Thursday, March 31, 2011

just get out of bed

i didn't want to get out of bed today.

i've done my best to stay as positive as possible on here... i try to write on my "good" days when i feel inspired and encouraged that i can do this... get through this season of life without letting it take me under. but i certainly don't feel that way every day. there are plenty of "why me" and "oh God i can't do this" that escape out of my mouth at random points throughout the day- usually accompanied by tears.

truth be told, this is one of the hardest things i've ever walked through. no girl dreams of having to cancel her wedding. to have to call vendors and beg for money back... to cancel the honeymoon trip that once represented so much hope and promise... the shame of having to tell friends and family why this didn't work out... the questions... oh the questions... questions even i still don't really feel i have answers to.

it sucks. i have these moments where i look around and realize that this is my life now. back to being single. not being so wrapped up in someone else's needs. no one to take care of... to cook for... to share life with. i used to measure my days by our weekly date night and it made time pass so quickly. i lived for those days. now time just passes as slowly as it wants with nothing to measure it in. time. such a dreaded word. it's all people say. it will get better in time. this too shall pass. time heals all wounds. this is just a season.

i know those words. i've said those words. but when you're in the thick of it you almost have no concept of the truth of it. the here and now threatens to destroy any glimmer of hope that might still remain.

the bottom line is this... i miss him. i miss my best friend. the person i could be completely myself with. who i had exposed my heart to after keeping it locked and hidden for so long. he broke through my walls and now i'm left feeling exposed with no way to hide how broken i feel. i want to build those walls back up and shut myself out from anyone else who might dare to hurt me, but i know that isn't the answer.

so i got out of bed. i will do my best to find joy somehow in the midst of this pain. this is just one of those difficult days. i know more will come and once again it will all start with the decision to just get out of bed. even if that's all i can do.


*i realize this isn't the most uplifting post but it helps me to write and process my feelings, as raw as they might be. thanks for understanding.

Monday, March 28, 2011

we do not lose heart

it's amazing to me how much God speaks to us in our seasons of brokenness. i've been pondering that a lot lately. perhaps it's not that He speaks to us more, but rather that now He actually has our attention in order for us to listen. when will i learn to TRULY seek Him with all that i have when things are actually "going well?" why does it take a time of crushing and disappointment for me to really press in to the love that He has for me? it's the age-old question. just when i think i have this thing called life down, something happens to show me that i don't and that i am utterly dependent on a power higher than myself. i don't say that to say that God causes the pain and anguish that we go through in life, but he most certainly uses it to draw us back to him. one of my favorite quotes about this comes from william p. young in the book the shack:
"Just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don't ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors."
so true. i'm discovering that grace every day.

this morning i was led to read 2 Corinthians 4:7-16 and it's like the words were jumping off the screen at me! go read it, then come back.  :)

see what i mean? God entrusts us- these jars of clay, so easily broken, with the truth of His love and grace! though we are hard pressed on every side and we feel like we are being crushed- we aren't alone. God's all-surpassing love is there to carry us through and to ultimately lead others to that same knowledge. if God can use my brokenness and shattered dreams to lead myself and those i share with to the arms of Jesus then it makes it all worth it. this life isn't about me getting what i want or even what i feel i deserve. it's about sacrifice. it's about dying daily to my desires, my dreams and embracing what God has for me. i'll leave you with another quote from that book i'm reading called shattered dreams.
Happiness must be stripped away, forcibly, before joy can surface, before we will value and pursue dreams whose fulfillment produces true joy.
that's what i desire- TRUE JOY! and that only comes from intimacy with my creator... i love the last part of those verses in 2 Corinthians... it says "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." 

day by day, moment by moment, God is renewing you- he's renewing me. doing my best to relish in that today.

in His all-surpassing love and grace,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

thankful thursday

i was inspired by my sister today to write a thankful thursday post. if there is one thing i've learned over the last few weeks it's that the key to keeping hope and joy alive in the midst of pain and suffering is remaining in an attitude of gratitude! even when it feels like nothing is going your way- there are ALWAYS things, people, moments to be thankful for. i even started a "gifts journal" where i've been trying to document every day at least one thing i am thankful for. it's a good reminder to me of the goodness of God despite my current circumstances. so here are a few things i'm thankful for...

my home.
in may it will be 1 year since i bought my first home and it truly is my safe place. i thank God for this special gift and i'm doing my best to take care of it and make it a haven for others as well. i've done a little more decorating over the last couple of weeks and it's been a welcome distraction. sometimes i walk around and still shake my head at the fact that i own a home! it's such a humbling feeling.

i used to pride myself on being a fairly independent person. i thought i was fine on my own and could handle things myself. thankfully my heart has really changed and as a result i have realized my NEED for other people. God has placed me in a wonderful community of people who love me, support me and encourage me daily. i've come to learn what it means to be dependent on people in a healthy way and that it doesn't mean i'm weak- only human.

i know that i'm going through a really tough season emotionally, but i have my health and i try to remind myself often what a gift that is. i'm thankful for weight watchers and for my sister who is doing this with me and for the 18lbs that have been shed off my body so far. yeah baby! i'm thankful that i can go to the gym and work out my frustrations in a way that will ultimately benefit my body.

i'm thankful for the promise that despite the way things look today- THERE IS HOPE! i am trying my hardest to not lose sight of that and i struggle daily. sometimes it's hard to believe that things will work out or that our dreams will actually come to pass... so the only thing you can do is have hope. i'm reading a book right now called shattered dreams by larry crabb and i read this excerpt last night that spoke to me so much. i want to share it with you:
"Some of your fondest dreams will shatter, and you will be tempted to lose hope. I will seem to you callous or, worse, weak- unresponsive to your pain. You will wonder if I cannot do anything or simply will not.

As you struggle with dashed hopes, you will fail, just as My servant Peter did. You will feel discouraged with yourself to the point of self-hatred. And I will seem to withdraw from you and do nothing.

When all of this comes to pass, My word to you is this: Do not lose hope. A plan is unfolding that you cannot clearly see. If you could see it as I do, you would still hurt, but you would not lose hope. You would gladly remain faithful to me in the middle of the worst suffering. I guarantee you the power to please me, not to have a good time. But pleasing me will bring you great joy.

In the deepest part of your soul, you long more than anything else to be a part of My plan, to further My kingdom, to know Me and please Me and enjoy Me. I will satisfy that longing. You have the power to represent Me well no matter what happens in your life. That is the hope I give you in this world. Don't lose it."
Happy Thursday!

Monday, March 21, 2011

lessons from kyra and kylie

last friday i got to spend the day at longwood gardens with kesh and my 2 nieces, kyra and kylie. i brought my camera with me because my nieces are my favorite subjects to photograph and as i was looking through the photos i realized that they taught me several things that day.

be thankful.
kylie, who is 2, makes me smile every time we walk through the conservatory at longwood. she knows the value in stopping to smell the flowers. i'm not sure where she picked this up but she always does it. she sticks her cute little nose right in there and takes in a deep whiff of it's fragrance. it's the cutest thing.

i realize it's a lesson God has been trying to teach me over the last couple of weeks. gratitude. being thankful for the little things- the joys we tend to overlook, especially in the midst of our pain. i'm doing my best to remind myself daily to be thankful despite my circumstances. it's in those places of gratitude that i find hope.

laugh as much as possible.
this might seem like an obvious thing, but laughter really is good for the soul. children constantly remind me of this. there's a section at longwood called the children's water garden and it's full of fountains and waterfalls. this particular one is a "jumping fountain" and it always makes the girls laugh as they try to "catch" the water.

last night i found myself laughing several times with a friend of mine and it really did brighten my spirits. it might be a momentary distraction but it's a start to opening my heart to joy again and for that i am grateful.

it's ok to cry.
while in the water garden kylie slipped and bumped her head. she was fine, but it scared her a bit. her mom was there to pick her up and hold her while she cried. i think even as adults we need to be reminded that tears are ok. if it's part of your process then embrace it. it doesn't make you weak- it makes you vulnerable... something we can probably all learn to be better at. we all need those safe places where we can go and be 100% real and express where we're at without fear of shame or condemnation. i am so grateful for those in my life who have been that outlet for me.

here's a couple more of my favorite pictures from that day. this first one was taken 2 seconds before kylie sprayed me with water from that fountain. look at her face! you can just tell she's up to no good! haha! 

this one of kyra is probably one of my favorite shots of her ever... she's growing up so fast and has such a beautiful heart. i think this photo really captures that.

thank you girls for a fun day! and for teaching me so much... even at your young age. aunt susie loves you!

Friday, March 11, 2011


i started to think about this word perspective tonight... how we all see things through the lens of our life- through our own experiences, hurt, pain, emotion. it often influences our interactions with others. i encountered this tonight while i was at a class offered by my church. a woman, who i don't know very well, came up to me before class and tried to make small talk. given my current situation i was a little quiet and reserved and wasn't able to really engage in conversation with her. she walked away seeming a bit embarrassed by what appeared to be my rejection of her, but what was in actuality me being self-absorbed in my own pain and unable to connect with her even in the most basic of ways.

my scope of viewing the world and people has been altered by recent events, but i'm not the only one affected by that- others around me are as well. another example: at the end of the night a different woman realized that her car had been broken into. someone took a brick and threw it into the passenger side window of her car and stole the GPS off her dash. the woman was obviously very distraught but i found it hard to have much compassion for her. why? because i was viewing through my lens of hurt, anger and frustration. i wanted to scream at her, "you're really so upset over a broken window? that can be fixed! you can buy a new GPS tomorrow! what about my life that looks like that shattered glass all over the pavement? this is not fixable today or tomorrow or even the next day!"


obviously i didn't scream at her. not outwardly at least.

image found here
i remember years back when i was helping to lead the youth ministry at my old church and we taught a lesson about perspective and the way we view the world. we were trying to help the kids understand that they needed to see the world through a God's lens. one of the other leaders coined this term as "theoscope." this was derived from the Greek words "theo" meaning God and "scope" meaning to look or view carefully. so it was essentially the idea of viewing people, situations, the world through this God-lens and not through our own distorted view.

oh how i wish it was easier to do that. right now it feels like my lenses are covered with the fog of betrayal and brokenness and i find it so hard to put them down. sometimes we're afraid to see the world through clear lenses (free of the hurt and pain) because it feels like it lessens the severity of our situation. we like the dirty lens. we want others to see it. to acknowledge it. to suffer in the pain with us. to know we aren't alone.

at least that's true of me today.

i don't really have a conclusion for this post because i'm still-so-in-it. i just had to share it. writing has been therapeutic for me right now. that could last or fade, but for now i'm going with it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

keep breathing

what do you do when it feels like your whole world has fallen apart? what do you do when you feel like you've watched your dreams fall and shatter into a million pieces? how do you even begin to start piecing your life back together? mornings are supposed to bring hope and the chance to start fresh but all i feel when i wake up is dread at another day of dealing with a roller coaster of emotions.

the only comfort i have is knowing that God is still good. He is still holy. He has not abandoned me. i cling to that today in the midst of this crazy raging storm. i imagine it's what the disciples felt as their boat rocked back and forth, quickly taking on water, and they screamed, "Lord, save us!" here i am on this ship that feels like it's destined to capsize and i keep crying out like them, "Lord, save me!" and he responds just as he did to them, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" why am I so afraid? i know i'm not alone in the boat, but i forget that because of the strength of the storm.

my sister played this song for me the other day and the first time i heard it i just cried. and every time i play it i cry because this is exactly how i feel. i don't know what else to do but keep breathing. just keep breathing.

thanks for all the sweet comments and the love. it means more than you know.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


i know i should be posting part 8 of our story but i can't. unfortunately over the last few days there have been some dream-shattering things taking place and the last thing i can do is keep sharing a love story whose ending is now unknown.

i hate to be that vague but for the sake of privacy right now that's how it has to be. right now what i need are your prayers. prayers for clarity and wisdom and that God would be glorified no matter what the outcome is.

this scripture is speaking to me today:

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Colossians 3:12-17
Thanks for your support and understanding,