Friday, December 18, 2015

Faith and Trust -- the transformation.

I'm at a presuppose in my life.  I'm completely at the jumping off juncture to either leap and fly or stand an stay.  Simply everything comes down to trust at this particular period of time in my life.  As those of you that read my blog know -- with my history - trust isn't the easiest thing in the world for me to harness.

It's very interesting that even when things go well in our lives, we wonder.  We wonder when the next shoe is going to drop.  Perhaps it is only I that feels this way - but when everything seems to line up just beautifully -- I sort of gasp.  Being the kind of person who's used to having been punished for doing the "right" thing -- I'm a bit uneasy even during good times.  There, I said it.  I know that isn't always the greatest thing to have to admit -- but I'm sorry with my background, lets face it - life has been very unstable.  However, I am actively learning to trust, to believe in people again, and the one thing that I do trust is God.  This is what I have to focus upon in all matters.  The area's where I've been lacking in my faith are my own fault, I haven't been to church for a variety of (some valid, some not) reasons.  So I'm missing this in my life.  I haven't been reading the word, again, my bad.  So my connection is not what it could be, and I would like for it to be.  I still am prayerful and thankful, daily.  I never completely, ever stop thinking about God.  Nor gratitude --- it's just who I am.  But alas, I've digressed!!

I've met someone wonderful.  Yep.  Me.  The part that is so amazing is that this feels like a gift straight out of heaven.  I won't bore you with all of the ways this man fulfills my prayers and how beautifully creatively God answered my prayer because if you've experienced God answering your prayers, then you already now how amazing that is.  Neither of us intended to meet each other --- it just sort of fell into place.  Beautifully.

Now you might ask what this has to do with trust and faith?  Oh boy.  There are things that we have to learn, journeys that we have to walk out that only can be accomplished when we are in relationship.  Some things just cannot be addressed while your single.  It takes the risk of love and the sacrifice to bring you through to the other side. It feels akin to a baby bird on it's first flight lesson.... or at least it does for me.  I've been single with a few exceptions, for almost 25+ years.  I've become quite comfortable in my single life... being accountable to only me.  It's a whole new world, needing or wanting someone around.  I'm just not used to someone being there.  Honestly -- it almost feels foreign.  It's been just myself and God for so long -- that sometimes I'm not quite sure how to act.  An this is hard to explain to someone that has not been where I've been.  In the river - dying of thirst.  It truly rings true right now how there just comes a time when someone finds you and it's like you have known each other your whole life, even though it's only been a short time.  Also how they just seem to know what you've needed all this time.  It can be rather uncanny at first, and offsetting, yet wonderful.....  It's hard to explain.  I know this is choppy and I apologize, I've not written in some time.

My one and only goal in life has a duality.  My life's focus is to love God back and to allow myself to experience the peace that Jesus gave me in this lifetime .  It's actually a combination of my attempting to understand ( and comprehend) everything that I am in Christ and to let Christ live through my life. I don't always measure up - however - the Lord knows my heart better than anyone ever could, and I rest in that.  One of the most beautiful gifts that Pastor Paul White ever gave me was to learn to "sit-down" on the inside.  Because my Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God -- as long as Jesus is sitting --- what would I have to be concerned with?  Which means precious peace.  He is my all and all, the Author and the Finisher of my faith.  I do write about my struggles here -- but I am human, not super natural.  If a person tells you that they don't have doubts at times, they're not be forthright.

I'm going to have a decision to make.  The man that I care for lives in another state.  At some point quite possibly soon - I'm going to have to decide what I am going to do.  It's going to require much thought, prayer, and faith.  Isn't life interesting when it presents you with something that you've wanted basically all your life?  It is very interesting to watch the opposition come in.  To negate the fears.  Fear of what, being happy?  Therein lies another whole concept........

Alas ...  I am enormously grateful for this "problem"... and I say that with tongue in cheek.  I know it is going to be transformative because of the risk that is involved, I can feel it.  I welcome it.  He is a very wonderful man, and I'm at peace with him.  What seems to be the biggest battle that I fight (as with most things) is within my own thoughts.  I'll keep you posted.

Father God, Thank you for this opportunity  to love someone and to have someone love me for me.  Lord, thank you for answering my prayer so beautifully at the exact moment that you knew was right.  Help me quell my fears Lord, and put to rest my thoughts, help me to listen an hear the holy spirit as it guides and directs me.  I pray for your  perfect will in my life Lord, that I know it and fulfill it.  Thank You Jesus for life, in Jesus name,
Amen.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Faith and Fear

Life is so interesting.  How things evolve and change.  It never ceases to amaze me.  We hold on to ideals and concepts so tightly until life beats us to a pulp, teaching us that what we believed in so solidly was completely the opposite of what we believed.  However, it takes an earth shattering experience to change our thinking.  Do we have to be so hard pressed in our thinking?  I'm learning that no, no we don't.  Change doesn't have to be that hard.  And being open to new ideas and ways of thinking can be applied by a much easier method.

I have this problem with control.  I've had so much powerlessness in my life -- or at least this is what it seems like.  I've had things, events that have happened in life that I really didn't choose, but I did put myself in the environment.  So I had part to play.  I'm not totally innocent.  I try and own what's mine.  Nonetheless, I didn't know what happened was going to happen.  I'm no fortuneteller.  I did not ask for the likes of my mother.  Her and my relationship regrettably shaped a great deal of how I am in relationships, albeit I've had therapy for it for 25 years.  Not bonding with my mother was very difficult because I did not learn how to nurture myself, I did not get affection that I would have normally gotten,  nor the validation, self-esteem was horribly lacking --- and the list goes on and on.  However --- I bid you that I am as whole, happy and at peace today because of Jesus as I know how to be.  Everything that I've came to understand under the teachings of Pastor Paul White in four years has taught me enormous lessons of what and who I am in Jesus Christ.  I'm the one that looses sight of this, on a daily basis and part of the reason that I write.

 My faith.  I struggle with it daily.  It's that trust issue again.  As one can imagine, trust is not something that comes easily for me.  My own mother betrayed me.  Now that's real right there.

It's very unfortunate that my response to deal with life is to fight and feel fear.  I doubt that there's many people, Christians especially that would admit that.  If you read my blog, you would know that I'm not your average Christian.  At all.  I was taught radical Grace.... and it blew my mind because of the immense beauty, the depth of the love of Christ, and the enormity of the Word.  I'm not supposed to feel fear, it's the absence of faith.  I don't have (always) the gifts I know that I can have.  Who's fault do you think this is?  Yep.  Mine.  I've allowed fear to creep back into my life.  I have an anxiety disorder - but I'm not even supposed to say that in grace.  I cannot tell you the number of times that I've been told that Jesus paid for "insert what ever illness here".  I guess I don't know how to be a Grace christian.  Perhaps this is the real problem, because I or my little brain cannot comprehend it all to the point where I am spotless.  I'm Saint-like.  I suppose I still have too much human in me.  Having had such a psychological and therapeutic background does not help me.  It has put me at a fault when it comes to Jesus and what He did (all) at the Cross.  I just have been pounded so hard that everything is my responsibility .  It takes so long to uproot those kinds of beliefs, to let go of that philosophy, and just let God love me into wholeness.  Maybe this is part of why Pastor Paul left so I could begin to dig deeper and find this stubborn root.  Stubborn it is, and I really don't think I'm alone here -- I totally believe that we all struggle with fear and control we just may call it something else.

I am the kind of woman/person that knows them self  pretty well, and what I know doesn't frighten me.  Not anymore.  I've stared most of my (boy I hope) ugliest demons in the face and survived.  I've sat with my inner child and felt her pain, and I've walked with my addiction and I know it's voice.  I've survived long, difficult periods of alone time, and struggled with having to take care of myself during medical procedures alone. There just isn't much that I've not been through that I've not been through, alone.  However, Jesus has always been there right with me, holding me through it.  I know for certain that He has believed in me more than I've believed in Him, and I'm saddened to say that truth.  I have a much greater faith today because of His Word, Pastor Paul, and just life.  When the Word really gets inside you, you know it.  Even when you don't part it's pages.... it's still there, in your heart.

I sincerely hope that this speaks to someone because I know that I've beaten myself up SO much for being afraid.  I've come to understand that it is not that I don't believe in God, or that I lack faith -- it just a part of resistance.  Yes  We like to "think" we are in control of our lives, I think that's a human trait.  I think that is just normal.  However. it causes us a great deal of stress (unnecessary) and and I believe it is the root of almost all illness.  It is not normal to live in 'flight or fight' mode.  That was for survival, and we are so far beyond that - yet we use it to (try) to control ourselves and other people -- our spouses, friends, etc.  If I just worry enough...this won't happen...  That's insane.  I have a friend that constantly says "I know, I know" about prayer, faith, and God - but is so stressed out her hair is falling out.  She is having chest pains, and I'm very worried about her.  Is anything that is under the blood of Jesus worth all of that?  Who made us responsible?  That my guilt and my anguish could affect events, outcomes, and circumstances?  How grandiose?

I did get one thing right in Jesus, even if I am still ever the student.  I remain humble and teachable.  I know that my Jesus is SITTING (because there is no further need of sacrifice) at the right hand of God, and that if He is sitting, I have nothing to worry about.  Essentially - ever.  God isn't going to just take care of the sin debt and leave us to fend for ourselves.  That wouldn't be any kind of parent.  He took care of everything for us, and this is what I need to immerse myself into and embrace to let go of control.  I still growing in who I am in Christ-- and you know what?  That is okay.  Jesus still loves me, He already knew it!  I'm the one just figuring this out.  It took me awhile to understand that only good things come from God... I used to believe that God dished out consequences as well.  I had a lot of undesirable stuff to overcome in my beliefs that had been passed down to me-- that didn't belong to me.  What are you holding on to that was passed down to you?  Have you even thought about it?  It's so crucial to make absolute sure that your beliefs are YOURS.  Not hand-me-downs.

Father God, I love learning.  I praise you for my ability to ponder Your absoluteness.  I praise You for the knowledge that I obtained during my time at Midland, what an honor, Father God.  I am still unveiling truth.  Help me go forward with the truth that I know is inside me, hand in hand, spirit to spirit... as You would have me.  Let the Holy Spirit continue to reveal new things to me, and let me be quiet enough to hear Lord. Thank You Jesus for this beautiful thing we call life.  I am discovering that I am free.
In Jesus's precious Name,
Amen.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Thinking about thinking.....

I actually wonder how many of us do this?  Are we aware that we have resistance to our forward thinking thoughts, our positive energy motivating behaviors, the new intentions that form in our minds?  We do!  It's that nagging voice that pops up and tells you why you can't or shouldn't do what you've just so wonderfully welcomed doing.  It's a instant lash of negative, a knife blade of death to the creative voice in your head.  Do you hear yourself thinking?  Do or have you ever even thought about it?

There are so many times that I just wish I could stop the thoughts that run through my head.  I can intercede upon them, but I've yet to conquer them.  Of course with anything, the first step is awareness... we have to stop and think about our thinking... we have to examine it.  Most people aren't comfortable with this.  It takes guts sometimes.  It really takes an enlightened person, one that can stand outside there own mind.  Yes there can be judgement, it's difficult not to, but eventually (it's taken me years) there becomes an understanding that our thought patterns just are.  It is within my power to correct and modify them, but I don't know that I can ever completely change the ebb of the original flow.  This has led me now to Buddhism.  I'm very interested in the culture, and the mindset.  I like the compassionate way.  I like the peaceful way.  I realize that at 53 this might not be the easiest thing to try to incorporate into my life, but I've ordered a book called, "The Mind and The Way".  I am very tired of living life vulnerable to life's little bumps and bruises, and being attached to this and that.  It is not that I do not want to care.  It is not this, at all.  I want to care at a deep level, but I want to make the best of possible decisions for everyone involved.  I want to be in my higher mind.  I believe this is possible in great moments of peace.

Being attached to things emotionally is pretty much how we are wired.  This is how we 'take things personally' - and have adverse reactions to events that happen in our lives, only to wish we'd responded differently later on.  We just care about stuff.  It's perfectly normal.  However there is a state of being that removes that gut reaction.  It doesn't come over night, and it takes practice as well as much thought.  It will come natural after practice.  I'm talking meditation and mindfulness.  I used to meditate, I did so for three years.  It changed my life.  I don't know to this day why I stopped.  Life is strange that way - and how we can just quit doing something that is producing excellent results in our lives.  It completely transformed me from the inside out.  I no longer reacted to things the same way in life, and evidentially I even looked a bit differently on the outside, according to friends.  Attachments are like burdens, they weigh us down.  We aren't really aware of it, until something happens.  Then we get all bent out of shape.  This is one of the single most telling ways to know that our attachments are out of sink.

I know that this is not going to be easy.  I have new ideas all the time that I don't follow through with.  I am very curious about this however and I have been most of my life.  As my life gets more stressful and I'm handling is less productively -- this seems to be the best possible answer for me.  As much as I detest becoming angry and blasting people, and as opposite as it is of who I earnestly am, this feels like more of a way of life for me.  I am a very calm, collected, and at peace individual -- and it is up to me to make my insides mirror my outsides.  I'm so tremendously tired of wearing the weight of my past, and I want to live in the present.  At least as much as I can.  I am in hopes that this discipline will hone the edges off my sometimes jagged life.  This is my hope.

This doesn't intercede upon my relationship with Jesus Christ, in any size, shape, nor form.  It for me is just a manner of living.  I still and always will be a Christian first and foremost.  Buddhism is for me a way to be a better Christian.  A better human.

I am an avid watcher of Super Soul Sunday of the OWN channel of Oprah Winfrey's station.  I love it.  It is one of the most thought provoking programs on television.  I soak it up like a little child on Sunday mornings.  I watched reruns last Sunday and Thich Nhat Hanh was on her program.  He is a very well know Buddhist monk, and  he's written  several books.  I have one called, "Living Buddha, Living Christ".   I'm just becoming familiar with it.  It is inspiring, and quite deep.  One has to think about their thinking, literally.

I think I've turned a corner with my depression, it feels that way.   I so hope so and that my creative intelligence has returned.  I hope that I once again can be captain of this ship instead of being a captive.  It is so much more refreshing.  It feels much less like being stuck in a mire of incidental life, where you have very little control over what happens to you because you don't have the creative energy nor the energy period.  My fibro is bad enough and what it does to my brain.  Being a prisoner to the depression is hell on earth.  It is a gift to be able to write, even if no one reads it.  It is a passion that I have, that allows me to indulge my higher thought life through a larger vision.  If that makes any sort of sense for anyone.  I get to think about my thinking.  I hope I'm on a shift change here....  one with truly lasting value.   I know that it will challenge me.  Everything worth having really does -- if it's worth anything of value in your life.  I guess as most of us do I'm still searching for meaning at 50+.  There is nothing wrong with this.  Being the kind of person with few personal relationships, no real family-- I have to work harder than most to feel alive.  It's either that or be busy feeling alone.  I don't want to feel alone.  I've done plenty of that.  It's time to get busy with the business of life.

God bless, and constant grace.....  may you find your way of peace and internal bliss in everyday life.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Honesty with Self and a giving heart.



It's been some time since I've written.  Even though I'm on meds, depression has my creative voice.  I'm attempting to manage some unmanageable things -- go to therapy and emotionally deal with life the best way that I know how at this time.  Most days it seems that I don't feel, despite the fact that I try.  I detest this about medication, it makes life really seem like it's not worth living, especially when your a feelings based person such as I am.  Most of what I do feel is surrounded by negative self-worth and berating myself.  I know that this is the depression talking - and the voices of my past.  The  "old-tapes" if you will.  That triggers more depreciation because I wonder to myself if I'll ever break free of my past with my mother.  I suppose after 25+ years of therapy -- the answer might just be, uh, no.   It's okay - I know that I'm a much different person today than I've ever been, and I do catch myself when the negative beatings erupt.  I do stop myself, I do the best I can to feel the emotion that spurred it on, and move on from it.  This is my way of moving beyond it.  I honestly do not know if our core issues every completely heal over.  That's just me, others may differ --- no bonding with your mother is a pretty serious issue ... and I know that it marred me.

I have been muddling along.  I tried to help someone out of the kindness of my heart.  Despite the hesitancy of my mind - I took someone in.  I couldn't bare thinking of this person sleeping in an abandoned house.  This is a female for goodness sake.  Now this is her bed that she's made, a bed made from gambling, addiction, and reoccurring homelessness because of her behavior.  She has the canny ability to get money -- but when she does she gambles it away quicker than she can get it again.  Yes I believe that gambling is an addiction.  However, there is help.  Just like with anything else.  People either choose help, or they don't.  They want to get well, or they're busy staying sick.  Yes, that sounds cruel, but I believe that one either makes up their mind or they don't.  Anyway ...

I let her stay with me for a few days.  She was supposedly sober for a few weeks, but alas, all she did was sleep... for hours on end.  No looking for a job, no different behavior, just irresponsibility.  Basically, same shit, different day.  She left one evening (for the second time) to be with a man that I know is still using -- and I'd had enough.  She stayed out all night, did not communicate with me, and I put her out.  Oh but I'm the one talking to her crazy.  The truth is crazy.   Funny how people who aren't living life by life's rules think the truth is crazy.  But I know that she is a Queen of manipulation.  It's what she does.  It's how she gets her money... and she is very good at it.  The tough part is that I do care for and about her.  I know that she is possibly facing four years in jail.  She has a great deal of pain inside of her.  I don't know exactly how long it's been since she's drawn a sober breath.  Not a real one.  Not where she is dealing mentally, emotionally, and physically with her real emotions?  She may have never!  Perhaps I was expecting too much... particularly where this man is concerned.  She is as addicted to him as she is the drugs, and gambling.  At the very least she is people dependent.  At any rate, I did what I felt I had to do.  There was one thing ...she had access to my home.  Yeah, that was stupid on my part.  So I had to act fast.... and I did...

Live and learn.  The hard part for me is the fall out. The emotions that I had that spilled over from doing what I had to do and the dealings with her.  She did everything in her power to try and make me "feel" like I was a horrible person.  I was the one that had the problems, not her.  Now I know that the is what addicts do -- well because I am one, however let me tell you when the tables are turned and the focus or the brunt of the emotion is at you, it's a different story.  It does make you (make being the operative word here) wonder if you've made the right decision, ultimately questioning yourself.  I knew this was coming.  Yet and still, I experienced the emotions.  I know now (being past it) that I felt this because I've put people through it.  It's not fun being on the other side of the coin.

Life has an uncanny way of showing us things.  Sometimes it's simple things, and sometimes much more complicated.  A few things that I know - I am a caring and kind human.  I often reach my hand out to help, and draw back a stump.  But this is okay with me.  At the very least, I tried.  Nothing ever worth having came without a price.  We never know.  I'd not want to live my life in a bubble of super heavy duty wrap that no one could penetrate.  I'd rather be open to hope, Jesus and His healing powers, and the potential for change.  Some might call me stupid, vulnerable, and risky - but that's okay.  For me to live is to give.  It's just who I am.  Yes at times there's consequences - but for the most part, if chosen wisely, they're's joy.  That's what I'm seeking are those times, when joy is involved.  I know that my faith will lead me there one of these days.  I cannot quit believing.  Unfortunately this usually involves other people, and it subjects me to being hurt at times.  Suffering behind it is .......optional.  I don't have to suffer, I just give it right back to God.  She is in His more than capable hands, once again.  I still took the risk, no matter that it didn't turn out as I'd liked for it too.  She's got a long way to go yet I think to reach bottom, and I hate this for her.  Deep bottoms are hard to come up out of, I know, I've been there.

The really difficult part is lying to ourselves about who and what we really are.  Herein lies the challenge, the task of being brutally honest with self.  Some people run from it their entire lives, while others relish in who they are.  It's a major part of who society is.  Vastly divergent we all are, especially those that are ego driven.  I can't say that I am not at all, however I do try and keep mine in check.  It takes attention, focus, and practice.  Most folks don't even bother.  It's pretty much what makes life worthwhile for me... my clarity of mind, motivation, and purpose in life.  I realize that there are plenty others that could care less.  For me, however it is my life force.  It's been brought about by multiple trips to ground zero (if you will allow me) and starting over with nothing, time, and time again.  It humbles you - tremendously.  A person takes very little for granted when facing those kind of new starts.  I'm not here to say that I'm perfect by any means, but I try and stay aware, and focused - and alive to life.  I think used very lightly it's called: BEING PRESENT.  It's such a much more focused way to live as an anxiety driven sufferer, and very grounding.  It's for me all the way back to the word... Grace.  The grace of a new day, a new experience, a new hope.  As we live "expectantly" - anything is possible in this wonderland that we call life.  If I can do it with these pain levels, and my demons -- anyone can.  All you have to do is start where you are.  Watch for miracles - they happen everyday, only if we're open to them.  Be open.

This is a new day filled with new adventures!  Get out there and see what Jesus has in store for you!!!
God Bless!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Pain of Becoming.



It seems like that no matter what age I reach I continue to run head on in to these precipices.  I cross these paths where I have to move forward yet I'm not quite sure how.  Some days I curse the fact that I'm such a deep dweller and the things that propel my mind.  What I'd give sometimes just to be able to shut it off, unplug, and take a respite from it.  Yet I cannot, or at least do not know how.  I suppose I really wouldn't have it another way in truth.  It is very taxing.  If only my head and my heart could converge.  Perhaps then my behavior would be in congruence.

I had my yearly evaluation yesterday and it's had me in a tailspin every since.  I've been up for hours after only sleeping a few.  The man that did the eval was very good and hit on some very valid points, things that I'd not considered -- but true of my life.  It boggles my mind that strangers can see things that we cannot even when we're willing.

I've written of my distant, conflicted relationship with my mother.  I've not ever really delved into it fully because I get quite the feedback when I am totally honest in what my experience was growing up with her.  Society has some hardcore beliefs about mothers, and my life example doesn't fit, at ALL.  So if your the least bit touchy about mothers, nows your chance to opt out because it's going to get difficult in this particular blog.

My mom is narcissistic.  All that has ever mattered to her is what she wanted, needed and was going to get.  This is how I grew up.  I was not wanted as a child, I was told at a very young age that I was a mistake.  I was even told "how I was conceived."  I intrinsically knew that my mother did not love me.  Don't ask me how I knew, I just did.  She was very jealous of me with my father, and would use my relationship with him to get what she wanted.  She began doing this at an early age -- and the she'd blame me for being able to do it.  She's tell me to go and tell my dad that I wanted something that she wanted, and when dad would do it, she'd kick me in the teeth for getting what she wanted done, done.  This went on from dinners out to buying houses to cars.  I couldn't win.  One can imagine what this did to me.  All I wanted was for my mom to love and accept me, which I never got - and never have had a real relationship with her.  I've just had to grieve it.  It wasn't until I was her 24 hour caregiver that I had my feelings validated when she admitted that she hated me when I was little.  I'd sensed it, and I had been right.

One can only imagine what circumstances like this does to a small child.  Of course I thought it was all my fault.  That's just what kids do.  I internalized it all.  I was defective.  I was incapable of seeing her flaws, all I could do was feel the rejection and abandonment and it had to be me.  I know that this is why my addiction took off like gangbusters at such an early age.  I was ripe for it, I had gunshot wounds all over me.

Now that was a long time ago  - but even after many, many, years of therapy some aspects of those dynamics still plague me.  I become too dependent upon people because I do not trust myself.  I am still healing.  When I lost my dad in 2010 and all hell broke loose,  I almost lost it.  Dad was the one person in my life that I knew loved me unequivocally and without condition.  Mother was very conditional.  That to me isn't love.  It's control.

What I said about my mom is only part of what it was like, there is much more but for sakes of privacy, I won't go into it all but just know I was one perpetually conflicted young lady.  I was in no size, shape, nor form ever taught how to be my own best friend.  I still am not good at that.  I can scorn the crap out of myself but not know how to be gentle with myself.  I did not mirror it.  That's what parents do and that's how we learn.  I did not get that.

Do you know what it's like trying to cling to someone that really can't stand you?  It's horrible.  It's excruciating.  That is what the relationship with my mother felt like.  I was pushed away, over and over, and over, again.  Children don't understand this.  They just keep trying.  Shoot adults don't understand sometimes.  Especially when it's a basic need.  So what do we do?  We TRY HARDER!!  We hurt ourselves in the process.  Sometimes very deeply.  I know today that I have hundreds of scars from that relationship.

I'm still healing.  I always will be.  The very sad part of this is that I meet (in relationships) people just like my mother.  People that reject me, that tell me in one way or anther that I don't matter - and that are narcissistic (most of the time).  I really despise this.  We are attracted to what is familiar..... unfortunately.

Yesterday brought up some old issues of my dependency on people for strength.  I need to find the courage and confidence inside myself first and foremost.  The problem being, I'm not sure how to do this.  Oh I know how to get by - but not how to excel even when things are tough.  I don't know that I have a strong inner core without a safety net.  God has always been with me, but I haven't always trusted Him either.  I'm ashamed to say that.  Hence, it is the truth.  There's always that thought in the back of my head --- perhaps He'll fail me too.  I know that this is awful but with my history - I always wait for the other shoe to fall.

My debacle is what do I do with this information?  It has my guts torn up, and my head spinning.  I've  known all of this, but after yesterdays eval and the information that I gleaned it's all fresh again.  I feel like I'm right back at square one.  I know that I'm not but it sure feels like it.

I'd taken a vow sometime back that my mom wasn't going to rule my life any longer.  I wish it were that easy because this thing is multilayered.  I've come a long way at healing many of the parts that she damaged - but it would seem that I'm down to the core of this issue.  When I can't figure something out I get frightened, plain and simple ; fear evokes anger in me.  I suppose it's a powerlessness of sorts, and I'll be damned if I'm going to have another area in my life where I'm powerless.  I'm just not.

The bible tells me that I'm not of this world.  It tells me that I have an heavenly Father now and a new family, the family of God.  I loose sight of my faith when I get into this stuff.  I think that I have to work all of this our on my own, and the truth is that I just don't.  God will direct my paths.  I am responsible for my effort, and my attitude towards the healing and change.  However Jesus is the ultimate authority of it all.  I don't know why I went through what I did in my family.  I suppose in the long and short of it, it doesn't matter.  All that matters is that I have the faith to make it through this, and to learn to be good to myself.  Yes it was awful and I've only written a small portion of what it was like.  Emotional blackmail is never productive on either party.  Children are not to be used as pawns in relationships - EVER.  This has been an issue that has haunted me through out my life.  However I know that God can and has been healing me.

I don't hate my mom.  I never really have, what would that solve?  WE only can do what we know how to do.  Somewhere in there she was only doing what she knew how to do..... or she was responding to a truth that she believed.  Somehow she felt that my father cared more for me that he did her.  She acted accordingly.... it doesn't make the things that she did right, it will never make them right.  Yet, I have to look beyond the symptoms of the person to the spirit.  She wasn't all bad.  She had tons of insecurities.  That is what fueled her.  I have them, and I know how I respond when I'm under that pressure.  She's tried every religion in the book.  I so wish that I could have introduced her to grace and it could've  stuck.  She might have had a chance to heal too.   She is very tortured to this day in a nursing home, with dementia.  I go see her from time to time and it's okay.  Since we talked in 2012 we're closer now.  She acknowledged that she was a bad mother to me.  I guess I kind of needed that in a way - but I think she needed to say it more.  I feel for her.  I have compassion for her.  This lets me know that I've come a distance with this because I used to really despise her.  Thank God for answered prayers of forgiveness.  I never would have dreamed that I could have been her caregiver for eight months but I did it.  I grew too - but leaps and bounds.  I forget that.

This life thing is hard sometimes with it's emotional ups and downs.  Issues ebb and flow like the crooks and crannies of a river.  I just have to slow myself down and remember that everything takes time, and trusting God.  Maybe this isn't something that I can do myself - but that the Lord is going to have to direct in my life.  Perhaps I'm just going to have to be patient.  And trust.  That's something that I don't do well, trust.  Safety isn't an easy thing for me, I have always made things happen in my  life.  This time, it's just not going to work.

Father God remove from me the bondages of my past.  Free me from all dependencies on people that can fail me and direct me to depend solely upon you.  I give You the emotional wreckage I carry daily - because I cannot bare it alone.  I crave Your peace as You have given it to us.  In Jesus precious name, Amen.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Pain, separation, grief, and grace.

I'm not the type of person that looses people well.  I just don't.  I guess none of us do, depending upon the relationship.  There's varying degrees of loss and it's affect on us.  We loose people in life, I suppose it just happens.  This does not make it any less painful, or easier to overcome.

As with anything it's in the perception.  As I was writing I thought to myself, unless it's a death, you don't really "loose" people, they are just in different places - and the relationship just changes or alters... but we still have to psychologically adapt.  This is where I've been, trying to adapt to such changes and it has been one devil of a road.  I thought I could handle it better, "thought" being the operative word here -- than what I actually did.  Sometimes people have such an impact upon us - that we do not actually realize the depth until they are no longer in our lives.  That has been the case with me.  It is so painful now that I actually don't want to write about it.  I know that I must, so I forge on.

My beloved Pastor of about four years left our church in April of this year.  I thought I was going to be okay.  However in the last few months, I've found out that I have not been able to handle this - and I've really digressed.  The thing that has taken me so was how this has hit me.  The denial that I had about it all and how the grief has surfaced, has really taken me by surprise.  As much as I know about grief from the loss of my beloved father -- and a close friend, we (I have learned) never really know all that there is to know about how grief affects us.  The long and short of it is that I've been devastated.  What I don't know is - was it because of the was I handled it, or was it just how it presented itself in my life?  Well, I know that part of it I have to own, for my dysfunction is part in parcel.

There's only been a couple of people in my life that have majorly impacted me.  Ah, there's been a few that have given me great gifts, but when someone gives you something so precious that you have an internalization of truth, it's impossible to explain -- as it should be.  I've written blog after blog of what this man has given me in grace.  Knowledge, beauty, and truth that was there all the time, I just couldn't see it without his eyes.  I also know now too - as I've struggled my entire life to believe that God really does love me, (as a lot of us do) what an inordinate gift from God this was.  The teaching that I received, the fellowship, the friendship, and the honor of this mans presence was a gift straight from God.  A gift so precious how could I not grieve?  It was likened to a velvet box straight from heaven above with a vision of Jesus like I'd never seen Jesus.  Something that I'd yearned for my entire life.

I was in a horrible situation when I found Midland Church.  I was the caregiver for my Mother who has dementia, under the Hitler like rule of my OCD brother who is a rage-a-holic.  I had been evicted from my own father's house by my brother because I wouldn't pay bills and be a 24-7 caregiver.  He and my other brother stripped the house of food, and anything that they thought I might need or could use prior to putting me out.  These are nasty dysfunctional people, who have had hatred towards me my entire life.  I moved in one day.  I'd been going to a Baptist church nearby - and praying reverently.  God delivered me.  He completely answered my prayers - and led me to Midland and Pastor Paul White's grace church.  I'd been under such condemnation, shame, and I was physically ill from the abuse.  God gave me a miracle.  Grace is a miracle.

I used to leave Midland church after my pastor preached elevated off the ground.  Many times I've floated out of that church... so taken by the vision of Jesus that I would never be the same.  I learned to rest, and be a peace no matter what may come in my life - because my Jesus SITS at the right hand of God.  Pastor taught me, and I searched for myself -- what the scriptures reveal.  I was a shame based person, but no more.   This was my gift from God.  However the message of grace is so needed in the world, Pastor evangelized more and more.  I knew that he would leave eventually and that day finally came.  He taught me that everything has a season.   Yet and still, letting go is so hard.  Who would want to let go of something so glorious?  No one.  I'd gotten quite close with Pastor, and would go and see him from time to time - his anointing so great I wanted to be near him.  I'd share my truths about life, and he'd listen.  I felt like one of his flock.  It was a really beautiful time in my life, and it felt safe.  I haven't felt safe much in my life.  Especially not after my dad died.  I suppose this is why I clung to Pastor so.

I am not happy with myself but I also know that grief will sometimes bring out the worst in us.  I've made some mistakes - as I've been trying to find Jesus by myself.  I may never find him like that again, and I have to accept this.  I still cry, hard.  It's okay.  It was a precious time in my life.  I learned so much.  I wish I knew all of the answers but if I did I wouldn't need God. (Lend not on your own understanding)  I haven't told pastor how hard this has been for me, nor the mistakes that I've made.  However I know that he'd tell me that God wasn't mad at me and that Jesus still loved me no matter what.  I don't know why it is that when I'm hurting I run the opposite way from God, and some how think that He can't possibly understand - my goodness what Jesus went through for us.  I guess we dehumanize Jesus and God all the time.  Maybe it's natural - but I don't like it.  I get angry with myself for vacillating between my flesh and my spirt man.  Yet I know that even the apostle Paul said that the things that he did not want to do he did... and the things that he wanted to do, he did not.  I'm human.

Grieving is difficult no matter what the loss.  I watch people go through it all the time.  I've been through it and some of my crappiest behavior comes out.  I don't like this.  God knows it.  I'm just so thankful, grateful that His mercy is new every morn.  I'm so grateful that I didn't fall back into my old behaviors any further than I did.  It was bad enough.  I'm back where I need to be, or getting there - and healing.  I have to remember that I was trying to help someone when I got lost.  I just wasn't strong enough at the time to help.  Boy, I really dislike being vulnerable at times.  It can be the root of all evil.  People sense that I think, and I know that satan does - and that is all the credit that you'll ever hear me give him.  Christ defeated him!!!

These last few days have been a blessing.  Yeah, I hurt.  It hurts a lot.  I miss my pastor so badly.  He may never know what he and his message meant to me after a life of shame, guilt, and remorse.  He is just a man, a very special man indeed - sent to me as a direct gift from Jesus Himself.  It's going to take me a while to get over this.  However, God did not take away the gift.  This is what I have to know.  Things change - and I meant what I said when he went away -- others need what he gave me.  I'm not selfish, and I want the grace message to be spread throughout the world.  I'd never begrudge someone of what I've received.  People out there are praying that same prayer that I did - and need him too.

I will forever be a student of life and the Lord.  I'm hard headed.  I'm lazy too - to an extent.  Pastor had fed me Jesus like no other in my entire life.  The four years I went to Midland church were unlike anything I've ever experienced, and will probably again (not to limit God).  However, I must now seek to find.  If I am to have the kind of relationship that I truly want with Jesus then I have to  pay homage to it.  It's just like any other relationship, it takes dedication.  Not works, but I can't just sit around and wish for it, like God is some kind of Genie.  No it takes devotion for me.  It's more than just prayer time, which is important no less, but there's more to it that this.

 It's really simple, what you put in is what you get out.  If I want to know Him more then I must seek Him out.  It's not rocket science and it's not magic.  I know that grace is what holds me together.  It is a free gift and it will always be there.  I am the daughter of the Most High, and I am made righteous in Jesus Christ.  This is my identity, this is what Pastor Paul taught me.  The grief caught me off guard, but I know now what I need to do.  I totally believe that everything is our teacher, especially the most painful stuff.  Pastor's teaching continues, and I watch - no it's not the same as when I could get a hug and hear him tell me that he loves me - but I know this in my heart.  I just have to trust that things are the way that they are because this is what the Lord wants.  I'll see him again.  It's just that for now he's about my Father's business.  Actually I wouldn't have it any other way.  I've made some mistakes, but never to fret, they're covered by grace.  I just forgot who I was for a little while because of the grief.  Praise be to my Jesus, because of what He did at the cross - my spirit is flawless!


Monday, July 27, 2015

Medication madness.

I firmly consider myself to be a spiritual person.  If you've read my blog - you know that at one time in my life, I was very deeply into the grace movement.  Since my pastor moved, I've been struggling greatly and this doesn't say much for my faith.  Although I've had to learn the hard way that faith isn't about feelings --- I don't know if everyone gets that.  Faith is about believing, and living your life in accordance to that.  I'm not sure that this was how I was raised though.  But I digress.

I've been on three different medication changes in the last three months for depression and anxiety.  It makes for quite the difficulty in balance in one's life - emotionally, mentally, and physically.  If anyone had any doubt about whether or not these are serious issues, depression alone has cost me sleep (years of lost sleep) physical changes, mental stability, ability to eat food, vomiting, and uncharacteristic aggressiveness.  One feels like a slave to it's affects - and really we are.

I was diagnosed with Major Depression Disorder  in 1991 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  I'd just finished counseling school at St. Mary's Campus of the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Mn.  I couldn't find a (counseling) job to save my life.  My student loans were coming due.  I was working two jobs.  All I could dream about was saving the world.  I was on fire with the passion of doing my dream job.  I was sober, and had been since June 1, 1986.  I graduated in May  1991.  I was on fire.  I had no reason to become depressed.  I had fulfilled a dream, I'd been an excellent student.  I had far exceeded my own expectations of myself - with a few bobbles.  I took one C because of a Professor didn't like a paper that I'd written and I refused to redo it.  All else A's and B's.  3.8 GPA.  It blew my mind.  I had almost failed high school.  The only thing that I excelled in was shorthand and band.  I never really tried  - I was always high.  I started getting high when I was 11.  I took my first drink at the ripe age of eleven.  I was smoking pot in 6th grade.   I was using pills addictively by age 14.


Depression hit me hard.  I did not know what was happening to me, even though I was educated.  It's strange like that. I utilized every tool that I knew -- I was going to AA and I almost begged people to tell me, help me but no one had any answers it seemed.  I was in a relationship and it made it a living hell.  I was on prozac  and various other medications and did not have prescription insurance.   You can imagine how that went over.  The side affects are always worrisome.  It's a tradeoff.  You either be depressed or live with the side affects.  I had eight different med changes in the beginning.  It was a living nightmare.  People do not even begin to understand what depression is like.  It is much like your own Psyche betrays you.  Your thoughts lie to you.  Your brain begins to tell you things that aren't true.  They aren't nice things.  You have to fight not to believe them.  It's a living hell.

I'm at the same turn, very grateful for my meds.  I've always been one to take my medication religiously.  I guess it's as simple as wanting to be happy.  I have a friend who is very depressed right now.  He has been for several years - he believes all of his life.  I don't know that I agree with this.  I remember a time when he was happy.  At least he seemed to be.  He has no idea how my heart goes out to him - I've tried everything I possibly can to reach him.  He just won't budge.  I've never known someone like him of such steel will.  He will not change.  Just refuses.  It' such a shame.  He lives with suicidal thought every day.  I can't help him.  I sure hope God does, soon.  It's awful watching him suffer.

My last debacle has been this last three months (or so) with these last three meds.  I was extremely nauseated for a month and a half and threw up several times.  Despite they're best efforts to control it.  The problem with that med was it made me a little manic (if there is such a thing).  Oh I had lots of energy like I'd not ever had before but my spending and behavior got out of control.  I did things that were completely out of character for me.  Even as I write this, finding my ability to write is a sign that I'm getting better and I know now that I'm going to be okay.  It's awful to feel out of control.  People don't understand it and they judge it.  We fear what we don't understand.  It's just a normal reaction for most.  One must be fairly enlightened to not be afraid of something they don't understand.  Either that or they've been down a road or two themselves.

I sure hope this new med doesn't make me feel like a zombie.  I hate that.  I'm still in the increase process.  So far so good.  Man, a road or two I've been down folks.  I'm just grateful to be coming out of the woods.  This particular med does have a few side affects, they all do, but they aren't bad - at least I can feel.  That's the one that kills me, when I can't feel normal feelings.  I've been on some that have changed me so much that said friends have told me "you're not yourself!"  I didn't even know.   That's scary.   I actually spend several years on some meds that weren't right for me.  I did not know.

Depression is hard to explain.  There's times when it comforts me.  There's lots of times I abhor it.  The thing is it's always there.  It never has totally gone away for me.  It' like a second skin.  Overshadowing my life.  Affecting my day to day.  With some meds it doesn't affect me much at all and others more - but it is a constant companion.  I think back now, and I think it's always been there. It just got really bad in 1991.  I'm very grateful for meds - as much as they are difficult at times.  I miss sleep the most.  I only sleep about 3-4 hours a night most nights because of one of my meds and it's been this way for years.  I've taken every sleeping pill in the book.  I know that it highly affects my memory and ability to do things, but I don't know what to do about it -  I have to have it.  That one is surely  a love hate relationship!

The truly hard part is the emotions.  Some of the meds make you feel numb.  It's really hard to feel connected to God when you're numb.  That's why I opened this up about faith and feelings.  It took me a long time to learn that and with help from Pastor Paul.  I understand it now, but I won't tell you that feelings do help faith.  It helps to feel hopeful.  That's for sure.  There is nothing like those goose pimple moments to let you know your alive.  There is nothing like feelings of awe and wonder.  I'm all for those.   I love that.  I'm beginning to feel a lot better despite lack of sleep.  It feels so good to write.  It's actually beginning to feel good to be alive again and that's what it's all about.  Thanks be to God for getting me through this, even though it's not over yet.  I've still got things to face.  Yet, somehow today it feels like it might just be okay.   It doesn't seems as devastating as it did yesterday. Praise God for progress.

Life sure feels like that sometimes... despite the physicality of it all, I don't know that I'd change any of it - it makes me, me.  I suppose what matters in the end is progress, even if it's a step or two forward and three back.  I keep getting up.  We all know what Confucius  says - "Fall down seven times, get up eight."  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Consequences.

People blow my mind.  The older that I get, and the longer that I live it seems as I let people into my life - they tear a path right through it.  They seems to have no qualms about ripping my emotions or my heart into screeds.  Perhaps it's the type of people that I meet, but I cannot figure out how it is that someone is to know a person is destructive prior to getting to know them.  Oh, of course there's little inclinations along the way - and this is my fault for not taking heed.  Perhaps this is why the world is so tightly nit, and shut down.  It's dangerous out there.

Let me back up.  When my pastor left for California - I was (putting it mildly) devastated.  After having been fed weekly and bi-weekly by one of the most beautiful grace preachers in all of my life, and to have that just taken away - I was not prepared.  I thought I could handle it.  'Thought' being the operative word.  I have not handled it well AT ALL.  I've had a deep sense of abandonment, and a buried sense of grief.  The grief was so deep that it would only pop up at certain times.  It would be very cathartic when it did, but it would shock me, and all the while I've been going through several medication changes.  I think I've been working so hard at "being okay" which I have to do because of the chronic pain that I have, that I just wasn't feeling at all.  This is a big no-no for me.  It is very important for me to stay in touch with my feelings.  I've not been able to write at all.  This toppled with a medication that had me throwing up everyday for over a month did not help.

I did not know what to do with this grief that felt somewhat inappropriate.  By this I mean, I'm not supposed to get that attached to a human being.  You know what?  I did.  He's not just any human being - he was my pastor.  I relied on him for many things.  I use to go to him for counsel, spiritual feedings, and truth.  Not everyone, or just anyone can give you - or will give you that.  It was a huge hole in my life.  It still is.  Somehow in there I lost Jesus...  I don't even like admitting that - but it is the truth.  I didn't loose Him, I lost sight of Him.  We never loose Jesus.  Jesus lives inside of me, but I was grief stricken, and heartbroken.  When I feel like this it is really hard for me to sense the Holy Spirit, and I usually end up distancing myself --- only making the circumstance worse.  I am then running on feelings, and I am a mess.  I spend to much, I make bad decisions.  When I do that - I feel bad, and I usually end up doing even worse.  It was at this point that I met my new friend.  Oh, was I ripe for it.  As I look back now I know unequivocally that the dark one knows my vulnerabilities and surely had me right were he wanted me.  And we all know that he comes to steal, kill, and destroy.

She began by complimenting me.  Then came the sad story of needing help.  She got me hook, line, and sinker.  I referred her to the place where I go for counseling.  She took the number and said she's always wanted to go.  I don't know if at this point that was a lie, or what  - but she had no intention of going to counseling.  She's a thief.  That's right, the kind of woman that has three men funding her at one time.  Dozens of lies, fraud doesn't faze her, as long as she gets her money.  I've never seen anything like it.  I got caught up in that nightmare.... for a little while.  It didn't take me long to figure out what was going on there.  She was good though, and for a while, I was attracted to her, her money and her life.  Before I knew the depth of it, I even kind of envied her ability to manipulate these men, and get money at the drop of a hat.  The funny thing that happened though is what I think happens with the rest of the people that she gets involved with is that I began to have feeling for her too.  She says it's a curse, but she sure utilizes it to her advantage.  She's unlike anything, or anyone I've ever seen, a master at her craft.  They're always easy on the eyes.

It will be a long time before I let anyone else into my life.  Despite my loneliness.  I've got consequences from the very brief time that I was associated with her.  I even tried to back away from her before I was able, and told her straight up that she was too dangerous for me.  I guess she'd developed feelings for me too because she called crying saying that she missed me and I was sucked back in.  Only for a short time, but long enough to know I wasn't strong enough to stay healthy and be involved with her.  The sad thing is it was so opposite of who I am, it makes me so sad.  Now I have to clean up what I've done.

Sometimes I wonder at 53 if I'll make mistakes the rest of my life.  I guess I will.... to a certain degree.  I guess we all do.  I know that there are things that I 'm not dealing with.  I've not dealt with them in years, and it's time.  I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason, and I guess there was a reason that this happened.  I don't much like it nor what it has brought to my life, nor do I even know all the ramifications yet.  To be completely honest, I'm frightened.  This is what happens when you do things that you know are outside of your comfort zone.  There's consequences.  So I may need friends, but I don't need friends that badly.  I sure did not know.  However, when I did I didn't get out fast enough.  It's amazing how quickly bad behavior can take you over (me anyway) and feel good for awhile.  I'm such an addict.  I've never made any qualms about that.  I messed up --- I messed up bad.  The ramifications of it may be far reaching.  Beyond what I can imagine.  I'm devastated.

I was honest with my Psych and now I'm looking at treatment again - and I've been spending like mad.  I've got a spending problem.  I'm going to blog another post about what I've been through with medication but I think I was a bit manic there for awhile as I was on my second med change (I'm on my third).  This is so hard.  Oh well.  When you push the boundaries - thing happen that are out of your control.  I have to keep telling myself that no matter what happens it's only temporary.  God's still got me.  Yeah, I screwed up.  It's not the end of the world.  I have to get back to my faith.  If you pray - say one for me......

I still believe in mankind I alway will.  It's just who I am.  The part that was so hard for me to let go of with her is that I knew why she was doing what she was doing.  It was all motivated by pain.  She was in so much pain most of the time she couldn't even sit still for more that 15-20 minutes at a time.  She'd just lost her sister and her nephew (in a house fire)  and didn't have a clue how to deal with that grief added on to a lifetime of damage.  My problem is my heart aches for these kinds of folks.  I am one of these folks.  I've just been fortunate enough to get help with my history and the madness that I have gone through.  Not everyone is lucky/blessed like that and they simply run through their lives on total empty.  I tried to help my friend.  The draw was too strong and I got sucked down in to her pain.   My pain obviously was showing too.  I don't judge her, don't ever get me wrong, I don't agree with a lot of what she did and does, but I cannot judge her.  I've done to much myself to ever judge.  Now I just find myself crying and praying for her because she isn't a bad person.  She is just very misguided and needs help.  I wish I could have provided that help instead of caving the way that I did.  That makes me sad.  The fact that I have gotten such consequences so quickly lets me know actually that God does love me. I cannot tell you why or how long it's going to take me to get that.

I'm the lucky one.  If I have to go to treatment, I guess I will.  I've made an appointment with a new therapist to deal with somethings that should have been dealt with when my dad passed.  I listen to people tell me things that did not fit with what I needed.  I also have to finish this grief and figure out what to do with this hole in my life.  If people only knew what all I've been through - it's pretty astonishing really.  When I look back God's always made a way.  He's made a way when there was none.  He'll do it again.  Of this, I'm sure.  Consequences, or not.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Power

http://www.astro.com/cgi/atxgen.cgi?btyp=cf  This link is to a color test that will give you an emotional and psychological assessment.  It was spot on for me.  Give it a shot!  It was very detailed  and quite interesting.   


Power.  It's an interesting concept.  It can spring from all kinds of sources.  I guess I don't feel like I've had much in my life ~ awe, at one time I suppose.  I've had to, being a person that has chronic pain, fibromyalgia  assorted oddities, addiction, childhood trauma, I suppose one could say my life has been mostly about recognizing my powerlessness verses finding power in my life.  Not to come off as some weak, sniffling, victim - because I'm far, far- from that.  I suppose what I'm attempting to communicate is that I've never been a person that's been power hungry.  I do know that type.  I've just been one to be mindful of the soul.  I'm a heart person.  I'm a spirit and a hope junkie.  My life has been about getting back up -- dusting myself off and starting over, as many times as that takes.  

It's hard to find a sense of  power in depression.  Finding your sense of self is hard.  It's in there, but buried deep in the masses.  It's actually so complex it's impossible to simply express.  The ebb and flow of the healing path is one peppered with good choices, and some behaviors that seemed like a good idea ...at the time.  This is my greatest challenge.  Instant gratification.  It's been a problem of mine for a long time.  I know when I'm doing it, before I'm going to -- and while I'm in it -- but I don't change it.  It's one of the stickier ones, that I have difficulty changing.  I guess I like it - and this always is hard to change behaviors, even if they're consequences.  I'm broke all the time.  It's my own fault. To a degree.  I'm a "stuff" junkie -- self confessed.  I love makeup.  LOVE IT.  It makes me feel good.  So I order it, or get it locally - or "virtually" shop for it.  LOL.....  I salivate over it!!!!  I just buy some and I want more!!!  It's ridiculous.  It could certainly be worse.   

I suppose we all have things that make us happy.  I don't have people or  people nearby, so I shop when I can.  It fills a big void.  I have made some really crazy choices though.  I suppose difficult times bring about abhorrent repercussions.  I'm my own worst critic. 

I don't like the word "try".  I've didn't allow my clients (when I was counseling) to use the word.  It's like "trying" to pick up a pencil, you either pick it up or you don't.  It's a lot like Yoda -- "Do- there is no try".  I believe in that little dude.  

I am trying to heal.  The best way I know how. Honestly it's a challenge each and everyday.  Maybe I've softened since those days - and yes I need to exercise self-control, but I'm not getting high.  I don't think a new  eyeshadow pallet is going to really hurt me.  It sure does make me happy though.  In all reality with as much as I have to deal with, it's not a bad vice.  I'm not hurting anyone - just my finances.  Everything needs to be about balance -- that is what I want.  I pray for this -- a steady balance of  everything, God, self, people, life, money --- if it would just line up.  I wish money didn't control everything.  It makes me sad.  

On the other hand, my job is going better - and I'm getting more hours, which means that I get to see people and interact more.  This is always a good thing.  Still waiting on that Knight (horse optional).  I've prayed and I know he is out there.  I know, that  I know, that I know.  God answers prayer.  I am not meant to be this alone.  

Things are turning around.  I feel it.  Good things are happening.  God is answering my prayers, I just can't see it all yet.  I thank Him in advance for all that He is doing, and has done!  
Thank those of you that are taking this journey with me..... 
Grace and Peace to you all,
Gina


Saturday, June 20, 2015

I miss friends

It's hard for me to admit when I struggle.  I'm not sure why.  Everyone struggles.

For me it is loneliness.  It is nearly impossible to make friends nowadays.  People are so distanced by phones, iPads, whatever the latest device.  It's like a coat of armor.  People carry them around like an impenetrable shield that protects them from real life.  At least this is how I see it and how it feels trying to get close to someone.  I've had the opportunity in the last few months to get somewhat close to a few people to only be disappointed once again.  I think these devices are mostly to blame.  They give us a false sense of security.  I mean it's a damn machine.... for crying out loud.

I feel much like a person so alone in this world, that I must be the only one.  Yet I know that this cannot be true.  I know that if I'm going through this, there must be others.  It's just how life works.  I see other people with all these people, family, and friends in their lives -- and I'm so taken by it.  I want to scream at them to not take it for granted -- because so many people do.  Few folks truly comprehend what it is like to spend endless hours alone, wishing, waiting, desiring accompaniment.  I only wish I knew what to do?  I've even thought of going to bars -- if I thought that would help -- but I KNOW that isn't an answer for me.  That would only make my life worse than it is... but it feels pretty bad right now.  Oh I'm not depressed, I'm oppressed.  For what reason, I have no clue.  It just seems to get worse and worse.  I pray and cry -- and nothing changes.  I've befriended people and given my all -- only to find that when I need a friend, they don't know how to be one.  This is a sad fact of this world.

I even understand this form of shallowness.  I can accept it and move on -- but move on to what?  Move on to where?  Further depths of sorrow and depression?  Feeling increasingly more and more hopeless?  I hate even writing these thoughts much less having them.  I am a very hopeful person.  I dispensed hope for a living.... but yet -- here I am with little of nothing and almost no one in my life.  The kicker is I don't know why?  People tell me I'm an inspiration.  People tell me that I'm the person that can help others change their lives -- but I cannot heal my own?  I cannot make people want to be in my life!  Are people so leery now that they won't even give someone a chance at friendship?  I'd had plans with one person from work -- after work and then I just totally got blow off - and for some reason unbeknown to me, I didn't even deserve a call back?  Are people that rude?  I guess they are.  People have no intentions upon letting anyone into their inner circle.  This is how shut down the world has become because of technology.  This is why someone can lie bleeding on the sidewalk and people step over them with no thought of helping.  We're walking dead.  I'm of a mind that technology is to blame.  It's the one thing that's between us.  I don't know too many real people that exist anymore.  Oh there's plenty that act "as if"... but they're not real either.  It makes me sick inside.

I wonder what this does to God.  If I'm affected emotionally and impacted negatively by this -- I wonder how He feels?  I talked to a guy yesterday that said he didn't believe in anything.  How sad.  No faith -- things just are.  Wow.  I'd been dead a long time ago.  Seriously.

As I fight this depression and anxiety -- and I do it with just God and I - it's very difficult.  I have one friend.  Oh I have professionals.  That isn't the same.  They're paid to talk to me.  It isn't as if they don't care, they do but you understand.  They're compassion can only go so far.  All of this is affecting my confidence, my self- esteem, my hope for living.  How could it not?  These are basic needs.  I don't feel like I belong anywhere.  This is a destitute feeling.  I have very distant family - and one friend.  I'm strong - but not that strong.

So those of you that read my blog -- I ask for your prayers.  Sincerely.  This has been going on for a long time.  Usually I can handle it --- but I'm growing weary.  Between the pain (physical and emotional) the depression, the anxiety and the sense of separation that I feel from the world  --  it's beginning to feel like I'm separated from God too.  Just void.  Empty.  The hope junky has giving away all she's got.  I know how sad that sounds, and please don't mistake it for self-pity.  Pity it is not, it is just reality.  We were not created to be alone like this.  We all need a sense of community.  It just baffles my mind how I am and the degree in which I'd go to help my fellow human --- and what I really get in return.  Baffles me.  Not that I expect people to be like me - because I do not - I'm smarter that that.  I do "hope" for people to be however, human.  To have drives, desires, needs, and wants just like me.  Maybe the world has changed so much that this just ins't true anymore.  Maybe I'm the odd one out.  To be brutally honest:  I just don't know anymore.

Friday, June 5, 2015

I am not alone.

I'm struggling still.  It is difficult too because it makes the pain that I have harder to manage -- and my anxiety has been through the roof.  As I attempt to learn and function at this new job, it feels impossible some days.  I vacillate between feeling like I'm going to get fired one day - to "maybe I got this", the next.  I'm just damned unstable at this particular time in my life -- and I abhor it.  The effects of the depression make everything harder --- EVERYTHING.  I'd just as soon give up - but it's just not in me.  Besides the fact that I'm no quitter.  I mean we don't really have that option, now do we?  I've never seen it listed!
   
                                                              1.  Keep going
                                                              2.  Give up

Thank God I haven't lost (completely) my sense of humor.....


I have many that wonder (or will) where my faith is at a time like this.  All I know to say is, I don't know.  When you can't feel anything, and you grapple for every little morsel of stimulus from life - all the while feeling much akin to a dead stump... it's kind of difficult to access your faith.  I know in my head that God is still there.  I even know in my heart as much -- and I have brief moments when I can emotionally grasp something  close.  However there's the void.  The void that I'm living in.  Trust me - I full well know that faith isn't about feelings.  Albeit -- depression wipes everything out.  Alas, I'm sure that this is exactly how satan likes it.  For I know that my current mental state is and does lie to me.  What I mean by that is that is it tells me things about myself that aren't true.  Awful things.  It's a horrible illness.

I will forge on.  I have some things on the horizon.  I know that God is with me, ever step of the way. I also know that there are people with a whole lot worse problems than I have and that this is temporary.  A large part of what is going on with me is about not having many humans in my life.  I've prayed for this to change.  I believe in prayer -- and I believe that this will change.  Isn't that faith?

My pastor once told me that the Word was inside me.  I have awful problems with memory.  I cannot recall scripture like most people.  I can remember it when someone starts to recite it - but as far as knowing it by heart - I don't.  It isn't because I haven't read it. I have.  I know that He has a plan for a future for me and that it is good.  I just have to believe this.

I guess I've just lost my purpose.  This goes back to loosing my ability to counsel.  I know that this is the gift that I was given by God.  It was/is what I excel at.  It is where I feel I'm the most useful.  It is simply what I do best and what I love.  Helping others makes me feel alive.  It is my purpose in life.  I have to find a way to utilize my gifts in my present life and I will because.... Jesus knows my every need.  He hears my every prayer -- even when I cannot pray.  And I know that I am not alone.....




Amen.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Trials of this Life

I've been in a deep depression.  There's multiple factors - changing some medication and life events - the loss of my pastor and the month of May itself.  I don't attribute depressions ebb and flow to events, it is a condition one has alas, events can certainly affect it.  This has been the longest time that I've been unable to write.  I'm still not 100% however I feel the need to express myself.

Today is my Father's birthday.  He would have been 80.  I miss that man with every fiber of my being.  Having been his caregiver for eight years, we grew to be the strongest of confidants.  That period of time in my life is today, one of the most precious.  I treasure it like few know.  It afforded us time and opportunity to do and express everything that a father and daughter ever dream.  This time was also difficult for when I lost him, I lost a part of myself.  I never felt so vulnerable in the world for so long as I did when I lost my Dad.  It has taken me years to overcome this loss -- and trust me, time has had nothing to do with it --it's taken an active participation in my own grief.  I can honestly say that today - I have lived through having had my heart broken in two.  Just split, busted open.  There were plenty of days when I just could not function in the beginning -- the grief so intense.  Never, ever belittle anyone's grieving process by thinking you have a clue what they are going through, because you do not.  Each and everyone of us had a unique experience with our loved ones -- and our grief is the same.  The journey through healing is a personal journey.  Alway honor that.  Each and everyone of us experience it differently - because our hearts are broken in different ways.  That is what grief is, adjusting to life without that persons presence - and a broken heart.  We always wish we'd said more and did more.  So don't wait for tomorrow, or some day -- do what your heart speaks for you to do now, and you'll have no regret.  You'll have no "if only's".

I'm trying to emerge out of a space in which my heart has felt numb.  I've been void of feelings.  Basically dead inside.  If you know my blog that is major for me.  I've lost touch with Father God, and life itself.  Nothing has mattered.  I've simply been going through what "motions" I could bring myself to.  That has been no easy feat.  When you feel dead inside, life feels like a chore.  Sleeping is really all that one wants to do, for it is relief.  Relief from the ever knowing that your  insides aren't right.  For the days when life feels like nails on a chalkboard.  When everything is excruciatingly painful... but you can't even feel that pain all you feel is heavy.  Weighted.  Drowning. Barely breathing.  Hopeless.  Like your mind is collapsing in upon itself.  These are the days of clinical depression.

Many people don't understand this.  This is why I write.  I'm getting better gradually else I would not be able to write at all.  I actually was able to pray today.  I'm beginning to decipher some things.  I will choose to grow from this, because that is who I am.  I'll peel back the layers and see what's underneath.

God hasn't gone anywhere -- It is the absence of feeling that makes it seem or perceive that there is separation.  Pain makes us feel separate.  We do this.  God is always there.  My hope is returning.  Sometimes blessing come through painful times - and this has been such a time.  I know on the other side of this "nothingness" is pain.  It is probably what drove me so deep into despair.  I do not know, but I do know that my Jesus will see me through, He aways has, and He always will.  Even in the depths, I know this.  I understand that although things feel as if they aren't progressing, or changing, they still are.  Life does not stand still. not for anyone.  I'm comforted by one of my favorite scriptures:

Corinthians 4:16-18 (NKJV)
"Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet our inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction which is but for a moment, is working exceeding and eternal weight in glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things that are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."


Praise God.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dying light of the ego unveiling the presence of God.

I met Jesus again today.  I meet Him quite often these days.  It is a glorious, inexplicable encounter --- first brought on by deep feelings of separation and loneliness.  I actually had the thought today - 'who does God have to talk to?'

I ponder lots of things as I spend hours in my own mind.  I battle with this thought and that --- fighting off the ones that are negative and don't serve me.  I'm going through another preening process amidst some other changes, and man do I ever feel it.  Lots of tears today.  Tears are so healing.  The Holy Spirit revealed much to me this morning, as I made the gamut.

I began in that desolate place, that empty place that is so familiar ... where there is no one.  There is no one out there who knows what I go through, what I feel, how I ache, to be known.  A dark vast place that always comes up empty.  However today -  TODAY - I realized I don't belong in this place.  I never did.  It was the voices, that voice, my voice that put me there in the first place.  My ego is what wants me there.  My nasty, nasty, separatist ego.  The one that loves for me to FEEL all alone and blame people for it.  To blame people for everything.  For me, it IS the separation of  self and Christ.  I no longer want to dwell there.  Albeit --- recognition is the foreknowledge of change.

Jesus is the only One that truly knows me.  He knows me every breath.  Every emotional influx.  Every hair on my head.  How, how could I ever be alone?  I cannot.  I had that realization today.  I've had it before but not on this scale.  I did not realize that I was battling with my ego so much.  What a stubborn lot.  Wow.

I don't like that feeling that I have.  It's destitute, and alone.  I have to push myself to stop feeling those feelings.  I have exceeding great promises!!!  I just got a new job on favor alone, no reference checks, no grueling interview -- it was all Jesus, why am I groveling?  Because I'm in a tempered place.  I have few people in my life.  Things are changing.  The ego grapples for control.  It can't have control of me.  It just can't.  I won't allow it to ease Jesus out of my life.  This is just a fact.

As I begin this new chapter in my life, I wrestle with the newness.  It is the cold night just before the dawn.  Everything looks hopeless - but I know, I know, I know who holds my future.  And even despite looking like a stark raving maniac -- I write because someone may understand.  Someone may understand what it's like to have their ego attempt to choke out the presence of the Living God.

I AM NOT ALONE.  It has little to do with how I "feel", for we walk by faith- not sight.  It is not how it seems.  I must trust.  I know who holds all my tomorrows. I know who holds today.  I will rejoice.  Jesus knows. The pain of yesterday sometimes hinders me.  I believe it is the fuel of my ego.  This is what makes the tears so precious.  As these tears fall, so does the pain associated with them...  He replaces it with abounding joy.  Rejoice I say!  REJOICE!!!!  As much as my mother may have tried to have hindered if not destroy my spirit, the Lord strengthens me - I will walk it out.  Armed with my sword.  He'll repay me double for my trouble.  The favor of God is with me -- ahead of me making a way when there was none.

He is my refuge.  My everything.
Thank You Jesus for revealing to me today the loveliness of Jesus.  Thank You Jesus for dispelling my ego.  Thank You for the tears of healing.  I know you caught them all.  In Jesus name...Amen.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Boundless Hope

I watched a moving last night that has struck me so hard.  It is as if I can't move past the feeling that has resonated.  Nor do I want to.  It is an excellent feeling that I have - one of beauty and awe.  I have not felt like this I don't believe ever after watching a film.  I am deeply moved.  

I realize it was a motion picture.  Yet I cannot move past it.  It's shaken me that hard.  The movie is 'Seven Pounds', with Will Smith.  Smith is a man that seems to be fairly normal, an internal revenue man -- a daunting task by any means necessary.  He tracks down people that are behind (seriously) on there taxes.  At least this is what it seems. I'll not spoil it for you....  

What I am actually struck by is what this has driven up in my spirit.  It's awakened something inside my spirit man.  I've awakened to a urgency for what I don't know.  All I know is that I feel incredibly grateful for my life.  All of my experiences that have brought me to where I am at this given moment in time.  I've felt at times like 'I should be at a different place at 52'.  However, right at this very moment, it is like finding a penny on the ground and knowing that this penny is a penny from Heaven - placed there for you to find like a coordinate in time.  A destination marker deeming you are where you are because this is where you are supposed to be.  

I've always wanted to be the kind of person that made a difference in people's lives.  Always.  No matter how small.  This is why I write.  I write for therapeutic purposes, yes, but I write to dispense hope.  This is my calling.  Hope dispersion.  This is what God called me to do in one form or another.  It is the only way that I can do this at this present moment.  So this is my outlet.  My voice, if you will.  This will be my legacy.  It cannot be erased like my Father was.  This is under my control.  I am the administrator.  These are my words, my feelings, my thoughts.  

Nevertheless, I exsude hope.  I have for years, but this morning -- the precious morn, I am filled with precious, inexplicable, bountiful hope.   My spirit is renewed.  Life feels new.  

I do not have time to write this morning but I will.  It's church day.  I need to let this simmer.  I need to let this combine with the Holy Spirit inside of me.  

God has great plans for you - Jeremiah 29:11 "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."  (NKJV)

Father God, thank you for you excellence!  Thank you for you insight!   Your beauty is boundless!  Altruism is not dead.  It is alive in me, your daughter.  Thank you for showing me your beauty again Father God.  Thank you for showing me the deep things of the heart.  Your compassion is so elegant, your heart is beyond comprehension.  Thank you Father for this tiny vision of who I know that You are.  I am humbled.  You've set me free.  Continue to work in my spirit as only You can.  Amen.  

Thank you Mr. Smith for making this film.  You've touched me, deeply.  

Monday, April 13, 2015

Through It All

Lots of idle time give one loads to think about.  I've battled a lot.  More than most (and I mean MOST).  Many tell me to write my story, but alas, I wouldn't even know where to begin.  I don't even remember my childhood.  I have huge gaps of time that I can't recall.

Pain has no memory.  Praise God.  Can you imagine what that would be like if it did?  We'd have horrific memories of such painful times.  I would, anyway.

My addiction has taken me down many roads.  I had many, many regrets.  Before I completely understood the Finished work of Jesus, I was full of shame and anguish over some of the places that my life had taken me in my use.  Now that isn't to say that I was a horrible person, because I was not - but for me, it was excruciatingly painful what I'd done to my family - my friends and the people that love me.  An then there is myself.  The times that I'd gone against my own values and honor.  I'm a very altruistic person, and a person of integrity - I don't hurt people nor do dishonorable things without it hurting me much worse than those that I've offended.  I've a very tender, intense heart.  Often times I wish I did not - but other times I'm grateful for it.  It makes me quite compassionate and very intuitive.  Every characteristic we have of our personalities has an alternative opposing side to it.  Or at least this is how I see it.  I've worked on myself and defined my character defects and came to learn that on the other side is an effective positive trait that can be brought out if one applies themselves.  It's sort of like what you feed.  Alas, I've digressed tremendously...

Struggles as of late. I've had to downgrade several of my much beloved things.  However, they're just things.  Most of you know how I feel about "things".  They don't make us.  So it wasn't so hard.  What is hard is this job search.  Having to put yourself out there -- and deduce yourself to a sheet of paper, now this is hard.  Idle time, is hard.  It's just me and Jesus.  That's easy --- but my past bubbles up.  My fears, my phobia's - and the like.  Knowing that I have to go into another work place and 'start - over'.  We all have the same kind of thoughts.  CAN I DO THIS?

I found this song by accident -- but you know me.  Not much happens in my world by accident.  I was getting ready and listening to music - and was praying.  I'd been praying to know the deep things of God.  I want to know God's heart.  This is my greatest desire.  I read twice today "seek His face".... which I thought was pretty cool.  An then this song came on.  Tears streamed down my face...

I have known that God has always had me, but this song verified it.  Memories came flooding back, of times that I'd rather not recall actually when I was out of control with my use.  Times that I know without a doubt that God had me in the palm of His hand.  Losses that I've endured that nearly broke me - and God saw me through.  God held me through.  Times I've actually prayed for Jesus to hold me.  Times I've hugged my dog because there was no one else.  Times that some people never see because they have just not been there.  Through surgeries and incidents when recovering, I was all alone.  I've been alone, most of my life -with the exception of God.  I would not be here today if it weren't for God.  I know this to be true.  Times I've prayed for God to catch my tears.  I know that He has too.  I'm "that" girl.

So whatever you're going through, right now.  Know, and I mean know that there is  a  God and He cares for you.  If He could have cared for me, He can care for you.  Trust me, I wasn't a likely candidate at the time.  Yet He was with me, the whole time, through the entire journey.  I'm living, breathing, professing, proof.  My testimony says it all.  But of the grace of God - there go I.

Father god, Thank You for saving me when I did not deserve to be saved.  Thank You for loving me when I did not deserve to be loved.  Thank you for saving my life when I did not respect it.  But Father most of all... for Your Son, Jesus who gave His life that we may have life, and have it more abundantly - here on earth.  Thank You for Your sacrifice - and your covenant of grace - and your mercy that never ends.  Thank you Father God for loving me, most of all, when I did not love myself.   In Jesus holy name, Amen.