It has been a while since I have written…..I was actually in the middle of a theology series but have decided that I need to write about what is actually going on in my real life. I need to get this out. Once I get things down in words and out of my head…..everything just starts to feel better.
So I am going to write about what has been going on with me spiritually, vocationally and emotionally-in order to try and make sense of all that has happened.
By October of last year, I was in a really low and scary place. In addition to the usual, daily stresses of my life- living with and caring for my mom who has dementia, attending Seminary and teaching full-time as a preschool teacher- I was trying to cope with the dying of a dream. I am not going to go into specific detail here but suffice it to say- I was crushed. A desire and a wish that I had held very, very close to my heart was not going to happen- and it was God who was orchestrating its demise. A goal that I had been actively working towards for eight years was not going to be reached. God was making it extremely clear to me that He was moving me in another direction. I had been so, so sure that the direction I had been going in was His direction for me. I was completely convinced that God was leading me on a certain path- and then- just like that- He wasn’t. The door was not just closed gently…….It was slammed in my face- HARD.
I did not like this experience. I did not like it at all. I felt angry, resentful, frustrated, ashamed and rejected. It was very, very hard and I was overwhelmed and feeling like life was really and truly not working out like I had planned.
I am a planner-a serious planner. When my plans do not work out as I want them to I do not react well. This is a spiritual weakness of mine that I am well aware of. I knew that God was intending this experience of my dying dream to teach me to trust Him more. I was not a fan of His teaching method and I was pretty angry at Him. I began to turn to other things to comfort my pain- things that were not God. Things like nachos, pizza, cake and pudding. Things like multiple hours of bad reality television. Things like indulging thoughts of failure and hopelessness. It was not a pretty picture.
People in my life were starting to notice that I was running off the rails. I was snappy at work with my co-teachers and the children in my class. My Spiritual Director noticed how angry I was and suggested counseling. My husband was starting to mention that it might be a good idea for me to get off the couch and out of my pajamas on the weekends.
Though I was angry at God, I was continuing to pray. I knew that I was in spiritual danger and needed help. God began to show me how desperate the situation was. First, I came down with a horrible case of vertigo. Then He threw in a few migraines. The final straw was a referral to a cardiologist after I went to my primary care person for a routine physical. There was something wrong with my ekg- my heart rhythm was funny. It was then that it hit me…….My heart was broken……And unless I began to seriously care for myself- I truly was going to run off the rails.
My life generally falls into this pattern. I have to hit rock bottom pretty hard before I actually DO something to change my life. Once I do take action, however, I have been known to kick some serious ass. So that is what I began to do. I gave up my hold on my food issues and finally got straight with God. I truly did not want to give up that vice. He had already asked me to give up so many things for Him- (booze, the “f” word and scratch tickets just to name a few). Was it really that bad to come home from work, put on my pajamas and binge eat for two hours in front of bad T.V.?-Couldn’t I just keep those two vices????? Pleaaaaasssse????
God said “Sure- you can keep them and stay in this shame spiral if you want….But I have something so much better in store for you. Couldn’t you just try a little to trust that my plan might be better than yours?”
He said it so gently. With love and forgiveness and patience. There was none of the shame or condemnation like there was inside my own head…….
I knew the drill. God had spoken to me like this before and every time I have trusted Him and followed His direction he has led me closer and closer to freedom and joy.
So I am going to do it again. I am going to trust and surrender and see where this path will lead.
In my next post I will write about this plan God has given me to be free from my food issues……forever. One day at a time.