I think it’s kinda funny, since God can be a very humorous sorta deity, that the word “longing” makes up the majority of the word “belonging”.
I mean, isn’t that what we all long for, at least part of the time? We want to belong. We want to be part of something. We want to be accepted and loved. We long to BE.
I’ve spent most of my life not knowing where I belong, never being sure of myself. I was never gripped by a desire to do something so much that I “just knew” it was my “calling”, it was what I was supposed to do.
I’m sure that a lot of people who know me in real life may not think words like “insecure”, “doubting”, “confused” and “aimless” describe me, but they do. I mean, they sure describe how I feel about myself.
I hate the feeling I have when I’m chatting in a small group or even one on one. Before long, another person comes along and suddenly all attention is toward that person who (usually) I don’t know. It’s not that I’ve lost the person’s attention but that I sorta cease to exist. Maybe it’s just me. But I don’t know what to do with myself.
This happens on a pretty regular basis and it’s not with one particular person or group. And I don’t even think people realize that it bothers me. I feel like, “Okay…no one’s talking with me anymore. No one is including me in this conversation. Do I leave? I feel like I’m eavesdropping or creeping if I just hover around the outside of this circle. Do I say bye? See ya later? I don’t know what I’m supposed to do!” Most of the time, I’ll just wander quietly away, leaving the group or the other two people talking. Most of the time, I don’t think anyone notices.
I really need to know if I’m the only one this happens to. I mean, if not, then thank God and give me some tips on how to deal with it. But if I am “the only one” who experiences this, well shoot, that’s pretty doggone sad!!
So with that little glimpse inside my mind, you should get a sense of how I feel a lot of the time. Just insecure, uncertain if people like me, doubtful that they want to talk with me, confused about how I can feel this way but be able to get up in front of a roomful of people and give a talk.
I’ve pondered this a lot, as you might imagine. Why am I this way? Why do I feel so unsure about whether I am liked by others, whether I’m wanted in a particular group? The conclusion I’ve drawn is that I still carry a statement in my head that my mother said to me once. Don’t worry. This isn’t gonna become a mom-blaming post. I love my mom, but she said something to me once that I’ve carried with me. Well, no. That makes it sound like I choose to carry it. It has just followed me, stuck on a loop in my mind sometimes. Other times, I only hear it when something like the above situation happens.
I was probably around ten or eleven years old at the time. We were probably at a baptism or something after church. I remember being in a sort of overgrown area, gravel and bunches of Queen Anne’s lace and clover. Baptisms were done outside in the creek, of course! My closest friend had asked if I wanted to come play ball at her sister’s house with all her other siblings. She was the youngest of six so three of her siblings were already married and having kids. I went to ask Mom if I could go. She immediately said no, which was usual. We were never allowed to go many places without Mom being there, too. I protested and she said, “They don’t really want you over there. She’s just being nice and inviting you.”
At the time, all I remember feeling was fury. I was so mad at her for not letting me go. It wasn’t until decades later that I realized I still hear those words in my head whenever I’m in a crowd or trying to decide whether to go to a party or a shower or any sort of gathering. I hear, “You aren’t wanted in that group. Nobody really cares if you are there. They don’t like you. They won’t tell you not to come, but that’s only because it would look bad if they did. They just don’t want you.”
I would never tell my mom this. As a mother myself, my heart breaks when my boys let slip with something I said to them that was really hurtful. I don’t want to hurt her, so I would never tell her about this. (don’t worry. she thinks the internet is where the devil lives, so she’ll never find my blog or anyone else’s for that matter!)
Finally pinning down the root of this thing has been good for me. I’m not comparing my mother with satan, but these days when I hear those words, I know he is the one saying them. Sometimes it takes me awhile to realize after I’ve already let the sting of rejection wash over me, but I’m trying to get better at that.
That’s how I feel about my book. I get these nudges that I feel must be from God that I should write it and I feel that some of the things in it would be helpful for others who are struggling…be it depression or a marriage problem like we had or just knowing someone else out here has and is dealing with the same things. Then here comes that voice…“Why in the world would anyone want to read about you! laughter You’re nobody and your little life is nothing to be excited about. You can’t even put the words together anymore, so how will you do it anyway?”
Today, when my ancient laptop refused to boot up, I instantly started hearing “This is a sign that you should give up on the book.” I have my draft saved on here. Over 8,000 words that I worked hard to get out of me. The thought of doing it again was horrific! So, I am going to save my draft to a thumb drive. I know. It’s about time, right?Obviously, the hubby came home and “fixed” my computer with just a few keystrokes. I don’t ask questions, I just go with it. And I continue to ponder the latest sermon series at church…all about growth.
It has just been like an extra push when I’m sitting there listening and there’s scriptural confirmation that I need to “just do it”, as they say. This one really hit me hard…
“It is difficult to sense the presence of God in your life when you ignore the purpose God has for your life.”
The “main point” of becoming a Jesus follower is to lead others to follow Jesus. So in that way, we all know what our purpose is. We don’t have to wonder. Your way of leading people to Jesus is probably a lot different than mine. I feel like within that “main point” lies our purpose, our gift, our God-given talent. If we will focus ourselves on “the main point”, then our purpose, our “reason for being” will become clear. Does that make sense? For instance, if you have a musical talent, you can use that talent without the “main point” in mind or you can do what you love, what you’re best at, as a starting point to show others the love of Christ. Like if your gift was music…you could play and sing just any old songs, or you could use your talents to share Christ with people. See?
Okay, well I’m just going to hope this made sense to you. It seems to take me so long to get posts together anymore that I am writing a single post in two or more sessions and I lose my focus. I really hate that and am hoping to get past this soon. I have a ton of stuff to catch you up on but for now, I’ll close this one.
Yes, there are some changes around the blog. I realized pretty quickly that I made a huge mistake with the domain name choice I’d made… I had no clue there was a book out there called “My Life in Dog Years”! I’ve used that phrase or analogy for decades to describe what it’s like living with diabetes. It’s like living in dog years! You feel seven years for every one you actually live!
Sheesh. Then my techie kid chimes in with “Mom, people probably think your site is about dogs..” That never even dawned on me!! Argh!
So, I changed my domain name. I tried to choose one I could keep and/or use even when/if I ever publish a book. Obviously, it won’t be titled My Life in Dog Years!! Hopefully this way, no matter what the title eventually is, I can use this website.
I think I’ve finally got a decent start on the book. I have about 8,000 words so far. I’ve decided to write it as a memoir. I just can’t seem to separate my life into categories and write only about diabetes or depression (they are like siamese twins, ya know?) or just my marriage stuff. Everything is linked and I couldn’t figure out how to write about one single topic without needing to explain a ton of other stuff.
What I need now are some proofreaders! I’d love to have a few people who are willing to read what I have, or at any point in the process, I have some people in mind that I want to ask. Some with knowledge of books and what makes a good read, some with technical knowledge to help with places that I am hard to understand. Others with a little more knowledge of the story to tell me if what I’ve written is accurate or sensitive enough while remaining true.
I’ve been told this is what I need the most. Readers to help during the writing process who would be willing to help out in exchange for an acknowledgment in the book.
I am so tired right now. There has been a ton of stuff going on with both mine and Tommy’s health, but I’ll save all that for a later post.
Hey y’all. I’m working so hard, trying to increase traffic here…build an audience, a subscription list, whatever else a successful blogger does. Most of the time, I feel like I’m just flopping around, splashing water into the floor, making a mess.
I see some steadiness in the amount of traffic, so I suspect some of you are just awesomely loyal readers and probably close friends who stop by often to see what crazy thing I’ve posted. I am so thankful for you!
I know I’ve said it before, but this blogging thing is a big deal to me. I started it after months and months of stewing and praying about whether I should even try. I’ve blogged off and on for about 16 years, so it seemed like the natural thing for me to do…try to monetize the thing I am so passionate about. I felt (and still feel, btw) that God was really nudging me in this direction and so, even though I didn’t feel completely ready, I took the plunge. I plopped down what little was left from our tax refund and started this site.
Looking back, a month later now, I see many mistakes. I think most of them are easily overcome though and not the kind that will break me or the blog. I still don’t understand stupid AdSense or why my husband can get an account with them like snap that and me, with my two (now three!) google accounts, can’t get any of them approved. I’m not sure I’m missing much though. I’m learning that AdSense isn’t the end-all-be-all it has been purported to be, so I have pursued other means of generating income through my blog.
Some of them I am pleased about, and some I will be glad when I can be done with. And no, for the record, I haven’t made a single cent so far. That really concerns me, but I have to remind myself how new it all is. I can’t do it all at once and I need to be patient.
But BOY, is that hard!!
Today, when I went to look at a “blogging schedule” thingie I got from the web, for today it says to post about relaxing. BAHAHAHA!! What is that even?!? I don’t have time right now to relax, and certainly not about the state of my blog. Some of these ‘blog helps’ aren’t really geared toward me, ya know? Many of the blogs in these groups are about how to create a successful website, how to find a niche to build, how to monetize and market whatever you are selling.
I just wanna share life with my readers. I want to encourage and inspire. I want my readers to leave feeling better than they did when they pulled up my site. I want them to find the courage to go on, the determination to stick it out. The comfort of knowing they are not alone, the peace of knowing someone else out here has been where they are. I want the person with t1d to find a friend, someone to commiserate with and rejoice in whatever victories we accomplish as PWD’s. (persons with diabetes)
I want the homeschooling mom to know she can do it and I know she can because I did it. I want her to know that the great mistake she feels she’s made is not the end. That she and her children are far better off just because she tried to teach them at home, whether she continues or not. And no matter what, as long as she is trying to do her very best for her kids, she is a winner!
I want that couple who is struggling with some sexual incompatibility or physical problem to know they are not alone. I want them to realize it’s okay to talk about it and that there are people out here who can help, both professionals and people like me who have been there, done that. I want that woman to know she’s not the first or only one to be facing what she is, and that she need not bury herself in depression and self-hatred or guilt because there is hope. I want to keep her and her husband from living the hell that we did for 30 years and to find healing and hope!
More than all this, I want people to know there is hope, no matter what the situation is, there is hope. There is peace to be had, no matter how big the mess or how damaged their soul, Peace is there for the asking in the person of Jesus Christ. I want them to know that it is because of Jesus that I am alive today. That I’m able to share and talk about the issues, struggles and problems in my life. Ultimately, I believe this is the reason God has been urging me to write.
I haven’t touched my book in over 6 months, but perhaps soon I’ll dig back into it. I still feel He is calling me to write it, but I’m at another crossroad about which direction to take with it. (ANY feedback would be appreciated on this, folks!!) The book has lived in my head for many years as a sort-of memoir, a story of my life and how I have dealt with diabetes, the depression and all the other physical and emotional side effects of having a chronic disease for so long. However, as we have come to this place of healing in our marriage, I feel THAT is also a topic that needs to be shared. It, of course, is much more personal, deeply painful but ultimately hopeful since our long journey through this has ended with our beginning the healing process. My conundrum is should these be separate or combined?
You probably didn’t know this, but I have a problem with compartmentalizing. ha ha! Meaning, I can’t do it. You may have noticed I began this post talking about the blog and now, here I am asking for input and suggestions for a direction of a book! I need help with my wandering mind, my rambling style of writing.
I know there are some writers out there who read here occasionally. I also know there are lots of readers who come here too. I want to hear from you! What appeals to you in a book? What topics are you most interested in? What are you most interested in learning more about? Help me out!
I look forward to a great discussion and some awesome feedback and suggestions! Let’s help each other!