More Than I Meant to Say
Having my hysterectomy was the best thing I’ve ever did. Ok. Maybe not. Accepting the Lord was the best thing I’ve ever done, closely followed by backpacking through Europe when I was in college, going to Disney World for spring break in 2003, and moving back to Maui in 2005. But as far as my health goes… the hysterectomy was right up there near the top of the list. The landscape of my mental health completely changed because of that surgery. Where there used to be really low trenches surrounded by plains dotted with volcanoes, there is now one long field of green. Even though I’m in an ambiguous emotional place right now, the stressors in my life are not causing any major fluctuations in my mental terrain.
That being said, I have to go get a CT scan today because I am still in daily physical pain. Feels like all of my guts are going to just fall out and that is not normal. My surgery was nearly a year ago and some days I’m in so much pain I hobble around like a woman twice my age. 42 should not be the new 84.
This is not how I see my life for the rest of my life.
This is, however, one of the reasons I’ve isolated myself recently. It’s hard for me to physically keep up with people. And since I was never very active to begin with, there’s no reason why I’d start trying to do the things my friends like doing (hike, camp, dance) now, when I never did those things before. And since just about everybody I know has children, the whole hysterectomy thing is lost on them. I’m not particularly maternal and I stopped wanting children a long time ago… but being surrounded by happy little families can be hard for me. Makes my glaring singleness that much more glaring. It makes me feel that much more alone.
Ok. That was more than I’d intended to share this morning. I could delete it and continue the isolation… but I think I’m going to leave it and see what God does next. One mistaken belief I used to have was that Christians weren’t supposed to have problems. I actually believed that when I first met Jesus. I thought he’d do a mojo and make all my problems go away. It’s taken me years to understand and accept that he, not only doesn’t make all my problems go away, he sometimes allows really even more problems to come my way to show me what my faith is made of. He knows what my faith is like and what I can handle. There are no surprises for him. If , however, I keep my eyes on him and stop trying to stuff things down or deny how I feel I might just be surprised.
Some people would have me think that my feelings are bad or wrong. I’m more inclined to think that they are like the idiot lights in your car. They are there to signal problems that you should have taken care of a before they actually became problems. The oil light only comes on when I have neglected to put oil in my car for too long. And I only get caught up in feeling overwhelmed by my feelings when there is something I haven’t completely surrendered to God or when he’s told me what to do about it and I haven’t done it. There’s a lot of that in my life right now which is why I find myself back in THE BUBBLE. Mind you, the operative word used to be ” The BIPOLAR Bubble” … and since the whole mental component is just not there, I have to concede that I’ve come a long (emotional) way since my surgery.
I’m changing. God has changed me. He has used challenges, trials, and problems as his tool of change. Maybe I’m not where I want to be… but if he wanted me in a different life dealing with different circumstances, he’d make it happen. Today I’ve got to drink a yummy medical “smoothie” so that they can look at my insides to see what’s wrong. Too bad you can’t do that on a spiritual level: Drink a “smoothie” and see what your heart looks like on the inside. Find out the true contents of your soul. Wait. That’s what the bible is for! That’s what going to church or meeting with other Christians is for. And maybe that’s part of my problem. Things got hot in a couple of areas and instead of drawing closer to the church and other believers I’ve pulled back. I voluntarily put on a mask and I swore I’d never do that anymore.
Y’know, the mask where you tell people that everything is ok even even when it’s not. Ok. Again, that’s more than I’d planned to say this morning. Some people would have me think that if I have conflict with other people that it has to be all my fault. Something is wrong with my heart or my relationship with God. That I just have to “die to myself” and throw the big blanket of “forgiveness” over it and it won’t hurt anymore. I am more inclined to believe that the bible give lots of examples on how to handle conflict in a godly way for a reason. And that just because I’ve been wounded by the thoughtless acts of other people doesn’t mean that I’m somehow less of a Christian for wanting to address the conflict openly instead of faking like nothing happened.
My problem is that anger is a huge reservoir in my life and I rarely want to handle conflicts in godly ways initially. My anger erupts internally and I withdraw because I don’t want to spew a bunch of rage all over somebody no matter what they did…because then I would be in the wrong. So I wait and I pray. I keep asking God to give me the wisdom to know what to say… and while I wait I say nothing to anybody else and the isolation continues.
Clearly my problems are not going to be resolved this morning in this one post… but I figure it has to count for something that I’m not remaining silent anymore. People that actually know me are going to see this post and at least one brave soul is going to call me up and ask how I’m doing. This rambling excuse for a blog post is better than the cavernous silence I’ve been sitting in where my words just keep echoing in my own mind. I’m praying that God will do a CT scan on my heart and fix whatever is wrong. Trying to resolve conflicts is essential within the body of Christ. Phony or forced forgiveness is bad. I believe that.
If I’d dealt with my fibroids when they started to become a noticeable problem, they wouldn’t have had to remove a mass the size of a football from my body last year. I am known for just ignoring problems. Much of what I’m dealing with now is rooted in me not wanting to say something to people who have hurt or offended me. Maybe God is allowing me to have so many internal conflicts over it now, so that I will stop sitting on my but and actually do something godly about the problems. Maybe I’m supposed to go to other people and get counsel on what to do. Not is a gossipy way… but in a “go ask a more mature believer what scripture says I should do” way. Or maybe I need to actually make arrangements to go talk to the offending people. If I wait until it doesn’t hurt anymore or until I’m not mad or offended anymore or until I have the perfect words to say — I might still be waiting in isolation this time next year. Maybe God is saying I need to stop waiting for “perfect” conditions. They don’t exist. I’m not perfect. The people who hurt me aren’t perfect. But God is. I have to trust him on this. Without a CT scan he sees my heart and knows that I want to pursue peace and unity. And isolation isn’t peace or unity. It’s a bubble shielded by a mask.