I got my very own cell phone today. For me, this is big news. It’s the first time I’ve had one which is specifically mine. I’m slowly figuring out things on it. Probably helps to have played around with my husband’s phone.
Speaking of whom, we’re working on piecing our marriage back together… seeing if we can resolve or move past the issues which caused our separation earlier this year. I think we’re making progress, but some days it’s hard to tell.
Feels like God doesn’t believe in straight paths. Well, I guess He promises to make our paths straight, but it sure doesn’t feel like it when actually living this stuff out. Or maybe there’s still more I can’t see yet. Wouldn’t surprise me.
And my one remaining grandmother turns 80 years young this weekend, so I’m making a flying trip down for her birthday celebration. One day of party and family and family friends sandwiched between two eight to nine hour drives.
I think I’m going to need a vacation to recover from the last six or eight weeks. I’m just not sure when I’ll get even a short break. There’s still a lot which needs to happen or be worked out before I feel like I’m settled into a real home again.
God will provide. Of this I’m certain.
I’ve asked myself this any number of times, but the truth is, I know exactly how I ended up where I am now. What I can’t seem to figure out is how to get out of this mess and move on.
Let me start by defining Here.
I have until the end of the month to be out of the townhouse I’ve been living in for the last four and a half years. What’s left here has either been packed or sorted into the I don’t want to keep it piles. (Either garbage or donation depending on item and condition.) So somewhere between ninety and ninety-five percent of what I own is packed and I’m getting by on what little has been left out. In the meantime, my ex-husband has moved out, although he has a few more things to come get. Our daughter is currently living with her grandparents and not happy about it. She enjoyed her vacation trips with them, but I know she wants to be living with me and it can’t happen while I’m living with a bare minimum of stuff and there’s nothing for her to do here and I have no way to take her out anywhere on any consistent basis. The cat is, well, the cat. She’s still living with me and at least in all the packing and cleaning up we found her favourite mouse.
So how do I move on from here?
Well, I know where I would love to move to. And I know what I want in a new home.
I also know what God keeps telling me. (The two don’t appear to be mutually exclusive.)
Imagine walking along a path made of large stones and suddenly coming to a place where two or three stones are just missing, leaving a gaping chasm in their place. The gap feels too wide to jump and there doesn’t appear to be a way around.
This is my life right now.
I guess I could take all the advice from the ‘there is only one way to do anything’ people in my life. There sure are a lot of them. But this is the advice which got me stranded here in the first place. And I don’t see how following the advice which got me here is going to get me back out. (And I’m incredibly sick and tired of feeling stuck in a world where I never have fit in anyway.)
In a telephone conversation with my ‘Christian’ mother, I asked her at least four times whether I should take all the advice people keep shoving my way and try to fight my way out of this on my own (rather limited) strength or whether I should trust in what I know God is telling me. She hesitated and waffled every single time I asked, no matter how I simplified the question. My ‘Christian’ mother couldn’t tell me I should trust God over my own strength and abilities. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this picture?
I know what the Bible says about trusting God and God’s promises. I also know what the Bible says about trying to rely on myself and my own strength. And what it says about God’s ability to provide what I need, exactly when and how I need it. (Whether it’s what I was hoping for or not.)
So, I think, if my options are to take all this conventional, stuck in the box, there’s only one way out of this advice or to trust in God and God’s promises to me and God’s timing… well, I know the first doesn’t work, so I’m left with the second.
(And by trusting in God, I don’t mean simply praying and nothing else and hoping it will all work out in the end. I do mean taking the steps and actions I feel God telling me to take, as they come up. I know all too well just how meaningless words without Divinely inspired action really are.)
It’s very hard not to worry and stress about life when suffering from any level of anxiety disorder. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus very clearly states we are not to worry and instead trust in God to provide our needs. However, anxiety disorder stems from any combination of unstable blood sugars, fried adrenal glands, and/or wonky brain chemistry. Anxiety doesn’t care what’s in the Bible or what we tell ourselves or anything we attempt to do which doesn’t address the specific physiological problem causing said anxiety. (Which is why it may or may not respond to prescription medications.)
All that said, I’ve had an extremely stressful week. Stressful to the point of nausea every time I ate anything and being unable to really settle to any kind of work without interrupting myself. Anxiety and good concentration do not go hand in hand.
Where I’m at in my life, God is closing all kinds of doors. Some get closed gently and don’t bother me too much. Others feel more like slammed in my face and all I can do for the first while is stand frozen in shock. Those second ones are super stressful until the shock passes and I feel able to move on again.
God is also opening doors, if not the ones I’m hoping for just yet. For example, I still don’t know where I’m going to be moving to, but I’m not in a blind panic trying to find a place for me and my belongings by tomorrow. God does keep His promise to provide, whether it looks like what I hope for or not.
I do have to move and I’ve known that for months now. But what God has provided me right now is a small window of time in which I can rest and work on those things He is directing me to. I have no lack of work to do where I am at the moment. My new home will come in His time.
I’ve never really considered myself an artist. I did okay in art classes in school, depending what we were working on. But I think of myself more in terms of being a crafter and a writer.
Just yesterday, when I was sorting through a box of old papers and stuff, deciding what was worth keeping and what wasn’t, I found a number of pieces of art I’ve created over the years. Most of them many, many years ago. These are in a variety of mediums and formats, but what really struck me is how beautiful these pieces are and how much I would love to have space to display them.
And how much I need space to continue to be able to create art, as well as craft and write. Also how much I need the freedom to be able to teach my daughter to do these things in a way which doesn’t stifle her creativity. She said, shortly after her grandparents brought her home from Summerfest with a gorgeous facepaint, how much she would love to be able to paint faces. Well, I think she needs to learn a few basic principals of art first, but I’m sure she can learn to do this if it’s what she really wants.
I’m hoping to have the space for this and more after this move, once I’m in my new home. And I’m sure, if God is reminding me that I am an artist, I can also be sure God will provide me with the space to continue to create beautiful things. And He will bring people into my life to support and help me.
In the meantime, I have a lot more sorting and packing to do. Still too many details of this move yet to find out. God promises to provide my needs and I have to trust in His promises. As He brings me to it, so I shall deal with it.