God take this pain from me

I really just want to be at the whole clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future part of my life now please.

I don’t feel strong enough to survive this pain much longer.

Key word there being “I”, I guess.

God needs to be my strength. I need to let Him in and allow Him to cover me in His strength and comfort. Because the reality of all of this is that I’m weak and fragile and broken.

I tend to do everything I can to attempt to numb my hurt because being out of control and being in pain is killing me. And the more I can numb the pain the better I feel like I can survive my days.

But the attempts to numb the pain are actually emotionally crippling me to the point where I’m not healing, I’m not thriving, and I’m certainly not relying on God or giving control over to Him.

So I sit on the floor in my tears, post panic attack, and I’m begging God with the last few ounces of strength in my body….to be my strength and my comfort. So that I may move on to a period of healing and be able to help others heal and be in relationship with God.

Lord, take this devastation and brokenness and create something beautiful for You.

Losing Hope

*deep sigh*

Sometimes healing doesn’t seem to be healing, it is backwards and messy and lonely. It feels like I’m not making any progress but instead I’m hurting more than I was before. Instead of progressing and working through the pain I shove it down and power through. Or shove it down and completely shut down.

Healing isn’t possible in the shut down phase. The shut down phase is scary and dark and I don’t like it. But it’s so hard to pull myself out of the shut down phase. It’s comfortable in the darkness. It’s comfortable not falling apart in front of someone. It’s comfortable to not ask for help.

I’ve shut out God during the past 5 months. I’ve gone in and out of shut down mode but I haven’t been truly real with Him. I’m not even trying. I’m just exhausted. The anxiety leads to depression which leads to overall exhaustion. I’m in the dark depths of that right now, cycling through excuses and anxiety and depression and shutting myself off from the world and God. I don’t manage my own emotions very well.

I find it significantly easier to help others navigate their pain and heartache and mental health rather than take even a second out of my day to take a look inside my own head. The moment I step out of the shut down phase and look in the mirror at the gravity of the situation is the moment I need to address my mental health and the heartbreak I’ve been avoiding working through. And I don’t want to. I don’t feel strong enough. And I can’t bring myself to wave that flag of surrender.

The Joy of the Lord

I can only describe this time as bittersweet. Today marks 77 days since my last day at work and my heart aches for my little one I take care of. I miss everything about being a pediatric care tech and am counting the seconds until I can return to work.

I miss normalcy. I miss teaching preschoolers on Sunday mornings. I miss meeting with the students on Sunday nights. I miss going out for coffee with my friends. I miss going out with my man after a long work week and just staring into each other’s eyes over a candlelit dinner (yeah yeah…we can still do this, but our dog isn’t the best waiter). I miss the mundane and I miss the crazy. There are so many things I took for granted that I completely ache for now.

But I am so ridiculously blessed. I haven’t personally lost anyone in this pandemic, but I know so many who have. Financially, I am struggling in this time of being laid off, but God has abundantly provided every time I have needed. Mentally, I am hanging in there, I’m blessed with a “team” of support when it comes to my mental health so my heart goes out to those who are feeling the depths of depression during this time. I pray that they are being supported and loved during this trying time.

Joy has been found in the Lord across the world in this pandemic. My students are flourishing in their own personal walks with God. They are encouraging one another, they are taking to social media to hold virtual Bible studies, and they are sending cards and flowers to those who need it. They are thriving and they are creative in their own personal study of the Word. I am so proud of each and every one of them for how amazingly they are handling their senior year of high school. I have seen my preschool parents post the fun things their kiddos are doing, from climbing trees, to making posters to hang out of their cars for a drive-by birthday party, to making their parents breakfast in bed. My friends and I are doing check-ins with each other…just to let each other know we are here and we are praying for one another. So many virtual hugs and “coffee vibes” have been sent out. Relationships are being built stronger than ever before. I am seeing God in all of this. I am seeing Him work in ways I haven’t seen before and that is so encouraging.

The church is not a building. The church is people continuing the ministry of Christ. The church is people reaching out those who need a conversation. The church is meals being delivered. The church is drive-by conversations held 6 feet apart with masks on. The church is responding to this time in such a beautiful way that only God could orchestrate. And I’m blown away.

So continue to spread the joy of the Lord during this time, it is so very needed.

The Aftermath

Life after losing my Poppop.

Mentally I have resorted back to where I was a year ago. Completely ignoring any and all tips my psychiatrist has given me to handle anxiety episodes. I am angry at God, not reading my Bible, and not going to Him for anything.

I’m not believing the truth that my Poppop is no longer in pain and he is partying up in Heaven. So I should be celebrating his life and celebrating that God used him well while he was on earth and now he is being rewarded.

I appologize for not routinely posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays but life has been a bit messy. I will be back to scheduled programming soon.

Thank you all for praying for my family.

Give it to God

Clinging to bitterness and anger like it’s my life support. On days like these, I need to take a step back and refocus on what really matters and who is really in control. My circumstances should not be dictating my mood. I should not be allowing trials and unmet expectations to make those around me suffer, to ruin my day, to not give my all in serving the Lord.

Beauty from ashes, not built bitterness and resentment. Beauty. God will use whatever He is allowing you to go through for His glory. Cling to Him. This is my reminder to let go of past hurts and everything else that is dragging me down. Give it to God.

Turn to Joy

“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy.” John 16:20 ESV

Sorrow will turn to joy. I find that so comforting! This sorrow that I am facing will turn to joy. Sorrow, mourning, pain, all of our trials will turn to joy. See also Jeremiah 31, it’s a fantastic read, and I truly recommend taking the time to pour over the verses in Jeremiah 31. Verse 13 for instance, I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. 

As Christians, our lives aren’t marked by perfect health and constant prosperity. In fact, Jesus promised that we will experience sufering. But with that promise of pain comes the hope that our sorrow will be turned to joy.

“Turn to Joy” from The Weekly Prayer Project

Turning to joy when we are facing painful trials isn’t always our first reaction. It should be. Our first reaction should be to turn to Christ and find our joy in Him. We are going to experience pain and suffering, but that doesn’t mean we need to wallow in bitterness and anger. What a testament to Lord if we react to trials with joy and love and a closer relationship with Him. Beauty to ashes, what Satan meant for harm God will use for good! Don’t suffer in the trials, grow in them! Turn to joy!

Acts 14:22 “…strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God,” they said.”‘

Romans 8:28  “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. “

 

His Grace

The grace and mercy of God is unbelievably overwhelming. Looking back on all of my mistakes, sins, and regrets I would never expect God to use me how He is. I am serving Him in student ministry as a life group leader for senior girls, in children’s ministry as a preschool teacher, and now starting up the young women’s ministry. It’s so exciting. I feel incredibly unworthy to be so involved in ministry for the Lord.

God knows my past, He knows everything I’ve said and done and He still loves me and still uses me. I’m beyond blessed.

You are never ever too far gone for God. There is no such thing as being too far gone. He met me where I was. Rock bottom, cursing Him, never wanting to step foot in a church again. I told myself I was unworthy of joy, unworthy of a life serving Him, unworthy of having a relationship with anyone who loved the Lord. And here I am today – I strive to find my joy in the Lord, I try to serve Him every day, and my relationship is centered around God.

His love covers all. It covers a multitude of sins. Don’t listen to the lies that tell you that you’re used and ruined or too far gone. You’re not. God has a purpose for you.

 

 

Love > Bitterness

Lysa TerKeurst has been through the wringer. Satan has attacked her and her family because she is allowing God to work through her and use her. She has been strong through it all and so filled with the grace and love of Christ. 

I strive to get to the place where my circumstances will not destroy my relationship with God or my mood. Even a little bit. I pray that God will use my pain and suffering and trials and that I won’t become hardened and bitter. 

Her circumstances over the past few years would have left me bedridden and destroyed. The ultimate human rejection. I don’t think my bounce back from that heartbreak would be filled with as much understanding and grace as hers was. I don’t know what her time of mourning looked like after finding out of her husband’s infidelity but I know that how she wrote about it and used the pain to showcase the love of Christ was monumental and incredible. Truly a mirror image to the love of our Lord. 

She is a representation of beauty from ashes. Learning from her pain. Growing and building her relationship with God despite her grief. What Satan meant for destruction the Lord used for good. The forgiveness and grace for her husband is huge and beautiful. Their love for each other and the rebuilding of what was broken is just such a testament to God’s love. 

I want to hug her so tightly and thank her for her testimony. I pray the Lord can work on my heart and soften it so that I pour out love instead of bitterness. 

Isaiah 41:1 God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble. 

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. 

You just have to laugh…

What a week it has been. On Sunday evening I had a heart episode while in the hot springs in Ouray, Colorado. Since then it has been an exhausting week of going to urgent care in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Monday, being advised not to fly, going on two flights traveling back to Pennsylvania on Tuesday, being met by EMT’s at the Philadelphia Airport, and going to the ER on Thursday.

It is now Friday and I’m beat and I still don’t have any answers. An MRI, neurologist visit, and psychologist visit are my next steps.

Josh has been incredibly supportive this past week. He has been by my side through the entire thing and has been constantly pointing me back to relying on the Lord by how he shows Christ’s love to me. He epitomizes what it means to be unconditional. And I’m so grateful God has him by my side.

With everything that has happened since November and everything we’ve gone through together, I know for a fact we’ve survived it because God is the center of our relationship. And we laugh….a lot. That definitely helps.

 

Dear Sister

My heart breaks for you. I am in utter agony as I witness you hurt yourself in the same ways I have these past 15 years. No one deserves to battle an eating disorder. No one deserves the unbearable agony and overwhelming shame that comes with an eating disorder. An ED will take over your entire being to the point of crippling pain.

Every single moment of your existence is saturated in the bitterness of an eating disorder. The control, the anger, the frustration, the shame, it is so overwhelming. It isn’t just eating. When someone tells you to just eat you can’t. It isn’t that simple. It’s not just a switch inside your head, it isn’t just telling yourself to eat.

It’s every single controlling thought swarming around that’s making you physically unable to eat. It’s a battle in your mind of trying to shut out the demons, trying to overpower them while they are overpowering you. It’s pain. It’s torment.

And it’s almost impossible for anyone not going through it to understand.

So dear sister…I am so sorry. I am so incredibly sorry you are going through this trial. I wish I could take it away in an instant. And I can’t and that’s killing me.

I pray that you hear God’s voice over the voices in your head telling you that you’re not good enough. I pray that His love is enough for you to get through this. I pray that we can all come together to help you get through this. Because you, my dear, you are good enough. You are loved. You are beautiful. You are enough.

And you are in control…