Category Archives: Knowledge

Monday Morning Meditations

Well, hello there blog.  Missed you last week.  I was constantly behind the eight ball and was constantly surprised by forgotten event after forgotten event.  Yeah, it was bad.  So, I just couldn’t find the time to sit down and put my thoughts here.  Oh, well.  Moving on.

Monday morning meditations are stream-of-consciousness writing with a one-word prompt (for as long as I like).  I was going to write about plenty, but I think I am going to write about control.  Control is a current theme in my life right now, particularly because I am in therapy (yet, again) and we are talking about how this plays out in my life.  And, I have a lot of feelings and thoughts on the subject.  So, here we go…

Control

People say that having control is an illusion.  I say that’s not true.  I have been controlled by other people many times in my life.  Anyone that has authority has control over other people.  A child is controlled by all of the adults in his life.  Adults tell a child where to go, what to do, how to do it, and punish any transgressions.  I don’t think this is a bad thing.  I think this is a good thing because a child needs to be guided in how to be a good citizen of the society they are born into.  It becomes a bad thing when control is used as a means to subvert and dominate for no other purpose than impose one’s will on the other person.  And this is no illusion.  A person that forces another person to do something bad or against their will has control of the other person.

My experiences as a child were of being controlled and forced to do things that I didn’t want to, or should, do.  By many people.  My mother continued to control me until I left home.  And, after I left home, she still had a hold over me until she died.  There was not a place I could go without looking over my shoulder in fear that she would show up and I would have to run and hide for face her.  Even as an adult, my mother controlled me with fear.  When she died, I felt so relieved.  I didn’t have to worry anymore.  The control was gone.  Trust me when I say that not feeling guilty about this is a struggle.

This feels like an awful shame to me.

But at least my fear of  being controlled explains why I behave like I do in certain situations.  And there has been plenty of that going on in my adult life.  He wants me to trust Him and to understand my choices.  There goes God again, working all things together for the good of me who love Him.  Healing can begin and I can look to God to help me understand what is really going on in a situation that feels like I’m being controlled by another person.  I can choose to submit myself to someone else’s authority, or not.  The “or not” part is freeing and puts the choice in my hands.  The best part of this is that I can look to God to help me understand my choices and walk into a situation with my eyes wide-open of my own free will.

It’s my choice now.

5mf- Look Beyond What You Know

5 minutes of unedited writing…No worries, no backtracking, no fussing. Just write…

Beyond

For some reason I am drawing a blank here. Beyond fits in my life somehow. I look beyond the stars of my own sky, I look beyond my own sin, I look beyond my own feelings, to find Him. Jesus wanted us to look beyond the law and find Him. Paul wanted us to look beyond our own mistakes and find Him. God wants us to look beyond our own realities and find Him. By looking beyond what we can see, we find hope. We find peace, we find purpose. When we choose too look beyond, we choose to rise above that which Satan would have us believe about ourselves and our reality- that we are stuck, useless, and purposeless. God says that we are unstuck, useful, and purposeful. After all, He created us in His image. After all, we were created with a purpose on this earth. We have a job to do. Look beyond what you know and find the meaning of your life.

I guess I wasn’t so blank after all.

Telling my story, part 2

I had a bad day yesterday.  It took extra effort to stay sane and focused and not allow the dissociation to overwhelm me.  Writing what little I did write was very hard for me.  The good news is that I have a counseling appointment with a professional tonight.

The healing journey can begin…again.

You know that expression “darkest hour is just before the dawn”?  I am in that moment.  I cannot see what is going on right now, nor what is coming.  I simply trust that it is good because I have nowhere else to go.  It is only the grace of God holding back the flood of emotions and feelings that can and will overwhelm me during my counseling sessions.  They should overwhelm me in God’s presence, because that is the place of healing.  My little 3-year old self cannot, and does not want to, hide any longer in the shadows.  Now is her time to come out and be present.  Now is her time to be part of the bigger picture I call my life.  It is time for this final piece to come back to me and be part of my life.

I am waiting for the dawn.

Telling my story…

My stomach is in knots right now.  I have never publicly stated my story before today.  But, I promised that I would write about what did, or did not happen, this past Saturday.

I was supposed to meet with a gifted counselor to work on an important issue, only, it didn’t happen.  Right now I am trying to deal with the reality of this issue moment by moment until I find release.  Meanwhile, it is only by the grace of God that I am functioning normally right now.

I have suffered with dissociative identity disorder (I offered a link to Wikipedia here, but feel free to read about it wherever you like) for many years.  Not in the Faces of Eve kind of way, I do not move in and out of full-blown personalities regularly.  I am not Jane, or Jim, or any other person.  I am always me.  For me, this means when something traumatic happened, I would squirrel away a part of my personality somewhere safe in my subconscious.  This has meant that sometimes, if a particular personality was present, I would only be able to see things from that perspective.  I was still me, but my thoughts were one-dimensional.

In 2000, through some intense therapy, the Lord integrated 5 personalities.  This was both good and strange.  I no longer had 5 voices in my head, I had one voice, my integrated voice.  It took a couple of years to get used to feeling multiple feelings at once.  11 years later, I can say I  have successfully handled all the feelings a person can have in any given situation at once.  I thought that this was the end of that episode of my life.

Recently, I have become aware of a personality.  It hangs out on the edge of my consciousness.  It is waiting to be brought back into the fold, if you will.  Because the Lord has done this in the past, I know He can do it again.  And, I feel certain he will.  Just not yet.   Excuse me while I remember to breath.

This personality is my sexuality.  I experienced sexual abuse starting at around age 3.  I know for certain that this stopped when I was 11 because my mother and stepfather moved us out to the East Coast.  I had multiple abusers, but my father was most consistent offender.  My childhood is fraught with confusion and pain.  In the moments of this chaos, I hid away my sexuality somewhere else.  And, this part of myself has stayed hidden all this time.  God in His wisdom has decided that now is the time for this last piece of myself to be reintegrated into me.  Because of this, my sexuality has been handicapped.  It’s not quite all there.  I cannot fully express myself.  Some of what I have experienced as an adult has been broken, twisted, and tainted.  I have fought to overcome Satan’s version of my sexual identity.  Thoughts and feelings that I did not understand would crop up.  I always knew that things were not quite right, but I did not understand until recently the full extent of my need.  I need to be healed and put back together.  And, only God can do this.

This is the last piece of the puzzle.  I look forward to the day when I can welcome this last part of myself back to where it belongs.  And, I hope that day comes soon.

 

Day 8 and Day 9 of Just Write!

Yesterday was kind of a fog of recovering from the weekend + Monday, and some kind of little stomach bug.  So I never got around to doing the post.  I actually miss not writing, so this experiment must be working!  So I am going to write yesterday’s and today’s in this post.

One

One day I will see you again

One day I will be forever yours

One day I will look on your face and feel bliss

One day I will no longer be worried, or frustrated, or angry, or sad, or in pain

One day LOVE will wrap me up in warmth, and comfort, and peace

One day earthly concerns will no longer matter

One day my prayers will be answered

One day I will understand it all

One day it will be you and me and everyone else

One day the mysteries of the universe will unfold themselves to me

One day Jesus will be my bride(groom)

One day the Holy Spirit will no longer be invisible to my naked eye

One day EVIL will be vanquished forever and ever

One day (and already know) I will be in eternity where there is no beginning and no end

One day I will receive the crowns that are mine

One day I will touch the center of the universe

One day I will be filled with joy unending

One day the struggle will cease

One day I will have a job in heaven that is perfectly suited to me

One day I will be with you, and you will be with me.

Peace

Peace that passes all understanding seems so far away from me.  I struggle, I fight, I yearn, and I bleed.  Yet, God promises these things to me.  They are mine for the taking, if only I would reach out my hand and take them.  I understand this with my head, but not necessarily with my heart.  Some days it seems that I like the struggle and bleeding more than I like the peace.  Perhaps the fighting gives me a sense of power.  Perhaps bleeding shows I am alive.  I don’t know, but most of the time I would like to be at peace.  With people like me, sometimes being at peace means being dead, because peace eludes us so easily.  However, I have work to do on this earth before I die, so dying must wait a while.  I’ll go when it is  my time, and not before.  Oh Lord, show me how to reach out and grab peace like a climber grabs a rope to get back up the mountain after a scary plunge from the sheer cliff.  Help me not to squander your gift for me.  Help me to surrender to your ways and your peace in this lifetime.  Help me to know when to pick up my sword, and when to lay it down and rest.  Help me to know true peace that passes all understanding. Help me to know this before death takes me to you.

Joy- Day 4 of the Just Write! campaign

Welcome to day 4 of the Just Write! campaign here at Beauty in it’s time.  Mary Kathryn Tyson is hosting this campaign in an effort to get her creative juices flowing, and other people’s as well.  I have chosen to participate because I need a kick in the rear to get myself writing more frequently.  So,everyday that she does this she will give us a one-word prompt and we “JustWrite!” for five minutes without editing (note: editing for grammar errors is okay, just don’t do a total rewrite). We are not trying to craft masterpieces here, we are attempting to “Just Write!” and get the creative juices flowing. MK has offered to allow us to write in her comments section, or to put a link in her comments if we have our own blog to write in.

Joy

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.  So, weeping is okay, but a promise of joy comes after the weeping.  Joy is a promise, an eternal promise.  We do not have to earn joy, it is just ours for the taking.  Joy is a state of mind that can last through the days, weeks, months, and years.  Joy has very little to do with happiness.  Happiness is like the wind, it comes quickly and recedes just as readily.  Joy can withstand the ups and downs of life.  Joy is about trust.  Trusting God that He has got it all covered.  Trusting that there is nothing to worry about.  Trusting that “all things work together for the good of those who LOVE the Lord.”  Joy is not dependent on happiness to exist.  Otherwise, we could not trust God’s promise of joy.  But we can trust God’s promises, because, well, because HE is GOD.  Thank you Jesus for making  my joy complete, even when I cannot feel it.

5mf Post- Rest

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Five minute Friday’s are a stream- of- consciousness exercise hosted by The Gypsy Mama every Friday.  In an effort to get myself writing more frequently, I am going to participate as frequently as I can.  I am also participating in a weekly bible study at Beauty for Ashes onWednesdays, and in “Just Write!” campaign also hosted by Beauty for Ashes.  The 5mf exercise is simple, The Gypsy Mama gives us a word prompt and we write for 5 minutes.  There is no editing and no backtracking.  Just write whatever comes into your mind.  So here goes this week’s edition of 5mf:

Rest

I just got up from a  nap.  I was attempting to rest, because I feel so tired.  I just needed a nap.  Instead of actually sleeping, I thought of all the reasons that I don’t have time to sleep, or that keep me awake.  Secrets about my sins, things that stress me out, physical pain, spiritual hunger, needing more God in my life.  It’s easy to look at someone and say, “You need more rest!” without actually understanding what keeps them from resting.  Truly resting is not an experience that involves sleep.  Truly resting involves trusting.  Trusting that everything will be alright.  Trusting that God’s got it covered, that He has my back.  I struggle and struggle to find this place of rest and abandon.  I struggle to just let go, and let things lie where they in my life.  I want to be able to feel the sweetness of utter and complete rest.  Of lack of control.  I mean, if God is big enough, why do I need to worry?  He says he wants my burdens, so why not give them to Him?  Why not let Him fight the good fight on behalf?  The pain, the worry, and the frustration don’t have to be mine.  Here is a prayer hoping to let go and let be.

Thanks for stopping by!

Steph

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Tender (the first day of the “Just Write!” campaign)

Mary Kathryn Tyson, of Beauty for Ashes, decided she needed help getting un-stuck in her blog writing. She decided to start a month long campaign called “Just Write!” (named by moi) in which she will do stream-of-consciousness writing on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Wednesday is a bible study of the book of Romans that we are engaged in until the bitter end. And Friday is devoted to Gypsy Mama’s stream-of-consciousness writing “Five Minute Friday”.

So, I am participating in this campaign because I am reluctant to write. I am sure that God wants me to write. But I just can’t get past myself. I was excited when I read MK’s proposal hoping that this would spark a lifelong habit of blogging. Everyday that she does this she will give us a one-word prompt and we “Just Write!for five minutes without editing (note: editing for grammar errors is okay, just don’t do a total rewrite). We are not trying to craft masterpieces here, we are attempting to “Just Write!” and get the creative juices flowing. MK has offered to allow us to write in her comments section, or to put a link in her comments if we have our own blog to write in.

Day 1: Tender

GO!

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Your love shines gently on my soul.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Your life fills my heart’s hole.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Prompt me with you tenderness.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Touch me with your tender caress.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Bring me into your light.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Help me through to the end of this fight.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Help me understand the mysteries of the deep.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Let me know the sweetness of your sleep.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Bring me into your dwelling place.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Let me know the beauty of your face.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Fill me from my head to my toes.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Lead my heart so my head follows.

STOP!

So there you have it, five minutes of stream-of-consciousness writing.

Feel free to add your own in my comments, to put a link in my comments, or just leave a note letting me know you were here and what you think about my efforts.

Who would attend my funeral? Some thoughts on friendship.

Don’t worry, I am not planning my death or anything crazy like that.

In It’s a Wonderful Life, we spend the first two acts getting to know George Bailey.  He grows up in a small town of no real consequence.  He has loving parents, and a brother, he is friendly, loyal, honorable, part of a local community, and is bent on seeing the world.  But, life takes some twists and turns he did not expect.  Instead of traveling the world, he marries, takes over a business he does not want (his father’s Savings and Loan), has a few kids, builds homes for others, and does his darndest to keep the local baddie at bay.  He has some friends and life is okay.  Until something terrible happens, and he effectively wishes he were dead, or had never been born.  The third act of the movies shows us what life would be like in his small town had he never been born.  Life is ugly without him in Bedford Falls.  A measuring stick was held up to his life when the townsfolk started to show up to help him out of his crisis.  George needed that angel to show him that alternate reality to help George to understand what his life has meant to others.  George definitely made a difference and it showed.

Sometimes I lie awake at night and wonder if I died, who would show up at my funeral?  How would I be eulogized? What would people say to those closest to me in an attempt to comfort them?  I used to have a morbid fascination with this idea because for a time I felt that no one would show up.   I felt lonely and afraid that I would die alone and unnoticed.  I struggled with invisibility (and often still do) and felt disconnected.  I really wanted connections in my life so people would show up at my funeral.  Initially, my motives were selfish.  I wanted people to care about me enough to care about  my death.

God does not like selfishness.  He likes selflessness.

Forging lifelong friendships is a long and difficult process fraught with danger and pain.  There were some relationships that were toxic, some that just ended, and some that kept going.  The friendships that kept going were eventually based on a mutual exchange of time, trust, and energy.  At some point, this process became less about what I could get from others, and became more about what I could give.  A bowl of soup here, a friendly and kind word there, a much needed moment of free childcare, some empathetic tears, a hug, a kiss, a little cash, trusted advice, helped others to know their worth to me.  And I receive these things in return and can feel my worth to those people.  The Holy Spirit gives us energy to maintain relationships with others because He desires an exchange of love between Him, us, and others, above all things.  Relationships matter.  Jesus said that the world would know us by our “love for one another” and that “no love greater is this; that he would lay his life down for his friends”.   Having friends is not really about what you can get from others, it’s about what you can give to others.  It’s about offering yourself, your gifts, your wisdom, your time, and your energy to other’s benefit.  The more you pour out, the more is poured into you.

I have many people that I love dearly outside of my little family.  Let’s cross that out; these people are my family.  I rejoice that these people are my brothers and my sisters.  They really care about me, and I really care about them.

To quote Clarence the angel, “…no man is a failure who has friends.”

Would love to hear your thoughts here….

Tower of Babel- The destruction process

Genesis 11

The Tower of Babel

1 At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. 2 As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there.

3 They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) 4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”

5 But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. 6 “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! 7Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”

8 In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.

I wanted to write some prosy thing about this process, but I just don’t have it in me.  Instead, I am going to share the email I sent to someone who is sort of counseling me at the moment.  Here goes:

Phew.  This has been a tough week.  Still reeling from the smashed tower and wondering what to do next, the day after the last image I sent you (which would have been Wednesday) I sat down again and asked the Lord to revel himself to me.  This is what I got:

Part 1- No other Gods before me.
The scripture is Exodus 20:2-17.  The purple squiggly on top is Sovereign God.  The bottom left hand corner spiral is the Holy Spirit.  As the colors spiral inward the Holy Spirit is infusing himself with me.  I am in the center in the red.  I am not sure if the red represents anger/rage, or my heart, maybe both.  If you notice the majority of the spiral is in blue and moves to purple then to red.  All of the words of the scripture are moving inward from the HS into the center.  I felt that God was making clear that I am putting something before him.  But I really did not want to know what.

Part 2- Ouch! That hurts!
I met with someone I look up to on Thursday because I wanted to express some hurt and anger about some things that had happened.  I had something I was holding onto for the past 5 years that was still hurting me.  I wanted to be able to let go, but God wasn’t letting me let go.  So, I finally (after much goading from a friend) met with this person.  She told me she thought I had an attitude problem, an anger problem, and she I was held back from going forward in leadership because of this.  She said that I can have my opinions, and even feel anger, but she said that I am not very honoring in my approach to expressing my anger.  This, of course, hurt me and my ego.  I also felt frustrated because I only really feel anger is when I feel an injustice has been served to  me.  For a couple of days I felt distraught, anger, frustration, and more anger.  And I really did not want to ask God about this because I was sure I wasn’t going to like what I heard.

Part 3- The dream
Right before I woke up Saturday morning I had a most vivid dream.  Usually there are 3 signs that the dream was from God: 1. It was vivid, 2. It stays with me all day, 3. I can still remember it the next day.  Here is how the dream went: My husband was carrying our child because I could not after a certain part of the pregnancy.  We were in a hotel room that was more like an apartment.  It was time to deliver the baby, but it had to be done by c-section and I was the only one there to do the procedure.  I felt a little panicked, rushed, but confident that I could handle a dangerous procedure on my own.  I was rushing around to get the room ready putting out towels to soak the inevitable flow of blood and for the baby.  I was also changing my clothes into something more appropriate for handling surgery.  As I was removing my stockings, my husband said that he was waiting for someone to arrive.  He had called on another nurse, someone more qualified to handle the surgery.  I was very upset with him and threw a little temper tantrum.  I said, “I can’t believe you called someone else!!”  He said that someone who was qualified for this needed to be there to handle “multiple points of infection”.  I immediately awoke from this dream in a panic.  I knew almost immediately this was from God.

Part 4- The Revelation
Yesterday, I sat down and wrote out some thoughts I was having because I felt like the faith issue that you talked with me about, and the anger issue were related.  The dream was key to making that connection, but I still didn’t know why.  And, I was feeling angry with God.  So I wrote out a few things that I was feeling including the dream.  The first question I posed to myself was “What are the correlations?” between the anger issue and the faith issue.  Then I wrote out the possibilities which are:
  • I feel angry that I cannot just “handle” things myself.
  • God is saying he is “qualified” to handle things, and I am not.
  • I feel angry at injustices
  • Sometimes the lack of blessing feels like an injustice, especially when I feel that I have done what is required of me.
  • I feel angry at God.
  • I feel mistrustful of others.
  • I feel misunderstood.
  • What is the root of this?
  • I have an “I can (and now I think “must” is part of this) take care of myself” attitude.  That doesn’t jive with God.  I feel I have, and continue to be, treated unfairly, and unjustly by others.
  • Am I my own God (in this area)?
Then I wrote: Why do I care about injustice and fairness towards myself?  To the point of expressing anger?  Why do I feel God has treated my unjustly?  I feel I don’t deserve what has happened to me and angry at God for not stopping it.   Which is ridiculous since a deep understanding of pain makes me more sympathetic (and empathetic) toward others pain.  I believe this but find it difficult to accept.  Is this where “be the exclamation point, not the question mark” comes in?

So, yesterday afternoon, I sat down with my sister and we talked about why we want so badly to be heard.  We agreed it was because we weren’t heard as children, or as adults in our younger years.  I am driven to keep making my point until I feel I have been heard, which leads others to believe that I am trying to “get my way”, which is not my usual intention.  Then I began to wonder if, as Christians, we have a “right’ to be heard.  Meaning: Do others really need to hear my thoughts and opinions?  My sister felt that in some situations it was important to be understood.  But, perhaps in most situations it was not so important to be heard by others.  Then she came up with this scripture, “Let no evil talk come out of your mouth, but only what is good for giving necessary teaching, and for grace to those who give ear.” Ephesians 4:29.  Then I found the rest of that chapter “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:30, 31.

Part 5- The Conclusion
Obviously, I need to rely solely on the Holy Spirit to guide my words when I feel strongly about something, which, somewhere deep inside of me, makes me unhappy.  So I am coming to grips the full meaning of this revelation.  I expect that I will be fully on board with this soon enough.  So here is my conclusions on this matter:
  • It takes faith to trust that God is fully capable of handling whatever comes my way.
  • I need to rely on Him for revelation on how to handle a situation
  • I am not God in my life.  Only He must be.
  • My words must be tempered with love, honoring, cherishing, encouraging, full of grace.
  • Since I am woman of strong opinion and passion, I must go to Him EVERY SINGLE TIME I have a struggle to temper my reactions before I speak or do anything.

So there you have it.  Like I said: Phew!