No room for self doubt

Keep Satan downI had a thought; in between the madness of work over the last few weeks. It was like a scolding fork prodding my left bum cheek. The thought was simply; why?

Yes, yes..i’ve had it before. Many a time if fact, when talking about my ex. But this time it miraculously resonated with the answer. And this, because I had a conversation with a work colleague.

I must have easily been amongst 4000 other Christians over the last few weeks if you count the Christian New Media Awards and Conference, the William Lane Craig events and the Woman to Woman conference.

So the stabs and prods of self doubt shouldn’t really have been surprising. Pete Phillips (CODEC) got it right as we all piled out of the Christian New Media Conference on 16th October –

@pmphillips spiritual attack tweet

Inspired and filled with the spirit of ‘can do’ – what a dangerous Christian we are. What I now realise is that we are at our most venerable when we are closest to God.

Studying to be a Minister, working in a Christian environment, a new Christian…hungry to know more of God? All lambs.

Peter said, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Here, God can use His power and ability to shine through our weaknesses; the potential to become living witnesses of his power. Self Doubt robs Him of this.

Paul confirms this, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10)

CM. I’m shaking my head. We’ve known, and talked about how a relationship won’t work, but we’re still playing games. Something I told myself a while ago that I’d never do. Honesty always. But I’ve ended up deceiving myself.

It’s not real. And that’s not what I need.

My ex has forgotten I’m still on our account, and still receive bank statements. I see the flowers, the restaurants and the trips away. He’s loving someone else. But I won’t find anyone if I’m still bitter and letting him influence my own self worth.

A conversation with a work colleague confirmed this. We got onto the subject of divorce. When he split with his wife, who cheated on him, he was made homeless. I’ll not name names, but he was a successful DJ at the time…and slept in the back of a shop for months and months; nobody knew.

He had every right to be bitter. And he was for a long while. Reduced to sleeping in a shop, with a friend leaving him food every now and then, he turned to God and asked, ‘Why? And for how damned long?’

It dawned on him that in his bitterness, he was holding on to the past. Not allowing God to point to the future. It wasn’t until he let her go, that things started to fall into place for him and he found a flat.

I need something real now. And yes, I’ve know this from the outset really. I’m feeling low about this ‘relationship’ today. Add to this, i’m feeling low about my ex, my job, lack of money…and this low self esteem is taking up a lot of energy. Too much, I realise this. If I feel shite, I’m good for nothing. (and i’m downright sure this is sinful)

It’s not what I need. That’s not what He needs.

Victim

I listen to Kings of Leon.. when I’m feeling most crap..It should be something more spiritual I guess; that’s what i used to do. Something that speaks to my soul when I’m not listening.

I was at the solicitors, Law for All. My appointment was for 3pm.. I arrived on time. And I waited with fear and doubt carving ever deeper grooves in my chest. I didn’t see Maria Abdul until around 3.50pm (by then I couldn’t bear to look at the clock anymore)

No I don’t qualify for legal aid. It would be best not to site Adultery ind the divorce, as this makes for more paper work and court time for busy solicitors.

Oh, and I have to do it myself: fill in the forms, take them to court etc.

Ultimately, and feeling as shite as I’m feeling, it was the most discourteous, shit experience I’ve ever had. That added to the fact that I’m going to have to do this myself anyway…So now I can see more crap ahead waiting for me.

Then on the bus.. While a group of black guys argued with and bullied their friend who’d tried to flirt with me, and then the girl next to me accidentally kicked me, and didn’t even look at me to acknowledge an apology, I asked myself.. ‘How long will you be a victim?’

£2 is not a lot

I have £2 in my bank account, this should last me to the end of the month. No, that’s not a typo. And yes, it’s only the 19th…

I’d have never envisaged just how many things you actually have to deal with when you separate from someone. We had a home, shared bills and bank accounts. A shared life, so it is of course inevitable that it will be messy.

I can write reams on the emotional consequences; ripe inspiration for poetry. If I were more motivated, more eloquent, I would write more.

It’s the depression, the realisation and remembrance of the loss, the sadness that engulfs me like a wave that sometimes takes me by surprise. Like today, I feel lonely.

Physically, I think I may have psoriasis on my scalp. Sometimes I feel like clawing my hair out. And now that I don’t drink so much (this, only because I can’t afford to buy it, and not because I don’t want to.) I think my liver feels better…

The funny thing about this is – the sudden ‘coincidences’. That, although I feel down – I still have many reasons to be ‘ok’ in this situation.

For example, the free bottle of wine on Friday that was given to my friend and I because the bar didn’t have a table for us?!

The free ticket to the gig yesterday, and a lift there from a friend meant that I didn’t have to cancel because I couldn’t afford to get there…

Sink

There’s a handful of people that, in my heart, i really know i it’s ‘time’ i called. But i have a night to myself – I’ve made food, camomile tea, the TV is off, and the iPod is playing on random…

‘Me time’ has given me the space to mull over a few things; recent conversations, lack of conversations.

I keep thinking about the ‘space’ that appears in my head when people start talking about Him. Take the other day for instance. A friend was praising how well i was handling everything, and this ‘space’ appeared in my head. Like a magic trick in Harry Potter – cast the ‘invisible’ spell, and your eyes just slide off of me…I’m right there in front of you, but you can’t ‘see’ me.

Yes I’m handling it well..but that’s because I’m not handling it. I’m just living the best way i know how – and the rest i give to God…

My reading this morning covered a few parts of the bible, 1 Peter 1:7, about the trials in life that prove our faith. Peter was the focus of Matthew 14:29 also, “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

I like Peter; yes he had his doubts, he was headstrong and made mistakes – but with each mistake his faith and hope in JC was strengthened.

The Royal Wedding (or, It’s exactly a year ago…)

And so, The Year is approaching. And as the Royal couple get ready for their Big Day, amongst the media buzz and furore, I try to forget my Big Day.

Forget the excitement of the last few days of singledom; the brilliant Hen night, the last minute preparations, the finishing touches and eleventh-hour-decisions. Although, I must say, I’m happiest forgetting the smoke spewing from my credit cards.

There were ever widening ripples of excitement amongst family and friends. Proud faces, happy congratulations – but above all, there was the two of us. There was my blind trust in him; that we were a ‘team’. We’d see each other through the minor stresses to enjoy the biggest and best day of our lives. Because after it, we knew we had the rest of our lives ahead of us.

What a difference A Year makes?

I’ve moved to a new place, on my own. I say ‘new’ – but this town is where I’ve had my happiest memories. I lived here when I was around 5 to about 10 years old. ‘Here’ was the first house mum and dad owned. Here is where I went to school, had a best friend..’played out’ ‘til late with my next door neighbour; oh, and fell while swinging on bollards putting my teeth through my bottom lip.

I like it here – but I don’t like the worry that comes with planning to meet bills, and make ends meet, having no one to lean on; no more ‘team’.

It’s the wine – I’m being a tad negative.

Yes on the other hand, there’s the positive challenge of being on my own. Doing my own thing, and at my own pace. The positive making of me as a strong and motivated woman, who’s not reliant on a man.

This is what I was before I met him actually – although never single, I was quite independent. But once you start leaning on someone, you easily get used to the support, and become lazy.

Anyway, wine aside. Today, I’m sad.

I hate weddings

I didn’t take a single photo. And it was a beautiful wedding. The fact that it was at All Souls, and it’s April…grated on me. And if I’m totally honest – I hated every minute. Please don’t tell the bride.

I left the evening reception rather abruptly – dashing out Cinderella-esq after a lovely comment from one of my Fellowship group friends. ‘So, how’s Darren?’

Mortified that I thought I’d heard her wrong, I actually asked her to repeat the question!!

I’d made it through the whole day, and had kept myself together until his name was mentioned. I’m not sure what she was thinking. But she smiled…so I think she enjoyed seeing whatever look must have passed over my face?

I have apologies to make to my other Fellowship Group friends. Who, I might add, have not called to find out if I got home ok, or if I threw myself under the 88 bus?

What the hell is going on with these Christians?

I won’t repeat the unending refrain…I’m tired of it. Hearing it, seeing it in arial 11…yes, it’s a difficult month. But, I have the new flat to think about – which will hopefully take my mind off it a little. And a best friend planning avoidance maneuvers for the end of the month.

I still don’t have to think about divorce…yet.

Poem: Not

I’m just reviewing my recent poetry. And considering how, when I’ve only just started to write again, after a good year or so of being frozen… It’s pretty dark.

My moods fluctuate alarmingly, as you know, or can imagine, if you ‘know me’ – but, I didn’t realise how ‘dark’ I was.

I worry that I’ll be alone forever, tormented by men forever. Never to be … normal (I did struggle to use a different word just then) and I actually wonder what that would be… ‘normal?’ Everything is so far removed from what ‘normal’ was.

Anyway:

Poem: Not

Warm hands held on a cold night
The stinging hotness of a slap
This is not a picture of love.

Midnight whispers cheek to cheek
Voices raised, mouths wide
This is not the sound of love.

Funny how a smile can miss the eyes
But shards of malice can chip the heart
A blindfold made of water, a soul torn apart

Friends Indeed

I’d often had cause to complain about my friends; some can be flaky or uncompromising. There’s one who will stay in West London, never to venture out, leaving me to trek over to see her each time. Then there’s the Christmas party where each one of them copped out because the couldn’t make the effort to get to Southfields. Oh, and let’s not mention the birthday barbeque party at mum’s, again, too far south.

I probably won’t have a party again, ever…unless it’s an intimate dinner; but i’ve realised that in a time of personal crisis they will all be there. Every single one of them.

Straight away they’ve made themselves available for me to ‘lean’ on. Although i’d always reckoned on being quite strong, i’m so not. And it’s pride that stops me from cracking up. If i let go…who know’s what will happen? I sometimes feel i’d melt into a puddle of goo like the Senator Kelly in X-Men 2.

They all have an opinion on him, of course. Although most are totally gobsmacked when they first find out. Once the shock passes, most want to either stab him or punch him. I might start a poll, and see which is the most popular form of retribution.

I still pity him, and have prayed for him everyday. I hope he takes my advice and does truely see a counsellor.

Maybe we just have to face the fact as women; that it’s in a man’s makeup to cheat? They just can’t be monogamous? But i know deep down, that there are men out that, who’re not even Christians, that are faithful to their wives/partners and who love them ‘to the exclusion of all others..’

This has me thinking; if he’s been seeing her for over six months, (half a year!), then he must have an emotional attachment to her. And what’s worse? Emotional or physical cheating?

Don’t Tell The Bride

Last night was surreal as i sat and watched ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ on BBC iPlayer last night with C. She was desperate to watch it, because it was set in Las Vegas, where she’s getting married next year.

If i say that i feel like the emotion has been gouged out of me..maybe this comes close to explaining how i feel? I actually DON’T feel. And so, i could sit and watch the wedding shenanigans, with just a mild feeling of dread messing around with my insides.

She’d brought over some dresses for me to try on for D Mc’s wedding tomorrow, and found something that looks ok.

Two bottles of wine and some Saki later, it was 1am and i fell into a dreamless sleep. I was obviously not refreshed when i woke up. But i’d slept through the night. A lame victory.

I can imagine him telling his stag friends on the night he met Tracey O’Brien, “Don’t tell the bride…” And so, at the wedding i was indeed blissfully unaware. And happy.

I was happy

I’m addicted to FaceBook at the moment, catching up on friendships…and still debating whether to repost ‘that’ picture, or remove it all together. It also crossed my mind that i could just email it to him…and make him feel bad. But, he’s obviously feeling bad already…

Or, i could make some prints of it and post one out to him every day for a year…but that’d cost me a bit. And i’m trying to save.

Or, maybe i should stick to my original promise and try to find grace.

After the All Souls lunchtime service yesterday i briefly spoke to Hugh Palmer and asked if i could make an appointment to see him. I’m not sure what’s holding me back from making it. Maybe a bit of embarrassment and failure.

I can imagine him looking in his diary, “Oh, that girl i only married five months ago is coming in to see me. Can’t even keep her husband!”

Ugh! I can’t even imagine it. Me? Divorced??

I still can’t believe it – honestly? One minute i’m fine..i can plod on. The next minute i can’t even see straight.

I just can’t believe this is happening.

My Heart is Breaking

It’s my first day back to work today.

Walking in felt really weird, mostly because i don’t want a fuss made; as this is the most likely way to get me to break down. Luckily, Dan is really cool and has just been ‘normal’. It’s the boss that’s a night mare , “come on, let me give you a big hug!”. I actually felt horrified. What? Do you want me to embarrass myself in front of everyone??

Sitting back at my desk feels a bit surreal, which may be a little because i haven’t had much sleep. I didn’t come in too late from seeing HA. It was good to get out and talk to someone over a bottle of wine. She never liked him much anyway – and what i love about her most is that she has always been totally honest about it. But even she’s shocked about it.

I had a really bad nightmare last night. I was woken up by a noise in the flat, and got out of bed to investigate…only, i could hardly move. I also couldn’t talk…let alone shout or scream. I got to the living room…and managed to croak, ‘who’s there!’…when a hand grabbed my arm from behind the door. That’s when i really woke up.

I feel much more emotional now…i sobbed when i got home last night. I sobbed in the bath this morning…and now i’m numb again. I can’t stopping going to FaceBook and looking at her picture..and then the one with him and her. I’m also wishing i hadn’t blocked him, as now i can’t see his profile. I’ve become the person i abhor; the FaceBook stalker, the sad and desperate woman…the one that cries and sobs into her cold coffee.

My Every Day with Jesus spoke to my heart this morning. It’s the fist time i’ve read it, or the bible since last Friday. It was focusing on Jeremiah 29:1-14 – ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart V13. Selwyn Hughes talks about prayer and how a few words muttered in the morning, or before going to sleep is meaningless, as is just saying the Lord’s Prayer. I know God is in my heart, and knows all things…but Selwyn is right…he deserves the respect of a proper conversation from me. Selwyn points to the Creation timeline…’There was evening, then morning …the first day” (my paraphrase). I need to get on my knees and pray this evening – properly for wisdom, strength and guidance….and that my boss will stop asking if i’m ok…