Friday, May 24, 2013

beauty in the broken

There are so many things I could be doing on a Friday night, but I am exactly where I want to be and this is exactly what I want to be doing and it's also exactly what I need to be doing because something just isn't right.  When things aren't right... it helps me to write.  I didn't mean for that to rhyme. 

I've been feeling really lost.  Kind of dazed.  Unable to focus.  I sleep but it's never enough.  I know when things are lovely, I wake up and I automatically think about what kind of flower I feel like today... and what colors I should wear to outwardly express how I feel today... but this morning I woke up and all I could think about was how much longer I could feasibly sleep and NOT be late for clinicals and when I could lie down and sleep again.  That is sad. 

The other day, I woke up and I immediately had a song playing in my head... which normally would be a good thing except this time all the important words were missing. 

If I had no _____, if I had no _____

I would ________________________
And when _________________________
I will __________________________

Yeah.  Try googling THOSE lyrics.  I tried.  It didn't really yield much. 

It took me a while to get out of bed that morning.  I lied there staring at the ceiling and I kept hearing the tune in my head but none of the words came.  It was kind of frustrating. 

I think this is kind of how I've been feeling lately as well.  I've lost my bubblies.  I find myself feeling really sad and depressed... and I come out of it and have a happy moment here and there but baseline lately has been really kind of sad.  And there is no reason for me to be sad.  I just am.  I'm going through the days and living life but somehow it feels like something important is missing. 

I wanted to spend some time alone to try to figure things out.  There were times this week when I wanted to be alone and people kept scheduling things with me so I couldn't.  And then there were times when I wanted to go out but it seemed like no one could and I didn't want to try that hard so I didn't.  Today, I chose to be alone and I'm glad.  I didn't really get much homework done but it's OK.  I had a good cry and to me, that's worth it.

I actually enjoy crying.  I would rather feel SOMETHING than feel nothing at all and it's the "nothing" that I've been feeling that's been bothering me so much.  Some people want to dull their pain or escape from the world... I don't want to be dull at all.  I want to FEEL everything and get wrapped up in everything... and enjoy life... to look at something and SEE... to smell aromas of things I can't see (unless what I smell is old urine... in that case I would rather not smell it...)... and to just feel and be thankful I am alive.  

I tend to feel more alive when I'm outdoors.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe it's the greenery or the flowers... or the sky... or the wind... but it gives me a deep peace and contentment just being outside of a building.  Maybe it's the sun.  I don't know and it doesn't matter.  It's just nice being outside during the day.  

I think I did want to blog about biking.  Been biking more lately.  It's fun.  It's probably one of my more favorite forms of cardio if I can even have a "favorite" torture activity.  It's not that hard to convince me to bike... but since I've been doing it more often lately... I've noticed a few weird things about me and biking.  

  • I feel most comfortable mounting and dismounting on the left side
  • I have a harder time turning right than turning left (it makes me feel like Zoolander).
I also have the bike shoes that clip into the pedals.  The first week I had them, all these weird things about me and biking became even more amplified... and I also became really scared of biking on the street.  Correction.  I wasn't scared of biking on the street, I was scared of the cars who share the street with me... and I actually still am very scared of the cars.  I never fell off the bike before the clippy shoes.  After the clippy shoes, the first time I fell, I was trying to dismount on the right.  The second time I fell, it was because a car made a U-turn and got too close for my comfort (which wasn't actually that close...) and I freaked out and fell to the right, the third time I fell was trying to stop going uphill while turning right... and the other day, I fell to the right because a SUV in Fountain Valley either didn't see me or didn't care and got way too close and pretty much ran me into the sidewalk.  I'm just going to hope that he/she didn't see me.  But I was wearing a bright, almost neon, pink.  Oh well.  

And why do I keep falling to the right?  Why is it so hard?  Muscle memory maybe... or maybe my left foot likes to be on the floor and my right foot likes to be locked into the pedal.  Making the left go first and lock in... and making the right foot lock in after I start moving is REALLY awkward for me right now.  But maybe that's also kind of the way things are for a while when you're learning something new.  You do what you do well first and once you feel comfortable... you work on the things you don't do well... and also... I've found that in life... I tend to fall and fall again in almost the exact same way, in the exact same direction... and it's because it's where I'm weak.  

I've been trying to think about why I all-of-the-sudden became so scared of biking just because of the change in shoes.  The shoes are specialized.  They lock my foot into the pedal so that there's pulling action and pushing action so it should make biking easier... I think the thing is that it's just harder to get out.  I can't just fling my feet out to stabilize myself if I need to (even though the seat is so high I can barely touch the ground anyway...) but that extra, unnatural maneuver to get my foot out of the pedal somehow made all the difference.  

I wondered if some people find it hard to commit to going to grad school or pursuing a degree in something because they're afraid that once they lock in, they won't be able to get out.  I was kind of afraid of that before I started NP school.  But I could always work as a RN... and I told myself I could always stop school.  All I'd lose was time and money.  Maybe if I valued the time and money more, it would be a bigger deal.  My life simply hasn't turned out the way I thought it would so as far as timelines, I'm way off of the "ideal" and I took a really long and crooked way to get where I am as well so I guess the time and money really doesn't bother me as much as it bothers some other people. Which is also really weird because I sometimes get obsessed about efficiency.  

Anyway.  I forgot why I started talking about this to begin with.  

Well.  Speaking of efficiency... someone said something to me the other day which made me stop and think.  Someone said that he knew what spiritual gifting I had... and he pointed straight at "gift of administration".  Not that I don't agree with his observation... but it didn't really sit very well with me.  I thought about why... and I decided that maybe it was because even though I was good at it... I don't really enjoy it.  It doesn't make me excited and I don't exactly delight in administration... but I do get upset when things aren't organized or they waste resources or they're all out of logical or ergonomic order.  I'm not really sure what that means and I don't really know what to think of that.  Maybe... I don't like doing it but I recognize that it sometimes needs to be done in order for things to run more smoothly.  

And then it made me think about other things that people said that I might be good at but might not necessarily like... for example... motherhood.  

I might need to take a break here and say that last Sunday... when posed with the application question of "what parts of my life are being called into obedience?" and that I should daily be questioning if I'm living a life of belief... I was thinking about areas of my life... and for some reason when I thought about motherhood... I started crying.  It wasn't an ugly cry but it kinda felt like Hannah's drunk-wailing at the temple in my head.  On the outside it was probably just slow tears falling out of my eyes in the dark with a lot of loud music going on so no one probably noticed but I was somehow wailing on the inside... and it surprised me because I actually really enjoy not having kids.  

Someone else recently commented that it seemed like I was ready to have babies and I kinda took offense to that.  Just because I know how to take a baby out of a car seat and throw her on my hip doesn't mean I'm ready to make babies.  But does that mean that I will never be ready to make babies?  Perhaps I've kind of buried that part of my future in the back of a closet... knowing that I need to take first things first and have a partner before any of that can happen.  I'm pretty sure that when life as I knew it was Tiff+Anderson, I would have loved to have and raise kids with him.  We talked about how we'd raise our kids all the time.  Since he passed... I tried not to think of it and to make the most out of the life I have... and not having kids means there's a whole lot more time for me to do the things I want to do and to spend time with my friends whenever I can.  I enjoy the perks of not having kids and I'm also glad that we never had them because I don't think I could have taken care of myself AND his child... but maybe... just like widowdom... you never know what you can handle until you're forced to. Maybe I woulda been an awesome widowed mom.  Who knows.  

And all this burying reminded me of other parts of me that have been dormant these past few years... and while cleaning my room, I found a couple of boxes which held pictures and letters that I wrote to Anderson and that Anderson wrote to me while we were dating.  It's funny that even though I know that I wrote those letters... I somehow... was amazed at how freely open, how candid, how unrestrained I was with him... and in every letter I read from him... I was amazed at how much he loved me.  I think I'd forgotten what it felt like to be loved like that and to love like that.  It made me cry again.  There have been rare moments in the past few years where I've felt as open and as unrestrained as I was with Anderson... which means that even though I do share a lot with a lot of people... there are still things that I hold back and keep for myself...  and it is those things that I realized that God was calling me to bring those things out and lay them at His feet... daily even if needs be.  

There's a difference between letting go because you're forced to and laying it down willingly because you want to.  And it's also OK to grieve as I'm laying them down.  Even though Jesus knew full well that Lazarus was going to be raised from the dead... He saw Mary crying and His heart hurt with her and He cried as well.  He could have said, "there, there... just you wait and see..." but He didn't.  He cried with Mary and He cries with me too.  

I know it's some kind of recurring theme with me that I have to stop every once in a while and remind myself... well... I heard this song today and it pretty much reminded me of what I needed to be reminded of.  

Beauty in the Broken by Hyland 
Looking at your pain an inch away
It's hard to see the plot
You wonder if your story's gonna change
You don't know you're
Too close to find the hope the light
Don't know just why, you are breaking
I know that you want to let go but…

Let me hold you through it
Let me carry you
I know it feels you're at the end
But here your story's just beginning
I know your tomorrow
I know where you are
Though you can't see past the moment
I see beauty in the broken
I see beauty in the broken

Looking at your life from where I am
I promise you that
All your dreams and all your greatest plans
They don't compare to
My hope for you my love can do
Way more than you can imagine
I know that you want to let go…

Let me hold you through it
Let me carry you
I know it feels you're at the end
But here your story's just beginning
I know your tomorrow
I know where you are
Though you can't see past the moment
I see beauty in the broken

So let the pieces of your heart fall into my arms
I wanna be your hope, so won't you let me
So let the pieces of your heart fall into my arms
I wanna be your hope, so won't you

Let me hold you through it
Let me carry you
I know it feels you're at the end
But here your story's just beginning
I know your tomorrow
I know where you are
Though you can't see past the moment
I see beauty in the broken
I'm in the middle of my NP program and God's taken me on a pretty crazy amazing journey to get here but even still... I tend to get down on myself despite all the miracles that God's done. And a couple days ago... I wrote down a set of statements... or accusations that the father of lies has used to weigh me down and make me forget.  It was easy to write them down because they are thoughts I think very often and they are often thoughts that will drive me to tears when they do pop up in my head.  

  • Who would want you?  No one does and that's why you're alone.
  • You're stupid and you're going to miss something and kill someone one day.
  • No one will be able to handle you.  Your needs are too many and too deep for anyone to handle.  
  • You're fat and ugly and disgusting.
  • You'll never know enough to be a good nurse practitioner.  
  • You're going to fail.  
  • You're never going to be a good nurse.  
I noticed that they're all "you" statements.  I wonder why that is.  I've only actually physically heard one person say one of these statements outloud to me but that voice plays that statement over and over in my head sometimes and I have to shake myself to get myself to stop thinking it.  I might shiver and spazz someday in front of you and this could be one of the reasons why.  Or maybe I'm cold or just spazzing.  Who knows.  Ask me if you ever see it.  

These are things that I also need to speak out against and lay them down.  They're really destructive and just not nice.  They speak to a lot of the areas that I'm weak in.  Through reading my list of discouragements... I realize that I struggle with my worth, my identity, my physical appearance, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of inadequacy, and fear of incompetency.  Maybe there's more in there too but for now... it's a lot for me to lay down.  

Hm.  I kinda feel better now.  I'm not sure if I'll have regained my bubblies by tomorrow but I think it's a good start after having written down some of my thoughts.  

Oh.  And eventually, I was able to remember one phrase in that song which helped me google the lyrics so I could find the whole song.  The phrase was "endless glorious praise".

If I had no voice, if I had no tongue
I would dance for You like the rising sun
And when that day comes and I see Your face
I will shout Your endless, glorious praise

 That's my favorite part of the song.  The rest of it is pretty good too.

When I can't find the words
To say how much it hurts
You are the healing in my heart
When all that I can see
Are broken memories
You are the light that's in the dark

You are the song
You are the song I'm singing
You are the air
You are the air I breathe in
You are the hope
You are the hope I'm needin'
You are

And when my circumstance
Leaves me with empty hands
You're the provider of my needs
When all my dirtiness
Has left me helpless
You are the rain that washes me

Maybe sometimes just remembering a few key parts will unlock the whole floodgate for me.  If I had to boil it down very simply... what's been essential and foundational for me to remember has been these 3 words:

  • God loves me.
Nothing that happens and nothing He does is by accident or without purpose.  Everything He does is driven by His great love for us.  Big things and small things and the even tinier things... like a free pink pen.  I don't know why pink pens delight me so much but they do.  Getting a pink pen pretty much makes my day and I've gotten like 4 pink pens from people (and ambulance companies) lately.  God knows that I love pink pens that He loved me so much to send a few my way.  And He loved me enough to send Jesus too. 

K.  I think I'm done now.  Until next time...

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