Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My How Time Flies

I have sciatic nerve pain radiating down my leg and I am so tired I could cry and the cereal I just ate to help my vitamin go down may or may not come back up, but I HAVE to take even just five minutes to document this night.

Tonight started the baseball season for us. Landon hasn't played since Kindergarten and this is Noah's first year. They both had their first practice at different fields and an hour apart...and Jonathan came home with a migraine. So that meant dinner was done by 5:15 and the next 4 hours were spent driving back and forth to the fields and home, dropping kids at intervals. It was great fun. But here is the part that I have to get down into writing...in case I forget, and how easy it is to forget.

Noah's t-ball practice is at the same field that Landon played at when he was in Kindergarten. It was like deja vu going back. Watching Noah play in the dirt and miss the fielders, watching the little boys swing mercilessly at the t, missing almost every time. But the real kicker was when I took Everett to the play ground at the field. You see, three years ago, Landon was in Kindergarten and Noah was not quite 3 years old and playing on that same playground. And Everett was a gleam in my eye, albeit soon to be growing in my belly. As I watched Everett climb the dragon shaped stairs and sit at the top of the slide I kept having flashbacks to Noah doing the same thing. As I watched Noah running and playing on the field...I kept flashing back to my white blond haired 6 year old Landon doing the same thing. And it hit me. Just how fast the time has gone. How much growing up these boys have done. How they have switched places in the blink of an eye.

And then I went to Landon's third grade team practice...the one with the fast paced pitching machine. And I watched as the boys took athletic stances and nice strides into the ball when batting. How tall and old my boy looked out there on the field. And I knew in an instant, that I will blink and it will be my red haired, freckle faced Noey out there on the 3rd grade field. It happens so fast.

As I walked back to my car I couldn't help but breathe in the air and flash back to my days on the field. And how they felt like yesterday. How the sound of the bat against the ball made me automatically want to reach for the ball. It went so fast. Its been 14 years since I was a senior in high school.

And that is when I decided I had to write this down. Because SO often I want to rush my children out of a "difficult" stage. I yearn for more freedom and independence. When the days wear long and the kids are sick, or Everett won't eat, or Noah gets over tired...I see myself just wishing the day to end. But tonight I was reminded of how fast all of these days turn into weeks, and literally in what feels like the blink of an eye...years. How kids change places and grow up while we watch unaware because we are so stuck in the day to day. I don't want to forget. I don't want to wish them grown. The white blond haired Kindergartner turned into my tall, loving, wonderful almost 10 year old overnight. And the red haired, pudgy almost three year old...he turned into my tall, slender mischievous joy boy who can read and do math problems at the speed of light. And that gleam in my eye...he talks and climbs stairs and goes down the slide all by himself straight into my arms and laughs all the way. So much before them. So much behind them. I was reminded tonight...just how fast it goes. And I needed that reminder because the day to day can be wearing. But its the day to day that makes up the living...our life...our memories...and they change in the blink of an eye.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Silenced

I like to write. A lot. It helps me to sort out what I feel inside. And I feel a lot. Too much. I sometimes wish I was one of those people who could just go about life without the inside turmoil that I often feel. But then I wouldn't be me. Which doesn't seem so bad sometimes, depending on how I feel inside. ;-)

But I feel silenced as of late. For awhile I guess. Something happened (obviously) last summer and nothing has been right since. I can't discuss the details of what happened, nor am I ready if I could. For months, I couldn't blog. I had to actually lock my blog as it was an access point for this person. So until I got everything switched over to here and made this blog as anonymous as I could (no personal name, info, etc), there was no blogging. I like blogging better than journaling. I am afraid to journal, literally terrified of what may spill out onto the page. But blogging requires a certain filter and having that in place makes me feel safer and the writing is somehow more therapeutic.

And yet there is so much I need to say. Its not just this person who silenced me. It is the expectations. People expect me to have it together. Always have. And when I don't, it makes me want to hide in shame. Truth is that people don't like messy. When something is wrong, the first question people ask is what happened. We want there to be a cause, a series of events that we can walk through and tie up with a neat bow. But what happens when so many things run together that it all becomes a tangled mess. When up and down appear in the same direction. When you don't have an answer for the question, or when you feel if you even began to try to explain, you would get stuck three words in. Time moves on. People expect us to move. And I have moved. I have always looked for the silver lining. Reframed. Sought to grow. Looked for the lesson. Hoped. I have moved considerably in the past 9 months. In the past year and a half. But the questions were never answered. And its as though they demand an answer because life keeps hammering on and with each defining event the questions echo louder and louder.

But our Christian culture, in particular, doesn't like questions. Questions mean doubt and that scares people. Its a chink in the armor. But is it? Christians have silenced me. Its not about last summer. Its about the deep, raw pain inside that has always been there. Its about the questions that have arisen as life has continued to happen the past 11 years. The questions that cliches just don't touch. That platitudes just make worse. When will we wake up and realize that people are going down all around us? Going down in depression...yes, but also in disbelief, in tradition, in selfishness, in guilt, in fear. When will we choose to be courageous enough to sit with someone who is there? And not feel the need to open our mouths with neat answers when none really exist. When there aren't words or easy explanations. Jesus wept when Lazarus died. He knew He would raise him from the dead, but he still wept. Why? Why didn't he just turn immediately to joy? I think it is because so often to feel the joy, we have to learn to experience the grief. Experience...not just feel, but EXPERIENCE. That takes time. Stop running from it. Stop bandaiding it. If Christians could be honest we would sit down together and say the real stuff: "I am apathetic." "I don't understand where God is in all of this tragedy." "I want to feel loved so badly I am afraid of what I might do." But we don't. We go to church, with this mirage that we are ok. So everyone else does the same. And no one is really real. And when they are, we call them struggling. We should ALL be struggling. Living in this world which we were not meant for, should be a struggle. We see half the picture here. This life is all about the struggle. Admit it. How much encouragement and growth could actually occur if we could just admit this and meet together in this place. People could be real. Instead of fake. You can't deal with fake. It isn't real. We need to learn to speak to real needs. But first we have to stop denying that they exist, or worse, judging those that have them. We judge out of fear. Fear out of what is lurking in our own souls.

I would love to just put it all out there. But experience has taught me to keep my mouth shut. To keep on keeping on with the mirage that it all fits together nicely. People have continuously taught me that they cannot be trusted. Not that everyone lies or gossips. But have you ever asked yourself why it is so difficult to be honest with someone about the reality of your heart? Very few people are able to deal with the reality of a pain filled heart. And those that can...are those that have been there. That stopped denying. That stopped faking it. That asked the difficult questions. That persevered. That aren't afraid of others pain because they know the raw darkness from personal experience. They have been there, so journeying with you through yours doesn't terrify them. They know that the night is darkest before the dawn, but that sometimes the dawn doesn't come when we think it should.

Emotion is not sensationalizing. It is real. It is God-given. No we should not run our lives based upon emotion or feeling. But good grief. Can we please admit that it has a place. Sometimes that place is that it needs to be controlled (anxiety). But its still real. Sometimes that emotion is related to something physical (clinical depression) but the emotions involved with depression are absolutely real...hopelessness, sadness...so real in fact that people describe severe depression/anxiety as absolutely hellish. And how could it not be? Many people experiencing it end their lives rather than enduring another day of it. Pain is absolutely universal. Every single person reading this has experienced pain. Our sources are all different, but at some point they intersect. And that point is where real relationship has the potential to grow into something beautiful.

Stop hiding. Stop judging. Admit and face your own. And then use it...to join someone in the trenches of doubt, fear, hopelessness.

You know why I love people who are "struggling" so much? Because they have the courage to admit it. They are the few who are real. And only when we are real, can anything truly happen. Everything else is just fake. Like most of us. I thank God for the real people in my life, and I hope that I have the courage to continuously admit that I don't have it all together, and that I question, and that I don't understand, and that I have done a lot wrong, and that I have known darkness, and that I fear the judgment of others, and that I am not ok. Its the very fact that we are not ok, that makes us need saving, often from ourselves. Someone offers that saving, but to accept that, we must be real. And to be real we must stop judging everybody else and take a look at what lurks within.

And with that I hit submit...heart pounding, and the safety of silence begins to feel more and more appealing, albeit it incredibly lonely.