A fragile, aging, petite woman just came to check on me and left my couch with a slight smile and “the look”. She is the most powerful person I know. She does not have social status or great wealth but she has a heart that you do not want to disappoint. I love to have the company but only for a short time. I am an addict. It hurts to be around people and to pretend to be someone I am not. I have battled drugs for many years. I have also been sober for many years. What I want to talk about today is my relapse into prescription medication. The tonic transfusion that has taken over my body was actually a concoction by my rheumatologist who eventually sent me to a pain doctor. This is where life became jumbled. My entire spirit and individuality changed. I was very satisfied at first but then I needed more medication to maintain my pain-free status. I started to take more pills and began to run out before my prescription was ready. Every month there would be some sort of withdrawal which is rigorous and cruel. I have Lupus so some of the symptoms overlap and you feel like you are having a flare every month. I sit here like a sad little girl with no direction. I am so powerless and angry. The drugs push me down deeper and deeper and I can see no way out. I abruptly have to climb out of this madness.
How do we escape bondage and begin to move toward freedom in those sinful areas of our life? Well, I don’t know. You can read books, seminars or even listen to the doctors. I am here to tell you only you can do it. So many things in this life overshadow our godly hearts and minds but he is the only one who can take this pain away. I still need some of the drugs and I fight everyday to stay strong. But honestly I do not do a good job at it. Living with a drug problem and a chronic illness I have to choose to take only the minimum amount of drugs to keep my disease in place. If you are going through this, I wish you could fight with me. We all need to hear someone’s story.
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong”(Romans 12:9). Why is it so hard to love some people? My mother-in-law, the one who gives me a pounding headache. The one who has the un official authority to say and do anything was ringing the doorbell at my own humble house. I could hear her come in and I smelled the spring air fly through the house like a wave of sweetness. I heard her uneven steps as she navigated over the things on the floor. As I began to apologize for the jeans hanging on the back of the chairs and the shoes scattered around, I forgot about the dishes in the sink. I quickly tried to make it to the sink without her realizing what I was about to do. Her laughter filled the house as the hot water bubbled up and over the soap-filled dish pan. She put her arm around me and reminded me her house was not always perfect. It certainly did not make her a failure as a mother. And she said,” I don’t think that of you.” There is an admiration that comes after we have tried to do another persons job.
When I was a child everything I did had to be perfect. The anxiety that led up to an event was gut wrenching. I did not want ny father to make fun of me or talk down to me. It was my sport and I was sure I knew what I was doing. But I was so used to it. Did he ever tell me good job? I can’t remember. I am sure at times he did. Even now I am the last one out of four girls that he calls if something happens…good or bad. is he embarrassed of me. Does he not trust me? After my introduction to my wild side that REALLY changed things. He did not trust my professional opinion or ask for advise on anything. I always got a lecture on why I needed help or money. There was always a fight. He always had to tell me what I was doing wrong. Not in a good learning experience, but a bad hurtful one. I loved him but now I don’t want to be around him. I needed him. Not to fight, not for him to dominate the conversation but to teach me, to love me. Was I a disappointment? Is that why I am not good at much? Am I teaching my kids that? Am I raising my kids wrong. That is the opinion I get from him.. Why does he hate me so much? How do i break the cycle. Is this why I feel so guilty after I know that I have done some thing wrong? It is like I can never get it back. It will never disappear and it leaves me with a big gushing hole in my heart. Is this why I can’t forgive? It is a horrible feeling to feel as though you are not good at the things a parent expects you to be.
As I go through my seasons I have to remember that God commanded us to love our enemies . I pray that he will teach me how to love difficult people.
I hate the misology of victim. But, I am a casualty of my mind. My mind does not fully flower and bloom at the sight of happiness. I sit in my gutter and look up at you with excitement at every word you promise. But your promises are fake. They push me down deeper and deeper and i can see no way out. Where did I go? I want so much to be powerful again. I want to love and feel life again. I hear your promises and I know now they are not true. You are laughing at me but in your own sincere way, I want to climb out of this madness but I can’t. What is there to fight for anymore? I feel powerless while everyone around me looks so impressive. I am stuck in this cold wet abyss. Can anybody see me? What is going to happen to me? My voices yell at me, but I count on them so much. I hate them. What is the truth? Why can’t anyone tell me it is going to be alright. Would I believe them?
I am crying out in pain. Why is nobody listening? Why is nobody helping me. I don’t want to be like this but I have isolated myself. I have no true connection with anyone. When my family reaches out for me they are fearful. They act as if I am going to fall apart. Have they seen this in me to many times before? Have I scared them so much with my outbursts that I am a stranger to them? I need them so bad but they have seen this so much. It gets worse the longer it goes on. They love me but I am so angry that they cannot see my pain. Why can’t they feel what I feel? Why are they not like this? I am now changing. I can feel it. My emotions get raw and go somewhere. They hide deep in my head and now I am numb again. My anger turns to rage and my voices are mocking me. Do they want to hurt me or do they just hate me? I push them way back and pull my pleasant disguise forward until the pressure of the pain bursts wide open again.
Lupus and drugs can bring devastating results. Please feel free to contact me or get help if you are experiencing any symptoms of depression.
My son just told me five years ago a teacher in his school took him aside after he had bitten a little girl in his class. She was the child’s grandmother and she was entitled to pull my son out of his class and explain to him that if he ever bite her again she would pull out his teeth with pliers from the kitchen. What kind of teacher could say that to a scared four-year old. This little girl eventually became good friend with my child at school. I do not know this lady and fortunately I just heard this story from my troubled son.
My first reaction was anger but what would Jesus do? Father forgive her he would say. How do I teach my child a positive response from this? Pray, he would say….. So we did Does he understand? I don’t know but now, thankfully……. it is in God’s hands.
I grew up with performance based grace. I was separated from my father at ten years old. I have lived my entire life trying to please him. I grew up under his watchful eye as he scrutinized my every move. I was never quite good enough in the things I did. I have started to look at my relationship with my sons and I wonder sometimes if they can feel my insecurities. I know my mood shifts and my temper can get the best of me. I wonder if what I am saying to them is a mirror image of what I learned as a child. I learned that it was easier to stay in the shadows. It was easier to avoid confrontations. I would end up with hurt feelings and a self-image that I would suffer with my entire life.
My relationship with my husband has started down the same path. I feel like a timid child when confronted with a problem. My intimate, loving response to his touch has grown cold. I feel the quick, angry, disposition from him the way I felt when my father was disciplining me. I do not look to him for his leadership role in the house as I should. Our marriage has become out of sync with what God had planned. We both suffer everyday trying to grasp hold to the root of foundation he laid out for our marriage. My resistance is causing rejection in everyone around me. My husband feels rejected because I cannot find grace in my life.
I have struggled to maintain a productive life. I measured my worth by my abilities. I was successful at my job but, in every relationship getting below the surface became very painful and scary. Now, being unable to work and produce predictable income has torn open my flesh and exposed me to various levels of pain. It has also peeled open a joyous thirst for God. I can sing praises and give thanks even though I cannot see around the corner.
I am thankful that my marriage has been bonded by God. Even though I stubbornly, and selfishly follow God, I know that my rebellion will be met with Grace. The real value of a person is inside not on the outside. Our performance in life is not what is appealing to God. It is our heart…..Thank goodness my husband has a HUGE one!
I know we all have our own obsessive thoughts, right? I have been confined to my couch for a good part of a year now with short intervals of my formal life breaking through every now and then. This year has been filled with many devastating set backs. Day after day I loathed in sorrow. I was doing nothing to help my situation. Then, a really good friend showed me that it was my pride that was getting in the way. Pride hurts us and it hurts others around us.
We are not gracious or compassionate by nature, We are jealous and quick to anger. When life is good we take too much credit. When life is bad our pride is hurt and we become self-conscious and shameful. That becomes another way of taking too much credit because God’s will is never wrong.
I have worked diligently through the years in a field that I love. Unfortunately, it was not job description I had always longed for. My performance reviews showed extremely high ratings and now after 20 years my arrogance finally took me down. I could not perform the description of what my job entails. I became depressed and broken.
God hates pride. But, God also gives us grace and mercy when we are at our worse. I cried out to him so many times. Still I never could pick myself up. I did not get to hear that still small voice that comforts us as we pray. I was pulling away. I got very angry. But, I realized I wasn’t supposed to pick myself up, …. God was. My friends were so helpful. People brought food and a lended ear. But, I was crying out for the wrong reason. I am arrogant. I want to be the best at whatever I do. But,that is not what God wants. I feel like I am a burden and my pride doesn’t allow me to fully feel God’s grace and mercy. My friends were not burdened, they were serving God.
God knows when we genuinely surrender. He knows our heart and motives. Pride can take your life. We are never as bad or good as we think we are. Surrendering to God while you are still grasping to your pride will not work. God gives us unconditional love. The less we credit him the further we pull away.
Have you ever begun a project that you did not finish? Life happens right? As I sit at my desk I am reminded of the multiple tasks still staring me in the face. What if you have unfinished business with God? When I was sixteen years old, one of my best friends was killed in an accident. She was thrown from the car and died immediately. All the other passengers survived including the driver who was drunk. The three remaining victims lost a piece of themselves that night. The seventeen year old driver returned to school with a stigma that was unbearable. In fact, we all returned to school and mourned the loss of our Homecoming Queen.
What happened next, was a media frenzy. News reports and articles were headline news for a while then we all started to talk about it less often. Sadly, this is one of those times that was unfinished. The bible describes hell for non-believers “as torment with fire and brimstone.” (Revelations 14:10) Pure agony. You cannot revise the outcome. We don’t know Hell and its accommodations, but in the bible it is described as eternal loneliness and torture. We owe this explanation to God. The Bible has never been wrong. When we don’t use its context strictly as our guide for life, we are unfinished. When we rebel against God hell is imminent. We have our whole lives to choose this gift that could affect our eternal life.
As believers we should rejoice in knowing that we will be free from the torment and pain we have in this life. Many christians have doubts about what God is bringing into their life. If you do not repent, this becomes unfinished business. We are forever changing. The solid foundation we are set upon should continue to bear fruit. We will always have unfinished business until we go t heaven. When we ignore situations and the people involved we miss the opportunity to finish the most important reason God has us here on earth.