Don’t Quit

E679E712-8355-41A0-8890-1AB87F22F88DOn my way home today from church, I heard the man on the Christian radio station mention and encourage those listening to not quit.

Whether it be your job, etc.   Life can be demanding and we may not like where we are in a position whether that be working, a marriage that is dying, health issue or whatever it may be. Discouragement and hopelessness takes over to the point you’d rather die.  Sadly, some do to suicide.

As I pondered what he said and knowing right now my son is in a place that is hard, wishing he could hear this brief message of encouragement himself.  I can see it, hear it and pretty well know he is struggling, as I am his mother.  My heart hurts for him. I know, too, that he has to work through this or I will enable him and that will not help at all.  I can pray. I have to trust the Lord through this process.  He has been through some rough periods before and while it was hard to endure, for him and for me, he did it.  I was so proud of him and he was proud of himself.  As we will be together this week, I hope to remind him of just that.  He can and will get through this, too.

In hopes of encouraging him, I remembered back to my own life and how I felt lost and hopeless.  It’s so hard. Actually many times, as I have had to deal with some issues that only the Lord knew about because I did not share with others.

5BA31D32-8549-4B04-8CA8-6AB0ACA545C6It was about twenty years ago, I did not care if I woke up when having gallbladder surgery.  I had a note prepared for my children and a cassette tape (so that was a long time ago) of my voice talking to them, just in case I did not come through surgery.  I remember the drive to the hospital and the hopelessness and sadness of my life felt.  My gallbladder was to be removed but my heart was so broken, I did not think I would make it.  I found myself so disappointed that I was still alive, and I can still remember that moment in recovery.  Talk about hopeless.  Nobody to share with, so alone and I was beginning to really doubt that the Lord knew me, cared, much less loved me.  I wanted to quit life!

Still, I did not quit, I kept moving forward. I was back to work the following week and just going through the motions there, at home and in life.  I was not happy.

Thankfully, I did not quit.  Has it been easy?  No.  Have I wanted to give up since?  Yes.  Many times.  Still, I know to keep going.  Sometimes all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and be thankful that your heart and lungs know how to function without your help.  Keep going.

794281EB-67AA-4107-916D-BCB5EF146274It was when I heard this song, “He Knows My Name” by Tara Jackson and played the song over and over for the longest time and still one of my favorites.  He does knows my name and He knows where I am. Thank God.

Days, months, years passed and I did not quit. Finally confiding in a Counselor, it helped get myself together somewhat but he moved out of state after a year or so of counseling.  Alone again.

It was six years later, I had enough and that I knew I needed help so I begin to ask the Lord to lead and direct me to the right Counselor.  He did just that with four years of counseling with one of the best that changed my life and helped me put my faith and trust back in Him.  He was always there for me but being so hurt, my attitude, anger and rebelliousness was there also.  Was counseling easy?  No.  Many times I wanted to quit.

No matter what I am going through, whatever my son is going through right now or you as you are reading this, don’t quit.  We are just going through. While life can bring some hurdles and sadness, there are blessings and joy, too.  Look for the good in what is around you.

Tomorrow is another day if today sucks.  Get some rest.

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Drowning in Tears

How many walking around us are hurting?  Choking back the tears hoping that they do not leak out of the corner of our eyes.   How many are hurting?  Are you?

95963B54-44B9-4F73-A094-39E9325160B8We all go through struggles, some worse than others and when it hits, it feels as though we won’t survive. We feel numb while only able to function by putting one foot in front of the other.  It takes much effort and energy that seems depleted.

It happens. It’s hard as hell but you keep going.  You must. Thankfully, your heart beats and lungs inhale and exhale and do their job all on their own.

When things are going well and manageable, it’s all great and feels like life is somewhat normal.  The feeling of, I’ve got this. It is when something within gets triggered, out of nowhere and unexpected and it is when you know you are losing control but trying your best to keep it together. This one day, just that, for me.

I was at my doctor’s appointment, and I knew I would be asked questions related to a specific matter, not medical.  I knew the questions were coming and was trying to maintain my composure but I felt the depression of it all hitting me from all sides.  When I try to fight off this emotional battle within, I tend to get stern and controlled. I’m not. When I am like this, I wish somebody knew me well enough and would just grab me and hold me so I can go ahead and get through it.20EA41E8-89AE-41A6-9BAF-E7B3EFEC4129

Earlier, before this appointment I was doing so well, I had a great morning and now my emotions were wreaking havoc. Ever have that happen? Emotions are real.

Trying to get a grip after I left my appointment, I did go grab a few groceries before my next appointment. I tried adjusting my mask to appear happy and to hide the desire to bust out crying like a baby. Please tell me I am not the only one that wears a happy mask at times. Really, I think we all do in certain circumstances. My former counselor and I discussed this mask wearing with me but odds are even she wears one.  What’s your thoughts?

As I stood still waiting in line to check out, I saw a lady in her electric wheelchair sitting by the window looking back at me.  I wondered if she could see the hurt in my eyes, the emotions about to burst like Niagara Falls. I had to wonder if she was quietly praying for me as I try to do when I see others unhappy, as such.  Lord knows, I needed her prayers right then. I gave her a slight smile as I left because it was her that kept my mind occupied while fighting back having an emotional breakdown right there in front of the cashier.

18A09F38-1F16-4EF9-8840-4B70322D7598A good cry, sometimes or even a scream within, asking the Lord to get through a period as such, definitely helps.  The tears fell when I got in my car and shut the door hiding behind my dark tinted windows. No longer could to contain the heartache.  Feeling numb as the pain was so great. I was fine and then I am a basket case.

Fighting thoughts that come when in this state and rejecting every negative one with the Word of God and positive comebacks, it is like a battle.  Because it is!  God is for us and Satan would like nothing more to keep us sad, depressed, sick, isolated and you name it. Kill, Steal and Destroy. That’s the game plan.

Knowing myself and the hour or so of this heartache, pain and battle, I would overcome but many do not.  If it lasts longer, depression sets in.  Been there.  Thankfully, I did not stay in this long but enough to scare me.  Once this battle was over, within the next hour, I remember thinking and smiling that my former counselor would be so proud of me, as I did not get stuck in this turmoil.  I did learn from her counseling.

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Whether people want to admit, depression exists and so do suicidal thoughts.  Don’t be in denial.  We do not know what the person next to us in line at the grocery store, passing on the street or even sitting next to in church of what they are going through. Offer a kind word, a smile if nothing else.  It may be the only thing they have to hold onto and give hope.  Many are holding back the tears and drowning inside. Many wear a mask, even those you think have it all together.

I know I was lost in my own garbage for that period that day and when it comes to our own, we become stuck feeling we are the only ones to ever go through these periods but not true. While feeling selfish of those thoughts and actions afterward, it’s normal. We all go through stuff.  We all have emotions.  Life happens.

So if you are going through some rough patches, know you are going through. You will not stay there although it may feel like it. Learn to take care of you during these times. Get some extra rest. Go outside and walk or just sit and enjoy nature.

Years ago, I would have blown you off, not believing any of these comments or wanting to do any of that but today, I do. I am taking care of me. Now, take care of you.

There is an old song we sing at church and it goes like this, ‘If you take one step, He will take two.’ He will. Faith believing everything will be and will work out. Tomorrow is another day.  Hang in there.

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A Degree or Not

4e423748-9da1-41e8-81e9-fd289ed9edf7Today, I feel I will lose yet another key person in my life.  Finding myself at a doctor’s appointment, which was for me, it was me giving advice and encouragement to the doctor.  Thankfully, he confided in me, knowing of my own counseling experience but also that I can be trusted and that I care and will pray.

It took a lot of guts to remove the mask and for him to express his own depression, etc.  Perhap he will step aside for a bit to benefit his own self-care, as my counselor is doing.

While I do not know for certain that is her issue, odds are it is, depression and burnout.

Day in and day out of hearing other people complain and definitely confide in them of things that we would probably not handle well, no matter how much education and training, it takes a toll.  It has to.

Years ago, I had a doctor for many years commit suicide.  While he was not the friendliest doctor, I trusted him.  His death knocked me off my rocker for a bit.  Questioning myself, perhaps if I would have been more thankful or made him laugh or even shared God with him, of which I regret, he’d still be my doctor.

Today, I did not fail to share God’s Love with my doctor.

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Again, we never know what the next person around us, at any given moment, is going through, whether it is depression, burnout, etc.  Just because they have a degree, they are not exempt of having issues and wearing a mask appearing all is well.

They, too, need the Love of God and to know that their patients/clients are praying for them.

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