A confession.

I consider myself a pretty honest person. I'm open and at times forward with how I see life and how things are. But I don't think that's always a good idea. At this moment I'm sick to my stomach. I was stupid. I went online and looked at all the blogs that I wish I could follow... and I feel sick. If you are thinking at this moment, "she hates me. she hates my blog." YOU ARE WRONG! I don't hate anyone. I don't hate anyone's blogs. What is painful is the relative "normalcy" I see people experiencing around me. Normalcy that I thought would be mine. Normalcy of healthy children or limited financial pressures and stresses. I don't see posts on four children under the age of four. Or a child with cerebral palsy. Or feeing tubes. or, or, or, or.....

The temptation is to turn inward and drown myself in sorrow... and allow myself to become isolated and cut off. So, what I'm getting at is the temptation is to be selfish and self-focused. BUT I know the truth. Well, I know many truths. God has placed me where he has me and my boundary lines are in pleasant places. His grace is sufficient for me for His power is made perfect in weakness. AND, I know that OTHER PEOPLE HAVE PROBLEMS, PAINS, TRIALS, DIFFICULTIES, AND SUFFERINGS!!! And more importantly, Jesus Christ knows all and has experienced everything that I have. He knows sorrow and rejection and pain and hurt. In fact He knows what is hurting me more than I do.

I wish I could take a moment to roll around in self-pity like a pig in mud but I know that I need to cry out like in the Psalms... "God get me out of this miry pit. My feet are slipping." I can't get out of this pit alone. I need Christ to intervene. I need rescuing. And it's humbling to once again be reminded that I am so dependent and needy. I need a Savior. But the amazing thing is that I have One! I have the One who came to save me from myself and to restore me to right relationship with God.

Another thing I'm reminding myself is to not take it personally. No one is saying or posting things thinking to themselves, "Aha, this would hurt my friend Jennifer." of course not. Honestly that is dumb to think that way. So where is the line between rejoicing with those who rejoice when you find yourself weeping?

I was explaining to Mike tonight that I have to not allow myself to give into my feelings. I have to cut my "feelings off" right now. If I didn't my sorrow and "depression" would consume me. It would be paralyzing. SO, I take one step in front of the other and do the thing that is in front of me. And look to the next task. The next diaper. The next meal. The next medicine. The next therapy. The next dishes. The next load of laundry.

I see my merciful God. This God who loves me in spite of my comparing to others. A God who loves me in spite of my self-pity and self-centeredness. A God who is compassionate and reminds me of the needs and trials of others. Of others who are facing cancer and their families standing helplessly by. Of wives who are barren and can't conceive. Of mothers who have lost their children. Of families in other parts of the world watching their worlds being torn apart by gunfire and bombs. Of jobs lost. Of disappointments from friends and family. Of betrayal and injustice. Of sickness and death. Of arguing with family and friends. Of churches dividing. Of singles who yearn for a spouse. Of moms raising their children alone. Of divorce and heartache. We live in a hurting, fallen, broken world. I am just a small evidence and reflection of that truth. AND YET, I have this God who loves me and chose me before time began... who is faithfully doing a good work me... and He won't give up until it is complete.

that is my rest and my hope. It is not found in me. It is not found in whether I am "normal" or not. It is not in what I do or if I have cute pictures of my kids or if I make great meals or if I'm the "Martha Stewart" creativity queen..... It's not about my failures or successes.... or my losses or my gains.... it's about Christ. My satisfaction. My contentment. My wholeness is in Him. It's not in my outward appearance or the outward manifestations and actions..... Oh to be set free of the lies that bind... that tempt comparison and judgment. To be set free of living to please others. It is for Christ alone. This is His work. And He won't let go.

The knot is gone from my stomach. I recognize that I can't handle looking to the left or the right. I love my friends. I love that they have blogs but it's not wise at this time to pursue it. I'm not that strong and I fall on a slippery slope and come crashing into the pit. And I am not to compare. God has given each of us unique burdens to bear, problems to face, and trials that leave us shaking in our boots.

May we know Him and cling to Him all the more. Let us not compare in the suffering or the lack of suffering of another... let us look to Christ and see Him. Let us lift up those we see falling and help support and encourage them and meet their needs and let us be faithful to do what He has set before us THIS day!!!

Comments

Catherine said…
Dearest Jennifer,

I wanted to thank you for your honesty. You are a special individual who is blessed with the ability to share the hurts and the joys that you experience.

Know that there are many, many other people out there who are hurting. A lot of people are hurting and either in denial about it and want to paint a perfect, happy picture, or else they don't feel comfortable sharing it with the blogging world.

Life often doesn't look like a Real Simple Magazine. Because it isn't "real simple". And if anyone tells you differently you have my permission to sock it to 'em.

You've got a lot on your plate. The last thing you need to do is add unnecessary stress to your life by trying to keep up with the digital Joneses!

Love you, girl.

:)

C
Sarah said…
Hey Jennifer Leigh,

Your honesty astounds me. It is one of the things that I love most about you. Thank you for sharing this.

For what it's worth, I think that blogging is great to help people stay in touch and share the bits of their lives they choose to put on. But I also know that there are times when checking other people's blogs can become less than helpful, and when you're hurting and praying through things in your own life, taking a blog checking break is really wise. When I was single and it was my heart's desire to be otherwise, I felt similarly to you only ever visiting blogs of friends who had families of their own. Of course nobody wanted to make the hurt worse and of course I celebrated their happiness, but it still hurt. And like a girl can I had my "comparison goggles" well and truly wedged on. For a while it all made me check more compulsively - self-flagellation or something I guess. And then I never had the guts to share the pain that led to my blog checking break!

So thank you for sharing and being that sort of friend who is that open.

You are amazing and you bless us all so much even though you may not feel like you do.

Praying that God will give you all you need today.

Hugs to you and your munchkins... xxx
Jennifer said…
Dear Catherine and Sarah- Thank you for your encouragement. It brings such a huge sigh or relief. Aaaaaaa. peaceful. It's so comforting to be understood. Blessings to you my friends.

JLN

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