If you’re on Facebook, you’ve seen the relationship status choice: It’s complicated.
Yeah, that’s me.
Not my marriage, but me.
What makes it so frustrating is Jesus isn’t feeling any complications. He knows.
And I’m really having a hard time with that.
There are things I know about me that I finally receive.
- I’m an intercessor. I’m called to stand in the gap and pray.
- I’m a scribe. When He tells me to write, I do. I write what He tells me to write. Every time.
- I’m a vessel of surrender. When He asks me to do something, I’m on it. What used to take years to obey is now down to days. There is such freedom in that. But it is a lonely, crushing road.
- I believe God. He gifted me a mountain moving faith. If He’s asked me to believe for it, I do. Because, He is.
But I’m still human and within the above come complications. Whether it’s one of the above, I’m an introvert, it’s a Julie Arduini thing, I don’t know but I’m stuck in the cycle of I enjoy being alone and yet the loneliness of life at times is so harsh I wonder at times if I can stand under it a second longer. This year has been particularly tough.
Then there’s the prayer life. There are some prayers that are 20 years old and they are not only not answered, they are worse. I get people and their free will play a part but where is He in this? The fallout are death to promises and I fear death itself. How do I raise my hands in worship when I can’t come to terms with this?
There’s the mixture of the two. The loneliness of prayer. I used to long to be invited to a dance—any social event that featured the very people who remembered my number when it came to prayer. Then I realized I probably would stand in a corner and wish I were home. Now I wish people reached out and asked if they could pray for me or if I had any needs. There is a very, very small group that has done that this year and they have no idea how lifesaving that was to me at a critical time. But the ache and pain of people who ignore me until they have a prayer request, honestly, what can I do but go to the Source for this?
In full transparency, my attitude hasn’t been perfect. There are more times than not, especially this month, where I felt entitled. Because I did A, I deserve B. Well, that’s not true. There are so, so, so many things that are on hold in and around me. Picture a roller coaster taking those baby steps to the top. When does the fun part come? When do the answers and release come? That’s where my thoughts are at.
The good news is I fight this out for a bit and I’ll settle down and in time I’ll look back and see what He saw all along. I’ll confess my attitude and He’ll pat me on the shoulder and we’ll move forward together like we always do. The loneliness part, that I don’t know how that’s going to work.
For now, this is Saturday Confession and here I am telling you, it’s complicated.
I try as a mom and mentor of sorts to stay on top of the latest terms, crazes and technology. Not to be the cool middle aged lady, but to know what’s out there trying to harm my kids and children I care about. I’d love to say I always know the latest, but often I’m still behind the times.
Like when I heard the term “ghosted.” It was in a picture I saw of Scarlett Johansson. She was accused of ghosting Sean Penn, someone she had been involved with but no longer was. The commenters felt she was icing him out, treating him as if he wasn’t even in the room.
Apparently, that’s ghosting. It’s ignoring the relationship, whether in person, texts or calls. It can be romantic or friendship.
And I’ve ghosted long before it was a thing.
Years ago, I mean YEARS ago there was a boyfriend who disappeared. He went off to college but never said goodbye. I was angry more than anything else. Everyone had their theories but months later, he came calling. As if this never happened. Talk about ghosting. He flat out disappeared. And when he returned, he asked for my number.
And I gave him the wrong number.
And he knew it.
His last words to me were, “You don’t want me to call you, do you?”
And I said nope and drove off.
As an adult, I’ve been ghosted and I’ve done the same. There’s no good excuse because when it happened to me it was almost as painful as losing my father. I ached. It was a loss that took me a long time to process. Choices needed to be made outside of my power and who I am and how I live were outside the parameters. Someone had to go. I was an easy elimination to be rid of. I was obviously not as valued as I had valued them. That fact just about did me in.
When I’ve ghosted as an adult, it was never malicious or fun. I simply was at a loss. Either the relationship ran its course and I didn’t know how to communicate beyond what I’d already done, or, the other person required more out of me than I was able to give. Sometimes I ghosted because I gave and gave and gave and nothing changed because the other person was content to stay as is and keep coming me for changes. There were times I backed off because it was too draining, too high maintenance for me to handle. I also became invisible when I realized the relationship wasn’t what I thought it was. I was a crystal ball of sorts, the go-to when there was a crisis or a prayer request. When I was in need of prayer and support, I stood alone against the people I eventually ghosted. Lastly, I ghosted because trust had been broken and we knew it, but I didn’t have the courage to say so. I closed my circle in tighter and moved on.
I’m not proud of it and yet if I had to do it over again, I can’t say I’d act differently just yet. That’s the beauty of Saturday confession. I’m working on it, but I’m not perfect. I’m simply being transparent enough to share my confession.
Right now in any of those situations I don’t have words that would be comforting. I’d create more hurt with honesty, and I definitely don’t want to lie. So like my wedding song, I Say Nothing at All.
Ghosting. Have you done it? Has it been done to you? Don’t be invisible. Share in the comments.
This is the worst kept secret confession.
I’m an introvert.
I love public speaking and big groups are a pleasure to speak to. However, they drain me. It takes me days to recover. At parties I’d rather bring a Kindle and have you approach me, but not for long.
If you define yourself as high maintenance, chances are I will shy away.
It’s just who I am.
Imagine my glee to learn I don’t have to, I get to facilitate a book club—online!
An introvert’s dream.
We can wear pajamas!
We can have chocolate smeared on our faces!
And still connect with amazing people.
Starting Thursday, September 17, the Books for Life Book Club will host Entrusted on Goodreads for six weeks. Each Thursday we will post discussion questions for the assigned chapters, and then from 8-9 EST we’ll have a live discussion to talk about the book and share behind the scenes information.
We’re excited about it because we love talking books and writing. Over at Books for Life we already have discussions up about reading and writing, so join our group today!
Once we finish Entrusted, we’ll take a short break and read Annabelle’s Ruth by Betty Thomason Owens.
Entrusted purchase links:
Update: After Entrusted we’ll discuss Annabelle’s Ruth by Betty Thomason Owens.
Consider yourself invited!
As I write this, I’m looking at the clock, wishing for time to move faster. I have a doctor’s appointment and for once, I can’t wait to get there.
I have poison ivy.
With a new house and lots of landscaping and woods comes stuff I can’t identify. My gloves get hot and sometimes things were so solid in the ground I needed bare hands to get a grip. When I first started getting bumps and itching I thought honestly it was from the cat and his fleas.
Yeah, this is an attractive post.
That story is the cat ran off into the woods and brought back a horrible flea infestation. Room by room I cleared it up but the cat still had fleas. Until I bathed him. I figured it was the cat getting revenge on me.
But at the chiropractor he saw my arm and told me I had poison ivy. It all made sense. I used creams, Benadryl and allergy meds and in time, they faded away.
Until I went back to landscaping. I thought I missed anything itchy, but apparently not. It’s back with a vengeance and spreading.
I looked at the map of bumps and realized how ugly it is. Our daughter, not one to mince words, let me know how scary my arm looks and I should basically hide in a closet until it passes. She was nicer than that, but it got me thinking.
About people with leprosy. I’ve never met anyone, but I know people who traveled on missions trips who served with those affected. I’ve seen the pictures. And I get why in Biblical times they were shunned. People didn’t understand, and what they saw wasn’t pretty. They figured they must have sinned and this was their lot in life.
That hurts more than my poison ivy.
And I kept thinking. What if people could read my thoughts? You want to talk ugly. The world has us trained to circle around the pretty people and pay no mind to their brokenness. A wounded life is an ugly problem, so the world doesn’t want us to see that. But when my arm is clear from poison ivy, I have to be real—
My mind is as ugly as poison ivy. As a tumor. As leprosy.
I’ve been extra vulnerable this year. Mid life crisis, spiritual warfare, or what I suspect, God growing me through a season, there were times my mind wandered into some dangerous what if’s.
The worst thing we could do is keep those thoughts churning. I realized pretty fast I had to take each and every thought to Christ. I dove harder into the Bible and started taking Bible studies on my own. The last thing I needed was for my thoughts to spread into action. I’ve seen that tragedy play out too many times.
Just like with the poison ivy, I know when to admit I need help and call in for a master on the subject.
My challenge question is, do you?
Feelings of failure loomed late night as the large ice cream cake I bought didn’t fit in our freezer. I didn’t think the fridge would work. I threw an ice sleeve and ice in a freezer bag with the cake and hoped for the best.
When I presented the cake, it took a gasp of air and collapsed into a pile of peanut butter goo.
My husband asked why didn’t I cut the cake up and put that in the freezer?
I almost graded my parenting based on that melted cake.
But I looked over and watched him share with his friends and girlfriend.
Recalling moments in NYC where they served with the NYC Dream Center.
His second year.
Then I realized he’s filling out a job application.
Making plans for his senior year
When did that happen?
Wasn’t he the kid that tried to make his entry at 32 weeks?
Then decided to stay put until surgeons intervened?
Wasn’t he the one banging his head as a toddler when he was mad?
Or luring his aunt into his room to play and keeping her there for hours?
Asking for kinne and fries, agpa and his dog, kissiwa?
Wasn’t he just in first grade drawing a picture of a little boy crying with a U-Haul because we’d moved to Ohio hours before?
When did it happen that he got braces?
Then another set of braces?
And many more pairs of glasses?
Didn’t he just pick percussion as his choice for elementary band?
Wasn’t he the kid that nearly passed out in a spelling bee?
When did that happen that he was in middle school?
Weren’t we just whining that we hate science fairs?
Wasn’t she just introduced to us as his friend that we knew he liked?
Didn’t he just attend high school orientation?
How can it be he’s going to be in his brother’s wedding when he was just in his sister’s?
Melted cake, you can’t kill my joy.
Even though I keep asking when did that happen?
It was probably eight years ago, maybe longer. The kids were with grandma and my husband and I were on a fact-finding mission. We looked into adopting a senior dog and wanted to visit her before making a decision. It wasn’t local so we plugged the address into a GPS and went on our way.
Once the task was done we realized we didn’t have to go the same way back. We had fun with back roads and country highways, landing at a small town restaurant for dinner. It wasn’t fancy but it was good eating.
We realized had we went the normal route, we would have missed that nice side trip. There was the great dinner and interesting scenery.
That’s the memory God dropped in my lap this week as I went for a routine appointment for our child. Although with puberty on the horizon I’ve been trying to plug those coordinates in my emotional GPS, I was still thrown when I received an update I wasn’t expecting.
The doctor ordered an x ray and now that result is in. It appears as if what the doctor feared was happening is a reality. And once I follow up with her and receive her guidance, we will most likely receive treatment.
I’m pretty rock solid in my faith.
For everyone who comes to me in prayer or God prompts me to pray for.
But when it’s within our walls, boy that’s tough.
I didn’t plan this trip.
This is a detour I wasn’t expecting and I know for sure our child didn’t ask for it, either.
That night where we had a wonderful night we never would have enjoyed had we stayed the course.
That side trip.
That’s where I’m at. God’s not a liar. He’s promised that girl is an overcomer and He’s confirmed it over and over. This side trip surprised me, but not Him.
With this new route we hope to avoid complications and actually have progress and praises.
I think it’s a road worth taking.