Monthly Archives: May 2014

Stupid Blue Recliner: Part Dos

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Now, the enemy of our souls had a field day with all of this, don’t cha know? He not only attended the pity party, but also began the battle within the battlefield of my mind. (Thank you Joyce Meyer for writing a book just for me.) You see, it hadn’t been that long…maybe 6 months prior to all of this that I sought help for my drinking. This occurred because of many prayers of my husband and others I won’t meet until heaven I’m sure. I listened to the bottom of a beer can speak to me: “You don’t have to do this.” I sure thought I did. It had always helped me to block out so much before. That was the last one I drank before I called up a Christian counseling group in the area and made an appointment with an angel. Now, keep in mind that my plan was to hit the liquor store drive through after my session with her, but God had other plans. I didn’t realize it then, but I liked His so much better. That woman with the amazing God-smile prayed for me and March 12, 2009 was the beginning of my new life. It was a 1-step program for me and I was never more thankful as I adore skip-stepping whenever I can. (Ask my husband, I can’t follow a recipe to save my life.)

That was March, glorious March, praise God! In June, my husband and I left our addiction to nicotine on an altar and haven’t touched them since. Only God can do that. I had smoked for 14 years and tried to quit on my own numerous times before, no less than 10, and to no avail. It’s one of the most discouraging things in the world to finally get up the nerve to do something and then fail. The enemy weasels his way into that like a, well, weasel.

At the beginning of my newfound freedom, I was training for my first 5K. I’ve always wanted to be a runner! Gracefully sweaty with a driven purpose to reach that goal, giving God the glory and simultaneously repenting for the way I bashed the body He created for so many years. (Important note: I plan to cross a finish line somewhere this summer, whether I’m running, limping, or crawling.)

I got sick not long after I/we had been freed from the ugliness that is addiction. I had so many thoughts enter my mind on a daily basis that it made me sicker…more sick?…I was sick. I would go out and run/walk and collapse when I got home, not in the usual way one might. I’d be dizzy and lightheaded while my muscles decided to give out and quit for the rest of the day. I tried to be all righteous and run anyway, but it turns out people get concerned when a woman runs in a zig-zag pattern beside the road, ironically seeming as though she is drunk.

God is so good and I sit amazed as I type that He makes a way to change lives no matter what. For some reason. God always has a plan and I try my best to stick with it. Most days…except on the days when I throw pity parties for myself and no one comes.
Be a blessing to someone today–they may just be going through one of the hardest times of their lives.

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Stupid Blue Recliner

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So I feel led (don’t cha love it when Christians use those kind of terms?) to share some of my back story that led me here to this place in my life, the one where I trust God whole-heartedly unless He takes more than a week and a half. Then, it’s Him reminding me to trust Him more than me trusting.

I have been dealing with symptoms, (ones that no doctor seems to have ever heard of before) other than to throw me under the “umbrella diagnosis” of chronic fatigue. There is no official diagnosis, but many of my symptoms look a whole lot like something they have read about that looked similar to something someone wrote about. *cue cheesy sarcastic grin.
I really don’t like to talk about what goes on in terms of how I feel but, as I said, I feel (hehe) the need to share what I deal with in the hopes that it may encourage someone somewhere to do something, whether it be something different or something they need to persevere in. It’s also been brought to my attention that the enemy of our souls uses a lot of different forms of chains to hold us down. God gives us freedom in all aspects of our lives, abundantly so. And for this reason, I’m gonna step out in faith.

When this journey of mine started after I graduated college, (I got to work in my field of speech pathology for almost a full year) That day in 2009, I watched as the pen fell from my hand as I was filling out paperwork. Suddenly, I couldn’t move. My face went slack and every fiber of my being was exhausted to the point where I fell to the floor. Fast forward (not too fast though) to hospital bills and pills, low, low blood pressure and blood tests, examinations and reviews, needles and scopes, pokes and prods, sniffs and sighs…every test came back negative. Hip hooray! Right? To a point. (I think anyone who’s ever been in the medical system knows how this feels.) I remember thinking, “What’s to celebrate? That I have no reason to feel like I do?” The negative results…or positive ones…didn’t keep me out of that recliner. I needed help with everything. I would get up (after thinking about getting up for hours) many times with the assistance of my husband, to go to the bathroom. Then I would come back to the chair, exhausted and spent, requiring a “battery recharge.”

I spent so much time in that stupid blue recliner, about 2 years.

I remember wishing I had something to blame all the symptoms on. I still do to an extent. I would anxiously wait for the doctors and specialists, who I pictured sweating over my file in their off-hours, much like they do on House, to have that AHA! moment. Picture it: I get a call as I sit in that chair, short of breath, pain all over, and there ya have it!! A diagnosis, complete with a quick, one-pill cure! I swallow it and before it reaches my stomach, I’m feeling better than I ever have before! Thank you Jesus!! God does care about me!! (Because you begin to doubt this at times. Just being honest.)

This is the scenario that I know isn’t going to happen and yet it still plays out in the back of my mind each time I visit a new doctor (or nurse practicioner or chiropractor or health care professional or gas station attendant.) The “One” that everyone and their dog has gotten results from…all they had to do was walk through their door and they felt better…everyone but me. (See? Right there. It’s those kinds of statements that keep me from writing too much about this. Bleck. It screams pity-party—with pity hats and pity balloons and pity noisemakers and pity cake. But I will continue on…if for nothing other than the hope that this cake I speak of may not simply be a figment of my imagination.)
To be Continued…be careful not to fall off your seat. I know you’re on the edge of it. Have a blessed day!

Be Still and Know

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Once in a great while, we get to watch as God uses someone that no one expected Him to. No one really sees it coming. It could be the man on the barstool or the woman who introduces herself to men by sleeping with them. It might be the homeless family that lives in a tiny car or the baby that simply wasn’t “supposed” to be conceived or survive the procedure. One thing I’ve noticed is He isn’t using the individuals that appear to have it all together. God is perfect, but we don’t have to be. That’s not what He’s looking for to further His Kingdom.

So many believe, whether they’ll admit it or not, that we are to clean ourselves up, spit-shined and polished, before we could ever even talk to God. Our image of Him is skewed in that sense. He doesn’t expect us to wait until we’ve got it all together. He is not the One Who puts that thought into our heads, but He is the One desperately trying to convince us of His love. That perfect love that we can’t buy or get anywhere else, not even the store that begins with “W”. We can’t be who we are with anyone else until we are ourselves with Him. Freedom comes in admitting that our true selves could never be cleaned up enough to be in His Holy Presence anyway.

We live in a day where nothing is holy. We no longer know the meaning, if we ever did. Before cell phones, Facebook, reality TV, and YouTube, there were certain areas of our lives we kept private, secret even. We did not tell a soul about what we had for lunch, how our bodies felt, the man who cut us off in traffic, or our deep revelations pertaining to french fries.

I believe we, as a whole, are searching for holiness. That place where we can get quiet and just be. “Being still and knowing that He is God” isn’t getting any easier. We have to take the time (our most precious commodity) to learn how. It doesn’t come easily or naturally but He’s got it under control. He loves us. He didn’t make any promises about how easy life was going to be. He never said we wouldn’t get sick, we wouldn’t lose people we loved dearly, and we wouldn’t have reasons to get discouraged.

It is in these times that we grow and change as we are molded into the willing vessels that God can use. God’s favor falls on each of His believers daily. We pray, recognize the power of God and His favor, and put into practice His beliefs. We get to know Him and find out what those deeply rooted beliefs are. We accept and wholeheartedly believe that He has the best plan, then move forward with that plan, whether one step or the entire layout is revealed to us. We are so blessed. Don’t waste time entertaining the notion of anything otherwise.

This article is dedicated to a loving friend, Sam Myers, who made the dash between these two dates count, May 31, 1950-May 17, 2014. Sam was the epitome of worship to me and remains an ever-present reminder that God willingly changes individual lives in a radical way, whereby creating a path for those individuals to allow God to change more lives. My heart aches each time I think about our loss here on Earth. I will forever miss that gorgeous smile that radiated a fierce love for others and His Savior, but I smile myself when I picture him lifting his arms and dancing as he worships the God he lived for in God’s very presence.