Shame

I live in this constant fear that my sin will be exposed. You can know my testimony…just not those parts. You can see the ugly sides of me that I let you see…just not those sides. 

I’ve come to realize that some sins seem to be more acceptable than others. Some sins are seen as ‘well you’re human so you’re going to have those sins’. And other sins are seen as utterly heinous and unforgivable in the church. There’s this unspoken idea that to admit we have lied or said the Lord’s name in vain is to be expected, but anything else is to be kept hidden. How could anyone love the Lord and follow Him and have thoughts like that?!

So those sins stay secret. Those sins fester and grow because to expose them to the public would be an instant regrettable offense. The shame is overwhelming. I don’t want to be this way. I don’t know why these thoughts and desires manifest inside of me but they do. 

How can God use me when this sin is a burden getting in the way of my walk. Why can’t I just get over it and expose it and not allow it to overwhelm me anymore? 

Instead, it taunts me …torments me …tells me I am never going to get past this. This is the sin I carry. I feel like such a failure.

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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. “

 

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.

 

Joy

Joy has been on my mind lately so I asked my good friend and sister in Christ, Jayme to help me write about it! Thank you, Jaym!

Well what’s poppin people of kaito’s blog! Allow me to introduce myself…..my name is Jayme. I also have a blog called Just Getting Started. 10/10 would recommend. So anyway. I’m just hopping on here to write a little blurb on joy!

The first thing that pops into my mind when I think of joy is a little kid eating popsicle on a hot summer night. Maybe he’s frolicking in a field? You get the picture. Now here’s a little secret. That joy this kid has is going to end. It will stop. The joy that popsicle is giving him at the moment will end when the popsicle is gone. I feel like that’s what everyone is doing these days. They are trying to find joy in something that will melt, isn’t going to last. Everyone is looking for something that will satisfy them. Quench their thirst. Hate to break it to you, but everything on this earth won’t satisfy you, won’t bring you the joy you are striving so hard to find. So what’s the solution? God. God is the only thing that can satisfy you. Bring you real everlasting joy. You may be asking how does he do that?

So when God created the earth, he made man and women. He let them live in the garden of Eden. God gave them one rule and that was to NOT eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. One thing let to another and they ate from it. This separated them from God. Separated the rest of us from God. They could feel shame and they were embarrassed. Now every one who would ever live was destined to Hell. We were all going and should go because we are all so screwed up. What did God do? He found a way for us to go to heaven and be with him. A few thousand years after the Fall, God sent his son to earth. This is who we call Jesus. Jesus lived on earth like man but never sinned. He lived the perfect life. The next thing that happened? He was crucified. He died. Do you want to know why he died? For you. This is where I find my joy. Knowing that God sent His son to die for me so I could go to heaven. This makes me want to jump up and down. Go full disney princess and scream it from a mountain top. This is joy will last forever. You will still have it after you die. In heaven, it’s literally a party celebrating how rad our God is. Pretty freakin dope if you ask me. That’s all I have to say so i guess back to kait with our regular scheduled program!

I couldn’t have said it any better myself. I struggle with finding my joy in the Lord. I need daily reminders to check my heart and not dwell on my circumstances or try to find my joy in things that only provide temporary happiness. I’m grateful for friends who keep me accountable when I am getting overwhelmed and not relying on God. My joy…my excitement…it all needs to come from Him.

Here are some photos of us being our crazy selves.

Go follow Jayme’s blog for more awesomeness. Jayme’s Blog – Just Getting Started

Rescue

Trigger Warning: Suicide

The shame I hold onto about this part of my testimony is heavy and covered in guilt. But the more I celebrate my life, the more I want to open up about this so that hopefully God can use my ashes for His beautiful purpose.

Here I sit at Lake Nockamixon, it’s 32 degrees and extremely windy, but the sun is shining on my tear soaked face, the seagulls are singing, and Rescue by Lauren Daigle is playing in my ears.

When I was 20 I tried to kill myself.

I wanted to end it. End everything. End the pain and the depression and the anxiety. End the frustration. End the never ending struggle. But more than that I would have ended moments like this one. Sunshine on my face looking out over the lake. I would have ended coffee dates with my mom. I would have ended heart to heart talks with my dad. I would have never seen my brother graduate college as valedictorian. I never would have poured into my youth kids who mean the absolute world to me. I would have ended the possibility of ever meeting Josh and beginning this immaculately designed chapter of my life. I would have ended any possibility of the Lord using me for His purpose. In the blink of an eye I would have ended every single thing that I hold so valuable.

I was desperate and numb and in searing pain all at once and I thought my only option was to kill myself. I thought the only option was to give up. To give up ever having a future. As I write this I vividly remember the amount of emotional and physical and spiritual pain I was in. I remember throwing myself on my bedroom floor shaking uncontrollably, sobbing and screaming for God to take the pain away, take away the pain from my disease, take away my depression and anxiety. I was shrieking. I was done. I hit rock bottom. I couldn’t imagine continuing to live one more second.

I am grateful for the nurses and doctors that took care of me at the hospital that night and the next day. I am grateful for the security guard that was posted at my door and didn’t take his eyes off me. I am grateful to the nurse filled with compassion and warmth who didn’t treat me like an insane person, she kept me company and brought me heated blankets, I don’t remember her name but I am grateful to her for treating me like a person. I am grateful for the support from my coordinator and therapists. I am grateful to my mom who never ceased praying, never ceased crying out to God, even in the midst of her agony, and the fear of losing me. She never ceased praying. She was my rock when I couldn’t stand on my own. She fought for me when I couldn’t care less.

Suicide doesn’t just end the bad stuff, it doesn’t just end the pain. In fact it causes pain, intense unmeasurable amounts of pain. Suicide ends all of the good things and any good thing that’s to come. It ends more than just a life. Praise the Lord I am alive. I am experiencing what it means to actually be alive. I will not let my depression and anxiety win. This will not steal my joy. I refuse to fall victim to my mental illness.

I have way too much to live for.

 

My Island

There is $0.41 in my bank account right now.

I’m at my wits end. It’s been one thing after another. It’s the never ending medical bills. The having to be out of work for a week because I got my neck cut open. It’s the two car payments. It’s the client telling me to take the week off. It’s the threat that I’m going to be sued by the guy who hit me and that I should lawyer up. It’s taking care of everyone else all day long nonstop and then coming home and sitting in a room where I’m surrounded by dirty laundry and mugs that need to be washed. It’s the hallow feeling inside. The lump in my throat. The anxiety and the depression. It’s nothing yet it’s everything at once.

I’m shaking and terrified. I’m on an island of quick sand sinking faster and faster as gigantic scary waves bigger than life come at me from all sides. Even if someone came to rescue me in a helicopter with a long rope I don’t know if I’d grab on. I’m at that point where I’d be okay if everything swallowed me alive because I’m so exhausted I don’t know how I can keep doing this.

Everything was going so well. I wasn’t living paycheck to paycheck for the first time in years. I quit my terrible job and started a company where I was the boss. I had an awesome savings account built up. I was driving a nice car – my first car – my baby. I was feeling okay with life for the first time in a very long time. And then everything hit at once. Literally and figuratively. It was an explosion of sheer panic and nervous laughter.

The past six months have been pain on top of agony on top of disaster. I don’t know how to fix it. I’m in constant panic mode. I’m trying to please everyone yet I’m sinking further and further into a depression I’m not so sure I will be able to get out of this time.

And trust me…I know…cry out to God and He will hold me and comfort me. But I’m too embarrassed to even walk towards Him right now. I’m too weak to try to fix my faith walk. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know who to go. My parents and my brother have their own struggles right now without me crawling to them asking them for whatever help they could offer. And it’s not their fault. They each have their own island, their own quick sand, their own huge scary waves.

So I will sit here surrounded by dirty laundry and mugs that need to be washed pondering why I can’t just take control of life and handle things like an adult. And I will cry. And hyperventilate. And hope I will be able to fall asleep despite the fight going on inside of me.