It’s been a year. I assumed I would blog my way through it, telling my story of that first year back teaching in 16 years. Nope. Not one post. I couldn’t do it. Mainly because I felt like a hypocrite. A liar. A phony. And I just couldn't put myself out there with the truth of it. But it’s time.
The truth is this: Last year sucked. A lot. And not an all around “my life sucks” kind of suck. It was a specific kind of suck. The kind where you're so sure God is up to something BIG, and you're going to sing His praises and blog about all the ways He's revealing Himself to you and blessing you in ways YOU will absolutely love. But that didn’t happen.
I had expectations after all He did last June 2014: The whole house thing - how He gave us a perfect place to live and an amazing opportunity to teach at a school where all the boys would attend. I would sing Steven Curtis Chapman’s song “And this is going to be, a glorious unfolding. Just you wait and see, and you will be amazed!” And I was SO ready to be amazed. I was definitely amazed. Maybe shell shocked is more specific.
Because teaching is hard. It was hard before I had a family or internet, and now here in the 21st century, living with people who want me to feed them every day and take care of them and do a job where I had to learn new computer systems that didn’t exist in 1992, well, yeah. It was harder. So I cried; sobbed really.
I felt like a failure. I couldn’t do it all. I wanted so badly to do it all. Assumed I COULD do it all and couldn’t wait to brag about my amazing feat to “bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan.” Instead, I curled up in a ball and rocked. And took more anti-depressants and Ativan to keep me from having a full blown panic attack. I was going crazy, so I ducked in a hole and cried, “6 more years of winter!”
I went dark. I stayed away from church and shut out the world. I couldn’t do life AND my job. My house was a wreck. We ate something; I just don’t remember what.
This couldn’t be what God had in mind. This was supposed to be the Glorious Unfolding. I wasn’t unfolding. I was imploding, collapsing in on myself. And I didn’t want anyone to know. When I should have been leaning into the church for support, I leaned out. WAY out.
Because the church isn’t safe. It’s the most dangerous place on earth. When you are hurting the most, they can be the ones to pour lemon juice on your wounds. In all their attempts to be Christlike, they can come across like they ARE Christ and a very bad impersonation at that. Or they have no idea how to help, and all their attempts can make it worse.
There was no way I was going to risk it right now. Life hurt too much. I was having issues with God, and I didn’t need any more fuel for my flames.
Which is exactly the way the enemy wants it.
So I drew the blinds and sat in my darkness alone. I didn’t want any words from anyone. No attempts at trying to help or encourage or pray over me. I didn’t need more people to be mad at when they unknowingly offended me. When I’m wounded, I’m like a caged animal. Any attempt by others to help is greeted with lashing out.
When I’m in the pit, I need my people to just sit with me and SAY NOTHING. But I digress.
Last year sucked. I had expectations for what God was up to, and I was SO wrong. Dead wrong. We all know what happens when we assume. I was angry. Overwhelmed. Humiliated. And way out of my league. Pride comes before the fall, and I fell hard.
While I wasn’t able to write publicly in the midst of the journey, perhaps this next year I will be able to reflect on what God taught me and and how He walked with me while I threw tantrums and hid from the world. How He used a bunch of teenagers to minister to me. Because in retrospect, this season was necessary. It’s always darkest before the dawn.
But for now, today, I just wanted to pop my head out of my little hole in the ground and say, “Spring is almost here.”