April 26, 2008

Picking Up the Pieces

“You’re too hard on yourself.” That’s a familiar refrain others tell me.

“Too hard?” I wonder, “What else am I supposed to be?” People make the comment like I have a choice. Like there’s some setting inside I can switch. “Hmmm. Let’s see, there it, right behind the gall bladder, the ‘give yourself a break’ switch.” Try as I might, I haven’t found it.

And as a result, disheartenment can creep in. Today it stormed the gates.

So now at 3:00 in the morning, I am sorting through the pieces trying to find some sense in it all. Because a lot of the time life really doesn’t make sense to me. It’s confusing. It’s discouraging. And it’s hard.

“Yeah, but you seem so confident. You seem like you ‘get it.’”

Really? You must not see what I see.

You must not have seen me on the tennis court today playing the game that I love, with a partner that I love, like a deer in the headlights and losing miserably. All while the cackling hens watching clucked over our defeat. “See, they’re not such a great team…It’s obvious who the better player is…They’re not going to make it at this level.” Did I actually hear them? No, but I’ve heard enough of those conversations to know how it goes.

You must not see the friendship that I pushed away or the one I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to pull closer.

Or the family relationship that is broken.

Or the God that I love who seems so far away right now.

You must not see the discouragement that I experience with writing. And how the deafening silence that accompanies it causes me to question, “Why do I write?...Am I reaching others?…Do I have the ability?”

You must not see the insecurity that prowls the perimeter looking for cracks to sneak in.

And you must not have seen me driving through the countryside this afternoon. Running away, running toward. Searching for answers and coming home empty-handed.

Where does this leave me? I suppose as a lost sheep desperately needing a savior. Because one thing I am sure of: without faith in Jesus, life REALLY doesn’t make sense.

I wish I could write some clever prose and cue the music for a happily ever after to this drama. For now, I’ll cling to tonight’s happy ending: My incredible husband who “gets me” and loves me anyway. And who is always there to help me pick up the pieces.

As I attempt to recapture sleep tonight (actually this morning), I will try to rest in the hope that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Not bad performance or harsh criticism. Not broken relationships or fractured faith. Not inadequacy or insecurity.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

8 comments:

Laurie T said...

Hey Kelly, I LOVE reading your blogs, and enjoy the way they make me think or feel. I'm sorry you're in a rough patch...the best words I can possibly think to share are not my own, "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength…Eph 1:17-19 May you experience victory in Him! xo, Laur P.S. Definitely tune out those cackling hens! You have nothing to prove. God made you amazing just the way you are.

Debbie said...

Kelli,

Your honesty is humbling to all I’m sure, certainly me. It takes a brave woman to expose her insecurities and weaknesses. I know YOU know that we ALL struggle like you from time to time. “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good….” In the past you have tasted and you have seen that the Lord is good, and that whatever you are going through will pass. I believe God brings us to these points in life so that all we can do is look up and allow the Lord to carry us for this time. Often we look to those around us for comfort or we rely on our abilities to carry us through. When they all go away we are left feeling lonely and the only one who can fill that void is Jesus!! “Through the Lord’s mercies we are NOT consumed, because His compassions fail not, they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” Lamentations 3:22-23.

As for your writing, you are an amazing writer, but what is more important to God is that you have given your writing to Him, trusting Him to do the good work through your mind and your heart as you write. “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God”. Psalm 42:11 I pray you write only for your Lord and Savior and let Him decide how He will use it.

The maddening game of tennis!! I guess the fact that you have leaped two USTA levels in a few years and are playing against women that have been playing for many years and also the fact that you never loose would make a loss rough. Take it from someone who looses quite often. It’s humbling and NEVER feels good!!!! As for the “chitter chatter”? Trust me, they’re thanking God they’re not the ones facing your opponents!!!!

I love you my friend, I think the world of you as a writer, and you have been my inspiration in so many ways. Keep pressing on one day at a time!! “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” Psalm 73.26

Love and prayers, Deb

Christine said...

Kelli,

Hang in there. And know that through all the confusion, you have the most important and wonderful thing a person can have in life: faith in Jesus; a faith that will lift you back up every time. Another thing that works for me in tough times that you may want to try: go look into your children's eyes for a minute and give them a tight hug. You can't help but feel better!
Anthony

Joanne said...

There are an overwhelming number of voices that vie for our attention. Isn't it wonderful we have the voice of a perfect God who loves us unconditionally and the voices of less than perfect family and friends who try to do the same as best as they can?

Our challenge is to listen to these voices and not those of the "cackling hens". I'd like to think it is the Holy Spirit within us that helps us find that switch.

Your writings are a constant reminder of where our focus should be. You have a gift, use it.

Two final (tennis) thoughts. I've seen, first hand, your tennis game and clearly you are a better tennis player than your partner. And, I wonder if that tennis partner of yours knows how fortunate she really is.

Love, Joanne

Cheryl Barker said...

Hi Kelli, after seeing your introduction in TWV2 today, I decided to click on over and check out your blog -- and I discovered that you are the Kelligirl who signed up for the giveaway on my blog! So, hello again! :)

As I read your post and saw that you are feeling a little discouraged concerning your writing, let me just encourage you to hang in there. I think a lot of us go through periods (some of them very long) when we don't get anything accepted for publication. Just keep working and the encouraging times will come. Also know that your blog has the potential to touch many people -- some of them you will never even know have visited, who just happen
on to your site for whatever reason. Something you write may make all the difference for someone. If you feel God has called you to write, just keep your eyes on Him and keep on writing. God bless!

Katherine said...

Oh my goodness Kelli!

I get you. I understand EXACTLY where you are coming from!

Just keep on writing. Sometimes all it takes is one person to "get it". There's an old hymn that testifies to that fact: "If I can just touch one person, then I know that my living is not in vain."

Keep looking up!

Blessings,
Katherine

Mary DeMuth said...

Authenticity coupled with the grace of God changes the world. Keep writing.

Scott B said...

Every once in a while I find myself in a slide. I sit down to pray, and find myself distracted. I decide to read the bible, but there is a game on. Next thing I know, 3 days have gone by and I've had no communication with God.

But amazingly, something happens. Maybe it's something as simple as my Tuesday morning mens group. Maybe a conversation with Pastor Doug. Maybe reading my sister's blog (Of which, even though I don't always respond to, I always read). But before I realize it, I'm lifted up and refocused.

We all go through the low times. We all wonder, "Why does my brother or sister have such a strong faith when I don't? Why aren't they ever confused?" You know what? We are!

Even Christ called out, "Why have you forsaken me?!" Why would any of us think we are above such doubt?

Perhaps nobody will read this. Maybe nobody I talk with tomorrow will grasp what I have learned. But what if one person does read or hear me tomorrow. Then, won't it have been worth it, even if they never tell me?

Your Brother in Christ
Scott