He Answers Prayers

Over the past few days, I have seen Him answer prayers. Some prayers are for newly developed situations.  Some prayers have been ongoing for many months.

Our friend recently became very critical from seizures. His father and mother are longtime friends of ours.  Our children and our ill friend played together when they were youngsters.  The prognosis was many long weeks of a medically induced coma.  But, He had him sitting in the chair, talking and eating ice cream after only a couple of weeks.

A man we go to church with also had a severe seizure but was home and back at church in a week or so.

Our friend who once was also our pastor has been seeking a pulpit for months. He has been given one by Him just this week.

My beloved cousin is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. (I hope you get to read this tonight.  I love you so dearly.  I expect another answer to our prayer for you.)  Miraculous recovery time from this crisis and I am also going to seek spontaneous permanent remission.  He does that sort of thing.

I have been struggling with anxiety. In the past, my circumstances would have me succumbing to the screaming memmies.  I have several things going on right now.  Not exactly negative, but trials none the less.

I am waiting for an answer about a business matter. I am in charge of a special event at our new church, not knowing even where things are stored.  I am trying to get back in the swing of teaching a Sunday School class.  Hunting season, festival season, the holiday season are all upon us.  Then, the previously mentioned health problems of people I care about concern me greatly.  My baby niece has not been well.  A dear friend is struggling with her marriage.

But, I have been praying. And He has been working on me. I don’t usually show my stress.  Years ago, one lady was shocked and surprised to hear me speak during a ladies’ meeting about my self-esteem, anxiety and depression issues.  She had spent quite a bit of time around me and had no idea I struggled so.

It has been many years since that time. Slowly but surely I have been healing.  From the inside out.  Praying and working on my thought patterns and feelings. Working through grief.  Working through pain.  Working through anxiety.  Praying for answers.  Praying for focus.  Praying for Him to heal people I care about.

Who can know what He is going to do? Why He allows certain things to happen?  Why He lets some things continue and some things end?  One thing is certain.  Most of the prayers I pray are for immediate things of this earth.  However He answers them, I rest in His assurance of my final healing, my final peace.  Complete in Christ.  Doesn’t get any better than that this side of the gates.

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Winning Battles

This past weekend, I was “home alone”. No bad guys came along to make things exciting.  (Thank Goodness!)  It gave me time to sort out some things.  Not always a good thing.  When I am alone at home, I can sometimes fall too easily into despair.  The bad guys I fear are not human.  Rather, they are the wraiths of the past clawing at my mind.

I had to battle through some issues. No tears.  Just feelings of anger.  Anger that I still have not destroyed them altogether.  I went through journals from the past couple of years.  I pulled out some passages and tossed the rest of the notebooks.  Then, I went through the passages to try to make sense of them.

I am much better than when I wrote them. As I have healed my emotional issues, I notice a spiral motion.  For many years, it seemed I would be down and then circle around to not so bad and then to doing pretty well.  Then, I would continue on back to being down.  But, the down was always worse than the last time.  I feared getting to the bottom of the spiral and never making it back around to the good side.

A couple of things happened that changed the direction of the spiral. Slowly, the spiral has continued, but the direction has changed.  The difference is that now the spiral is going up.  The bad side is not as bad as last time.  And last time was not as bad as the time before that.  The pattern has continued long enough that I believe I will finally be free of the black hole that lingers out on the horizon of my mind.

What were the couple of things? The first occurred several years ago.  I was confronted with a mental health provider who tried to convince me that perhaps I was bipolar like my father.  I had completed the 15 question “yes or no” questionnaire.  I answered yes to three questions.  Yes, I have had racing thoughts.  Yes, I have overspent money and gotten in a bind.  Yes, I have gotten into arguments with others.  I answered no to the other twelve questions.  When he realized his insurance covered customer was about to get away unmedicated and not added to his case load and cash flow, he tried to declare that perhaps I was borderline.  If yes to those three questions make me borderline bipolar, this world is full of crazier-than-me-people.  I got mad and told him thanks but no thanks in a very not nice way.  I left and while driving away realized that I am not following in my father’s footsteps.  I am not even close to being mentally ill as I have always feared.

The second thing was something I did with his help. I determined that a fast was in order.  I needed to fast and pray and let God take care of something.  So, I fasted for three days.  I was physically ill by the third day.  I have blood sugar problems anyway, so it was a challenge from day one.  But, he supported and encouraged me.  And God gave me two things.  He resolved the problem I was fasting about specifically.  The unexpected thing can be summed up in this statement I wrote on the last evening.  “God, if the day comes when all I have is Your Salvation and my sanity, it will be enough.”

I knew then that I would be okay. That was a little over four years ago.  That is when the spiral started going up.  I have still had dark sides of the circle.  Each time has been less dark, less terrifying, and taken less time to get through.

The war is not over, but the tide has turned. Each battle is entered with more confidence of victory.  The wraiths will come again.  I will continue to sharpen my sword and hone my skill wielding it.  The day will come when I will hear them in the distance and they will not be allowed to cross into my mind.

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Still Struggling

I have a lot of free time. I could spend more time cleaning house and doing yard work. I feel I should do so. I want to get to a place of contemplation and quiet.
I want to learn to do yoga and to paint. I want to learn to meditate. But I fear meditation because I am afraid of what it will bring up. I must decide whether to forget about meditation or to forget about my fear. I know I can paint. I just have to figure out how to manage the material. The acrylic and the brush and the canvas. Just need practice.
I do not want to be sad and grieving anymore. I want to not feel lonely anymore.
I don’t know what I want to do each day. I feel as if there is something missing. Something I should be doing. Something that would make me feel less mournful and more anchored. Do I want to feel anchored? Or do I just want to feel safe floating and drifting?
I am not afraid, am I? I despise fear. I fight to overcome anything I fear. I am still working on fear of heights. I feel as if I am going to be flung off into the abyss. I have a couple of unspeakable fears. I tried to write them but could not. I will never overcome them. They are acceptable fears. Natural to a mother and a wife.
Only love can heal. Only love can overcome fear. Not time, not conditioning, not anything can truly change the heart aside from love.
I keep struggling for answers and I don’t really know the questions.
What does my life look like on the other side?
I don’t want to feel compelled to do anything remarkable. Is it enough to simply live? To get up each day and enjoy getting dressed and preparing food to eat and playing. Whether the playing be on the computer or writing or creating a pretty bauble.
I spent so many years taking care of others who were either growing up or fading away. Now, with time to do what I always thought I would do if I had time, I don’t seem to be able to commit. I always thought my lack of commitment to creative development was due to fear of interruption. I didn’t want to be in the middle of something and be called away to hospital or school or some family need.
Part of my dilemma is not having a place to work. A place to set up arts and craft supplies and spread out projects and leave them there to work on when I have time. It has to be a place I can close off from site. Remember that I cannot abide messes. I am constantly rearranging my nest to reduce clutter and mess. I bring in things and arrange them only to pack them up and store them out of site but never out of mind. Worrying about the space taken up in the attic or back closet or on the carport. A part of my insanity. Each of us has something to some degree or other.
So, I am struggling still. When I was on Oahu, I would sit on the beach and try to get my mind still to think. I could barely put a thought together. I could barely write. I am feeling that way some now. My mind scattered and tired. My heart achy and sore. This will, of course, pass shortly.
Tomorrow, I will be soaking in sunshine and later this week snuggling with little people. Can anything feel better than a child’s love? My mind may still flutter away unable to focus a thought, but my heart will be soothed and comforted.

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What chased my mind all over the island?

What churned my soul like the waves breaking over the reef?

What simmered beneath the surface of my heart like the sunlight in the lagoon depths?

Dare I chase away the fear?

Dare I overcome the feeling of fear and climb the heights?

Dare I be flung into the abyss of the unknown adventure?

Time will tell if Love will overpower fear in this struggle.