No, not Wine Fest...
I'm going to do something a little different. I am going to write this post in the MIDDLE of feeling crabby. I'm not going to wait until I'm past it. I'm not going to wait until I feel all "spiritually intact" again. I'm not going to write it when I've reached the praise part.
I'm just going to write it and see what happens.
So, yes, I am in the throes of a serious grumbling phase. An unabashed valley of complaining.
Yup, seriously disgruntled.
Is there a reason for my feeling this way?
Does there ever have to be a good reason??
I don't know what comes over me. I can be sailing along (sorta), when all of a sudden everything feels wrong. Nothing seems right, nothing seems good.
My feelings are hurt. My face looks old. My knees and neck and just about every other body part is painful. Everything is a supreme inconvenience. The computer isn't working fast enough. I've gained back much of the weight that I so diligently lost four years ago – and kept off for over two years until I moved up here to the mountains.
Which leads me to my biggest gripe – my general discontent right now about where I live.
Oh, it's beautiful, all right.
Gorgeous mountain views out of every window. Trees and wildflowers galore. Nature's wildlife visiting almost every day.
Lovely, lovely, lovely.
But I feel trapped.
On an island in the sky.
You see, for the past 1 ½ years, I've been making monthly trips back and forth from here to where I used to live. Visiting family and friends, getting my hair done – (listen, if you get your hair colored and styled by someone you've known for YEARS, it's worth the extra effort – just sayin') – doing errands that can't be done up here, etc.
Oh, and eating at all the places that I miss. A certain sandwich chain, a particular coffee-making place, a juice bar, a sushi place, an occasional Italian bistro.
Shopping at all the places that I miss.
Doing all the things and seeing all the faces that I miss…so much.
My trips have lasted longer in the last six months, as I've had to add care-taking to my downhill duties. And, quite frankly, through no fault of their own, my parents' situation can be frustrating.
I know that I'm stressed and burned out.
I can tell.
My deliriously bad attitude is a clue.
Two days ago, the day before I was supposed to leave to come back up the hill, I realized something. I actually don't feel like I belong anywhere right now.
I don't feel like l live down there anymore, but I still don't feel at home up here.
I am looking back and longing for my old life.
Sometimes I even want my really old life back. The life when the boys were living in the house, and growing up with me, and we were having all these grand adventures.
I miss that…I miss them.
Everything's changed, and I can't seem to adapt to *everything* anymore.
Woe. Is. Me.
As in, Woe might as well actually be my middle name right now.
So, this is where I find myself today. And this is where I'm writing from. From a place of discomfort and boredom. A place of confusion and hurt. A place of isolation and loneliness.
From an island in the sky.
"The Hub" is happier than a clam at high tide up here - (notice that I'm not even using a mountain metaphor here). He likes being alone. His inner mountain man is overjoyed at the natural world that surrounds us. He has told me several times that he can't see any reason to ever go "off the hill" for anything anymore.
He is content.
Except for one thing.
His wife is not.
So, I also add a good portion of *spouse guilt* to the things I'm complaining about. I want to have my own feelings, good OR bad, without having to feel like I'm bringing someone else down.
Can't I gripe alone?
(OK, at this point I am seriously wondering if this post is ever going to make it to publication…)
So, Lord, here I am.
With a huge heart full of too many feelings to feel, too many headaches to count (some of them are literal), too many weights on my shoulders…
Too many…too much.
What on earth do You want to say to me today while I am in this frame of mind?
Will I even listen??
I heard it, but I don't want to.
"Lord, how much still-er can I get? That is part of the problem. I am bored to tears up here. I am lonely. It's all so quiet that I can't stand it anymore! You're telling me to stay still??"
"I am. Still, on the inside where it counts."
I am NOT wanting to hear this today.
"Lord, I don't want to stay still. I don't want to let go of this mood. I am entitled to feel crabby. Everything in my life has changed, and I do not like many of the changes."
"I know. But I am with you in the changes. Let them happen. For I have plans for you."
If He quotes Jeremiah 29:11 right now…
"I heard that."
But honestly, the truth is that I have grown so weary of being the "good" Christian, so tired of being strong. So worn out trying to have the right attitude.
I want to feel lousy. Just for a day. Just for a break.
"Do you understand that, Lord?"
"Yes, I do. But I never, ever want you to forget something. In the middle of your wilderness wandering, never forget the deliverance that I can bring."
Yes, deliverance. That sounds good.
"Lord, I want deliverance. I want out of here. I truly don't want to live up here anymore. I miss everything in my life that happens when I go back to where I used to live."
"I want to go home. And I don't know where home is anymore."
"Sharon, dear Sharon, My child. Home isn't a place. Home is where I live in your heart, and you live in Mine. This is where you must abide.
And remember, the Promised Land didn't deliver on the promise until many battles were fought and won. Don't lose sight of the glory while you're still spilling your guts on the battleground."
"Fight on, strong soldier."
He didn't just say that, did He?
"You think I'm strong, Lord? Really??"
"How can you possibly think that? I'm sitting in a pity pile here, holding on to a bad mood like meat from Egypt. How on earth am I strong??"
"You are strong because you know you need Me. And you have never, not once, let go."
He's right, I haven't.
"Have that mood of yours if you must. It will pass. But never lose sight of this. You are just exactly where I want you, at just the time I want you there. There is a reason. Trust me."
My mood is dissipating…just a tiny bit.
"Sharon, is it really just Me?"
There it is – the same thing He has been saying to me over and over again for the last two years.
Is He still winnowing and pruning and lopping off the worthless things in me?
Is He still working on the ugly parts?
Oh Lord, please stop…
Oh Lord, please don't stop.
I am going to finish this now, and pray about whether I should post it or not. It's raw, it's not flattering…but it's totally honest. And, it sorta ends on a positive note.
I heard from God.
I am bloodied by my battles, but not defeated.
And I am consoled in my complaining by the most powerful words I will ever hear in my entire lifetime…
"Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age, for I love you more than you will ever know."
"FLY WITH ME AND WE WILL SOAR"
Those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
"'And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?'" (Esther 4:14, ESV)
"So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic...For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you." (Deuteronomy 31:6, NLT)
"'And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'" (Matthew 28:20, NLT)
"'I have loved you...with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.'" (Jeremiah 31:3, NLT)
"The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied..." (Proverbs 19:23, ESV)
Are you experiencing a valley of discontent right now? What is God saying to you?
Linked today with:
Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY
Michelle at HEAR IT ON SUNDAY, USE IT ON MONDAY
Hazel at TELL ME A TRUE STORY
Jen at UNITE
Rachel at WHIMSICAL WEDNESDAYS
Jenifer at WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY
Tracy at WINSOME WEDNESDAY
Salina at HEART REFLECTED
Judith at WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAY
Nannette at WISDOM WEDNESDAY
Rosilind at A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS
Gail at TGIF
Wanda at THE FRIDAY FIVE
Laura at FAITH FILLED FRIDAY
Mel at ESSENTIAL FRIDAYS
Leslie at FAITHFUL FRIDAY
Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
Patricia at STILL SATURDAY
Barbie at WEEKEND BREW
Janis at SUNDAY STILLNESS
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"