Saturday, February 23, 2013

Never Enough

God, there is so much stuff happening around me that I am struggling to keep track of You.
Honestly, Jaime, like God is going anywhere.
He is everywhere.
Why am I having this problem?
Homework, this man, summer camp, my step-father, Grandpa and his wife, Twining, no-dating commitment, my friend/sister, 8 Minutes Max, Elevate, worship team, Living Waters.
I just want to yell, "Time Out! Too much stuff!"
And it's weird because the first two things to go are You and other people. How absurd is that?! Senseless! Vanity of vanities!  הֶבֶל 
Thank you, Qohelet. Great time to expose my twisted, obsessed brain.
It's absurd because You and people are who I need MOST!
I just don't understand, God. I feel like I am incapable of bringing everything under one banner of "Pursue God." I can't even bring them under one banner of "Jaime." They are each different, individual parts of me.
Whatever happened to One Body??
Am I being selfish?
Someone called me an angel yesterday. I am NO angel. I struggle just as much as the next person. I am just as screwed up. Tempted. Fallen. Depraved in my fleshly lusts.
And what does my flesh lust after? Control. Perfection. Godhood.
And how does fear play into all of this? Because fear is all over the place.
I was so scared simply to talk to camp recruiters. 
Why?! Am I ashamed of my own impotency, imperfection, and humanity?
What if I am running around, doing all these things--which are, in and of themselves, perfectly good and beneficial things--just because I want to feel that my life is worth something? Because I honestly feel that I have wasted so much of my life. So if I can't reach my "potential" in one specific area, then I will just spread myself thin.
"I can't possibly search God for that One Thing because I've just got too much going on.
Eventually things will die down.
THEN I will seek Him with my whole heart."
YEAH RIGHT!! What a load of CRAP, Jaime!
Things will never die down. Because I am addicted to doing. I am addicted to pain. I am addicted to suffering.
"God would never want me to rest; God would want me to do more."
Oh my goodness, Jaime! Will you ever be enough?
No. I will never be enough.
God: For whom?
For You.
God: Wrong.
For You.
God: Wrong!
(Yelling) God, damn it, I'm doing this for You! Can't you at least appreciate it?!
God: (tears streaming down His face in pain and frustration) No, Jaime! I don't want an exhausted, miserable, angry, uptight, endlessly driven you! I want your heart! All of it. It's that simple!
(Hunched over in heaving sobs) I can't.
God: (reaching out, wanting to comfort, but remaining at a distance) Jaime, you will never be enough for YOU.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Paralyzing Fear

"That is typical in trauma patients."
I never thought I would hear those words come out of my therapist's mouth. After all these years--after all of the work that I have done--it is still a shock to think about the term "trauma" applied to myself.
And what is it that I have been experiencing that is so typical? Anxiety. Intense fear of being known by others. Because I do not trust anyone.
This is a sad truth for me to write. So sad. But so true.
I cannot deny it after what has happened. The anxiety will take over if I do not do something.
The "hurt" in my heart was just the beginning.
Next was the fear of the man who desires my heart. Why the fear? Why the persistent tears? Why the self-protecting anger? I finally admitted to him that I want to push him away just as much as I want to open myself up to him. The war in myself is raging and I have come to an impasse.
But the fear did not stop there--it is spreading. God gave me the opportunity to share my testimony with a group of girls. However, after sharing, I found myself on the floor of a small prayer closet clutching my chest and afraid to come out and face them again. Am I ashamed of my life? No. Jesus' words to me in my memory: "It's not yours." He removed my shame. But perhaps He has not miraculously removed my fear and distrust. I am still struggling to connect my testimony to me--the actual Jaime.
I thought I had pinpointed the problem (I can see God smirking at such a preposterous thought, now) on Wednesday. I realized that although Christ had removed the shame that I have been carrying, I was not careful to seek Him to fill me and define me in the place of that shame. Therefore--because of my lack of definition by Christ--I was taking on the old labels once again.
Matthew 12:43-45a "When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first."
With this realization, I prayed with my sisters in Christ, and I renounced those old labels. And Christ was faithful to rename me. 
However, Thursday became a shocking wake-up call that still not all was well. It began with the appearance of an individual that tempted the old me (the me that lined up with the labels that I had renounced the night before). In fear, I fled from this person's presence. But later that day my fear completely overtook me. 
I was in a class that not only has a large number of students, but is also a discussion class, and the discussions can become quite heated in the clash of people's worldviews and indoctrinations. I mumbled a comment to myself in response to the discussion at hand and the three men sitting around me heard it and strongly encouraged me to speak up. They were so outspoken about their desire for me to speak up that I was terrified I would be forced to do so. In my mind, I screamed: "I'm terrified I will be noticed." Instead of screaming such a statement or calmly voicing my comment to the class at large, I shut down. I pulled my legs up and placed my head between them--classic fetal position. And so there I was--a 22 year old woman, reduced to a trembling babe.
As soon as class ended, I went outside to be alone. I let myself go: my chest was tight and aching, my breath became fast and shallow, the tears streamed down my face, my body began to shake, and hot and cold flashes spread over me. I sat on a bench and curled myself in as much as possible until the wave passed. 
My best friend came to find me. I admitted me fear of going to another class and my desire to be alone--safe. Although I eventually went on with my day, after classes I spent the night relaxing, in the sheltering presence of my friend. Pushing people and school work away from my mind as much as possible. 
I was better by Friday, but I could still feel the remnants. Two people tried to reach out to me in order to get to know me; I could feel them trying to pull me out of myself. I gave them a little, but on the whole I kept myself locked away. I wanted to be able to share myself freely with them, but deep down within me my fear screamed, "No!" And further discouragement to myself, was to realize that the impasse concerning that wonderful man who desires my heart was (and is) still there. He tries to come in, and I lash out in fearful anger. I want to let him in. I really do.
"That is typical in trauma patients." I don't know whether to be relieved or discouraged. I guess I feel both. I am relieved that my fear has an explanation and is somewhat to be expected. But I am discouraged because I still feel stuck. 
What if people give up on me and choose to leave me alone? What if this man decides that my anger is too much--that my fear is too much--that I am too much--and he decides I am not worth the battle for my heart? What if I end up shutting out the world? 
"That is typical in trauma patients. You have spent your life protecting yourself. Now that you are trying to open up and be known, your old self is screaming that it is too dangerous."
I must take the risk. I must take the risk to trust. I must take the risk to trust that I can be known. I must take the risk to trust that I can be known without being rejected or taken advantage of. I must take the risk to trust that I can be known without being rejected or taken advantage of so that I can love others--and so I can ultimately be loved.

Busted Heart by For King and Country

"Winter has come back again
Feels like the season won't end
My faith is tired tonight,
And I won't try to pretend,
I've got it all figured out,
That I don't have any doubts,
I've got a busted heart
I need You now
Yeah I need You now

Hold on to me
Hold on to me
Don't let me lose my way
Hold on to me"

My names from the Lord, as given to me by my sisters: 
Pumpkin, Perfect Mess, Pretty Princess, Peace, Pearl, Lioness of the Pride, Daughter of Whom I am Proud

Lord, may these names from You be written on my heart so that I may believe them. Lord, forgive me for not trusting You and for refusing to trust others as well. I want to love and to be loved. I want to be know for who I truly am. Please help me not to fear. Give me Your courage--be my courage. I need You now. Amen.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Humiliating Weakness

I don't know how many of you actually read this blog. I suppose you know who you are if you are in fact reading this now. Well, I am going to acknowledge you for once. I thank you for taking the time to read this page. I also want to apologize to you for my absence. I have allowed my own personal sin of selfishness to keep me from blogging. So, finally, I am going to ask for your prayers. The following post will help to explain...

God, I don't like this. My heart hurts. My heart aches. I feel myself being torn apart. My freedom is gone. I've pulled into myself for protection.
Whose fault is it God? It is easy for me to blame my best friend. So easy. But what about person B, person C, person D, person E?....How about just me? My fault. My fault for not being able to handle life.
I can't handle people. I can't handle my homework. I'm back to not wanting to get up in the morning. I want to hide in bed.
Where does person F fit into this? Or person G?
Oh God--the truth is that all of these people (except for perhaps person C) love me and care for me. Who am I to blame them?
What is wrong, God? Why am I reverting to slavery again?
I feel like all of my speaking has been hypocritical. I am reverting to perfectionism, focusing on my body, isolating from people.
My heart hurts, God! Why does my heart hurt?
Is it my best friend? I can't blame him. It's my own mess--he just brings it out. There is still more infection in me. God, I'm still intoxicated! Help! Please show me where to go next. I don't want this inner battle. It's wearing me out and tearing me apart. I'm TERRIFIED to give you the reigns. But I'm not doing well driving myself.

As a woman I am supposed to be able to create a home within--to be able to nurture, nourish, brood over, and impart life.
But I am completely failing at this. I am unable to do this with my best friend. With everyone really. The war is so strong--there is so much junk in me--that I've sealed myself off from people. And whenever someone tries to open the top, I push them away IN ANGER.

This is what I have become. God, I need you more than anything else.

Romans 8:15 "For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!'"

ABBA! FATHER! I need you!! I am weak! Weaker than ever!