Thanks for your kindness, wisdom and patience with me this week. It’s hard for you folks to be on the receiving end of a tearful rant, but your perspectives and prayers have been a massive help. And I’m thankful for challenges as well as reassurance. From Kinga:
I know it’s hard. But we need to accept that not everything will happen as we wish.
I always wanted at least 3 kids. No husband even. No close family almost at all, as I buried them. I can say you are still lucky, Emma. You have got a loving husband, parents, siblings.
But I know well that little voice which shouts in your ears. I don’t understand my life and I stopped trying to understand. I can’t play this guilty game anymore and I don’t want to analyse myself every minute. Life doesn’t seem fair, but we have to accept things and try to see the beauty around us.
Only God knows what is in front of us. But He can turn for good our hardest moments.
Thanks Kinga. My temptation is to throw myself into the pit: and there’s so much sin in that. I’m a Christian and I don’t belong there. Self-analysis has an expiry date – but I don’t stop to read the labels. The Lord does turn our hardest moments for good. I’ve seen it over and over again – even this week. I have so much to be thankful for; and I do lose sight of it. I thank God for family, friends and husband. For material and emotional prosperity. For medicine that mends and second, third and fifteenth chances. For your testimony and wisdom. And most of all, for a Lord who is constant and, as you say, has made life beautiful.
And from Timo:
Hi , Everytime I read your postings, I am quite frankly amazed at the ruthlessly exposed emotions as a result of all that ‘sucks’ in life! That is the postive, you ‘do’ the emotional stuff so well. However, negatively, I wonder if you do this stuff too well, for I am horrified. Let me try to explain and I thread as cautiously as possible. How much these emotions have to do with underlying emotional issues of a pre-existing or historical complaint – anorexia, I am not sure. But emotions of the nature described in my opinion are perhaps more dangerous than might appear. In short one can soon go all negative in which case life really does suck and the further one goes into this abyss, the harder it is to get out of the hole. But I have a residual interest and that is why I do not wholly avoid your emotional frankness, namely, that although I have not been anorexic, I sometimes fall into, what I call, an emotional enorexia . That is to say one can end up complaining about all the miseries in life which befall us. Thinking about this has made me realise that problems and difficulites – I cannot think of the useful word which twins with problem – beset us everyday unfortunately. Maybe we have to love problems, and hopefully with the love of the lord in us, we have chyming away the thought of his Mathew 6 and the bit about the lillies in the field etc. The next time i complain or become overcome with emotions maybe I shall recoin it and say I am doing an Emma, but, and this is the difficult bit to say, maybe I have been fortunate in that I have never felt so much pain so deeply as to perform like yourself? Or, maybe I have felt the pain of life, in my own particular circumtances of course, but been blessed by open ears/and or/ fantastic voices of opposition to my oppression? Cheers tim …, from Belfast
Hi Tim. When I first read this, my temptation was to say ‘dammit man; have ye no heard of gift wrap? It’s my blog and I’LL GO CRAZY ON IT IF I WANT TO’.
I hear that some women have an inner goddess. I have a three year-old, which is how I’ve been feeling, (and maybe acting too). I’m grateful to you for speaking straight – and for sharing a bit from your experience. Ideally we would go for a pint and I would wrestle you into submission; but with the Irish sea and all, I’ll write instead.
I’ve got a cartoon on my fridge of Henry Thoreau sitting at a table with a few of his mates. In the first box he says to them: ‘the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation’. His friends look stunned. Then they speak. ‘No we don’t’ says one. ‘Life’s great’ says another: ‘I’m happy’. ‘You need to cheer up Henry: come out and have some fun’. The strip ends with a crestfallen Thoreau, sitting alone and looking at the floor. ‘Not tonight thanks’.
I’m not comparing my output to Thoreau (Don’t say it Tim! I know – and I’ve been burned by you before :-)) But I’m blessed with his sunny disposition. I am over-intense. Double gin, triple espresso, everything terrible or brilliant. It’s certainly part of an anorexic mindset; but it was there before it and it’s there afterwards too. It’s not very healthy. It can be idolatrous and profoundly selfish. I’m not special and far from suffering more than other people, I’m profoundly blessed. My self-pity is ugly and doesn’t exempt me from life; even though I sometimes feel it should! I have a tendency to jump into the pit with both feet and as you say, this is very dangerous. But I also have a desire to pretend and to perform. To say ‘I’m fine’ and to settle into a relationship with others and the Lord, which stops at the surface. To channel those feelings by eating too much or not eating or shopping or my appearance or my achievements. When I write and when I pray, I’m trying to bring what is ugly into the light. To shine the gospel on it and expose the heart: in yesterday’s post, a ‘need to be needed’. In other posts, a desire for control, a sense of entitlement, a relentless self-pitying, faithless, broken heart.
What I feel and what I write is often ugly: but sadly, it’s the shape of my heart. It’s not okay to bed down under self-pity. It’s wrong – and can’t be justified with any amount of experience. I’m sorry to God for doubting His goodness. I’m sorry to you and to others for wallowing in misery.
But I’m not sorry for articulating the struggle to feel what I know to be true. I’m not sorry for asking for prayer when I’m sore. I’m sorry for sinning in my weakness, but I’m not sorry to be weak. And I’m thankful for a Saviour who treats me with the kindness and patience I don’t deserve. I’m thankful for your words and for the fellowship that unites us, even though we’re geographically and personally in different places.
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.