Answered Prayers, Anxiety, and Counseling #Confessions #BackToCounseling #HealingNeverEnds

It’s October. I didn’t even fully recognize that until this week because life has been moving so quickly as it often does. It amazes me how even after six years this month still triggers a vicious cocktail of emotions in me. It doesn’t matter how much you fit into your daily schedule or how relaxed it is, the truth is we can never escape ourselves. We can’t escape our inner voice. We can’t escape the scars. We can’t escape the inner demons.

I’ve learned with time we can cleanse ourselves of certain demons and others well they hide in the dark recesses of our spirits. Waiting for the right moment to attack, waiting for us to be too busy to deal with them, waiting for the right timing, and then they strike.

This has been a trying year, but I’m not sure I can look at my life and find a single year that wasn’t trying. Maybe what I should say is this year has been full of changes that have cut me to the core and tested my resolve and my faith. This has been a year where I’ve had to search deeper within me and around me to find the light.

I could tally up my losses for the year or earmark the struggles but that’s not what this is about. This isn’t a “poor me” post. This is a reminder that life isn’t always as it seems for those around us. A reminder that the comparison card is one that results in faulty assumptions and lies.

We all have battles we face. We face them daily—physical illness, mental illness, family difficulties, career troubles, loss, and the list goes on and on. We all have a choice to fight or forfeit. God gave me the heart of warrior and He gave you the same, the question is whether you’ve chosen to put on His armor and fight or to run from battle.

No matter how much I wish I could run from battle in those moments of extreme exhaustion, I cannot. I am a warrior and I fight for love at every corner. I fight for real love—love that can heal hearts, love that teaches others how to make difficult choices, love that is righteous and seeks truth.

I put my love into action with my words, with my body, with my heart, and with my spirit. I pray and move. That isn’t easy and it’s hard for a lot of people to understand. But I will always fight for love. I will always seek to do whatever it is God is asking me to do, even if it’s hard, even if I don’t see how its going to help me, and even if no one understands.

But I still have demons to fight. This time life events and October have brought them full force into my face again. Confession—my fear of loss is so incredibly real at this very moment. And with the fear of loss comes all the other demons especially anxiety.

I have amazing things happening in my life right now. I’m working at a job I prayed for, for many years. I’m blessed with great friendships and relationships that I’ve also prayed for, for many years. I’m changing my approach to my life and being bolder—standing up for what is right for me and going for it. I’m ditching complacency and being active again.

All those things aside, I’m scared to death of losing it all. I’m scared I will do something or say something that will drive people out of my life. I’m scared that death will come for the people who shine so much light into my world. I’m scared I will lose it all. I’m scared I will be all alone—no friends, no family, no significant other, no one.

It is true that we will all face death—we will bury ones we love and we will face it ourselves one day. But as I sat in my living room this evening praying I asked out loud, “What am I afraid of?” I listed off all of these things mentioned above and more. Then I asked, “What is the truth?”

The truth is not a single one of those fears will kill me. Not a single one of those fears will stop me from being the woman God is calling me to be. Not a single one of those fears will stop God’s promises as long as I keep moving through the fear.

And so I decided after a few year hiatus that it is time to go back to counseling. I’ve hit another wall of anxiety. A barrier that I need help knocking down. For me to move to the next level in my life and my relationships, I have to fight this battle. I need help with the battle plan.

Do I have time for this? Ha! Ha! If you’d look at my schedule you’d wonder how I even have time to go to the bathroom. But I’m making time for this. It is something I need to do.

I learn my greatest lessons through experiences with other people.  As I was spending time with someone who’s very special to me, I began to see parts of myself being reflected. Parts of myself I wanted to believe I didn’t have time for, parts of myself that I thought could wait, parts of myself I thought I’d gotten over or kept hidden. But in those moments with that person, I realized those parts of him I saw clearly, also reflected parts of me. And I realized he saw those parts of me I couldn’t see without him. With him I saw myself again. Some people have this ability to hold up a mirror and force you to look at yourself—see your flaws, see your strengths, and see your weaknesses. See what you can work on to be better. I’m thankful he was able to do that with me. I’ve needed that more than I could even know.

I’m not perfect nor am I seeking perfection. I merely want to be growing into the woman I’m called to be and counseling is the action needed for me to get there.

Six years after everything in my life dramatically changed, six years after I thought my entire life was over, six years later I’m still rebuilding. I’m still healing. I’m still growing. And that is a blessing. Six years later I’m still living. I’m still fighting.

And so, I share this because this is important for someone else to read right now. I share this because I’m called to. Our stories are not just our own.

I hope you are still healing, still growing, and still living.  And as for me,  I’ll rest when I’m dead. 😉

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Confessions of the Impossible #ImPossible #Confessions #AlmostQuitter

Six years ago today was Chris’s last birthday on this side of heaven. Six years. Six years. It has been SIX YEARS (to be exact six years shy of two months) since my whole world changed. Six years. So much has changed.

Six years ago today I was about to go to my surprise 30th birthday party. Today I’m sitting at the library at Shepherd doing homework for my doctorate class, which I’m totally procrastinating on by writing this post at the moment.

Six years later, I’m so many things I wasn’t back then. Adversity has the capability to change us into beautiful creations, if we allow it to. I’ve learned so many valuable lessons since then.

I must confess life in these past six years hasn’t been smooth sailing. I’ve gotten some monumental breaks, truly I have, but I’ve suffered and struggled to get to each blessing. I had a lot of “I quit” kind of days.

Yesterday, was one of those days. I completely lost my crap. I’m talking angry screaming at God kind of crap losing. I’m exhausted. I’m frustrated. I cannot begin to fathom how I’m going to make it through three years of doctorate classes with minimal time to spend with those I love or to write all the creative crazy that lives in my head. This is exactly what I was dreading. This is exactly what I thought it was going to be—time consuming, lonely, and exhausting. 

I truly wanted to quit yesterday (not my job—I love that) but I seriously wanted to quit. I even started to run through the potential consequences and scenarios. 

Today as I was driving from my favorite coffee shop to campus, I was thinking about life after Chris these last six years. I thought about the woman reflecting back at me in the rearview mirror and how different she is. Right now there are several things in my life that feel utterly impossible.

Six years ago, I was on the cusp of undergoing the most severe and traumatic change of my life. I had no idea what was just around the curve. Five years ago, I was in such devastating pain over Chris’s first birthday in heaven and the anxiety of my first birthday without him. In those days it felt impossible that I would ever love again or that I would ever feel alive again.

Have you ever been asked to believe in something impossible? Have you ever been told to keep believing in something that felt completely out of the realm of possibility in your life? I have no doubt that you have. I also know that some of you are still waiting for that impossible “thing” to become a reality. And some of you have experienced the impossible become possible right in front of your eyes. If you’re anything like me, you entertained the thoughts of quitting more than once during that time.

I used to carry the weight of despair and a shattered heart around in my chest. It felt impossible that I would ever be able to breathe without searing pain. It felt impossible that I could heal.

I used to stand in front of the mirror and hate my reflection. I hated the outer shell of myself as much as the person I lived with inside. It felt impossible that I could ever love my reflection. It felt impossible that I could love myself.

I used to think that no one would ever want to date someone who was as damaged as me and a widow at that. It felt impossible to be loved by another man.

There are so many other things in my life that felt impossible. The list is too long to share, but I hope you get the picture.

 It felt impossible that I could heal, but today despair does not reside in my chest and my shattered heart has been fused back together again. It felt impossible then, but today I’m healed.

It felt impossible that I could ever love my reflection. It felt impossible that I could love myself. When I see my reflection now, I think ‘wow God thank you for making me HER.’ I can’t believe that’s me. All the flaws and imperfect body parts I hated before make me who I am. This outer shell is a gift as much as the inner shell of my spirit is. It is MY shell and I love her. (Ha! See what I did there.) 😉

It felt impossible to be loved by another man. And yet I have been. I have been the object of affection of an amazing man. I was loved by him for everything that I am—the broken, the imperfect, and even the clumsy, quirky parts.

It’s important to stop and remember the impossibilities in our life that became possible. I know all things are possible through Him; however, that doesn’t mean I don’t have my doubting days that those impossibilities are actually meant for me.

I have no freaking clue how NOT having a life is getting me closer to my person and my family. It feels impossible that me doing all of this work that keeps me isolated from cultivating the intimacy in my friendships and family relationships is going to get me to “them.” I have no idea how this road leads to my “impossible” dreams.

And yet I know I have to go this road. I have to walk this path. I know this so deeply and I hate it at the same time. There will probably be more temper tantrums in my future. I am a child of God–emphasis on the child part. LOL!

As I think about Chris’s birthday and mine, it reminds me to stop and look back momentarily, to take note of everything lost and gained, of every impossibility that became more than a possibility but REALITY. The greatest lessons I’ve learned about living have come from death. So as I lay to rest my last day of being 35 and step into 36, I cling to the evidence of my past as I hope for the “impossibilities” of my future to become my life.

Happy birthday in heaven, Chris! And thank you for everything your life and your death have and are still teaching me.

To my dear friends, remember impossible is actually I’m possible without proper punctuation. Let’s be sure to keep telling ourselves and each other that. 😉

#DontStopBelieving #ImPossible #Confessions

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