Friday, November 23, 2012

A Confession

 Alright this has been weighing on me for a while, and I've been putting it off.   So, here it is finally, 'twill be done and no need to be bothered by it anymore. :) 

 You all may think of me as the kind that has to be in the middle of everything. And you're right.  But I'm also a watcher.  

 I love to take part in everything that goes on.  Mostly when there is lots of fun. ;)   I love people, and want to be there for them.  Be it goofing off, having deep discussions, or trying to help them through hard times or trials. 

 But, I have always felt that I don't fit anywhere.  So, in trying to fit I get in on everything: debates, joking, teasing, discussions, you name it.  Then when I don't seem to fit in, I get to feeling less than acceptable, and so pull out and don't hardly take part in anything.  So yes, I'm weird.  Always have been. ;) 

 I've always had a need to be with people. One that I'm trying to overcome. (haha)  So in trying to fill that need, I tend to over burden all you dear people. :P Terribly sorry about that. 

 I get in on all the fun, and the debates, or whatever... but I seem to be looking on from the outside.  It's like everyone else is having fun, and I'm looking on.  I don't fit. 

 It always seems I'm looking on. 

 When others are having fun, I'm looking on laughing.  Or else getting involved and spoiling the fun for others. 
 When others are debating, I look on in amazement.  Or else take part, and spout my ignorance. 
 When others are hurting, I look on and ache to be of help.  Or else try to help, and just make things worse. 

 Lately I've struggled with seeing others having fun.... and I don't fit. 
 Struggling with others being so smart.... and I don't fit. 
 Others are hurting.... and I want to help.  But I have my own hurts that need dealing with. 

 For most of my life I tried to just fit in, or make others fit in with me.  That didn't work. 

 The last few years I've realized how selfish I've been... and in trying to fix it, I've just made bigger messes. 

 I've been hurt because of my own ignorance and recklessness.  It's been my own fault.  For a few years I've just focused on that.   Focused on my own shortcomings so much, that now I have trouble accepting who I am in Christ. 

 My focus has been wrong.  And God has been dealing with me on that lately.

 The last three years I started to see the hurt around me, and got the idea that if I could help others maybe I couldn't get in anymore trouble myself....   So I internalized my own hurts, and thought I had gotten over them.   I thought if I internalized them, and just never let them out... they'd go away.  HA!  They just got worse. 

 I've been internalizing my own hurts, and giving, giving, giving.  I feel so selfish if I'm not giving.  

 Now I'm an onlooker in life.  I see fun, but don't seem to fit in.  I see "fights" but can't seem to take part anymore.  I see hurt, but don't know how to help.  I have my own hurt... and can't do a thing about it. 

 I see others enjoying themselves... and I sit back and laugh until it hurts; not because of the laughing... but because I don't fit.  
 I see others debating, and I sit back in awe... until I start to feel guilty for not helping... or else making a mess of it. 
 I see others hurting... and my heart aches because I can't do a thing about it.  And I want to. 

 I see others together with those they love.... and I sit back in the shadows with all my dreams staring me in the face... all those dreams I thought I had given up... 
 When the one you love, loves someone else... what do you do?   How to deal with it?   How do you help them, without them knowing what you're feeling?   How do you know about them being with another... and know how to deal with it? 

 When all your dreams are shattered right before your eyes.  When there is so much uncertainty and heartache... how do you deal with it? how do you help them... when you, yourself need help?   When the only ones you can turn to are too busy... then what?   When the one you love the best  is giving the love you always wanted, to another... then what? 

 When all your dearest friends either move away, or get busy... who do you turn to? 

 I'm always open to new friends... always.  But at times one misses the old friends... 

 So when you, yourself are open and bleeding inside... how do you hide it?  How do you help others when you don't know how?  How do you give to others when you have nothing left to give?  

 I know, I haven't been hiding it well. I don't know how to.  
 I tend to think that everyone knows everything about me, so I go off that assumption and allow things to hurt me that were never meant to be hurtful. 
 But along with that, I go on as if nobody knows any of it.  And so come across as self confident and stuck up. :P   When "self confident" is the farthest thing from my mind. And I'm always straining every nerve not to be stuck up. (which - thus far - has been a failure.) :} 

 I've internalized for so long... I honestly have been afraid to let it out.  I don't know how to let it out.  And to who?  Who is it appropriate to open up to?  Is it right to open up?  Isn't it selfish? 

 I've been telling some of you not to hold it in. Don't internalize.  It's so damaging... believe me. I know.   I've been telling you no problem is too small to take to God, and to talk to others about.   I've been telling you that you are worth it, and no matter how "small" the problem, it's legitimate and needs to be dealt with....

 And I believe that.   I would never tell you something I don't believe.   I could even give chapter and verse for a lot of what I say.... but when it comes to me... I have trouble applying it. 

 I tell you you're accepted by God.  I tell you that when your friends walk away, it's not what you did... it's them that's missing out.  The problem is with them... and I believe that. 

 But for me, I have this thing in the back of my mind, that I'm somehow subhuman.  That I'm not worth it.  That I'm the problem.  That I'm not enough.  That I didn't do enough.   
 All those things I've told you... I can't believe for myself.   Thanks to a "brother" (you know who you are... {see, I didn't use your name ;D} haha) I've been seeing just how wrong that is. 

 In all of this, I've been telling you all to bring your struggles to Him. The Almighty God.   ...But when it's me... I feel I'm not good enough.  My problems aren't worth His time. I'm not worth Him messing with. 

 I pray for most of you daily.  Certain ones of you I do pray for daily.   But me... I had't prayed for me since... I can't remember when. 

 I've been learning through my trials, yes.  God has been revealing Himself to me more, yes... but not to the level He could... because I've put up a wall. 

 I've put up a wall... not just one, many.   Some people I let past the first wall, and no further.  Others I'll let a little further in... but there is still reserve.  There's only one dear "sister" that I've let in most all the way... but even with her, I haven't let her all the way in; because I've been afraid of what people would say if they knew all about me. 

 All of my life, I've struggled with the way I look.  How all you girls around me are so pretty. You're all "raving beauties" in one way or another.  I'm not.  I never have been pretty... "homely" might be too pretty to describe me. :P 

 All my life I've struggled with my weight.  How I've always been "huge" instead of a toothpick and all, like other girls.    I've been called "fat" so many times that I've lost count. (and yes, I was counting for a while :P)  I've laughed it off every time... but inside it cut to the quick.   I can't do a thing about my weight.   For five years I was mowing lawns in the neighborhood.  I was riding my bike two miles to the store and back, every chance I got.   I walked all over town, and did as much bike riding as I could.    The weight is not a lack of exercise by any stretch. 
 I never ran much, because of the over weight "jiggle" that was/is terribly embarrassing;  and because I have asthma, and can't breath after running for only a few yards. 

 I have lost a bit of weight recently. The asthma is getting better. I can run a fair distance now... but I'm still far from normal. 

 For years I've laughed off the insults because, fat people are always portrayed as being wimps, and weepy.  So, when you're fat you don't cry under any circumstances. Ever. 

 When I was little I earned the nick name "Happy Hallie" because I was always laughing.  Well when I got fat, and quit being cute, and couldn't do things the same anymore, and got hurt a lot; I couldn't suddenly change and be serious all the time.    I'm still a bit crazy and all ;)  But certainly not the "Happy Hallie" I once was.  So up until now, I've laughed things off outwardly, and internalized the hurt. 

 I've always felt shut out... so my solution was to force my way in.  That's wrong. 

 Two years ago, I had the opportunity to be going to a doctor regularly concerning certain health issues.  Not that I like going to doctors... bah. >.<  But because we wanted to see if anything could be done about these issues. 

 One day we had an appointment; a few days before, one of my dreams - which I had finally "given up" - was crushed.  Yes, I had given it up... but it still hurt.  Then we had the appointment, and the doctor half told me that another of my dreams would probably never be... that crushed me flat.  It still hurts. Some days I can't deal with it.  It's one dream that I've always had, and is important to me...  and that dream is... gone. 
 Later that day I saw a friend, that I love dearly.  And I saw my dreams there, crushed. 

 In one weeks time, my whole future was crushed.  There was nothing left of it... and still, there doesn't seem to be anything left of it. 

 But you know... God is still there.   

 When I've fallen short, when I've run out of things to give. When my dreams have been crushed.  God is still there. 

 He does care about me.  I do matter to Him...  No, I'm not worthy His love... but that's not the point.  I don't have to be good enough for God.  It's like Mike Warnke said "do you have to clean up to take a bath?"   I have to be willing for Him to do His will.  And He will make me good enough. 

 A few months ago, a very dear friend told me that I was good enough... but I couldn't bring myself to believe him.  Not only was that dishonoring to him, and saying he was a liar - which he is not! I don't know anyone more truthful, or more honorable. - but it was also dishonoring to God.  It was calling Him a liar!    How wrong of me!

 The last few months, I have started to really pray about my own troubles and struggles.  And God has been helping me. :)   And since He's been helping me, I've been better able to help others of you. :)  

 Tho' I still feel that I'm not doing enough.  I still feel I don't know enough, I don't understand enough.   But that's not what matters.    The other day I was really down.  I actually prayed for strength to get through it, and asked God's forgiveness for not doing/being enough.  And He seemed to whisper to my heart "It is enough. You're doing it in My name, you're doing it for Me. It is enough"  And you know. That whisper, was enough to make me keep pushing. :) 

 Recently some of you have said things like "thanks for being a friend" - "I trust you" - "you always know just what to say. That really helped" - or even when I say "what's up?" and the answer comes back - "oh, nothing... got a minute?"  it's those times that makes my heart sing. It's those times that make it worth while. It's those times life is worth living.   So, those of you who have said that (you know who you are) Thanks! :D 

                                                                It Will Be Worth It All

                           Oft times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear,
We're tempted to complain, to murmur and despair;
But Christ will soon appear to catch His Bride away,
All tears forever over in God's eternal day.

 Sometimes the sky looks dark with not a ray of light,
We're tossed and driven on , no human help in sight;
But there is one in heav'n who knows our deepest care,
Let Jesus solve your problem - just go to Him in pray'r.

 Life's day will soon be o'er, all storms forever past,
We'll cross the great divide, to glory, safe at last;
We'll share the joys of heav'n - a harp, a home, a crown,
The tempter will be banished, we'll lay our burden down.

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life's trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

 Serving Christ is always worth it. :D  

 So yes, at times I get discouraged, and my spirits are low... but I have Christ walking with me. 

 I may not have much of a future to look forward to... but I have Christ! That's the best future anyone could ask for. 
 I may not know what the future holds... but I know who holds the future.  :)

 No, my trials are nothing compared to others... but they seem more than I can bear at times.  That's okay. Because God helps me carry the load, and He walks with me all the way.  Just as I've said He will for you.... He will for me. :)  

 I don't have to live in a dream world anymore because I can't deal with reality... I don't have to "deal with reality" I can give it to Christ, and He'll take care of it for me.  

 But giving it to Christ is a daily thing.  And while it removes the load, and I shouldn't be bothering with it anymore... that doesn't cut out responsibility.    I'm still learning from it. I'm still having to choose to serve Christ daily. I'm still having to give Him my all. Without reserve. 

 So, there you have it.  Now you know why I bug the lot of you until you just can't stand the sight of me, and then suddenly drop off, and you don't hear much of me for a while. :P haha.  Sorry about that.  Moderation is not part of my character, and is something I need to work on.  But, by God's grace I will conquer. :)

 In all of this I want more than anything, for others to see Christ in me. To see Christ through me.... and I must say, I have not done Him justice. I have not served Him with my all.  And therefore have given mixed messages on many things.   I'm terribly sorry.  That's my faulty human nature coming through. :P 

 And after all of that, if anyone has bothered to read this far down... haha  Thanks. :) 

 After all the blessings God has given, I have no room to complain. :) 

                    To God be the glory!  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

There's More...

 Alright... I have this need to write a new post... but am not sure what about. So, we shall see what this all comes to by the end of it ;)

 God has been working on me the last couple weeks, and it's been amazing... yet hard at the same time.

 My feelings have been such a jumble... most days are just hard, and I can't sort things out, and I feel like crying all day.  But other days, I don't feel anything. It's like the emotions have been shut off, and there's absolutely nothing.... nothing. It's weird. To say the least.

 The last few days I've been trying really hard to focus on my feelings, and sort them out... make sense of them... then I remember I'm a girl, and it's hopeless ;) haha
 Okay, back to being serious...

 In trying to sort out my feelings, I realize, there is no making sense of them.  And then God says "that's because your focus is wrong... you're focusing on how you feel, instead of Me"  Wow.  I've been slighting God all week, without realizing it.

 How often have I unconsciously turned away from the lessons God is trying to teach, just because I'm trying to figure out what's wrong?  Far too much.  
 There shouldn't be any trying to figure out what's wrong... there should only be drawing nearer to Christ; and letting Him sort it out.

 There's no being "tough" and just "dealing with it"; I've tried that.  There comes a breaking point...

 We can never know what's ahead for us; we can never sort out our feelings; we can never just deal with it.  It's not humanly possible.  It has to be God.  He's the only one who knows what's going on. He's the only one that knows exactly what we're going through.

 We can be caught in a tangled web of problems, with all kinds of other people mixed in there... and it's hard, it's confusing.   But God knows... even when nobody else does... He knows.  And He has it well in hand. :)

 When no one else sees the hurt, no one else knows the intensity of it... God knows.

 I tend to think nobody can make sense of my problems.  And I act like it.   But God does know. He does care. He is dealing with it.  And it will all work out for the best in the end.

 Some days I'm afraid of the "end" of it all... because of all the ways it could end... and how it's more likely to end in a way that will hurt worse than it does now.

 In short; I'm afraid of the future.  But how wrong of me, to fear such a thing.   I don't need to fear what the future holds... because I know who holds the future.   Shouldn't that be enough?
 I mean, goodness! He spoke, and the universe came into existence!  He squished some dirt together and made man... how then can I doubt His power in this?

 This problem is so small, compared to Him!  Yes it effects my future... but how?  How am I going to allow it to effect me?

 It's so easy to get all dejected, and feel sorry for yourself... but what would happen if we turned to Christ, and turned it over to Him, and left it there?

 In a former post, I went on about learning complete surrender.  Learning it, and practicing it are two different things. :P

 I finally learned to give it all to Him... and leave it there.  And oh how wonderful it's been!

 But it doesn't end there.  It has to be given, and left... daily.  

 I tend to "give" it over to Christ... and then take it back the next day.  I get worried, and start to doubt Him; and I take it back.    This only hinders the work He is doing.    Yes, if God starts a work, it will be finished... but are we standing in the way of it's completion?

 It's like a little child, they get a sliver, and want you to remove it for them.  They agree to hold still, and let you get it out.   But once the needle comes out... they suddenly change their minds.

 Aren't we that way with God?  Yes, we get the sliver out... but it takes longer, because they keep taking their finger back.   Yes, God completes the work... but it takes longer, because we don't like the pain that goes with it.

 I've finally come to the place where I can sing this verse, and mean it...

 Let sorrow do it's work,
 Send grief and pain.
 Sweet are Thy messengers,
 Sweet their refrain; 
 When they can sing with me,
 More love, oh Christ to Thee.
 More love to Thee. More love to Thee.

 It's a tough place to come to... but once you're there, there's a peace that passes understanding.

 God never promised a smooth road.... but He did promise to walk it with us.  Even more than that, He carries us for most of it. :)

 What an amazing, awesome God we serve. :D

         In the service of my Father

P.S. Sorry about it being a bit rambling, and not well put together.  I'm extremely tired, but it seemed this needed to be written yet tonight.  Please excuse the run on sentences. :}

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ice Skating

 Several years ago..... maybe 12?  We went ice skating with some close friends. 

 Went up in the hills to this little pond, and while the adults mostly sat to the side of the pond, drank hot something (not sure what) we "kids" (a few of them were already grown up) were skating. :) 

 The guys all got a game of ice hockey going... which was fun to watch, because they didn't have real hockey sticks.  They used broom handles, tree limbs, whatever they could get a hold of. :)
 While the guys had their wild hockey game going, we girls were calmly, gracefully, falling all over the place ;) haha

 I was very unsteady on my skates, and kept crashing into the guys as they went by... and kind of annoyed them, because it was a set back in their game. ;P

 One of the games we 3 girls were doing, was to hold hands and do the "crack the whip"... which I would not advise for first time skaters.. ;) haha 

 I was in the middle, and lost my balance.  So, down we all went... and cracked the ice. O.o 
 The guys, on the other end of the pond, payed no attention to us, and things were going well. 

 Then, we girls, tiring of our falling, and failed attempts at games on the ice; went on a "tour" around the edge of the pond.  

 As the girls skated on ahead of me, I noticed some cattails growing in the reeds at the far end of the pond, that we were picking our way through. 

 Now.... I love cattails!  They are the most fun! :D  So.... I picked one.... first mistake ;) haha

 Now, being somewhere between 7 and 8, I wasn't thinking about the consequences... nor was I thinking about the guys and their wild game...  and I pulled one... just one little piece of fluff.........

 It is amazing how tightly packed those things are..... and how far they will spread when one is removed.....

 I swear that fluff covered a ten foot circle of ice........

 And, as is normal for me... at that moment, the puck for the hockey game came scooting in among the reeds... with the guys, going full speed after it......

 Now, when the skates are gliding nicely on the ice, they don't take kindly to fluff coming between them and the ice... 

 It was rather interesting to see the far spreading effects of that small lack of intelligence...
 One moment, there were 4 guys with their sticks, bent on catching the puck.... the next; several sticks flying through the air, 2 of the guys sliding through the reeds, and the other 2 tripping, and trying to catch their balance....

 If ever I was in trouble with those guys.... it was then.  Haha
 They were far from happy. ;) 

 Only one of them seemed to think it was funny.... but that was after several minutes. ;) 

 After that, I was no longer allowed on that part of the pond. And certainly nowhere near the cattails ;) 

 It was definitely memorable. :D  And one of my favorite memories from being little. :)   Fun was simple, and cheap (if you were the one who caused it) ;)  And we had lot's of it. :D