Monday, April 16, 2012

Painting a Picture Over Reality

I've always been an idealist, a dreamer, a romantic. If I don't like the way things look around me, I create something new. I change it. It's simple.

Or at least, it was.

My method of changing things was usually to remove the discomfort from the situation, or to get over it. If I couldn't move it, I would wait until it was over, and move merrily on with my life.

But sometimes things happen in our lives that we can't wait out. They don't go away in a day, or a month, or a even a year.

Levi's behavior is awful sometimes. He's aggressive, he spits, he doesn't initiate conversation. He's hard. He's different.

There's dissatisfaction. Murmurings and whispers that things aren't as they should be. Anger and tears. But there's also joy. There's also laughter.

But I tend to ignore the bad in my life. I like to remove it from the equation, just like I do with everything else that makes me sad or angry or uncomfortable. Only, its very hard to remove.

I'll go upstairs to my room and put on headphones, playing piano for hours. I'll immerse myself in books to get away from my problems and focus on other people's for a little while. I'll go hang out with friends, trying so hard to put on my old smile, and be the person I was a year ago, but I just can't.

I'm weighed down. I'm sad. I'm tired. I feel lost. I don't know what I'm doing, or where I'm going. And the lack of direction is driving me insane.

But, more than anything, I hate to let on how much I'm struggling, how much we're struggling.

So I paint a picture of my life. Through Facebook, through pictures, through any means necessary.

It's like I've got a camera and I've taken a picture of my life, but I don't like what the picture looks like. So I simply paint over the screen. That way, it doesn't matter what truth the screen shows, I can't see it. I can only see the perfect picture that I painted.

The danger in this is not only leading others astray when it comes to the facts about the trials of adoption and special needs, but also leading myself astray. I'm so used to looking through my painted-over screen that when I put it down and see what's really going on around me, I find I'd rather look at my fake picture.

This teaches me to be discontent, and to live apart from reality. And it's not what God intends for my life or for anyone else's.

Sometimes it's hard to come out of the "flowery fields" that I live in within my mind. It's hard to give up my "Garden of Eden" hopes. But relinquishing those far-fetched, dream-world hopes might just help me to enjoy the reality God has placed me in. And learn to trust Him with it.

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