Seeking Solace

My heart grows emptier as each day passes. I have been feeding it fallacies and fantasies. I have stoked its fires with attention that was unwanted, yet continued and encouraged it. I began to become the person that I always say I am not: someone who plays with the hearts of others. I spent nearly four hours yesterday at lunch with Bear whom I consider a friend though deep down I think he hopes to consider me as more. Even though he defends his intentions toward me as friendly, he attempts to find favor with me through flowers, paying attention and a little bit of stalking me on Facebook which means learning about my friends and doings.

ML had called me early in the day crying because of a current heartbreak. It was one I was expecting and one she was denying the possibility to; not only to me, but to herself as well. She teases me by calling me Ms. Cleo or Dr. Phil. I don't tell her things because I am psychic or trained in psychology. My training comes by way of intuition and experience. I am one who learns the hard way about life and the knocks that come with it. While she and I are very different in many ways, we both desire to be loved above all else and that leads to foolishness. We lie to ourselves about what we can take and what it is we seek. We try to find ways to make the choices, our desires, the right ones.

Last night, after I got home from lunch with Bear (when it was already past dinnertime), I met ML for drinks up at a bar near my house. We had a good time, but as usual, my tolerance is for crap which isn't a bad thing. By 9:30, I was home. I washed my face, moisturized, put my jammies on, made my bed with freshly washed sheets and climbed between them. Yet, sleep eluded me. I sent a text to John wishing him a good night's sleep and the same to Bear. It was at this point that I started to feel that enough was enough. I was not being the person I wanted to be. I wanted so much to feel SOMETHING, that I would take anything...even if it meant showing attention to men I have no feelings outside of friendship for. Even though I say that to them directly, my actions betray my words and encourage them beyond that friendship. I give them hope where there is none. I knew that I needed to go back to church.

I have sought solace from so many means: food, men, sexual pleasures, success, position, recognition...yet, all fall short. All leave me seeking more and never finding my fill. I need something that I can only get from the filling of my spirit; a peace that can only be brought through one relationship. A relationship between myself and my father; the Creator of heaven and earth and also of me. The one who knew me before I was given breath. The one who wishes me hope and a future and to prosper me and not harm me. I know that I can find Him anywhere I am, but there is such power in being among other believers. There is something to be said for worshiping Him in song and praying together for the same goals. Being prayed for by others and alongside others brings much comfort.

As I headed to church, my head and heart were full. I knew the tears would be near the edge of my eyes begging to pour out, but that I had lunch planned with a long-missed friend and needed to keep my senses about me. I was a little late getting to the church--my church from which I have long been absent. It was fuller than when I had left and that made me happy. I knew it was growing because the Truth is spoken here--the hard stuff that we sometimes don't want to hear because it convicts us of our own transgressions. Today was no different. The first song was one I didn't know, but it was beautiful and the young man leading worship is one that I've always enjoyed. The mentor of my oldest son was playing the drums as he often does. Seeing him made me long for my son to find his love again of the Lord; something that was lost in the midst of the final trials between his father and myself. So, I prayed for him and for me and for us.

As the unknown song flowed into the next, the words came out of my mouth. It was familiar to me: "How Great is Our God"...and I agree. He is GREAT. He is greater than this moment in my life, all the travesties happening in the world, and He is standing beside me or carrying me in the midst of the storm that I find myself. The message today is from Ephesians 4:25-5:5. It is about relational sin. And I am convicted of my own personal shortcomings. It is a reminder of something I always say, "What someone does to us is their choice, how we react to it is our choice." We need to own our reaction because our thoughts become our feelings and not place blame on others because of their own choices. Basically, we have to choose to not let our life's circumstances, events and emotions rule us or choose to use them as they are to work for us.

I choose to find my solace in God's arms. Not in the things of the past that never fulfilled the need that burns inside of me. I will speak the truth to others and not tell them just what they want to hear. I will do so in love and with care. And I will hope that I am loved enough in return that others will do the same to me.

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