The Rock

Do you ever go to church and think, are you spying on me? Did God tell you directly to write that sermon for me? I almost felt a little paranoid this past Sunday. I was beginning to wonder if my Pastor hacked into my home security camera’s. I mean the worship music, the sermon everything it couldn’t have been more spot on. I haven’t been in a while with everything that has gone on. That’s no excuse. There is no good excuse. That is all the more reason to go and make time for church and to hear the word of God and be loved on. Sometimes we are so quick to be so lazy on the things that we need and are so good for us and are so quick to pick up the things that can do us so much harm. So I made it back this past Sunday and I do know that my Pastor did not hack into my home security system but he sure did preach. It was for me, and I’m sure others but God sure did give me ears to hear on Sunday. Now let’s do this!!!

I leave church and I always feel like when I leave its like a football huddle. We all have our heads together, we are all given the plays, we’re hyped up, ready to conquer, we have our arms around eachother in a great big circle kind of doing a little jumpy dance, the Pastor yells break and we all jump up and yell, GO TEAM!!! That usually makes for a great Sunday. There is usually good food on Sunday, Football (I happen to know that God is a Steelers Fan, he does have a Terrible Towel). But seriously, church just feeds your mind, body and soul. It always helps me get a handle on my week and I can sit down and break out my super planner and schedule for the next day. Each night I sit down and write out individual things I need to accomplish for the next day. I mean right down to when I’m going to eat breakfast. Don’t judge. So here’s the thing. I have a couple of things that I let steal time from me.

Like so many others I suffer from migraine headaches and I have for 20+ years. I think I have been on every medication out there and I continually try new things that come out on the market. I wake up on a regular basis with a migraine headache so that throws my whole day off. A lot of times it can take my whole day from me. Sometimes several days from me. I also suffer from depression which has a really good relationship with these stolen days. It’s very hard to suffer from a migraine and be down a day or two or more. I can send myself into a spiraling hole of depression. The struggle is real and it all takes place in my head.

It has gotten much better. There was a time quite a few years ago that I could not function. I could do the bare minimum. Which was take my son to school and pick him up. I think I managed to function just enough to get through the day. It really all came to a head when I decided I didn’t want to be here anymore. I thought Wyatt would be better off without the stress of me in his life. He would not have to continually worry about me. I know JT felt like a caretaker and that was no way for a child to feel about his mother. He should be a kid. He should be with friends, having fun not worrying about whether I was going to be ok. I just wanted them to stop worrying about me and I just wanted to stop hurting every single day. So I decided to stop hurting and take a bunch of prescription sleeping pills and attempted to cut my wrist. I was so tired by the time I tried to cut myself that all I managed to do was scratch myself. Wyatt was at home and he was working in the garage and kept coming in because he felt that something was wrong and I finally told him what I did. He took me to the emergency room and I was admitted to St. Mary’s Mental Health Ward. I spent almost a week there, they changed up my meds, I was released and began counseling.

There are a couple of things that are important to me to point out about that time in my life. 1: Prior to this happening I had changed Dr.’s and he had changed my depression medication. I had called him for a month. I had made 4 phone calls and told him I did not feel right. There was something wrong with these meds and I did not feel like myself and was feeling even more depressed than I was before I started taking them. Each time I was told “Just give it some time, they will get better.” The last time I called I was told, “Dr. —– can not help you. You are going to have to find someone else. You need to see another Dr.” 2. The first thing I said to Wyatt when I got to the car that day when leaving St. Mary’s “I’m so glad to be out. The first thing I want to do is go home, have a cigarette and a glass of wine.” It is very important for everyone to understand this. I am positive there was something wrong with my depression meds. I’m not saying it was the total cause of why I did what I did. It is very important that when you start taking something new that is supposed to alter your brain chemistry you let people around you know. That you Dr. is attentive and listens to your concerns. You know your body best. My Dr. was negligent in my opinion. He should have brought me back in. Those little warnings on the commercial or in fine print on the leaflet can and do happen. Pay close attention to your loved ones who are on these depression meds. It was also important to me to get back to self medicating myself with alcohol as soon as I got out but Wyatt and I weren’t identifying that as the problem. It was the depression. I’m pretty sure alcohol doesn’t mix with those meds.

I am so beyond thankful God brought me through that. I didn’t want to die. My family would not be better off without me. God has things for me to do! I wish I could say that I turned everything around from there but you might know by now I think I know better. I know that is a whole lot to take in and maybe more than you want to know. I feel like a lot of times as Christians we feel we are not supposed to talk about those kinds of things. We don’t suffer with depression, we don’t do things like try to commit suicide. We don’t smoke, we’re not alcoholics and we certainly don’t get committed. We’re all happy. We have Jesus!! Can you tell me where that group of Christians is because I’ld like to make sure I steer clear. I’m not sure of anywhere in the Bible where Jesus said if you believe in me life will be one big walk in the park. In fact just the opposite. – Remember what I told you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me they will persecute you also. John 15:20 – In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 2 Timothy 3:12 – strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. Acts 14:22.

As believers we are going to have hardships that we come under, some more than others. Some of our own making and some not. No matter if from our own making or from God it’s what we do with it. How we get through it. Illnesses that can keep us down. Depression that can take over our minds and bodies mentally and physically. Substance Abuse that is slowly robbing us of everything we hold dear. A lost job threatening your financial situation. A bad marriage, a violent spouse and you don’t know where to turn. An out of control child and you feel like you are held hostage in your own home. Gossip spread about you that has no merit to it what so ever yet it is ruining your reputation. Compulsive lying and you don’t know how to stop. Death, expected or unexpected. There are so many trials we will go through while we are here on earth and each one that belongs to us can feel like climbing Mt. Everest. I can certainly say I have not done a great job approaching some of my mountains I have come up against. My initial reaction has not been to immediately turn to God. That’s our flesh. That’s the world. If you are in this world and of this world you have a lot of options. Drink your problems away partying with friends, complain, blame, send your problem away, violence, denial, look to false Gods. None of those will bring you peace. If you are in this world but not of it you have one place to go. Jesus. You have to face the truth. That’s not always very easy. I am certainly learning that. I’ve tried for so many years to ignore Jesus and use the ways of the world and it finally came crashing down. What I feel starting to form under my feet is that rock.

I’m building my house upon the rock. It’s going to take a while but that’s ok. No strong house was ever built in a day and you have to make sure your foundation is good and solid. I’ve got a lot of construction ahead and I’m sure storms are going to come and delay my work. I just need to know that this house will always have need for repairs and additions. She’s going to keep on standing but occasionally when those hurricanes rip through a shingle or two or three or even a deck is going to need replaced.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had it’s foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mind and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

Jesus Is Waiting

I am at a loss. I have been trying to blog since we came home from inpatient hospice on Monday. I have written and deleted I don’t know how many times. Nothing seems right for me to put on the page. I’m all over the place.

We were given such a gift from God on Monday. Dad woke up, is how I like to describe it. It’s called a rally. It’s very common for a person to have a rally as it gets closer to the time that they are going to pass. He was alert and he wanted to eat and we all got to spend some time with him. I think we all got to tell him things that we thought we weren’t going to get the chance to tell him. I had the chance to tell him I love him again. I had the chance to hear him tell me he loved me. I was able to hold his hand and look in his eyes and let him know how very much he means to me. What a good, good, father he is. I don’t want to let him go. Looking around the room at all the people that had gathered to spend a moment with him and love on him was overwhelming. There must have been close to 20 people in the room. A person isn’t surrounded by that many people if they did not touch all those lives in some special way. The room was lit up with laughter and love, tears of joy and tears of sadness. I went to bed that night feeling like I had been rushed from the bottom of Mt. Everest straight to the top in about 5 seconds. Cold wind rushing in my face, snow hitting me and standing on the top peak with the sun shining down on me warming every part of my being making me feel alive.

Only to wake up the next morning and find that he had gone back inside himself again. As fast as I had been whisked to the peak I had been dragged back down to the valley and the trip was exhausting. He was still somewhat responsive and could call us by name. We were still able to talk to him and understand if he was uncomfortable or in pain or not. He was still able to say I love you but that spark that had been lit the day before was slowly going out. Little by little he has traveled inward until he is unresponsive. We might get some sort of an answer every now and then when we talk to him and ask him questions but I believe he is battling now. He has many conversations, most of them we can’t decipher but he is talking to someone. The nurse explained so many things to us about the mind and the body and how they fight against eachother. His body is struggling and is tired and I think he is ready to rest but his mind still wants to stay and isn’t ready to quite let go. He is having hallucinations according to the nurse and I like to think he sees his Mom. Meemaw is sitting in her rocking chair chuckling and shaking all over and can’t wait to hug him and show him around. I’m so excited for him to go and sit and talk with Jesus. I know he is going to have all his quesions answered and I can just picture his face full of light and love and joy when he sees the Father. At the same time I want to be selfish and hold on to him. I know it is time. I don’t want him to suffer or be in pain or struggle to stay because he thinks we are not going to be ok. I have told him it’s ok. He can go. As much as I will miss him and mourn his loss I know I will see him again. That’s what makes death so bearable. I know he knows Jesus as his Lord and savior. I know Jesus as my Lord and savior. I know where he is going without the shadow of a doubt and I know where I am going. So I know we will be reunited. Death is not the end. It’s just the beginning. We are only on this earth for a short period of time. If there is one thing my Dad would want anyone to know who is reading this or who knew him it would be Jesus loves you. Jesus died for you. Jesus rose from the dead for you. You can have eternal life and live with him in eternity if you just believe and accept him as your lord and savior, admit you are a sinner (as we all are) and believe he died and rose from the dead and is the one true Son of the living God. He will wash you white as snow and you will be forgiven. You will have eternal life. So you see, earth is just a short journey and we should certainly live and love and spread the love of Jesus Christ while we are here. Death is where our real life begins. It’s where we are made whole again if we so choose and to live in peace for eternity or to be separated from God for all eternity. That is the true definition of hell.

So while I sit here today by my Dads bed and watch him labor to breathe and struggle with a foot in both worlds so to speak I pray that he will hear us and know that it is ok. I love him with all my heart but Jesus is waiting and I will see him in a short while where we can sit and talk just me and him on the steps.