Don’t be too quick in your assessment of God’s gifts to you. Thank him. Moment by moment. Day by day. Max Lacudo
I read this in my devotional this morning. It won’t let me go. I hate admitting this, but I have been assessing everything since a friend said, He died for you, Julia. This is almost two years ago, but my reaction is the same.
I cry. I ask the same question I did then. Why me? In my eyes, I am no one special. I have made more mistakes (or what I think are), because I am afraid of doing something wrong. Disappointing someone not God. This has left me with palpable fear I am a terrible person.
Can you say still looking for human approval?
You know what’s funny? Even when I think I have approval (from people), I still question.
“You sure?” “You sure you love me?” “Why?”
I say the appropriate answers to the responses. But in my head: Really, God?
I start doubting. Then, I hide. I hide from everyone, including my Beloved.
I don’t want people to see me crying for reasons I don’t understand.
You can’t either, God. But, you do.
You know why my soul is twisty.
You wouldn’t care if I wanted to stay in this bed and stare at the ceiling all day.
I’d be with you.
Here’s the thing: I don’t want to be sad about this life. I’m used to sorrow. I know what it’s like to watch people you love, divide. And wonder why the statement, “I’m sorry” tires you.
I know this life isn’t supposed to be gum drops and lollipops (yeah, that is a weird analogy. And cliche..) Pain is to be expected because this place isn’t my home.
You know I’ve ached stability. The joy kind. I’m stable in pain. I don’t have a hard time unwrapping rejection. Heartbreak almost feels natural. Maybe it is, since out of it comes joy.
Sometimes, okay all the time, I think this is all there is. Overwhelming sorrow. Pain. It’s a constant. Though I hate it, it’s kind of become my friend. My friend with the frown, even when she smiles.
When I was younger, 14, and younger, everything seemed easier. I laughed. I smiled without a hint of sorrow. Not like I know now. I said please and thank you. I spent hours reading, thanks to dad’s eagerness to take me the library after therapy every Tuesday. Remember how we’d go to the movie section and he’d let me take out a new Veggietales video every time?
Now, I can’t even enjoy sitting with a book. I’m distracted. And if I get into one, I question everything. And Veggietales makes me cry when Bob & Larry exclaim: God made you special. And he loves you very much!”
You’ve whispered this into my heart before my 14 year old self would become this 24 year old yearner.
I believed I was loved. Sure, I got hurt, but it didn’t linger long. Sure, I shed tears, but I didn’t feel them when my brother decided he needed to pretend we were in the army, and send me down the stairs on dad’s army blanket. And hiding me inside my closet from the enemy. Or wrestle me every Saturday morning, to which I always protested for him to stop.
Instead, he went in for another dive. Or, standing at the other end of the living room, telling me to Go! with the biggest smile on his face. Every single time I fell, I had this hunger to try again & again. Because of that smile. Because of his childlike faith, that no matter how many I took off from the wall running, and falling after a few euphorphic seconds, I could try again.
Someday walk like him.
Or, when he would pull out his Scream mask, turn off all the lights, and play hide & seek. I don’t remember being afraid, but excited for him to find me. I remember crawling away laughing after he scared me. (He’s a pro at scaring me still.)
I don’t know where I was going with this, God. You words won’t stop echoing.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
These memories with Nolan are where I saw you first. Without knowing. His smile so wide, like at any moment, he could burst. His glad eyes, making my heart well with belief.
I could do anything.
Nothing felt forced. Rushed. Fearful. I am still that girl. Except now she feels the force of sadness because nothing feels fun anymore. She feels this rush to live. Speak. Be something other than still. She feels haunted in the still of night, she’s let everyone down. Made me a mistake You can’t turn away from.
Even though she’s heard You aren’t cross armed, but open-armed, as her 4 years younger brother was then. She wants to know why she feels small, heavy-hearted, and mourning things she’s told never will come again.
I want to know why saying,”Somping”, “fuzz”, “muzz” in a really weird almost accent, makes joy come back, but a desperate attempt to hold on. Why you’ve given me three women, who live a distances away, but see me beyond the ink. Through hashtags and how are you? And prayer.
Constantly pointing me back to You. They let me come as I am, a mass of questions, fears, frustration, excitement, joy even and they give straight back.
They have helped me understand Your heart, which has helped me understand mom better.
How every woman is, whether or not we are a mom. We want to be needed. Known. Loved.
And that can only come from You, Daddy.
Only through You, through this pain, can I see this sensitivity as a gift.
Because most days, I’m looking into those glad eyes in a way wish wasn’t so.
Brokenly beautiful. They know me oh so well.
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”: Is. 49:15