Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fear





Last week when my anxiety was at it's peak, I was listening to this song to help calm me.  Whether it's anxiety or some other kind of fear, I think this is a really great song to listen to.

What fears do you have?  Mine are heights, spiders (and any bug that can hurt you), supernatural/demonic stuff, and abandonment.  I have MAJOR abandonment issues.  I guess that's probably why I go crazy when a friend leaves me - especially when we're close.  I also worry a lot about people.  When I see someone making poor choices, or someone who's suffering, I really wrestle with God about it.  I'm also afraid of being in front of a lot of people.  I mean, when I've done some acting in school, I really enjoyed it - but I was also someone else.  I wasn't acting as myself, so if anyone was going to judge me, they'd be judging the character instead of me.

A few years ago at an apologetics event at a church in Knoxville, TN, I gave a presentation on a personal account of the problem of evil.  I was absolutely terrified and felt so awkward being up there.  I had slides to go with my presentation (that also featured some of my own artwork) and it wasn't working correctly.  So I had to go off my notes.  I even tried to make a joke and no one understood it!  After I finished I was like "Never again am I doing something like this again!"

I have a fear of failure, especially when it comes to failing God.  I often feel like a failure, and am crippled when I feel like I've failed God in something.  I mean, there are going to be times that we're going to fail at things; there are going to be times that we're going to fail God.  We're not perfect, and God knows we're not perfect.  We are going to fail sometimes.  I fail on a daily basis, and I may beat myself up for it, but really, I need to just learn from my mistakes instead of beating myself up for it.


The LORD is my light and my salvation - so why should I be afraid?  The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?

Psalm 27:1


We truly have nothing to be afraid of.  I mean, I'm afraid of everything, and I mean that in a literal sense.  I've always been a very fearful person.  PTSD causes a person to be in either FIGHT or FLIGHT mode, and I'm DEFINITELY in FLIGHT mode - all the time.  Take my fear of spiders - I can't even watch Charlotte's Web because there's a spider in it!  Don't even get me started on Arachnophobia (thank God I've never watched that movie)!  I don't even know why I'm terrified of them!  All I know is when I see one I run away and pretty much burst into tears.  My fear of spiders is so bad, that in 9th grade in the science classroom, there was a dead spider in a jar, and it was a big one.  Someone who knew I was terrified of spiders grabbed the jar and stuck it right in my face!  I literally ran all the way to the other end of the classroom, hid underneath the teacher's desk and curled up in a fetal position in tears.  The teacher had to coax me out I was so scared.

Anyway, if we are protected by the Almighty God of the universe, the creator of all things, why should we be afraid?  Even the demons are afraid of Him!  There's a story that the Apostle Paul was shipwrecked on an island and was bit by a venomous snake.  God protected him though, and the venom didn't affect him!  The islanders were so amazed that they thought Paul might've been a god.  Now I'm not saying go out and be a moron and try to beat death at his own game.  But if God can protect Paul from a venomous snake, even better, if God can defeat death itself, then what do we have to be afraid of?  In Christ, we truly have nothing to be afraid of.  So let's stand strong and fearless!



Sunday, August 13, 2017

Broken but Not Forgotten





Recently, there have been some changes going on with me.  Things I couldn't understand are making light.

I'm so broken, shattered in a million pieces.  The broken toy no one wants to play with and is beyond repairable, so I'm thrown into the fire.  There is a darkness inside me that consumes me.  I'm drowning, and no lifeguard to save me.  I gasp for air but there is none there.  Most days He feels a million miles away from me.

I am broken, but not forgotten.

God has been making it very clear for nearly a week to me that He sees me differently than I thought He did.  He's used others, as well as some circumstances, to show me that while I am broken, He has not forgotten me.  He has not forgotten my anguish.  He has not forgotten my inner demons that haunt me.  He has seen my unseen tears.  He's seen the blood that flows out of my arms when I can't handle things.  He's seen my dark thoughts that I can't get rid of.  He's heard my cries for help on my knees.  My spirit is shattered.

I am broken, but He has not forgotten me.

I always thought I'm useless.  Every time God has given me an opportunity to tell the Good News to someone, I have failed.  I chicken out.  I just sit on my ass all day long doing nothing but being stuck in the darkness of my mind.  Why would He ever use anyone like me?  How could He ever use someone like me?  I'm an absolute failure and a mess.  I'm just a waste of oxygen.  I'm worth more dead than alive.

I am broken, but He has not forgotten me.

I've always thought that one day when I go to heaven, Jesus is going to see me and think, "Greeeeat, she's here, now I have to deal with her for eternity!"  Of course, rolling his eyes.  What if He's not really like that though?  A friend told me recently that when I go to heaven, Jesus will run to me, hug me, and won't stop kissing me.  This doesn't make sense to me.  Why me, the screw up?  The person who drains everyone around me?  The person who's too afraid to share about Him other than on my blog?  The person who has a deep darkness inside my soul?


"So he returned home to his father.  And while he was still a long ways off, his father saw him coming.  Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him."

Luke 15:20


In the past, I had a deep hatred for Him.  Two years ago, I left Him because I thought He didn't want me anymore.  The darkness inside me tears me apart.  My heart was dead, with maggots feeding on my soul as I was dying.  Do you have any idea how painful it is to think the God of the universe, the Savior of the world, doesn't want you anymore?  It's an unimaginably heartbreaking feeling one could have.  Yet, He still pursued me, and brought me back three days later.  I had died inside, but He resurrected me.  He saw me - the failure, the mess, the traitor, the broken, and ran to me with open arms.  I am realizing no matter how much self-hatred I have for myself, no matter all the shame I carry daily, He doesn't feel the same way about me.  He loves me in such a way that I can't understand nor even begin to imagine.  It's a deep love that no person, no animal - nothing can have for a person, nonetheless a person such as I.

I am broken, but He is healing me.  The scars are fading.  The beast inside me is dying.  As I drown in my sorrow, He pulls me out of the water.  As I'm gasping for air, He gives me oxygen.  His light is piercing the darkness that engulfs me.  I was a prisoner to the darkness of my mind, but He has broken the chains and opened the door to the truth - His truth.  He's not far away and never has been, He's always been with me.  I carried not only my burdens, but the world's burdens on my shoulders.  I didn't know how to get rid of the luggage, so I carried it for so many years on my own.  But now I know I can't continue to do that anymore, so I gave it to Him.  I trusted Him to take care of them and me.  Now I have a peace that I haven't had in a long time - His peace.

I am still broken, but He is putting me back together into something amazing!  A creation even greater than I was originally.  He is making me whole - in His image.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

My Story

I don't share my story on how I came to Christ often, I'm always afraid people won't believe me (there are even other Christians who don't believe parts of it).  Whenever someone does however ask me, it gives me great joy in telling someone how Christ rescued and continues to rescue me from the pits of darkness.

Growing up, I got bullied A LOT, so severely that I got PTSD from it (no joke, a psychiatrist seriously diagnosed me with PTSD when I told him about the bullying).  Almost all of my life I was bullied.  I'd get bullied for the most stupid things too.

I grew up in a Christian home; my parents being in ministry.  I went to Sunday School at church every week.  I didn't really care about Jesus though, or at least, not like I do today.  Sure I said "the prayer" when I was little, but I didn't really know what it meant.  I just did it because my parents and church told me about it, and when you're four years old you think your parents are the coolest people, lol.

I was homeschooled from 1st grade-6th grade.  I goofed around a lot and was pretty lonely.  My friends all went to public or private school and when they'd get home from school, they had to do homework.  I wanted to go to a school, so I basically refused to do my work.  For the second half of 6th grade, I was put into public school.  It wasn't the worst experience, but it wasn't what I had thought it'd be like.  7th grade came and the bullying got REALLY bad.  Over the summer I had developed a skin condition called HS (Hidradenitis Suppurativa).  It's very painful and would make me walk weird when it'd flare up.  I got called all sorts of names: gay, fat, whale, gorilla (because of how I walked when I was in pain), and more.  I was sexually harassed in school, and one kid even threatened to kill my family and me.  At this point, I hated people, including God - no, especially God.  Kids were cruel to me.  I couldn't even walk the dog around the neighborhood sometimes because they'd start yelling "GORILLA!!" at me.  I remember one day I came home in tears after walking the dog.  My dad had a "dream team" he made for Apologetics (defending the faith).  They were having a meeting and one of the guys there said, "Do you want me to walk the dog with you?"  I said no, but he was quite intimidating (It was David Wood).

Anyway, I hated people, because they hurt me so badly.   I hated God even more though because he allowed all this to happen to me.  I wanted nothing to do with Him.  He was just screwing with my life because He wanted to be entertained.  He didn't really care about me.  I was suicidal, but had not yet made any real attempts.  I almost tried to stab myself in my chest once, but I heard a voice tell me "It's not time yet."  I didn't want to listen to that voice, my thoughts were "My life is my life, I choose whether I want to live or die."  A foolish thought for sure.  But for whatever reason, I listened to that voice.  There were times I'd just tell God to f**k off and get away from me.  I'd shake my fist at the sky and flip the bird.  I had a very strong hatred for God.  I was confused though.  There was a part of me that wanted to believe He really cared, but to me, the evidence didn't really show it.

In the second half of 7th grade, my parents pulled me out of school since the bullying got so bad.  So I was homeschooled for the second half.  Even though I hated God and people, I loved going to my youth group at church.  For some reason, I felt safe there, and people were different there.  They actually seemed to care about me, and to this day I'm thankful for them.  In the summer of going into 8th grade, I went on my first missions trip to I believe somewhere in northern Virginia (I lived in VA Beach at the time).  It was called the Jeremiah Project.  We were divided into small groups (there were other churches there at the same time).  I was the "devo girl" (devotionals girl) for my small group.  I remember reading on the first day Psalm 139.

Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
 You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

You see me when I travel

    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.

You know what I am going to say

    even before I say it, Lord.
 You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!
 I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!

If I go up to heaven, you are there;

    if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
 If I ride the wings of the morning,
    if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
 even there your hand will guide me,
    and your strength will support me.
 I could ask the darkness to hide me
    and the light around me to become night—
     but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.
 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.
 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
    They cannot be numbered!

I can’t even count them;

    they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
    you are still with me!

This verse started to soften my hard, cold, heart.  Maybe, just maybe, God wasn't who I thought He was.  Maybe He did care.  I wasn't completely convinced though.  Then the last night we were there (I think it was a week long), in the worship service we sang "He Knows My Name" (not the one by Francesca Battistelli).  I didn't hear a voice auditorally, but in my heart, I felt God speak to me.  I know that's hard to understand, someone speaking to your heart?  I honestly don't really know how to explain it.  I'm a very "feelings" oriented person, which can be a double-edged sword.  I guess it's kinda like the saying to "listen to your heart."  That's the closest I can really explain it.  I felt God speak to me, and He said, "I love you, no matter what you do or say, I will always love you.  You've gone through a difficult time, but I want to help you.  Just believe."  God wasn't who I had thought He was.  He really did care, just like in Psalm 139 (which is of course, my most favorite verse now).  I spent all night that night praying, and I gave my life to Christ.  I wasn't going to live life on my own, I wanted Him to take care of my life.

When I got home from the missions trip, I was a new person.  I used to be addicted to porn, and when I decided I would follow Christ, I got rid of it.  I told my parents I had been looking at it for a few years and I was able to get past the security put on my computer.  So we got the computer out of my room and I wasn't on it for a year (except for school).

In 8th grade, I started going to a Christian school that most of my friends from youth group went to.  It was by far a MUCH better experience than the other school I went to.  I had to move to Atlanta, GA four days before Christmas though due to my dad's job.  That was a very difficult move for me, and if I hadn't come to Christ, it probably would've been even more difficult.  When we were looking at a new school for me to go to, my brother and I got rejected at the first choice.  Keep in mind, I was 14 years old (so my brother was 10 at the time) and had just moved.  We also didn't know I had Autism yet either.  Anyway, the school rejected us, calling us disrespectful because we didn't have a firm handshake, slouched in our seats, and didn't make eye contact.  We ended up going to difference schools then.

Kids at the new school I went to bullied me too (not as badly as the public school I had gone to prior).  I had been baptized in the end of 8th grade, it wasn't something I had to do, but I wanted to.  I felt like God was telling me it was time.  In 9th grade, the bullying got worse.  I felt like I had no friends because my closest friend at the time didn't get along with me anymore.  Some bad stuff happened I'm not going to get into.  I was a new Christian, yet some of the kids called me "Super Christian" as an insult.  I didn't understand it because I felt like I was just like everyone else - nothing special about me.  It was hurtful at the time, but when I think back on it now, it kinda makes me chuckle.  Super Christian?  What is that even supposed to mean?  I loved Christ so that makes me a Super Christian?  I was afraid the bullying was going to get as bad as the public school I went to prior so I left.  I was homeschooled from the end of 9th grade through 10th grade.  In 10th grade is also when I started cutting.  When 11th grade was coming up, I felt like God wanted me to go back to public school.  I was like "Hell no!  I'm not going back there again!  I hated you back then, why do you want me to go back?"  I fought with him for weeks, but then I started to realize if that was where God wanted me to go, then I needed to listen to Him.  I told my parents and they said "There's no way we're putting you back into public school!"  Eventually though, they felt like it was okay for me go back.  So I went to a public charter school for 11th-12th grade.

I wasn't really sure why God wanted me to go there, but I wanted to follow whatever He told me to do.  For the most part, it was the best school I had ever been to.  I think most of us were outcasts in some way, which helped us get along pretty well.  There were times of course where things got bad.  The first day of 11th grade, I was sexually abused by a senior.  Some people don't believe me because, well, he was gay.  I still can't make sense of it to this day, but it really did happen.  Other than that though, it was a pretty good school.  I learned some things about people there too.  Homosexuality disgusted me (I didn't know at the time that I struggled with some bisexuality).  I couldn't really understand why people would go for the same sex.  When I went to this school, I was exposed to quite a bit of them.  I felt like God told me "See?  I love them too."  If God loves them, shouldn't I as well?  Homosexuality doesn't really gross me out anymore like it used to, though I honestly can't handle watching gay sex scenes in movies (MILK - I couldn't even watch the entire movie).  Sometimes, people would ask me about my faith, and I always really enjoyed talking about Jesus whenever I could.  I'm not the type who tries to push my beliefs down a person's throat.  If they want to talk about it, they'll bring it up with me.  Sometimes some of the teachers would test me to see how I'd respond to some stuff that was against my faith.  But I remained calm and answered the best I could with love.  We also found out I had Autism at this school.

Right after graduating high school (which I still don't know how that was even possible), I had an online boyfriend.  He was the first guy to ever make me feel beautiful.  He was my dream guy too, how lucky was that!  I should've seen signs now that I look back that he really didn't care about me.  He just wanted to see how far he could go with a girl and I guess I happened to be his first victim.  I did things I regret still, but I was so desperate to be loved, so I gave in to things.  Our relationship ended really ugly though.  This affected me so badly, I made my first suicide attempt.  I wrote a goodbye note and everything.  As I laid on my bed expecting death to come at any moment, I asked God to forgive me.  I wasn't sure where I was going to go after I died.  Some say heaven, others say hell.  It scared me to think I could be going to hell, but there wasn't really anything I could do at that point but ask God for forgiveness and hope that he'd spare me from the pits of hell.  No one found me until 8 hours later.  God protected me though.  I should've either died or my liver and kidneys should've been severely damaged.  The only physical damage I got though was a minor brain injury.  I guess God did spare me after all.  I wasn't able to go back to college or drive though because of my brain injury.

When I got out of the hospital, I met a guy who was the complete OPPOSITE of what I wanted in a guy.  But he was different.  He legit cared about me.  I ended up falling in love with him and even married him (seven years).  He was BETTER than my dream guy!  He brought me closer to God as well.

Skip ahead to two years ago, things got really bad again.  There was a guy I really looked up to, like a father.  He was a minister, what could go wrong with that right?  WRONG!  He was abusive towards me and I fell hook, line, and sink.  Like my previous abuses I went through (I've been in four abusive relationships), he made me feel like everything was my fault.  I was always the person in the wrong.  He'd hurt me (not physically) and I'd want to leave, but he'd always bring me crawling back.  It got so bad that I tried to kill myself, not once, but twice in just a few months apart.  I went to the Crisis Stabilization Unit three times.  Things got so bad we had to move.  Before we moved though, I was really struggling with my faith.  It's often I struggle with my faith, but this time was the end of it.  I left Christianity, and it devastated my husband (Nick is in ministry).  I told him if God really wanted me, He'd come for me.  When Nick talked to a friend about it, his friend said I wouldn't be like that for long.  I kid you not, THREE days later I came back to Christ.  He came to me in a dream, and I realized He really did want me and love me.  My cutting got worse that year too though.  I got to the point where I was cutting AT LEAST three times a week.  This minister's wife btw accused me of trying to make the relationship sexual, when it NEVER was!  She defended her husband and it was just a bad situation period.  We had to move to get away from everything.

Now I'm back in Atlanta, GA.  I still struggle with suicide and cutting.  My emotions tend to be stronger than "normal" people.  When my emotions get overwhelming, I tend to cut to feel numb.  My cutting is getting better now though.  I still struggle with the urges, but for the most part, I choose not to do it.  I've had close calls, but I still didn't do it.  I've met people who really do care about me.  I'm not as alone as I had been in the past.  But I've realized even if everyone left me (which a lot of people have), I still truly wouldn't be alone.  All throughout my life God has proven Himself to me over and over again.  He has shown mercy and compassion for me so much.  My love for Him continues to grow more and more each and every day.  I can't help it, after everything He's done for me, I can't help but love Him.  I have desires now that I never would've imagined I'd have (which I may talk about another time).  I want to serve Him in every way I possibly can.  I fail more often than I succeed, but He gives me grace to keep trying.

I've always struggled with God's forgiveness, but I have learned that life is like a chalkboard.  Everything we do wrong gets written on the chalkboard.  When we come to Jesus though, he doesn't clean the board, he breaks it and says "It's done!"  This means no matter what, He will forgive you, just ask Him.

Anyway, that's my VERY long story, and even then I left bits and pieces out because it would be even longer.  I hope my story gives you encouragement.  God will never leave you nor forsake you.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Anxiety Pt 2

As I had said in my previous entry, I struggle with a lot of anxiety - this week being one of the WORST weeks in a while.  It's really been affecting my health.  I've been having breathing problems, chest pains, less sleep and hallucinations (I'm on a new medication that helps control the hallucinations - they've come back though after a couple of weeks), and even being sick (again).  All this I believe is stress and anxiety-related.

One of my biggest problems I have is I tend to put everyone else's problems on my shoulders, I guess that's what happens when you really care about people.  I wasn't always this way, I used to hate people and God.  I was burned so often by so many people (which still happens A LOT) I just didn't want anything to do with either.  When I developed a love for God though, I started to love people.  That's a different story though I may share later.

\Anyway, I know I can't save the world, I'm not Jesus after all.  I can't continue to carry the world's burdens on my own.  This week something happened that really broke my heart, and I'm not able to tell anyone about it.  I wasn't sure what to do about it.  I wasn't sure how to handle it.  This caused my anxiety and to get even worse.  I've gone to two drs so far asking to be on something for my anxiety and both refused to.  One said they legally couldn't and the other said I'm on too many medications.

I've been praying more in the past few days I think than I EVER have.  Some people who are very special to me have told me that I need to rest in God.  I wasn't really sure how to do that though.  What does it even mean to rest in God and how do we do it?  I asked a couple people and they said it's trusting in God.  Trusting God can be a difficult thing to do, believe me I know.  Trust does NOT come easy for me.  For some people, there have been exceptions to that, and I'm not sure why that is.  Most people though it takes a VERY long time before I trust them.  Don't get me wrong, I'm an open book.  But when it comes to really trusting someone that they won't hurt me, that they're really on my side, it takes a long time.  So many people have broken that trust (I've been in four abusive relationships - including one by a minister) and really burned me.  I've been kicked out of churches because they couldn't handle my Autism.  Yea I get it, people, including Christians, are really hard to trust.  They put on a mask at first that make you believe they're different from others.  But when that mask comes off and you see who they really are, you realize they're not as "angelic" as they first appeared.

In my prayer time over the past couple days, I've been asking God to help me through this.  That He would give me the wisdom to know what to do, the strength to carry these burdens on my own, and the courage if I need to go to others about some of them (which really in my situation is NOT a good idea - for most things though it is a good idea to).  If I'm supposed to carry these burdens on my own though, I asked God to help me through them, because I honestly didn't believe I'd even make it by the end of the week.  I even started making plans - which btw, when that starts to happen, you need to check yourself into a hospital.  I hate hospitals, but safety is very important.  Around 4 am two days ago, I felt like Jesus spoke to me (which is very rare for me) and He said, "You're not carry these burdens alone, I'm carrying them with you."  I kid you not, my anxiety was cut in half!  My physical symptoms went away and I felt so much more relaxed.  It gave me the answer I needed to know what to do as well.  I think I finally understood what it means to rest in God - to trust Him.  It's hard to trust someone you've never seen before, and usually the conversations seems one-sided.  But He's closer than you think.  I picture it this way:  It's like we're a small child in the store.  We're supposed to stay close to our parents, but sometimes something catches our eyes; so we wander off on our own.  Then we notice we're not anywhere near our parents and freak out!  But in reality, they're watching us from a distance still, making sure we're safe (at least that's what a good parent does, lol).  We may feel alone, but in reality, He's there still - watching us.  When we cry out to Him, He comes to our rescue.

Some other great things have happened since then in the past two days, and I may get that in later.  This entry is mostly focused on anxiety.  Do I still need to be on something for my anxiety?  Most likely.  I still have a lot of anxiety.  As of right now though, I think I can manage it.  I need to remember I'm not alone, even if I feel alone.  Jesus is here with me, even when it doesn't feel like He is.  I need to rely on Him.  He will never burn me or abuse me.


Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest....for my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."

Matthew 11:28;30


Whatever burdens you may be carrying, He will give you rest.  You never have to carry them alone - He carries them with you.  He carried the world on His shoulders.  You think He doesn't understand your pain?  He was known as a Man of Sorrow.  He understands what it's like to be in deep pain and suffering.


"He was despised and rejected - a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief."

Isaiah 53:3


Trust Him, you won't regret it.  What do you have to lose?



Monday, August 7, 2017

Anxiety

I have very severe anxiety, and lately it's been getting worse.  A lot of stuff has been going on (been having to deal with a lot of death for the past two years).  I have VERY poor coping skills, though I am learning good ones - I just have to find the one that works for me (cutting is NOT an option).  My anxiety has not only affected me mentally, but physically as well.  I have chest pains and breathing issues.  I am also trying to learn how to grieve (in a healthy way).  Even though I've never felt this way for other people, I feel like whenever I cry, I feel weak, and when I feel weak, I want to cut; so I don't allow myself to cry.  When I don't cry though, I've taken a piece of humanity out of me.  So now I have to learn how to cry again, but in a healthy way.  My psychiatrist said I have to find a new psychiatrist because he can't give me anything for my anxiety.

Anyway, last week I did a Bible Study on the YouVersion app on anxiety.  It was for five days, and one of the days was about 1 Peter 5:7



Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.




Sometimes I think that we think, "My problem is so simple, God's not going to care compared to what others are going through."  I've had that thought MANY times.  Why would God care about my anxieties?  There are people who have things FAR worse than me, so why would my little worries be important to Him?  He DOES care though - so much.  He cares about the big things and the little things.  He cares for you.  This is huge for me.  I have abandonment issues, and a lot of people who meant a lot to me have left me, and I don't mean just went separate ways, I mean it got REALLY ugly.  I'm constantly afraid people I care about are going to leave me, even if there's no evidence they're going to.  I didn't see the evidence with the other people who left me, and look what happened!  Even if no one cared about me and left me though, God still cares.  People are temporary but He is forever.

Give your anxieties to God.  I know that doesn't make much sense; I mean, how do you even do that? Well, you pray about it, and then you leave it.  You don't dwell on it.  I know how difficult this can be though.  I'm constantly dwelling on my problems (as well as other people's problems).  When you're really worried about something, it's hard to let it go.  We need to give it to God though, and then leave it in His hands.  We may not understand His ways, we may not know how it'll get resolved, but it will - even if we don't like the results.

I think one of the reasons I've had such a difficult time dealing with my anxiety is I haven't really been reflecting on what I'm thankful for lately.  When I was doing that, my attitude was changing and things that used to bother me didn't anymore.  But I got sick for six weeks and I had stopped reflecting on things I'm thankful for.  It's taken me down a dark spiral again.  I'm starting to do it again though.  So hopefully that, and if we can find a new psychiatrist who can give me something for my anxiety (even if it's temporary), I think I'll do much better.  Until then, I've got to keep giving my anxieties to God.  He'll do something about them, and even if I don't like how he deals with them, I know it's what's best.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

When Tragedy Strikes

There's been a lot of tragedy in the last couple of years.  Tragedy can affect people differently.  For me, I get very depressed (which I think is normal anyway).  I tend to isolate myself and even at times get angry with God.  I ask Him "Why is this happening?  Why did you do this to (fill in name)?  Why are you doing this to me?"  Of course, I don't realize until later it doesn't really matter how it affects me; I mean it does, but it's really how it affects those closest to the people that the tragedy happens to.  Last night, I found out a friend died.  A couple days ago on the radio, they said there have been 20 teen suicides so far this year in my state alone.  Earlier this year, I found out a girl I knew (though I wasn't really close to) committed suicide.  Also earlier this year, a couple of dear friends lost their child.  Don't even get me started on last year's tragedies (which I have written about).  Tragedy affects people differently.  For some, they cling closer to Christ, while others walk further away from Him.  When they walk away from Him, this is a tragedy in itself.  I have seen this with people I looked up to, and people I'm close to.  It breaks my heart on top of the original tragedy.

What causes a person to walk away from Christ during a tragedy?  Well, I think this is different for everyone to be honest.  But I think the thing they all have in common is they're angry.  They think, "What kind of God would allow such a thing to happen?  Why would He do this to me?  If He's such a good and loving God, why did He allow this to happen?"  Sometimes, they may not even realize they are walking away from Him.  I've seen both of these things happen to people, and I've even experienced some of it myself.  It's easy to walk away from Christ during a tragedy.  It's easy to walk away from someone you can't see or hear an audible voice from.  It's easy to walk away when you cry out to someone, and all you hear is dead silence.  It's easy to put a mask on, pretending to be okay and be someone you're really not.  But when you're on your own at the end of the day, and you can't wear that mask anymore, you realize just how lonely you truly are.

I have very severe anxiety, I worry about everything!  My top anxieties, are about the people I care about.  I can't save the world, as much as I would like to.  I can't be a mother to the world - I can't protect everyone from bad choices or from pain.  Some say it's a control issue, and maybe it is, I don't know.

Some people walk away from Christ during tragedies, but there is another option:

We can draw closer to Christ during a tragedy.  He wants to be there for us in our time of need.


 "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."              

- Matthew 11:28


This is a difficult thing to do, believe me I know it is.  It's hard to give your burdens to someone you sometimes wonder if they even exist, or think "He was just a good man."  It's hard to rest when you have so much going on and you wonder "How could He do such a thing to me?"

He feels our pain.  He's gone through the same things we go through.  He's lost people He loved (such as His dear friend Lazarus - and even His earthly father (though there isn't much about that in Scripture)).  The Father watched His only Son die a brutal death.  He has seen people He loved and loves suffer and die.  Could He stop it from happening?  Technically, yes.  We don't always know why He does the things He does.


"For my thoughts are nothing like your thoughts." says the LORD.  "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine."

- Isaiah 55:8


Sometimes later down the road in life, God reveals to us why He allowed certain things to happen in our lives.  I know He has done that to me in certain situations.  But sometimes, we don't find out what that reason is until we die ourselves.  Sometimes what He allows seems absolutely cruel; as if when tragedy happens, He's punishing us, or even imagine He's laughing at us.  But this isn't the case.  Jesus weeps with us.  When Lazarus died, Jesus wept.  Jesus wept over Jerusalem because He knew the hardened hearts people had for Him and the suffering they faced.  Jesus had compassion on the hurting and sick.


"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


Whether we feel it or not, Christ has compassion for us when we are hurting.  He sees our broken and bleeding hearts.  We do not go through tragedies on our own, but it is our choice whether to lean on Christ through them or not.  We are not strong enough to carry our burdens on our own.  Why do you think there's so many suicides all over the world?  Because we are stubborn and think, "I can carry this myself.  I don't need anyone to help me."  Such stupid sheep we are.  We are dumb sheep and as stubborn as an ass. We go our own ways, as if we can be our own Superman.  If no one is going to save us, then we will just help ourselves.  But we can only do so much on our own, until we throw our hands in the air and say "That's it!  I'm done!  No more!"  When this happens, two things happen.  They either realize how much they need Christ's help and fall to His feet, or they destroy themselves.  Christ does not want us to destroy the life He gave us, no, He wants us to cling to His feet so He can help us through our tragedies and hardships.  Believe me, I am no saint, I am nowhere near doing this all the time.  I am preaching to myself just as much as I am preaching to you.  We have got to cling to Jesus.  Only He can truly save us.


Image result for suffering

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thankfulness

How do you be thankful during a time of distress?


Last year when I went to AWA (Anime Weekend Atlanta), I got to meet one of my heroes, Vic Mignogna.  He gave advice during a panel to think of what you're thankful for every day for five minutes.  This week I decided to finally try it.  No matter how down I may feel, I try to take some time to think about what I'm thankful for, for a few minutes.  I think about all the people who support me, especially my husband and my family.  I think about how thankful I am to have pets (one lives with my parents), they're like the babies I'll never be able to have.  I'm thankful to have a merciful God, because as hard as life may seem, it could always be a hell of a lot worse.  I'm thankful for the apartment I live in.  I'm thankful to have food I can eat.  I'm thankful for clean water.  Last night I had a very terrifying dream, and when I woke up I thanked God that it wasn't real; it was just a dream.  As much as I want to escape my life, I'm thankful at the same time that I am still alive.  I know that may sound weird coming from someone who's always suicidal.  It's hard to explain.  I mean, I should be dead after having three suicide attempts, but God saved me from them for a reason.  What that reason is I have no idea.

I'm the most pessimist person out there; it's really difficult for me to think positively because I ALWAYS focus on the negative.  This week though, when I've taken a few minutes during the day to think of what I'm thankful for, it has really helped!  I'm not focusing so much on the negatives in my life.  I'm even more determined to get healthier mentally and physically.  I guess health starts in the mind.  If someone like me can find things to be thankful for, you can too!

Thanks Vic for the advice last year!  It's really been helping me!  I hope you'll be back this year!