One of the things I have been doing is working my way through the book by Peter Scazzero, "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality."
I have been blown away by this book. It is so good. Way better than I expected.
At Cindy's suggestion, I have paused myself at reading only one chapter at a time, as slowly as I can, so that I can really soak it in, and take notes as I go through it...
But before I go there... here is something I prayed as I processed after my last post. I recognized that though I had shared pretty freely what was going on with me, and though my heart was/is shame-filled at it all... my heart is also one more thing.
Here is my prayer, directly to God.
"Lord God - Daddy - I don't know how to open my heart to the work you want me to do. Or the work you want to do in the area of how I view money and our finances and how ti fix it, and change that heart attitude. Right now, my heart is still cold towards it and I still want to stubbornly do my own thing - not yours. Oh I hate to pray this because i know it is what you want... soften my heart - make it living and pliable in your hands. Reform it to look more like you. I don't want to be static and unmoving and unmoved. If I continue to hold you at a distance in this area of my life, how can I ever be fully surrendered? Oh breathe your living Spirit through me. Your very breath of life and quicken my heart and soul to respond to you. I need you more than ever."
I prayed that prayer, but am not sure how much my heart engaged in it. I prayed it because I know that is what God wanted, not because I wanted to pray it.
As I was reading this book, "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality," I read something about how so many times when we are emotionally immature, but don't want to face it, we try to fill up ourselves with the newest discipleship models, new spiritual disciplines, but they never fill us up... because we can't separate emotional maturity from our spiritual maturity. We can never reach spiritual maturity, when we don't ever address our emotional life. When we are emotional infants, we are spiritually immature. As we address our emotional maturity and do the hard work of growing in that area, our spiritual maturity grows as well... God works them together and grows them together. It can become a revolutionary change in our lives, and in the lives of those around us.
(Did I mention this is an incredible book and I haven't even gotten past the first chapter?!)
Well, as Scazzero was talking about trying to fill the emptiness, this thought popped into my head.
"Why do I find myself disengaging when in a group right now?"
I find myself in a group of people, and emotionally and mentally becoming distant, especially when I don't have to specifically engage with anyone at that moment. I find myself lonely in a group. I find myself wanting to pull away, just stay home and sleep. I don't look forward to public events, even not wanting to "do" mother's day... I was doing something the other day with my husband, and found myself completely socially, emotionally and mentally disengaging, and pulling inward.
I know that depression has a lot to do with it. I don't know if it is connected with being on the borderline between extrovert and introvert or not. I know that I can appear an extrovert in some settings because I can do the "acting" and have to work hard sometimes at appearing even natural in certain situations... I don't know.
Where I used to be more energized by being in larger groups (in college) now I find that I am becoming more comfortable with small groups, and one on one get togethers, rather than the larger groups...
...and the larger the group, the harder I have to fight this tendancy to become disengaged. I have had to fight this tendency even more this past week or so. It has gotten stronger, maybe as I have struggled with my emotions more this week too.
I don't know if anything even really connects here.
But God is doing something. I don't know what. My heart is resistant to the changes He wants to make in it. I am still fighting that. I am consciously having to fight the strong desire to withdraw and disengage and get out of group events.
Wednesday, my son is going on his first field trip, with his 4k class. They will be taking a bus, for about a 40 minute ride to a nearby town that has a small zoo. I have been asked to chaperone. I remember as a kid, always wanting my mom to come, and rarely was she able to, so when Peter (with that spark of fear in his face) asked if I would come, I said I would.
Right now, though I won't do it, I want to get out of going. I could ask Dave to go in my place, but I know Peter wants me to go.
I am fearful of having to fight that urge to disengage. And I don't want Peter to see me fighting fear, or fighting depression or whatever during the day. I want him to experience the zoo as fun and school field trips as something to be looked forward to, not feared.
I guess all I can ask is for more prayers.
God is taking me on a refining process. He has for the past several years. Because I have a blog, and tend to write through things, you are coming on this journey with me... provided you are still hanging with me here.
Thank you for praying me through these things. I hope that I can and have been sharing the "good" moments as well... the moments of answered prayer.
In the morning I am getting together with Cindy to talk through the first chapter in this book. I am hoping that we will be able to have the time to really get into some of the things that have been bothering me. There is more, beyond what I have shared here, and I am just praying that God will orchestrate what time we have.
Please pray with me that God will bring up the things I need help processing through and the things that I can work through on my own with Him will be left for later.