Monday, December 23, 2013
December 2012 I sat on the bed at my Aunt's house praying over the next year. My heart was filled with hope that 2013 would "be my year". I was certain that a good job would open up, that I would be financially secure, that I would finish my Master's degree, and my husband would finally wake up and realize that I was worth it. I prayed and caught God and knew that 2013 would be a year of restoration. Things were looking up and I couldn't wait for the blessings to flow. I knew that at the end of the year I would have everything I had been waiting on.
January came and went without change, but I kept the hope that it was indeed my time. Things had to move forward in the near future so I ignored the hopelessness that had taken root in my heart.
February came. My birthday month. I wanted to be married by 25, but 26 would work. I had no choice in the matter anyway. My birthday came and went but I pushed through the hopelessness that was becoming more of a problem. By the end of February, the hopelessness, despair, and depression became overwhelming. I could barely pull myself out of bed in the morning. I got really good at putting on a happy face. I walked around life feeling empty and alone. My heart felt like it weighed 100 pounds as I carried the growing thoughts that I would always be alone. That I needed to be embarrassed about who I was and what I wasn't. I wasn't a wife. I wasn't a mother. I wasn't successful. It became increasingly difficult to go to work feeling like I wasn't good enough. It became increasingly difficult to help my friend with her photography business. Helping my former classmates remember important milestones - engagements, marriage, children - made me feel inadequate and embarrassed, but I didn't say a word. That would be selfish, and I couldn't bare disappointing anyone else in my life.
As the older sister I should be counseling my younger sisters through things they were dealing with, but I couldn't because my life has been stagnant for years. They've had to press through things that I know nothing about because I'm not married. I've robbed my parents of the joy of grandchildren. I've robbed my best friend of the experience of planning a wedding and experiencing the good things in life because I'm still single and work at a dead end job that I can't get out of. I am disappointing as an older sister, as a daughter, and as a friend and there isn't anything I can do about it.
The spring months reinforced my insecurities. A woman at church began to speak over me that the promise God had given to me would never come to pass. The man God had for me had gone too far and was out of the reach of Jesus. God surely had another plan because he would never be the anointed worship leader he once was because alcohol and easy girls had lead him down the wrong path. He was too far in that he would never get out and not even Jesus could help him now. For 4 months of Sunday's I heard words like this spoken over me as truth, and I slowly lost all hope. That's when the panic attacks started to get worse. Why would God give me a promise and make me wait if He knew He couldn't do anything to help him? Would God really make me go through years of pain only to leave me at my very worst? It seemed like that was the case because there was no help.
Summer was when I hit absolute rock bottom. A woman I trusted very much spoke over me that my husband would come home "mid-summer". I remember the first day of June and how a fog drifted over my heart and mind. If I could just make it to July (or August at the very least) he would come home and I wouldn't have to be embarrassed or depressed anymore. June came. Then July and August and no breakthrough came. The panic attacks, shame, embarrassment, and depression got even worse. I missed three weeks of work because I couldn't move. All I could think about was how much of a disappointment I was.
When the waiting started 8 years ago I specifically remember talking to one of my friends about the man God wanted me to wait on. I remember saying that there would be a day that all his friends got married and he would be the only one left. There's no way that I could've known that that day would come and that I too would be alone. Four of our friends from high school got married this year, and that was it….my words came true. Except he wasn't alone and I was. He wasn't miserable. I was. He wasn't thinking about me, but I was thinking about him.
Fall came and I went on vacation. A week in, I found out he moved in with his girlfriend. All the peace I felt sitting by the ocean was quickly removed from my heart. Somehow I pulled myself out of the darkness that settled over my heart after vacation, but put a little wall up for the holiday depression that I've dealt with for 8 years. Not too much was said about me still being single, but I still felt embarrassed and like a failure for robbing my family of good times that we all should've experienced. My little cousins should have a healthy relationship modeled for them. They should have a cousin they can look up to, but they just have me. A huge disappointment. Someone without a boyfriend. Without a successful career. Without a life. Except now they have my younger sister to experience good things with because she's engaged before me. Congratulations 2013. You've dealt me my laundry list of worst fears.
So, here we are at the end. I started the year with hope and faith that 2013 would be filled with blessings and peace, but I'm worse than when I started. My husband is living with his girlfriend and I live in a one bedroom apartment all by myself. I still work at a dead end job that I can't get out of making no money. My sisters are experiencing life before me. My dream to be a worship leader is gone because I can't finish my degree. There was no breakthrough and I don't see how or when anything is going to work out or get better. I've faced some of my worst fears, and while I've survived, I've come out on the other side bruised and broken. So 2013, you've left me battered and defeated. You stripped me bare, took all of my pride, and my hope. You've taken every dream and desire of my heart and showed me how impossible they are. 2013, you've shown me that I don't deserve good things. You've shown me that I'm a complete failure and an embarrassment to my family. You've shown me I'm weak and ridiculous for ever thinking things will ever get better. But, most of all you've shown me that I will never be a wife or a mother. I will never have a christmas card with my own family on the front. I will never be in ministry with my husband, and I will always live in a one bedroom apartment all by myself. My life will always be embarrassing and empty, and me wanting or wishing for anything is a sure-fire why to ensure that it won't ever happen. So 2013, you fooled me. You got my hopes up and then destroyed them one dream at a time. You win. I lose.