Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Rawness at it's best

I had a bit of heartbreak the last couple months. I had a relationship with a guy that ended up not working out, leaving alot of pain on my end. I was totally hopeful and truly thought it would work out, dont' all widows end up marrying the first guy they meet? haha i'm kidding, but really, three out of 6 widows I know did! It all threw me back into the valley of sorrow and I hated that, I didn't choose that either, but I suppose i'm glad it ended when it did and that we weren't more committed. I am so thankful he showed me that I can feel again. 

I chose to endure the pain, face it, give it to God and let him lead me out of this valley. Though I'll admit along the way I told him I'm pretty darn sick of pain! I honestly didn't think i could handle even a second more. I cried myself to sleep every night for two weeks, just emotionally exhausted. Not just over a silly boy, but you know when one thing is upsetting the small frustrating things that weren't a huge deal seem to be magnified, so if you're gonna cry about one, why not just cry about them all? I think it might also be identified as self pity:) My wise friend Marie once said, it's ok to be in the valley, you are safely surrounded by strong mtns (God) and there is a river running through that quenches your thirst. She's right but i needed to believe it again. 

I'll admit I said to God, this is all too much, I really want to give up, if this is what you want for my life then I'll just go find my own happiness. (ya that's bad hey?) I am almost hesitating writing that because it's so embarrassing, but it's real. Every christian is entitled to a raw conversation with her Father, it's where the conversation ends that matters most. I have known a few ppl to give up on God once it got hard, and it was heartbreaking, I watched them walk away so empty. Following Christ is not an easy road. But no matter how hard I try i CAN'T reject God. I have seen him transform my heart in ways no relationship in all this world could do. He has refined me in ways I could never have on my own. This, on top of the facts of Jesus, who he was and what he did... i could never get around God.

I was talking to my mom about all of this and was just at the end of myself. I told her I don't know what to even pray...i've prayed it all, I'm exhausted... does God even see me, does he have any desire to rescue me from this valley? She responded with such wisdom. She said, Tara, you are trying to do this yourself, praying all the right and honest things and that's good, but have you completely surrendered it all to Jesus, & left it at his feet? You have forgotten that it's the Holy Spirit who comes and transforms our hearts, no matter HOW HARD you try to overcome your struggles it's not you who can do that, you can tell God all you want that you're frustrated, but you have to actually give it to him, even if you have to surrender 10x a day, empty yourself of YOU so that he can come in and work! 

I am a complete believer in just talking to God in all your rawness, saying everything on your heart, even if you're angry with him, trust me, he can handle it. And the beauty of it is that he holds me while I scream. So I said to him, "Lord, I don't understand why life is a rollercoaster again, I feel defeated at single parenting, I feel alone, and I really don't feel you love me (based on my circumstances), I'm starting to doubt I'll ever be free of pain and I'm not too sure I like your will..... 
BUT  i KNOW you are real, I KNOW you love me. I KNOW you have a plan through all of this storm, help me believe it again. Help me to desire your will, help me to feel you're love despite my circumstances (b/c his love is not dished out just when life is going well). I give you ALL of this heaviness, I cannot carry this, but I know you can, Please fill me with YOU and help me see you, even with my creeping doubt. Please just help me through my unbelief and create me into the woman you envision. If I'm going to stay in this valley please give me the strength to endure it!! 

So, I made an effort to fill myself with Jesus, I made it a point to search out scriptures on issues where I struggled b/c I knew it would defeat my unbelief, there is power in that Bible, it's not just a paper weight:) 
I listened to alot of sermons at (the app is awesome too) Mark Driscoll doesn't sugar coat anything and that's refreshing. I read scripture and I found myself really excited to spend that time with God again!  I knew It lifted me up, it gave me strength and regained my hope in the one who has never abandoned me. 
A few things I learned: (and I say them not to go on and on b/c I think i'm an amazing writer (ya right!) but in the hopes that you can learn through what I went and am going through)

Rejoicing in your trials does not mean rejoicing IN the trial, but IN the results of the trial after God does his work - maturing your faith and isn't that most precious? 
I'm just going to full on quote Mark Driscoll because really, i cannot say it better 
" In the middle of the trial, you can lose sight, start asking questions like God where u? I thought you loved me, why dont' you rescue me from this?
And Jesus comes and says, "I've been here. Let me take you through it. My power is made perfect in weakness. When you are weak i am strong. Rejoice in the Lord always." It isn't that we LOVE pain, it is that we LOVE Jesus and if pain is what is necessary to be more like him and to have more of him then we rejoice in the pain b/c in the end we get Jesus! We get to be more like him and we get to be with him, our faith is purified and we rejoice in that. 
LIke a woman in childbirth, It hurts, you're screaming, you're bleeding, you're weeping, you're crying it feels like you can't go on and you're smiling because LIFE IS COMING, newbirth is in front of you."  
Feel it HARD and then rejoice, in an inexpressible way, rejoice in who Jesus is, what he did and what he is doing in your heart. Well said Mark. 

After this I still had to deal with the fact that I felt a distance from God's love for me, I wanted to deal with it because why would I ever want to stay here!? I thought, If he really loved me why would he not give me some of the desires of my heart and rescue me from this valley? After all he gave me those desires. I surrendered this to God just a few nights ago and asked him to help me know how much he loves me, I actually didn't want him to give me anything physical because I have a tendency to see gifts as a big part of his love, which it can be, but his love is there regardless of his physical gifts.  The next day I woke up literally in a blanket of his love, sounds totally cheesy right? But it was all consuming. I so strongly felt him saying that He loves me endlessly, and that he is in control of this valley. 

So today it is not a matter of how long I am in this valley for, although I feel I am really coming out of it and am very thankful for that ~ learning is worth it, but it is difficult. What really matters is what God is doing within the valley, as painful as it is and he WILL b my  strength to endure, and he will most definitely grow my patience. What has always been true still is. GOD IS GOOD. He IS working (and refining my faith). He DOES love me and he is ALWAYS faithful. He just helped me rediscover these truths in a way that I pray stays with me through every trial and valley I will go through. 
I am working on being the best mom I can be, and trying my best to live out the transformation God has just done in my mind and my heart and continues to do in my life. I will never be the same b/c of it. 

"But this I call to mind,
   and therefore I have hope:
 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
   his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
    "therefore I will hope in him."
 25The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
   to the soul who seeks him." Lamentations 3:21-25

"Will I believe? Do I really dare to let God be to me all that he says He will be?" -My utmost for his highest, July 9th


Britt said...

well said. Thank you for you honesty. You always resonate so well with my soul. It helps me have someone to walk WITH in this crazy life. I love you.

Vicki said...

Tara, I've never commented before, but I'm wondering if you've ever read the book Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. I think that it's a book that would really minister to and challenge you right now. Just my 2 cents:).

Tara said...

I have read that book and loooved it!!!!!

philippians4:4 said...

Once again Tara you have brought me to tears, in a good way. I tend to focus too much on my feelings and at times it makes me think I'm far away from God and I don't trust him. But you said it perfectly. What a blessing you are! I confess, I don't read every blog you post, but some how everyone I do read is exactly what I needed to be reminded of. You are in my prayers, I really do thank God for you.
P.S That is a great book!

Anonymous said...

Hey Tara, have you read the book Hope by Nancy Guthrie? It is a daily devotional book and has really been speaking to me lately.

Amy Lederer said...

I totally happened upon your blog by accident (well, I suppose God had a hand in it). I was googling "spending yourself" looking for where Beth Moore discusses it and !POOF! - Here I am. I have been engulfed in your words. In your honesty, in your pain, in your faith. I am amazed. I read your story, of Preston's heroic home-going and more. I have not shared your experience or "been there." But I am a fella (fell"A" for girls) believer and I have been blessed by you today. You will be in my prayers, as you are "feeling again." I too have boys (3). Anyway, I'm babbling now, but God used you today to bless me. I'll be back! Keep writing!