'Twas a rough year, but it was good year. God was with me through it all... If He wasn't, I'd not be alive and here. There are things I regret and things I wouldn't change for anything. I'm learning to let the regrets go. I have so many plans and ideas, but my main goal is to grow more in Christ. I want to walk with confidence, to let go of the past, to look to the prize, by the power of the cross. I want to be more active in my ministry... I finished writing the poetry for The Promised Rainbow (originally known as Rainbow Slices) and now, I'm going to work on illustrations for it...
I am very tired of procrastinating... so, I'm aiming to finish my homeschool, to finish a novel, to publish something, to see friends... I want to use my scars for the healing of others.... I am so ready to un-arse the bed and actually leave the past behind for the Lord to redeem, and continue, by His grace and power, to grow in Him and follow His calling... as the song I linked above says;
"Open up your hands
And let go of what’s behind you (Philippians 3:13-14)
The past can’t hurt you anymore
Or keep you on the ground (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Will you let this be the moment,
That you let go of yourself (Luke 9:23)
Let His Love hold on to you (Isaiah 41:13; Psalm 73:22-26)
And He won’t let go, and He won’t let go (Deuteronomy 31:8; John 10:28)
His eyes are always set on you (Psalm 33:18)
His arms are always holding you (Isaiah 40:11)
And He won’t let go
But You gotta let go of everything (Hebrews 12:1)
You gotta let go of everything"
I want to do all this, but I think my biggest chain is worry and shame. I've stayed put so long just because I'd focus on the shame of my past, and worry about my fate in the future... In 2015, I want that to be different. I want to move where God moves. I want to trust Him... But, I know words and desires are all well and good... it's the acting on it that makes the difference... so pray for me on every first day of the rest of my life... every single new day that dawns that I will have the attitude of "Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven"... in fact, pray for that to happen in every sister and brother of the faith....
These past few months have been difficult for me and my family. For me, it has been the anniversary of several years of regret... For the family as a whole, it has been hectic. Not just with the coming of Christmas and New Years... What with my mum preparing for college and my daddy doing his thing with art... We are having high stresses... Each night is a battle, each day a war with addictions and shame. I haven't been much use for my family. I know this. And though I have tried so hard to measure up to my own expectations of what a good daughter SHOULD be... I must say I am failing miserably. I keep falling into depression, which leads me into falling prey to my lust and self injury habits. I talk back to my daddy, and regret it almost instantly... Even before daddy makes a response, I note that "I shouldn't have done that..." I hate that I keep doing these things. I keep doing what I hate... When I repent of what I have done, with a broken spirit then I just slip right back into it... Am I really repentant? Am I really sorry? Will I ever be different... When I apologize to my daddy he often responds coldly, "Well, if you really were sorry you'd stop..." I'm sure he doesn't mean it to be cold, but that is how it comes across... If that could apply to apologies... would it not apply to repentance as well? If I really was repentant, I'd stop....
I hate that I always argue, that I cause the peace in the home to be challenged... I hate that I keep going for comfort in what I know will only leave me empty, aching, and hollow. I hate that I can never keep my promises... And I hate that I cannot back up my apologies... Part of me just wishes I was never born. I don't wish to feel like this, but I do. Recently, all I can see and feel is a seemingly never-ending tunnel that will only end with death... I feel hopeless and as if there is no way out of this pit. I need help... And personally I do not care who started the arguments, nor who did what... I only want to work out the restlessness, I just want to be held... I just want to know that there can be hope. I just want the arguments and restlessness to end. And Part of me feels that if I died, they'd be better off... And I feel like all the restlessness and anger and arguments would die with me. But with friends telling me that things would be worst and not better without me and painting mental images of where it could go afterward, I still push through to stay alive, and keep trying... To be honest, though; I'm tired of trying... Normally, I am the one to encourage people, the one who comes to the aid of others... but now I need that to be done for me... Because, I'm afraid that I will never get to my goal. Which is to become a stable, obedient, willing and able, sane, and respectful daughter for my parents and to stop falling prey to my addictions.
It's that time of year. People all over FB have been posting what they are thankful for. Some are the normal things like family, children, jobs, etc. We are supposed to be thankful these things. Me? Well, I'm thankful for my husband, for my children, for the opportunities I've been afforded in my life, my church, my job, and for my Christ. These are things I'm thankful for. I'm thankful for the autumn wind, and the colors of the leaves on the trees, and a place to live, and food to eat, and friends
I also have some pretty abnormal things to be thankful for, and if you don't have to be thankful for these things, that's so wonderful, and I'm thankful for that as well.
I'm thankful that my daughter hasn't gotten involved in drugs, or sex, or illegal activities, because so many children with mental illness get involved in these things. Thank you, Lord, and help me be more thankful for these gems.
I am thankful that my mentally ill daughter has not committed suicide, even though the thought hasn't been absent from her mind. Thank you, Lord, and help me to not take that for granted!
I'm so thankful for stability, even though it is elusive and never stays long. The fact that it is ever here is a sign of progress. Thank you, Lord, and let it happen again and again.
I'm thankful for medication because even though there are side-effects, they work, even if they don't always continue to do so. Thank you, Lord, because one hundred years ago the mentally ill were cast into terrible places where they had no existence. Because of this, I get to have my daughter with me, improving slowly but steadily.
I'm thankful that today there is less stigma concerning mental illness, even though it's not where it needs to be. Thank you, Lord, and I pray for more and more progress!
Last, but definitely not last, I'm so thankful for the hope of Christ that gives me and my daughter a future, and a glimpse of heaven beyond where there is no illness. Help me to always be thankful for the hope of Christ, and for all the blessing I have, regardless of the difficulties presented.
Last week I wrote about how the drama from my mentally ill daughter was affecting me. It was truth, and it was the nitty-gritty aspect of being in a family with someone with mental illness. However, I have to say that my post, although true, was written in such a way that it hurt my daughter. There are certainly aspects of the disease that are devastating to a family, but I want to emphasize that the characteristics of the mental illness that she suffers from is not her fault. She didn't ask to have this malady thrust upon her. And although stability is part of her responsibility, there are outside forces that dominate her ability to work on stability.
When my husband or I think about running away, there is more than just each other or our youngest daughter keeping us from doing so. There is also the fact that Arianna NEEDS us. She needs our stability, our understanding, and our acceptance. No matter how we may feel at any given time about the burdens that mental illness gives us, we do love and accept Arianna for who she is, despite the mental illness that we despise.
Perhaps we should focus on her many gifts, and how those gifts impact us from day to day. Perhaps we need to work harder on separating the symptoms from the rest of her being. Then maybe the burden I'm under will not be so great. There is always hope in the darkness. There is always light in the darkness. We just need to look.