the sun is setting on the last day of this year.
i am not sad to see this year go.
if i'm really honest with myself - this year has undeniably been defined by struggle.
my heart swells to think of all that this year was supposed to bring, yet....i'm facing a new year with most of the same wants i had 365 days ago.
a full circle....
a full year....
infinitely more jaded, all while....
waking up and realizing i'm not the same person i was a year ago.
jaded AND different.
who would have guessed.
is jaded the right word?
i almost just deleted and backspaced and started over.
i think i wasn't jaded. then i was jaded. and then i wasn't jaded again.
that's exactly what this entire year has been about....
i can say, i'd do anything to live the last 6 weeks all over again.
even though i would be hardpressed to face the first 46 weeks of this year.
fully aware that i am only able to enjoy all that i have, over the recent 6 weeks DUE TO the pain that i was asked to endure for those first 46 weeks of 2007.
all of this year, was a lesson.
all of it.
every moment, every step, every tear, every war within my heart.
this entire year was meant to lead up to the past 6 weeks.
we are born rebels.
with a cause.
the cause is ME.
as infants and toddlers, we're slowly broken each day of the ME. we kick, we scream, we have tantrums, but we evolve into children who are aware that ME doesn't get served first all the time.
by the time we're adults, it's no longer acceptable to throw down a hissy fit and pound on the floor as we protest that we should always get our way.
it doesn't mean our war doesn't rage within.....as real as ever.
that we haven't daily taken up our weapon to violently defend our rights.
as human beings.
as ME. for ME.
i sifted through my blog entries from this year.
many of you never read them...it was a private blog with a very VERY short list of readers.
it was tough to actually recall the pain as i endured it the first go around...
then to read that...i endured it again.
and bad news again.
entry from MAY:
i never wanted all of my energy to be turned inward. all of my ambitions to become about me ...and my pursuits. actually verbalizing some of my worst fears and dwelling on the nightmares that could become a reality only causes continual self-absorption for me. i've spiraled into this place of panic. i feel that i'm in a vortex and out of control.
ME suffered a massive blow this year.
the first 27 years of my life, were determined by me.
i've never waited for life to happen. to unfold.
i wasn't necessarily given the best set of playing cards when i set out to make my life what i desired for it to be.
but i overcame.
but each Christ follower (if you'd consider me that all along) has the day when they experience the depth and agony found during a crisis of faith. a crossroads. a decision.
will i hinge my devotion...on winning my way?
can i say thank you...while losing everything?
will i believe what i cannot feel?
will i surrender...
even though, only a fool would go on fighting a war
...when all of his weapons have been stripped of him.
it took 46 months for me to realize, surrender isn't really a choice.
take away my swords and shields and strength...
...and my options are pretty limited.
i had met my match.
to say i had lost control puts it too simply. it sounds so elementary.
but control is all i've ever had.
and so my loss is infinite. bottomless. consuming.
almost as deep as my loss of fertility.
...though at first glance, the two seemed intertwined. cyclical. inseparable.
my fight had become a cosmic battle of control.
the baby was secondary.
though the baby was the catalyst.
46 weeks of:
ovulation predictor kits.
....only to end up exactly...where i would be...had i never lifted a finger....
2007 was tumultuous. exhausting. and all vanity.
seeking to force the very thing that was never meant to be.
i will never forget it.
the death of ME.
the idea dawning upon me that there are just some things in life....you can't have.
ME had a rough ride processing those notions.
i don't know how...or why...or when it exactly occurred, but one death was exchanged for life in a new sense.
you can give devotion...even when the game is a shut out and you've lost.
you can say thank you...even though you've lost everything.
you can believe what you cannot feel.
and you can in a miraculous way, when you cannot even find the words to even express it, know when looking back across the plain of 2007, embrace that my life this year was no Plan B to God enthroned over all things.
this was His perfect will for my life -- these were His plans for me to prosper.
this was His divine way for caring for me.
this was His best interest for me.
the last 6 weeks have been an evolution of sorts...though surrender is humanly devastating...and crushing to the point of choosing death over it...we are all given perseverance in Christ Jesus.
we cannot manipulate or create a false encounter with Christ.
we each say we have experienced Christ....
but pain brings you to your knees in a way that nothing else can...
submission is wholly unappetizing. undesirable.
ME simply would never have chosen it, had there been any other way.
without fail, we humans attend immediately to our pain.
i think that goes for the entire human race.
as CS Lewis states it, "the created one's illusion of self-sufficiency must, for the Creator's sake, be shattered."
CS Lewis continues...
"And perhaps by God's grace, I succeed, and for a day become a creature dependent on God...but the moment the threat of pain is withdrawn, my entire nature leaps back to toys; I am even anxious, God forgive me, to banish from my mind the only thing that supported me under the threat because it is associated with the misery of those days of pain."
i am a captive audience to nobody....unless i'm in agony.
my questions regarding pain, the cause of pain, the purposes of pain, the initiator of pain, the executor of pain, the author of pain have only deepened this year. i have more questions than i have answers.
i've asked alot of questions i'd even be embarrassed to admit.
questions that again, seem so elementary, yet...more complex than previously thought possible with my simplistic notions of God and Faith and Will and....all that stuff you learn in Sunday School.
and so 2007 closes out...with ME more fully alert and desperate than i can ever remember being.
but my doubt has dissolved.
because i've finally learned to reach out and grasp all that He has wanted to give.
i may never have my own biological children.
i may never have alot of things i grew up dreaming of....
...and i'll inevitably cry a lifetime of tears as i possibly put to final rest some of deepest desires...regardless of what they are.
my threshold of pain was tested this year, and the windows to a world of deepening pain were opened and steep agony realized.
...i am now aware.
i am changed.
pain has more dimensions than i have senses to handle it.
and i hunger for heaven...a little bit more than i ever have.
i experience pain with eternity in my periphery...
and you realize that maybe the things of this world do grow strangely dim....
and that my soul's first love...is Him.
C.S Lewis continues:
"All that you are -- sins apart -- is destined, if you will let God have His good way, to utter satisfaction....
God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love.
Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for heaven alone -- made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand...."
i wasn't made for ME.
the brains of ME.
the heart of ME.
the desires of ME.
the world of ME.
those lessons are excruciating.
and if it weren't for 2007, i'd never have been able to say it. mean it. much less every stand to live it.
i am not giving off false holiness...
i am broken.
and even when you believe the fracture is so deep, you are fully, irreparably broken....
....you break even more.
and as you constantly attempt to separate earthly pain from God's infinite goodness, as though one is completely independant of the other....
you slowly realize that they are fettered together eternally.
and God is somehow good not only despite my pain but because of my pain....
i pulled out my journal this morning and at the top, as i do every morning, wrote the date.
December 31, 2007
day #365 of 365.
praise the LORD, i exhaled.
but the devotional led me to I Peter 5:10 --
And the God of all grace,
who called you to his eternal glory in Christ,
after you have suffered a little while,
will himself restore you
and make you strong,
....though we suffer....
He is all grace.
He is all glory.
....in a sense
....how can this not be acknowledged as the best year of my life....