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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Raw. Ugly. Messy. Real. Transparent.

A couple of friends encouraged me to share what has really been going on in my corner of the world. The only reason I am sharing, is because I want to be transparent. I don't normally talk about my relationships (or lack of) with men, work, or my real feelings. But, I want people to know my life is not always perfect. Lately it is a huge mess. God is still God, and He is still good. But life is hard. It doesn't make sense. I just want to be honest and genuine. I want to show that I'm not super spiritual, I'm just a girl working life out. So here it is....
If you are part of a very select few, you know I'm a mess. You know it has been weeks of nightmares and no sleep. You know I crumble into tears multiple times a day. You know I have multiple zits, when I rarely have one. You know I'm angry at God. You know I'm cranky and bothered by so much lately. You know I keep trying retail therapy. You know the smile on my face often isn't real. You know I am falling apart, but I don't want anyone to know. You know when I drive by the cemetery, my heart drops. You hear me say over and over, "I know this gets better. Right?" You know that I know God is good, but I still wonder what in the world He is doing. You know I can't do math because my brain doesn't work, and I love math.
When Ariel passed away three weeks ago, life fell apart. She wasn't my sister, or daughter, or niece, or best friend, but she was a part of my life. I cannot remember a slumber party growing up without her and both our sisters together. Our families are knit together. We celebrate birthdays together. We are there for the big things, and celebrate the little victories. Our families have been close friends for twenty years. We grew up together. We went to the same school for a few years. We grew up in the same church. We did life together. When I taught at the preschool, she was my assistant in my classroom for a little bit. We shared laughs, cries, and stories. Goodness, we both love to talk and man, we could tell stories. We both shared a love for Jesus in a secular workplace. We were friends.
Three days before her accident, my sister who is also 21 got in a bad car accident. I remember her text message saying she had just been in an accident. I had never called someone so quickly. I begged Jesus to keep her safe. She told me she was okay. Bruised, shook up, and her jeep was a mess, but she was okay. So when a few short days later I received a similar call, I laid flat on the ground screaming and begging God not to take her. But, she was gone. How does this even begin to make sense?
How does a gorgeous, vibrant girl full of life just disappear from us? In just a second, lives changed. I don't understand.
So, In memory and honor of Ariel, her aunt ran a marathon, and some of her family got tattoos. If you know me at all, you know those were no where near the top of my list. So I thought about it, and decided to give blood.
Giving a unit of blood can save three lives. I thought that was a fitting way to honor her. I have only given blood successfully three times before, and tried unsuccessfully probably five times. I have always been an advocate for giving blood, that'a not new, but this time it meant so much more. I made sure I ate properly, I cut out caffeine, attempted proper sleep, and mentally prepared to give blood this week. I had been denied because of high blood pressure, fast heart rate, and low iron, so I really focused on trying to take care of myself. I asked a couple close girlfriends to pray for successful donation. (They thought I was a little goofy for asking for prayer for giving blood, but they prayed.) The whole way there, I prayed, and told God that if this wasn't supposed to work He would have to make it clear, and close the door.
So, I tried. Hemoglobin, heart rate, and blood pressure all passed. I was good. And then we started talking travel. Apparently if you have traveled out of the country in the past twelve months, you can't donate. Well, I did live in South America for two months this year. The sweet nurse told me because of a new rule (March 2012) about malaria, I probably wouldn't be able to donate. My heart dropped. I told her I lived in Bolivia, she told me I was denied. She then realized there was a very short list of cities in Bolivia that were malaria free. Cochabamba was on the good list. My heart was so happy. But then I realized I had made a lay over in Santa Cruz, so once and for all, I was denied. I can't give blood until April 1, 2013. I was so disappointed. This is how I wanted to honor Ariel. And now I couldn't. I was so bummed. Why couldn't this have worked out? It was not in my control. Nothing I could've changed it.
I failed. With everything in, I felt like a failure. I was disappointed in myself. Nothing I have been doing lately has been working out the way I want. I know I couldn't have changed it, but I hated myself for not being able to change it. I hate feeling like a failure. That's not me.
So, cranky, cold, and angry, I drove home. I made some cookies, and loved on some people in Pontiac. Loving people distracted me for a bit. My roommate and I then put up our Christmas tree, where I got offended at the dumbest things. I was cranky and stubborn and wanted to cry over everything and nothing in the same moment. I went to church tonight. I have been hating going to church the past month. I normally love church. Singing worship songs brings me to an ugly, silent cry, in a room full of people. Singing that He is faithful doesn't change that people I love as much as my own family are devastated, and life will never be the same. People telling me I need to pray more or read more of the Bible makes me want to punch them in the face.
My life is a mess. I know with everything in me, God is good, He is faithful, He is in control, and He has us in the palm of His hand. Everything I have read and learned about this whole Jesus thing is being sifted through trials of life.
So that's life, in a nutshell.
So, that was perhaps the most honest I have been in a really long time. I have no idea who will read this. Throwing raw, ugly emotions and feelings onto the internet for everyone to read is frightening. It was the last thing I wanted to do, but I really do want my life to point to Jesus, even on days like this. So, I share, and I hope that my words make sense to someone, anyone.
Life is raw. It is not always in a neat little package with a pretty bow on top, even though I attempt to wrap it up. It is messy. I am just a girl trying to figure this thing out. So, that's that.
Love, M.


  1. Thanks for being transparent, real, honest...
    I appreciate your words and your gut wrenching willingness to share them. Life is messy because we are a messy people. Thank God that His mercies are new every morning and He is faithful even when are not.
    Keep writing, keep sharing, keep shining His light!
    I am reading (&crying).
    Hugs & prayers from half a world away!

  2. Hey Michelle,

    Remember that you always have many around you that care for you. You are such an encouragement to so many people around the church. Your honesty is so revealing, sometimes it is good to just express everything you are feeling out loud, or on paper...(blog, I mean.)