Friday, November 30, 2012

Until I Can See How Far I've Come . . .

Courtesy J. Paine

I knew before my eyes opened what was coming. I knew it was gonna be a “let 'er down gentle” moment when it arrived. I was going to have to live up to the standard I championed even though I would not want to. Bravery doesn't come easy when it's your turn to show it.

I told myself all day that I had been courageous to try. It was amazing I had even known how. “Self,” I said, “Enjoy the process and don't worry too much about the outcome. You will have other opportunities. Just keep walking.”

I went through the day letting go of expectations I had tried not to have. I began to let go before someone else embarrassed me by prying my boney fingers loose from what was never mine. I looked at my mental lists of what if's and if then's. To prove that all was not lost, I picked through the rubble for what might be salvageable.

Vocabulary led to The Scarlet Letter which gave way to Algebra, and before I knew it, we flew out the door to Fencing. The distractions were insufficient to the task. I found myself rehearsing an exit strategy even as I went through the school day motions. I guess you could call me a doomsday prepper.

By suppertime, it was there on the computer waiting for me just like I knew it would be. Gracious, polite, complimentary and telling me what I already knew. It was time to pick a new goal and keep walking.

I smiled to myself as I began to type a response. I had been doomsday prepping all day while fighting to keep insecurity at bay. So, I was gracious, polite, and complimentary in return.
Courtesy A. Hughes

I steadied myself because I would have to tell the others. I did what I didn't want to do. I covered my broken heart with offhand indifference and made the announcement in passing. Tears threatened to glisten behind my eyelashes. I just kept doing the next thing hoping no one would notice.

Sometimes, you have to believe that God has a sense of humor. When you do, you have to have faith that you are not the butt of his joke. While the fencers practiced their parry and reposts, I read She's Got Issues by Nicole Unice. Providence can make you wince sometimes. Today was that day.

I was wallowing in insecurity waiting to be told I was insufficient and unwanted. Nicole talked to me about awkward teenage years and the gangly growth spurts we all have. Then, she hit me where I live by suggesting insecurity is an awkward spiritual growth spurt.

When we frame our insecurities as guideposts on the road to growth, we may still feel awkward about them, but we will also recognize them as totally necessary steps toward true freedom in Christ. (p. 89)

What if we begin to think of our insecurities not as shameful places to hide but as opportunities to see God working in our lives. (p. 90)

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative 
You have to laugh, don't ya? Even if you are laughing through the tears you don't want anyone else to see.

I waited until the house was quiet, and it seemed safe. Finally, I could let the truth slip between my eyelashes and bathe my face in tears. Life has handed me so many failures. What's one more especially when I could have predicted it from a mile away?

I will pick up these pieces just like I am picking up all the rest strewn on the path of life behind me. Today, it feels as though I take one step forward and ten steps back. And yet, I keep walking.

It is a painful process, this awkward one of spiritual growth. From where I am tonight, I cannot see how far I've come because the forest of disappointment and failure is so dark I can barely see my hand in front of my face.

Courtesy B. Creasy - 2010
I will keep walking until I can turn around and see how far I've come. I will face my insecurity and yes, even my fear, knowing the one who walks beside me:

specializes in situations that seem bleak, in people the world calls goners, and in cemetery places of the soul. (p. 91)

Won't you keep walking with me? 

(click on the picture to enlarge the image)

Jeremiah 31:3 (Amplified Bible)
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you.


  1. Why do we (Moms) think we need to cry in the dark? Our children love us.....I love you, sweet friend...and you will get through this!

    1. In my case . . . I can't say I make it to dark-thirty every time! Last night was no exception. Just when I thought it was safe, I had a visitor! Didn't do such a great job this morning either! Lots of laughter with some goofy friends works miracles. If you know what I mean. ;-)

  2. This is beautiful Carol Anne and I needed it very much. God always uses you right when i need a word. Keep writing PLEASE!!! Love you!!

    1. You know, it was really, REALLY hard to write because the experience is so fresh. I had writer's remorse immediately after hitting the publish button, so your comment was like rain after a drought! BTW - original title was: Time to Get Ya Big Girl Panties on and Keep Moving. I toned it down, but figured you'd get a hoot and holler out of that one! <3 back.

  3. You are a beautiful soul, Carol Anne, and a gifted writer. I'm blessed that God introduced you to me at Allume. I have been praying for you in this difficult period of life and KNOW God has you in the palm of His hand. I am praying God will help you take all those insecurity thoughts captive and realize WHO YOU ARE--a princess of the King of Kings--royal, heir, conquerer, winner, completely always LOVED!

    1. Oh, Heather, you sure know how to brighten a girl's weekend don't ya! Thank you for standing in the gap for me when I need it most!

  4. Oh Carol Anne:
    We can only take so much and we have to let it out, but you don't have to hide behind a feeling of failure or disappointment. You are a beautiful woman--both inward and outward. You are right, it is spiritual is NOT failure. God uses every moment for something good. As you share these difficult words and emotions with us, you most likely are touching at least one, if not many, women. You keep walking, sweetie, because God is right there with His hand on your shoulder and we're all there right behind you, praying and cheering for you. I am blessed to have gotten to know you this year. I close out 2012 with some beautiful new friendships, and yours is among them!

    1. Michelle, Like you, I look back over 2012 I am amazed at the wonderful new friendships I have made and rejoice over each of you. I do hope the Lord anoints and uses my words because apart from him, they are nothing.

  5. wow, I needed you, my friend!!

    1. I am so thankful I could encourage someone as strong as you! You are superwoman!

  6. *hugs* to you my friend. You are a lot stronger than what you think. You are an amazing woman and you will make it through this. God is with you every step of the way. He loves you!! We love you as well and will always be there for you. Love you!!

    1. I am stronger now because I have been blessed with many prayer warriors like you who help bear my burdens and strengthen me.