Monday, January 23, 2012

Anxiety.......Discovering, Addressing, Moving Past

January 23, 2012

Depression, anxiety and migraines all seem to run rampant in our family..........I never could quite understand or relate to the individuals in my family that experienced these issues.  Until the summer of 2010, when I had my first full blown anxiety attack and it brought me to my knees literally.  I had never experienced anything of that nature.  I felt like I couldn't breathe, my heart was racing and all I wanted to do was curl up in a corner and cry.  I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me at the time.  I felt out of control, worthless and ashamed that I didn't have it "all together" as I once did or at least had convinced myself of.

Looking back on it now, I can see clearly that there were 3 major events that summer that triggered the first attack.  I tried to manage it myself thinking I should be able to do this.....I help others work through their issues all the time.  But I quickly came to the realization that there was no "quick fix" because I had neglected myself, my well being and my emotions for so long.  I put others' first - their needs, wants, requests and at times even their demands.  I had (and at times still have) this inability to say "No" without feeling guilty.  Where does that feeling come from and why?

I struggled with the idea of going to my family physician and admitting that I felt like I couldn't handle my life anymore.  I felt like a failure and disappointment in so many ways.  I was angry all the time and took that out on my loved ones and after the emotional outbursts then the guilt and sadness would hit be like a ton of bricks.  How could I be so awful to another human being and especially to the ones that I cherished above all others?  I finally decided that I had to go and get help before I ended up doing or saying something that I would regret for the rest of my life.  And trust me, there were times I really thought if left alone I could have.......that is so hard to admit.

I met with my phsician at the beginning of August of 2010 and began sobbing uncontrollably as I tried to explain to her what I was experiencing......she immediately decided that I needed to be put on a medication to help balance out my emotions that seemed so out of sorts.  I was admittedly embarrassed at first thinking WOW what are people going to think of me and will the medication desensitize me or change my personality?  But I was at such a low point that I was desperate to try anything that would hopefully bring about a positive change.

The medication did help to even out my emotions but the biggest change happened when I joined my Life Group through LCBC.  My life group women have provided me with something the medication could not and never, comfort, love, understanding, encouragement and strength.  I love each one of them because they know I am human and will make mistakes, but they are willing to help brush me off when I stumble and pick me back up.  I couldn't ask for anything more........

Through them and God and my own persistence I have been off my medication for nearly 3 months now.  Our God is such an amazing and faithful God and can help us through even the darkest times in our lives if we are just willing to turn  him and ask for help.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anthing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Things I am learning:

- We are human and will make mistakes.  No one is perfect but God.

- We must learn to ask God for forgiveness and then ACCEPT that he has given it to us.

-  I am a wonderful creation of God.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chosen to be Sisters........

October 23, 2011


I'm very blessed for the simple fact that I had the ability to "choose" my Sister with the grace and guidance from God.  You see, I truly believe that He had every intention of our paths crossing a little over 1 year ago but God left it up to us to see where we took the friendship. 

In the short amount of time we have known each other, we have established a solid faith based relationship that continues to grow  stronger with each day that passes.  I'm amazed at how quickly she has become intertwined in my heart so much so that she is a part of me, of my family. I can't imagine my life without took me 34 years to find my sister, I'm not willing to let go EVER.

I believe the initial lesson God was trying to show us was that you "must" put time and effort into building a strong foundation which to us meant centering our lives around "Abba" our one true Father.  We do that by co-leading our LCBC (Lives Changed by Christ) Women's Life Group, serving the women and children of Clare House, praying together daily (which we refer to as "soul time"), providing each other with inspiring Bible verses or devotions, serving on our 1st missions trip to Guatemala and now we are embarking on coordinating efforts to raise awareness and funds for the Kairos Ministry to support the work of the Kairos House with providing shelter, food, and medical support to children with cancer and their families staying by their sides.

The second lesson that God has shown us is that to achieve the closeness that we were meant to share, it means being  completely vulnerable with one another.  There's no walls, no barriers, no lines that can't be crossed.  With most people, it is difficult to open up completely with no holds bar........but with my Sissy, it has never been an issue.  We immediately developed an understanding that we could be whom God intended us to be without any reservations.  There's no fear when sharing our inner most thoughts and feelings with one another that we will be judged.  I know that is a rarity but for one that I am extremely thankful for every day that God has given us on this earth.

The third lesson that I believe God is showing us is to not be afraid to love others.  I think people hesitate to express love for fear of what someone will think of them.   Don't be!  We have been created to love one another.  I love my Sissy with all my heart and I'm not afraid to tell her, give her a hug, hold her hand while we pray at church or put my arm around her while we are worshipping in song together.  I can't imagine holding back those feelings......because I love bringing happiness and smiles to the people most important to  me!

In my eyes and my experience, if you allow God to become the focus of your relationships, you will be amazed at how much he can strengthen them, improve them and draw you closer to one another and to Him.  So what choice will you make today?

Proverbs 18:24
"There exist companions disposed to break one another to pieces,
but there exists a friend sticking closer than a brother."

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Loving Spirit

October 6, 2011

One thing I'm slowing learning about myself is that God created me intentionally with a spirit to love others.  In all his profound and infinite wisdom, he gave me a huge heart, a warm smile and a contagious giggle to share with others.  I absolutely love these things about myself because it truly defines who I am. 

I've been told too many times to count that I laugh and smile too much.  Really?!?  Isn't that part of the reason God created us?  To enjoy each moment no matter how small; to be joyful; to be thankful............We spend so much of our days being serious -- lighten up, I'm giving you permission to smile and laugh!!  You may even receive some healthy benefits from leaving that stress and tension behind you even if only for a few moments.

I can't help but try to spread love to is in my nature to be this way.  I encourage you to TRY it -- smile at a stranger, hold a door open for someone, pay a toll for the car behind you, buy a coffee for someone, offer to help put groceries in someones vehicle, say Hi and ask them how they are and actually listen to their answer. 

There are so many  simple things we can all do for each other to make an individual feel loved and cared for.  And I know how good I feel when I give love to others -- imagine how the recipient will feel (my guess is,, pretty darn good!)

Thing I am Learning:

-You can't truly experience LOVE if you aren't willing to let down all the walls and be vulnerable with them.

-Love is FREE, don't be afraid to give it away.

-Love like there is no tomorrow because you never know when God will call you to your eternal home.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Expression of Words

October 2, 2011

Amazing to me how quickly we can communicate with others by sending an email, text message or talking face to face......but do we truly know the impact our words have on that individual?  I mean words alone are simple in meaning but when we string them together into a thought they can be used to build someones' self esteem up or to quickly tear them down. 

I think that we so often let our emotions overtake us and without much thought we say things that are hurtful.  And once they are said we can't take them back because they are already embedded in the individuals memory.  And no matter how many apologies we offer, it just doesn't take away the pain we have caused.

Things that I am learning:

1)  Listen to what someone is saying before offering any advice or solutions.....sometimes the thing they need the most is someone to hear them.

2)  Think before speaking because your words can have a positive or negative effect.

3)  If you know you've hurt someone, make every attempt to make amends immediately.