Friday, September 13, 2013

on freaking, loneliness and love


Hi everyone! How have you been? I trust you are all keeping well in every sense! I'd been dealing with an infection over the past few days; thankfully, I'm well on the mend now, praise the Lord.

At the start, when it looked and felt particularly nasty, I must admit to giving in to some freaking, self-pity, and emotionalism (have you noticed how sometimes, when you're going through something especially challenging, you have this pathetic "poor me" feeling that you're the only one who has ever had to endure?). This may be connected to my wacky postpartum hormones, but I'm aware that freaking and worry are bugbears I'm still in the process of conquering. However, as Joyce Meyer always says, I'm not where I need to be yet, but thank God I'm not where I used to be!

Well, after a bout of freaking self-pitying emotionalism, I collected myself, sat down to earnestly pray, and had a sudden revelation. I felt in my spirit that the root of my anxiety was twofold; first -- an unrealistic, extreme sense of perfectionism (in this instance, not being a perfect mom because I was unwell), and therefore, second -- a fear of being alone and unloved because I wasn't perfect after all.

As I prayed, I felt with increasing conviction and clarity that I was not alone and unloved, that God was with me, and that He had in fact never left me; I realised -- as my whole life right up to the present moment flashed before me -- that I have in fact always been in His keeping, and He literally holds me up and carries me when I am weak.

I felt Him trying to impress upon me that I am never alone, however I may feel, that not only is He always with me through all the imperfections of this fallen world, but He has surrounded me with people who love me as unconditionally as humanly possible despite my flaws and weaknesses, and who will always be there for me as earthly reflections of God's divine faithfulness. In this life, I think, that is all you really need. Even if you aren't a Christian, the unconditional love of even one faithful friend is such a blessing, providing an invaluable strength, help, comfort and encouragement through life's various challenges.

This verse kept coming to my mind: "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged" (Deut 31:8). I have been meditating much on it, trying to really wrap my head around it and get it on the inside of me, rather than merely mouthing it at a superficial level without any real conviction.

Coincidentally, I am re-reading the book of Joshua at present; four times within just one chapter the Lord says, "Be strong and of good courage". Indeed, He says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" (Josh 1:9; italics mine).

In quite prosaic terms, I felt the Holy Spirit telling me, "Stop freaking. There is really no need to freak about anything, nor is there any point in doing so. Life is simply all sorts of things one after another -- just take them as they come with sanguinity, a divine peace, and also with gratitude -- better that than panic and worry, which only make one uselessly miserable. Get your mind off yourself and remember that this too shall pass". When I also hear my husband, and even Becky, telling me the same things, I feel certain God is impressing on me a life-changing revelation.

I was on the phone with my girlfriend during this time and in the course of the conversation asked that she please pray for me (I am quite certain her prayers are largely inspired by the Holy Spirit, for she is never even half as eloquent or wise in her regular speech -- sorry K, haha!). Well, I expected her to pray for healing, which she did, but then at the end, she suddenly branched off into something else altogether -- she prayed that my thinking would be renewed, that I would focus on the positive, and that I would always be thankful for my strong marriage and loving family. It was a reminder of how blessed I am, something one can easily forget in the midst of self-pity or worry.

I remember Mother Teresa once said, "Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty". I am so thankful for a husband and children who tirelessly remind me that I do not have to deal with either of these. I recall, too, reading an article where the actress Anne Hathaway said, "Loneliness is my least favorite thing about life. The thing that I'm most worried about is just being alone without anybody to care for or someone who will care for me". I personally am fine with solitude and, indeed, sometimes welcome it; but since being married and having children, I have realised the joy not only of rowdy family, but also of solitude without loneliness.

Well, these have been my thoughts over the past few housebound days; I thought I'd share them with you, for they might perhaps be a word in season for someone, somewhere. These posts -- here, here and here -- came to my mind as well; I myself shall be re-reading them!

P.S. A more fun post coming up soon -- yay!

16 comments:

The Dainty Dolls House said...

I'm glad you're feeling better doll, it's not easy feeling unwell and then feeling emotionally unwell on top of it. I have felt a bit of this lately too, it's not easy to pull out from, but we have to move closer to God in these times and let him move through us and trust all will be ok again!! I hope you have a great weekend xx

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I'm very glad that you are on the mend. I had wonderered where you were! I miss your visits to my blog. And you're right - we are never alone. I love the Mother Theresa quote.

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

Yikes! I'm just glad to hear you're on the mend and hope you fight off that nasty infection for good soon. I know all too well about it easy it can be to fall into a deep well of despair when you're ill but I think the power of positivity and prayer can definitely help move us back into the right direction.

Rowena @ rolala loves

Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Jan - such wisdom in your words my friend. Often times I have to remind myself God loves me no matter what - nothing I do will make Him love me more or love me less. There is peace in knowing we are not alone. I think you are finding your way - perhaps it is those low times that we really know who God is and how much He loves us. Take care - I will be looking up for you (P.S. - Isn't Joyce Meyer the best - my hubby and I often watch her before we leave for work...such an inspiration)!!

Elizabeth Brown said...

I shall keep you in my prayers until you are completely mended! Sorry to hear that you haven't been feeling well -- I would have been praying long ago had I known then. :D But I am so happy that you're feeling better now.

I am always amazed by how God uses all sorts of situations, like this one, to work in our hearts and bring us closer to Him. It's wonderful to know that He's always there for us, caring for us, even when others forget about us.

Keep getting better, my friend. =D Rest up and enjoy your weekend!

Jacquelineand.... said...

I'm glad you are feeling better, both physically and emotionally/spiritually.

My Granny used to refer to those hard times as the 'fallow times'. Just as a field must be left fallow from time to time in order to replenish itself, so too our spirits. We may feel alone or overwhelmed but in reality we are lying fallow in order to become more fertile soil...and a period of intense growth will inevitably follow. *hugs*

AntiquityTravelers said...

oh postpartum .... a rough patch to be sure. No one tells you about it, and for me .... felt that I must be doing something wrong or why would I feel that way?! Anyone who knows you Janice would say you are an amazing, kind, thoughtful parent. It really is just the hormones. Just hug those beautiful kids of yours and remember how much you are loved and wanted

Magic Love Crow said...

You are going through a lot right now, with a new baby ;o) You have a great family, that loves you lots and that is special Janice! Big Hugs ;o)

Jo said...

Glad to hear that you've recovered form your infection. Physical illness is one thing. Emotional illness is another. I know exactly the oh-I'm-so-poor-thing phase and I'm sure all of us know that too. I'm happy to hear that you've chinned up with prayers and also positive thoughts.

Birdie said...

I remember when my kids were small and how lonely it could be. It is a time when you can start to lose yourself so try to do something small for yourself every day. xo

Sending you hugs.

Kay G. said...

Take heart! God has wonderful plans for you. Never forget it.
xx

Audrey said...

Hi Janice, this is a beautiful post. I do hope you're feeling much, much better and I do look forward to your fun post!!! Hope you and all of the kiddies are well. XOXO

Claudia Aguilar said...

Family rowdiness make things better right? Feel better dear I am wishing those blues go away soon and that God gives you peace!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Be kind to yourself. A new baby and two more young kids to look after will certainly take a toll on you. Even supermoms become overwhelmed at times! Treat yourself to something special regularly, and take time for yourself to recharge.

Miss Val's Creations said...

I am so happy to read you are feeling better. :) The power of positive thinking does wonders for us physically and mentally. When we are sick or in distress it is when we need to think of what we cherish most.

Erika said...

You are such a beautiful human being, my dear. I don't think I'm alone in saying this, but everyone feels blue from time to time and that's okay to feel that way. You'll be back on the upswing in no time. I love your quote by Joyce Meyer by the way. Keep believing in you, and all that you do. You impact so many lives, first and foremost being your children's and your husband's life. Hugs, Erika

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