Trent has made the request that I no longer use his name on my blog. I will honor that request. He has approved the alternate title of “The man” or “TM” (which are also the initials of his first and middle name, coincidentally enough – and no, I didn’t pick “the man” moniker just so that would happen. I realized afterward that those are his initials).
Hey! It’s been a while! How have you been?
I’ve been mostly great – even got test results back from my doctor saying that my numbers look perfect and I only need to come back when I feel like I need to! I’m still taking a maintenance dose of St. John’s Wort and an adrenal booster, which I’m alright with taking forever. I really like being cheerful and “up”. So that’s why it’s been so bad the last three days when I have been depressed.
You know I believe there are three components to depression, right? Physical (that includes hormones for women), spiritual, and emotional. When those three factors are perfectly aligned and at full strength, I’m good and “up.” When one gets out of whack it tends to throw the other two off and unless they are also at full strength, I go “down.” If one is out a little but the other two are relatively strong and stable I just wobble, but I don’t go down.
Three days ago I was hit on two fronts: physical and emotional. I recognized the physical right away – I was actually expecting it, but I thought the other two were good enough to carry me through. I was wrong. I didn’t realize that my emotional front was already compromised too.
Four days ago TM and I had a discussion. It was the first time he talked to me in two months, despite my daily friendly-like text to him. Yes, the silent treatment stung at times, but since God had prompted me to regularly communicate with him again, I told God that I would obey, as long as He enabled me to bear the slight hurt. God wonderfully answered that prayer and took that little pain away.
I didn’t think our discussion affected me that much. Yes, it bothered me to hear all the same reasons again why TM thinks we shouldn’t be together. They haven’t changed. The majority is that he thinks we’re not compatible because I’m from South Dakota and he’s from Indiana, basically. He also said that he has some things he needs to work out before he’s be ready for a relationship again, and I do completely agree with that. I’m in no rush – I feel like I’ve already waited for him for 11 years, so what’s more time? I talked to God about my response back to him, and God kept saying “Just point him to Me.” So that’s what I tried to do. My mentor has told me three or four times now how proud she is of me for my response to TM.
Fear and doubt and lies are contagious. Insidiously so. I felt prompted to relay our discussion to my parents, so I did. Their response was overwhelmingly positive and affirming. My mom prayed for me and TM and for God’s will to be done and her prayer was peace-inducing. We are in a spiritual battle, and for me to believe there would not be push back to standing up to lies with God’s truth was naive. But I didn’t expect that almost right after my mother’s prayer the hardening of my heart would begin.
I unfollowed TM on Facebook. And I blocked him from seeing anything I posted. Then I unfollowed his brother. And his sister-in-law. His mom, dad, aunt, grandma, and some mutual friends (connections I had made through TM) quickly followed. I blocked them all. I didn’t unfriend them – that seems too harsh for people I still care deeply about. I just didn’t want to see anything that reminded me of him and I didn’t want them to see what I share.
And I went down.
I had a TM dream the night after our discussion. Unlike the eight memorable TM dreams I’ve had in the past seven months, it was not all happy. It was almost a nightmare. I dreamed that he and I had been kidnapped by two very bad men and I was trying to escape, but he had resigned himself to his fate. At one point I made a break for it (the only funny part about my dream was that I had drank A LOT of water the night before and in my dream I kept trying to get away to go to the bathroom. I eventually did and it felt so good to pee that I almost didn’t care that I could hear the two guys and TM searching for me outside the bathroom. No, I did not wet my bed. Yes, as soon as I woke up I went to the bathroom). TM was the one who found me in my dream, and he was very nice, but he was deaf to my pleas to not take me back to the men and to escape with me. He was content to be their captive.
For the past three days I’ve been fighting. Trying to break free from the lies. Fighting to stay alive at times. Wondering why I was still so depressed because the physical component was through after two days AND I’m faithfully taking my St. John’s Wort and adrenal booster. I’ve been asking “Where are You, God? Why can I not feel Your presence? Why are You not sustaining me and helping me like You’ve been doing since Christmas?”
I finally got an answer today. God whispered to me “I can’t do much with a closed, hard heart.”
“But God,” I told Him, “I need to be moving on from TM, and the only way I can do that is to be hard – to cut myself off from him and everybody that makes me think of him. I have to close myself off from that kind of love forever so I don’t get so hurt again.”
“Anessa,” He said, “You need to trust that I’ll take care of your heart. You need to be open to love, to be vulnerable to hurt, because that’s when I can do the most. Your heart has to be soft like play-dough, so I can mold it into what I want it to be.”
“But it hurts!” I cried. It does, so much. And I’m so tired of hurting and fighting. I feel like that’s all I’ve done for the past seven months. I’m so sick and tired of hurting. I’m tired of seeing the worried looks on my family’s faces when I get too quiet. I’m tired of crying and hoping and fighting the lies and it being so hard to just want to stay alive. I’m tired of telling my mentor every time I have a suicidal thought and alarming her and making her doubt that she’s actually helping me. I’m tired of having to work so hard to take care of myself, to make sure I’m eating enough and trying (mostly failing) to get enough exercise. I’m tired of filling my diffuser every night with happy oils. The only thing I’m not tired of is taking my pills. I’ve been doing that for years, so I’m already used to that and doesn’t take any more effort than normal. I’m tired of my eyes being swollen from crying so hard. I’m tired of it all. I don’t care what happens. I just want to not hurt anymore.
But if I pray “Thy will be done” and then turn around and tell God, “Just not that (putting me and TM back together)” then I’m not really praying for His will to be done. If I pray “Thy will be done” and then say “but only if Your will is putting us back together” then I’m not really wanting His will to be done either. My prayer has to be “Thy will be done.” Period. No amendments, no caveats, no additions. Then I ask for wisdom and discernment and guiding to know what His will is.
Even when I’m down, I can see God still working. When I’m down I try to push it away though, or work to not believe what I’m witnessing. I believe the lies that says that it isn’t really God working, that I’m just deluding myself and I’m just reading something into something that isn’t really anything. But when I look back, when I remember what God has done, the miracles He has wrought in the past seven months, I’d really have to turn apostate to say He hasn’t done anything.
This morning I was reading my Bible like normal. I’m in Genesis. I’ve read Genesis every January since I was 11. Twenty-one times. I’ve probably skimmed most of the stories multiple times every year. The point is, I’m very familiar with Genesis. This time though, I’m reading stuff I’ve never read before.
Like the other day I was thinking, “This is dumb. How I feel is so dumb. It’s just a relationship – it’s not going to change the world, it’s nothing big or important. Come on, Anessa, move on, get over it.” That was the day I read Genesis 24: Isaac and Rebekah. That was the day God said through His Word, “Look Anessa, I ordained marriage. Look at the lengths to which I will go to orchestrate it, to make sure the right person ends up with the right person, when they are seeking Me and willing to listen and do what I say.” Ok God, You win that round, marriage is very important to You, so it should be important to me too. (Honestly, He wins every round, as He should. He’s the best.)
This morning I read Genesis 41. Verse 32 jumped out at me in such a way that I’m pretty sure I’ve never read that verse before. I certainly don’t recall ever reading it before. Genesis 41 is entitled “Pharaoh’s Dreams.” Honestly, I didn’t want to read it because then I was avoiding everything and everybody that could possibly touch my tender aching heart. I read it anyway, because I’m a good little Christian who dutifully does her daily devotions. I didn’t ask God to reveal Himself to me through my reading today though like I normally do. I do have a little rebellious streak. He did anyway, so…
Anyway, Genesis 41:32 is Joseph talking, telling Pharaoh what his dreams meant. Joseph says: “The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.”
Ok, it’s no “For God so loved the world” but it hit me hard this morning.
I’ve had seven dreams about TM since June 26.
In the first two, I would not look at him. They were different, but the defining memory from both of them is how I refused to look at him.
In the second two he would not look at me. We were together, either with his family or with my family, but he would not look at me.
In the third set of dreams, we were together, and he not only looked at me, but he smiled at me. In both of those dreams we were working together towards a common goal (the first one was picking up his daughter’s hairbands, the second one was directing an Easter musical – slightly different, but we were still a team working towards a goal).
And in the fourth set of dreams, we’re together, we’re having fun, both of us would look at the other person, but TM kept getting lost and looked to me to point him in the right direction.
Now is this most recent dream/nightmare where we’re captured and I want to escape and he does not. I told God after I unfollowed TM that I didn’t want any more dreams about TM. I wanted dreams about God. So last night I dreamed that I was preaching in a church about how Jesus is the best friend we could ever ask for or imagine. It’s so true, friend, so true.
Tonight, I am back to praying “Whatever you want, God. I’m open to whatever You have for me (but if it hurts, please be quick with a bandaid).” I have no idea what I’ll dream about, if I dream. I can’t control my dreams – I used to believe I could, if I had something on my mind right before I fell asleep. Although, only nine dreams about TM in the past seven months? Blows that theory right out of the water.
I’m going to go to bed (right after I unblock TM & company – it should be their choice if they see what I post or not. I think I’m still alright not seeing what they post even though I miss them all immensely). Goodnight!