Thursday, February 10, 2011

Struggles and the roots!

I haven’t blogged in a while and I have realized that when I’m really struggling with something I tend to pull back from people and resist blogging. So for future reference, if it has been a while since I have blogged, please pray for me because I am probably struggling and in need.

As I sit here and write this my eyes are full of tears, my heart is overwhelmed with pain, my thoughts are a jumbled swirling mess, and in reality I just want to quit! This life is really too overwhelming for me. I have been dealing with depression, ever since I moved in December. I have not been able to recreate a life here and that is something I desperately need. You see, in the last three years I have made some significant discoveries about myself.

I have realized that I am actually a very outgoing people person. I feel at home in a crowd of people. I love getting out and leading an active life. I realized through some counseling that I have received that I am, by nature, a people person. When I was a little girl I remember in Kindergarten, I was always getting into trouble for chatting away in class. The problem was that my mother didn’t like that so through a series of chastisements I learned it was only acceptable to be quiet and stay out of trouble. I became extremely insecure because in fact the person I was created to be was simply not acceptable.

So after making this discovery about myself, I made it a point to get involved in various activities. I knew where I could go every night of the week to interact with friends or just enjoy such activities as volleyball, art shows, or live music. I saw friends everyday and through them realized that my natural tendency to be a social butterfly was totally acceptable after all! I realized that this was not just a preference but an actual need that I have. When this social need is met, I found that I am so much more secure in my identity. By embracing how God made me as a social being, who really needs to be around people I had a sense of contentment and fulfillment!

The only problem with this wonderful realization about myself is the depression that I have been dealing with due to the fact that I have not been able to recreate such a social network since I have moved. My social need levels are critically low, which leads to huge insecurities and depression. With the added physical issue of the sciatic nerve problems for the last two months, it really has been extremely difficult. I don’t know if you have had to deal with depression before but it is that you see you need to do things and know you do; however, you have no desire to do them. It is a paralyzing effect upon a person and to get out of it is really a battle. Some people are fortunate and able to fight their way out of it and others are not as fortunate.

I dealt with depression after my second husband walked out on us. It was the most difficult time of my life thus far. It was such a struggle to simply wake up and take my kids to school then sit on the couch with my bible till it was time to pick them up from school. It became a process of adding one challenge at a time and just trying to be patient with myself. The next implementation was to stop at the park on the way home. After that I implemented counseling appointments, then a Pilates class, and eventually Wednesday night small group. Some days it was a good day if the only thing that got accomplished was that the kids got to and from school! It was like having to pull your body up from the floor; however, for some reason your body is likened to a piece of metal and the ground is a high powered magnet. Sometimes it took all the strength I had just to get up!  I say all that to say that here I am again, feeling those familiar paralyzing feelings that make me not want to do anything. It is just loosing the desire for life. It is coming to the point of having no desire for life, no direction, no purpose, but very, very lonely.

So of course, I ask myself, “Why and I feeling like this?” Well as best as I can figure there are a few aspects at play. Two are circumstantial and one is a root problem. I am one of those people who try to find the root of an issue because I believe, until you find the root of an issue, you can’t find a way to fix it. So the first circumstantial issue is what I stated above that I have moved and haven’t been able to recreate a good social network of friends and activities to alleviate the social needs I have.

The second is a rather big issue, of course it pertains to a man. You see when I moved here I was pretty fed up with the insecure, immature, and unreliable men I had been encountering, so I was of the mindset that I was through with men. I didn’t have any in my life whom I could count on and to be honest have just had to rely upon God and myself ever since I was widowed. I really desired to have a honest, mature, secure, and reliable man in my life; however, it just wasn’t a reality, even to the point that when my brother said to me, “you have family here for you now,” I didn’t really know how to react. So that was Lori’s mindset as of the move down, but then I met a guy. I didn’t meet him online through any website, but met him as my son would say, “the old fashioned way!” As I had previously posted, we really hit it off and really enjoyed each other’s company. We started hanging out quite a bit, and he called me every day and most days many times throughout the day. He would come over for dinner, we would play games with the kids and just have fun. Most weeks we got together every day and yes I fell for him. Despite the fact that he had stated when we first met, his affections for another woman, we grew closer and his constant attention was readily accepted. I thought that with all the phone calls and spending time with us that his affections were growing for me too, but a few weeks ago I found out that they weren’t. We had a talk and I admitted that I was investing feelings in him and he then restated his affections for another and I felt HUGE rejection. Since then, I have decided to keep a distance from him. We do not hang out anymore, we sometimes see each other at church. I don’t answer his calls more that once a week and keep it pretty superficial. He has expressed as desire to remain friends and not let go of our friendship; however, I have explained that I need time to sort through all this in my head and get my heart straight. I’m not sure if I will be able to be friends with him, but that will only be possible when my heart heals and I can look at him as a brother in Christ and only a brother in Christ! So that heart break, I’m sure plays a significant part in this depressive state.

The third and root issue is between God and I. Isn’t that the way it always is? The core issues with me always seem to boil down to a false thought pattern that doesn’t align with scripture. So here is the issue, I have a desire for a mate, severely! I have read books on singleness and finding a mate and the overwhelming understanding is that God is the one who completes you. There is a thinking that God is all you need and you need to be content with having only Him in your life. So for years I look at myself with the knowledge that there must be something wrong with me because, even though I know God is the maker, and giver of everything that is good, I still desire a mate. It’s not bad to desire a mate, and I’m not saying that my sufficiency will come from a relationship with a man, no it comes from God. However, I can no longer deny the fact that I have a desire for a mate, that is a HUGE desire but it is also normal and human nature. I wasn’t one of those who were created to be alone, but I started thinking that God was this authoritarian who put rules upon me. It was as if in my understanding, God would not give me the desires of my heart until I was able to be totally content with only Him. But that doesn’t exactly sound like scripture. It sounds a lot like legalism doesn’t it? “Well, Lori when you fix yourself so that you can be totally happy with me and me alone, only then will I think about giving you the mate you desire!” Hold on a second, that’s not God at all! 

You see with that type of thinking it is totally understandable to not believe that God love you anymore, because I’m not good enough. Obviously there is something wrong with Lori because this overwhelming desire to have a mate, is not acceptable. There is no wonder that I struggle with hoping that anything good would happen to me after so much disappointment. After, my beloved dies of cancer even though I begged and begged for his life, other family deaths, the abandonment of divorce, and various other rejections, why would I believe that anything good would come my way. But here’s the root, I took a chance, went out on a limb that I was scared to climb onto, it snapped and I slammed into the ground again. I feel cheated because I dared to believe again. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t blind hope. There were a lot of signs that led me to start to believe, like a little child, that my Daddy God would bless me, in the area of my greatest struggle, with a mate.

Through talking to a dear friend today I made a discovery about myself again. To be honest I have not felt that God love me for years now. I mean, I have moments where I’m feeling it but nothing that lasts. In the past I have had times where I was so certain of God’s love for me that I would have willingly given my life to prove it; however, now things are not so. It all feels so cold and God seems so distant. I reach and reach for Him but for some reason can’t touch even the hem. In one counseling session with my Pastor he said, “You need God to do something that will cause you to marvel at Him don’t you?” The answer to his question was an apparently yes, when I started bawling. You see if I were to say my biggest way of receiving love or knowing someone loves me is through good surprises. I love good surprises! That is really the quickest way to the center of my heart. It tells me that someone thought that much of me to do that and I feel special, important, and tremendously loved! Knowing that, now you’ll understand when I say, I don’t know if God loves me because there hasn’t been those kind of moments in a long while! You can call me spoiled, but we all have differing ways of giving, receiving, and knowing we are loved and that is mine. I guess I didn’t realize that was the reason that I feel such a need for God to do something that will bring me to that childlikeness of marveling at how much my Daddy loves me. It’s not a want at this point, it is a NEED that I have. I know we are supposed to know that God loves us by His word and I do know that, in my head! What I need is to know, that after all the answers, “No” to my prayers, after all the disappointments and tough circumstances, I need to know with my heart that He loves me. Yes, I need God to do something that I will marvel at Him and believe He is on my side. I need to know that He cares not just about my character but about my heart more so, because He knows how He made me. He knows how to speak to the heart of His daughter and convey His love so that she will know Him.

As human as I am, I believe that the root issue is the source of the state of depression. For some reason, I have this thinking that the Christian life will get easier; however, it seems to just get more and more difficult. I used to think I knew things about God and all of this and the longer I walk with Him the more I realize how very little I know. All I know lately is that I am coming to terms with me being a very needy human and that I don’t understand God. So I ask for your prayers, Lord willing the depression will pass soon and I look forward to the day when I will marvel at God again and with the biggest smile on my face, know in my heart that, “yes! He loves me more than anything!”  Until, then I’ll embrace my weakness and my neediness, my depression, my lack of faith, lack of hope, and lack of feeling His love bringing all this to Him. I know this is a season and we all know seasons do change! Praise God they do!
Bless you in your journey!