The Unmaking by Nichole Nordeman
“This is where the walls gave way
This is demolition day
All the debris and all this dust
What is left of what once was
Sorting through what goes and what should stay
Every stone I laid for you
As if you had asked me to
Monument to holy things
Empty talk and circling
Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?
What happens now?
When all I’ve made is torn down
What happens next?
When all of you is all thats left.”
I never thought I would be so ready to close this chapter in my life. I kept trying to preserve what I could and press past the hurt. As time went on I realized how much I was hurting me. All my past trauma rose to the surface, but I kept thinking “I will be fine, I just need to wait for a few more years and then I can take a break.” Like a switch I had no more strength to carry on. In many ways I didn’t care anymore. The funny thing was I knew before I knew. Let me explain. I have this goal planner for people with ADHD, it’s called the hero’s journal. It takes you through a visual story as you use the planner. There’s this part I use to write down my own story based on the pictures. One day as I wrote about what path I should take I wrote down that I have decided to take the path of restoration. I sat there staring at the journal thinking “when did I decide that! I don’t remember making an official decision. Well… I think I already have and I’m going to take it.”
That day I decided to pull from the mission field. My life plans just crumbled. Since I had given everything else up in life for this. I felt like I was standing in the midst of the rubble of my life. Everything I had once built is now nothing. I felt so free! This month has been filled with paperwork and explaining why I am leaving. The timing couldn’t have been any better. After I made my announcement I had a girls road trip with my two closest friends up to Mammoth Lakes. It was such a nice get away! Full of laughter and inside jokes. We had some car problems the first day and that made it so we were in the right place during the right time.
We changed our plans and went to the lakes the first day and stumbled across a bear and her cub playing in the water. We stood on the edge of the bridge capturing as many pictures as we could. The irony is we left the bear spray in the car. I watched carefully as the bears made their way across the lake playing. I knew they were slowly heading our way but was not concerned. Once the bears hit the hill on our side I knew they were coming up the embankment. We booked it for our car. One of my friends got her door unlocked but couldn’t get ours unlocked. We stood out of the car shouting “Unlock the car! The bears are coming!” she was finally able to get the doors open and we hoped in. I turned around in my seat just in time to see the bear’s head pop over the embankment. We joked around that she was trying to sacrifice us to the bears.
It was a fun trip overall. I really needed the adventure and I really needed that time to goof off with my friends. It’s been a long several years of hard work. In many ways it hindered my relationship with the Lord. I am ready to just sit at his feet and rest. Psalm 63:1-5 says…
“God, You are my God; I shall be watching for You;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and exhausted land where there is no water.
2 So have I seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and glory.
3 Because Your favor is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
4 So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My soul is satisfied as with fat and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
I am taking these next few months to recover and rest. My soul thirst for God, and I’ve lived in a dry and weary land. If you couldn’t tell by the poems that have been coming out. Note (You have a few more months filled with that kind of poetry before it switches over to the light at the end of a tunnel.) These past few months have been pevital to my relationship with God. For years I have put myself under the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law. I struggled to say no. Saying yes to everything that was good to do. Even at the expense of my health. I used to be at church every single day of the week doing one ministry or another. On the side, helping homeschool my siblings, trying to work my blog, meeting with people and dropping everything for everyone anytime. Food and sleep stopped being a part of my daily routine. I didn’t get much support from people. I only received more requests. I didn’t dare say I couldn’t do it, because I’m young. If you know what I mean by this you know the trap. People believe if you’re young you have all the time, energy, health and ability to accomplish their demands. I had none of that, but was afraid of their responses.
It’s interesting how often people think they know what your life is like. One night before I made my announcement someone made the comment of my life being perfect. I wonder what gave them that impression? I held myself together as they gave me advice for everything I would one day face. Little did they know I had already endured all of that and come to the same conclusion. I hit a point where I couldn’t handle them using the bible study time to direct everything at me. I left early and cried the whole way home and then some alone at home. Evidence for my breaking point! Who cares if someone understands you or not. Either way I have stepped down from all but two ministries.
I don’t think I’ve ever told people no, so much in my life. The timing couldn’t have been better. My Mom just recently left for Texas to help my sister. Now I am fully running the house and working odd jobs on the side. Most importantly I am letting things be. God has made it very clear that he wants me to wait. I’m making no life altering decisions until January. I am trying to let this foundation recover before trying to build anything on it. I’m sweeping away the debris. Enjoying moments with friends. I Love every second of taking care of my family and the exhausting days that make me long for sleep. I am ecstatic that I am able to focus on two specific ministries. Pouring into a select few people I am able to be more intentional, more involved and more consistent.
Let me paint a picture for you, before I close.
Imagine with me, a swordsman fighting a dragon. The swordsman starts the fight off well, but as time goes on the armor becomes heavy and swinging the sword becomes a little harder. The swordsman knows the battle must continue so he presses on. The towns folk slowly begin to make requests of the swordsman. Each request is a good request and the swordsman believes it is his duty to fulfill them. He finds time for the request but becomes a little messy in his work. As more requests are made he makes more mistakes. The dragon’s talons hit his skin more and more. Drawing a little more blood each time. He starts to miss handel the sword and it breaks. The swordsman quickly gathers the pieces of the sword and makes another sword. He continues fighting because He knows it’s the right thing to do.
The sword becomes heavier with each repair, finally causing the swordsman to drag it across the ground as he goes into battle. The towns folk begin to give suggestions. “Maybe you’re swinging the sword wrong?” One said from the side lines. “Maybe you should work out, that way you will be strong enough to carry the sword.” Responded the merchant when the swordsman asked for help. The dragon lunged forward and the sword hit his tooth. Shattering into a million other pieces. The crowd watched in concern, for the first time the swordsman just stared at the ground. He could not pick up the pieces again. He couldn’t run or even fight another second. He just calmly stepped back from the broken pieces and walked away. Never wanting to rebuild the sword again. Unsure if he could help another towns folk with another request. The Swordsman had nothing left to give.
I feel like the swordsman, staring down at those broken pieces and not wanting to pick it back up. People have asked me to be a part of one ministry or another since I made my announcement. In all honesty, I don’t know if I will return to any of that. My relationship with the LORD has greatly suffered from this need to do the right thing. I’ve had to learn that just because it’s a good thing to do does not mean I should be the one to do it.