Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans for a hope and a future."

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Life changes

It's been a long time.

There's always a reason.

It's late, my computer is broken, I have to cook, I have to run, I'm tired....and the list goes on and on....

Maybe the real reason is that I'm afraid....

Maybe I'm afraid because every time I post a blog I leave a piece of me exposed.

Maybe I'm afraid because I'm afraid of what I will say....

Maybe I'm afraid because I listened in church when the preacher said "God wants you hot for Him or cold to Him....there's no in between."

Revelation 3
1“To the angels of the church in Sardis write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

Maybe I'm afraid because I just read a text I needed to read today....
I just don't do well with pity parties. I tend to distance myself from them...Which is what I've done with you somewhat already.. Sorry, but it's the truth. I won't tolerate you dragging me down. I want you around me and as my friend, but, not like you are now. I will help you try to overcome things but when you don't help yourself, I'm done.

Some people may see that as an offensive message, but I know exactly what they were saying and I believe and accept it whole-heartedly.....because I know that negativity breeds negativity....I think that's part of how I came to where I am right now....

Maybe I'm afraid because I've managed to distance the most important people in my life and have actually kind of forgotten what it was like to really function and be Angel Brabham.

Angel wasn't glamorous, or rich, or beautiful, or famous.....Angel wasn't all that.....

......however, Angel wasn't all this either.....

At one time, Angel had a caring, humble heart.....family was the most important part of life......at one time, Angel knew what true peace and happiness was.....

For the past year and a half "finding Angel" has been very difficult.....what happened?

Who knows?

....and does it even really matter?

A lot of people give me a free pass.....or at least expected, maybe even predicted, that I would someday break.... I lost a child....after watching her fight so live for 3 hard years.....

That doesn't give me a pass....if anything that taught me what life SHOULD be, the things that DO matter, the PEOPLE that do matter....that God deserves my ALL...

....and for the first year or so after Zeta died it did.....

.....then something changed....

I don't know what....I don't know why....

I do know I don't like it.....

I do know I fought it....then I gave in to it.....and tried to fight it again.....

I tried to fight it again....read that I.....I tried to fight it.....

That's very likely why I'm still here....fighting....

I can't do it by myself.

I'm worn, exhausted, hurt, embarrassed. At times I feel alone and forsaken. All from things I've brought upon myself and the desire to run from reality....to escape pain....maybe not even that....maybe just not to feel at all.....

I've found myself giving up......

Giving up on things I wanted for myself, for my family, for my life.....

.....maybe not completely giving up in the eye and the mind of the people on the outside looking in....

...But in my eyes....I know that I have been who I should be in the eyes of God and I haven't given my heart and used my gifts in the way they were intended.....I know that I've held on to the negativity.... breeding negativity....I've shut out the light....I've been lukewarm.....I was doing ok and that was good enough....

.....or so I thought....

Ok is not good enough.....sitting around just waiting for something to happen.....running from reality....fighting the power of feeling emotions....those are all the things that cause us to sink.....

Shutting God out....trying to fool yourself (and everybody around you) that you're doing just fine....those things hold the anchor to the concrete block holding you down......

I need God....I need the positivity....I need forgiveness...I need love....I need understanding..... Maybe those are things I've been afraid to admit because I was mad and then I was just numb.....

I don't need pity....I don't need negativity....I don't need judgement.... I don't need a free pass.....

I need to put God back on top so all the other will fall into place....I don't remember that it was necessarily easier....I just remember my heart breaking less and feeling happier with who I was and where I stood in life....I remember making the connections of how I saw God intricately working...even when I wasn't really looking for it....I remember the peace.....

I've struggled with that too much lately.

It's time to take responsibility for myself, to forgive myself, to turn it all over to Him and let God have control again.....





Monday, June 8, 2015

To all my children....the ones born to me and the ones parents entrust to me (and anyone else that might need to hear this).....

Life is hard. We're all living proof of that. We all experience pain....our journeys may be different, but pain is pain and pain is real...

Don't downplay the reality of your pain just because someone else may not understand....its your pain....and if it hurts its real....oh so real....

That doesn't mean that's all there is though.....

God never promised easy....in fact, since the beginning of time we've pretty much been guaranteed pain would be an emotion we would experience.

However, we've also been promised so much more than that...if we choose to accept it.

We're promised salvation through Jesus Christ and eternal life with our Heavenly Father.

This doesn't mean that we get to just sit back and wait to die or grieve endlessly for all we do not have and all we do not understand.

It means we are given a responsibility. The responsibility to love God, love ourselves, and love others....

We do that by being real. Sometimes it means being uncomfortable and very often it means being vulnerable. When we get to the point when we can be honest with our selves and honest with others we are able to be a light in the world.

We're able to tap into the peace only God can give.

We do this by acknowledging our hurts, our tears, and our pain....only, the tricky part is that we're careful not to get stuck there.

Instead, we allow others to be a blessing to us and in turn, we are able to become a blessing to others. Don't steal someone else's blessing by refuting their help or kind words....instead, marvel in the gift of love and friendship and pay it forward to someone else....

By accepting our pain and acknowledging it we are able to see the pain of others....we are able to offer love to someone else in need.

Pain is real.

....but so is joy.....and so is peace....

Part of it is just accepting the fact that we do get to experience happiness...along with all the ups and downs of the roller coaster of life we are able to move on....

In fact, it's our obligation to keep moving. To honor Him....to experience our blessings...and to bless others...

There's no such thing as hopelessness...God is light...God is love....God is Hope.

Friday, May 8, 2015

lost

Know what it's like to be lost?

I'm talking about feeling like you lost your best friend.....

Maybe even worse than that.....like you're knocking on a door and nobody lets you in......

It might even be as bad as feeling like you're watching yourself make all the wrong choices, but yet you can't stop... like nothing will be worth it until you see your life crumble into little pieces.....

I'm pretty sure none of us actively seek out life in this way....

No one actually wishes to be lost.....


Yet, all too often we find ourselves this way.....

We find ourselves searching.....

We're not even quite sure what it is that we're searching for...... but we are certain something is missing.....

Today, I found myself searching.....

I recognize this feeling all too well..... I am looking for something.....I don't know exactly what it is....It's a venture between wanting to scream or do all the things I know I shouldn't do....all the things that are wrong....all the things that society thinks is wrong. .....the things that I think are wrong.....

Sometimes, we find that the things we think we want are all wrong......

Sometimes, we aren't even sure of the exactly what it is that we really want......

Sometimes we just feel stuck.....like life isn't fair,....like somehow we missed out on something.....

I think that's the devil screaming at us.....

We feel like we were passed over....like life didn't give us a fair shot, ...

In actuality, sometimes life really isn't fair.....

We go out searching for all the wrong things....

We try to fill that void with all the things - except the one thing that truly can fill it....

When are we gonna stop and see what's really real?

When are we gonna see that God is truly the only answer?

There was a time I could answer this with no doubt.

A time that I would tell you, without a doubt that God was the one reason I existed. The only reason I survived......

...but life tries to tell me otherwise.....

like maybe I can make it on my own.....

or even maybe that I can make things bearable by covering the pain.....

Yet, in the back of my mind, I remember that feeling of peace...true peace....

The peace that comes from knowing the one Savior and God.....

There is nothing like that peace.

When we humble ourselves and surrender our being to Him we are able to experience that peace....

However, when we keep trying to take control we find that very difficult..... we fool ourselves into thinking that we're in control.....We believe that it's all ok.....

Somehow we try to rely on our own being....

What a foolish choice,...

....because it is then that we are lost.....

jumping from place to place....looking for attention....trying to fill that void in our lives.....

Without Him, we are nothing...;. Without Him we surely fail.....

Only we are too self-absorbed to see this sometimes.....and even at times that we know this, we still turn away in shame.....

He knows our hearts, he knows our pleas, He knows our weaknesses......

I struggle everyday....

I'm ashamed to say I don't pray in the way that I used too....

Yet, I know I am saved and I ask for His forgiveness.....

Any life lived should not be in vanity.,,.....

I watched my daughter live to die.....it should not be in vain....

How much more so do you think God thinks of the life he sent in Christ Jesus to bear our sins and die so that we may have ever lasting life..

Life is not fair.

That doesn't mean we give up.

That doesn't mean we lay down and die.

Jesus did that for us already.

He asked. I said yes.


See that ring pop? That was my first engagement ring. No, really.

I was maybe 12 or 13 and this crazy, handsome, blue eyed boy slipped it on my finger and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes because he was one of my very best friends. Our teacher married us after recess.

I'd like to say we lived happily ever after.....but that's not quite how life works.

That cute blue eyed boy may have been one of my best friends, but he loved all the girls:) .....and all the girls loved him too. He spent a few years chasing my affection before I finally agreed to go on a date with him. We dated for almost 4 years before we got engaged and waited another year to get married. I was 20. I was a hopeless romantic (still am) and believed in prince charming and fairy tales......

Well, I didn't ever think that Prince Charming would need time to grow up and become a man. You see, we married when we were babies. However, girls mature faster than boys and I already knew everything (or so I thought) so I had to wait on him to grow up a little.

I prayed all the time that my prince charming would grow into a Godly man. That he would look for God first, me second, and our eventual family third. Don't get me wrong. We were both saved at a young age....but at that point in our lives we both still had a lot of spiritual and emotional growth to conquer.

Fast forward a few years and we found ourselves as parents. Our first baby was the definition of perfect. Steven was beautiful, sweet, smart....just absolutely PERFECT. He slept through the night within a couple of weeks. He walked and talked early and he could light up an entire room with his smile and contagious laugh!

A couple of years later we had our second child. Another sweet, beautiful baby boy. However, this time God taught us more about patience. Chancelor cried all the time! He walked early, but I worried about his speech. At age 3, he still had only a few words in his vocabulary. However, his receptive language was pretty impressive...and the words he did choose to use, well they weren't common everyday words for 3 year olds....but it still concerned me. By the time he started kindergarten though he had quite the speaking vocabulary. So I chalked it up to being the baby and his introverted personality. He still amazes me with some of the things he says.

Our family was complete.

....or so I thought......

From the outside looking in we always appeared to have the perfect life....and to be honest because we built upon our friendship from the very beginning, we really were quite a pair. Our friends always commented on how perfect our relationship was.......

I think we arrogantly believed it was perfect too.... We never argued and rarely disagreed. Who wouldn't think that was pretty perfect?

Fast forward a few more years..... life seemed pretty good. We both worked hard and lived a nice life with our perfect children. The boys and I spent summers at the beach and Stevie would visit while maintaining his busy work life....

I felt empty. Incomplete.

I felt like something was missing. My life was perfect from the outside..... I enjoyed my life but yet something seemed to be lacking....

Its strange, but looking back now I realize sometimes when the boys and I got in the car I would make sure they were both with me, but I had this nagging feeling I was always leaving something behind....like I was scared I was gonna leave a kid or something.....Something was missing....

During that same time I began spending more time outside of the home with my friends. Stevie's hectic work schedule and golf hobby had him gone most of the time so in my head I felt it was my time. I felt like there was something I was missing in life, but I still couldn't find it.

This started to stir some trouble in our marriage. I started to feel resentment for everything I thought Stevie had done wrong in the early part of our marriage and I wasn't slow to tell him about it either.



Well, you can call this weird or think what you might, but my whole family can attest to what I'm about to tell you.

One night we were at the beach with my parents and my sister and her husband. My sister was pregnant.

I had a very vivid dream that I was also pregnant.....or rather that I had a new child....I never saw the child in my dream, but it was a girl.....and it was like I was always chasing this child trying to see her face....She had little blonde curls and I could hear her laugh but I could never see her face. Something was different about this child.... It wasn't that something was wrong....just different....

I announced my dream to everyone the next morning and we all laughed. No way I was having any more children!!!!

Be careful what you say you're not gonna do!!! You hear people say that all the time....well I'm a firm believer. Within a month, I found out I was pregnant....

....and I'll just tell you - Stevie and I were not excited.... I've said many times, you would have thought we were unwed teen parents....that's how scared or nervous we were.....simply because it was not something either of us had planned.....

Granted, my feelings of emptiness and trying to figure out what was missing in my life got pushed way aside because this unexpected pregnancy came filled with surprises galore.

One of the first things we were told is that there was something wrong with the pregnancy....this was followed by nearly 37 weeks of intense medical visits, many tears and lots of uncertainty.

Zeta came into the world with even more surprises. She weighed a pound more than what they were expecting. There were concerns around 28 weeks that she had stopped growing.....She came into the world breathing on her own....which I didn't realize at the time, but delighted the doctor more than I would have thought....

However, within a few hours our world came crashing down and the surprises never stopped.

Diagnosis upon diagnosis. Hospitalization after hospitalization. So many questions. So few answers.

One thing I did find during all of the turmoil was what I needed to feel the emptiness that had been plaguing me so....

I figured out how to talk to God.....

Not in my rhetorical, let's say our prayers, kind of way.....but in a real way...I talked to God constantly...If I was breathing and sitting by a hospital bed you can bet I was talking to God a majority of that time. I thanked God. I praised him, I questioned him......

I figured out how to let God take control......

I mean in a way that I don't think can be fully understood until you have nothing left to stand on....like the earth around you is fading away fast and there's just no stopping....like you're drowning and gasping for air and God has the only breath to give....giving God control made my life complete and whole and dare I say peaceful during the most intense and toughest years of my life. God held me.....but more important than that....I chose to let him....

I guess until that point, I believed in God. I went to church. I went through the motions.....but I never felt the connection I guess.

At that point in my life though I found the connection. I found a true relationship with Him....and though the world and everybody looking in could easily say I should give up, there was no reason for my hope and no reason to believe...I still chose to believe....I had no choice....Actually, yes I did....We're all given the choice to follow or deny Him....I chose because I saw no other alternative.... I needed help and there wasn't a single person on Earth that could help me....and I certainly couldn't help myself .....and I, nor anyone else could help Zeta.

I spent a long time telling people about this peace I'd found.... about how I was able to make it through the toughest moments in my life because God was there. He saw me through.

I've known that peace. Experienced it firsthand....

Thing is....I've had a hard time finding that peace again.....

.....but I have been blessed beyond measure with people who continue to fight for me.....people who fight for my soul and for what they know I want....

I began this post a few weeks go.....through all we've been through, I've been blessed with an awesome man in my life...he came home the other day and told me he had a surprise for me....

He held out his hand and he handed me a ring pop ----- just like the one gave me 25 years ago..... He reminded me that he was the one that would love me unconditionally......he reminded me that good men still exist in this world. He reminded me that he believes in me even when I don't.....

He reminded me that true love does exist.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Where's the Peace?

This post is way past due. Trust me I know. I've received frequent reminders:)

It's not because I haven't had a lot on my mind (of course I always do). My computer and 2 laptops are just a little dysfunctional. Got to love technology right? So, here I sit blogging from a borrowed iPad (which I paid for, but had to beg to use...parents you know what I mean, right?)

So on to the good stuff....or not so good stuff...or maybe a little of both:)

I guess I'll just start from the last few weeks in order to not make this the longest post ever!

I don't think it's a secret that I've struggled with a good bit of delayed grief lately. I've put myself in counseling (counselor becomes the counseled) and I've struggled with so many emotions of loss, attachment, and co-dependency.

You see it's like my counselor says, it's kind of like the doctor trying to fix himself. I know the steps, I know the process....I just can't quite get it right for some reason or another....lately it's becoming quite clear as to why I can't get it quite right but we'll get to that later.

I have to say that I am grateful for all of you who have shared your own stories and testimonies with me. I am humbled that you trust me with such feelings from the depths of your soul.... I know how hard that can be sometimes....

Back to the point..... A few weeks ago my dad called. He causally mentioned that he was at University Hospital (as a patient). I'm a daddy's girl so this information threw me for a loop (as in rocked my world, full blown panic- which might explain the reasoning for no one telling me the night before whenhe was actually admitted which I understand, but still doesn't make it right and my hs English teacher is having a cow bc I love run on sentences -sorry Mrs.Paula,! Anywho...daddy is ok, just needs an occasional tune up. I proceeded to fuss at him and my mom like children bc frankly, I was irritated. More than that, I was scared... If something happened to my daddy I don't know what I would do. He's my rock! Yeah I know all about the life cycle and all that,but right now I just can't even think about some,thing like that...

Of course I was a little weary of everything and I had my Hal-iron competition coming up. While we sat in the hospital my parents tried to convince me to go regardless of what was happening. We all already knew I wouldn't but fortunately he came home and everything seemed to be ok....

Up until this point (and after) I cried incessantly,many times without provocation. For the most part I could keep it contained in the presence of others except those who are closest to me...so I continued to do what comes naturally...hide out.... According to my friends it's turtle mode...according to others it appears I just don't care and some people never know the difference....

Anyway, it had come to the point that it was all I could do sometimes to make it through the day.... Like I wanted nothing more than to lock myself in a dark room or run far, far away.

Then the week of my big race came. We left on a Wednesday and returned on a Thursday. Do you know I didn't cry any that Thursday, Friday or Saturday? None, nada, not one drop. It was sweet relief for my sole responsibility and focus to be to cross that finish line. I was surrounded by positive people with a common goal and that was my main focus. I told Stevie over the course of those few days that I was scared to go back home, that I knew once reality hit the constant crying and feeling of inadequacy would hit again. I told him that I knew I would have the desire to run away again once I got home.... This was a very scary thought for me.

I've constantly tried to figure out exactly what it is I'm running from.....

I've managed to pack my life so full of responsibilities and 'things' to do that I seldom know which direction I'm going and rarely feel like I'm able to focus on any one thing long enough to give it the attention it deserves....

I've been overwhelmed, and frankly on many days I've all but drowned.....

You see people who are close to me have seen this...

At the same time, people who have been in this sMe place have seen it too...

When your identity is wrapped in being the happy one and/or the yes-man people catch on pretty quickly when things aren't quite right...

My life has felt like a complete mess for a while....

....and all I've wanted to do is get away from it....

Thing is, that solves nothing. I realized this when I was at wrightsville beach beach for my race....actually my head realizes it a lot....it's my heart that doesn't get it....

...but what I realized was that for a couple of days I felt ok because I no longer ran from life. Life there was free from hurt and anger and anticipation. I didn't think about the feelingS oF inadequacies or the fear of one day forgetting my daughter or the tough lessons learned...none of that took precedence in my mind. I didn't worry about work or school or kids or church or whether or not people knew I love them. I didn't worry about much of anything except prepping for that race and crossing the finish line.

I also realized very quickly that wasn't life....it's not how it works.... On my way home I was inundated by calls and texts from people who were waiting until after the race to share certain things with me....this happened or that happened....a former beloved coworker had died suddenly.....none of these things ceased to happen just because I was mentally focused elsewhere, I just wasn't aware they had happened until afterwards....but that didn't stop me from taking on the feelings of inadequacy again.... It didn't stop my desire to either be able to fix things or run from them....

Fast forward to this week....we had revival at our church....I found myself there...lost....and wondering what happened since this time last year. You see this time last year I felt almost perfect peace. I didn't have the desire to run... I didn't cry all the time....I wasn't overwhelmed....what happened? What change? I can't for the life of me answer that....

Well, that's not completely true...what changed May be the total dependence I had on God. Don't get me wrong, I still believe, I haven't lost my faith, but I've slowly and gradually told myself I could handles it that I was doing ok and I was in control.....but nothing is further from the truth...the more control I thought I gained the further I seemed to drift from God which is why I've found myself here....

Again my head knows this, heck my heart knows it...but I'm so unbelievBly stubborn that I haven't been able to understand why I continue to try to fill my life with responsibilities and run from the things that matter most...

What I've come to understand (and some closest to me have pointed out) is I'm running from that broken place that led to the peace in my life.... The brokenness and pain that led to my full dependence on God...the brokenness that left me with nothing and no one on this earth I could depend on...the brokenness that made me Fully, whole heartedly, without a doubt dependent on God Almighty...

there is a pain that cannot be described...a pain that transcends anything you've ever experienced....regardless of what causes that pain it is something you never wish for anyone to experience but it's also a pain that beings you to your knees to cry out in desperation for strength in healing....it's a pain that seems to originate from the depths of hell because of the helplessness it exudes. It's a pain that only you understand in your intimate dance in the darkness...a pain that can only be erased by a Savior....my God...my Savior....

When every ounce of your own will is gone and when every piece of your heart,mind, body, and soul gives up and says, "God, I CAN'T DO THIS" it's then that you experience the peace....the problems don't disappear, nothing on earth has changed, but everything about your spirit has changed...because you're no longer in control...you turned that over to God.... It's more than simply believing in God, it's more than simply hoping that he hears your pleas....it is fully unmercifully crying out in desperation and realizing there is absolutely no alternative... Then....then...that's when the peace surrounds you....that's when God is able to be fully present...when you've fully invited him in....when there's nothing left to hide and nothing left to try....The only thing that remains is HIM...

I KNOW THIS.....I've felt that peace.... I kick myself all the time lately for not being able to feel it now....frankly, it's because I feel it's my responsibility to be healed and whole at this point in life....I've taken on the false notion that I should have grieved last year and I need to get on with life....I reminds myself too often that I'm inadequate in being a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter... I try to fix these things bc I feel it's fully my responsibility ...often forgetting that God intended to walk with me all along....all I have to do is ask Him....

Last night I sat in church and just listened...I went with the expectation of finding answers and finding peace... I didn't go with the responsibilities in mind....I didn't go thinking about the thousands of other things I needed to accomplish...I went with a desire to be healed...a desperation to stop running.... I went to seek Him....

In the true fashion of God, He was there...waiting.....I don't mean in a literal sense, but I mean in the sense that very specific words were spoken, and very clear reminders of the people who have stood fast by me...an unmistakable and clear message that maybe it's not as bad as Satan leads to believe.

A very sweet lady led me in intercessory prayer and led me to pray for forgiveness and blessings on myself.....it sounds odd but we put things on ourselves and plant things on our own my minds that we would never put on others. satan leads us to believe that defeat is the winner...that we have no say in drowning under our own decisions and our own feelings of inadequacy,,,,but that's not how it goes....at least that's not how my story ends....I know who is victorious,,,,

I know JESUS died on the cross....I know a tremendous price was paid....I know how the story ends....I live eternally in His glory....I know my flesh is weak, but my soul will remain strong in The Lord... I know my doubts are covered by the blood of His grace and mercy.... I know no matter how discouraged I become that one day it will all be erased... the debt was paid on a cross so many years Ago....it's my job to accept it and share it.....

Does it make it easy? Not always. Does it make it worth it? ALL THE TIME!

Friday, September 12, 2014

We don't talk about these things



....what has been most on my mind is depression and suicide....

Don't be startled. I don't have thoughts of suicide....not in the last 20+ years or so anyway.

Depression and suicide are very taboo topics in some circles. Depression is a mental illness.....there's another hot topic - mental illness....We dance around these things sometimes and pretend they don't exist...and then sometimes, we're so wrapped up in other things that we really don't notice the signs.....

I think the recent loss of Robin Williams initially stirred some memories in my mind....

...the thoughts of feeling totally alone in a world where you seem completely normal on the outside.....

See, when I was in middle school I think I was a decent kid.... but like most kids I made some choices that weren't always the best. Some of those choices left people around me disappointed....some of those choices made me disappointed in myself.....There were also things that happened to me that were beyond my control - which in turn added to my disappointment in myself....because at the time I didn't see that the things that happened weren't all really my fault....I strived to be a people pleaser.....in many ways I guess I still am.....

Anyway, it leads me to the fact that I need to share a little more of my story (imagine that).... During this time I became very unhappy with myself and just life in general....I thought of suicide...often. I'm not really sure how serious I was in my mind about it, but I thought a lot, "If I weren't here it would just be easier." I held razors to my arms on two occasions....I'm not sure if it was fear or faith that stopped me. I experimented with 'cutting'....I started by scratching the skin on my wrists with a knife - just enough to leave little scratches, but one deep enough to leave a scar. I started doing the same things with my legs.....just scratches, but then just one deep enough for a small scar I still wear.....I just wanted to make the pain stop....Thinking about that now and actually reading it in print it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me....It's strange even thinking about it really because I'm thinking I should be feeling a whole lot more emotion about it, but mostly it just perplexes me...I guess because I am much stronger than I was then. I realize that the pain I was dealing with then was not worth my life......

This leads me to what brought all these memories forth....the things that really hurt....

I've had 3 people in as almost as many weeks tell me that they feel life would be better if they just didn't live....when someone says that to me I take it VERY seriously......The kicker here is that one of these people pleaded over and over for help. Actually, the words were, "You help lots of people. You help everybody. Why can't you help me?" That's a tough pill to swallow. I'm a people pleaser remember? I like to fix things. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes, I just don't know how.....and sometimes I'm just lost.

I've been watching a facebook friend's posts.....I see the grief and depression in every word she writes.....but I haven't actually seen or talked to this person in real life in over 10 years....but I keep watching....I keep trying to think of the right thing to say....but I keep coming up short.....

I've been watching Instagram posts of a young girl who is very obviously hurting and looking for help. I see her pain. I've felt her pain, but yet I feel can't do anything to stop it....

I've watching someone close to me deal with a pain that is very real to me and I feel like there is nothing I can do......

Pain, depression, and hurt are all very real....

When someone is lost in that pit it's very hard to climb back out....

A lot of people worry about me because I'm apt to broadcast my emotions at any given moment, but (speaking from experience) I think it's much tougher to hold it all in.....

Holding it all in causes you to sink.

Holding it all in causes you to drown.

Holding it all in robs others of the opportunity to witness to you.

By holding it all in you think you're saving someone else or maybe preventing someone from worrying....maybe you think you're doing just fine hiding yourself from the world.... You might be able to fool some people, but I can bet that someone close to you.....or maybe even just someone who's been there before sees it and feels almost as helpless as you....

I can guarantee that no matter how well you hide your feelings from the world that you will never be able to hide from God. He knows your heart. He hears your cries....and he can heal your pain.....

I don't mean that life will be rainbows and unicorns (the way I usually like to view it) I mean that with God you can have peace about your circumstances.

Sure there will be bad days. I'm living proof of that, but once you're able to direct your focus to Him you can find better peace.....

There are days you will still cry out....

There are days you will still ask why....

There are lots of things you won't understand.....

....but if you believe God is your Creator, that He died on the Cross to forgive you of your sins and if you confess your sins - if you believe those things and talk to God constantly...even when you wonder if he's real or if he's listening...then I can tell you it WILL happen. You WILL find that peace.

As I try to wrap this post I also think of a fellow mom who lost her son by suicide. I've never actually met her in person, but we have a connection. When you lose a child your heart learns to hear and speak the unspoken, sometimes seemingly unbearable grief to others who have also experienced it. Without words you know the pain, and without words you can comfort because you have some idea....something most people are fortunate to never experience. this mom reached out to me after Zeta. It was later I found out about her son........what's even more glorious than the purest soulful connection we share is the fact that we understand our God is greater....even though our circumstances are different and though we both survived the darkest days of our lives we have God .....and that's always enough!

She has dimes and I have butterflies....but we both have God....what do you have?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Things I know...

These are some things I know....at least sometimes....

Maybe they're just things I just SHOULD know...

Heck, let's face it, they're things I often FORGET!!

...but the title remains...Things I know...

I know that I am not the only parent to lose a child.

I know that I'm not really superman.

I know that nothing on earth is guaranteed.

I know that life is a PRECIOUS GIFT.....

I know that it takes an exquisite soul to truly be able to love a broken one unconditionally....

I know that I enjoy being with people and using every second of my time to feel productive.

I know that I sometimes over fill my life in order to avoid feeling some things....

I know that French fries aren't really considered vegetables (but who says so)...

I know that sometimes I go into 'turtle' mode and cause my friends and family to freak out...

I know that I'm solely responsible for my actions. Every action creates a reaction.

I know depression is real.....even when things look perfect from the outside....

I know that even the hardest hearted people are capable of love.

I know that even people with the biggest hearts make mistakes and end up hurting people they love....

I know that forgiveness heals.....

I know that some memories remain seared in our hearts forever.... both good and bad.

I know that I have a good life.

I know that one of life's greatest purposes is to LOVE AND ENCOURAGE other people...

I know that when I feel life sucks there's probably at least one person out there that would like to trade places....

I know there's a child crying, a mother who is scared or a father fighting - right now....all for their family..

I know that LIFE IS TOUGH.

I know that right now there are people making memories and fully taking in the moment.

I know I don't know everything or understand 1/2 of God's creation and intentions....

I know that God's plans are perfect.

I know I don't always agree with those plans.

I know that Jesus Christ died a horrific death to save me....me....an imperfect soul.....Jesus' blood wiped the slate clean....my sins are forgiven and I have salvation - the golden ticket to eternal life - simply because I believe, accept, and confess what God has done for me.




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