Thursday, 28 August 2014

It's the Little Things

This world is an ugly place. It seems to only get worse with every passing day. The sheer hypocrisy of people is astounding. Morals have disappeared and integrity is but a 9 letter word that would set most people on fire if it were a lit match. People are lazy, entitled, and ever so vengeful. Wrong doings get swept under the rug, a slap on the wrist is given. Bad people are rewarded, the good goes unnoticed. A simple thank you is a rare thing to hear anymore. Instead only faults and mistakes are pointed out and magnified. I have quit watching the news for the most part because I get so discouraged and afraid for the world I live in and the direction in which it is heading. I scroll quickly through my Facebook looking for something positive in someone's life, but all I see is negativity and hatred. I find myself  wanting to curl up under my blankets and just hide away forever.

 I come home close to the brink of tears most days because humanity is so disappointing. My soul is weary, my heart is discouraged. I can't help but just hungrily seek God's face for answers, for hope, for promises. I always find it and I go to bed with hope in my heart for the next morning ready to face this misshapen world. But the next day comes and a new batch of disappointment and frustration always ensues. The other day I went out for a sunset walk with my husband. We were only out there for maybe 45 minutes watching the colors displayed across the sky as the sun sank down below the horizon. I was a little sad that the sun set so quickly. I could have stared at those colors for hours. After the sun set, Jose and I headed home and I had a revelation!

 What I didn't tell you about the previous day that my husband and I enjoyed the sunset was that it started out cold and rainy and was like that up until about an hour before I left work.

 So back to my revelation. As disappointed as I was that the sun had set too quickly for my liking, I realized how much worse it could have been. The day started out ugly, but I was rewarded with a beautiful sunset. It was my hope, my sign that no matter how ugly things are around me, there is always goodness and beauty to be found. It might be small and but for a fleeting moment, but it's there nonetheless. I mustn't become so consumed by all of the bad that I overlook the good, then it would be my fault that I remained disheartened.

 I do realize that there is good to be found everywhere, it is just hidden but in the most obvious places. A smile from a passing stranger. A heart to heart over lunch and realizing you have more in common with someone than you thought. A phone call at your job from someone you've never met in person saying a sincere thank you for a job well done. A gripping goodbye hug from someone you've only ever talked to twice, but the hug made you feel like you've known them forever. An, "I love you beautiful" from your spouse as he takes you to work and drops you off at 7:30 in the morning. A promise from God in the Bible, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5 A beautiful sunset after an ugly day.

 These are all of the good things in my own life to name a few. I take these moments and I tuck them away in my heart to keep me going when I feel the world has trodden on me one too many times. But in order to see these things, I have to LOOK, take the time, remove SELF from the picture. Because it's not about me, it's about everyone else around me who is also discouraged. (How can you live in this world and not be?)How can I be their little bit of good? How can God use me to make a difference? You see, that smile I got from a passing stranger, it's because I smiled first and it was returned. That person I had lunch with and found out we had a lot in common, I opened myself up, and they reciprocated. You have to give what you want to recieve. It isn't always going to be returned, but 99% of the time it is. If you want a friend, go and be a friend. If you want love, go and give love. You HAVE to be the change you want to see in the world even if it is just one smile at a time.

  The sunset from our walk. See the angel in the clouds? Isn't God wonderful?

Friday, 8 August 2014

Just wait...wait, what?

At the end of every week I do my "self-evaluations." I think about everything that has happened during the week, the conversations I've had with people, the things I've been worrying about but have been too tired to really think about and assess, the impressions people have made on me, and the lessons that I have learned. I do this because I want to always be a better person in every way I can. My husband, is my inspiration.

Great things have been happening for me this year, but I have been feeling like I'm leaving my husband in my shadow at times as he is the one getting the short end of the stick. I have conveyed this to him, but all he keeps telling me is how proud of me he is, and that God will open doors for him when it's time. He has so much faith. He makes me want to have that much faith. Here recently though, I have been more angry and impatient than I usually am. Angry because I see bad people hurting my husband and him getting the shaft and I must sit here and helplessly let it happen. Again, I communicate my frustrations to my beloved and he always just tells me "pray mamacita, just pray."

So today as I got out of the car and my heart drove away to work, I go into the house and have a conversation with God. It goes a little something like this. ME: "Hey God, it's me again. You know I'm really tired of all of this (this meaning Jose's situation), I hate not knowing, I feel like I'm walking in the dark and it sucks!" You can imagine my surprise when I heard him talk back. It went a little something like this, GOD: "Why are you walking in the dark, when I am your light?" "Quit walking and just wait." ME: "Um, what??" "Wait?""But I DON'T WANNA! "Do you not see that this is a time sensitive situation here God?" "My very marriage depends on the outcome, I need you to do something now!" GOD: "Wait"

And that was the end of that conversation, although not the end of my internal struggle. So I continued moping around thinking of how I would like to handle the situation if I could and how I wish I could tell some people a thing or two if I had it my way! But I kept hearing God tell me to wait, then my favorite Bible verse popped into my head.

He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:29-31

And it got me to thinking even more. (When you spend as much time alone as I do, you have A LOT of time to think) The weary will soar with wings like eagles, but how can you soar when you are weary? How can you walk and not faint? Because God said WAIT! WAIT on me, and when the time comes you will have the strength to soar! You will have the strength to walk, I will RENEW you while you wait! (I can't believe it has taken me THIS long to come to this realization) 

BAM! All anger was evaporated in that very minute of epiphany. If I keep my mind running with worry and scenarios that could happen, but might not ever happen, I make my soul weary. So when God says it's time to soar, I will be left behind watching my husband soar and I will stand there ashamed and broken down because I didn't WAIT. I didn't trust God enough to know his plans are bigger than my plans. I should know this by now. Waiting seems to be the theme of my very existence. Story of my life. So, wait I shall. Patiently, for as long as it takes. Being renewed in mind, body, and spirit. Because I stand on his promise, in his peace, with hope and faith, until he calls me to fly.

Friday, 1 August 2014

One Day At A Time.

So just a preface for those reading. This post is going to be a little deep, so if you want a cheerful happy go lucky post, this isn't it. Maybe it's more for me than it is for anyone else....I don't know. All I know is I have to write.


I sit here nervously writing this, contemplating whether or not I should bare my soul like this. Being vulnerable, not really my thing. But I must move forward, I must grow.

(I have hit the backspace key about 100 times right now) Is it hot in here? Phew, ok here goes nothing for real this time!

My entire life I have struggled with depression. The technical word for my case is called dysthymia.
I was abandoned by my mother when I was born, used as a scapegoat by my family, lied to and used for a check that came in the mail once a month. My life has been anything but easy. I was confined to my room for most of my life only to be let out of my room during holidays and when any family came in from out of town. I used to think it was because I did something good. But after they left, back to my room I was sent. I didn't realize until I was older, (by the confirming from my out of town relatives) that my mom only did this so our relatives wouldn't see how awful she treated me. I was even locked in a closet when I was bad and I wasn't even 5 years old. I remember that and being locked in the bathroom in the dark (I used to be afraid of the toilet) and as punishment (again I wasn't even 5 years old) my mom locked me in the dark bathroom. There's so much more, but I don't have the time to write it all out...wouldn't do me any good anyway.

So, depression. It's a struggle. The hardest struggle I've ever had to go through. It comes out of the blue, it feels like someone takes over my mind and fills it with my past. The usual, you're a failure...your past is proof. You can't even be loved by your own flesh and blood. You can't even hold a marriage together (my first marriage with Tim, failed) you have no friends, you have no family, you are completely and utterly alone, useless, and it wouldn't even make a difference if you weren't here anymore.

Those are the thoughts that run through my head for no reason at all. And as hard as I try, I cannot escape them, after all they're right! But, I forget, there are always two sides to everything. The good AND the bad.
When my depression lifts (usually after a few days) I see the world through my Jesus's eyes. I was put on this earth for a purpose. So what if my family doesn't give two hoots about me! I have my husband who is my best friend, and his best friend (who shall remain nameless) who I have adopted into my heart as my brother, and they are all the family that I will ever need. They know that dark side of me, yet they love me unconditionally and vice versa. My first marriage didn't fail, it led me to my soul mate. Without Tim, I never would have moved to England, and I never would have found Jose. Failure, would have been to stay with someone who abused me, belittled me, was unfaithful to me the entire time we were married, starved me, (I got down to 90lbs) convinced me that I was nothing but a sex object for him to use whenever he wanted, even if I said no. I didn't fail, I found the strength to say enough is enough, I found the strength to walk away even if it meant into nothing. Having nothing (literally, I left ALL of my possessions behind) was so much better than living in hell.

And yes, I have friends. I may only be able to count them on one hand and see them at work, but they are the people who really care about me. The ones I look forward to seeing and laughing with every day. We don't hang out at all, but they show me they care in the little ways and that's all I ever wanted in a friend. (Ladies, if you read this I truly love you all from the very bottom of my heart. You save me in ways you will never know).
Now comes, the hard part. I am alone. I work days, Jose works nights. I have the weekends off, Jose works the weekends and has two days off during the week. I come home from work to an empty house, I go to bed alone. The weekends are long and the nights suck!!! I struggle with being alone. That's when the depressing voices start and into depression I sink.

Lately, I've been in a funk that has taken a while to get out of. My husband, being the understanding and wonderful man he is, let's me know everyday that he is praying for me and he loves me and he hopes that that will always be enough reason to fight this depression that overwhelms me at times. Well, it always is.
I came home today to a list of Bible verses my husband had written down for me. I looked them up, and as I got further and further down the list, I started hungrily searching for these verses he had written down. Each one, quenched my hunger and lifted me out of my depression. Finally, able to breath, I just sat on my couch and I cried...the kind of cry that just sounds like a wail, hardly any tears were shed really. I didn't know what else to do, but cry out to my Heavenly Father and say his name over and over until I was too weak to speak anymore.

I wept, out of shame, pain, relief, joy, and faith. Until finally he revealed to me, I am not alone. I am set apart! I am different because I have a purpose, a calling. I don't have many friends because I am SET APART! I AM NOT ALONE! I can't get over how wonderful I feel right now. I am amazed at how wonderful my FATHER is and how he works through my husband to get to me. Gracias a Dios! Praise God, Praise God, Praise God. I AM NOT ALONE!!!!!! Jose will always be Mi Angelito (my angel). always leading me back to my first love, to OUR first love. 

Love is God, God is love!

I know my battle with depression will always be a lifelong battle, but thank God I am clothed in the armor of God. My feet are sodden with his word, and his promises for my life, to keep me pressing forward one step, one day at a time.