When Everything Around You Takes You By Surprise…….

I know I am not as “regular” of a writer here on this blog as many of you are, but I tend to just write when something’s going on, or when something just inspires me to write. I don’t do the every day thing, but I really enjoy reading the blogs of people who are. Anyway, there’s no real reason for that little side note, other than the fact that I am stalling writing this next blog.

Everything I’m going to write about today may not make too much sense to you all. It may be a longer blog than normal, but I would still appreciate your feedback; whether through comments, or just simply liking the blog. Thanks.

So the last time I wrote was just a little over 2 weeks ago. I had just tried the support group for women victims of sexual abuse. I was so anxious that day, and I wanted to give a quick update on how the second one went. It went really really well. There were a couple people who didn’t make it to the first one, but are part of the group, and made it to the second one, and the mixture of personalities is really cool. I felt super comfortable with these ladies and the facilitators and I really believe this is a good thing for me. I don’t want to lie, I still took an ativan, and I was still crazy nervous to get out of my car and actually go in, but once I did, I was super glad. I have a feeling this next meeting will be a lot less anxiety provoking for me.

A lot has been going on in my life over the last 2 weeks. I had a group of co-worker’s over to my house for a BBQ and it was great. I love each and every one of them, and respect them all just as much. They are truly great people doing great things. The only unfortunate thing, however, is I found out the Thursday before this BBQ (which by the way had been planned for over 3 weeks), that the program these co-worker’s are part of at the organization was going to be going through some cuts due to budgetary issues. I didn’t know what to think when my boss told me this was going to be happening. I was angry, sad, scared, and just shocked that the organization let the budget get this out of control (I can’t say specifics, but it never should have gotten this bad). I decided after hearing the news to still have the BBQ and enjoy the time with all these people. It was hard though, knowing this budget issue would touch each of them personally, either directly or indirectly. Then the following week came, and we had to sit down and have a meeting with these people to tell them all the basics of what was going on. Some got really upset, others, just sat there in silence, and you could just see they were boiling. We met with them as a group, but would be setting up times to meet with each individually to talk to them about how it would affect them personally. We were going to be cutting the hours of the program in half basically, and go down to staffing for those hours being done by only one individual, and not two. So some of them would be losing all their hours in this program completely.

It was horrible to be in the meeting where our director and my supervisor were telling everyone what was going on. To see the faces of these people, who just 3 months ago, I was working directly with, I was doing the same job, they were not only my co-workers, but my friends. Now, I had to sit on the other side and be there when they all found out this news. It’s not easy for sure. I don’t want any of them to feel like I “went to the other side” or “ditched them” I just took on a new position and I care for each of them just the same. Unfortunately, some of them just don’t that.

 

My Grandpa has also been struggling pretty bad lately. He went into the hospital on Memorial Day because he was leaning to the left and saying he was sitting straight up. He was unable to lift his feet up to be able to walk effectively or to step up a 3 inch step into the house, and we as his family, feared stroke, and so did his doctor when we called him. We took him to the ER and from there he was admitted. After a couple days in the main hospital, he was accepted into the rehab program. He was over in that program until just 3 days ago. While in the program, he was so so confused. He also had dementia, and as part of that horrible disease, when you are taken out of your known environment, the confusion gets worse. Well, it did. He had no idea what was going on 99% of the time. Unsure of who was around him, where he was, why he was there. He believed at times he was at a hotel and he was insisting on making sure it was paid for. Every time he would get a meal to eat , he would ask for the bill and would want to pay it.

This is so hard to watch, as it is not my grandpa. He is not the man I know. He is in there somewhere, but this disease has taken over his mind and it’s horrible to watch, to see it affect my grandma and my dad, and the rest of my family, and it’s hard to be on this side watching pa get frustrated because at times I truly believe he know’s something is wrong.

 

Lastly, there’s my mom. I’ve mentioned on here before, she has a lot of health issues, depression included. The problem, though, is she doesn’t seem to be moving forward in her treatment. She uses her therapy sessions as a time to complain, rather than a time to let things out, and then challenge herself to change things. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to just unload on your therapist, because I do that too, the difference is, my therapist listens, AND when I’m done, challenges me to try things differently in order to make things better. She doesn’t just say “oh I’m sorry it’s going like that” and then “I’ll see you next week”. So my mom has been super irritable lately, and no matter what you say to her, she snaps back at you. And I’ve gotten to the point where I’m standing up and speaking up, asking her why is she so crabby, or standing up for myself, or at times, I quit responding at all because I’m not looking to get into an argument and I refuse to respond to her when she is seeking an argument out. It feels like no matter what she’s looking for a  fight, and I’m tired of it. Dad’s tired of it, and neither one of us knows what to do anymore. We have tried going to therapy with her before for family sessions, but it ends up as as fight, with her saying “you are just teaming up against me” and other crap like that. We AREN’T against her, we are TRYING to get her to realize she has to be the one to make some changes in her own recovery to be able to move forward and feel better. SHE has to come to a level of acceptance that she at this point is refusing to do. Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up or giving in, it just means you no longer want whatever it is in control of your life to no longer be in control. Acceptance is taking the control back into your own hands and preparing to move forward. Mom and I are always fighting it seems like lately, and I’m tired of it. I’m missing the mom I used to have, the person she used to be. I miss my friend I no longer have.

 

 

There’s No Such Thing As “Being Prepared”

I let you all know I was going to be going to the first support group meeting for women survivors of sexual abuse. Well…..this past Tuesday was the first group. The Saturday before, I had an appointment with my therapist and I was feeling really good about going to this group. I felt……prepared…..ready…….confident. Then Sunday came, and Monday, and my anxiety started getting to be more and more. I relied on my good friend, talking to her a bit, and I relied on Ativan too….I can’t lie. I was getting nervous, but still felt like I could do this, like I knew my nerves were going to be there, but they didn’t have to get in the way.

Then Tuesday came…….I worked and worked and worked. I didn’t take a break at all that day. I felt like if I kept myself busy all day then maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t think about the group that night, or my anxiety wouldn’t get any worse. I took another ativan, which helped. Keeping busy helped to an extent. I got off of work at 4pm and the group wasn’t until 6:15pm. So I called my dad, who’s office was halfway between my work and the location of the group, and I told him I was going to get some dinner and just bring it to his office and eat it there, and then sit there for a bit before heading to the group. I did that. I got my food, went to my dad’s office, and started to eat. I was so hungry because I hadn’t eaten lunch that day. However, it didn’t matter how hungry I was, my body was responding to my anxiety. I took a few bites and felt like I was going to throw up. So I gave my dad the rest of my food and just sat there staring at my phone as if I would actually remember what all I was looking at.

The time went soooo slow. But finally the time to leave my dad’s office and head to the group came. My dad knew where I was going and could tell how anxious I was. He gave me a little dad to daughter pep talk, letting me know he was proud of me and to take a deep breath, that it would all be good. I felt better after that. I drove to the group with my window down and my music up trying to distract myself and my mind. I got to the location and just sat in my car. Going back and forth with myself saying “you can do this, you are strong, you got this and it’s going to be good”  and then saying “no you can’t do this, you don’t deserve this, you aren’t worth this, it’s going to suck” and so forth. I sat there for what felt like an eternity, but was really only about 10 minutes arguing with myself and trying to gain the courage to get through those doors.

I finally got myself out of my car and into the building. I felt my face getting red, and I sat in the waiting room with 3 other women who at that point I didn’t know were there for the group also. The group leader came out and got us all and brought us to the group room where there were positive quotes and paintings on the walls, which I’m assuming were done by previous group members during some activity or something. I sat down, and when I finally found myself looking up, I looked across the table, past the person directly across from me, and saw a painting on the wall with the words, “Just Breathe”, and I knew I had to be breathing, but I wasn’t being mindful of it at all. I took a deep breath and finally was able to focus. I realized the group had started, but to this point I hadn’t heard anyone saying anything because I was so focused on my own anxiety.

We talked about a lot of heavy things. About our self-esteem and how the abuse had affected it. I hadn’t really thought about it, but I realized I didn’t have much positive self-esteem at all, that I don’t see my own worth.

We talked about the fact that the perpetrator of our abuse doesn’t deserve to have the power over us that we unconsciously give them. They were wrong, they were the ones who made the decision to do what they did, and we are not at fault. This was a really hard thing for me to even think about let alone grasp. I still am not at the point where I don’t blame myself for a lot of what happened to me, even though I was only a child, I feel like I should have stopped it. I know, it’s messed up.

When the group was over, I felt overwhelmed, exhausted, and in some ways, proud. I was processing everything we had talked about. I was thinking about the people who had been there, who have also been to previous groups and are further along in there recovery than I am. I thought about how I want to get to that point, but I also realized those people gave me hope. Hope that it is possible to get through this.

I went home that night and literally went right to bed, and fell asleep the fastest I have fallen asleep in a long time. I was so emotionally exhausted from everything over the last few days. I still had nightmares, but I have a feeling over time with this group and the healing that will come from it, those nightmares might, just might, get better.

There’s one last thing I want to mention. On Sunday before the group, I was in my class at church and I brought up the fact I was anxious about this upcoming group and that I would appreciate prayer. I shared the reason I was going to the group, which I haven’t shared with a lot of people in general, and the whole class stopped right then, a few put their hands on my shoulders, and they prayed for me, in that moment. They let me know they supported me, loved me, and that they would be praying the whole time for me. I can’t tell you enough how much that meant to me. I haven’t felt the way I did in that moment before. I felt like I was completely wrapped in God’s arms and that He was 100% with me and in me. It was amazing. I can’t explain it. I appreciate my church family so much. I appreciate my best friend, who often will pray for me also, and who lets me vent and laugh and cry with her.  And my family, who may not understand, but they love me through it. I don’t know what I would do without any of these people.

When You Have A Review At Work, And You Make Your Boss Cry…….

You read that title correctly……I definitely had my review/evaluation at work yesterday, and at the end, my boss started crying……and I have to admit, I was crying too.

Now, some of you may be thinking, Oh my gosh, it must have been a really BAD review. While actually, it was quite the opposite.

I started at this job just about 2.5 months ago, and this is the yearly review……..everyone has to have one and it’s always at this time of year, no matter when you started the position. So, I had to do a self evaluation first, fill in all the things I thought I was doing well, and the things I felt I needed improvement on or things I still need to learn, and the things that would be helpful to have as I continue in my position.  I gave this to my boss, and then she had to fill one out evaluating me. We then met yesterday and compared the two and went through them and went over everything.

Before I go into this too deeply, I want to tell you a little bit about my boss. She is not a “soft” person. Meaning, she doesn’t really show emotion much, or compliment people either. She is more of a hard shell type person who sets expectations and lets you know when you haven’t met them. She has had a really hard life, has a lot of stress outside of work, and because I have known her for so long (I knew her before getting the job I have now), I know she has the capacity to care about people, she just doesn’t show or express it very well. If you want a complement from her, it’s something you have to seek out, it’s not something she will easily give.

Anyways, I was sitting in her office listening to her give me praises for how I have been doing so far in my position, and hearing her tell me she wanted me in this position months ago, but knew I wasn’t quite ready or at a point in my recovery where I could handle the details and stress of the position, so she ended up hiring someone else back then, but knew when he left I would be the one filling the position.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I knew she appreciated me, and my position, but she had never expressed it to me in a way where she was complementing me, my work, and my courage to take the job. I realized at this time I was truly meeting a goal I had set for myself years ago when I was diagnosed with mental illness. I had set the goal to get off of disability and support myself. I had tried jobs before but they became overwhelming so quickly I quit and beat myself up for not being able to handle it. I realized I have reached a point in my recovery journey that I never really believed would be possible. I started to tear up and I told my boss these things. I told her how much I appreciated her having the trust and belief in me and my abilities to even hire me for this job. I let her know how much it truly means to me that she saw in me, the ability to meet the job expectations and everything that comes along with it. As I was telling her these things, crying myself, she started to cry too.

At that moment I truly realized how much she is behind me, backing me up, and how much she truly cares. It’s not just a job in a lot of ways, but it’s a journey she wanted to be on with me. She wanted my coworkers to be on with me, and she believed I could handle, even before I believed it myself.

So yes, I made my boss cry at my review this week, but if you knew how much those tears taught me, then, you would fully understand the impact just one person could have.

I’m not sure anyone is reading this…… 

For real, I only know of one person who actually reads this. I don’t get much feedback from anyone on here so it’s hard to tell how many people really are reading my posts. I suppose it doesn’t matter all that much, I just wonder sometimes is all I guess.

The past week and a half has been something else. Let’s just say,  I am really glad for all the supports I had during this time. Friday, May 12th, I finally took the step and went to the YWCA to meet with a counselor there to sign up for their survivors of sexual abuse group. I was terrified. I had been told about this group all the way back in October, but was just now able to make an appointment and go in. My last post was all about this meeting, so I won’t spend a lot of time going over it again. On the way to the meeting though, my boss decided to call me and tell me about a scheduling error I had made for that day. I felt dumb, useless. All I could tell her was I was sorry, I didn’t know how it had happened, and I would fix the schedule for the upcoming Friday’s when I got back to the office of Monday. She responded with a “Well I guess I’ll have to call and find people to come in today,” and all I could think was, “yeah, I guess so, because I’m not there and I can’t fix it from my car.” I feel like she called just to point out I had messed up, and that it caused her to have to take time time to fix it. I felt terrible, and honestly I thought about it all weekend. When Monday came along, I was so worked up, so anxious, I got to work and it wasn’t even 2 hours into my shift when I had to call my dad and tell him I was about to just start crying because I was so worried about what my boss was going to say to me about my mistake when we met in a little while. I just wanted to cry, run away from it all, even the thoughts of quitting my job came to mind. I know, I know, ridiculous, right? Everyone makes mistakes, and we all have to learn to deal with consequences and learn from them. Well, my anxiety and depression told me otherwise.

I didn’t run, I didn’t quit. I did go to the bathroom and cry, and I did stress out most of the day. The stressing out was noticed by a few of my co-workers, to which I just responded that I wasn’t feeling well and it was no big deal. Tuesday came and we had a speaker coming in to do a presentation that evening. I came in late for the day as I would be staying later in the evening. Again, I was stressing out. This time though, I really wasn’t feeling all that well. My cold/allergies were being wacko and I just couldn’t get my anxiety to go away. My boss noticed I wasn’t looking good, my face was red and hot, and I just wasn’t myself. She even told me I wasn’t looking so good.

After the speaker’s series, which no one showed up for, and we had to send the speaker’s away, I went home and just crashed into my bed. I woke up Thursday feeling ok physically, but so emotionally drained and beat that I called in sick. I told my boss I was physically sick. I was having physical symptoms, but I believe a lot of it was because of the level of depression and anxiety I was having. The same thing happened on Thursday too. So I only worked Monday and Tuesday last week, and took Wed/Thurs off (I have Friday off every week anyways).

I went to my psychiatrist on Wednesday, told her I felt terrible for calling in to work when I was only having emotional issues and not physical. She pretty much told me that “mental health” days are and should be treated just the same as “physical health” days. She told me she would write me a letter of necessity to give to my boss if I really thought I’d need it. She’s right. I shouldn’t feel bad for taking 2 days to just care for me, to give myself time to just BE.

Wednesday and Thursday came and went, and here I am at Sunday wanting, and not wanting to go to work tomorrow all at the same time. I know I should, I know I need to, but my brain and my depression is telling me to just stay home, stay in bed, and not do anything.

My psychiatrist raised one of my meds and we will be weening off of another over the next few months or so. So I know things will be changing and hopefully getting better. I just struggle, with my thoughts, with anxieties, and with depression. I just want it all to go away. I get tired of not knowing, not being able to describe, not having a definite answer to the question “What’s wrong?” or “What’s going on?” I know only one person who truly understands when I say the words for how I’m feeling haven’t even been invented yet. She knows who she is.

If anyone else reads this……how do you all get through the dark times? The anxieties? The depression? How do you all gain confidence in yourself? How do you know and believe you are worth it?

 

 

“A Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With A Single Step” – Lao Tzu

From the parking lot to the building was only a few short steps, but the one step it took to get in through the door was the biggest step I’ve had to take.

Yesterday I took one of the biggest steps I’ve had to take on my journey to recovery and healing. I finally took to heart what my co-worker told me about way back in October about the YWCA and all they have to offer for women survivors of sexual abuse. I have, for the last 6 months, kept his words and encouragement, and advice, in the back of my mind, terrified to call the YWCA and set up an appointment to do an intake and join their therapy/ Support group. I kept telling myself, “I don’t need that. I can do this with just my therapist, and I don’t need to put my full story out there to a bunch of strangers.” or “All it’s going to do is trigger me and make things worse.” Well, a couple of weeks ago I finally got to the point where I said to myself, “Maybe being around others who have experienced the same things and hearing their stories will help me. Maybe it will help me to feel not so alone, so ashamed, guilty, and dirty.” I picked up the phone and set up an intake appointment. Then I put it all out of my mind. Subconsciously hoping it might just all go away.

Yesterday was the day of my appointment. The week leading up to this appointment was full of anxiety, headaches, spacing out, and fear. I’m pretty good at putting on that mask of everything’s alright, and no one ever really truly knows what my mind is telling me, putting me through. There are even times I don’t even know. It’s like the words haven’t even been invented yet to describe the thoughts, the pain, the emotion in my head.

Yesterday came way too slow……but yet so fast. This past week was long, but not long enough either. I dreaded the appointment, scared of being judged, scared of being told my story wasn’t bad enough that I didn’t really need this group and I should just leave. I was scared I wouldn’t be believed, that the person wouldn’t really get it. Scared of, well, scared of how real it was all going to feel as I told the intake person my story, and my fears. I texted my best friend before the meeting, just to make sure she would be available when I was done, so if I needed to talk I would know she was there…….it brought a sense of peace and solace knowing she knew I was going into this meeting scared shit less and that she would be thinking about me and praying for me. I had this sense of not being alone and I can’t thank her more for that.

I told my dad about this meeting weeks ago, but I’ve been terrified to tell my mom, as I was scared it would upset her. I did finally tell her though right before I went to the meeting, she took it well, and I’m glad I told her about it.

I drove to the YWCA office. I got there early (go figure right? I’m early for everything) I sat in the parking lot with the music on in my car. I knew the music was playing but I didn’t hear it all at the same time. I couldn’t. I was so caught up in thoughts and fears and just didn’t know what I was doing. Should I stay? Should  I just go? I looked at the clock and it seemed as if the time wasn’t changing. I felt frozen in this moment, stuck in the fear, and yet feeling this overwhelming need to get out of the car and just do it. Just walk up to the building and go in those double glass doors. I sat there and I said a prayer. I said, “God, I don’t know why you put Mike in my life to tell me about this place way back in October, I don’t know why you finally put it on my heart to do this, and I definitely do not know why you have brought me to such an unknown and scary place. I do know though, that You are Great and will be with me the whole time. I know You won’t bring me to anything You can’t help me through, and I also know this sucks really bad. I am terrified God, just give me strength.” After I was done praying I got out of the car, stood next to it for what seemed like minutes when really it was probably just a few seconds, and I took those steps to the doors at the front of the building. The sun was shining down on my face and I could feel it’s warmth as I stood there, trying to lift my arm that felt like a thousand pounds, to open the door. I did it. I opened the door and I walked in. I stared at the receptionist and knew she was saying something to me, but I couldn’t hear her. I responded with a shaky “what?” and she asked me to sign in and have a seat, that she would let the counselor know I was there.

I took a seat on the fake leather chair and just looked around and took in my surroundings. I noticed my leg was shaking and my palms were getting a bit sweaty. I sat for what seemed like forever, though it was really only 5 minutes, and then Erin, the counselor came out to get me. She welcomed me, shook my hand, and told me it was nice to meet me. All I could think was “don’t say that too fast, you don’t even know me yet, you may not think it’s so nice after we get done talking.” I have a lot of doubts about myself. I have a hard time finding myself worthy of being liked by anyone.

We went to a small conference like room with two chairs and a small table and we started talking about the YWCA and generally what it is for, who it is for, and what the group I was looking to join was all about. Erin talked to me like she had known me for years, she listened to me as if what I had to say truly mattered to her. It’s not something I’m all that used to. I mean, my family and friends and my therapist they listen, and they care, what I mean is this person was completely new to me, and yet she still had such an interest in me, my story, and my experiences. I told her a lot about things that had happened, but not everything. I even said at one point, “I don’t want to answer that question yet, I don’t really know you well enough to go that deep.” and she accepted that answer as valid and said ok, that she completely understood that.

She understood that. Wow, she understood that I wasn’t quite ready, that I had limits. This was a realm of unfamiliarity for me. I felt this meeting to be completely  non-judgmental and safe. We talked for close to 2.5 hours about everything and going over intake questions and paperwork and all that. I left feeling exhausted, worn out, and just drained. The first group is on May 30th. I’m terrified, nervous, but looking forward to it at the same time.

Taking this step really wasn’t all that big, but the impact of it already has been huge and it can and might leave a huge impact on my process of healing from the impact of the sexual abuse of my uncle. I imagine this is a lot like sky diving. You jump out of a plane, free falling, you see the possibility of the bottom, and you have confidence your parachute will open and the landing will be standard/ easy, but there’s that standing fear of what if my parachute doesn’t open? What if when I land I get hurt? But you still take the jump, because you know it’s going to take you on a path you’ve never been on before, and it could teach you so much about life and yourself.

 

“Dear younger me It’s not your fault You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross” -MercyMe

So it’s been a few weeks since I was able to sit down and actually write out everything that was going on, and give you all an update. So here we are, I have some time, and I want to fill you all in on my life. (I like how I write this as if so many people are actually reading this blog…..when in reality there really aren’t that many that I know of haha) This post may be a bit less organized than normal…..I just have a few different things to tell you about and they don’t all really flow together.

Anyways, the last month or so has been a bit rough. My therapist was out of the office for close to 8 weeks because she had some surgery and things weren’t healing as they should …… blah blah blah……yes, I was worried about her, but I really don’t need to know the details …..I just wanted her back to have that constant in my life where I knew I could go, let it all out, cry if I needed and feel ok when I left. Selfish? Possibly, but that IS why I go to see her. Do I consider her a friend in many ways? definitely, but first and foremost she is my therapist, and it just is. It was hard having her gone. We have over the last few months started diving into the whole topic of the sexual abuse by my uncle when I was little, and we had just hit some big points when she told me she was going to be gone for 4 weeks due to surgery…….which like I said, ended up being 8 weeks because of complications. I felt completely lost, I felt like I was left hanging on the ledge waiting to fall off and trying desperately to hang on by myself. I have a great friend who I know I can talk to about anything, and I trust her with my life, but this topic, well, it’s taken me almost 5 years with this therapist to even START to bring it up and work on it. It’s nothing against my friend, it’s just I’m not ready to just talk to anyone about what happened and how it makes me feel. I hope that makes sense. Anyhow, while my therapist was gone I went and saw my psychiatrist. I told her about my therapist being gone and all that, and she gave me a PRN prescription for Ativan, an anti-anxiety medication I have only taken one time in the past. I have tried it a few times, and let me tell you, I am so glad I have it and do not have to just keep trudging through high anxiety on my own. I don’t over use it. In fact, when my therapist did come back and I told her I had gotten it, she told me she was more worried about me NOT using it when I really should than me abusing it.

My therapist came back 2 weeks ago. It was a good session, but then I was going out of town the following week so I would miss our appointment. So I saw her again yesterday, we started back into the sexual abuse stuff. Then, at the end she tells me she won’t be in next week and we will not have an appointment until the following week. It’s just so screwed up right now, and I hate it. I don’t know why I put up with this……….actually I do. I put up with it because I have finally found a therapist that when we talk she doesn’t make me feel like I’m crazy, but she listens to me and says things like “It’s ok you feel that way, it’s not wrong to feel the way you do” or she’ll say things like “I’d feel the same way if that happened to me” or “you can’t do this by yourself, and you shouldn’t have to. That’s why I am here, it’s my job” and she lets me know I can do this, she encourages me, she treats me like a normal person. She understands, and she doesn’t just see me 1x a week and then forget about me throughout the week until our next appointment.

I was in Nashville with my dad last week, that’s why I had to miss our appointment. Nashville was really fun. Going to the Johnny Cash Museum, the Grand Ole Opry, The Riverboat Cruise, seeing some old friends, and just being with dad. Dad is a huge support for me, he is not only my dad, he’s my friend. He just gets me. We joke with each other and have fun, but know when the other needs us to be serious too and we support each other. This time with dad was one I will treasure forever. He’s a special guy, and he is the best dad one could ever ask for.

Last night was the Spring benefit for the organization I work for. It was alright. I mean, I’m not, and have never really been the dress up and go to fancy events type person. I was there most of the day setting up and all that and then got back early to help welcome guests and register people for the auction and everything. It was a really beautiful event, and the people who worked their asses off to get this all organized and set up deserve a long vacation and a raise for sure. There were close to 300 people there and over 100 items between the live and silent auctions. It was a good fundraiser for sure. I was really happy my best friend was there and we sat next to each other making our little comments and faces at each other and just had a good time. Overall it was good, long, but good.

So something else I wanted to bring up was the fact that the last 2 weeks when I was out of town I missed church. No big deal right? Well, I didn’t think it would be noticed I wasn’t there, so I didn’t let anyone in my adult Sunday School class I’d be gone. Well, last week while in Nashville, and the week before while in Wisconsin, I received text messages from people in my class saying things like “We miss you in class today” or “We hope all is well and you’re missing class for a fun reason!” It just felt so good to be noticed, to be thought of.

Easter Means You Can Be Free

“In His great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” – 1 Peter 1:3

So tomorrow is Easter, and it’s got me thinking about my faith, my life, my situation, and everything to that extent. I’ve been thinking about a dear friend who I know is struggling, and I want so badly to help. I’ve been praying for her every hour on the hour, and asking God to just be close to her, love on her, and show her grace and give her mind the peace she deserves. I know she’s going to read this blog, and I’m ok with that. I tell her whenever I have a new post. Honestly, she’s the only person who knows me who knows I have this blog and who I let read it. She is an amazing person, coworker, and friend. She gets it, understands when I say I just don’t feel good today, or whatever. I hope I am at least half of the friend to her as she is to me. ….. Anyway……my point is this. Jesus died on the cross, for us, all of us. He will rise again tomorrow and He will reign over the earth from heaven and no matter what we do He will always love us and protect us. Easter is the time of year we especially remember these things. I realize every year right around this time, just how small my life situation is compared to what Jesus’s was and what He did for me. He didn’t go to therapy, or ask for others to help him fix things, no, He took on what was going on onto His shoulders and told the people to come to Him with their problems, that He would carry their burdens for them. Wow……how amazing is that? How amazing is it that we have God to rely on always? That we can at any time call on Him and He will take our burdens and carry them for us? I know I can never be this for anyone, but I do know God gave me the ability to listen to others, to my friends, family, and even strangers, and to in a way take their burdens but not carry them because I can help give them to God by praying for these people. Prayer is such an important thing. Prayer isn’t just a complaining session (though it can be at times, trust me I know) but rather prayer is a conversation with God about what’s going on, not only the bad but the good and praises too. This is why I have been praying for my friend specifically lately, because I want to help her to the best of my ability, but I know my abilities are not as great as Gods abilities and I know He can hold her in His arms and help her to see she isn’t alone, she has a purpose, she is a good mom, friend, wife, and human in general. I know He loves His children so so much, this was proven when He went to the cross for us all. Easter is a time where we as humans, sinners, can be free of it all ……all our burdens and fears and hurts and sorrows, but it’s also the time we become free of our sins, and we become His. We ARE His, He is our father, and what a great Father He is.

I believe, and have hope in Christ. I have this faith even with everything going on in my life, the mental health issues, the uncertainty, the pain, the anger and frustration, the depression, anxiety, nightmares, and everything else that comes along with living here on earth. I have hope in Christ, even on my most hopeless days, and I am so grateful for Him and the power of His word, and how He works through others here on earth to show me just where I stand. He shows me through the lives of others the abilities I have, the good things I have in my life, and He shows me at times my purpose…….even though I have a hard time believing it all the time, I trust He knows what He is doing and I cannot ask for more than that.

I love to look out the window and see all the trees budding, the flowers blooming, and the sun shining. How amazing it is that even the slightest breeze on my face is an image of God and His amazing love.

I hope you all have an amazing Easter, and if you aren’t a Christian or if you don’t celebrate Easter, I hope you have an amazing day and that you can stop for a moment and just look around you, notice the small things, and take it all in.