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/

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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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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I Sense an Attitude

At times I am confused and just shake my head, thinking what just happened. Questioning… you want me to talk and know who I am but then criticized for voicing my opinion.

Yesterday was one of those days. Actually, the last week or two of situations and issues at hand.  As I spoke about some of these things to my counselor, you know sharing the ups and downs, the good and the bad and frustrations in life.  Let it out, vent and feel safe in her office space, which I did and do.cef06755-b109-43fb-a442-78735c6b555c-9723-000001e5f99e7851

When I mentioned a couple of issues I had dealt with of what was recommended but not really necessary, my choice, I expressed that I was not going to do either.  I did not see the need and it is final.  It is okay to do that. Stating that and perhaps the frustration I felt while making my point and sharing with her, it was said by her that she sensed an attitude. I can see that but isn’t that part of all this, too, to work through?

f541fd80-78f5-47d5-befb-ea5b526585ca-9723-000001e5e17727faAn attitude?  Of course, being one that takes things to heart, that stuck with me.  Offended somewhat but also questioning if I was wrong for standing up for myself and in my decisions.  I have a right to speak up for me. While I knew she did not say that to be hurtful but it was her observation.

As a child and teenage years, I was silent.  When I became older, an adult, I felt more alive and was more vocal, which is needed with independence.  My confidence was better and finding who I was in life.  I was me.  A person that was more assured of herself and enjoying the new-found me, having a say and making my own decisions.  In knowing I was a Christian and trusted the Lord, I knew I was somebody also to Him.

While short-lived, not because of my faith in God but in people.  Family was the worst.  It was when I had to take control over my parents and make some decisions in healthcare, deaths, estates, etc., that I was ripped to spreads with words, opinions, lies and their attitudes.  Of course, they were right, I was wrong. Exhausting.  On top of all of that, too, my marriage took a hit.  Afraid to even ask, what else? Trust me, there was more.

During this time, I backed off and lost my desire to e9d01e20-2e08-42b7-ba04-b29bf81f85f4-9723-000001e793098ee9vocalize much at all.  I was done.  I lost myself. Depressed. It was tending to my children, which was my main focus, our home to keep it standing and in repair and then my own health and well-being to stay alive.  There were times, I felt I would be better off dead, as it would have been the easy way out of my misery but I held on for my boys.

Later, I did attempt to care for myself more and while slow steps, I was still moving forward. So now, being in counseling the last five years and growing, healing and basically finding myself once again, I feel and know I still have a voice. Sometimes it is like, I remember her, and it feels so good, as she is still in there.  When my counselor said yesterday, I sense an attitude, I was taken aback.  Am I to speak up for myself or not?  Yes! Yes, I am.  Even though her words made me stop in my tracks, I am right to c7d6611e-4adf-47f5-bf26-fb34573ab333-9723-000001ea7e95059fhave a say and I have a right to say NO. My boundaries.

I am not the same person that walked into my former counselor’s office five years ago, feeling crazy from life and struggling to live.  I am stronger today and I have fought to be here.  It feels pretty awesome, as I am moving forward.

While I want and we each need to speak up for ourselves, we can do that in a bold but pleasant way by not feeling and giving off the sense of we are all that and more.  I did have to question myself on that as I do not want to come off as arrogant.  I am just not going to sit back and not have a voice in what matters to me or for me.  I matter. You matter, too.7193b8ce-7f61-45f3-86ca-78c4b76c648e-9723-000001ebdc1308a9

I know I will discuss just this attitude matter with my counselor next week but writing through it helps, too.  I can do that.

We all have issues we are working through in life, that’s just life. While we may exhibit a bad attitude at times, give yourself grace. Offer forgiveness, as needed, to others or even to yourself.

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Imposition

Isn’t it funny how things come about and make sense, perhaps years later, more like decades in my case?

As a small child, I was always told to sit down, be quiet and do not bother anybody or anything.  I would go to work with my mom many times when she cleaned 5A620FB0-F8CF-4D5A-AE94-7BB47297B8D2houses.  I knew to never touch much less breathe on anything.  What I did though was look at the beautiful homes we were in, imagine what it was like to live there.  While we had a nice, clean home ourselves, it was my place to escape within my mind.  I can still smell the Ivory bath soap and see the bathroom at Betty’s house.  I can see the beautiful knick knacks and remember looking out the window in the side room to the back yard at Addie’s house.  I was a good kid, I could entertain myself just within my thoughts.  I had to in order to stay out of people’s way, including my mom.  I was no bother.

0550A961-9751-4A3C-9C03-8BD377E9EEC0Many times, I have noticed through the years that I would not call others, ask for help, etc,, and I am still that way.  For instance, I have been given permission by my former counselor, in the past, and my present counselors to contact them, if needed.  Each one, my comment is that I appreciate the offer but I did not and will not bother you and I don’t.  The risk of rejection, of them having no time for me would only magnify the panic within me.  In a situation at work, just yesterday, now I had to bother several and got a little more involved than usual.  Perhaps that is me not being so independent, codependent, passive aggressive, etc., as I will take so much and then… Enough!  Majority of the time, I will solve the issue and figure out how to rectify the problem for ease on me and all involved.  As in this work situation, besides my time and a stress headache pounding on each heartbeat, I now have a solution and will put in place starting tomorrow.  Done.

The imposition came to mind when discussing abandonment with my counselor yesterday.  I was an unwanted burden.  We both know this has been an issue for me in life.  One of those things yet again, I never had a word for of how I felt until my former counselor identified.  So, that is what I felt and it all made sense, that was just in the last five years.  Not easy to work through but at least I am not questioning the whys within me.

Abandonment, odds are came early for me, birth to eighteen months.  Seems unreal and kind of crazy to even consider but makes sense to tie all the lose ends together.  No maternal bonding as that was one of my questions wondering why our relationship was not like most mother-daughter connections.  There was never a mushy greeting card to reflect what was not there, ever.  Still she was my mom.  One of those moments, all my life, to sit back and look at the situation but never understanding.

“If my own mother can’t love me, who can?”  “Is there something wrong with me.”

Talking to him about this abandonment, I remembered mom’s words many times through the years the fact that right after having me, the day we came home from the hospital, she had to make Thanksgiving dinner. Back then, they kept mother and baby for days in the hospital, unlike today.

So, with a large family already, knowing I was the seventh child, seven years younger from my sister, other family members visiting, you know the general holiday gathering of family and friends, odds are I was tossed from one to another and that continued.  Take care of 309CD4E2-F84A-45BA-ABE9-A81E7CAF0CBAyour sister and don’t make her cry.  I heard that so often, as she did not really care to hold or even hear me.  How sad.  I have always felt and known I was an oops baby.  To realize even back then, I was an imposition as a baby, a young girl, adult and still an almost retired lady, it kind of does something to you.

Partly, there is shock and working through for healing but then comes strength in knowing the facts.  With all the comments, whether in joking, sarcasm and perhaps hatred of being in the way, it happened to me.  I heard all of that and it affected me, more than I realized.

As I told my mom while sitting on her bed, while she was putting laundry away, and out of her way; it was when I was about seven or eight, I questioned if I was a mistake with no reply.  I still remember that day, as if it was yesterday.  I shrugged my shoulders probably knowing already or why would I even ask, but then said to her that perhaps I am here to take care of you and dad later in life.  That actually took place, until their deaths.  Out of the mouths of babes.

649F54F8-B095-41BB-A5F9-F45960CD43A6While I may have been an oops, an imposition, a bother, felt the abandonment in life, I know one thing for certain and that I am a child of God.  I think I even knew it back then, too, but nobody to encourage me spiritually.  I know that He does not make mistakes.  I am not a mistake.  I know that He loves me.  I am loved and B806CA6C-2627-4DE8-A085-0F28E1E301DDlovable.  The ‘I Am’ statements are not just off the wall and flippant but necessary and truth behind each one.  It has taken me years to truly grasp His Love for me.  It’s when you know because you know.  Joy!

So many times in life, we are put down, ridiculed, etc., to where we do not know the who, what, when, where and whys in life.  But God…  It’s when you put your trust in Him and believe He has your life in His Hands, and trust Him and watch your faith grow, then the other does not matter as much.

I am no bother or imposition to God.  He is there for me 24/7 as He is for you.  Trust Him.

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https://healingbrave.com/blogs/all/i-am-affirmations-healing-purpose-abundance

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201105/when-mothers-don-t-bond-their-daughters

 

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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