Photo Credits~

(owl:donaldthompson95 on flickr, luna:BillLepidoptera/ on flickr, willow/fence:trensamiro on flickr, all remaining: Merana Leigh)

Psalm 25:4-5

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths;

guide me in your truth and teach me,

for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long (NIV)

Drench yourself in words unspoken, Live your life with arms wide open,

Today is where your book begins, The rest is still unwritten. ("Unwritten" by Natasha Beddingfield)

It matters not how long we live, but how!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cliches, Platitudes, and Humbling

I've been having a hard time, my BB's and could certainly use some prayers. I'll be honest, I hate Valentine's Day! It's yet another reminder to those of us who are single, have no idea any more where to look to even meet people, and have gotten to the broken point of solitude, of our "aloneness". Now, before you say me, I've already thought it, "God is always with me. He will never leave me or forsake me." But it still doesn't help. He's not here to give me a hug. He's not here to be a shoulder to cry on. He's not here for something as simple as to hold my hand. Never, people, never lose the significance of the value of human touch....or of tears. I read once that some people actually die from loneliness...and I believe that. Yes, I have my children, but they want to be around me only perhaps 5% of the time. The rest of the time, as children do, it's "Mom, what time is dinner (or even what's for dinner)" or "Mom, can you take me here or there" or "Mom, can so & so come over, can we have a sleepover". Please don't get me wrong. I'm not upset with them. They're being typical kids. No, what I mostly miss are the subtle nuances of a relationship: being able to trust someone, looking forward to sharing good news with someone, making decisions with someone. I have none of that.

Then there's the sheer fact of having friends to do something with, even just one! I have none of that either. I try. But everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives, nobody can ever do anything. I don't blame them. I do understand this. But, let me tell ya, it hurts like h*ll when I find out several times that groups have gone out to do something, and nobody ever considered calling to include me.

I'm lonely, terribly lonely. There, I said it! You wanna know the truth? The most support I get is from you, dear BB's. It's pathetic that I have to sit at a computer to find friendship, support & solace. Yet, I consider it a blessing.

I tried to get involved in a church. Didn't work. You can only be put off so many times trying to volunteer for any number of things. I don't have skin of steel that when activities are canceled & I show up, to realize nobody bothered to call me to let me know, that that doesn't hurt either. Or that several people in the group got together & didn't include me. So, hot knife through butter...I never went back. Ran into the pastor's wife & when she inquired as to why she hasn't seen me in so long & was I ok, I told her. It would have been so easy to sweep it under the rug & say, "oh, I've been busy". But I just couldn't do that. I was so incredibly hurt. I had been in for counseling on this very thing, but nobody... and I do mean NOBODY bothered to check to see if I was alright after not seeing me since October. So, there I stood in Subway, placing my order with tears streaming down my face, paying for my order with even more tears, and finally leaving after telling her I just couldn't come back. I told her that even tho' my dad & step-mom live 45 minutes away & I know they love me & have been there so many times (but there's only so much I feel I can go to them with), I have no one. Nobody locally who supports me. No one that I can rant about something that upsets me. No one that I can call for support. That the church should be my family, my rock of support (especially when they knew where I was coming from), and just how alone I am. I told her that I get more support from my best friend 1/2 a country away & from my blogging buddies, than I do from them who are 2 miles away. And then I got home & felt guilty. I don't like to make anyone feel bad, ever. So, what did I do? Called my best friend, 1/2 a country away, crying my eyes out to her. (I'm serious...she needs to be elected for sainthood for what all she's gotten me through!) And she told me I did the right thing, and not to feel guilty. She said, "you handled it very well. You didn't explode or do it in anger. But you let your hurt & disappointment show. The church is supposed to be there for you, and if they feel convicted, then that's what God wants them to understand...they are not reaching out to the hurting world the way they apparently think they are." On the cerebral level, I understand this. But my heart hurts nonetheless.

I realize, in the grand scheme of things that God's taking the broken pieces of my heart and making a lovely kaliedescope of beauty with them. But, it's still not whole, lovely as it may be.

I know that we've all had broken hearts. Unfortunately, it's the condition of being human. Right now tho', I'm just trying desperately to not let everything get sucked into the black hole in my heart. That place in me that just hurts & longs for people to share my life with. It's not SO much about finding love again, although I will admit that I really do want that. It's about just having human relationship with others who genuinely CARE about me & show it. I have people I work with, but that's different. I try to keep my work & personal life separate.

I'm often angry. I'm often depressed. I've gotten so adept at putting on a good facade, but truth be told, I honestly feel a part of me is dying.

I typically stay home when I don't have the boys (and yes, admittedly, after being a full-time mom for 2 wks with no break, I relish the solitude). And yes, when I have the boys, we do stuff together - but often with them going grudgingly. Otherwise, when I do go out, I go out alone. I eat alone. I go to movies or events alone. I got to ball games alone. Occasionally, I even go hear a band alone. I shop alone. I walk alone. Part of me finds this absolutely pathetic, but part of me is comforted to know that I have the strength to do things alone. I will not give up & just do nothing, but be a homebody simply because I have no one to share it with. My mother always told me I was very independent, even as an infant. Perhaps that's why I refuse to sit back & do nothing. If it's something I want to do/see, I just go do it alone. At least I have the pleasure of doing that. Yes, it would be so much nicer to share it with someone or a group, but I refuse to let life pass me by!

Then I think....maybe I'm TOO independent. I've tried Internet dating off & on for several years. Total waste of time b/c all anyone is interested in is sex. Or nobody is really who they say they are. It truly is Satan's playground. And this has caused my hurt heart to fortify it's walls, and build them higher. I think my greatest fear is that even when God finally DOES bring someone into my life (b/c yes, I still believe in that!), I'm going to be so set in my ways that either a) I won't even recognize someone special, and b) I will no longer know how to open up & share myself with them b/c I've gone so long sharing nothing, but living in this "solitudinal" place.

My son even asked me recently why I like NCIS & those type of shows. I told him that it's mostly b/c I love mysteries & I love to watch them solve 'who dun it'. But that I just don't like to watch romance movies or read romance books b/c I just don't "get" it. I don't have it in my life. I haven't had it for well over 13 years, and it's hard to watch it happening for other people. I can't even count the number of people I've seen who have marriages/relationships split up after mine did & now they're blissfully happy with someone else. I'm strong enough to admit that that's really difficult for me. I'm happy for them...really, I am! But, it just further solidifies my aloneness. It's hard.

And I'm reminded of the cliche "be careful what you wish for". I did wish for, pray earnestly for, being out of my marriage. Answered prayer. It was mentally & verbally abusive. It took years to be answered, but answered prayer it is! And this grass of aloneness is definitely greener than that was. I got my wish. My prayer was answered. I'd still take this life over that any day of the week...hands down! But, it's not a lush lawn full of picnics & cloud watching.

So, I was crying about it all yesterday & saying to myself, "what's wrong with me?" Then I realized it was Satan...up to his conniving ways. I hate him! No seriously, I truly do HATE him!!! So, I just started repeating over & over & over, "Jesus loves me!" "Jesus fought for me!" "Jesus died for me!" To the point that I was actually screaming that at Satan. And crying still. And my humbling point then came. "Am I not enough for you, dear child?" My broken confession was "No, Lord. I'm sorry! I shouldn't want more, but I do. I desperately want to fulfill who you made me to be. But I just don't feel like I am. All I feel like I do is go through this thing called life, day to day, not really doing anything but existing. I'm SORRY, Father! I'm trying to be content here. I definitely am so very thankful for the blessings you've given me. But, there's just got to be MORE than this .... this....whatever "this" is."

I'm at a loss, my BB's. Please pray for me b/c I am SO very, very tired of feeling this way! I want to stop feeling so terribly alone. I want my life to count for something. I want to touch others for Him. I want to be open to allowing someone in to my life. I want to trust. I want to share. I want to be involved. I want desperately to find the right church where I can offer God's gifts. I want to do more than exist.

Thank you, my friends, for patiently reading what must seem a pathetic little Pity Party Train. Believe me, tho', when I say it's deeper than that. I realize Satan is coming against me pretty strong right now. I can't go up against him alone. I can pray, and I can extol God's virtues loudly, but it's not enough. I need some prayer warriors on my side. Please help me!

Through my tears ~ Merana

PS - ok, so I've walked the dog & taken a very long, very hot shower & God was gracious (as He always is!) to remind me what He put on my heart previously (as He did about this blog, I might add!). There is a decided lack of singles groups catering to the mid-age bracket. There are senior groups, there are singles groups for the 20's/early 30's crowd, but not really for the mid-30's to mid-50's group. So, perhaps this is something He would like for me to look into doing. I've told Him I will do it, just please show me how & where to start it. Not as a dating group, but for friendships. And for safe ways of meeting people. Please pray for clarity on this for me as well, and if it's His desire that I do this, to open doors to show me the way to make it happen.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Follow His Commands!

Hmmm, who do we think we are? Indeed! How many of us follow the path of our choosing, as opposed to seeking God's counsel first? I know I certainly have....and admittedly, still do. And then in retrospect I say "Oops, Lord, sorry! What would you have me do now that I'm here & have gone ahead & done this?" Feel the slap on the hand yet?

It's amazing how I discover things in my Bible that I just never saw before. Oh, I don't the whole book of Deuteronomy! Ok, I read it in my first Bible. But, I got myself a new Bible because I'd marked up my older one & couldn't see anything with fresh eyes. Ummmm, got that back in 2007. Seriously, almost 4 years & I haven't read Deut yet?! But, oh how the Holy Spirit it faithful to reveal SO much through the fresh eyes of a clean page, and life experiences over those 4 years to make verses just leap off the page! Here's what I've seen, dear BB's with related Scripture the Spirit lead me to also share:

"...what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees..." (Deut. 10:12-13)

"but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you." (Jer. 7:23)

"But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him. For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath." (Deut. 4:29-31)

"Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you..." (Deut. 6:13-14) (These "gods" could be any number of things we idolize: tv, other people, sports figures, money, addictions, etc.)

"Do not put the LORD your God to the test as you did at Massah. Be sure to keep the commands of the LORD your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors..." (Deut. 6:16-18)

"Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments." (Deut. 7:9)

"If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors." (Deut. 7:12) (see that? we must FIRST follow God's laws carefully & THEN he will keep His covenant. Why would He bless us if we don't bother to follow Him?)

"Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD." (Deut. 8:2-3) (God causes us to "hunger". I believe that hunger is those things within us that we strive for, dream of, hunger for that we just can't seem to attain. It's a deep-seated desire that is unfulfilled, not something superficial. I believe He "causes us to hunger" to test us to see if we will seek Him with all our heart and soul. THEN He will work things that bring about the fulfillment of that hunger by revealing even more of Himself through the process!)

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Is. 55:9)

It all boils down to trust, my friends!

, wonder what else is to be revealed as I continue on in Deut?! Can't wait to learn & share with you, dear BB's!

Be blessed by what He's shared with you here today through me. Thank you, Father, for using me to reach your followers and any lost souls! ~ Merana

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