Monday, October 14, 2013

who am i ?

Well that break was short lived.  I really just needed to get several things in order.  I had a couple of tests to study for, a research paper to begin and I needed to finish editing my children's book for my class this past Thursday night.  But I am back.  I'll tell ya, blogging has become such a big part of who I am and I miss it when I don't do it.  I'll go ahead and warn you that this post will probably be a long one.  If you have the time, I encourage you to grab a cup of coffee sweet tea, sit back and relax as you read.  My emotions are pretty raw.  Really all over the place.  And for several different reasons. 

Allow me to begin on a very positive note.

My friend Jennifer contacted me about a week ago and offered me two tickets to the Women of Faith Conference in Charlotte this weekend.  I don't know if you've ever been to one, but they are awesome.  The best part (and the reason she offered them to me) was the speaker was MAX LUCADO!!  Anyone who knows me, knows how much I idolize love him!  I have read every single one of his books, excluding his two newest ones.  I own almost all of his children's books and DVD's.  I seriously love everything about the man.  This was a dream come true for me.  So, if you're reading this post, Jennifer, for the one millionth time, THANK YOU!  You made my whole weekend really special!! 

In addition to being excited about hearing Max Lucado speak, I was really excited about staying over night in a hotel.  Once again....anyone who knows me, knows my LOVE for hotels.  Which is really ironic since I grew up camping.  But, I do.  I love the cold air, the cold firm sheets on the bed and the overly fluffy pillows!  And, if you're in a really nice hotel, the complimentary breakfast!  YUM. E.  So if you find yourself heading out of town and need a roommate, I'm your girl! 

Drum roll please...  Here I am with my idol favorite author/speaker Max!  And let me tell you, he was everything I envisioned him being in person.  I will share part of his sermon in another post, but as he was closing he said, "I don't know what you are facing right now in your life.  Maybe you are faced with a diagnosis and you're scared.  You have lost, or are losing a child and you are angry.  Or maybe your marriage is not the fairy tale you dreamt it would be and you have been traded in for a newer model...."   He went on, but for obvious reasons, I stopped listening there.  He hit a nerve.  Hard.  You know the saying, the truth hurts?  Boy does it.  When he exited the stage, I told mom to excuse me...I HAD to try and find him.  I didn't have my copy of his book, so I grabbed my prayer journal and set off to stalk  find him.  As it turns out, he was setting up behind the stage to sign books. At this point I was fine.  Excited even.  I was about to meet Max Lucado.  I was just about the first one there, so the line was very short.  In my mind I was rehearsing what I was going to say to him.  Only, the closer I got, I felt a lump forming in my throat.  Nooooo!  I pleaded with God NOT to let me cry.  I wanted to approach his table with a smile.  I had my camera ready to capture the moment.  This is what I had been waiting for.  It was no good.  By the time I reached his manager and passed him my journal, I was crying to the point that I was unable to say a word.  Max looked up from my book and I could tell by the look on his face, he was about to greet me with a friendly smile and a "hello," just as he had done with the other ladies in line.  When he looked up at me, however,  he asked if I was okay.  It was obvious I wasn't, so I whispered, "no."  He took my hand and pulled me over closer to him.  "Would you like to tell me what is wrong?"  He asked.  I didn't.  I really just wanted to run. Instead, I blurted out the first thing that popped into my head.  " I am the 'older model'".   Believe it or not, his eyes turned misty.  He pulled me in for a hug, told me that he was so sorry and whispered the sweetest prayer.  I couldn't even say bye.  I thanked him for his time and headed out the back of the stage door.  His manager followed me to make sure I was okay.  He gave me a great big hug, which was so incredibly nice and told me that he would pray for me.  At that point I was so emotionally drained I sat down on a bleacher alone, buried my head in my hands and sobbed. 

Let me just say that during that moment, I literally felt my heart break.  Probably for the first time.  I mean, for a year now there have been times when my sadness has overwhelmed me, or I have been crippled by the pain of my circumstances.  But on this day, I actually felt my heart breaking.  And I know in my head it's not the truth, but for the first time, I FELT like the older model.  Used.  Dirty. 

And it hurt.  Bad. 

Our weekend did end on a positive note.  We skipped out a little bit early, enjoyed a nice dinner at Olive Garden before heading home and then my girl, Kathi treated me to a night out on the town in Greenville.  As always, that worked wonders for my spirit.

Her husband was in France, so when we finally rolled in to her neighborhood, we passed out in her bed around 1:00am.  I was completely DRAINED.  It was a good sleep.  Thanks, girl for always supporting me.  I love you to the moon....

I skipped church Sunday morning to drive to Spartanburg to spend a few hours with my Charlie.  I call him my Charlie because there are really not enough adjectives in my word bank to describe what his friendship means to me.  We ate lunch outside of the hospital where he works and had a wonderful, much needed, conversation.  I can always count on him to lift my spirits.

When you are going through a divorce,  often times, it is tough to pick up where you left off before you said "I do."  You have to work hard to find your identity. You are a different person.  For eleven years, I was one girl.  A partner to someone.  A spouse.  A teammate. A best friend.  Now that, that has been taken from me, I have struggled with finding who I am. 

Tonight, I was playing Chris Tomlin radio on Pandora and scratching JP's back waiting on him to fall asleep.  Michael W. Smith's song, Above All came on.  I wasn't paying too much attention, because if the truth be told, I do not really like the song.  But one line jumped out of the speakers and hit me square in the heart...

"....crucified, laid behind a stone. You lived to die, rejected and alone. Like a rose, trampled to the ground, you took the fall...and thought of me, above all."

I highlighted the part that spoke the loudest to me.  I have a lot of support and some really great friends, but there is no one on a daily basis I can talk with or spend time with who knows EXACTLY how I feel.  And I'm here to tell you, that is a LONELY place.  But God reminded me, through these lyrics, that I do not have to be alone.  And there IS someone who knows exactly how I feel. 

Jesus.  He was rejected.  He was lonely.  He was trampled on the ground.  He took a fall.

Laying in bed next to my little blessing I prayed and thanked God for His spirit.  His pain was so great,  but He endured it so that He could carry out the will of His Father.  What makes my pain any different?  It doesn't. Ultimately, my responsibility is to endure whatever may come my way in this life to fulfill a greater purpose. 

For the first time ever, I actually enjoyed listening to that song!  In HEARING it, I found peace. I found an understanding.  But, best of all, I found my identity...

in Christ.

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