October’s 1st Blog/winner post…

Cutting Off Old Ties

After losing her, the one  I was to live up to and mimic as a young lady, my senses dulled. Events that occurred after that one incident opened a door that consumed every new circumstance, making them just another episode or event,  at the same time shedding a light on many pass circumstances as well.  Losing people after I lost her was just another thing not to deal with. So when it came time to intentionally break ties, the barriers that held the remaining bits of my sanity and self-preservation together kicked in.

There’s something to be said about the difference between saying, “goodbye”, to a loved one that has left this earth and saying, “farewell”, to someone who would continue breathing the air we all share.

Someone dear to me had been “detained” when my life turned into an unforeseen chaos. Upon release, I had already flown the coop so to speak. Another “I have to” return trip to Massachusetts was the perfect opportunity to cut the final ties I had to the place that carried so much pain and anguish. The weather was also perfect for that occasion. Cold.

A familiar hug brought on concerned questions.  Questions I no longer cared to answer. Nor did I care for the physical embrace. Not that I wasn’t happy for the release, but nothing in those times mattered enough to make me glad. He was a reminder. A reminder of who I was at that time, friends I had, pretend friends I had, work, family, my life and what had occurred. It was overwhelming and I wanted to rip the band-aid off and be done, something I was getting good at. Making him okay with the outcome of our relationship and encouraging him not to blame himself for not being there for me was relentlessly agonizing. What could he have done anyway?

It wasn’t clear to me then how one by one people were being removed out of my life one way or another. And as much as it pained, after the fact, I can honestly look back and thank God for allowing it, especially those I wouldn’t have the desire to be rid of at the time.

The pain of losing someone that you could easily live without is like removing Elmer’s glue from the palm of your hands as a child playing with glue. As much as the substance molds itself to your likeness and you become entangled with it, removing it brings on no pain. In fact, it’s quite fun. Having to remove someone who holds true meaning to you, however, is excruciating. That is the hair wax removal of life.

I hope nothing but good things for those removed from my life. I know now their presence would have altered my destiny in a way not meant for me. Cutting off old ties isn’t always an easy thing.  It is certainly necessary, however, even if at the time you are blind and deaf to the fact that not all good people are good for you and the plans He has for you.

 

Birthday resolution

I decided to make a birthday resolution because well, why wait for new years to do a self check? As often as one can is my advice.

Taking a look at life’s twist and turns this past year, I…Remembering the foolish mistakes and happy turnabout…I am grateful. Being that what it was and now being what it is, my birthday resolution will be to keep on keeping on. I will continue in faith to be the me that He sees. For one who has considered at one time to take her own life, this resolution isn’t made lightly. It is as simple as it is difficult, to live but… not only to live but to live with peace, in peace. Truly understanding that even in the mist of hardship, His peace will reign. Shining through my life, like a beacon, a beacon so profound with its beam it warms my soul.

I will lean towards peace, my inner peace, my beacon.

As corny as it may sound, the ones out there who’ve truly felt derailed by life can understand; when light is finally evident in your life after suffocating in the dark, alone, or so you/ I thought, for so many years, your like a dog with a bone, a beggar with a hot meal after being deprived for so long. Call it what you will. Call me what you will, but I refuse to let go. I refuse to give back or give away my meal. I refuse to let go of the light , my beacon. Jesus.

So, yes my birthday will bring forth more of me pushing my way towards He. He’s got me this far.

Meant to bear it

There were those times I wondered, “What was He thinking when He allowed it so, that this would be the cross I would have to bear?” That this was my thing to handle when people said, “He doesn’t give you what you can’t handle.” I wondered but instantly knew better, “What if He got it wrong?” The hurt, overbearing, the loneliness, hollow, the anguish, a pit. Surely not me, surely not this cross, this destruction of a life was not mine to bear. Am I not destined to fail even if I win, this being my cross?

I was at that age of defiance and my stuff don’t stink mode when my mother was taken away. You can only imagine the guilt.

Another heap added atop that cross, my cross. 

How long after the thought of me that made me into existence did He finally say okay that moment would be the allowed time? When the time came I suppose. After-all, his word is truth. Once he says it, allows it, it is so.

I delight in knowing his words about me give me more power over the cross that was set for me. 

How? Well for one, He took it up for me when I let him. The weight of it all that He took on… has made me light and able to go on.

He knew I could bear it because He knew He’d be there to take what was too much for me.

Knowing this do I still have my moments of doubt and take back on what He willingly took for me? Absolutely. I am human. I am flawed. I can be downright dumb at times. But He knows this too. And He is still here, arms wide open to return peace and lightness to your life. My life.

Thanks for reading. Be at peace. Give it to Him.

 

 

Fogged up and Damp

If I remember correctly it hadn’t been 3 months and I was back. It felt longer but the type of longer that didn’t make the heart go fonder. At least by the time I had settled into my stay anyway. The moments before that was cool. Getting ready for a trip no matter how tight things may be, or how uncomfortable the trip itself will be, is an exciting pass time. But like I said…then you get settled in.

Goodbye to sunny palm trees of turmoil, hello fogged up and damp well of woes. The chill of the air infused with my deepest grievances overcame me the moment I stepped off the plane. The thrill of packing for a trip was over. The measure of excitement was equal to the measure of knowing it was a “have to trip”. While the reason for the trip was being handled, yet another struggle in itself but it wasn’t mine to enclose in this blog, I had to partake in my own personal realities.

Forms and signatures. Being that I moved, they came as I came. I came and there I was. Various forms had to be signed. Forms that when signed on the dotted line closed a chapter of her life for good. Various forms that finalized everything. I no longer sign my name that way. Not sure how much of a conscious decision that was.

Visiting family and familiar faces after a tradgey…my opinion…take small bites. It doesn’t matter what stage you are in finding peace, rubbing two open wounds together can never be a good thing. And it wasn’t.

With hugs and kisses genuine enough one wouldn’t realize the CA-BOOM! that was about to occur. I knew better. I’m good for that, knowing when the slip was coming, no matter how slight the implication. The emotions were brewing and it was a matter of time. I either reminded every one of the one they lost, the one I lost or their grief brought on the ever popular yelling and the blame game. They reminded me of who I was sorely lacking in becoming or ever could be. I reminded myself of that as well. I lacked so much. I lacked the ability to deal with it. With them. Our emotions were like a can of soda being shook everyday since I was there last and now that I was back, well you know what happens to shaken cans. Drowning our sorrows, laughing and yelling through the elephant sized void we felt so deeply, we all dealt. Dealt with it all one way or another.

I dealt.

…But all the while Jesus had already won the game on my behalf, over the pain, over the anger, over the blame.

…Jesus been dealt.

From peace to wandering feet.

So I said to Amithys, my furry child, “you left your peace to chase feet.” You see she had been lying atop the large sectional, head stretched out peering through the window, just plain ole’ chillin’, til’ I made a movement that is. Next thing I hear is the sound of her bell from around her collar, jingling as she followed behind me. She had no regards to her own comfort and peace. She didn’t bother for a second to stay put and continue basking in the warmth of the sun that shown through the large window. Her peace wasn’t as important to her as it was to follow my wandering feet. It was quite cute and funny as she stretched out each step to fully awaken herself.

As the words, “you left your peace to chase feet” left my lips, I giggled but quickly thought to myself, “Goretty, how about marinating on that for a while yourself?” I don’t take credit because I’m not that brilliant. My Spirit, however, loves to convict me, no matter how silly the reference. You gotta admit it was a profound thought for early in the morning, pre-caffeine.

I mean think about it for a sec. How often have you found yourself soaking in the warmth of peace and harmony, looking good, feeling good, having somewhat of a balance in life then all of a sudden BOOM! You, yourself stray to follow whatever peace hindering whim that comes about. Some may say, “oh that’s just you being you” or even “she’s spontaneous and goes after things”, which may look okay from the outside but what are you chasing? I had to ask myself some important questions. Do I subconsciously crave drama? I don’t believe so. Do I fear calmness? Maybe but why? Do I feel worthy of peace? Sometimes… I mean why do I deserve it? Asking myself these questions and digging a little deeper than comfortable to seek the answers is helping me to reclaim and hold on to my peace for longer periods of time. Of course I have to continue to ask myself these types of questions and be honest with myself. You can’t lie to yourself about yourself. At least you really shouldn’t because if and when you start to believe those lies yourself… ohhh boy…To regain peace, you’ll have to have your pieces not someone else’s or made up pieces. Imagine two different puzzles. The pieces from one cannot complete the other. When dealing with yourself, it’s all about you, the true you.

But the kicker, as unique you and your ‘what matters’  are and no matter how unique others are and their issues we have a chance, an opportunity to receive peace if we accept a gift that only God can provide and when that gift speaks decide. Decide to be still and listen. Peace is coming. When The Holy Spirit speaks it may be hard to listen at times. Amithys is a mere kitten and we are mere human beings. Like Amithys however, when I said lay down and stay still she continued on, still unfamiliar to my authority and commands, she purred about, jingling behind my feet when my commands were clear.

For so long in this journey, a journey to me, a journey to peace, each coming with their own set of struggles and continuing growth, a journey to my Jesus and his gift to me, The Holy Spirit, I was unfamiliar to the voice. I blatantly ignored nudging warnings at times. I dulled the voice of the one who held my peace and kept it safe for me. I would find a sense of peace for a while to only find a new thing to chase which brought on its own particular brand of misery. Of course some of these times, these so-called peace moments, overtime proved to never have been to begin with, peaceful I mean. And some instances, I believe you’ll find you’ve strayed way too far and dulled your senses too profoundly to even hear the loudest call of the Spirit. Those are the scariest parts of life in my opinion. But even those times, even those unbelievably scary moments in life, you are not alone.

Be still, call out to Him, and listen. Don’t remove yourself from God-given peace. Because the rest, well the rest are just other pieces to someone else’s puzzle. They mimic happiness and contentment but in truth they won’t fit. You are unique and only He can give you your brand of peace. He has the missing piece. He is the missing piece.

…I’ve written a few blog posts now and I don’t know why but this one had me a little more than kind of nervous. Hope it was a blessing 🙂

 

As time went on

It bothered me for many years.

I never understood why I had to carry this particular burden.

The burden of memory.

No matter how selective, no matter how much consumption of the world around me, the memory was mine and mine alone.

My mother could never be a reliable witness and my younger brother’s coma caused memory loss, to this day he remembers very little. I use to think him lucky. I, not only carried the burden of remembering, but always lacked the knowledge of why. Why do the memories conceived that Sunday morning have to be carried by me? For a while I thought it was my punishment. After all it couldn’t have been a reward, right?

It wasn’t fair, I thought. I would never put this burden of the mind on anyone.  And it was lonely. It was so very lonely. The gruesome scene, which tore apart my sense of safety and shredded any happy moments that occurred in my home prior, replayed itself bit by terrifying bit on a daily basis in my mind.  My life quickly became ridiculous, to me anyway, but it didn’t matter.

The awe and newness of sunshine, palm trees, and orange farms quickly dissipated. Trying to settle in a new place and meet new people always came with the agonizing question of where are you from. And yet again another rewind of flashbacks. My overly blunt responses, “she was murdered”, became a shield. That unfeeling, guarded mask of an answer seemed to stop the flood of memories, for a while, and any further questioning of my past. Saying it and not feeling it was a great deterrence for a short while. That is until I started to feel like I was living in a much sun shinier version of Boston. The walls were brighter but closing in all the same.

So let’s get a job and party on weekends and as much as possible. We needed a job or else how would we party?

If you’ve ever heard of a functional alcoholic then you can understand what I mean when I say by the time I was truly settled in Florida I was a functional partier. The only time I felt sane enough that my  loneliness, insecurities,  fears and memories didn’t attach me was when I could drown it, smoke it, and forcefully laugh it away. What a miserable time that was.  What liars laughs can be. What dishonesty a smile hides. What turmoil dancing feet carry. She was murdered. Quick, simple truth that bear no feeling but held every emotion all at once. Most responded with  blank, confused for a moment looks. Some with, “are you serious?” I couldn’t say which I preferred. Even now. No response could have made me feel any better in all honesty. Nothing could.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

…I walked and talked through my lie, my fear-filled lie. The on point smile and just the right amount of laughter did more than just keep questions at bay. It enclosed my heart and prevented my eyes from truly seeing. He was there. All the while He was there.

…Tears form as I remember how much time I wasted in the pits that kept me shut off from my life, from my God.

…Today, gratefulness.

 

Familiar ground

I lived like a child, only enjoying what gave instant pleasure. What’s wrong with that some may ask? Well when you’re a childlike adult who thrives on pleasure and instant gratification, many things can and did go wrong. I made such poor decisions that I found myself in similar situations I was running from. One of my deepest fears was repeating that day but my new beginning in Florida became a sun-shinier version of the one I left behind.

My life was becoming an endless cycle of nothingness wrapped in my own gross misconduct to cover up my ball of anguish. And as much as I went searching for pleasure I was ending up wallowing in despair, fear, and anxiety. Not enough words to explain the eye of the tornado I was living in within myself. Emotions I felt that day wrapped in the new ones I created through various horrible actions, decisions and my masochist behavior was destroying me. I was destroying me. I was helping the enemy in his quest and had no idea.

I recall a time, the feeling, the fear, the not knowing what was to come of this particular moment in time, it was all rushing back with every breath, and every step forward. If it weren’t for God’s grace I know I would’ve been raped…again. Why was I surprised though? I had been living blind, decidedly blind, not realizing I was putting myself back in those same sort of circumstances. You know, sometimes it was almost as if I was giving away pieces of myself, time, money, heart, whatever was left of it anyway, just giving pieces away so I wouldn’t feel as if it was being taken. Giving of oneself not wholeheartedly, to be able to endure and avoid the feeling of being seized, captured, or possessed. Give so you won’t feel like you’re being taken advantage of….but you are. That was my new beginning. That was my existence. Living to avoid reliving but walking a fine line on familiar ground.

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

…The former things were stalking me and had made their way into the present. I didn’t perceive what He had planned. I was too busy trying, on my own, to escape. My now, then, was that wasteland. It was so hard to forget. I later realized not dwelling in it didn’t mean I had to forget or that I should. I wanted to though. I think. The pain I felt was overwhelming but like the memories that haunted me, they were mine. Or so I thought.