I did say I was going to be open and honest here, right? No frills, no masks, no religiosity, no holds barred. Right, well… I know it’s been minute since I’ve written anything. I can’t remember the date and I’m purposefully neglecting to look back and check it because I don’t want to.
My absence could be attributed to many things, I suppose. My husband has tried to encourage me several times to write but I’ve said the words wouldn’t come. He has told me that I have many, many stories to tell and, while this is true, all the stories get mixed up together and I can’t always separate them to form paragraphs much less coherent sentences. This last while has been like that. I’ve been so completely in my head that I have barely been able to function. I know it’s not proper etiquette to say such things but there it is, in black and white, or whatever font/color your personal settings may be.
I’ve had a hard time this last month. The strange thing to me is I’m not completely convinced it’s been all me. Okay yes, I’ve barely been able to keep up with house work, laundry has mostly been tossed in the dryer two or three days later so the kid will not have to go to school wrinkled, dishes have remained in the sink for a couple of days and we’ve done a lot of eating out but why, exactly? I’m readily admitting to sleeping most days and having next to no energy when I’m awake. I’ll also tell you my son wanted to wrestle the other day, something he and I have done since he was old enough to play, and I barely managed the energy to flop across the bed a few times before having to call ‘mercy’.
Now allow me to say that none of the above is the real me. It’s been as if I’ve been replaced with a shallow facsimile, someone who is able to smile and nod and answer yes and no only. The last month, and even much longer in fact, has got me saying, “What the hell!?” Yeah, I just said that. But for real, any part of the Kingdom of God would not make anyone ask that question. You know I’m right, right?
What occurred to me this afternoon is this – something has shut down inside of me, something very important.
My small family has been bombarded with sickness – flu, sinuses, allergies, general and varied health issues – for at least two months now. Add to these my own strange aches, pains and maladies and thrown in for measure are also tye occasional harrassing spirits running through the house. Give me a break; really!? A super-mom could maybe handle these things and more with great ease and grace. I am not a super-mom. What I am, among other things, is a feeler, or empath. I believe the proper Christian wording for it is “Discernment of Spirits.” The thoughts, feelings, emotions or pain of those around me sometimes become like my own.
The stress my son has been feeling over being bullied at school and his subsequently hating school for the last two years but only being able to say, “It’s boring”, has stressed me out. There is so much more going on with my son but I don’t cognitively know it because he hasn’t yet mastered sharing his cares and concerns. Plus, most of the time he is solely focused on Transformers, Spongebob, whatever he has researched on youtube, and not wanting to go bed. He is only 11, after all.
My husband has been going to varying doctors to determine and remedy his medical issues, and his stress, concern, and frustration over the whole process has stressed, concerned, and frustrated me. Not to mention the burden my wonderful husband has of being the sole provider for the family and also being worried over his brothers. Plus he is constantly trying to make sure I’m okay and not curled up into a tight, little ball somewhere. I mean, really? Oh my goodness! What type of person could reasonably handle this stuff?
So, while I’m not always the most tightly-knit person, I’m just now realizing, or perhaps even realizing again, I’m crazy affected by those around me and especially those who I hold dear. I’m also realizing I’ve heavily isolated (I think prefer insulated) myself from the world beyond my 3/4 of an acre, having spoken to only four people on a semi-regular basis, two of whom live with me.
A friend, and someone who I consider a spiritual mentor, told me this week that Prophets are most often affected by the atmosphere around them. It could be the atmosphere of the neighborhood, the community, or the city. I’m thinking perhaps even further. She, my friend, also said the entire family could be affected. What this says to me is that I need step up my game! And I’m left wondering, “What? How?”
What if I told you I have not constantly prayed for my little family? That I had not prayed every single day my son went to school that he would be brilliant and influence all the right people in all the right ways? That I had not prayed for my husband to be incredibly successful and influential on his job and that his health would be Divine? Would I be condemned? I mean, not everyone can keep up with constant prayer, right? What if I said when I scroll past a post on social media I say a quick prayer? Would I be seen as more concerned for those I barely know? If the harsh answer is yes, be assured I hear the same judgements against my character from within my own mind. And if the answer is a grace-filled ‘No,’ bless you.
So, I had stated that something important inside of me had shut down. I had to stop writing for a moment here because this is hard for me to fathom or accept. I’m having to search out what it could possibly be and wonder at the same time if I want it to be turned back on. Emotions. Pain. Fear. Passion. These are what has been shut down. I’m the first to say that fear has no place and I’m also the first to admit fear has been what I have lived my life through. God is still working that out of me. But emotions, including pain… I need those. I need them to be able to minister to others outside of myself.
I haven’t been on a ‘ministry call’ nor have I ministered to anyone in person or online for a while now. I’m beginning to see, or at least to suspect, it’s because I have, however subconsciously, said, “Nope, I’m not feeling that and I’m not going there.” I mean, surely Love doesn’t have to feel these things to be effective, right? But then again, He did, didn’t He?
This is a blog of honesty, of being real and vulnerable. I can’t say I’ll be one way and then not be if I want to be trusted. Plus, I want to be true to myself. I can only write what I know and right now, in these days, this is what I know.
Allow me now to also say – During these crazy-feeling, seemingly dark days, I have also experienced some extraordinary God-moments. These moments have sustained me. Father and I have had interesting conversations and He has been showing up in dreams and visions. My son has revealed some God-things he has seen, reminding me God is so much bigger than what I alone have seen. And I still have hope beyond these natural feelings. Even during the hard days, I remember from where I came, Who rescued me, His plans for me, and that He is the God of Hope.
Sometime I will be able to form a complete thought long enough to cobble together a truly inspiring post of monumental proportions. Until then, be reassured and emboldened by this as I am:
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are…” Hebrews 4:15
Jeannie B. Wilbourn