Last night was New Year ‘s Eve and I was alone. Not usually a big deal.Me being alone. I actually like to be by myself. It reenergizes me. But for some reason last night really bothered me. My husband had been gone for a few days with the littles and the older two were gone working. So being alone wasn’t the issue. It was for how long I had been alone. When he is home, I am home. For some reason it triggered a fear in me. I woke up feeling frustrated and sad.
It is safe to say that they way that I love people I need them to love me the same.
It was earlier in the year that I had the realization that I needed to realize how much I carried the disappointment card around. How many times I was hurt or frustrated that things did not turn out like I expected them to. I would find myself being a part of events or functions and left feeling drained and not filled up. Or I wasn’t invited to a party or event that I was sure everyone else was at and my feelings were hurt. It brought me right back to eighth grade and never being good enough or popular enough or skinny enough. Nothing like a little middle school drama trauma to be triggered. Next thing you know I will be back in braces with a plaid skirt and knee highs and taller than some of the teachers.
When my youngest started kindergarten this year it was a grieving process. For the first time in eighteen years I was home alone. I had no one to have lunch with. No one to take to playdates. No one to tuck in for a nap. I soon discovered that I had forgotten who I was without kids. Since I was a junior in college I have had a child. And here I was forty years old with no one to take care of. ( I know a lot of therapy sessions here)
The first month I filled my days with everything and anything. I threw myself into my work and soon found how much I loved working for a fair trade company. I also was pitching articles to places I had only dreamed about. While these are both good and healthy outlets I still felt unfulfilled.
I thought then that it was up to me to create what I needed. It was time to orchestrate what filled me as a person.
Being an extroverted introvert it was a very obvious thing I was missing. I was missing quiet conversations around my table. I was missing adult conversations that were real and hard. So I started opening my doors on Friday mornings to anyone and everyone who needed a place to be heard. A place to enjoy a cup of coffee, a local pastry and real conversation. A sacred space of truth.
It is not glamourous or fancy. I cannot even guarantee that the floors are not sticky or there is toilet paper in the bathroom. But it is real. And it is what I need.
I discovered quickly I was not the only one craving a place to exhale a place to be loved.
This past year has been a year of truths that are hard to write about much less talk about. We left our church of twelve years and it has been hard. Grieving and questions. Wrestling and crying. Loneliness and frustrations. I felt it all. It has been a year of parenting that I would wish on no one. Decisions and truths that we had to crawl our way through. There were days when I begged Jesus to show me how to even take the next step.
In all honesty there were days when I questioned if any decision we made had been the right one.
I expected things to be like what I thought I needed.
Yet I soon realized that I needed to push into what he had put before me. He brought us to the sweetest village of believers. A community that is passionate about the city we live in and not afraid to stumble through the mess of loving broken pieces. They are a community of healing and the arts. Two of my favorite things. Jesus brought us from a church that we had grown in, been broken in, raised children in, cried in, laughed in, found our people in and told us to go. He told us to move.
I thought when someone told you to obey that you would then be in the land of honey and unicorns or something biblical like that.
Instead we found ourselves in a place where the stability we once knew was gone and every fear was once again brought to the surface. A place of healing.
New challenges had resurfaced in our personal lives and all of a sudden we had a choice to make. Do we run back to what we know? What we have always known. Or do we trust that where we are at is where he needs us to be.
We pushed in. We fell flat on our faces before our new community and begged for God’s mercy over us.
There is nothing more humbling then to be surrounded by an entirely new tribe of people and admit just how broken you are.
Jesus was showing me. Showing us. We needed to create what we needed. He was creating what we never knew we would need. We needed to stop grieving what we had left behind and realize what we needed was quietly gathering a place around us. They were pulling a chair up to the table and saying you are not alone.
So this morning when I was frustrated that I was l all by my lonesome self it was again an opportunity to realize that I had not created what I needed and expected others to do it for me.
As we start 2016 will we be brave enough to tell the truth? The truth about what we need? Will we be aware enough of those around us to see that they are creating what they need? Can we push into those feelings of discomfort enough to discover that this is just what he wanted for us?
Be brave in 2016. Gather people around your table and hear what heals them.