life

Crying.

I am uncomfortable and a little scared to start this post, which means it’s probably something I definitely have to write.

My mind goes blank when it knows it has to do something it doesn’t want to do, so I figured I’d just start it off by telling the truth about that.

There. The beginning is out of the way now. I started.

I’ve noticed something about people, and while there are a few exceptions to the rule, pretty much the general consensus seems to be that crying equals weakness. And we’d rather be damned than look weak. I’ve been a part of many conversations where a person is sharing something painful, and wants to cry, but can’t. They’ve shut that useful tool down a long time ago. I’ve even had several people tell me that they don’t want to cry because they don’t want pity, or to come across as weak. People just flat out say it.

What’s funny to me is that we are completely blind to the illusion that we are strong to begin with.

Don’t get me wrong, I struggle with this too. And while I am more comfortable with crying in front of others than a lot of people, I still hide it or force myself to swallow it, because I too believe the lie that I’ve got it handled. This comes into play when I’m around Daniel. It is excruciatingly difficult to cry in front of my husband.

Last night I was sitting at the computer, working on an overwhelming amount of Beard Sauce orders after a hectic week of helping my mom and brother move up here, Thanksgiving and Black Friday madness. For some reason I really wanted to listen to Miley’s Wrecking Ball song.

Side note: I know several of you just judged me so hard. But it’s one of the most honest songs I’ve heard in a really long time. For some reason, when celebrities or musicians “act out” or “go crazy”, Christians seem to feel entitled to judge them just as harshly as everyone else does, and it runs rampant on Social Media . Keep in mind that our right to our grace-less opinions died when we decided to pick up our crosses and follow Christ. That’s just as much for me as it is for anyone else, and I apologize for being a judgmental a-hole in the past just to get a laugh.

So, like I said, I was listening to Wrecking Ball, and I just started weeping. The first time I watched the music video, it was also the first time I had heard the song. It made me tear up then, but last night…

I process pain with two things: by listening to music and crying. I’ve been that way my whole life. The song pushes down on the nerve, causing incredible pain and forcing me to feel. Crying is a release of all the emotions and thoughts that have been stuck. When it’s over, I feel light and clear.

It’s a beautiful process, really. But I will subconsciously refuse to listen to music a lot of the time (even though it’s my favorite thing in the world) because I know what it’s going to do to me, and I don’t feel like being “weak.”

It’s not necessarily the content of the song that got me. It’s the fact that a human being is being verbal about how another human being destroyed her.

We destroy each other.

I’ve seen a lot of that lately, more specifically with my family. Evils I didn’t really believe in or understand until now are a part of my life.

Demons whisper lies into our ears, and we believe them. Then we tear each others hearts out, and leave the souls of our victims choking for life.

We wonder why people uses harsh substances to get through the day.

And while I have hope that the lights will be turned back on and souls will be restored, it doesn’t change the fact that there’s a lot of darkness hanging out right now.

We are all weak, every last one of us. Crying is an act of submission. It means that we’d rather do the uncomfortable thing that might help us gain a little bit of freedom. You can be an emotional person (like myself) and cry a lot, and still refuse to submit when it really counts. Even though I cried a lot last night, I didn’t do it in front of Daniel and I didn’t even tell him about it. I hid it, and I want to confess that. He’s the person I should be the most comfortable being weak in front of, but when you grow up not being able to trust anyone that’s supposed to love you, that’s kinda difficult.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:25-28

I always think about these verses when I am so filled with sorrow and I’m crying so hard that there are no words to be said.

So, I don’t know, that’s what I’ve got today. I have no idea how to end this one as much as I had no idea how to start it.

Why don’t you cry?

 

You Memorize Me.

Today has started off pretty weird. I woke up to two sets of great news, and two sets of terrible news. One being that 8 students from the high school in my town got into a car accident last night. One of them died, and the rest are in critical condition (as far as I know). Many of you know that myself and a group of leaders are going to Catalyst this week (because of my constant, insistent Facebook statuses that people help us out with tickets). All of our tickets were provided for as of early this morning.

It makes me feel ridiculous, amongst tragedy and the loss of a young life, that I was worried all last week about how we were gonna make it to the conference.

Beard Sauce was able to sell 55 bottles in four days, allowing us to be able to release at least 2 Christmas Scents in November.

Oh, and the government is in shutdown.

It’s just like- what the hell is happening? What is the right thing to be feeling right now?

My heart is so broken over these high school students, their families and friends, and all of the teachers effected (if you talk to Jesus, please stop and say a prayer right now).

But I feel grateful at the good news about how things have been provided for, and complete apathy towards our government and how corrupt everything is.

And if any of this makes me sound like a complete B-hole, I’m so sorry. I’m just trying to process my morning, and figure out what’s best for the rest of the day.

This is a song that comforts me on weird days like this. I don’t know even know me or know what’s happening around me, but I know that my creator does.

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Plans, Resentments, and Being a Mom.

Abe

A few months ago, I found myself sitting in my church office conference room, sobbing and speaking of feelings I didn’t know I felt.

Well, until that moment.

I couldn’t tell you the details of the conversation I was having with my pastor, because I honestly can’t remember what it was about. I know it was pretty light hearted and general, nothing too deep or major. But a few of Dale’s questions later and there I was, letting go of something and allowing a healing process to begin.

ANOTHER HEALING PROCESS. Gosh, it feels like it never ends, you know?

What grace.

For some reason I brought up my frustration over my son waking up so unbearably early (he gets up anywhere between 4:30 and 6 am), and my deeper frustration over why I can’t just accept that and be an adult and start my day. I shared how I struggled with wanting to be up at all, and how I would sit Abe on the couch to watch a cartoon, and I would fall asleep next to him.

I had identified  my sleep idol a long time ago, but this felt deeper.

I asked myself questions like, “Why am I ok with getting up at 5:30 in the morning to be at the first session of Catalyst, but treat my son waking up like it’s the end of the world?”

I shared with Dale that I love my son like I’ve never loved anyone else. I mean, I would KILL for this kid in a heart beat, no questions asked. I love him so much that I am in constant fear of failing him as a mom.

So how could I possibly feel this way about my son, and at the same time enjoy my life more when he is away from me rather than when he is in my presence?

Why wasn’t I happy to see his little face every morning, regardless of what time it was?

And then Dale’s big question came.

“Do you think you might have some resentments against having a child so early in your marriage?”

You know when you cut yourself really bad, but there are a few seconds before you look at the blood and you think “Oh, it’s probably not to bad.” Then you look down and find an unbelievable amount of blood gushing out, giving you a sense of reality and triggering the emotion. That’s when the crying or screaming or fainting happens.

Sometimes I don’t realize how bloody a wound is, or how deep a sin can be. And then someone asks a question, and all of a sudden my vision is clear, and I can see the blood.

This time, it made me cry. It made me cry so much, right in that room. It made me cry for weeks after that conversation, and is kinda making my cry right now.

Needless to say, the answer to Dale’s question was “YES.”

Abe came along about 4 years earlier than planned. We wanted to have great jobs established. We wanted to have several years of solid “married” time. We wanted to travel, and blah blah blah.

You get the point. It’s so incredibly selfish that I don’t even want to keep typing everything Daniel and I felt entitled to.

But instead, God gave us Abram Isaiah Webb. He gave us Medicaid and food assistance. He gave us a house to live in that looked like someone painted it with pepto bismol and used horse fertilizer to stain the carpets. He gave Daniel a job at a machine shop and me little things here and there. He put us back into Lake City, Florida. He spurred our marriage into honesty and sanctification, and I didn’t like it.

It was all just so overwhelming and so fast that I don’t think I really took it all in and processed it. Up until that day in the conference room, I was treating the past two and a half years, in regards to my family,  like I had treated past situations; with bitterness, apathy and repression.

Can I be totally honest right now?

Realizing that you resent your child and even your husband a little bit HURTS LIKE HELL.

So my initial gaze at the wound was not pleasant. It was gross, painful and heart breaking.

But in that moment, a spark ignited.

When heart and wound meet face to face, something begins.

Recognition. Acceptance. Mourning. Repentance. Restoration. New life.

The love and adoration I feel for my son now is unexplainable. What an undeserving gift God would give to me. Not to say I don’t have days where remnants of that resentment are uncovered. The difference now is that I recognize what it is and how to fight it.

Dale encouraged me to share this on my blog. I agreed with him that it was something I needed to share, but I wasn’t quite ready to put it down on the internet yet. The main reason being this: being a mother is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, therefore it is the area of my life I am most insecure. And in those times when I am drowning in that insecurity, I am crippled by the thought that other moms think I’m not cutting it. I also find it very easy to condemn other moms over their decisions, giving me the illusion of confidence. Maybe not always out loud, but most definitely in my thoughts.

So here it is, I’m laying it all bare. I resented my child for coming to early. I resented Daniel for being the other number in the math equation that equaled a baby. I lost my awe for God because I felt like He was wrapping grace and blessing in a very strange box, and I didn’t approve.

I’ve repented of that to God, but I also repent of that to you. If these resentments have ever made themselves manifest in the way I’ve talked or treated you, then I am sorry.

The truth is, I know almost nothing about anything with complete sure-ity (even when I act like I do). But I am starting to discover who God is, which gives me 100% confidence that I am not Him.

He is deep, He is wide, and He knows of and cares for every fiber that makes up who I am.