I’m not one to publicly complain or let others in on my troubles. I figure the world has enough problems, big and small, and my job is to make the world a better place… even if that means just keeping my mouth shut.
But a few times, I’ve seen this linky badge on Jenn’s blog and I’ve read what other people have to contribute. I admit, I admire having a Sanctuary of Sorts where fellow bloggers can go and expose their real self as opposed to the sometimes somewhat reserved public persona we display in our writings.
Granted, our blogs are mostly authentic. We wouldn’t be successful if they weren’t. But there’s still a part of me, a very private part of me, that I rarely let out.
But it’s been one of those weeks where I’ve avoided my Friends. We all have them: those people who can look us in the eye and we absolutely can’t ignore or lie to when they ask, “How are you doing?”
That’s not the Joey Tribbiani smooth chant, “How you doin’?”
I’m talking about the get-real, get-deep, and get-honest, “How are you doing?”
There’s only so many times I can hide, or recount my woes, without feeling sorry for myself.
And that’s not what I’m trying to do here. I’m not striving for attention. I’m also not trying to put on a brave face and act like everything’s ok. I’m not broken or shaken to my core. I’m just somewhere in between.
That’s it! That’s exactly where I am:
I’m in limbo.
And it sucks.
I know God loves me intimately. He has taken care of my family in ways I can’t even explain. He is faithful in keeping all the promises He has made to and for me.
And I feel really selfish and guilty for putting this out there… but sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough.
Sometimes, I want more. Sometimes, I get jealous. And angry. And upset. And I cry. I cry a lot. I wish I wasn’t a crier, but I am. And that, too, sucks. Because it’s utterly embarrassing to be in the store and walk away from something with tears and a tight throat because I have to decide between an extra gallon of milk or a bag of popcorn kernels.
People I know have jobs, have relationships, have dates, have money to do things. Is it too much to ask for some jaw-dropping, never-thought-it-could-happen-to-me joy? What’s wrong with me, that everyone else is getting what I want?! Okay, not everyone-everyone. Just… everyone. At least the majority. Maybe three out of five.
Is it really all that wrong to want to be noticed and appreciated? To be able to do for my family what other Heads of Households get to do for theirs? Is there any time, any time, in the near or even distant future when I can actually have a savings account worth anything?
I’m so tired of planning out every drive around places we have to go; and how to get the most mileage around town. I can’t see you today, because visiting a friend just isn’t on my route. It stinks!
I’m a writer. It’s what I do. But writing doesn’t pay the bills… yet. And I can’t find a day job that will. I’m great in interviews. But the job offers themselves just aren’t around. Because I’m unemployed, people take that to mean I’m unemployable. How is the economy at large, the lack of business income, my fault?! How is the fact that my previous employer didn’t know how to manage the business and balance the books and sign new contracts my fault?!
And why can’t I write for a living?! Why does being a successful, marketable writer mean having a publisher, which you can’t get unless you have an agent, which you can’t get unless you’re marketable, which you can’t be unless you’re already being marketed, which you can’t be unless someone takes a chance, which they won’t because you haven’t proven yourself, which you can’t do because…
Why can’t I catch a break?!
I’m tired of waiting for the rest of the world to know what I’ve already learned! That life is worth taking chances. That life is good. That fundamentally, we’re all going to be okay, even if right now we don’t know what the definition of “okay” is!
And then, of course, I vent and get embarrassed that I even felt this way to begin with. Because ultimately, I am okay. I will continue to be okay.
But now and then, I wonder if God has forgotten about me because I’m not the squeaky wheel. If I throw a tantrum, will He notice and take care of me? If I cry harder, will He comfort me? Why are prayers being answered for other people and not me?
I asked Him that the other day. To which He replied, “You never really asked.” Ouch. Ouch. Ouch! But He’s right. I talk about God an awful lot, and sometimes to Him, but I’ve lost the ability to talk with Him.
I’m a failure. I don’t deserve the things I want. I mean, really. How much effort am I putting into achieving my goals? I thought I was trying, even striving. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m doing it wrong.
Maybe I’m just a failure.
But, no. That can’t be it. Because I’ve accomplished some pretty neat things lately like writing, publishing, and selling a Cookbook. I make ends meet each month. Barely, but they do meet.
Gah. I’ve even failed at being a failure.
So this is me. Confessing that I am guilty of using God as a safety net. Of throwing emotional tantrums like I’m four instead of 44. I tell Him what’s wrong with my life, but I don’t give Him the chance to help me fix anything. I talk to Him, muttering, but lately haven’t gone to Him in prayer. Not real, deep, involved, here’s-what’s-happening prayer. I’ve successfully ignored Him and blamed His absence on everything but my own pushing Him away.
I never thought I would be one of those people! And He means so much more to me than that. I know I mean so much more to Him!
And now I’m really embarrassed. And ashamed.
Never mind, God. I know you’re still in control. Still here with your arms around me. Still here, taking care of me and family in ways I’m not even aware of.
You haven’t forgotten me.
And I’m so sorry I forgot about you. Even just for a little while.
Forgive me, Lord.
“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord.
“Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you.
Plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11, NIV.
I’m gonna be okay, God. I’m gonna be okay, because you’re God, and I’m not. And even if I don’t know what Your definition of “okay” is, I still know I will be. Because You are God.
And I am not.
And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!