Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How dare I?

My wonderful husband Eric has gotten a job in a machine shop making airplane parts.  He works hard but plays hard too:  he works 4 ten-hour shifts and gets Fridays off to spend with me.  I LOVE that I get to have 3-day weekends with my hubby!

God has blessed us with extremely generous family, whom we've been living with for the past (almost) 2 years.  These last 2 years has been undoubtedly the worst and most painful of my entire life.  I've endured terrible heartache, enough to suck me down into the pit of sorrow and question my purpose in this glorious life.  I've been broken-hearted by boyfriends before, and I thought that was rough. 

But these last 2 years has been insane.  After living here for 1 year and Eric still job searching and coming up empty, one thing became painfully, unmistakably clear:  this time of trial would not end anytime soon; it indeed was only just beginning.

Yes, it's been nice to get to know my in-laws probably better than I ever would have if we didn't share a house with them.  And yes we've had some memorable and fun moments as a family unit.  And yes, I don't have to cook because Eric's mom cooks most of the time, and she's an excellent cook.  And yes, we've gotten to know our adorable niece because she's over at the house all the time.

But those "nice" aspects are also part of the problem.  Eric & I's guest bedroom we've been living in does not have a locking door.  Let me say that again:  Eric & I's bedroom, where we sleep, stay up late reading, and get intimate in does NOT have a lock on the door.  Now, Eric's parents have never just barged in on us (thankfully, because they'd get an eye full!) but still it's so unnerving to not even be able to lock the world out of our single room when we want to.

And the adorable niece?  We love her (and her parents) to death, but it's difficult having them in our house all the time.  And now that Eric's gone in the evenings at work, there's just the grandparents, the grand-baby, the grand-baby's parents all as one cute family unit, and then me as the awkward 3rd wheel that doesn't have anything to talk about because all they talk about is the baby.  And all they do is sit around and stare at the baby.  So I frequently escape upstairs to the computer (hence this post) to escape the craziness, the grandparents' over-bearing-ness of their grand-baby, and the 2-year-old temper tantrums that inevitably ensue.

For example, today they arrived at around 11am, and it's past 8pm now, and they're still here.  They're still here and the baby has been screaming for the past 20 minutes.

And I find myself frequently close to tears while trying to live here, in this crazy house, and I feel a general sense of despair when I think that, even with Eric working full-time and me working part-time, we still may not have enough money to finally get a place of our own.

It's tough; it's so incredibly horribly tough.  And I've tried to put on a brave, patient face for the family and watch my manners, so I don't shoot some snarky comment at them.

But I've kept my mouth shut, because I remember the various Bible passages that warn against having a quick and mean tongue, such as in Proverbs 29:20--"Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them."

If I were to speak my mind (which is sometimes full of bitterness and anger), I might feel a momentary release of pent-up energy, but I'd certainly be injuring someone I care about and should be respecting with my words.  So I never say anything.  And I shouldn't say anything.  

Quite often I find myself bitter, enraged, desolate, depressed, anxious about the future, and hiding from my family when I should be interacting with them.  I observe how my niece's parents are raising her and I have the audacity to mentally chastize them about their techniques.  How dare I?!?  I mean, really, how dare I think such self-righteous thoughts!  They've been doing this "parenting" thing for over 2 years now, where as wait, how many children do I have?  Oh that's right; zero.  I do work with children, and have worked with children for ages, so I know tons about their developmental stages and how to care for & nurture children.  But I am not a mother.  And even if I was, I have no right to judge anyone who is a decent parent, which they are.  I may inwardly chuckle at the way they try to do things with their kid sometimes, but they're good parents and I don't recognize that enough.

There's a lot that I need to change about myself and to work on, obviously!  I need to stop with the self-pity, release my anger to the Lord so He can dissolve it, and cast all my cares upon Him and beg Him to imbue me with more patience to wait upon Him, because I desperately need it.

I need Him in His entirety, to cleanse me in my entirety.  All my brokenness, all my anger at my life not turning out the way I wanted it, all my anxiety that these horrible times will never end, and just the fact that I get annoyed so easily by everyone around me.

I'm a mess!  What a beautiful mess I am.  Who knows?  Maybe Eric & I will be forced to live here another (God forbid!) two years.  That's not likely, but I'm not God, and no matter how much I want to force Him to bend to MY will for once in my life, He will not.  And how dare I offer Him anything less than my utter and total relief and gratitude for all that He has done in my life.

After all, Jesus Christ saved me while I was still a sinner.  As the "Sidewalk Prophet" song says, "I am the nail in your wrist; but You love me anyway.  I am Judas' kiss; but You love me anyway."

Here's the music video for this amazing song: You Love Me Anyway    

An angry, embittered, hopeless, shrunken woman is NOT who I want to be, and it's NOT indicative of the "abundant life" that Jesus speaks of giving those who love Him.  So I'm working on inviting God into the most deep dark places of my heart and mind, and granting Him full access to cleanse and heal my inner-most parts.  I want to be an optimistic, hopeful, inspired, Spirit-filled woman who lives an adventurous, expansive life of romance and contentment. 

I believe that this journey with Jesus is an adventure for the soul, and I'm going to try to enjoy it a bit more. 

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