I’m not okay.
I’ve told a lot of people this lately. Stephen the other night while we were camping, a great friend and pastor Sunday morning, my brother-in-law and his wife over coffee Monday night.
And they all told me that was fine, and told me to take the time to process everything that has been going on.
I had a loved one in the hospital for several months this summer. I planned a wedding, tried to keep up with kitchen renos, and then actually got married. I hid from the world on our honeymoon, then came home so we could both go back to work and try to get our lives in order as I officially moved out of my parents’ home. Now school has started, and the kitchen isn’t quite done, and the house is still a bit of a disaster.
A lot of reaaaaaallllly big things have happened over the last three months. A lot of things really hurt, and it was really hard to think about wedding details. It was much easier to bottle up feelings and push through to get things done, than to deal with what was running through my head. A lot of the time I did things a lot more slowly than I should have because I was so overwhelmed, but my incredible mom, aunt, mother-in-law, and a million other people stepped up where I was lagging behind, and pushed me forward. I wanted to feel selfish and petty for having a “party” in the middle of everything else going on in our families, but I had some special people give me great reminders. My cousin, Ashten, said “Your wedding is not trivial! It is a visual of Christ’s love for His church, it is a beautiful, hopeful foretaste of our future hope. Each one of us will be blessed and encouraged if you do put the energy into to giving the wedding the care it deserves. It is not selfish, creating a beautiful God – honoring and God-directed wedding is a ministry and encouragement to you and your family.” I figured she sounded pretty wise, and the counselor I went to agreed, and so we had a wedding. Everything turned out beautifully, so many special people were there to celebrate with us, and I now have the privilege of being Stephen’s wife.
The thing with being a wife though, is that Stephen is now always there. He is my new husband, and reaches to connect with me intentionally. It is really hard to keep things bottled up when someone is trying to touch your heart. I think I’ve kept an emotional wall up with God for the same reasons. I look for Him at work, and I acknowledge and celebrate what He is doing for others, but when I go to acknowledge His faithfulness to me and my family, I’ve been stopping. In order to recognize His goodness in my life, I have to recognize the hurt I’ve been holding inside. It’s really hard to get everything on my to-do list done when I’m a mess, and so I just tuck it away again and keep going.
Through talking with Stephen, Dawn, and Stephen’s brother and sister-in-law the other night, I was reminded that I am allowed to be a mess. It is not okay, however, to use that as an excuse to hide from any of my relationships.
I’ve been getting up early with Stephen to share breakfast before he goes to work, and most mornings I have time to sit with a cup of coffee and my journal after he leaves. The other day I asked the Holy Spirit to show me what He was trying to say to me, that I was blocking out. I found two posts from bloggers I follow that day, that seem to be His answer.
Jamie the Very Worst Missionary said:
This morning I asked God to make me awesome.
I was like, “Lord, would you please make me strong enough and smart enough and good enough? Make me capable and steadfast and secure and then make me all the other things I’m not and give me everything else I need to be awesome, so I can finally be kickass at life.”
And God was all, “Actually? I have a better idea… You do you, frail and broken; you be who you are – and I’ll do me, strong and whole; I’ll be who I Am. And then we’ll kick life in the ass *together*, because when you’re not enough, I Am sufficiently graceful, and when you’re too weak, I Am perfectly powerful. I don’t even need you to be awesome, I just need you to remember that when you’re not, it’s ok, because I Am on your team.”
And I was like, “ooOOOHHHhh, ok… But it would be easier if I was awesome.”
And He was all, “Not gonna happen.”
And then Jennifer at Unveiled Wife told me – It’s Okay to Be Overwhelmed. And she is so right, there is freedom in acknowledging that we are overwhelmed and it’s okay. But we cannot give the enemy ground he has no right to. We cannot accept any defeat. We are the children of God. We fundamentally need Him, but He gives us power, and strength and authority. We don’t have to be okay, He is everything, and He is on our team. He gives us what we need to do what He has called, but He is also there when we feel like we’ve got nothing left.
I still have a lot of processing to do, but I am receiving the freedom to do that. I hope that my mess, and my “not okay” encourages you to find peace and freedom in our Father.