Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Go Ahead





I've really had to think about this lately.  It's a hard lesson I've been having to learn over the years.  When God blesses me with something, I tend to hold onto it as long as I possibly can.  Sometimes some blessings are temporary though, so when He's taking it back, I refuse to let go until I literally can't hold on to it anymore.  Why does he do that?  Why does he give us something and then takes it away?  Since I'm not God, I don't know why.  I suppose it could be a number of reasons....

I guess when God blesses us with something, we need to hold onto those things loosely.  Accept and be thankful for what he's given us, but when he wants it back, be ready to give it back to him.  Now this doesn't mean he'll ALWAYS take away what he's blessed you with.  But with the ones he does, he has his reasons and for all you know, he may bless you in a different way.  He takes good care of us, even if it sometimes seems like he's spiting us.  He's not spiting us, that's not in his nature and he can't be different from his nature.

Y'all, we need to trust God to take care of us.  Let's be thankful for what he blesses us with, and be willing to give the things he wants back to him.



Secrets and Regrets




Ever have a difficult time forgiving yourself for things?  I have struggled with this since I was a kid - in fact, I can't think of a time where I EVER forgave myself for anything.  That's a pretty big burden to carry for nearly thirty years.  Even for the smallest of stuff I've just never been able to forgive myself for!  On top of that, I tend to think EVERYTHING is my fault - and I have thought that way for as long as I can remember (which my short-term memory might suck, but my long-term memory is okay).  I don't really know how to think any differently....

I don't really know how to help much in this area, since it's something I've been working on for a while.  But what I can tell you is that if God can forgive you, then shouldn't you be able to forgive yourself as well?  We are commanded to forgive others, why would forgiving ourselves be any different?  Not being able to forgive - whether it be with yourself, others, or both, is a very heavy burden honestly.  You become bitter, among other things as well.

So yes, I do have a lot of regrets; but since God forgives me (because Jesus died for me and took God's wrath for me), and I am commanded to forgive, then that means I need to forgive myself as well.



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"LORD, help!"

I was reading Psalm 107 this morning, and I couldn't help but notice how many times they cried out "LORD, help!"

Sometimes, our suffering is self-inflicted.  It's not always something someone else said or did; sometimes it's what WE said or did - whether to another person or to ourselves.  I recommend reading the entire chapter, but I just want to point out a few verses here.



Verses 1-2:

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good!  His faithful love endures forever.  Has the LORD redeemed you?  Then speak out!  Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.



This is something I really struggle with - even on my good days.  Honestly, I'm a coward.  I get too scared to share about Jesus.  I want to, I really, REALLY want to, but I just get so scared that I seriously freeze up and then beat myself up and cry bitterly over it afterwards.  The only sharing about Jesus I really do is in my blog.  I guess that's a start right?  God is good to us, and he loves us more than we could ever imagine!  How could we not share about his goodness?



Verses 10-16:

Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, imprisoned in iron chains of misery.  They rebelled against the words of God, scorning the counsel of the Most High.  That is why he broke them with hard labor; they fell, and no one was there to help them.
"LORD, help!" they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains.  Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.  For he broke down their prison gates of bronze; he cut apart their bars of iron.



Verses 17-21:

Some were fools; they rebelled and suffered for their sins.  They couldn't stand the thought of food, and they were knocking on death's door.
"LORD, help!" they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.  He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death.  Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.




Sometimes (maybe even usually) our suffering is self-inflicted.  I don't know about you, but when I really get into these bouts of darkness, I completely shut down.  I isolate myself and wallow in my pain.  It's difficult to get out of bed, and sometimes even to eat.  I just want to curl up in the fetal position and cry, but sometimes the tears won't come.  lately, I've cried so much that the tears just won't fall anymore.  I battle with myself.  I'm so tempted to give into punishing myself, but I keep telling myself not to because I don't want to dishonor God, as well as hurt the people who care about me.

In these moments, I cry out for God to help me.  I want to escape from these emotions and the pain; but when learning to grieve again, I have to allow myself to feel them.  I have to allow myself to feel them and then learn to move on from them.  You can only be in your self-pity for so long until enough is enough!  In those dark times though - whether they are self-inflicted or from other causes, we need to cling to Christ and cry out to him "LORD, help!"  He will rescue us!  He may not take us out of them immediately, but he WILL get us through them.  As much as I hurt right now, I know he is with me.  He will get me through this.



Saturday, October 14, 2017

Stars






We all have things that wear us down.  We all go through storms in our lives.  We all have days like Elijah where we just want to throw our hands up and say "I give up!  I'm better off dead, take me now!"  (1 Kings 19:4)  I can't tell you how many times I've actually prayed that, yet here I am, still here.  I still don't really know why I'm still here.  I've gotten a pretty clear message though that suicide isn't the way to go though.  After surviving three suicide attempts, you get a clear message you're probably here for a reason.  What that reason is, I don't know - maybe it's to help others through my blog.

For a long time, I wouldn't allow myself to cry (especially in front of other people).  I'm quite the hypocrite.  When other people cry, I don't see it as a sign of weakness.  But when I cry, I feel like I'm weak; and when I feel weak, I feel like hurting myself (whether it be by cutting, binge-eating, or suicidal ideations).  I realized in therapy though a few months ago that our emotions will eventually come out.  You can't hold them in forever.  I had always thought when someone blew up from holding them in for too long it would always come out as anger towards people; and while that can be true, it can come out through other ways too.  Usually when it comes out for me, I inflict damage to myself, rather than other people.  I realized I needed to allow myself to feel the emotions, rather than run from them - even if that means crying.  I couldn't cry though, even when I wanted to.  It was as if I had lost a piece of my humanity.  It is normal for people to cry.  Internally, I'd cry, but I physically couldn't.  Over the last two months though - I have started crying, even to the point of having crying spells.  I still tell myself (and my husband) that I don't want to feel these emotions, they're too intense for me to handle; but I have to feel them or I'll lash out either at myself or someone else.  We can only bottle things up for so long, until we can't anymore.  I have yet to find a coping skill that will really help me, and if I find it I'll be sure to let y'all know!

God knows what we go through - the good and bad times.  The peaceful times and the chaotic times.  Sometimes that's a comforting thought, and other times we shake our fists asking, "Why are you doing this to me?"  He is always there for us though.  We just need to go to him.  I know that's easier said than done.  I mean, sometimes it seems like he's not there, or like he doesn't even exist!  What do we do during those times?  Well, we say the same thing a man said to Jesus when he asked Jesus to heal his demon-possessed son.




"I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief!"


Mark 9:24




No matter what storms you are going through, he is there - with you.  He's not going to leave you on your own.  Even if everyone left you - you're friends, you're family - everyone, he will NEVER leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).  You are precious to him and he loves you more than you could ever imagine.  Trust me, this is a new concept for me too.  I mean I always knew he loved everyone, but I never really thought he loved me.  I thought I was just an annoyance to him because that's what I've been for others for so long - but that's not how he sees us.  He LOVES us!  He LOVES you!  I can't tell you just how much he loves us, because honestly, it's more than we could EVER comprehend!  I can tell you this though, if he can love someone like me, he loves you too.  Put your trust in him and his Word.  He will help you get through your storms.




Friday, October 13, 2017

Prayer Friday, 10/13/2017

I said to the LORD, “You are my God! Listen, O LORD, to my cries for mercy!”
O LORD, I am calling to you. Please hurry! Listen when I cry to you for help! Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering. Take control of what I say, O LORD, and guard my lips. Don’t let me drift toward evil or take part in acts of wickedness....
Let the godly strike me! It will be a kindness! If they correct me, it is soothing medicine.

I cry out to the LORD; I plead for the LORD’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.
Then I pray to you, O LORD. I say “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life. Hear my cry, for I am very low.
Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my plea! Answer me because you are faithful and righteous. Don’t put your servant on trial, for no one is innocent before you.
I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear. I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Come quickly, LORD, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die. Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. For the glory of your name, O LORD, preserve my life. Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.
Amen.
Portions of Psalms 140, 141, 142, And 143
This is my prayer today....

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Hope

Over the past couple weeks, I've been in a dark place in my life (which I guess is nothing really all that new for me).  Some days are darker than others, but don't we all have those kinds of days?  Sometimes they can be quite crippling.  I've talked about depression a lot in my blogs.  According to the World Health Organization, 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression - being the leading cause of disability (https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/facts-statistics-infographic).  Depression affects SO many people all across the globe!  It's no wonder there are so many suicides (being the third leading cause of death with ages between 10-14 and second leading cause of death with ages between 15-34
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide/index.shtml)!

Depression often seems like an impossible place to escape.  Like we're just going to drown in our pain and sorrows.  Like we're right at the edge of a cliff and something/one could push us off.  It often feels hopeless.  We think "Surely things can't get any worse," then things get worse.  We isolate ourselves and push people away from us.  Why bother anyone with our problems?  It's like you want to be alone, yet at the same time you don't.  You don't want to "trouble" anyone or they won't be able to understand what you're going through.  At the same time though, you want to know someone cares about you.

Even in our darkest of days though, there is hope.



"He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle.  Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.  And his name will be the hope of all the world."

- Matthew 12:20-21



Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest,  Take my yolk upon you.  Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yolk is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."

- Matthew 11:28-30



"However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them."

- John 6:37



"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.  Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world."

- John 16:33




We have hope - through Jesus.  No matter how hopeless things may seem, we have hope.  He will NEVER reject us.  He will NEVER crush the weak.  He has overcome the world; and we can find rest in him.  What may feel hopeless, we can always have hope.  Sometimes we have to take one day at a time, and sometimes it's just taking one hour at a time.  No matter how hopeless things are, NEVER give up!  Our lives are precious - especially to the one who CREATED us!  Especially to the one who DIED for us!  If you are feeling suicidal, please call 1-800-273-8255  It is available 24/7.  It's VERY crucial!  You are worth living, because you were worth dying for.  Jesus died so you don't have to!  When I've been feeling like cutting, I've been writing on my arms "Jesus Loves You!"  I also keep in mind why I don't want to cut.

1)  I don't want to hurt the people who care about me (such as my husband)
2)  I really want my next Celebrate Recovery chip (I've gone nearly two months without cutting)
3)  If I hurt myself I am dishonoring Christ.  I am punishing myself when he already took my punishment for me!


I don't say these things to guilt you or anything.  My hope is that you too, will find hope.



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

My Heartstrings Come Undone




I want to dedicate this entry to my husband.  This song is about the writer (Ryan Clark)'s wife.

"I wrote this song for my wife.  It's about my commitment to her.  The gist of the song is, regardless of our past or whatever may come in the future, I'll be there for her.  And if one of us completely falls apart emotionally, physically, or spiritually, I'll try my best, with the help of God, to keep the foundation of our marriage a strong one."

My husband (Nick) has lived this out in more ways I could list.  He's been so good to me, and is the closest I have ever felt to the love from God (though even Nick's love for me greatly falls short of God's love for me).

I've been through a lot in my life, things that have shaped me in good ways, as well as bad ways.  When I'm feeling unstable, I tend to isolate myself.  I push everyone away from me - including Nick.  If I'm really angry or hurt, when I don't isolate myself, I've been known to lash out at him.  I'll yell at him and say terrible things to him.  People don't see or even know it, but I have a side that can be very cruel.

I'm an abuse victim, but I now realize, I can be abusive myself - not just abusive towards myself, but towards others as well.  I don't mean to be abusive, but I get emotionally abusive without even realizing it.  I'm trying to protect myself, but in the process I'm hurting those who love and care about me.

A friend told me I have no excuse to be abusive, and you know what?  He's right.  I have no excuse to act the way I do - even if it is something I'm working on.  I don't typically unleash my garbage out on people - unless they're people who are close to me.  If I have lashed out on you, I'm very sorry.

Anyway, this blog entry is about Nick.  In the seven years we've been married, eight years of knowing each other, he has never left my side.  I remember while we were dating, I knew he was too good for me.  I knew I didn't deserve him.  Several times I told him he should break up with me, but he refused to.  I have said and done horrible things to him, and yet he never leaves me.  It's something I don't understand.  Many people have left me, yet he never has.  I often ask myself, "Why is he still here with me?"

He's seen my psychotic episodes - some worse than others (I had one recently, but it was mild compared to most of them).  He's woken up in the middle of the night with me when I've had night terrors or hallucinated.  When I was extremely sick earlier this year, he woke up many times in the middle of the night just to get me a drink (I was too weak to get up myself).  He knew before marrying me I had baggage, but I don't think either of us truly realized just how much baggage I came with.  We didn't know I was Schizoaffective (which I have heard can cause abusive behavior).  We had no idea just how "crazy" I am.

A couple years ago, I had two suicide attempts.  It devastated him, yet he stayed with me.  No doubt he was upset with me.  When I had my second massive overdose, I was in the hospital over night before being transferred to the mental health ward.  That night he stayed with me overnight.  Neither of us got much sleep.  He was with me for most of the next day as well.  Even after that, he still didn't leave me.

Nick is always with me, whether I'm emotionally unstable, or even I've really struggled with my faith - including leaving the faith for a short time.  He's always looking out for me, and when people attack me on Facebook, he goes after them.  He's very protective over me.  Even after having left the faith though, he stayed by my side.  He worried about me a lot; he probably spent a lot of time in prayer for me to return to Christ.

I have been trying very hard to let my guard down with him.  It's not easy; I mean, I put walls up with EVERYONE.  I try really hard to trust him.  I am slowly making progress though.



Nick, thank you for staying with me for eight years.  I'm sorry I have not been good to you.  I've been abusive and I am so, so, sorry.  I always thought that if I would end up with a man, he would most likely be abusive towards me - never had I ever imagined that I would be the abuser myself!  I don't deserve you, but I am thankful to have you in my life.  I want to be the best wife I can be for you - with God's help of course.  I've told you before you weren't my dream guy - you're SO much better than my dream guy!  Sometimes when you speak to me, I wonder if God is speaking to me through you.  I never thought there'd ever be a man who could truly love me, especially when I can't even love myself!  You're my best friend and my lover.  You lead me into a greater relationship with Christ.  You're not perfect, but you're pretty darn close to it 😊  I hope one day, I will be as good to you as you are to me.  You have lived out Ephesians 5:25



Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loves the church.



Thank you for always being with me, and for never leaving me.  I love you!  💕💖💘