Saturday, September 24, 2016

When Healing Finds You

Sometimes on a normal day...at a typical business luncheon...healing comes up behind you and taps you on the shoulder and then wraps its arms around you.



I am soaking up the goodness of God.

I mean I am lapping it up like a puppy that has been playing all afternoon with kids in the yard and just found a bowl of water.

I might have stood up in the middle of a restaurant last night, at the end of telling a story from this week, and fist bumped both arms in the air praising God. {The kids might have asked me to sit down and stop embarrassing myself...them. LOL}

I am grateful.

I am a grateful girl.

The last nearly five years have been HARD. If I have alluded any differently, forgive me. I misled.

I have often wondered why writing...why me....why this journey, but then you meet people who say I read your writing and go, "Me too." When that happens, I know I have this dumb, useless look on my face because I am blown away that the vomiting I do on a keyboard resonates with...well anyone.

This journey feels so personal, so private, so....well, insane...that I hardly know how to respond when others bear hug me excited to embrace their compadre from the trenches. {...and I am not going to lie...that is awesome.}

We are not alone.

So...I write to remember. I write to learn. I write to process this journey from despair to healing and the lessons along the way.

I love basketball though I was never as good a player as I wanted to be. I also had some hard coaches, tough and smart. One thing you learn in basketball is how to pivot. It is fast and quick, and done well, effective.

I digress.

I am in the middle of a five plus year pivot.

I am turning the titanic.

I had built and lived a life that one day I decided to lay down, but only after I fell down...on my knees, and then on my face. A failure. Not by the world's standards, but by my own. The standards I had designed in my imaginary world believing that if I did every single one of them right, everything would one day be okay.

That was January 2012.

I sit here in September 2016 still working to unwind the imaginary life I had built up for that 40 years.

The pivot is my wilderness.

Sometimes it takes a long time to pivot.

...and that is okay.

Sometimes your heart gets broken by circumstance and decisions you felt compelled to make...and two years later someone taps you on the shoulder and when you pivot around to see who it is, they grab you in a bear hug, with tears in their eyes, and say, "I am so glad you are back." and it is EVERYTHING. Simply everything.

Healing.

I am so grateful.

I will restore what the locusts have eaten....

I need to go find that verse.

The Lord’s Answer
 
Then the Lord was jealous for his land
and took pity on his people.
The Lord replied to them:
“I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil,
enough to satisfy you fully;
never again will I make you
an object of scorn to the nations.
“I will drive the northern horde far from you,
pushing it into a parched and barren land;
its eastern ranks will drown in the Dead Sea
and its western ranks in the Mediterranean Sea.
And its stench will go up;
its smell will rise.”
Surely he has done great things!
Do not be afraid, land of Judah;
be glad and rejoice.
Surely the Lord has done great things!
Do not be afraid, you wild animals,
for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green.
The trees are bearing their fruit;
the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.
Be glad, people of Zion,
rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.
The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.
I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm —
my great army that I sent among you.
You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
Then you will know that I am in Israel,
that I am the Lord your God,
and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.

Wow. I had to include that entire section of Joel 2 because if you have been, are in, are headed into a wilderness season....you need the promise and the gift of these words that God will restore you. That he will restore your heart, your spirit, your mind....and on and on. He is a God of RESTORATION.

....but...BUT you have to let him do the work IN you and you have to embrace the journey...setting out on it not knowing where he will take you, how long you will be there, but trusting in a God that loves you, is for you, and knows you better than you know yourself (especially when you are at the foot of the wilderness).

God loves you.

YOU.

So....I am grateful.

Every day as of late feels like a battle. The toughest battles yet. {I know. Insert eye roll here.}

Every single day though...God is giving me a victory, sometimes tiny, and they are EVERYTHING to my weary heart.

...and I am REJOICING. In a ballroom, on Main Street, in a restaurant, on a soccer field, driving down the road screaming in giddy excitement with a friend...I have no shame. I. Will. Rejoice. I need the rejoicing because the battles are HARD.

So today lock arms with a compadre and say, "Me too." and then jump up and down at even the tiniest of victories and celebrate it.

...but here is one more thing....when you see someone who went buck naked out into the arena and laid it all down and got beaten to a pulp but got up and kept walking, kept fighting the good fight....tap them on the shoulder and when they pivot, hug them and tell them, "I am so glad you are back." because your words love and embrace, God uses to heal.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Winding Path of Sorrow

Today I woke up knowing it was the day to purge - once AGAIN - my master bedroom closet. I have had it on my to do list since I completed the three year purge at the end of 2015. I knew then, as I do now, that I still had/have too many clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. I really felt like I needed to get to a capsule wardrobe (30-50 items or less). It felt TOO ambitious in the midst of a purge where I was already whittling down 6000 square feet into 900.

I just inadvertently laughed out loud reading that.

It is obscene how much I once owned.

I am still recovering from the shame of it all.

I digress.

There have been a few big NEWS events in my life of late, but like most big events in my life - I am sworn to secrecy for a time that makes me feel a little like a CIA operative within my own skin. I once thought it "cool" and now I just find it frustrating. One of them I am writing a long emotional post about....so for that reason, I will stop here and say, stay tuned....*Yikes*

So...here I sit in the middle of my bed with the contents of my closet literally strewn all around me, and in the bathroom, and into the living room...and it is a hot mess here in Heather Land this morning. I wouldn't text or call me today - I am idling high - unless you want to tell me you love me to which I will not believe you...because...

The truth is I am angry.

I am so angry even I don't know what to do with it...you know after months and months of therapy you look at bumps in the road as "I've seen a podcast, I think I know what I am talking about." moments...and yet...

Anger shows up at your door like the un-welcomed guest it is.

*Sh*t*

Some days on the quest to wholeness and peace you just get pissed. I don't know what else to tell you. People are assholes to you. A manipulative person slithers in and out of your office like the demon-possessed vulture they are. People who have long since abandoned you poke their head up after YEARS to see if they can still get an emotional rise out of you. A disgruntled ex-employee writes a heinous note directed at you via your company's social media. Your counselor (bless her) decides to open up the box in the darkest corner of your soul and peek in to see what is inside.

This was my past six days.

...but all of that crap isn't what makes me angry.

It is that I am headed to Israel in little more than a month...that I just checked off two GIANT burdens off my to do list...that I have this sweet girl that asks/needs/wants me to proof her college essay...that I have two dear friends that are deepening what can only be called a God-connection....that one of them is purging her entire family's life so that she can say yes to God in a big way....that I got to work on this BIG dream I have for a few hours this week with someone...

...and that I, as in me, myself, and I....I let the enemy take all of that JOY for even a second....and that the second has turned into days and it is spiraling down like a snowball rolling downhill...and I don't know how else to stop it other than to vomit here and cry MERCY at the top of my lungs!

*Tears*

I loathe being angry!

I just want peace...in my spirit, my heart, and in my life. I am so over conflict.

While I have been writing Path of Sorrow by All Sons & Daughters is playing (click title for link), and the words soothe and sting simultaneously. *Ouch*

It hurts to admit that I am struggling....well, not as much struggling, as faltering. It hurts to admit I am faltering...as in falling to my knees. Okay it hurts to admit that there are times I wish I could swing a sword and take out those that hurt and malign me. That is the easier way, and I miss the easy path sometimes. This wholehearted, turn the other cheek, grow from adversity, learn the lessons, figure out the reason for the coping mechanism, my childhood was a hot mess and left wounds, let me gather all of my people and hold hands feels as CRAPPY as it sounds to someone who thinks this is all voodoo.

Here is the truth.

Growth sucks. Like the WORST.

The path to healing is winding not straight.

There is a point in the process of healing where you hit a proverbial wall and must choose - continue on to points unknown on the map OR quit. There is no third option. There is no turning back. You cannot get the genie back in the bottle. You know too much now.

Lets just say that I am standing at the base of the wall looking UP at it and my knees are buckling...


I guess I am here to say...hold my hand....please.

I am terrified...and I am exhausted...just one bloody battle (for healing) after another...I don't know how others do it. I am in awe.

My friend Sherri just sent me a beautiful text while I was writing...Sherri is the one I give co-credit to for our "tossing hot potatoes at the foot of the cross" visual....and that visual has been saving me these past few weeks as another "seemingly" hot potato gets tossed in my lap and in one fluid motion, I toss it to the foot of the cross - you're up Jesus (all the praise hands). I digress. So....she just reminded me of when Moses' mother slid her baby in a basket down a river...trusting God. Completely.

Perfect.

It is in the learning to give up control that we are healed....and let me declare here and now...I will be healed from my need to control everything in and about my life. I mean it - from what others think of me to what my future holds to how my words (audibly or written) are received to the thousands of other things that a recovering control freak like me frets over on a daily basis.

...and in there somewhere I promise to continue to learn how to give grace to myself.

Oh...and that wall.

Here is what I have learned to be true these past (nearly) five years. God has me.

The other view from the picture above is the one where I look down and realize how far I have come...and I don't give myself enough credit for that...and I shouldn't because God deserves every single bit of it. He had me then....He has me now...He will have me evermore....perfectly safe in the palm of his hand.

God has me.

"Oh I know, I know
You remain the same
Even in, even in
My wandering"

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Just Breathe

There are days in life when God opens and shuts doors so fast that it simply takes your breath.

I feel like the past month has been a string of days EXACTLY like that...Every. Day.

As soon as I can find five minutes I have ALL the words to say about this marathon I have been running this past several weeks.

...for now...

I need to remind myself to breathe.

You might not know this about me, but sometimes I forget to breathe. 😳 I literally catch myself holding my breath. 🤔 My counselor is having to teach me breathing exercises. 🙄

Oh how I wish I were making this stuff up. 😂

So in this season I find myself in where God is walking me deeper into a submissive heart while the control freak in me is trying to find the PANIC button to hit....*Deep Breath*...let me share this...


Being in control is overrated.

No...seriously.

*laughter*

I am laughing because I swear I am about to hyperventilate. There is a war waging in me over what I know to be true versus how I have always coped...and it is I N T E N S E! 

Don't give up...wherever you are in your journey. I am preaching to myself here. 

*Just Breathe*