Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The path less traveled may be where you find the best treasures...

So it is that easy, you pray and then poof you feel better? Well actually yes, if it is done with the right heart. So I have been in one constant conversation with God for two days now. OK so Farm Wife was right I do have faith. I have just been unwilling to be obedient. Ouch! How is that for honesty with myself? I am thinking that this is scary for me. But maybe it was not God who let me down. Maybe (just maybe) it was people and myself. If that is truly the case then I need to humble myself before God and give Him back the control of my life. SCARY!! But I think maybe that is the only way I will truly find myself. I have been torturing myself with questions of identity and worth. I am plagued by shame and guilt. I am all alone. So as my counselor said today: What do you have to lose? I of course felt a little defensive about that question. Only because couldn't she see it in all of my crying sessions with her that I already lost everything once before. Then it hit me. I lost everything yes, it shattered my life yes, it sucks big time yes, BUT that was not God's plan for my life. That was not what He intended for me. I have punished myself for a very very long time. Nobody would punish me the way I have. So, I am determining today, to start renewing my relationship with my savior! Pray for me! I am going Church shopping. I am praying that God will lead me where he wants me to be. It may not be an easy path but I think with His help I can walk it. It has got to be better than what I have been doing on my own. It's just another step, right? But some how it all feels different. New path? Maybe. Or it could be that it is an old familiar path, grown over by weeds, in need of a great deal of TLC.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Are you serious, God?


I am sitting in my living room, all alone, checking facebook, wondering if any more old friends have reach out through cyberspace to reconnect with me. I am wondering "OK God what is this? Is this an intervention miracle style? And why why is my past so there and in my face? Must I really go through even more pain to get...where? Where is all of this leading?" Yep, there you have it! I was praying just then. OK so I am rusty at it. So, that answers one question I have been asking myself lately. I must still have faith or else why would I think God had anything at all to do with it? That all said I was checking facebook. I have recently found a new appreciation for facebook. It is so fun to find a long lost friend...or to be found is pretty great too. I have been in the midst of my own great depression for too long now. I keep calling it a journey. But I have been really unsure of where I am going. I am terrified almost all of the time. But I don't know why I am scared. None of it makes much sense to me. I have felt as if my hopes and dreams have been crushed. I have felt an overwhelming sense of fear. A fear that comes on me from no where and consumes with wave after wave of irrationality. I have been to four different therapist in nine years. I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The first guy to tell me that was a cretin who called himself a man of God. His brand of therapy to help me heal from a excruciatingly painful and divorce, from a husband I had shared a ministry with, involved way too much "touch" therapy for me to deal with. Another therapist I sought the counsel of was an old family friend who tried to help me understand that if I buried my issues they would come back to haunt me. He begged me not to minimize the impact of my divorce upon myself because it would wound me deeply if I did not deal with it. But I in all my lack of wisdom ignored that counsel because I was way too sure of myself to let him be right. So I moved on and when life got a little rough again I sought out counseling. This time I thought it was because I was pregnant with my 4th child SURPRISE!!!! And I was falling apart emotionally. And all of a sudden it seemed like maybe all those things I tried to put behind me were creeping in on me. Slowly at first...well in all truth they were always with me. I was just losing the battle to suppress the sadness, the regret, the fear, the anger, and the rejection. You see, when I married my first husband I believed in happily ever after. I believed that if a person said they loved you they must really mean it. I believed I was called by God to be his wife. When I said those vows 12 years ago, it was a sacred vow between myself and my God and my husband. I knew that! I knew it was a forever promise. I never broke that promise. I fought that divorce with everything I had. I look back now I and I wonder why did I do that? He did not want me. Probably never did want me. So why did I want him? He hurt me. He hit me. He broke my spirit and yet I held on. Why? Because I made a promise. I loved God. I knew I was called by him. I knew that our ministry was blessed because of that calling. And because my whole life I had been waiting to be right there married to him ministering to those who needed God's love in their lives. Reaching out to kids who needed to know God's love. When he and I got divorced my life was devastated. There is no other word to describe the pain and despair I felt. I was so lost. I was so confused. I lifted my marriage up everyday in prayer. I trust in my God to keep it safe. I trusted in God's divine plan for my husband and I. So, when it was over my life was over. Really I mean it. That is not some melodramatic "oh whoa is me..." crap. Here is an example of what I mean. My ex husband left me on a Sunday morning while I was ironing my dress for Sunday school (which we taught by the way). He called our church and told the Senior Pastor that he was done and he was leaving me. And he did. He came back a day or so later. Said he loved me, made love to me, beg me not to go on a business training trip for my job. He knew I had to go on that trip it was an expensive training my company had already paid for. I begged him to come along and share my hotel room. But he didn't. The next afternoon somebody pulled me out of training because I had an emergency phone call from my pastor. My ex was in the hospital. The pastor, a deacon, the sheriff, and maybe one other person had found him at home unconscious. That's all they told me. I must have called that hospital a hundred times on my 2 hour long road trip back home. I did not know anything. Was he dead? Why? I prayed and prayed and prayed! I asked God with all my heart to please let him be OK. I beat myself up for leaving him. I knew he was hurting. I knew he said he needed me. But I was afraid that pretty soon we might need me to work. I could not blow that job. Maybe I should have. But at the time I couldn't. When I finally got to the hospital his parents were there at first I was so relieved! But then they would not let me see him. I was told he had given himself alcohol poisoning. There was much much more to the story than I care to mention. Even more lurid details came to me everyday. I did what I needed to do when I went to our Senior Pastor and spoke with him about intimate details of our personal life. I wanted my husband to be helped. I wanted him to heal. I was so ill equipped to deal with alcoholism, addiction, and depression. I was the girl who was rarely sad. I did not understand people who could not shake the blues. My outlook was always to have faith God would work things out. So I waited on my miracle. When it didn't come in the form I wanted it to I chastised myself for being selfish. Then a really unexpected thing happened. Suddenly I was not an acceptable member of the church to minister to the youth. In fact I was asked to serve in another capacity. Some place away from teaching, youth, drama, pretty much everywhere I served. I could however still sing in the choir if I wanted to. When I married my ex I became pretty isolated from my friends. His friends became our friends. So when we got a divorce they became his again. And still for a very very long time I just wanted him to get better. I wanted him to find out what God was trying to show him. I wanted the best for him. When our divorce was final I think that is when I got angry. I did things right. I was a good girl. I have always been a pretty honest person. For the first time in my life I was truly all alone. For a little while I really focused on learning and growing in my relationship with God. But the pain I felt was raw so real. I started to think that I was fooling myself. Maybe all those people out there who are partying and living it up, maybe they have the right idea. It felt weird at first. I hated going to clubs. I don't like the taste of alcohol but I drank it anyway. I even tried drugs. I mean why not I did it the other way and it did not work out for me. I decided to say forget it to everything I was and recreate myself. Now that was not a decision I sat down and thought about and said Hell Yeah let's do it. No it was more like a gradual thing. First I had to get a job in a bigger city. Then I started meeting people who did not know me because of a ministry. I was just a single girl who was really naive. I took one step at a time away from God. I turned my back on him in little tiny ways, then in small ways, then in bigger ways. I practiced at it so much that I started to change. I see that when I look in the mirror. Most days now a stranger looks back at me. So, now there is this great depression looming over me. And tonight I checked facebook. Oh wait! You gotta also know that in October when I had my first anxiety attack (in church) it was because I was on facebook the night before and was looking at a friend's list of friends and for the first time in 8 years I seen his face. There he was big as day in her friends list. It kind of seems like something broke in me right then and there. Because here I was trying to get back into church. Trying to find my way with God again and BAM! I am still reeling from it. Now you see why I am in counseling, again. So, tonight, I received a message from an old friend who married my ex's best friend. I have never in my life been more touched by a note before. To preface, last night I was sad. Very very sad. I mentioned that I was said in my status bar on facebook. Immediately this friend who I had just reconnected with sent me an encouraging note. Then she entered into prayer for me. Me someone she has not laid eyes on in at least nine years! Me...unworthy, unlovable, ME! OK so I am having trouble processing why she would care about me. But she did. So I sent her a note this morning to thank her. And her reply back to me is so overwhelming. I could not see the words through my tears. Not only because I need to know what she said but because God reached out to me through the screen on this computer and gave me a glimpse. I am so moved beyond words I am moved. I could not even begin to respond to her note until I came to this blog and poured enough out to continue. Kind of like a pressure release valve on a pressure cooker. I am trying to ease the pressure some. I have to take a step. I have to either move toward God or not. But I have a sense that my choice here may be the determining factor in me beating this depression I am in or not. So I hope it is OK to say I am going to give God another shot at it. This time I am going to heal but I am going to try to let God do that for me. I need to let go and let God do it. Maybe just maybe I will be whole again. Please pray for me. I am scared. I am praying for peace to come into my life. I am asking God to restore me to the woman he created me to be. I am asking Him to heal my pain so that I may serve Him again. I can not believe I am saying all this. But I have never felt anything more strongly.
And so I take another step on my journey....
Until next time...

Friday, February 6, 2009

The light

I am reveling in a feeling of peace! I know different than the other night. I am embracing joy. Trying to feel as much of it as possible. Knowing that it may be a fleeting feeling. My emotions cover such a range. It almost amazes me. Almost, because I realized last night that I have lived with this depression all my life. I never knew that before. Or maybe I should say I never recognized it before. When I was young I would write poetry (ok none of it was good, but I got to get my feelings out). I always felt like I was melodramatic as a kid. I never felt like anyone understood me. I always felt like I was on the outside looking in. Don't get me wrong there were times in my life when I felt utterly accepted and truly loved. It is hard for me to remember what it was that made me feel loved and accepted. When I was in school (grade school) I always felt like everyone else was better than me. Maybe it is because my family was so different. We had six children and we were very poor. That is hard on a kid, especially because other kids can be so cruel in their teasing. As I got older I realized that those kids who used to tease me grew up in the same place as I did. NONE of them were any better than me. In fact truth be told I made it out of there and most of them did not. So that is something huh? But every once in a while I hear there taunting comments ring through my brain and I wonder.... Then there was High School! OMG!!! I would never ever go through that again! I hated High School. I never found my niche. I tried sports. I like playing the games, hated the team mates who seemed to pick on me relentlessly. I was too lazy to excel academically. I always seemed to make friends with the least popular people in the school. I always rooted for the underdog. I hated discrimination whether it was because of the color of ones skin or because of their station in life. I always found myself connecting to those who were wounded. Looking back maybe that was because I was wounded as well. So, what caused me to be a wounded spirit? I can't remember anything really bad ever happening to me. So why the damage and baggage that is following me everywhere? I don't know. It drives me crazy because I think that if I could just identify what went wrong then I could maybe fix it or figure out how to move forward. Counseling is helping. I am learning to listen to the voice that is deep inside of me. I am learning to trust myself. College was the most glorious time of my life! I LOVED LOVED LOVED it! I made friends that seemed so genuine, so true, so accepting of me. I messed that all up though. When I got married to the wrong person for the VERY wrong reasons. I lost everyone!!! None of those people stayed in touch. I was disposable to them. I needed their friendships way more than they needed mine. Socially I was fulfilled while in college. I was growing spiritually. I thought I was on the "right" path. When I got married I still believed in "happily ever after". I still believed that things always work out for the good. I still believed in an ultimate plan. Twelve years later, a divorce, a career, dating, remarriage, 4 children, heartache, heart break, moving more than 12 times, realizing that friendships are fleeting, I do not believe in any of those things anymore. That makes me so sad! I am scared to admit that out loud. Maybe lightning will strike (again). Maybe I will be punished for my lack of faith. Faith is a funny thing. See I always thought I had a gift of Faith. It just came so easily for me. I just knew what I knew and in my heart Faith was strong! My life seemed to reflect that. And BAM! It was all gone! I did all the "right" things. I made a few genuine mistakes. Mistakes that changed the course of my life forever! You can't take them back. You can't change the past. I know that. I know the really I only have right now this minute...nothing else is certain. And right now in this minute I want to change the direction of my life again. I want to shape it into something extraordinary! I want to be a person that makes a difference. I want to be happy and helpful and needed. So how do I get there? Unable to change the past but desperate to change the future. So I am blogging. Maybe it will help me. But even more importantly maybe it will help someone else. I know that I am not the only person going through this. I know there are others. All of us for different reasons. All struggling to find the meaning in it all. So this is my little slice of the pie. I am offering it up so that maybe someone else will not have to suffer as much. I know I will make it through this. I am going to be happy again. But this time it will be real. It will be mine and I will know why all these years have been so difficult.

So, today I am enjoying the light! I am feeling the joy. I am loving my journey....yes, I did say loving. With out all of the troubles we would never be able to find value in the joy nor the pain. So today I am finding the value!

Until next time...