I should sleep. Really, I should. It's after two AM. I had planned on sleeping at 10. And here I am, 4 hours later avoiding sleep. I'm full of conflicting emotions. I'm doing meaningless things to pass the time. But since we're on an honest streak, I feel a need to be honest. If no one ever reads this post, I don't care. I need to say it.
What I really should be doing is sitting here reading my Bible. Or studying it. Or how about praying? I should be doing that, too, huh? Truth is, I don't. I'm not. I don't even know how any more. Sure, I pray. I know I pray because I remember sitting on the floor of the shower last night crying to God for Brian and Kristy. Praying that it was all a mistake. Praying that He would do what was best for all concerned. I prayed. But it feels as though my prayers are a jumbled up mess of distracted thoughts that have no purpose or reason or rhyme. It's just my thoughts scrambling around in my head begging for someone to hear me.
And instead of trying to pray now, trying to focus, I'm here, writing a post about not praying. To be honest, I could. But if I close the computer screen, turn off the phone, turn off the lights, I feel alone. So alone. And I don't want to be alone. I could write out my prayers. I often do. But it feels wrong. I write out the prayer, and then when I'm done, I close my journal, turn out the lights, and feel compelled to pray.
I want to rely on God. I do rely on God. But to be honest, this has always been one of my weak points. No one ever really taught me to pray. And I do not believe there is a right or wrong way to pray. But what I mean is that no one taught me to make it a habit. Taught me the importance. Sure we prayed at home. The same repetitive prayers before meals, before bedtime. But to really lay it all out there to God, to cry to him, lean on him, give it all to him. That wasn't ever shown to me. I've tried over the years to get better at it. And I know I'll be trying probably until the day I die. I've heard it said that sometimes people don't pray until they're in the middle of a crisis. I hate that I can't even do that. I live in the middle of a crisis most of the time, and I don't pray like I should. I don't study like I should. And I hate it. There was a time in my life when I studied every day. I prayed all the time, I soaked up God's word, reveling in singing praises to Him all the time. And then you get out of the habit. I know that sounds simple.
Trust me. It is.
One day you wake up late and you don't pray. And then the next day, you don't either. And before you know it, it's been a week and you've not prayed in the mornings. Or one night something happens and you don't do your study. And then the next night, you don't, and before you know it you haven't opened your Bible in a month. It really can happen like that.
And while we're at confession here, I yell at my kids. Way too much. And it's bothering me.
Back to what I was saying. I don't pray. I don't have the focus. I get sidetracked on some random thing and then I go 'oh wait, I was praying'. I feel so horrible, but that's how my head is. That's how my head works. I stand here and talk about how God is good and God is faithful, and I don't even know how to really talk to him. I say things I shouldn't. I yell at my kids. I harbour anger and bitterness and resentment. But I can say this.
I love God. I have always loved God. More than I can ever explain to any of you. I crave God. I just want to be with Him. I am amazed by His love. And he is good. And he is faithful. And I want to serve him. Only him. I want to do the right thing, always, no matter what that means for me. I am human and I am stubbornly selfish. I can't even begin to explain to you all the thoughts in my head about the situations I am going through. But in the end, I want to do the right thing. No matter how much I hate it. Maybe that isn't okay, but I do. The human part of me doesn't want to forgive my brother. The hurt part of me doesn't want to be the bigger person. I want to pitch a royal holy fit. I want to raise cain. I want to scream and cry and throw things and spew ugly words and accusations. I don't want to help. I don't want to do anything to benefit him. But I do want to please the Lord. Because in the end, He is who matters. So I'm trying. I'm trying desperately to walk this fine line, to find forgiveness, to find peace. To do the right things, and be Christlike at all times, in all circumstances, even when I feel that I have a right to be hurt or angry or whatever. It's hard, ya'll.
I can also say that I've never felt angry at God about any of this. That is a blessing to me. I remember being very little, maybe 8 or 9 years old and laying in my bed in the dark saying my prayers. I imagined that when I prayed God sent an angel to sit at the foot of my bed. I would spend hours squinting my eyes in the dark, trying to see him. Trying to get a glimpse of the angel that protected me. I have never felt as though this was God's fault. So many people would say 'How could you do this to me, God?' or even 'How could you let this happen to me, God?', but I haven't ever really thought of it that way. I don't know what it is in me that makes me think this way. But I've always felt as though in all of that hurt and darkness, I was never alone. Not for a single second. Could he have stopped it? Sure, he's God. He can do whatever he wants. But we have free will, and so he allowed it to happen because of the choices my brother made. Do I believe that he knew it was going to happen before I was born? I do. Do I think that him allowing me to be born into that family made it his fault? No. I think there is purpose in this. I don't particularly think that he did it for a reason, or allowed it to happen for a specific reason, but I do believe that he can take the ugliest of situations and make something beautiful. That he can get glory out of all situations. If we let him.
And I want to let him. I want to do everything I can to let him get glory from this. I want to serve him. I want to make a difference. I want to be a voice. I want to help others. I want to be huge for him. I want to broaden my borders. I want to work for Him. He deserves it. He died for me, I want to live for him. I want to take all of this hurt and use it for his glory. I want to show others what he really can do. I want to scream to the top of the world that I was abused and it sucks and it hurts and some days I want to give up, but GOD NEVER LEFT ME. He never left me. He stayed right there. You know sometimes there are things that hurt us and we don't' watch. A sad story on the news and we change the channel. I know I personally don't watch the news anymore because it can trigger so much for me. But you know what? He never turned the channel on me. He was there. And he stayed with me. When I was 17 and getting high to forget, he was there, waiting for me. When I was 15 and drinking my life away, he was there, waiting for me. When I'm here, procrastinating about sleeping, rambling to a bunch of people I've never met in real life, save, maybe, what, 4 of you... he's here, waiting for me. Waiting for me to come to him. And I think I'm ready, now. I think I'm ready, Lord
I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.
I'm here to use my voice. So many people can't. In a world of darkness, I just want to help God's light to shine through. I pray that my words are His, and my love is His, as well. This is my journey through the darkness. To start are the beginning of the story, click here.