In A Funk, Best Friend Ever and God’s Grace

“You are my best friend, best friend ever mommy.”

Words I never thought I would hear……about 6 weeks ago Hannah went from being a daddy’s girl to a mama’s girl.  I don’t know why the change happened or what prompted it but it happened and she has ONLY WANTED ME.  Huge change from the past 12 years.  Hannah has always been a daddy’s girl and now all of a sudden she is clinging to me for dear life.

I will be honest, at first it made me super happy, then I started feeling the stress from it.  The “I can’t leave her ever” feeling.  Her anxiety goes through the roof if I need to run a few errands or leave her for just a short time.  The potty times, the bathing, the bedtime routine….all things Dennis and I used to share, now she only wants me.  I know, so many people would say…..”who cares what she wants” but in our household due to PANDAS, her anxiety, OCD and other issues it is best not to “poke the bear” or “rock the boat.”  Judge me if you wish, I truly don’t care…..in our home…..if Hannah ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

This all leads me to this though…..I have been (kinda still am) in a funk.  I couldn’t pinpoint exactly why or what but I just know that I have those sad/depressed feelings again.  The realization hit me today that I am just worn slap out.  The constant needs of Hannah, the need to take care of my home (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc), not going to bed when I should because I TRULY HAVE TO HAVE my alone time or I will go crazy!  All of it…..I am just exhausted.  Dennis has had a lot on his plate with work and helping to care for his parents and he went on a week-long hunting trip (which he really wanted to do and it was so needed) so pretty much everything around the house including Hannah has been all on me.  Exhausted.  Weary.  Sad

But, then today, it hit me……THANK YOU LORD that Hannah only wants me.  THANK YOU LORD that she isn’t raging, crying, aggressive or depressed.  THANK YOU LORD that because Dennis is so busy with everything else that she wants ME!  THANK YOU LORD Hannah calls me her best friend ever and loves me right now.  THANK YOU LORD that I get hugs, kisses and kind words all day long.  THANK YOU LORD for your loving grace and mercy.

Yes, my funk has to do with “poor me” when I need to be looking at the BIGGER picture and being thankful instead.  Thankful that Hannah wants me right now and not Dennis because frankly, she would be out of luck to have him right now.  Thankful that I am capable and healthy.  Thankful for these moments of peace.  Thankful for HIS provision.  Thankful for the ability to just be present.  Thankful for the here and now.  Thankful for this season because let’s face it the past 4 years of “seasons” have been REALLY HARD.

I find myself at times in such a funk.  Do you get like that or am I the only one?  The “there has to be more to life than this” funk?  But, then it never fails…..if I step back, be still, breathe and look I find God’s hand of grace and mercy in the midst of my “funk.”  Why am I telling you all this?  Because you have probably found yourself in the same place and I want you to know you aren’t alone.  I look all around me and find someone who has it worse or I look just a few months in the past and see “worse seasons.”  I guess all I am saying is if you get down, discouraged and depressed look at the BIG picture…..I think you might find God’s grace, mercy and provision when you step back and look at the picture in its entirety….I sure did!

Until next time…………….

 

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Another Trip Around The Sun

Is it appropriate to say Bah-humbug when you are having your birthday?  Geez…..why do birthdays get harder the older you get.  I started getting in a “funk” last night and woke up in it today!

Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for life.  I am thankful to have completed year number 45 with good health, but each year older just seems to get harder and they go faster.  I think part of my “funk” is this is the 2nd year in a row my husband has left on my birthday to go to Texas.  He told  me that his gift to me was him leaving for a week.  I thought….”no that is more of a gift for you than for me!”  LOL!  Now begins a LONG week of no adult conversation (except on FB, and that really isn’t conversation) and single parenting (which trust me, is NO fun) and that is the reason I admire those of you who are single parents 24/7/365….I truly stand in awe of you.

For some reason every year on my birthday I tend to do the worst possible thing……look back and think about ALL the things I would have done differently and yes I sometimes wonder if I had made different choices where my life would be.  I have a good life, a sweet husband and a precious daughter who I wouldn’t change for anything, but I know some of those choices I made early on have affected my life today, my circumstances, who I am, my everything.  I have a sign that hangs in my home that says:


I love this and want to try this starting today so maybe next year on my birthday I will see all the positive choices and things I did this year to reflect on instead of all the negative/bad choices.  I know it is a mindset too and I am the only one who can change that in myself.  In all honesty, my mindset is sometimes not what it should be.  I tend to focus on the negative side of things instead of the positive.  I am too realistic in my thinking which causes me to be more pessimistic than optimistic and I want to try to change that.  There are things I want to do; things I have been telling myself I am going to do and I start them; yet never follow through.  I make resolutions each January, but never keep them for more than 2 weeks (I didn’t make any this year because of that).  I always find “reasons” to not do the things I long to do; but I truly believe it is because I don’t believe in myself enough to actually do something well.  But, today after waking up this morning at 3am pondering the past year I want to stop looking back at my failures, sad times and bad choices and start today to create a new ending since I can’t change my beginning.

So cheers to being another year older, hopefully another year wiser and prayerfully another year to change the ending of my story for the better.

On a really positive note, Hannah woke up this morning and came and crawled in bed with me (she hasn’t done that in years) and cuddled up with me and said, “Today mama birthday, Happy Birthday mama, I love you so much all my heart, you my best friend.  Eat cake blow out candle”  Oh be still my heart……..

Until next time………

Ramblings From 2017

I will be honest, I haven’t felt like blogging…..well, actually I have but it would have been so much sadness and negativity that it would have been difficult to type and to read.  The past 2 weeks have been SO HARD!  I spent the week after Christmas just thinking, pondering, praying, wishing, hoping, longing……grieving in a sense.  Here are a few of my thoughts…..more like ramblings from 2017….be thankful I didn’t type ALL of my thoughts…..HA!

Hannah has gotten worse in so many ways; yet, God has been gracious and she has gotten better in other ways.  Physically she is failing…..medically speaking she is worse and it breaks my heart to watch her decline.  If you don’t know, our doctors strongly suspect that Hannah has Autonomic Dysfunction.  Yes, we believe we finally have a name for what has been going on since she got so sick in September 2013 and then how she declined horrifically in March 2014 when PANDAS hit.  The theory is something in her brain went haywire and her immune system bottomed out which started in September 2013.  She has run a low-grade fever DAILY since then so we are now thinking that was the beginning of the Autonomic Nervous System malfunctioning.  Her immune system hit bottom, she has T-cell deficiency (which are your fighter cells) and many of her vaccines she had as a baby she now has no antibodies for in her body.  Hence why her immune system is so impaired.  Then she got that strep infection in January 2014 and things were “off.”  She acted different; her behavior and mood were just not Hannah.  We couldn’t keep her well so we took her out of school; we had no choice.  Then, March of 2014…..all hell broke loose when she ran 103-105 temperature for 10 days (we believe she had strep and the body eradicated it over that 10 days, as the hospital in Atlanta never swabbed her and said it was a “viral infection”).  This is when the seizures and syncope started; along with horrific rage and aggression, OCD, tics, anxiety, depression and insomnia.  Can you say “hello PANDAS, we hate you!”

It is hard to believe that was almost 4 years ago when Hannah’s and our lives changed so drastically.  Dennis was deleting old videos off his phone the other night and I heard it…..he was watching one of the MANY rage episodes we had recorded over the past 4 years and I got tears in my eyes and said, “cut it off, I can’t even listen to it.”  It literally rips your heart out to hear much less watch.  But, it hit me…….behaviorally and emotionally she is so much better and I am rejoicing in that fact.  She is so loving right now……she hugs me and kisses me all the time; tells me I am her best friend and she loves me “so much all my heart” and that is a far departure from where we were this time last year.  I have 4 things to thank for this change…..

Last January she was having horrific nausea (another symptom of Autonomic Dysfunction that I didn’t know until November).  In fact, if you google the symptoms for Autonomic Dysfunction, Hannah has more than 90% of them……it is crazy!  Anyway, our Pediatrician gave her Zofran for her nausea back in January 2017 and we noticed her aggression/rage GONE!  What we figured out is that Zofran is in a class of medications called serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. It works by blocking the action of serotonin.  DING, DING, DING!  All the drugs our first Neurologist and Psychiatrist wanted to treat her with were drugs that produced serotonin not blocked it.  Those drugs like Zoloft, Prozac, Lamictal, Risperdone all made her worse and she had adverse reactions.  Adding Zofran 3 times per day not only took care of her nausea but also completely stopped the rage and aggression!  Then, another friend of mine introduced me to CBD/Hemp oil…..yes, marijuana in an oil form.  Her seizures were off the chain….having them many times a week and I had to do something so I tried it.  Hannah has been seizure free since March 2017!  She had 2 grand mal seizures in March when she contracted strep (which we now know she is a strep carrier) and ran 104 fever.  But, once the strep was eradicated she has been seizure free……HUGE MIRACLE!  Then in May, 2017 my dear friends John and Kerri Soud introduced me to Vasayo.  They have a product that literally has cured Hannah of her insomnia called SLEEP.  It has natural ingredients of GABA, Melatonin and NAC in it and from the very first night we used it until now she is falling asleep within 15 minutes each night and sleeping 11-13 hours STRAIGHT!  I call it my “miracle in a bottle” and I am forever indebted to John, Kerri and Vasayo for this miracle.  So, those 3 things changed our life last year…..the 4th “thing” isn’t a thing it is and will always be the LORD!  People praying for us, loving us and supporting us.  The doctors we have on board with us working with us and for us, FINALLY (for the record though our Pediatrician has been with us, loved us, worked with us, prayed with us and done everything in her power to help us for the past 12-1/2 years), medications and supplements provided, answers to questions, grace, mercy, strength…..all glory goes to God.

So, looking back 2017 had answers and honestly that is all I have ever wanted.  Walking in the dark, not understanding why or having explanations for health issues is so very hard especially when it comes to your child.  So, for that fact…..for the answers and the miracles we have had this past year I am so grateful.  The question I have been asked by those who know about the Autonomic Dysfunction is how do you fix it?  Well, unfortunately, you can’t.  You treat the symptoms….but, they are difficult to treat as it literally affects your entire body….brain, heart, GI tract, bladder and yes, those have been affected in Hannah.  It can affect other things as well but the ones I listed are the ones we are dealing with right now.  We are working on treating the symptoms, but finding medications and things that work often takes time.  My greatest concern right now is her heart; being that it is so compromised anyway.  Her GI tract/bladder issues are absolutely horrible and for years we thought she was “withholding” but now we find out her brain doesn’t tell her nervous system to “let it go” and so she can’t……causing her significant pain, frustration, bloating and swelling from fluid retention.  Not to give too much information but Hannah can go literally 15-17 hours without peeing!  It is awful and the pain is excruciating for her.

I am thankful today.  Thankful that I can be home with Hannah.  Thankful that I can just be a mom to her and the days she needs me I am here and I have learned that the house cleaning, laundry, food prep can all wait.  I have learned that if I have to it is okay to just sit in her playroom on the floor and “be present.”  I am thankful for a husband who works so hard to provide for our needs and some of our wants and that he truly doesn’t care when he comes home if I am still in my pajamas (I try not to be but sometimes life just happens and I end up staying in my pjs).  I am thankful that he sees the need for me to get out and go to dinner with friends, get manicures and pedicures, go on a shopping excursion and even the occasional weekend away.  I am MOST thankful that he is a wonderful dad who LOVES being with his little girl, even playing Barbie’s if she wants him to.

On a different note, I am thankful for my husband and his sisters Lynda and Donna as I have watched them the past year love on and care for their parents.  This has been a very sad, difficult and trying year for the 3 of them, but watching the love and devotion they have for their mom and dad has made my love and admiration for each of them grow.  If you would, please remember Dennis’ parents, him, and his sisters and their families in your prayers…..it is a trying time and one that I am not looking forward to when and if it happens to my parents.  I am completely in awe of the way all 3 of them (and his sisters husbands) have taken care of their parents.  I wish I could help more but my hands are full with Hannah.  Caregiving is not for the faint of heart and it is one thing to be a caregiver for your child 24/7 but a whole different ballgame when you become the caregiver for your parents.

So there is that…..an update, year in review (kinda) and now 2018 has begun.  I pray each and every one of you has a blessed, happy, healthy and peaceful 2018…..I pray that for all of us!

Until next time!

Difficult Week, The Good News and In Memory

I don’t even know where to begin.  Writing has always been my outlet and I should make myself do it more often to let go of the emotions and thoughts because I let them jumble up in my head and then I can’t seem to put 2 words together but I will try.

Medically speaking this has been a very difficult and stressful week for Hannah.  I won’t go into all the details as most of them are extremely unpleasant and I know y’all don’t want to read about them but suffice it to say it was an emotional, painful and stressful week for all 3 of us.  Watching your child suffer is probably the worst thing you could ever go through (at least for me).  Top that off with knowing that your child is 12 years old but unable to comprehend what is happening and why she feels so awful; well, you just feel helpless and sometimes hopeless.  Wednesday was the worst day.  After we finally got her to sleep I just got in the shower and cried and cried and cried……I tried praying but I found myself too angry to even pray….I figured at that point God knew my heart and He understood all the emotions and heartache I was feeling so I took to Facebook asking for prayer and by the time I finally crawled into bed I felt God’s love surrounding me.  It was a beautiful and peaceful feeling to drift off to sleep by, so for all of you who are praying for us and have prayed for us; thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I know God hears those prayers and I know He is comforting the 3 of us in our most difficult days because of those prayers!

Now, I want to share a little story with you.  I am a firm believer in instilling God’s word into children.  My parents and the church I grew up in encouraged us to read our Bible, pray and memorize scripture.  So, about 5 years ago I started with Hannah.  We read our little Bible devotional book every morning and we talk about it.  Now, honestly, I usually just get “yes” or “no” answers when I ask her a question about her Bible devotion but this morning was different and it truly brought tears to my eyes.  This was today’s devotion:

After I read it I was fixing to ask Hannah a few questions and she looked at me with this HUGE smile on her face and said this……”Jesus loves Hannah, Hannah loves Jesus.  Jesus lives in Heaven with Grandpa, Maw-Maw and Thomas (this was Maw-Maw’s cat).  Hannah live in Heaven with Jesus too mama!”  I just looked at her with tears in my eyes and said, “baby girl, yes…..yes!  One day Jesus is going to come get us and take us home to live with Him in Heaven.”  She then replied, “Oh mama, Hannah cannot wait, Hannah so excited!”

I tell you all of this to show you that even a child who has Down Syndrome “gets it.”  It is that simple, that easy…..God made it that way for us.  Believe, Accept and Receive……that is all there is to it.  Believe that God loves you, came to this earth as a baby (hence the reason we even have the Christmas Season to celebrate), died on the cross for all of us to wipe out our sins and arose from the dead to ascend into Heaven to build us a home…..that’s it.  That’s the good news!  Even my child understands it.  Nothing makes my heart soar more than the fact that she knows Jesus, she loves Jesus and she knows that one day ALL of this life we live will be replaced with happiness, joy, health, peace and there will be no more pain, sickness, sorrow or death.  How can we not share that good news with our children and those we know and love?

I am going to end this blog post but before I do, I have to tell you briefly about this precious woman:

Ruby C. Stapp
December 17, 1909-December 17, 1989

This beautiful lady is my Grandma.  She is my dad’s mom and as you can see she went home to be with the Lord MANY years ago.  I was 18 years old and as long ago as that was I still remember the phone call we received that she had passed away and the day of her funeral like it was yesterday.  My Grandma was a strong, independent, Godly, sweet, quiet lady!  She was married to my precious Grandpa who she lost at a young age while raising 2 boys.  My dad was 13 years old when he lost his dad and my Uncle Lee was only 5 years old.  My grandma was an elementary school teacher; a job she loved for 44 years.  She never remarried and she raised 2 incredibly strong, amazing men.  My grandma and my Aunt Janie (her sister) were inseparable and they were complete opposites and they complimented each other so well.  Aunt Janie was strong and independent too but had a mouth on her and wasn’t afraid to use it……I loved that about her and that is probably where I got it from.  Grandma would always tell her to hush and be nice.  HA!  They were both cat lovers, hence why my dad is and why I am.  It is hard to talk about Grandma without talking about Aunt Janie too.  My cousin Peggy put it perfectly…..they were each other’s ying to yang…..I am so glad they had each other when God called both their husband’s home.  My grandma was an amazing lady but the last probably 10 years of her life had what was called “hardening of the arteries” which now would be referred to as Alzheimer’s.  It is an awful disease and changes a person completely.  I would go with my dad every Saturday to visit Grandma and as a young teenager it was hard to watch her not remember us; yet I know she still loved us.  I cherish those times that I had with her, those Saturdays of going to visit her.  I will admit the Alzheimer’s was awful and changed her completely; it is a terrible disease and one I wish a cure could be found for.  But, it wasn’t who she was…..she was a kind, compassionate, amazing, sweet, loyal wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend to many. Happy Birthday Grandma.  I love you, miss you and can’t wait to see you again!

Until next time……..

 

 

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………

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……..