One piece at a time, sometimes a big piece sometimes a little piece, but each piece falls hard. The empty ache inside gets bigger & bigger...and I die. I'm haunted by an overwhelming, penetrating, aching sadness. I am going to melt one day and fall into the floor in a blop of tears. My memory of the past 3 years is agony. Hard, piercing, choking agony. I feel like if I relaxed for one second I would never get it all back together. I feel like a failure. God, hold me now. Hold me and fill the empty gaping hole in my soul. I'm tired. I hurt. I don't like dying on the inside--alone.
(Wow, tough day...or year...or years.)
Feb 7th, 2005: I'm in the house now, we've been here over a month and I've not written a word. Time flies. A year or more in the making and all that waiting--and here we sit in the house. I actually had no idea what it would be like. It is nice.
Today, instead of starting out with tired, I'll go with another adjective. Drained, desperate, beside myself?! How much sorry-er do I feel for myself? I think I'll stop belly-aching and just hush. I haven't had anyone to just talk to--you know? Just someone to REALLY talk to. Oh, there! I am needed! The washer calls me--beep beep, come here Angie--beep, beep!
(Not so bad...)
Jan 1st, 2006: New Year. New Year. New Year. I started out so positive. Sick kids again. I've worked like crazy today. Laundry, laundry, cleaning, & still more to do. Last week I worked for hours preparing a lesson for this Sunday School class I thought You were telling me to start and I was so excited. It didn't amount. No one came. I don't know what I expected. Well, yes I do, I expected to see that there was some result of all my work. I expected--hoped that my sincere efforts would pay off. I know God is all powerful & I was just thinking He was gonna part the Red Sea for me. And, even as I write this--I hear "yet", I didn't part the Sea for you "yet". I'm just anxious and my anxiousness doesn't speed up God's timing. Oh, do I still trust God? Do I still believe Him capable? God is ABLE to do as HE promises. He loves me. He doesn't want me to hurt.
Jan 4th, 2007: Are you afraid that you have messed up God's plan for your life? Is He all powerful or not? Are you afraid God is going to forget a passion He gave you? Who is in control here? Do you give yourself so much importance that you can thwart God's plan? You trust Him don't you? This gift & passion isn't even yours! It's His. To be used for His glory. Doesn't He like your actions to reflect Him? Submit!
Oh God, I confess anger and frustration. I confess to you all the negativity that spews from my ever running lips. Jesus, don't give up on me.
Jan 11th, 2008: Stagger not at the promise of God through unbelief, be strong in faith, giving glory to God and be FULLY persuaded that what God has promised me, He is ABLE to preform. Don't doubt. Don't try to do it for Him. Do be strong. Do give glory to God.
I do doubt. I do think that my actions, abilities, dedication, strength, and vision will determine my living out what I know God has for me. I think it is all in my hands. He made me. He gave me the gift, then the vision, and now I want to take it and run and see what my strength and abilities will get me. How rude. Stop and listen to Jesus. Not other people, not the church...Jesus! Do what you know from God, Angie. Ignore the rest. Wait on God's perfect plan for you! Stay in the Word. God ALONE is your authority!
(Might as well be honest & then give myself a pep talk!)
Jan 19th, 2009: I heard from a girl today that I went to a conference with years ago. It was a speakers/writers conference and she was in my small group. She befriended me when I felt like I was in a sea of vipers--she and her sister. Actually, they were the first ones who told me that they saw me in a speaking/teaching ministry (confirming what I thought God had already told me) and encouraged me to keep teaching. How about just encouraging me PERIOD! How nice that was! But...now she's published a book and I feel like I've been sitting around twirling my fingers. Without getting my act together and pushing forward I'll spend eternity sitting on my duff! Or will I? Maybe I just need to wait silently on God? Maybe I'm too anxious! I feel like SCREAMING!!
(That seems to be a prevailing theme...)
Jan 2, 2010: The day after a holiday so I worked today. Lord, I don't hate what I'm doing. I even enjoy it. I'm good at organizing and record-keeping. I'm just not passionate about it--not one dab of passion about keeping books anywhere in my body. It feels like it has no lasting value. Its not a bad thing that I'm doing with my life--it's just not the right thing. I want to move on with the direction that I think I should go in but that kinda seems like it'd mess up being able to make a house payment. Ha. Just a small problem. And, while I'm at it, I want a church home. I want something that feels like family. I want to go and worship you and have my life back in ORDER! I just want to grow in you. I want every second of my day to be you, learning you, breathing you, talking you, sharing you, praising you, seeking you--just YOU! Strengthen me God. Bring out the "me" that's in there. The "me" that you fashioned.
So...here I sit in January 2011 and I'm not sure what all the previous years say about the "state of things" today except that I know why I'm still here...God obviously has lots of work left to do on me! I can see I've made progress in some areas and I've messed a lot of things up. Somethings haven't changed at all...I'm glad God doesn't give up on me.