I want to say the last few days have been a struggle, but sometimes when I get dark about it, it seems like the struggle has been going strong for a few months or even years. Friday night I succumbed to an old habit that I have been free of completely for nearly three years. At first I want to say I don’t know why I fell back into this pit of self-loathing, but that would be a half-truth. I don’t understand completely why I continue to take steps back, when I have progressed so much in the last few years.
A lot has happened the last year-I ended a year long relationship that was both fulfilling and also sadly codependent at times; I moved twice; I’ve changed jobs; I’ve totaled my car; I’ve changed churches; and, I’m in the process of moving back in with my mother to save money (at age 27). Not all of that is bad, in fact depending on my viewpoint a lot of it is good. The relationship taught me both compassion and that I’m capable of making a very difficult decision to not settle. My new job, while frustrating at times, has also inspired me to live on mission for my clients and encouraged me to make changes to my work place. I’ve led a bible study, and by doing, have reconnected with old friends and made some wonderful new friends. And, while the idea of moving back in with my mother at 27 years old seems like a major regression, I see it as an opportunity to make the most out of the closing years that we have left together.
I can see both sides of the coin, but despite the good, I’m struggling with loneliness and depression, which is manifesting itself as lust and greed. In turn when I fall into those old habits of mine, I perpetuate the cycle of self-loathing and just not being good enough. I know these feelings and thoughts are lies, but it doesn’t change the fact I’m currently experiencing them. I’m unsettled, despite my greatest desire to be settled. I want to make Conway my permanent home. I want to invest my time, energy, and money in my community, my church, my friends, and my family. I want to have a home where I don’t have to worry about moving again for at least a few years. I want to fill that home with kids. And, if I’m going to be honest I know my biggest desire right now is to do all the above with a life companion—a husband—something that I don’t see in the horizon at all. I also recognize that in all those desires above, not once do I say that I desire to be God’s. My intentions line up with his intentions for his people, but my heart right now doesn’t seem to belong to him.
Today a few things were spoke into my heart. At the first church service, the pastor went through the story of Ruth, asking us to highlight verse 5 in chapter 2, where Boaz asks of Ruth, “Whose young woman is this?” Whose young woman am I? Am I the mysterious woman behind the screen of chatrooms? Am I the woman who had an affair with a married man? Am I the spoiled goods of whoever may ask me to marry them in the future? Or, am I the redeemed woman of Jesus, who has made me flawless in the eyes of his father? I know the right answer, but most of the time the other ones are more prominent.
At my mom’s church, the pastor spoke from Numbers 9:15-23 (who would have thought to preach out of Numbers for Mother’s Day). During this time the Israelites were uprooted from the only home they’ve ever known and being led to an unknown, sounds too good to be true, promised land. While living in the wilderness, they didn’t know from one day to the next, when they would be directed to get up and follow God closer to their promised inheritance. They were unsettled. The pastor said sometimes God prefers us to be unsettled, so that we lean in closer to him and trust in his faithfulness.
Right now, I’m doubting in the woman that God has designed me to be, and I’m doubting in his meticulously laid out plan that is far greater than I could ever dream. Right now, I just pray that I become settled in the unsettled.