I was texting casually with a friend on Thanksgiving about our plans and some concerns we would both be praying about and suddenly I felt like I wanted to cry. I didn’t really understand it and I pushed it away.
However, the feeling of tears stayed with me, way in the background, the entire time I was with my family. I love my family and we had a great time. It had nothing to do with the time with them at all. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. But the tearful feeling was there. I believe the reason the tears were so close was because my boys had left the night before to be away for the weekend. With the boys gone, there aren’t as many things on my mind or demands on my time. My mom also was staying with my brother and sister-in-law after Thanksgiving dinner, so I was going to be alone in my house. This is a rare thing that happens and I believe it was the trigger. Not because I was sad to be alone, but I was letting my guard down little by little and the emotions came to the surface.
When driving home, I started to cry pretty quickly and did so most of the way home. It’s in these rare times that I realize there still is so much pain pinned up inside me that I haven’t processed. It’s seems so ridiculous to me, but since I generally put on a brave front, try to be there for others and push back my feelings, this is where I find myself. This isn’t anything anyone has asked me to do or told me I had to do; it is something I chose to do so many years ago when I was still very young. I never questioned it or felt there was another way to handle the pain. I know it helped me survive so much while still experiencing life, but, as a close friend told me recently, it has also done nothing to help in any of my relationships.
I hid in plain sight and became less and less open and more and more guarded with people. I got better and better at doing this through the years. In fact, I still do this and it takes a lot for friendships with me to grow. The same friend told me that it took a lot of pursuing on her part for me to start opening up about my life and, therefore, for our relationship to actually grow into a true friendship.
As I’ve thought all this through, I have come to the conclusion that I am at fault for not being able to bring all this pain to the forefront. I made a decision early in life, that I built on as years went by, to help me make it through the abuse and still experience life. But was that my only choice? Could I have lived my life being open with others and pursuing what I wanted to do with my life and survived? Would I have been able to make a change in the abusive relationships by speaking up more rather than shutting down or would things have only gotten more verbal and hurtful? Did I make the wrong choice?
I have tried to figure out how to move out of this way of living but I don’t know how. I have also thought of several ways to give me the opportunity to bring my voice back, but I quickly discard those opportunities when I realize others are upset with it. For instance, part of the reason I started this blog was to be able to work through all that was locked inside and hopefully help someone else in the process. It really helped, but then I learned there were a couple people who were upset with what I wrote. So, I changed the way I wrote and started to censor what made it to the final draft. After a few more months, I realized that some of those who were a part of the pain were reading the blog. After that, I no longer knew how to bring what I needed to say to the surface. I felt my freedom to express myself was gone again and the blog was no longer a viable outlet for me. This is why I haven’t written much at all the past few weeks as I have done quite a bit of soul searching.
After I have contemplated God’s sovereignty in the past few weeks, I look at this issue and wonder where our bad choices fall into His sovereignty. I know He knows everything that has, is or ever will happen and He works all things for good for those who love Him. But when we don’t seek Him and His perfect plan, things will not turn out to be all that it could have been.
Did I follow His will at all in the way I chose to survive? Probably not. I don’t think God would ever tell us to become less than what He created us to be for any reason. I feel like I’ve forever altered my life in a way that will haunt me as to what could have been and wonder if I will ever totally be able to live in freedom and in close relationship with people.
I’ll probably be writing more about this and, maybe, in my searching, I can find an answer I can live with and I can see what God’s will for me is from this time forward. In the meantime, I find comfort in the song that played on my phone on the way home. It’s a song called “Not Alone” by Jamie Grace (click on the highlighted area to hear the song) and here is the chorus and the last stanza of the song:
“His arms are holding you. His love will see you through. When you smile and you laugh but you’re fakin’, ‘cause you don’t know how you’re gonna make it. You feel so much pain and you can’t see your way. You’re not alone…
His arms are holding you. His love will see you through. When you try not to cry but to take it; all the stress, and the hurt and the heartache. You may feel pain but not as great as His name. You’re not alone.”