Tuesday, September 16, 2014

once you are real

~facebook status from last week~

I was up late last night not feeling well... I was reading some things I'd written as a teenager and young-married... I started to feel all of the depression and hurt of this last year or so come crashing down on me... I sat in my dark living room, just crying. Crying because I hate being in physical pain... crying because I so badly want children... crying because change and new people are so hard for me... crying because, sitting in the silence, far away from home, sick, and still childless, my loneliness is suffocating.

In those wee hours of the morning, I typed out my frustration in a prayer to God, begging Him for grace through this season... that I would feel His comfort and reclaim His joy... that I would *want* intimacy with Him. Without Him I so quickly become hateful of myself and bitter towards the happiness of others. This song came to my heart like a spark of light and I sat listening to it for a while... crying more...

Draw me close to You
Never let me go
I lay it all down again
To hear You say that I'm Your friend.

You are my desire
No one else will do
Cause nothing else can take Your place
To feel the warmth of Your embrace

Help me find a way
Bring me back to You

You're all I want
You're all I've ever needed
You're all I want
Help me know You are near...

 This song is my prayer... that I would find myself so close to Christ that I need nothing else.

I receive so many comments, both on my blog and through facebook, about how encouraging, comforting, and freeing the honesty on my blog has been...  And if there is one thing this last year has taught me, it is how to be real.  I'm learning that I really don't care if other people don't like me when they see the struggles I face or if they lose faith in me when I reveal my imperfections.

But there's a huge responsibility when you make a promise to yourself and others that you are being honest.  Because it is so easy to end each "difficult" post with some kind of higher thinking or spiritual victory.  Friends, sometimes my victories don't come for days- weeks - at a time.  And sometimes those victories look like actually having enough faith in the day that I rearrange my furniture, clean something, and cook supper... and it's an even bigger triumph when I find myself enjoying it.

Anxiety, depression, etc... they are powerful monsters.  They send me into weeks where I cry every. single. day.
They make me not want to be happy.

I deal with these things, friends.  Sometimes only a little and I can be happy... but sometimes it is nearly debilitating.

A great risk with being honest is it becomes a new kind of "perfection" in the writing world.  And there is also this creeping feeling that I can only share my struggles when I have reached a point of "eternal perspective" on them.

Well, some things I will never understand and there are some things I won't get over.

As I've said many times, I can move forward... I can choose in my heart to find joy.  I can determine to love my life.  But that won't magically take the hurt away or make me healthy.  It is a start, but the start of a long journey that will have ginormous bumps in the road (already has!!).

I have recently committed in my heart to reclaim joy.  It hasn't been easy so far, but I am beginning.  It takes more strength than I have within me... that's why God can be so strong in me.  And maybe that's what people see... at least I hope so.

I'm just a small, hurting, angry girl who doesn't know how to handle pain, emotions, or loss.  The only good I can claim is that I know the One who is greater, higher, and stronger.  Why He loves me, I'll never know... but I'm so glad He does.

See Him, friends.  He is the most beautiful and loving.  He is my ability to write, share, love, and even try to find joy. 
He is real.

"once you are real you can't become unreal again.
it lasts for always."
~ the velveteen rabbit


Katrina Shoemaker said...

Hi Rachel! I have been reading your posts on this blog for a while, and I just want to let you know that this post is by far my favorite. This shows your struggle, journey, and a refocused vision on being real with yourself, other people, and God. I love how you pour out your heart to others who you do not know, and I know that it must be hard to show those painful scars on your heart. And, I want to let you know that during and after those dark times in life, God provides moments of rest, healing, and a restored hope. But, until that day comes, we must persevere and hold on to God, who He is, and how He sees us. Rachel, I pray that God ignites a fire in your heart to love Him in a way you never have before and that you long to be with Him every moment of every day. I pray that God draws close to you and that He will restore you and make you a new and beautiful creation. I pray that God will give you His eyes so that you can see yourself the way God sees you, how He sees your husband, how He sees others, and see His plans for you and your household. May the Lord bless you and draw you near Rachel.


Natasha Atkerson said...

I really do appreciate your honesty on here-it means a lot. You can rest assured that I don't think anyone expects you to wait to share till you've worked it out. Sometimes it's good to just let it out- ya know?
I pray Jesus will return your joy-just remember that joy is different than happiness. Joy is trusting, even when things aren't perfect. Whereas happiness is circumstantial.
In Christ's love,

Anonymous said...

What are some songs that really encourage you?

Lydia W.

Rachel J said...

Lydia~ Many songs encourage me in different ways. :-) Draw Me Close is one of my favorites... also "Be Thou My Vision", "Jesus, Lover of my Soul", "Blessed Be Your Name", "In Christ Alone", etc... I could go on and on.


Hannah said...

Rachel, your honesty helps those of us who have similar struggles realize that it's okay to struggle. It's okay to struggle with the anxiety and the pain and learn step by step to find joy. Thank you for your words--I needed to hear that today. God bless you!