Tears or When Will I Be Loved

tears10Last night I cried myself to sleep. I have been going to a counselor for over a year and I started attending a food-group (for people with food issues) a couple of weeks ago. And I have been on the verge of tears for the last two weeks (can you see the correlation between the food group and the tears? Hmm.

So, yesterday I had both. Food group and counselor. Yep. That’s called a double-whammy. One of the things the food group is working on is mindful eating. Mindful eating is actually savoring and enjoying your food. That is so-o-o hard. At least for me. I usually only taste the first couple of bites of a meal – if I taste them at all. I am usually too busy working or talking or watching TV or anything as long as I’m not FEELING.

I use food and/or retail therapy to suppress my feelings. There, I go admitting it. So, what feelings am I suppressing. Hmm. I was wondering about this. I kept hearing my Mom’s voice “Michelle, you’d be so pretty, if only you’d lose weight.” “Michelle, you’d be so smart if only you’d get your degree.” Well, darn it, am I pretty or not? Am I smart or not? But somehow, I was missing something. Then I realized the problem. I wasn’t hearing pretty or smart, I was hearing LOVED.

“Michelle, I would love you, if only you would lose weight.” “Michelle, I would love you, if only you’d get a degree.” I never felt loved. I never felt as if I were enough. I still don’t feel as if I’m enough. I mean, I’m still overweight. I may have a degree (or a few, but who’s counting) but it’s still not enough. I feel like a hamster on a wheel, running around and around, trying to win a race that can never be won. There’s no end. I keep trying and failing, because I don’t see myself as lovable. Darn it. I was adopted, so I was rejected by my birth mother. Then, I felt rejected by my adoptive parents. So if two sets of parents rejected me, I must not be lovable, right?

I know logically that that is wrong. I know that my birth mother was 16 in 1959 and she felt like she had no choice. I know my adoptive parents felt that they loved me – but they had their own demons from their own messed-up childhoods. So it wasn’t me. Or was it? That’s the problem with raising children. We all try to do better and we all mess up. I know I did. I know my children do, I know my friends do. I know most of my friends still carry the battle-scars of their childhoods.

Even as a child, I felt the lack of love. I remember crying and saying that my parents only adopted me to make me do chores or to spank or to ruin my life (I was a mini-drama queen, as most children are). But I felt the lack of love. But still, today, I know they did the best they could.

So last night, this all came crashing down. I began crying. “Why doesn’t anyone love me?” (there is still a little melodrama going on here, right?) The dogs were looking at me like what’s wrong. I, being in my pity-pot thought “the dogs only love me because I feed them.” Then I thought “My kids only love me because I . . . ” And so on. I called my kids for reassurance. Whoops. No one answered. So, being a 21st Century woman, I posted that I was struggling and needed prayers on Facebook. Well, two of my children called me last night (actually waking me up) to check on me. Another one called me first thing this morning. They even told me they loved me. It doesn’t sound too unloved does it? I had people saying they were praying, received a text and a private message, so apparently, people do care, right?

But I still don’t FEEL loved. And I am lonely. Which is my fault. I keep to myself. I don’t give very many people the opportunity to know or love me. I use food and/retail therapy to love myself.  I teasingly say I have no life, but if I only work and go home, how am I supposed to get a life? It’s time for me to stop this. I have to learn to love myself. I think that’s the crux of all of this. No one can love me the way I need to be loved until I learn to love myself. No one can fill this empty void that needs to be filled by self-love. Yes, I know God loves me, but I need to love me. And I need love with skin on it.

So it’s time. I am going to work on loving me. I am going to find ways to love me. I’m not sure exactly how yet, but you know me, I am goal-oriented. So, I am going to be loved.

Selah. Namaste.

Posted in Love, Spiritual | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Locusts

My New Nicklace

My New Nicklace

God has promised to give us back the years the locusts have eaten. (Joel 2:25). Sometimes He does so in such wonderful and surprising ways that I stand in awe at HIS memory of things. My mom use to jokingly say that I had the memory of an elephant (allegedly an elephant never forgets). For the most part she was right, I have an extremely long memory, but God’s is way longer.

I use to have a large jewelry collection. I do enjoy jewelry. When my house burnt down in 1996. I received a call at work that my house was on fire. I left in hysterics. My first thoughts were of my children, then my pets, and then my jewelry.

Then when I became a drug addict I lost it all. Sometimes I will think of an individual piece of jewelry and be sad. But for the most part, I have accepted my loss with equanimity. I want to digress a moment and make a comment about addictions. The thing about any addiction, but especially meth, is that the drug will tell you everything is going to be okay when it’s not. That’s how people lose their family or their belongings. They honestly don’t know it’s going to happen until it’s too late. They don’t know they run the risk of going to jail. They just want to feed their addiction. And the addiction keeps whispering in their ear, giving them false promises. So, if you have an addict in your life, don’t be angry, feel sorry for them. That doesn’t mean to allow them to ruin your life, or to be co-dependent, it just changes the emotion involved.

So Sunday, on Mother’s Day, I was walking by Gordon’s Jewelry in Penn Square Mall and just dropped in. There was this necklace. I use to have a piece of costume jewelry that was very similar. It’s one of those pieces I regret losing. But God gave it back. It is now mine. Yes, I still had to pay for it, but the fact is that God had me in a financial position to buy the necklace when I once again saw it. God does restore the years. Sometimes in big ways (like our relationships), sometimes in small (like my necklace), but He does. And He remembers me (and you). He calls us by our names. We are His. (Isaiah 43:1b).

Selah.

 

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I Wish You Enough

I DID NOT WRITE THIS! IT IS COMPLETELY KIDNAPPED FROM FB BUT IT HAS EFFECTED ME A LOT SO IT’S TIME TO SHARE.

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I WISH YOU ENOUGH

Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter’s departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said:”I love you and I wish you enough.”The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.” They kissed and the daughter left.The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?” “Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?””I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?” She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more. “When we said ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”. Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory,”I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.”She then began to cry and walked away.They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them.

Posted in Faith, Friend, Grateful, Hope, Inspirational Stories, Overcome, Perspective, Thankfulness | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Trusting God

money_tree

Today is November 17th, 2013. So far, God has been very faithful and has provided me all the money I need. Even some I want. But this week, I’m at the wire.

Let me tell you – I am nervous. I have money coming in the end of this week, money that is in the mail, etc. But I have bills due on Tuesday and Wednesday that I don’t have the money for. YIKES!

I also have to admit I’m not perfect at money. I ate out Friday. I went to the Oklahoma Bar Associations Annual Meeting and learned a lot, but I could have skipped it. I got my Oklahoma Supreme Court Certificate framed. I am not crazy with money, but I do fall short at times. Honestly, if I had not done all of these things, I probably would have my bill money. Or would I? Who knows. Playing the “what-if” game is like trying to catch the wind. It just doesn’t work.

Okay, I know what the Bible says. Philippians 4:19 says “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Okay I have need. Yes, my kitchen has food. I have utilities. But my car payment and credit card payment don’t take food in exchange. (Just curious, does anyone else worry like I do?) Oh, and my car does not run on squash either.

And then of course there is Matthew 25-26. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Okay, I have clothes, I’ve already explained I have food, but . . . geez, this not worrying is tough. This is the hardest thing I do.

This is where my faith bogs down. I am a worrier about bills. It goes back to being homeless on more than one occasion. Yes, granted I was a drug addict, but still – my car is too small to sleep in with three dogs. I also had a Mother who was a worrier. We called her a worrywart. I know God could send a new client tomorrow and solve the problem. Actually, I am suppose to be seeing a new client but after talking to him, I doubt that the client has the money TOMORROW OR TUESDAY. So that means God has to do this Himself. Without my help. GRR!!

I can however read further in Matthew. Matthew 6:30 says “And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” What – do I have little faith? No, I fairly decent faith on most. I do really well at trusting Him to solve my problems – an example of this was always knowing I would pass the bar or pass law school. But this money thing. That’s a toughie for me.  So let’s read even further (verses 31-32) “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” I am acting like an unbeliever when I worry? What!?

Okay the problem is I know this in my head, but that is not reassuring me or the panicked feeling in my stomach. 1  Peter 5:7  says “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” I know He cares about me. I know He can do all things. So why am I doubting. So friends, I’m struggling with this. I am going to give it to Him. I will probably take it back from Him a thousand times, but I am going to keep giving it to me. I am also going to pray hard. And please, join me in praying. I mean, He’s only got 2 days.

Posted in Fear, Trust, Worry | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Shh! It’s A Secret!

Sept_ 2013 Swearing In 102I have been quiet for the last few months. Which is not like me at all. But I’ve been mulling some things over in my mind. I just wasn’t sure how to proceed. In fact, I’d say right now I am just going to muddle through. So this blog is a muddle.

Let’s start with telling you about my summer. I spent it in bar study. I studied numerous subjects in preparation for an extremely hard test. Except apparently I studied enough, or right or something because it didn’t seem all that hard. And I passed. The first time I took it.

I had a hard time studying as much as I should have. We all say that though. But I really did. I had so much going on in my mind besides for bar study.

First, I was worried that I wouldn’t pass. I think everyone worries that they won’t pass. Even some of my besties, who did way better in law school than me, were worried. But after the bar, after it didn’t seem all that hard, I still worried.

Second, I worried that I would pass. Because then I’d have to leave the cocoon of academia and go to work. I’d be responsible for people’s lives and cases and families, and that is a big responsibility. What if I couldn’t make enough money? What if I opened a law office and the clients didn’t come? Scary!

Third, what if I passed the bar and the State Bar Association said no. See, I wasn’t the shoo-in like everyone else. I have a past. Yeppers, in case you haven’t figured it out by reading my blog, I do have a past. I am a felon. (Saying that in public is scary – what if YOU judge me). I was a drug addict. I did things that were wrong. I went to prison and did my time. I got out, eventually got clean and went to college. College was the first thing I was ever good at. So I stayed for seven years. Four years of undergraduate studies and three years of law school. I almost wish I could stay in school forever.

Back in 2009, when I decided to go to law school, I knew becoming a lawyer would be a tough row to hoe. Maybe I didn’t know how tough, but I knew it would be hard. I remembered watching movies of former felons becoming lawyers so I knew it was possible. In 2010, I even called a few bar associations to find out if it was possible. It was, maybe not easy but it was possible. I always knew I could do it academically. I never really worried about flunking, because I firmly believe, even to this day, that if you are living the life that God has called you to live that He will honor your efforts if they are YOUR best efforts.

But when I was studying for the bar I didn’t know if I’d be approved. I had one hearing in March, 2013, before the Oklahoma Board of Bar Examiners, and they had said “we want to know more. Come back later.” So while I was studying for the bar, there was the underlying realization that I could have been doing all this work, all this bar studying for naught. I didn’t even know when I’d have the hearing. That was scary.

But I trusted God. I trusted that if I passed the bar, they’d say yes. Well, for the most part. I had my moments of doubts. I kept plugging away. I also reminded myself that there were a lot of other states. But it did make bar study more difficult. I could have just been throwing away my time. But then I remembered that God is a good God, and that I didn’t believe that He had brought me this far to let me fall that hard. He’s not mean like that. So I kept studying. Just in case you missed what I said, God is not mean!

Then after the bar a lot of little things happened. I was able to transfer my home phone (with a local phone number) to my phone account. I believe clients want to call you on a local phone number. Up until the last few months AT&T (my cell phone carrier) would only allow five phone numbers on an account. But they changed it – just in time for me!

Then I found a Groupon for Vista Print. That’s a sign right? Why would I need business cards if I wasn’t going to be an attorney? The building where I have an office had an opening occur just before the bar results and they hadn’t had an opening in over a year. Then, I found out my hearing was going to be held the day the bar results came out. So then I felt sure it would be alright. So sure that I told a few people that I was sure. Publicly, I still said “if I pass the bar,” but mostly I felt as if God was saying it would be alright.

So the day came. Results and hearing. I passed and they said yes. I cried. A little bit. And texted everyone. But then Satan stepped in. He tried so hard to plant more seeds of doubt in my head. On one hand, I believed everything was going to be alright.  I ordered those business cars, set up a web site, etc. But I still felt like the rug could be pulled out from under me. I was afraid the bar would declare this was all a colossal mistake and change their mind.

Then the day came. I was sworn in. It was real. I opened my law office and so far, I have seven clients. On one hand, I’m afraid that people won’t come if I tell my story. On the other hand, how can I not tell my story? God did this. God cleaned me up and gave me a dream. God let me believe that He could carry me this far. So, if I keep my mouth shut, I am denying all His work in me. Cause this is not me. This is His work.

I must admit I did cooperate. I will give myself props for that because I did let Him work. This past week I was in Court and I was asked if I was an attorney. And then someone told me that I had the attorney look. Me. I looked like an attorney. Because of His work in me. So I guess I’m coming out. Here, on this blog. Much like a person who is gay tells their family, or an alcoholic says in AA. I’m acknowledging His work in me. And today, I can acknowledge, that I think His work has been good.

Selah.

Posted in God's Will, Healing, Inspirational Stories, Overcome, Thankfulness, Trust | 1 Comment

Graduation Day

Graduation PartyWow! How time flies. And how creative God is. He is the first who thought outside the box. At least in my life.

In less than 10 years (8 1/2  to be precise) God has taken me from being homeless and living in my van to graduating law school. Periodically people tell me how much I’ve changed and I shrug it off. I see the change, but God made it effortless on my part, that it just is. Matthew 11:30 (NIV) says “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” And truly is has been. AT LEAST the last few years.

The first weren’t as easy. I was like a horse fighting against the bridle. I tossed my head pridefully, stamped my foot, and wouldn’t cooperate. I kept running to the wrong side of the pasture. But then I became a puppy instead of a horse. I wanted to PLEASE my master. Because that’s a true love relationship. I learned to love and be loved.

I honestly think the hardest part for me has been learning to accept love. I still have my struggles with that. I started out feeling pretty unlovable. God was the first who had ever unconditionally loved me. Even when I was unlovable. Eph 2:4-5 says “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Wow. His grace, not mine.

That’s what always amazes me. He loved me like a parent to a child. When I had my children, I loved them immediately. They came to love me. But  children don’t love when they’re first born. The parent loves first. 1 John 3:1 (a) “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” He is my parent. He is your parent. Let that sink in. Not the parent that called me lazy or fat or predicted that I would be a colossal failure. Not like my earthly parents.

This is a parent who said in Jer 29:11-14 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 1You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Before I knew God I was an exile. I was exiled from God. Our purpose here on earth is to come to know Him and love Him. And I was adrift. I had never know true love. My earthly mother had never given me a true compliment in her life. “Michelle you would be so pretty IF ONLY you would lose weight.”” Michelle you would be so smart IF ONLY you would finish college.” I have heard her voice echoing for my entire life. Darn it. I am pretty. I am smart. You don’t graduate from law school being dumb. But I sit here, crying as I write, her words echoing in my mind. Why, oh why, didn’t she just love me enough to appreciate what  I was?

I tried so hard to be good. And it was never enough. So finally I rebelled. But that just left me even more broken. Finally, I went to the cross and grabbed onto it for dear life. I have this mental image of me laying at the foot of the cross with my arms wrapped around it. That’s what made the difference in my life. The Cross.

Whenever people me question me about my faith and really want to know I explain that prior to becoming a Christian I use to think Christianity was the best PR campaign of all time. One of the things that led up to my becoming a Christian was Peter. By the way, NEVER denigrate Peter in front of me. I love Peter. Peter was a fisherman. Have you ever met a fisherman? Well, what about a construction worker? You know, they’re coarse, tell dirty jokes, cuss, etc. That’s Peter. Jesus saw beyond his loud bluster and saw into Peter’s heart. But it gets better.

The night before the crucifixion Jesus was arrested. Judas an apostle betrayed Jesus. Then there were 11. Nine apostles ran away. Then there were 2. Peter and John. John was a cousin to Jesus and a cousin to the high priest, so he could follow along closely. Peter hung back BUT HE FOLLOWED. Yes, he denied Christ. But he didn’t run like 9 other apostles. He had enough courage to follow, it just faltered. Rather like many of use humans. Probably a lot like me. The last two months I have thought of quitting school, of running, of going back to hiding. But I didn’t. I’ve had a lot of tears. But I had two months. Peter had the night. And we all know that the night makes things worse. I don’t know why, but my biggest fears become even bigger at night. And so they did for Peter.

But ultimately, like Peter, I stuck it through. Peter apologized to Jesus when Peter saw a risen Christ. Peter, the man who denied Christ three times, the blustery fisherman, uneducated, course, crude, fisherman, on Pentecost gave a speech that caused thousands to accept Christ. What had happened during that time? PETER SAW A RISEN CHRIST! 
risen christ photo: CHRIST IS RISEN CHRISTISRISEN.jpg

Did you know that Peter was crucified upside down, because he felt that he didn’t deserve to die as Jesus died? This is from the man that was too afraid to acknowledge Christ. What changed Peter? He saw a risen Christ. The other apostles. All of them but John died horrendous deaths, martyrs for the cross. These are men that RAN before. They too were changed by the resurrection.

And finally, I was changed by the resurrection. And Peter. Peter convinced me. Peter keeps me convinced. That blustery fisherman reminds me that Jesus is risen.

So today, when I receive my diploma, there are many invisible people with me. First, there are Jesus and Peter. Then my children. And then all of the people that believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I may be walking across the stage alone, but there are many that I am carrying with me in my heart. And by the way, hang onto the cross today.

Selah.

P.S. After I wrote and published this, I began to cry. My daughters are coming to be with me, but I wish Joe and my Mom could be here. Then I realized that’s the chain of life. I believe that they are watching me today and proud.

 

Posted in Inspirational Stories, Love, Overcome, Praise, Self-Esteem, Spiritual, Thankfulness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday to Me!

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Me about 2 weeks ago

Yes today is my birthday. I am 54-years-young. For the most part I am happy with my life. That wasn’t always so. And of course, as with anyone who was abused and had chronic low self-esteem, well, I still have residuals.

For example, last night I was taking off my eye make-up and I realized I was beautiful. Probably for the first time was it finally internalized. It was one of those ah-ha moments. And I had several really dear friends call me and wish me an early Happy Birthday. I’ve even received one birthday present. But oh no, is Satan going to let me revel in my glory? Not a chance.

Last night as I was laying in bed Satan whispered in my ear what a colossal mess I am. How I haven’t done anything with my life and how I was alone. Now before you get up in arms and start telling me different, it was enough to make me cry for a moment and then realize it was garbage. I have done a lot. Maybe not as much as some but more than others. But it’s not even a race. That’s the sad part.

And I may not be in a relationship but I am far from alone. I have many dear friends. I have a great family. No, maybe I will never be in a relationship (I am seriously lousy at them) but really, I have a lot.

So this morning I decided to take inventory of my life. What have I done. I am not going to sit here and brag and tell you all, but let’s just say, I’m okay. Can I do better? Oh yes, I can do better.

  • What is the biggest regret of this year? That I don’t always have dog food in my car to give to the homeless with dogs.
  • What is my biggest accomplishment this year? Finishing law school [almost].
  • What is my biggest accomplishment of my life? Having four awesome children. 
  • What is my biggest professional goal for this year? Taking the bar and passing.
  • What is my biggest personal goal for this year? Losing 70 lbs.
  • What is my biggest mini-goal? To take a vacation with my daughter Sarah.
  • What is my biggest regret of my life? Believing the garbage that I was told about myself, that I was worthless and wouldn’t amount to anything.

So this year, to have it all, I must pass the bar, lose weight, take a vacation, and carry dog food in my car. Not bad goals for my 54th year.

Posted in Grateful, Self-Esteem, Thankfulness | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Otherness

jesus-ever-intercedingRecently I discovered myself “othering.” Not the normal othering (that of making people feel less than), but the othering of those suffering from some horrid life event. A woman I know had a son take an overdoes of pills. I found myself explaining (to myself) why my kids had it so together and why this could never happen to me. I saw it in law school too. Those of us who didn’t flunk out explained why we were different. Those of us who stayed and didn’t quit explained our decisions differently. Even my escaping drug addiction is explained because I was different.

I had read of this phenomenon before. People pull away when someone is diagnosed with cancer or has a catastrophe. Maybe not at first, but they do. Oh no, so-and-so was raped because she didn’t lock her door when she came home. I would never leave my door unlocked. Oh no, so-and-so was involved in an auto accident because she took her eyes off the road. Thank God I don’t text and drive or ______ and drive. And then we hide our heads in the sand, and we distance ourselves from the victim, to give ourselves a sense of false security. 1 Timothy 2:1 says we are to pray for one another “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.” We are to intercede for one another and not hide from one another.

And then again, maybe I’m not so different. Maybe God just has a different path for me. Acts 10:33 says “Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.” Yes, God is not favoring me because I lock my door or keep my eyes on the road. God, as our creator, knows what we need. God knows our individual needs to make us over into his image. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4).

God knows what I need to become a mature Christian. He knows the trials and tribulations I can endure. I have withstood rape as an adult, being abused as a child, drug addiction, etc. Another woman I know has endured brain cancer. My friend is right now sitting in a hospital room praying for her son. Others I know have seemingly had an easier path, but they didn’t need the hard paths I did. But what we all need, today, right now, is the ability to quit othering and start empathizing. We need to be there for one another. Ephesians 6:18 says “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

Matthew 25:34-46 says “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?   When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,  I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Obviously, othering is a sin. So today, stop it (I’m saying this to myself also. Be a Matthew 25 woman or man. Pray, empathize, but quit othering and find someone to love. Be a sheep not a goat.

Selah.

 

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Hope Deferred

on-Eagles-wings“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, 
    but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

Uh-oh. That must mean that I’m having one of those days. Yep. I am. Last week I started worrying about what I would do if I couldn’t get a bar loan. A bar loan is a loan that law students take out to pay for a bar course and to support themselves while studying for the bar. Bar study takes 40-50 hours a week for five weeks and then 50-60 hours a week for four weeks. So, it’s a full-time job. The courses themselves are also expensive – $2000 to $5000 or so (depending upon the course and the state). So, for many people a bar loan is necessary. At least for me. I have bills and I don’t have anyone to support me.

So, I applied yesterday. Yeppers, I got turned down. Unless I could find a cosigner. That is probably not going to happen. So, I guess I won’t take the bar this summer. I’ll get a job and I’ll save and I’ll take the bar in February. So my hope is deferred. Not forever, just for a long minute of time.

I think I knew it would happen this way too. Since this semester started I’ve been mildly depressed. Last week it really hit me that this could happen. I’ve been trying to prepay all my bills, but I just can’t seem to get enough ahead to make the difference. So this week, I decided to take the bull by the horns and just face my demons (or the loan officers). But at least now I can grieve the loss of this dream for the moment and start making a new one. I am a survivor.  I survived abusive parents. I survived being kidnapped and raped. I survived drug addiction. I survived . . . So I’m sure I can survive a 7 month postponement of taking that bar. Geez. What’s a few months. 

When this first happened I cried. A decent amount. Not the biggest cry I’ve ever had, but a good one. Several times. Then I sucked it up and started considering all my options. Well, I can get a job in law and save money. I can get more legal experience this way. I will have a leg up on 2L’s looking for a job and I will not be competing with tons of 3L’s. I will be in a category all my own.  Bar study is a bit shorter if a person takes the February Bar. So I began to see the silver lining.

But then, a friend said she’d sign. And she still might, but that day didn’t work for her. So who knows if she will or not. I didn’t cry that time though – I can see that it’ll be good either way. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). See, I truly believe this. I believe God loves me and wants the best for me. Sometimes He says no, sometimes he says yes, and sometimes he says wait. This is a wait.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11). So He wants to give me a future. He’s just telling me to hope a little longer. I could try and force it now, but when you force things, you’re not in His will, but in your own. In fact, there is a verse just for this “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.

Selah.

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Run Free Lincoln

IMG_2231This is an extremely short and personal blog as I am on a study abroad with an ipad and not a computer, so I am just sharing from the heart.
On Friday, October 5th, 2012, the dogs got out. Callie, being Callie, stayed behind. The rest went running. Lincoln didn’t make it back, he had a fatal date with a car.
Lincoln was broken like most of us. We all have our issues. Lincoln, all six pounds of him, liked to bite. He liked to jump in the air and bite people on the butt. If the person was tall he got their thighs.
I didn’t know when I adopted him that he was a biter. I didn’t know that he would die never completely gotten healed. I worked with him on this issue and we had some success, but not completely. Rather like humans.
I use to be quite OCD. It got better after I realized the cause. I was sexually abused and spent most of my life feeling dirty. So the germs represented me because I could never get clean. You can’t clean your mind or your heart or spirit. Only God can do that. I saw myself getting better little-by-little. I have always been a person God heals by increments, and not one He poofs on. I use to ask Him why He didn’t poof on me and He let me see, that for me, being poofeed on would not build the relationship I needed with Him. Having never had a loving earthly father, never having had a safe father, I needed to build a relationship with Him and poofing would not have allowed for that.
Recently I was in court and needed more hands so I stuck a paper clip in my mouth. That would never have happened before – it just shows how far I’ve come.
That’s like it was with Lincoln. No major poofs but baby-steps. Darn it, I miss that dog and wish I could have helped him heal more. I know he died secure and happy, I just wish I could have given him more. RUN FREE LINCOLN, I’LL SEE YOU AT THE BRIDGE.
Selah.
Namaste.

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