It's after 3:30 am, and I am not sleeping. I don't sleep a lot right now. Haven't in...a long time. When I do sleep, it is sort of a doze with dreams, nothing really restful. I wake up a lot, look at the time on the clock a lot.
I still haven't figured out this sleeping alone gig, I guess.
Most of the time, I think that is what it really is, sleeping with someone for so many years and adjusting to sleeping alone. Sometimes, though, it's more.
Tonight my heart is heavy, and I have nowhere to put it.
Once again I am in a season of removal. Friends I've depended on are being removed, and I understand it. Goodness, I've done it enough in the last few years, especially the last twelve months. I know the signs. I know what is happening. I don't know how to handle it yet.
I don't know what to do when people need to be needed more than I really need them. And people who usually get told "everything" don't handle it well when I tell them, "I have nothing to say," even though that is really the truth. "Best friends" become distant acquaintances, and that doesn't go well either.
No explanation I give makes sense to them, and I end up being the bad, unstable, anger-projecting person who needs anti-depressants and the humility to ask forgiveness for being such a lousy friend and not letting people help me.
Really, it makes me want to go in the closet with my pillow and blanket and sleep until the firestorm is over.
I do know it is hard for them. I've been on that side. I've had to learn from both sides that seasons are seasons. For reasons God does not explain to me, some friends are good for one season and not for another. And some folks come in for a few months, make a huge impact, and are suddenly gone leaving me gasping for breath in the vacuum. "Best friends" suddenly become bothers over night. I don't know why or how. I just know it happens.
It is hard for those seasoned out because they don't understand.
It is hard for those changing seasons...because they aren't understood.
And the empty place is hard.
For the people being seasonsed out, they lose one person. For the person changing seasons, most of an address book may disappear before it is over. That's a pretty big empty place with a lot of nice folks on the peripheral but no one in the middle where I am.
And that's where I am.
I know this is temporary. I know God never creates a void He isn't planning to fill. I know.
I also know yesterday I tried to pull the pictures from the external storage Rob set up. I couldn't access them. I don't know if they are there or gone. If they are gone, four years of pictures are gone. For my son, that is over 1/3 of his life's pictures with his dad. For my daughter is nearly 1/3 of her life with her dad that is gone. I sat with electronics spread out around me and sobbed by myself. Who was I supposed to call? Who would really understand the magnitude of what could be lost for me? I honestly could think of no one.
Yesterday I texted some people asking for prayer, made the mistake of sharing my heart a bit, and then got a lot about how they understood because of their lives which had nothing to do with the issues I was having. I ended up deleting replies without reading them.
I already feel pretty much totally alone. Decided not to make it worse.
There's more, like some comments made at my family reunion that make me worry about my gene pool. My favorite was, "Well, look at it this way. It's not like Rob would have been here anyway." Wow! Thanks for the reminder that our divorce would have been final because he decided being single was more fun than keeping our family together. I feel SO much better now! Glad we had this talk.
Can I undo the family reunion? No, but really, I'm not feeling motivated to attend other family gatherings either.
Believe it or not, I'm not angry. I'm just...
Up at 4:30 am with a heavy heart, a box of kleenex, and a quickly shrinking address list.
When God tells me to write things like the above, I often ask why. I already dread the responses. I already dread the "you know I'm always here for you" statements that are self-defense cloaked in accusation, and while well-intended have not been true. I've been going through this for a year. I already know what to expect, and I dread the "I'm sorry you are still so sad and have had to go through this" statements.
I'm not sad, and I'm not sorry I had to go through this. I've hated it, but I've learned more about compassion, grace, and mercy than I ever could have in any other way. Frankly, I am sickened by the legalistic, mind-over-matter, if-you-just-get-the-spiritual-stuff-right-it'll-work manure I gave as responses to hurting hearts and broken lives before. How God didn't just slap me really hard or kill me then is beyond me. But He didn't. Instead, He allowed me to walk through hell, watch my life be burned up while I was there, and come out the other side shocked at the destruction, but more sure of His amazing mercy, compassion, and understanding than ever. I have seen aspects of God in the hell of the last year that I could have never seen on a cushy pew or at some home Bible study.
And I am not sorry.
I'll tell you why I think God wanted me to write this. I think there are people out there whose lives are coming apart at the seams, and you don't understand the stripping down, clearing out, and complete excavation of your lives. People around you are watching and auditioning for the starring roles of Job's friends. You are staring at God wondering what you've done and begging Him to just tell you so you can fix it. And where you are is hell, and you are wondering what you've done to make God so mad.
If that is you, let me tell you something. All these people being deleted from my email list, I don't think they are wrong, and I don't think I am wrong. I think we don't work together for this season, and God has no problem removing something good to give me something better. And that is not to say the new people or activities coming in are better than those going out. Those people and activities were great FOR THAT SEASON. God has new things and people that are better FOR THIS SEASON.
And, yes, there is going to be something new, and, yes, you should thank God for the new thing, but it's okay to say, "This is HARD, and it blooming HURTS!" Yes, it is, and, yes, it does.
Unfortunately, I have no insta-answer. What I can tell you is I'm going to get off my computer now, and I'm going to pray for whomever else is doze-sleeping, looking at the clock a lot, or just not sleeping at all, and, yes, I believe God knows that is you.
God knows it is hard, and He knows you hurt. I'm praying you find Him in the empty place, that He gives you a place to lay down your heavy heart...and I pray you get some sleep.
I FOUND THE PICTURES!!!!!
For all of you who prayed, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!