Friday, March 16, 2018

Buried Beneath

Creative writing by me

Darkness surrounds me
I'm covered with maggots feasting on my soul
My heart is shattered in a million pieces
I tried time and time again to put my heart back together
Every time though it shattered even more than before
I feel so alone
I feel so tired
I have no fight left in me
I have nothing left to give

Darkness surrounds me
I'm suffocating
There is no air here, just pure darkness
There is nothing but pain here
My soul is in torment
I wish I could harden my heart as stone; and as sharp as diamond
My heart is too tender, easily torn and broken

Darkness surrounds me
My pillow is covered in my tears
I'm drowning in my sorrows
There is nothing left for me
No pill can save me, no blade can numb me
No person can rescue me
The ground has swallowed me
I can't breathe, dirt is filling my lungs
Dirt is under my nails from trying to dig myself out
But I can't get out this time

It's time to accept my fate
I'm at the end of my rope
I'm out of oxygen
I'm out of strength
It's time to just shut my eyes and give up trying anymore
I'm done

NO!  I can't give up!
I have to keep clawing at the dirt!
I have to get out!
I have to rip the maggots off!
I have to fight!

I'm trying to dig myself out, but more dirt is being piled on top of me
I'm tired, but I can't give up!
I keep clawing at the dirt

I'm exhausted
I tried to get out
I have no energy left

What's this?
A hand has reached down into the dirt and taken my hand!
I'm being pulled out!
I'm coughing the dirt out of my lungs
The maggots are falling off of me

The air feels nice
I can actually breathe now
My rescuer holds me
There's warmth in his embrace
He wipes my tears from my face
I was buried beneath the darkness, but now I'm breathing above in the light

He points to me the spot I had been buried; the place that was once full of darkness
I look, and there is a tiny plant growing
I ask him, "What is this plant?"
He answers, "The healing of your brokenness.
"Each time you overcome the darkness, it grows more."
I was confused, "But I didn't overcome the darkness, you came to my rescue!"
He smiles, "By depending on me, you overcome the darkness."

Thursday, March 15, 2018

From Mourning to Joy

O LORD, how long will you forget me?  Forever?  How long will you look the other way?  How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?  Turn and answer me, O LORD my God!  Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.

Psalm 13:1-3

I am exhausted and completely crushed.  My groans come from an anguished heart.

Psalm 38:8

Hear my prayer, O LORD!  Listen to my cries for help!  Don't ignore my tears.

Psalm 39:12

I am worn out from sobbing.  All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears.

Psalm 6:6

My spirit is crushed, and my life is nearly snuffed out.  The grave is ready to receive me.

Job 17:1

"Let the day of my birth be erased, and the night I was conceived.  Let that day be turned into darkness.  Let it be lost even to God on high, and let no light shine on it. Let the darkness and utter gloom claim that day for its own.  Let a black cloud overshadow it, and let the darkness terrify it.  Let that night be blotted off the calendar, never again to be counted among the days of the year, never again to appear among the months.  Let that night be childless.  Let it have no joy.  Let those who are experts at cursing - whose cursing could rouse Leviathan - curse that day.  Let its morning stars remain dark.  Let it hope for light, but in vain; may it never see the morning light.  Curse that day for failing to shut my mother's womb, for letting me be born to see all this trouble.  Why wasn't I born dead?  Why didn't I die as I came from the womb?  Had I died at birth, I would now be at peace.  I would be asleep and rest.

Job 3:3-11; 13

He said, "I came naked from my mother's womb, and I will be naked when I leave.  The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken away.  Praise the name of the LORD!"

Job 2:21

You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in your bottle.  You have recorded each one in your book.

Psalm 56:8

But I trust in your unfailing love.  I will rejoice because you have rescued me.  I will sing to the LORD because he is good to me.

Psalm 13:5-6

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.

Psalm 30:11

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

Psalm 147:3

Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.

Psalm 50:15

"God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

Matthew 5:4

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.  All these things are gone forever."

Revelation 21:4

Monday, March 12, 2018

My Poison

Creative writing by me

There's a poison in me that I can't get rid of.
I don't want to eat, but when I have to eat I feel like the poison is growing.
The poison is slowly killing me, starting with my brain.
My brain is so sick.....
It tells me things are there when there isn't.
It tells me everyone is disgusted when they see me.
It tells me everyone I love is going to leave me.
It tells me my greatest nightmares are real.
It tells me I'm all alone.
It tells me I'm worthless.
It tells me everyone would be better off if I were dead.
It encourages me to do things I don't want to do.
"Do it!  Do it right now!  No one will be able to stop you!  End this once and for all!  No one will care about what happens to you!"
"Go away!" I tell it.
The poison gets louder and louder.

I'm six feet below the ground.
I'm stuck in a coffin I can't get out of.
The poison has been making it's way through my body.
The food I once loved to eat is destroying me.
I'm pounding on the coffin.
"Get me out of here!"
No one can hear me though.
I'm stuck....suffocating with no air.
Soon I will decay, and maggots will eat me.
A tear falls from my face, knowing this is the end.
I close my eyes, accepting my fate, and utter under my breath "Jesus."

I hear something outside.
I feel my coffin being tugged violently.
I hear a banging on the top of the coffin.
My body is growing cold, I know there's no chance for me to make it out alive.
The oxygen is leaving me.
I hear a shout, "DON'T GIVE UP ON ME!"
Who was that?
The pounding gets louder and louder.
There is all of a sudden warmth coming in the coffin.
Where is this warmth coming from?
I'm starting to see the top of the coffin crack.
Am I actually going to be getting out of here alive?
The larger the cracks, the brighter the light is outside.
"YOU KEEP HANGING ON TO ME!" The voice yells.

A little glimmer of hope is arising in me.
The poison's voices are getting quieter - to the point I can barely hear them.
"Please help me!" I cry out.
"I'll get you out of here!  Trust me!" The voice says.

Finally, I can see outside!
I'm above the ground!
I can finally breathe again!
I climb out of my coffin - no, a coffin.  What was once considered mine is no longer mine.
I see my rescuer, smiling at me.
I run to him and I thank him.  "You saved me!"
He chuckles a bit, "You called for me."

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Gospel

What is the Gospel?

Gospel is the Greek word euaggelion, which translates to "Good News."  What is the Good News?  I'm glad you asked 😊

We are rebels of God - the Creator of the universe!  We spat in his face and said, "I don't need you.  In fact, I can do your job better than you can!"  We break every law that he has given us:

1)  No gods but the one true God
2)  No idols
3)  Don't misuse God's name
4)  Remember the day of rest and keep it holy
5)  Honor your mother and father
6)  Don't murder/hate
7)  Don't commit adultery/lust
8)  Don't steal
9)  Don't lie
10)  Don't crave for someone else's belongings or spouse

Have you kept all of these all your life?  I sure haven't.  I've broken ALL of them - many on a daily basis!  Breaking even one of these laws is deserving of the death penalty.

As the Scripture say, "No one is righteous - not even one.  No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God.  All have turned away; all have become useless.  No one does good; not a single one.  Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.  Their tongues are filled with lies.  Snake venom drips from their lips.  Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.  They rush to commit murder.  Destruction and misery always follows them.  They don't know where to find peace.  They have no fear of God at all."

Romans 3:10-17

We are ALL rebels.  You may say, "That's ridiculous!  How could anyone follow those laws perfectly?"  Ah, but that's the point!  The law was to show how much we need God because in the end, we can't save ourselves.

For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands.  The law simply shows us how sinful we are.

Romans 3:20

So what is our verdict?

Death.  Plain and simple.  Death.  If we're not caught right away, we will eventually be caught and executed for our crimes.

"But I'm a good person!"

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard.

Romans 3:23

You have broken the law, and you must suffer the consequences for it.  There's no way out. You can't escape.  Sounds pretty hopeless right?

In comes Jesus.

In a broken and corrupt world, there is a man who walked the earth who did not break a single law!  He was God's Son who came humbly as an infant; and he grew up from a boy to a man.  He was tempted just as we are, and yet he did not give in.  He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, rose the dead back to life, and exorcized demons.  The people who acted like they had everything put together, he was not interested in.  He hung out with those who had nothing - the poor, the needy, and people who knew they were broken.  The religious leaders hated him because he made it clear to them that their piety was not going to save them from the wrath of God.

When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor - sick people do.  I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."

Mark 2:17

Jesus came for the broken.  He came for the people who aren't perfect - you and me.  He came for the people who don't have everything put together.  He came for the people who need a savior!  But those who thought they had everything together hated him.  So they plotted to kill him.  They arrested him one night (after one of his best friends betrayed him to them), even though he had done nothing wrong.  He knew this was to come though.  He was mocked and spat on.  He was beaten to a pulp, unrecognizable as even a man.

But many were amazed when they saw him.  His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man.

Isaiah 52:14

He was literally nailed (hands and feet) to a tree.  Not once did he utter a harsh word to them.  No, instead he said, "Father forgive them for they don't know what they're doing."  He asked God to FORGIVE them!  He didn't just ask God to forgive those who had crucified him though - he was asking God to forgive ALL people.  All of us have fallen short, all of us have nailed him to the cross. He gave his life for all of us.  His death pardoned our crimes because he took the death penalty for us.

But it doesn't stop there!

Three days later, he came back to life!  The man who came to save the broken.  The man who was executed in our place.  He was risen back to life!

For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

How do we get this free gift of eternal life?

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

Romans 10:9-10

So what is the Good News?

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.  And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's condemnation.

Romans 5:9

The Good News is that through Jesus Christ you are no longer rebels!  You are no longer prisoners!  Your chains have been broken and you have been set free!  You are a child of God!  He is repairing our brokenness and one day, we will be completely repaired!  He loves you SOOOOOOOO much, that he took your punishment onto himself.  He wants to adopt you as his child.  You were a rebel, and now you have the chance to be a son or daughter of God!  He won't force himself on you though - it is YOUR choice whether to follow him, or to reject him.  To reject him means death, but to embrace him means eternal life.  It is your choice.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

You're Not Alone

Ever feel alone in your struggles?  Ever feel like no one understands you?  Does life seem to be crushing you?  Does it seem like no matter what you do, it's never good enough?

This is how I often feel.  Often times I'll smile, but it's fake.  In reality, I don't really remember how to smile.  I try to smile, but it feels awkward.  I often feel like I can't catch a break - there's always something trying to break me to my knees and I can't get back up.  Sometimes I'll say jokingly (because I'd rather be cold, temperature-wise, than hot), "I like the cold, just like my soul."  While I do say this as a joke, there's some half-truth in it too.  I often feel like I'm a terrible person, if not one of the worst.  I see the darkness in me and I hate it; and I try to get rid of it, but can't seem to be able to.  It boggles my mind why anyone would want to be around me.  With all my mental illnesses combined with my addictions, I often don't feel like people are able to understand me or even relate to me.  I've been through so much rejection in my life, I sometimes wonder if it's even worth trying to be around other people - so I isolate myself.  Who could understand me?  Who could understand the darkness in me?  Who could understand what it's like to have your brain and body turn on you?  If you feel this way, know this: you're not alone and you are greatly loved.

We are ALL broken in some way.  People may not always be so open about it like I am, some don't even realize how broken they are.  I am open about my brokenness because

Three times I begged the Lord to take it away.  Each time he said, "My grace is all you need.  My power works best in weakness."  So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9

Hey, if God can love me, he can certainly love you!  Scratch that, it's not that he CAN love you, but that he DOES love you!  YOU are his pride and joy, and he understands how you feel.  He knows how broken you are - and loves you regardless.  We are not alone in our struggles, there are others who struggle with the same problems.  Even if we were alone though, we're not because Christ understands our struggles.  Even now I feel like breaking down and weeping (and I mean ugly crying) because there are times where it seems like everything is working against me - and it's okay to cry.  It's okay to hurt.  We weren't promised to have a perfect life.  We were actually promised the opposite - life is going to be difficult.

"If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first."

John 15:18

It's been a tough week for me, and I've thought about throwing in the towel and saying, "That's it!  I'm done!  I give up!  I can't do this anymore!"  Seems like suicide is always in the back of my mind as an option....
But I refuse to give up!  I've never seen myself as much of a fighter.  When it comes to fight vs flight, I'm ALWAYS in flight mode.  I'll try to fight back, but it always ends badly - so I end up being a doormat.  Maybe I'm more of a fighter than I realize though.  It's a struggle to get out of bed every day - yet I still get up.  It's a struggle to not hurt myself in some way (in case you don't know, I self-sabotage everything), yet I'm still here - though that isn't completely my decision.  I've tried to escape, I've tried to give up, but it didn't work.  I'm still here.....

I often wonder why it is I'm still here, and I think I've figured out why.  I can't give up.  If I give up, what does that say about Christ?  That he can't help me get through life?  That he's not strong enough?  That he doesn't care?  No, I refuse to give up!

Yes, I am broken - perhaps even more broken than most people, but I'm not alone, just as YOU are NOT alone!  Jesus is right there with you, saying, "I'm here!  I'm with you!  Just come to me!  I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28)!"  Go to him.  Let him help you.  Let him comfort you.  Let him hold you.  Cry in his arms.  He understands the pain and the frustrations in life.  Let him in.  I know that's difficult.  It's difficult to let people in that you can see, hear, and touch; how can you with someone you can't?  I'm not going to lie, it's REALLY difficult - but you can!  I've seen enough things that can't be mere "coincidence" that he was active in my life (or others lives).  He is there, and he has shown me over and over again that he's in control.  Go ahead and say I'm crazy, or I'm delusional.  Go ahead and try to break me - it's nothing that no one has tried to do before.  I'm not going to give up though, because I know Christ won't give up on me either.  I've been broken long enough to know I can't go through life alone.  God has a lot of grace for me, and I know he does for you too.  If he has grace for me, he has grace for you.  If he can save a wretch like me, he can save you too.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

What You Keep Alive

"And call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you will honor me."

Psalm 50:15

Here it is, ANOTHER blog on addiction.  I know I tend to focus on this quite a bit lately.  For a week my psych meds have not been working like they should, and I have to wait a couple more days until I see my dr about them.  With this being said, my brain and my emotions have been all over the place.  With my brain and emotions running wild, my addictions have been pretty difficult to face to be honest.  I've been hallucinating, hearing voices, and very paranoid.  Why just a couple days ago I cried for an hour because I thought I was being a bad friend (I've been trying very hard to be a better friend to people, but that's for another blog for another day).  I'm paranoid that everyone is going to leave me - I mean, REALLY paranoid about it.  If I'm talking to someone, and they don't get back with me in a few minutes, I start freaking out, "Did I do something wrong?  Did I say something I shouldn't have?  Maybe they don't like me anymore?  Maybe they don't want anything to do with me anymore?"  I've been trying very hard to ignore those thoughts, but it's not easy.  Paranoia + codependency is NOT a good combination.

My addictions though, I've been very tempted to cut.  There's something about cutting that drowns out the noise in my brain.  The voices seem to go away for a bit.  This may be the same for others caught in addiction (such as alcoholics and drug addicts, they may say the same thing).  I've been good about not giving into cutting so far though.  Unfortunately, I have done some binge-eating.  Not enough that'll make my stomach have more issues, but enough to make me gain more weight.  I can't tell you how much cake I've been having lately.  Every time I see cake, I have to have some.  After weighing myself today though, I definitely realize I need to lay off the cake.  That's going to be difficult to give up for a while, but if I want to get healthy, I've got to not have any for now.  Time to make more smoothies!

When I'm caught in addiction, it screams at me when I don't give in.  Seriously.  It affects my brain and my body.  I don't really know how to explain it.  It consumes my thoughts and there's like this strong craving.  It's like a girl and chocolate.  Chocolate is a girl's best friend - until you take it away. You take away her chocolate her body craves it (I don't know if it's the sugar or what), she gets grumpy without it, and may do whatever it takes to get some chocolate.  She passes down the chocolate aisle at the grocery store and it depresses her.  She tries to reason with herself how one little chocolate won't hurt her.  What harm could one small piece of chocolate do?  Once she gives in, one little piece of chocolate isn't enough anymore.  She has to eat a whole bar, then two bars, then an entire party pack, etc!  It's a lot like that (for me at least anyway).  Whether it's with food or cutting, this is what it does to me - and when I give into it, I feel even worse than before.  I feel like a failure, I feel further away from God, and guess what that does?  It makes me feel even worse, so then I do it again.  It's this endless cycle!  I'm going through the Steps Program with Celebrate Recovery and it's been tough.  I've been learning not only what my problem is, but why I have these problems too.  Stuff that I've buried that I didn't want to deal with has been coming back.  My tendency is to give into my addictions and just bury them again, but I'm having to deal with them without giving into my addictions.  It makes my addictions scream to give into them, but I'm having to just let them be, and if I have to cry, I have to cry.  It's not easy to allow yourself to cry (or at least for me it's not easy).

Something I've been learning is that when my addictions are screaming at me, I really have to rely on Christ to help me.  There have been times where I literally go to him in tears, just begging for him to save me from these addictions.  It doesn't necessarily mean he'll take away the addictions.  For some people he does, for others he doesn't.  Sometimes it's the thorn in our side that we have to deal with until the day we die - and as miserable as that is, it's okay.  Everyone has their struggles.  We have to cling to Jesus and rely on him to help us through them.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

1 Peter 5:10

The more we cling to Jesus and don't give into our addictions, the stronger we become.  He understands your suffering, and he will restore you.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Rescue Me

"Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory."

- Psalm 50:15

See, God has come to save me.  I will trust in him and not be afraid.  The LORD God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.

- Isaiah 12:2

Lately, I've had some issues with my medication (for nearly a week).  I don't get to see my dr about them until Friday.  My emotions have been out of whack and my brain, don't even get me started on that wreck.

Anyway, when my meds aren't working, I have hallucinations, hear voices, a lot of paranoia, some delusions, and one time I got delirious.  So, guess what's been going on with me?  Most of the hallucinations I have involve either bugs or figures that look demonic.  What's scarier with the demonic ones though is even after I see it, I don't know if it's real or not.  You see, I have this test I do to see if it's real or not.  If I see something, I'll look away for a minute, and then I look back.  If it's gone, I figure it's a hallucination.  This test is not foolproof though.  I have a second test.  My cat sleeps in the bedroom with my husband and me.  If I see something and he's calmly sleeping, then I can figure it's not real either.

I've had instances in the past where I really did see demons (yes, they are very much real and very evil).  I know those were real though because others saw them with me at the same time.  If they had been hallucinations, only I would've seen them.  There is NO such thing as a group hallucination.  With this being said, I don't always know if they're real or not when I see them.

When I have these hallucinations (or hear voices - a few days ago a voice kept telling me to kill myself, but I kept fighting back saying no until it finally went away), I tend to be so afraid that I forget to ask for help from Jesus.  Yet there are times when I've had nightmares of the demonic, and when I have cried out to Jesus for help, he ALWAYS comes to my rescue and they flee.  They know this too because they'll do everything they can to shut me up in these nightmares (like sewing my mouth shut, or even trying to kill me).  Of course, these are just nightmares though right?  Maybe, maybe not.  Recently I did see one of the figures that used to torment me in my sleep.  I don't know if it was a hallucination or if it was real, but it really frightened me.  My test I did failed as well.  It only went away when my husband came (I was in the car).  ANYWAY....

What if when I see something or hear voices (whether they're caused by my psychosis or are real), I called out to Jesus for help?  I mean, if it works in my dreams, couldn't it work when I'm awake too?  He has saved me in other ways, not just in my dreams.  He's literally saved my life - multiple times.  I'd list all the times, but I'm sure there are even more incidents that I may not even know about!  So instead of being so fearful (flight vs fight - I'm always in flight mode), I should cry out to Jesus for help, and surely, he will come to my rescue!  I'm never alone, even when I feel very much alone.  He is ALWAYS with me no matter what.  He'll walk through this life with me.  If they really are demonic, they're more terrified of him than I am of them.  He will rescue me, I know he will!