Do you ever feel stuck? Do you ever think that no matter how hard you try to move forward it just seems like you are spinning your wheels? I feel that way. All. The. Time.
Here’s the question I keep asking myself: Are you really stuck because you are actually stuck, or are you stuck because you aren’t really trying to move forward? In other words; maybe I am stuck because I am only doing enough “trying” to appear to be trying. If I appear to be trying I have an excuse or evidence that I am trying but I am not actually really for real trying to move forward.
I think that pretty much sums up the last decade of my life. I have been trying… sort of. I recently had someone who loves me tell me that I have the emotional maturity of someone in thier early twenties. This may not seem that bad, but I am in my early thirties. Ouch. I was hurt and slightly annoyed. I didn’t think that it was true. I shared this with a few people (like two) and they didn’t think that was a fair assessment of my maturity, but I have come to realize that in some ways that is quite accurate. I am pretty immature in some ways… perhaps even in many ways. Am I trying? Yes. Am I doing my best? No. No I am not.
The other day one of my students was working on a coloring page. He chose one color and wildly scribbled all over the page and then brought it to me. I asked him if he had done his best work, or if he had done his fastest work so he could go play with toys as fast as possible. He admitted to the latter. I then asked him to write his name, take his time and do his best work. He did. That was the first time he had written his whole name that I have ever seen. I was so proud of him!
This got me to thinking if when it comes to my emotional growth if I am doing my best work and taking my time, or just breezing through it as fast as possible so I can do other things. The problem with breezing through it is that the details get missed. When it comes to emotional maturity and character details matter a lot.
I think one of the reasons that I have been stuck is that I have refused to really let people in. I have been trying to do everything myself. I have been letting people in just enough that I could fake it. You know pretend that I am healthy when in truth I am not really as healthy as I want to appear.
I have realized that although I have been mentored and been through intense decsiplship I have never really dug deep. I haven’t really let anyone see the big terrible awful stuff I was terrified to let anyone see. The problem with that is that no one really knew me. Not letting anyone really see you has its benefits you know? That way when someone shares a truth with me that I don’t like I can just say, “Well they don’t really know me.” Or, “They don’t know everything, they don’t understand where I am coming from, or what I have been through.” It is a really convenient way to lie to myself. If I never fully open up then I always have this clever little cushion to lay my head to delude myself. That way I am thinking I am doing pretty good when in fact I am knee deep, stuck in the muck of emotional turmoil. Emotional turmoil sucks.
Very recently I went through a really dark time and I descended into madness. I self medicated, and withdrew from all the people who love me the most. Then I got involved with somethings I shouldn’t have and made a pretty decent mess. I realized that I was in over my head and I asked for help. I was afraid to ask for help. That is not my traditional way of approaching life crisis but this was a pretty epic mess and I thought I needed a different approach.
With this trial I didn’t pull away. This time even though I was embarrassed and dare I say even humiliated and felt very foolish I went to church. I faced my friends even though life had flung mud on me and I was lower than ever I experienced love like never before.
As I wept my eyes out I was held, and others wept with me. I was quite literally surrounded and comforted. I was prayed for over and over even though all I had done was stand there and weep. It was amazing. I have realized through this trail how much I am loved. Like real, in your face, deep, pure, sturdy love. I have been supported, encouraged, and bathed in prayer.
A few days later I did something I thought once to be impossible. I shared my big terrible awful pain with two dear friends. I was afraid to open my heart and let them see the wound there. I was afraid that the ugliness of how it felt would be too much. I thought that if I told them it would change how they saw me, or worse that they would love me less. They didn’t. They embraced me in my deepest darkest hurt and loved me, cried and prayed with me and told me I am not alone. It changed me. That moment did something to my heart that has never happened to it before. The light of God’s love began to shine in what was before the darkest place with in me.
I feel different. I feel stronger. I feel a need to rise up from all that I have been stuck in and allow others to help me grow beyond the pain and turmoil. I want to be made whole. I want to allow God to work through these amazing things called relationships and allow my heart to be free of the shackles that have entained it for so long. Trusting people is scary but it is the only way to really heal from some wounds, maybe even most wounds. I suppose I could do it alone, but so far it seems to be the long way. Also going it alone is, well lonely. God never meant for us to do this thing called life alone. Through this trail I have learned that I am not alone. I have an incredible family, and extended family.
I have amazing people in my life and I am grateful. My heart is still broken, but it is healing. Let people in. It will change your life.