Saturday, August 08, 2009

Rough Day (family, emotions, and choosing to say no)

I woke out of a disturbing dream this morning, surrounding some issues with family, and a deeply personal decision I've been trying to make for the last week or so.

My family is wonderful and I love them deeply, but they can also create a constant struggle within me at times. Mostly because they find my journey with God to be unconventional, confusing, and perhaps even heretical (though I doubt they'd use that word) at moments.

I listened to my mom tonight, as she related to me how she'd heard a speaker at a conference she'd attended the last few days who had deeply challenged her and made her realize how much her upbringing causes her, even still, after many years of healing from the deep wounds of her childhood, to struggle with the idea of works vs. grace, and to lean towards works, and I wanted to scream, "I know! You instilled those same tendencies in me, and I spend my days battling with fear of failure, with the desperate need to measure up because you taught me that. I carry so much fear and shame and panic because of the things you carry, and I'm thrilled you're finding healing and feeling conviction, but I don't know how to handle that, because it just feels like condemnation of the spaces in which I exist."

I know she doesn't intend for it to be condemnation. I know that she is speaking out of love for me and desire to see me live more fully. But it feels at times like condemnation.

A little over a year and a half ago, a deeply personal moment in which I encountered God, a moment witnessed by a few dear friends, was suddenly and carelessly exposed to the world. In all likelihood it's being exposed very soon in a much more broad form. It's initial exposure caused deep hurt and shattering, not only for me, in my sudden exposure, but for some who'd known of the things leading up to it and hadn't been included, and to some extent the shattering that it caused is such that I still feel it very deeply.

I have been praying about the timing of another deeply personal moment that I have felt Jesus inviting me into since shortly after that first moment. This week it became a possibility that the timing could be sometime during these days off. And, to be honest I really wanted this to happen. But I think I'm going to choose to wait. Because of the day I've had, and the dreams. Because exposure of this moment is also bound to happen (based on the number of people who know what I've been praying about), and, while it likely wouldn't be the careless exposure of the first time, it still holds the potential to deeply hurt those whom I love, who would perhaps not understand the choice to go forward.

I'll make the final decision tomorrow morning. And my heart is breaking in the knowledge that putting this off likely means delaying this for at least another year. But right now, right in this moment, as much as I long for it, I think I need to wait.

So, I'm sobbing a little. I'm shrugging, because I'm exhausted and so very not okay. I suppose I'll be okay again at some point, but I'm not right now. I collected a hug from my roommate tonight, who didn't know what to do other than listen a bit and finally just hug me. I think I'm just going to head for bed. Curl up with my devotional book (which has been hitting hard lately too) and my bible. Maybe spend some time in the Psalms. Maybe journal or read. And pray for sleep - because after days like this it is often fleeting and filled with disturbing dreams, and tonight, tonight I'd really like it if I slept dreamlessly, or if I met Jesus in my dreams, but I can definitely do without the disturbing bits.