Into His Arms…

I have to start out by telling you I have consumed my happy juice and am a bit crosseyed at this time.  But praise Jesus, for he has given us every herb, plant and fruit bearing tree so that we will live healthy, peaceful lives.  Medicinal.  Used for my CPTSD, it can take me from despair to joy, and that my friends is worth its weight in gold.

I’ve been thinking about what is happening in this world, and obviously, it all but freaks me out.  After watching a video I shouldn’t have, I was overwhelmed-feeling as if the entire three ring circus was on my back.  First sad.  Then frantic.  Then Jesus.

I tell him, Jesus! I am clinging to your robes today, I need you badly!

These are the times when I run, full throttle, all engines on to God.  I picture myself running in to his amazing hug, and hear him say There, there child.

I can’t do this Jesus.

I know too much, why do I know so much and when did you make the decision to take a scaredy cat like this girl, and lead her in the direction of Doom.  Real news.  Investigative reporting.  I have felt the Holy Spirit driving me in this direction, and some days?  Down with the ship I go.

He never pushes, never demands.

I come to the realization that He alone is my Lord and Savior.  He will not leave me nor forsake me.  He is in control.  

I take a long hot shower.  I plug in my tiny white lights strategically placed all over my home, to give comfort.  Put some cinnamon on the stove.  And then He takes me back to who I was before I got clean.  I am profoundly grateful.

I fall into His arms.

Into His Arms…

I have to start out by telling you I have consumed my happy juice and am a bit crosseyed at this time.  But praise Jesus, for he has given us every herb, plant and fruit bearing tree so that we will live healthy, peaceful lives.  Medicinal.  Used for my CPTSD, it can take me from despair to joy, and that my friends is worth its weight in gold.

I’ve been thinking about what is happening in this world, and obviously, it all but freaks me out.  After watching a video I shouldn’t have, I was overwhelmed-feeling as if the entire three ring circus was on my back.  First sad.  Then frantic.  Then Jesus.

I tell him, Jesus! I am clinging to your robes today, I need you badly!

These are the times when I run, full throttle, all engines on to God.  I picture myself running in to his amazing hug, and hear him say There, there child.

I can’t do this Jesus.

I know too much, why do I know so much and when did you make the decision to take a scaredy cat like this girl, and lead her in the direction of Doom.  Real news.  Investigative reporting.  I have felt the Holy Spirit driving me in this direction, and some days?  Down with the ship I go.

He never pushes, never demands.

I come to the realization that He alone is my Lord and Savior.  He will not leave me nor forsake me.  He is in control.  

I take a long hot shower.  I plug in my tiny white lights strategically placed all over my home, to give comfort.  Put some cinnamon on the stove.  And then He takes me back to who I was before I got clean.  I am profoundly grateful.

I fall into His arms.

HEROES-A Reblog

I volunteer in a local Emergency Room.  I was scheduled for yesterday afternoon, 12 to 4, and no matter how hard I tried?  I could not muster the enthusiasm to take a shower, let alone go to work.  I picked up the phone several times to call off, but something made me put down that phone, and I am here to say, Praise God I did.

Used to working the morning shift, I had no idea what to expect.  As I approached the double doors a sense of purpose filled my veins, and what I was about to walk into was the most horrific day of my entire nursing career.  Every room full, I immediately went to Room 14, as I heard wails of agony and pain.  The man in the bed was in his nineties, and he was hysterical.  I introduced myself, but he couldn’t hear me, he was too far gone.  

I asked his son and wife what was going on.  His son shook his head, wiped away a tear and told me that this was NOT his father.  He was a good Christian man who was beloved in his community and family.  His dad was strong and stoic; I could tell the family was terrified.

“Oh Jesus, take me now.  I am so sorry.  I am dying.  My legs are on fire.  Please, take care of my wife and children….my grandchildren, OH MY GOD, WHY?  I AM DYING, PLEASE GOD, I DON’T NEED GOLD WALKWAYS, JUST TAKE ME NOW………”

This went on for another twenty minutes.  I spoke to him, loudly and clearly.  What have you seen?  Why are you so frightened?  You aren’t dying, your stats are perfect…..he was white as snow, tormented…..and then I knew.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt what was wrong. 

“The Diablo.  He is making me curse Jesus, think terrible things about my Lord.  I deserve to die, TAKE ME OH TAKE ME JESUS,”

I closed the curtain.  The nurse administered a sedative.  I asked the family to shush.

“You have no authority here, Satan.  No authority.  Drink the blood of Jesus demon and be gone.  Jesus is here, God is holding you.  Drink the blood of Jesus……”

I was convinced the doctor and nurses would think me insane and fire me as soon as I walked from beyond the curtain.  I waited and continued to pray out loud.  Within moments he calmed down.  Enough to listen to me.

Who is the father of all lies?  Satan is toying with you, but once God has you no one can ever take you away.  Do you understand me?  God loves you, and so does your family.  Listen to me…….”

I retreated for another warm blanket.  As I walked passed the gawking nurses, (and I mean every single one of them had their jaws open) I didn’t make eye contact.  I couldn’t.  I walked back into the room.  He was given another sedative.

There are things that I cannot divulge, but may I say this?

Praise, Glory and Honor to the Most High, and thank you Jesus, for your love and strength.

I walked Bob out to his car with his oh so thankful family.  He was dapper and strong, laughing at our jokes, and he kissed me on the cheek…….

“I don’t know how to thank you,” his son and wife said.  It wasn’t me they owed any gratitude, it was our heavenly father and Yeshua.  But they knew that.

And as I walked into the ER, prepared to be told to leave, the doctor said this:

“You are worth your weight in gold.  You couldn’t pay someone to do what you just did.”

I kept walking, straight to the nearest empty room.  And I got down on my knees and wept.

I Don’t Really Got It Like That……

For as long as I can remember? I have struggled with making money. While among those in the work force, I never made more than $250 a week. My Income Tax Return was almost always $250. Early on I surmised that God did not think it necessary for me to be a CEO, stock market analyst or-heaven forbid-a successful comedian. He knew that I was so grateful for the basics-food, a roof over my head, a loving husband and loyal dog. That’s pretty much it. Anything I made went to groceries, and when I had a chunk of moolah saved? It always went to something necessary-like buying my man a vehicle to get from here to there. They were always used Chevy pick-ups, and we held our breath each year at inspection time.

No, I have never been a material girl. From a very young age I fought hard to exist, so caught up in the struggle to survive-little things have always, always meant the world to me…and it is true to this very day. God provides for our needs, no matter how simple or complicated they are. I thought I needed my family to be happy, and realizing that the need for Jesus trumps the need to be loved? Life affirming.

Now the tears start rolling. I spent my first Christmas without any interaction (with the exception of my brother) with family. I actually went shopping for my nieces, to Kohl’s. It was there that I cried in the dressing room as I realized they were no longer mine to buy for-it hit me hard, the isolation.

So, for now, in this moment? I will cherish what I do have. My self esteem. My sense of humor. My handsome husband and a dog so loyal it hurts my heart to imagine a life without him. These days my husband drives a brand new Chevy truck, and we don’t worry about the bills or groceries because our income is sufficient. It’s time to start paying it forward.

I will treasure the memories of harder times, as it was then that the miracle of His amazing grace was ever present~

After the Lesson, the Blessing

I wrote this blog last Spring, while in the heat of the horrible moment.  Devastated by an argument with my step son, I simply could not see the forest through the trees.  There was never an apology rendered, but I have forgiven Bud and he knows this.  I like to call this phenomena Grace-but really I just did it for myself and my husband.

Dwain, interestingly enough, has not forgiven him.  Yet there have been great strides towards healing, and rather than trying to be his son’s best friend?  He has risen to the challenge of being a father, i.e. no more tolerating arrogance or disrespect.  I believe we are all closer as a result of his temporary insanity.

When God puts you to the test, and you pass with a combination of trusting His wisdom?  Oh my dear friends, this is when the miracle happens:  a peace that surpasses any understanding-inner joy and self love come out of hiding.  Often, the hard part is recognizing the blessing.  With practice and determination, you can take the gifts from above and pay it forward.   Grace abounds, indeed.

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I have been having what some would call “hearing hallucinations,” and I know they are real, as real as the grass in the yard, the puffy clouds on the horizon, and the Spring peepers who cry out their mating call at this time of year.

Okay, how do I explain the inexplicable?  I’ll have to go back to the early days, circa 2013, after an incredibly stressful demolition of our church, by Christian Hypocrites who simply took over, spewed their venom and caused one of our pastors to turn to Atheism.  I was distraught over what I then thought to be the end of my life as I  knew it.  I got sober in this chapel, every single person knew my story and they showed me love and grace, not harsh ostracism.  The travesty is, we were beginning to do some amazing spiritual work……we were in sync, and you could feel the Holy Spirit-lifting us up and out of our day to day lives.  And then:  Kaput.

I began to experience a strange, but lovely thinning of the veil, if you will.  I began finding feathers in crazy places-different colors and hues.  I collected twenty of them and put them in a crystal glass.  No explanation for how they came to be in the middle of my bedroom floor; no cat toys missing pieces, no feathered anything to be blunt.  I did not realize they were feathers from the Angels at the time, no not until the last feather was gifted me:  a large, purple beauty, somehow I knew that this would be the last one, and it was.  I have brought these feathers to bedside vigils, to give others the hope of better days to come, when we are once again home, the complete and unwavering love of God, His mercy and forgiveness.

Shortly after the last feather appeared, I had been toying with the New Age.  I came out of that nightmare unscathed, but now things were getting downright eerie.  Five minutes before I was stalked by a half naked man, causing me horrible PTSD symptoms, I heard my angels wings.  So loudly, I turned around as I expected to see a Vulture, or other huge bird looking at me.  Instinctively, I knew what it was.  I believe I was guided by the heavenlies that day, and I have good reason:  the Conservation Officers were doing their annual trail checks that day, and I had the good fortune to run out of the woods and into the arms of the officer who took the case.

One day, I was absolutely driven to get up off my buttocks and take a picture of my back yard.  It was a dreary rainy day, and there was nothing to see…..but listen to myself I did.  As I brought the camera to my eyes, I saw 6 or 7 white crosses-along the garden plot.  If I took the camera away?  Nothing.  Each time I brought that camera into focus, I saw the white crosses, and I felt protected, if not a little shaky.

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This picture was taken when I was nudged by the Holy Spirit to snap a pic in fog and drizzle.

Yesterday, while getting out of the shower, I heard those wings again.  I knew the angels wanted me to know they were with me, which scared the bejeepers out of me.  What now?  Why now?  I had to sit for a spell and calm myself down.

So, it is evening and my husband and I are preparing dinner.

“Honey, you know if you need to talk about the Bud (formerly known as my stepson) debacle, I know how much you’re hurting.  I want you to know that I am here for you, and if you need to vent, please do so.”

What he said next was so crazy making, so vile and putrid and everything that goes along with the loss of a child.

“I text him, last week.  I jacked him up and he said there will be no apology forthcoming.

No apology?  That man-child stood in my garage and screamed cruel and untrue things, called me a freak, told me the whole family thought I was a freak.  And, as it turned out, he was plenty pissed that I am on SSI, as “it’s not fair I have to pay for her income with my taxes.”`  He was this close to hitting me and when I went to go inside, he came after me and I just waited.  If he hit me, then I could go to court, get a Protection From Abuse-hey, I’ve suffered worse things, believe me.

I have made the decision that he is dead, dead to me for all intents and purposes.

You see, what seemed to irritate him most? That I had suffered CPTSD, and depression.  Apparently he thinks I made it all up; that after owning my own businesses and working (often two jobs at a time) for 40 years, I just decided, as if upon whim, to close shop, be lazy and ruin my husband’s life.  How could he be that cold?

And then the inevitable kick in my aching groin:  “Bud will be at mom’s for Easter, with his gal pal extraordinaire, the woman who was the icing on the cupcake of his disaster, the woman who so eagerly took what was not hers, her best friend’s boyfriend.  Don’t get me wrong, Bud is responsible for his own actions, but being the raging narcissist that he is?  He will never take accountability.  He ruined his own life and he should have thought about that before he let his penis do his thinking.  Sorry, I’m a bit rough around the edges today.

Father, forgive him, he knows not what he does.

She talks to angels, they call her out by her name.

There Was a Formula

My freakishly large head is spinning, I am reticent to say this-you know, like when you state out loud that your  marriage is better than it’s ever been, and then you have the worst fight ever; so I’ll just put this out there:  the last few days of my life have been, for lack of a better word-perfect.

My idea of perfection is one of very simple values.  My faith and Jesus come first, and I cling to His robes each and every day.  After that?  The health and emotional welfare of my husband, my dog and myself.  I married a man I am still crushing on, and he is my best friend.  I am sober, my depression is lifting as we head towards Fall. My flower beds are bursting with Zinnias, roses, butterfly bushes and bubble gum pink petunias.  We like our new place of worship, and the pastor is red pilling my husband.  Bliss.   I have a Lord and Savior who loves me, passionately, as He loves you.

There is no fear nor condemnation in Christ.

I was reading out of the book of Proverbs just now

I see a change in the direction of my writing.   The focus  will be the same: Christ-centered, authentic and sassy-it’s the way I roll, so thank you all for reading my musings! It is my constant prayer that they will reach the eyes that bleed for comfort and community. Here goes nothing!

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

The really important things in life can’t be said, only shown.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein

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A while back I wrote about a friend from church who had told me God spoke to her in the early morning hours, about me, about my loneliness-as she was going down her prayer list. Unable to sleep, Lisa grabbed her Holy Bible, and asked the Holy Spirit to guide her in prayer. When she came to my name, the message was loud and clear:

She will have beautiful and meaningful relationships. She went on to try to explain just how much of a blessing this would be, but she cried with me instead.

I think of her and that moment often, even daily. Over the past few years, I have traded my sob story for one of real and true joy and reconciliation. Sadly, some of the changes did not suit a few of the people I had been holding on to; long after I knew that there was little left to grasp.

SCRIPTURE OF THIS GLORIOUS DAY

Kind people do themselves a favor, but cruel people bring trouble on themselves. -Proverbs 11:17 NCV

I quietly walked away from those who knew me as my former self. The friends who knew me to be a people pleasing, bleeding heart doormat-who allowed herself to be treated very poorly. I cannot stress the importance of one of the keys to happiness: you’ve heard this a million, zillion times before, but if you don’t love yourselfit will be impossible to gain the respect and love of others.

Although I have decided to keep the posts about Narcissistic Abuse and Complicated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to the bare minimum (I have seen professionals who suffered at the hands of a narcissist make careers out of helping other survive the phenomena. While I respect the hell out of these people, I can not, will not allow this family tragedy define who I am. In order to survive, I am putting the past where it belongs. At the moment, the California fires are raging: these are not the usual forest fire-and they are headed oh so steadily towards my brother and his family. I have no way of knowing if they are okay. I have no way of knowing if ANY of my family is okay; so I will let go and let God.

However, there is so much to be said for sticking to your guns-not allowing others to control the narrative. Guard your heart, that’s what the Lord says-and in doing so I have emerged as if a Phoenix rising: finally able to be myself. No peanut gallery comments, such as:

After years of struggling with alcoholism and depression:

“Are you on the right medication? I think you may be Bipolar.”

After hosting mon frère for lunch (last time we spoke, in August)

“Quite sure you suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. Have a great weekend.” Sent via email. And after telling my estranged sister not to bother showing up at my funeral:

“You fucked up Michele. YOU FUCKED UP.” This, by the way, from my “best” friend who almost killed my cat while we were in upstate NY last year on vacation.

SONG OF THE DAY

Oh, Happy National Dog Day, by the by.

My sweet boy.  Jesse Bocephus Happy Hoffmananoff.  Stay 6!

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I Think it Strange You Never Knew

I took what I wish I could tell you was my last drink in the beginning of October, 2007.  I ended up in the hospital after a suicide attempt, which is another story for another day.  What sobered me up was a combination of my husband’s frailty, my will to live and a gift-the blessing of clarity that comes from Jesus.  I won’t even try to tell you that this road has been easy.  We addicts push down the truth, and push our loved ones away-fact-and until we achieve sobriety?  Well, there will be no healing, no peace, no end to the pain that holds us in bondage.

Months afterwards, I was hiking in two feet of snow with my golden retriever, Dylan.  A shining star and beloved pet, it hurts my heart that I wasn’t with him for the first 5 years of his time on this earth.   I was here, but I wasn’t present, and I have no memory of what could have been the best years of my life, had I not succumbed to the melodic pull of oblivion.

So I am trudging up this hill, and I am overcome with love.  I feel forgiveness surround me.  I cry out to God and confess the absurd backslide I have taken with alcohol and pain medication.  I cry out to Jesus and I tell him to take my life, it isn’t mine to begin with, take it Jesus, mold me Jesus, cry with me and then I’ll get tough, I promise…….

“I have been here with you from the very beginning of time.  I have cried your tears, tasted the salt of your remorse, and I will deliver you from this travesty……”

I think it strange, I never knew….