Hello, This is Me

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Hello
this is me
today i am
tired
a tired that is in my bones
and my soul
a tired
that
makes it hard to smile
hard to walk
to think
to write
to read
to want.

Hello
this is me
I love God
I love Jesus
but I am tired
I have no desire for life
not to say I will stop it
just to say
that I do not want to do
anything
not because i am lazy
not because i do not care
but that i am tired.

My chest is heavy
as if my heart were stone
I feel far from light
even as I sit in the sun
far from people
even as I force myself to be out
to shop
and to do.
I feel alone
but know that I am not.

I know that my Lord
Creator and Lover of my soul
is here
with me
right now.
Loving me.
And I bask in that.
I tip my heart to Him
and let Him love me
as I am
tired and heavy.

I have hope that this will pass.
These feelings are not me
but they are a facet
just as a diamond has many facets
so does this person
and I am His
His jewel.

So I do my best today
do my best
to live
constantly talking to my Lord
because He gets me
He knows me
He loves me
and He doesn’t judge me.
He is my biggest fan,
doting Father
valiant warrior
loving protector
keeping the lies at bay.

hello
this is me
and I am His
not matter what.

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Sunday, Hulk Smash!

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There is nothing like a Sunday morning
for the Christian family.
Bible Study nights may come to a close second.
It is when legends of werewolves come to a reality.
When man or woman suddenly turns to beast.
No doubt there is a spiritual war going on.
Invisible to us, light and dark always fighting.
One to protect.
The other to destroy.
Add our own weaknesses to the mix
and we may be in for a dynamite morning
of hulk vs werewolf.
Add anxiety to the mix and nasty fireworks come flaming down
stinging everyone in the process.

This morning was such a morning.
The promise of a wonderful meal after church
will encourage attendance and a joy of upcoming fellowship for many
but for the person with anxiety
it becomes a cloud of doom and gloom hanging over every thought
that is linked to church for the entire week prior.
Meeting with people equals talking with people.
These are wonderful people.
Wonderful people I am admiring more every week.
People I want to know.
I want to know their stories,
their heart’s passions and their struggles.
And yet I am isolated by distance
and by anxiety.
As much as I want to know them,
as much as I want to be free of these chains
like in the songs we sing,
here they are…
linking my mind
tugging me back
binding me
tightening around my every thought.

So when my dear son comes to me with a question
of wanting his allowance I supposedly owe him,
I blow up.
I accuse him of being greedy.
After all it is Sunday,
what would he want to do with his money on a Sunday?
I do calm down
and tell him that I too struggle with such greed.
I tell him I see that he can be very generous
but he often wants more and more for himself as well.
I tell him that he may think we have tons of money
but in fact we do not.
I tell him many more things I do not remember,
gentling my voice
but feeling the anger build inside of me.

I finally walk away
grabbing my bible
which feels heavy and condemning in my hands
and stuff it in my bag.
I look at the clock and see that it is past the time we need to leave.
We will be late.
Again.
Even though we were up early.
Even though everything was ready.

I snap again.
Huffing and puffing.
Knocking things over,
slamming things down,
stomping my way through the house.
Tears blinding me.
Rage building inside me.
I stomp out to the van.
Slam the door.
and sit quietly
clenching teeth and fists.
I turn on the audio book we are listening to
just so no one will be tempted to speak.

My husband pulls out of the driveway
and I am seriously considering jumping out
and running back home.
I take out my van journal
and write to Jesus.
I write his name over and over again.
Seeking calmness.
I write and I pray.
I realize I blew up not because of my son
but again
because of this blasted anxiety.
The fear and tension I hold in every week.
Every social situation.
I was a smoldering wick alright!
And anxiety was gasoline.
All these raw emotions crackling through me
finally found vent and exploded.
Not for the first time.
Probably not the last.
But hopefully they will get fewer.

Because I am still fighting.
I want to be like Jacob
and grapple with God until I am blessed by him.
Because I am tired of this being my story.
I am tired of anxiety being my chains.

Jesus knows this is a fight for us.
It can be messy and painful.
Invisible to others but real to us.
A fight against brain chemicals,
habits, sin, past hurts,
and invisible demons.
A fight NOT to give in to anxiety.
A fight to say yes to God
and no to fear.
A fight to say NO to me
and yes to Him.
A fight to hear His voice
and know when to rest.
I want his peace.
He says it is here for me.
But I am struggling to understand it,
struggling to claim it,
struggling to live it.
But I can’t give up.
So I am hanging on to God.
Hanging onto Jesus.

As for my son…
when we got to the church parking lot.
I knew what I had to do.
I asked my family, especially my son,
to forgive my outburst.
I admitted something underneath my emotions
caused my outburst.
He quickly forgave me with a dimpled grin.
And as he walked me to the church door
he said “I wanted my allowance so I could give it to the church.”

Way to go Hulk Mama Werewolf.
Way to go.

Maybe next time,
I will bring it all to Jesus before turning green and seeing red.

 

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Defined

Anxiety and Depression
oh words that I hate
I do not want them to define me
And yet
they define so many of my actions
so many of my chains
my lack of action.

I want to help and be of use
I want to be free to understand
and use my gifts
when there is a need
I want to fill it
when my heart, mind and soul are feeling light
I am ready to shout YES to any request
[except cooking…]
But there are mornings, days or nights
hours, days, weeks or months
when the light goes out.
I am a wick flickering
a reed bending in the wind.

My head becomes full and heavy
my heart a stone in my chest
my soul dry.
I lay my head upon the Bible
I lay my head on the Word of God
and I rest in His lap.
He strokes my hair
and loves me.
He doesn’t forsake me.
He whispers truth into my ear.

I will not leave you.
You just have to wait.
You don’t even have to stand,
just stay here.
Wait in me.
Trust in me.
Rest in me.
I will give you strength again.
But it is ok right now
to be small.
Remember all I ask of you is that you believe
in the One I have sent.
And you are believing
and loving
when you lay your head right here.

The darkness comes
and words
even from the Bible
become like little daggers to my heart
showing me what I am not.
The wind howls and my light flickers
I am breaking
I can not stand
I can not see
I can not hear
truth or light.
Just dark and condemnation.
I assume everyone thinks the worst.

Oh but then comes that relief
sweet relief when
I once again see that I am not alone
but am at His feet
my head on His word,
His hand on my head.
His words covering me
protecting me
loving me.

I have not left.
I am right here.
Do not fret.
My will shall still be done
through you
because of Me,
just believe,
just love
just stay here.
With Me.

Oh Jesus,
My Jesus,
Oh God
My God,
In You is only where
I ever want to be.
In You
I am defined.

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Fallible

I do not know where that line is
between self sacrifice
and self preservation.
When to say yes
and when to say no.
Is NO a selfish word?
Is YES a selfless word?
We are urged from the word of God
to pour out our lives for others.
To give generously, from the heart.
To love through action,
thus showing our faith
as well as showing the love that God has for others.

So when opportunities arise as they always do
in churches, big or small,
but anxiety is a factor
what is one to do?

In the past I have been part of Sunday schools,
vacation bible schools, bible studies and more
but often in a quiet agony
only those closest to me ever see.
Sometimes I feel the spirit of God in me
nudge me to do something
and even though I fear it
I am able to do it
while trembling, while shaking,
while doubting myself,
and yet there is a peace and steadfast
at odds against my mind and body’s anxious reaction,
so I go and I do it.

Then there are the times
which are more frequent
when a need arises
such as doing sunday school in the summer
to give our wonderful, dedicated full time volunteers
a much needed break.
So I sign up.
Three times.
Do I want to do it?

No.
I have no desire to do it.
Either than to do my part and serve.
There is also the fact that at least half of the class
are my own children.
So I figure I owe those who have been loving my kids,
and serving with their whole hearts and mind, a break.

Unfortunately,
even adding one or two children who are not mine
has my anxiety spiking.
I know logically there is no reason for this response.
These kids are great kids.
And yet deep down I am somehow terrified of them.
I do not understand it.

I am able to write a sunday school plan.
Actually enjoy it.
But thinking about doing this little hour of service
throughout the whole week
has an undercurrent of anxiety running through me 24 hours a day,
7 days a week.
Just picture having yourself hooked up to a machine
and being slightly shocked every time you have a slightly stressful thought
or are in a stressful moment, or when you sit or rise,
walk, or plan.
It is always there,
connected to you,
sending waves of electric current through your body.

It is draining.
Leaving me not only tired
but flayed.
Eventually there comes a point
when I am unable to cope with the normal
stress level life brings.
You know…happy kids, grumpy kids, appointments, messes, etc etc…
Noise, life.
It all becomes too much strain and pressure.

All because I said yes.

Jesus says that those who want to save their life
will lose it and those who lose their life for Him will save it,
in Matthew 16:25.
Is this literal,
or does it translate into service?
If I try to protect my mind from this extreme stress
am I dishonoring Him?

I ask this with sincerity,
quite often.
And even now I am hearing a resounding NO in my heart and mind.

No I AM NOT!
I am not dishonoring Him by being fallible.
Being Weak.
Broken.
I am clinging to Him in the midst of it.
Loving Him.
Cherishing Him.

The enemy of our souls
uses scripture as a sword against us at times,
just as he tried with our Lord.
But we have to know the fullness of scripture.
We need to know the full love that God has.
His full love.
His full mercy.
His full grace.

And this is what He says:

He will not leave us
or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6)

He desires us to say yes out of a fullness in our hearts (2 Corinthians 9:7 & Matthew 5:37)

His mercies are new every day (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Righteousness is not gained by doing things
but only by the grace of God (Galatians 2:21)
He is not waiting to crush us in our weakness
or put out our light when we screw up(Isaiah 42:3)

He desires us to put our hope in Him, no matter the situation (Psalm 33 only one of many scriptures)

It is through these weaknesses and brokenness that his grace is felt and seen,
His power able to work and be known (2 Corinthians 12:9)
So person writing this!!
Pay attention! Sit up!
Listen to this!
Get it into your head!
You are not letting God down.
He made you.
And He knew what you would struggle with.
When He calls you to something
He sees you through it.
And if you ignore Him anyway,
guess what?
He still loves you!!
AND your action did not take him by surprise.
So you can say NO
as you learn to say YES to HIM.
Because He knows the plans He has for you
plans to prosper you and not to harm you
plans to give you a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Trust in His voice.
Trust in His plan.
Let go of the pressures and the fears of letting others down.
And let God speak to you,
let your yes
be from the fullness of your heart, mind and soul
instead of the fumes of exhausted obligation.

Yes..even as I write this I hear that little voice of dark and doom
mocking me and saying “really….is that really how it works? you are kidding yourself,
you are just living in a self absorbed culture and are giving yourself permission to be selfish.”

Sigh…

Go suck a lemon Satan!

Jesus, help me to stand on YOUR word and truth. Help me to stand firm and allow your love
to fall over me,
You do not condemn
or demand.
Give light to my eyes Lord
and help me see your way each day, each decision.
May it be. Amen. Amen.

Jesus, I fear at times writing these things, that people may see that I am accepting my brokenness without fighting. I guess maybe it is satan’s voice as well that gets in there and says that I like being broken. It allows me to say no. Please do Your work in my heart and mind Lord. I do desire to be free from anxiety but I honestly can not imagine it. I can not comprehend what it is like for others to just see what needs to be done and do it without the mental torture of anxiety. Lord…you give to us each many gifts, talents and even struggles all go through your hands. Help me to let go of the imaginary expectations that threaten to crush my mind and soul. Help me to step forward under you each day, for your burden is light.

Fierce Faith

Last night the darkness came
cloaking me with its heavy burden
of stress and an anxiety so deep
that my soul felt trapped and chained

When I lay down in the night
the heaviness squeezed my heart
hope bleeding out
my cry to Jesus was to be covered

Jesus cover me
I prayed
cover me
and give light to my eyes.

After a restless night
I woke with the same heaviness
everything feeling like too much.
Church. Children. The List.

It is not sadness that presses in
it is a thick darkness
that can not see light
that can not feel joy

So I stepped into the sunshine
sat on my porch in the morning light
with my phone and Daily Bread App open
to at least try to taste hope again

I read and I prayed, closing my eyes
and lifting my head into the warmth of the sun
“Lord give light to my eyes.
Change my perspective.”

Back inside the house
I had things to do to get ready
wake the children
get breakfast

My limbs were heavy and slow
my heart tight in my chest
“Lord give light to my eyes.
Lift this heaviness.”

Gradually as I stepped through the morning
something began to happen.
Light began to filter in.
An actual physical feeling.

My mind felt lighter.
My body more energetic.
My anxiety still there
but manageable.

As the heaviness gave way to a lightness
hope began to trickle back into my heart
joy and peace
making my step buoyant.

There was still fear
still anxiety
But I was not alone.
Jesus was with me.

And just like that
my night became day.
As He worked inside me
tweaking my focus.

God work.
Heaven Stuff.
The Miraculous work of the Spirit.
Because we are not alone.

I know that night will come
again and again.
The oppression will strike.
Stress and anxiety will feel like too much.

Some times it lasts a long long time.
But though I feel no hope.
Feel no joy. Feel no light.
I wait upon Him. Fiercely.

And again,
that is faith.
To wait upon Him.
To cling and trust
despite it all.

July 8 2018

 

Flesh, Bones and Little Children

I knew or rather hoped it was coming,
that time when my 8 year olds would look at me
and ask
What happens to our bodies when we die?
Does the skin fall off?
Does it turn into dust?
Important questions most of us would rather never think about
especially considering the heartbreak around it all.
But children,
sweet children,
are not afraid to ask.
They need to ask.
They need to know.
Especially when they have lost someone dear to them.
When they have seen the body of a beloved person
so still,
when they have seen the casket closed
and the sprinkled cross of sand laid on top.
They need to know.
It has been months now,
but I have wondered
and waited,
hoping for their questions.
For it is better to question
than to stuff all of those thoughts down,
to put a lid over it
and not allow them out into the light.
But these children,
though only in this world 8 years,
they know the light.
They are closer to the light than many of us.
Because they know the light,
they ask the questions.
They trust the light
even in the darkness.
Even in my practical answers of what happens
when our bodies die.
I tell them as honestly but also as simply as I can.
And I remind them of Jesus’ words
that a single kernel of wheat must die
and go into the ground in order to produce many seeds.
I remind them of Jesus’ death,
but how He defeated it
and rose
flesh healed and new.
How before this
he had called to life
a friend, Lazarus, whose flesh had
began its decomposing.
But he was called to life
and made new.
Like us.
Like He calls us to be made new on the inside now
and promises us a new outside later
when He calls us Home.
And one of my sons say
“Sometimes I just want to die young
so I can be in heaven sooner.”
My heart breaks inside me
but there is a sweetness to it.
The thought of losing any of my children
is unbearable.
But the thought of knowing what awaits them
is amazing.
My heart also breaks
because I realize yet again,
through my children,
how much closer the least of these
is to God Almighty.
How their belief,
somewhat untried,
is so beautiful,
how heaven is so close and wonderful to them.
My heart breaks to think
of them growing up
and letting the cares of the world
and the thoughts of the times
tangle and choke out this
wonderful faith.
This longing for heaven.
But I need not worry
only pray.
He will guide them.
He will strengthen them
and sharpen their blades
so they can cut down such weeds
and cut through such thorns.
He will have to
because I can not reach in where only
the Creator can go.
I can not restore flesh and bones to life.
But He can.
He does.
And He will.
He is faithful.
And He calls us all to be like my sons,
like these little children.

May it be so Lord.
May it be so.

Beauty All Around

Beauty is around
Give me eyes to see
a heart to give thanks
a mind to remember
lift my soul in praise and awe

Drops of rain
sliding down long pine needles
hanging tenderly
an ornament from God

A butterfly
on the sand
taking flight
seeking the next
sweet flower

Shards of light
splitting between the trees
as the Sun casts its web
down to reach the earth
It shimmers and shines
and allows the earth to flourish

A moment’s step away from the traffic
beneath the green canopy
there is an orchestra
free for all to hear
these feathered musicians have been singing
since day 5 of creation

Cool breeze kissing the skin
giving a reprieve in the heat
encouraging
urging us on
moving us forward
lending us air

Raindrops
Butterflies
Sunlight
Birdsong
Wind
Minuscule drops of colour
song and sound
that tells a story of something much greater.

There indeed is beauty all around.
It all cries out in a song for its Maker.

 

 

Knowing Peace a Piece at a Time

There is a sign outside our church lately
that says No God No Peace Know God Know Peace.
It seems to mock me as we drive past it
and park beside the building
where we will go to worship God.

Worship God.
Give thanks in song and prayer.
Give him our silent or loud thoughts or pleas.
We will sit and listen to a teaching from the Bible.
A word to guide us, encourage us, challenge us
or whatever it is we may need to hear and learn.
We will then meet with others,
greet, hug, talk,
perhaps encourage or uplift one another
in a few short moments
before parting ways until the next time we meet.

It sounds peace filled.
It sounds idyllic.
But we know it is not.
It is not because the church body
is just that….
a body,
not a building.
A group of people who though know and love Christ
or perhaps are still seeking Him,
are still imperfect.

In my broken mind
the word of God can easily become a lash to my conscience.
Just like Satan tried to trick Jesus into doing his will
by using scriptures (Matthew 4:1-11 for example)
The word can become something twisted
that will dig into my flesh and draw blood.
The book of James is perhaps the most difficult for me to read.
Faith without deeds is dead.
I analyze my deeds.
I see my lack of faith.
I see my lack of good.
I see my lack of love.
Sometimes the word hurts.
But that is ok…
as long as we let the Holy Spirit do the cutting
and not allow ourselves or the enemy to do it.

The Holy Spirit nudges me as the pastor teaches from the book of James
and says “be gentler with the neighbours who annoy you.”
Come to me with your worries before blowing up at your husband.”
But the enemy of my soul
is quick with his many darts
“You are unable to love your neighbours.
You are a burden on your husband.
You are not doing enough.
You are not changing for the better.”

By the end of the message I am feeling raw.
Cut open and ready to be destroyed.
My smile is wobbly but pasted on
as I just want to leave.
But then I am greeted by the lady sitting next to me,
and then another
and then another.
And Christ in them
is loving me
even though they have no idea what I am going through in my mind.
Even though I still feel like fleeing.
Their love is building something inside me
a little bit at a time.
Atleast…
I hope it is.

But I still need to pause and ask God for His truth to work in me.
I still need to understand the difference between His guidance
and satan’s condemnation.

The truth is..
I am lacking.
I do not want to be this anxious person who is afraid,
afraid to serve, afraid to volunteer,
afraid and unsure of how to talk to neighbours and peers.
The truth is..
I am lacking in the deed department.
But Jesus says in the quiet,

“Yes,
you are lacking.
Yes,
you are imperfect.
Yes,
you need to grow in love.
But that is ok.
That is why I am here.
There is no condemnation in me.
Just keep listening.
Listen to the teaching.
Read my words.
Listen for my voice.
I will guide you.
I love you.
I love you as you are.
I love you as you were.
I love you as you grow.
I love you as you struggle.
I
love
you.
Period.
When you look at your children
and are bursting with love for them
even when they throw a temper tantrum,
even when they hurt someone,
even when they are hard to love,
I love you with a love greater than even that.
I
love
you.

My love has made you perfect.
That doesn’t mean give up,
That doesn’t mean that nothing you do matters.
That means
keep going,
keep going in my love.
God sees me in you.
God sees you clinging
and trusting
and doing,
even when you see nothing,
He sees faith.

So keep going.
A smoldering wick he will not snuff out
a bruised reed he will not break.
We are in this together
but I am your cover,
your hiding place,
your protector.”

I know…
that is a lot of words
springing up from the depth
of my heart, mind and soul.
But that is where He is,
He is alive,
in me.
His word gives life.
His word gives peace.
But I need to listen.

I pray that those of us struggling right now
in this moment of anxiety will indeed find rest
in Jesus’ love.
Right now in this minute.
Find peace in His steadfast,
never ending devotion and love for us.
Find rest because
resting is trusting.
Trusting is doing.
And He is never done with us.
We are his masterpiece,
still being put together.
And it is beautiful.
We are beautiful,
because we are His.

 

 

Kicking and Screaming

Somewhere along the way
I really started to believe that I am not like-able,
that I am
boring
ugly
grumpy
everything the opposite of fun.
When I meet people I assume
I will not be liked.
I am beginning to wonder if I am projecting that
and indeed am creating a force field that prevents me from connecting with others.
The harsh truth hit me this morning
when once again I was at the bus stop
feeling awkward around the other moms.
Wanting to converse with someone
but not knowing how to start a conversation
or how to ‘butt in’ on one.
One of the ladies asked a question
and I answered.
She almost looked shocked that I spoke.
She replied but then made sure to stay back away from me
instead of coming along side me,
she chose the more bubbly Mom to walk home with.
So I once again started my walk back home,
alone.
I have talked to these ladies before.
Some times on my lighter days
when my brain chemicals are aligned right
and my spirit at peace.
But so many days I feel like a shell
and act like one,
keeping to myself.
I don’t mean to, but struggle to know how to converse
or more likely
struggle to speak past the darkness and weight pressing on my whole being.
So I reckon it is my fault that I often walk alone.
But what drains me is the anxiety I feel for every social situation.
Church is at the top of the list.
Bus stops are a second.
Then there are phone calls, school volunteer days, and rare get togethers with other human beings I consider family and friends but am still somehow afraid of.
I seriously struggle to believe people like being with me.
Some of my closest friends I still hold at arms length.
If they wanted to go out for a day
I would have inward panic attacks until that day came and went.
I do despise this.
And I feel a load of shame that yes,
I am terrified of being judged.
I know how capable I am of judging others.
In fact I am judging others by assuming they are judging me.
It is a vicious, sadly comical, cycle.
One I have been stuck in for years and still am not free of.
I want to change.
I am praying for change.
I am fighting change.
As I feel God lead me into situations
I am inwardly fighting him,
scratching at him,
yelling at him,
mentally swearing at him!
Some nights I wake up in a panic.
I am so afraid of letting people down.
I am so afraid of not being liked.
I am so afraid of living a selfish life.
Even so
I fight an internal battle until I remember what God wants.
He wants me to be free.
Free from these fears.
He wants me to live.
He wants me to love.
And to love deeply.
When my father in law recently went to heaven
my regret is the fears that kept me so awkward around this wonderful man.
And I felt God whisper to me to Love Deeply.
Oh Jesus, help me.
I want to learn to love deeply.
But I am fighting it.
It is easier to stay home and do my chores.
Write my journals.
Love my husband and my kids.
But inside I am lonely.
I am missing out on so much life.
And so much love.
Take me Jesus,
kicking and screaming inwardly,
into the abundant life of love
you desire for me.

 

Broken Brain

What to do with a broken brain?

Whether it is something broken in my brain
or something twisted and changed from
feeling hate from my peers
for so many early years,
I live with this thing called anxiety.
A psychologist once asked me what I am afraid of
and what stresses me out.
Money issues? Sickness? Abuse?
While I do have times of stress concerning money and times
of fear concerning sickness, generally these do not give me great agony.
Was I abused?
I would say no.
I was often afraid to speak my thoughts in fear of my older brother’s
scornful and hard words (sorry bro….)
And my peers were no different.
Not all of them, but I guess it is in our nature to remember the worst offenses
and I do think it all played a part in the wiring of my brain.

So here I am, in my 30s and I am still a teenager inside in so many ways.
I have four children of my own, one on the cusp of being a teenager herself.
This past week I have been challenged and anxiety ridden.
Yes we have our money issues, yes we have been dealing with sickness and loss in our circle of family and friends, but what is it that has me curling up at night in the dark and not wanting to wake up in the morning?
Not wanting to face another day?

It is not just busy-ness.
I am a stay at home Mom.
I plan meals, shop and clean,
I keep in contact with long distant family and friends,
and try to write once in a while.
That all in itself can occupy my time a hundred percent of the time.

Those things I can handle.
I get lonely yes, but I can do them, sometimes even with good cheer!

What brings me to my knees,
what tightens my chest are the simple things I see Other People
do all the time seemingly without second thought.
Going to church.
Taking my child to the dentist.
Bringing my child to a track meet.
Volunteering for a school field trip.
Any of of these has my heart feeling tight,
pressure crushing my chest
and my mind a whirl of how I am not equipped to do any of this.

It is now near the end of the week and
I have done all of these things.
I can rest for a little while.
I can do normal things like grocery shopping.

But the weekend is coming and we are having a small family gathering.
Church is happening again on Sunday.
And there are a few more things coming up in the week ahead.
I want to be unaffected by these things that make up life.
But I am not.

I have started a prayer journal.
I often journal. But this one is different.
This is where I come to dump my anxiety
and beg God to give me peace and strength to live, really live, each day.

I can not imagine what it is like not to have this vise-grip of fear on my heart.

I am praying and I am waiting.

Unfortunately He is probably answering by giving me these challenges.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says to be thankful in all circumstances for this is the will of God for me in Christ Jesus.

It does not say to be thankful for the challenges but no matter what, God would like us to be thankful in everything.

He would like me to learn to be thankful in my anxiety,
to trust him and seek him and rely on him and find thanksgiving.

His will for me is to be joyful in all of my circumstances so that I can learn to live and love deeply.

This is God’s will for me in Christ Jesus.

There is always reason to rejoice because of Jesus.

Because I belong to him.

Brokenness or no.

My Prayer Cry:
Jesus, I have not been responding well at all to the stresses of life and in my brokenness. The learning hurts. And honestly sometimes I don’t want to hear your voice because it challenges me. I want to turn the lights off and crawl in bed under the covers and sleep. But trying to ignore you only brings me emptiness and that is not what I want or what you want. I am stubborn Lord. I cry for help but also want to shove the Helper away. Don’t give up on me Lord. Keep on shaping me.

Not Allowed to Quit

Sometimes I don’t think I am made to live in this world

Not when a short trip to a hospital for a simple test
feels like a mountain I have to hike
with no survival gear

Not when simply calling the dentist to make an appointment
becomes a month long game of procrastination
as some unknown force weighs on me every time I think of picking up the phone

Not when going to the bus stop every morning
and seeing other Moms
is one of my loneliest times of the day
as I struggle to know what to say

Not when so many dark fears weigh on me at night
or horrible pictures run through my head
of what could go wrong in life
to me, to my husband, to my children

So I say out loud
Get behind me satan.
Help me Jesus.

I lack conviction
and feel stupid
but tears come
and peace floods those inner places of turmoil

And I am reminded,
No I am not made for this place
at least not as it is
None of us are

We are made for something so much more
more beautiful
more lovely
more true
more wonderful
than anything we can really imagine here

But that doesn’t give me permission
to give up.
Because here
in this broken world
in our broken bodies and minds,
here
is where we are.
Separated from God
from Beautiful Eden
because of our nature to go our own way
and do our own thing,
we are not left alone.

But here
is where
we meet the Saviour
Here in the mess
the brokenness
is where I meet with Jesus
and where He meets with me.

Here in the storms
in the darkness
is where he brings His peace
His calm
His love
and I hold onto Him
Because though I may not think I am made for this
for this time and place and brokenness
He says otherwise
as He has created me
for such a time as this
when His eyes saw my unformed body
and all the days ordained for me were written in His book
He promises His plans will be fulfilled
“For we are God’s workmanship,
Created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
(Ephesians 2:10)

So I am not allowed to give up,
I just need to keep asking Jesus for help,
keep looking at the light in my darkness.