Category Archives: journal entry

where i’ve been

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i know this blog has been quiet lately.  for those of you who read regularly, i apologize.  there are several reasons for my silence.  the first is that i’m on vacation.  i left last saturday for a visit to MD, PA, VA and NC.  Currently I’m in PA visiting my grandparents.  Our manufacturing plant is closed until next Tuesday which means i’ve got some time off work.  So, i decided to take advantage of a less than preferable opportunity of “forced vacation” to visit my extended family.  So far its been a great trip… but more on that in a minute.

the other reason my blog has been silent is because i really haven’t known what to say.  this has been a different season for me… one of loneliness and yet again, new questions.  one of just not knowing what to say.  simply stated its just been a season of mourning in a way… mourning over things i can’t change… mourning over things i wish i had done differently…wondering why God doesn’t step in and longing for heaven.  but i know i can’t spend my time focusing on what “could have been.”  so its been a season of private journaling, of crying out to my God to deliver me from this darkness, and of learning what it means to look to Him, believing He is constant and faithful through every storm… of learning greater depths of His grace and mercy.  of crying out for more grace and more mercy.  and of waiting for it…

so, i am grateful for a week to just get away from it all and refocus.  on the drive up (12 hours in a car alone can be a wonderful thing), i began listening to an audiobook: John Newton: from Disgrace to Amazing Grace.  I still have about 5 hours left of the book but its been very encouraging so far.  i’m grateful for God’s grace… so undeserved to such a wicked sinner like John Newton… and me. 

another thing God has been reminding me of is His power.  though at times i’m tempted to question whether or not He is lovingly overseeing each aspect of my life, I know He is.  Not gonna lie, when I got pulled over and charged with “reckless driving” while going 82 in a 70, i wanted to get angry.  angry because i was staying with the flow of traffic… angry because God knows I don’t have extra funds to pay for a ticket now too.  and then almost immediately, the Holy Spirit began reminding me that He is the God that works in mysterious ways, and that He wants me to look to Him, even here, even in my failure, even in my weakness, even now when i just want to cry.  i’m not sure how this one will end up, but i’m trying to look to my God, my great High Priest who knows my weakness and has promised me mercy and help. 

last weekend, i visited my friend Leanne.  it was encouraging to finally meet her.  :)  and encouraging to see how God is working in her life… even in little ways like providing a second drummer for their church.  YAY!  :)  I went with her and her husband to church on sunday morning.  Worship particularly was very encouraging – just being reminded over and over again that my weakness is not greater than God’s grace and help.  i feel really weak.  and when i fail to feel His grace and help, He has promised still to be there.  so i cling to that.  worship was just a reminder for me of that truth.  then on Monday night, I met my friend Sara for coffee.  it was encouraging to hear of God’s faithfulness through her health issues in the past year.  it was faith-building to see God working in greater ways and deeper depths than i’m aware… to see Him doing great things beyond the walls of my little world.  she was encouraging me to keep my focus on God, remembering that its not all trials.  that God really does love and have what’s best in mind for me.  i’m clinging to the fact that its true. 

so, for the next week or so, my blog will be silent.  i’m leaving tomorrow for my other grandparents house, then DC, then Raleigh, and won’t be home until next Monday.  i’m praying that God uses this week of reflection to refocus my thoughts on Him and to encourage me with His unchanging love.  i’d appreciate your prayers as i’m learning that my God is bigger than all circumstances, no matter what they are.  :)

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is God angry?

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as i was walking into work this morning, i was thinking about how little of God I actually know.  as many of you know, the past few months have been very difficult for me, by far the hardest, darkest and most overwhelming season i’ve faced so far in my 27 years.  i’ve doubted God, been angry at Him, questioned Him, ran from Him, questioned His love and care and sovereignty and acted as the children of Israel who I in my pride thought should have “gotten it” time and time again.  But what He is opening my eyes to see is that through all of that, He is a God of steadfast love, mercy and compassion. 

I’ve feared approaching Him, aware of His holiness and hatred of sin.  But i’m missing the cross.  I’m missing the truth that when He sees me, what the Almighty Judge of the universe sees is His perfect Son.  He doesn’t see filth, He sees a pure bride.  I don’t see myself as that, and its hard to believe that God, who knows all, does.  A free gift is so hard to accept.

I’ve been meeting lately on a regular basis with one of my pastors.  A few weeks ago, he reminded me that I’m not God and that I can’t fix myself.  My first response (though i didn’t say it outloud) was “duh, i know that.”  But the more I started thinking of what He said, the more angry I got about it.  I want to fix myself.  I don’t want to need others.  I want to be self-sufficient.  I see weakness as a bad thing.  Yet God says “be weak… do nothing on your own… trust in my all-sufficiency to pay for your debts and heal your scars.”  He says “I don’t require sacrifice and offering, I require an empty cup, lifted up for me to fix and fill.”   its such an amazing offering… an amazing gift.  yet somehow, I still want to earn… I still fear to approach.

so back to my walk into the office today… my view of God is One who is angry at my sin, disappointed at my failures, disgusted at my lack of faith and turning His back from me as I mess up over and over again.  But the true God doesn’t demand performance or perfection… just a simple faith in Him… a pure trust in Him as my only source of salvation, hope, justice and redemption.

my meeting with Matt yesterday was very encouraging… He was pointing out many areas where God is at work in me… even right now as I doubt and question and get angry… He’s still working… still caring… still loving… still pursuing me.  That gives me hope.  Hope that maybe this incomprehensible scandalous love really is true… hope that maybe He will actually not give up on me… hope that the promises of God apply even for me… even now… even here.

sometimes i hate blogging…

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there are times that i really hate blogging.  right now is one of those times.  why do i hate it?  because if i really posted what i felt, it would just be depressing and full of my sin.  and in order to post something encouraging and faith building, i have to look outside of myself and my current circumstances.  and nothing in me wants to do that.  i’d so rather mope.

but i’m a blogger. i post nearly every day.  and as much as i hate it sometimes, i’m grateful for it too.  when i started this blog 2 years ago, it was so I could look back through various seasons and remember God’s faithfulness.  and you know what?  over the past 2 years, He has been extremely faithful to me.  He has been faithful over and over again in the midst of my anger and fears and questions and doubts.

so, right now, as I’m lacking faith and hope and love and so many other things, I’m just going to take a minute to look back and remember what God has done in the past two years…  feel welcome to join me on this little journey…

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  • let’s start here… with the power to change.  I love this quote by John Owen because it gives me hope for change as I see myself failing to change.
  • on a nice summer day 2 years ago, i went hiking near Ceasers Head…  While sitting on Bald Rock just admiring the beautiful scenery, God gave me a picture of Himself as my Master Gardener.
  • now, on to a prayer that I had about a year and a half ago… grateful for my God’s immutability… the truth that no matter what happens, He never changes.
  • at Na a few years ago, Eric Simmons preached an awesome sermon about asking God for answers… asking in faith, believing that He is a good God… this is an awesome quote from the sermon.
  • I’m so grateful that just like God heard David’s cry… He hears my cry too.

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This is one reason I blog.  To look back and remember.  I want to learn from my past.  I want to rejoice in who my God is… even when everything in me believes that He is absent or angry or indifferent.

thoughts

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my mind is so full of thoughts.  2008 has almost found its ending.  its been a long, hard year, full of challenges, pain, frustration and questions galore.  its a year I would not want to repeat.  but despite the grey clouds, there is in fact a silver lining.   through this year, I have learned that my God is 3 things… wise, powerful and loving.

In His wisdom, He ordained a path for me that I would not have chosen, and often have not approached with joy.  But in His power, He is in control of each step.  And in His love, He comforts and holds me secure.

I have spent the past few weeks struggling with these truths… fighting to believe them.  choosing rather to wallow.  Yet, even there, God has shown His faithfulness to me.  In my sin, He has not forsaken.  As I have turned from faith and embraced fear and doubt, He lovingly calls me back to His safety.  Through each step, He draws me back with love, not judgment.

I am grateful for what He has taught me this year.  He has taught me I’m His child.  He has taught me great depths of His wisdom, power and love.  And for that I’m grateful.

So, as I approach 2009, it is with the firm resolve that my God will be there through every day.  I am grateful that no matter what, He will be there.

what a day…

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its 2:17 am. two firemen just left my apartment.

i almost had to go to the ER today.

yikes.

i woke up to my carbon monoxide detector going off at 2 am. i called 911 and they sent a fire truck to come investigate. i opened my windows and doors because the 911 lady told me to, and then i went and sat in my car to make sure i wasn’t going to die. when they got here, maybe 5 minutes later, the CO2 level was 32. they stayed another 10 minutes or so and the level went down to 20. he said depending on how long it had been going off, it could have been as high as 50 or 60. 100 can kill you. glad i woke up.

i’m still icky from the allergic reaction earlier today. hot tea? really? what the heck? but its all i had today other than eggs at 11:30 and i started getting sick after taking about 5 sips, so i know that’s what it was. and when i say sick i mean allergic reaction sick… trouble breathing, wheezing, throat closing up, sinuses running like a faucet, itchiness and a rash now all over my chest, arms and back.  sometimes they put a wheat binder in tea. i guess i won’t be trying “joy” from Tazo Teas again. i don’t want to die.  :(

they say bad things happen in 3’s. there’s only been 2. :( that makes me sad…i hope tomorrow’s a better day.

my rommates are both out of town.  in one day, i manage to almost kill myself (so glad i can breathe again!) and poison the house. yikes. i hope they come home soon!!!!!  :)

I’m so glad that my God knows each of my days and even this… even being awake at 2:30 am … is in His soveriegn control.  I am grateful for His protection today!

finally… some encouraging news!

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I’ve decided after 10 months of very little results to try to find another physician. So, yesterday i went to an internal specialist / cardiologist for my migraines.   It was by far the most encouraging doctors visit I’ve had in the past year. 

Here’s an update on what we discussed…

1. it appears I have a heart murmur.  The doctor mentioned that depending on how severe this is, it could be the cause of the migraines and everything else that’s going on in my body.  He did an EKG and an echocardiogram to test further.

2.  he was concerned about the spot behind my left ear.  its a spot that started hurting right after i started having migraines and has not gone away.  some days its worse than others.  but its always there.  The MRI in February showed no tumor, but just to be sure, the doctor requested a CT scan.

3.  he is doing a full blood panel – to test for vitamin deficiencies, virus or bacterial infections, hormone levels, etc.   If any of these are causing the migraines, it should hopefully be an easy fix.

4.  we scheduled a sleep test in a few weeks.  he was saying that another cause for chronic migraines could be sleep problems.  when i told the doctor that i rarely sleep through the night and go periods of time without sleeping at all, he said he wants to test me for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.

 

Overall, we still don’t know what’s causing the migraines.  Not yet, at least.  But I am very optimistic about this guy because he wants to test and look for a cause instead of simply medicate the symptoms away.  His goal is to take me off the anti-seizure medicine as soon as next Friday (when I go back for the test results / follow-up).  Praise God for this… I hate taking these meds because of all the awful side effects (and I’m still having migraines while on it, so what’s really the point?).  I’m grateful to find a doctor who is willing to diagnose.  I’m glad his goal is not to simply make the symtoms go away.

 

For the past few weeks I’ve really been struggling with having no direction.  Do I continue to pursue finding a cause and a subsequent cure?  Or do I resign simply that this is my lot in life?  I think its a mix of both.  I believe God is calling me to continue to pursue the root of this.  But He wants my hope to be in Him, not a medical diagnosis.

I know ultimately, we may not find a cause.  It could be that there is no medical reason and that God has simply ordained this to make me rely more heavily on Him.  I know if that is the case, He will provide grace to endure with hope.  But I also want to thank God for this direction from a medical viewpoint for the first time in 10 months. 

 

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.  Romans 8:11

about me

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many of my posts lately have been poems, songs, scripture passages or quotes from books.  for a while now, my blog posts have been silent about what has been going on in my personal life.  don’t take that to mean that nothing’s going on… quite the opposite in fact!  :) 

but as I see it, my words are “pointers” for everyone who comes to this blog… are they pointing them to me or to God?  my goal is for this blog to reflect and magnify my great God.  i’ve created a link on the sidebar to my facebook page… feel free to “friend” me there to find out more about what’s been going on in my life on a day to day basis.

 

for all who are interested and don’t have facebook here’s a quick overview…

1.  The doctors were able to diagnose me with salmonella from some contaminated wheat that I ate probably back in March or April.  As a result of the stomach problems I’ve had since then, they were able to properly diagnose the Celiacs disease, which they think I’ve had for about 10 years now!  So, praise God for food poisoning… it helped them find out what’s been going wrong in my body for so long that’s been undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years! 

2.  It seems my migraines this time around are in fact related to the food poisoning and the wheat allergy.  I’m currently taking a migraine prevention medicine and have seen some good results.  I don’t want to have to take this long term, but for now, its been a gift from God.

3.  since I’ve been off wheat, i’ve noticed so many changes.  my stomach isn’t upset, my skin on my back, chest and arms doesn’t break out in a rash, my hair hasn’t been falling out as much, my body seems to be beginning to function in a state of normalcy for the first time in a long long time!!!!

3.  In less than a month, I’m going to be moving from the Thomas’ home.  For the past two years, I’ve lived with this family from my church, have learned from them and benefited from them in countless ways.  Now God has opened a door for an apartment with two single gals from church.  I’m grateful to have my own home again.  I’m looking forward to my own kitchen and a place to run around in my pj’s!  :)

4.  a lot of my relationships are changing.  though in some ways nothing is changing at all.  its kind of hard to explain.  its been a season as friends, walking together, learning to trust in God’s sovereignty and goodness.  its been hard.  but i’m learning so much.  i’m ready for heaven.

5.  “God is good even if your circumstances never change.”  That has been the one statement I’ve been chewing on all summer.  If God never has it in His sovereign plan for me to marry, or have a family, or ever drive a decent car (sorry, Christa!) or own a home or eat ice cream again… He is still good.  He has called me from darkness… He bought my life from the slave block and set my feet on a new path.  He redeemed me from the pit.  My heart truly learning to rejoice, in the middle of trials and “suffering.”

The past few weeks have been weeks of resting.  Weeks of a restful peace because I’m glad my God is in control.  He is proving Himself yet again to be faithful and good and kind.  So, in the middle of uncertainty, I am glad I have a shelter.  In the midst of darkness, the stars are truly shining bright.  And though the “items on the pillow” are real, God has blessed me with so much.  I’m grateful for His sustaining grace.  I’m grateful He will complete this.  And His kindness displayed in countless ways, leads me daily to a deeper level of repentence and joy in Him.