Monthly Archives: September 2018

My kind of crazy

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It really doesn’t matter how illogical or irrational these thoughts may be.  It doesn’t even matter that, deep down, I know them to be untrue – at least, most of the time.  The thing is, once the mindset slithers in and takes control, no amount of truth or logic can sway my thinking.

So here I am – at the crossroads between logic and what feels like reality.  Every so often I am consumed with fear, insecurity, and embarrassment – the all-encompassing kind that renders me defenseless.  Somewhere outside of myself, I have a vague, blurry sense of the ‘truth.’  But mostly, truth in this moment is undefined.

I’m no stranger to insecurity.  I’ve dealt with many cases of the “I’m not enoughs.”  I’ve conquered fears that once held me back, and I’ve let go of insignificant embarrassment.  But this?  This is different.  This creeps in and begins to whisper that everything is a lie; nothing is as it appears.  Nothing is true.  Nothing genuine.

Slowly, but steadily, the whisper crescendos to a roar, screaming at me that everything is a lie.  My entire life.  Every relationship.  And everyone knows it’s a lie – everyone except me.  They are all in on it.  They all know.  They are all laughing, and I’m the butt of their joke.

No one likes me.  No one wants me around.  No one wants to hear what I have to say.  No one is really my friend.  They all know.  They all talk about it.  But I don’t know.  I’m clueless.

I’m not a good singer.  I’m not smart enough to learn new things.  I don’t have what it takes to accomplish things.  They all know it.  They don’t know how to tell me I’m no good.  They pity me.  And I have no idea.

And the worst, I’m too flawed.  I have too many issues.  I am a burden.  I’m not fun anymore.  I’m not worth their time.  They’ve all discussed how they feel.  They’ve all agreed that I’m a lost cause.  But they don’t want to be bad people, so they string me along just enough so that I won’t see what they’re doing.  And I am completely oblivious.

But when the whispers begin, my eyes slowly come into focus.  By the time the roars are in full decibel, I have complete awareness of the ‘truth.’  In a nanosecond, embarrassment permeates every part of me.  I can’t get away fast enough.  I can’t escape the judgment, ridicule, and hatred.  But I run anyway.

I retreat.  I hide.  Going outside of my house means coming face to face with the embarrassment.  And it’s too much.  So I hide.

Hiding only dulls the pain.  It gives me a false sense of security.  It puts limits on the embarrassment and ridicule.  But really, the pain is still with me because it’s all in my own head.  How can I escape what I carry with me?  How can I protect myself – from myself?

I really don’t know.

I currently believe that these things I deal with – these things that are ‘all in my head’ are things that aren’t going to go away.  I may get better at dealing with them.  I may get better at staving them off before they take root.  I may be able to hunker down and get through them with the knowledge that each episode is only temporary.  But, for now, I think these are my things to deal with.

Actually, I AM better at dealing with them.  I DO know the truth.  I DO have and use skills to gracefully walk through hard moments.  But here’s the thing – none of that makes these episodes even a tiny bit less painful to endure.

I’m not at all sure how to put words on this for someone who doesn’t understand.  It isn’t like healing a broken bone.  It breaks.  It’s reset or surgically repaired.  It’s cast.  It heals.  It regains strength and returns to its normal state.

The mind doesn’t work that way.  Sometimes it doesn’t heal all the way.  Sometimes it has residual effects.  Sometimes healing never comes.  It can’t be bandaged and propped up for six weeks.  It doesn’t work that way.

It has taken me a long time to accept this.  Accepting that something will never be what you’d hoped is no small thing.  But it can be a beautiful thing if you not only accept it, but also embrace it.

 

July 28, 2016

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There are things in life that affect you in a profound way, despite the fact that it might not make sense. This is a story of just such a thing.

I don’t remember the dates exactly, but I would estimate that I met Terry and Karise in 2013 or 2014, and I met Brent and Julie in 2016. I don’t know either of these couples well, but they both happen to be among the few who stood out to me. I believe the reason for this is that I could see the Spirit of God shining brightly in them.

Soon after I met Brent and Julie, I began to see how these two couples had much in common and were walking through very similar storms. I thought perhaps they, in particular Karise and Julie, might provide some support for one another, so I decided to connect them. One simple FB message later and these two ladies began a journey together. As time passed, I saw FB comments going back and forth between them, and I think I even remember seeing posts about their plan to get together. It brought me joy to know that I had a little part in that.

But I had no idea the impact that this would inevitably carry. I knew their paths were similar, but I didn’t know the extent of it. I have come to learn that Brent and Terry each received their cancer diagnosis on July 28, 2016, and their suffering ended only one day apart. Terry went home August 21, 2018 and Brent, August 22, 2018.

God never ceases to astound me. His providence over us is beyond my humble comprehension. He knew He would be welcoming His sons home. He knew the heartache their wives would feel. He knew they would understand each other’s pain. So He brought them together.

He brought them together.

Though I know God has worked in my life, and in me, for nearly 42 years, this may be the most powerful way He has used me yet. Turns out, it wasn’t my idea at all to bring these two daughters of the King together. I was merely His instrument.

Merely His instrument.

It brings me to my knees to know that the Lord of all would choose me, ME, of all the people in this world to be His messenger.

Truth is, the blessings I have received from following the journeys of these two families are immeasurable. I have been witness to incredible faith and strength. I have seen God carry these women through unimaginable pain and sorrow, never allowing them to carry it alone. I have seen hope that defies all understanding.

Meeting each of these women, though briefly, was no accident. Somehow feeling a sense of connection to them was no accident.

Heartbreak is fresh and raw, but I have no doubt that, through the power of Christ, Julie and Karise will rise victorious.

Love and blessings to you both!

Rain Boots and Other Stuff

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Rain boots.  She needed rain boots.  And she called to tell me that she had bought a pair! Of course I asked her to send me a picture of her new rain boots, in all their glory.

I’ve never cared so much about rain boots!

You see, these particular boots symbolize something huge and powerful – my daughter WANTS me to be involved in her everyday. My heart!!! These are seriously the best boots anyone has ever bought in the history of the universe!

And it doesn’t stop with rain boots!

She rides her bike around campus to her classes, and someone else has the same bike.

She eats lots of waffles. Loves Swing Cats. Finally got a breakfast taquito from Whataburger. And eats dinner late.

She is actually going to the football game, and plans to clean up the stadium when it’s over.

The guy in the bookstore can’t follow directions.

SHE FINALLY SAW JIM, (aka the Sergeant Major.)

And apparently “tons of rain” means a light drizzle. So much for the rain boots. 😜

But there is something better than knowing one of her professors talks about her kids all the time.

She tells me other stuff, too.

Like when she is homesick and lonely. Or when she is stressed and tired. Or when she declared a major.

And when we talk – we sometimes talk for an hour! An hour! A few days ago, I laughed and said, “you didn’t think you would miss me!” She laughed…but she knew it was true!

Other moms who have gone before me have said the dynamic with your teenage child gets better when they move out. I was never too convinced of that. But you know what? It happened almost immediately!

And I’m soaking it all in.

And something else – I’ve never owned a pair of rain boots.