Friday, January 7, 2011

Growing Pains

I admit it. I feel disconnected from God today. I've had a very difficult day. Waking up late, getting the girls to school late, a hard work-day, an ex-wife causing traumatic drama, finding out my best friend is moving cross-country, husband having a nasty head cold and, while not his fault, being unavailable to me (he devoted most of the night to his tissue, which I totally understand and sympathize with), and a few other annoyances and sad things.

I don't know, exactly, what was the factor that caused me to feel disconnected from the Lord. I know I've felt guilty because I haven't been reading the Bible lately. I knew that made me feel less connected to Him. And while listening to Christian talk radio today, I heard a Pastor say how we have to read and immerse ourselves in Scripture - otherwise we'll feel off and wonky. I took that as a sign.

I came home and while waiting for dinner to be ready, I read some of the Bible. I've been jumping around a lot so I thought I'd go back to the Old Testament and pick up where I left chronologically, which was in Numbers. Boy is that one a bit dry. I didn't feel thirst for the Word. I grew restless. I wanted to read passages that spoke to me. That touched me. Where I knew God was talking to me right then. And it wasn't happening. I let my gaze wander to the stockings still hung by the chimney with care and realized we ought to take down our Christmas decorations soon. So much for reading.

I made dinner (a rare thing) and it turned out okay. It was sustenance; that's all I'll say about that. The kids went their separate ways afterward. The little ones colored and the 12 year old disappeared to her room to play her new computer game. Husband went downstairs to play his new computer game (12 year old and husband are very alike) and I hopped on the computer, all ready to write a Dove Chronicles blog entry about the radio program, Live the Promise, I heard today and how it affected me.

That was when I got the best friend's email. It took me by surprise. The plan was for her to move in March. That was going to be hard enough, but now in two weeks? Her husband left her and turned into quite an unsavory character. He left her with a three-year-old and a three-month-old and quite happy to leave them to her, quite ready to let go of them and have them move cross-country. Sickening.

I went downstairs to husband with my hands over my mouth, tears in my eyes. I told him about the email and he sat and held me while I cried. My heart was breaking. I felt great loss. I have not felt loss like that since Mom died four years ago. This best friend is more than a best friend. I can't even begin to describe our relationship. Granted, since she had children, it has changed. We've grown a little more distant and more involved with our own individual lives. But we still knew we had each other's backs.

Suffice it to say, I'm not ready to let her go.

God, I asked, are you testing me?

And then there's my poetry. Before I found God two months ago, I was a prolific poet who capitalized on her suffering in order to write darn good poetry. I've been published in international and national literary journals. I have one book of poetry out and am having a more comprehensive book of poetry (about my Mom's death) published by a major publisher in 2012.

But I've always written out of my pain. My modus operandi was turning suffering into something beautiful. I was a transformer of pain into great things. Award-winning poems. Ok, enough tooting my horn.

But like I said, since finding God two months ago, I have not felt that kind of pain and suffering ans so I have not written poetry since ... well, probably June or July. This is not just writer's block. This is a huge transformation of the spirit, a personality change, a shift in temperament. I no longer look at things with the eyes of one who suffers every day. I have the Lord. Thank God I don't suffer every day! I rebuke the devil and no longer let him rule my outlook.

Which is wonderful, right? Yes... but what is happening to my writing? Or what will happen to my writing? Will I turn to writing Christian poems? I have tried and they have come out horribly. Well, not up to my standards. Will I write poems that come from suffering but then come out of the dark and into the light with the help of the Lord? Am I that brave to publicly say, with my name beneath the title, that I write for the Lord? Is that what I've decided? I want to. A part of me does. And a part of me wants to write that darn good poetry again - that was fraught with pain and suffering and desperation and everything else uncomfortable that made readers both squirm in their seats and take a quick breath in out of awe and surprise.

I'm not questioning: will I continue to write? I know I will always be writing. I just now question what kind of writing. Where will my writing come from? What part of me? I feel God has some specific plans for me in that area and I don't know the answer yet.

Is it okay for me to miss my old poetry?

Is it okay for me to feel broken-hearted over my best friend moving cross-country if it is for her mental and emotional health? And her girls' health? She needs help, support, in raising those girls now that her husband has become such a lowly character. I know she needs to move there. A part of me just doesn't want her to.

I look at my present life and observe my friends. I have my husband, who is my best friend. I have my best friend who is moving. Those two people are the two most important people in my life besides my children. They are the most influential adults. And one is leaving. And, to be honest, I don't have any other friends. Oh, sure, I have people I talk to at work who are nice. But no one who lives in my town, except one woman and we are getting to know each other slowly. She is anything but Christian, but still a good person. But I know I won't be able to be spiritual with her. I long for a Christian friend. Husband and I pray every night to meet a couple at our church who we can befriend. Our church is mostly made up of an older congregation. The new Pastor (who started right when we started going there, so he's not new to us) and his wife are our age. We four are probably four out of eight people, total, who are our contemporaries. Don't get me wrong; I value older adults. I love that I have dozens of grandparents now. But husband and I have never had the chance to have another "couple" friend.

As I write all this, I feel like this is a time of transition. Of things being taken away and of waiting around for the next round of "things" to appear. I tell you, it's hard.

But trust in the Lord, right? That is hard right now.

We're having extreme financial difficulties right now. I hear on so many programs how we all should tithe and/or give money to our church or charities, etc., and how money comes back to you tenfold when you do. Now the goal of giving is not to get, per say, but I know what they mean. Everything must be surrendered to the Lord, even finances.

What do you do about that? Is it hard for you? Have you done it?

I feel like such a neophyte. Especially now when I need Him so much. And I have so much in my life that is in flux. Health, money, friendship, even marriage. I won't go into details, but my marriage is changing - for the better, mind you, but there are growing pains once in a while.

This is a long blog entry, isn't it. I'm sitting down with you and just sort of blabbering, aren't I. Perhaps I've shed a few tears and you've offered me a tissue. Thank you. Perhaps you've held my hand while I've talked or given me a hug. Thank you. You've helped.

Well, my eyes are puffy from tears. Husband is already in bed, probably sleeping. Kids are sleeping except 12 year old who I will check on before I go to bed.

I just want to tell you how grateful I am for you taking the time out to listen to me. For sitting on the couch or at the kitchen table or your desk and holding my hand and listening to me.

Maybe we can be friends, too.

Bless you.


  1. Life is absolutely hard sometimes. Just because we're living for the Lord, doesn't mean life is going to be easy or our perspective will always be right. God never said this life would be easy, only that with Him it will be worth it. You will absolutely write poetry again -- beautiful, honest, poignant, surprising poetry from the depths of your soul and it will stir the souls of others and you will marvel at the words you've written once again. Just allow God time and space to work. Soak in His Word. Rest in His Presence. Trust in His perfect will for your life, and know that there are others out there waiting to be your soul sisters. I'm sorry for your pain, my writing friend. Sorry for your loss and your aching heart. Know that I'm praying.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and trusting us with your honesty and vulnerability. God is doing a beautiful work in you, and I look forward to reading what He places on your heart in the months to come. May it be all for His glory! :)

  2. You can still write poetry but your subjects are more spread now, just write what you are going through now but with The Lords side of it as well. As for tithing, i send you a link for Andrew Wommack who has done a great mp3 series on giving, I think it will answer your fears. God Bless, Mike.


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