Hi all! I asked my mom to write a guest post for my current series “You’re failing as a mommy and other lies we tell ourselves.” She is an excellent writer and I hope you all are as blessed by her as I am! Follow her over on facebook at My LIfe As Diane and read more of her writing in her blog here! Enjoy!
SOMETIMES I SHOULDN’T LISTEN
Guest Post written by Diane Rowland
After Jenna asked me if I wanted to do a guest post on her blog about “lies we’ve told ourselves”, I thought “I haven’t told myself any lies. I’m so honest with myself.” I’m sure God was saying hahaha and He compelled me to go to a city group from our church.
It was fine. I thought this will be easy. Good to hear the word. Good to be with women of like-minded faith. I’ll leave in just a bit. Another hallelujah, another amen. I’m sitting there listening to the devotion, nodding my head in agreement and someone said we have got to stop putting up walls, we need to let ourselves be vulnerable. God said “that’s you Diane. You’ve built your walls high.” Tears welled up in my eyes and started to spill over. But even there in the midst of those sweet ladies, I lowered my eyes. I didn’t want them to see my tears. I didn’t want to speak. Or ask for prayer. I didn’t want to share my pain or my grief. I don’t want to be vulnerable. I feel most days like I don’t have anything to give to anyone anymore. I want to stay in the background, around my few friends, my family.
I’m old. I’m weak. I’m tired. I’m cranky.
Those are lies. Lies I tell myself.
I may not be as honest with myself as I thought.
I used to feel immune from the ills of this world. I may have even been a little big-headed about how very blessed I was. I had a terrific family. I saw God do wonders in my life. God loves me and we are all going to be fine and perfect until the ends of my days.
But then life hits you like it does. You lose people. You get hurt by friends, by family, by your church family. You yourself do things, say things, hurt people.
It got easier for me to seclude myself from people. From events. I no longer reached out to people. I stopped making friends. Us four and no more, I’d think. And if I didn’t ask people’s stories – they wouldn’t ask mine and I wouldn’t have to bring up my pain and grief.
I used to be the encourager. I’ve had people tell me how welcoming I was, how I made people feel comfortable and included. When did I decide that wasn’t me anymore? When did I decide I was going to be all about me and lose my servants heart?
About the time I lost my mother I think.
Why did my daughter ask me to do a blog post? Now she’s made me realize that I’m not being honest. I’m just hiding.
We all go through trials. This poem sums it up pretty well.
WHAT GOD HATH PROMISED
God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
many a burden, many a care.
God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain rocky and steep,
Never a river turbid and deep
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love
Author: Annie Johnson Flint
We are called to a purpose. Even when we are old tired weak and cranky. We don’t get a pass because we have been hurt. I know that my past hurts may just help someone else going through the same thing now. So me already knowing this did not stop me from hiding away the strengths and talents God gave me. What made me do it?
My grief was deep and all-consuming.
I couldn’t seem to help myself so how could I possibly help anyone else.
The thing about people always telling you how strong you are is that you start to believe it. You believe you can do it all and you really don’t need anyone else. I didn’t want people to see me in any other light except strength. So I didn’t let people see me. At all.
And in my room alone I cried. I’d failed my Mother. I had taken care of her for six years then I put her in the Nursing Home and she died four months later.
I let her die. Selfish. Selfish. Selfish. I thought I was doing it for the right reasons. But did I? Was I a little relieved I could have my life back? I was a worthless daughter. I had let my mother down.
The one time I tried to express my feelings I was told I was being ridiculous, that I did the best I could. But I didn’t believe them.
So I thought I’m not helpful to anyone.
Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
So even in my wretched state if I’m humble before the Lord, he will exalt me. That’s a funny verse to be comforted by, but it comforted me. I’m human. I can be wretched. I can feel terrible. But the Lord can and will still love me.
Because Psalms 30:11 says he will turn my mourning into dancing!
The last few days have been a lesson to me. I’m not believing the lies anymore. I’m not too old to learn. I’m not too weak that God can’t give me the strength to do his will. I’m not too tired that God can’t give me rest so that I can continue my journey.
I’m still a little cranky. (God help me with that) 😊