Why Make Idols?

I am posing this question to everyone who comes across this post. Please do not be afraid to post your thoughts in the comments. All responses are welcome. 

Why do we make idols, especially after God has proven himself to be God? The Israelities were a people who miracle after miracle created idola after idol. Why? 

I am meditating on this question and will post a response whenever I have an answer. 

In the meantime, share with me what is on your mind concerning this! 

Joy of the Lord

I have been out of the country and blogging on my phone so I apologize in advance if I don’t include the verses and rather just reference them. 

I think it’s safe to say that 1 Samuel is my favorite book of the bible. No matter how many times I read it, when I feel like I need God the most, it’s the book I turn to. 

With that I was reading 1 Samuel chapter two and it starts with Hannah praising God and giving all of these thanks to Him. And in her praise she mentions in sum that those who were full, will be in want, and those who had need will be full. It is a theme that I have read multiple times in different places in the bible. 

Today I paused on it. It bothered me because I always only saw it in a vengeance sense. That God will strip people of their things. And it was said in such a way that it was a cause for rejoicing. Like “yes God! It’s their time to experience poverty and my time to be rich!” 

But God drew my attention to the first part of Hannah’s praise, “my heart rejoiceth in the Lord.” And I thought about what if what God is actually trying to convey is the reality that our circumstances, no matter what they may be, are fleeting. One day we can be full and the next we can be hungry. The message, though yes if we want, we can apply it to our enemies, we should apply it to ourselves. Lose the habit of worrying about outward things, and what happens to our enemies and focus instead on how to grow in God. 

God wanted ME to know about ME that whether I am full or in need, let my heart rejoice in Him. 

And as many of you know, I struggle a lot with mental health, but we all experience highs and lows so what God shared with me can apply to everyone. And God just reached into my heart and held it and said, “I remember when this first happened you were so happy and you had so much energy and light, and I loved it. But now that it is seemingly gone, don’t focus on how to change the circumstance to get that happiness back. No. Focus on me to get joy. Joy so that no matter what changes happen in your life, your heart can still rejoice, you can still have my light.” 

I want joy. I need joy. May the joy of the Lord be my strength. 

Peace with Pain: Going Through Process

While meditating with God today He said something very striking. We spoke about the concept of choice. 

I reasoned that I feel like in certain things I don’t have an actual choice because choosing them means choosing a lack of peace. In which case, obviously I will not choose the option that doesn’t give me peace. Who would? He argued back that I technically have. I have chosen the unpeaceful route over and over again and I may choose it again tomorrow. 

Hmmmm….that is true. But I rebutted with thats because choosing God doesn’t give me peace either. And He responded with, “no, you have peace, you just also have pain.” 

I expect that Gods route means Him taking away all that is unpleasant. Process is process. There is no shortcut around the fire. God never said there wouldn’t be pain. 

Can you stand in pain, having peace that He who said He loves you, still loves you even though it still hurts? 

I Thank God

I have been thinking a lot about how I want to approach all of the emotions that have been bubbling inside of me over the last couple of days. As I rode the bus this morning, I realized that I just want to thank God. 
I have been in a lot of emotional pain. It hurts so much all the time, and I will be honest in saying that it is pain that I am use too. However, I think sometimes I just want to be pain free and so desiring that, makes me more aware of my emotions and thus causes me more suffering. 

It has been hard for me to get up. So I get to work an hour early because I know I need time to mentally prepare myself and create a game plan on how I am going to get through the day. Jupiter, my co worker, is an immense trigger. Just by her existing, and by me having this hunger for someone to fill my void, and the little girl inside of me now having chose her, makes her a trigger. So because I am around her all the time, I am hyperaware of the hunger inside of me, and am extra vigilant about controlling myself. And we have an awesome friendship, and I will give myself credit that I am doing amazing. I love our friendship, and so am mindful that even if apart of me feels like it’s not enough, nothing will ever be enough for that part, and to always be aware of not allowing that part to be in control.

So I get to work an hour early, sometimes I cry, sometimes I find creative ways to get out my anger. And once I have my emotions at bay, I check myself. I check my desires, my mannerisms, my unspoken attitude and gestures, ensuring that I am in no way protruding a sense of discontentment or need towards her. I do not talk to her either for this hour because I know I am not yet in a place where the adult me is in full control and if I speak from a child place then I may not be able to reel it in. 
I do this everyday. 

But here is the thing….

I DO IT everyday. It is getting done. I am slowly but assuredly coming to the acceptance that this is me. I have an emotional disorder, I am intense, I feel either everything too much, or everything too little. I hyper-attach to people in very unhealthy and enmeshed ways. But I am living with me, and I am even beginning to like and one day love certain parts of me. 

So I thank God because He is allowing me to be able to do it. By Thursday I am so emotionally worn that I tell myself that I am going to put on a movie for my students because I do not have the energy or mental capacity to teach. But then I see my kids, and God and ONLY GOD restores me and touches my heart in a deep place. I walk in thinking I am going to put on a movie, and staring at their expectant faces, I teach, and I teach with all of me. I give them all of me from places I did not even know I had. To my advanced kids, I check in on them and stand back in amazement as I beam in pride knowing that it was together that we did that. Together we pushed their minds further and they are excelling. To my struggling kids, I stoop down and take deep breaths as I patiently, with a patience that surprises me, come up with different ways to possibly help them understand what they have been trying so hard to get. Never giving up, even when I joke and say I will. 

I thank God for my favorite students who give the best hugs I could ever ask for on some of my worst days. 

I thank God for Jupiter who so lovingly lets me be me. I thank God that Jupiter is not afraid of me, that she knows how to set good boundaries, and how to keep us safe without even knowing that she is doing so.

I thank God for my therapist who helps me decode all of these interactions, and helps me understand boundaries. How “normal” people pace their relationships, and how when I feel I hit a boundary, it is not meant for me to push, or feel rejected by, but to respect and love that I am loved enough to not be treated with caution gloves but to be believed in and treat me normally. 

And I thank God for the chance to know Artemis, to experience love from such a deep place. There was a time when loving her hurt. But loving her now makes me always aware of my capacity to love. I love her so deeply and I pray for her earnestly to thrive, and grow, and experience love and friendship, and wholeness. 

There are a lot of things that I don’t like and that I regret but I thank God for the strength, support, and opportunities to change. 

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I am sad.
I am sad because I feel hopeless and defeated.
I feel hopeless and defeated because I don’t know how to continue with Jupiter.

Jupiter is my current coworker who I feel the same unhealthy attachment towards, as I have Artemis, and all the ones before her. My friends joke that I should stop leaving my house because clearly I have a radar that senses these people and that’s how I always manage to find them. But that’s besides the point.

I spoke to my therapist this week about how I just want to pull away from Jupiter completely because I am terrified of her hurting me one day. Lately, as my want for her has grown, I have found it harder to interact with her. I second guess everything I’m doing, and everything I say. I am so afraid of doing or saying something that may be unhealthy. The last time we were together we spent the first 15min in silence because I just didn’t know what to do. We’ve been on vacation for over a week and at the start of the break, I deleted her contact information from my phone so that I could not contact her at all. It’s the holidays and I felt like if I contact her then I would be ruining the holidays for her. Why do I feel that? I don’t know. Maybe because I always think so lowly of myself that I always fear that my presence is a contamination.

As school is about to open, and we are about to go back to work, I have been having dreams about us. Us being in the classroom, and her ignoring me, and me breaking down crying. Of course in reality we are perfectly fine on her end. She is not emotionally immature and so she is able to remember that I am real even after not seeing me or hearing from me in a week. Me on the other hand, I feel like I don’t even know who she is anymore.

I want her so much and I am ashamed. So what do I do when I know that following my heart will lead to an unhealthy abusive friendship, which will end with her leaving, but my brain doesn’t have the answer. I saw a Disney Short about the brain and the heart deciding where the man went. So if I have arrested my heart, and my brain is clueless, where can I go? I stay stuck.

If I just distance myself from her completely, after all she has shared with me, and the trust she has in me, she would feel hurt and betrayed. But if I stay and ruin it then I will feel rejected and abandoned.

God teach me how to be. I feel my insides shutting down. I am tired of hurting people, and I am tired of getting hurt. Teach me God how to get it right this time.

The Disney Short I was referring to!

A closer look into my break with my past attachment figure

If you have been following me then you have read my many posts about my last attachment figure, who I have taken to calling Artemis.

After many failed attempts to making our friendship work once she decided that she could be a friend but could no longer be in my life as an attachment figure, I asked her for a year long break back in March.

In March, the extent of my understanding was that I was too attached to her and behaved very unhealthily towards her. I figured that in a year apart from her, I should be able to lessen my attachment and thus be able to accept the new setup of our relationship.

About two weeks ago, I gained new understanding of what this break means, and I wanted to meditate on it before writing about it.

 

Shout out to my friends’ patience because they have been saying this since March, but it took me 8 months to understand and see.

In my mind, the goal of the break was that I would get healthy, that way when she comes back I will be able to emotionally handle our relationship without having the bad reactions that I use to have. After thinking about it two weeks ago, I realized that my goal was to essentially pick up where we left off, except I would be handling it better outwardly, even though inwardly I would still feel as hurt, abandoned, and alone as before.

Why would I want that.

Instead, the goal of the break should be to give myself the chance to find happiness outside of her and learn to live without her. The honest truth behind why this goal is hard for me hurts me, but I will say it nonetheless.

I am afraid that if I give myself the chance to experience life without her at the center of my actions and thoughts, then I will realize at the end of the break that I will be ok if we don’t resume a relationship. For as long as I love her like an object then I get to want her, need her, desire her, so strongly, with a passion that helps touch the always present emptiness inside of me. When she becomes a person, then I gain the freedom to say that despite the love that burns in my heart for her, our season of relationship is over.

I feel like I have a definition of love, colored with dependency. In order for me to feel loved, I need to feel like someone holds me in their thoughts and needs me. Similarly, I express love in that very stifling way, where I try to always be present and around.

So what do I do now?

I decided to start by actually following her on instagram. I visit her page all the time, the only difference is that now she knows that I am looking. I didn’t want her to know because I was trying to show her that I am less dependent so she could take me back. But now I know thats not the goal anymore. In the beginning, I needed to stay away from her page because seeing her with certain people, moving on, hurt me. Now it doesn’t. I literally just visit her page out of the compulsive need to feel close to her. Visiting the page is just a symptom of another deep problem. The symptom will always arise. Even when I stayed off for two months, at two months and a day I was back to obsessively visiting it. Therefore, I wanted to follow her, so I did. Whether secretly visiting, or visiting on and off, I still have to fix the underlying problem either way.

I will end this post by saying that I know that dependent love is not love. If I only feel ok about someone pursuing something for as long as it does not hurt me then that is not love. If I want someone to be somewhere, where they are not experiencing their full potential, but them leaving means I get inconvenienced, than it is not love if I don’t encourage them to leave.

I need to love myself by encouraging myself to go, to move on, to soar. I need to love myself by giving myself the chance to learn to love like God. It’s not about Artemis, it’s about me. It’s my fears, my needs, my issues. I will love Artemis, and every other “Artemis” that was or will be, as people, and not objects, when I love myself.

God’s Love

I was laying here having one of my daily bouts with God, where I’m in Him, and running away at the same time. It feels like I am in a storm of God’s love. No matter where I go, no matter what I do, I still find myself crashing about in this safe haven of God’s love. It actually feels like a storm crashing over me. 

Having that thought reminded me of a song I fell in love with about a year ago. This is why worship is so much more than a song, when you understand and internalize the words you are singing to God, it takes you to a whole other level.

I’m caught in a sea of love that I don’t know how to navigate. My own streams of confusion, guilt, anger, sadness, tiredness, all just gets washed away in His sea, when I don’t want them to. The world around me is in chaos. People are starving, dying, crying, hoping for something more, or tired of hoping altogether, and I don’t know how to process any of it. I don’t know how to navigate this sea of love when there is a broken and dying world. 

Surfing the waves of God’s grace and mercy means having the vantage point of seeing all the places in need of God. But drowning under the covering of His love does not feel comfortable for long. Eventually, I swallow so much of His heart that I can’t be content hiding when the world needs me to be whatever God has purposed me to be….for such a time as this. 

For such a time as this, God gave us some likeness of Him to be that part of Him in the world. I’m not perfect. I don’t have to be. I don’t have to have every aspect of my life perfectly aligned with God’s will before I serve. I know that now. I have to be a good steward over that which God has entrusted to me. He could’ve given it to anyone else, but He chose me. And when He comes back I want to be able to give him a multiple of the talents He gave me. 

Matthew 25:14-30English Standard Version (ESV)

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.

Moments of Honesty

I have been thinking about the number of times I have written about my realizations and determination to get with and stay with God. I have been feeling ashamed that I once again had the same realization meaning that I had lost my connection to Him again. It begs the question for me are my realizations sincere, because if they are how can I allow myself to get so far from Him again and again, if I know I really need Him. 

I don’t know. 

I honestly do know that with God I feel a peace that never exists outside of Him. I do know that life is just better with Him. In that sense I know those realizations are truthful because they prove to be a constant everytime I return to Him. 

The realizations that I am ashamed of are when I say I won’t allow people to get between me and God. 😞 Those realizations have not proven to be true. Instead it happens so naturally that it takes me a while to even realize that I have been distant from God because of a hell of a whole lot of suppressed anger towards Him for allowing my relationship to pan out the way it did with my ex attachment figure. 

Two months ago I told her I didn’t want us to speak to one another for a year because I felt like I needed her to not be an option for a very long time so that I could stop using her as a crutch and force myself to devote myself to this therapy process. At the time, my decision was fueled by a whole lot of resentment towards her for how I felt about myself in a relationship with her. I was chasing after someone who didn’t want me, and I got to the point of feeling ultra low that I could keep selling myself to someone who made a million and one excuses over the course of 8 months for why they are unable to have one phone call with me. At the end of the day I wasn’t mad at her for treating me like that, I was mad at myself for allowing myself to stay where I was clearly not welcomed anymore. 

However, I am ashamed to say that since i’ve made that decision, despite knowing how it made me feel, I still wish she was in my life. I wish she would love me and mean it. I wish I could love her without needing her to be more than a friend. I am very selfish in that I still mostly see her as a cure for my emptiness. She played a role and I just wasn’t ready nor accepting of when she realized she couldn’t play that role no more. And I feel like im constantly bleeding on the inside because I choose to not accept reality and instead keep a gaping hole inside of me empty for someone who had made it explicitly clear that they are not coming back to me in that way. My therapist pointed out to me the numerous ways I cocnciously carry that hole with me and refuse to fill it, because of my denial that she’s gone. 

I am in denial, and my denial gets in the way of God and I. And i’m honestly just not ready to accept reality. I’m not and i’m sorry God. I’m sorry for dissappointing those who think I am stronger than this. I am sorry for the people I hold at a distance because of my denial. I’m not willing to accept that she is gone yet. To some I may be disgusting and a very shameful creature with no respect for herself (well at least thats how I see myself) but I’m ok with that for now. I still maintain my no contact from her, mostly out of not wanting to continuously burden her with me, and finally respecting her desire to not be with me, but if she were to text me today and say she wants me i’m 65% sure i’d jump on the opportunity. 

Back in August I was 99% sure so I guess thats progress. 

Accepting The Past’s Trauma for a Better Tomorrow

Yesterday I woke up knowing it would be a hard day. After work I found my strength wavering and tears falling as I rode the train home and texted a friend to ask for 45 undivided minutes because I felt a surge of things needing to be poured out. Immediately she called, she didn’t know I was crying or that I was feeling so low, but i’m thankful for friends that don’t need for me to be dying in order to be present. I sat in a park and poured my heart out, mostly in tears, explaining that I just don’t understand why a part of me can’t let go. I wake up every day and do what i’m suppose too, but I always feel like i’m just living to push through instead of actually living, which always leaves me questioning what’s the point.
At the end of our talk, I realized and decided that if I want to see even more improvement then I need to push myself to do even more than just the bare minimum. Living for the minimum is empty and I will always feel purposeless, so I need to push myself to do more, and I left the park determined to do so. 

Then just like that I stumbled upon a picture of the person i’ve been actively avoiding on my instagram explore page. A rush of pain just consumed me. My stomach went numb and I could feel the tingling. My legs began shaking uncontrollably. Alligator tears were just falling unprovoked. My mind felt like it was drowning and the only thoughts coming to the surface were, hurt yourself. Before, these thoughts were immediately acted upon before I even had time to register what was happening. However, I have grown better through continued therapy, so I texted my therapist and did the best thing I knew to calm me while I waited for her to call me, I rocked as I sung “Jesus be the center of my life.” As I waited, God was with me reminding me that we are a team, that I just have to ride it out, keep breathing, keep rocking, keep circling the scrunchie through my hands (repetitive motions are extremely comforting for me idk why). 

My therapist called and my main question was why does seeing her with people she loves instantaneously drive me to this point? And she eloquently and accurately explained to me that simply put it makes me feel rejected, abandoned, and betrayed. I see her with all this love that she can dole out to others and feel betrayed that none of that love can be doled out to me anymore. Then she continued to say that, “whether you agree or not, you were traumatized and you just never built any tolerance to handling abandonment, or rejection in that form. The tolerance is just not there sweetie, and wanting it to not be so won’t change it.”

I calmed and this got me thinking about trauma. Out of I guess pride and desire to always NOT be a statistic, I NEVER allowed myself to believe that my dad’s passing affected me. I thought it shameful and disgusting to call myself traumatized when people experience “real” traumas daily. But what if the shameful and disgusting thing is my pride that keeps me from accepting this reality as my own? That i’m not as resilient or strong or better than the “statistics.” 

In an effort to do things differently in order to begin to see different results, I am going to accept the reality that I experienced something that I never understood or learned to process, and that is why I can’t understand or process it now. If any of the nine year olds I work with experienced what I did, I would immediately feel heartbroken for them out of sheer intuitive understanding that a loss like that is devastating. I watch my kids, especially the girls, run to their fathers during dismissal. I listen as they recount stories of where their dad brought them for their birthday, or the gifts they bring back from traveling. Now that I think about it they don’t talk about their moms. I know the occupations of some of their fathers through the awe insipred retelling of a child. And when they run to their dad, I think, that was me. 

My memories are all but obliterated of me and my dad. Up until recently i thought i barely knew the man. But thats trauma. My sisters and mother tell me about how he was the only person I was close to. The only one I wanted to spend time with. The only one i’d eat dinner with, and sometimes I think I feel certain memories coming back. 

But they must be right because the memory that never goes away was how on August 17th we had a bbq and I was sitting at my dads feet waiting for him to give me the rest of his champagne cola. My mother was telling me to let him drink and get another one but I ignored her, patiently waiting for the drink that always came. Then on August 18th I stood and watched him struggle to breathe. Front row and center, everyone panicking too much to notice I was there and maybe remove me. He struggled and struggled as my mom tried to get the asthma machine down his throat. He was making noises and grabbing at his throat, he began to defecate himself, and I just stood there glued to the ground. Slowly his color changed, and then supported by my mom his lifeless body fell off the chair to the ground. He layed there until the morgue people came, zipped him in his black bag then took him away. I next saw him in the open casket in his suit and tie, then finally sealed away in his tomb. 

I can’t conjure up feelings where they don’t exist. I didn’t mourn then and i’m not mourning now. I simply exist with this as my reality. But it’s a reality that I have to give its credit for who I am now if I have any hope of a different future. Maybe just maybe my therapist is right, “My psyche finds strangers to turn into surrogate parents, knowing they will fail, to recreate the trauma and allow me to mourn safely.” I’m not a therapist, I don’t know why the heck a psyche would want to recreate trauma, but looking over the course of my life it looks like thats been my ONLY purpose in life, recreating trauma. Heaping impossible demands on people so they can fail and I can try to “fix it” so that they don’t fail and they don’t leave, because I couldn’t fix what happened when i was nine. But they always fail. 

I hope that by accepting this my psyche can start to heal.