Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise will continually be on my lips."

This past month has easily been the most difficult month of my life. For those of you who don't know I was falsely accused at one of my jobs and lied about by multiple staff members and when I told the truth I was not believed. I was fired on that same day. I'm not sure which has been more difficult; that people I cared about lied about me, that people who were my close friends believed the lies about me, the total paranoia that set in afterward as I was unsure of whether I could really trust anyone at all in my life, the embarrassment and humiliation that I felt as the gossip spread, the anger that burned inside me when the gossip overflowed and endangered my other job, the fact that I had to borrow money from my single parent mom to keep my gas and electric turned on and having to take out a cash advance loan to pay my rent and having no idea where the money would come from to pay those loans back, realizing that every other job that I've looked into or applied for pays half or less than half of what I've been used to making and the frustration that comes along with that, grieving the abrupt loss of my friends that I worked with and the clients that I'd poured so much of my life into, having to cancel my annual Christmas trip to visit my family and friends in Michigan and Wisconsin because I can't afford to travel and I can't afford to take off and not work, and feeling totally lost.

I had felt for a very long time that the one thing that I was good at was my job, it is where I derived so much of my worth as a person. I had spent years being a faithful employee, going above and beyond, bleeding myself dry of time and personal funds, being honest even if it wasn't popular or seemingly beneficial, being kind, giving people the benefit of the doubt, doing whatever was asked of me with a smile. I truly cared about the people, the staff, the management, the agency as a whole, the guardians, and worked diligently to build good working relationships with other agencies. I gave up my free time, my sleep, and my overall health for years. When the job was taken away I felt like I lost most of my worth.

I've spent the last month constantly changing between sobbing, feeling totally betrayed, feeling like this must be a crazy dream, and being furious. I've never been an angry person and over the last month I have felt myself change into a very angry person and it scared me. I know that I absolutely had a right to feel angry about what was done to me, but I don't want to be an angry and bitter person. I drank more than usual and knew that if I didn't let this go I would turn into a very angry, bitter person who abused alcohol and shut out the world. I know exactly what this looks like because I am related to someone who sees his world through an angry and bitter lens and who spent much of his life struggling with refusing to mend relationships when people hurt him and dulling his pain and guilt with a bottle and other substances. He spends all of his free time alone at home now and won't even leave to spend time with his child at her request. I have started rarely leaving my own home. Most of this stems from my addiction and long battle with food. I gained 100 lbs while working a super stressful position before I was fired and then had decided that I didn't care about myself at all anymore. I have shut out almost all of my friends, especially those from the past that I rarely see because I am too embarrassed for them to see me. I have convinced myself on numerous occasions that they would be disgusted if they saw me anyway and then somehow become angry with them and feel hurt by them when I make it very difficult for them to see me.

Anyway, during my anger I was somewhat closed off to the Lord. I wasn't so much angry with Him over what had happened with being fired unfairly, but I just couldn't understand it. What purpose did it serve? What was the point of me diligently spending years trying to act like Christ and to be honest and kind and tender-hearted and helpful, etc if after all of it they would end up believing that I was a liar and a thief anyway? It just made no sense. I know that I have made a lot of desperate sounding fb statuses on here and I generally don't air out that kind of stuff on fb, but at the same time I wasn't sharing details, in no way was I trying to berate those who wronged me, I was just hurting so badly and reeling and just needed those who care about me to know. I needed someone to know that my heart was broken and that I didn't know what to do. What do you do when everything that you worked so hard for is ripped out of your fingers? And for a reason that isn't your fault?

The answer is this; fall at the feet of Christ. I am such a broken mess of a person and He is the only One that can heal me. He is the only hope that I have, the only hope that exists. I hate that I shut Him out and that it took me so long to want Him. I don't know what is doing to happen. I know that I'm going to keep trying to find a job, even if the pay is horrible. I know that I'm going to be very thankful for every extra shift that I can pick up at my part time job and that the staff members there that give me the extra shifts are blessings. I know that I'm not going to starve. I know that there are people in my life that love me desperately even when I don't think that they could love me and most of them are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I know that I still love and care about the people that wronged me and I truly hope that somehow, someday that the Lord will open their eyes to the truth and I know that I forgive them even if they don't think they need to be forgiven. I know that I have to change, I can't be everything that God has planned for me if I'm angry and bitter. I know that God really does have a future planned for me that doesn't consist of hiding in my house and hating myself and longing for the good old days when I didn't realize that this world was so hard, so dark with sin and evil and selfishness. I know that there are exciting things that I am supposed to do because God planned for me to do them before I was even born, before the world existed He knew me and had plans for me. I know that there is a hope, I have a hope, and that it is Him. I know that I need to again smash the idols in my life and long for Him and Him only. I know that I need to ask Him everday to make me desire Him, to want to know Him just a little more everyday. I know that my worth has nothing to do with where I work, who believes me when I tell the truth, how much money I make, but that my identity is Christ. He is why I have worth and His sacrifice means that I am worth a lot to Him. Here are some verses that touched me and encouraged me today. They are from a lot of verses and I just stuck them together. :)

"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love. We wait in hope for the Lord, He is our help and shield. But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God! Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. You answer us with aweome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas. For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. As for me I will always have hope; I will praise You more and more. Sustain me, my God, according to Your promise and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in the Lord I put my hope. The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love. There is surely a future hope for you and your hope will not be cut off."


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Laundrymats, liquor, and LIFE!

Today. Today is the second day of taking my life back. Today is the second day of eating healthy, not drinking, and spending time in the Word consistently. Today is the second day of exercising and giving all I have to being healthy in every way. Today is good and it is difficult. Today was another day spent in my car that has no AC-yuck! Last week was the sixth month since my Papa died and the sixth month that I abused alcohol off and on. Last week was the sixth month that I over-ate more than I ever had in my life. Last week was the last week that I will ever be that unhealthy. Last week was the last week that I will buy into satan's lies that I am insignificant and insufficient.
I have always drank alcohol off and on and scripturally it is fully acceptable to do so, but for me right now I am choosing not to. I chose the wrong way to grieve, but that is what I chose, and now I am done. Right now I'm also choosing not to drink alcohol for practical reasons because it has an insane amount of calories and has greatly added to my obesity. I also chose to grieve incorrectly when I gorged myself on ridiculous amounts of food and as a result of both of these over-indulgences I have gained 35 lbs in the last 6 months which is insane since I was already so obese. Amazingly I have only smoked a few times in the last 4-6 months, most likely because I temporarily traded one addiction for another. Don't worry, I haven't started smoking again. :) I have difficulty in every physical area of my life due to having so much weight on me and am looking forward to simple tasks not being so exhausting.
I feel much better than I did last week and really covet people's prayers and encouragement.
This week the Lord has really shown Himself to me. A few months ago I felt the Lord telling me that He wanted me to start a discounted laundrymat in my neighborhood. There are so many refugees in my apt complex(we're actually on the KY Refugee Tour) and the laundry facility at the apts is less than many laundrymats around, but still expensive and they really struggle financially. I have thought about it off and on, but hadn't really done anything else. The past 2 weeks I've really felt the need to share this idea with people around me and last Friday night I was up much of the night because my mind would not be quieted and I just kept thinking about the things that God could do with this laundry facility. I want to charge less and have a Bible study that meets there consistently, etc and also use space to have a clothes closet and food pantry that is very close and since many of the refugees are Muslim and won't come into the church even to meet their physical needs. While I was laying there the Lord reminded me that there is a Mosque and a Muslim school less than half a mile down the street from the apts where I live and I felt as if that is where He wanted to have the laundry facility. Two days later I felt led by the Spirit to drive down by the Mosque and to look at it and see if it was for sale, so I did. I passed it up and turned around and stared at it from across the street. I felt like I was supposed to literally drive onto the piece of ground that it was on and to survey it, so I did, even thought initially I was a bit apprehensive. As soon as my car pulled onto the property I felt God say to me, "This is the land that I will give to you"! It reminded me so much of when God called Abraham out and told him of His plan for him and his family and I started crying. I have driven back out to that lot everyday this week so far and I watch it and I pray and I trust God and take Him at His word. I have no idea if the land is even for sale, etc and I have no idea how God will give it to me, but I know that it will be entrusted to me for His purpose and His glory at some point in my life because He said that it will. Abraham was told by God that he would have a child and he waited decades to see this promise fulfilled, but it was fulfilled in God's perfect timing and in an unbelievable way.
Also today someone I care a lot about that hurt me very deeply brought attention to the reality that they are beginning to see some things in their life that need to change and that have hurt others. I cannot express the weight that was lifted off of me at that very moment. They did not apologize directly to me, but they admitted the shortcoming. I finally felt validated, finally felt like I knew that it wasn't my fault. FOr years I have closed down, punished myself, and hurt myself because they had hurt me and their actions had contributed largely with others to my belief that I had no self worth and that I was not enough for them. I finally know for sure that I wasn't crazy and that things that happened were not my imagination. More than all of that I am so glad for them because their life will now be fuller and will hold more joy. I know that this may not all make sense, but I cannot fully describe the peace that has come to me today through this situation and the timing of this is certainly no accident, but instead perfection on the part of my Heavenly Father.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kill me now!

Shut up, shut up, shut up! I am going to start punching people in their faces for whining, especially when they are fully capable of changing their present circumstances. I would love to sit around and complain about my life, then talk about how to fix it because I know how, and then not fix it and complain some more. Ok, not really, it's not at all appealing.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Oh, that I would speak truth without fear.

What a fulfilling day and encouraging day! I sat with my family for worship today and my youngest sister Sarah Grace sat next to me. Normally she sits with a friend, so I consider this a treat. Anyway, the Lord really used my sister Sarah to encourage me today and to show His grace and perfect timing. She became a believer a couple weeks ago and I haven't really talked to her much about it. She's still Sarah and people aren't changed overnight and God still allows us to have our own unique personalities after we become believers, so I didn't want to overwhelm her with crazy attention after the Lord drew her to Himself. As we worshipped the God of the universe today I was blessed to see her clap during a song, take a few notes, and pay attention to Pastor Charlie for a few moments. Many people would consider this nothing, but if you knew my sister before this is a huge deal! She strongly disliked everything about "church" and did not really participate in the worship. I just sat there and cried because I can see God changing her like He changes all of His children. He called her by name and is molding her into the exact person He wants her to be in His timing and to be used for His specific purposes. I cannot wait to see how He uses her for His glory! God changing her had been one of the most heavy burdens on my heart for years, I ached for her to know the truth and the hope that the rest of us had and had cried out to the Lord for years to take her into His arms and to change her for His purposes and HE HAS!!!!! None of us deserve His salvation and many people I know are the only believers in their family's, so to have all my siblings know Christ is the most amazing reality that I could ever hope for.
Also this morning I was so incredibly convicted. I have this hope and I as well as every single believer am called to go and am called to send. We have adopted an unreached people group and will soon begin sending members of the body to teach and tell others of Christ. This is the ultimate purpose of the gospel. So many times I live as if someone else will tell the nations. If I don't and they don't then these people die without hope. They die seperated from God. How can they know if they have not heard? Who will tell them? The Bible is clear that all humanity, every person on the face of this earth is born in sin, we all live in sin, and without Christ we die in sin. If someone in Sumatra dies and has never heard of Christ they will spend eternity in hell, without the presence of God. There is not another option simply because we American Christians are too self-absorbed and lazy to go to them with the truth and risk everything that we have so that they might live and live abundantly. Not only do I generally live as if I'm too busy to cross the ocean to speak truth, I don't even talk with my friends and neighbors about it the majority of the time. I am called to go to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. That means my neighborhood, my city, my nation, and the rest of the world. I don't just choose some or none, I am called to ALL. Pray that I will feel sorrow for those who are lost, that I will truly be broken for them and will be bold and courageous and love them with truth. Pray that I will not be afraid, the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing and is offensive to those that do not believe. I must present it fully and without excuse.
Lastly, I am so thankful that I live in a nation where I can worship with my family and not be afraid for my life. I spent some time reading this week about the rest of the nations and those who are slaughtered and tortured for Christ's sake daily. We have this freedom and we hide our faith more than those who are forbidden to speak the gospel. This should shame us.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

But, I have this hope......

I am poured out. I've been dumped out, sucked dry, and scraped empty. Today I have absolutely nothing else to give. The last couple weeks have been especially difficult due to me stopping smoking(again)and having multiple extra people(adults and children)at our house ALL the freakin time! I love the people who have been here, but I need a break and my own space and familiarity.
The last week has also been very emotional because I had my 27th birthday and I spent time with old friends and new people. The "new" people weren't completely new, I went to high school with them, but they were all cooler than me back in the day and I can't ever remember them really talking to me in high school. I do NOT do well with new people. I have a hard enough time lately believing that my friends that I've known a long time actually want to be around me, so it's incredibly unnerving to be around a bunch of guys that played sports in high school and try to understand why on earth they would want to hang out with me. I can't understand it. They were nice and I had a good time, but I felt so self-conscious and horribly fat the entire time until I got some beer in me. I didn't get drunk, but it made me sad that I didn't feel comfortable until I had drank some. I don't have a problem with drinking alcohol, it's fully allowed biblically, but I don't want to drink to feel a particular way-that is sinful.
I don't feel comfortable around anyone anymore. I'm shut down emotionally most of the time because I just don't have the energy to feel feelings. I've gained so much weight that I'm sure that everyone is grossed out by my appearance and feels uncomfortable around me. I'm angry a lot and feel utterly defeated most of the time. I am 27 years old and weigh more than I ever had and I just don't know how this happened! I lost so much weight out of high school and felt so good about myself and had my heart broken and decided to get fat so that no one would ever want me again and then I wouldn't ever have to deal with it again. What a stupid stupid stupid girl. That decision snow-balled and I was hurt by so many others and here I am years later. I don't know where to start, I feel like I'm drowning. Well, I do know where to start, I've got to get in the Word! I ache for God's Word, but I don't make time for Him and He is my healing and my strength. I feel like Paul; I don't do what I know that I should do, what is best for me and everything that I know I shouldn't do I do!
I want to be used for God's glory, but I can't if I'm disobedient. I want to minister, to give of myself to others, to touch people's lives with Christ's love, but I am holding myself back and most of the time I'm not doing in intentionally. I need to live intentionally! I have survived the majority of these last 10 years, I have coasted and just existed, but that is not the life that I am called to, I AM CALLED TO TRULY LIVE! I am called to show life, true life to others, life that only comes with an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ! How can I show life to others if I am living so blandly???
I'd also like to point out that I did enjoy my birthday and my old friends. I had a good friend that came into town from Virginia Beach(I felt very special) and spent time with her and my friend Jason. I miss them so much. It also hurts me to be with them because I remember how care-free I was when I first met them and also I want them to know that hope that I have. I want them to know Christ! I fail so much with speaking truth to them and I know that one really struggles with loneliness and the other is searching. Pray that I will be bold and courageous and that I would love them how they should be loved. Pray that God will show me how deep His love is for me and that He loves me as I am. I have really been discouraged lately.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Parasite monsters, kissing, and the screen of death

So....I'm sitting here watching, "Monster's Inside Me" with Kevin and trying to make Rathead watch it. It's awesome. This guy had a parasite that attacked his liver and he had 2 puss-filled abcesses and this girl had something and then it said that she was allergic and Sarah cursed the tv and the cable magically went out on that station! What is the girl allergic to???? I don't know! This will ruin the entire show now! "Friends" it is. I hope you're happy Sarah!

Oh well. I'm using Rathead's laptop for my blogging and have severely missed having instant access to my blog due our desktop giving up it's life. "Sigh" Nothing will load...ok, this is not entirely true, because random porn folders keep popping up from a stupid trojan virus. Anyway, the only screen that the computer would show me was the screen of death. Now that I've got that out of the way we'll talk about more important things.

Like kissing. The thought of the day will be kissing. Kissing, kissing, kissing! Sometimes I sit around and wonder that since it's been so long since I've kissed anyone(excluding family cheek smooches) what if I've forgotten how?!? I would die. I've only really kissed 3 guys unless you count the time that Michael came over to the apt drunk 8+ years ago and tried to plant some on me and also assisted me decorate Christmas cookies(the ugliest cookies I've ever given out, ha!) and when we had New Years at the Matala's when I was like 15 and I drew Craig Burge's name out of the hat. (Yes Craig I did have a slight crush on you earlier in life) There was the first guy I ever kissed and I was absolutely terrified! The first kiss I totally froze on and it took me awhile to not be paranoid that I would mess it all up, but it was ok cause we were in the dark in a tent made of blankets in the livingroom watching "The Shining" and it was dark so he couldn't see how nervous I was. After that it was my favorite past-time and he let me practice it a lot, LOL. 2 years later he broke my heart so I was back to being "kissless".....until creepy guy from the internet started pursuing me and I allowed myself to believe that he was geniunely interested in me. Big mistake! I actually met him at his apartment and he laced my coke with LOTS of Amaretto so it didn't take long before there was kissing, etc. That ended badly or well depending on how you look at it. It ended badly because I had to force him off of me and fight my way out of his home, but it ended well because he wasn't able to rape me, so... Then there was my last relationship which ended a few years ago and it was ok, but I didn't really know him and he'd rather watch wrestling than kiss and make out=unacceptable. I guess I said all this to just say that I need some kissing in my life and if I don't get some I will cut someone. :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oh, for the love of bob

Soooooo.... ever have one of those days/weeks when you just want to punch people in their faces and scream at them to shut up and quit whining? Me too!