Change

Our neighbor is moving today. It’s weird, I didn’t know her at all, yet a part of me feels sad that she’s leaving, I was so used to seeing her.

On the flip side, watching  across the street as she’s packed up and left things out for others to take, I’ve found a bit of excitement at the idea of moving again. It’s kind of fun to have a new adventure.

Life changes so quickly, and I wonder if we ever fully enjoy the season we’re in.

My husband and I talked about how nice it would be to live in a place like Italy, where everything is walkable. There’s a part of me that would love to experience that for a bit, but I don’t think I could ever truly be satisfied without having more of the nature I’m used to.

Then I was thinking how travel changes you. You can miss places you’ve never been, or long to return to a place you once were. But how much more fulfilling could life be if we were fully engaged with wherever we currently are?

I struggle with this. I struggle with it a lot. I often blame my inferior Se, and I’m sure that’s part of it, but what if I could bring a calm awareness and intentionality to my life? What if I could change the dynamic of how I interact with the outside world in such a way that every day is an adventure, and every day, I find a life worth living.

We so often strive for a day that may never come. Then we wallow in the self-pity and shame of never having arrived. But what if we counted every step as arriving at that step? What if we saw everything as cause for celebration? Because no matter how small, every step forward, is still a step ahead of where we once were.

I don’t know when or if we’ll move, but I’m feeling more at peace about the idea than I was before. Maybe it’s okay to move on, and let go. Maybe it’s okay to be fully present here while I am here, while still looking ahead to what the future might be. Still holding on to hope, that in the future, and in the present, I’m exactly where I am. Which is exactly where I’m meant to be in this moment.

Do you struggle with change or to be present in your life? I’d love to hear your experience.

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Four Years

Four years ago I started this blog. I had no idea what it was going to turn into, or what it would be, but I knew I wanted a place to write and freely express my random ramblings.

It’s mostly been a place to do just that, though it’s become an emotional journal of sorts where I write down my thoughts and experiences, and somehow you still like to read it. Thank you for that.

I’ve so appreciated this safe little corner of the internet, and thank you each and every one of you who have followed along the way.

Sending love. ❤

Autumn Days

It’s a cooler day today. I’m really excited just thinking about fall and pumpkin everything. As of last year I’m once again dabbling in apple, but I’m not fully convinced.

There’s something about the smell and feeling in the air that just makes this time of year feel so hopeful. I know that winter is coming, but for now, today, it’s that beautiful in between full of color, one last vibrant display of life.

There’s this peaceful feeling, that everything’s going to be okay. I’ve gained some distance from the things that once plagued me, and although I still struggle with it in my mind, it’s consistently less and less in my external reality.

I love walks in the crisp cool of midday. Leaves crunching underfoot, and I’m able to escape into another world to see a corner of my mind that feels safe, untainted. My mind has been such a dangerous place for so long. I’m finally beginning to feel the fog lift even more as I’m brought to a new level of trust in the Creator of us all.

Now, in this moment, my mind drifting and wandering no longer has to bring me to a place of despair, but I can see instead how far God has brought me, and continues to bring me. He is so abundantly faithful.

I’m healing. It may be slower than I would like, but it’s still there.

Pain and struggles bring us to a place of wonder. They help us to relate, and to connect. I’m not saying it’s easy, not by any stretch, but I am beginning to realize how it is good. And He is good for allowing it.

I once thought I was destroyed, but now I see that I wasn’t destroyed, only deepened. Those pits of despair and depression can feel so overwhelming, but they don’t have to claim us. Not now, not forever. Maybe there really is strength in weakness, maybe it really is when we’re weak that He shows Himself even more faithfully to be strong. His grace, and the goodness He brings through the hardship almost make it so the pain can’t compare.

And I am so thankful for reminders of His goodness, and how far He’s carried me and grown me. It isn’t of myself, that much I know, it is only through Him working in me. I couldn’t get myself into those pits alone, and I couldn’t climb out alone either. There’s a thought. This is why we need community. Yes, people will hurt us, but they’re also one of the ways that God shows us His grace and goodness.

Diving Deep

There are a lot of emotions lately that I haven’t wanted to face. I’ve discussed it with my therapist, that I’m not ready yet. I feel like I’ve just recently come up and have been able to breathe, and I’m not ready to go back down into it again.

I know the depths have the potential to pull me under. I don’t fear staying there, because I know that God will pull me through and up out of the waters, no matter how deep or painful, but I do fear being paralyzed. And I don’t want my life to once again be on hold.

I feel I need to prepare this time. Instead of just diving in head first. I know that I need to face these things eventually. I know I’ve processed and peeled back many of the layers and I’m in a far better place that I was a few years ago, but I also know there are many more layers to go. Some I’m aware of, others I am not.

As an INFJ, I admire depth. I crave depth. I long for conversations with substance. I don’t want to know just the surface of what’s going on, but I want to know the thoughts, the feelings, and the person behind it. So why is it so difficult when it comes to myself? Why do I struggle so much to show compassion?

I’m not ready. And that’s okay.

I’m thankful for the time I’ve had. And I’m thankful for the support of friends and family, and my therapist and God’s abundant mercy. I’m not ready to let that freedom go.

But I’m not. I’m not letting it go. I’m freely giving it to God, and trusting Him with the consequences. It’s okay to not go deep right away. It’s okay to stay on the surface, get things in order, and dive in after I’ve taken a breath. God is faithful, and He will always show me the way, whether or not I can initially see it.

It’s okay to take the time I need. It’s okay to be patient as I wait. It’s okay to not rush right in to all my difficult and complicated emotions. I feel like a hypocrite, but just because I feel something, that doesn’t automatically make it true.

I know it will take some time. I know I have more healing to do. Right now, I’m content in the silence. Waiting to see where God will lead me next. Trusting that He has the ability to heal, and qualify, and deliver.

Undercurrents

I feel the undercurrent of anxiety. It’s lurking just beneath the surface, trying to pull me under. My heart beats faster, and my thoughts become clouded. I can’t identify a single cause, maybe I can’t identify a cause at all, but it’s there. And it insidiously pursues me.

There’s no running. No escape. I’m left treading water, because if I move, I know it will lurch for me even faster, and maybe it will even swallow me up.

I’m tired of standing still, of being stagnant. I’m not sure what to do, but there’s something else beneath the surface. There’s a sense of peace and belonging, and beneath the choppy yet eerily still and glassy waters, a war is raging for my soul.

I don’t know who I am, or what I was put on this earth to do. Maybe someday I’ll know, maybe it doesn’t matter.

Sometimes I try so hard to identify the madness, the chaos within me, but maybe the only way to defeat it is by allowing myself to be calmed and consumed by the peace that is fighting. Maybe if I join forces with it, it will bring the still and calm I’m needing. Maybe I’m fused with the wrong part. Maybe I just need to surrender.

It’s easy to be pulled in a million directions. Chopped to pieces until there’s hardly anything left. Giving myself away one bit at a time, with every wrong yes, and every refusal to say no.

Boundaries aren’t just to keep intruders out, but also to protect and keep the good things in. There needs to be a healthy free flow, but it does require some measure of judgement and discernment to know what is good and what is not. Good, bad. Right, wrong. Helpful, unhelpful. Regardless of terms, it’s basically saying the same thing. We need to identify the warring parts. We need to choose a side. There’s always a side, even if, when we look, all we see is a cloud of gray.

With these warring undercurrents today, I may not know or understand the nuance inside myself, but I can choose. God always gives us the chance to decide. So I will surrender, and be pulled in by the undercurrent of God’s eternal grace and peace.

Striving To Hide

Sometimes we’re left feeling lonely and uncertain. We turn away from the light, because we’re afraid for our scars to be seen.

God comforts the brokenhearted, shouldn’t we do the same?

Isolation kills. Literally, they’ve done studies.

And I’m saddened by how many people live life alone.

But there’s a different side to this story. Yes, some are tragically alone. Some have no one, some have been burned so badly they’re afraid to reach out, or simply don’t know how. Some have illnesses or other things that get in the way. But some… Some have brought their isolation on themselves.

There are cruel people in this world. It’s taken me a long time to even partially come to some form of acceptance of that.

I don’t want to be responsible for someone else’s pain or loneliness, and I don’t want to be the type of person who doesn’t just get along with everyone. But sometimes, you can’t.

We can feel pity, without being guilty. And sometimes, we have to face the things we don’t want to face. Sometimes that means realizing that chasing after people and things, can also be unhealthy. We can distort our good intentions and turn them into destructive arrows that only kill ourselves.

What we don’t realize, while we’re slowly steeping in that pot, is that the water is starting to boil, and if we don’t get out, we too will die in isolation.

Sometimes saving others from isolation means isolating ourselves. And we were never meant to be the savior. Only Christ can be the Savior. And it isn’t honoring to Him to try to take His place, nor is it obeying His commands when we destroy our bodies and minds, the place He calls His temple.

Our self-righteous causes come with a hefty price. And, unfortunately, sometimes we can’t see that until it’s too late.

I’ve been straddling the line, walking in between. Cutting unhealthy relationships off only when absolutely necessary, and even then still carrying around the guilt and self-condemnation that I couldn’t live up to being what God never created me to be.

When I’ve been doing this, although I haven’t always realized it, I haven’t fully, really and truly, been willing to trust. And that idea deeply grieves me. Knowing that I’ve put people, and even myself, above God as I’ve strived to to fill my selfish and self-righteous standards.

God knows all my scars. I choose to no longer chase the safety of darkness, but to turn instead to face the light, and the truth and reality of what has happened. I am not the savior, and God has never called me to be, He’s already done that. He just asks that I trust Him, and no longer diminish the price that He’s already paid, that I no longer diminish the value of His life by saying He needs me to fill the lack of what I pridefully say He hasn’t provided.

Monday Morning Blues

It’s a Monday morning.  Normally I actually like Mondays. The beginning of a new week, a fresh start. But this week, I just feel off.

As I went to plan my week, I just can’t make sense of not having my writing group. When something’s been there for years, to have it just be gone (and unexpectedly), is just… I don’t know how to make sense of it. I’m confused. I’m a bit sad.

My husband isn’t having a good start to his day either, that makes me worry about him. I love him, and I don’t want to be without him. I want him to be okay. But just a short time in, and this new job is already putting a lot of strain and pressure on both of us. This isn’t sustainable long term.

Maybe not having the group will give me the space to focus on other things. But I’m still sad. I feel directionless today as a stand in a fog of confusion. A busy week ahead, and I just want a moment for everything to slow down. I miss the freedom I used to have, yet find myself constrained by mourning the loss of a group that only added to my plate.

Feelings are confusing.

I don’t want to spend my life looking back. But sometimes the anxiety is too hard to cut through and it feels impossible to see a future.