I have a playlist on my 4 year-old creative zen vision:m mp3 player called “songs of the moment”, obviously named. From 2006 to early 2007, one of those songs was Kirk Franklin’s “Let It Go”. I played it over and over, reflecting on what was going on in my life at the time. I even used a line that spoke to me for my email signature: “ . . .the pain was preparation for my destiny . . .“ A little later in 2007, it was replaced by Tonex’s “Make Me Over”. It too got played over and over, while I was dealing with more pain, especially on my lone rides to and from work. Two years later the song that got repeated over and over was “Moving Forward” by Israel Houghton. Its still there because I need that reminder sometimes: “Not going back/moving ahead/her to declare to you, the past is over in you/Things are made new/surrendering my life to Christ/I’m moving, moving forward”. I listened to it over and also because I believe it will get down in my spirit, and because frankly some days it doesn’t feel like I’m moving forward because I can’t see it.
I haven’t written a blog entry in over two years….mainly because I hit a huge brick wall that almost shut me down. Most of my previous entries here were like essays about things that I came across, some with obvious “religious/spiritual“ overtones, but others not so much, but still a part of being a “Kingdom citizen“. Some of them were commentaries on aspects of life or things that happen that affect the experience of being an eternal spirit living a temporary human experience. But now, the themes are going to take a personal tone, and perhaps that’s part of the reason why I’ve delayed so long in starting up again. Over the past few months, I’ve had a few brainstorming moments of new topics to write on, but still wouldn’t sit down to do it, because I felt stuck.
So here I am about to get personal, on the internet . . . about to become one of those people who I’ve shaken my head at while reading their personal private thoughts about goings-on in their life: weight-loss challenges, in-law problems, job woes, marital pressures, sexual habits/confessions, etc, posted online for anyone in the world who comes across them to read. Taking the risk that one day, after a job interview I’ll get a call from a hiring executive saying, “We’re sorry Miss May, but we found out that you have a blog online, and we think your views are religiously intolerant and don’t think you will be a good fit for us”.
So the main reason why I haven’t been writing is that I got hit with not one but two emotional freight trains in the fall of 2008: I was laid off at the end of September, and two weeks later heard a marital confession that resulted in my decision to file for divorce a few months later. I tried to keep up with my entries, and even wrote about my observations of the 2008 presidential election, in the midst of all that, but that was my last post. I’ve had a few comments on that post, some from anonymous cowards, but I was too busy coping with my life to bother to respond.
If someone had told me 10 years ago that in my late 30s (getting closer to 40) I would go through a 16 month layoff, a divorce, delayed motherhood, move back in with my (very loving) parents to re-build my life, I wouldn’t have believed them completely, but would have stored it away in the back of my mind. I would have dreaded it, and tried to pray it away, keep it from happening, wondering what I could do to make sure none of it came to pass. I guess its another reminder that none of us goes through life’s journey totally unscathed. No one. Some things happen because of choices we make, some things God allows to build us up and draw closer to Him, and some things are the work of what some Christians call “the enemy”, targeted attempts to derail us from our God-given purpose for being on this planet. If the past 2 ½ years are any indication, there must be something really great God has for me to because they sure have been horrendous to say the least.
But, as only the Lord can do it, in the past two years, I’ve also saw Him answer some prayers, and grant heart desires even while I’ve struggled with continuing to trust and believe Him, while I grappled with pain that sometimes seemed to hover like a cloud in those antidepressant commercials. Even while I’ve struggled inside with not giving up on my heart’s desires to come true. Even while I’m rejoicing over yet another promise about my family happening before my very eyes, and God gets all the glory.
So, what got me to break my silence? For one, a conversation with one of my brothers about two weeks ago had me confessing out loud to him why I have avoided fully re-connecting with some people that I love dearly -- I dreaded having those talks because I knew sooner or later, the topic of getting divorced, and what led up to it would come up and along with it feelings of inadequacy, comparing myself and my life to theirs and risking being subjected to well-meaning advice (what I sardonically call “forced encouragement”) that might touch a nerve. I also realized later while reflecting how that made me feel and the painful emotions it brought up, that avoiding some my friends and family was ultimately adding more to my hurt, and in turn keeping me stuck at this stage of healing. I can admit now out loud that I am still healing, and that’s OK. While I’m healing, I continue to remind myself that although I am in my late 30s, now divorced, with no kids, with dreams not yet fulfilled, I am re-building my life. The other thing that spurred this is I learned, via the wonderful world of social networking late last week, that “the ex” has done the ultimate “moving on“. Admittedly it came as a surprise, but as I always say, “life goes on“, the world didn’t stop when I found it, and isn’t going to stop.
In the meantime, I must continue to move forward, with God’s help. That has to take place if I want God’s purpose to come forth in my life. I must allow Him back in the places where I have shut Him off, albeit un-intentionally. While I'm re-building and renewing my relationship with God, I will rejoice in the success and victories of others, knowing that when mine manifest, they will celebrate with me as well.