Monday, September 16, 2013

Time, My Frenemy

Time...I have such a love/hate relationship with Time.  Right now, it is the ultimate four-letter word in my life.  I am in a season where everything is floating around...everything is contingent on everything else.  There is no resolve in any area of my life at this moment.  What I want more than anything is to have at least one aspect of my life settled and concrete so that I can begin to lay a foundation on which to build the next phase of my life.  I have peace in my heart (that comes from my relationship with the Lord) but I have no peace in my mind.  I don't sleep well.  I can't relax.  I am in a constant state of thinking and planning.  My world is a series of "what ifs" and "maybes" right now. 

The advice I receive over and over is "it takes time".  This has become my least favorite saying...of all time.  But, it rings with truth.  People have understood the vast power of time since it began.  We will it away when we are facing a battle, when we are waiting for a loved one to return home, when we have an exciting event approaching...I can think of many occasions where I wanted time to fly by.  When I was in high school and awaiting the prom, graduation, and college acceptance letters, I could not make time move quickly enough.  As an adult, I want to fast forward to get to the next phase, where I have some certainty, and where I have the opportunity to start over.

Then, there are instances where I want time to slow down.  Anytime I am with my sister, I want time to stop so I can stay with her and talk and laugh and recharge.  When Titus and Cecely climb up in my lap, hold my hands as we walk, or when we are all laughing together, I want time to leave us alone.  When I get to spend a lazy day in comfy clothes, curled up on the couch and watching a movie, I want the day to go on and on.  But, just as I can't make time go any faster, I am unable to slow it down.

I am trying very hard to be grateful for this season and for this time.  I would be lying if I said I didn't struggle with loneliness and hurt.  I think of how hard it is to take this time and do my best to stay on the right path while others have abused this time and are living like there are no consequences.  I had a strong reminder today that I need this time...while I may look like I have got it together or that I am getting it back together, I am still struggling.  While I have grown and changed, and I feel so much stronger and healthier, I am still a mess.  I realized today that some of the hurts I have experienced are still very prevalent.  My feelings are unbelievably raw.  And even though I am learning from past mistakes and behaviors, I was reminded today that I still have some major obstacles to overcome.  I have old habits that are trying so hard to pull me down.  When I am hurt, I curl up inside myself, like one of those fuzzy worms.  I physically pull away from the situation, I mentally shut down, and I emotionally clam up.  Not good...at all. 

So, I realized that I do indeed need time.  As much as I hate it and as badly as I want to be in the next chapter of my life...I need it.  I need time to heal.  I need time to cry.  I need time to hurt.  I need time to remember.  I need time to prepare.  I need time to restore.  I need time to grieve.  I need time to celebrate.  I need time to grow.  I need time to change. 

In the church world, we often hear the phrase "God's timing".  I can't help but want things on a nice and neat timeline.  I am a planner, and I like to be ready for what's coming.  Thankfully, God has got a grip on me.  He can see the big picture, while I get lost in the details.  His timing will make perfect sense...my timing would mess everything up.  If I stop and look back over the past 8 months, I can see how God's timing and His provisions have been what have protected my kiddos and me.  Why do I doubt Him?  He has proven His love for me over and over, but I still can't grasp the concept that His time is better than my time.  I am going to continue to try and be grateful for the time He has given me during this season.  I am going to continue to use this time in prayer, His Word, and fellowship with other believers who can help drag me down this long road.  I cannot wait to sit down to write a blog this time next year and see how His timing took care of me.

I'll leave you with a few of my favorite quotes about my frenemy...time:

“It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
Rose Kennedy

“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”-J.R.R. Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring


“Time is the longest distance between two places.”
Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie 

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