When I Tell The Truth, I Find The Truth

Over the weekend, I told my mom that I hope I die before she and my dad do, because I’m not sure I can handle anything else going to hell in my life. I said it calmly and nonchalantly, and she didn’t say much but nodded and knew I wasn’t going to do anything stupid. But doing something stupid and thinking something stupid are two, very different things. 

Before I digress…

I second guess everything I write because I’m all like, eeek no, don’t want my Christian friends to think differently of me, because honestly, that’s what a lot of Christians do. I would say people in general, but non Christians are seemingly a million times more empathetic than Christians, and the only thing that they seem to lack is the tangible hope at the end of grief. But I don’t careeeee. Because I’m a writer and words are my thing, so I’m not going to mince words for comfort sake. If you don’t like to be mildly uncomfortable, I completely understand and strongly suggest you click back on to Amazon or Facebook and exit out of  this, because here goes. 

I digress…

For the last few months, if not this whole year, I haven woken up and started my day wondering if that day would be the day that I will finally die. Honestly hoping and crossing my fingers. I told my mom this too. See, I’ve never been a dreamer, and I’m scared of failure- so by the time I turned 18 I was hoping I’d be dead by 22-23. But, here I am, at 25. See, generally I’m pretty clear headed, but in 2012 I found myself on a suicidal rampage, have straight up demonic hallucinations, seeing my death in front of me as if it was actually happening, and doing many things including but not limited to: cutting up and down, not sideways, eating a ton then purging hard, taking steak knives and pressing them as far into my stomach as I could handle, and taking handfuls of my depression and anxiety meds at a time, hoping I would die. But here I am, at 25. A lot of this spiraled from getting raped, something people didn’t talk about then. I was feeling too violated to tell anyone, so I kept it pretty quiet. This led me down a winding road of PTSD. Another not so awesome thing that people don’t really talk about. 

Fast forward, it’s 2017. And PTSD is that SOB that came back with a vengeance following some pretty jacked up events from last year. But I didn’t know it. Again, I was hiding grief and shoving it down in to a well so deep that even an echo couldn’t reach it. Except an echo did reach it. Somewhere between January when I created my vision board of hope for the year, and March, PTSD snuck back in for the first time in about 3 years. And it was a quiet but powerful storm. It started with anxiety, which I always had, but it came in pretty violently- in the car, in social situations, pretty much nonstop. I was becoming super sensitive, more than usual because I was grieving but didn’t want to tell anyone because of shame. Then came agitation, isolation, and finally insomnia that’s been paired with crying myself to sleep often. I’ve brushed it off the past few months, thinking that maybe living in community was just overwhelming me. I didn’t want to talk about it- so I just kept going. 

And then, in the beginning of September of this year, I started getting sick. Throwing up day after day, not with cold symptoms, just throwing up. Then came vertigo, migraines, and nightmares. These episodes happen maybe 3 or so times a week and would crush me. So I got a gym membership. Like cool, let’s get healthy because you’re gross. Now, a few months before this, I had a girl run up to me in church and poke me in my arm. No big deal, right? Except I was in excruciating pain. It hurt more than I was expecting and honestly I think I mugged the hell out of the girl because I didn’t understand why she poked me so hard. That became my norm. My skin hurt so much. So the gym just added more pain to what was already hurting. Then, a few weeks ago, the sweet Mom who lives upstairs was coming down the stairs and I didn’t hear her and I freaked out so hard and screamed at her, my heart was racing and I almost cried from fear.  Just ask her, it was honestly funny and embarrassing, an hour or so later. That fear, the jumpiness, hasn’t happened to me  in years. Then finally insomnia, and my intense fear of being attacked at night, which brings me to writing this post at 4am because even my sleep aids don’t work anymore. 

I don’t want to say what happened last year. And when I have bad days and someone asks me how I am, I usually say there’s something going on with my family or I have to work, anything to get me out of talking. But something did happen and I’ve been stuck in this wind tunnel of shame and regret and grief. To scared to speak, regretting everything, and grieving the pain that I felt on a much more visceral level than I have in my entire life. I’m in pain and I’ve hidden it pretty well. But it’s creeping into my everyday life, and that’s harder to hide. But I’m not suicidal. I mean I think about it often, but I don’t have any plans. But I do wish either: A) Jesus comes back soon, like today, or B) I die peacefully…or painfully- either way is fine as long as it happens. Because I’m exhausted. I think about it often and it’s not that I’ve lost hope, but I’m tired. I’m anxiously awaiting for the day when faith is turned to sight, every tear will be wiped from our eyes, and all that is wrong will be made right. Ugh. And I guess maybe I’m too young to be this tired, but I grew up too fast and I’m a 25 year old with the life experiences of a 50 year old and I’m already done with it all. I’m ready. And I sit in this tension of being surrounded by Christians who say now but not yet, and I haven’t seen the now or the not yet and I question if either exist. And on the other side I hear Christians who condemn me in my brokenness yet worship church leaders who are just as broken but look better in their brokenness because they have a platform. 

And understand, this isn’t a shaking my fist at God in pissiness because He’s not doing things “my way.” Not at all- because in the midst of the mental, emotional, and physical trauma, I’ve found myself in a basement apartment with a beautiful family that feels more and more like home everyday. And sometimes I’m too scared to say my grief for fear of sounding ungrateful, because I am grateful beyond words. But I’m also broken. And if this grief requires repentance then God, lead me to it. And if this grief is part of the journey, then God bring me through it. But my small human brain is painfully aware of how much I, and many other grieving Christians, don’t understand. I’m handed ideas by many, many people, who think they have answers, but the evidence of that answer would be fruit. And it’s ok for people not to know, there is no expectation on my end that anyone would know. Now we see in part, then we will fully know. But that doesn’t remove the ache that comes with the experiences that have unresolved grief.  

So here’s the ugly truth, though there’s so much more I could say, but I’m just not ready to go there yet. I’m not quitting, I’m not tapping out. I’m not running back to the sin and self destruction of years past just because I’m hurting. But I’m broken and aware of it, maybe more than I ever have been in my short, but long life. And at the end of the day, despite my feelings and questions, I will wait for Him whom my soul loves, even though I don’t understand. I will sing truth until I believe it, I will read truth until I see it, and I will breath in truth until I become it and it inhabits every crack and crevasse of this broken heart. 

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When I Tell The Truth, I Find The Truth

Mercy

For a few months now I’ve been on a journey to discover what Mercy really means. Bethel came out with a song called Mercy and I definitely sang it like I meant it for a while, but I realised I had no clue what it meant and it left a bitter taste in my mouth singing a song that I didn’t understand.

Last night I was at a worship night at a friends farm. Afterwards guy came up to me and started talking to me. Over the next hour and half he went over multiple topics, from sin to the cross. He then talked about healing and freedom. He talked about so many topics that my brain was kind of spinning and I was fluctuating from freedom to condemnation to joy to confusion to conviction. I didn’t know where my heart would land as I tried to take in all that he was saying.

On the drive home I turned on some worship music and the introvert in me pulled into my brain as I began to process all that was said. Mercy came to mind, and the way he so passionately spoke about mercy hit me like a ton of bricks. Mercy. A word that made me so angry with judgement and despair. Suddenly a reel of footage went through my brain and I saw all of the bad things that had happened to me. The things that had broken me. And I was filled with disappointment and grief and judgement. I was so so angry about all the things that have happened. Then a reel of an event that happened just a week ago came through my brain.

It was the snowday, and a lot of my friends came over to my house to get snowed in together and eat food and watch movies. There was wine a champagne and it was fun until something went south. I said something that unbeknownst to me hurt someone else. Out of hurt they spoke back and out of confusion I came back at them harder- and it was off. Back and forth we went, but I didn’t realize or care how hard I was going. Finally, she said something and I rolled my eyes and stayed quiet. After a few seconds I realized how hard I was and I was disgusted at myself. My anger quickly fizzling into despair as I stumbled over my words, trying to process what just happened, quickly apologizing for fault though it was a commotion in the house and nothing I said at this point could be heard. I withdrew into myself, angry at what I had said, mad that I had one drink too many and my words which could have been kind simply became a poison. In that moment I hated myself. Even though the person was wrong it didn’t make my response ok. Soon after I hid into my room, tipsy and tired, I took a few sleeping meds and cried because I felt guilty and ashamed. But crying didn’t help, and the sleep meds hadn’t kicked in yet. So i grabbed a blade and self harmed, something I haven’t done in such a long time. The next day I woke up realising how badly i cut and was upset, wanting to hide in my room for the rest of the day.

Mercy.

The word brought me back from the memory, which made me sick. Though shame could have consumed me, it didn’t. Instead mercy did. In that moment and in this moment as I write, I realized that for the first time I encountered the mercy of God, and it took my breath away. I have been unable to fathom mercy because I failed to receive, so there was no way in hell I could I could give it to anyone. As I began to realize moments in my life where I had failed to show people mercy, this one moment, ingrained in my mind was monumental to my understanding of mercy.

This word, mercy, that I still don’t understand has the ability to bring the more freedom to my life than I’ve ever seen. It’s incredible that a God who is Holy and Righteous and Just would grant mercy to me. I realized the judgement seat is a large one, made for One who lives and reigns in perfect judgement. And that is not a seat I long for- though it has been for a long time. The seat I crave, with the dull understanding that I have of it, is the seat of mercy. For the first time in my life, I crave the seat of mercy. I am humbled by the movement and breath of righteousness. I am in awe of Holiness that I am yet to walk in. I am amazed by a love that as far as the east is from the west, He has removed my transgressions from me. I am taken aback that His mercy will never run out on me.

 

“You delight in showing mercy, and mercy triumphs over judgement,

oh Love, Great Love, fear cannot be found in You..

and there will never be a day, where You’re uncertain of the ones You choose.” 

 

“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:12-13

Mercy

Psalm 34:18

Christmas time is the time of year where everyone goes about, so busy with their shopping and their things and their events. So busy with being busy. Everyone has a dab of happiness that has motivated that ‘pep in their step’. Everyone is looking forward to spending time with their families and then ringing in the new year. But really, not everyone feels that way. And everyone would include me.

This year has been the most challenging for me. Moving out, switching jobs often, trying to find some consistency. I’ve been sick since September, loosing my voice twice and fracturing my foot. This has been the hardest year since I got out of the hospital. Thoughts that I haven’t had in such a long time coming back to me for years. There’s such a brokenness and depravity that I have felt. A hopelessness that I am unable to put words to. Running to and fro looking for ways to sate my hungry, broken heart. The pull of the need of people around me. Lack in finances in every way possible. Disappointment.

I have hated this year with every fiber of my being. So when the time of ‘merry and bright’ comes around I honestly feel dark and gloomy. Because it’s been a dark and gloomy year. I don’t know how to let people in on my darkness. I don’t know how to ask for help, let alone receive it. I know it sounds like I’m complaining but it’s been a year of silence, of pain unspoken. Asking the Lord for a reprieve because I am physically incapable of moving forward, of setting any dreams or goals. The future is hazy and blurry and I cannot see. I’m more aware of my mistakes and my flaws and my shortcoming than anything else. Maybe I’ve taken on more than I can realistically handle. Maybe I’ve bitten off more than I can chew or maybe I just went the wrong way. As a result i timidly await the Lords punishment for all of my mistakes and all of my flaws, even though I know that’s not His heart but that’s my experience.

This is the time of year where people just want to be held. Where they want to be affirmed and loved. They want to be around people who love them and encourage and appreciate them. As I sit in an empty, I attempt to call my spirit a little bit higher, out of the slimy dark pit I’ve been in, out of the places of brokenness and bareness that I have been living in. Not because it’s Christmas, but because I’m desperate to breathe again, to see and sing again. To smell the air, and allow the breeze to kiss my skin. Because 2016 has been so long and so relentless that I don’t think I can go any lower.

Psalm 34:18  ADONAI is near those with broken hearts; he saves those whose spirit is crushed.

 

Psalm 34:18

The Wherewithal

I don’t have the wherewithal to stop doing the very thing that is PROMISING to kill me. I am dying in the middle of a battlefield because instead of accepting victory I keep running behind enemy lines. I keep getting stabbed. I am dying. And I don’t know where to go from here. The very thing I hate it consuming me because I don’t hate it enough to run for the hills.

Jesus help me run for the hills. Or just run to you.

 

The Wherewithal

Breathe Out..

I am exhausted right now. Debating between sleeping and just going the rest of the day on 3 hours of sleep. But my mind is so anxious with all the things left said. No, not unsaid, said. It’s weird when you open up and let people into the hidden places of your heart, the secrets that you don’t talk about for fear of being misunderstood. I’ve had so many conversations with people who overthought what I was trying to say that by the end of it I found myself more confused then when I began and they still have no clue what I was trying to say. But today that didn’t happen.

Today I spoke up, minced no words. I spoke my heart and was honest and unafraid. And it was so enriching. And no one tried to clarify what I was saying. It was just understood. And honestly it was a relief. And I felt like for the first time in a long time, I could breathe.

 

Breathe Out..

The Strength of the Struggle

“though the night is dark,
there is a coming Dawn,
the night is breaking..” -Steffany Frizell

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16

 

The Strength of the Struggle