the post where i whine about charlottesville.

I think I got to the core of my gloom. 
I hate Charlottesville.  Mostly because I feel like it hates me back.

That is the long and short of it.  Ever since we moved here it has been a series of painful events for me.  I feel like I am doing my best to throw things against the wall but nothing sticks. 

We moved here from Radford.  A place where, on every corner was someone we knew.  Someone we went to church with, someone who knew us and loved us.  My pastor was like an adopted father to me...who knew each and every hurt I had and prayed for me on the same level that your best friend would.  I had been at that church since near the beginning and knew most of the souls that came through the door.  Most of them had been in my home...or I had taught in Bible study...or who had taught me.  We were a network of friends and family...a church choosing to build relationships with each other.  There was no end to the people I could call on to help or talk to or be with.  Loving and being loved was easy and effortless...though it still took work.  It was like there was no end to building relationships and there was always room in the circle for more.  It was wonderful.  

Fast forward to Charlottesville.  I have been through a number of churches and Bible studies and mom's groups.  And have nothing to show for it.  I have put myself out there time and again and still have an empty lonely place to call my own.  I have lost the energy to continue to try.  It just hurts TOO much.  I have been told (literally)that what I have is not enough...that there is no time for me...that it just won't work.  Rejection over and over again is painful.    

I was crying talking to Doug about this last night and I gave him this comparison...imagine your blowing bubbles...sometimes you get those bubbles that just stick to each other and build up together and become this huge massive collection of bubbles...still individuals but collectively unit.  That is Radford.  Then you have the other kind of bubbles...the kind that float around alone and when they bump up against each other they pop...unable to group together in a healthy way.  This is Charlottesville.  I can remember the first time I hugged someone was like I passed along the plague...I can vividly remember the look I got.  I have gone from a hugger to a non-hugger.  That is sad to me.      

I have lost my ability to build relationships here.  I have tried and pushed myself and continue to hit wall after wall.  I hate this place and miss (terribly) the place we are from.  I know the answer is not to move back there.  Not that that is even an option, nor something that I would even choose if given the chance.  

I am just at my end.  I am tired of trying and being rejected.  I am tired of not belonging where I live.  I am tired of being at a church where we can come and go unnoticed.  I hate that we are at a church where not everyone knows and loves my kids...which is something we would have had in Radford.  I hate that there is no one here I can call "just because".  I don't know what else to do and I am so. tired. of. trying.  

I long to be part of a community.  A tight knitted one.  Where I am loved and needed.  I am tired of this life in Charlottesville and I am longing for what is next. .   

I also hate that I am not content.  I hate that I am so resentful of the place that Lord has undoubtedly brought me to.  I want to learn the lesson the Lord is trying to teach me here SO I CAN MOVE ON.  I know that sounds ridiculous...but when have you known me to not call it like it is?  This is where I am right now.  This is real and this is my life.  Right now.  

I feel like in Radford I had x but was missing y.  Now I have y and am missing x.  I just want to be where x and y can live together.     
I HAVE however gone from crying "How can I get out of this (here)?" to "Lord, what DO you want me to learn from this?"  I am trying.  I am seeking.  I am still hurting.  I am still knowing that this is part of the process.  That shaping and forming is not meant to be painless. 

I just want to be content.  And done already.

So I am not sure of the point of writing all of this...other than to share and relate.  And document the process so that one day I can look back and say "ahhhh-ha!".  I realize that this may be my most whiny post ever...shining a light on just how pathetic I may be.  But that is OK with me...because at least it's all true and real.  And I am OK with sharing the ugly, lumpy parts of being a chunk of clay that is being sculpted into something better.  

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11


Jill M said...

I really really feel for you! Been there done that but I can tell you that you will come away stronger & more independent. He's waiting until you're ready and will give you all you need, just look for His signs. :-)
We lived in Jackson MS and I hated it so much, same thing, come & go unnoticed.
I don't know where Charlottesville is but if it was close to Tampa, I'd love to meet you!
Hang in there and keep the faith!

Greta said...

I would have loved to have had a friend like you when I was in cville. I have never been in a more lonely town than that. I faced a lot of the same problems, one of the largest being the inability to find a home church there. After two years in Charlottesville we made the choice to move back to the east coast of VA. Cville is a hard place if you aren't in college or rich. I have never experienced so many "mean" people as the ones I faced in Charlottesville. Never seen a cloud of negativity like the one that hangs there. But there are good points too! Like "The Flat" have a crepe for me. And take heart maybe you are the spark of change the city needs. And know that if God wants you out he will find a way to move you. He did for us and while things here aren't perfect the cloud of negativity disapaits a little more every day.

gideonmommasita said...

In the words of TobyMac, Hold on.
And the stars are up there shining for you
Oh, how the Father does adore you
His love will never change
And you and I, we were born to follow
The hope that will lead us to tomorrow
And no one can take it away

ragamuffinbeauties said...

Hurting for you and praying that God's plan would unfold gently with a community that models the love you so deserve. Loved this: And I am OK with sharing the ugly, lumpy parts of being a chunk of clay that is being sculpted into something better. With the willingness of that statement and the transparency that is evident in your blog, I know he will use you in a mighty way! He already is! (((HUGS)))

Cyndi Browning said...

I don't know you personally and you don't know me personally. But I firmly believe we are connected because we are both God's!! :) And I also firmly believe that Christians have an awesome bond with each other even if they've never met. Because we have the faith in God that there's a bigger picture out there somewhere.

So, even though we don't know each other and even though I can't 100% relate to what you are going through (sorta can though), just imagine me walking up to you on the streets there in C-ville giving you a great big hug....for no reason...

Better yet....imagine all of us who lovingly follow your blog, coming up at giving you a hug.

"We are the family of God, YES! We are the family of God...and He's brought US together, to be one in HIM, that we might bring light to the world!!"

jill funkhouser said...

wow, we got the same thing going on here in our little town in WI. My husband is the police chief and I feel the same as you. Hard to find f riends and trust them here. I feel like we are here for a purpose for God and his plan and not for ourselves. I am a firm believer he will guide you with a ton of faith on your part. Which is so hard to do all the time. I feel for you. I feel like all I talk to is our family and the mailman. Hugs and Prayers for you as you get through this hard time.

Anonymous said...

Oh Wow! This post hit home for me. I too am feeling your pain, having moved away from a small town where I knew everybody and there was a lot to do everyday with fellow Christians, bible studies, shopping, arts and crafts, or just plain getting together and 10 of us bringing snacks to munch on. I moved to a bigger city because of my husbands job and here I am, 3 years later, still not deeply integrated into the community. I have tried to fit in but theres already cliques set up and it's hard to break into a group if they are not so willing to accept you. Same story here in New York. I feel your pain Crystal, and hopefully we can achieve our dreams. May God BlESS You!

Anonymous said...

We just moved to the east coast, and are shocked at the tight knit family that is our religion. I don't want to try to convert you, but just know it does exist on the east coast. I am Mormon and I am amazed at the network they have set up here, because no one is living near there family

gevayandmatt said...

I am so sorry that you are unhappy. I will be praying that God does reveal what He wants you to learn quickly. It's hard enough to be a stay at home mommy some days without adding loneliness on top of it. I am constantly amazed at how rude and mean people are as grown-ups. I guess that explains why the problem of bullying still exists in schools no matter how much training you give mean parents=mean kids! But I guess with this sin nature that we all have it's to be expected. I hope you can find some peace in Charlottesville. Next time you visit your hubby's family in Boca Raton let me know. I live in the next town and I have two boys. We love a good playdate!

Micah said...

ugh ugh UGH I hate the "wilderness". I was there for about a year when I stopped homeschooling and felt out of place in my own world.
It is great to know and be known... I draw more comfort from that than I realized.
I am praying right now that God will smooth the way to a deeper understanding of Him and His purpose for moving you to Charlottesville. And for a real good, genuine HUG.
((( big hug)))

Amy said...

wow, i'm really sorry. not sure what else to say. i worked in a small town once at the local hospital & was completely ostracized because i was not from there. it was hard.
hugs & prayers for you. the Lord has something in store for you that will make this seem like a brief moment.

Estee said...

Are there maybe other women like you that have been rejected and maybe you can connect?

And in any case, in your shoes I'd focus on family and stop trying. When someone would be interested it'll be even better.

I grew up in a very close community but never felt like I belong. Now I have no community, but the family I created help me feel that belonging feeling, the caring and intimacy I always wanted.

Good luck!

anna said...

Get into a Community Group. There's a great one REALLY near you. :) Seriously though, it's a great way to feel more connected at church.

Unknown said...

You're not alone! Too bad Charlottesville and Charlotte are in two different states. We moved here about 2.5 years ago and there are many days where I feel alone. I long for the community that we had in Wake Forest. I have to keep reminding myself that God has us here for a reason and a season. My home isn't here on earth, but in Heaven. Here's an article on contentment that helped me: . Just remember, it is a season, and you are not alone.

Judy said...

I can feel your pain loud and clear in this post. I'm sooo sorry.

Maybe, and this is just a maybe, God is giving you this time just for your family. You will never get this time back. You have two adorable sons who know without any doubt that you love them and value them.

I say this because I was a very 'over involved' stay at home mom who felt like I was not in God's will if I wasn't juggling a bunch of different things outside of my home. I could not say 'no' when asked to do anything at my church.

We didn't fall apart because of it, but now that that time in my life is looooong over, I wished I would have 'been there' more for MY children.

I hope you find a group of friends who 'get' you. I'm 52, and still looking...

Unknown said...

I am so sorry to hear this because as a stay-at-home Mom myself, I know how critical it is to feel part of something outside your own home. The Lord has been teaching me OVER and OVER this year that all the discomforts of this world are to remind us that we will never truly be home until we reach heaven. Being uncomfortable here on Earth at times allows us to keep heaven at the forefront of our minds. I am confident you already know this. :)

I love that you're journaling all of this and that you already recognize that someday you'll be able to look back and see why God led you through C'ville.

And fyi...Not sure if this helps at all, but my hometown is just an hour from there (Harrisonburg), and it's a sweet little place with very sweet & simple and loving people. If Doug's work ever takes you there, I think you would like it. :)

Amber said...

This makes me sad and makes my heart hurt.

Coming from the opposite in Lynchburg where I felt everyone I encountered was fake and didn't really care about me and couldn't get connected in my church to Charottesville where I feel more loved than I ever have before makes me wonder how 2 people can have such different experiences in the same place. I surely am not rich or in school but I wonder what makes this different for me? I know God moved us here for good things, we have grown as Christians and as a family here more than I ever could have imagined. I guess this feeling did take some time though. Something to think about later, I guess.

I will be praying for you in a REAL way, I hate to think my friend on the other side of the wall feels so alone :(

April@MySacredSojourn said...

Crystal, I can feel the loneliness in your post, even if you hadn't written that. I don't really know what to say, other than this: "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open." That's from James 1, The Message.

This passage has been misquoted so often, but he's talking about trials, that when faced with trials, we can ask God and He'll give us wisdom. So, ask Crystal. Ask with all your heart, with all your belief, with every bit of courage and seeds of faith you can find. He'll answer.

And I'll be praying for you, as a dear sister in the faith. Miles may separate us, but the Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save. Prayer crosses distance and time.

Lauren said...

Wow. This post left me speechless, and I've been praying about whether to comment. But there are a few things I must tell you.

First, you are not alone. I am so sorry that you feel this way and that your heart is hurting. Loneliness is never a fun experience. But your perception is not reality. You are not alone. It is not the truth.

There are many wonderful women here who would sincerely love to hang out with you and get to know you better. In our mom circle, we enjoyed you and your funky self and were inspired by your creativity. I cannot imagine that you felt any sense of rejection there. But again, if you did, that was not reality.

And you have just recently become a part of this church. Give it some time. That is hard to hear and practice, I know. But true and lasting friendships/relationships take time. A lot of time. And they take an investment. Some of my best friends are those who reached out to me in my time of need or vice versa. It takes effort.

There are many women around you who could benefit from your experiences, challenges, and growth. And you could benefit from their experiences as well. That is the beautiful part of Christian sisterhood.

Charlottesville is not the problem. Just read your other comments. There are people who feel alone or dissatisfied living all over the world – even in Radford. This side of heaven, there is no perfect place. There are beautiful Christian women in Cville who are seeking and serving God. We too desire friends to be encouraged by and to encourage. I will not believe that this town is full of only mean, rich, or college people. I am none of those!

I hope we have a chance to hang out soon. My little ones sure enjoy your little ones. =)

Courtney said...

He is working on you.
i remember a time where i felt similar. VERY discontent. KNOWING where i was wasn't where i wanted to be...where HE wanted me to be...but not knowing how to change it. where to turn.

but you are so wise to get this down "on paper". He WILL redeem this. He LOVES you.

you WILL look back on this and be able to see this step towards knowing Him more...loving Him more.

Anonymous said...

If I may. Not "all" of cville is distateful, and some of the residents are offending. Some of it is culture-bred. An air of entitlement and pedanticism run rampant. There are, however, some good folks. Great neighbors, church-goers, and townspeople do exist. I think what enhances the struggle is a tight regimented schedule, two time consumers named HoHo and MiMi, and my personal desire for quality time.

Only you can know how you feel, but it is fair to say you aren't alone. I love this as a means to journal struggles and look back when growth transpires. It will pass, be it our acceptance of this town, or a fresh outlook on the next one. Enjoy this phase as we will never be in this current situation again. Circumstances change, eventually it will have to be for the better. I should know I'm a statistician, I ran the proof and all that jazz. I love you
-the Doug.

Smilie girl said...

Your husband is a good man! Hugs to you!
I would agree with Doug that the time pressures of a young family makes it sometimes harder to connect. Well, that's played a part of it for me.
Hang in there and thank you for sharing. I'm sure God has great things in store for you.

Paul and Cheri said...

I have often seen this postcard from God in my prayers:
Dear _____,
This is my plan for you:
Please be patient, it will all make sense.
Love, God
Then, I have wondered just WHAT those blanks say! Wouldn't it be lovely if we could just get the postcard from time to time ~ all filled out and informative! But then, where would the adventure and mystery of life be?
Thinking about you, sweet lady.

Teapots & Robots said...

I think it is safe to say that most everyone has felt this way at some point in their life and probably many times. I have been there and it is such a hard and painful place to be but as a child of God, you are NOT in this place without reason or purpose. As a believer, sometimes the most painful of seasons in our lives are also the seasons in which God grows us the most and makes us look more like Him.
There IS purpose in this. I felt this same way not very long ago. I listened to a sermon during that time that talked about suffering and how it all looks different for each one of us, but are we suffering well? This hit me hard. Is our suffering in vain, without purpose and meaning? Or are we suffering for the glory of God so that He made be made known?
Just from reading your blog for a short while, i can see your heart for the Lord. Suffer for His glory. Look at Him and cling to Him and not the people or lack of people around you.
My recent season of this, in the end, i felt very clearly that the Lord wanted to remind me that in Him is all and everything I need, that I needed to stop looking to others around me for fullfillment and happiness. Community is great; it is a blessing, but God wants ALL of us.
Hope this is encouraging to you. Don't let this season make you hard and turn you into a "non-hugger." ;) Jesus was constantly experiencing rejection and hurt from people and we are told that if we follow Him, we should expect this too. But we are also called to love, even our enemies. It is not at all easy, but with Him, we can not only do it, but do it with joy.
praying for you. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm sorry, but I'm not going to give you what most of the other commentators gave you....validity. Girl, you need a reality check! Does your child have cancer? I know girls - even in Charlottesville who don't know how much longer they'll have their little ones. Go home and look into the eyes of your two healthy kids. Is your husband faithful and supportive to you? You are blessed. I know girls who are staying with husbands who have admitted to having another girlfriend. And didn't you just get back from an awesome vacation with your little family? It has been years since my family has been able to afford even a weekend trip. That's true for lots of people. So? Am I to be pitied? No! Has the Lord saved your soul from the damnation we all deserve? Then, your future is secure and awesome! Why in this world would you not be relishing that fact? I know many many many people who are content with their lives and see no need for God. They will one day die and live in torment for eternity! Maybe you should spend some of your time showing and sharing your life in Christ with some lost soul. However, your life has nothing attractive for them, based on this post. We have friends who live in war torn countries, who seriously fear for the safety of their children. Have you seen any machine guns pointed at you in Charlottesville? I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. I'm obviously not trying to mince my words. You need to look at the cold, hard facts. Comparatively speaking, your worst day ever is a day that MOST people in the world only dream of. Your focus is all wrong. When our happiness is dependent on what others do for us, then others are always controlling our happiness. But when our happiness depends on what we are able to do for others (our kids, husbands, neighbors, complete strangers), then we control our own happiness. Life is not made up of dreams. It's made up of choices. You have obviously chosen to be miserable, and this post, where you've chosen to communicate that to the world, has done nothing to glorify you Heavenly Father, who has given you all good things. How do you think this post makes Him feel, much less those in your city who have tried to be your friend? I don't know you. I've never met you. But I'm calling you out on this, because you need to be called out. The problem is not with Charlottesville. The problem is with you. You need to decide who you are in Christ. Do you believe His Word? Do you believe He is who He says He is? Do you want to live a victorious life before your children so that they will one day choose this life in Christ for themselves? Much more is caught than taught, and your kids will "catch" your message. From what I can see, God has gifted you in innumerable ways - eternal life, health, precious children, a supportive husband, freedom as an American, super creativity, etc, etc,etc. What's the problem? We've ALL had horrendous events in our lives. Take what you have and the TRUTH of God's Word, the power available to you through His Holy Spirit, and move forward with your focus on finding and doing His will. For most of us, that's the mundane things of life. I've reared a houseful of children, and that has been my focus and my joy. Now that the last one will be leaving home within a few months, I can enjoy the harvest of all that has been planted over the years. I've kept my eye on the goal, and it's been worth it. Sister in Christ, gird up the loins of your mind and move forward, walking in truth and not lies. I would not have spoken so directly if I thought others would read this, but I see that you will have to read my comments before publishing them. I don't mean to hurt you, but the last thing you need is for people to pat you on the back and treat you as though you are pitiful. No child of the God of this universe should ever act pitiful. Get up, and move on. There's much to do. It's about HIM, not you or me.

Megan said...

I feel like you read my mind and my heart! Except I'm in Denver. Prayers that the wilderness passes soon for us both.

elise said...

eek- bogus when people leaving ranting comments anonymously.
Your feelings are valid, and you have every right to vent about them. I appreciate your honesty and that you are turning your struggle over to God.
will be praying for you!

Sara said...

Wow "anonymous"...can't a girl just have a bad day {week, month, 6 months} and vent about it ON.HER.OWN.BLOG? Sure, we've all had bad events in our lives, and when we look at them in hind sight, it sure looks different than it does when you are in the middle of them. But really? Is there anything wrong with just being in a bad place and wanting to talk about it? Why does it have to be "horrendous" in order to be justified?

I don't mean to sound snotty, and I usually don't comment, but it gets old hearing people negatively comment on awesome blogs. Keep your head up girl...and write about it as much as you is YOUR blog! :)

Meredith said...

I'm not sure why I read this post 2 days after you wrote it but I just wanted to let you know that for the last 8 years of living in a town where my husband grew up and being called an "import" I too faced many of the same challenges and thoughts. That was until last Tuesday when my husbands best friend was in a terrible car accident. This town came together to support their family, to support our family and to pray like I've never seen before. I've seen people pray that I know have never even given the Lord a second thought. They prayed continually and our dear friend went to stand at the side of the Lord on Monday night. It's been a rough week and we are still receiving a HUGE outpouring of faith, hope and love from this community and strangers for this family. It's been a long 8 years but I can finally say that this is home, and this is where our support system now is and I couldn't be more proud to live here now - God works in mysterious ways! I pray that your journey in Cville gets better and that you finally start to feel at home too. {Hugs}

Anonymous said...

In my own opinion from reading your blog I can tell you give glory to God and repeatedly do so. We all have those days, and sometimes those times in our lives where we feel this way, and God understands. Perhaps he even uses you as a vessel to share with the rest of the world your experiences and how you are able to get through them and learn from them and move on and still give him all the credit as you have done. Keep it up, He knows your heart and loves and cares for you as you are.

*Linda Pinda* said...

Not sure why I'm posting a comment.

I feel somewhere in between the positive and negative comments you've recieved. And having read your next post... yes, I agree... it's your blog, afterall, and you have a right to share all of your emotions, not just the sunshiny ones. BUT... (and I've dealt with this as well) when we post publicly, we need to accept the public comments we recieve as well. I don't think anyone meant "harm" in them... just maybe instead of encouraging your depression, to try to shake you out of it??? I don't know...

I just want to re-emphasize a lot of what's been said.

1st of all, I do sympathize with your emotions. We can't help how we feel. We can only help how we respond.

2nd: someone did hit a nail on the head. There are women all over the world experiencing these things, so I don't think the real answer is that it's the town's fault. Heck, I live in my lifelong hometown, and my deepest rejections, betrayals, pains have come from some of my closest relationships!

But anyhoo...
what I would like to share is that I do think the Lord is trying to grow closer to you.... or have you grow closer to Him. Remember His life, here? Rejected... no place to lay His head... His own church rejecting and betraying him... etc, etc.

Pray to "that" Jesus. The Jesus who experienced what you're experiencing... The Jesus who knew there was a time to be alone in the desert to grow closer to His heavenly father. Ask Him to help you carry this cross with love and joy.

He knew this is the way of the world. That's why He tells us WE have to be a light to the world. We forget that sometimes. We are so busy "Looking" for light... joy... happiness. We forget that we may be just the instrument of His light, love, happiness that He places in some darkness.

Don't "push", just "be".

Isn't it St. Paul who tells us to be prepared to testify where our joy comes from?

All this "stuff" is the wavy water St. Peter was walking on. When he took his eyes off of Jesus, he sank. Fortunately, he was wise enough to pray "save me, Lord". Keep your eyes on Jesus, and keep walking on the water. He will lead you.... He will.

And we will all celebrate with you and share in your joy with each step!!!


jh said...

It is hard here. Just trying to hold on myself. Without the Lord, I would be mental in this place.

jh said...

This is a hard place. It truly is, but other places are hard, too. At least you have the Lord. You can lose heart without him.

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