Thursday, September 29, 2011

Power

 Phil. 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.


Do you ever wonder how the Holy Spirit works in us if we are sick? How does He fulfill His purpose in us if we have no motivation? How much of this is our responsibility?

Phil. 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Doors

In the past 20 days, my heart has been crushed 3 times...by the same friend. I went against my typical pattern of 'just writing the friend off' and vulnerably exposed my heart and feelings in attempts to savage the relationship. I clearly expressed why I was upset, what I needed, and the friend reciprocated with assurance things would change. I would be thankful, happy, and felt healthy in the manner which I handled the situation, only to find the friend continuing the same pattern.
 
I crashed (anyone who knows my history with my relatives and former church will understand why). Was I suppose to keep being hurt indefinitely for the sake of keeping relationships? I stayed in bed contemplating relationships, how apparent it was that I am unable to keep friendships. 

I had to go to a meeting with people from my new church and was introduced to several new "potential friends". I felt accepted, appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed myself. For the first time in 20 days, I forgot my heart-crushing friend. Then, from out of nowhere, someone said, "Maybe God is telling you to close the door on your old church... It's okay to move on, Shelly".

I needed to hear that. I believe those words were from God. It's time to move on. I emailed my former pastor (who I deeply respect and admire) an explanation of why I no longer attend his church (he had no idea what had happened) and his response was amazingly understanding. He is an incredible man. I owed him an explanation. 

Now I can move on. Sometimes we must close the door on friendships and even churches. The great thing is there are more friendships and churches on the other side.    

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Arrogance

I was told to put more substance in my blog posts instead of mere poems. Lately, I've been hesitant to write for fear of coming off as arrogant. I likely will in this post. Maybe it is healthy self-esteem I'm experiencing and I'm so unfamiliar with excelling at something, that I shrug it off as arrogance. 

My writing seems mediocre to me. When people respond to my emails complimenting my word flow, I'm taken back. I just write! I have a friend who has an amazing vocabulary and talking with him awakens my brain as he invokes such deep thought when we talk. And reading his emails brings me back to college writing classes when I savored the written word like a fine wine. He says he wishes he could write like me, when I am jealous of his relationship with words. Anyway, it is hard for me to write when I feel my writing is blah. Then I see the "Dolphin Tale" movie which totally stole my "Dillon the Dolphin" story and Perez Hilton wrote a Children's book and I arrogantly think, "I can do better than THAT", and I think maybe I need to push my  writing. Or maybe it's conceit.

Counseling, on the other hand, I tend to be OVERCONFIDENT. I know clinical psychology like the back of my hand, psychopathology is my second language, and empathy is God's gift to me. I thrive on helping individuals who have seemingly impossible life crises as the Holy Spirit gives me words of comfort and healing to give them. I guess having a life crisis and having my church join alliances with my enemy in trying to have me committed makes me determined to prove not all Christians sweep problems under the rug in denial. I am still very bitter with my former church and wouldn't wish that type of (ahem) "guidance" on my worst enemy. People need compassion, love, and understanding. I provide these things when counseling the wounded. I am an incredible counselor. Arrogance.

Finally, the Bible. I know the Bible because I know my Jesus. I have spent infinite hours studying scripture, praying and being with Christ. After this 20 year pattern, I know Him in an extraordinary way. It's hard to remain silent in Bible studies. Why? Arrogance. So I refrain from writing blog entries when I have such a chip on my shoulder. 

Truth is, I have no reason for arrogance, just as I have no reason to deny my gifts. They are God's.

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

1 Corinthians 4:6 "... Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. 7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hermitting

Ah, the life of a hermit. I signed up for 3 bible studies, 2 volunteer projects, and am going through the process of transferring my membership to a new church. Exhausting! I get flu-like aches and irritability when flooded with social commitments. That's how I was Sunday morning when I called Sherry, pouting "I don't want to go!". She asked why I signed up for so much and I explained I am trying to make new friends. She reasoned with me that if I didn't like the classes, I didn't have to go back. Then she added, "Oh, and Shelly? I am very proud of you for trying". I needed to hear that. I needed to know someone recognizes how hard it is for me to socialize. 

I guess that's one reason not to be a hermit- you have friends to cheer you on.  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Poem - Sick

Found this poem on depression... Deep and dark, yet it can get better. It has for me.


Sick
Aching, breaking, excruciating flu-
Lethargic, anhedonia, no energy "to do". 
Don't care, but I care- hard to explain,
Just so freakin' sick of playing this game. 
Negative, pessimistic... Despair never ends...
Alone with no smile, no need to pretend.     

Poem- Carousel of Life

Carousel, carousel... 'round and 'round,
Memories lost, treasures found. 
Carousel, carousel... your music box hides,
The uncertain fear of this ride.
Sometimes I try to jump away,
But carousel, carousel...your motion stays

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Poem - Over

It's over
It's through. 
His actions reveal he doesn't care for you. 

You risked
You tried. 
He simply tossed your heart aside. 

Learn from this 
Move on. 
Let the heartache make you strong.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Relationships & Friendships

How did we keep the same friends from elementary school until high school graduation? Relationships are hard! I’ve spent most of my life ‘writing people off’ when I sensed intense pain and discomfort looming. Or when I knew I cared more about someone than they cared about me, I backed off. It made for low cost, albeit lonely, Christmases.

I am much better now, as I have learned to protect myself from the beginning, letting no one in, keeping ‘new friends’ at a distance. I’ve kept 3 friends ‘from the past’ who, for some reason, have stuck by my side through a tumultuous season. Friends who stay in the bad, ugly times pretty much can be considered ‘keepers’. Treasure them and do whatever it takes to keep them in your life.

Unfortunately, some times, friends drift away. No one is at fault; life just happens. We change, they change, and paths separate. I am experiencing that now. The immature kid in me wants to curl in a ball and declare, “no one will ever hurt me this much again”! I declare I don’t need friends and start Googling how to join a monastery (I’m not even Catholic) and study hermits like Emily Dickinson who rarely left her house and wrote poetry all day. I’ll plead with God if He will allow me a life of solitude, I’ll gladly spend my days studying His Word, sitting quietly before His throne in prayer. But He always tells me the same thing: He created us for community.

Crap! I hate that! We need one another and if we want to be like Jesus, He gives us a heart to love one another. Praying for God to make me more like Jesus makes me more like Him and less of me. Jesus’ life was the antithesis of communality. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Possibilities are Endless!

I was so inspired by the new ministry opportunity yesterday, I am ready to jump in with both feet! I really believe I am most effective being a mentor/counselor to ladies who have lost all hope, such as incest, drug addiction, death. I am very good with "heavy issues" like these, thanks to God's strength. I haven't had the easiest life, have fought depression for 30 years, hospitalized for suicide attempts, had doctors attempt to heavily medicate me to numb the pain. But God has made it clear to me I am to use what Satan intended to harm me to glorify God instead. He gives me compassion, strength, words and clarity to glorify Him when others have lost all hope. So I am ready!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hooded

Car ride to Tallahassee, we had this discussion:
Me: Deep down, I still dream of being hooded one day...
Ron to Jen: What is 'hooded'?
Me: I mean, I only have a dissertation and one year of college to go for a Ph.D...
Ron: Make us feel like losers with our Bachelor's Degrees! Jen, what is "hooded"?
Jen: Hooded as in KKK?
I busted out laughing. 
Jen: Well, you WERE just talking about Kissimmee!!

I explained how you kneel before your professor who "hoods" you when graduating with a doctorate degree.  We had a great time. My voice is still hoarse from laughing and yelling.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Game of Life



Finally, college football season is here! Ron, Jennifer and I went to Tallahassee for FSU’s season opener – I cried the moment we walked up the section ramp, into Doak Campbell Stadium where there was an ocean of garnet and gold. Ron jokingly told me "There's no crying in football!" I was so happy to be in Tallahassee among FSU grads on my old college campus! Chief Osceola rode Renegade across the field where they circled around and threw the spear into the turf. (Jennifer videoed this so I will post it on here…) We had amazing seats in the Alumni section. It was perfect.

The Seminoles won, but our offense definitely wasn’t as good as it needs to be. We struggled to get the ball down the field. Now, Jen and I are die-hard Seminoles. We take great pride in our school and basically, we’re loyal to FSU no matter what. My stomach literally twists when we lose, so watching the game is one big roller coaster of outbursts: “Yeah, Seminoles!!...Way to go!!!... What was THAT?!... It’s okay, shake it off… Woo hoo!!... That’s what I’m talking about! Oh, c’mon! Who are you throwing to?!” In the end, it doesn’t matter how well/horrible they play, my devotion for them remains the same.

God is like that with us. He is our greatest cheerleader, most loyal fan. He knows we will mess up, make foolish plays, take great risks, all in this game of life. He coaches us to focus on the ball, keeping the end in perspective. Can you imagine the quarterback walking off the field and going home the moment he was sacked? No, he has to play the entire game until the end… and so do we. We can’t pout and give up when our opponent is in the lead. Fortunately, as Christians, we know we are on the winning team.

Funny part: Because of cerebral palsy, my proprioception is off, meaning I literally don't know my own strength. For example, I can't hold styrofoam cups because I squeeze too hard. Well, I kept hitting the guy in front of me when I did the Tomahawk Chop. The first time, he forgivingly smiled. The third time, he gave me an ugly look. Half-way through the game, the floating beach ball came to me. Instead of whacking it high in the air, I slammed the ball down, right into the same guy I had been hitting!!! He was NOT amused! Jennifer told him, "She has CP..." in effort to calm him down. I didn't see the ugly look he gave me as I was focused on the woman behind who was laughing at me. So I got mad, thinking Jen was telling HER I had CP and there was this misunderstanding until Jen explained, "I was telling that guy so he didn't say anything to you because I don't want to have to fight him (defending me)!" Ohhhhhh! I got it.

Throughout the rest of the game, the guy kept rubbing his arm and stretching, like he was in pain. Jen and I were laughing so hard, we were unable to speak and close to tears. It was hilarious! Well, it was funny to us. maybe not the guy with a sore arm...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Our Part in God's Plan

Phil. 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Isa. 55:11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: 
   It will not return to me empty, 
but will accomplish what I desire 
   and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.


Isn't it relieving to know God uses us to accomplish his purposes? We may think we are in control of our actions, and we may go through the day without consulting with God regarding decisions, but God is in charge. God has the ultimate plan, which involves those of us who have accepted Him as Savior. Philippians 1:6 states we can be confident that God will finish the good work He has started in you. Confident... not "if we complete our to-do list" nor "if we live until we are 95"... We are to be confident God will complete the work in which He created us. 

On top of this, Isaiah 55:11 reminds us God will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which he sent it. His desire and purpose is for all to follow Him, accept Him as Savior, and glorify Him. No matter what we chose to do or not to do, God's purposes will prevail. Be confident of this.