Popping balloons and giving things up.

Well, so much for good intentions. After setting this blog up I then fell headlong into the busiest time of year and got lost in it. First Christmas, then New Year, then DD’s very first ever Birthday on the 14th Jan! We’re now back in the scary depths of financial juggling and trying to make a 3 bed household fit into a two bed flat. Note to self: I will be better prepared next year, as we will always have the first birthday of the year straight after Christmas and I’m gonna make sure it’s always a good one.

Now onto the serious stuff. I’ve had so many good ideas for posts but it all comes back to the same things. My husband was squeezed out of his job a year and a half ago (the guy who was promoted to create a job for DH, threatened to leave again and the boss/owner/his best friend did everything he could to keep him – ie. give the guy back his old position for his new salary, leaving no space nor money for DH.) we got a solicitor and did him for unfair dismissal and he settled for the salary lost after tax. But I can tell you for nowt, that doesn’t cover the cost of no income for nearly a year, bounced direct debits and unpaid bills, and the social exertions of a depressed husband desperately job seeking for his pregnant wife. (And yes, the boss knew I was well pregnant when he started all this). Long and short, we’re still trying to play catch-up on the catch-up from that time, even though he has a job again – for less money and more stress, he’s a bus driver ;-S

And as for me, I’m a Christian, and used to have a super strong faith and a great relationship with God. But I guess I hadn’t lived back then. Now I really struggle. And it’s all classic stuff. If the ‘bad’ people and the faithless are getting good stuff, and nothing I do seems to improve our lot; then what is the point of having a relationship with Him? I am somewhat cynical and pessimistic at the moment. We went to church today, the one I grew up in, and they did this really helpful thing with balloons. We all had a balloon, and blew it up (or got someone else to – phew!), and that represented all the ‘stuff’ in our lives. Then we had to pop it anyway we could, to represent giving it all over to God in such away we couldn’t possibly claw it back and own it again the way we tend to. I needed that, I knew I did. I even selected a lovely purple balloon that made me think of the Royalty of Christ, my Mum beside me did too. I really wanted to blow it up myself, it seemed significant. But you know when you get cheap balloons and it’s one of the long thin ones? They are really hard to blow up, I had to get my Dad to do it (DH had taken DD out as we knew she would be hysterical at all the popping, she was at her birthday party, bless). I shrugged it off and sat down to think and pray a bit about what I wanted to give up in popping the balloon, but I suddenly noticed that the pressure of the balloon in my hands was decreasing rapidly. It had a tiny hole somewhere and was deflating! I tried to think more quickly but the rapidly decreasing balloon left me no time. I decided to bite a hole in it myself as there was so little air pressure left in it I knew it would pop if I stood on it. I know it’s daft, but with all the troubles we have right now, I really wanted to give that stuff up! I wasn’t even allowed to do it symbolically. Told you I was cynical right now, I find it so hard to talk to God now that something like this seemed really important.

Anyway, I decided that for some reason DH and I have to deal with each of our problems one at a time. Which is hard, because I have enough trouble concentrating on one task at a time without stressing about the other ones I’m not doing – I tend to flit between them and make little measurable progress. I was looking online at some other blogs I like and I came across this post: http://www.incourage.me/2011/01/the-back-room.html

Don’t get me wrong, sexual abuse is a huge and terrifying thing for the people who have been there, but I blessedly haven’t (although the concept scares me far more now I have a child of my own) and so this post inspired me for other reasons. It was the concept of God gently peeling back layers, not more than we can bear, so that it hurts as little as possible while He heals the wounds. I have a lot of wounds, but meeting and being loved by my hubby has healed so much of me and is still making me just that little bt braver every day. I saw this concept more in the context of our maturing together through the troubles we’re having. They’re nothing no one else ever goes through, but we’re here now and it’s really hard to imagine we’ll ever be out of here – figuritively and literally. But perhaps having a miracle to solve all our problems at once would cause us to miss out on so many maturing experiences? Although I still can’t imagine what God is preparing us for, my life is now supposed to be that of the wonderful Mum/homemaker/full-time employee and I can’t even get that right. I’m quite sure I can be nothing greater than that any time in the future.

But there you have it, the New Year has begun. I know what I love, my husband, my daughter, ‘the boys’. I just wish I could give them all that life I’m striving for. One day at a time hey, like walking 2 dogs and a pushchair.


Amendment: I’ve just read the preview of this post, funny how a different mood can quickly change your take on things. What if the balloon deflating so quickly due to actions outside of my own control was representive of God taking those things off me without my having to work out how to give them up? I like that idea, might well keep me cheerful for a couple of days. Mmm…


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