Safe (Ascent from Madness)

It’s been a Sunday where nothing is going quite as it should…even trying to get this post up & the blog updated, my internet simply refuses to co-operate…so, I decided a little fiction writing would do my spirit some good. I’m adding to my collection of Ascent from Madness flash fiction pieces below, as a part of the most recent 5 Minute Friday.

The theme this week: SAFE


It’s so strange, how unsettled I am.
I know it just goes with the territory. That’s what they tell me anyway.

But, I mean, I’m old enough now, I should be feeling secure & safe now, right? Now that I’m “getting better”…

Safe…

Do I even know that word?
I knew that word once…didn’t I?

I honestly don’t know. But, I must have. Though, even in my earliest memories, safety isn’t a theme.

Safe…

Darkness. Music.
My home. The one I’ve created.
The creativity in my mind.

These things make me feel safe.

Out there – the world? Not so much.

But, I guess I hide it well.
I “fit in.” I “work.”

But, safe?

No, I don’t really think I am…And, I don’t think I ever really was…


 

I Carry It All

In the back of my Bible are 2 very special pages; my war-room.

Actually, I got the idea from The Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg.  It’s two facing pages that I keep prayer requests & prayer prompts on. Many just names, or names & ways to pray for them.  Scrawled in the middle of one of those pages, a verse that resembles my heart, and centers my prayers:

image

This is why I do what I do every day.

And, on these two pages, I let out the hard stuff so I don’t have to carry it around all the time. Because, I am not meant to carry it alone.

But, my call is to be there with people in their brokenness, then turning it over to God.

It is why my heart is so pulled toward ministry (read more about my tiny house ministry dreams by clicking that link).

The fact is, though, in my career, I carry it with me. It becomes a part of shaping who I am and how I interact with the world.

Tonight, it was a lot, so I wrote a poem about it, and I really felt the need to share it for others in similar places:

I Carry It All

I carry it all;
Though it’s not mine to bear.
At least, not mine alone.
But, I carry it all.
Every story,
Every broken heart.
Every thread-bare home,
Every scarred body and soul.
I carry it all;
Though it’s not mine to bear.
At least, not mine alone.
It’s a passion in my heart;
A stirring in my spirit;
Divinely driven.
I carry it all;
Though it’s not mine to bear.
At least, not mine alone.
He is my Joy and Strength.
He is the reason I don’t buckle
under the weight.
Because, I carry it all.
It’s in my heart;
It’s in my mind.
The weight in heavy
on my Spirit.
I carry it all;
Though it’s not mine to bear.
At least, not mine alone.
This is my life;
The path I’ve chosen.
It makes my heart alive,
And breaks me all the same.
This will always be my call;
And, I carry it all;
Though it’s not mine to bear.
At least not mine alone.
So, I pass it on to Him,
Casting it all on His heart.
Because, I carry it all;
Though it’s not mine to bear.
At least, not mine alone.

©CandiceJenee2017

 

Find Rest My Soul

I didn’t realize until earlier this evening, but:
I’m tired.

Not just long day tired.

Exhausted of resources tired.

Emotionally. Spiritually. Physically.

Tired.

A year and five months ago, I packed up my car & moved my life 1300 miles away, in answer to God’s call – a move I knew from the start was temporary.

For the last few weeks, I’ve felt this desperate pull to rush it. Get out of here. On to the next thing.

Because I am tired.

I have not been faithful to myself & providing self-care.

In my chosen field, it’s no wonder my Clinical Supervisor emphasizes self-care as part of our evaluation of ability to do the job.

And, I’ve been neglecting the biggest area of self-care in my life.

My greatest source of self-care is my spirituality. I cannot let that go.

After all, my soul, the deepest parts of me, finds the greatest rest in God alone:

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from Him.”
-Psalm 62:5

I say kudos to anyone who can do this job without any kind of self-care routine.
Because, I absolutely cannot.
I will run out of life.
Run out of resources.

I get restless.
Get ahead of myself and my plan.
Get ahead of God’s plan.

I suffer in the areas where it matters most…this likely makes me less effective, less affective, with clients.

So, tonight, I put away the studying for the biggest test of my life in order to take a little time to re-focus & care for my soul.

If you have been neglecting self-care, or have no idea what works for you to recharge your soul & your life force, let me offer some of my favorite ideas below (you can also check out my self-care pinterest board):

  • Spiritual activities
  • Music
  • Painting/sketching
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Drinking Water
  • Chocolate
  • Walking
  • Cleaning/organizing
  • Therapy, when needed (yes, even mental health professionals need someone from time to time)

So, it’s time to take my soul seriously. Finding my center once again.

Resting in the arms of my Abba.

I’ll leave you with the song that always kick-starts the process:

Still – Hillsong Worship – their live video is here.


What are some ways you make sure to take care of yourself & your soul? Share below.

Choosing Hope

“You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.” – CS Lewis

There have been so many times in my life when things aren’t exactly as I’ve expected….and recently, I find myself in a whirlwind of times like that…

I feel like therapy sometimes lacks/neglects an integral piece – connection on an “I’ve been there” basis.

I love what I do (about 95% of the time) and most of that 5% of time is made up of paperwork no one told me I would have to do & I hate it…but a small portion of that 5% is that piece that I feel is missing:

Our professional decorum often prevents us from getting further down into the muck of people’s lives with them, giving them a glimpse into what we’ve struggled with.

I know my kiddos (the older ones, especially) have a hard time connecting with me at times, because all they see most days is the successful counselor who got a 3.8 GPA in high school, graduated, went to college & grad school, and has lived a great life. They see someone well put together & seemingly without struggle.

What I never get to show anyone – what regulation dictates I keep to myself is:

The success was born out of many sleepless nights, when I did homework, read, or watched TV only because I was not going to sleep anyway.
That many nights are still spent this way – how most of my creativity & studying comes about.
The amount of nights tears stained my journals, all with similar messages: God, why is this my life? Don’t you love me? Why am I so worthless and unlovable?
The work was all about being enough just in who I was, and I could never seem to get that.
The only reason there are no physical scars is because by the time I knew what self-harm was all about, I had one “acceptable” form, along with knowing how to do it without leaving any marks. So the scars only live in my soul.
The amount of days the only reason I made it out of bed was out of anxiety for what people would think if I didn’t…and some days even that wasn’t enough.
That I was so traumatized by my middle school experience I have since never set foot in the school building – and am not sure I ever really want to.
That I cried so many tears in my high school – their high school – and didn’t know if the future would be as bright as I always pretended it would be.
That the only reason I am where I am today is because I refused to quit fighting, even on my darkest days. I chose to believe in hope and then live each day as if that belief were true.
The bullies didn’t stop, the pressure didn’t loosen, and the pain was with me day in & day out, as I made the choice to do something different, hoping one day it just wouldn’t be there any more.
That faith was more of a fight most days than a given…and it is that precise faith & walk with Christ that is the only reason I am where I am today. He didn’t give up on me, even when I was ready to give up on myself (and on Him).

I mean, my clients & my kiddos know a little bit of my story, but professional guides would limit what they have access to; and in the therapy world, that makes sense.
So, I will stick with this, as this is the path I am currently on…

I just don’t know if this is the exact place God will always have me.
As a matter of fact, I know it’s not. I know His call for my life involves so much more.

But, right now, He is teaching me so much where I am. And, for that, I am thankful.

I am also praying for doors to open and opportunities to present themselves for me to walk in others’ mess & share the hope that I’ve always had, but sometimes had to consciously choose. I am praying that, even with the proverbial “hands tied,” I get to be hope in a hopeless world, as I am tapped into the ultimate source of hope.

I wish more of my clients would understand Lewis’ words, and that I would also embrace them…instead of feeling “stuck” in the choices I’ve made that got me here, I’d like to trust that after I’ve mastered this step, lived this dream, God has another one ready & waiting; and the same for those around me…