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."

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.




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I'm not Superman

My friend calls me Superman.

I may have told you that already. She calls me that because my newest obsessions are triathlons.

Well, if I'm Superman then my world is most certainly filled with kryptonite.

There are days I feel so defeated.

I'm not talking training here, I'm talking living life in general.

Ever feel like that?

I know all the things I "should" do....the way I "should" think....the way I "should" act....

...thing is I can't (or really just DON'T) always do those things....or sometimes I lack self-discipline and self-control in saying 'no' to all the things that I should.

For instance, even things that I know aren't good for me - impulses and selfish desire take control.....kinda like that chocolate cake that calls your name in the middle of the night....get what I'm saying?

Everyday we're surrounded by things waiting to test us and knock us down....almost everyday we face people and challenges that cause us to re-think our whole value system...Some days we fight to the death and we conquer....good wins over evil.....

...but sometimes we let our guard down and we get knocked flat on our backs.....

Some days it's like Superman and kryptonite.... like there's just no use in trying to do better because we're just too weak....

That's what I fool myself into believing sometimes....

Kind of strange, but this is what was up on my computer when I sat to do this post (stick with me here I have an 11 year-old who is really into sci-fi and comics and such)

What she wants is to live a long life in the warmth of the sun, her hand in mine. But because of him, she'll only feel the icy touch of a man whose emotions run as cold as the blood in his veins!" ―Mister Freeze

Victor Fries was a brilliant cryogenicist whose beloved wife Nora Fries was stricken with a fatal degenerative disease. He placed her in suspended animation while obsessively searching for a way to cure her, but the corporation that funded his research - and Nora's life - pulled the plug, triggering an accident that transformed Fries' body into a cold-blooded form that must always be kept below zero; at normal room temperature he will die.

For some reason the quote caught my eye and reminded me that sometimes we try so hard to do things our way that we end up missing out on our blessings and causing more problems.....we get blinded by selfishness....

I've been broken to the point I thought I was beyond repair....and I've floated on the clouds as close to God as I thought I could get.....the most frustrating thing for me is realizing when I have failed and trying to get back to where I should be....

That's where grace, mercy, faith and love come in. I have accepted God's salvation and continue to ask him to lead me in the right direction. I'm not perfect....far from it, but I have God and in the times when I feel I'm sinking I know I can turn my eyes to him. He never fails.

He continues to prove this over and over.

Lately, it's as if I stepped back into my life again and understanding all the blessings again.....


Monday, June 30, 2014

Loss

Loss hurts.

Be it loss by death, loss by choice, or loss without known reasons....

Loss hurts.

I've struggled tremendously with loss this week.

Sometimes loss is obvious. As in death. When we lose a loved one the feeling of mourning is expected. When we deal with death we expect sadness and tears. Emotions are expected....only no one has ever put a specific time frame on what is appropriate for that mourning....or when the mourning should actually start. What if it doesn't start immediately after death? What if the acceptance of death starts to seem real much later?

Sometimes loss is not obvious. When you grow distant from someone....maybe not for any apparent reason, but it just happens....or when things just suddenly become different...or when someone just cuts you out of their life....The loss of feeling devalued by someone can be almost as hurtful as loss by death.

We never know what people are dealing with. We don't know their internal feelings or problems. We may not always know what kind of losses they are experiencing or the sadness that consumes them. We don't always know what directs people's behavior....As a matter of fact, sometimes it might even be hard to gauge what directs our own behavior at times.....

My feelings of loss today are very layered - some relating to the loss of Zeta and some not so much.....
Rumor is they are supposed to put her headstone in today. This is something I've avoided almost completely and just have not dealt with very well at all....I didn't want to pick it out, I didn't want to order it....and here we are over a year later.....However, I've been by the cemetery twice today - maybe just to see if it's there...I'm not really sure....

One thing we should work on is trying to understand those around us....the world is filled with enough hate without adding to each others problems...

We've been called to love one another even when it's difficult.

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34 (NIV)

That's a pretty awesome responsibility considering that God loved us enough for Jesus to die on the cross.....Do we love most people even a portion of how God loves us?

I've been blessed in my life to have people who love me.....even when I'm emotional or difficult.....

My prayer is that others can experience the same type of love....love that's greater than anything we could experience from anyone here on earth. Love that is truly unconditional....love that is stronger than the bond between a husband and wife or parent and child.....unwavering love...My prayer is that I too can work toward showing this same type of love....

Oh, and since I initially began this post Zeta's stone was placed.....
A reminder of great losses, but an even greater reminder that God's plans are much bigger than my own!

"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." Jeremiah 29:11


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

broken

I have a confession.

I'm a little OCD.

Not in the traditional sense, but I apparently struggle with obsessions to some extent. There are tons of things in the world that don't bother me...that crooked picture on the wall? Only occasionally. My pile of stuff in the corner? Only when it gets larger than usual.....

So I'm probably not OCD right?

Then there has to be another term for it because once I get something in my mind it has to happen or I go absolutely crazy!!!

I think a lot about Zeta and all she went through. If there was a symptom or diagnosis that was related to something she was experiencing I researched and talked to doctors and therapists until everything I read or heard was just repeating itself. I just couldn't stop.

Everyday of her life I wanted to "fix" her. I wanted to make her whole. Even when I finally understood that there was nothing to be fixed- that God created her perfectly in the way in which he wanted her....that fix-it instinct occasionally still came out.

I've spent a lot of my life trying to fix things. I don't mean in the physical sense necessarily, I mean in the sense of holding on to that save the world attitude.

I'm an eternal optimist. Even when struggling through some of my worst bouts of depression when I was finally able to get out of bed or see through the fog of the anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds I still wanted to fix things - or people, rather.

Most of my educational career I wanted to fix all the broken children. I was drawn to special education at first. Then, in the regular classroom I always found myself most attached to the children who had the most problems, or who struggled the most, or seemed to need the most love....

Stevie could tell you how many times I asked him about adopting random children or bringing children home with us because they seemed to have no one..... or the countless conversations on the phone with parents who were fighting desperately to find a way to help their child succeed.....

My life has always centered around fixing the broken.

Because of this I'm often called a doormat.........

I'm told people walk all over me, that these people don't really have problems they just use me.

I've also found out myself that I very easily become an enabler.....sometimes because of the love I feel- and the desire I have to want to be the one to 'be there' or the one to help- sometimes I put myself into awkward situations or seriously end up feeling very used.....

These are all choices I make on my own....and while the feeling of wanting to love or fixing the broken sounds great in theory.... maybe its not always the best thing.

OR ....Maybe its not always my place. Maybe sometimes its my own selfish desire of wanting to feel needed that makes me like this.

I'm a pretty tough fighter. I hate to lose. More than that I hate for anyone to feel that they're not worthy of love.....I will kick, fight, scream, push...just about anything to make you realize that you are worthy of love.

Sometimes though, my feelings get hurt. Sometimes, I realize I've pushed enough. Sometimes, I realize that it's not my place to be fixing.....and sometimes I actually realize that I'M THE BROKEN ONE.

There are so many people hurting in this world. There's so much death and destruction....poverty and sickness....hatred.....there are so many problems out there bigger than my own....so often times there are so many questions....

Brokenness causes emptiness. I am broken because although I try to follow God I have a tendency to try to live according to my own plans sometimes....I should know by now that never works.

Realizing I'm broken makes me lean back on my faith....and the One who is there no matter how much I try to hide.....




He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Psalm 147 3-4

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Looking for something

Do you know how it is when you lose something important? You know that frantic feeling where you tear the house up just searching because you know it has to be there somewhere?

Do you ever do that with your life?

Do you turn your life, your whole world, upside down searching for something?

I would bet that most of us do.

I know that I have a tendency to do it.

As humans we tend to seek what makes us happy- what makes us fulfilled. Ever have that empty space feeling? I used to have it a lot but I think once I went through certain trials with Zeta I figured out that that empty space was only completely filled by God. Money couldn't fill it, things couldn't fill it, my friends couldn't fill it, even my family couldn't fill it. If there was a need I had , all of those things could fill help cheer my heart at some time but it never completely filled the void.

Immediately after Zeta died I believe I relied on god more fully than I ever had. However, in the past several months I'm sad to say I felt strong enough to try to take back my life as my own. What I mean is I got so strong with God as the focus of my life that I suppose I thought I was partially responsible for that strength.

I didn't even realize this was happening, but some people around me did.

I look at my life and realize that I am blessed beyond measure. I have a family that will and has almost literally gone to the ends of the earth for me. I have
Food to eat and clothes to wear. Heck I fuss about things that I don't have just like the next person, but it dawned on me the other day when I was shopping that although I really hate shopping I sure do it a lot��
I am blessed with a strong network of people I can call on for work and life related questions and I also have some pretty amazing friends.

From the outside looking in my life looks pretty perfect.

Well folks, I'm here to tell you that nobody's life is perfect and no matter the image we project to the world we all fight constant battles. It's life.

That emptiness...that feeling of searching for something...I know it all too well. Most would guess that the loss of Zeta played a big part of thAt and I won't deny that at all....but before you start giving me a free pass to feel any way I please just because I'm a member of the 'lost a child club' I want to make sure you're aware that this isn't the first time I've dealt with the emptiness.

As humans we yearn for love and validation and acceptance. Even the people who are self proclaimed loners yearn for those same things. They may not express love or needs in the same way but they have them none the less.

Sometimes the emptiness consumes you. People make a lot of choices based on that feeling of emptiness. Some good, some not so good, but all for th hope of reaching the same end goal- a feeling of wholeness....a feeling of completeness...a feeling of knowing that you have all you want, all you need, and everything to make you happy.

The mistake we make is in confusing the things that actually make us happy and in choosing things that are only temporary or maybe really not good for us at all.

The emptiness can cause unhappiness or indifference..

Emptiness can cause people to drink, do drugs,have affairs, tell lies, avoid people, hang out with the wrong people, and the list goes on and on ...causing people to exhibit behaviors they might not otherwise do. Frequently, people reach some point that they realize completely what they're doing but the feeling of temporarily filling that void outweighs any d other feeling in the world.

Sometimes the things that we choose to fill those voids aren't necessarily bad for us. For instance, I try to run from my emptiness sometimes so I throw myself into my training, I find every activity in the world to be a part of, I surround myself with friends, I text all day and check social media, I find anything at all to distract myself from letting myself get in touch with my true emotions. Those things in and of themselves may not be all wrong but when I use them to avoid actually feeling or living life they become problematic.

For 3 years I lived a life so fast paced and so chaotic that I didn't always have time to even sense what I was feeling, let alone feel it. I spent most days waking, wondering what the day would bring...would we be home or in the hospital, would we have a simple doctors visit or would we rush to the hospital or would the ambulance come or would we make it to the doctor and end up being airlifted. Would Breathe pretty well on her own or would it be a battle? Would she make it a few hours without seizures wrecking her body or would it consume her all day. Would we remember to give her every bit of the never ending medications.. Would I be fighting insurance to pay for the medicine or back and forth to the pharmacy or waiting for FedEx to bring the meds. Looking back I don't know how we ever made it....all I can say is that the love of a child and the grace of God are the only things that pushed my weary soul and body.....and My sweet Zeta....I know that it was God that sent her here and He who made sure her very existence was for His purpose.

I've been angry. My soul has been empty.

I was nominated to be the feature of an article in a parent magazine as mother of the year around Mother's Day I even talked to the writer, but in the end I (almost subconsciously and rudely) walked away because I didn't feel worthy. I realize that's not the only thing I've pushed away or missed out on. My fear of feeling inadequate or feeling that if people 'really' knew me hinder me from a lot of things sometimes.

Some people who know me might beg to differ. They view me as bold and confident, yet others view me as quiet and contemplative....I'm pretty sure I'm a little of both depending on the situation.

I've gone through highs and lows. Some things make make me shameful, some leave me with many questions but I know that there's been purpose in everything that has led me to this point. I know that God's not done with me yet and I know that I live in His grace and His mercy. I know that He can fill the emptiness and that my life in Heaven will be without emptiness.

I know that His grace is sufficient and I know it's my job to keep telling it.

You know, I've talked about living in a glass house. One thing that bothers me a lot are comments that people sometimes get when they're doing exactly what God wants them to do....trying to be something they're not....let me explain. The saying that the church is full of hypocrites. Well that's very true. By design none of us are perfect. So when I'm around people and they make the comment that someone seemed surprised that we would do stuff together because I'm too Godly or goody goody (mainly bc of my very public proclamations) it hurts my heart and also makes me want to lower the blinds in my glass house. Shouldn't we ALL be trying to be something we're not....which is to say we should all be trying to do better. We all sin. We have sins and secrets.....some people hide them better than others and some people just sin differently. Regardless, we are all marred by sin.

However, it is all our individual responsibility not to let that sin define us or rule us. It is our responsibility to learn from our sin and to share with others the love of the only One that frees us from our sin. Wallowing in our sin does nothing. Judging others because they sin differently does nothing. Getting up and loving others, caring for others....and let's not forget loving and forgiving oneself...are the perfect witness of Christ. Don't get stuck. Don't let emptiness rule you. Live for the One who created you. Learn that we're all equal in His eyes. Seek to be the hands and feet of His mercy and Grace. Do it for yourself. Do it for others. Do it for Him...do it to get rid of the emptiness.

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