Flowers on Rue Tiquetonne

Last night I hit a breaking point. If you’re like me, you are a concealer. You put everything and everyone else in the world before your feelings. If your life was a giant filing cabinet full of papers, the file with your feelings in it – a huge, monstrous file – would be found in the very back of the cabinet covered in dust bunnies. It hasn’t been opened in years. You may find yourself asking if you even have any emotions at all from time to time, and you may end long dramatic stories about your life with “but it’s okay” or “it’s fine, I’m fine.”

If that’s you, join the club! You may think you’re winning, but as I have recently discovered, you are in fact NOT winning. Dealing with our feelings is a good thing. Crazy, right? Squishing them or hiding them leads to these massive break downs that scare other people and make you look really ugly because you never cry, so you don’t even know what you look like when your eyes get all red and puffy. That was me last night. I forgot what I looked like with puffy eyes, and if you were wondering, it isn’t a good look for me. I’ll never be the cute crier in the Rom-Com, that is for sure.

It’s funny to me how the big things in life get stored in my emotional filing cabinet, and how its the really little things that cause the giant explosions. For instance, for the normal emotionally balanced human, they may let it out every now and again, but people like me just shove and shove for like three months at a time and then something small happens like losing your keys at work, or coming within inches of hitting a black truck in a dark parking lot, or someone breaking into your phone and texting a bunch of random contacts weird emojis. Just little things that I could probably have laughed about, but instead they pushed me over the edge. So then I drove in my car pathetically listening to sad music from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants soundtrack while crying and having a pity party  (we have all been here, don’t laugh at my vulnerability). I probably could have gone off and cried alone, but instead I went to Waffle House with a friend, because the answer to emotional meltdowns is definitely chocolate milk.

I’m trying to work on being a more emotionally balanced human being. I know that it is so unhealthy to act like my problems don’t effect my state of mind, but for someone who has always pushed their feelings to the side, its really hard to learn that ITS OKAY TO CRY. Growing up I think I cried too much because everyone teased me about being a cry baby, and now people think I am weird and heartless for never wanting to show my emotions.

I started to realize my emotional state a few weeks ago when I started to have dreams about tornadoes. I have a real fear of tornadoes, but after they started popping up in my sleep night after night I started to do some research. Did you know that tornadoes in your subconscious thought actually represent a struggle against your emotions, a lack of control over your emotions, and feelings of being overwhelmed. Hmm… interesting, right? You can Google search this right now if you don’t believe me.

There’s been a lot of change in my life over the last year, and a lot of things that I have yet to process and deal with. There are also a lot bigger changes coming up ahead way quicker than I can even prepare for them. This season of my life requires a ton of trust that the Lord is leading me down a path to something greater. But how can I follow this path when my life is caught in a tornado? He wants us to come to Him with our feelings, our emotions, our burdens, and He wants to sit down and rationally process through them with us. The path ahead isn’t meant to be hidden, it’s right there in front of us and all we have to do is put one foot in front of the other, believing that if we trip and stumble, He’ll catch us before we fall.

Three nights ago I woke up after having a terrible tornado dream that occurred at my old house. I was so irritated and scared. I didn’t understand why I kept having these dreams and why I couldn’t have 6 hours of peaceful sleep for once. I found myself filling with doubts. 4:30 AM and I was DONE. I was mad. I was tired. I was frustrated. I started staring into the darkness of my room and then I started to talk to God. It was a little harsh as I asked Him what the heck He could possibly be doing. I grabbed my phone that laid beside my bed and I started to read Psalm 23. I read it over and over and over and over and over and over… until I woke up for the day four hours later.

Psalm 23 – a classic for sure, but such a theme in my personal walk with Christ. It got me through my senior year of high school. Through every single cross country meet that year. Through the hardship and change of my freshman year of college. Through the hardest summer of my life, and now through this time of instability, He led me back to these words.

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 
3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 
6Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
To sum this all up, He is our shepherd. We are the sheep. We follow Him, He guides us, and we trust Him to lead us somewhere that is safe, comfortable, and good. He refreshes our soul. HE REFRESHES OUR SOUL! He says “Dude, you’re not okay, and that’s okay, because I will make you okay again.” Like when your computer is lagging and being super annoying and you click refresh and suddenly it’s all nice and smooth again. Yeah, that’s what that means but in regard to your SOUL. Take a deep breath of that, why don’t you?
He comforts us, even in the darkness. Even in the tornado dreams, or the crying car ride, or the bad day. He’s right there. The shepherd, still guiding you and pulling you along. He says that no matter the circumstances, He’s with you, and all you have to do is believe that that’s the truth. And if so, then SURELY you can rest assure that you’ll be spending every single day of your life and of eternity with a God who loves you through thick and thin and good and bad and happy and sad and through all the big, ugly files. HE. LOVES. YOU. And you’re going to be okay.
The path might be dark and dreary sometimes, but He is still the one leading the way. He is still the one we talk to at 4:30 AM when we don’t know where else to go. And then, He turns around and makes you smile. Last night, I had a dream after all of my emotions came out of me like lava out of an erupting volcano. There were no tornadoes. My old house was not torn to pieces. No signs of emotional instability. No waking up in the middle of the night.
Last night in my dream, I was with my friends. We were walking down Rue Tiquetonne in Paris. I was so excited. I didn’t know where I was taking them, but there on the corner with the pink bricks and the teal roofing, was my favorite flower shop. I don’t have a picture of it, but it’s the prettiest building I have ever seen and in front of it is tons and tons of flowers of every color and size. And I was back there. I was surrounded by my friends. I was happy and excited and not afraid. Sometimes God gives us sweet reminders of little things. Something as simple as a flower shop all the way across the globe. He gives us that peace and comfort and reminds us that everything is okay. Just rest in Him. Give yourself to Him. Trust Him. And He will guide you to exactly where you need to be. Buying flowers on a small back street in Paris. What. A. Dream.
*Also thank you to the stranger who encouraged me to keep writing on my blog. I gave up for a little while, but your words meant a lot to me! So if you’re out there reading this – this one’s for you!!*

 

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