I’m A Weeper

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It’s the last day of the year…the day we inevitably glance back, remember January, compare it to December, and review various points in between. One year ago I was in Indianapolis, privileged to lead a marvelous group of college students in worship at SaltGreat Lakes Chi Alpha‘s biggest annual event. Well. That’s where I was geographically speaking.

I was also seeking God for some answers. Heaven had been silent for a while so I knew I needed to do something differently. A friend recommended I set aside a block of time and focus on praying and listening. I think I was able to carve out four hours. When it came time to report back to my friend, I remember saying that I’d need a lot more than four hours to hear anything from God because I was just so numb.

It started years ago. I’d been hurt enough times I decided I needed to figure out a way to cope…to move through the hurt and still function. That’s when I discovered a little internal switch. Suddenly I had control over my emotions. If it wasn’t convenient for me to feel the way I was feeling, I shut them off. I viewed it as a strength; in spite of being a girl, I’d managed to quell the emotional roller coaster. The trouble is I never actually dealt with my feelings once that switch was flipped and eventually, I no longer had control. The switch became stuck in the off position and the numbness set in.

When you’re in pain, numbness can be a gift. Anyone who’s undergone a surgical or dental procedure can attest to that. Medication wipes out agony and ache, but takes the pleasant sensations as well…a tickle, a held hand, a pat on the back, a hug…if you’re numb the best you can manage is to use your other senses to infer what’s happening. I didn’t feel much pain anymore, but I also didn’t feel much joy.

Early this year, I got a new boss who recognized the problem pretty rapidly. We set in place a plan to get me feeling again, the most pivotal step being a visit to an incredible doctor in Florida who addressed physical, emotional, and spiritual things within me and set me on a new course. I can’t properly express my gratefulness to the people who invested in me, in unsticking that switch and teaching me better ways to handle my emotions. Thanks to their time, effort, and support I am ending this year in a vastly different place than where I began.

Remember the movie The Holiday? When I first saw it in the theater, I most identified with Kate Winslett‘s character…mistreated by those she loves wholeheartedly. Once the numbness set in I moved to Cameron Diaz, with walls around her heart so thick and heavy that she’s unable to cry. Now…I’m full on Jude Law: I’m a weeper. Movies, grandmas, children, greeting cards…you name it, it’s probably inspired a few tears for me this year. And I love it because it’s authentic and alive. The ability to navigate my emotions without wallowing in the valleys is an incredible strength that I intend to continually nourish and explore.

2011 was full of challenges, but it was also full of triumphs. I’ll bid the year a fond farewell tonight at midnight, but I’m certain it’s one that will stand out in memory as the ending of mediocre living and the real beginning of the adventure that is my life.

Happy New Year!

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17 thoughts on “I’m A Weeper

  1. Wow, Amanda. This is so profound and touches so much on what I’m going through. This is something I really needed to hear. So thank you.

  2. Great blog Amanda! There is a song I thought of you may want to look up and listen to, “In The Waiting” by Vickie Yohe; it so describes all that you went through! Praying that 2012 will be your best year yet!! Blessings!!!

      • Amanda, Funny thing is it’s not under Vicki Yohe.

        This is for a boy struggling with Leukemia. The video has the words also. I think Lou is absolutely right. After reading what you shared…this song is perfect for you. I love it and have been listening to it for some time now. Hope the link works for you. If not put “for Dan, in the waiting” in the search box. It’s the second one on the list.

      • Thanks to Angel, I found it. I’ve actually heard this song before, but Greg Long’s version. Absolutely fitting. Rejoicing to be on the other side. 🙂

  3. What a terrific blog! You are such an inspiration to those of us who do struggle with some of those things and I see the change that you’ve made! It is beautiful. Love you Amanda!

  4. Love you and praying for you my dear! Big hugs!
    Thank you for being so open, honest and vulnerable! God is doing an amazing work in and thru you, and His promise is to carry it on to completion!
    Im cheering you on all the way girl!
    (Loving the New Years picture! Cant believe it was a year ago!:)

    • Hard to believe a whole year has gone by, huh?! I was peeking at pictures from my England visit…such good times! I miss you!!!!

      Thanks for the cheers…they are needed and appreciated!

  5. THANK YOU!
    “I miss the mountains, I miss my life”
    I know that all to well. You are an extremely encouraging source right now.
    thank you, thank you, thank you

  6. WOOT WOOT! AMANDA, every time I read your words I get excited and mad. Excited, because you are an amazing woman that I can connect with on so many levels and mad, because I don’t know you better.

    I LOVE that you are “feeling” again. I can relate to that numbness and the desire to turn off the switch to not feel the pain. Have you ever heard of the book called the Enneagram? ( http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/ ) In this book there are 9 types of personalities. I am #7, the Enthusiast. It is highly characteristic of the Enthusiast to want to dull and numb the pain. They are prone to addictions because they cannot stand the though of pain and drugs, sex, alcohol, porn… they all “help” to numb it. I loved your analogy about the senses… by dulling these senses, it also means that we will not experience joy in the way we normally would. I feel like I too, am coming out of the stage of numbness in my life. I feel like for the first time in a looong time, I am viewing the world in technicolor… and it is beautiful.

    • I know what you mean about not knowing each other well. Weren’t we supposed to arrange a meet-up of the girls early in the new year? We should get on that, even if “the girls” ends up only being the two of us!

      I hadn’t heard of the Enneagram, so I hopped onto that site and took the free test. Five-way tie between Types 1-4 and 9! I think they want me to pay for the full test to determine my real results. My guess would be it’d be Type 1, 2, or 9. Those seems to resonate more when I read about them. How interesting! Maybe I’ll check the library for the book!

      It’s wonderful to hear that you’re coming out of the numbness as well. Your word picture of seeing the world in technicolor is accurate and lovely. This year is gonna bring great things for the both of us…I totally believe it!

  7. Wow it is the end of January and I have just read this it brought joy and tears to my eyes as I could relate to your transparent surrender Not flicking the switch on and allowing God to work,
    I knew you were growing and it is a blessing that you shared that expectation. I am grateful that God has given me a opportunity to share in your journey as I have a journey that intersects with you as a choir member. You are a talented women of God thank-you for sharing and leading in my life. GBY

  8. Pingback: Busyness as Anesthesia | girl in process

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