It isn't easy when something you are sensing is confirmed by God.
A week ago, Cindy asked me if I felt ignored by her. I told her no, because I know the circumstances she has been going through. We have talked on the phone several times and seen each other at church, but not really had the chance to get together. I was able to tell her "no" truthfully.
I know in my head I am not abandoned by her. I also know that my other friends that I am close to haven't abandoned me either. Some have had other issues that they have had to deal with. Circumstances and odd schedules have caused us to not be able to see each other, or not be able to talk to one another.
It is how life is sometimes. I know that if I needed them, I could call and they would be here in a minute.
So again, I know in my head I am not abandoned. I know it in my heart for the most part too.
But there are still emotions that tug at me, and make me feel so alone.
I wrote that in my journal the other day.
"I feel lonely."
I shared it with Tricia. She confirmed what I felt God has been telling me all along.
Sometimes God allows people, friends to fall away, to the point that our only recourse is to focus totally on Him. In those times of loneliness there are the opportunities to fall away, and to turn to other things for comfort, to allow our focus to be turned away from God. There are the chances that we will stop, stuck in bitterness and frustration and we just hold still and we don't let go.
I have been there. Years ago I was in such a position. Friends were stripped away. I literally felt naked and exposed. From time to time I looked only to God. Other times I tried to make due with other things, whether it was working, reading, TV, anything else to distract me from the pain of betrayal, loneliness and bitterness I felt.
I did hang onto God. Or I wouldn't be where I am today.
That helps me now.
I have not been betrayed now, like I was back then.
I don't feel naked and exposed, like I did back then.
I am vulnerable, like I was. Somehow this feels different. I know I am healthier than I was back then. I feel different and that is a good thing. But I don't want to "muscle through" this on my own strength but rather rely on the strength of my Savior. The cutting away of things is really hard though.
I am loved. I am cared for. My friends are still here, they are still close. But without the closer conversations and contact, and feeling distant because they are having struggles too that they need to focus on, I still feel lonely.
I hate that lonely, empty feeling. I have had it too many times in the past.
I read something a couple of days ago about keeping my gaze so focused on Jesus that the rest of the world fades into background noise. To the point that all I can see is His face. His smile. His delight in me. Then, even if I stumble, even if I fall, even if I falter and get afraid, if my gaze is focused on Him, it will be ok. In the end it will be ok..... and it will be better than ok.
Because more than ever, He will be my all in all.
Then I can be a better wife, a better mother, a better friend to those I love so much in my life. I will be less of me and more of Him.
But that means I have to trust Jesus right now with everything.
Like I talked about in an earlier post, its about letting go. Tricia confirmed that too - so did another friend I talked to on Wednesday night.
This is all about letting go. Not letting go of friendships and friends and walking away, but trusting God to keep those friendship - trusting my dear friends to His hands (way better than my hands at holding close those I love).
Letting go so that my hands are empty and open to Him to receive from this time what He would have me learn. He would have me learn more deeply that He loves me. He is reliable. I am His beloved, and He is mine.
I still hate this lonely feeling though.
It makes me afraid.
It causes me to flail around looking for some way to connect with someone, or to fill the emptiness.
I know that having everything else cut away for a time is good. It's good for me. Its a refining process. But it still hurts.
I also know it is temporary. It is necessary. I have needed time to grieve, to focus on my family, to get the kids ready for school, to get necessary things done for work.......
....... and God has provided someone else. A friend. A counselor.
With Tricia back in my life - as a counselor - I have had some stability.
There has been the initial regaining of trust, getting to feel comfortable with her, enough to be open and honest and raw. There are still things that I'm afraid to tell her, or I down play the significance of. That will decrease.
God has placed her there as a steadying influence when all else is seeming to go haywire, to keep me focused on Him, to keep me going the right direction, and to point out the things and confirm the things that He is already speaking to me.
I still don't like confirmation of things that seem to be happening in my life.
But God used Tricia to show me that it's ok to have these times, as long as I respond to them, and go through them, in a healthy way. We are going to still be working on these things. It won't go away that easily, but I know that there are reasons behind everything that has been going on.
I need my Jesus more than I ever had before. I am entering new territory, new waters, new challenges, and new opportunities. God is growing me for something through these hard times.
I am praying that I will be able to keep my eyes fixed on Him and Him alone.
Please pray for me that I will be able to find those times to retreat with God. I need that so badly. I am struggling with how this schedule is going to work with school and dropping kids off and needing time for myself and God in the morning.
If I don't have that time, I am going to find myself quickly leaning on my own strength, and I know from experience that is not a good thing, and won't end well.
He is more than enough for me.
I need to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith.
Oh Lord, help me.