Trust is H.A.R.D.

I have struggled with trusting God for as long as I can remember. I’m really trying to pinpoint that actual moment where I stopped having childlike faith. The exact moment where I transitioned from faith in to fear and doubt mode. It could have been after my sexual assault, that seems to make the most logical sense to me. Or it could be a series of events that chipped away at who I was because I wasn’t firmly rooted in who He is. I’m going to have to dive into that. However over the course of the last year and a half, I have slowly and consciously made the choice to trust God even if I don’t feel it. Like I’ve literally prayed those words, it’s something like this, “God I trust you for J and I’s future, just kidding, I actually don’t. I know you know this and I’m just being honest cause you know anyway. So I’m struggling with trusting you and I don’t right now but I want to and I’m trying.” That’s kind of how that conversation goes.

I find sometimes with God it’s so difficult for me to trust because it would be so much easier if I could see Him. If I could hold his actual hand, feel his arms hugging me, cry on his shoulder, whine to Him about my day and watch his facial features as he looks loving and comically at his incredibly dramatic, overly animated daughter. I am so much like Thomas, who needed to feel the holes in Jesus’s hand to actually believe it was him after he was resurrected. I am Peter selling out Jesus because was afraid. I so want and desire to be be bold and courageous like David, slaying giants and dancing in the street, unashamed worshipping the Lord. I want to content and joyful in all situations and circumstances like Paul, knowing that whether I am in chains or free, I am 10000000 percent content and trusting in God’s plans and His purpose. I have the desire to be like these great men of the Bible. But I’m currently Thomas when he doubted God, I am Peter not boldly allowing his faith in Christ to lead him but his fear to paralyze and deny Him. ( and Peter walked with Jesus in the flesh on a daily basis, no judgement though, cause hello, I am these men.) I am Eve thinking God is holding out on me or holding something back from me so I take things in to my own hands only to have it blow up in my face. I am the little girl in the picture above clinging to that teddy bear not realizing that if I just let go and trust, He has so much more than I could have imagined.

Right now I am where I am but I recognize the need and the desire to actively trust, to lay down self and recognize God is in control. To know that I have to take an active part in my relationship with Him; that I can’t sit idly by and let life happen. I need to be engaged daily with my Father, knowing Him, talking to Him…trying to understand who He is. Just like I would in a relationship with someone I can see, touch, experience. I believe that trusting God has to be an active process. I don’t believe it is at all passive, at least for me. It requires me taking action and stepping out in faith. It requires me acknowledging that I have fear and am trying to control particular situations and when I do that I am trusting self over God.

I know this isn’t much in terms of a blog post, I have felt utterly uninspired for quite some time now. My mind has been completely and utterly devoid of creative thought. Well to be more honest with myself, I haven’t given myself the silence to sit and think, to allow myself to create. I have been filling my time with other things because it’s less painful than actually thinking and feeling and acknowledging the weight of the last 6 months. That however is another post, hopefully coming soon. I just have had these thoughts rolling around in my mind about trust and wanted to share. For whoever is reading this I hope you are encouraged. You are not alone in your journey. You are wholly and deeply loved by a God who sees you in the middle of your mess.

Feeling the messiest,

Elisha

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My future husband.

I was listening to the song “Jealous” by Nick Jonas a few months ago, don’t judge, I am a pop princess, love pop music, always have, always will but I digress…

As I was saying, I was listening to the song a few months ago and I had this flash in my head, it was so vivid, it felt like a memory, except it hadn’t happened yet. I was in the kitchen, gorgeous open floor plan if you’re wondering and Jameson was a toddler, not quite sure what age and my future husband had a spatula in his hand and he was singing the lyrics of the song to me. Jameson was dancing in the background singing along as well. In this flash I couldn’t see his face, only that he was tall (haha) and he was being a total goofball dancing around our kitchen singing, you could see in his eyes the deep love he had for me. That was it, it didn’t really go much further than that and the vision was over. I don’t know that I’ve ever really had something like that happen. It made me so happy, it wasn’t real, it hadn’t happened and yet it felt like a promise of what’s to come in the future.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about who, what, when of my future…I have always wanted to be a wife and a mom. Some people might think that’s stupid but I don’t really care. It’s what I wanted and desired and I think about what’s to come often. I am trying really hard to practice patience, that’s a funny thought. I am attempting to learn to be content in all circumstances, super difficult, however I feel like it is building character in me and for that I am appreciative. I have been praying for my future spouse, that God is building character in him and protecting him and guiding and leading him and drawing him in to a closer relationship with him. It’s a strange thing to be doing that when you are recovering from a marriage that exploded in your face. Very strange. It’s just I look back and think about before I met Michael and I never prayed for him, I never asked God what He wanted in my spouse. I never laid that before His feet and this time I want to lay it down before Him completely. I want to be wise in the way I conduct myself, in the way I handle any relationship, whether it’s romantic, personal, professional, familial. I feel like I am getting a little of topic from what I originally had on my heart and I guess that’s okay because writing is my therapy, a way to monitor my growth and change and to heal and I really hope that along the way my journey will encourage someone else. So back to what I was originally talking about, geez louise.

I love music, like really a lot. I feel like I have a song for everything. There is this song by Tyrone Wells, “Wondering Where You Are”.

“Will you like to watch the sunrise?
Will you have blue or brown eyes?
What are the dreams you long to share
I hope you like Stevie Wonder
Are you afraid of thunder?
I close my eyes and say a prayer you’re out there somewhere.”

 

I feel like this song goes along with the vision, that sounds so weird, but that’s what it was…and it got me thinking, what he’s going to be like? It’s funny how your priorities change as an adult. When I was a teenager dreaming about my husband I wanted him to be Nick Carter or Leonardo DiCaprio. Let’s be real though if Leonardo DiCaprio knocked on my door I would let him take me to dinner, just saying. Now I think about things like, will he be kind and hilarious? Will he be responsible and trustworthy? Will he be gracious and reliable? Will he treat others with respect? Will he be tall? Haha. I have seen so much of God’s goodness through the trial of the last nine months. I believe that there is someone out there that God has for me. I know that the one nonnegotiable I have is that my future husband whoever he is must love God with every fiber of his being, must live out his faith, must be willing to serve God whole heartedly and the rest will fall into place. I am not naive enough to believe that as long as my partner loves God everything will be okay. Please, that is a pipe dream, if that works for you, awesome!! I am actually genuinely happy for you. I believe that marriage requires work, it requires sacrifice, it requires trust, it requires humility, it requires forgiveness and it requires two people who are equally yoked working together with God as their foundation. At least that is what marriage looks like for me.

As I continue to grow and work on cleaning up my mess I can look back on this vision, this little snapshot of my future I had and smile and trust that God’s timing is perfect and I can enjoy healing, I can enjoy working on who I am and the woman God is growing me to be and I can soak up every second I have with my beautiful baby boy. I can be content in my singlehood, singleness whatever you call it and trust God has a plan and a man (hahaha, that is really cracking me up because it rhymes and I have the sense of humor of a 5-year-old, maybe that’s why I am good at teaching Pre-K) for me. Thank you for reading my little blurbs and for encouraging me along this journey I have been on.

the messiest girl,

Elisha

 

I need to be seen.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Not that I haven’t wanted too, I just haven’t felt inspired to write. I think that comes with navigating grief and trying to come back to yourself. I’ve had a lot I wanted to write about and then I would sit down to try and get it out and Jameosn would wake up or I would be too tired. During Jameson’s bath tonight I decided I needed to try and work out what was in my head. I have felt off all day today and haven’t been able to shake it. I started thinking about it and in normal circumstances you would tell your spouse or your partner and they would love on you or prayer with you. I started thinking well who sees me, who can acknowledge that I’m doing this alone, who can encourage me and validate those times where I feel so incompetent as a mother and exhausted and overwhelmed. So I thought hey Facebook, I can be “seen”. Someone can “hear and listen” that I’ve had a tough day. Maybe someone will encourage me or just “see” me. I realize navigating being a single parent I need to be encouraged and validated but where do you receive that when you don’t have a partner? My thought process then went to what I know. What’s truly and deeply ingrained in the core of my heart and who I am, God sees me, I am not alone. He sees me at my deepest point of weakness and struggle. He sees me as Jameson is waking up for the 3rd time in a row at night to nurse because he’s teething or going through a growth spurt and I am bleary eyed trying to feed him. He sees me as I ponder what my future looks like when everything I thought I had mapped out is no longer tangible. He knows the deepest desires of my heart to have a spouse that loves me fiercely, that is just as goofy as I am, that is kind and that loves my child as his own. He knows I want to rescue all the abandoned children and bring them home and love on them. He knows my heart to empower and love on women because I deeply believe we need to support and edify one another instead of dragging each other down. He sees me when I want so desperately to weep and mourn and cry but feel like I have to keep it together for the sake of my son. He sees my confusion as I try to rebuild the pieces of my heart. He sees me as I try to peel back the walls I have used to protect myself over the last 10 years. He sees me struggling to find myself again. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” -Hebrews 4: 15-16 I know He sees me. I know He can empathize with the hurt I’m dealing with. I know He rejoices in my successes and hurts for me in my sorrow and sometimes I forget that God sees me and I just have that deep desire to just be seen and acknowledged from a tangible human being. I want to jump up and down waving my hands saying “Hey I’m here, do you see me?!?!?” It’s a very real need to have someone reach out and say I see you. I’m kind of all over the place in this post. I just think it’s my need for community. We weren’t meant to navigate this life alone. I don’t believe we are suppose to suffer silently or isolate ourselves. I believe God is three in one, the trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If God in His being is all three and we are image bearers of God, created in His image, we must need community. I might be completely missing the mark as far as doctrine goes. I don’t know but God wanted to be in relationship with us. He wanted us to choose to step into a relationship with Him, so it seems to me that we have that innate need to be in relationship with one another. So all of that to say, I want to rebuild my community. I want genuine, authentic, transparent relationships. I want relationships where I can be completely who God has created me to be and that who that is is enough. Thank you for acknowledging my day was hard. Thank you for encouraging me and thank you for seeing me.

Love,

Elisha

Everything has changed.

When you are young you have an idea of how your life is going to go. You have your hopes and dreams laid out in front of you. They are big and bright and achievable and there is no doubt in your young mind that they are going to happen, they might as well be true because you have that much faith in your future.

The first time I realized I was wrong was 2 days before my 21st birthday. It was 2005 and my favorite “band” had come back for a reunion tour. One of my best girlfriends and I drove to Dallas for the concert, a 5 hour drive from Lubbock, TX and we were EXCITED. I had obsessively loved the Backstreet Boys since I was 14 years old, so much so one of my punishments growing up was tearing down my BSB posters off the wall( as an adult this is a hysterically creative punishment and still one of my favorite stories, props to my mom). This would be my 3rd time seeing them in concert and being the truly naive almost 21-year-old I was, I had it buried deep in my heart that when Nick Carter and I met, he would actually fall in love with me at first sight and it would be all fairy tales and roses.  I know that sounds ridiculous but I am telling you I was dreaming BIG. So we got to the show and I made this sign, decked out in glitter ( if you know me it has to sparkle) saying “Nick,  kiss me it’s my 21st birthday”, in case you are wondering this did not happen.

When we got out of the car Nick was playing basketball behind the fenced in area and AJ was signing autographs so naturally we ran to the fence with the other swarms of girls and stared and waited and ogled. I must have taken a BAJILLION photos of Nick playing basketball, I won’t even go in to how weird that must be to be a human and be on display like a zoo animal. I guess it comes with the territory. We stood out there for what seemed like hours and finally it was time for the show to start as Nick and AJ were called inside I remember feeling almost panicky that I wasn’t going to get my chance to “meet” my future husband. So I yelled at Nick in a desperate attempt as he was walking by, “NICK IT’S MY 21st BIRTHDAY.” To my complete and utter shock he started walking towards me. I promptly hung up on my mom and stared dumbfounded knowing this is the moment my life would begin. He looked at me as girls screamed and shoved their c.d.s in his face to sign and he said, ” I am only taking a picture with her because it’s her birthday.” THIS WAS IT, he singled me out and we were in love. I was ecstatic and just like that it was over, he left and I was shaking from excitement. I don’t know what I said if I said anything…and the moment passed and I stood there like, wait a minute this was NOT how this was supposed to go, there were suppose to be sparks and he was supposed to sweep me away to get to know me and we were going to be in love. Nope. Didn’t happen. That dream I had of marrying a Backstreet Boy was gone, but I still had hope.

Six years later in February of 2011 I got married in Maui, HI. I put this man on a pedestal, he could do no wrong, his thoughts were my thoughts, his opinions were mine and he was my beginning and ending. Our relationship was fast and furious, we met online in October of 2009, were officially dating in January of 2010, engaged in September of 2010 and married in February of 2011. I was enamored and completely taken by him, he was charming and witty and crazy intelligent and I was madly, deeply, head over heels in love with him. He was my Price Charming. My fairytale had come true and to top it all off we got married on the beach he proposed to me on. R.O.M.A.N.T.I.C. When I said my vows and promised to love him through sickness and health, til death do us part. I meant it. Since I was a little girl I wanted so badly to be a wife and a mother, I wanted it desperately. The BIG dreams I had for myself as a little girl were coming true.

Present day, the illusion once again was shattered this time it is paralyzing and I sit here now typing this while my almost 3 month old son is sleeping and wondering how my fairytale crumbled. I never wanted to be a single mom. I watched my mom do it like Wonder Woman my ENTIRE life but I never ever wanted that. I wanted a doting husband, a house with a white picket fence, dogs running in the yard chasing the sprinklers and the laughter of as many children as I could have (I was hoping for 5)  laughing and playing and growing. That was my vision. That was my dream. Yet here I sit, in my mom’s bedroom that she is graciously letting us stay in until I get things figured out and I try desperately to come to terms with my new reality and grieve the dreams I had and the marriage I lost. There are moments where the grief is so thick and so heavy I feel like I am suffocating. How do I come to terms with this new normal? Are the dreams I had as a child still attainable? I almost feel like Hester Prynne but instead of her scarlet “A”, I have a scarlet “D” looming over my head. It is crippling. I am mourning. I am trying to rebuild and yet I am stuck in quicksand, clawing and climbing desperatly trying to make it out. Every attempt to break free is forcing me deeper into the sand.

As heartbreaking as my new reality is, as I struggle to make sense of what happened, I have hope. Hope: 1. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Synonyms: aspiration, desire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim, goal, plan, design 2. a feeling of trust.”This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” – Hebrews 6:19 

I trust that God is big enough to handle the MESS, the yuck, the trauma, the heartbreak, the trial. As I fight the urge to fight and flail out of the quicksand, I am reminded that I need only to be still and wait for God’s hand to reach down and pull me out. ” The LORD will fight for you, you need only to be still. ” – Exodus 14:14

Giving God my mess,

Elisha ❤