Wednesday, September 12, 2012

We're not on a need to know basis with God

Worry. About anything and everything. A car, books, school expenses,bills just to name a few of my resent worries. Matthew 6:25-34 Discusses worry- are we not more important than the animals of the earth? How special are we to be created in the image of God!?!? Yet we still worry. God asks us to trust him and not really on our own understanding ( proverbs 3:5-6) God takes care of our needs in his timing not ours which requires us to trust- each time we trust we build our relationship with God. In my case trust meant packing up and leaving home believing in the peace that he would provide for school. Over the course of 3 weeks of extensive prayer and frustrations at God he provided a car, books and the semesters tuition...: yet I still fear and worry about the next step of trust-- I've found myself guilty of wanting to be on a need to know basis with God... Yet I do not need to know my future. I need only trust for the next step, strength just for today. Just as a humanly father cares for his child and provides needs so will our heavenly father do so for us....

Proverbs 3:5-6 " trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding"

Friday, July 13, 2012

On my knees

There come points your life where we all think we can do things on our own. when these times come we often forget to trust God. After all he holds everythingin his hands. In the past couple months I've found myself in this position often. In March of this year I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Manic Depressive Disorder. At the time I didn't understand either of these disorders, therefore it was a big blow- knocking me flat on my face. I soon learned both conditions do not have a cure, but are manageable with a daily regimine of medications. Along with the medications I had to learn about both disorders and how my thought processes had to change. (behave your way out of depression) This became a scarry process for which I just had to trust in God that I would be/ was ok. Upon returning to school after this diagnosis, life was different. I was different, I believed I was a aweful diseased human being. These thoughts continued and once more during the semester I found myself in the ER for attempted suicide. This time I had walked to a bridge and sat on the edge in tears. I later wondered what was it that kept me from jumping? --it was that small glimmer of hope that God knew what he was doing in my life and the simple fact that he loved me. Shortly after this instance school let out and it wasn't long before summer dawned on me. I had great plans to work all summer at my daycare job and save up quite a bit of money. I was lead teacher of the school kids classroom, everything was perfect. I was prideful and completwely self reliant again.

Two weeks into summer I injured my knee on the job and lost my position as lead teacher. I was placed as a floater, meaning I was in every classroom, giving other teachers breaks. I hated it. A week later I decided none of this was worth living and I drove my car into a tree on an embankment. Instead of the car hitting the tree at 30 mph, it became wedged on a stump that was just a few inches shy of the tree. The car was smoking and sparking with bits of fire here and there. I was certain I had totaled the car. It was towed to my mechanic and was fixed for free! At which point I screamed at God and cried myself to sleep on a regular basis for a week. I wanted to know why he  hadn't let me die- and more importantly why did he allow my car to be fixed after I had just ran it into a tree. My answer after wallowing in my frustrations- "because I love you" this simply rang out over and over in my mind. Yet I couldn't wrap my mind around it. How could God save me from suicide for a third time in one year? How could I be worth saving? all of these questions swarmed my mind which let to one major question- WHY?!?!

"BECAUSE I LOVE YOU" yet again was my only answer, I found moderate peace in this answer for weeks. However I soon became dismantled and questioned everything again and was unhappy/ desperately mad at myself. I wasn't able to sleep for days and a good night of sleep was 3 or 4 hours of sleep. I couldn't go on like this- not getting sleep is enough to drive anyone batty. ( I was in a manic state of bipolar) I was miserable and couldn't think straight. I decided at this point I would yet again attempt to end it all and I overdosed on my depression medication; prozac. After refusing to speak to a friend or any sort of help the police were called on me, I didn't care- Life was grim. By the time the police had arrived I was dizzy, sleepy and sick feeling (from the overdose). Moments later i was in the ambulance on my way to the hospital. On this day I also learned I had lost my job at the daycare. It was all the more reason I wanted to die. Yet again my attempt at suicide did not work and I was taken to Crises Stabilization unit ( the same place I was diagnosed in march) I was angry to be back in this place again and hated everyone. I was quickly checked in and was allowed to keep my journal, a pen,clothes and a bible. I also was placed in room # 1 for suicide watch. yet again. However during my stay this time I roomed with a older bipolar woman (whom, I'll refer to as Fran). Fran reffered to her bipolar as a thorn in her side, which kept her on her knees and often shattered her pride. This also led into a discussion about her devotional she had that morning. She gave the example of a peacock, they have beautiful feathers, but ugly feet. We all have some sory of physical defficency, which Paul identifies as  a thorn in the flesh.

" 2 corinthians 12:7-10 "So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.   For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong"

I soon realized my thorn in the flesh is bipolar and manic depressive disorders. I quickly began begging and pleading with God to remove this. I even asked God if we could bargain. I could tell my answer was a dead no. I was increasingly angry at God- society looks down upon the mentally ill. This led to much more degrading of myself. Five days later I was released from Crisis and stayed with a friend. During this time I informed the individual I was living with I lost my job- and I would only be able to pay a small amount of the remaining rent owed. I explained I would pay the rest when I had another job- the woman was irrate and said many degrading comments and asked I get my things out ASAP. I simply could not handle this and didn't desire to live. I had no idea and doubted God would provide a place to live or rent. In my despair I cut. I thought the woman I was living with was a friend. I was deeply hurt. The following day  (Sunday) I agreed to go to a different hospital for more help.

Sunday came quickly and the day began with church. I broke down during church, I couldn't keep my composure and I herd a small voice saying "Can I have all of you". I was baffled- I didn't know what to say. Following church we packed all of my things which was tremendously difficult. Yet God provided the rest of the rent on this day as well as a place to live in KY. By the time I arrived at the hospital I was quite frazzled, I didn't care about life, anyone and was quite angry. I was immediately admitted and placed in the special care unit. In this unit cameras were everywhere, in my room the bathroom door didn't lock, there was no shower curtain, I wasn't allowed to have my journal, pens or even showering items. I was left with two books I had, my bible and clothes. Privacy was a privilege. I had to simply trust God knew what he was doing. The first two/ three days I wouldn't leave my room. I cried almost every moment and I hated God with every ounce left in me. I refused to go to processing groups on these days. However I had the opportunity to go to a less restricting unit- a christian based unit with more privileges. In my time at the new unit (new horizons) I broke and much of my frustrations were brought to light.

Concepts included seeing ourselves as beautiful- as God sees us...I deeply pondered this. How could I be beautiful enough for him to save me, love me and hold me? In the midst of processing this I found it to be rooted in anger. we are often angry at ourselves for many reasons or events that have happened in the past. I had many events for which I was angry- I needed to forgive myself. By not forgiving myself, I was stuck in the past and denied myself of any hope in the future. Forgiving myself by far has not been easy, it's a daily process. Sometimes forgiving others is significantly easier than forgiving ourselves. For often we are our own worst enemy. However this shed much light on the previous question of "can I have all of you?"

I had to forgive myself and let go of the anger which mostly consisted of anger at being bipolar/ manic depressive. I am forgiven and there is no need to pick this back up (sometimes its a daily process of forgiveness) Nine days later I was discharged and off to kentucky. It was a 6 hour car ride. The drive consisted of screaming at God to the point of thankful tears and praise.Since this point I am learning for him to have all of me means- simply praising him for who is on a daily basis, letting go of the past daily, maintaining hope for a brighter future and above all trusting him with everything.

Trusting him is a concept Im still learning, it is a total reliance on him for everything. For myself this has been trusting him with providing a place to live, having gas money to get to kentucky, recieving grace from the cellphone company (for 3 weeks) so that my cell phone is not turned off, waiting on him to sell my old cell phone to pay for car repairs, and waiting for my last paycheck from the daycare (three weeks) and simply getting a job- in the least expected place (mcdonalds) making minimum wage- which I haven't been paid so low in three years. however I'm thankful God even provided this job where as I was prideful and selfish in my higher paying job.  So I'm learning nothing is in my hands he owns it all. While I may have asked God to remove the thorn from my flesh often I believe I should thank him for it. It's keeping me humble, causing me to rely on him in my daily struggles. Its also keeping me on my knees, improving my prayers life and keeping my eyes fixed on him. May God always keep me on my knees....