If you know me at all you know how much I love me some summer. Almost as much as this guy...
Routines are forgotten, days are long, mornings are late and the only thing on the agenda is pool time and beach time. I look forward to summer almost as much as I look forward to Christmas time. As much as my 3 probably don't like this fact it's another reason I love summer---uninterrupted time with them. Summer is just easy, time to recharge, rejuvenate.
So why am I just not feeling it?? I first thought it was because Miss M was sick the first few days of summer break. However, she got better and we got into our summer groove, sleeping in, breakfast, pool, lazy afternoons. Doing exactly as we've done for the past summers. But...just not feeling it. I'm in a rut of sorts. Thinking back seems the summer after Shane passed was even better than this one. Even though it was hard doing summer without him, we did it. We did our first beach trip without him, we did our first 4th of July without him. All in all it was a great summer. I've tried to think on why this summer seems different from even 4 summers ago. I do remember being on auto-pilot. I remember things almost seemed to just happen without me making them happen. Wished there was a button for my auto-pilot to turn back on.
Looking back, I had just experienced a wonderful experience with God. I had felt Him in my very presence like NEVER before over the period of time that Shane was sick and ultimately his passing, and knew I'd never be the same. This feeling of 'euphoria' obviously carried over into my everyday life, essentially being my auto-pilot. I've often times told others that I long for that feeling again, I long to be in His presence like that again and again. In the past 4 years I have to say I've experienced God more than I have in my 40 years prior. For that I'm thankful.
Here's where the "candid" part of the title comes in. Hold on. Don't judge and read on.
In pondering the reason this summer, ultimately this past year, has been off for me I've realized it's ME. So much has changed in the last 4 years. Some good, like--an independence that I never knew I could obtain, the sheer fact that I can even get out of bed and do life, and the fact that I deal with fear and anxiety on a daily basis, ummmm maybe hourly basis about life and that I'm still functioning. However, with the good changes always comes the bad. I have to admit that when people tell you to put your trust in God and only God...there is a great reason for that. In the last 4 years I've seen change in so many people. Gut wrenching change. Maybe it's not change after all-maybe it was there all along and I've just become wiser to recognize it. Talking about being let down-that's the mild of it. People that I trusted and told me that would "be there" that would "help" us have left me wondering where's the good in people. I know these are lessons in and of themselves to only trust God but in these lessons I think I've lost a bit of faith---in people and maybe a bit in God. Candid enough???
I know that's some harsh reality-but it's my reality. I remember thanking God for these that Shane and I trusted to help see us through, knowing that Shane was able to leave with the confidence that these people in our lives would see us through. Oftentimes I've caught myself looking upward asking both God and Shane---do you see what's happening?? More to God than Shane because I know God can change hearts.
Here's the part of the blog that gets rather more candid. Ready---start judging and shaking your head. My prayer life stinks!!!! I'm to the point of just throwing up my hands and saying, "God, not sure you hear me so why pray?" Shaking your head yet???? We all know those prayers for Shane's healing didn't come, in the way we wanted it. I've come to terms with that. Wasn't Gods will. Most days I can accept that and then some days I still get angry. I can't put my finger on why my prayer life is in such a state. I still have my everyday running prayers with Father about this and that---but to sit down and pour my heart out and ask Him for the things I desire is floundering. There's been sooooo many things I have sought from Him that hasn't come to pass. Yes, I know that His will is not my will and that He does things that I will never understand, ie-Shane's death. I know all that, I know the Word has all of that but my heart and mind is having trouble aligning with that.
Thinking about this I can only illustrate it by being in the "pit" that Believers so often refer to. I feel like I'm in a deep sand hole. Little by little I start making headway to the top and the more I pray the more the sand falls out from under me and the more I sink. I muster up more strength to crawl out only to be pulled down again.
I know the head shaking is still going on with a few opinions of---'it's because your prayer life is not good that you can't get out of the pit, you're not spending time in the Word, you are not going to church like you should.' While your still coming to terms with my confessions pray for me. There's been so many 'let me down' that I can't get up. There's so much that I've prayed for that hasn't been answered. Some simple some really big. Some to do with me, some to do with my kids and some prayers for others. Just seems they are not heard. It's like a child that comes to the parent that's never heard---finally the child just stops talking to the parent. I'm that child-feeling like He isn't hearing me. I know He hears my every prayer, knows my every thought, but sometimes a girl just needs reassurance .
In the still quietness of early morning I know that the Spirit wakes me for time with Him. There's nothing I want more. However, The enemy is always there-reminding me of all the unanswered prayers. Reminds me of all those that have let me down in countless ways, ultimately has let Shane down. The enemy seems to have this on replay, shuffling----"wasn't cancer enough? Wasn't your husband dying enough?" I hear that voice when a bill comes in for the doctor making sure my oldest sons heart is ok-when all it was was the anxiety and pain from losing his dad, the same anxiety that causes school to be the last on his mind. I hear it when my middle son longs for a nicer bigger house so that he can invite friends over. I hear it when he just wants someone to throw the football with him. I heard the repeat when my little couldn't hold her eyes open last Saturday from dehydration. I hear it loudest when recall all the unanswered prayers.
I know things could be so much worse, so much. I also know that Gods plans are perfect for me and my 3. I know that Gods presence is as strong as it was 4 years ago but it's me. It's me that's far away, at the bottom of the pit. I know it's me that needs to seek Him more, stop floundering in the sand spend time in the Word and spend time with Him. But sometimes a girl just needs a bit of a helping hand. Not sure what that looks like-His hand or my Aaron and Hurs that have held me up before. I know it's me that needs to seek ways to praise Him. I know He's good, perfect and that He loves me. I know this is just a season of doubt. I know the enemy uses these times to his advantage. Hoping that this candid confession is the first step to move forward, grab handfuls of sand and pull myself up. Hoping that this summer will be a defining moment in my faith walk. Now stop shaking your head and pray for your sister.
Oh and by the way---happy summer!!!!