Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It's My Birthday - I'll Cry If I Want To

My birthday always makes me a little melancholy.  Actually, I'm nearly always a little melancholy, but it's usually worse on my birthday.

I spend a lot of this day every year reflecting on what was, what is, what I'd like it to be. 

So here are some birthday musings, ramblings, aimless thoughts:


Last night sent me into a bit of a tail spin and gave me an early start on the whole melancholy thing.  News of Robin Williams' death was everywhere. His death would be sad no matter what the circumstances - he has had such a huge impact on this generation and he will be sorely missed.  But the fact that a man who brought so much joy to so many died feeling sad, overwhelmed and alone just nearly crushes me.  When you love someone that struggles with clinical depression, news like this is even more difficult. I really can't put what I'm feeling into words that will be adequate, and often the words we speak on this subject are just thoughtless and painful to those that suffer, but I will say this --

Love your people.
Take nothing for granted.
You are not alone.
There is help - both for you that suffer and you that love and suffer with them.
Take a few minutes every. single. day. to breathe deep and force yourself to think on what is good.
Never, never, never pass up a chance to tell someone what they mean to you.
LOVE your people.  Have I said that already?  Love. Your. People.


This year has been both incredibly difficult and incredibly blessed.  Most of you have followed some of this journey with us. Some of you have walked hand in hand with us through every twist and turn. Much of what we've experienced I have not, and likely will not (at least not for a very long time), share publically. I can say though, that even in the midst of some of the most difficult things we've ever faced, God has been big.  God has been good.  For that I am grateful.

We tend to believe that whatever season of life we're in is the hardest season of life.  This season has been no exception. I do look forward though - believing that, as I can now look back and see God at work in past seasons, I will be able to see God at work here - doing what He does best - behind the scenes, changing hearts and lives.  His work is so often under the surface, where I can't see it.  I have to learn to trust, to let go, to wait.


I have, and am still, wrestling with doubt, with questions that never seem to be answered.  This year, I've begun to learn to settle in and be more comfortable with the doubts, with the wrestling.  God is there and He is not intimidated by my questions.  I'll keep asking. I'll keep searching for the answers. I'll keep trusting Him when He chooses not to answer.


This year, God is showing me that He is enough.  I am enough, because He is enough. I've spent my entire life trying to be good enough, perfect enough, adequate enough, to ensure that I and those I love do not fail. I've believed that if I could do the right things, say the right things, live the right way, God owed me what is good.  This is false religion. This taught me to try to manipulate and orchestrate life to go as I felt it should. This is too much. I cannot possibly keep all those plates spinning. I hurt others in the process. God is so much bigger than that. He is so much bigger than what I can possibly control. SOOOO... I'm learning to live in the middle of the mess. Hands off, arms raised, white flag flying. 

He is enough.


So, so, so, much of this year has been fabulous.  I have the greatest family anyone, ever, could ask for.  I love my kids and am so proud of the adults they are and are becoming.  I love this new kid God has placed in our family this year. I love that my married kids have chosen partners that I LOVE and that fit so beautifully into our family.  I love my husband - I cannot, simply can. not., imagine my life without him.  I have friends - good, deep, friendships - that have pulled me from the brink of insanity more times than I can count (or perhaps they're just jumping over the edge with me - and I'm okay with that).


Though this year has been difficult, it's also been blessed.

If you run into me somewhere today, and I'm a little bit teary...it's okay.  Really.  They're mostly happy tears.

And it's my birthday -- I'll cry if I want to.