Friday, March 21, 2008

The Grieving Game

I have been wondering what's wrong with me lately and I think I may have hit on something. I am grieving but not just in the obvious ways.
I am still grieving the loss of Max. I have always been a sensitive soul when it comes to animals and I fall in love with them way too deeply. Animals are just so awesome. They give love and never betray us. Max was more than a pet to me. He was a companion. He is gone and I miss him terribly. I think this grief over Max has given me insight into my grieving over other losses as well. I think I am grieving over the loss of many things in my life right now. For some reason they are all crashing in on me at this moment and it's very difficult to deal with it.
- As friend Jeff always says, "I've always wanted to be a big deal." When he says it I understand where he's coming from. I have always wanted that too. Not necessarily in a big celebrity kind of way but I've just wanted people to know my work and respect it. In the past, I have had some great opportunities to feel like a big deal. In the past few years, this hasn't happened and I guess I miss the feeling. I know it's not true but I feel like I have lapsed into being a nobody. I am a hugely talented guy but I feel as thought I am dwelling in the shadows, eclipsed by the more "me" oriented talent that travel with a light over their heads. I don't crave the spotlight but I do like to have a candle lit in my honor from time to time.
- I am also grieving the loss of friendships. I grieve that my closest, dearest friends are so far away from me and I don't talk to them or see them nearly enough. I grieve over the fact that making new friends is tough, partially because people aren't as friendly here in the NW but partly because I am less trusting. I suppose you could say I am also grieving my ability to trust. I have been betrayed in some mighty big ways and it has scarred me. I grieve the fact that I can't open up to people who want to enter my life. I want to open up but I honestly don't know how anymore. It feels too much like opening a wound so that someone can rub dirt in it. I want friends, need them but I don't know how to get back to the place where I know how to have them. Another obstacle in this area is that my concept of friendship is so much higher than most folks. I want deep, lasting friendships filled with meaningful encounters and deep conversations. I don't do shallow and refuse to play that game. At this point in my life I don't need any more aquaintances. I need Proverbs 17:17 friends.
- Last but not least, I grieve the loss of my relationship with God. At this point, I flip-flop between belief and disbelief and it's left a hole in my life. Many of the opportunities to use my talents are wrapped up in the issue of faith. I enjoy singing but I can't lead worship anymore. Sure, I could get up and fake it but that's not the kind of person I am. I can't be false like that. So, I don't do it because I don't want to sing love songs to God because right now I don't love Him. But I do miss the relationship.
I can't properly express everything that I am feeling. I don't have the words. But I am glad to know that it's grief I am experiencing. Perhaps by giving it a name I can learn how to deal with it.


Anonymous said...

Read something by Anne Lamott or Donald Miller. I think their thoughts might resonate with you.

mark bushor

Cassie said...

One thing I've always appreciated about you, Marty, is your honesty. You keep it real which, in turn, helps me stay real. Thank you.

There is a vulnerability that runs thru your post that is precious, indeed.

You have experienced betrayal in your life, and I think in that way perhaps you can relate even more to God than someone who hasn't. I mean, who has been betrayed more than God? You understand, at least to an extent, what that feels like.

Perhaps this grief you are journeying thru is a way into a deeper connection with God - deeper, and more real than what you had before.

Just a thought.

becca said...

I relate to where you are right now in several ways.
-I miss being part of something incredible! Something I know makes a difference in people's lives- Company, leading worship, leading children & youth ministry... These last 2 years have been void of purpose- other than raising my kids, which is an important and worthy endeavor, but it's not the same...
-When we left our last church I left every relationship I'd developed here in Fairbanks. And everybody else is way far away...
-Right now my relationship with God is almost nonexistent. So much trust broken. I'm having a hard time separating Him from the 'bad guys'.
-Wanted you to know- after the Wedgwood shooting in Fort Worth anyone at SWBTS who was willing received counselor training to help the kids deal with the mess. The first thing the counselor spoke to us about was losing his dog. He talked about how deep the pain of losing an animal friend goes, and how rarely we let ourselves express that to others... It just hurts. And it will for a while. My sister believes completely that God holds the hearts of dearly loved pets in heaven- that we will see them again when we get there. I don't know. I know that any love I have comes from God, so He loves His creation more than I do... I know there will absolutely be animals in heaven- there are several references to this in the Bible. But will my kitty be there? I don't know. I wish I believed as absolutely as she does.