Tag Archives: love

Will You Hope With Me?

It’s been over 7 months since I penned my last post. If you want to know the truth as to why, it’s because I’ve been fighting an intense battle within myself. A battle of whether or not to eat the meal. A battle of whether or not I should run the mile. A battle of whether or not I should continue living. 

As most of you already know, I struggle with debilitating mental illness. For many years, my life has been a struggle of ups and downs. I’ve been okay and I’ve been completely crumbled and broken. I’ve been happy and I’ve been engulfed with despair. And now, I’m in a place where I have never been before. I have no fight left in me. I’m tired. I’m scared. I want to be free. I want to feel joy. I want to be healthy. But to move on and experience life, I have to push through all the things I’ve spent nearly 29 years running from. 

So, in order to be the me that God made me to be, I’m taking a leap of faith and going to a residential treatment program for eating disorders. I’m leaving within the next week and that terrifies me. But THIS is the only life I have known. THIS is the only me I have known.

I am a control freak. There are very few things in this life that are within my control, but one of those things is my eating disorder. I hate my eating disorder, but I love it at the same time – which is something that most people cannot understand. It’s like being held hostage and unable to break free, but once it takes its hold, the captor becomes comforting and reliable. When the rest of the world is chaotic and nothing makes sense, ED brings me comfort. ED is like a trusty friend who will always pick me up when I’m down. ED loves me and I love ED. It’s a dangerous and toxic relationship that I don’t know how to get out of. 

I feel like those closest to me want answers. They want to know why. The want to know how. They want to know the “truth” about why I feel the way I do. But explaining these things to someone who has never stood in my shoes and experienced the things I’ve experienced, is the most difficult thing in the world. 

From a “logical” perspective, all of this seems ridiculous. I feel lonely, so I isolate. I feel hungry, so I don’t eat. I feel full and satisfied, so I purge. I feel anger, so I want to hurt myself. I am capable of stepping outside of myself and seeing how all of this makes absolutely no sense. But that doesn’t change the dynamic inside my very sick brain.

Although it may not look like I’m really trying, I am. Although it may look like I’m just blaming others for my problems, I’m not. Although it may appear that I’m trying to “get out of” being an adult, I’m not. 

If you’ve never had a mental illness or addiction, there really is no way that you can understand the horror that goes through my mind every day. However, I appreciate your support and compassion. I don’t need “tough love” or hostility. So if that’s what you have to offer, please kindly go away. 

Right now, I am fragile and extremely over sensitive. It’s hard to think rationally or logically when your brain and body are malnourished. So please stop telling me that I should “know better” or that I should “be able to control it” – because right now, those statements only add fuel to the fire. 

I am very unstable – thus the need for treatment, to get to a place where I am stable; to get to a place where taking my own life does NOT seem like a viable option. 

I am sick. It’s not just my mental health anymore, my physical health is beginning to crumble as well. And  even though it’s taken me many years to admit it, I can finally see that I need help. I need help and I deserve help. I deserve love and happiness and joy and acceptance. God says that I am worthy of love and its up to me to decide whether or not I will believe Him.

If you’ve known me for a while, you are probably tired of my “excuses” or fed up with my “inability to take responsibility for my actions.” I can understand what it looks like from your perspective and I am sorry that I haven’t “gotten better” yet. I’m sorry that you have had to bear the pain of my mistakes. I sincerely wish I could take back every time I have caused you pain. But I can’t. All I can do now is try to move forward and hope that, one day, we can all find forgiveness. 

All that I ask is for you to please, try to see things from my point of view as well. Please give me space to be able to move on. I am trying to learn how to set HEALTHY boundaries with those I love. Please be patient with me. 

I have hope that I will be able to experience freedom within this lifetime. Will you Hope with me?

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I Have Borderline Personality Disorder

An open letter to those with questions…
I have a mental illness. I’m not crazy and my illness doesn’t define me. I have borderline personality disorder. I’ve struggled with self harm, bulimia, and suicidal thoughts. But I’m still alive and I’m still fighting. 
I know that many of you have wondered where I’ve been over the last few months…so here’s the truth – I’ve been in and out of the hospital since January. I tried to take my own life in April. Thankfully, I was unsuccessful. 

  
Every day is a battle for me. I wrestle with myself and my own thoughts – thoughts that I cannot control. I try, with every fiber of my being, to not let my mental illness effect those around me. But the truth is, if you care about me, my mental illness will effect you. 

  
You see, I don’t view the world the same way you do. I obsess. I worry. I isolate. I cry. I over think. I panic. I hide. Sometimes, I wish I could just run away. 
Borderline personality disorder is a living hell. Those of us with BPD have an extremely difficult time regulating our emotions, an unstable sense of self, and a hard time maintaining relationships. It’s been said that people with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement. I didn’t choose to have BPD. According to the doctors, BPD most frequently develops in children who have been abused, neglected, and/or abandoned before the age of 5…circumstances that’re beyond the control of a small child. BPD develops as a way to cope with a world that makes no sense. It’s our brain’s subconscious way of helping us deal with the chaos in our lives. 

  
I might not be very good at being a friend. I don’t know how to talk to people. I’m terrified of rejection and abandonment. I don’t do small talk. I hate talking on the phone. Most days, I would give almost anything to just be able to interact with the world like a “normal” person. My family often walks on eggshells around me, not knowing if I’m having a good day or a bad day. 
I constantly feel guilty and ashamed for the effect that my mental illness has had on those closest to me. I wish I could give my husband and children more of me, but BPD takes so much from me that I don’t have much left to give. 

  
The biggest thing you need to understand about BPD is that I struggle with emotions. I hate emotions because they scare me. I feel things on a much deeper level than most people. I can feel extreme joy and happiness. But I can also feel terrifying depression and anxiety. I don’t understand emotions. I don’t know how to cope with them. Even when I feel extreme joy, I am overwhelmed with fear about what to DO with that emotion. 
So to sum it all up, if you take only one thing away from this post, please remember that I love deeply and, just like everyone else, I long for love and acceptance. I am only human. You many not understand me – don’t worry, I don’t understand me either. But I ask that you please be patient with me. If I don’t answer you calls, don’t take it personally – sometimes I just can’t find the strength to talk on the phone. Sometimes I don’t know the right words to say – don’t take offense to it. 

  
I love fiercely and deeply. Next time I frustrate you, please understand that it is not intentional. I’m just trying to learn how to cope with this world and handle a life that often makes no sense. 


7-in-7 Day 5: Almost Within Reach

I want to tell a story
Of the power of grace
You may not believe it
But I’ll tell it anyway
At one time I thought
I could be good enough by myself
I didn’t need Jesus
Or anyone else

You see, not long ago
I was lost in this world
Broken by shame
I was a scared little girl
A smile on my face
Would tell the world I was fine
But the shame in my heart
Would tell me that I’m lying
I had endured abuse
And tried to take my own life
I had heard talk of God
But didn’t believe the hype
If He was so great
Why were my arms lined with scars
If He was so loving
Why was I falling apart

So I just kept on reaching
For the next thing I would need
To be happy, find peace
As I watched my soul bleed
At some point I would find it
Joy, love, and peace
If I would only try harder
It was almost within reach

“Almost within reach”
That’s a funny thing to say
It means the same thing as
“It’s too far away”

My mind was convinced
That I could fix all my problems
I didn’t really need to face it
In order to solve them
I could push them away
And ignore the burning pain
That rose in my heart
With the break of each day
It was almost within reach
I had almost achieved it
I was almost enough
I really couldn’t believe it

“Almost within reach”
Means I’d still fall on my face
When I jumped out to grab it
I’d land in a pool of mistakes
If I had only tried harder
If I had just been better
I’ll reach it one day
I’ll just try over

What was I reaching for?
What did I want to achieve?
Every time I thought I made it
I still landed on my knees
Peace, that’s what I wanted
Peace in my heart
Peace that would stay
In spite of my scars

That’s when I met grace
It was “almost within reach”
Almost, but too far
So God reached out for me
He said, “this is yours,
Stop trying to earn it.
Let me love you where you are
And you can have it.
You are a sinner
You can’t be good enough
But if you’re willing to see it
I’ll show you true love.
Look at the cross
And the love that was shown.
My Only Son gave His life
To make you my own.
To you, new life is given
It is freely yours
Only because Jesus died
To conquer the war.”

New life, grace, mercy?
What exactly did that mean?
Could I really stop trying?
Could I really “just be”?
The answer was yes
That’s all He wanted from me
God simply wanted
To give my soul peace

“Almost within reach”
Was always a lie
Peace couldn’t come
From clinging to my life

I don’t pretend to understand
Why God is who He is
I can’t fathom His greatness
All I need to know is this –
I’m not who I was
His grace changed my heart
Jesus loves me, He saved me
And He’s healing my scars
Day after day
His mercies renew
And day after day
I find peace in the truth


Miscarriage vs. Abortion

I haven’t written a “compare and contrast” essay since middle school, but I’ve had some thoughts weighing heavy on my mind and I can’t think of a better way to express them…so let’s compare and contrast two very tragic experiences – miscarriage vs. abortion.

On the one hand, abortion is a choice that a woman makes to willingly take the life of her unborn child and abortion is the unplanned, spontaneous loss of the baby. But on the other hand, abortion and miscarriage both result in a stopped heart beat and the loss of a life that was beautifully woven together by the hands of a creative God. They both result in a woman wondering what could’ve been.

Let me give you some examples:

A young wife found out she was pregnant, and although it was unexpected, she was thrilled by the thought of the new life growing inside of her. She touched her hand to her belly in excitement and anticipation of the changes that would take place in the coming months. The undeniable beauty of the pregnancy glow began to shine across her face as she filled with glorious anticipation.

Until the day she saw blood. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she tried to process what it meant; she already knew. She went to the emergency room while her heart cried out for God to protect the small life inside her. Minutes felt like hours as she sat in the waiting room with her knees to her chest, trying to hold back her sobs.

Finally, the moment of truth. She was lead to an exam room and the doctor brought in the ultrasound and he said the words she had been dreading.

“There is no heartbeat.”

The world around her seemed to go black. Doctors and nurses were still talking and doing their jobs. But she couldn’t make sense of any of it. The words, “no heartbeat”, were playing on repeat in her head. A nurse reached out and sympathetically touched her arm. She was startled back to reality by the touch and the tears started. Her hands slid down her abdomen to the same place they rested just a week before. Instead of life, she now felt a void – like a small piece of her heart was missing.

The process of an abortion is much different. Abortion requires the heart-wrenching choice to choose death over life. A choice that, at the time, may seem like the only answer. A choice that looks like an “easy out”. A choice that will stop the beating of a tiny heart. A choice that, like miscarriage, steals a piece of her heart.

I won’t go into as much detail here about what the scared, pregnant, college girl goes through as she decides the fate of her unborn child. I’ll let you read about the scars of abortion separately.

Abortion and miscarriage have nothing in common – until you look at the aftermath. The young wife who lost her baby at five weeks due to miscarriage is depressed and confused and angry at God. She does not understand why and she struggles with her doubt. But what may come as a shock to many, is the scared girl who chose to abort her baby at eleven weeks is also grieving.

The woman who chose abortion may not grieve immediately. She may not grieve for many years. But when she grieves, when she feels the weight of her choice, she will feel the same confusion and anger. When she grieves, she will trace her hands over her abdomen, feeling the place where her baby once rested soundly. She will crumble into a pile of regret.

I was both of these women. I was the scared woman in the emergency room who desperately wanted to hear the strong heart of my unborn baby beating under my belly. I was also the scared girl in the abortion clinic who just wanted to find a way out.

And in both situations, I grieved. I didn’t grieve my abortion for five years, but the grief was the same.

So what’s the difference between the five week old baby that I miscarried and the eleven week old babies that I aborted? One was wanted and one wasn’t – that’s it. They were both people. They were both little bodies that were, just like you and me, hand crafted by God for a reason and a purpose.

When I miscarried, I told friends and family what happened. I was given a lot of support, hugs, and prayers. But after my abortion I hid in silence for five years before I let myself grieve and when I did, I was still too ashamed to ask for much support.

The point I want to make in this is that, whether a child is lost due to miscarriage or abortion, or even still-birth, the life of ANY unborn child had value and purpose. A woman who aborted her baby and the woman who miscarried both have an equal right to grieve the loss of their babies.

The only answer to the grief, no matter the method of the loss, is the truth of the Gospel and the hope that can only be found the Christ. God can handle our doubts and our anger. The only choice we have, if we want to find true healing and not just a band aid, is to trust God with our deepest hurts.


7-in-7 Day 1: Hold on to the Promise

7-in-7 Day 1….I’ve been in a poetry rut lately, glad for 7-in-7 to help draw it back out of me.

The Promises
As a child she was confused
She just didn’t understand
Why she always felt scared
Lost in a foreign land
There were times that she prayed
Hoping maybe He’d hear
That He’d reach down to her
And remove all her fears
But she didn’t trust
And she believed even less
That God cared for her
Her life was a mess

That scared little girl
Became lost as a teen
Blinded by the anger
From the hurt she had seen
She learned to smile
Through the ache in her soul
Convinced it’d get better
If she had more control
She hid all her emotions
She was too afraid to feel
But when you hide for too long
You forget what is real

So into adulthood
She carried the lies
And she blurred the line
Between truth and disguise
She tried all she could
To find approval and praise
But she never could see
She wouldn’t find it that way
With all that she had
She wanted to believe
“God, if you’re really there
Please come to me.”

Because He is faithful
And true to His Word
He showed her His love
Like He said He would
When she was dying
Drowning in shame
He came down beside her
And He bore her pain
He carried her out
Of the darkness she lived
Showed her she was made
For more than just this

You see, this is a story
I know all too well
Life without God
Was my living hell
Every sin that I had
Weighed down on my back
I tried to save myself
But the ability’s what I lacked
He gave me love
When I deserved death
And He showed me grace
When I had nothing left

The moral of my story here,
It’s as simple as this:
At the end of your rope
Just hold on to the promise
The promise of love
The promise of hope
The promise that no matter what
He won’t let you go


When I Grow Up

When I was growing up, I frequently got asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I always had an answer – astronaut, doctor, police officer…you get the picture. While this is something kids should think about, I’ve come to realize that what we want to be when we grow up shouldn’t be the focus of our lives. What’s more important, I think, is WHO we want to be.

I am 25 years old, and I still have no clue WHAT I want to be when I grow up. I have a criminal justice degree, I went to EMT school, and I have a passion for writing….I’m not quite sure where that gets me; but I’m not going to spend my life with a sole focus on finding the answer. An occupation is simply that – a job. Yes, it is where we make money to provide for our families…but it does not define who we are.

But let’s focus on the other question – who do I want to be.

I want to be a faithful follower of Christ. I want to love God with all my heart, all my mind, and all my strength. I want to trust Him with my life and my plans and allow Him to show me what I should be doing; that no matter what my job – He will provide for our needs as long as I listen and obey.

I want to be a loving and submissive wife. I want to love my husband only second to God and follow his lead of our family.

I want to be a patient and wise mother. I want to make good decision in guiding my children and point them to Christ. I want to show them grace and admit to them when I’ve done wrong. I want to show them that they are loved unconditionally, not just by their parents – but also by God.

I want to be a good friend. I want to love others and share the love of Christ with everyone I meet. I want to help hurting people. I want to show people, who think there is no hope left, that there is ALWAYS hope in Jesus Christ.

This is only a small glimpse into who I want to be. I’m not yet where I need to be in achieving this, but I’m no longer where I was.

So let’s stop focusing on WHAT we want to be or what our kids want to be. What we want to be doesn’t define who we are. Only God can do that. Instead, let’s focus on WHO we want to be.

Let’s teach our kids that WHO they want to be is more valuable than what they want to be. Let’s raise our kids to love God, family, and others. Let’s show them that they don’t have to earn love. Lets teach them the value of hard work but help them to also see the difference between work and identity.

What you do can be taken from you; but who you are is who you, no matter what you do.


All I Need

God is all I need; I know that. But I am still scared of this world. I am tired of this world – the pain, heartache, sickness, and death. I’m ready to go Home, to my eternal Home where death is no more.

Sometimes life seems so surreal. It’s so hard to fathom the things that happening right now. We always think these things can never happen to us – until they do. My family shed many tears in the last 36 hours with the diagnosis of my sister’s brain tumor. We are all scared and wondering why and how this happened.

I can’t answer any medical questions. I don’t know why and I don’t know how. I don’t know what the outcome will be and I don’t know how we will all hold up through it all. All I do know, the only thing I have to hold on to when life hurts this much, is that God is with us. He is here. He has a plan. And He is active through all of this, even though we may not see it.

I need grace for every day. Some days I need more than others, but He ALWAYS gives me exactly what I need to keep on keeping on. So yes, I am scared, terrified even, of what the future of our family will look like, but I am trusting the One who holds my heart. I trust that no matter what happens, His grace will always be enough.

All I Need
In times like this when I can’t see
All I have is hope in Thee
I’m letting go and falling hard
I need to know You’ll catch my heart
I’m trusting you to be right here
With your love to calm my fears
I need Your arms stretched out to me
Embrace me now and let me see

Walking blindly through the rain
The grip of love holds my pain
I’m scared, I’m desperate, I’m confused
Waiting to see what You will do
The only One who’s conquered death
Gives me hope for every breath

Life is hard, I want to flee
And all I have is rest in Thee
I lay my life here at Your cross
And trust in You to find the lost
Fighting this world all by myself
Leaves me crying out for help
I’m exhausted of all my strength
And trusting in Your priceless grace

Walking blindly through the rain
The grip of love holds my pain
I’m scared, I’m desperate, I’m confused
Waiting to see what You will do
The only One who’s conquered death
Lifts me up to give me rest

Hear me now, hear every plea
All I want is peace in Thee
In the chaos of this place
Help me now to seek Your face
Your love all I’ll ever need
I’m crying out on bended knee
Though it seems like it’s the end
You are there at my defense

Walking blindly through the rain
The grip of love holds my pain
I’m scared, I’m desperate, I’m confused
Waiting to see what You will do
The only One who’s conquered death
Gives me peace, He’s never left


Am I Home Yet?

Home. It’s a short, four letter word with a very long meaning. What is a home? What does it mean to be home? The dictionary defines a home as “a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.” But as I think about how good it feels to be at home, I started wondering, what does that really mean?

Being “at home” is much more than a physical place of residence. It’s much more than having a roof over your head and walls on each side. A home is a place where pains and joys are shared with those you love. It’s a place where children grow and messes are made. It’s a place where love is felt between family and friends (who are often just an extension of the family). It’s a place where mistakes are made and lessons are learned, but everyone still loves you the same. It’s a place where memories are formed and bonds are tightened. It’s a noisy, chaotic, sometimes unbearable, but heavenly, place.

For the first time in my life I can say, I AM HOME!

For much of my life I have felt like I was searching for something; a place where I could quit trying, striving, and pretending. A place where I could feel loved even when I made mistakes. A place where I could find rest. A place where I felt safe, even if the world around me was crumbling.

But when God found me, I found that place I had always been searching for – my Father’s arms. In God’s arms, I am safe, I am loved, I can rest, and I can heal. No place on this earth can provide that same feeling.

It’s ironic though, that once I learned how to rest in God’s love for me, I began to also feel at home in my physical environment.

I am a beach girl from San Diego, so living in Central Texas has been a challenge for me. There’s no beach and it’s ridiculously hot. But then, God brought me to a fabulous church and gave me an amazing church family. He gave me some wonderful friends who love me unconditionally and who will walk through life’s ups and downs with me.

Because I have learned to be at home with God, He has also given me the gift of being at home on this earth.

Ultimately, my home is heaven; and I look forward to the day that God calls me up. But in the mean time, I’ll enjoy the home He has given me right here, right now.


Stay the Course

Do you ever think God isn’t involved in or doesn’t care about the small details of your life? You know, the things that are seemingly insignificant, that don’t really make a big impact on life (or so you think)? That is where I experience God’s love more than anywhere else.

I am impatient. I want what I want and I want it now; a result of growing up in a culture of instant gratification. I often expect God to do what I want Him to do, just because it’s what I want Him to do. I don’t give a thought to whether or not it is the best thing for me from God’s perspective. When God doesn’t do what I think He should be doing in my life, I find myself getting frustrated and doubtful about whether or not He’s active in my life at all. But in my doubt and in my frustration, God proves Himself over and over again as He shows me who He is and how He loves me with small, unnecessary, movements.

Now don’t get me wrong, God has worked in and through me in huge ways that I never knew were possible; and that simply amazes me. The changes that God has made in me, never cease to show me how much He loves and cares about me. But those are the big things, the obviously broken parts of me. Somehow, I seem to often forget that God also cares about the little things, like how far I run, the books I read, the time I go to sleep, the timing of the sunset…and the list goes on.

Let me be honest, until now, I’ve really never given my all, all my energy, strength, and heart, to anything I’ve ever done. But now that I finally see that I really can do anything, I also see that there is only One who deserves my everything because it’s only through Him that I can do anything.

God has shown me magical things lately…things that prove His love for me in unimaginable ways.

A few weeks ago, I was out for a run and still trying to decide how far I would run, when my music stopped, there was God to tell me to slow down and take it easy, not to do too much, too fast. In that moment I was awestruck by God’s overwhelming love for me in things that don’t really seem to matter.

While out on a different run, at 2 miles in, I was feeling tired and I wanted to quit. When I ran by this church in my neighborhood (which I didn’t know existed until then).

20130706-230846.jpg
I was breath taken by God’s activeness in my life. The words on that sign spoke so deeply to me, it was as if Jesus, Himself, was standing right there speaking to me. It was unlike any feeling I’ve ever had before.

So when I start thinking that God is silent, that He’s ignoring me, or that He doesn’t care…I can think back to that sign.

“Stay the course. God’s timing is perfect.”


Leaving a Legacy

When I leave this world, I want to leave a legacy behind me. I want to live in such a way that when people look at me, they don’t see me. I don’t want to be remembered for the things I did, but I’d rather be remembered for how I loved. That may sound incredibly self-centered, but it is actually God-centered.

I recently went to a funeral for an amazing man, who started the Celebrate Recovery ministry at my church. Celebrate Recovery has changed my life. I came to Celebrate Recovery not believing in God; actually, I didn’t believe in Him and I hated Him at the same time. Through Celebrate Recovery, I have learned to see who God is and how He loves me.

This one man has touched so many lives. I only met him once, but he impacted me more than he could’ve ever known. He loved imperfect people like Jesus and shared grace and hope whereever he went. His legacy will live on forever.

A Legacy
A man is a man
We’re all flesh and bone
But some leave a legacy
Like a carving on stone
Some men live their lives
As an offering of love
Sharing grace with each life
Who is blessed with their touch
That’s who Tom was
His heart will always live on
Because of the impact he’s making
Even after he’s gone
Day after day
God is molding my heart
Changing me, through the ministry
That Tom was called to start
I didn’t have to know him
For his life to touch mine
Because the life that he lived
Showed me a love, so divine
The works of his hands
The loved that he shared
So the whole world would see
That God loves and God cares
Tom knew that God blessed him
So he loved others like Christ
Not knowing the world would change
By the effects of his life

Men like this are rare
Their legacies are far reaching
And even after they’re gone
Their lives don’t stop teaching
The hearts that he’s touched
Have turned around to touch me
So I can share with another
How I’ve been set free
But really, what I’m saying
Is look at the love
From a Father who’s grace
Is always enough
No, Tom wasn’t perfect
But his love sure did shine
And even though he’s now gone
His legacy spreads like a vine


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