i cried at work - luckily no one was around to see - and i cried today a few different times.
my last post was raw - real - honest. i didn't even get into the deep, complex thoughts and feelings swirling around my brain regarding church, mental health, depression, chronic fatigue, pnes, etc. life feels too big for me right now. i'm trying to put out so many fires in all areas of my life while keeping ok areas- the dry grass - protected from sparks so more fires don't start. all of this and i only have a gallon of water.
i've tried to distance myself from heavenly father because i feel like a failure as a daughter. it's easier to fail someone if you're not as close to them. despite my best efforts, he is right next to me, gently sending reminders to me that he has not left me.
reminder #1 came last week. i was thinking about my anger towards heavenly father - anger that he hasn't healed me from the psychogenic non-epileptic seizures and given me a normal life. i knew anger wasn't going to help me take steps towards him. what could i offer him? willingness to turn to him - but that was low and my faith felt so small it was almost non-existent. "do i have an inch of willingness? an inch of faith?" no, i don't have that much. "what about a centimeter? do i have a centimeter of willingness? a centimeter of faith?" no, that still felt too big. into my mind came clearly "all you need is a mustard seed worth of willingness and faith." ah, yes, that i have. that size is not intimidating to me. i can give a mustard seed's worth of willingness to turn towards heavenly father - i can show a mustard seed's worth of faith in the promises he has made me.
Matthew 13:31-32 - Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
reminder #2 came today. i was writing out all of my jumbled thoughts to two close, trusted friends who love me as their daughter. tears were coursing down my cheek as i tried to express how confusing it is to me that i used to try to be so much better at "perfect" and now i feel the whole "perfection" situation is hopeless. i used to try. now i don't because it hurts less to fail when i put less in. i used to be so on top of things spiritually - reading scriptures and praying every day, attending a 6 am seminary class m-f for four years, serving in church, singing often, being the president in classes, teaching primary and sunday school classes, earning service awards, being willing to serve a mission, going the extra mile always - i feel like people saw that "rachel" and approved. the post mission, suicidal, seizure-ie, unwilling, ugh church, no service, rarely singing, angry "rachel" (i think) is not understood. maybe someday some of the "pre-rachel" will come back but depression has changed me, severe anxiety untreated for years has changed me, therapy has changed me, seizures for months has changed me, and i will never be the "rachel" i was before. the hardest thing for me to hear is when someone close to me says, "you've changed. you never used to be like this." i've changed because in order to survive the hell i've been to, i HAD to change. maybe not all the changes were ideal but they were made because i felt like i had no other option. so, all that said, how, HOW, do i reconcile these two "rachels" ??? gently entered the thought "what about the widow's mite? was her sacrifice less in my eyes because she gave a mite, a monetary value of less than a penny?" no. her sacrifice was honored by the lord because she gave all. me - rachel - now, i am the product of my experiences. if what i can give the lord is a mite then that is acceptable to him. he will not guilt or shame or "should" me into giving more than i have. my offering is acceptable to him. i need to trust that.
Mark 12:41-44: And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
may christ mercifully look on me at this time in my life and say, "[she] did cast in all that she had."
reminder #3 came to me tonight as i was mindlessly scrolling through my facebook feed. my emotions feel raw and exposed right now. i swing from happy and hopeful to angry and discouraged so many times each day i'm wearing myself out. a friend posted a short video by a leader in our church who is my MOST favorite. his stories touch me. his voice clams me. he speaks to my soul. i feel like he gets me. i saw it and my first thought was, "absolutely not, i am not watching that, i'm too upset" and in that same moment i thought, "ok, maybe i'll try to watch it" (mustard seed worth of willingness!). how i didn't want to but needed to hear that message. patience. i could almost hear heavenly father saying, "i see you, little one. i see you struggling. i see you crying. i know it's hard. i know you want out. it's ok. you're going to be fine. i'm in control and i see a better way for you. be patient. my blessings for you will come. keep going. give me your mustard seed and your mite. all will be well."
and in truth, all will be well.