Friday, March 18, 2011

One season ending, a New One starting

So last week was a faith-step for me, when I told Tricia that was my last appointment with her.

Tuesday, was another one for me.

I was able to tell my psychiatrist that I was done counseling, and that I had been skipping meds, but now was stable on them again.  I also told him that I really was doing better.   And I was telling the truth!  After some discussion, we were able to definitely agree that we aren’t going to change any medications right now, and not rock the boat and see how things go.

I told him one of the things I was looking forward to was a summer with my family.

The last few summers have been shadowed by other things.  Pain and heartache, and difficult things that took my mind and focus off my family.

I will still be balancing work and family this summer.  I will still be dealing with “things,” because we always have “things” and stuff that we have to deal with from time to time.

But I want a really great summer with my kids, where we can have fun and play and spontaneously run to visit grandparents, or friends, or go to a beach – in another state if we want.  Just get away as much as we can and have fun.

God has stuff in store for me.  I don’t know what it is, but I know it is good.  He has a new country for me, my promised land.  All I have to do is finish crossing the Jordan River and get my feet on the shore.  He will always be with me and walk with me.  I just need to follow Him.

I have such a sense of a season ending.  A new one is starting.  I haven’t felt something like this before.  Not like this, with such hope involved in it. 

When I look back at the posts here on this blog, and see all the ways that God has helped me, been with me and saved me, over and over…. I have realized something.

Beth Moore was talking about standing stones in the “Believing God” bible study.  How God told the Israelites to take 12 stones from the middle of the Jordan River and stand them up.  Then their children would ask, “What do these stones mean?”  Then they could tell of how faithful God was in saving them out of Egypt.  He parted the Red Sea, and stayed with them through the desert.  He gave them the commandments to live by, the laws and rules that would set them apart.  He gave them food and water, just enough, just when they needed it.  Their clothes and shoes never wore out.  And after 40 years of wandering, He brought them back to the Jordan River, across on dry ground into their promised land.

This blog is full of standing stones.

I can see where He has taken me out of the slavery of my “Egypt” and walked me through a parted Red Sea.  But I had to wander for “forty years” in the “desert” of depression, painful memories, and a darkness of my thoughts that terrified me.

Yet God never let me completely wear out.  He never let me down.  He always provided what I needed, exactly when I needed it.  He proved Himself over and over. 

He has taught me how to live, given me boundaries that fall in pleasant places.  I have learned from Jesus what it is to rely on Him and His Father, my Father.  He has set me apart to serve Him, to stand out from the culture, not by what I say, or even do, but by how I live.  How I live, really live, alive and full of joy is what sets me apart, and draws others to me, to Him.

After all my wandering He has brought me to the Jordan River and asked me again if I am ready to cross it.  I think I have been here before, at least seen it in passing, but now I am ready to cross.  It took a while for me to be ready, and even now I am not ready.  But I have surrendered everything to Him.

What else can I do but follow.  For I know that is the best.

So, now I have crossed my Jordan River, and I have set my feet for the first time in my Promised Land.  I don’t know all the length and breadth of it.  I don’t know everything it contains.  I don’t know what my “Jericho” will be, or what God will have me do, while He knocks those walls down.  

But I have faith in my God.  I know that He will do it. 

I believe Him.  Because I know Him. Because He has made Himself known to me.

He has shown me Himself, His glory, and called me His own.  I am His treasured possession, His beloved daughter.  A princess of the King of Glory.  I get to call Him my Daddy.

I am loved by Him.

And OH!  How I love Him.

“LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;
   you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
   surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
   even at night my heart instructs me.”

Psalm 16:5-7

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Another faith-step...

Yesterday I walked into Tricia’s office.

She asked how things were for me, and realized we hadn’t seen each other for a month, so she wanted to catch up and see how I was doing.

I explained that the first reason I had canceled my appointment two weeks prior was that I found my schedule out of control and I just couldn’t figure out how to manage things that day, so counseling had to go.  She more than understood and applauded my choice of letting go of the things I had to in order to keep things manageable.

Then I shared with her what I had bubbling inside me all day.

I said that this was going to be my last appointment with her.

She started to smile and asked me why, and so I shared some of the things that have been going on in the past few weeks.  The amazing changes God has been making in my life and my heart.

We took all of my scheduled appointment to talk about what had been going on.  We also talked a lot about some other things, some other loose ends that needed to be tied up.

As our time drew to a close, Tricia prayed for me, and then on her own time, shared some ministry opportunities that God has given her a passion for.  She also shared how hard it had been for her to concentrate during our session and how weighted down she had felt, still felt.  I told her that I would be praying for her, and she thanked me.  She said that she wasn’t “begging” for prayers, but anytime I thought of her, to pray for her, and for the “things that take place here,” indicating the office --- the whole of Charis Counseling.

It was a wonderful time of fellowship.  It was also very good because she was able to give me some advice in a few areas that I needed it still. 

I know now it is going to be hard not to see her anymore, yet at the same time, I am ok with that.  Yes, I am going to miss her.  She has been such a blessing to me.  The law required that there be 2 years between our last counseling session and when we can have contact again, outside a counselor/client type of relationship.  She told me to call her in two years.  So, I look forward to that day.  But I am also trying to be realistic in realizing that I may very well have to go back and see her again as her client.

I am hoping, with the many issues and roadblocks I have worked through with her, and with all the things that God has done, I won’t need to though.

I know I am going to have to live with depression for now.  That isn’t something that I have felt like God said He’d take away.  But, controlling it with medication, and taking care of myself makes a big difference in how it affects me.

And, I am ok with that.

Yeah, it’s not always a fun prospect to look forward to, but I know that medication helps, and for now, I am ok with the fact that I will need to stay on it for a while.  For sure, I know that the anti-depressant helps clear my head and make it easier for me to process things and deal with just even the daily stresses.  When I haven’t taken it, or not taken it regularly, it has been very hard to concentrate and focus on what I need to.

I am happy right now, and fully aware that God brought me to this place, to this decision, and He has got me.  I also know that at some point, I will need to grieve not seeing Tricia anymore.  It will eventually sink in, but that’s ok too.  It’s a loss of a friendship for a time, really.  But there is an end goal in sight. 

Between now and then, God has got a lot for me to do.
He has a lot to teach me.
He has a lot for me to learn and then teach to others.

As a short aside, last night was one of those nights where He used something I had learned but He had revisited with me.

Marina has been sick for nearly the past month.  She has been coming out of her room 2 or more times a night claiming to be having bad dreams and being scared in her room.  Saturday night though pushed me over the edge.  She was up 5 times coming into our room.  As I am closest to the door, she kept coming to me.

I first fell asleep at midnight.

Marina came in at:


To say the least, the last time she came in, I was less than thrilled.  Dave mumbled in his sleep not to be too harsh with her and then started snoring again (we laugh about it now, but I could have killed him then!!!!)

Sunday night, she stayed at the farm so I could sleep.

Last night, God reminded me that sometimes reading the Bible before bed was the best thing I could do for myself.  So, though it got the kids to bed a bit later, I spent some time reading to her and Peter.  First the book of John, then Joshua (where God tells him not to be afraid, that He would be with him wherever he went), and finally I ended back up in the Psalms.  Psalm 139.  I read it out of the New International Readers Version, because it helped explain it to her a little better. 

The more I read, the more she settled down.  When I reminded her that she had asked Jesus into her heart, she cried, “Yes I did, but He didn’t stay there!”  Well, I can relate to that feeling.  Can’t you?

Eventually she laid out on the bed, her chin in her hands, soaking up what I was reading.  Before, she had been clinging to me, shaking at the idea of going to bed.

When I eventually prayed with the kids, I prayed through the very scriptures that I had read to them.  Then I gave Marina a warning.  I told her that if she came out in the night, she had one time for me to tuck her back in.  Otherwise she was going to have to tuck herself back in.

Two minutes after leaving the room, she was back outside saying she was scared.  I told her that it would be easier to tuck herself back in then when it was still light in the living room, but she wanted me to tuck her back in.  So I did, and reminded her that was it.

This morning, I woke up and realized that she hadn’t gotten me up once in the night.

I think it was a combination of me coming down a bit harder and letting her know she wasn’t getting away with coming out of her room all the time anymore, and very intentionally reading the Bible with her before bed.

There is power in the spoken Word.  That is what God has been teaching me.  There is power there that many times we don’t tap into.

Last night, God gave me the opportunity to tap into it, and to also teach it by example to my kids.

Another step in the right direction.
Another learning experience.

I am crossing the Jordan River into my promised land.  I don’t know what to expect.  I don’t know what giants I will have to face, but I know it is a better land than the one I have come out of.  I don’t want to return there, to my Egypt. 

Praise God for another faith-step, following after Him!
On the road… walking with Jesus… 
...that takes one faith-step after another.