Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cover me...

Random Journal Day Link-Up #13
Or: 'Cover me, I'm going in!'
See this long row of journals?
Well, I have been very-VERY, VERY-deliberate about where I aimed my hand in lifting one of the notebooks from the shelf, keeping myself from wandering too far toward the left. There's one journal shorter than the others about a third of the way that direction, and it's been my Ebenezer, so to speak. My marker. Anything left of that has been no-man's land for me.
In fact, I can safely say that in the more than half of my life that I've been married (28 years) I have never once even opened them.
Tonight, though, I felt a little braver than usual. Maybe more aware of how broken relationships can be. How hearts can break but still beat, and people can walk around, looking for all the world like they're fully functioning while they're really barely breathing and fully occupied with self or someone else who bloats us so out of proportion that reality and life and Jesus Himself are distorted.

There's a long back-story here that I cannot go without telling.
It's not a pretty one but I lived it. The first of these blue notebooks was bought just days before I moved to Eugene, Oregon where I'd transferred halfway from a university in Washington State (I always tell people it was because of my dad, but it was really because of a boy) to two colleges.  The second day--I do not exaggerate this!--I was sitting in an orientation and a boy sat down next to me. We had about a five minute conversation. When he walked up to the front of the room, I turned to a new friend and said, "I'm going to marry him."  

That was the beginning of what can only be called...hmmm, I don't know what it can be called. I am almost 55 years old and I still don't know what that relationship can be called. We dated, we didn't date. He asked me to marry him, he broke the engagement, he came back, he left, and on and off and on and off. For five years. And through it all, I held on. For a long time in the beginning I believed that GOD had told me that he was the one. My belief almost convinced him. Time and time again. But later, even when I wanted to get over him, there was a pull between us that was like a drug. I often said he loved me too much to let me go and not enough to hold on. And it was--ABSOLUTELY--a form of emotional abuse, how he treated me. Looking back, I can see it. As clear as the sun.

And at the end, I was so broken, I was so shattered that I felt certain there would never be a man in my life. That I was doomed to a life alone because there was something inherently wrong with me.  That's how it felt. To the marrow of every bone in my body.

God did give save me from that relationship. And I've always believed that saving came when I finally had the courage to walk away. As long as I held on, He couldn't work. When I gave up, He began to heal. Only months later, Beve walked back into my life in a new guise. Like a fresh wind after stale mold had built up.

So that's my story.
So I know emotional abuse. Or obsession. Or whatever it was. A moth drawn to flame, maybe. Something ugly, anyways.

And all these journals are mostly page after page of 'he loves me, he loves me not.' And so full of very me, I cannot find myself in them.
But they are also the real me as I lived them.
So cover me, I'm going in.

May 25, 1981
Someday I shall have a 12 year old daughter. Named Elizabeth and I shall call her Beth. Perhaps her Grandpa, my daddy, will call her Betsy and will hold her on his knee or take her camping and teach her how to build a fire. Wow. how I long for that day. Seeing my friends so contentedly parents makes the gap seem pretty wide to me. someday seems as far away as heaven at moments like this.
But the most melancholy thought of all--my babies won't have brown eyes the right tint or the best shade of copper-colored hair. Oh for the day that it no longer matters.
Then Joshua said to the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you." Joshua 3: 5.
I think maybe the most wonderful thing would be to stop wanting all together. For home, for family. For anything so clearly beyond what is meant for me.

6 comments:

Modern Day Disciple said...

Brave girl...thanks for being courageous to peek and share from the painful past. I have so many pages of pursuing false gods in my journals to remind me of what life is like apart from Him...but also learning to trust Him in and with relationships. Learning healthy boundaries, and understanding what it means to give and receive love, the way He desires for me.
But still, I think I would have liked to see a little more. ;) I know- I'm so demanding! Here you are sharing your heart and soul and me saying: MORE, please! Hugs, my friend- and thanks for your portion!

jeskmom said...

Hmm. Reading this actual journal part in the light of morning' I see exactly what you mean, Dawn. How I still protect myself (and my adult kids!) from that past. I'll give it another go sometime.

Recovering Church Lady said...

Totally understand the hesitation, timing is important regarding looking at the past. The relationship I had before Hubs was a controlling, painful one that made me too decide that I was done with men. BUT God!
Bless you!

E said...

I have good news and bad news. I am Elizabeth, I don't have brown eyes, and it doesn't matter. But I don't go by Beth or Betsy. :) You gave that your best shot.

jeskmom said...

E--I thank God every day for the color of your eyes, your hair and everything else about you...especially that your daddy is who he is! And you were NEVER going to be Beth (try as I did!...by the way, Granddad died when you were 12).

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Amazing the transformation that takes place in our hearts and lives when God brings THE RIGHT person into our midst. Sometimes it takes a while...but when we are willing to trust Him in that (and all the other stuff of life)...it works out to be exactly what we longed for (we just didn't know that was what we were longing for!)
Thank you for being so transparent with us...and trusting us enough to feel the freedom to be an "open book". And seeing your lovely daughter E above gives us all hope for the future. (in my case...for a granddaughter some day...but it's going to take a small miracle).