Saturday, August 28, 2010

Great is Thy Faithfulness...Lam 3:23

The past few weeks have been extremely stressful for me. I've been in the process of moving and for me it truly is a process. I didn't even have anything packed, but I felt that it was time for me to move. I had been putting it off ever since spring. I dreaded the whole process and knew that once I moved, I would be faced with having to decide whether or not to let my brother live with me or to continue to drive even a further distance now to pick him up for the weekends. I refuse to leave him at my cousins all the time with no way to come up to Otsego to where his church and church friends are. They are my friends too, but particularly I want him to be able to socialize with them because they are so good for him. Without them, I expect he would withdraw from life and go back to a life of isolation and drinking, whereas with them, he interacts, socializes, gets "out of himself" and even enjoys life at times.

Eventually, the goal is to get him connected with community mental health to get help for his emotional and mental deficits and to help him become more independent. But, to do so, he has to move here and in with me until he can also get the financial help he would need to be on his own. For the past three years he has been living at my cousins in a room in their shop and he has been able to work with my cousin to help pay for his room and board. If he comes to live with me, he will end up with a fairly significant amount of time with nothing to do, which is not good for him. Trying to figure out how and what to do has caused me great distress in the past few weeks.

I have asked God, "What do I need to do"? But I haven't heard or seen an answer yet. Last night I had become so agitated and angry that I could hardly function. I felt desperate for an answer and didn't feel like one was forthcoming. I finally calmed down, but this is a "hot" topic for me. I feel great concern that I could destroy both of our lives and I have no desire to do that. On the other hand, I don't feel like I can sit here and do nothing. I start a new job in one week and I will be driving even further to work every day and there's no way I can make the trip to pick him up, another 100 miles roundtrip, after driving 40 miles home from work. So, I feel the need to make a decision and yet I don't feel capable of making the decision yet. I don't feel like I have all the facts.

So, where does this leave me? Pretty much the in the same place that I have been for several weeks now, ever since I started moving. So, where does the phrase "Great is Thy Faithfulness" come in? Even though I was experiencing significant distress last night and I don't feel like I have an answer yet today, I recognize that God is faithful! He will help me and my brother make it through this time of difficult and very possibly imperfect decisions no matter what I decide. And in that realization, I can have confidence and hope for the future. I'm not alone in this. Great is (His) faithfulness and it's a faithfulness I can trust!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The pain is still there...

Today, in my counseling session, I came to the realization that "the pain" from my experience in 2007 is still there. In 2007 I was grieving several significant losses and by the time 2008 came around, I started to lose hope in my future, started to shut down emotionally, and started to shut out God's voice. I was tired of losing and grieving and I just wanted it to stop. It felt like the hope I had been able to keep alive through 2007 was gone and my future looked painful and lonely. But, when you stop grieving before the grieving is done, you actually become stuck in the pain and that's where I'm at today.

Coming home I allowed the tears to flow as I told God how the pain was still there. How I know I didn't and don't deserve anything, but how I long for "the joy that comes in the morning." I don't really know how to finish grieving the losses; it feels like grieving won't change anything and I still feel like I'm tired of grieving. I want to move on and get past it and over it, but it's not going away that quickly.

I also find myself hesitant to start listening to God again. I think I'm afraid He'll tell me something I don't want to hear or He will ask me to do or not do and I'll rebel or be disobedient again, which would only add to my pain. So, I'm avoiding those kind of discussions with God. I do pray every day (several times throughout the day), but I'm not really talking and I'm not really listening yet.

Thank you Father for not giving up on me and for continuing to listen to me and take care of me. Please help me to let go of the pain and the fear I feel in communicating with You. Help me to open back up to You and allow You to help me let go of the pain that I may experience new hope.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A few thoughts from today's counseling session...

This evening after work, I had a counseling session with my counselor. I really like my counselor and feel comfortable sharing with her and feel that she has good advice. Right now I'm still feeling significant pressure from all of my feelings being bottled up for the past couple of years and this makes me feel like it will take forever for me to get anywhere with the counseling. But, having said this, I recognize that I have to start somewhere and given time, I'll eventually start to feel less pressure and more relaxed and steady in my emotions.

Tonight I talked about my struggle with romantic relationships and how they have never worked out. Some of it has been because I didn't want it to work out, but other times, it has seemed to not work out no matter how much I would have liked it to. I just would like to understand the dynamics and what, if anything, I'm doing wrong. Actually, I was just convicted of what I've done wrong in the few instances when I would have liked the relationship to work and it hasn't. But, now that I know what I've done wrong in those instances, disobeyed God, where does that leave me? Is there any hope with the three that I specifically disobeyed with? The first one of the three is married, so definitely there's no hope of being with him and I wouldn't want to hope for that. The second one I believe I was never to be involved with him romantically and now I no longer desire to be involved with him, too much baggage and too many unresolved issues all around. The third one isn't married, yet, but doesn't feel we are compatible, so it doesn't leave me with much hope of anything developing, although we are good friends. Will there be another? Will God give me another chance? I hope so, whether it's with the third one mentioned above or someone totally different.

To finish the counseling session, I asked my counselor what advice she could give to help me deal with the mounting pressures from daily things I need to do for work, home, school, church, my health, finances, and for my brother that I can't seem to get done. She said I should try to set micro-goals each day; identify what I absolutely must get done each day and try to do those things. There are a lot of things that need to get done in each area, but it's too much. I literally don't have the ability to get everything done and I do have to decide what is most important for each day. Currently, I'm behind in my schoolwork, I'm not getting enough sleep, I'm barely getting to work on time, I'm not getting any housework done, I'm not exercising at all, I'm eating late at night, and I'm not spending very much time with God, which only makes things worse. I do hope and pray that things will ease up a bit for me and that I'll be able to make some progress.

Lord, I ask today for wisdom to know and understand Your will for me each day and the strength to carry it out. I pray that You will show me what's important and what I can let go of. Please teach me Your ways that I may walk in them and Your charge that I may keep it (see Zachariah 3:7 below).

7Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in My ways and keep My charge, then also you shall rule My house and have charge of My courts, and I will give you access [to My presence] and places to walk among these who stand here. (Amplified Translation)