Do you ever feel as if God is taking away from your life so that He can make room for more? More of Him maybe? I've been feeling this way for quite some time... ever since my mom's trip to the Emergency room three years ago. It started that day and it's not stopped since then. First, I lose my mom, then my dad, and, repeatedly, I've lost "friends". Friendships that just simply ended and I never truly understood why. Of course each friend or person I lost, I gained at least two people in their place. And I believe that God gave me Artsy Mamas in order to fill the giant void created by losing my parents. But until recently I was unable to focus on this aspect. Instead I just kept beating myself up, wondering what I'd done to make these people hate me or thinking that I wasn't doing enough with the organization that God gave me.
As for Artsy Mamas, I think that God saw that I was getting carried away and so he replaced my heart's desire to fulfill all of my needs through it by giving me back the desire to be a Godly Wife and Mother. A few weeks ago, as a symbol of my change of heart, I removed the framed print of the Artsy Mamas logo from my living room and replaced it with my marriage certificate. Now, whenever I notice that piece of paper, I remember my commitment to focus on my marriage and my husband instead of the organization. This does not mean that I am no longer doing Artsy Mamas nor that I believe its mission to be any less important. It simply means that from now on, I have my priorities in order and I will only give to the organization what I have left to give and until some other people step up to help me, it will become more stagnant and less active. I'm totally cool with that. And I have to ask myself why? How am I cool with it? Because I know it is God's will for me and because I take much more joy in serving my family than in serving my community. First comes my family, next comes my community. I'd hate to have my children accuse me one day of loving the mothers in middle Tennessee more than I loved them.
While reflecting upon why certain so-called friends have stopped speaking to me over the past two years, I've come to realize that maybe they weren't truly my friends. Friends don't abandon one another when they are needed the most. And what I've learned is that God has been trying to replace those people in my life. Like with other God-loving and uplifting individuals. Now that I am able to focus on the positive, I can see clearly how I have so many new friends and I actually like these people! What a concept! And these new friends help me in focusing on, first of all, Him, and on other things I believe to be vital like homeschool, my children, and my marriage. I feel better about myself now.
Mostly. But then it still happens. The ignoring. The shunning. The rejection. And this time it's not from people I met a year ago. Two years ago. It's from people I've known for over half of my life. People to whom I've not been close in years but who I love anyway and consider to be my family. People who I, mistakenly, expected unconditional love and support for forever. Sure, we have very little if anything in common anymore. But does that matter? Do you stop seeing your brother or your sister just because you can't relate these days? I wouldn't, if I had any. So, the sadness is still there. Not being invited. Not being included. Having to accept that things have changed. That I've changed and maybe, just maybe, I don't fit in well enough anymore. Is it because of my choices? Because I'm now so incredibly different than I once was that they just can't handle being around me? Because I've grown up and they haven't? Because I have kids? Because I shocked everyone and am no longer a flaming liberal agnostic but instead a relatively conservative, fundamental, homeschooling Christian wife and mom of (almost) three? Honestly, I don't know the exact answer but something tells me that I'm hitting the nail on the head.
I've heard of this before... people losing friends because of the changes they have made. Because they have become Christians or because they have made (seemingly) strange choices. I guess I was just naive to believe it wouldn't or couldn't happen to me. But I believe that God knows what He is doing. And if this was something He needed to do with my life in order to shape and mold me into the servant He has planned for me to become then I fully trust in Him.
In the meantime, I pray that He will give me peace, calm, confidence, encouragement, and, most of all, quality time with the people in my life who He has selected for me!