Freedom from Victimhood

Surviving abuse involves at times an ongoing process of forgiving. By forgiving I mean releasing them to God to be free of victimhood not forgetting. But when the memories come back, what do we do with them. It took time but I have gotten to the point of praying as soon as they come back.

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So this is a raw post but one I felt the Lord leading me to share. As a child, my home was a nightmare at times with a mentally ill mother who played mind games and an alcoholic father. That should be enough said without going into details.

Fast forward to when I was in my early 30s. I began to feel tired and had trouble making it through the day. It continued to get worse as my health declined with my first bout with chronic illness. That first bout was so severe that I was close to multiple organ failure until one day I said something to my doctor that rang a bell for him. He tested me and found I had a dead thyroid.

I spent a over a year recovering from that. When I saw my mother, which was rare, I told her I had a dead thyroid. She asked me what my TSH test number was. I told her. She gleefully and proudly told me hers and walked away. That was when I found out what I had was genetic.

When I told my father after that, he said, “your mother never told you?”

Had I known about the genetic predisposition, I would have asked to be tested every year and could have avoided the nightmare of three years of declining health, over a year recovering, and the process after that of getting my life back together.

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The mind games of my mother and the negligence of my father continued into my adulthood. They have both passed away. Yesterday the memory of that time came back. So I prayed over it. I said to God that I hoped my mother had made her peace with him and thanked him that my father had.

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By doing so, I stepped away from being trapped in victimhood. Jesus wants to set us free. He said so himself. Jesus who is the truth said in John 8:

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

The truth is that Jesus loves each of us and values us so much that he left heaven to be born as a human baby, so he could grow to be a man and die on the cross for us.

The truth is that God wants us in his family.

There are so many more wonderful truths in the bible to learn. It starts with coming to know Jesus. Then he begins the process of setting us free.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

World Mental Health Day- Jesus Understands Anguish

Today is World Mental Health Day. Unfortunately there is still stigma attached to mental health issues. Somehow it is forgotten that the brain is an organ that is part of our physical bodies.

We don’t say to a diabetic they are weak because they need insulin or to someone with asthma they don’t really need that inhaler.

As Christians, we are exhorted to bear one another’s burdens in Galatians 6. Depression and anxiety are burdens. Bi-Polar is a burden. God wants us to come alongside people who suffer to be supportive not judgemental.

As someone who has experienced depression/anxiety as symptoms of chronic illness, I understand how interconnected our bodies are. When one part of our bodies suffer, it can affect other parts of our bodies. Think about something as simple as lack of sleep for a few days and how it can affect one’s mood and it would only seem logical that physical ailments can contribute to mental health issues.

Jesus understands anguish. The night before he was crucified, he knew what was about to happen. He spent time praying and asked his disciples to be with him. We see in Matthew 26 Jesus saying:

“Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

In Luke 22 we see how much the anguish affected him:

“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

So if you struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, please know that Jesus understands anguish and he invites you to come to him. In Matthew 11 he said:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

The reason he gave is that he is gentle and humble of heart. Jesus has all power and yet he is gentle with those who seek him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The Letter by Alisa Turner

About a month ago, a young woman who had been my student completed suicide. She struggled with trauma from a childhood with an abusive father. I will never forget walking up to her mom after the funeral service in the church and her mom falling into my arms weeping as I held her.

We never know what someone is going through unless we take the time to listen, to really listen. Alisa Turner, one of my favorite artists, has a new song called The Letter. The song is about a letter being written by someone who is close to attempting suicide but in the end chooses not to. I loved what she wrote in her Facebook to introduce the song:

“If listening to it made you emotional or even uncomfortable, good. Because there is nothing about suffering in any capacity that is comfortable. So often when a suicide happens there’s a crowd that can’t fathom what would make a person do such a thing. Perhaps the “The Letter” let you feel even a 10th of an inch of the wreckage that person may have been battling, for we will never truly know as no one walks anyone else’s road but their own. You really don’t know what the person next to you is going through…they may have filled you in on the details, the big picture, but it’s those small breaths in between, quiet gentle gasps they hope no one hears, out of fear of judgement or worse, being misunderstood. And just because they don’t show you, doesn’t mean you did anything wrong… you may have loved them so well. But we have to accept we don’t really know what anyone else is truly, truly going through. So best to just keep showing up when they let you, and even when they dont ❤️.and to the person sitting on the edge. If you don’t mind, I’ll take a seat right next to you. We don’t have to talk, or we can. I don’t know that I have any answers, because life truly is brutal enough for some people to drive you to such edge. But for this moment, Ill just sit right here on your edge if that’s ok❤️ I will tell you what you already know, that you are not alone and you are very, very loved. I will tell you anything to make you stay so I can then show you why it was worth staying. But I also understand if you don’t. I get it. I really do. In my own way, I know, I know, I know, I know❤️.”

I love the part- “and to the person sitting on the edge, if you don’t mind, I’ll take a seat right next to you.”

My friends if you ever need, I will sit on the edge with you. I will listen. You are so precious to Jesus. Jesus loves you so much. I will sit on the edge with you because I know how it feels to wonder if there is hope. I also know how it feels to discover hope. But I will sit in silence if that is what you need.

Even if you are just experiencing a rough time with no thoughts of anything drastic and just need someone to listen, I will listen.

Dear reader there are so many hurting people now. Let’s listen to them.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Interviewed on Instagram about Chronic Illness

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CFnFsQ0l9F8/?igshid=r6gvlo6wax0q

A few months ago, I felt the Lord impressing on me to share about chronic illness in my Instagram. Because of that I have been able to connect with other chronic illness spoonies from various countries. One of them is a woman in Sweden who goes by funniebunnie on Instagram. She does live interviews on her Instagram with people. She asked me to do one.

We did it today. It is a but long, but I wanted to share it with you. If you click on the link, you can view the interview.

Thank you

God Bless

A New Short Story I Wrote

It has been quite a while since I last wrote a short story. The one I wrote today is The Wanderer’s Encounter on a Path. It is about a person, who I never describe or identify. who is walking down a lonely path thinking of suicide but has an encounter that changes things.

I purposefully did not describe or identify the character so that anyone who reads the story can picture the character however they wish. If even one person is helped, it is all worth it.

If you would life to read it, the link is- thewanderer’sencounteronapath.encounterswiththeancients.com

It’s Okay to Need and Ask for Help

This week is suicide prevention awareness week. This is an issue that has impacted my life through the deaths of three people who have completed suicide. The first was someone I knew when I was in high school. The second was a 19 year old girl who completed suicide a few weeks before she was supposed to start college because her boyfriend broke up with her. Depression was an issue for her for a while. The third was my friend who completed suicide this past Saturday at the age of 28.

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There is a popular phrase that I wholly agree with.

It’s okay to not be okay.

There is truth in that saying, but I do not want to leave it there. Yes it is okay to not be okay. But I do not want people to stay stuck in not being okay. There are steps we can take to experience healing in our lives. I think the second saying that needs to tag with it’s okay to not be okay is:

It’s okay to need and ask for help.

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We can ask for help from someone we trust. If we feel there is no one we trust in our personal lives, there are people we can turn to. If in high school, a counselor at school. A school counselor would want you to come ask for help.

If in college, colleges have resources to help.

If not in school, or as the saying goes-adulting, there are counseling services, churches, places to go for help. I know my pastor would definitely want someone who is struggling to come ask for help.

Did you know Jesus wants you to come to him for help? He said so himself in Matthew 11:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Notice he said- ALL. All means all. Jesus wants all to come to him. The reason he gives is that he is gentle of heart. He want to give us rest for our souls.

Remember it is okay to need and ask for help. Asking for help is much better than suffering in silence.

By asking for help, our stories can continue and in time take on new and better meaning. I am sharing a wonderful spoken word video- Your Story Isn’t Over Yet. I am also sharing a wonderful song- The Mention of Your Name.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Dawn by Rebecca St. James Ft Luke Small

Lord, I’m so tired in this fight
Tired of waking up with no end in sight
I feel I’ve got so little left
I know that I’ve come to the end of myself

Ever feel you have come to the end of yourself? Ever feel life seems like a disappointment? Ever feel discouraged?

Such feelings are understandable especially in the times we are living in now. Jesus does not want to try it alone. His desire is to be in our lives and help us step by step.

No matter how far down we feel we have gone, Jesus is there inviting us to come to him. I love the way Corrie Ten Boom, who endured a Nazi Concentration Camp, put it-“No pit is so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- No Doubt About It by We The Kingdom

How does my broken heart
Keep bringing me back to You again?
Sometimes I fall apart
But You’re always there just like a friend
Just like a friend

I love these lyrics in the song No Doubt About It by We The Kingdom. Especially thinking about the past five months dealing with the pandemic and all of the issues that come with it. Have you felt like falling apart at times? I have had my moments.

But Jesus is always there. He is the best friend a person could ever have.

When Jesus gave the invitation for all who are weary and burdened to come to him in Matthew 11, the reason he gave was- “For I am gentle and humble of heart.”

So I would like to share this song with you today. May it encourage you today.

By the way, We The Kingdom has a website you can check out. It is wethekingdom.com

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Having An Emotional Oasis During This Time of COVID

Friday evenings are one of the highlights of my week. It is the time I meet with my Life Group from church online via Zoom. We have been going through John in the bible using some notes I have been putting together.

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The group is lively. I often joke with them by thanking them for not looking down on my youth. There is laughter but also a lot of love. One of the group members is battling cancer. The other women in the group bought her flowers, and gave her gift cards one of which was for a nail salon. I have to admit I never would have thought of a nail salon.

Last night was made even better by having a Zoom chat with my friend from Vietnam who is in medical school in a a city just an hour from my city. We talked about her personal statement for her applications for Residency programs.

I have not seen her for five years because she has been busy with Medical School. By the time she graduates from Medical School, she will have her MD and also a Masters in Public Health. We have communicated via email but not in person. It was great to chat with her via Zoom.

It was wonderful to catch up with her. She has accomplished so much since the time she was the shy teenage girl that joined my weekend groups.

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Last night was like an emotional oasis during this time of COVID-19. This morning will be Blogger Chat via Zoom and then at noon I will meet with my friend from Vietnam again to go over her personal statement.

It is so important to have moments of being refreshed during this time. What are highlights in your week during this time?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.