Note to My Readers

I was hospitalized on Saturday with Pulmonary Embolism (fancy talk for blood clots in the lungs.) I am doing much better today and will probably be released once they get my meds established.

I praise God for each breath I am given! I encourage you to breathe deeply and live life to the fullest, it is a precious gift given to each of us.

Symphany of Your Presence

Isaiah 50:4The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.

Weary today. I choose to turn from my weariness and praise you Lord, for you are present, and my portion. Thank you for loving me and satisfying me with manna from heaven.

I can snuggle into winter’s night and fine tune my ear to the symphony of your presence singing me to sleep. I can be still in the knowledge that you are God. That is enough today.

Betrayed by the body

Lamentations:320Surely my soul remembers And is bowed down within me. 21This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. 22The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail.…

Matthew 26:38Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”

 

Sometimes our body betrays our attempts at escaping depression. Chronic pain, chronic insomnia, chronic stress all break down our body. In other words, our body comes into agreement with depression. So when we begin to change our thinking and our actions the body doesn’t always respond, sometimes because of physical illness it will never be able to respond and at times it out and out rebels.

I often joke that I’m so used to chaos that panic ensues when I experience something normal. Anyone who has ever had an addiction can attest to the war between the body and new habits. Caffeine withdraw can cause headaches, because our body becomes used to caffeine and craves it. Our body can crave depression.

Don’t lose heart when the body doesn’t respond to hope or new habits of acting in faith. Keep forming new ways of thinking, interact with humanity because it IS the right thing to do, not because it feels right. Do what is good, even if the body betrays you.

Where Can I Go For Help

“Do you have your exit buddy?”–Crush (Finding Nemo)

When I began my healing process my counselor had me create a crisis sheet. Steps to take, people I could trust, ways to protect myself. One of the most important parts of the plan was having the person I could call at a moments notice and they will be there. Dori was that fish for Marlin in the movie Finding Nemo. She was loyal, insightful, an encourager, good listener (even if she had no short term memory) Who is your fish?

When Jesus sent out the disciples he sent them out in pairs. Why? Because this world is going to have obstacles and they are much easier to climb when we are not alone. My kids went to a warehouse that had a floor to ceiling climbing wall. Neither made it to the top the first time. Even though the spotter told them what to look for their fear made it hard to listen. Defeated they went on to other activities. Natalie was the first to go back to the wall and try again and this time she knew that the harness would hold her, so that fear was gone. She climbed higher, but still got stuck and looked like she was going to give up again.

The spotter (without a harness mind you) climbed up the wall beside her and coached her on how to climb. She quickly made it the rest of the way. At the moment she was ready to quit, the young man was her partner to the top. Who is your partner in those moments of depression? Please hear me the other person doesn’t have to be perfect, but they do have to have certain qualities that you are currently lacking. They need to see the bigger picture of your goals when you get stuck in the middle. Who is your exit buddy! ?

Reaching the TopSuccess

Suicide Has a Face: Learning to Offer Hope

As a survivor of suicide, there is nothing that makes me recoil worse than hearing, “Sometimes there is nothing that you can do, if someone wants to kill themselves then they will find a way.” The speaker is talking about some abstract, undefined person–not my son. Gratefully I have not heard that too many times, but I have heard it. I have not had the strength to respond until now, not out of condemnation, but out of a desire to offer hope and healing to deeply wounded souls and educate those that desire to help.

My son wanted to live! Everything he was doing, everything that he was planning for was to live a long life. Ironically I’d have to say that I would have fit the above statement better than Jonathan. I made repeated attempts on my life, he made one. I am still here because there were people who never stopped offering me hope in little and big ways, no matter what I might do.

That is the thing, the above statement always comes after someone takes their life. I believe that the speaker is trying to understand something too horrific to ever comprehend. Suicide is not something that we will ever be able to stuff into a box and say, this is what it is! I left no note, Jonathan left a note, some suffer from physical causes, others depression. Our suffering may be different, but the one thing that we all need is HOPE!

Don’t ever stop offering it to me, to those around you just because the task seems daunting or impossible. God is a god of the impossible! Jesus saw our suffering and mourned with us, brought healing, and hope to those that others claimed were without redemption. I will cling to that hope, because in my darkest days it is my sunshine.

A Timely Touch: Letting others know that you are aware of their pain

I began sorting pictures and papers this week. As you can imagine the task hasn’t been easy; seeing my vibrant Jonathan deepens my heartache. I even found valentine cards. Yesterday I was struggling to not sink into despair. A card arrived in my mailbox and it was once again the timely boost I needed to get through the day.

Sometimes that is all it takes to break someone from their downward spiral. I call these moments when someone reaches out a “timely touch” that says I see you, I know you are in pain.

I encourage you, if you have anyone in your life who is struggling with the weight of their burdens, reach out and touch them with a note. If you are able come along side and share their burden, even better. Don’t be afraid to bother them. Don’t be afraid to see them. Don’t be afraid to grieve with them.

Your touch has made all the difference to me.

I am a Beautiful Disaster: Letting God use all aspects of our lives

Today I locked my self out of the house. Our garage door is broken, so the whole routine is out of whack. My husband had physical therapy today, so I needed to take the kids to school. My cell phone is dead, so I had to run over to my neighbor’s to call Brian . . . straight to voice-mail. So I called the physical therapist office. . . voicemail. Maybe I can catch him before his sessions over. I hopped in the car and drove over to the office. He had gotten the message and left the keys for me. Back home to get a quick change for the gym and back out.

Are you exhausted already by the start of my day? Now I’m laughing, but in the moment I realized my keys were on the inside and I was on the outside, my mind was racing to find a solution. How did your day start?

We can feel this way spiritually. We’re scrambling to figure out this whole God thing. Is he real-is he not? Is he good-is he not. Why does he let bad things happen to us? What is his plan for my life? Who is in charge, him or me? We lock ourselves out of his will and then blame God.

What if each moment, even my getting locked out were for a purpose? I thought about skipping the gym, I was going to be late for class. But my desire for consistency and discipline won out. If God works all things to good (that does mean that all things are good) for those who love him and are called according to his purpose- Romans 8:28, then my day to day experiences are beautiful. I love the song Beautiful Disaster. That is what I am, and I love God for taking my brokenness and making me shine like the stars!

If your day started like mine, take a moment to read Romans 8. You might see that there isn’t a single part of you that is not the hands of our creator! Even if the purpose of my mess is only to encourage others beautiful disasters to let go of having it all together.

Painting with Boldness: Sharing our Story without Fear

“Your painting in pastels. Don’t be afraid to use some darker colors and even dabble in some reds. The bricks around old windows had so much character.” The art teacher encouraged me. We are such unique and vivid creations! Do we leave our bold mark on the world? My son’s suicide has caused me to paint life with a bit more risky colors.

God came to earth in the form of a tiny baby, born in a manger, announced by angels, and celebrated by shepherds and wise men. Jesus died on the cross for all of us, and on the third day rose again. Talk about painting with bold color! God reveals his love for us openly. He does not try to hide it.

The disciples went from hiding to boldly declaring what they had seen and heard. We have this impression that the apostle Paul was naturally a bold person, but there are several indications otherwise. Acts 18:9-11 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. When Paul met Jesus he was murdering Christians. He had a lot of reasons to hide his new found faith–people hated him! Paul was encouraged along the way towards boldness by God and his fellow believers.

I ask that you pray for me to proclaim Christ boldly! Fear hinders many of us from sharing our lives with others, we tend to speak in pastels. I pray for you to paint the gospel boldly, as well.