God Winks

B2EA2A90-D200-4A8E-A23C-07AA7ED8872BIn all of these years, I had never heard the term, God Winks. Why is that? I have had many, to think of, just the Favor of God. Basically the same. I have and no doubt you have had situations come about that only God could orchestrate and faith would be increased with joy in your heart to experience.

This past week, I was telling my present counselor about my week and this one situation. While I was thrilled, he was quite ecstatic because he promptly said that was no coincidence, that was a God Wink. I totally agreed.

1DDC170A-AB01-468C-8496-763D21B1BDE6The more I gave thought to it, I was just thankful to God all this time, but then realized how he was so right, it was no coincidence. Thankfully, I just tend to have stuff like this happen in my life and think how cool is that but also thankful and happy. It is so God. He is showing me that He knows exactly where I am. How cool is that?!?

Last Sunday morning was running a little different and out of routine, as my son was in for the weekend but leaving to go back to his place. I was getting ready for church but was getting off kilter, as he is never rushed. I managed and we still enjoyed our time talking. Knowing my church service was the late one, I still had time. Soon though, time got away from me but finally got him on the road and me, too.

Living only ten miles from the church, I had time to get there on time. I travel a windy two-lane highway and usually no problem at all, nice and slow they say. Well, that is exactly what happened. Moving just fine and then nice and slow. Traffic was backed up for several miles. I’m thinking a wreck perhaps but later learned a detour from the main interstate. Slowly inching my way toward church, I come close to a church where my former counselor attends.

It has been now seven months since our last session due to her leave. I have so missed her and have struggled with abandonment and fighting depression but improving. Trying hard to understand but there is still a grief. After four years together in weekly sessions, she was a big part of my life.

So as I approach the parking lot to her church, I could see her car at a distance. Just seeing her car as I pass weekly, as I go to my church and seeing she is at her church, it makes me feel good, knowing she is there and okay.

As I inch my way up the road, the thought came that I will miss seeing her once again although the parking lot was pretty empty.  I was kind of bummed but then I see her car move and come toward the exit. My car was coming up on the church exit, which allowed her to pull out in front of me. It was just as if we planned it.  No, that was the Favor of God or a God Wink, as my new counselor said.

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As her car is now in front of mine, my heart was beating so fast of the excitement of this happening and also seeing her.  Sometimes I am just amazed how such a rare situation can happen with me. It does but it has been a long time. I so needed that whole scenario to happen and no doubt the Lord knew I needed just that. He is so good.

Looking ahead of my car, she was able to pull out on the road with many cars in line behind me and no traffic coming in the other direction. It was like the cars all around us stood still. We could not have timed this any better, only God could. I think she was happy to see me, too.

God Winks. Look for them. 2FAE5D2A-7F51-4487-846C-D547B1E10B98

“Every so-called coincidence or answered prayer is God’s way of letting you know He’s thinking of you.

“An event or personal experience, often identified as coincidence, so astonishing that it is seen as a sign of divine intervention, especially when perceived as the answer to a prayer.”

God +‎ wink; coined by SQuire Rushnell, author

Another Dead Box?

7A0A61F6-70A2-4336-B5CD-7C83579C9A26While I am not a hoarder, I do keep things; each matter in their own box, somewhat organized and stored in the eaves of my attic.

Through the years of dealing with the estates of my parents and brother, they each have their own box of what I wanted and needed to keep after their passing.  Sadly, this is all that is left of their life, a dead box of memories, keepsakes and possessions.  There is guilt that comes of that but you cannot keep everything, you have to let go.  I had to.

I tend to keep my notes, journals, calendars, etc., and have since a child, never knowing why I held onto them. They have proved to come in handy and really do not take up much room, just a few storage boxes, of my own life.

With mine, I had to dig deep within them this last bout with my counselor, back to my childhood.  With that, I learned a lot of what I had lacked as a child and how it has and is affecting me today.  Sometimes, I thought it would be easier to keep my head in the sand just knowing something was not right than poking at it, which we did, but deep down I wanted to understand me.

Putting names with areas of emotional distress (attachment, abandonment, trauma, shame, childhood emotional neglect, just to name a few) opens up areas I never knew before.  They are all real and felt.

As my counseling ended recently, there is an overwhelming feeling of many of those emotions being triggered.  To the point of wanting to run and put my head in the sand.  Perhaps like a test.

B2A81AF4-884E-42BC-AC09-C84360FA0F85Realizing before, I felt this way or that way but to now understand, have a name for what I am experiencing or feeling, I am thinking it has been harder.  I am aware and the intensity of the pain has been quite disturbing at times.  As I was exhibiting this or that and to my dismay, I recognized what was happening.  It’s a new way for me, to recognize, express, name and grasp to hopefully heal in these areas.

So through the pain, just the feeling of the abandonment being more intense, I could grasp that is what it was.  It was safe for me to cry and to give myself time to grieve and I will for awhile.  I can say, too, that I am angry with the way it ended, as I feel it could have been handled differently, basically more respectful, especially her knowing me.  That’s rough to say but truth.  Now leaving me with several questions that may never have answers.  Feeling all of these emotions, naming them is good but not easy.  It’s normal to grieve a relationship lost.

As much as this situation hurt, I feel I am coming through it easier just knowing and realizing what is happening, how it is affecting me and what I am doing.  Being mindful.  Tears come and they are also normal.

536CF7B6-D31E-4899-8895-5AAB8B9390F1While I have a storage box full from our years of counseling of notes, etc., it sits untouched right now but still in my sight, not stored.  There was too much invested in my life through her.  Some but not all healing in me is complete to put this box aside and ignore.  I know in time, I will and can still go through the many notes, copies of research done, open up and remember our sessions and still grasp many golden nuggets to continue for growth and healing.

F5B28577-7295-4887-B8A9-1575BBD83E09Maybe I need to name this box a Treasure Chest instead of another dead box because of the time spent in the many hours of counseling over four years. Even through the pain now, I’m thankful and feel blessed to have had her in my life. Everything within that box has brought me to where I am today and I believe it was orchestrated by God.

Square Bushes

For whatever reason, my mind jumped to the day my husband trimmed our bushes in our landscape after I had surgery.  This task was mine through the many years of home ownership and landscape care. 14c5f51f-9efe-4952-8db7-5b3d2f7ea116

Everybody has their own way of doing things and their opinions, which is fine but the OCD in me and the Aspergers in him collide.  This has happened so many times in our marriage to the point of craziness within me and no doubt within him, perhaps.

Since, learning of Aspergers just four years ago from my counselor and doing my own research, I have become more tolerant of him.  It is fair to say, I feel less crazy, too, by knowing why he does things, which is normal with Aspergers.

So often, I wish I had known going into our marriage what I was dealing with.  I think the outcome would possibly be different, but not certain.

Just the other night, he made a comment of something he does that is odd and as he recognized it and said, that’s just me.  I confirmed that in him, that’s just you and there is nothing wrong with that.  Oh my gosh, who am I?, I thought.  Before I would have rolled my eyes and let him criticize himself with the negative talk.  We went on our merry way while shopping.

While we all have our own idiosyncrasies, patience is always needed for one another.  The day of the square bushes, I remember so well, the shock within me seeing them.  Now, I can laugh.

cb5dc8ad-5d67-4122-b8f5-bad49a99f162Taking time to thank him for helping but to help him understand that trees, bushes and all do not grow square, look around.  Plus, it makes a yard look old, yuck.  With some direction, it was time to do some adjustments on the bushes to make them look more natural and, of course, time to grow out.  We still laugh over this at times.

986f0f64-3d8a-47be-8f9e-baed519c1c3fWe all have rough edges and we all grow and learn in different stages.  In myself, I am not where I want to be but I am not where I was.  We have to be kind to ourselves and understand it’s a process.

With others, we need patience because we do not know what they are dealing with.

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Perhaps this is just a reminder to me today, of what I might be faced with as my day begins, I don’t know.  In life, there are square bushes.

Enjoy your day! 😊

Seasons of Life

For so many years, I mean like over a decade, my winter season felt as if I was dead and I was just drifting from day to day, year to year, with no hope in sight of change.  I will die just existing in the doldrums of life.
Finally getting enough energy to walk through my counselor’s door years ago to hear her say that I was almost dead, was no surprise to me.  I felt dead.  It was a last-ditch effort to get my life back by trusting her, from the many hurts and pull myself out of the isolation I allowed to overtake me.
While it it did not come immediate, each session brought light to my dark mind of insecurities and struggles of placing one foot in front of the other.  So many times, I have been thankful that our bodies (my body) has the ability to maintain itself when we give up.  Meaning, the heart beats on its own and the lungs breath in and out without being told to.  Otherwise, I don’t think I would be here and at this time in my life.  I had no energy to make it happen.
As we go through the actual seasons each year, our lives do, too.  As my Pastor will say, if you are not in a trial now, you are either coming out of one or you will be going into one.  My thought to myself each time he said that was ‘just great’ in a sarcastic tone.   It does not matter who you are or what you do, we are not exempt of struggles and we all experience seasons in our lives.
Being reminded of the seasons today in a post that I read, I realized I am not in the dead-winter season, as I once was, which felt good to grasp and realize that changes have happened within me.
While not in the lively spring season or the flourishing summer but perhaps in the transititioning autumn season and I am okay with that.  At times I catch a glimpse of the others and I get excited.  Thank God I am not where I was!
My mind constantly reminding me though, knowing winter will come again.  Those thoughts are just the enemy to destroy any joy. With that, I have a choice of having fear hit my mind or I can praise the Lord of where I am and be joyful.  I choose the latter, it feels good to be alive.
No matter what season you or I may be in today or tomorrow, the Lord is still with you/us.  In the winter months, the root system grows deep and He is allowing that in each of us as it comes.  Trusting Him to strengthen our faith and trust in Him to help others do the same.

Distractions

Since my last writing, I have pondered distractions all week. Distractions come whether we like them or not and some are actually in our favor.73DD4B77-FA72-445B-B9E7-37CB8160A658

Dealing with a member of the church and her comment of my hair, apparently she is the hair police. It did distract me and started to take over in my worship and concentration. Once I realized though that her comment was a distraction, I settled in and realized Satan just used her as a tool to do so. Nope! Stop right there.

Recently, I enrolled in an accelerated class in the evenings for eight weeks. This all came about months earlier and everything lined up, even the money to pay in full, etc. With that all happening, that truly is a sign from the Lord to do it and do it well. I was excited and my classroom time began.

It was then that my counselor decided to take a leave of absence. A good month before, she had cancelled sessions due to illness but no thought of a leave. Reading my previous writings, I was devastated. I still miss her.

I realized this week though that with me losing my counselor after four years of regular weekly sessions, I was grieving and just lost in my routine, thoughts and tears that just perhaps that accelerated class was a good distraction for me.

While it was hard to focus, and I found myself angry at her but then again understanding her need to care for herself, I had to keep it together and concentrate in order to pass the class. That cycle of anger and understanding in my grieving continued.

If it had not been for that class though, I may have crumbled. So I still see that the Lord had my path all lined out due to her leaving and here I am today. Finished with the class, passing with a higher grade than ever imagined and my grief has lessened.

I am sure you know full well that distractions come from one room to the next. If you are like me, you can walk in one room to do something and be pulled in another direction and forget the main purpose of going in the room. The old joke about being at the bottom of the steps, standing there, wondering if you were going up or just came down. Still makes me laugh, it’s true sometimes.

0D5DE9F1-06E0-459F-95F0-51CBB90CEFBFNow that I am older, post-it notes are the best things ever. I need notes and many I talk to, make notes or to-do lists, don’t forget, etc. With that, another distraction is the mental thought of worry that I am or will get Alzheimer’s.

Well, that thought will bring you down quick. It runs in my mother’s side of the family so it is in the back of my mind. I have to switch that off and not dwell there.

Our lives are so busy with places to go, see and do and our minds are overwhelmed with details that it is easy to be distracted. Life nowadays for so many of us, from young to old, we all get distracted in so many ways. Some more than others as with ADHD or other medical conditions.

It’s having patience with ourselves. Make your lists, use post-it notes or whatever else to take some junk from your mind that you need to remember and feel somewhat free. It’s there in front of you to cross off or get to and takes the pressure off to remember it all.  Makes you feel accomplished as you cross off things from your list, too.

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I find I still tell myself, oh I will remember that, if a thought comes, etc. Nope! I don’t as much anymore, I am older, overwhelmed and going in many directions, probably as you are. I sometimes take a pic with my phone of something I want to check out, so when I scroll through my pics, there it is.

Just knowing distractions come and they will, you make the most of them. Some are good and some not so much.

Funny, I am writing this as it has been on my mind a lot this week noticing the many distractions. Here I am writing and should be up cleaning, doing laundry and I had best get my Christmas decorations out and up before Christmas. Distracted by writing. Here I distracted you by reading.  See, it happens.  Have a productive, fun day.

🎄 Merry Christmas 🎄

Now What?

632BA1E3-A01A-44A2-9445-6602D14F413BWhat do I do?  Where do I go?

Today, after four years of weekly counseling visits, sometimes two, of course minus vacation weeks by my counselor or sickness of either one of us, has ended.  It has been long, hard, insightful and an investment that I would do all over again.

It was meant to be that I found her at the time in my life. I was going down and going fast.  The Lord directed my steps and used her to help me. Forever, I will be grateful.

Now, I am faced moreso after basically an exit telephone call due to some health issues for her.  I’m lost!  The abandonment and attachment that has been with me as a child, which has been a part of our client/counselor relationship, knowingly and us working through, but no more.  What do I do? 63C482A4-D2AB-4C58-87D0-441F1E36ED5E

The thought of starting and being encouraged from her to find another, I feel a dread within.  It’s exhausting to break in another counselor.  I don’t want to rehearse my past.  Is it possible to highlight but move forward in healing or will the new one want to know all the good, bad and the ugly to bring me back to where I am today?   Then, what if they leave?  Abandoned yet again.

Its crazy to know I need a new counselor to deal with my last counselor but the grieving process is overwhelming at times.  While some may not understand, realize that this woman has been a part of my life for four years.  We both invested in one another.  Things we have discussed, only God knows besides her.  That’s huge!

I felt closer to her than my own siblings. While they love me, they don’t know me. Never did.  I truly have been blessed but now I walk blindly trying to know what to do. Lord, put another Christian Counselor, as you did before, in my path so I can continue on my journey and heal from the hurts within.

My heart will forever be thankful but for the time being, it hurts. 735B543F-5162-4B9A-8619-1C1B439882F5

 

Tears Behind the Mask

Today, wanting to drop to the floor and cry like a baby at times, I must endure and put on a smile and deal with work, people and just life itself. Coming back from lunch, I sat in the car to get myself together and basically adjust my mask, it is just part of my routine in life.

So many times, my counselor mentioned the mask that I have worn for years, which puts a barrier up between me and my vulnerability with others to be lacking. Perhaps I just don’t get it. If I took off my mask all the times I hid the tears and wailing I feel within, I can only imagine what others may think. Lock her up, she is losing it. If they only knew, I really was and am. Today is no different. The waves of emotions I feel are overwhelming at times. I am just trying to keep it together.

Finding this pic and quote today, is so true. Nobody at my church for years knew I was hurting and dying inside from depression. Discernment is a rare commodity. When others mentioned after I did drop the mask and share, so many said that they never knew and that I was a good actress. Apparently, I was!

Actually, there are some that I do not want to be vulnerable with and share my true self with. That is an honor to get to know me, not that I am anyone special but I believe we we have a say and we all have a part that we want to share with others. Make sense? I feel I have come a long way with this mask thing but there is a time and a place to let your guard (mask) down and to wear it.

As I fight back the tears, my breathing halts from the outburst I have felt so many times. No telling how many brain cells have died from just this habit I exhibit that nobody sees or feels. They would not want to feel the pain I have within.

Don’t we all have pain though? To some extent, we are all going through something and that is why we need to show mercy and grace to one another. We do not know what one another is going through. Do we?

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18