I’m All In

 

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I took a trip through my Bible tonight and here are a few things I found along the way.

I hope you are as blessed by them as I am.

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Blessings,

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This post is part of the 31 day series ‘31 Days of Hushin’ My Mouth
To read the rest of the posts in the series click the picture below.

31days

#write31days

 

Pity Party Invite on Facebook

You all know I have this eye issue going on, well today I found out that my insurance company denied the treatment that would have hopefully kept me from having 2 eye surgeries.  The treatment only has a 50 percent chance of working but it will keep me from having to go through a surgery that could possibly cause me to be blind in my eye for 3 weeks to 4 months until some sort of gas bubble they will be putting in my eye dissolves and my eye fills back up with its own fluid (they will take out my own fluid).

As you saw in my last post I thought that the Vitreous gel had released off of my retina because the flashing had suddenly went away and also I could see better than I could in over a year and a half.  On Wednesday of last week a new flash started but I still can see really good, though I can see really good the flashing means the gel is still attached but some of it has released. If not for the insurance companies denial I would have had that injection this coming Wednesday.  As it stands now I have to make the decision to have the surgery or take a chance on my retina possibly detaching.

When I first found out this morning about all this I was furious, and still may be…How can the insurance company be allowed to play doctor when its MY eyesight at stake?  After I found out this news the first thing I did was call my insurance company and argue with them, then cry and even yell at them. I will admit I let them see the side of me I usually only reserve for my poor husband.  After that didn’t work I hurried up and sent my daughter a text telling her all about it.  She sympathized with me but seriously what did I think she could do to help the situation so of course my next course of action was to go to my phone and post this angry Facebook status…

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Of course you all know that was a great solution… Let me tell you I had a very large pity party this morning and I was inviting anyone and everyone who would want to join me. That would show those insurance company executives right??  After all I am sure they read my Facebook status every day and this mean comment with a lot of likes and comments that agreed would for sure make them rethink their decision~

I am sure you know by now I am just being sarcastic I know my insurance company does not see my Facebook statuses or my mean text about them to my daughter.  I did discover though that there is one person who did see my anger and frustration and also he saw my facebook post and that would be God…yep he saw it…  You know one time someone told me that in my Christian walk that before I did something I should think would I do this if God were sitting beside me?  Well guess what??… HE IS!  And sometimes he has this way of using other people to reel me in.  As soon as I posted right away I got a few likes… oh that made me feel good because people were agreeing and I even got an agreeable comment….But then the next comment shook me up.. “Don’t give up. Remember you have the Great Advocate working behind the scenes.”  I saw that comment on my phone just as I opened my curtains to a window that looks out over my back yard, my beautiful lovely green treed back yard with flowers blooming and sun shine streaming through it.  Right there in the middle of my anger I saw God is still working and I can see just fine still!  It made me feel ashamed because how did I manage to forget? … sheesh just last week I wrote a blog post about how I thought God had healed my eye.  Yes I have had new flashing since that post but I can still see great! Better than in over a year! Just the other day I told someone that I had claimed my miracle and I wasn’t going to give it back and now just because my insurance company denied a claim for a treatment I am acting like it’s the end of it all.

After I saw the beauty in my back yard, and comment on my Facebook status, I decided it was time to visit with God so I grabbed my Bible and went off for some quiet time with him.  As I was praying I felt led to open my Bible and when I did it opened to this page where for some reason a few things were underlined.  I am not sure why or when I underlined them but today what I realized is those words were the voice of God and I realized I could see it so clearly WITHOUT my glasses on in a Bible with writing so small I could not see it just a few short weeks ago.

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“I will be with you”

I went on to read the rest of the passage … Isaiah 43:2-3 When you pass through the waters I will be with you and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire you will not be burned the flames will not set you ablaze, For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel your Savior.”

Wow after words like that I have nothing else to say other than, “I know God’s got this and thank you!”

Have a blessed day,

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Leaving Panic Behind Under Palapa #39

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Psalm 27:13-14 I remain confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

I sit here in awe of the beauty and the spender.

White clouds of cotton floating over deep blue water

A sea gull crying while gliding softly, wings open, floating on the breeze

Your breath blowing softly in my ear whispering words of peace, “do not fear, I am here”

People from all over the world speaking different languages their voices mixed together like music.

The laughter of children playing,

Lovers kissing,

A man selling his wares as plane flies over,

Jet skiers,

Parasail’s drift weightlessly above waves lapping at white sand.

I see your face in this place

When I close my eyes I still see you.

Images forever snapped from the camera of my mind.

A few years ago I had a blood clot in my right eye and lost some of my vision in that eye.  At one point almost all of my vision in the eye was gone but God gave me a miracle and healed most of my central vision back though I do have only about half the vision in that eye. I never really notice it unless I close my good eye.

About a year ago I started to see flashes of light in my other eye and gradually over the past year my vision has been having all sorts of odd things happen. I also started to have a bigger blind spot in my other eye and a constant flicker.  According to my retina specialist all of this is do to the vitreous gel pulling on my retina.  My doctor tells me that what is am seeing is the light reflecting off the gel.  Over the past year I have had all sorts of odd things happen in my vision and it seems as if my vision has been getting  worse and worse as we wait for the gel to finish pulling lose from my retina.

This past week my husband and I were in Mexico and the second day there I was noticing that I could not really take the bright sunlight a whole lot and my eyes seemed different.  A little while later I was reading a book and I realized I was having trouble focusing on the words.  It was as if they were jumbled or not clear after a while I closed my right eye and realized that with my left eye the letters in the center of every word was missing. Then I realized that anything I looked at seemed to have a small missing place right in the center.  Needless to say I went into a panic I already have an eye which is half blind and now my good eye is missing the center!

Of all the things that have happened to me in my life, vision loss has to be about the scariest thing I have ever been through.  Right after this discovery of the missing vision I went into a panic, I was on the beach with my husband, sitting there with my journal and my Bible and just could not bear to open my eyes to read, write or look at the beauty around me.  It was like the blind spot in my eye was the only thing I could see. It is very hard to not think about something when it is right there in front of your eyes.

A little while later my husband went and joined a ping pong tournament leaving me alone on the beach. For the longest time I just lay there with my eyes closed, begging God to make this blind spot go away.  After a while the sound of the ocean and the people around me started creeping in to my brain it seemed to relax me a bit and then I heard a voice say “open your eyes!”  As I heard that voice I knew it was God, I was like “um no I can’t bear to look,” but he kept insisting I look so I finally reluctantly opened my eyes. There before me was the bluest water I have ever seen in my life.  There was a storm off in the distance and the clouds were hanging low over the ocean, it had to be just about one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.  As I sat there looking at the painting before me I realized that the blind spot does not show so much when I am looking at scenery unless I blink.

Shortly after that I grabbed my journal and managed to write a few things down without looking to closely at the page as I wrote. What I wrote was what you read at the beginning of this post and also yesterday’s post.  God still amazes me how he manages to pull me back time and time again to realize that no matter what is going on it really will be okay.   The rest of the day was a good day, my husband came back from ping pong and by then I was in a new frame of mind.  We went for a short walk down the beach and watched the storm come in and then we sat under the palapa in the rain laughing as everyone else left the beach…Question…. if you have your swimming suit on why not just stay out in the rain?.. 😀  Later the sun came back out and we went for a swim and the rest of our evening was really great.

I seemed to be in great peace the next day and until we came home  Overall I think we both had a great trip. Once we got home I seemed to have peace until this morning when I realized my eye is getting worse.  When I woke up this morning I was so upset I decided I was going to stay in bed with my eyes closed because I could not bear to be seeing what is missing in my vision.  I had the television on and there was a preacher speaking, I was not really paying much attention but all the sudden I heard him say, “The only way to be delivered is to get your eyes off yourself and keep them on Jesus.”  At that moment I realized that I was laying there panicking worrying about something I have no control over.  About that same time a friend of mine who is very very sick with cancer sent me a text, I spent some time with her and oddly I was able to talk to her without thinking to much about my eye.  After that my mother called and said she and my dad were close to my house and wanted to come over, and two minutes later my son called saying he was coming over.  I ended up spending the morning happily with my family.  Today was a great day.  I know God sent me those people in my time of need to distract me.  No more panic and I truly am at peace about whatever happens.  I can not say that I like it, but really I am sure it will all work out in some sort of good way. It always does.

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meeeMy doctor seems to think I have a macular hole which she says if fixable.  I am seeing her on Wednesday to get the for sure diagnosis. Until then all I can do is wait. I think I may be getting pretty good at that.

Have a wonderful day and thanks for reading,

T

Don’t Look Back

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Most of my childhood life was spent moving around the country. Sometimes our family moved twice a year and one year we moved three times! I was always a bit of on outcast because I never seemed to talk or dress the same as the other kids.  A lot of the time I was picked on and I hated gym class because I was always picked last for the teams or made fun of because I was not really much of an athlete.

Friends where something I did not have a whole lot of and usually if I did make a friend it was with the new kids or the ones like me that nobody else liked. It was really hard moving around and I never really became to close to anyone and I never really had a whole lot of self confidence and I never felt like anything was permanent.  The feeling of nothing being permanent was a good thing though because if I did not like where we were I always could count on that we would be moving again soon.

At the beginning of my 9th grade year of school we finally moved somewhere that we stayed for 3 whole years.  Things started the same way for me in this town as all the rest, nobody wanted to be friends with me so since I had a brother I hung out with him and his friends.  Because I hung out with the boys soon the girls in the neighborhood decided I was chasing after their boyfriends and so one day they decided to send a little boy as their messenger to invite me to come up to a little get together that they had planned… His exact words to me where “Terri, those girls up there are paying me a donut to tell you to come up there and they said they are going to kick you’re ass.”

Like I said earlier I never really had a lot of confidence and a fight was not really something I ever had any practice at either but I think something inside of me snapped that day, because I went up there.  I soon arrived at the top of the street where about 6 girls and most of the neighborhood kids were waiting for me, I remember being petrified but determined not to show it.  Still to this day I can hardly believe I went.

The girls began accusing me of stealing their boyfriends and other things that were not true and I remember telling them, “You all won’t talk to me so I hang out with my brother and his friends, and I don’t want your boyfriends!”  I can’t remember a whole lot more of the conversation but what I do remember is that nobody laid a hand on me that day.  I acted tough, they acted tough and I walked away with my dignity and a new sense of bravery.  The following day I was riding my bike down the street and one of those tough girls called me over and asked me to come to her house and hang out.  I did and from that day on we became friends and I became one of them.  It felt so good to be a part of a group.

I went on to become a real jerk after that day.  It was a time in my life that I figured out that acting tough kept me safe from being picked on. All my years of being a nice person never got me anywhere except shoved around and picked on and now here I was acting like a meany and people “liked” me. Being liked was what I always wanted.   I see it now but did not see it then …I still never really fit in and I am not sure if I was really ‘liked’ it was more like I was just left alone because they were scared to pick on me.  I still never was that popular girl everyone wanted to hang out with first and I usually was still chosen last for most things.

When I was 17 years old I met my husband who I am still married to and began my life as an adult.  Over the years as I grew older I feel as if I did a pretty good job of raising my children but no matter how good I was at  something I never ever had that feeling that I fit in or was good enough.  I had friends but I stayed on guard never letting anyone get to close. I always seemed to have a feeling of insecurity following me around that I could not shake.

In the early 1990’s I was running a very successful Tupperware business.  I had moved up in the company to an Executive manager position, had earned a company car, won many awards and was in the top 10 managers in our region.  On the outside life was good but inside I cringed at my success.  I did not like being on stage in the spotlight.  I really never tried to be successful it just seemed to happen.  I loved Tupperware and told people how much I liked it so they bought it, they booked parties and the people at the parties would decide to join me in the business. I remember at the time just being shocked each week at our sales.  I would be excited at how well it was going but at the same time I would be scared to death because the more successful my business became the more I had to be on stage at our meeting each week which really made me sick with fear.

You would think that success would have given me more confidence but instead I think what happened is I saw myself standing alongside people who I thought were really good, people who I looked up to and I did not feel worthy at all to be standing alongside of them.  Each week I would go on stage with a smile on my face while fear trembled inside of me.

Eventually one day the fear finally caught up to me.  I was standing in front of a group of people at one of my Tupperware demonstrations and my ears began to roar.  I barely remember anything much after that except for me standing in front of everyone telling them about a product, ears roaring, my heart racing and all the sudden feelings terror inside of me so strong that I wanted to run and hide.  Run and Hide is exactly what I did…. I looked at my hostess and said, “I don’t fee so well’ as I excused myself to go into the bathroom where I stayed for the next 30 minutes sitting on the edge of her bathtub trying to pull myself together.  I remember thinking I was going to die in there because I could not breathe, I was sweating and my heart was pounding so hard in fear I thought I would have a heart attack. I did not know it at the time but that was my first panic attack of many more to come in my life. I did eventually come out of the bathroom and I told the guests that I had a stomach bug of some sort and went home.

From that day forward I feared being in front of people because I just knew in my mind that it would happen again, the fear snowballed and eventually I quit selling Tupperware and found a job driving a school bus where I did not have to be in the spot light ever.

I spent about the next 15 years of my life staying away from social occasions.  My panic filtered into many life things like baby showers, weddings and funerals, I still went to what I had to go to but I spent a lot of time hiding in the bathroom and always sat by the door at most events so I could escape easily if I panicked.  It eventually got to where I could not even go with friends shopping unless I was the driver of the car.  I had to be the one in control.  If I was not in control I would panic and end up making up the ‘I am sick lie’ and leave.  Eventually I found myself running out of meetings at work, and avoiding most social occasions It just kept getting worse and worse to the point that I  would get an upset stomach so when I said I was sick I truly was physically sick now too. I lived this nightmare alone, I never told anyone except my husband, one friend and also my doctor who diagnosed me with social anxiety and gave me medicine that did not help.

I went on like this for many years and then….I discovered wine…..

I never was much of a drinker but it just so happened one day I connected that drinking helped take the edge off my panic, actually it took a lot of the edge off.  When I drank I became a social butterfly.  It did not take much just a few sips before I went to the gathering and I would be fine, but the problem was I never could stop at just a few sips.

When I drank I was bold, I was free and did not care what anyone thought about me. It drowned out a lot of things one being my common sense.  What I did not realize at the time is that the drinking did not fix a thing.  It just masked things.  No matter how I tried to cover it I was still the same person I had always been.  I still hurting from all the years of rejection and I was still afraid of people. I had no trust in people or confidence that someone could actually like me for who I was.

It sounds really silly doesn’t it? But that is how I lived for many years. I became a social person I knew lots of people but I just could not attend anything social that I would involve having to sit in a room with other people that would notice me leaving unless I drank or if I did not drink I sat on pins and needles trying hard to keep myself composed. Over the years I was also a Realtor.  I know this makes no sense but I could meet with  strangers to look at homes and actually had moments that others would probably think I was a very outgoing person. Around the office I was friendly with everyone and even managed to teach a website building class at another real estate office but most of the time if you were to put me in a room for a meeting and I would fall apart in seconds and be running out of the room.

Fast forward to 2010….I found Jesus.   You can read about that here  https://astorybyme.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/your-gift-2/

Since 2010 I have been learning to trust again.  I have found confidence in Jesus.  I have gone into meetings and had him take over my fear allowing me to do what he calls me to do.  There is so much more I left out of the story on my journey begins page because it is a crazy story and I will tell you some of it is not very pretty, but the outcome thankfully is pretty.  I am not bold enough to put it out here on my blog yet but what I can tell you is that many times over these past 4 ½ years I have made a lot of huge mistakes that I was sure God would never forgive me for but he did forgive me and I have learned so much about his redeeming love, his mercy and his grace.

Over this past year I have had a lot of health issues and a lot of instances that I felt sad over my mobility issues I felt afraid sometimes and lonely. As I told in another post I kept my sad feelings to myself and my closest friends the ones I had let ‘in’ seemed to be going away.  Let me make it clear that no friends dumped me or anything they just have their own lives going on but because of my past I gradually I began to feel those old feelings of rejection creeping in and my confidence started going down again. that coupled with the pain in my legs just made a recipe of sadness inside.   To top that off one day about 6 months ago I found myself running out of a Bible study class having a panic attack.  After that first attack and it happened again and again until eventually I quit going to Bible study class.  It made no sense at all why I would act this way because I am in a whole church of people who love me and I love that class and wanted to be a part of it really bad.  Oddly I only had panic attacks when I was a participant in class, If I was in teaching a class I never would feel that way. It sounds crazy I know….

I actually worry about hitting the send button on this post because it will let anyone who reads it see the real me… it’s really hard for me sometimes to allow people to see the real me. I am not very brave, I am weak, and I am not always right where God would like me to be.  I know when I am strong that it is only due to his power.

Today at church our pastor gave a very powerful message about forgiveness.   I realized something while he was speaking…I think I have been carrying around feelings of rejection and anger for a very long time.  I realized I had put my hope in people when my hope really belongs in Jesus though I do believe that God puts people in our lives to help him and also sometimes they help hold us accountable to him.  If not for some of the people he put in my life who obeyed him and were there for me holding me accountable to God I am not sure I would have gotten as far as I am now.

I have a friend who is very humble, this friend was one of my biggest cheerleaders when I was trying to quit drinking.  I know that my friend will say that it was all God…My friend will be right because it is all God, I never could do a thing without God’s strength, but I also know that in the beginning, I would have caved so much more easily had I not had a live person to hold me accountable and remind me that God loved me.

I got to thinking today why doesn’t God just wave a magic wand and just fix it all?  After all he is God and he can do anything right??   I think He wants us to help him do his work; He wants our loyalty, our faithfulness to him.  He wants us to be able to give up our own life plans to do his plan.  If we do not take care of what he puts right in front of us we can never be at peace because it’s up to us to show others the HOPE that only he can give… He puts hope right in front of us to give away when he gives us someone who needs him.  He is the hope among all the hurting and suffering people and we have a job to do.  We pass that hope along and I am so very thankful that someone took the time and helped  to show me the hope I have in Jesus.

I started this post talking about my past and how I still get old feelings of rejection inside even when I know in my heart that I am really an okay person.  I think that the enemy knows my weaknesses so he gets to me where he knows he can hurt me the most. Thankfully I now know my weaknesses and by knowing that it makes me stronger.  I also know I am a child of the King and he loves me and guess what!? NOBODY can ever take that away from me.

Today after the sermon my pastor offered the chance for everyone to give their lives to Jesus.  He also offered those who had already given their lives to Jesus a chance to start over again. Today I found all of my past insecurities boiling up to the surface and I found myself forgiving all those past hurts from many years ago, things I never even realized I had been carrying around for 30+ years .  I found myself asking once again for God to make me new and told him I wanted to start over and one more time I asked Jesus to be my savior. I am not sure how many times it will take but if I have to start over every single day for the rest of my life 20 times a day then that is what I will have to do.

I know my blog post today is very long and all over the place If you are still here reading you will be happy to know that it is almost over but not before I tell you that your past does not have to define who you are today.  You can rise above it.  It may try come back once in a while but you can choose not to revisit it. There is no reason to ever look back because you are not going backwards, you are going forward.  Remember most of all that you are loved and worth so much more than you can ever imagine.

Thank you for reading,

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If you have never asked Jesus to be your savior and would like to have him come and help you change your life, all you have to do is ask.  Ask him to forgive you of your past sin and then tell him you would like to live the rest of your life with him leading you.  If you have said that prayer before and need reminding as I did then say it again and again.  If you said it for the first time let me know, I would love to hear about it.  Also don’t ever forget you are loved and adored by the creator of the universe.  That is a pretty awesome feeling isn’t it?   ❤

Here is a really good song by Francesca Battistelli I think you will enjoy.

He knows My Name

 

Butterflies in the Darkness

butterly1Yesterday as I was leaving work I noticed a Monarch butterfly sitting on the ground. Just as I decided to take it’s picture it decided it was time to fly around for a while, so I followed it around the parking lot snapping its picture each time it landed. I just loved watching it flutter about. It would flutter fast and then float for awhile and then sit somewhere looking as if it was going to stay put.  But just as soon as I would think it was going to stay still it would flutter around some more. It seemed so peaceful and so free. As I watched it fly around I got to thinking about butterflies and how they are so beautiful and how God created something so small but yet it can be so hugely beautiful.

Not knowing a whole lot about Monarch butterflies I decided I wanted to know more about them so when I got home I looked them up them up to see If I could find out more about them.  In my search I found out some pretty interesting stuff…If you are not a nature geek like me then you may want to skip the next few paragraphs 🙂

Do you know that the Monarch butterfly only lives in its adult butterfly form for about 2- 6 weeks and that it’s whole entire life cycle is only 6-8 weeks long?  I did not know this.

In it’s life cycle it goes from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis, pupa, and then butterfly all in that very short amount of time.

The beginning stage in its life which is the egg lasts for about 4 days, and then the egg hatches into a caterpillar which lasts for about 2 weeks. The caterpillar then attaches itself to a milkweed plant where it sheds its skin and then the left over skin hardens into a cocoon (chrysalis) where it stays (pupa) for 10 days.  After the 10 days it emerges as the adult butterfly which only lasts for 2 to 6 weeks.
Another interesting thing about the Monarch butterfly is that there are 4 generations inside of their life cycle.
March/April – 1st generation Monarchs are born in Northern United States and Canada.
May/June – 2nd generation is born
July/August – 3rd generation is born
Then this is the cool part…
In September/October the 4th generation Monarch is born but this generation does not die as fast as the other generations do. This generation migrates about 3000 miles South to Mexico or Southern California where they live for about 6-8 months and then In February or March they fly the 3000 miles back to the United States and Northern Canada where they mate, lay their eggs, and then it starts all over again!
Another thing about the Monarch Butterfly is that since it spends 10 days in its cocoon that means this insect spends about 1/5 of its life in darkness!  Spending time in a tight squished up dark space seems pretty awful to me but later it dawned on me that while the caterpillar is in the darkest time of its life that is where it is actually turning it into something very beautiful, a butterfly.  This place is also where he is being prepared to do the job he was created do….pollinate plants.

Then I also realized that in a way aren’t we people kind of like butterflies? We all go through times in our lives that seem dark and we all are always changing and growing.

I recently went through a pretty hard time in my life.

During this time I had been dealing with depression which was due to loss of mobility and pain due to surgery and arthritis in my knees and I also have had eye issues going on again. Though I had a lot of really good things going on in my life during that time I still had a lot of really hard days.

Like the caterpillar in its dark cocoon, I cocooned myself into my own dark place by trying my best to keep my pain and depression hidden from everyone.  I am not sure what it is about being a Christian and being sad but for some reason though I know I don’t have to be all happy all the time I still did not want to come across as a downer to those around me.  The few times I did dump it on someone I felt guilty like I may be dragging them down too because a lot of the closest people to me are going through a lot of their own struggles and the last thing they needed was to be burdened with mine.  So I tried my best to look to the joyful things in my life and most of the time I did find them.

Thinking about the butterfly made me realize something… while I was in that dark place of my life I too had been growing and changing… just like the butterfly I have been turning into something better and more beautiful and God has been preparing me for the job he created me to do by teaching me how to rely on him more and actually making my faith stronger.

During my dark time I spent a whole lot of time struggling with thoughts of things like “what is wrong with me that I can not get over this? I felt like everyone could see through me but really nobody ever acted like they did so most likely they did not. I also work at a church and I also have what I feel like is a good relationship with the Lord so that left me feeling like somehow maybe I should be able to get over this easier.  But when I didn’t I began to feel like maybe I deserved what was happening to me or maybe my faith was not strong enough. I felt close to God during all of this but at the same time I had days that I would wonder if he was really there and then he would always show me that he was.

I am sure my life seemed to look as if it was going good to everyone around me because I said it was good. I would have days that I felt joyful and thankful but then also I had days I could barely drag myself out of bed, it was a very confusing time.

I remember a time when old me would have thrown in the towel and went back to my old way of living and maybe had a drink or two… or three… or four to drown my sorrows away.  Thankfully God has changed that part of me and I never had the desire to do that.  I did know somehow that this is the life God wants me to live and that I just had to hang in there, keep on praying and wait on him to show me what was going on.

So every day I kept on going, I had prayer time almost every day.  There were some days that I felt like God did not show up but on most days when I had my prayer time he met me wherever I was at at that moment.  He always came through if I would let him.

Another thing I noticed during this time was that it always seemed like on my worst days God would always put someone in front of me who needed encouragement or love.  During those times is when I began to realize that each time I helped someone else for some reason I felt at peace. Gradually over time I began turning my focus off of me and trying to pour as much love as I could into other people and oddly the more that happened the more I began to realize that was exactly what God wanted me to do. I began to understand more and more that it’s easy to fall into a pit of despair and stay stuck in it down hiding in the darkness. But when we chose to climb up, even if it’s just a few small steps to help someone else we begin to see the light glowing at top. The more I saw that light the more I saw God’s plan.

Gradually over the past 10 months I have finally admitted to myself that God had been calling me into things that seem pretty scary to me. I had known a lot of this for well over a year but I chose to ignore it because truthfully I did not feel worthy or equipped for what he is asking me to do and I was scared.

Even though I thought I had been living my life for God I still had things I needed to surrender to him.

One of those things being who I depended on.

What I realize now is that when you have nobody but God you begin to depend on nobody except God.

When you are down like I was with my legs and can not run around shopping and doing busy work you have more time to read the Bible and talk to God. I spent a whole lot of this time down just learning how to be still. I tend to be the type of person who needs to fill empty space. If I am with someone and they don’t talk I will fill the silence with chatter, if I am at home alone I will do chores to stay busy. I never just sit and watch television; actually I don’t like television very much and if I do watch it I usually have to do something else at the same time. To just lie around and do nothing is really very hard for me.

Over the past 10 months after work most days I spent in the evening time lying around with my legs propped up and iced and during this time God was working on me.  During this time He has shown me what he wants me to do with my life, where I don’t belong and where I do belong. What is not important and what is important.  He has shown me that he has had me right where he wants me all along and that I needed to learn to trust him more and also trust that he has the power to equip me for anything he asks me to do.
Like a caterpillar that goes into a dark place to metamorphosis I think that is what I did. A caterpillar stays in its dark place while God works on it and prepares it to do the job it was created to do. While in the dark place it begins to change growing beautiful wings so that it can fly. Once the caterpillar turns into a butterfly it goes around pollinating plants so that they can grow seeds. They are very important in keeping the flow of seeds going; this is God’s plan for them.

And Like a butterfly God also has a plan for each one of us and sometimes I think we may have to be in the dark to be able to see his light. When a person comes out of the dark they are transformed into the beauty that God created them to be, so they can start flying from person to person, spreading Jesus just like the butterfly spreads pollen.

Since climbing out of my cocoon I have been feeling this sense of wanting to be even closer to God. I feel more aware of him in every second of my day now. I feel his presence and want to talk with him as much as possible. I know his plan for me involves Speaking in public, though I suffer from social anxiety and I can not memorize or remember a speech to save my life. I know this is where he wants me to be, without a doubt.

It seems as if everywhere I turn lately I am hearing a sermon about God using weak people to do his work. Even the Bible study class I am in right now is about that.  Though I don’t know the full plan yet I do feel very sure that I am where I am supposed to be right now.  I feel a closeness so different from what I have ever felt before.  I feel his love and I feel confident that his plan will unfold even more each day as I spend time with him and I finally feel at peace.

Note: I wrote what is written above about 3 weeks ago
About a week after I started writing it I was finally able to get an injection of Monovisc in my knee that is supposed to put gel in my knee where the cartilage is missing. Now Here I am 2 weeks after I had the shot and I am moving around a whole lot better and my constant knee pain is finally gone when I am not standing on them.  I am walking better and hopefully soon I will be walking without pain too.   I find it very interesting that when I finally started healing emotionally shortly after I began healing physically. I wonder…had my legs healed first if I would have realized that the time in the darkness was what was needed for me to be able to grow? Would I know that I can be joyful even in a dark place?  Would I know that even if my knees don’t heal I am still capable of doing anything God asks?  Looking back now though hard I am pretty sure this whole ordeal has been good for me.

With Jesus in your life anything can happen. Just like he turns the caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly He can also turn a messed up messy me into his own beautiful creation and he can also do that for you too!

With Jesus we get our wings, with him we learn to spread our wings and with him we also learn how to fly.

Thank you for reading today, and have a wonderful day,

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P.S.  I would also like to thank Abby over at Abby’s Faith Walk for her encouraging post about depression.  I had been working on this post and many times wrote other posts about my struggles but never had the courage to post them.  When I saw her post last night I decided to go ahead and finish this up and post it.

After I wrote this post another blogger friend posted a very insightful and beautiful analogy using the butterfly that I thought you may like.  Click here to enjoy ->  A Whole New Creation by Karina at Karina’s Thought.

 

I am Loved

In a world that feels so uncertain I stumble along each day,

taking one step at a time feeling blind at times, gingerly feeling my way as I go.

Not sure of where I am going I travel along on this path that’s unseen.

Wandering and searching for meaning and purpose wondering what does this all mean.

Just as I am about to give up,

out of nowhere you appear beside me, slipping your hand in mine.

I feel your strength take the place of my weakness,

steadying me as you guide me to the place where my heart knows that it’s safe.

You’re my hope when all hope feels hopeless.

You’re the worth when I feel unworthy.

You’re the love when I feel unloved.

At times I feel unworthy of your love,

but you give it to me anyway.

You cover all the hurts I hold inside.

Your take away my feelings of doubt.

If only I would not take what others say or do to me to my heart,

but instead took only You to my heart.

You’re the only one I need to believe,

Your voice says, I am beautiful, I am worthy, I am special and I am loved

You’re all that I ever truly need.

Thank you Father for loving me.

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:5

A Silent Prayer of Peace

I want to start this post by saying I usually don’t mention names in my blog for the privacy of the people who I am writing about.  As you know this blog is about my journey with Jesus and sometimes I just can’t avoid people being able to recognize themselves or someone I have written about.  This story involves someone that I know is a follower of my blog.  Though I did not use names I am sure the person will most likely recognize himself and I just would like to say thank you for taking the time today to be obedient to God.  You made a big difference in my day and I admire your faith and the example that you set.

A Silent Prayer of Peace

When I wake up in the morning I usually reach over and grab my Bible off my nightstand and then I head to the kitchen where I grab a cup of coffee and settle into my favorite chair for one on one time with God…. but I didn’t do that today.

Today I overslept.

Today when I got out of bed I still swung by the kitchen for coffee but instead of heading for my Bible and God I instead headed to the shower.  After my shower I rushed off to work completely forgetting to have any sort of prayer what so ever.

This was a big mistake…

How could I remember the coffee but forget about God?? Why is it that I my brain says, “you need caffeine” instead of “you need God?”This is not a good way to start the day and I would not recommend it

This week has been an especially hard and stressful week, so this week of all weeks you think I would be clinging on to God a little extra tighter, but instead this morning I found myself running out the door away from God instead of running to God.

When I arrived at work today I felt really far behind because yesterday was one of those days that I spent spinning my wheels all day and I never seemed to get anything accomplished.  As the morning went on I found that just like yesterday, I did not seem to be getting anywhere fast today either.  As most of you know I work for church.  Most days it’s pretty quiet at the church and I don’t usually see to many people there during the week, but today it was very busy.  A lot of people were in and out and I kept talking to them, the phone kept ringing and it seemed like I just kept getting sidetracked from what I really needed to get done.. My wheels were spinning yet I wasn’t moving at all towards the finish line.

After a while things seemed to be settling down and I was finally alone in the office.  I was just beginning to focus on my work and I looked at the clock and saw that I had about 30 minutes left until I had to leave for the day.  With a little bit of focus I could possibly get something accomplished today…..

and then a man walked into the office.

He asked me if I would like to come into the sanctuary with him and kneel at the altar and have a moment of silent prayer.

I have never had anyone ask me to do that before so at first his request caught me by surprise (don’t forget I am still a bit of a newbie in this journey) I guess it never dawned on me that someone would request that I have silent prayer with them.  I have had people ask me to pray with them for them, but never ask me join in a silent prayer.  The most interesting part was that when I asked him what he wanted to pray about he said that all he wanted to do was to pray silently together with other Christians because he had read in the Bible that when two or more people get together and pray God is among them.

I will admit the first thought to my mind when he asked me to go pray was “I don’t have time for this right now’ but yet at the same time a voice inside was saying “Girl, you need to do this!”  and I knew I did.

So I said yes and told him I would meet him in the sanctuary. As I was entering the sanctuary I saw he was asking another lady to join us, she said yes right away never hesitating at all.  A few seconds later the three of us were kneeling at the alter in silent prayer.

We only prayed for about a minute or two but after that very small moment of prayer I realized I felt less rushed and more peaceful. I also realized during that time, that I had not taken time to be with God today. When I got back to my office I also realized that I was really not nearly as busy today as I had thought I was only a few moments ago.  I put my work away (the work that I thought I had a whole lot of earlier) and went outside to my car and prayed some more finally getting that precious time with the Lord that I needed.

I find that if I start my day with God I will pretty much talk to him most of the day and most of the time no matter what the day brings I feel peaceful, but if I don’t start out with him I tend to be off track and out of sorts until I do.

God is Faithful….Even though I had not taken time for God that morning, God still took the time for me.  I know He sent that man into my office.  I have been wondering all day if he knew that God had sent him.  I have no idea what he or the other woman prayed about during that minute of prayer but I do know that after we finished praying I felt ready to face my day and I also felt at peace. I find it really cool how God does that.  He knew what I needed today and he sent it. He knew I needed time with him so he sent someone to ask me to pray.

God knows what we need and when we need it.  It’s Him that we all need, and we need Him all of the time, not just when we think we have the time.

Father thank you for the people you have surrounded me with.  I know that there are days I get off track but you always seem to bring me back around.

Dear Readers.  My heart is heavy today, my sister’s boyfriend who was her best friend of 12 years passed away suddenly this past Saturday night.  He was only 37 years old and also left behind 2 young daughters.  His daughters and my sister are broken hearted at losing him. My sister has been ill for the past couple of years and he is always there for her taking her to the doctor, sitting by her bed when she is sick and just hanging out with her being her friend. Right now she seems so lost without him and it breaks my heart to see the pain she is going through.  Will you please add my sister and his family to your prayers?

Thank you for your prayers and for reading.

Blessings to you,

T