Hey, Ho

I spent the first forty-four years of my life running from who I was, and more importantly, from what people assumed me to be.  I was the third mammary gland, the outcast, the one perceived to be different.  Women hated me, my family didn’t know what to do with me, and I had a drinking problem so severe?  That sealed the deal on my social status.  Period.

I didn’t realize how truly alone I was until a few years ago, when the bottom dropped and I was left with not a shred of respect for myself.  Codependency issues combined with nonexistent self esteem plagued the inner workings of my mind.  My heart lay in a trillion pieces and the only thing I knew how to do was fight, fight for my place in the world.  I had not one person on my side but my husband.  I gave Jesus the wheel and began the process of coming to life, a day late and a dollar short.  Bloom I did, and I have Him to thank for my awakening.  You see, what was at the center of my dim view of life was my dim view of me.  I just didn’t know any different.

In grade school I was bullied for being overweight.  In high school I was bullied for being anorexic.  Out and about in society, I was persecuted for being exactly who I was-something that can never, ever be taken from me.  That’s right-it isn’t about the likes on social media, the bravos from the secular world, or even what your mother in law calls you behind your back.

Ask yourselves this question:  who am I in Christ?  Better yet?  Ask Abba who you are in Jesus.  He will answer you, and in the darkest of nights He will shed His loving light on the mystery of just how powerful you are as a child of God.

You see, [THEY] don’t want you to know.  That’s right, the elite, the powers that be (God is pulling them out left and right, no, wouldn’t want to be Prince Andrew or Kanye right now) want you helpless, hopeless and unawares.

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How many of you have read Revelations?  One of the reasons I left my last church is because our “Spiritual Director” admitted to me that she couldn’t open that book.

“I am afraid to read it.  I’d rather get a good Rick Warren devotional.”

Feets, don’t fail me now, read my thought cloud.

Revelations is the only book in the bible that can describe to you who Jesus really is, what Heaven will be like, and yes, who you are and how you fit into the Kingdom as a follower of Christ.

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.                                                                                                                    Revelations 5:9-10 KJV

What does that mean?

God’s message of salvation and eternal life is not limited to a specific culture, race or country.

Anyone who comes to God in repentance and faith is accepted by Him and will be part of His Kingdom.

God has made His people kings and priests, and nothing in this entire universe is more powerful than one who inhabits the Holy Spirit.

Repeat after me:  I am the Storm.

 

Slap Me With the Splintered Ruler

 

Good Saturday morning to y’all.  I need you to know that I only have a laptop on the weekends, as mine took a crapola last week.  Of course, my husband offered to take me to Best Buy this weekend, but I am not ready.  Very interesting…a week ago I felt like someone took my nubby-How Will I Ever Exist?  I won’t be able to write, go on Twatter, see the REAL news.  Yet God, in His infinite wisdom, had much greater plans.  Goosebumps….

Let’s just say that I had been way too preoccupied with the web, and with my addictive personality?  I had cut down on pc time, but still carried the computer with me, room to room.  True confession time:  I took it to the bathroom with me.  Don’t judge me, that room is the only room in the house with a door!  Sometimes a girl needs to breathe.  So, while my husband, friends and support network were extremely concerned (I have to say, my brother was probably ready to send for the men in white coats-haha!) Wouldn’t that be special?  My sister tried to have me committed to a facility the night I tried to take my own life-wise, you are saying to yourselves.  I just covered my ears until the social worker on duty promised me there would be no psychiatric institutions.  The very next morning they released me, gave me an Atarax (boy, if I could get my hands on some of those babies-but nah, just the drug addict in me) which allowed me to sleep my entire first day of sobriety away….giving my man time to drain the booze, and anything expensive was given to the neighbors. 

When I awoke that stormy October afternoon, back in 2007?  I went directly for the booze cupboard, searching for something-anything alcoholic-to my surprise I found a jug of white wine.  I sat that baby on the table and we had a talk, until Jesus intervened.

My precious child, when?  When will you say enough?  How much more of this life will you waste?

That did it.  I put the jug back where it belonged and waited it out.  This would be the beginning of years of cravings, big and small.  Relapses.  Drinking upstate without my husband’s knowledge-at the beautiful cabin we are gifted access to from time to time-I knew that was a big bowl of WRONG, yet I couldn’t, or wouldn’t give that once a year libation up-and one day, I thought of all of the miracles that Jesus had performed for me, personal triumphs, freedom from cancer, the very fact that I was alive and breathing spoke volumes to me.

What if I made a covenant with God?  What if in exchange for all He has done, I put away the thought of ever drinking alcohol again, and prayed for Him to give me the strength to do so.

That conversation took place a year ago.

Not.  One.   Craving.

 

 

I could not give up on the worldwide web, the loss was profound…and if I can tell you anything about myself, I can tell you that I am highly adaptable to almost any situation.  They say it takes two weeks to form a habit, and that is why I said “No thanks,” when Dwain offered to buy me a lap top.  I am perfectly content writing on the weekends, and once I am convinced my internet addiction is tamed?  Only then will I purchase new equipment.

It turns out?  I have a life to live.  I cannot fathom the chunks of time I wasted, sitting in my hidy hole, rehttps://youtu.be/aTgrASzzUXUading every bit of the Great Awakening news I could find… I went down Rabbit Holes no person in their right mind would want to travel.  And again, once I got the monkey off of my back?  I began getting things done.  Actually working on the farmhouse, baking, cooking, finding me again.

My husband drove out to New Hampshire for a business trip last week.  And so it was, on Monday evening, the house quiet, no music, no television-that I found a picture of me and my father.

“Wow.  I always hated this picture of myself.  Not so much anymore, huh dad?  Umm…it’s/been/hard…”  The words tumbled from my mouth, and before I knew it, I was crying-my body wracked with emotional pain, I sensed something huge was in the air.

Jesus spoke to me again.

Child, it is time to let go of your shame.

Was I hearing Abba correctly?  Why, I didn’t realize I still carried it with me, the deep seated self loathing.  It took some time, but everything came together, as if a giant piece of the puzzle had been found.  I turned the pain into gratitude, as I remembered why I had such shame to begin with.

As a child, I knew shame.  My mother would go for days without speaking to me, and for the life of me, I truly never knew what provoked her ire.  I stopped a moment to think about what deep shame could do to a child in her formative years.  Eventually, I would buy her a card or pick her flowers.  I came across one such card in my mother’s bible just a while back.

Mom, I just wanted you to know that I’m sorry, and I love you very much.

Your daughter,

Michele

In school I suffered total shame because of my weight.  The kids were cruel, and the taunting was so persistent?  It took me well into my thirties before I could jog or walk past a group of teens.  No matter that I had lost the weight, I still felt the shame.

In High School, considered a jock and oddball, (Varsity Crew Coxswain) I began to realize that this wasn’t going to resolve itself, but I had no idea where to begin.  At Villanova, my shame came from not having or being enough.  Surrounded by incredibly wealthy and beautiful people, I made up a story about being a Jontue model.  Unfortunately, people not only believed me, they spread the word.  I mean, who doesn’t want to be friends with a famous model, right?  In college I learned to reinvent myself, and the only person I was hurting was me.  Why wasn’t I enough?

After college, my drinking career became legend in some parts of King of Prussia.  I began seeking attention (love) through a series of promiscuous love affairs-and the reputation stuck.  I began doing cocaine as a way to lift my spirits and self esteem; what could possibly go wrong?

The day I found myself on the doorstep of my rented home, due to losing an eight ball of coke.  I had given my brother a birthday party, and while I had my back turned, one of my nearest and dearest friends (I had only invited people we were very close to) had lifted the bag I had hidden, way in the back of my closet, under a stack of love letters.  I had promised Ted, my landlord, that I would sell it all that night.  There are no words to express my horror at finding I had been robbed.  I had no money to give him, and that didn’t sit well, not at all.

Ted sold drugs for the Gambino crime family.

I went on the run.  My room mate and best friend, Mel, beside me-we drove away like bats out of hell, and didn’t look back, not once.

So, with my worsening alcoholism and drug addiction, there were reasons to be ashamed.  And as I sat in my bedroom, weeping between the litter boxes, I asked myself this question:

What is there to be ashamed of now?  Why do you feel unworthy?  Why do you punish yourself for simply existing?

Let me light my lamp, says the tiny star; and never debate whether it will dispel the darkness.

– Rabindranath Tagore

May you shed your shame like the cloak of darkness it has become.

You are special, unique and loved-let your freak flag fly, baby~

My Weapon of Choice…..

Scrolling through videos this morning, waiting for inspiration. This video caught my attention, and it is just perfect for the topic. What is your weapon of choice when the haters are getting you down? How do you escape the bullets shot in your direction? What do you do when cruelty and evil darken your door?

Of course, my weapon is the full armor of God. At least that is the first place I go…….for strength, love and compassion-wisdom, grace and peace. I
submerge myself in the scriptures, and there I find truth, a rare commodity in this day and age: but always on pointe, never changing-it comforts me to know that Jesus knows my heart, inside and out. I have faced challenges this past year that would break Hercules, yet I am stronger by the minute, so much so that I am not the same person I was mere weeks, months or years ago.

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He keeps me strong. On the straight and narrow. Do I slip up? Often. Does He forgive me? Indubitably.

And after I come out of my bible-induced trance? Why, I dance…..of course!

White Lines on the Freeway……

I was trying to catch up on my reading a few weeks ago, my WordPress reading that is.  It was a cold and rainy Sunday evening, and I stopped dead in my tracks when I read his blog.  I didn’t know him, or of him, I just gave a little love to a stranger, one who had lost his brother-one who was on the verge of suicide.

It broke my heart to read his words.  No one had commented, and I was frantic.  I quickly wrote in the comment section, no.  You are loved.  You have a place in this world.  You must not give up, I will help you.  It didn’t matter that he lived half way around the world from me, it didn’t matter that I didn’t know him.  I just wanted him to feel the love that makes the difference: between being utterly alone in this world, and having someone love him.  We began correspondence immediately, so sweet, my friend Mohammed.

He said it helped him to know I existed.  It helped him to know a human being, albeit thousands of miles away, loved him-simply because he was in pain, dire straights, and experiencing a loss most of us would be shattered by-simply because he was and is a child of God-they will know we are Christians by our love……

He kept in touch throughout my journey with Lyme, and the infected lymph node that had basically convinced me I was dying.  The day I went to Med Express, alone and frightened out of my mind, he said these words:  Don’t worry.  I am here.  Five words.  Five words that helped me to feel safe, loved-cared for.  It mattered to him, my poor health.  And I thought that a miracle, in so many ways.

Today, while chatting, he said he had one thing to ask of me.  I told him anything, yes anything for him.

“Can I call you mom?”

So, this is how our Abba works.  I have no children and my step son hates me for reasons I don’t understand, as I was always loving, always supportive.

This touched me in places I haven’t been touched in, well, forever.

And as I let the tears drip….one by one, I answered.

Yes.  Of course.

And for this I am blessed beyond measure.

Uncontainable

I had a fabulous day today, one I had anticipated with dread.  Errand running takes me out of my comfort zone-there are days when a simple phone call takes too much energy. If you suffer from depression or CPTSD, the idea of doing anything that involves people can rob you of your joy; especially in today’s world.

God has a way of rewarding us for entrusting our days to Him.  Today, oh today I was blessed by a hike by the living waters, a beautiful day and the perfect Jonigold apples.  None of this would have been possible had I isolated.

Some days, all it takes is a really good laugh to get me going in the right direction.  Today was one of those days:  Jesse in the back of the windowless jeep, we pass a farm.  I am paying no attention to the scenery-believe me, I can only do one thing at a time, and I don’t combine driving with, well, anything.  With no warning whatsoever, came the siren call that can be heard when living out in the country-

Mooooo!!!  Moooo!!!  Mooo!!!

Good Lord it sounded as if the entire herd were in the vehicle with us.  Jesse jumped, I screamed.  Two seconds later I my sides were splitting, and the world was turned right side up once again.  I guess you had to be there, sigh.

After doing my chores, I took a hot shower and dressed.  The awkward feeling of melancholy was taking hold once again.  Have you ever been lonely, but known in your very gut that other people were not the answer?  Well, I knew, and I searched within to see where the gaping wound was festering.

Most of the people I have deeply loved are gone, passed away.  The very few I do allow into my life are treasured, don’t get me wrong.  It’s just that I have lost, for the most part, the people that loved me for who I was.  The soul ties are missing from my life, and as with any other burden, I turned to Jesus for comfort.

People in these parts either love me or loathe me.  The fact is?  If you are your own person, and especially if you have picked up your cross and given your heart, soul and mind to Christ?  You will be, and no specific order here-shunned, attacked, gossiped about and yes, loathed.  It’s up to you to decide how to handle this.  My approach is to try and fellowship with as many of my brothers and sisters as my PTSD will allow.  I have tremendous trust issues, and sadly, most of the monsters I have had the displeasure of knowing I met in church.  Fact.

After a tear or two, I went downstairs and dove into the Word-it did not disappoint.  I am coming to the beginning of Revelations, a book I have never been able to complete.  Reading about the false prophets John warns us about, the end times gurus, New Agers and Buddhists.  Sorry, not stepping on toes.  I believe the only way to God is through Jesus Christ, who was crucified on a cross on Calvary, and he alone is the way, the truth, and the life.  Umm, it says so in the Holy Bible.

I can tell you that I was really upset last week when BOOM, out of nowhere, my 3,000 followers on my twitter account was down to zero.  I had worked on some of these friendships for years, and to be frank I was enjoying a following of sorts.  John F. Kennedy, Jr. was a follower, and man, I had to be vetted my brother!  Dare I say it?

I was proud of my Twitter page.

Oh saints preserve us, how could that be?  I never wanted a big following, wasn’t in it for the numbers-it was my good reputation in the Truther community that meant the world to me.

Okay.  Two sins right there.  We are to show no pride in ourselves, but give the glory and honor to God.  At what precise point did my reputation as a journalist come before my love for Jesus? (No false Gods) I mean, I was addicted.  I do miss the friendships, but God knew what he was doing!  He knew I was done with that phase in my life, and that nothing good could really come of an addiction, especially in my case.  I have freed up hours of time to read the Word, to be with Him.

Plus, my newly conquered, or so I thought, codependency resurfaced via the little blue bell that told you people liked you!  They heard you!  They even, some of them, loved you!  Alas, social media is not the real world, it is a subversive fantasy island and why preach to the choir?  It’s not like I was getting my point across to the other side because your feed is full of who you follow.  It was toxicity itself.

Have you slowed down enough to see and hear what the Holy Spirit is whispering to your heart?  Are you giving yourself the TLC your beautiful body and soul require?  Caught up in the secular world and can’t get out?

At least for me, the answers came in the quiet.

And for that?  Oh for that it is well with my soul.

 

 

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.

A Pack of Lies

When I was a little girl, not even five, I began reciting this prayer:

God, please allow my family to be happy, healthy, holy and safe.

Growing up in a dysfunctional household (my sister was in a high chair until the age of 11) where chaos reigned supreme-I had to pray.  Clinging to Jesus was how I coped, and nothing has changed in that department.  As a matter of fact?  I pray the blood of Jesus over my dog and myself before we hike in the morning, and today was no different.

To set the stage for this story, I have to make it known that Jess and I hike in very remote areas.  I am extraordinarily aware of my surroundings; I take no chances, carry a big stick and a pistol-not the one I want to carry, but a little red number that looks just like a Ruger.  Sadly, it contains mace and not bullets.  Or perhaps, like my husband says, it is best I not pack heat.  With my Irish temper it could get ugly, and fast.

So, as we exited the woods and moved towards the Wrangler-an older gentleman pulls up and rolls down his window. 

“Can you still fish in this pond or have they drained it?”

Feeling he was harmless, I began a conversation I will not soon forget.

This country is in big trouble.  Hey, I’m an atheist.  God has done nothing for me, and I’ll tell you another thing-that asshole needs to go!!!

My jaw clenched.  My body language changed.  I was put on the defensive immediately.

“Why would you say that sir?,” I gently asked.  I thought, now I can give my testimony of what God has done for me, and perhaps help the old geezer out.

Because of all the women he has raped!!!!!

What the holy fazuck?

How, and I mean HOW does this shit happen to me?  Of all the places in the world, this cranky old man has to piss on my parade?  I’m just minding my own business, I was trying to help…seriously???

“I believe we are done, sir.”  I waled away, but he ranted and raved until I was safely ensconced in my jeep.

Later this morning, while on the phone with my best friend, she casually blurts this out-

“You know who that was, don’t you?  That was a demon.”

Holy Mary, mother of God and all of the Latter Day Saints.

She is as right as rain.