What I Know…….

In difficult times taking each breath is sometimes a hard thing to do.  Getting through the day and completing the tasks that have to be done can be very difficult.  Motivation is hard to find.  Faking the smile when inside you are crying sometimes takes all you have in you.  Confusion, fear, worry, anxiety, anger, sadness is all-consuming.  For many people, the holidays make the pain and difficulties of life exponentially worse because you want so badly to not feel the pain and worry and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year; yet the same routine and life circumstances haven’t changed and pressing on takes everything you have.  I know many people are suffering right now.  Questions you want answered that aren’t being answered or on the flip side (like with us right now), answers to questions you have prayed for are finally becoming clear; yet they aren’t the answers you were hoping for.  Maybe you have family struggles, problems with ex-spouses, difficulties at work, financial worries…..the list could go on and on.  I can’t help anyone much but this is what I do know:

  • God is good ALL the time.
  • When you don’t think you can take one more breath or one more step……you can and you will.
  • No matter what you are going through, it MATTERS!  Don’t ever allow anyone to make your problems or worries seem smaller or less than someone else’s.  YOU MATTER.
  • Validation emotionally and mentally are so very important.  You and your feelings matter and deserve to be validated, encouraged and supported.
  • When it seems no one else cares I know someone who does and He loves you more than anything…..He never sleeps and He is there anytime you need to call on Him……The Lord will never leave you nor forsake you so when everyone else does; He never will.  Call on Him.
  • Surround yourself with people who love you, support you and encourage you.  Sometimes keeping your circle small is best.  Find people you trust to share your life with.  You will find you cannot trust everyone…….
  • Don’t ever let anyone place blame on you from a spiritual standpoint.  Your sick child, your ailing parent, your cheating spouse…..whatever the case may be is NOT due to unconfessed sin in your life.  It rains on the just and the unjust.  The God I serve does NOT punish people like that due to sin in their life.  I serve a merciful, loving God.  Is there sin in this world?  Absolutely!  But, your sin is not the reason your child is sick or worse has died.  Life happens, things happen; but no amount of “sin” is the cause for the bad things that do happen in your life or the life of someone else.  JUST STOP IT!
  • You will be judged by others  (sad but true) and my response to that is……for every one finger they point at you there are 4 more pointing at them.  Let me leave this right here with Matthew 7:3-5:

    “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

  • Life is hard……there are good days and there are bad days.  There are days of joy and days of sorrow.  There are days where you feel positive and there are days where you feel negative.  It is okay to cry.  It is okay to be real with your struggles.  It is okay to bottle it all up inside.  It is okay to be silent.  Nobody has the right to judge you for the things that are hard in your life and the way in which you choose to cope with it.

Bottom line is this and I will leave y’all alone…….we all have difficulties and we all have different ways in which we handle those hard times in life.  Don’t ever let anyone put you down, make you feel worse than you already do, stomp on you or tell you that you don’t have the right to feel the way you do.  ONLY you know how you feel and nobody has the right to tell you otherwise.  If they try, do what I have done lately and walk away from those people……surround yourself with those who love you in the messiness of your life because trust me those are the friends who you want.  If they can handle the messiness, the sorrow and the pain they will be the ones to rejoice with you when that season is past.

Until next time………

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Tired Heart

 

A dear friend of mine tagged me in this above picture on Facebook.  WOW….6 words that say so much.  I have felt like this more than once the past 12 years and this journey with Hannah.  But something else hit me as I read that; my heart is indeed tired but my heart is full as well.

I have said many times that this journey is not for the faint of heart.  I have said that I never imagined when we decided to start a family that this would be our journey.  It hurts watching your child suffer; a pain that I can not put into words.  It hurts the deepest part of your heart and soul and there are days where you can barely breathe.  The tears, the disappointment, the sadness, the grief…..it builds and tears you apart and yes, makes your heart, soul, mind and spirit so tired.  But, then I look at Hannah……in my eyes I see the most beautiful and precious little girl to ever walk on this planet (keep in mind I am being biased as I know you all think the same of your child or children).  HA!  I see beauty from ashes.  I see joy from sorrow.  I see hope from disappointment.  I see peace from grief.  I see the most beautiful smile and hear the most amazing laugh from the sadness when I look at her.

My heart is very tired, but God takes that weary and worn heart and gives it rest and strength in my darkest and most difficult days.  Sometimes that rest and strength He sends in the form of another person; a friend who has walked a similar journey and is willing to comfort you in yours.  I am thankful for those times and those friends.  Yesterday in the hospital He sent me 2 friends.  One who just dropped in to bring me coffee and hug my neck and the other in the form of my friend Jeannie who has walked her own difficult journey with her sweet Dana who also has Down Syndrome and Autism.  I don’t know that Jeannie knew just how tired my heart was yesterday and how I was on the verge of tears when she walked in but I know God sent her and I am thankful she listened to His still small voice to leave her own family and responsibilities to come minister to me in a very dark and tired time.

Hannah and Jeannie

All of this to say…..God knows and cares when your heart is tired.   He will comfort you and bring rest to your tired heart in His time.  Yes, my heart is tired and has been for a very long time but my God knows, He cares and He comforts.  If your heart is tired today, rest in Him.  Find comfort in His word, His people and His promises.  He never leaves us and never forsakes us and no matter how dark the day may seem, how bleak the future might look, how hard it is to take one more breath……He is there to give rest to your weary and tired heart.

Until next time………

Wounded

Something really heavy on my heart lately and this morning old wounds resurfaced and I cannot get them out of my head.  There is actually so much swirling through my head that I can’t even begin to cover it all in a simple blog post, but I will try.

I don’t think any of us can honestly say that we have never been wounded at one point or another in our life.  Perhaps a family member or friend wounded your heart.  Perhaps a spouse (or ex-spouse).  Perhaps a job or the church is the cause of your wounds.  Whatever the case may be I believe at one time or another we have all had our hearts and souls wounded by someone or something and if you are fortunate enough to never have had this happen; I am sure one day you will.

Wounds have a way of scabbing over as time moves on but the funny thing about scabs is if you rip them off that wound can still be deep and can bleed.  I can recall several times in my life where I have been wounded by others words or actions.  I have been wounded by judgements of others especially who have no clue whatsoever what my life consists of.  I have been wounded by the church (ooh, shocker here…..I just admitted it).  But, it is true.  The thing about the church is this…..the church is made up of a bunch of people just like me…..all sinners.  Not everyone is going to get along.  Not everyone is going to like you, respect you, understand you and yes, many times in the church people sit there in judgement of you.

For the past 12 years I haven’t been in church much due to Hannah, her health and her issues; and the past 4 years due to her immune system, seizures and quite frankly the church I am a member of doesn’t have a place for her.  In the past 12 years I have been judged harshly…..even to the point where someone told me that my faith in God was weak because if I truly had faith I would be able to trust that He would keep Hannah well and that my only responsibility was to have her in God’s house every Sunday.  I called bull-crap on that and in all honesty that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me and organized religion.  You see, I don’t need to be in church to have fellowship with God.   I don’t need to go to church to be a “good” Christian.  I don’t need to be inside the churches 4 walls to still go to Heaven.  I need to be faithful to God in the circumstances in which He gave me.  Those circumstances consist of a child who is medically fragile and the worst thing in the world for her are germs, getting sick and taking forever to get well if she gets sick resulting in a PANDAS flare which is nothing but pure hell on earth for MONTHS when that happens.  So, my faith in God is not reflective of my attendance to a church building.  My faith in God is reflective of the way I care for and put my daughter’s needs FIRST, above my own.  He gave me a child with special needs and special health issues…..HE KNOWS MY HEART and no one should stand in judgment of that; yet, for the past 12 years so many have.

Now, with that said, I have a lot of supportive and caring people who would never judge me and I am so thankful for them; but those wounds from the ones who have judged me never completely heal (or at least haven’t to this point).  When those scabs are ripped off it exposes the raw, ugly, emotion that I try so hard to hide.

My point of this blog post is this……you don’t know what someone is going through.  You don’t know the mountain that God has asked that person to climb; sometimes climbing it all alone.  You don’t know the heartache that runs so deep yet that person manages to smile through the pain; yet barely able to take each breath.  You don’t know the hurt that others have caused, the way they might have been judged and that the only longing someone might have is to have someone come alongside of them and walk the journey with them.  You don’t know the wounds that people carry from their childhood, teen years, early adulthood that has caused them to be bitter and jaded; yet instead of loving them and showing them Christ,  you judge and reject them causing that pain to be unbearable.

We all live with pain in our life……some people skate through life pretty easy (or so it seems) while others have pain that you and I cannot begin to fathom.  I do know this……I know that I have experienced enough wounds and hurt in my life that I don’t want to be the person that causes someone more hurt.  I want to be the person to come alongside and love someone, encourage someone and support someone through their pain….through their wounds…..through their heartaches.

DON’T JUST GO TO CHURCH BE THE CHURCH TO SOMEONE……BE THE JESUS THAT SOME PEOPLE NEVER SEE!

Perhaps you read this and think “oh she is just bitter.”  A long time ago I was; but now I just want to make a difference.  I don’t want to do to others what was done to me.  I want to show people Jesus not church attendance.  Please don’t think I am bashing the church either, I am not.  I pray for the day where I can take Hannah to church.  I am not sure what church that will, but I will find one that has a place for her and is accepting of her and her needs.  I do know this……Hannah and I have church every day in our home.  I read her Bible story to her every morning and we pray together and get this…..there is no judgment; only love, devotion, sacrifice and contentment.  The Bible says…..”where two or more are gathered I am there with them…..”

I know a lot of people who have walked away from the church but even more who have walked away from God and that is the saddest part.  You want to make a difference?  Be the hands and feet of Jesus to someone.  Step outside the church and go find someone who needs “the church” brought to them.  Oh the ministry is there if you are just willing to look outside the churches 4 walls.

Until next time……..