30 – 60

Next month marks two big events in my life.  I am unsure how to handle these occasions although they will come and go whether I like it or not.

2C0279E6-C4D8-48E0-B45C-04A63DC01C33Just yesterday I was in my twenties, thirties, forties and, of course, fifties.  Now, the BIG 60.  How did that happen so quickly? I also often wonder how I and/or we have made it to our 30th anniversary.  Wow!  30 years!389EAFA5-9581-4788-AF1B-6FC6D46B9E41

Thinking back, the twenties were me finding my independence and partying in the first part, being young and stupid. The second half, I realized that is not the life for me and because I knew, too, the Lord was drawing me to Him and needed to get my Christian walk straight. It was time to stop running, which I did. To have a complete stranger say to me one night, “You need to quit running from God” definitely got my attention. I knew that was a warning. Later, I met a man at church and we dated three years and married four days before my thirtieth birthday.

My thirties, well our first year of marriage was not enjoyable, to be honest.  Several days before our wedding, with all plans made, etc., I remember standing in the church parking lot looking at this man with the thought to call off the wedding.  Of course, I did not.  Thinking, it was just cold feet and nervousness.  Was it?  It did get better and even more so with my first and second child born in the next few years, they were and are my life. I loved our little family.

145F47B7-AD82-4284-AD28-7B1F1C3F5147As I was busy with toddlers and caring for my aging parents, things changed in those years. My parents passed within two years of one another, then dealing with the estate and family issues.  Sadly, my marriage died, too.  Alone within and being private while wearing a mask of us all being a happy Christian family. Taking this all upon me, as it was all my fault, accepting the lies and rumors being spread that I am a bad person, etc., was weighing heavy upon me.

I remember my fortieth birthday, like it was yesterday.  My small office had cream colored carpet that I had just moved into but it was dirty from the traffic pattern of the other person walking in and out.  I wanted a nice, inviting office with clean carpet. We were slow that day so I got on my hands and knees scrubbing the carpet, 4718957F-EA4C-495C-A61C-C9DD39DDC3D5thankfully not a large space.  While scrubbing, I remember thinking I am just like the fairytale we have all read, Cinderella.  As for much of the forties, I do not remember, as I lost myself in those years.  My focus was on my children and my energy went to them, otherwise depression was overtaking me.

In trying to better myself, I had a short stint of counseling before he moved his practice out of state.  I felt I was gaining ground trying to find myself but only at a snail’s pace. The sudden death of my brother and dealing with his estate and the same family members that stirred up strife before but now more hateful, which got the best of me. I allowed their words and anything and everything negative rip me to shreds.

Finally when turning fifty, I was attempting to get myself out of the pit by taking care of me by having weight-loss surgery.  Looking back, I dealt with emotional eating and I still do at times but I recognize it now, but I had gained well over one-hundred pounds in twenty years of our marriage.

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We are now both feeling the effects of having an empty nest.  We are two strangers in the same house, both working full-time jobs and just going through the motions. I know I was dreading my home life and feeling stuck and feeling the craziness of it all. Too much! Everything went to the wayside, isolating myself from the world around me.

I knew I had to reach out for help. It takes courage to do that so if you find yourself in this loop of hopelessness and despair, please reach out. I found and was blessed with a wonderful Christian counselor five years ago to help me see light again and have hope, when all hope was gone.  Had it not been…ADFEB088-C85D-43CD-BFEC-2B40D3DC6411

I am about to hit my Big 60. I can truly say, I am happier today than I have been for such a long time; by understanding myself and working on my issues? I cannot control others and had to know deep within and to hold onto the fact that God said in His Word that He will fight my battles. Is everything perfect and did everything fall into place? No. I have had and still have some rough moments, but I know not to let it all get me down for long and to pull me down into a pit of despair and depression. I am moving forward. I am stronger today in my faith, as counseling has held me together and I know that the Lord has a plan and a purpose for me, even at this age.

I am expecting that the Lord will use me to glorify His Name and bring hope to others as I continue to grow older.  I want that.  Trust Him.

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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

 

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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SHAME

 

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Shame – Wikipedia
Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self, withdrawal motivations, and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness

I cannot make that word large or ugly enough to express of how much it has affected my life.

To keep shame hidden and unaware, is a weight I have carried and many carry daily and throughout their lifetime.  The thoughts that come that we are not good enough for this or that, the negative that has infiltrated our minds from childhood and through life is somewhat disabling.

It was not until a few years ago that I understood shame and it’s effects upon my life.  Still, this morning as I am looking and researching many websites about shame did I realize that I was triggered just a few weeks ago of something that put me in a downward spiral of anger, unworthiness and sadness.  While I managed and coped, I realized today that was shame again heaped upon me.  Not understanding the situation and why somebody that was dear to me would ignore me basically.  I took that as I am unworthy, they have lied to me all this time and I am a nobody.  While I identified I was angry, it was not until writing this blog did I recognize shame.  Disappointment and all the emotions became alive with this situation, I became stuck.  It’s shame, yet again.  Shame, it’s time to go! Thankfully, through this period, I had my counselors to allow me to talk and work through it all.  Just to recognize shame, it cannot stay.

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Shame wants us to hide and be all negative about ourselves that we will not fully succeed in life.  It’s a great ploy of the enemy because he knows that if we had the confidence and compassion toward ourselves, as we do others, we can make an impact.  As a Christian, the enemy does not want that at all.  Keep him or her quiet and all is well.  Becoming aware of shame and how it has tormented me, I will speak out and go forward.  It may knock me for a loop, as it did recently, but I will bounce back.F6035147-A86B-4B42-99AC-84F8E79DC483

To understand and to put a word with the feelings is enlightening.  Why I never knew of shame really before in life is unbeknownst to me.  Perhaps it wasn’t the time.

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Shame is feeling sorry about who you are as a person.     And toxic shame is feeling bad about who you are as a person all the time – it is pervasive.  What is Toxic Shame?  (The Little-Known Mental Illness) LonerWolf  https://lonerwolf.com/toxic-shame/

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First, identify what shame feels like in your body. How do you embody shame? For many people, shame feels and looks closed down. We tend to embody “closed down” by hunching our shoulders or looking down, anything we can do to hide. We might clench our jaw, hold our hands as fists, or harden our gaze. The longer we hold these closed down expressions or “poses,” the longer we embody, feel, and think shame.   How to Overcome the Weight of Shame  by https://www.recoverywarriors.com/the-weight-of-shame/

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👉🏻 Be aware! 

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For more information about shame, Brene Brown is awesome!  https://brenebrown.com/

Trust or Distrust?

6594C139-3701-4A6C-938F-FDE4ACD405B1There is a part of me that would rather you look me in the eye and say, I do not like/love you, I hate you, I do not want anything to do with you, etc., than to find out later it was all a lie, questioning our relationship.  While that would be horrific, at least I would know what I was dealing with.

To receive my trust, to know me, to hear me and to know I was loyal and then to crush my spirit, is like a knife in my back.  Sadly, that knife has been there many times.  I D4388487-BF85-4636-BCD1-D911E2A3AD9Fam kind of getting used to the sharpness and the dull pain it presents.  It just reopens and irritates the wound from before that I was getting over. How many times do I have to endure the agony?  It’s hard when it repeats itself, especially from those you would not expect.

As I was in counseling for years and still, trying to grasp the fact of this hurt, the betrayal, abandonment, rejection, distrust, lack of vulnerability, to name a few and realizing they were what I have dealt with in life.  Now, understanding the areas that get triggered and while pain exists through it, I know it is not the end of the world.   Thankfully, I can recognize and name the emotions felt.  Like, yes I have been here before and this hurts. It helps when you know what you are dealing with whether that be in the emotions, as such, or even the one causing the pain.  We may not understand what the other person is going through or the reason this or that happened but give grace and forgiveness, move on.

You would think that the ones that cared and loved you would not do such damage, but it happens. Shocking.

The question lingers… Who do you trust?E0C8227E-7587-4D3D-8938-E58FFA2A990C

It is hard to be vulnerable knowing that just this can happen.  You think you are in a safe place in a relationship but again, it happens.

3A9D2D89-A24C-47E1-A851-A5690FEADEEEThe walls get built to protect from letting others hurt you once again. Perhaps not allowing myself to be me, was something we discussed often in counseling, afraid to be vulnerable.  I understand.  How can the walls not be built to keep the pain away?  There is a distrust. It takes time and healing of such pain to dissipate, hopefully.  When you think you can trust again and it happens yet again, the walls go back.  The wall gets bigger.

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One thing I do know, is that the enemy wants nothing more to make us and help us believe the lies in order to stop our growth. The thoughts bombard our mind to just to stop it ALL.  I felt this so strongly the last few weeks. I do not know who to trust or to be vulnerable with and share; so the 52A72642-7651-4544-81AA-CDB596F1F7F5thoughts and decision of no more counseling, no more caring, no more nothing. Done! Just go to work, home and repeat. Exist. Exactly where the enemy wants me yet again, to be isolated and depressed.

I know better though because I went down that road before for years.  I recognize the enemy at work in my mind and my emotions.  I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and getting close to freedom in life and to feel joy.  I want that in my life.

The knife in my back yet again is just that.  What’s new?  I made it before, I’ll make it again. At least I know how to walk through this with more coping skills than I had years ago and I see it as it is.  The pain exists, tears come and go from the disappointment. Before, I would take it all upon myself, as there is something wrong with me or it is my fault, etc., but I am not taking the blunt of the negative feedback trickling in my thoughts.

Sadly, many get to this point as such or similar and consider the situation hopeless, too tired to work through the despair.  Suicide is rampant among us all. Keep going, you will get through this. Today might be rough but tomorrow will be better.

457B8EEC-3EEC-45DF-A2F5-FEA0AF846327As much as my heart hurts, I know that the Lord knows all about my pain.  I have to trust Him through this.  I did not have the energy before, years ago and for years, but now I do.  I will Praise Him through this pain and He will see me through.

Any negative thoughts, feelings and emotions that I have, not to forget the anger that rises up in my attitude, I know I must forgive the one(s) that hurt me.  I know, too, that I am to pray for them.2E833860-5258-4FC4-82A3-BA0B43CD1BB8

If you also are experiencing some pain or issues in life, trust Him. He knows your name and exactly where you are, too.  Life will throw us some punches and knifes in the back but we need to keep moving forward. You’ve got this!

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The Bible gives advice about trusting others after we’ve been hurt. Trusting God is the first, most important step. When we know that, no matter what men do to us, God will always be there, faithful and true and trustworthy, it is easier to handle betrayal or disappointments. Psalm 118:6 says, “The Lord is on my side, I will not fear. What can man do to me?” 

The second step after being hurt by trusting others is forgiveness. As Jesus told Peter, if a brother sins against you seventy-seven times a day and comes back asking for forgiveness, we should forgive (Matthew 18:21–22). 

https://www.gotquestions.org/trusting-others.html

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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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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