Monday, January 29, 2018

Don't Look Back

Stepping stones. Seeds. Looking back. Moving forward.

I know that makes absolutely no sense and it probably won't if you keep reading but let me try to make it make a little more sense.

I guess let's start with the looking back first. I'm not sure how long back it has been but the other day (more like months if not years), I was at the drag strip in a bordering county. Now I obviously don't even remember when it was but there is one thing that has stuck with me and comes back every so often about that particular day at the races. There was this driver and when he and his competitor took off down the strip this driver kept looking back - in fact he looked back more than he did forward. He had his torso and head turned back to see where the other driver was and again stayed like this well over three quarters of the way down the track. Can I be honest, it irritated me. He spent so much time looking back to see where his opponent was that he wasn't focused on where he was going and you know he wasn't giving it his all, meaning to or not, noticing it or not he couldn't have been giving it the gas and acceleration he needed to win or to make the progress that he had the potential to make.

Not done with that thought just yet but moving on to the seeds. I recently went into a craft store by myself (never in the history of ever should I ever be allowed in a craft store or bookstore by myself). I went specifically looking for one thing but I didn't know where this one thing was and instead of doing the smart thing and finding someone to ask, I just walked up and down some aisles (y'all I ain't even playing at just how shy and not good at talking with people I am). I'm not sure why I told you that because the thought I am about to write about actually just came to me today and has nothing to do with that - but if you didn't know before now you know I can't be a responsible adult in the craft or bookstore.

You know that game where you have an item and will put your hands behind your back switching the item from hand to hand and then you reveal your hands and ask the person which hand it is in. I think sometimes in life we have seeds. One hand has seeds of lies, fears and doubts that we are going to have to deal with in life and the other hand has the seeds of who we really are, our worth and potential and our dreams. We may plant the seeds from both hands in different pots or perhaps we planted the seeds from one hand - not knowing which seeds they were and decided to hold on to the seeds that were in the other hand. We're going to use this scenario although sometimes I think we plant the seeds in both hands and spend to much time cultivating the seeds of the fears and lies and doubts not realizing it is all those things until those are flourishing and we have for to long neglected the seeds of our worth and such. But let's just say we planted the seeds from one hand and decided to hold on to the other ones. These seeds thrived and grew quickly only over the years of certain circumstances we discover these are the seeds of fears, lies and doubts. I think sometimes we even forget we have the seeds in the other hand, maybe some seeds get knocked out and sometimes we just have a death grip on those seeds and won't open our hands to see if they are still there or to plant them if they are there. What if they are bad seeds? What if they are good seeds? Which is scarier? Can I be honest, I think sometimes it can be scary to see our true worth and what we can do. In part I suppose cause those fears feed the it won't last, that's not who you really are, people will never see you like that (in reality many around us see our worth far greater and sooner than we sometimes can). I think the fears and such can make us think those seeds will never survive or thrive that it may even take a lot of work - and it really will especially if those fears, lies and doubts have grown some serious roots they will try to destroy and make you forget to take care of those seeds of your worth and the truth of who you really are.

Again, not exactly done but let's move on to stepping stones. We all have different bridges to cross and those bridges are made out of different materials and are at varying heights depending on whatever the situation may be. I, for whatever reason, keep picturing a body of water like a creek with stepping stones going across it and that is the only way to get to the other side. It doesn't always necessarily look dangerous or doom and gloom, sometimes it's just a picture in my head of a calm creek with stepping stones to get you across to the other side. I'm not sure which is worse for it to look safe or for it to look dangerous. If it looks safe one would think that would make it easier to cross but again to be honest for me sometimes that makes it more difficult and that's because I stand on the side so long and I think of and up scenarios that aren't even really plausible but it's enough to make me hesitate on even taking the first step. I have recurring dreams of bridges collapsing while I am on them, all of them made out of different materials and all at varying heights. But I think what is more scarier is to just stand on one side and never, ever even take the first step. Perhaps you can see on the other side all of what you have ever dreamed of (now this isn't the grass is greener on the other side scenario - it's a you need to move forward because you have been in the midst of the fears, lies and doubts for to long. And you are on the side that you was never meant to be on and definitely not for this long, you have got so much you were meant to do than stand on this side that you are on.)

Moving forward. I recently saw a post that dealt with a similar situation that happened to me growing up and I realized just how far I have made it. Am I where I need to be? No because I also had to fight some fears and lies just this past weekend. But I am moving forward - at a snails pace some days but I am moving. I saw a quote recently that stated something along the lines of you can't stay in survival mode and thrive, you were meant for more, new habits new life. And even with those fears that hit me (and man did they hit me hard and out of no where) I realized how much and often I go into my own version of survival mode - those old habits that I would do to try to protect myself. That's not good. So I try to remember some advice and things I have learned over the past couple or so years to help me better deal when these situations show up - as they will. It's never going to be an easy ride - never will I ever write or say anything to promise or tell you that. Just ain't how this life is - but having the right people and having safer and better habits or coping mechanisms helps when those not easy days hits.

Here's where I sum up what I just said in a couple of sentences and where you should by now know just to skip here (but why would you want to miss out on the ramblings? haha!). We can't spend more time looking back at who is behind us or how close they are or even trying to figure out just how far we have made it. It only slows us down and prevents us seeing the amazing view ahead - I don't know about you but there's a lot behind me that I don't want to see (it's not all bad and I like to glance back at the good times every so often - nothing wrong with that - just that I don't recommend spending the majority of your race or life looking back). Don't be afraid to plant, cultivate or take care of those seeds that show your worth, will help your dreams come true or even let you be able to help others - and don't be afraid to let other people in to help you. If you're like me that is one of the scariest things ever but it's okay to let people in. It's a little less lonely, lot more vulnerable but it's better - so much better. And can I just say this you know how there is this thing about talking to your plants and stuff - this is so random -- but if you find yourself in the position the help someone else out or maybe your are the one needing it - never underestimate what one or two simple words can do. I'm not a big talker and I sure can't talk loud. Now I am only writing this from the receiving end point of view but I think we put to much emphasis on how many words are said --oh I'm not a big talker I can't say more than 3 words I won't say anything at all. I've been around people that have talked for hours on end and left feeling more down and depressed and lonely than ever. I have been around someone that has said I was just thinking of you how are you...or just wanted to let you know I am here for you...or thank you for being in my life, etc. If you want to say more by all means do but if you only say it in a few that's great too. Look I went to rambling again....

Don't spend more time looking back then you do looking forward. Don't be afraid to plant those seeds and let the real you bloom because you are worth it, you have got some amazing dreams to fulfill and don't be afraid to take that first step because it's time to move forward and fly baby fly.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Keep On Flying

Awhile back I saw a picture of these two eagles flying. Except one of the eagles had snuck underneath the other eagle and grabbed hold of the fish that eagle had caught. To make this a little easier let's name these eagles. Ralph will  be the one trying to steal the fish and Sam is the one that caught the fish fair and square. Now both had a death grip on this fish. Ralph is upside down hanging on trying to wrestle this fish away from Sam. Who would win? Will Ralph pull and tug and just wear Sam down to where he finally loses grip of the fish? Or will Sam, perhaps, in the last moment just when all hope seems gone he will keep his grip on the fish and finally shake Ralph away?

I have no idea who won the battle between Ralph and Sam but it did prove to be an unusual visual for me. See I imagine Sam flying and perhaps waiting a long time and working hard to get that fish. As he is flying along he is thinking how good it will be to have a belly full of this scrumptious fish. When suddenly he feels a jerk from underneath. What is this? Oh no, it's Ralph,that sneaky eagle from across the way that always tries to steal Sam's food because Ralph isn't a good hunter or maybe he just wants to destroy and rob Sam.

Sometimes things happen in life that try to be like Ralph and try to come and steal our peace, joy, our hope or something else. Perhaps we have been like Sam and have waited a long time for a promise to be fulfilled, or we're finally moving forward from some obstacles that have hindered us for a long time. Maybe we have been fighting this for so long and we are so hungry and so excited and thankful for catching that fish if you will and so we are flying back to enjoy this moment and gain some strength back. When suddenly we feel that jerk come from underneath us, the rug has been pulled right out from underneath us and we feel like we are going to fall and lose our fish and any progress we may have made. These moments can be attacks  personally against us or sometimes it can be watching or knowing someone you care about is going through something and you don't know what to do to help and you just feel so helpless. Either way, the enemy has snuck in and got a grasp on that hope, joy,  love or faith that you picked up and he wants to take it back away from you. In those moments when I have to fight yet again for some of these things I will be honest sometimes I just want to let the "fish" go. I just am tired of fighting. I feel like is there even a point, will there be enough of the "fish" left to eat and gain any strength and get any nutrients from. But then I remember how hard and long I waited to get this hope, joy, peace, etc and I am not going to let go of it that easy. And you know what sometimes I need help making sure I don't lose this fish to my enemy.

Bit of a vulnerable moment but I recently was flying along when suddenly I got hit pretty hard with depression. I tried to hide it, tried to even fight it on my own but I was fighting a losing battle and quickly losing my grip on what hope and strength I had. I am fortunate enough to have a couple of people that won't let me hide and they help me in so very many ways. This time was no different. They each in their own way reminded me and helped me to be able to grab a hold just a little tighter to the truth. Now I am flying a little better and have managed to get a much better grip on my faith. I have been reminded once again that I don't have to fight these battles by myself. See I believe God places people in our lives for a reason and if you're really fortunate you get those people that will stick with you and love you when you aren't very lovable and they remind you of who you are and help you find those things that you can lose when you try to fight a battle for to long on your own. I thank God for those people that will help you fight those battles or just every now and then remind you they are there and care for you. I am thankful that even on the worst days God still lives me and doesn't get frustrated and forsakes me but instead proves just how much He cares - do I always easily see it - no - but I know it to be true and I will stand on that until the day I die.

One last thought. The weather can be so messed up. For example today it was in the 60's and by this weekend we could have a winter storm with snow, ice and cold temperatures. As I was walking to my vehicle this evening I thought wow this is nice makes me ready for spring and then I thought this almost feels like the calm before the storm. Did I stop thinking there? I think not! Is it just me or does it sometimes feel like just when you are about to let go of that fish you generally seem to get a break. That moment that reminds you why you can't give up, let's you catch your breath and get a little rest, or maybe it just reminds you that yeah it really sucks right now but hang on because it will not last forever. Today felt like that. I don't do well in the winter, it's just not an easy season for me. And just like how the rough days don't last forever, not saying they don't last longer than I would like sometimes, the warm weather today reminded me to just breathe and remember that even though a storm may be coming or perhaps you are in it now, the warm and better days will return. 

If you are going through something and you are losing your grip you most sincerely have my prayers and if you need to talk I will be happy to listen and at least let you know you aren't alone in this. So send an email, leave a comment, or if you read this and know me personally send a text or call anytime. I may not have the answers or know what to say but I never want anyone to feel they have to go it alone and I will sit with you until the storm passes. Keep on flying, the view will be worth it.

Lastly, I would just like to add a couple of verses.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

 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 40:31

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Piece of Clay

I don't really know where to start so let's just jump and hope I remembered to put my cape on...on second thought let's just sit here awhile, yeah that seems like a better idea. *(read in your best movie narrator voice) - Weeks, days and hours later and we find the wannabe writer still standing and pacing in the same place we last left her. If we listen closely we may be able to understand some of what she is saying.*

I wonder how long I have been up here, I'm going to have to take off and fly one of these days I can't just stand up here forever. The view is getting kind of boring and I'm terrified of heights so my area of pacing gets shrunk dramatically....

I typed that in hopes that if I at least started typing it would break down that wall of fear and pride that has been hindering me from writing this post for honest to goodness weeks. I need 2017 to get its act together though, I mean it didn't have to wait for the last month to throw stuff at me to have me feeling a bit blah and overwhelmed - not cool, my friend, not cool at all. But I was recently told to discard the bad thoughts and focus on the good so I think I should listen. And by discard I am going to share what some of those thoughts have been teaching me and really try to make that epic nail biter shot with one second to spare as I make the winning shot throwing these lies and fears away for good.
I like to think this year found me put-putting right along making some decent progress (more on that at some point) until now that is. Now I feel stuck. I sometimes have these weird pains in my arms and legs and I describe it as it feels like little people are at each end of a limb and they are playing tug-o-war with my muscle now imagine this happening on both arms and both legs at the same time. I have no clue what causes it and I ain't about to Google it! One of these days I'll mention it again to my doctor but I mention that solely because whatever this little trial/test or season I am in now some days it feels like that pain in my limbs and like I am being stretched but I'm not growing it just feels painful and gets old (like how I feel way to often these days). You know I said I feel stuck and even unsure. Have you ever walked aross a swinging bridge or something that is shakey as you are walking across it and when you get across your legs are still shaking (if you are like me it could mostly be from nerves but there is a little bit to from your body is trying to adjust to not have to move to keep balance and such - that's my story anyway.) I recently read a story from Humans of New York and this woman's husband died suddenly and she was left alone and she was struggling so she researched what the best dog to get for grief and depression and poodle kept coming up so she went to adopt a poodle. On the day she went to adopt a dog there wasn't any poodles but there was an old dog in the back that no one was paying attention to. This dog was scared, fragile, skin and bones and the woman saw the dog that was in the back and seemingly forgotten and she adopted the dog and named her Grace. Now Grace has gained her weight back and the woman said she and Grace are getting better together. If you actually know me you know how much I love dogs (almost all animals) and how much I want a dog so I loved this story for many different reasons. You also know I can't read anything without getting some random things from it. Here are those things: In life sometimes when things are thrown at us we may try to do research and figure out what the best route is and think we have the best plan to get us unstuck or to help us fly but sometimes those plans don't work out and sometimes, possibly every time, it is the best thing ever that it doesn't work out. This woman thought a poodle would be best to help her heal but turns the friend she needed was a timid, fragile, forgotten dog hiding in the back. Now the other thing I thought of was how many people were there that day looking to rescue a dog and overlooked Grace thinking she would be to much work, she would never gain weight and would take so much time to get her where she wouldn't be afraid. How many people do we pass are like Grace? We overlook them, forget them, think they'll never change. I can relate to Grace because I was/am timid, backwards, even have often felt forgotten just hiding in the back and no one ever noticing me. Now can I point out what the woman said - she said they are getting better together. She helped nurture, feed and take time to be with Grace and in turn Grace learned she could trust this woman, this woman cared for her and now they are both helping heal wounds and scars they each had.  I spent a lot of time being timid and hidden and forgotten in the back but over the years I've met people that each in their own way has helped me take baby steps out of the corner, not be so timid, etc. In my weird, terrible way of trying to make a point we all have something we need help healing from (spiritual, physical, emotional, etc) and if we don't know anyone currently give it time cause when you think you going to get a poodle you're going to find a Grace and find out you all were meant to meet all along. I believe it is 1 Thessalonians 5:11 that states, therefore encourage one another and build each other up. Some of us just take some extra time and effort and for those that God places in our lives to help us well I for one am quite thankful and grateful for each of you, especially because I know I don't always make it easy. Sometimes I want to run back to the corner cause it feels like it will be safer there, sometimes the fears try to come that people are going to leave or some other scenario but I'll remember something someone said or something they did and it helps me see that the ones that have been there to help get me out of the corner are in my corner if you will. Sometimes I do need that reminder or reassurance or encouragement.  Y'all know I am big on the encouraging and lifting others up and you never meet anyone by accident and for no reason. So don't over look those of us that are or have been in the corner we have important roles to play too and can help make a difference. Sometimes, like we all do from time to time, we just need help finding and seeing that potential.

I'm not good at a lot but let me tell you I am great at panicking and getting overwhelmed! I say that half joking but it's all true. I have very vivid dreams and I recently had one that in part I was having one of those frustrated, overwhelmed moments. I knew I needed and was supposed to get to this particular place and no one seemed to know what I was talking about and things kept getting in my way preventing me from getting anywhere and I got frustrated. So dream me did like I do in real life and I had a moment of pacing and having my hands on my head thinking okay what am I missing, there is a way for me to get to this place, think April, breathe and think. Then in the dream I did figure out that there was a way to get to where I needed except there was two options - now if you know me personally you know my decision skills are like that of a squirrel in the middle of the road with a car coming and it's trying to figure out which way do I go, which way do I go. I don't know about the squirrel but I am always afraid I am going to pick the wrong choice and I remember in this dream it felt like this was a test, a riddle and it was very important I picked the right one (cause I really needed to get to this place). I actually didn't mean to go into all of that, I was just going to write a sentence or two to lead into potters and clay. Because I feel like a piece of clay, like a damaged, marred piece. There's a couple verses in Jeremiah chapter 18 (verses 3-4) that state: Then I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. The Potter and the Clay is one of my favorite go to parts of the bible. In one commentary I read on those verses it stated that the potter's vessel was marred and unsuitable for its intended purpose but the potter remolded it into an acceptable and unblemished piece of work. I sometimes have this fear that I am to marred and what can I do, I can't be made into a vessel that can be used to even be worth sitting on a mantle somewhere little alone serving a purpose. And sometimes I wonder do I have to many blemishes will the Potter (God) get tired of trying to mold me and just toss me away (He won't, I don't think it has ever even once crossed His mind to do so but fear and lies have had me think that but the truth is God will never leave nor forsake me). So this chapter and particularly those verses I previously wrote give me hope. It might not exactly be fun getting those blemishes taken out and having to get remolded but God sees the vessel I can and am supposed to be and when a blemish comes up He doesn't have a that's it I'm done moment but He remolds me and doesn't give up on me, like I sometimes so easily give up on myself and shall I be honest here, how I sometimes can easily give up on God. I have even had moments of asking God why - not why certain things are happening or have happened - instead why He is willing to take this blemished piece of clay and pick it back up when I have ran and tried to hide or tried to push God away, He is still there and picks me up and takes away those fears and lies that got stuck in this piece of clay and He puts me back on the wheel and starts remolding me. He's willing cause He loves me (and you). I'm still not sure what my intended purpose is and I think I am in a part where God is taking some blemishes out and putting me back on the wheel to remold me. I think if nothing else I am being taught trust - trusting in God and in others. But I do also think I have some kind of intended purpose of being here, what - well that's a fantastic question and one day hopefully I figure that out. I guess that's where I can also use the advice that mom and pop gave me which I have just combined and made it to be just relax, don't worry be happy (also a good example of why I say you always meet people for a reason and sometimes God places people in your life and they become more like family, in this case more like a mom and dad to me). I might be at the crossroad trying to figure out which one of those paths to take is the right one, I'm that piece of clay that got a few blemishes and is being remolded, I may catch myself pacing with my hands on my head trying not to freak out any worse than I currently am but I am not a useless forgotten piece of clay, nope far from it.

As much trouble as I have had writing this I am just going to end this with my usual year in review. I hope and like to think I have learned and grown and moved forward this year. This year I was very fortunate to get to mark off a lot of things off of my bucket list. I got to go to the Grand Canyon and see and ride on part of Route 66! I got to mark off 8 states that I hadn't been to before list and got to go to California and see some of Yosemite Park and so many amazingly awesome places all along that trip that I am forever grateful for the opportunity and will be a trip that I will always remember. I got to see the Blue Angels and go to an air show for the first time and that was awesome and well worth the sun burn I got and extra bonus I got to visit with a cousin that weekend that I hadn't seen in way to many years, that actually was my favorite part of the weekend. I got to hold a tiger cub which was so very cool. I got to meet and talk to Terri Clark and Suzy Bogguss which was really neat. I got to talk to my brother more than I ever have and it has been nice getting to know him - we've never met and the first time I ever talked to him was via email maybe six or seven years ago and that was only a couple of messages and we lost contact again until this year. I got to spend time with people who mean so very much to me. I faced some fears and ran and hid from others. I learned a lot about myself - some not so good stuff but some was good. I'm thankful that I have seen another year, that may I say went by really fast. I'm grateful for the opportunities and dreams that came true this year and I'm so very thankful for the people that was with me on all of the different journey's I had this year and those that stuck with me and encouraged me, helped me, picked me up when I fell or just sit with me on the bad days. Here's to keeping moving forward and flying the rest of the year right on into 2018 and throughout next year.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Fear is knocking on the door

Knock - Knock
(shhh...don't say who's there. I just took a peak out the window and it's our old friend fear again.)
(maybe if I answer and tell him I don't want to talk to him anymore he will go don't open the door he gets a foot in the door he will come back in and stay for way to long.)
Knock-Knock - from the other side I hear - "You'll never get rid of me, you're nothing without me, what will people think if they knew who you really were..."
(Shut up, just shut up, I whisper as I sit with my back against the door wondering will I ever get rid of fear, trying to remember the truths that I know)

Sometimes that how it feels like when I have one of visits from fear. I don't like when fear comes for a visit. I try not to answer the door anymore but sometimes it finds its way back inside. It has recently. I finally got to buy NF's latest record, Perception and I'd like to use some lines from his Intro 3 to write some thoughts that I have had. First and foremost fear is a liar - one of those you wish that saying liar, liar pants on fire could happen to. It took me way to long to get that and I've spent the last year working and trying very hard to fight and defeat that lie and I have but it likes to come back and try to visit sometimes. So if you're not familiar with NF on his last record he had a song called Mansion and on it he talked about building a room to keep everyone out cause it was safer that way and how fear moved in and there is a line that states: Now I'm in the position it's either sit here and let him win or put him back outside where he came from, but I never can
'cause in order to do that I'd have to open the doors. Is that me or the fear talking? I don't know anymore...I learned in the past year that it's fear talking and telling you don't open the door it's locked and it's safer on this side of the door, if people find out what has been in this room they'll never accept you, don't open that door there's a monster on the other side of that door you can't face it. I got help opening that door and I realized it was fear talking, there wasn't anything bad or scary on the other side of that door, in fact there was some people that was willing to help me and they even accepted me. Now fast forward to last night listening to Perception CD for the first time and usually I will skip a song after about thirty seconds to a minute and then go back and listen to all of the songs (habit I do when I get a new CD, not sure why) but that didn't happen when Intro 3 started playing. So in the song it's basically a conversation between fear and NF and fear is just doing what fear does best beating you down and keeping you down and in that room that it has made you believe is safe. There is a part where fear is talking and it says I know I'm controlling but you are just going to have to get used to it cause I got a room and I'm comfortable I'm not going anywhere and you can't get rid of me, not completely, not ever. And for me that is one thing that has been the hardest to get rid of is that part of the fear that says you never will completely be rid of me, you're nothing without me, you will never be completely rid of me. So fear is just pounding him - you know what fear reminds me of - Goliath, ever read the story of David and Goliath in the Bible (if not you should, I keep finding stuff I never noticed before each time I read it also would recommend reading the story of Joseph, I keep getting taught stuff from his story too). So yeah, fear is this thing that likes to run its mouth to try to keep you scared and from seeing who you really are and your potential, tries to keep in your tent in the campground like what was happening in the story of David and Goliath. Now in the song they've taken this fight outside still going back and forth and a hole is being dug  and fear says Wait a minute, you don't really think for a second that you're puttin' me in this? And NF responds back with No, of course not, just a lil' deeper then we'll go inside and we can stop diggin' So Fear gives a sigh of relief and says You had me scared for a second, I though we were diggin' my grave....Now we're getting ready to talk about my two favorite parts of this song and this subject - if you have had enough patience to read this far it's about to pay off - I hope - it did for me anyway when I realized some things.

Okay so fear has got a little bit nervous, right, we're fighting back we're starting to see that he is a controlling, pushing, lying nuisance. So we've been digging and figuring out ways to defeat him. So in the song fear has just said he's scared cause he thought NF was digging fears grave and NF says: We did, what, you don't like bein' afraid? It's a dose of your own medicine. What, you don't like how it tastes? And he goes on to say putting the shovel away going back in his house and fear will be back in a week saying he wants his room back and he will just look out the window and laugh. Now for the line that started this whole thing to begin with...

'Cause I thought you had me in prison this whole time, but I'm the one holdin' the keys.

One line can hold so very much truth. See here's what I am figuring out, myself and so many others we're in this prison that fear has us believing we can't get out of or we shouldn't get out of because it's safer in here and he's distracting us from seeing that we have the keys to get out, he's distracting us from seeing the real state of the room we are in. I don't know about yours but mine was a mess and it was lonely. If you ever watched The Andy Griffith Show you know when Otis had a bit to much to drink or as I think he said just needed to get away from his wife he'd show up at the sheriff's office and what would he do - get the keys that was hanging in between the two cells, unlock his cell, walk in and shut the door and reach through and hang the keys back up on the wall. The next day or however long he decided to stay when he was ready to leave or when he wanted to grab a bite of food that Aunt Bea brought in what would he do? Reach through grab the keys off the wall and unlock the door and let himself out.  But Otis knew he had the keys, he knew they were right there he could come and go as he pleased. Otis didn't see the jail cell as a prison. So it got me thinking - again. Sometimes you just got to look at things like Otis (minus the drinking part - for me anyway). See fear is good at running its mouth and keeping you distracted cause it's like that bully, it's more scared of you than you have a reason to be of it. I've dealt with lots of different kinds of fears growing up and I've dealt with a couple different ones since I was a kid, ones that caused me to build that room and make my own prison. In part I didn't even realize it was a prison and I never thought I could get out of it until about a year ago. Now I've got out of that prison but sometimes like Otis I go back in but unlike Otis sometimes I stay to long and the fear distracts me and makes me forget that I have the keys so I get back in those old fears and they try to take me back to where I used to be but I'm not going back there. Sometimes, fear follows me out of the cell I think and I get afraid and unsure when I get out of my comfort zone, what is this, I don't understand what is going on this doesn't feel safe, so fear whispers go back to that room, go back to your comfort zone, it's safe there, nothing can hurt you there. Sometimes I listen to fear and I walk, no I sometimes run back to my prison. Fear might trick me and get me back in the prison but I'm going to find the keys and get out, might need some help. In fact I have even tried to do better about that and tell one of the two people I feel I can talk to about stuff that I'm dealing with and I try to tell them these fears and lies are really attacking me again, what do I do, basically I'm telling them I can't find the keys, where did I put the keys so I can open this door to get out, please help me out. Oh and can I also say please don't beat yourself up if there is a lie or fear that seems to keep coming back or you think you are never going to beat it - that's just the fear talking, it's afraid you're going to realize just how far you have come and how close you are to really destroying this thing once and for all. And you know sometimes it takes the bird dropping that ol' snake a few times before it's ready to be served for lunch but you will beat it, you have the keys, never forget that. 

That Irish in me, I can't tell a story short to save me. But my point in all of this is, yeah sometimes fears come back and sometimes in the sneakiest of ways but don't let it bully you into silence or to believe that you can't win or have no fight (for me the popular things seems to be why fight it you know I'll win or will be right back, you're never getting rid of me, that type of thing)...but you my friend are a warrior and you must have it in you to be one awesome fighter otherwise why is fear so afraid of you seeing who you really are - because it knows you will stomp it's scrawny butt into the ground into tiny little pieces never to be put back together again. So please don't ever forget that you are not what fear says you are, you are not going to be like that person that fear tells you that you will be like (I can't be the only one that gets that one too). You are so much more. You are an unfinished masterpiece that every day is getting more and more pieces of the truth added to it. You are an overcomer, you are a survivor. You are a warrior.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Finding My Seat at the Table

It's a grab bag of random thoughts and I don't know what's about to be written. Let's see what our first prize in the grab bag of thoughts is shall we?

Carrying a lot of weight can wear you out and I'm not talking about someone's physical stature I mean carrying an object or sometimes the weight of something we were told or went through. I have some how managed to get a really early start on shopping for Christmas gifts (it's nothing short of a miracle) and the other day I was in WalMart with the sole intention of getting just one persons gift but then I thought while I'm here let me see if I can find something for someone else. Wouldn't have been a big deal except both of those gifts ended up being in big boxes and I didn't have a buggy (cart, whatever you prefer to call that lovely invention that I forget to get every time I go to the store)I briefly thought I could go get one but then I thought no I am going to go as soon as I pick up that last big box I should be okay. So picture it, me carrying two big boxes with a few small things on top (because have I mentioned I have an obsession with cards cause you never know when someone may need a card giving to them). Wasn't to heavy walking and finally finding a line that didn't have to many people. So I'm standing there holding my stuff thinking I can hold this until I can put it on the counter it's not that heavy, no big deal. It got heavy. And I am convinced glasses know when you have your hands full because that's when they decide to slide down every time without fail. So the boxes are getting heavy, my glasses are slowly using my nose as a slide and I finally just have to set the boxes down. By the time I get to pay for my stuff my arms have got a rest and my glasses are staying just fine where they need to -mostly. The cashier asks if I have a buggy (just work with me if you call it something different!) and I say no but I'll be okay, I think, I hope. Because I don't learn and I didn't want to take up anyone's time. So again i have my little bag full of cards and my two big boxes. This isn't that bad I got this. Until there go the glasses sliding and when I walk outside I have an oh no I forgot where I parked moment. So I finally am fairly certain I am in the right lane of where I parked but am having that did I really park this far down moment - I did. I make it to my car without any stops and keeping my glasses from doing an epic slide off of my nose but by the time I got to my vehicle those boxes had gotten heavy again. Shew, that was a lot to get to my point! Which is this - sometimes in life things happen, many times we have no control over it, but it places a weight on us. Often times we don't even realize we are carrying it or even how heavy it is - until that moment we sit it down. I have had a weight that I have carried for a long time, now back in 2005 I sit a box of it down and thought that was it but it wasn't I was still carrying weight from it with me. I'll be honest I thought what I had laid down was as good as it was ever going to get, this weight was just something I was going to have to learn to carry. But fast forward to 2015 and I get to meet someone, one of those people that God places in your life. So with their help and patience they helped me see how much of the weight I was still carrying and I laid some more down. Now you'd think I would have laid it all down at this point right, not quite. I still had some walls up and still carrying some of the weight from lies and fears. So here we are in 2017 - if you want a count this is 27 years since I picked up a box of lies and fears (if you want to know that means that this chapter in my story started way back when I was six years old). Last night, a simple just sitting and talking and listening to someone helped me knock down one of those last small pieces - can I just say sometimes those small pieces can weigh you down more than the heavy pieces and can be a lot more tricky to get rid of - but because someone chose to take time and sit with me and talk - they unknowingly helped me sit that last piece down and that last piece was small but it held a lot. I suddenly seemed to realize yup God has placed the right people in my life and these people really see me how they have said and shown it and you know what it's time to let people in because God is restoring things that were lost, things that I never got to have or know what it was like to have - simple kinds of relationships - but God is letting me have that now. Is it or has it been easy - nope but boy does that make the victories that much more sweeter and more awesome.

So we've shed some of that weight we've been carrying around - I don't know about you but I feel like taking a deep breath and just enjoying how light this feels. I really didn't realize how heavy that was. Now let what else is in this grab bag....looks like a pack of seeds.

I think throughout all of our lives different seeds are planted and grow - for many of us, I daresay all of us to some degree - seeds of lies and fears can take over our garden and keep the truth seeds of who we are, what we can do, what we are meant to do, our importance, etc from growing like they were meant to. Those fears and lies are nothing but weeds that take over and prevent the truth seeds from getting the light, water and nutrients they were meant to get. Can I tell you something though? You can't defeat the truth - the truth always finds a way to breakthrough - it's not always easy and it can take along time but the truth of who you are and all the awesomeness that you bring to this world will come out. I always you never meet anyone by accident - some of those people knowingly or not plant the seeds that become fears and lies but thank God for those people that get planted that bring truth. Those people that take the time to pull the weeds of lies and fear and have the patience to sit with you while the seeds of truth get nourished and get the light that has been withheld for so long but is now getting to them and helping them to grow and be who they were always meant to be.  Because sometimes we need help and if you are like me and have spent many years with those walls built up afraid to let people in that's not always easy to admit or accept. But I am learning that it makes that weight a lot easier to carry, it makes this ride a lot less lonely and even fun and we just wasn't meant to tackle this all on our own.

We're just moving right along in this grab bag, aren't we? So this next one is sitting at the table and being vulnerable (it was a buy one get one free grab). If you have never heard the song To The Table by Zach Williams, you need to look it up and listen to it (actually just buy the whole CD that song is on you won't regret it). Recently I saw Zach Williams in concert and before he sang this song he said picture the longest table you can imagine and there is a seat at this table with your name on it. This table is a special table that God has and this table has what many of us would label failures, rejects, those that have been abandoned, the nothings - see that's what the seeds of lies and fears would have us think we are and it makes us think we can't have a seat at this table. Part of that song states:  But you keep standing at a distance in the shadow of your shame. There's a light of hope that's shining won't you come and take your place and bring it all to the goes on to state: He can see the weight you carry the fears that hold your heart but through the cross you've been forgiven you're accepted as you are.

I am one to stand off to the side and at a distance - literally and figuratively - and I'll be honest I spent all of my life thinking there is no way I could have a seat at this table because all those lies and fears and that shame kept me from walking up and sitting down at this table. Recently I went to visit a cousin I hadn't seen in awhile and we got talking about some stuff that had happened and she said that has to be a deep wound and I just kind of shrugged and thought yeah it is a little bit but it's all good. Then a few days later I was at this service at a church and a woman came up and was talking to me and it was one of those that they don't know you and they tell you stuff so you know that God is using them to get you to listen and one thing she said was there is a deep wound but she said that in every single one of the times I was abandoned and rejected and every thing else that happened God was with me. Now if you don't know my story, I won't get into it but I will you that during a lot of times I questioned God and I wondered where He was at and I thought, no I was convinced that God hated me and I had done something to make Him mad at me and not be there. Now over the past couple of years especially I have learned that was a lie but to hear and have that really sink in that God was with me through it all well that pulled a lot of those weeds of lies and fears. Zach Williams also sings a song called Fear Is A Liar and in that song he lists all those negative things that we sometimes hear others say about us or sometimes we say about ourselves but fear is a liar. I'm learning that as much as it scares me to let people in it's also okay to be vulnerable and to be real. I've worn a mask most of my life - put on that front that I'm okay, look and act like I think supposed to so I can be liked and hopefully I can be a ninja and y'all won't even notice me. But that mask gets smothering and I'm tired of wearing it. Is that to say I won't pick it up and put it back on some days - no because I am sure I will. But I'm learning that my story has a purpose and it's okay to share my story, it's okay for me to be my dorkish, nerd self. It's even okay if I laugh my obnoxious laugh. Because can I tell you something for the first time in possibly ever, I have a sense of belonging, a sense of joy and love that I have never had, that I was to afraid to accept or thought I was deserving of. There is a part of me that is afraid of what is going to happen or what will they really think of me but see the people that are meant to be in my life they will love me and they will continue to be there to help me pull up those weeds of lies and fears and they will be there to just enjoy the simple things in life. There are so many things that I am getting to enjoy and see and have for the first time - things that are so unbelievably simple and people wouldn't even think about. I'll be honest I'm in new territory. I'm truly thankful that God has placed the people He has in my life. And I am so glad that I had people that have helped me see that I do have that seat at the table and I deserve to sit there - and so do you.

So in conclusion, never underestimate what seems simple to you but could be the one thing that will help lift a weight from someone that they have been carrying. May we always be careful which seeds we water and nourish and may we always be able to pull up those weeds of lies and fears so the seeds of truth can flourish and thank God for those that help destroy the lies and fears. Always remember you have never done anything that has made you undeserving of a seat at the table and sometimes it's okay to be vulnerable because oftentimes you will find you wasn't the only one that has been through that or felt like that.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hold On Tight

I don't want to write this. I don't want anyone to read this but I have to write this and perhaps someone needs to read it. I'm not even sure exactly how this is going to end up written but I think I am about to be more vulnerable than I am comfortable with. Shall we see far out of my comfort zone I do get with this?

I have always dreamed of being able to get close to a tiger cub, if you don't know tigers are my favorite animal, and I always thought it would be cool to hold a tiger but never thought I would get to. I, however, recently got to mark that off my bucket list and it was everything I dreamed it would be. This post isn't about whether you agree or disagree with facilities like this - you are entitled to however you believe on that (I will say all of the animals were very well taken care of and in a facility that was well maintained,  probably the best I have ever seen.). I will say that I think it is a very educational thing and positive thing to have. That's all of my opinion I will give. Now on to what I really want to say. I am one to get very random thoughts in situations and things I see. This experience was no different. Remember these two things cause I'm going to hit on them throughout this. The first was when the tiger cubs were in the room and someone stood up in the middle of the room they told the person you can stand but you have to stand against the wall. The second is at the end you could get your picture taken with any of the animals you saw. I got a picture taken with a Bengal tiger when she handed the tiger cub to me she said you have to hold him, you have to hold on to him tight. Got those two - standing with your back against the wall and hold on tight. Remember those cause I am about to have a squirrel moment and we're going to another thing.

We all have stories and in those stories we have things and sometimes even people that we can't be around less it triggers fears and doubts and causes us to retreat back behind the walls that we have tried so hard to tear down. Y'all have no idea how much I don't want to write this. I don't like for people to know I am struggling cause I feel like people will think I am trying to get attention or at the very least it seems to draw attention to me and I don't like that. But I have to write this. So this past week has been full blown trigger week. I'm not going into detail on a lot of it but the first one started last week and that one doesn't matter but it started the fears of people leaving or not being there, with this person I have never met them, they are kin to me but we never got the chance to meet or talk until recently and we've kind of gotten the chance to text back and forth. So that was trigger one of the week and starts the fears. Now I'm not anti social networks by no means that is the only way I have to contact several people. Trigger number two was seeing some things on Facebook - from pages that I follow just so no one thinks it was a friend. Those memes and articles that triggered the lies and fears of I am unworthy, I bother people, no one loves me they just tolerate me, etc. I'm about to have another trigger just writing this! Then there was some old lies and fears that was climbing out and showing their faces. Now this next one isn't against anyone and I know what was said wasn't even thought or meant to be a trigger to those fears and lies. Which also has got me thinking and wondering how many times I have said or done something and unintentionally and potentially never realizing that I caused  a trigger to someone and hurt them. Can I say right now I am most sincerely sorry if I ever have, I would never ever intentionally cause any kind of hurt or harm to anyone. You know sometimes we say stuff and sometimes we say stuff to try to help and it has the opposite effect. But someone said something and again they didn't mean anything by it was never their intention for it to cause the trigger that it did and I hope they never find out or know cause it doesn't need to be known. But that triggered the fears and lies and added to what was already building of people leaving, things changing (which is life and I know change isn't always bad, if/when it does happen) and I caught myself building the wall back up. See I know I keep people at a distance and have hopefully gotten better at that but when the fears and lies attack like they have been I don't know how to handle it and the only thing that has ever made sense and 'helped' (cause it really doesn't help and I know it doesn't) is to build the wall up. You know you think walls protect you from the elements, shield you from the rain and wind and heat of the day but the walls I build up to keep people out they don't protect me, they actually in turn cause more damage. I am a quiet person in that when I talk the volume of my voice isn't very loud but I also am a very private person and am probably really difficult to get to know. I prefer listening and learning about others, I feel I am not that important or have much to offer. I also just don't talk that much - except for a couple or so people that I seem to talk to a lot even though one said that they have to work and pull things out of me (it's true, if I am in the moments like I am now, you have to have serious patience for me to be able to talk and I will ultimately just say it's nothing I'm good) and to those two people I promise I am trying not to talk to you all as much and tell you so much....but can I also say that as I write that I am reminded of a couple of things. You know a predator will isolate it's prey (generally in the animal kingdom it goes for the weakest most vulnerable too but I want to say if you are being attacked or going through something I think it's the opposite it's because you very much matter and you have so much to offer that these attacks try to isolate you to keep you from seeing that you are a warrior and a game changer). And I think that is one of the most powerful ways for a person to be attacked - to isolate them and to make them feel alone - which you can feel even when you are in a room full of people. If we feel alone and isolated it's like it causes an avalanche, suddenly we feel vulnerable we feel unworthy, unloved, that we don't matter, etc. One of my favorite stories and people from the bible is Joseph and in the past couple of years his story has and continues to encourage and help me. And I was thinking today how he went from the pit to the palace to prison and probably spent several of those years wondering if he would be remembered and brought out of the prison but he was and he was brought back to the palace and was someone of great importance and helped many. In the times he was in prison for something he didn't even do it became a time that he was actually planted and grew and it even prepared him for when he got back to the palace. But as I was writing that about not talking so much I was also reminded of how people are placed in our lives to steal the phrase I have wrote on here before and was told to me God knits people into our lives and those are our home team, that is there to help us any time of day or night, to encourage us, to laugh with us and to help us out of the pit back into the palace, to help us and to just make this ride a little bit more fun and tolerable. Those people that can help keep the predator away and keep you from feeling or being isolated and alone. And if I'm honest one of my biggest struggles is feeling alone and in turn I start to isolate myself - no for the record my personality and just who I am is one that I could disappear for a long time and just not really talk or whatever, that's just who I am, it's not that no one has done anything I don't even think I realize I am doing it. But back to those people - the ones that whatever chapter they show up in they are meant to be there for the remaining chapters. So I guess I'm saying I know I'm weird and difficult to probably put up with to even get to know  - it's not done on purpose to test or anything I probably don't even realize I am doing it, I am very bad about living in my own little world and I quite often get lost in there.

Now to get back to those two random thoughts I had while visiting with the tiger cubs. When we was in the room telling the person to stand against the wall was a safety measure but in life sometimes things comes against us and pushes us against the wall. All those things that have piled up and dug up some fears and lies and added some new ones have me against the wall and it makes you feel trapped and hopeless. I have this shirt, I call it my preaching shirt because I have got comments on it in Indiana, Arizona and Kentucky all of them saying they love the message on the shirt. What does the shirt say? Glad you asked. It says Hope is the Message We are the Messengers. That shirt reminds me that we all have days that we lose hope, we misplace it and thank God for those people that whether they know it or not are messengers to help us find that hope again, maybe to find the faith we lost or find it for the first time. Things are going to happen and sometimes those things will push you up against the wall - or in my case sitting in a fetal position with the walls starting to build back up. Now I know I will get through this and those walls aren't staying up, I've worked to hard and went through to much to build them back up. The second thing, when the woman handed me the tiger to hold while the other woman (who made the comment on my shirt) took my picture she said you've got to hold him, you've got to hold on to him tight. Okay, no problem, I'm holding a tiger cub - I want to hug him and name him George lol (I hate having my picture taken but that day I didn't care and I had the biggest cheesiest grin on my face. I was so stinking happy). At one point when I was holding him the tiger roared, which was cute, scary and intimidating all at once. When she said you got to hold him tight it reminded of how sometimes when we're having a bad day we have to hold on tight to those truths and even hold on to those people that are there for us - and I do hope anyone that reads this you have at least one person like that (it ain't about having a lot of people like that just having the true sincere people that got your back). I had to hold tight to the tiger so he didn't get down and start exploring and when I'm against the wall, in a storm, just having a rough day I have to hold on to the truth that this will pass, I will make it, I am an overcomer. I will grow from this, it might hurt and it might not be fun, might last longer than I want it to but I will grow and I will make it. The other thing that kind of just came to mind was when the tiger roared. Sometimes when we're in a battle our battle cry might sound like that little tiger and you think aww and it doesn't really intimidate or scare your enemy but don't let you that make you stop you roar because what the enemy doesn't want you to know is that the first roar did scare him but he's trying to make you think you ain't going to win that your roar isn't causing any damage trying to make you stop to get you hide behind the walls. Roar, I don't care how quiet you are or how loud you are, roar and you keep roaring. You keep taking those steps, you keep telling yourself those truths that you matter that you will make this that you are unfinished but you are still here and you are gonna fly cause you have something to offer this world. It doesn't matter how shaky your voice is, doesn't matter how bad your knees are knocking you got this and I so very much believe in you. Don't kick yourself while your down cause you are struggling or are having a bad day, that's okay, we all do, just don't unpack there and stay cause you don't deserve that.

I think I will end this with a couple of lines from a song I heard today called I'll Find You by Lecrae and in it it states: But tell God I'mma need a whole lotta hope keeping it together. I'm smilin' in everyone's face I'm cryin' whenever they leave the room...No don't let the fear make you feel like you can't fight this on your own
You know I, I'll be there for you no matter where you go. You'll never be alone, no. Just fight a little longer my friend it's all worth it in the end

So as I am in this prison or pit I will keep fighting and appreciate those that stick around and are there for me during these times because I'm not staying in this prison I'm going to the palace. And I will grow and I will fly. A bad day might knock me down and keep me out for longer than I want it to but it ain't knocking me out, I will get back. I might have a scar or two but those just prove that I am a survivor. So I will hold on tight and know that I am going to make it.

Monday, October 2, 2017

I'm Not Who I Was

This post is brought to you by the song I'm Not Who I Was by Brandon Heath (probably some more songs before I finish writing but mainly this one). I know and apologize to those that personally know me because I don't make it easy to know me or to know things about me. Music is a way for me to use to help people know a little more about me in an odd way. The song I'm Not Who I Was has meant a lot to me from the very first time I heard it and can I just tell you I have come a long way from that moment so now it means even more to me. I believe it was early last year I got to go to a concert and see Third Day with Brandon Heath. Brandon sang this song and he gave the story behind it (I may have written about this before but in case I haven't or just as a refresher I'll tell it - possibly telling it again). So the story was that his parents divorced and his dad remarried and later on his stepmom left too and at some point in his life he wrote this song about that moment in his life. So this song holds a lot of meaning to me, I can listen to it and think of how I can relate in feeling that way towards someone and I'm not who I was in that situation anymore - thank God. I'm also just not who I was in general and again thank God. Do you ever feel like you are playing a game of dodge ball with life and sometimes life hits you good with a scenario that knocks you. Life's rules of dodge ball are a bit different in that you are still in the game when you get hit but life doesn't always play fair and keeps throwing the balls if you will to try to persuade you to not try to get back up. I'm not who I was in that I have also figured out that I can fight back and though I may be pretty much mostly known as that quiet girl I have more to contribute to my little bitty part in my little bitty section of this world and the stories I am in and my own narrative.

There is a line from that song that states: 'When the pain came back again like a bitter friend it was all that I could do to keep myself from blaming you...Now I'm not who I was I write about love and such. Maybe 'cause I want it so much. I'm not who I was. I was thinking maybe I -I should let you know that I am not the same.' Forgive me cause I'm going to be jumping all over the place and probably not making much sense. But can I tell you something that I seem to really be understanding and getting and I don't know why it's suddenly happening but I have spent most of my life (from the time I was six until now at the good ol' age of 33) thinking I was damaged and that these scars well I've been trying to hide my scars - these scars have made me who I am these scars don't make me damaged they just add a bit more to my story. There is a song by Casting Crowns called Loving My Jesus and there is lines from that song that states: Showing my scars Telling my story of how mercy can reach you where you are. And I pray the whole world hears the cry of my heart is to see all the ones I love loving my Jesus. Sin tries to make you hide whispers that same old lie keep all your pain inside 'cause no one will understand...' See I think we often all at some point for some amount of time put on a mask - and that falls for people of all races, gender, age, religion, etc. I recently had a conversation with someone and knowingly or not they hit the bulls eye on some of the things I have been struggling with again and they helped me be able to take the mask off and to help remind me of the truth because the fears and lies were sneaking back in. Sometimes it's not always the bitterness that tries to sneak back in - maybe your situation doesn't even really involve a bitterness of any kind but sometimes those fears and lies come back. And I can honestly say there is no bitterness on my part for anything but I will also honestly say that some of the fears and lies that have plagued me try to weasel their way back in sometimes. Well I'll just tell you how it has been here lately and first I will say I have no idea what has happened but I have made huge steps and the past three or so weeks it's as if some blinders have been taken off and I am seeing for the first time. You know what it is kind of like before I started sixth grade I had to get glasses and I knew that things were blurry and I wasn't seeing things like they were meant to be seen but I didn't realize how much I was missing until I put those glasses on and suddenly so much was so very clear. I was going around reading signs from a distance I probably wouldn't have even seen there was something written on it before. I kind of feel like that now, that I am seeing stuff that I was meant to see and understand for so long and I am just now finally getting it and able to read it.... to accept it. In part of the conversation I brought up a couple of people and what they mean to me and in particular I had stated how I call one of them mom and though I didn't say this part I often struggle with if that was/is okay and some other stuff I'll get to in a moment but when I said that I called them mom the person said something that really helped and that was that it was okay because God knows the people that we need in our lives and they shared some of their story. But it helped so much to be reminded how no matter how old we may be or the situation that it is okay and that we will have those people that are like a parent or a sibling or whatever that we need. In part of the conversation I had said how I struggled with accepting that this person could and would see me as their daughter and actually I struggle with even accepting love and that I deserve to have those kinds of people in my life and the person said yeah because you feel damaged and that is true. I've been going about seeing my scars in the wrong way. See I thought, still sometimes struggle with, thinking that those scars make me damaged goods. Have you ever been to the store and saw something be it food or recently I bought a USB cord for I think $5 cheaper because the box was damaged but there was nothing wrong with the USB cord. Or maybe if you buy that box of food for a little cheaper there was nothing wrong with the food just the box was a little damaged but it still served its purpose. Sometimes people are like those boxes. See what we see on the outside may look damaged and more often than not what is damaged is on the inside but we hide it with masks and if you are like me keeping people at a distance and such. That damage, those scars that for whatever reason we can fall in the trap of thinking that it makes us unworthy or undeserving or unable well that is all lies. Those scars are just part of your story. They don't define who you are, they just add to it, you know many of our scars we think ruin our story, they make us less than but that is so wrong. I still am not the best at letting people see my scars  - telling what I have told in the past few posts on here is huge for me - but I am trying to look at it like this and that my scars are proof that I am way stronger than I ever gave myself credit for and it proves to me that God has my back and all this time has watched out for me. Though I may be or have been damaged I am still worthy and so are you. I don't know if anyone will read this and if you are I may have talked to you and know your story or maybe we have never met but I can say this no matter what your scars may be from and how damaged you may think you are and you'll never be perfect - well we won't be perfect so I don't know about you but big sigh of relief I can quit trying to live up to that standard but your scars make you beautiful and remind you and can help others know they can make it through their own storms that have caused scars perhaps similar to yours. You know when that person was talking to me yesterday I am not sure I knew one part of her story that she shared with me and it helped to hear someone say they struggled with feeling a certain way because of this situation. Never belittle yourself, period but never think your story doesn't matter or is to damaged or whatever to make a difference. Even if you have went through something I have never had to deal with just hearing your story will still make an impact and help. Because who knows maybe even on down the road I will go through something similar and I will think oh wait so and so went through something like this hey maybe I need to go talk to them or maybe I will remember something you said while telling me your story of what you did to help get through the storm. Wounds don't always heal over night and that's okay sometimes it can take years for wounds of things we have went through to even start to heal. Don't fall in the trap that you have to put on the mask and act like you are okay or healed from a wound because it has been x amount of time and you should be over that by now. We all heal at a different pace. You know I could get a cut on my arm and you could get the same length and depth of cut on your arm and your wound may heal over in a day with no scar or anything whereas mine may take a few days and leave a scar. But we're both healed now it just that it took my wound a little longer to heal. Are all of my wounds healed perfectly - no I mean I do still have scars but again those scars are just a reminder that I made it through, didn't make it through unscathed but I made it through. You know I think I need to point this out because I don't want it to seem like I don't have bad days or that I don't have struggles - I have just made huge steps forward. See I do still very much struggle with letting people in and not keeping them at a distance. In fact, I will tell on myself I have made huge steps in letting people in and accepting that yup God did send these people to fill in and be like such and such in my life. But you know what, just today even I had a major fear that those people would leave and that I needed to not get any closer and not let them any closer because something is going to happen and their not going to be in my life that much I won't get to see them or spend time with them and just don't get any closer. I had to remind myself of a couple of things one something they told me and then I tried to remind myself that all of that very well may be true but I need to focus on the now and I don't want to miss out on any opportunity I have now to be with them to spend time or talk with them in any capacity. Because keeping people at a distance just leaves me alone and I want to be with those that God knows I need to spend time with and that will be there for me. And you know what I think it's time for this quiet girl to fly, it's time for me to sing my song and to accept what I am deserving of.  How about you? Maybe we have to help each other remember that though we have scars it doesn't disqualify us, I'll be honest with you I think it makes us that much more qualified. You know some days it's easy to fly and some days it's not so easy to fly - I watched a bird flying the other day and the wind was catching under its wings and trying to knock it off course but the bird kept maneuvering and it kept flight and was able to get where it wanted to. It may not always be an easy flight and some days we have to find a tree branch to sit on and rest and some days we can keep flight it just takes a little longer to get to our destination. Some days or just bad days and you need that friend, that person that you can go to and talk to and they can remind you to focus on the good and don't worry be happy or just to be there. Am I where I want to be - no but thank God I'm not who I was. I daresay I think I am becoming who I am meant to be.