Posts Tagged With: faith

Small Steps

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I seriously need to spend some time researching formatting. Every time I think I have it figured out, I’m wrong. Persistence!!

I took a step back from everything after my last post. I know I am not in this current trial to thrash around like a fish dying on the shore, which is very much what it felt like I was quickly becoming. I have been asking Jesus and Father for some time, “Who am I, and how do I find out, and what does that mean?” I am not one who can believe none of this has meaning-not my single life being lived, not the grass growing (or trying to in Texas) outside even. As has been evidenced by much of my writing here, this is a question I have wrestled with. Who am I? Why am I here, what am I to do? Specifically, not the platitudes of “make the world a better place” and such. My initial reaction to such is always an internal “Duh…do I look like an idiot??” even if I don’t give voice to it.

I am realizing it has been a journey to accept the fact of personhood, for me. Perhaps that is a result of the abuse, the loss of identity that goes with it. Perhaps it is a result of my childhood, the constant derision of my dreams and goals, the statements of “that isn’t what you really want/think/feel/mean/etc”, and the being forced into the mold my mother had for me, which never ever fit. Whatever the cause, some of the heart work of the last two weeks made me realize I was feeling guilty, STILL, for even existing. For being. That despite thinking I had grown past it, the repeated message of “you were a mistake, if I had a choice you wouldn’t be here” beginning when I was very small was still influencing me, still cutting and tearing deep inside, still undermining any confidence or sense of “I am, and that is right and good.” I spent many hours one day with a close friend, talking through this and other aspects, and discovering that this wound is still there, unhealed. Denial is a powerful blinder. One wants to think they’ve dealt with something, and it’s done, done for good, I’m all better now, thank-you-very-much!

Unearthing that though was key. My behaviors lately have baffled me. Why am I panicking SO MUCH?! It’s not the first time I’ve been around this mountain. I’ve been unemployed and wondering where and how my children and I will live more times than I want to admit. I’ve scratched and fought and worked my way back to a place of being able to make it only to have my feet kicked out from under me, multiple times. Although I think sometimes God tries to keep my blood pressure at 210/115, He always comes through. I wish He weren’t so fond of the dramatic last minute (or second) rescue, but I don’t have much say in that LOL! What I do have a say in though is my response. Realizing I felt like I DID NOT have a say in my response, as I could not be my own person, because I did not deserve to exist…THAT has made a difference.

In the midst of that, Spirit finally said “It’s time…” regarding taking the RHETI test. I have been researching the Enneagram since this last winter, off and on, as some people I deeply respect and regard as teachers and mentors use it for their own growth. The more I learned about the origins, development, and applications of the Enneagram I began to think this might be an extremely useful tool in my life, growth, and healing. I would not let myself read about the types, as I did not want to know before taking the test. So when Spirit led, and I had a morning all to myself in quiet, I did. And I think I will be blogging about it for a while. The test was amazingly accurate, and in being so it also mysteriously afforded me permission to Be Who I Am, and gave me hints as to who that is. I am still processing, will be, and will do some of that processing here. Looking forward to that!

Also, I am working slowly through a writing course. It took me the first 2 weeks to accept that I had been accepted, so now I am playing catch up *rolls eyes at self* The course is teaching me also about myself…who I am. What is my rhythm, how do my words work, what do I need to write, and increasingly, that I *am* a writer, and I can embrace that. There are signs of life stirring deep inside, life in this area that I have fought so hard and pushed down in fear so much. Words are coming now, story pouring out. I have much to learn…but the plug has been unstopped. Thank the Lord!

Categories: Faith and Wrestling, Healing & Growing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Changes?

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The past week or so has been interesting, internally. I find myself doing much pondering, and much avoiding of it.

The 14th was my 2 months since my injury. I do not think I have EVER spent anything near this long in bed. I had no idea that when I first went down, it would be for anything but a few days. I was, after all, due back at work for the elderly couple I took care of a couple weeks after, once they returned from vacationing in New Mexico. I had a kitchen to paint in the meantime, and other things to do around the home to make it start to feel like “our” home. I had my daily horse job, 7 days a week, twice a day, and then I had my own Minis-to-be-used-somehow-one-day to take care of. My kids, school starting…

Then one day, this.

I have been alternating trying to listen and running away inside. Running away, daydreaming, has been winning more here lately.

Do I trust You, Lord? Does the north wind blow?
Do I trust You, Lord? Does the river flow?
You can see my heart, You can read my mind
and You’ve got to know I would rather die
than to lose my faith in the One I love.
Do I trust You?
(lyrics from an old Twila Paris song from the 80’s)

That song kept me alive, more than once. I have never been able to escape the lyrics. He knows how deeply I mean them.

For the first time, I find myself wondering about “I would rather die than to lose my faith…”

There are times it feels like He has taken you out into the desert and left you. I have felt like Hagar the last few years, for various reasons. But He wasn’t the one to desert her in the desert. He was the one to send an angel to lead her to food and water, and to keep her safe.

There is more to this than I can see.

Three things hit me last week, and one this.
Three different women followed my blog, and going to visit their’s…well, the first two kicked me in the gut. They are doing what I said I was going to do here-be real. Yet there are secrets I have not told here. Ways I feel impressed to tell, to hopefully help others, but I have been too afraid. The internet, after all, is very searchable. I have children to raise that I love with all of me. There are/were jobs I needed, and my …situation is one that is not only stigmatized, it is stigmatized and attacked and said it doesn’t exist by people who cannot even begin to fathom what it is like to live with. What it has been like, for 43 yrs or so. Those who accept the reality often mis-portray it. I couldn’t have an employer or prospective, searching me and finding this. Or family.

But those young women, half my age, are being so much braver than I. They are doing what I knew He was leading me to do from the start, but I have been too afraid, and I have tried instead to …to what? Do what I have had to do my whole life, keep the masks on and be what others needed me to be.

The third woman had sites on her blog that kicked me more. http://www.psychcentral.com is an amazing website. I spent 2 days in obsessive mode, reading reading reading. I took a few of the quizzes. “If you score 14 or higher, you have a very high likelihood of having PTSD”. I know this….I scored 23. Took the psychopathy test from my ex’s vantage point..after 20 yrs with someone, you know their answers to stuff, esp when you have to study them daily to avoid the worst of the abuse. Way into the “your score indicates you could well have serious psychopathic tendencies”. Again, I know this, about him. I was told by medical professionals and others…Of course the site is not diagnosing, but encouraging you to seek help, and actual diagnostics. Won’t happen with him. I have been seeking for years, but not finding.

Then this week I have to get some paperwork for the state, for the Medicaid they are putting me on so I can get some of this taken care of, as the MRI taped me out. He told me to start the disability paperwork. Told me I am “permanently disabled”.

I am still processing that.

Depression has been biting, hard. I need to be with my children. I want to go home. I need income, NOW, not 2 yrs from now when the process of getting on disability is done. I am tired of this. I do not want to be disabled. Yet I still cannot even make it to the bathroom without help, or stand up, for that matter. I have rent to pay, and utilities, and such. The more I try/look/research, the more I am finding out I am not currently qualified to apply for most freelance writing or etc jobs. I have signed up for more survey sites than I like, and spent hours to have a total of 5 points? and it takes 1,000 to get $10? I’ve spent 5 hrs working on a Crowdsource site, to earn $5.41. I have listed horses for sale, quality Minis, for very fair prices, and I have gotten “the checks in the mail” but no checks, written contracts and sent after hours of discussion never to hear from them again, and a variety of crazies. There are so many nuts in the animal world…sigh. The people, not the animals. I am working on courses to learn, so I *can* qualify for freelance work, but that will take time. I do not have time.

So, Jesus, what now? My children NEED me. But I’m told I cannot go home to them, because there is no one there to take care of me. What do You want of me, Lord?
I think there will be some changes to this site.

And if I can ever figure out how to get the pictures to line up right again, I will feel like I conquered something.

Categories: Depression, Faith and Wrestling, Healing & Growing, Pain and mourning | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

On Suicide

Two nights ago, I received the news that a dear friend of mine had lost a friend to suicide. This was a man she’d and her husband had known for many years. A man that she said everyone looked to for encouragement, help, that he loved to help others and was always a light for those who needed one. No one knew…no one even suspected. She is wracked now by the question of “Why”?! It hits her hard and fast, an upper-cut to the gut, throughout the day. Why did he do it, why didn’t he talk to anyone, and I’m sure a hundred other “Why’s”. I hurt for her, and her family. For his. For all those whom his life touched, and it sounded like that was quite a few. I pray about the ramifications, the ripples that reach out to those he has supported, encouraged, loved on. Jesus, come…

I’ve attempted suicide myself, three times. Once when I was twelve, and could no longer take the pain. Thank God I didn’t cut deep enough. Twice more, in the last few years, when there was no one and the pain was too deep, too wide, too much. Thankfully, I didn’t take enough pills.

I did these things despite a deep and abiding love of and faith in Christ, in Father, in Spirit.
I did these things because humans have only so much of a pain tolerance, and people don’t suicide to die. They suicide because the pain is too much for too long without hope, without any sight of anything possibly ever being different.

Suicide is not rational…however, in the moment, it appears as the only rational thing there is. The only possible way out. You have begged God and others for any reason to hope, any reason for anything, and it appears to have come up empty and you are left with despair and pain that pushes the boundaries of sanity and sometimes, it pushes too far.

Thank God His grace is sufficient. His love is from everlasting to everlasting. And He is so much more gentle with us than we are, when we are caught in the depths of despair and agony.

There are a number of things that disturb me with how we “treat” depression. I wish we as humans were better at reaching out to each other, at watching over each other. Every time, I hear “Why didn’t he/she ask for help/call someone/talk to someone…” Isolation is huge in those places, alone is what you know. For most people in that much pain, simply asking “Can I talk to you” or “Do you have a minute” takes effort equal to moving a mountain. I have a few people in my life who are suicidal, depressed…I know that now. At one point, I didn’t. But Spirit nudged when one said “Can I talk” and I didnt really have time…but I made time. And I learned about the mental abuse he lives with, and what it has done to him (though he doesn’t totally realize that yet).

I will have to go into more, another day. Out of time, right now…

Categories: Depression, Pain and mourning | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Us-vs-Them…Poverty

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photo credits Christian Silva (1&2) Propaganda Times (3rd)

 

 

I’m not really even sure how to start this post, but it’s been burning since last night, since I saw yet another
oh-so-popular Bash The Poor meme on FaceBook. But it’s not JUST FB. I hear it on radio shows, on the news, on television when I have a chance and bother to watch. There are YouTube videos, and print ads, and articles. There are angry politicians, what a crock that is when they are getting rich on the backs of the middle class. Makes me think, “you know, if we just gas chambered everyone who makes less than $50k a year, all of America’s problems would be solved apparently!” Then I remember I’m one of them.

Yet we call ourselves a Christian nation. I call BS on that. Sorry, Jesus’ whole ministry was to the poor and downtrodden, and having the people for lunch who screamed all of the equivalent of what I wrote above in His time period. And He didn’t demand to know how many jobs they were working, not to mention how they were spending every last penny they made on those jobs, and then grill them as to why they thought they deserved to eat or have clothes or a roof over their heads like normal, contributing to society humans do. Or, *gasp*, where did you get that donkey or embroidered shawl when by god, you claim to be poor!! “But Goodwill donkeys are on sale for a penny on Fridays, Lord, and it might help me get out of poverty, because now I have access to other work….” I can just see the poor man saying.

That’s what he has to say today. How dare you have a cell phone and be poor, you lazy rotten liar! per the new, lovely meme.

Somehow, I don’t see the love of Christ in that.

Let’s face it, the goal isn’t helping the poor get out of that position for our society. The goal is keeping them there so we have a scapegoat.

Rising health care costs-it’s not corporate greed, or the fact that companies have billions if not trillions in profits and WANT MORE, more to sit on and say “we are rich” and do nothing with. It’s those darned poor people going into the ER because they have a cold and can’t pay a doctor and can’t get insurance. And it’s those darned poor people having accidents or cancer and doing the same.

Increases in the cost of living are now the fault of the poor, too.

Cities costs to “clean up their streets” due to those filthy rotten homeless folks. How dare they need a place to live like the rest of us? Ban them…jail them, and then tell people their taxes have to go up to pay for those costs. How about taking some of the abandoned buildings and handing those homeless a hammer and nails, some paint, and saying fix it up, it’s yours. Win win. Abandoned building isn’t dragging down the property values, homeless person off the street. Even America’s god, Mammon, is somewhat served in that (not dragging down property values). But cash isn’t changing hands up front, so it’s no good…

NPR did a report a couple months ago on a city in Oregon, or Washington…I can’t remember which. The new (a few years ago) leaders decided to do something about their homeless. Instead of jailing them or chasing them off to die somewhere, they did a RADICAL THING. They gave them homes.
The report talked about HOW VERY MANY naysayers there were. You can’t just do that-they will expect handouts, they aren’t worth it, they won’t change, they are worthless, less than human, how can you be so stupid to think that will make a difference, and so on.
A couple of years later, guess what? 98% success rate, or maybe it was 96%. The people, be they single or families, fixed up their places, cleaned up their lives. Alcohol addiction and drug addictions went out the window. They got jobs. THEY KEPT JOBS. Some went to school, got their ged, are getting college degrees. The few whom it didn’t work for turned out to be seriously mentally ill. They needed help of a different kind, and if I remember rightly, they are getting it.
The report brought me to tears. I had to pull over, as I was driving at the time. Why can’t people who call themselves human see this?
What the poor need is HOPE.
When you have NO HOPE, why the hell bother?
When you have NO HOPE, your only options are to escape, somehow. Guess what humanity’s best routes of escape have been for millenia? Alcohol and drugs. And if that doesn’t deal with the pain that you can’t escape because humans can’t survive without hope, you slit your wrist or drink yourself to death or OD or some other way to get away from the pain.

If we ever want to be a Christian nation as we claim, we have to take care of the poor. No, that doesn’t mean give them handouts for the rest of their lives. It means give them hope. Give them a reason to live, to TRY. And give them what help they need in the meantime to prove to them that there ARE people who give a damn, who will help them up, who believe that they are worth something, worth the effort and expense.

Sure, there are those who play the system. You know what, they aren’t hard to spot. What’s hard is getting a pair and doing something about it, like kicking them out of the system. What’s even harder is taking the time to get to know them, hear their stories, FIND OUT WHY they do what they do, and then offer them hope, call them up higher, call out the good in them to step up and show itself off.

I’m told I’m naive. I’m a country and small town girl, I can’t begin to understand the way inner city poor think and scheme to get away with all that they can. I’m sorry, but the country has poor too. I grew up in my small town in a 20×30 box with 5 people. I grew up…have you any idea how many broken down single wide trailers that can’t begin to hold heat house people in southern IN? And people wonder why meth labs are such a problem there?

You have a problem with the drug trade? Help the poor. It will be a lot more effective than the billions we’ve poured into the “war on drugs”. True, not all drug users are poor. But they are the only ones anyone gets angry about.

And yes, I’m NOT naive enough to think everyone will reform, become contributing members of society. There are some people who are just bad. Trust me, I know. But I’m guessing those bad apples would become more apparent. Then only the bad apples would get labeled as such, instead of the current situation of all poor are criminals, up to something, trying to leach off the system.

We have to get past the “Us vs Them” thinking. I didn’t even get started on the media mongering of race…ah well, that’s another day 😉

Categories: Faith and Wrestling, Pain and mourning, rants =) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

These Vows We Make

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a slightly antiquated word, it seems, in this “modern” age-Vow. Like a promise, but more than. It seems to me our society often tends to turn away from the weightier things. They are, after all, harder to carry. It’s quicker going in the shallows, skimming on FB, celeb watching, keeping ourselves constantly busy and in the presence of noise so we don’t hear the depth in ourselves calling out even. Not everyone, by any means, thank goodness, but too many. We hurt ourselves because we won’t slow down, we won’t partake in silence and listen to the cries of our own souls or those around us.

Sometimes the Lover of our soul has to wrestle us to stillness with a touch to the hip (or back, in my case) to make us slow down to where we Have To be still…I believe in the hope that we will, eventually, stop wrestling and listen. I wonder why we are all so afraid to be alone with ourselves….

In this alone place, inside, this week some vows I made as a child and teen have come to the surface. It was through the books and old forum of Ransomed Heart Ministries that Jesus began this journey with me, back in 2006. I could never quite grasp one of the things they taught though, the concept of what they call ‘agreements’. It made sense, but it was like a wall between me and that deeper area, a place of “I just don’t see it”. Perhaps I wasn’t ready. His grace is so generous…he has proven that over and over in the past 8 years. He is so much more patient than I with my “progress”, so willing to wait until I am ready. That is one thing I have grown to love so much about my Lord. He teaches me how to be gentle with myself, as one of my best friends has often told me to be, by being so Himself.

But back to agreements, which are really vows. Often uttered in moments of pain or disillusionment or anger or another strong emotion, and many when we are children, before we really have the comprehension for the weight of the words we are uttering….yet they are uttered, and with passion and meaning, all that we can muster in those moments….and they become binding. Time passes, and we forget…at least, in the surface living. There is more to this world than meets the eye, and more to us than we allow. It might be “I will never trust another grown up” or “I will never eat yogurt again” after a really bad case of food poisoning. Twenty years later, you can’t say why you won’t eat yogurt, but you won’t. Granted, that’s a trivial example, but it gets the point across.

I’ve been frustrated with myself for a long time in one area. I love to learn. I read non-fiction like it’s going out of style because I LOVE IT. I love to research and to study and I do, on various topics. I need to find work I can do as things are. So I begin looking, and quickly realize just how outdated I am LOL! Egads….I can write, sure, but no…I don’t know how to use MS Word even, not really. Sure I can sort of fumble around in it and frustrate myself in the doing, but USE it? It’s more like it uses me and runs off laughing. And that’s Just Word. *rolls eyes at self* How in the world do I expect to get a decent job? I ask myself. This conversation happened about 3 weeks ago, inside. So I’m talking to a friend about it and he directs me to some certification courses and free learning courses to learn and BAM headlong into a wall when I start looking. What in the world is wrong with me?!?!

After two weeks of searching inside as I could, in this particular area, I feel ok to start. So I sign up for a class. And do the first lesson, and then…jello. Interesting…what is this? It took a few days of listening, but then, softly, quietly…”I will never go to school again”. And I remember…

despite loving to learn, hating school and what it meant, both while there and at home, in elementary.

ditto for Jr High…only that included, even more so, the lesson of “you are not enough” and “who you think you are is wrong”.

ditto for High School, but it included the pressure that I HAD BETTER be valedictorian, but with the knowing that I had to be, that I still was not going to be allowed to follow what burned inside of me, because that was “wrong”.

and throughout my senior year, and the pain involved with the crushing, and the being told I would not be allowed to utilize the full scholarship to UofM I had been awarded, making that vow. “I will never go to school again.”

And I haven’t. Until this week. Oh, it’s rather measly, for sure. But It Is A Start.

I renounce that vow. Some vows, it is OK to break. Some are meant to be broken. Some are chains, and they need to be cut. Get the bolt cutters, friend, they are coming off!

It was a fight to get my lessons done, but I did. I got 100% on my first test. And I turned in my end of week assignment, just in time. But it’s IN.

Do you have vows you’ve made in those moments that are hindering you? I’m sure I will find more. Jesus has decided it’s time, I’m ready, to face some of this. I know I can trust His timing. And it’s really Nice to be able to breathe in this area, again.

I think I’m looking forward to school. *soft smile*

Categories: Faith and Wrestling, Goals and Desires, Healing & Growing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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Shifa Naseer

My blog is my own kingdom and words are my subjects

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