Wednesday, October 7, 2009

You Can Turn Off the Windshield Wipers Now

I burnt the blueberry muffins I was making for lunch (seriously, for lunch)and have thrown 3 loads of clean clothes on my bed to be folded. I think it is safe to say I have fulfilled my domestic duties for the day. :) I believe that means it is time to blog.

I have to tell you that my mind has been a jumbled mess of mixed emotions and scattered thoughts. I've had so many things that I've wanted to blog about, but I have seriously lacked the ability to focus my brain in one direction. We'll see how this turns out....

I am often overwhelmed by the contrast of seriousness and silliness in life. In a matter of seconds life has the ability to sucker punch you in the gut with issues so deep they can break your heart. In two more seconds life can create a situation that leads to belly laughing until you are doubled over crying. And alas, there are the times when autopilot takes over and we float through our days just praying for as little interference as possible.

I don't know if you have gathered this about me, but I am a people person. Not in a need to be around people all of the time way. More in a I just love people and I love analyzing people kind of way. I mentioned in my post about the Kirby guy that I become very emotionally attached to people. It is true. And as you might imagine, sometimes that attachment hurts. It is hard to love people. I mean to really, truly invest your heart in their lives kind of way love people.

When I started my social work program I cannot tell you how many people told me I couldn't let myself get too involved with people or care too much. Obviously, others realized this is an issue for me. :) I understood where they were coming from and I did have to learn to distance myself from those I worked with. But I always found myself wondering, how do you not care? And why the heck would you do this job if you didn't? Oh yea, must be for all money and glory. :)

Unfortunately, I have experienced a time when I didn't care. I often allude to the depression I struggled with and that was a time when I stopped caring. About anything. Like people or bathing or really, anything. I was numb. The only emotion I ever seemed capable of was anger and I realize now it became my defense mechanism. It was so much easier to get angry about things than to actually deal with them. Much easier to be angry with people from the get go before I could invest in them and then be let down.

I still remember the moment after God healed my depression that I knew Emily was back. Josh and I had gone to a movie on a date night. We only had Sarah then and lived where we had 3 sets of grandparents! Can you imagine? Well anyway, I have no idea what movie we went to see, the only thing I remember is being moved to tears. And not by the movie. At the theatre there were two little girls who I assumed were sisters. One of the girls was mentally challenged and it literally moved me to tears watching the other little girl take such good care of her and show her such kindness. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but it was huge for me. The numb was gone. The feelings were back.

In case you're wondering where all of this is coming from (because really who knows where all of this stuff I write comes from?) I was reminded this last weekend about that time in my life. I was having a conversation with a couple of girls and they began sharing their hearts. Sharing that they struggled with trusting others, sharing their hearts, and investing in people. One said that she was scared her son would be too trusting and get hurt. Despite the fact that I say whatever I think on this blog, in real life I am much slower to tell people what I really think. But I couldn't let that comment go. I went through too much to not share what I learned on that subject.

I had to tell her that as tough and scary and heartbreaking as it is, we can't teach our children not to love because of fear. It is not fair to hand down our issues to our kids or our friends. It's not even fair to ourselves to let past hurts keep us from trusting and loving again. I have been so blessed with an amazing husband, awesome friends and a wonderful family. That doesn't mean that I haven't been hurt along the way.

It is the big joke in my life that I formed the Singles Anonymous Club(SAC) in high school. I was the president. Mostly because I was the only one of my friends who ever stayed single long enough to hold that position. :) Do you know what is so funny? Every Wednesday we would meet at Arby's for our SAC meetings and do you know who would often be just a few booths over chowing down? Joshua Fidler. Isn't it ironic, dontcha think? It is so funny to me now to think about how determined I was to stay angry and bitter and independant because boys had broken my heart. But it is not funny to me to think about what I would have missed out on if I had never let myself get over that.

I was driving one day and it was STORMING! I had the windshield wipers going as fast as they could. I was getting on the interstate in Mobile and for this little country girl that is big city driving. Anyway, I was concentrating so much on getting on to the interstate without getting run over by a mac truck that it was several minutes before I realized that it had stopped raining but my windshield wipers were still going full speed ahead. For some reason when it occured to me that I should turn them off it also occured to me that we often have many defense mechanisms we create during storms that we forget to turn off. Grief we never deal with. Hurts we never forgive. Sometimes it happens so slowly and quietly we don't even know it. We slowly become a little more distrustful. We quietly overcompensate for our insecurities.

I take God's Word very seriously. I believe Him when He says He came to give us life more abundantly. (John 10:10). And I believe Him when He says in 1 John 4:18 (New International Version)
18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

No fear in love. Not in God's love. We can turn off the windshield wipers. We're safe with Him.


III said...

Great entry, Em. I appreciate you sharing this.

Lauran Ellis said...

Best post! I really enjoyed this one Emily...not just the content, but the way you worded everything. *hugs*

Karen said...

Thanks Em. This is one of your best. I may have to print it and remind myself to turn off the windshield wipers from time to time - I know more people who could benefit from this as well.