pain and isolation brought the best summer of my life

Wow. The power of choice. I am going to be very transparent here, so here goes.

A while ago, actually years ago now, someone really hurt me. Immediately following, I assumed that I would have the opprtunity to speak with this person and have some closure. during this period of about three months i felt that i desparately needed to get some answers and at least speak to this person. It never happened. he wanted nothing to do with me. i swore i would never be a girl like this: i was so pathetic during these few months. i would watch sad movies (hope floats- in the movie she has everything going for her and finds out her husband has been cheating on her, so she goes back to her hometown and has nothing. she cries and pukes and sleeps. it was like looking in a mirror. sandra bullock and i were very good friends that summer.) my circumstances were this: i had just finished my sophomore year at a college six hours away. none of my friends were anywhere nearby. to compound the situation i had was transfering to a new college for the coming fall. i didn't know the girls i would be living with (except one). there was a #1 country music song on the charts that summer by julie roberts that summed it up exactly for me:

"i'd sure hate to break down here,
with nothing up ahead or in the rearview mirror.
out in the middle of nowhere, nowhere,
i'm in trouble if these wheels stop rolling.
god help me, keep me moving somehow,
don't let me start wishing i was with him now.
i've made this far without crying a single tear,
so i'd sure hate to break down here."

curcumstances took he and i to different cities. i chose to pretend he ceased to exsit. i began to heal. i moved on.

within weeks of being at my new university i met the man i would later marry. he was standing at the end of the driveway i was walking up. my roommates and i had been invited over to some guys' house that i didn't know to watch the iowa v. iowa state game. he was standing outside with a football in his hands. tall. blue eyed. handsome. looking right at me. that afternoon he invited me and my friends to drive out to an outlet mall with him. we accepted. the next day he univited everyone. except for me. that hour long car drive was life changing for me. literally. but that is a segway into another story i will share sometime in another blog. this blog is about something entirely different.

that summer had been amazing for me. i ran everyday. and lost a ton of weight. i learned that running is a great way to purge out anger and hurt and hurt and hurt. i spent hours with God on my front porch swing, reading the bible and praying and journaling and sometimes crying. i have never felt closer to God. i felt God's pleasure with me. i felt broken and humbled and that felt so so so good. it's what everyone fears and i wish i could tell everyone how good it felt to be there, limp in my Father's hand. i so often wish i could recapture that time. life is just so busy now. i knew this guy had not been right for me, it's just that i couldn't stop the pain. even once my mind came to a place of peace, my heart still stung at the thought of him. it had been a two year relationship and i guess that's what happens when you put such an investment in someone.

i can see now that God had to break my hand to get me to let go. this guy was immediately (and actually previously) in a relationship with another girl and therefore that door was slammed shut. i now believe God's hand was in that. i needed to be single when i transfered- i was about to meet the man i was to marry!!! but i hadn't known that yet and i longed for the comfort of this old relationship that was not good for me. plus, i had grown so much in my faith and trust in God that i knew he and i were no longer on the same page. sara groves wrote a song about this:

"i've been painting pictures of egypt
leaving out what it lacked
the future feels so hard
and i want to go back
but the places that used to fit me
cannot hold the things i've learned
and those roads were closed off to me
when my back was turned."

now, this guy did contact me twice, i believe. but by then i was dating my husband and i had no desire nor a soft enough heart to deal with it. i don't even remember what he said nor what i said in responce.

and then, one week after my wedding he wrote me. it was only a few sentances long but it included these phrases, "do you ever think of me?" and "oh well, it's too late now, he has won and i have lost." i was livid and crushed. i didn't respond because what could i say?!!! all i kept thinking was, 'there was a time when i wanted nothing more then to here that you thought of me or missed me. and now, after my wedding you taunt me?!!!!!!!!' i was so in love with my husband and for that guy to have the audasity to write me with those words.... now, years have gone by.

a few days ago i was given a choice.
he contacted me. this was a choice i had wanted for a very long time. the chance to tell him how much he hurt me. but as i though about it, i realized i was no longer angry and that i had, in fact, forgiven him. i thought about telling him that. but instead, beyond all of belief, i decided i had nothing to say to him at all. not in a mean way. i just had nothing to say. i am happy now. i've been married for three years and have beautiful baby girl.
but what power came with that choice. it gave me the chance to be free from any last remnant of hurt left in me.

he is a part of my history.

did you know?

india's case system was so complicated and confusing that in the 1930's the British discovered a new caste they had never encountered in their 3 centuries of presence there; assigned the role of washing clothes for the untouchables, these poor creatures believed they would contaminate others by sight, so they emerged only at night and avoided all contact with other people.
( paraphrased from phillip yancey's "what's so amazing about grace?")

"...every trace of him seems to have vanished..."

"i waited for you today
but you didn't show.
i needed you today.
so where did you go?
you told me to call
said you'd be there
and though i haven't seen you
are you still there?

i cry out will no reply and
i can't feel you by my side
so i'll hold tight to what i know
you're here
and i'm never alone.

we cannot separate
cause you're part of me
and though i haven't see you i'll
trust the unseen"
-'never alone" by barlow girl

"to love involves trusting the beloved beyond the evidence, sometimes even against much evidence." - c.s. lewis

the screwtape letters is a book written by my FAVORITE author, c.s. lewis. it is a fictional book about a demon teaching a young demon how to incapacitate the christian man he has been assigned to. the following is a sample letter 'uncle screwtape' has written to his nephew.

"you must have often wondered why the enemy (God) does not make more use of his power to sensibly present himself to human souls in any degree he chooses and at any moment. But you now see that the irresistable and the indisputable are the two weapons which the very nature of his sceme forbids him to use. merely to over-ride a human will (as his felt presense in any but the faintest and most mitigated degree would certainly do) would be for him useless. he cannot ravish. he can only woo. for his ignoble idea is to eat the cake and have it; the creatues are to be one with him, but yet themselves; merely to cancel them, or assimulate them, will not serve... sooner or later he withdraws, if not in fact, at least from their conscience experience, all supports and incentives. he leaves the creature to stand up on it's own legs- to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish... he cannot tempt to virtue as we do with vice. he wants them to learn to walk and therefore must take away his hand... our cause is never so in danger then when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our enemy's will, looks round upon the universe, from which every trace of him seems to have vanished, asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."

(God made us and gave us everything we need. He marked out our appointed times in history and even where we would live...) "God did this so that we would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not very far from any one of us. for in him we live and move and have our being." acts 17:24-26 paraphrase, 27-28 verbatim.

"he would not enslave man by a miracle." -ivan karamazov

he cannot ravish. he can only woo.
i cumble. i cling to hope.

more thoughts on trying to be something you're not

(see previous post, "public nudity and trying to be cool").

"what happens, is our lives become so heavily oriented around the expectations of others that we become more and more like them, and less and less like ourselves...... i am not defined by what i am not." -rob bell

"your job is the relentless pursuit of who God has made you to be. anything else is sin and you need to repent of it." -rob bell's counselor

i just watched the movie "pleasantville". part of me always feels offened by this movie. but part of me agrees with this movie. the movie seems to portray the pre-fall days on earth as being innocent in dumb, boring, foolish way. and 'sin' entering the world made it risky, and fun, and fulfilling. there is so much symbolism in this movie; wrong and right, predjudice, discrimation, sex, love, extra-martial affairs. it's both confusing and thought provoking. the movie ends with the idea that you need to let out whatever it is that is inside of you.

hmm. i guess the problem with that is every single person on this earth can admit to doing at least one thing wrong- one thing that they regret. why? because it was inside of them. they thought it, if even for a second, it came into their mind and they did it. and there were negative consequences. i think that we can come to the conclusion then that not everything inside of us is always good. we need a filter of some kind.

so, we know or feel or dream that there is something in us that is not coming out, at least not all the way. something that others may misunderstand about us or that we just can't express. and maybe we can't express it because we don't really know what 'it' is. i guess that i think that what is inside of us really should come out, just as this movie indicates. but i also think that what is inside of us is being held hostage by something else. something bad. i think that maybe we confuse the kidnapper for the hostage. if inside you want to have an affair and think you are in love with someone who is not your spouce, to act on that would not be letting your true self out, it would be letting the 'kidnapper' out, with the real you still held hostage inside. the real you that still wants to be let out wants not that other person nesessarily, but is desiring the idea that that other person could bring them true, totally satisfying, uncondidional, exciting love. needs that their marriage is not meeting, nor could could ever meet completely.

this makes a good case for asking the question, 'how do i get my true self out?' i think the answer lies in asking the one who made us in the first place. who better would know? as i have stated in previous blogs, we fear God so much that we make conclusions about Him that are false. we think that how He made was done in an assembly line fashion, stuffed into a mold and then popped into an oven. it's so not true. but we have to go to Him to find that out. we often would rather go on in what we are doing, even if we are not truely happy because it is safe and predictable. but do we want to be predictably unhappy? w.h. auden said, "we would rather be ruined then changed." maybe this is why jesus says, blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, blessed are those who are persecuted. blessed? maybe they are lucky (modern translation) because they have nothing to loose. they are already empty. nothing can make their situation worse. so they have nothing to loose by going to God for His help. anything, anything they could recieive from Him would be a gift. a gift, not a sacrifice as it would be for so many of us whose lives have been relatively comfortable and pain-free. we only fear God would make our lives worse. they can only hope for things to get better.

how do i get my true self out? how do i liberate my hostage dreams for myself? maybe the answer is to go to Him. to go to Him and be empty enough of the fear that holds us hostage that we can hear Him. it takes some bravery. maybe the kidnapper is fear. fear that we will never find what we are looking for. fear so that we must frantically search and grope for what we need. fear that there is not enough to go around and we must push everone else out of the way. fear that we have already missed our chance.

it's not true. there isn't only "so much to go around".
the Jesus said, "I am the bread of life. whoever comes to me will never go hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." john 6:35
either thats true or it's not.
the best way to find out is to ask.
Jesus did say, "ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find." matthew 7:7

o k . i can't help it. i have to add this poem to my blog.

this is about a long infected marriage.


Perception paired with vengence
is, perhaps, the most sharp sword
skilled to cut out of the tinest places
cancer, lies, hope,
or just,
tender flesh.
And wisdom
paired with unrecognized
emotional devestation
is breeding ground for sick power trips,
master-manipulation, and subtle evils.
articulation paired with hardness of heart
is possibly worst of all,
for words have the smallest hands,
and all hearts have secret doors.

bad habits/addictions/laziness/weaknesses

I occassionly make single servings of cookie dought just to eat.
I don't wash my kitchen floor nearly as often as I should.
I sometimes accidentally zone out when my husband is talking to me and tune back in just in time to catch him saying, "so what do you think?" (this so bad. I think I seriously may have a mental problem.)
I wear my disposable contacts way longer then I should.
I am terribly afraid of hurting people's feelings so I often don't speak up or give my real opinion.
I am still totally in love with my high school. go Indians! and I haven't been back there in over six years.
I sometimes cut my own hair. and highlight it. not good.
I curl my eyelashes after I have put mascara on. (they say you are not supposed to do that.)
I (we) let our dog sleep with us. under the covers. with her head up on the pillows.
I totally procrastinate paying my bills.
I am addicted to facebook.
I forget to return calls. often.
I buy vintage furniture palnning on reupostlering them and never do.
I am addicted to buying chairs from goodwill, flea markets, antique stores, etc. and our house is really tiny.
I rarely make my bed.
I like Bon Jovi.

labor labor labor day weekend

Let me tell you...
hit the road to go to cedar rapids.
flat tire, no- exploded tire just outside of grinnell.
put on donut
drive backwards down the on-ramp
baby not yet back yet in her carseat.
walk around and around hy-vee and theison's.
two hours and four new tires
back on the road.
baby sleeps.
get to cedar rapids
let baby walk around for a bit
caravan with rest of family down to st. louis.
husband follows dad.
husband get pulled over and a $102 ticket.
dad gets nothing.
stop to eat.
go to a park to let baby walk/stretch/play.
husband walks in on two people about to do it in the park restroom.
guy pulls the girls bra out of the tree and they walk away. weird.
husband completely clogs park restroom. and leaves it like that.
can't find hotel.
call hotel.
follow their directions.
get lost.
call hotel back.
oops. sorry. we told you the wrong way.
arrive at hotel at approx. 11:00.
goal was to arrive around 5:00.
my brother's bed has no blankets.
the hotel is out of cribs.
husband goes back out to find a wal-mart to buy a pac-n-play.
dad has frozen mom's water
it explodes all over the hotel room when he tries to open it for her.
husband returns with a pac-n-play.
and no sheets for it.
wrap a hotel sheet around the mat.
room services brings blankets for my brother.
everyone turns out the lights.
11:30. baby won't sleep.
turn on light.
play with baby.
12:00. baby gets sleepy.
rock baby.
and rock baby.
and rock baby.
lay baby down.
baby screams.
rock baby.
1:00. lay baby down.
get in bed.
baby screams.
ask husband to rock baby this time.
husband gets mad.
baby is mad.
mommy is mad. and about to cry.
husband rocks baby.
gets back in bed.
baby screams.
rock baby.
try laying baby inbetween us.
baby screams.
rock baby.
sit down to rock baby.
baby screams.
rock baby and silently count backwards from 500.
that works.
2:00. lay baby down.
don't move.
don't breathe.
get in bed.
baby screams.
its 5:30.
rock baby.
lay down.
baby screams.
it's 6:30.
time to start the day!
husband takes baby.
sleep for an hour.
now everyone's late.
did dad forget to mention the reunion is outside?
get a phone call.
husband's grandma died.
whole family showers, repacks, and gets back in the car.
mc donalds drive thru.
fruit and yogurt parfait.
not enough.
oh well.
drive drive drive
wait for the ferry.
spill wjole cup of jelly bellies on the ground.
get on the ferry.
float across the river.
get off ferry.
drive drive drive.
go too far.
turn around.
ask a park ranger for directions.
get to family reunion.
they waited for us.
we're not late.
sing hymns. not kidding.
go to restaurant to eat with extended family.
they've already been seated.
and are eating.
put our name on the list.
wait wait wait.
clip toenails out on the veranda. seriously.
name is called.
are seated.
restaurant is half empty.
still no waiter.
wait wait wait
wait for the waiter.
feed hungry baby jelly packets on the table.
finally order our drinks.
wait wait.
order our food.
wait wait wait.
baby's sandwhich comes- HUGE.
daddy's meal comes- tiny.
switch meals.
mine wasn't that bad.
finish lunch.
baby's mad.
needs a nap.
but doesn't want to get back in car.
change baby's diaper in parking lot.
g e t i n t h e c a r a g a i n.
drive drive drive
all over again.
brakes start to squeel and not work quite right.
two hours
baby wakes up.
stop at a park for baby to walk/stretch/play.
too hot. no shade.
get back in car.
go to burger king.
eat gross food.
baby too little to play in 'play area' with other kids.
get back in car.
baby's mad.
stop at the next town.
go to wal-mart.
let baby walk, look at toys, books, flirt with sales people, do a little shopping.
change baby's diaper in the parking lot.
get back in the car.
baby sleeps.
drive drive drive
d r i v e
dig thru suitcase in backseat.
change into pj's in front seat.
take out contacts, put on glasses.
get back home at approx. 10:30.

sleep sleep sleep.