Terrified with Faith

I am at a point in my life where I am being pushed forward into the unknown somewhat, wondering if can I do it.  Questioning myself and God of how this situation A78CCC54-9AE9-4C38-A21F-22660E7039D5had all come about so perfectly but the doubt hovering over me with what if I fail?  The balancing act with many encouraging me and those that I have shared my hesitation with, their encouragement that will support me either way. At times, that did not help, still feeling at a loss as to what to do. In the past few weeks, a part of me desiring that somebody would say, just do it, taking my hand and leading me, helping me and conquer this fear. I’m scared, okay terrified.

BC147DB3-4AD4-429B-A91E-E087A8314780I am sure I am not alone when trying to make a big decision, allowing faith to manifest but fear lurking around every corner.  We all have to make decisions in life with jobs, marriage, education, purchases, etc.  Adulting is hard, even at my age.

As I was being encouraged by a lawyer friend yesterday to go forward and expressing my fear and hesitation, I asked him if he experienced this when going to law school. Without hesitation, he said he was terrified. Today, he is one of the finest lawyers I know. His position just did not happen overnight, as he had to face fear head on.  Just his words of, ‘I was terrified’ brought comfort, knowing what I am feeling is normal. Sometimes knowing normal is not just a dryer setting, can take pressure off of an anxious mind. I realized that when with my former counselor, a lot of what I thought and felt was quite normal. It is the shame-based thoughts that keep us bound by thinking we are not normal, something is wrong with us.

Dealing with the weight of this matter on my mind and 5C5859A9-7215-4E34-AA86-FE897089F51Bmaking a final decision this week, I felt encouraged upon waking.  I have dreams and sometimes they are so real, just like this morning. Sitting quietly in a church service but next to a side wall not in a pew, my pastor came over to me. He took my hands and held them, looking at me and just said, ‘You know He is with you.’ How encouraging! Yes, it was a dream a spiritual dream, but I do believe and know that God can speak to us in them. Perhaps because our mind is quiet and He can get our (my) attention.

ID0F6AF27-7611-4796-BB3D-EEC4392F8B2Dn my quiet time this morning, of course, with coffee nearby and before I start my day cleaning and enjoying my home, I was reading scripture.  Just so happened, guess what I turned to and read first?  Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” How awesome it is to know that God’s Words are LIFE words soothing our soul, that brings calmness to our spirit and giving power and joy to our day.  He is with me. He is with you. We just have to quiet our minds, whether sleeping and in a dream to be reminded or in the moment acknowledging Him as we go about our busy, chaotic lives.  That’s God. Trust Him.

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9 Bible Promises About Your Sleep, Dreams and Night Hours

 

Peace and Quiet

9E1F0857-0CE8-475A-BFFB-26F3E4216F19Today, I embarked on a new journey in my life.  I have never done this before but I am taking a step forward.  We sing a song in church that says if you take one step, He will take two.  Well, I need that from the Lord as I don’t know what to do.  I feel like life is heading in all sorts of directions and I feel lost, standing at a fork in the road.

DCF2B457-52CE-4BD2-92E3-7AF6CBF5140BI arranged a getaway for four nights, just me.  I need to know me and I need the Lord to speak to me through His Word.  He is my Father.  He is my Husband.  I need Him.

As I searched for a location to go and be alone, I narrowed it down to two places. For days I agonized over which 57BCCF04-A58C-4C82-B209-6D05EBE799C1way to go.  I stood in my office before leaving with my arms outstretched asking if I am to go north or south. My final decision was to go north.

In my final decision and knowing more of the location, a private apartment of a family, I did my due diligence and researched them.  Odds are, they did me, too, although I did need to go through some hoops to be verified that I am a decent person, no serial killer.

67AA0790-E188-44BB-BF02-E72D8B051D9DI told my counselor that I would not be surprised if the owner is an attorney, as I would love to pick his brain.  To find out, he is a preacher.  Even better.  No doubt in my mind that is why I was drawn to this location.  I would not be surprised to have time to talk and be encouraged from him or his wife. That’s God. The Lord is so good. 4100A9CE-8E3F-40CE-B118-3BFFDB6EE487

So as I prepared to travel north and get settled in alone, I have to be honest, it was somewhat hard to do. Why do I want to leave the comfort of my own home, almost wanting to forget this trip and take a loss. With that battle in my mind, something will come of this trip and I pray it does.

I will find my place to focus on the Lord, in my writing and reading with no distractions of dust, dirty dishes or laundry pulling me away.

My beautiful view.

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“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16

 

Accelerate

3E25D218-716C-4109-83EC-BB9EA2750E57There have been so many years to where I was stuck in a depressed state of mind, body and spirit in my life that I did not see a way through the dark pit of despair.

Walking aimlessly day to day from home to work and back again was my life. No goals, desires or dreams, total hopelessness. Wearing the mask of a smile while tending to the bandages wrapped around my broken and frail heart. Will there ever be more, I would ask so often C4F4348B-5A7D-4E57-B429-29DF2B769643within myself of my life here on out. I saw no hope.

Now it seems that this past year, everything has been accelerated, as in making up for lost time.

Last September, I took a medical class that was completed in eight weeks. Let me tell you, it was accelerated and more so for this old mind to grasp, but I passed with a 94.

Now I joke when I tell those that need to know, like a new doctor recently, that I am presently seeing two counselors a week. While they overlap in topics at times, one I feel is to get me through a loss through feelings of abandonment and where I lost ground somewhat and the other is to push me forward. So, I told 9CFB3676-1B38-4E3B-ADD1-13B42DF06D9Fhim that I am in accelerated counseling, and we both laughed. Funny but true. I have lost too much in my life and I need to regain my years back, as my age is adding up to numbers that I find I shake my head at in shock. I want more in life and I know the Lord has more for me.

Part of my loss has been in my marriage, as I have mentioned in my writings at times.  Recently, talking to a sweet, young girl in our office the other day when she dropped off paperwork for me, well basically listening as she spoke more to my assistant.  I could not help but ache for her and encourage her before leaving. Here she is living with a guy for seven years, recently engaged of which I think pushed by her and understandably so, after seven years together. They are both miserable and she wants out but feels stuck, as she feels seven years will be wasted.  Hopelessly feeling she has to start again.  In my mind and my assistant’s mind, it is better to leave now before marriage, house and children.  Run sweetheart run! Who knows but God what is in store for her but hopefully more than a sad, depressed and unhappy relationship whether married or not. Good news, she left.

AB9D14D6-708F-442F-8401-55BBDF102E48So many things have happened in this last year moreso that I cannot help but see the Hand of God at work. While it was rough and I took a nosedive last fall/winter, I was being pulled through with my nose to the grind in the medical class, while most times falling apart in an emotional chaos afterward.  Another approach was with the acceleration with counseling this year that was put in place to keep me focused. Most importantly, trusting the Lord that He surely has a purpose and a plan for my life.  There is light at the end of this tunnel and I am going through.D2B58A4D-9428-4B02-898D-0BA474E1422B

We all need to make a choice of staying stuck or moving through. I was stuck for way too long, still am, but I want more. As they say, no hell or high water will stop me now. I have a goal, which is to move forward. Unsure what and where forward is right now but I know to keep going. I want the last course of my life to be fun, enjoyable knowing the Lord loves me and is with me.

D3529520-8857-4DFA-A404-23D03899AAD7You, too, have a choice. Unsure where you are, whether spinning your wheels or stuck in the mud, as I have been there. Decide you want more. Take care of you. If you need counseling to figure life out, get counseling. If your energy level is depleted, go see your doctor and get blood work. It might be that you are low in iron or off in other areas within your body. If depressed, get an anti-depressant for a bit to get over the hump. Go for a walk, if just for fifteen minutes or stand outside (then you can say… you are Outstanding) and look around and breathe. It is a start. Nobody can do this for you. You have to make a choice that you want more and that you are important enough. You Are!

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/god-can-restor-your-lost-years/

Blank Slate

094827C6-CEF1-459D-BB49-F12084B966A2Recently, I was with friends at a large event. I had a counseling session beforehand, and I was telling her about going that evening, of my anxiousness and some background tidbits. I remembered and told her that the speaker that night at the event, was a former pastor of a local church. When I visited the church years ago, never meeting him before, he came over to me and prayed but then he said that my life is like a blank slate (canvas). What did that mean? I believed it was good as I was on a new journey to find me again.  It had to be good — a prayer and a comment like that and in church, right?19076668-1828-4EF5-A4E5-E01BC46F49AE

For years, I have tossed that around, questioning.  Did that mean that my thoughts all through the years, that I am a nobody, after all was correct? I’m blank. Nothing going on upstairs, I am stupid? Trust me, the thoughts and ideas popped in my head of both positive and negative, always causing doubt in myself, others and everything.

When I mentioned this to my counselor and to keep a positive spin of his comment, I just felt like I was able to EE8E6DF9-D8C1-4616-8AAC-CD40DD355636find me and make the life that I want and desire. This is a good thing. At the time he said what he did, it was the beginning of my counseling sessions with my former counselor, now five years ago. I was and I am still trying to find me, my self-esteem that was lost, the confidence forgotten and voice that was silenced. It felt good to know that the blank slate back then is now starting to show some life and happiness.

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Back then, too, years before counseling, I was at a point of deep despair, hopelessness and just existing in life. I knew I had to reach out for help and did so by going to a Christian Counselor, one that I felt I was led to by God, after many months of prayer and research.  I did not just Google search for the first counselor that popped up in my area, I did my due diligence. My desire to get back into church became alive again. To attend s5C93847D-0D96-441E-9E4F-EE82F1C5DFE5mall groups with church bible studies and to be more sociable was a joy, as for years I avoided crowds, people for that matter.  While it was not always easy, I did it in small steps. Plus, I was determined to fight through the rough, emotional  sessions of counseling, many times wanting to quit but I would always go back the next week, knowing deep down that this was God’s Will in my life. I had to fight through many times and still, as the enemy wants to kill, steal and destroy.  I don’t think she would let me quit anyway, thankfully.

3428D1C1-2DD8-4527-9703-D97A5064AC4DToday, as I look back and questioned the comment that I am a blank slate, I do see it as a positive and the lines on the canvas are connecting, as there is joy exhibited and felt within and the color of beauty being expressed in and around me. Hopefully, in my writings, the creative side I lost, too. I am enjoying where I am at this point in my life, because I feel alive. I want more.  There is only One that make this all fall together and give me more, the desires of my heart, as I look to Him.

Whats on your canvas?  No matter what you may be going through, you can make changes, too. The Lord wants to hear us call on Him and praise Him in the small and big areas within our lives. Trust Him.8898D424-04F7-4F73-8907-4FE71DA6A60D

Eleanor Roosevelt writes, “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” Each new day gives you a clean slate, a new start, new available strength, more grace (because His grace never runs out), and abundant love and hope. 

https://www.jubileeonlinechurch.org/build-on-your-clean-slate/

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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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Enough Love

Oh Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever, He sought me and He bought me with His redeeming blood.3F172254-B945-4A71-9F47-5939FC04FB51

The words of this song is an uplifting one as are other songs we hear and singalong to also. At times though in life, the words go across our lips without actually hearing or believing them, we are just singing. We can all sing, or at least attempt to sing, but do the words and the meaning hit our heart and stir it? There’s a quote that says we hear the music but when we are down and out, we understand the lyrics. I have found that myself to be true.

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In my writings, I want the words to help me to remember where I have been, where I am at now and knowing He has His Hand upon my life for what is ahead.  To the reader, to know that there is victory in Jesus and your faith will hopefully be increased.

No matter what happens in life, good or bad, we are to go to the One with our praise and our prayers. He see the tears that fall and the tears that we choke back.  He knows each one of us like no other. While that is hard to comprehend, it is for me, because there are millions upon millions of people in this world. How can He love me as much as He loves you?  But, He does! 7A94EFAD-5BCE-4BAA-955A-1C96EF3952F2

Being a parent, and I remember when my second child was about to be born and while I already loved this child within, I remember telling my sweet, older neighbor friend my worries. As tears filled my eyes, holding my first born, asking how will I love this second child as much as I love my first child. Do I have enough love? My emotions were way out there but probably normal for any mother, especially a pregnant, hormonal one. I remember her telling me, my love will be enough for both as I will have plenty to give.B6324B87-5F51-458E-AA69-777B6DBF34F6

Sure enough, my love was expressed to both equally and still. The vast amount of love He has for each one of us is incomprehensible. He’s amazing!

I know I need to be reminded of just that today, of His Love, for Me.  Know, too, He Loves You!

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Bracelet Beauty

DED2117F-6DF0-433D-A905-12FA4A37EBF0I have a sweet friend that I met in Sunday school, sitting next to me, many years ago and we have been friends since that morning.  While we lived miles apart, we managed to meet several times a year to shop and soon developed our routine of favorite stores, etc.  On my birthday about a year or two ago, we met and she had a gift for me, a beautiful bracelet of friendship.  Soon, she and husband moved further away, in another state.  In that last shopping trip together, I gave her a friendship bracelet.  This move was good for them but we both missed our girl-time together so we decided to meet half way for a few days to shop back in the spring.  What fun it was to get away and enjoy hours talking, laughing, sharing and at times crying.  True, best friends.  In that time together going from shop to shop, we found bracelets and sure enough we bought the same.

Just recently, while she was in town, we met, shopped and there again found ourselves looking at bracelets.  So now we have a new theme to our time together. Bracelets.

It was this last trip that I was telling her about my first bracelet many years ago, that I had forgotten about wearing.  Some things in my past, I wanted to forget.

It was back, almost twenty years, I was dealing with some issues that no wife needs to experience or words to hear 14C97E8C-B4F1-4F96-BEBE-51E23A0968E3from her husband.  I was lost in the emotional turmoil and nobody to turn to due to shock and shame, thinking maybe it was all my fault.  I felt hopeless, ugly, unworthy and whatever negative word you want to throw in this mess I was in and dealing with.

A little girl on our street, about ten years old, would often come to see me when I was out in the yard.  I had boys so I was outside with them or checking on them.  The girl was selling jewelry for her class at school so, of course, I bought one.  I still remember that day, as if it was yesterday.

686BAD4C-585C-492D-ABD5-AE8A4BBFC909It was a stretchy soft-color bracelet and I thought how pretty it was and happy I bought it.  It was when I put it on to go to church one day, I guess I felt good that day.  I put it on, then I realized I felt different.  I felt pretty.  In shock with that feeling, I took it off, as I noticed a difference in me.  I put the bracelet back on and wore it all the time, thereafter.  It helped me to feel pretty when I did not feel pretty at all.  It gave me a sense of hope in myself when I had rather disappeared in life.

I still have the bracelet.  While I do not wear it nowadays, I keep it to always remember where I was then and how it helped me climb through despair.  There were a couple of years where I bought or was given bracelets as gifts so I have quite a few.

In those years, I wore the cheap, school bracelet mostly or another here or there but in time I took the bracelet(s) off as well as my wedding rings; I wore no jewelry at all but my post earrings.  Done.  No need to feel or look pretty.  If I had a good day, I knew it was short-lived.  No wonder I wanted to forget this period in my life.

0615FC93-BAED-4A83-9D80-6EF86150919AIt was just a month or so ago, I bought myself a new watch, I slipped on a bracelet with it and again the feeling came, I felt pretty but also knowing I am worthy to wear this bracelet.  Isn’t it interesting that just a cheap or any other bracelet can change the thoughts and feelings by wearing it?

9B3B740D-C2A7-45B5-8B6B-BDF675A6FE9CLife issues, marriage, relationships, etc., can take all hope from us at times but knowing the One who gives hope is what matters.  I gave up on everyone and even God through those years although knowing deep down, he was there for me. He was all I had but I even doubted Him..

Questioning the Lord of why I had to go through everything295382E6-CCC1-4B9D-8139-F816E2BAD317 that I did.  He knew that I would question Him.  He knew I was and felt hopeless and that I was angry.  He knew where I was and what I was going through.

I said this so often and I still do, as it keeps my faith alive: He knows my name and He knows where I am. 

You are welcome to use that, too!  No matter what you are facing, know that you take one day at a time.  Trust Him!

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