Holy Week


I am going to say I had a miracle this weekend. I have had a brutal cold, thanks to my son ( I knew I never should have taught him to share!  haha) So it’s a week and half still coughing to the point when I have a real coughing fit, I have to put my back against a wall because it hurts.  So Friday after a bad coughing  day and went to bed coughing and sputtering, ( I made a model T sound like a purring kitten)  but as I lay there I said “Lord I am so tired I need sleep please let me get some sleep tonight.” I woke up at 8am – I didn’t cough once all night. I felt so good I couldn’t believe it.

Friday my husband had a really bad day at work, with a co-worker, he was very upset. That Saturday morning I was so elated to not cough and felt rested that I lay there Praising God for giving me what I needed most. Then I put my hand on my husband and prayed for him.   My man is very heartfelt, conflict like that bothers him very much and he will play the events over and over in his mind.   I felt God poking me. Poke, poke, poke, the message I was getting “you prayed in silence now pray it aloud”. I did what a normal human does – ignored it.  So after a few more pokes, I started to pray aloud.  We felt uplifted, it was a good day.

It is a lesson on trust.  Trust is one of the hardest things to learn.  Depression takes away that trust.  You know your mind is not processing things right and you distrust everything.  Your emotions carry you away like a tornado from Kansas.  The darkness takes away your ability to see where you are stepping, there is no light upon the path; that you can see, and as a result you curl up in a ball unable to unclench your eyes afraid of the dark afraid to open them because you won’t see the light and you become paralysed.

I was reading about Peter the other day – I love Peter (if you have never read about him look it up in your bible – well worth it).  Peter is the sum of humanity.  He is a man’s man.  He is a fisherman, aware of nature, rugged, hard-working.   He is loyal, not afraid to grab a sword to defend himself  or his friends.  He is real, he knows who Jesus is and is the first to say go away from me I am a sinner.   He also speaks out of turn, lets his enthusiasm get the better of him, so he is heartfelt.  He denys he knows Jesus 3 times – he is like the rest of us. There is a story of the disciples in one of their boats and they are crossing a body of water and a storm blows up.  Its bad and they know they are in trouble – even though most of them were fishermen by trade, they are panicking.  They look up and here comes Jesus walking in the storm on the water.  As what is happening sinks in for these guys, Peter asks Jesus if he could walk to him.  Jesus asks him to come and he does and is doing ok, for a bit, then realizes what his feet are doing and sees the darkness around him and begins to sink, Jesus grabs his hand and helps him.  The meaning of the story is obvious.   But as I rolled this story around my mind I was thinking more of the storm than of Jesus.  The storm is a great example of our trials in life but also of the storm of depression.

The portral of people, who suffer from depression on TV, to sell the latest drug, shows people quietly sulking, at least that is how it looks.  There are times I curl up in a ball and can’t move, but the mind is nothing like what the body is doing.  The mind is swirling like a perfect storm.   Thoughts, voices, misconceptions, twirling around, you feel the coldness of the loneliness, the emptiness and you can’t shake it.  The fear of the wind of lies blowing from all directions as you feel yourself being blown all over the map. You see the darkness below you the abyss that wants to suck you down and never give you up.  This is exactly what Peter experienced, the wind of divisiveness, the dark abyss below, the fear, the coldness of  the emptiness, alone on the water out of the safety of the boat. The doubt of what you see to what you feel.

The next thing that happens in the story, besides Jesus saving Peter,  Jesus calms the storm.  The winds stop, the lake becomes like glass, and they are at their destination.  This is the season of Lent and beside it being a time of repentance, and lets face it, praying and repenting doesn’t last that long.  40 days of ‘forgive me God’ gets old.  Don’t get me wrong,  I need every second of that time, for I am a sinner.  but, Lent is a good time of introspection but it is also a time for expansion.  Expansion of thought, of trust, of faith.  This lent I have had some up moments, but I have been mostly down, but not lost in the dark.   Of all the readings, services and things I have done this Lent one thing sticks in my mind (which is saying something cause my memory doesn’t stick well 🙂 but it is the 5 words:  I don’t know my place.   God is Holy, divine, and I am not.  I don’t think of myself as wonderful and divine, but I do think I am; or am desperate to, be in control.  Don’t we all.  Depression takes away your control because chemically your brain misfires and you can not control it.  When I heard that, it felt like an arrow hit me in the heart!   I have had a couple of things that have bothered me through out this process of depression.  Why will God not take this from me? When will it be over? I miss my old self. I can’t believe I am suffering from this and how frightening it is to be really low.    And then comes the thought.  As a christian one of the major problems we have is not knowing our place.  As it says in Job, God asks ‘who is it that speaks words with out widsom’.  That be me!  I do not know my place and I want God to ‘fix’ me.

The reality of all these thoughts.  I am suffering from depression, it may and could last the rest of my life, I have an amazing Lord, Father, that is divine and powerful, and knowledgable.  I am not.  These thoughts have made humble, they have made me repent, they have brought me closer to God.  It has put me in the right place.  I know God is in control.  I have put myself in the place I should be, it has increased my trust in God and it has increased my faith.

So now what?  I am still a sinner, I am still struggling, I am still suffering from mental illness, I have up days and down, but the days don’t seem so hard, my heart feels more full.  Maybe this is just a moment in time.  Tomorrow could be a dark and evil day for me.  But if it is there are a couple of things I have to  hold on to.  I have the memory of the fullness of my heart and the joy I feel today.  I have a wonderful supportive husband, family and friends, and most of all I have hope…. amen

till next time………………………

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Week before Christmas


A week before Christmas.  I spent an hour or so with my Pastor last night. Today I can say that I am really glad that I went. I’m feeling some peace.  I made some decisions today and I think moving forward in a good way.

Last night however when I got home I was very anxious and upset.  It wasn’t anything he said, he said nothing but straight answers and in kindness and love.  I was anxious, and in a panic because the darkness felt threatened.  I had a huge urge to get rip roaring drunk.  I only had one glass of wine– not a small one but I eventually managed to get myself talked down — at 2 in the morning– but I got there and got some sleep.

Today.  I have some peace.  Every once in a while my heart will race and I feel the grip of anxiety.  I have to say that I admitted some things that have been hidden.  I haven’t been eating and last time I prayed with my husband and my Pastor and confessed it I did better.  I was starting to eat more and then fell off the wagon again.  I am working on getting back to it again.  If I don’t get to it today or tomorrow — Christmas is on its way — I will get back to it then.

I decided to go back to the doctor and I called and made the apt today, I go tomorrow and I will get a referral to where ever my family doctor thinks I should be going.   I told my husband today and he was a little freaked because I was so Not going before.  I discussed this last night and I think I need a second opinion on what I am taking and the right combination and if I have other options.  When my husband heard this he responded I totally agree, finally.  What? What do you mean finally.  He has wanted to suggest this for a while now but was afraid I would get upset.  It surprised me.

Over the past while I have been slowly becoming undone.  The more I became undone the more I tried to control things.  As I spent time in the bible and read the word of God and tried to practically crawl in the book the more I wanted to understand and the more I wanted to control.  The devil is cunning.  He took my scripture and twisted it in my mind to confuse me, he done well, the more I became confused the more I wanted to control things.  I can control the house and what happens here, I can control what I put or not put in my mouth, I dislike myself I can control the things I do, how much I push myself, how much I work out.  Then soon you are at a point that you distrust everything you think, and those around you. I have had some situations dealing with some difficult family members lately that just keep that ball rolling. I was distrusting Christmas, it spirit, its purpose.  I can take you to the point you distrust God.  You distrust your purpose here on earth and why you should even be here.  You try to control your surrounding, your urges, your body.  Your control flows into what you think or what you understand.  That is where I am or working through now.  I wanted to understand passages in the bible but as my Pastor asked me what specifically I want to know, where was I confused.  I have to admit I was stumped.  I could not articulate what it was I needed to know.  And that is the funny thing about it all.  I was so angry for not being in control, I was so desiring to be in control, and my distrust of all things, people, humanity, and yes the bible and even God. was so great.  The devil had done a fine job of confusing me.  I was so turned around I wasn’t even sure as to what I had to understand.

So what now…..its so simple but I– so missed its meaning.  Pastor plainly said instead of distrust just trust God.  God has allowed this illness in my life.  Trust that God knows what he is doing.  Trust that God will lead you to the right doctors to heal or help you. Trust that the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords is supreme.  Trust that Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice for me.  Say this sentence, out loud–” Jesus the Lord of Lords, God’s son, My brother, The word that became flesh, the babe in the manger, died as an adult on the cross, so that I could come closer, He created me and loves me”.  Saying, Jesus sacrificed for us is so general, sometimes we need to make it personal and say it out loud, because when we say these things out loud, we can scare the devil into retreat.

I had said last night that I feel so lost- and I hate to say feel because depression is as much physical and biological as emotional.  Maybe even more so.  I have felt that I was the lost sheep and no one was searching for me.  It was pointed out to me that I was in the pen.  I was part of the flock, I wasn’t lost but found and was anxious cause I was in the pen and could not hear his voice, however I was in a safe place that my anxiety was making me blind to.

So today– this day. I feel some of the weight lifted off me.  I feel like I am in front of the fire place, just inside from a frosty night.  I am covered in layers that I put on me to protect me from the cold and I am starting to shed them one at a time.   Well I get to a point that I will feel like me? Not tonight, maybe not tomorrow. God knows and I need to trust him on that.  That is my project on the next few days, learn to trust God not distrust all that going wrong in my life. I will use God’s words to cloke me in his trust. – As soon as I spend some time in the bible to find the correct words to cloke myself in.

As for this evening. … Iam exhausted – I have had very little sleep over the past few days and not much in food either–I am too tired to eat…. tomorrow is a staff potluck. so I’ll catch up then.

till next time………………..

 

Day after


Well it is the day after my prayer meeting with my husband and pastor.  My husband dragged me kicking and screaming.  I got there and couldn’t speak I was so afraid.  We talked for a bit we held hands and we prayed — well they prayed.  As they did God kept telling me to confess the sins of the body.  It is the verse of Jesus saying that the body is a temple for the holy spirit and we should treat it as a temple.  God clinched my heart and was not letting me leave my pastor’s office till I confessed.  I did. It was tough.  When my husband and I left we went to get something to eat– they know I haven’t been eating.  We went home and I did a couple of things and then I laid down on my bed and the tears started.  Actually more discriptive the sobs started I cried and cried what seems like a long time.  My husband held me for a long time and adventually I fell asleep.  Today I feel a little drained – not anxious- and not so down and all around better.  Its is amazing how being covered over with prayer is such a blessing

 

till next time……………….

Sensitive


Sensitivity I have been so sensitive lately.  It’s not getting my own way sensitive.  Its the up and downs of sensitive.  Environmental sensitive, surroundings sensitive. This past weekend I needed to get into the country.  I was raised on a farm and I just need to get out of the city and flex my country roots.

Its strange how the meds push down certain things but heighten other stuff.  Meds can push down feelings.  Like tears of joy, tears in general, being over excited about some things just don’t get a rise out of me.  Standing in front of the congregation I had troubles singing praise songs cause I would get choked up and couldn’t get the words out.  My Daughter would perform at Church or in a music concert and I would cry through the whole thing.  When I dropped my son off at the airport for a mission trip he went on for a month I cried for days afterwards- when my daughter left on her trip last summer I could hardly shed a tear—that had nothing to do with one child or the other I just couldn’t do it.I was on the meds with my daughter.   Then there are other things.  A quick cutting word from a friend, or family cuts me to my heart.  Driving alone to work I can feel the pulling down of my heart. Missing my son who is at college. A sudden change in plans breaks my heart. Being out and not giving my daughter a hug before she goes to bed brings me down.  I have to make a real mental effort to pull myself up and sometimes it doesn’t always work.  Its like throwing mud against a wall.  Some sticks; some don’t– no rhyme or reason.  The meds push down some feelings but don’t push others down that need to be pushed. Stick / don’t stick.

I made my husband take me for a drive this weekend.  Tired of fall prep for winter so we hopped in the car and drove north to a little village and went through some antique stores. The day was sunny and warm, it was good to be in the country.

Sunday I could feel the same old conflict that sometimes happens when I go to church.  I am conducting an experiment.  It was communion and we went to the later service which has all the traditional Lutheran service of chants and readings.  I ignored the conflicts that were peculating in my mind and concentrated on the words I was saying.  I chanted my beliefs in the creeds and in the prayers.  I chanted in my head that all I am hearing is truth.  I believe in this truth. I will say with my mouth the words of truth and place myself in the light of the never ending God.  The negative moved away and left me. Took its seat back in the dark corner – out of sight, but not out of mind.  I felt refreshed after I received the bread and the wine.  God lightened my soul. Praise God.  It was a peace that stayed with me all day.

This morning I went to Facebook to see what bible message my friend had put on for the day.  Sometimes these messages hit the nail on the head sometimes they are convicting.  Today they made me angry. “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God.  You are not your own, you were brought at a price.  Therefore honour God with your body.” The anger hit me like a ton of bricks.  The negative flew from his chair and in my face, in a moment that I never saw coming and confronted me with a barrage of new challenges and confrontations, and realizations.  I hate this body that God made me.  I do not love myself. It is worthless and should be thrown away.  These were the sudden truths that came from me. I opened a message to send to my friend who put the message on FB.  I opened it and told how I hated the message and hated me, I wrote it about a dozen times and never sent it, no will I.

What is the point of this post?  Hard truths of this illness don’t die. Hard truths of the bible never die, nor would they ever because they are the truth of life and spirit and soul and so many other things that I do not understand, but know they are there because the Lord keeps giving me glimpses.  How?  you may say can you make such statements of God, and hate yourself.  The one personal thing that God has given you.

I have been staring at this for a while now trying to form a answer to this question…………I guess I do not accept that I am a child of God. I hate this untrustworthy body that will not work, and has betrayed me, and I punish it with eating disorders that I am fighting again. Well actually not fighting – giving in.  I still feel angry sometimes for this.  I guess I am shocked by the force of the anger today

I will blame it on the meds– some things stick some do not.

till next time……………..

A day or two or maybe a week…..


August 26 taking my son to College, that is 4 hours form home.  It’s been a trying weekend.  We have been very busy we had some work related social events to go to.  I am back to work and thus lots going on.  I have been fighting some depression twinges.  I have felt the darkness sitting across the yard, or the room or the office or where ever I have been.  It’s not sneaking up on me, its sitting there watching me.  It is sitting in a lounge chair relaxed and watching waiting, wanting me to drop my guard or my defences, any sign of weakness to approach.   I have turned my back on it.  Looking to the Lord to protect me, which I know will happen.  The Lord always protects me.  It’s my mind that lets me down and confuses me so I forget that God protects me.  That of course as I have said before, is the pitfalls of a chemically imbalanced brain.

I actually cried today watching my daughter jump on her brother and tickle him as she left for work and he got up to finish packing to move.  I cried again when he showed me the text she sent while she was on the bus to work.  Full of love and sentiment.  Gosh they really do love each other who knew!! (joke).  We are an hour away from the city he is moving to.  I have been sitting in the back of the van doing some  paperwork  for work.  Writing this blog. Thinking about life and things.  Like how the hell did this boy of mine get so old so fast.  When I brought him home from the hospital it seemed like yesterday and I walked around the house for house wondering what to do and then I thought I could put him down.  Maybe I shouldn’t have!  I put him down he grew, but this is what is suppose to happen.  It is truly all good and it is apart of his journey in life and my journey too I am not ready to let the change happen. We went to a party yesterday for my husband’s work, and we were talking to people who were there and they were talking about when they were born,  and I’m thinking darn it I was in school then—I have always been the youngest of groups how did this happen?  The process of aging.  It is something that sneaks up on you.  I still see myself as a young chick and I’m not in my 50’s so yes I am a young chick.  I am just having a change in life and maybe that is what is shocking me.  I have time away from kids and time with my husband.  The parents get older – of which my Mother is still alive and so I look at her and see the needs she will have in the future and see that maybe I will be busier than I think.  But there is another thing in all of this growing up and maturing I am also maturing my faith.  God has shown me he is with me in the good and bad and as I go through these changes in my life he is the constant; the never changing love and creator of life from the beginning, which he set, to the end which he will decide.  I am created loved and apart of a spiritual realm that I cannot explain.  As I think of this realm, I feel the love and warmth of God fill my spirit I am driven to discover know and understand more.  I can feel the darkness move his easy chair back a few feet away from me.  Its times like this when I am tired from lack of sleep and restless,  I am concerned that my son has all that he needs to spread his wings in life, that is when the doubts come and the darkness’ chair moves a few feet closer.  Did I do all I could have done to prepare this boy for this world.  Does he desire to be apart of Gods direction or his own.   Was there more that I could have prepared him for?  Doubts doubts doubts.  They swallow up all that is good and true and solid in my mind.

There is something that God has been revealing to me that I have been trying to understand and I am far from being there, but I think that people with depression can grasp this and handle it better than those who don’t.

Depression reveals a darkness that can pull at you and completely engulf you.  It shows you a dark realm that is at work looking for the weak to devour, and pull down. It is looking for new conquests, and if it does not get you the first time it will follow and try new tactics and try to confuse hurt and bully you into a state of panic.  But this real realm of darkness also has an opposite.  The Realm of Light.   Jesus said he was the light of the world. He was a beacon that reveals itself in the darkness so us dimwitted humans can see the light and follow him.  In the first chapter of John (where I have spent most of my studying this summer) talks about Jesus being with God in the beginning and a light to the darkness but the darkness does not understand.

In my darkest points of this depression I did not understand the light.  The darkness though is a little quicker than I and can easily confuse me into believing that the Light is loud, exposing and lacking love — when it is the darkness that are all these things and the light is love kindness truth.

Its the middle of the week now. The use of hand held divices has kept me connected with my boy and I am feeling better about that.  But the darkness has moved his chair closer today.  He is still just sitting watching I am occupying my mind and body with exercise and cleaning of the house.  I have not been sleeping this week, again!  And am at my wits end about that. Maybe tonight.  Its this sleeplessness that makes resisting the darkness so hard.  I become so tired and unable to think straight that I have a flight or fight feeling come over me and I want to run, where I could care less, but its what I want to do. Tonight however I am trying to relax.  Maybe my occupying of my mind and body has left me unable to relax. Tonight as I write this I am watching the slow rising of the full moon.  The full moon makes me happy.  My Grandfather used to say if you butcher a pig on the growing side of the moon your bacon will not shrink….ah ya I’m not sure about that too.  But a growing moon always makes me feel better… no idea why.

Forgive me for not writting in a while… summertime things have occupied my time I only hope that it has for you too.  In the mean time I will try to fight this darkness watching me and I hope you can too.

till next time…….

In the night


In the quiet of the dawn, it is when my soul relents.

It was the noise of the darkness that made it spent.

The dark things come out to play and dance,

it puts my heart into a  pant.

I do not want the darkness so close

but I can hide there closed in it most.

But there is no peace in the dark hidden places,

It is in the light that peace can be faced.

This tug of war between what I know and what I believe,

it is my good sence that takes its leave

To leave me to fight,

when I want to flight.

So in the quiet of the dawn before the birds morning song

I sit in a heap spent from the things that have gone on.

I neither look to God or to myself,

for I do not know my right from my left.

This is the hunting grounds of confusion


God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

This is the hunting grounds of confusion.  I am doing crafts for Vacation Bible School next week. How do I do this in the confusion of my mind.  The above vs is one of the verses I will be teaching and creating a craft for next week.  I read this and I think: I have been brought to my knees, and beyond in the depth of depression. I know others who have taken their lives or wanted to, or tried to– who suffer from depression.  How do you believe this verse.  These are the things that shake me, these are the things that confuse me.  I know God is love, I know he will not forsake me, but at times like this, how do you believe it.  In the depths of my suffering God has been there, but I was allowed by him to suffer.  Will it end or will I be forever stuck as someone two steps away from crazy, death, or instituionalized.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

God I am in trouble — why do I feel your back against me.  What am I to learn, what am I to know from this, what blessings or punishment am I supposed to get.  It is in these times I know you love me and you watch out for me, but it is at this time I feel like I am the only tracks in the sand as I walk through this dark day,  if you are carrying me, I do not feel it, for I feel face down in the sand.

“My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

My needs! My needs are to feel sane, my needs are to not fall apart, my needs are to feel safe, my needs are to be normal, being able to handle my finances, to handle myself, to be functional, to not hide my breakdowns, to be the me I knew and others used to love, to not be the one people wonder or look at, or talk about as being weird, crazy and different.

I have a tatoo of the triune God symbol on the back of my neck.  This represents that God has my back.  On a night like tonight I feel like something has my back,  but it is not God, it is a darkness and I can’t shake it.

It is late tonight I will try to sleep …. pray for me that I do…… till next time….

till next time…..