I haven’t shared my heart in a minute, so I wanted to check in.
The past few weeks have been filled with work, emotional processing, time spent with family & friends, praying new things in new ways & reading Lysa TerKeurst’s book, “Uninvited.”
I’ll start with work. I am currently working on a long-term project of opening & checking 6,000 electronic medical records. Yes, you read that correct. Six thousand. This requires a lot of clicking, mental processing & eye energy. Who knew staring at a computer screen non-stop would be so draining? Also, I got a raise! Finally. Since graduating in May, I’ve been hoping for either that or just getting a new job altogether that pays more. Let’s just say student loans stink & a wedding to pay for is excitingly stinky, as far as money goes.
Emotional processing.. oh boy. This has been pretty overwhelming lately. I knew being engaged and planning a wedding would bring drudge up some non-fun things to process, but I didn’t realize it would bring on the grief process in a new way. I would say that men can tune out for this next paragraph, but perhaps it would be enlightening, so buckle your seatbelts, guys. I’ve never met a little girl who has not dreamt of her wedding day. I know I definitely have imagined myself in a poofy princess dress, my arm hooked through Daddy’s, walking towards the love of my life. I have dreamt about that Father/Daughter dance… a country song is probably what we would have picked, based on my taste in music as a kid & what I knew my dad liked. I’ve dreamed of sharing wedding details with my mom during the planning process. The movies play these things up BIG.. and I mean BIG. Sometimes I feel silly for having to grieve them… but feelings have to be felt. I am reminded of a quote from “The Fault in Our Stars,” by John Green. Augustus, the dreamy teenage boy with cancer, whose depth surpasses that of Lake Norman (which is a lot for a teenage boy), says, “That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.” I cannot move forward until I feel, recognize the feeling as valid & choose whether or not it is something that can remain apart of my emotional being. I will be the first to say that this doesn’t always happen naturally. I don’t just think these things every time something painful is demanding to be felt. It’s taking a lot of practice and intentionality. I am trying my best to stay on point here & not get lost in all the words in my brain.. this is difficult for women oftentimes. My point is this… I have been bombarded with questions about wedding planning since getting engaged. My wedding won’t be normal, so I don’t feel, on the inside, that I have any normal answers to give. My parents or his parents are not paying for it. My parents and my fiancé’s parents won’t be there. My mom & his mom will not go with me to shop for a wedding dress. My dad will not walk me down the aisle. My dad will not give me away. My dad will not awkwardly move together with me on the dance floor to some meaningful song about how a dad loves his daughter. I won’t have photos from my wedding day with any of our parents. This is atypical. I know that. So when I am asked typical questions about flowers or colors or dresses that elicit answers about daisies being my favorite or choosing three theme colors or not know what style of dress that I like, but knowing it has to have lace, there is a sea of pain within my being that becomes a little bit more stormy. Planning is exciting, don’t get me wrong. I love planning in general anyways. It’s difficult not to want to scream at the girls whose weddings were paid for. It takes a lot in me to not give a sarcastic response when they ask about where we are getting married. It makes me want to ask if they have one clue how much a wedding costs, knowing that they wouldn’t, so I could then let them know how good they have it that their parents paid for their wedding, so she & her new hubs could put all of their money into buying a home. Ranting. Sorry. It’s just A LOT. And the questions keep coming. And coming. And coming. I know the Lord has got something in store for me to learn here… Maybe some patience & kindness? Who knows?
That was a really long rant/paragraph. Moving on…
“Uninvited” has been a catalyst for some of the emotional processing, as the main theme of the book is rejection. There is so much packed into that little book that is so very applicable to my life and I wish I could share all of it here… since there is much to share, I’ll just recommend that you read the whole thing yourself! The book has also aided in changing the way in which I am praying for my parents. I so often forget that the devil is the one who steals, kills & destroys. Why do I easily forget that??? The devil wants us to easily forget that… so we will put a human face on the thief, the murderer & the destroyer, allowing him to slink into the background, undetected, unnoticed. Lysa reminded me that we all have at least this in common, if nothing else: the devil is our enemy. Yes, our. WE are on the same side here, even if it feels like there are two sides with an entire Grand Canyon in between. When we recognize & embrace this, things change… or at least they have for me anyways. I’ve begun praying differently. In all honesty, I don’t always feel like forgiving any stinking one of them. The enemy we share has stolen, killed & destroyed too much in my family & I am SO over it. OUR enemy is keeping my mom in bondage to the hurt of losing her mother & never having the true acceptance of her father… & she has the perfect love of a perfect Father waiting for her, if she would just reach out for it… OUR enemy is keeping my dad’s wife in bondage to the hurt of never receiving love & validation from her parents, resulting in the need to control everything… & she has the perfect love & validation from the perfect Father, who is powerfully & lovingly in control all everything, waiting for her, if she would just accept it… OUR enemy is keeping my dad in bondage to his avoidant tendencies & pride… (Just thinking on the screen here… I am at a loss for words right here. To be honest, y’all, my dad didn’t come from a broken family. My mom and dad’s wife have issues from their childhoods, times in life where they had no control & issues from their parents, who made poor decisions. My dad had a wonderful childhood provided to him & had fantastic parents… I’m not sure what his excuse is… besides just selfish, sinful nature rearing its ugly head. I’m not sure what to say he has waiting for him right now…) Here is where I feel like if we were in a coffee shop chatting, there might be an awkward silence… only because of the sad reality for my dad… that he chooses. ANYWAYS, on to my prayer life change. I have been praying against the enemy. I have been praying against his presence in my parents’ lives. Since adding this to each of their pages in my Prayer List book & praying this over their lives, I have felt a strong resistance from the enemy. One of my favorite live song videos from Bethel Music is of the song called “Catch the Wind.” Melissa Helser sings it & before she begins singing, she tells the birth story of that song. I’m not going to share the whole thing here, but she asked if anyone in the audience had ever woken up & just felt the oppression of the hatred of the enemy… like you know he does NOT like you in the slightest. That’s a bit of what I’ve been feeling since I started praying differently. It’s been more difficult to think my way through things, as feelings have been pretty overwhelming. I’ve felt more emotionally sensitive. As a woman, it is so easy to live that way, but I don’t think it’s always best. Side note. Sorry! For the first time in my life, I’ve really delved into my prayer life & resistance is what I’m getting… temptations, distractions & feelings are all increasing in size as I pray against his presence in the life of those who I am attempting to forgive. Sorry for yet another novel of a paragraph.
God speaks to me. He provides for me. He has placed many people here that love me. Slowing down helps me to remember these things in the midst of the motions. If you stuck through this entire post with me, kudos to you & thank you. It was all over the place, but that’s life, I guess… never in a straight line.
What has God been teaching about about prayer lately?
What are you processing these days?
I’d love to hear from you!