Escape Plan

33D9F4A0-764B-49AD-9BCD-7CB884F1E342I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again.

No doubt, at certain times or in joking, the lyrics of that song were sung and maybe deep down wishing it to be true.  I know I have, many times.

Remembering a time while talking to my counselor yesterday, there was a time I did take a jet plane and flew out west to visit a friend.  I needed time away and was desperate to get out of my life, an escape. It was probably the worst time of my life, feeling lost and numb and wanting to walk away from everything and everybody. Trusting few as my trust in others was growing smaller and smaller.  How could I open up to a pastor or church leadership when the preaching and so forth was on faith, trust God, your joy is in the Lord, etc. Why be subjected to more pressure of not having enough faith and be disillusioned even further of my church family that seemed as distant and trustworthy as my own family.  Where do I go?

Thankfully, through these years, I knew enough and was strong enough in my Christian walk to know that the Lord was my only hope.  I have always heard through many sermons that we must know the Bible enough to grasp hold to the words as if we did not have a Bible to reference.  Plus, we cannot depend upon others to walk this Christian way for us.  I was learning that well through this dark, lonely wilderness.  I had nobody.  At times I felt invisible and walking through a maze blindly.

Since that time, I have managed and all by the Grace of God.  When I felt so alone, I knew deep down that He knew my name and He knew where I was and I had to say those words aloud so many times in desperation, “Lord, you know my name and you know where I am.”  It has been hard at times and still feeling my way through the maze of chaos and confusion but the end is in sight, I know it is. There is joy and then there is fear and sometimes they seem to slap one another within my mind.13578DBA-BF26-4992-B77D-DC5431BEBD1B

I am at a point again to escape but this time to settle some things and get a new perspective, alone.  Just me and God.  A sweet friend said the other day that she did this at a pivotal point in her life, just her and God hashing it out.  That is exactly where I am.  To escape as there has to be more and I need His direction.

966C8FC2-09BE-4567-AE40-A02F221B38AELife can be overwhelming and we can be consumed with hopelessness in situations.  If you make no changes in your circumstances, nothing will change.  We have to make a decision to want more.  I seriously started with this change back in 2014.  It seems like forever ago but there was a lot to sift through and I do not regret the time spent, financial aspect or the emotions expressed.  I am not the same person I was when I walked in my counselor’s office the first day, back in September, 2014.  I had to and you have to make a decision to start taking care of YOU.  Nobody will do this for you.

Sometimes we have to escape to find ourselves.  It’s okay!

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My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.  And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove. I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah. I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest” (Psalm 55:6-8).

https://stillnessofthemorning.wordpress.com/tag/psalm-556-8/

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Dirty Dishes & Depression

Window, sill, clean.I have noticed this week and now that it is the weekend, I had a sink of dirty dishes and even a pile of clothes on the end of my bed.  I told myself each time that I would hang the clothing item up when I got home from work, which did not happen.

A week of feeling and fighting depression, perhaps a spiritual attack and probably so, but noticing my house taking a hit and dirty dishes in my sink.  I never do that and it is a telltale sign, I am fighting within. Exhausted. Looking at the dishes this morning and tackling them, I wondered if my husband even noticed and wondering what is wrong with me. I knew that was a far-fetched thought.  Although it made me giggle, just considering the thought.

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Today, the dishes are done and I am managing my messes, as I am getting through the mental chaos but it has been a struggle.  Ever been there?

We all deal with bouts of discouragement now and then and disappointment that can make your knees buckle from sadness, leading to depression. It is a lost and a lonely feeling with darkness looming over our heads. It happens.  Life happens. Give yourself grace and take care of you through it all with proper care and rest.

1DB42EB6-4F25-4AF2-B80B-1CC4BDF7A8D2If you have dirty dishes, piles of clothes, laundry, etc., just start somewhere.  Organize your bedroom, a bathroom closet, etc.  If you do not or have not used something in a year, get rid of it (give away, donate or pitch). Something!  Just start. It will help you feel somewhat productive even if overwhelmed.

I often use this phrase and have it on my bulletin board at work, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

Know that depression can hit each of us.  Stop and recognize what is or has happened. Do not stuff your feelings down and ignore.  Take time to name the thoughts and feelings, forgive others and even yourself, as needed.  Journal through the mental chaos, if just a A04571B6-2518-41D9-8BC9-E6C7596EB0ECsentence. Make plans to search out a counselor. With that and when you do and go, please give him or her a chance, as one or two visits won’t do it.  They, too, are getting familiar and comfortable with you as you are them.  Of course, after a month or so, if it is not a good fit, there are others, don’t stop. Perhaps go see your family doctor and know there is nothing wrong with taking an anti-depressant.  Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.  The stigma of mental health needs to stop and be recognized — moreso today, than ever.

826666AE-68D9-4FD2-A2BC-93099F813291Sadly, with all that I wrote and recommended, many in my church family would be appalled, stating I did not have enough faith.  Sad!  I do have faith, enough to know when I need help and that the Lord will lead and direct me to the right counselor(s), which He did.  I have come a long way and still a long way to go. It has not always been easy but I am allowing Him to heal the broken places in my heart and life with a counselor’s help. I’m a better person and a Christian with faith renewed because of my decision to get help years ago.

Make a change today and do something productive.  Sometimes that is just getting up and taking a shower.  I’ve been there. You are not alone. Thankfully, your heart knows how to beat on it’s own, as your lungs allow you to breathe when no energy to do just that.  You’ve got this!

I know even through my week of feeling down and depressed with dirty dishes, the Lord still loves me. He loves you. Trust Him.

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Afraid of Me

Last night, as I sat down in our first class, which will be held one night a week for eight weeks, I was feeling apprehensive. I was feeling out of place, not for the purpose of the class but me wanting to withdraw.  I like to keep my commitments but honestly I did not want to be there, at all.  This was not a required class, but a FB548ADA-6740-4EA9-A983-2BDE3A357396volunteered one to sign up and go to and for all things, weight loss.  No doubt, every lady in this classroom was feeling the same.  Thinking and feeling, just another attempt of a losing battle, my weight.

Since I was not one-hundred percent of my desire to continue past this first night, I did not buy the booklet, which was recommended.  Knowing how I am, I buy such things and that is it, they do not get used and finally thrown out.  I was being persistent in my thoughts of I am not buying this book. Just that rebellious attitude, and not flipping through the booklet like others, I was an odd (wo)man out.

The lady who was leading this group is a very good speaker and she herself has lost the weight and kept it off, keeping the focus on the Lord and depending upon Him. This all makes sense and sounds easy enough but… when we fail and have those sweet treats and the calories build due to whatever we are dealing with or just boredom, then Satan beats us up with shame, failure and our loser mentality.  Plus the fact, we failed God yet again, we did not keep Him first in our eating habits.  Hopelessness comes.  I hate when all that happens.5B172DDB-654E-4AAD-8B7D-C801700FD604

It was when she spoke about the next part, of how the Lord is with us and wants us to be with Him.  To trust Him to pull back the layers of our emotions, which is why we normally eat.  The emotional eating is big with me, as with many.  Let me eat those cookies to ease the sadness.   Maybe the cake and ice cream because I am upset and angry over a situation. Well, you know also that we need to celebrate our co-worker’s third marriage or whatever celebration it is for the day.  No doubt, you know how it goes, especially if you also struggle with weight issues.  The sadness, frustration, anger, etc., can overtake us to where we think it will all be better to eat.  The Lord wants us to come to Him with our emotions, anything and everything, as He is always present.  Acknowledge Him.

Since I have been in counseling the past five years and have dug my heels in and have come a long way, I know the emotional turmoil myself.  Perhaps this is my next level to concentrate further.  Not that I have not included the Lord, because I have, I have had to.

9AF9ED2D-454F-495E-A869-EAE1C914DA5CWhile that spoke to me on a deeper level, of peeling back the layers, it was when she  said that Satan was afraid of you (me).  That hit me big time.  He has big plans for someone in this room and Satan does not want you to feel confident and grow in the Lord.  I took that all personal and that is a good thing.  I do have an excitement within and joy of what the Lord is doing in and with me but times come that this is crazy thinking.  I think not.  Like I mentioned, I have worked hard and pushed through a lot and some hell and I believe there is a new me about to happen and while Satan is afraid of me, I think I am afraid of me, too, in a good way. C07B393A-D629-4517-A2DC-0E726610DD35

I, of course, bought the book. What God has started, He will finish.  I know there is a plan and a purpose for me.

What emotions are in your life that need the layers pulled back?  Are you struggling with your weight, an addiction, etc.  We tend to stuff our emotions down and not acknowledge, keep busy to ignore but what He wants is for you, me, all of us to come to Him and allow Him to be in the midst so we can heal from the pain.

Always know, He also has a plan and a purpose for you.  Trust Him.

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My Heart

D586DFE6-BAED-434F-A9E4-9DB002A7E5F2There are times in life that you may not know what to do or to think of a situation, relationship, etc., at hand before you.  The questions within seem to linger with no answers.  All that you can do is take one day at a time, pay attention and feel the emotions but only on limited time.  Don’t let it steal from your day, if that is even possible.  It is.  Acknowledge, feel and move on.  Repeat, as needed. C3B6FEE8-AEB1-4B43-93AB-54DC4AFAD470

We may not understand exactly what we are facing or have dealt with as there are a lot of emotions that are wrapped in the midst, which is normal.  It is taking it all to God that will help you get through.

Scripture tells us, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight” (Hebrews 4:13, NIV). There isn’t a day or a tear that God doesn’t know about. He sees whatever we’re going though … and He knows.

Expressing what we feel to Him, that can be from joy and our praises but also sadness to anger. Yes, even anger toward Him.  One of my biggest faith moments in life, many years ago, was when I screamed out that I was angry with Him.  Seriously, He knows anyway. I felt bad for doing that at the time, but I do not regret, as I felt like my level of faith increased.

1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (NLT)

It is not always easy but as you know, time takes care of a lot of issues. As we recognize and come to terms with it all, of what we are dealing with, understand ourselves plus see the Hand of God at work in the midst, joy will return. He knows. He cares.

ED6D9A82-9B8F-4881-881A-632ADAA038A8Our heart may feel the pain and our emotions cause havoc but if we put our trust in Him to help us through, He will do just that.  Trust Him.

https://proverbs31.org/read/devotions/full-post/2016/09/26/in-case-you-were-wondering-god-knows

 

 

Good ‘n Angry

DC098BAD-8FF5-4058-A4EC-602DCCBAF676I admit, I am angry over an situation but more confused, but I know anger is there.  What I do know, is that it is not worth me blasting forth with words that will cause damage.  I do have a heart and I do care.  Once words are released, they cannot be taken back.

A gentle answer quiets anger, but a harsh one stirs it up.
Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit. Proverbs 15.1,4

Is it wrong to be angry or to feel anger?  No!  It’s normal.

Although the condemnation felt makes you feel bad.  Again, normal. I have been taught it was wrong all my life to have such stern feelings to where I am a bad person, unworthy and so on to have such emotion.  Anger is a normal, natural emotion in each of us  30C76BE4-3B74-4C34-B4E4-2079989559E5

If I said I was not feeling anger, that would be a problem.  I would be in denial.

97AE67D7-CEEF-47F3-A929-1D92DB27D7F2As I even write, I could put words of anger that could hurt another but I do not want to do that.  Where will that get me?  Nowhere but regret doing so.  My heart hurts but I know One that knows me better than anybody.  I feel the emotions, acknowledge and pray that the Lord will help me through it all.  He will.

https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-8the-truth-about-anger

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I Can See Clearly Now

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. How many times have we said those words?  A song most of us grew up with hearing and singing, which you probably just did or will do now. You can thank me later. Actually, it is a happy, uplifting song. Sense of hope.  49B852EC-72F0-4EA2-898E-5B3BFB01A6D3

Yesterday morning as I walked with another walking buddy of mine on a longer route than normal due to it being the weekend and more time, we walked and talked and talked. This man is a mid-seventy year old, uses a cane to stabilize himself but can out walk me. He is always full of stories and interesting tidbits about travels, etc. You know the type, one of those that can tell a story and then another. Time has to be in your favor to enjoy though and that day was one of them for me.

We have walked together over the past few months at times and getting to know one another. His wife joins us at times, which is nice but today she was exhausted from traveling so it was just us.  The weather was perfect with a cloudy overcast and soft breeze. Perfect.

We know a lot of the same people and sometimes shocked how much in common we have with the age difference. I love it when the Lord allows certain people to cross our paths. While it may be for just a season, there is purpose and a friendship built.

In our miles of walking and talking, life seemed to pop up in discussion.  Each of us have a story.  He had made a comment about how counselors make us see things more clearly, which struck a cord in me. So true. With that, we discussed many topics and life issues leading to counseling. Sometimes in life, we get lost while 9EF3D05E-F682-4076-BBF5-B225B8F49ABCtending to the cares of everyone around us, our own feelings and thoughts evaporate and soon zap us leading us to ask that one question… Who am I?

E28F3FB6-EC2F-435F-851C-2EAAD04255D6Even this week, being with a dear friend, she said it, too, as her plate has been filled for months, if not years caring for others and putting herself on the back burner. It happens. Hopefully, some normalcy will come, I pray, as she settles back into her home and daily life.

Maybe you yourself feel lost. Those moments thinking or even being asked what do you like to do or even that one question.  Who are you?   In a sullen look and voice, you may think or even say, or maybe ignoring the question and perhaps reply, I do not know who I am.  I do not know what I like, want, where to go, to do, and so on. You just exist from one day to the next and soon days, months and years pass.

I have been there.  Exist.  Barely breathing.  Lost.  Afraid.  Stuck.  Wearing a mask with a smile.  Frozen in time.  Sad.  No voice.

Reading the lyrics later of this song when I got home, because now the song is stuck in my head, I found myself smiling and happy inside.  In my life, I felt the rain; I saw the dark clouds for years; I felt the pain, as my heart was broken and unloved. Too many obstacles were in my way, feeling overwhelmed.  The bad feelings of hate, anger and unforgiveness were clinging to me, while I was right to have, but I needed to release and let go.

There is more to life.  If you just make minor changes and build to regain your equilibrium back, it is a start.  Do not let the lie of it is of no use to pull you back in despair.  Keep moving forward.  Give yourself grace.  Rest.

The most important, is God.  Allow Him to be in this with you.  He is, but He is a gentleman.  He wants YOU to call upon Him.  He will direct your paths.  He will give you joy.  He does and will love you, as you are His child. Trust Him.

536CF7B6-D31E-4899-8895-5AAB8B9390F1Today, I can truly say and feel that the heavy rain is gone, dark clouds have disappeared, I see the rainbow and the blue skies are opening up to me like never before.  Obstacles are being removed.  While I still have many areas to tend to and always will because life will never be without storms, but I could sing, I can see clearly now.  There is hope for me (for you).

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I Wait

4DD5F693-E894-462A-A418-4088F4293B0DThe other day, working and running from one appointment to another after leaving work early, in hopes that everyone needs to run on schedule as I had to.  Three appointments, an hour each, everything worked perfectly.  It was a good day, the stars all lined up, as they say.

Well, until the last one. It was the third appointment, at 4:15 that I pushed to get there on time and I sat.  I waited.  I enjoyed a few mints.  I usually never dig in the candy 10AB8E47-3B46-4ECC-922E-94DEAB502A64dish although I have one on my desk that is open for guests to enjoy. I waited more, thinking the appointment my counselor was in would soon end and she would be rounding the corner to greet me.  I waited, still.  I wrote, texted, read, ate another mint and I could feel myself melt in the chair EBD01CF0-49A0-48AD-A1CD-B3BF90F9A094from tiredness of the early morning alarm and the busy day.  I was now too tired to really talk, the clock was ticking away and I finally set my time that I would leave.  I wrote a brief note and I left. I never do that either. Done.  Goodbye.

Realizing, I had somewhat of a guilty feeling to leave but I was forgotten. A fear of abandonment and rejection that normally would knock me down and cause panic within me.  A conversation my former counselor and I have had many times before.

The fear and panic that would overwhelm me, but I did not feel that this day. It was one of those shake your head moments. Now, in real time, I am actually forgotten by my present 1C50A904-3D97-4456-AD9D-9B07D5AA037Fcounselor. Oh my gosh! The ‘OMG’ panic, fear and anger was missing. Whether I was too tired or was I just frustrated, I tried to figure out.  Was it me? Did I forget or have the wrong day? Knowing this was an off day to meet due to a previous engagement, but we both agreed the week before and also confirmed in an e-mail days before. My mind tossed this and that as I drove away. Have I changed that much? Has there been a healing in this weak area of my life of fear of being left, rejected, forgotten? I even had to think of my relationship with her compared to my former counselor, is it me that I do not care enough for this counselor. I do care. There is a difference between them, of course, but that was not it either. This feeling of being forgotten before would not matter whom it was or situation.

So. What just happened? Who am I?

To definitely get the one question answered and clear, she is a great counselor also. I know, too, what happened in this circumstance, as I came on a day before my normal appointment and she just forgot to write it down. So yes, I was forgotten but instead of digging a hole of self-pity and sadness to bury myself, I accepted the fact and in the end, was right plus receiving an apology from her.

With me sitting there so patiently, I did realize I am very patient, more than most would be.  I have had a lot of practice in this area, I believe. I try to give a benefit of a doubt to people and situations but sometimes that leads to anger afterward within me. Accept, shrug your shoulders and move on. I am to E6C17036-4CAA-47BB-B48A-38A334D14F0Bthe point that my time and that it is more valuable than being concerned with things I have no control over.

I realized I apparently did pick up some tricks of the trade from my former counselor of many years, which was rewiring my brain. Just like the thoughts of ‘what if’ and I would continue down the dreaded rabbit hole of negative thinking. I did it! I came out on the other side. While I approached home and at the last traffic light, I had a brief moment where I felt the tears building, my heart rate increasing and that panic.  I recognized it and acknowledged. Fear. I was exhausted. Again, to recognize and realize, I knew she would not purposely forget me.52C92B41-EAC9-4D34-9275-36E4201969A6

 

We are not to believe every thought we have. Turn those negative thoughts or lies around.

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I was just amazed and still how that time sitting and waiting did not knock me out of the game of life and counseling. If anything, it made me stronger within myself and probably the connection between us as counselor and client.

Moving forward as I will not let this stop me.

Above all, and most importantly, I know the One that will never forget me.  He loves me. He sees me where I am.  He knows where I am going.

Same with you!  Trust Him.

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