Dear May: We’re Late
We’re five days into June and I’m only starting to unpack what happened in May.
Here are some of the little victories and moments that broke me to pieces:
I finished reading Z is for Zelda, which was incredible. If you’re a fan of Gatsby, the early 20th century, and great literature, check this pseudo-biography of Zelda Fitzgerald. It’s an incredible glimpse into life during the early century and just an incredible read.
My sweet college girls and I started this Bible study called Looking for Lovely by Annie Downs and it’s been great so far.
God taught me what hope means in the middle of week one. I’ve always thought hope was a weak word. That verse in Hebrews says that faith is the substance of things hoped for. I always took that to mean that faith was the meat – it was the substance, the good stuff, the part you really needed, and hope… hope was just like a cloud or a whisp of something in the air; flighty and not dependable. But I’d avoided all those verses that say we have this hope as an anchor. If hope is an anchor, it’s pretty important, because I tend to be tossed. So I’ve realized that hope is where you’re rooted. It’s what holds you down.
I went to my first Rome baseball game of the season with some great pals. We spent most of the time under the rain of peanut shells and such because the people around us were all about ’em. But, we had fun. We made jokes and watched the Braves lose, which is typical, and then talked in the parking lot for a while because that’s the most fun.
Early on I decided to do this 30-day yoga challenge. I made it about halfway through before life decided to spiral out of control, but I discovered that I love yoga. I don’t understand why all my yogi pals in college let me go without this for so long. It’s silly, honestly. But also, through yoga, I learned that I lack patience in a fierce way. I mean, really. I would watch these videos online and they would show you how to do poses in easy ways or in the real intense ways. I would always try the real intense way first and if I failed, then I would do the easy way. I’m sure that’s not how it’s supposed to be done. Sometimes I would succeed, but most of the time I didn’t. I fell a lot and managed to make a muscle in my back hurt pretty badly, but also started to gain a little upper body strength. I’ll call it a win.
One day, about halfway through this May month, I had an anxiety attack and took my first xanax ever. It was awful. I described it this way: all my fears and insecurities rushed at me like a tidal wave and if I didn’t get to a safe place, I would have died. It was awful, but I’d rather have panic attacks than be nauseous all the time. What happened? Well, everything. When friendships & family fall apart, work gets stressful, your grandmother dies, and the little church you’re invested in is nothing but chaos… it feels like the world is spinning out of control. It was a cracked dam waiting to burst at the seams, really. In the midst of all of that I let satan creep in with his little lies and voies and fears until I was sinking. It was a little at a time and then all at once, like Peter when he was walking on water.
And really, since then, I’ve been reevaluating all of the things in my life right now and thanking the Lord for time spent in counseling last year that gave me bearing enough to process through this heart and brain of mine, even in chaos. “You need to learn to be kind to yourself,” a friend of mine told me, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m spending more time in my hammock and less time going to places I only feel obligated to be. I’m taking time out for afternoons at the pool with great pals, game nights where all we do is laugh, car dance parties, and catching up on all the movies I haven’t seen.
(Like The Notebook. I watched it for the first time since middle school and ugly cried – snot and all. Terrible decision. But, admittedly, it’s a great movie.)
I’m stepping outside my actions and pinpointing why I do what I do. For instance, I overcommit myself because I love people in such a loud way and I want to love them well, but also because I am terrified of being alone & losing those I love. In light of that, I’ve been seeking scripture, because there’s nothing as comforting as a love letter from God to me and knowing that He is faithful like the sunrise. His plan is right and it is good and He has my best in mind. I’ve also been writing a lot of letters – letters to mail and letters to save for the right time to share – and learning to let myself dream a little and feel a little more in areas that I haven’t ever. The hard part about that is… there are feelings and dreams to be processed through and the weight of that can be overwhelming.
Regardless, summer is here and I’m excited about it, even though humidity in Georgia is like wearing a winter coat when you aren’t cold and it is awful.
I still wouldn’t trade hazy summer days for anything.
I counted a lot this month, but here are a few of my favorite things:
Pretending to play baseball in the kitchen with Ali, Christy, & Deb – I laughed the hardest at this and how we inhaled those donut holes.
Watching The Holiday on tv at least four times this month. Absolutely no shame.
Seeing sweet friends outside of random taco-night dinners and catching up.
Poolside with Christy & Alison
The tired that comes after a day in the sun
Justin Timberlake’s new song & the feeling you get when your best pal meets somebody really great.
Sandwiches, Broad Street walks, car dance parties, antique shopping, & random phone calls with my best pal.
The way watermelon tastes when you’re fresh out of the pool & still dripping wet
Driving with all the windows down
When God takes time to remind me of things because He knows how much I need help remembering.
Donut floats & pizza floats that we really all need in life.
The ways we laugh so hard at work sometimes and find the joy moments in the midst of the grease, knowing we’re doing this for something greater than what it seems.
Even when life is most overwhelming and nothing seems secure enough to stand on, my heart still sees the little moments and overflows with gratitude that God would choose me for such a life as this with such a hope as Him.
I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.