I usually only write about the good things, the new things, a few old memories or the new memories we've just made.
I have in the past, wrote a summary of those years, the ones that had us traveling on so many rocky roads, but it was only a glimpse into that increditable journey.
When I began blogging (2006) it was to journal our journey with IBM (Inclusion Body Myositis), but I didn't keep up with it. My journey was so different then others and really didn't feel like we had actually found the true DX. The neurologist thought that what was happening had something to do with my near death experience in 2000 and medication used to keep me alive. It was a jounery. In 2009, and after many test and lots of probing, we received another DX elimentating the first one, replacing it with a number of things that created the symptoms of a NMD (neuromuscular disorder). It was then that I decided I wanted this blog to be about Our Journey Through LIFE. After all LIFE is what it is all about.
Yet I rarely lay it all out there. Is it right to only show the journey I want others to see? How about all the other ways we walked, ran, climbed, or swam, through it. I need to be bold, to write how my life was before I totally trusted in Jesus, how I surrendered to him unlike I had before, and the difference it has made in our lives since I have gone back to walking with him.
For almost two years, I have been in Christian Counseling. It's not the first time. When ever we had difficulties in our lives, we always turned toward God. Sought help to overcome each step and we would move on. It was easier back then, we lived in a town I was born and raised in. We had a very strong comfort zone and support system at our door step. However, when we moved away 16 years ago, working full time for the first time, we continued to use and apply those tools we had acquired, but we never really settled into a definate comfort zone.
So why was I back in counseling? As time went on, sometimes really fast, we always thought we had things under control. Things were beginning to pile up and the pile was beginning to fall over or possibly crash down all together. That pile was constructed by my near death in 2000, then the death of 3 parents within 13 months, more heath issues, family problems, my brothers death, more family problems, financial problems and even more family problems.
Are you seeing a pattern...FAMILY PROBLEMS! Ever since I was little, this has been one of the hardest areas to rise above. Many times I sought counseling, reached out to God, found strength in Him and continued on. I always knew He was with us all along but recently, somewhere along this last road, though my Faith was strong, something was missing. I felt like I had been fooling myself, that I didn't have a true connection to Him. How wrong I was and I needed HELP! Does that make me sound weak? Not at all. I think we all need some kind of help through this jounrey called LIFE! It was time to fully and unconditionally give my life to one who knew me better then I knew myself. One we all can trust and believe in. What I needed was God's help again and this time I wasn't walking away when I only saw one set of foot prints.
The doctors we have seen and are seeing now, can only do so much. I needed more then they could prescribe. In a way, I needed to make peace with God, to open my heart to Him, for Him, I LIVE becaue of Him, through Him and with Him! I needed to grasp God's words and allow him to continue His direction in my life as he always had been, and this time with my eyes and hands open and with all my heart.
Unfortunately to get there I had to go back and reveal some of the cliffs we came upon. Part of me didn't really want to open those wounds. I didn't know if I could face all of the things we needed to unbandage so we could heal it correctly. I was definately broken and didn't even know it. I mean, in a way I did, or else I wouldn't have made that first appointment. I just didn't know that all the things I thought I had been through, that to me were over and done, where actually still causing infections. Infections that I would only put a bandaid on. It was now time to take off the bandaid, clean out the wound, and let it heal in the way God had intended all along. What I learned and what I really knew all along, is it was God who kept us and me from falling off that edge. I just needed help in finding a way to see it for myself. He had been waiting for me this whole time. Remember the post I wrote back in November, I was always doing more then God had planned for me and it was time for me to step up and listen to Him and follow His direction.
Just writing that, gave me goosebumps. Admitting publicly that I was broken. That I didn't really handle my wounds properly. That I am just as human as everyone else. I didn't need to be a supermom, a superwife, or a supergrandma! In time, and it did take a lot of time, things would get better, but in the beginning, it was so hard. It was so scary! Looking back, I went in believing I could lose so much and what I gained was more then I had dreamed possible.
The first book she had me read was, Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet Geringer Woititz, Ed.D. In reading this book I learned some of my behavior was in fact learned by the enviroment I was raised in. The traits I learned, and though I tried hard to make changes for my children, still made some of those traits trickle onto them. As I kept going, I began to understand and learn, and in time forgive those and myself for the things that had set the path I had journeyed. Once I was through this part, came the Codependant No More, by Melody Beattie. I learned how to close my gate, shut my door, yet open my heart to others in a way I had not done before. I learned to stop hitch hiking on the road of guilt. I learned to let other people's junk be their junk, and it wasn't for me to clean up or fix. I could lend them my tools but it would be up to them to use them and not for me to do it for them or tell them how, for we all use different tools at different times and in different ways. What or how we build with these tools is for each of us to figure out. And when it gets tough, and it does, Jesus is there for us, to take the burdens from us and heal us in His glory.
It didn't stop there. In the book, The Wounded Women, Hope and Healing for Those Who Hurt, by Dr. Steve Stephens and Pam Vredevelt, I learned to see my journey as God had planned, to put my guilt and shame that had been so private, in God's hands and He forgave me, as he had other's. I was able to forgive others as well. I mean, I have always felt like I forgive everyone when others don't beleive they deserve it, but there were a few I really hadn't forgiven. In Healing of Memories by David Seamonds, he writes; "The harder we try to keep bad memories out of conscious recall, the more powerful they become." I was feeding them not healing them by bury them deeper each time they surfaced. The memories swormed me like bees to a hive. Stinging me each time I tried to get to the sweet taste of honey, unprotected by the garments to do the job properly. Jesus wanted to protect me, be my garment, but I just couldn't put His arms around me. I felt though I believed in Him, I did not deserve his love. Because my pain caused me to act out, I felt unworthy of His love. This book gave me more tools so to let the healing begin and begin this new journey with Jesus, my husband, our children, and our grandchildren. I love this book!
These books are of course second to my Bible. In them and in my Bible, I have highlights of the things that give me strength. To be able to open and read any of them so that my path is no longer darkened by my past but brings light to me, to my family. I began and continue to attend Bible Study groups to receive more knowledge and become even closer to Jesus.
In one of the last books to read was Beauty for Ashes by Joyce Meyer. Here was a lady who had been through most of what I had. She taught me; The Only Way Out is Through, Follow the Holy Spirit, Forgiveness Frees You to Live Again, Strenghten Within, Build Bridges - Not Walls, Nothing Will Be Wasted, and Shake it Off, just some of my favorite chapters.
The 6th chapter in the book above, Follow the Holy Spirit lead to Searching for Significance by Robert McGee which reminded me of all the work the Holy Spirit had done in the past and has opened my eyes to what He is doing in my life now. Just 2 weeks ago, He sent a message to me, like others I have had in the past, and as His worked unfolded, my daughter was spared an ordeal that could have been catastrophic. It's not that I didn't believe she could handle it and I am sure she would have had the Holy Spirit with her as well. But to spare her that anxiety, showed us that the Holy Spirit sent the person who could do the job better, her dad. It reminded me of a time we were at the Indy 500, and though we would never leave a race due to rain, a path was opened up for us to protect us from a situation that would have caused us harm and sent us to a place were we were safe. That night, I prayed, silently of course, yet would speak out of the work the Holy Spirit was doing. My hubby began to trust my intuitions after a fire at our house shortly after that could have destroyed everything we had, but didn't. I have enjoyed watching the Holy Spirit work within my hubby in ways that brings us closer together and can now express it with each other. He has begun going to church, taking bible study lessons with me and continues to grow in his and our Faith, this time together.
So as my favorite Bible verse states, "I can do ALL things through him who gives me strength" With that strength, I will continue forward as God plans. Where we are, what we have, where we will go, is all up to Him. We now live Godly, nor worldly. We will continue to give and love through Him, with Him and for Him. He is not finished with me yet. I was, and will always be a work in progress but with Him, His directions, the work will be blessed and rewarding.