and a space for her to play in
last week was one of the hardest weeks of my life.
ryan made it clear that it was time that he and i part ways,
and i was devastated.
i couldn’t get off the couch for about three days-
i answered no calls and i medicated myself by watching television (the only way i could stop myself from crying).
i retraced the words that filled the last conversation he and i had,
and i grieved...
mostly from the floor of my shower.
i needed to feel clean again,
but my shame and despair were too thick to be washed away by soap and water.
i had admitted to ryan that i was unwilling to allow others to help me-
i was afraid to trust, afraid to be vulnerable, afraid to try any harder than i already had,
but suddenly, in immense pain, i found that i was suddenly more willing than i had ever been in my entire life.
i had conversations, i read, i began to listen to what was going on in my heart.
it was becoming clear...
i was in desperate need of some time alone,
some time without ryan.
he and i have exchanged some emails and have shared some of the things we’d like to work on in our own lives, some of our fears, and some of the beautiful things we know about each other.
i can only speak for myself, but in this moment i am leaving feeling complete.
within a few days i was feeling more optimistic,
and although the pain i experience with his loss is still very real,
i am realizing that i have lost myself in my relationship with him.
there are so many things i could list here that i’ve realized, that i want to work on, that have changed within a short amount of time,
but the biggest things are:
there is space.
space for me to discover just who juli is and just who she wants to be.
i have also seen some patterns of behavior within other relationships-my mother, my old roommates-all places where i was withdrawn and playing the victim.
i was unable to see some of my responsibility and i was placing blame and punishment on those around me.
there is healing already beginning and change that i think may never have come had ryan and i not ended.
movement is happening and ryan and i are no longer like a wind-up toy that continues to run itself into a wall. we are both spending time discovering who we are and learning how to love ourselves so we can love someone else...
and that will be the hardest part of all this-
allowing him to possibly love someone else.
i cannot see hope in all of that now, but there are people around me who are hoping for me...
not that ryan and i would be back together one day, but that we would be exactly where and what God would have us to be,
and i have to believe that is the best thing for us.
i just have to.
on friday before i left for my ‘european adventure’ i was given a gift.
it was a thin box with a bow tied tightly around it.
i began packing for my flight late in the night and i was alone in my room when i finally opened my present.
i slid the lid off and before my head knew what i was looking at...
i was sobbing.
finally my brain caught up and i saw several multi-colored envelopes.
somehow i knew what they were and who they were from:
they were from my communities.
i read each one, crying mostly, but laughing loudly as well.
the first of the cards was from dr. galvin, my beloved therapist.
in it she gave me this verse:
“she gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her:
you are the God who sees me,
for she said, ‘i have now seen the One who sees me’.
that is why the well was called God-alive-sees-me spring;
it is still there, between kadesh and bered.”
much like dr. galvin’s own experience with this story,
i found myself crying before i really knew what those words meant to me...
what those cards, that wonderful gift, meant to me.
i have found that happening more often lately-my heart is traveling before my head,
it wasn’t something i intentionally tried to do, but is a wonderful reprieve from all my controlling habits.
the verse is special because i have found two things about myself:
1) that i am not sure that there is a God out there that loves me,
2) that i am loveable.
both to these are the root of what has affected all my relationship and something i am committed to working on.
that verse from genesis makes more sense right now-i can believe in a God who sees me and maybe one day i will believe the rest...that i am beautifully and delightfully made, but for now, to be seen is just enough.
the present was special because i felt seen by my community and blessed.
thank all of you that wrote me those special notes-it means more than any of you will ever know.
in addition to all this i was feeling some high anxiety about traveling.
this is the first time i have ever been alone and i am so very afraid,
but it is beginning to subside now that i am here in london getting comfortable with my friend shannon.
what i want most is to be a big girl.
i want to do big things and enjoy these very big people with their very big lives.
they are all doing and are such amazing people and i am humbled to be in their presence.
i want to soak in their stories and i want to be giving of myself as well.
thank all of you who are reading along as i travel.
i miss home, but i’m so thankful to be here.
i am blessed with wonderful parents who have graciously given me this gift of travel,
and i truly believe that my life will forever be changed by it.
thank you mom and dad,
and thank you my communities as well.