Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wrestling with the Heart

My heart is in a troubled place, torn between freedom and captivity, between the past and the future, between God and the world. It’s an interesting place to try and process.

When, as a little girl, I dreamed of all the things I might do when I grew up, of all that I might be. Compared with the fantasies of others, it was highly realistic. I didn’t dream of going to the moon or being the president or walking on water. No, I wanted to go to college, graduate, land a successful job, find a husband, and have a family. It’s just that simple. But I might as well have dreamed about being an astronaut.

Life saw things differently for me. A lot of people make good, strong friendships throughout their years, growing up in a wonderful network of fellowship. That was not possible for me, not given my situation. So I find myself now, at age 24, with many acquaintances, but few friends. Actually, there is no one that I “hang out” with. And in pain, self-protection, and anger – that never used to bother me. But as I find my freedom, it is kind of a hard pill to swallow.

Here I am, 15 months after graduating college with an impressive academic record, and I find myself unemployed and alone. It is a life I am highly unsatisfied with, frustrated to the point of tears. I cry often over shattered dreams, of things that have not worked out as I would have liked.

Yet, as disappointed as I am over shattered dreams, I am also cognizant of the fact that God is still doing wonderful things in my life. I can’t imagine another path for myself. If life had not gone precisely the way it has, I would not know the pain of healing that I now deal with everyday. It’s a beautiful feeling. It’s like peeling the scab off a wound and exposing it to fresh air – it stings, but it also feels surprisingly good, freeing.

My freedom grows more concrete every day. I am able to think about things in a whole new way, to consider more possibilities and really open myself up to whatever it is God is (slowly) unfolding in my life. Sometimes, it even seems clear that He is purposely withholding a job so that I can focus on telling my story, on the healing process He’s begun within me and wants so badly to finish, now that I will let Him.

Physically, freedom reigns, too. Mom has a new boyfriend, and they spend quite a lot of time together, which leaves me home alone to “nest.” That’s what I call it, anyway, and it’s something I haven’t ever done and didn’t notice I was doing until I’d already done it. I’ve never had a place called home, but the more time I find myself alone in this place, I wonder, “Why can’t I make it more comfortable for me? Why can’t I make it conducive to living here and growing here?” So I change little things around the house, clean up here and there, and really just have a whole different vibe in my body when I walk around this place and think of it as my HOME. (And, I like the alone time to spread my wings a little and just experiment with the great things inside of me that God is revealing, one by one. Though, I am not condoning alone time. I’d still like some friends.)

But what I am also finding is that if you want something, go out and get it. There shouldn’t be anything stopping you when what you want is good and holy. I didn’t feel very well today, struggling with something I am not quite ready to reveal. But there was in my heart some things that I wanted to get accomplished, so I did them. When you’re in the house long enough, you start to get afraid of outside. As a kid, bugs and dirt did not bother me, but now, the thought of one gnat keeps me inside sometimes. It’s that strong of a hold when you lock yourself away. But I needed to take some photos, capture some images of sacred places before they are totally destroyed (as they are already destroyed a bit by urban development). So I loaded my big dog, Kiira, in the car, and we went hiking through the woods. For nearly half an hour. I wasn’t scared or grossed out, and I didn’t want to come home. And I didn’t feel sick in the woods like I have in this house for the past few days. Other stuff, I accomplished, too.

I’m waiting for God to move in my life. I want Him to move and bring about the glory that will come to Him through me. I want a job. I want a husband. I want a family. I want friends. And I’m willing to do whatever God requires to get that. I’ve even been thinking very seriously lately about moving. In my head, I narrowed it down to Oregon or South Carolina – places with good weather. But I also was told about a possible opportunity last week in Colorado. So you just never know.

I used to see myself staying here forever. Growing up and staying the same and just settling in for the familiar life. That seemed beautiful to me. It doesn’t any more. The only thing that seems beautiful is to get what God is giving, to take what He offers. And to embrace my freedom, gather my strength, and do more than just live another day.

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