I’ve been coming back to this post so much over the past few weeks. I’ll start to write it, decide I don’t know what to say, and then leave it. I started writing this at the beginning of September, and now that the month is almost over, so much has happened and I feel even more led to keep writing.
Sometimes I worry that I am unworthy. I worry that I am not deserving of the love and happiness that I so desperately want to feel, and that thought is something that keeps me grieving for past things. I find myself getting further and further away from my comfort zone lately in so many aspects—emotionally, relationally, socially—and in moments when I am very aware of that fact I long for old feelings of comfort and security. When I find myself feeling isolated in a crowd of people I miss the feeling of being wanted and feeling important to someone else in my life. When I am experiencing something new I miss the ease of being able to share things with someone who knows me inside and out.
Usually, I do a pretty good job at diverting my attention when I start to get too emotional in my own head — when my thoughts start to wander or when they linger too long on past things that still hurt. Now I am able to redirect my focus after spending a healthy amount of time reminiscing. It took a long time for me to learn how to cope with and give regard to my pain without also keeping myself stuck in it. I will always believe that journaling helped me make it to the point I’m at right now. At the beginning of this year, when I was feeling entirely lost and honestly scared of my own emotions, I turned to writing. When I would cry so hard from feeling emotions too intense for me to verbally express, I’d write. When I didn’t think I could get out of bed in the morning, I’d write (because I was smart and kept my journal and pen within arms’ reach). When I felt like no one else would understand if I even began to try and explain the thoughts that were constantly flooding my head, I’d write. And the Lord met me there every single time. I would encourage anyone who is going through a hard time to take some time, sit in your bed, and write out what you’re feeling. You’d be surprised the peace that it can bring.
That turned into a bit of a tangent, but anyway.
I did other things to help myself cope, too. I’ve talked about those things in previous posts, but I never want to discredit the seemingly little things that got me to this point — from forcing myself to get out of bed when I had planned on staying there all day, to bringing myself to put makeup on even though doing that was enough to make me feel tired enough to get back in bed, to getting Cooper and choosing to put my energy into another being instead, all the way to branching out and allowing myself to be around and open up to new people. None of it has been easy, but all of it has been so good for me. I’ve come such a long way since the beginning of this year from pushing myself to do things that weren’t easy for me to do.
Stepping out of my comfort zone has actually brought me joy in realizing that there is life outside of what I planned for myself and outside of the pain I’d experienced for so long. It’s been exciting for me to think about every possibility that lies ahead. But sometimes there comes a point when it feels less exciting to embrace the unknowns and more daunting to think about how long things will be so uncertain, and that’s the spot I’ve found myself in this month. I’ve been taking risks and making changes in so many aspects of my life lately, telling myself that one day things will make sense. One day, you’ll see why everything before needed to happen. One day, you’ll feel what you felt before, only then it will be right. But, the thought I’ve come back to time and time again this month is, when?
I think I’ve been trying really hard to force that one day to come sooner, and so many times it’s left me feeling discouraged, unwanted, and unworthy. I meet new people and I feel a subconscious hope in the back of my mind that maybe this will turn out to be the reason God allowed me to walk through what I did before. Maybe this time I will finally be able to put the pieces together and understand why things had to happen the way they did. But then, those people come and go and I’m left trying to decipher what their brief presence in my life could have possibly meant. So often I wonder why God allows people to just keep coming in and out of my life when I am trying to heal. Is there even a purpose for it? And if not, why am I constantly racking my brain trying to find one?
I’m at a point in my healing process where I’ve learned to let go of the way things used to be. I know that there are better things ahead, and I’m open to whatever those better things could be. I am not going to limit myself by pretending I know what God would or wouldn’t lead me to. The Lord could restore things in new and beautiful ways, or things could never be the same again, but either way I know that I’m going to be okay. I’m thankful to be in a mindset like this because I truly never thought I could get here. I’m in a place now where I can honestly say that I don’t necessarily miss what I lost; I miss how it felt when I had it. That’s how I know I’ve grown. I feel ready for something new for the first time in a long time. I want to pursue new relationships. I want to experience new things. I want to know what God is leading me to next. I can see that the past is meant to stay behind me, and I’m looking forward to the future.
But I become very impatient.
I’ve noticed myself trying to force some things that might not be meant for me because I have been trying so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel for this season. I feel like in some ways I’ve prolonged the pain I already felt and have even added to it at times because of this. I’ve been in a sort of transitional period after what I’ve gone through—a period that almost feels like a filler, where nothing new is happening—and for some reason I feel such an urgency to just get to the next place. I guess it’s because I want to feel like there was a purpose in all of this — that my long-endured pain wasn’t experienced just for this.. this feeling of “okay, now what?”.
As always, as I’m writing this post I realize that there is obviously nothing I can physically do to speed up the process of whatever God’s plan is for me, but I guess doing my best to take some sort of control over my situation has given me a false sense of peace in a way. But of course, it’s always temporary. I catch myself clinging to things that may not be meant for me, and I wind up hurting myself when I realize that certain people and things were only intended to be in my life for a moment. That’s what a lot of this month has looked like for me.
I don’t have a remedy for this other than remembering the fact that the Lord’s plans will always come to fruition in his timing, not ours. The way that we can keep from setting ourselves up for disappointment is to keep our eyes fixed on him rather than trying to speed his plans along. It’s something I have to keep repeating to myself lately. I get lonely, but the Lord knows, and he wants to meet me there. I get impatient, but the Lord knows that too, and he wants me to turn to him in those times.
September was a refining month. It’s taught me more about myself in my process of healing and growing, and it’s taught me more about the Lord, too. And I’m thankful for it.
(Also, I love coming across writing that reaches me when I am in a low place, so here’s a poem that really speaks to me) ::
“For all of the evenings and weekends you did not expect to spend alone, and for every in-depth conversation that left you with even more unknowns, it is okay to grieve the loss of what might have been, while still moving toward the light knowing this is not the end.” – Morgan Harper Nichols