(The sweet note and flowers Lucas left me today on my car. When the time is right, get you a guy like this, ladies. Except not my guy. A different guy.)
I’m sorry that I’ve been silent for a while.
The truth is, 2018 was hard.
All around me it seemed like everyone had an AMAZING year, and, I did too, but…the lows were so low and still are.
These past few months? Hard.
The holidays? Harder.
And, to be honest with you, I’m not even entirely sure why they were hard, but let me fill you in as best as I can.
So for everyone (probably, like LITERALLY all three of you) who has asked me:
Where have you been? / What have you been up to?
Here’s a string of really unexciting answers:
I’ve been listening to good music.
I’ve been thinking about how much I love my pet cat, Winifred, and wondering how it will ever be possible for me to live without her one day (I’m an animal person ok).
I have cried…so much.
I’ve been worshipping in my car…and crying.
I’ve been painting pictures on the walls.
I’ve been writing…and I’ve not been writing.
I cut my hair. That was a mistake…so I cried.
I’ve been staying up until 2am obsessing over things I can’t change.
I’ve been trying to establish healthy habits…and failing…then crying…but trying.
I’ve been eating A LOT of Eggo waffles…sorry, Mom.
I’ve realized that I don’t really like secrets.
I’ve been watching a lot of movies. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a good one by the way.
I’ve been getting WRECKED by the new Hillsong Young & Free album.
I’ve come to the conclusion that excluding people for any reason is super lame.
I’ve been doing homework and projects. Made As on all of them. No biggie.
I’ve realized that people suck sometimes…actually a lot of the time because they’re human and I’ve learned that it’s super hard to love people through their junk sometimes. I still have no idea how Jesus does it, but I’m trying to learn so I think that counts for something.
I’ve learned that having alone time away from crowds of people and friends is ok and is necessary. I’ve also learned that people don’t need to know absolutely everything that’s going on in my life/head/heart and that some things (a lot of things) should stay between me and God.
I’ve been so confused and frustrated and angry and heartbroken and I’ve been laughing until I’m crying and crying so hard that my insides hurt. I have literally been living out that Taylor Swift lyric: “it’s miserable and magical at the same time.”
Maybe I contradicted myself by writing this whenever I just said that people don’t need to know EVERYTHING.
Maybe I was conceited in thinking that people want to know what I’m doing, but I like to think that people care and are going through the same things I am and can relate to this.
Or maybe I just had to write this for me to realize that all of this isn’t for nothing, that I’ve been doing something in my waiting.
Waiting for what exactly?
I have no idea.
That’s another thing I’ve been doing: realizing that ‘I don’t know’ is a sufficient answer to some questions.
2019 hasn’t really started out the way I wanted it to. And I know it’s only the third day, but I felt as if I had started this year off on the wrong foot somehow.
But today (a day that started out bad) I walked outside and saw these flowers and a note left on the windshield of my car by Lucas, who I know doesn’t always understand me and all my emotions because I have a tendency to push away help when things get hard, but who always loves me anyway (wow that was a really long sentence…someone call the police).
And it was just the push I needed to write this.
(The sweet note and flowers Lucas left me today on my car)
Pastor Jamie Kline Bates wrote on her Instagram about 2019:
“HARD TIMES DON’T MAKE ME SPECIAL. Everyone has hard times. What makes people special are those who refuse to let trouble get the last word. Those who don’t get bitter with disappointment in God or imperfect humans. I’m excited for 2019 but in no way do I assume I’m walking into a trouble free year – there is no such thing. The only sure thing is that God can do a lot with trouble!“
I know Matthew 6:34 says don’t worry about tomorrow because each day has enough trouble of its own, but…it’s tomorrow and I’ll admit that I’m not entirely at peace.
I was reading through my devotional last night and it was talking about how, as Christians, we shouldn’t expect to not experience trouble and to expect to suffer for His namesake (I promise that’s not as intense and scary as it sounds, I’m just not super good at explaining things 🙂 ) The devotional went on to say how Jesus Himself suffered here on earth; He was beaten, spit on, had a crown of thorns pierce His skull, was nailed to a cross and all of those things are terrible, but I realized:
We forget that Jesus experienced the deepest, darkest emotional pain.
He was betrayed.
He cried out to God: “Father, let this cup pass from me” and sweat blood because He was in so much anguish.
The one who saw Him call the fish to overflow the fishermen’s nets, the one He made to walk on water said: “I don’t know Him.”
His closest followers left Him and turned a blind eye to His suffering.
That’s comforting to me, somehow; to know that The One who holds the stars knows what I’m feeling and has felt it Himself (and worse). It reminds me that He is with me here, He never left, and He’s never going to give me up.
So…am I at peace?
So many times I’ve gone to God with the intention of talking to him, but all that comes out are tears because I’m not there yet.
But I’m working on it and I’ll get there.
I’ll wrap up with this:
2018 – You were difficult. You broke my heart. But I thank you, because I know you had to happen (that one’s for you, Pastor Q).
2019 – I hope you’re better. I look forward to you.
And I hope you look forward, not just to 2019, but always.
(Just after I wrote this, Lucas and I went out to eat at a Chinese restaurant and this was what was inside my fortune cookie…He listens. I promise.)