Healing

In trying to get back into the swing of posting regularly, I’m participating in 5 Minute Fridayhosted by Kate Motaung.

The rules are: each week there will be a new word/theme, and bloggers write about it for five minutes; no over-thinking, no over-editing. Just writing.

This week’s word: Heal

Ready? GO

I don’t talk to a lot of people about this, but the first time I knew I was depressed and felt hopeless, like, really hopeless, I was in 6th grade.

At the ripe old age of 11, I was convinced of some pretty big lies about myself & the world:

I’m worthless
I have no purpose

I’m unwanted and unlovable
Nothing will get better
This world is a terrible place
God obviously doesn’t love me if this is the life I have,
and His people absolutely don’t care about me.

I was convinced to the point of wanting to die…at 11.

And, you know what? Things didn’t get better.

At least, not right away. As a matter of fact, after deciding I wanted to actually live, things got worse, much worse.

But, here’s the thing about healing:

Sometimes, it takes time. Often, it takes time. Rarely does it happen over night.

This blog began near the end of my 10 year battle with depression, and the demons battling my soul.

I felt as if I had no voice…I had been writing for years, but never shared. And, there was so much God constantly laid on my heart to share…

God never left my side, not once.
And, if He never does anything else for me, I owe Him my life, simply for creating me & giving me my life.

And, I know my healing journey isn’t completely over. But, what a beautiful journey it’s been…

STOP


I used to think my path was about being a voice for the voiceless but, I’ve discovered that no one is truly voiceless.

I believe the path God has before me is to be a voice for the temporarily voiceless, while helping them find their voice, tell their story. We each have a story, cloudy & messy as it may be. And, each of us has a beautiful, unique voice to contribute to the world.

It is my desire to help others discover and share theirs, while reminding them of the Beauty & Grace of the Author.

One of those precious souls, is a friend of mine from school. Not that she needed any help finding her voice, but she is now boldly sharing on her own blog, opening it up for discussion, out of her own place of exploration and healing. Go check her out and show her some love…

If you are where I was, I encourage you: reach out to someone. Reach out to me. Reach out to a trusted friend.

Pray. Pray for peace & healing.

Take care of yourself. You are precious.

Let that healing journey begin today; and know that I am praying for each person who reads these words.

Strong

Sometimes, I feel anything but…

On the days when I am so low (which has not occurred in quite a while) or so anxious I can barely get out of bed (this one is a little more prevalent).

In times of grief or confusion…

I feel anything but…

Yet, it is a word that describes me.

You see, there are many different meanings to the word strength:

The bond of a relationship: with history, intimacy, and common interests, relationships are strengthened. This strength keeps our relationships going, and gives us support in times of need.

The ability to get out of bed, despite great anxiety or depression. This is a strength many people don’t understand. Sometimes, anxiety and/or depression can make it nearly impossible to function, to face the world. So, to get up & go in spite of those feelings, takes an amount of strength many people will never need or know.

The ability to share the burden with a professional. It takes strength to admit you need help, that you cannot walk this path alone. It’s part of the beauty of being on the professional side: seeing people’s strength in this area.

The ability to learn from your mistakes/failures & move forward. We all make mistakes. It happens. But, it is our response to our mistakes & failures that shows where our strength is. If I don’t learn from my mistakes and make necessary adjustments to build a better life, I’m weak in this area. My prayer is that I would continue to grow here.

The ability to care for and maintain a healthy body. This does take strength. Our bodies don’t have to be perfect, but God designed them to run a certain way, and it takes a strong person to recognize that it needs to be cared for, and care for it. It’s easier to always be lazy, but our bodies are meant for much, much more. Sleep, water, fuel, movement: all designed for a balance by a wonderful Creator.

So, maybe I am strong…I build & work on strengthening important relationships in my life. Especially with my Abba God.

I have gotten out of bed more days than not, even when depression or anxiety rears it’s ugly head.

I have sought out help at my lowest moments.

I strive to learn from my mistakes and failures, building a life that reflects my values & ideals.

Many days, I try to keep my body healthy & in balance (though, often, I also struggle here)…

Over at Tuesdays @ 10they are writing about STRONG this week. And, I know each person will have a different take on the subject. And, I am sure I missed something. Share below what your take on strong is…

One final thought on Strong, I recently shared that the only way I am able to get up each day and do what I do is because: “The Joy of the Lord is my Strength” (Nehemiah 8:10)…This is my strongest truth, always.

 

 

 

Ready

This post will be a little different, but only a little… And, I’m writing it as part of this week’s Tuesday @ 10 (prompt:READY)…

 

In one month, I will be 28 years old.

28. I remember when that seemed so old. Now? Many days, it seems like I’m still a kid & haven’t gotten the hang of this whole “adulting” thing.

But, somedays, I feel like the opposite. Like, I should have all my stuff together now. Don’t most people by this age?

Single. Entry-ish level job. Looking into a PhD program to being in two years.
Not where I thought I’d be at this time – because by 30, I was gonna have it all together. 30, the magic age I was waiting for for life to be what I wanted.

I always knew my 20s would suck…but, the thing is, they haven’t. Even at these times when I realize I’m not where I wanted to be, it hasn’t been terrible.

April and May of this year, though? Yeah, they sucked. But they’re over now.

And, regardless of how things fall with my family, my life will move forward.  I realize that now.

And, I’m ready for it.

New position (sort of) at work; more steady. I’m going to be salaried for the first time in my life. Not the most money, but nothing to sneeze at. No more hourly, no more contract. Steady income – for now.

So, I’m getting ready for it.

I feel as if I have set up a good, solid foundation for my life. One I’ve worked really hard on.

But, buildings are not just their foundation. They are also their framing, their walls, their roofs. Rooms and doors; interiors and art. That’s what I’m ready for in my life.

This apartment, this job. These are parts of the frame. And, in the coming several months, I’m going to focus on building up the house of my life all around them:

  • Spiritual Life: I am in a place where my spiritual life could just stay still or surge forward; I choose the latter. No waiting for a guy to come along to lead; Christ can do that job better than anyone, and will continue to do so no matter who is in my life.
  • Professional Wardrobe: It’s time I allow myself more pieces that say casual and business adult, that I am comfortable in. That allow me to feel feminine, yet also uniquely me. 
  • Relationship: 5 years ago I made a resolution to go on a date…it took 3 years to make that happen. Now, I’m ready for something real & substantial. I’m ready to begin a relationship, preferably the lasting one. With a Godly man who is honest, forward, and passionately in love with Jesus. Not a man-child who only goes to church on Sunday, only to live out the rest of his life as if God is a vending machine in the sky. So, I am going to be praying and preparing myself, as well as putting myself out there. It’s time.
  • Organization: Organization is not always my strong-suit…As an INFP, I once heard that planners were designed by Js…needed by P’s but never used (or not consistently), not needed by J’s, who happen to be the one’s who use them the most. So, I’m putting mine to use. Setting some goals for summer & beyond. As well as some other resources I’ve bought myself to be an amazing traveling therapist.
  • School & Career: I am going to use this new opportunity to learn, to sharpen my abilities, to stop being so scared of being a professional woman, and to build my resume for the final step in my education journey. I’m going to take opportunities to grow in my field, to teach others, and to contribute to the knowledge and awareness. And, I will, one day, hold my PhD and be able to teach, research, and work with clients. The ultimate triple threat.
  • Writing: This goes along with the above. This is the time in my life where I get to decide how serious I am about my unrelenting passion of writing, how much I want it to be a part of my life, and how I can incorporate it to whatever dream life I create. It’s time to take it seriously, and I’m ready to do that, I believe.

You know, I don’t know where my life will be at 30…I’m not even sure exactly what my life will look like at the end of summer…but I am ready to see where God leads me.

I know He has exciting things in store!

And, I’m ready.

 

 

Struggle of Proverbs 31

I’m a pinner… Sometimes, it can be a problem.

During a recent pinning session, I came across a pin that outlines the “10 virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman” and the second virtue:

“Marriage”

Now, yes, in proverbs 31, she is married;
but my heart grew angry.
         So, marriage is my only option to be virtuous? No, it’s not!

I’ve written on the Proverbs 31 Woman before. I’ve also written in the context of waiting for that partner, becoming that woman in the waiting.

Yet, this is the idea: in order to be a good Christian woman, we have to be married. We each have that pressure around us at all times.

I have two sisters younger than me, and both seem closer to the alter than I am (& one of them is still in high school)…

So, now, we single women (especially as we get older), are left to feel convicted.
I’m somehow not living up to potential, because there hasn’t been anyone in my life who can be that Godly leader in my life & home, who have been ready for a relationship or commitment.

Does that really mean I can’t be the virtuous woman?
Absolutely not…

As a matter of fact, it conflicts with what Paul says about the gift of a life of singleness:

“Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” – 1 Corinthians 7:8-9

So, as a single woman, striving to live out God’s plan, what do I do?
Which verse do I follow?
Do I patiently remain single; or seek to marry, so that I can be virtuous?

Yes. Both.

I get to decide to serve God where I am, with what I have.

And, I pray.
I pray for myself in the waiting. And, I pray for whoever God may bring into my life.
I pray for wisdom & strength in the temptation about my passions & desires. And, I pray that I would be of use in the time of waiting.

In the waiting, I become that virtuous woman. (Which, by the way, means “force” “valiant” & “valor”). I can bring good to those I love and those who love me. I develop my work ethic & my service for the Kingdom. I can strengthen myself, and in Christ be bold & powerful.

In Christ, my character develops, and from there my beauty comes through.

And, in this way, I bring good to my husband, even before I meet him.

Thus, I am that virtuous woman…
Even if I am single for another 5 years…
Even if this man comes into my life near the end…
Even if God never brings a husband into my life…
Even if I am called to a life of single service…

So, lets stop shaming the single woman, making her feel as if she must have a man to serve God; instead teaching and encouraging one another to be that virtuous woman even before he comes along. (How much better would that make our marriage when/if God does bless us that way?)

So, my friends, single or married: Go forth & Be a virtuous force!


With this week’s Five Minute Friday

Surrounded by Perspective

What is it?
Success? Beauty? Happiness?

Where is it found?
On the outside? On our skin?
Is it pigmentless melanin?
A pair of baby-blues; or
Emerald greens?
Money and power?
A ladder to climb to a 
Glass Ceiling?
Perfect, smiling families?
Suburban, picket fences?
I don’t think it’s there.
On the outside.
I believe I’ve found it- 
Within.
Success. Beauty.
Happiness.
Deep within my 
Soul.

Success, beauty, happiness.

These are interesting concepts to me; concepts we strive for.

Recently, I haven’t written as much…already in February, and I have just barely been holding on to the two most important challenges that I set for myself in January.

I have been feeling discouraged; and, I’ll admit, finding myself back in a place of intense anxiety and growing depression.

Questions looming; why did I move here? Was this all a mistake?

But, by surrounding myself with God’s people. Being in His presence, my perspective has shifted.

I know there is more inside of me…and each discouraging moment is offset by the reminder that I am in this for His Glory, not my own.

Surrounding myself with this new perspective changes everything.

Am I 100% happy all the time? No, but I know my happiness is situational, while my Joy is from the Lord, and He sustains it.

Am I comfortable in my skin 100% of the time? No, but I know that I have been knit together by the Creator of the universe, and simply for that, I am a beautiful creature. And, I’m finally at a place in my life where I’m not awkward about my body, because it is a beautiful, working body that gets me going each day.

Am I exactly where I think I need to be in my career? I’m getting there. This is just the beginning, and each day God blesses me by using me. Allowing me to plant seeds of hope, even when my clients don’t see it or realize yet where they are coming from.

Each day, I surround myself with the things of God – more and more. His Word. Time with Him. His people.

My perspective switches to a Kingdom perspective; and Success, beauty, and happiness are all found there.

How does what you surround yourself with change your perspective?

 


Linking up this week for Tuesdays @ 10. The topic this week is SurroundHead over to Finding the Grace Within to join the fun!