Monday, September 10, 2012


Yesterday, at church the speaker talked about that key phrase that seems to keep resurfacing in my life over and over, "harden not your heart." Do you ever have this strange occurrence, where a song, a quote, a movie will repeat what the Creator of the Universe is trying to say to you?
I had to laugh because it was like okay God I get it. But, really I feel like maybe I don't. So much of what he spoke about yesterday challenged, convicted, encouraged, and confused me.
You see, I've been a bit raw this past month because of a constant concern that is lingering, and that is My beloved Poppa. 
My dad has been in and out of the hospital for the past month with different health issues. This last ER trip was the worst of all because he had a seizure. He is ok now, I spoke with him this morning and he sounded better, but it seems we are all shooting a loaded gun in the dark, trying so very hard to find that target that will mean he will be back to normal.
Normally, I would put on a brave face for my kids and others around me, but I feel that would be a hardening of my heart in a sense, so I'm having mini melt downs, and I'm hearing God say that's ok.
Feel Noël.
Connect Noël.
Cry Out Noël.
The problem is that I have so many feelings it's hard to just pick one and go with it.
So there's this battle with my emotions. If I  harden my heart and ignore all these emotions then it comes out in anger. But if I let loose the flood gates... well...
 I feel whelmed.
I feel sad.
I feel helpless.
I feel worried.
I feel weepy.
I feel raw.

                                                      My heart is torn between here and there.

It is the new norm for me now living 700+ miles from my beloved family, and I'm trying to navigate through this space in time that I find myself in, where my kids are very much in full swing here and my parents are in need. It's a season in life that I knew was coming, I just thought I would have more time.
I'm beyond, BEYOND, thankful for my 4 siblings that all live there and are my eyes and ears to what is going on, but still... I want to go give my Poppa a big hug. 

When things like this happen, my old M.O. would have been to crawl back in bed, hide my head under my beautiful quilt cover, and not come back out again until the world was safe and everything was alright. Kinda like a turtle. I like turtles. Especially that turtle in Nemo? What was his name? Ok sorry I just needed a breather from my Debbie downer post.

This poem written by the artist Jewel, describes perfectly what I'm really feeling.

"I could stand to be alone
for some time
Lose myself in the white noise
slip into the blur
contemplate the color yellow

Right now
I just don't handle splashes too well
Or too many teeth
around me all at once
armed like guns with something to say
Urgent whispers
hoarse restraint

Quiet as paper cuts
people steal me away
cart my flesh off in tiny crimson piles
my bones have been sore
Rattling against each other in their anemic cage
raven circling
my heart beating
it's time to go it's time to go
someplace full of surf
full of flat blue sky
full of shuuushh."

But, that's not what I'm gonna do.
I'm not gonna stop these emotions. 
I'm not going to go run and hide.
Although the poem is a perfect description of what I'm feeling, it's not okay for me to go "find surf, blue sky and shuuuush"because I'm convinced
that poem is a recipe for a hard heart.

It's so much easier right, to live this life alone where no one messes with your shit?
It's so much easier to hide than to live out in the open, raw and exposed?
So here I am living my life out loud for all to see.
I've said before feelings are okay it's just what you do with them that really counts.

In this new place, being raw means for me that I am trying not to harden my heart.
I'm learning to bite my tongue.
I'm weepy.
I'm praying for grace for myself.
And I'm thankful for poems, songs, and promises like this.

"My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Exodus 33:14


Bernadette Veenstra said...

Sorry to hear about your dad. Thanks for sharing so we can pray-for you both.
Last night I was in tears as I struggled to write my blog. There is a big situation happening in my life right now, but I don't feel my blog is the place to get into it.
But is gives me that nervous sick to my stomach feeling whenever I think about it. It "resolved" by ignoring the elephant in the room.
Transparency or discretion?
Maybe a bit of both-but in general terms.

Brittany T. said...

Noel, first i am sorry ive been MIA! i hurt my arm last week and finally feeling almost normal yesterday! I LOVE LOVE your new blog design and even yur little favicon phone omg ahhh!! Just want to say lots of love is around you and sending hugs! It's ok to feel weepy sometimes, it's like a release and taking a deep sigh, letting go and letting God in.

Anna said...

I'll be praying for you and your family.

Thank you for sharing your heart and being so open and honest. That is something that is so difficult for many to do.

Jami said...

thanks for sharing about your dad. praying for you and your fam, noel. i think the best thing we can do sometimes is to be raw and out in the open. i believe that's when we see the most work, grace, and love in our lives because we are actually more open to seeing and listening to everything around us than when we are closed off and shut out of all of our surroundings. this is a good place to be even though it's physically difficult to go through. love you and praying for peace!

Kelly said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad Noel! I have a hard time switching back and forth from being "strong" but yet having authentic emotions. How much in either direction is best? That's hard. I appreciate how real you are my friend. Love you and praying for you dad.

Dana said...

I'm sorry Noel. I hope you know you can always talk to me. Xo

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