Thursday, July 21, 2016

UNEMPLOYED. 

On June 10th I lost my job.  

The first couple of weeks were full of optimism and it will be ok and in general a great internal dialogue after the initial shock of it all.   All the belief that Jesus has good things, and that there is an amazing job out there for me. 

I was and still do feel the grief in it.  I am very much still feeling the anger and unfairness and all the emotions that come with it.  The, "this isn't personal, its business... " line that repetitively was stated, I still dream about that moment.  

But depression then set in awhile back.  And she has been hard to beat.  

Every morning when I get out of bed her heaviness greets me like this giant blanket that weighs on me, this blanket I can't seem to set down, sometimes all day.  

"You're a failure. " 

"Your husband is going to resent you. " 

"You will never get rid of the weight you have gained." 

Honestly, its a fight to leave the house, and hell its a fight to get off the couch or out of bed.   Its a struggle to not eat my way through the day.  

But tonight I went for a walk, albeit a short one, because its obnoxious hot out, but I did it.  I made myself do a load of laundry.  Tomorrow, my goal isn't to put food in my face all day, and to treat this body of mine nicely.  Because she deserves it.   

And I will write again.  See, these words, even if they aren't "good" are freedom for me.  This frees me in ways that most likely only other writer types will get.  I have to say the words.  I simply have to.  

The words that right now I'm not ok.  

The words that food and I don't have a great relationship right now. 

The words that depression is a bitch quite frankly and I hate her and how she comes back.  

The words that I never thought I, the girl who never had so much of a hint of a bad review would lose her job.  

But also these words: 

The words that I believe I will live.  

The words that I won't always be here in this place. 

The words that there is hope, even when I don't see her, and when I'm scared.  

The words that depression does not just affect me, I'm not alone. 

The words that I am loved.  I am free.  

These words.  

And I'll start all over tomorrow.  

New day. 

Fresh start. 






Sunday, March 22, 2015

Feelings.

I shut off all the noise today.
I shut off my phone and left it in another room.
I shut off the television.
I shut off the music.
I put away the food.
I have no wine in the house.

And lately, I love all the noise and the food and the wine because then I am distracted and I don't have to feel.

But see, i want to feel.

I want to feel this fear I have had lately of dying and never having had a family or or anything to leave behind that seems good.

I want to let myself feel the anxiousness of facing the rest of my life single, and what that will look like and what that will feel like... if that happens.

And the anxiety... she is like a hound chasing a rabbitt... and is my constant companion, even when I want to numb her, she basically is impossible to numb.

I want to feel what my last relationship (welp, was it actually a relationship? ), when he told me he didn't want me with his silence... what that did to my heart.
This silly, trusting, loyal heart of mine.
That wound is still so fresh, and I miss him.

I truly want to be able to feel the wilderness again, because it has been too dark to even see where I am stepping anymore here.

Laughing.. I want to laugh.  The throw my hands in the air and not care who the hell is watching kind of laughing.  From the bottom of my belly kind of laughing.

And beauty... I want to feel beauty.  If that's the trees as I sit on my patio, or the clouds as they move thru  the sky, or these Oklahoma sunsets... I want to feel it.

I want to love.  I want to feel what it is to be loved and not question if I deserve it, or if I'm worthy, or if I've earned it yet, but simply.. because someone loves me, because dare I say it, I may be loveable.
and I want to lavish love on others, just because I can.  Because I want to, because they need it.  Even if they don't know it.

And grief, grief is loud right now.  Soon, its the anniversary of my dad's death.  And I've begun to remember his  stroke, and his downward spiral that started in the beautiful spring of new buds on trees and flowers blooming...
I had to talk to my doctor of having kids, and the tears that came down that day when I had to admit there probably isn't going to be a time, for real, that I carry a baby , and I have fully started to grieve that. And it comes in waves about that.

I don't want to be afraid of the tears anymore.  I don't want to be ashamed that I'm the crier of the group, or ashamed that I'm so slow to move through this.... because I know that this has been slow for me.  I know that the tears come down always.  I know.

But all that... I want to embrace the emotions of this place and I don't want to numb them anymore.

So I'm going to try my best to not.

Thank you for walking with me, friends.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

ANXIETY & DATING...

So hey.. new thing.
Anxiety and dating.
I'm struggling to put it together.
And add that I have a hard time loving me and thinking i deserve good things...
Good grief.

Today, I was texting with the man I'm dating and never, NEVER has he given me reason to doubt him, to not trust him, but this week, full of anxious thoughts that he is growing tired of me, that he doesn't want me, that he is just putting up with me.

And worse... I then over compensate by being ridiculous, and by ridiculous... I mean obnoxious.

Too much the need to communicate to help soften the over thinking anxiety that just spins.

I worry it will ruin this.
I try to explain that this is my struggle.
I try to explain that I need reassurance for things that will not make sense to him.

Like thinking I'm not good enough, that he could do better.
Or that I'm too fat.
Or that I'm just too much.
Too needy.
Too emotional.

And those thoughts keep coming, and spinning in this head of mine the last few days.   Even tonight while I sit here typing this.

So tonight, simply I'm working on finding the peaceful place.
When I want to apologize a million times over.
I want to feel normal.  I feel it all so deep, I do.

Anxiety is hard.
And dating & anxiety is a new thing I'm learning to do.
I need grace for learning this.

I will say, tho, as i sat in the middle of the thoughts tornado the phrase that I've been hearing for probably a year now, that is sweetly sung in the background of all that, is this softly whispered voice... "You are loved & you are free... "  

I am loved.
I am free.

And may I add that I'm not alone here.








Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Alone.

Its an honest night friends.
I haven't been blogging.
I have had words, so many words.
But truly, i get so afraid to voice them.
To say this out loud.
Because I feel like I don't get "better" fast enough, that I'm too negative,  and that I'm just too much.  I always believe I'm too much.
Here's the truth:  I don't care tonight.

I feel alone.
I feel forgotten.
I feel like every dream and desire I've had... ever single one.... has fallen on the ears of a God who hasn't heard.
I feel like I don't want to love anymore.  Because love hurts.
And I feel disappointed.
I feel angry.
I feel frustrated., because I know that I do have words, and I'm afraid to say them.
The holidays are hard.  This place right now... is hard.

And I sit in that, while reading about advent.
This evangelical / happy clappy pentecostalish girl is pretty new to this advent stuff.
But you know... I wait and I still hope.

I hope for that Messiah.
For Him to come.
For presence.
For peace.
To see things that I thought were dead, for them to come to life.
A resurrection.

Emmanuel, God with us.










Sunday, November 16, 2014

SNOW DAY RAMBLINGS.


I read a quote this week that reminded me of something that I used to ask a lot of people I care about.  The quote was this:


  "Every time I tell God about my opinions, He asks me about my heart" - Bob Goff.
 
I realized its been a very long time since I have asked anyone I care about how their heart is.  And it has been an equally long time since I have sat and allowed myself to evaluate my own heart.   2014 has been a year full of a lot of wonderful things regarding this heart of mine, and a year of terrible things for this heart of mine. 
I think this heart suffered loss this year that I am still trying to rally back from. There were multiple things, but my faith crashed hard in February and I began to grieve the last 39 years of all I'd been told and believed blindly and realized that I didn't know where I fit in that anymore.  I left the only kind of church that I'd ever known, and I embraced the wild wilderness that I found myself in. 
But that all those things brought their own grief. 
And pain.

So how's my heart today, at this very moment as I type this?


My heart wants to hope.  In fact, I've felt this wild crazy hope for the next year but I'm afraid to do it.  I'm afraid if I let myself hope they will be dashed worse.  But I am choosing to hope.  Deliberately.  Intentionally.  I will hope.   Its feels foreign, because this lightness to her I haven't felt for a very long time. 
My heart. still has wounds that bleed.  The wounds of situations where I wasn't enough.  Wounds that still bleed from church hurt years ago, that for every cut that gets bandaged and starts to heal, I find another bleeder.  I don't think I can embrace church with all I have again, until I am speaking out of scars instead of wounds. 
My heart still loves.  I love people.  If I call you friend, even if your are the biggest jackass in the world, I will still say I love you and when you want to come back around, all is forgiven and it won't be held against you.   I say that because it happened this year.  It has been a concern for me this year that I would grow callous to people, and I am thankful that I don't think I have. 


This post is obviously nothing special and nothing fancy, but I find that question incredibly important... of simple asking how my heart is, and taking inventory of what I'm feeling, and getting in touch with the deep places. 


And I simply ask if maybe its been awhile since you've done the same....  so how's your heart?







Thursday, October 9, 2014



THE ONE I'LL LOVE.






My deep soul friend who I will love:


Oddly, I'm blogging this about you and to you, and I still have not met you.   Or perhaps I have.  I really don't know.


Said by a woman who doesn't believe in soul mates.  I do believe, however, that I want to meet someone that I have this connection with.   This deep soul friend crazy stupid love connection.  Maybe there is only one of you out there, and maybe not.    So does that mean I believe in a soul mate?  I honestly don't know.  Maybe I say I don't believe there is a soul mate, a "one", because to say that means I may never find you.  Perhaps I was a silly woman to think that this was at all meant for me.   ( That's me over-analyzing...that comes with the package.  You're welcome. )


There has been twice I thought I had met you.  But they were not you.  And on they went with their lives, and truly, I was blessed with time with them.  I still call them friend.  Those relationships helped to show me a lot about myself, and what I need and what I love, and what I don't want.  Those relationships taught me that I was worthy, and in many ways, I saw the heart of Jesus through them that I hadn't before. I hope that someday I am a better girlfriend/wife/whatever because of those relationships.   I believe I am a better woman because I know them.  Because I let them know me.  I hope that they are better because they knew me. 


Those relationships also caused some of my greatest heartbreaks.  They left.  One left with no explanation for two years as to why he did.  When you have a sensitive heart like I do, that was devastating.  Both losses were honestly so hard.  Because of that, I fear that I will want to run rather than open my heart up to you.  You could leave. Its true.   I apologize in advance for when I will want to push you away.  I will most likely give you the option to leave, as I do that sometimes with my friends I love, because somehow I feel my emotions are a burden to them, that I am a burden to them, and I never want anyone to feel they have to stay by my side, or stay in my life.   Please be patient with this heart of mine.  It gets afraid because she, in every kind of relationship in her life,  has known more of people leaving than staying...  Or worse, people who have said they won't leave, but then just pull away and become silent in my life. 


You should know that holding me cures a multitude of things.   I am one of the most simple women you will ever meet in that way.   Happy,  sad, angry, anxious... holding me will provide safety for me.  It provides security for me.   Telling me I am loved, will do the same.  I need touch.  And I need words.  They are like breathing and eating and drinking for me.  You could never buy me a gift, never take me on a fancy date, or mop a floor, but if you do those things, it fills a place in me.  Hold my hand.  Kiss my head.  I need it.  


I've started to grieve the fact I may never find you.  I may never get married.  I probably will not ever get the joys of being pregnant and of new little life and motherhood.  Its this grief that I can't even explain, but the last 10 months... has made me cry almost every day.   But I am okay when all is said and done if I don't get that.  The other side of that grieving is that I want to give up hope that I ever meet you, my deep soul friend I love.  If I could simply give up that hope, surely my heart would hurt less, and I wouldn't wonder so much as to  who and where you are, and why the hell you haven't come into my life yet.   I want to grow old with you.  I'm so, so weary of this hoping. 


But I know me, and I know that I will keep praying for you.  I pray that your decisions are wise, that you are blessed beyond anything you could imagine.  I've prayed peace for you, and joy for you, for a community of friends that are amazing.  That you aren't left in want.  I pray that you hear the voice of God, and that you know the wild love of Jesus.  I pray that you aren't a good church boy, but rather, someone who has found this abundant grace, and who has found so much life out of conventional church that I have since leaving, and that you have a simple faith.     And that somehow, we find each other.


You won't be perfect, before you decide I think that, I'm well aware that we all have our baggage, issues, and bad habits.  And we all have these ugly moments... all of us, but I want to walk through those moments with you.   Seriously... I want to. 


I hope someday that you read this.  And that by then, you've known me awhile. 
And that you know that I loved you, I think, before I ever met you. 


You are worth waiting for.


-Andrea.


 














































































Tuesday, September 30, 2014

IT ISN'T OK.





I've wrestled round and round with this piece.  I wanted to find a way to make it tactful. 
Something wrapped pretty, with a big bow.
And for no one to send me awful messages after they read it. 
I wanted that. 
I always want everyone to like me. 
But this has been like a fire in me. 
And something that I need to own.
Church that helped raise me, it wasn't ok what you did.
Can I please shout that from the rooftops, its not ok what you did to me?
It isn't ok what you've done to others.


You never really knew me, you know.  You didn't know my heart.  Ever.  In 28 years or so, you never knew me, the Andrea that is.  The person I am.
I wore a mask because I was raised that I needed to do that. You taught me that.
It wasn't even in those final meetings that the deepest scars were born. 


Perhaps it was the time I shared for the first time in my life about my abuse.  And that was met with conversation that somehow when it ended, I believed it was my fault. That I deserved that.   I was made to feel shamed.  I was made to think it was ok, that somehow that Jesus thought that as well.  And before the next Sunday, I learned that it had been already shared with others.


Perhaps it was when I was told to just be positive.  And for years, I stuffed every question, and every doubt, and just happy clapped my way while wearing this mask and never acknowledging what I felt, because somehow, that was bad.  A sin.  I couldn't feel what I was feeling.  I couldn't process, and this girl had so much to process through. 


Maybe... maybe it was when I would question my pastor... I was met with the fact that I wasn't being submissive.  And that what I was doing was rebellious, and again, forcing me to be put under that yoke of shame, and that  me owning my feelings was wrong.  Because it did that.   Please, show me the heart of Jesus in that.  Show me.


All of that was the most heavy load to bear.  So heavy.
And those moments and more, every time, they made me bleed. 
And I did become cynical, rather than vocal about how things could be changed. 
I will own that.  I was so cynical.  I still struggle with not be cynical.


And then that meeting.  The meeting where I was told I could bring no one, but so thankful for a woman who stepped alongside me and insisted that she come.  Because I didn't want to stand up and say that's my right to do.  To bring someone with me.  I was afraid.  I knew that it was my crucifixion, you know..  I walked in with a jury present.  Call it what you will, but it was a jury.  I listened to the charges against me. They were written all down on that legal size yellow notebook.  I was divisive, I didn't get along with leadership, I wasn't submissive, I was rebellious....  I could continue, but I won't.  Even told that some of those things were rumors, but somehow, they became fact.  It was decided before I ever came in that room, and I knew that not one word of defense could make it better.  So I didn't.  I sat.  And listened.  What you didn't see was the fact I could barely walk to the car I had come to that meeting in.   The wave of emotion that hit was unlike anything I've ever experienced.   I felt emotionally raped.  I said those exact words that same night to my friend.  She sat and wept with me, and truthfully, I don't know here I would be right now if she wouldn't have been there.  I said that I wished that I'd been physically assaulted, physically abused because I knew already how to deal with that kind.  I didn't know what to do with spiritual abuse. 
I sat while you, church, you told people who sat with me in those meetings, if they wouldn't stand by me, if they wouldn't be my friend, that they wouldn't have to come to meetings anymore either.  That was perhaps the worst part for me.  Being alone in that.  I told them they could, you know.  I told them they could walk away.  They didn't.
You left me to bleed, church, with no hope of restoration, and no binding of these wounds.
And I continue to process
All of it. 
However many years later.
My first step in healing was right before I moved to Oklahoma, and simply walking back into there, and finding some closure and being able to come to a place of forgiveness...but this is the next part.  This fire in me that I couldn't write about anything else until I wrote about this.  
To bravely say that it was not ok what happened to me there.  
Because it wasn't.