Things have been so frustrating lately.
I sometimes wonder if life is truly STILL hard right now or if I'm just the world's biggest whiner. As Danny and I have individually worked on our stuff, we seem to be falling short in a lot of places...
These past two weeks, we've been hit with losing not just my lifestar group but his as well. We've also lost our counselor. Thanks to a gall bladder that's gone bad, I've been getting sick after I eat no matter what I eat (though some food is less mean than others), and thanks to an insurance change I can't get it out until July -I've known it's been bad for months. Danny's been under some incredible stress at work.
And we somehow have zero dollars.
I look around and see a broken house, a broken car, and how badly -HOW BADLY -I want to just burn this rental and move. These walls have seen so much pain, so many old memories I want to leave behind.
As we begin again, each with a focus on God, I want fresh walls.
Not to mention that we're going to need some fresh walls soon anyway... three kids in one room isn't going to work forever.
But again -there's no money. Despite our best efforts to pay off what debt we have (which isn't too much) and save a little -there's no money.
We've had some hard conversations, said a lot of prayer... and I don't know but that the Lord is closing some doors and not immediately opening any more.
I truly do feel grateful for this frustrating time because I can feel it stretching me. I feel myself moving closer to God.
I'm learning a few things as I wade through this muck.
#1) When surrendering, it is VITAL that I be honest with the Lord about what I'm feeling. I need to TELL HIM my awfulest, darkest thoughts as they are, not as I would have them. So often my surrender prayers have been, "I don't want to feel this way. I hate that I feel this way. Please take it away" when they would have been more effective had I simply said, "I am having horrible thoughts, [detail horrible thoughts], and I truly desire to not be stuck in these horrible thoughts. Please take them, please help my day not be overrun by these horrible thoughts." After a major trigger on Saturday, I wasn't able to call a sponsor -or anyone, really -but I was able to lock myself in a bathroom stall and surrender and sob. I came out and was able to be present for a family function without dwelling on or being squashed by the trigger. Victory.
#2) Though I find courage and hope in being strong, and I loved being able to "pull myself up by the bootstraps" in years' past... I now find a new strength being offered to me. I am a strong woman -for nine years, I've been muscling my way through living with an addict. But that strength is superficial. I find that I can't handle what's before me. I can't grow money on a tree to buy a house. I can't make the right counselor appear. I can't help Danny at work. I can't. I can't! But I can carry on, and I can carry on with hope, because GOD CAN. THEREIN lies the greatest strength OF ALL TIME. God has his own set of sturdy boot straps that he hoists me up in. Today I can be reasonably happy because I CAN'T and GOD CAN.
#3) As I go through Step 4, I have found a few defects of character that are also strengths. Where do I draw the line? How can ask for the defects to be removed if they're also strengths? Where's that fine line?
As I sat in the Temple on Saturday, the answer came to me so simply and clearly: when I use my character strengths for the building up of myself and my pride, they become defective. When I use them for God, for His building up and in His service, they become my strengths.
#4) When there's a weakness that needs to be addressed, the Lord will find a way to address it. Right now, I again need help. I have needed more help since July than I ever have in my entire life. My house has been cleaned, food has been brought, listening ears have been given, childcare, money... it is SO HARD for me. So very hard. One of my character weaknesses is control. I am capable and therefore must and will handle everything on my very own. Except that I can't, and being THERE and HELPING OTHERS is kind of one of the greater points of this life. Yesterday, I fed the sister missionaries. I signed up to feed them last month, not realizing that when the day would come, I'd be sick and cash-less. I had some fish and some rice -not enough for the sisters AND my family, but it would be okay. Something would work out. My visiting teacher brought me food last night... fish and gluten free bread. I had to smile at just how much Christ was feeding me bread and fish through one of his valiant servants. The Lord has something for me to learn in all of this, and apparently I'm not learning it. I hope I learn it soon... I'm working to be submissive, but I feel like such an inconvenience to so many. An inconvenience and incapable lazy woman who isn't parenting right because she's too caught up in other stuff. (Hello, Shame -we meet again.)
#5) This video pretty much sums up everything I'm learning and will always be learning and quite possibly will never fully grasp: