Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Do I Matter?

God, she isn’t interested in listening to me when I want to try to understand myself or resolve issues of the past. She’s not only disinterested, but flatly refuses. But this is a big part of my life right now. Her shutting me down (or not even letting me start up) feels like an attack against me. Everything in me churned and twisted when she repeated her stance: "Any further time I would spend on it would be time wasted; it's all so futile and frustrating for me when I listen to you."

I feel abandoned, not wanted, my stuff isn’t important. I listen to her and engage with her without judgement, but she won’t do the same for me. So what kind of friend is she? Does it all have to go according to her agenda? I’m not wanted. I’m not loved. I’m not valued. What’s important to me doesn’t matter. She might as well say she doesn’t want to be my friend because it feels like it amounts to the same thing.

I have to own my feelings. It’s my problem that I feel abandoned, unwanted, not valued, unimportant, unloved, not hers. I’m so angry that she puts me into such a place. I’m angry that she doesn’t treat me with value. If I didn’t feel angry, I’d be walked all over.

The memory that keeps coming back is Cynthia’s “party” to make collars and being shut out.

It was a day of excitement. Cynthia was inviting a bunch of girls to her place to make collars and I was invited. I don’t remember why I took my sister Susan along. Did I want her companionship or was I “forced” to by my mom?

We all left school together. Cynthia’s home was on Maryland Street—a large, beautiful home with a spacious front porch. We went directly up to her bedroom—a room much larger than our living room at home. I was very curious about this collar making.

For some reason, Cynthia invited all the other girls into her walk-in closet, excluding Susan and I who sat on her bed, waiting for the girls to rejoin us. We could hear giggling and laughter but no one emerged or tried to include us. After an interminable wait, we got up and left.

I was in grade two and the memory still evokes pain. Cynthia and her (and supposedly my) friends didn’t want me. They cruelly excluded me and made their distaste for me undeniably clear.

I don’t see a lie here. I was unwanted. God, what do you want me to know? I’ve been unwanted on many levels by many people all my life. The lie is that I don’t matter, that I don’t have value, that I have no importance. God, what do you want to show me about that? God, I want to matter; but who do I matter to? You, my kids, Tom. I matter to lots of people, I suppose.

Why don’t I feel it? Why do I feel so unwanted and alone? I want to be held and loved. I want to know that everything is okay, but it isn’t. There is no one who accepts me just as I am and wants to spend time with me. One will spend time with me, but doesn’t accept me for who I am and where I am. Others love and accept me for who I am but they’re rarely available.

Okay, so on some level I matter but not in the way I need or want. Is there something wrong with me to want what no one seems willing to give? No one but Pearl. She gave both. The one person who loved me, accepted me and wanted to be with me. And you told me to walk away from her. I know I matter to you, you love me and you’ll spend all the time of eternity with me if I’m willing, but I need a human to love me. I need to matter to a human being. You yourself said that it is not good for man to be alone. There are people all around me at home, church, online but I feel so alone; like garbage to be tossed or an appliance that gets ignored except when needed.

You have plans for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me. You have prepared a highway for me to travel on, levelling the hills and filling in the valleys.
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.

A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.” Isaiah 40:1-4 NIV

[God] gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV
Hanny shared a picture she received when she first joined us. The picture was of God making a huge highway before me—just for me; a bulldozer going ahead with an enormously bright light, removing the boulders that were in the way....

What God seemed to be saying to me was that my existence would glorify God when he had levelled the ground in my life and put through his highway. What Hanny’s vision seemed to indicate was God was building that highway right then! The rest of verse five, “…and all mankind together will see it,” was a promise that God’s glory would be evident in me. How exciting!” Searching for Love, p. 61, 62.
I matter to you. I matter enough to you that you have been making a huge highway before me just for me. I matter enough that you have chosen me to glorify you. My very existence matters to you because my very existence brings you glory—just from me being me, enveloped by you.

“Here is my warrior.” Even at birth, I mattered. The pain is to shape me, mould me, refine me, make me ... what?
“...We will fill her life with pain, sorrow and hardship. We will do this so she will become strong and unafraid. She will be hardened as diamonds and soft as pure gold.” ("Here is My Warrior")
Strong and unafraid. Why, God?
“There now, little one. You are safe. I am protecting you. I will not let you go. Your pain hurts me too and I am angry at the sin that makes this necessary. This must be, but I am with you. It will never be more than you can bear. I hold you now and whenever the pain comes, I want you to choose my arms as your place of safety.” ("Here is My Warrior")
Your arms are the only safe place, aren’t they?
“She will feel abandoned, neglected, unwanted. She will choose to withdraw from others and walk alone.

“Alone? She’s just turned four!”

“Yes. She will hurt because of her choice, yet forget she made it.” ("Stepping Stones Oases")
I am alone because I have made that choice. I have withdrawn from others. I don’t need to withdraw and I don’t need to be alone. How do I not withdraw in my pain?
The pain has breaks, the danger safety, aloneness love. Light, filling the room, pours into her—a solar panel absorbing the Presence for later need. ("Stepping Stones Oases")

"You are who I made you to be. You are in me, hidden in my presence. I am your Protector, your Shield, your Fortress." ("Enveloped")

She cannot make it right--not for father, not for sister, not for son--but she has never been alone. ("Enveloped")
You have given me places of safety, the biggest being you and your presence. I have never been alone. Thank you.

2 comments:

Vinjette said...

Thank you Debbie. It is like you can read my very own heart. Yes, you matter. You have made a difference to me and not only touched my heart, but my soul as well.

Debbie Haughland Chan said...

Awesome, Vinjette!