April 26, 2016

Worlds Apart and Honest Journaling

Peter is traveling across the word tonight. Quite literally across the world. Tonight, he is on a layover in Switzerland, tomorrow he moves on to another destination where the sun is hotter and the skin is darker and the people need love. And my heart is broken with missing him.

I’ve grown quite used to his covering, and I don’t like any semblance of life without him. It feels too much like A Life Without Him, which I’d like to never do again.

As we processed for this trip, and as I laid out all of my heart in brutal honesty, Peter listened well and held my heart with both hands.  And he said he believed God wouldn’t call him to make this very important trip on a very important mission with a very important team unless he intended to bring him back to me complete, healthy, strong, better, whole. But I told him this has not been my experience with God’s callings and fulfillings. I told him the only thing I know for sure—the.only.thing—is that my obedience to God will always mean his best for me. And if anything happens to Peter’s heart or mind or body that isn’t bright and beautiful for our future together, then I will trust God to be faithful in a different way.

And then I put him on a plane and through a righteously indignant fit. Furious anger. Lots of gesticulating with my hands. Puffy eyes. Big hair. Somehow my hair gets bigger when I’m angry. I was angry.

Yes, enough years of therapy tell me that anger is only masking something else. But anger is just easier. I prefer anger.

The thing is, I’m very weary – all together completely weary – of God’s grand plan coming at the cost of my heart. Sometimes I feel like the casualty. God is doing something bigger, mightier, far greater, and I need to just get my act together and get on board. And the voice in my head, the voice that speaks from experience in my life, says God takes away the things I love. The people I love. So I’ve been doing that thing I do, when my emotions are too big for me: Angry Journaling.

I feel like God whispered to me this morning,

“Yes, I put this trip on Peter’s calendar before he met you.
But I also put this trip on your calendar before you met him.
This isn’t just about him. I’m in this for you as well.”

Well, great. (I literally wrote that in my journal.) Great. Just great. Could you just show me what you want me to learn so we can get this over with?

And then I went to some of my best playlists about feeling sad, lonely, abandoned, lost in a sea of greater things that make me feel forgotten. And I listened to Christy Nockels sing the song I needed tonight.

 

Asking where you are, Lord,

Wondering where you’ve been

Is like standing in a hurricane, trying to find the wind.

Hoping for your mercy to meet me where I am

Is forgetting that your thoughts for me outnumber the sand.

 

You’re already all I need, already everything that I could hope for.

You’re already all I need.

You’ve already set me free, already making me more like You.

You’re already all I need.

 

Walking through this life without your freedom in my heart

Is like holding on to shackles that you have torn apart.

So remind me of your promises and all that you have done.

In this world, I will have trouble, but you have overcome.

And every gift that I receive, you’ve determined just for me.

But nothing I desire compares to you.

 

You’re already all I need, already everything that I could hope for.

You’re already all I need.

You’ve already set me free, already making me more like You.

You’re already all I need.

 

And so I let him remind me. I spent tonight journaling (angry), asking him to remind me that he is for me, remind me that he is already all I need. I listened. And I wrote it down. I even began to feel it, a little.

 

And then I said, Okay. I hear you.

(I literally wrote this in my journal.)

I’m listening.

But please know, God, even as you remind me of your promises,

please know that I miss Peter.

I miss him.

I miss him and I hate being apart.

And I will not change my mind about this.

 

And then I wasn’t angry. All of a sudden.

Because maybe that’s the freedom I needed to receive and to give myself. To say, God, you are all I need. And – and – and I miss Peter. And I will not change my mind about this.

Something in me forgot that both can be true. That loving God and loving people are not mutually exclusive. That being able to live without someone doesn’t mean you have to want to. That God is good and I can be mad. That honesty is my heart, and all God ever wants is my heart. And that means all I can truly give him is my honesty.

Somehow, I stopped feeling angry.

But I did not stop missing Peter. And I will not change my mind about this.

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* * *

Peter, I love you more than all the stars over every continent.
Be safe, my love.  Change the world.
And then come home to me.

3 comments on “Worlds Apart and Honest Journaling”

  1. Having spent the whole of this year, caring for my sick husband who has gone from 33 days of atrophy, to 46 days of rehab, to bi- weekly blood tests which are the only diagnostic way of knowing if he is healthy or not, I think I can relate. A blood disease that only has side effects when it is too late. Often feeling in limbo, wondering why this is all happening, why there is no definitive diagnosis after 3 hemotologists and Cleveland Clinic...all to say, I was asking my daughter-in-law what God was trying to teach me. Her beautiful and helpful response was,"Maybe this just isn't about you." And God bless her for her truth, but then, when you have been together for 48 years, two do become one.. So, it is about me, and you..when you love someone, as you well know, the pain is transferable and penetrating. All I know after all these years, as my wise 92 year old mother daily reminds me, "Lin, God is in control and He is faithful." Simple words, I know, for someone suffering again from such horrible loss, but it's my effort, as an older woman, to help comfort younger, beautiful, angry, women and that this is just another beginning of trusting our precious heavenly Father. I know, sweet girl, it's hard living as half a person... Prayer & care & blessings

  2. From a wife whose husband traveled to countries far far away for 40+ years, I understand. I felt every feeling a wife could feel ~ anger often at the top of my list. I pray for you to still feel joy and for Peter to make a difference for people who need love. Hugs my dear Tricia.

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