Fear

Fear.. It’s dark, thick, and heavy, it threatens to suffocate me. I can’t give in, or I will drown..

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No, I can’t give in, I won’t give in to the fear. It’s real enough.. But my God is more… He gives me songs, scripture, and constantly reminds me He is there. But this is a choice, I could allow my fear to run rampant. That would be so easy. If I look just slightly away from the Lord, it is right there, it’s real.. It’s ready, growing, powerful, angry, and wanting another victim. I won’t be that person, I will keep looking at my Savior. My powerful, gentle, all consuming and relentless love…my source of strength and security.

Psalm 23:4 NLT “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.”

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I am faced with frightening possibilities, and an unknown diagnosis at this point. I have to have an angiogram done in a couple of days. This is after a visit yesterday with my neurologist, to receive my Botox treatment for my migraines. I mentioned that I passed out three consecutive times, a couple of weeks ago. I also told her about the now daily episodes, of nearly passing out. She sent me to my neurosurgeon immediately. He ordered an MRI of my head and neck with contrast. After reviewing them, he said he is very concerned, because I have narrowing of a main artery that goes into my brain. Thus the need for an angiogram.

I know what that could mean, so I feel a bit like a ticking time bomb. Waiting is hard… If this is what he’s thinking, I could die.

If I allow the fear to take control, and it’s right there.. I will lose all hope. But my hope is in the Lord, no matter the outcome.

I would be lying to say that that fear doesn’t constantly creep up, and take a hold of me. Even more so the Lord keeps reminding me He is right here… Look at me He says. Look to Me, seek Me, rest in Me.. So that is what I am doing. Every single day, second after second. the fear will come back, relentless in it’s greedy pursuit. But God is far more relentless, in love and drawing me near to him, covering me, shielding, with the feathers of His mighty wings.. Yes, I will take refuge there.. If God is for me, who can be against me?

Psalm 91:1-4 ESV “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

When the fear doesn’t take hold of me, distraction attempts to.. An unwanted, painful text comes in at just the wrong moment… the moment I am hearing what the doctor is worried about. A once incredibly close friend, now no longer, happens to be in my sight, and on the same route as me. Reminding me of the anguish I felt, and to some extent still do. This just happens within the subsequent hour of my news… My children begin to try my patience in the next moments..

Psalm 57:2 ESV “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.”

Just like the fear, I will not allow the distractions to be successful. I put them on the back burner, to deal with after my health, which must come first after God.. So I look to the Hills, where my help comes from. The Lord, that is always with me. Yes, I am afraid, and I do get distracted momentarily, but I have to choose every single second to keep my eyes on Him. I know He has plans for me, and they are good, even if I can’t understand them. I just choose to trust the God, that has proven to me He is always there, and will always take care of me..

Zephaniah 3:17  NIV “The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

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#fear #anxiety #scared #God #faith #hope #strength #power #control #life #health #drowning #unknown #death #security

 

Abide in Him

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I have been living in this place of hurt, anger, rejection, disappointment, and life completely spiraling out of control. My health continues to be an issue for me, my kids continue to challenge me, and in my attempt to reconnect/grow relationships with family, I have only found more anger, and discontentment.

In my efforts to regain control/make some headway somewhere, anywhere, I have fallen further down the rabbit hole. I have been struggling friends… My recent surgery to alleviate the pain from my migraines, has helped some, but I continue to have them every day. In addition to that, the surgery itself has further complicated my families’ and my life. I live with new and greater pain. I am limited in what I am able to do, so much so I have had to step back from ministry for a time.

This isn’t what I wanted…this isn’t what was supposed to happen.

I wanted to be better and dive deeper into ministry. I wanted to be healthier, feel better, be able to do normal things again. I want to be able to clean my house all by myself, to do the grocery shopping and errands my family needs done, to work, workout, have a sport I can do for fun, take up my hobbies again, sleep, be human again… That is what this feels like…I feel subhuman. I wanted to break free from the prison of this body I am in. I want to be happy again, to be me.

In my attempts to grow and maintain once lost family relationships, I have encountered more hurt and rejection. Anger surfaced once again, justified without question, but I do not want to live with it.. Further twisting the knife in my heart. The knife tears at me then..

I live in hurt, I am depressed. I feel lost, I feel myself spiraling out of control, the ground beneath my feet disappears. I am left grasping for anything to hold onto. I fall further, deeper, I try in so may ways to find the Hand that reaches for me, but I try in all the wrong ways… Sure, I listen to worship music almost constantly, read my Bible, pray, but smaller prayers, desperate prayers, one way prayers that do not listen for a response. I surround myself with other trusted believers, go to church, listen to sermons online, and I seek the Lord half heartedly.

That is the truth of it… It’s all empty if I am not actively seeking the Lord and His will. In the last couple of weeks, when I was able to go to church, we were supposed to pray for a moment about something. I do not recall what, because I remember knowing that I know what God wants me to do, and I am actively (for the most part) doing it. But I took that moment to pray, “what do you want me to know Lord?” I listened, truly this time, He said, “seek Me.”

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Wow, that took me aback. I thought that I was, but without realizing it I fell off track. My health, my circumstances, my hurt steered me there. And why, how? Well that is simple, as Lysa TerKeurst says, “we steer where we stare.” That is just what I was doing, not intentionally, but that is just the thing. I need to “be intentional,” the words God gave me at the beginning of last year…

By not purposefully seeking Him, by not focusing on Him, by allowing my pain, difficulties, and frustrations to be my focus, He no longer was. I put God on the back burner unintentionally. I became unintentional with Him. I allowed all of those other things to consume me.

So He has redirected my focus, as He is a good God. I had to ask Him for help, He answered that call. It may not have been what I wanted to hear, but it was true, and it hurt…

The hurt was good though.

Months of sleepless nights, have now ended. Last night, without the aid of anything else, I slept better than I have in I don’t know how long… And God gave me a new word, “Abide… Abide in Him…”

I feel whole again, I have been corrected, lovingly..

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So here I am writing again, just as He has shown me so very many times He wants me to do, through so many different means… I want to be a blank canvas, and in a way I am…

Christ paved the way for me, to the Lord, I am precious, perfect, and new. But the fact of the matter is, in this world I am marred, torn, and damaged. I can not be, we can not be, perfect and new, not here. From the moment of our conception we are marred. Every single decision our parents have made. Their parents have made, and their parents parents have made. As well as the decisions they will make, we will make, and all of the decisions that others make, are a stroke on that canvas. They cause damage to the canvas that we are. We need a Professional, the Only Professional to carefully restore the canvas, and to create a new, far more beautiful and precious work of art.

That is what The Lord is doing with me, is doing with all of us that follow Him, that seek Him…

I do not know what He has in store for me… I will abide in him, and He will make me into something far more valuable, far more precious, far more effective than anything I could ever hope to be. I am anxious to see what He will make of me, I know the process will involve difficulty, it will involve more change, there will be pain as the process of restoration is challenging, but it is so worth it…

So here I sit, anxiously and NOT always patiently, LOL, waiting, listening, and seeking Him. He draws me near, draws you near, to help us become all that He knows we can be.. What is the Lord saying to you my friend? Will you listen? Will you become all that He has in store for you to be? Join me in this, be more, be love, be intentional, and be more effective. Answer the call, you will not ultimately, regret it!

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#abide #seekHim #seektheLord #seeking #family #hurt #depression #pain #choices #God #faith #Jesus #answerthecall  #beintentional #belove #purpose #difficulty

Silent Suffering

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It’s amazing how quickly life can consume you, and threaten to completely suffocate you… Oh how it has drained me, and invaded my safe places, my restful places… It has pulled me down, and I am battle weary… Time after time, I gain ground, I see where my Hope is, I focus on the Lord.. Only then do I have renewed energy, strength, and peace. Amazing grace, endless mercy, Love beyond all comprehension… How is it then that the slightest thing happens, and I lose sight of my Hope, my Lord?? This battle has been vicious and long, it is relentless, and overwhelming. It comes at me on all sides, throughout the day and the night, never ceasing… Relentless, growing, enveloping me in it’s thorny tentacles, laughing in my face, telling me I will not be ok, seeking to make me crumble out of sheer desperation.

I have this disease, Psoriatic arthritis. It doesn’t sound so bad, but let me tell you with each day, and every step I take it morphs into something worse. I have debilitating pain. Every single joint, every tissue inflamed, terrible migraines. Every. Single. Day. Complete and utter exhaustion, not the I didn’t get enough sleep kind.. It’s more like the I ran, and did manual labor non-stop for a week, and now I am going to collapse kind.. Complete depletion of all my reserves, and beyond.. My body can take no more, but sleep does not come, or it comes fitfully..

I have nightmares each night, I wake up screaming many nights. Everything is hard, everything is overwhelming. My skin gets lesions, and unheard of rashes. Oh and this is new territory, because all I had experienced in this area until now, was nothing compared to what I am currently experiencing. You see I now have the understanding of how it can affect my female parts. I have lesions inside and on my girly area. So painful… It is like having open blisters on and in there. The pain never ending..

After trying every single preventative, and treatment I could for my migraines, I was so desperate for relief, that I (after as much research as I could find) had a device implanted to alleviate the pain from the migraines. That was incredibly invasive, and painful… Thirty hours of driving in all, in whiteout conditions at times. Being hospitalized from complications of the surgery, having my head shaved, emotionally scarring me. After all of that, it does not work. Not only that, but after consulting with new doctors, better highly recommended doctors, I found out with my disease and symptoms, I should never have had that surgery. It can, has, and will exacerbate my migraines, the scar tissue on my occipital nerves causing far more harm.

Now I am looking at having to go through it all again to remove the device. I am also looking at having to have surgery on my neck to help regain strength in my right arm, and to hopefully alleviate some of my migraines.

I am completely overwhelmed. I am full of pain, sorrow, and longing to be human again… I can’t do normal things anymore. I have no life. I constantly have to cancel, or tell my friends I can not go out with, or hang out with them. Losing many in the process. Not because I want to, I am desperate to have time with those I love again… It hurts, no one can see on the outside what I am going through, they think I am a flake, or do not really want to do things with them.

I become more and more isolated… Each thing I chose to do costs me dearly… I have to be very careful with my choices, I have a limited amount of them, and I will pay for them, I always do… I have a family that needs me. I may have a day that is good here or there, and I take full advantage of them, because they are few and far between. I never know when I will have another one..

This is not life, this is a prison, and I lose more and more of myself each day… The darkness blinds me, it laughs once again… It tells me I will not be ok, there is no hope.. Why I am here anyways?? Wouldn’t everyone be better off if I were gone? If I did not burden them anymore? Couldn’t they be happy again, and normal, if only I would cease to exist? Wouldn’t their lives be better? Without me??

But that is not true… The darkness lies.

You see I have Hope, and I have Joy.. It defies all understanding.. If I look to the Lord, and all the messengers of love, hope, peace, joy, and comfort that He sends me, if I focus on Him, I can live again… It takes constant work, constant vigilance, if I do not do that, I will be consumed. I will be consumed then, because I will be looking at my circumstances, instead the truth.

The truth is my Heavenly Father is with me, He will help me bear the load, He will give me hope, joy, and peace.. And He does! I am human, I make mistakes, I focus on the pain, I focus on the hopelessness of it all, I feel overwhelmed, consumed, desperate, depressed, alone… But that is not true..

The Lord kindly, gently, lovingly, and with longing at times, reminds me of the truth. He is the truth. I am loved, He is my Hope, He is my Joy, he is my Peace, my Comfort, He is LOVE… When I redirect my focus to Him, it all fades away.. I am filled with all the things He is… My circumstances do not define me… What freedom there is in that! Yes, I will fall again, but He will pick me back up. He always does, He always has.

I see Him everywhere, in everything, I hear His voice.. How beautiful, how gentle, how strong! He takes the time to speak to me, because I am His… He loves me, and nothing else matters…

If you suffer, I pray that you find Him. I can not imagine life without Him. I would not be here anymore.. I will gladly speak privately to you if you have any opinions, or questions about any of this. I do not have all the answers, but I can get them, or put you in touch with people that do. There is no judgement here, only love, and hope. I love you all my friends…

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#pain #suffering #silence #hurt #life health #God #faith #hope #healing #joy #Jesus

The Rain Fell

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I sit here alone, completely enveloped in my thoughts and emotions…. They run low, and deep, like a strong current twisting through the darkest corners of my mind. Immersed in the stench of the muck, and mire, I can not move. I can not help myself. I’m so low, I fear I can go no lower.. I hurt so deeply, so completely.. I bleed anguish and pain. Oozing with the purulent debris of my heartache.. It threatens to overwhelm me, to fully consume me to a point that is so dangerous, so hopeless. Thoughts run through my head, situations unravel, twist, and tangle about, all at the same time. Dare I tell anyone how low I have gone? They won’t understand… I know I have to tread so carefully, so lightly, lest I fall into the vast abyss of my emotions.

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Such is the state of my mind as I live with anxiety, PTSD, depression, and an empathetic heart that loves deeply. In a moment my world can crash around me. Only God can change that for me, if I look to Him.

For the longest time now, life has happened TO me. Even in my best times, I still haven’t seen the choices I could make, the power I actually had to change my circumstances. Relationships ending, leaving me my confused, frustrated, and my heart broken, full of pain. I stand here now uncertain. Which way do I turn, how do I salvage what is left of these relationships? Is it even possible? Is it even worth the trouble, the risk, the heartache? What if I do make a decision to set a boundary, will I lose these relationships?

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As I weigh these questions and relationships in my mind, I feel so conflicted. I don’t want to allow my past hurts to shape my current relationships. Although it is hard not to.. I am a person that goes deep with others. I feel deeply.. love deeply.. and hurt deeply.. That is a good thing, as it allows me to fully open my life up to my friends, forging deep connections. Although it can also open me up to deep anguish. That is the place I am in right now.

Actions speak louder than words.. I hear words of affirmation, with no actions to support those words. In fact, the actions are in stark contrast to the words spoken.

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When I am the only one putting effort into the relationship, time after time, what kind of relationship is it truly? When time, love, forgiveness, and sharing can be made in regards to others, but not me, what does that really say? Oh the words spoken to me offer me hope, but there is no evidence to support those words. Why then do I hang on, and hope? I want to cut off the painful relationships, but don’t want my past hurts to be the reason. That is what i truly fear.. I am afraid if I make a decision, because of their actions, that I will end something that never would have ended. That I will self destruct my life. So I hang on.

That is until now..

Actions speak louder than words.. God is showing me the truth here, they are showing my the truth here..

It is time for me to take charge of my life. I am not a bystander, so why act like one?

Do not ignore what people show you to be true. That is what I am learning. I am not cutting anything off. I just am not allowing myself to be hurt anymore. I am setting boundaries. Boundaries are good. Just like I won’t allow anyone toxic to be in my life, nor should I, I will not allow a relationship that has become toxic to hurt me anymore.

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You see the rain always fell on me, and I covered my head to shelter myself from the storm. Sometimes however, you need to let the rain fall to cleanse your soul. I am there now. I let the rain fall, both literally and figuratively.

I came out of that storm feeling refreshed and new.

I have a clearer vision now.

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I can see these relationships for what they are. So I no longer allow them to cause me any further anguish. I am focusing on the friends and family, that love me. That pour into me. For too long now I have been distracted trying to mend relationships that were never intended to be repaired. I have wasted my time, heart, and energy on the wrong people. I found that I question myself, not trusting my own judgment far too often..

I hear the Holy Spirit in the quiet still part of my heart and mind. Unfortunately time and time again, I have not listened, thinking I know better, I can fix this. I was wrong.. I only brought more pain into my life by attempting to do so. Also losing my focus on The Lord. Well no more..

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I will focus on God, and the people He has brought into my life, that love, support, encourage, and hold me accountable. The people that make time for me, the people who are there when I need them the most. My true friends, and family. I love them, and I love myself enough to change.

Change is hard. Painful even. But it is for the better.

I will focus on God more, and relationships second. I will not waste my time, energy, tears, and heart on people that will not appreciate and be careful, with my gentle heart. I have value, God says so. So I will look to Him and let Him tell me where to invest.

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I have a beautiful future ahead of me, if only I look to the Lord for direction. Eyes on Him alone. I want to be His masterpiece. So shape me Lord… I submit my life, all of me, to You alone..

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#pain #hurt #anguish #relationships #choices #path #friends #family #God #hope #faith #strength #life #love