Thursday, November 29, 2012



I read somewhere that depression is the result of being stuck in the past.  I don't think that could be truer. For me, anyway...

Almost a year ago, I moved across the state, and am now living with my aunt. I've had mixed feelings about it the whole time. Some days, I'm happy to be here. Other days, everything reminds me of my "old life"

I miss stupid things...like dropping a gallon of milk at Wal-Mart or watching golf on a Sunday because I can't afford cable and that's all that comes in.

Ever have one of those days where the mere thought of getting out of bed is so exhausting, the only thing you can do is go back to sleep? Some days, that's all I can do.

Lately, though, things have been different. I feel good. But, as usual, I'm afraid it's not going to last.And it's that fear that drives me back into that dark place. I say I hate being there, but do I? Sometimes, I don't think I mind it...I always seem to want to go back there. It's safe; comfortable.

I started reading a book called Changing Zip Codes: Finding Community Where You're Transplanted; not realizing it's a devotional. Maybe I should start it over, as it would appear that I am still having trouble adjusting.

Well, okay then...how do I get out of the past? How can I let the important people go for this season? I do believe it's just for a season. Maybe that's not even right. That picture says it all. I don't know if what I'm "hearing" is from God or my own desires.

Monday, October 15, 2012

One blog last month? Geesh...I'm slipping...

This past weekend, I went to the Women of Faith Conference. It was so good! I'm really glad I went. Seeing thousands of women who love the Lord in one place was quite an experience.

        (Thanks to my good friend Kathy Folk for taking AMAZING pictures!)


And I can tell you right now, that I haven't processed everything that happened there...YET...but I believe that the biggest truth I came away from there with is that God loves me. Me...and the hot mess that I am.

That revelation scares me at the same time that it makes me feel good. Yeah, I know...it makes no sense. I guess I really am a glutton for punishment. What does that expression even mean? Anyway...I'm afraid of feeling good. Specifically, I'm afraid of two things:

a) the depression is lurking just around the corner; waiting to pounce on my good mood and kill it
b) the depression is cured...I no longer have something that makes me feel special (yeah; extreme sadness and fits of ceaseless crying make me feel special. Try and dissect that one)

Seriously...two weeks ago, I didn't think my meds were helping; and now I'm Susie Sunshine. Balance would be nice.



One of the changes I decided to implement in my life is that I'm going to read the Bible everyday...I haven't been so good (or any good) at that. At the conference, I spent waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy too much money, but one of my purchases was a devotional book -- Jesus Calling. I figured that would be a good way to get me to read the Word. There's a message from Jesus everyday. Today's message just happened to coincide (Just happened, my foot) with the theme of the Joyce Meyer devotional; depending fully on God and feeling His presence with you (me) always. I try to do everything by myself because I think I need to show everyone I'm strong and can handle things. This behavior only succeeds in minimizing His presence because I am focused on me not Him.

I think I'll try to turn that around this week.

--K

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Blind Faith


I don't believe it's a coincidence that those two words are put together...

I was thinking this morning about people who are blind and the trust they must have in others. I don't know if anyone out there watches Go On; a character on that show (I believe it's George) is blind and Matthew Perry's character (Ryan) led him when they went to see a basketball game. George must trust that Ryan will not lead him into dangerous situations (traffic, etc...).

Right now, I kinda feel like I'm blind. I can't see what's ahead of me, and, truth be told, it scares the crap out of me! I've heard it said that God's will won't lead us into places where His grace cannot protect us (in different words, but the interpretation is the same). But I have to ask -- is that true for me? Do I believe that God has mapped out my path? I don't think I do...

I've had to rely on faith a lot lately. It should be making me stronger, but instead I'm just falling apart...literally. I've fallen twice in the past week, and sprained my ankle (plus I still have the pressure ulcer on my right ankle). I thank God that I haven't broken anything.

I'm not here to complain about my medical calamities (such a cool word), but I'm referencing these incidents to remind myself that I have good reasons to have faith...as though God's track record in the past isn't reason enough.


God knows what He's doing. Humans (especially me) get impatient and because we (I) see no progress, we (I) assume that nothing is happening. It's so hard to lose sight of the fact that God only wants what's good for me, particularly when everything in my life is going south (which, if I really thought about it, it isn't). But faith builds character, and the only way to strengthen faith is through trials; which also build character. This is not the time for me to give up on God! As cheesy as I think it sounds; that's what the enemy wants!

I heard this song as I was writing this today and thought the lyrics were appropriate:

Chris August - Center Of It

Somedays I'm feelin' like I
Can't win, can't get it right and it
Don't matter how hard I try
Today is not my day
When it feels like I'm going crazy
And it looks like nothing's changing
Come sun come rainy day
You are still the same


In the dark, in the light
In the morning and night
In the good, in the hurt
In the places I hide
When I rise, when I fall
You'll be there through it all
At the start, at the end
In the center of the center of it

...


When it feels like the doors are closing
Gotta trust that You're doing something
Come sun come rainy day
You are all I need


On a related note, I think that I was doing much better all-around when I was blogging regularly. I need to start doing that again.

I see my new counselor Monday and I started going to a class at Calvary Chapel (where I've been going to church) on Tuesdays called New Beginnings. I've only been to two sessions, but I already feel reassured about my salvation (bonus!). This is in addition to church on Saturday and a Recovery group on Sunday. Maybe I'll make it after all!

:)K

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tough Times

If you can’t make it through hard times, you’ll never make it to the end of what God has for you.

If you’re in some of the hardest times of your life, one step on the other side of that, there's a promotion and a breakthrough for you.

Be satisfied to know the One who knows, even if you don't know.

I'm not gonna lie. These last few months have been some of the hardest in my life. I've fallen, gotten in fights, had pain (both physical and emotional), and cried harder than I have in a looooonnnng time. I posted some quotes by Joyce Meyers to remind myself that this will not last forever and God has a purpose in this suffering.


Not that I've been a "good sufferer" or even a silent one. I think I've told everyone who will listen (some numerous times) about the pain in my foot (I have a non-healing wound on my right ankle). It really hurts! But if I believe, and I say I do, that God has a purpose in this; I'm sure not acting like it!

A devoted physician, to save the lives of the sick, sees the horrible danger, yet touches the infected place, and in treating another man's troubles brings suffering on himself.
But we were not merely sick, or afflicted with horrible wounds and ulcers already festering. We were actually lying among the dead when Christ saved us from the very abyss of death.
Alone he took hold of our most painful perishing nature. Alone he endured our sorrows. Alone he took upon himself the retribution for our sins.
When we were lying in tombs and graves, he raised us up, saving us and giving us his Father's blessings without measure.
He is the Lifegiver, the Lightbringer, our great Physician and King and Lord,
the Christ of God.

--Once-A-Day Walk with Jesus Devotional

Do I trust God to bring me through this? I don't know...



Today, whether your circumstances put you in bright sunshine or dark shadow, consider the trustworthiness of your God and offer him your worship in prayer.


Prayer
Lord God, all of your promises prove true...
 
--NIV Once-A-Day Devotional for Women

Maybe I just need to try again...that's the great thing about God. Infinite "do-over"s

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Back to Basics

Christina Aguliera, this is not...*big sigh of relief*

For awhile (or is it a while?) there, I was doing well. Praying everyday, listening to Christian music...feeling uplifted and encouraged. Lately, I seem to have lost that. And after the week I just had, I really could use that foundation.

I went into the hospital on Thursday (June 28th) with a severely...and I cannot stress this enough...SEVERELY painful right...well, foot. Geez, I didn't cry this much at the ending of Titanic. Wait a second...back up to Monday...I went to the urgent care clinic. They wrapped it and gave me an antibiotic and something for pain/swelling. The wrapping job was awesome...until I decided that I need to change it. The pain med worked...the first day. I somehow got through Tuesday night and made the mistake of trying to change the bandage on Wednesday. My aunt ended up wrapping it for me, but the tape-ish stuff holding it in place was really bothering me, so I had to take it off. Now to Thursday...

I went to the E.R. and after some tests and drugs and spending a crapload of money, I was admitted with an infection. Fine. Par for the (my) course. I figured their big gun antibiotics would cure the infection which would take away the pain...at least the morphine would. Morphine only took the edge off. For some reason, my body doesn't respond fully to pain meds. When I was prescribed Vicodin, I felt like House (my hero! hehehe--my House obsession will be a topic for another post). I took 2...yes T-W-O...and was able to drive to work...and actually do my job...such as I did it anyway (my insecurities about EVERY aspect of my life will also be another post all in itself).

To make a long story short-er, I ended up staying there for a week, one of those days being my birthday, and was discharged with nothing. No meds, no referrals, nada...and still in pain. The only thing I got was intructions to see the PCP in a week...nice.

My only question is this: if the infection's gone (which it should be--I've been on 3 courses of antibiotics in the last 2 months), why do I still have pain?

All this to say, that I have fallen out of my "Christian-ness" (yes, I am well aware that is not a word, thank you!). I guess I have become discouraged. I am not getting anywhere in regards to this pain. I prayed and pleaded and cried (boy did I cry!), and got no answers. Also, another life situation I was praying about doesn't seem to have gotten resolved. I know, I know...God's timing, not mine.

You are as close to God as you want to be. 
Psalm 145:18
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.

What a truth that is. I say I want to be close, but do I really? More accurately: do I want to do the work required to get there?

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

I ALWAYS forget this one...especially the beginning. It's so simple...maybe too simple?

 
How to Jump-start Your Prayer Life
May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
  may the Lord rejoice in his works —
he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
  who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord all my life;
  I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
  as I rejoice in the Lord.
But may sinners vanish from the earth
  and the wicked be no more.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Praise the Lord.
-Psalm 104:31-35

You'll never lack for ways to express yourself to God in prayer when you use Scripture in your prayers.
[The prayer above] provides a portrait of the Almighty that will jump-start anyone's prayer life. Immerse yourself in this beautiful prayer of praise to the Lord. Imagine the piercing power of his mere glance. His eyes alone make the entire earth tremble. The very mountains he created ignite at his touch.
What adversary are you facing? God's glance makes the earth tremble. What mountain stands in your way? The Lord can eliminate any obstacle. Commit your adversaries, your worries, and your cares to him.

Prayer
Dear Lord, may you be pleased by all these thoughts about you for I rejoice in you...

The Psalms say it all. It's a great place to start. However, the question still remains:

Am I willing to work for what I say I want?

Monday, June 11, 2012

A light in the darkness

You, LORD, keep my lamp burning;
   my God turns my darkness into light.
With your help I can advance against a troop;
   with my God I can scale a wall.
As for God, his way is perfect:
   The LORD's word is flawless;
   he shields all who take refuge in him.

- Psalm 18:28-30

All of us have experienced times when our lives grew dark - when hope seemed futile, when confusion set in, when we felt alone. David knew how dark life could seem at times. When he wrote this prayer, the memories of fleeing in terror from King Saul's manhunt and hiding in dark, damp caves were fresh in his mind.
Yet, he focused on God's light in his life - the light that dispelled the confusion of darkness. With this light, David saw clearly that God's way was perfect, even if it brought him through dark and dangerous valleys. God would always prove himself true to his promises. God would always be with him to protect him.
When you are traveling a dark road, remind yourself of David's experience with God - of how God led him through those dark places. Use David's prayer to remind yourself of God's light in your life.

-NIV Once-A-Day Devotional Bible for Women

Living with depression is sometimes like living in the dark. I grasp at those precious moments where the light is turned on; where everything is okay. At times, that light lasts a long time; others, it's just a fleeting moment.

I wish I had the confidence of David. I wish I knew beyond the shadow of any doubt that God would fulfill His promises. In thinking about it, I do believe that...for everyone else. Not that God takes pleasure in watching me squirm; but that He doesn't desire for me the same things He desires for everyone else. That's my dark place.

I go back there a lot...it's safe. I know what to expect. It hurts that I feel so disappointed as I watch the time pass, but I no longer have expectations.

I wanted this blog post to have a happy ending, like with me saying that I don't think that way anymore or that I worked through my issues, but that's not the case. I look at people who are 10-12 years younger than I am who are already married and have kids. That's one of the things I want most. I can't get past the idea that God doesn't want me to have this. And maybe He doesn't. Maybe it's not in His will. But then why do I have such a strong desire for it? Maybe it's just not time. That makes me hopeful. But is it just foolish to just believe without any proof? I've believed in so many things because I felt like God was "telling" me. They never came to pass...maybe I was only "hearing" what I wanted to. I should've learned my lesson by now.

Fortunately for me, God will continue pursuing me and blessing me whether I believe it or not.

Dear Lord, thank you for lighting up my darkness...

Monday, May 7, 2012

It has been too long...I've missed blogging. I've actually visited this place (or thought about coming) a multitude of times, but I never had anything to write. I still really don't have a set topic in mind...but I do have ideas and sayings that should spark something...

God wants us to be prisoners of hope. Remain steadfast in hope today -- Joyce Meyer

Hope...it's one of those things that I say I have ('oh yeah, I'm hopeful'), but do I really? I think I've always associated hope with naivety. "I have hope that things will change" is the same as "I'm too ignorant to see things for what they really are. Nothing's going to change."

Is that selling God short? Maybe I'm just asking for it (nothing to change)...like poking a beehive with a stick. But where is the line between having hope and not accepting reality? I think that's where discernment comes in... 

"Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him." -- Hebrews 11:6

Faith...I have no problem believing that God exists; but where my big problem comes in is believing that God wants to do...anything...for me. 'Earnestly seeking Him' seems kind of futile when I don't believe it has any effect.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." -- Romans 12:12

Patience...that one's kinda easy. When things are going wrong or I have pain, I believe that God has a reason for it. That He's going to be glorified.

It was kinda funny...last night I was telling my Grandmother that my insurance finally approved the MRI. My Aunt and Grandmother both asked where the MRI was, I told them on my back, then my Aunt asked if I was still having pain there...I told her 'every day'. I figured that they had no idea and then I realized that that's how God can be seen in affliction. 

I guess I need to start from the beginning...learn to believe that God wants me to have good things and be happy.

Oh, and the stopping nail biting experiment was a total bust...I must not be ready. :(

still working on that...

If God is going to be God to us, we must trust in him ... "My eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge" (Psalm 141:8). "My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge" (2 Samuel 22:3).
God is the only one in whom we can trust. Every other creature is a false refuge. They are like the Egyptian reed - too weak to support us, but strong enough to wound us (2 Kings 18:21) ... Only God is a sufficient foundation to build our trust upon. When we trust him, we make him a God to us; when we do not trust him, we make him an idol.
To trust in God means to rely on his power as a Creator, and on his love as a Father. Trusting in God involves committing our primary treasure - our soul - to him. "Into your hands I commit my spirit" (Psalm 31:5). As the orphan trusts his guardian to care for his inheritance, so we trust God with our souls. When we do, he becomes our God.
 -- Thomas Watson {AD 1620-1686}

 Don't undo in doubt what you began in faith

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I want to blog. I need to blog. But what to blog about. Usually I come into these posts with a preplanned idea; something that has been weighing on my heart. But tonight...nada. Maybe I'll look over my 'cheat sheet' and find something magical. Or at least something to expound upon... 
Coming Clean About Our Weaknesses
One of the most counter-intuitive statements our Lord ever made does not describe very well the day-to-day perspective of almost anyone I know: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" [2 Corinthians 12:9].
Now how about that? We spend our lives telling each other to focus on our strengths, to work in our core skill sets, to dance with the thing that brought us to the party, to perfect our brand, and to protect our image. This is not the beginning of an argument to tell you not to use your strengths, but it is to say [this:]
If you want to see the power of God at work in your life, you'll have to quit hiding your weaknesses from people and from him - as though you can hide anything long enough to actually get it past God or even the people who know you.
 [This teaching] really just means you have to be honest, to deal in truth rather than fiction. This is the requirement of Jesus that scares [the living daylights] out of most Christians.
-Bond of Brothers: Connecting with Other Men Beyond Work, Weather, and Sports (eBook) by Wes Yoder
I am not a strong person. Even though the events in my life would suggest otherwise. I've never had a problem talking about my weakness, but the passage from 2 Corinthians is sticking with me; particularly the second half: "my power is made perfect in weakness."

I cannot see weakness as a good thing. I also do not see how God can use me; a person with so many flaws. I think I am on the opposite end of this post's spectrum...I deal in the fiction that my weaknesses are all too real instead of the fiction that my weaknesses are non-existent.

Hmmm...but what if focusing on my weaknesses helps me to push harder?

God is perfect. I guess it would only make sense that weakness is made perfect by perfection. Or at least seen as perfection. What we all need to realize, myself especially, is that God created me. He knows what my imperfections are. He gave them to me. What better testament then to see these detriments turn to beauty with no physical evidence of such a change occurring? Knowing that God changed me because He loves me...but also because He wants to show people who He is and how much He wants everyone to know and believe in Him.
I believe...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Rolling Away the Stones

"So ... what you're telling me is, even our God isn't big enough to help you change?"

He got me... Like many other Christian Atheists, I believed the lie that I couldn't change...

Admitting our problems is only the first step. After that, we must invite God to work, because he is the one who can change any problem... With people, change may be difficult, even impossible - but not with God. God is bigger than our problems, no matter what they are. If you've believed that you simply can't change, acknowledge that that is a lie. With God, all things are possible... If you're not dead, you're not done.

-The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn't Exist, by Craig Groeschel



For Easter yesterday, I decided to go with my grandmother to her church; the Catholic church. Being raised a Catholic, I am quite familiar with the mass; but decided after high school that it wasn't for me...actually, I decided that NO church was for me...but I'm not here to discuss my "encounter with God" (so to speak) that finally brought me to church or bash any other religion or church. But I will say this: now that I'm older, I can appreciate the mass and get something out of the homily.

Yesterday's message was about, as my post title suggests, rolling away the stones. The gospel reading was about Mary Magdalene finding the empty tomb of Jesus on Easter morning. The priest spoke about the areas in our lives that we have closed off by stones to block access to everyone; including God. I know there are quite a few in my life...especially ones I refuse to acknowledge. I want to believe that I allow God's light to shine into every room, but I don't. I know I don't.

The worst habit I have is biting my nails. I've done so since I was a kid. It may not seem like it's important, but it is one thing I have never included God in. I've never asked for His help in quitting. It's one of those things in my life that no one is allowed to say anything about. If people do; I get angry and do it out of spite.

I keep saying/thinking I want to stop, but I don't really think I do. I don't act like I do, anyway. I've made no serious effort to stop; and if friends or family try to help me quit...even if I ask them to...I get nasty.

Maybe this is one of my stones. Something I can let God into. Ask for His help.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Perseverence



Okay, I'm a pretty smart girl; but when it comes to matters involving me, I think I got a case of the dumbs. I assumed that feeling 'better' was going to be this monumental event...like I was going to wake up one day and be cured. "Well, after I see the psychiatrist..." or "if I can just get some more meds." I've been waiting for this huge transformation, but the truth is that it's not going to happen like that.

Healing and getting better is a process. It requires work and constant diligence to keep from going backward. And I'm allowed to have 'bad days'. It's hard for me to get that through my head sometimes. Having a bad day doesn't mean my world's going to hell in a handbasket. It means my back hurts or I feel sad, lonely, confused, etc... Everyone else can have bad days, why should I not be entitled to one (or ten)?

Depression (much like alcoholism -- in my opinion anyway) cannot be 'cured'. It is an ongoing battle that I must fight everyday; sometimes every minute. The important thing is to keep fighting; keep pushing to be better. In some cases (like mine), medication aids in the battle. If there's a chemical imbalance in my brain, the logical solution is to balance them...replenish those that are missing.

Hebrews 12:2

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

It is most crucial for me to turn to God in the times when I feel stuck...and believe that I won't be there forever.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Suffering

“Are we willing to be used by God to accomplish his redemptive work, even when that work includes suffering that we don't understand?”

-How to Read the Bible Through the Jesus Lens: A Guide to Christ-Focused Reading of Scripture
by Michael Williams

I've been thinking a lot about suffering and loss this past week. It has been a rough week for me; emotionally and spiritually. Physically, it's been normal -- horrible back pain one day; not so bad the next 3 days...fortunately, the Aleve started working again.

It's Spring Break (or it was) and that brought up some changes in my routine. I didn't like it. And, no, that doesn't make me weird; some people have a hard time adjusting to change, in any form. And I am one of those people.

Sometimes I can't help but think that my disabilities; yes, I said -ies, are a punishment for something. For what exactly? You got me. I've come to grips with my physical condition: my mother drank and smoked while she was pregnant with me. And, believe it or not, I'm okay with that. I know that God didn't want that to happen, but he did allow it. And maybe I'm okay with the whole thing because people can see it...they know there's a problem. I wear a brace.

Emotionally...well, that's a whole other ball game. You can't see depression. There's no blood test; no scientific measurement. I'm just sad. Which is why it so often feels like a punishment. How can I explain, how can I quantify behavior that there is no visible explanation for? I'm not looking for an excuse; for pity; for a 'get out of jail free' card. I just do and feel sometimes. It's like a life sentence with no hope of parole. What did I do to deserve that?

We should remember and focus on what God has done and not on what we have done.
Luke 22:19


But what if I'm looking at this the wrong way? Perhaps God gave (allowed me to have) this condition because he knew I could handle it. What does that tell me about what the Creator of the Universe thinks of me? That I'm loved? That I'm wanted? That I'm a survivor? All those things and more. God loves me. He wants me to succeed...to overcome...to survive.

"What we can be sure of is that God is about his redemptive work, as he always is, and has chosen us to participate in that work by sharing, at least for a while, in some of the same kind of suffering his own Son experienced [see 1 Peter 4:12-13]."

-How to Read the Bible Through the Jesus Lens: A Guide to Christ-Focused Reading of Scripture
by Michael Williams

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why, God? Why me?

Those are two questions I've never asked. I've always been okay with my disabilities and the challenges they present. But lately my depression is getting out of control and I'm tired of it. I can cry at the drop of a hat; and if I'm not crying, I'm on the verge of starting. I'm having a hard time seeing this as a blessing and find myself asking God why. Why do I have to deal with this debilitating condition that no one in my family understands?

My physical condition kept me from doing something the other day. Honestly, it stung. I was really upset. But I got over it. It was weird that the thought even crossed my mind. It really never does...I'd much rather stay in anyway...USUALLY. I think I've kinda got some cabin fever going on.

I think this applies:

On the Other Side of Suffering
 
In the Old Testament, faithful believers seemed shocked when suffering came their way. They expected God to reward their faithfulness with prosperity and comfort. But the New Testament shows a remarkable change. As Peter advised suffering Christians in 1 Peter 2:21, "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps."
Other passages go further, using phrases I will not attempt to explain. Paul speaks of "sharing in his [Christ's] sufferings" and says he hopes to "fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regards to Christ's afflictions [Colossians 1:24]."
Harry Boer, a chaplain during World War II, spent the final days of that war among marines in the Pacific Theater. "The Second Division saw much action, with great losses," he writes. "Yet I never met an enlisted man or an officer who doubted for a moment the outcome of the war. Nor did I ever meet a marine who asked why, if victory was so sure, we couldn't have it immediately. It was just a question of slogging through till the enemy gave up."
According to Paul, at the cross Christ triumphed over the cosmic powers - defeating them not with power but with self-giving love. The cross of Christ may have assured the final outcome, but battles remain for us to fight. Significantly, Paul prayed "to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings" - embracing both the agony and the ecstasy of Christ's life on earth (Philippians 3:10).
We will never know, in this life, the full significance of our actions here, for much takes place invisible to us. When a pastor in an oppressive country goes to prison for his peaceful protest, when a social worker moves into an urban ghetto, when a couple refuses to give up on a difficult marriage, when a parent waits with undying hope and forgiveness for the return of an estranged child, when a young professional resists mounting temptations toward wealth and success - in all these sufferings, large and small, there is the assurance of a deeper level of meaning, of a sharing in Christ's own redemptive victory.

-Selections from Grace Notes: Daily Readings with Philip Yancey

So instead of asking "why me?", I need to say "thank you for choosing me."

Philippians 1:29

"It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pride

Galatians 5:22-23

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”


Nowhere in that verse does it say pride. I realized, Sunday (thanks to my grandmother), that I am being prideful when it comes to my disability. The way it came to my attention was actually kind of neat.

I go to a church ladies group on Sunday evenings and this past time I had a real problem. My legs and arms and even my head got very fatigued, heavy, and painful. The other ladies in my group wasted no time being supportive and a couple even went in search of a wheelchair. I was so...just tired that I could barely make it to a bench to sit. One of the ladies got a wheelchair and wheeled me out to my waiting grandmother. I was so afraid of what she was going to say and prepared myself for a stern lecture about not acting like that in public. I even stopped listening to her at one point. Although what she was saying was true (if that happens again, someone will call an ambulance...and there's nothing they can do for me in the E.R.), I didn't want to hear it.

DISCLAIMER: I apologize for turning a 15 minute car ride into a long dramatized story :)

Then she shifted the conversation to me needing to use a walker on Sunday nights, since I've been having had trouble getting around lately...especially at night and when I've been sitting for a long time. Well, that didn't sit well with me. I told her that I didn't want to be "disabled and needy". She asked me what that meant...and with my best "well, duh" voice I told her that I basically don't want be be a disabled person who has to use visible adaptive equipment. I have to use a leg brace, but I wear pants all the time, so no one really sees it. (I apologize to anyone who feels that I am being rude or disrespectful to people with disabilities.) Anywho...my grandmother told me that I have to put away my pride and do what helps me...even if it's use a walker and a cushion.

Ug...learning a lesson the hard way. I hate to do it...but I do know that God was in that conversation. And I finally feel like I have some friends here...:)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I get a Bible quote as well as a devotional delivered to me everyday. Since I moved back with my family, I've found those two things to be a little more helpful in my 'journey' to overcome this crippling depression. I've been saving them in a document on my computer in the hopes of 'doing something' with them. Maybe printing them out and putting them in places where I will see them everyday. Well, since I'm not living on my own...yet..., that's not really feasible. Then I got the brilliant idea to blog using those items as centerpieces. That works...if I would only sit down and do it! So, now I'm sitting down and doing it...

God is a God of beginnings. The good news of Mark is that God begins again with the chosen people by sending his Son. At the end of the Gospel ... things look far more gloomy. The women slink away from the empty tomb and are mute from fear. [See Mark 16]
Failure, denial, and fear are not the end of the story, however. When things seem to end, there is a new beginning. The gospel is good news because one can begin again.
One may wonder how these discredited disciples could ever emerge as leaders of a growing church and fulfill their mission, but we know that their failure was not fatal. Neither is ours. God is the one who consistently makes something out of nothing. What seems like the end, and a pathetic one at that, is only a new beginning. God will continue to work with and revive the people.
Mark makes it clear that "the church exists because of what God has done in Christ, not because of any outstanding abilities in its first members." The gospel proclaims that the one "who began a good work in [us] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 1:6)...
Christianity is not a closed book, and Christian readers are the latest chapter in a continuing story of God's good news. The question for us is...the same as it was for those early disciples, "Where do we go from here?" The next stage is up to us. How will we continue the story? Will we cower in fear or boldly proclaim the glad tidings of Jesus to the world?


When I first made the decision to move across the state, back with my family, as a way to (hopefully) get this depression under control; I was so afraid it was the end. The end of my life. The end of my friendships. You get the picture.

But I'm now realizing that it is the beginning of a new chapter in my life...and leaving doesn't mean I'll never go back.

I always felt like a failure. That I couldn't cut it. But sometimes it's not about me. Actually, it's really NOT about me at all. It's about God and how best to show HIS glory...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Anxiety and backsliding

Psalm 139:23-24

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


I have been feeling very anxious lately. Perhaps it's because I feel like I'm moving backwards. Sometimes I wonder if God really knows my anxious thoughts and how I feel like crying all the time. Maybe this is His way of dealing with an offensive way.

I have to admit that I am having a very hard time trusting God right now. I feel like He has abandoned me and that He doesn't care that I'm hurting...even though I know in my head that that isn't true. I also know that I will get through this rough patch, but I'm afraid that it won't be the way God wants me to.

At church this past week, I learned "The secret to contentment is to trust Christ to give us strength to celebrate every day". But do I really want to be content? Initially, my answer was a resounding NO! But as I sit here, even now, just thinking that I am where God wants me to be surrounds me with peace; and maybe I can be content. Do I still want to get out of this anxiety and emotional instability? Yes...but if God has something for me, maybe I should stick around for awhile...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I'm finally back...and in the mood to write again. Hopefully this feeling will last longer as I continue to feel better. It's been a rough couple of months for me. I think I came pretty close to having a total emotional breakdown. Some days, I still feel like I'm there, but then I remember that I'm working on myself and it takes time. I'm very thankful for my family, who agreed to take me in while I go through this process.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pain

"I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all." -- Three Days Grace

In thinking about it, I'm not sure that song lyric is entirely true. Don't get me wrong, it has truth, but who would rather feel pain than nothing? I guess I would...

I fell in our living room a few days ago and hit (actually more like smacked) my head on the TV stand. Well, I did land on my butt; so I guess I *hit that* too. Ha ha ha ha! hit that...I'm so lame. Anyway, there are two tender spots -- 1 on each side of my head. The one on the right hurts more, and I keep pressing it to make my head hurt. Why? I've been trying for days to figure that one out...

Maybe, for just a brief moment, I want to feel something besides the overwhelming urge to cry. Maybe I want a valid reason to cry.

I'm so tired of feeling like this...like I could just explode at any moment. I'm actually counting the hours until I can go back to bed. And thinking of ways to fill them other than watching House. I see people in pain (both emotional and physical) on that show and start to feel better about myself until a tiny voice reminds me that "those are actors...you're still all alone."

That is the worst part about pain...eventually the caring fades until I'm left by myself. No one crowds around me when I almost fall, or I don't start crying. People only care if I'm hurting...and they can see it.