Into the Depths: November 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006


It's been ages, I know. Thus, as is customary, I feel the need for something profound. Well, don't get your hopes up. Life is going relatively well. Thanksgiving was strange as it was the first one in my life that my parents were not a part of. Neither of them felt well enough to attend. Other than that, though, it was good. Just me and my sisters along with their families.

Church is going well also. I am finally on week seven in my support group. I don't want to do the homework this week which is probably not good. I'll do it though, don't fear. I am too much of a perfectionist not to. ;) I am really liking my little Bible study on Tuesdays. Those relationships seem to be flourishing which is thrilling and terrifying at the same time. Luckily, these days, I tend to be letting hope win out to fear, so that is good news.

I went to a church in Euless tonight to hear a speaker. It was some women's night thing, but that isn't the point. The speaker's name is Alicia Williamson Garcia. I hadn't ever heard of her though she apparently has been around for quite some time. I really enjoyed her talk. She spoke about 'Emmanuel'; what that means, and what it means to live truly believing the truth of that name. It was good stuff. She wrote a song several years ago when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Some of you may have heard it but I hadn't. She found herself flat on her face crying out to God, not to heal her body, because we all know there is no guarantee of that. Instead she prayed that He heal her soul. Because if her soul was healed than through Christ she would have the fortitude to stand in Him through any external circumstance. What God spoke to her at that time in her life spoke to me tonight. He said "Healing comes from knowing who I am." It is true, and I like it and I want to learn to live it.

That's all I've got, sorry, I will try to find something more profound for you.

Friday, November 17, 2006

You Believe?

I read this quote today and am finding myself wondering if I believe it. What do you guys think?

Hermann Hesse

"If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

New Theory

I grew even more frustrated Sunday night when an unexpected occurrence left me feeling that I haven't moved at all. I would make the same mistake today as I did six months ago. I wasn't happy. Then tonight, at Bible study, which is becoming more of an accountability group, I told the above story more fully. That says I have moved. I have changed. I am growing, day by day, ever so slowly, I am making progress. So, bite me satan.

No, I am nowhere near where I need to be. Yes, I still have setbacks. Still make mistakes. Still get frustrated with my issues, same as Paul. The very things I do not want to do, that is what I find myself doing. I wonder if it being stated that way was purposeful. I 'find' myself doing. Not I choose to do but what I find myself doing.

I do believe it is a choice. I do believe that by the grace of God alone, we are 'changeable.' However, I am beginning to think that only in great awareness do we find any chance at recognizing and changing some choices. I am not sure how to get to that level of awareness, but my thought is that it probably runs parallel to practicing the presence of God. The more in tune I am spiritually, the closer, more intimate our walk, the more evident an issue will become. In other words, in every day life my habitual behavior is just that, habitual. I don't notice, it is a subconscious reaction that has become second nature to me. But, if I am in consistent contact with God, behavior that is contrary to, not in line with, or in violation of my walk with Him should, theoretically, stand out like a sore thumb.

I'm not sure about all that, but it seems like a good theory to test out. Night.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Frustrations and Such

Do you ever feel overwhelmingly frustrated with yourself? I learned at church this morning that frustration is something you feel when you are more aware of your lack of control. For example, a traffic jam. You're late, stuck in traffic, and there is nothing at all you can do about it. Frustration with someone else's behavior, because there is nothing you can do to change it. Well, theoretically, I shouldn't be frustrated with my own behavior because supposedly I can control that. And yet, I find myself being perturbed with myself when I behave in ways that I so didn't want.

All the way to church this morning I was praying that God would strengthen me, somehow enable me to be real in my support group. So didn't happen. In fact, I think I was more closed off than normal. Why does that happen? Why can't I control it. If I want to be better why can't I just open my mouth and let everything out? What am I so freaking afraid of? What could possibly be so bad that it be worse than where I have already been? I'm annoyed and don't know what to do about it.

I had lunch and went shopping with a new friend after church. She is in my life group and the small Bible study I go to on Tuesdays. The other lady in our Bible study has a birthday on Friday and so we went to find her a gift. She is a lot younger than me so I feel a little weird hanging out with her, but she is great to hang out with and I see the possibility of a relationship, so I guess we'll see how it develops. I wonder why it is that I do not feel at all strange being friends with ladies who are ten or more years older than me and yet feel quite odd at developing a relationship with someone seven years younger. Weird. Is that pride? I don't know what it is. I'll have to investigate my feelings on that one.

Ok going to bed, night.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


So, I'm still processing, or still in shock, something. I'll just give you a quick run down of some of the issues I am currently trying to ponder to death.

Firstly, my mom. How did that happen, why now, and why did it take twenty years? I have no answers yet, but I'm working on it. And probably more so, I am working on what that means for now and the future. I am curious how I will respond next time I actually see her. Should I try to tell her more? Should I make an effort to further the relationship knowing full well that mentally and emotionally she is the same woman she has always been, thus prone to producing pain?

Secondly, the oh so huge issue of confrontation, or lack thereof, in my life. I am such a huge chicken. I absolutely fly at any possibility of confrontation, however big or small. I had a conflict arise a couple of weeks ago that I neglected to mention here, mostly because I was humiliated. That embarrassment is both unfounded and unnecessary, but I feel it none-the-less. So anyway, I was in a small setting, with two other people, when I felt as though I was being attacked. I can now, almost three weeks later, see that it really wasn't that big of a deal. In that moment, however, I was terrified. In what seemed like an instant, my face became flush, tears flooded my eyes, my heart began to race, the walls flew up and I was, internally, hiding under the bed like a wounded dog.

After much thought, I realize that this is a common response for me. I think that typically I am not so aware because I can run. I can leave or hang up or whatever. In this situation, I couldn't. Had I left it would have just made things worse and I knew that, plus I was too scared to leave anyway. Therefore, instead of being able to run and hide, literally, I just had to sit there with it, as the other two parties stared at me and tried, in vain, to get me to speak. I was VERY aware of my response in that moment, I just had no idea where it was coming from. Externally I sat with my head down staring intently at my Bible, being sure that my hair covered my face enough that they could not see...me. Exposure is horrifying to me, you know. Internally, I was begging God to get me out of that place, I didn't care how, I just needed escape, badly. That didn't happen, by the way.

So, here is what I am finding out. My response had absolutely nothing to do with the situation at hand. Whether it was the way it came about, or the tone of her voice, or the words that she spoke, I'm not sure. But whichever it was, something about that situation was just a trigger. It took me back years and years to a place where that tone of voice, look in the eye, whatever, meant that a verbal or physical tirade was imminent. So terror took control of me. Now, how to fix this issue, I am not completely sure. My therapist says that it is about learning to comfort my inner child. So hokey. But, she says that I have to learn to soothe that terrified little girl and somehow come to the place where I am ok with anger, ok with other people's anger, ok with them being angry with me. Right now, that just makes me cringe. Baby steps.

I went to therapy on Thursday. It actually went well. I felt like I spoke more easily and more freely. She felt the same way, which is affirming. I didn't manage to mention the letter to my brother or the conversation with my mother until the very end, but at least I mentioned them. She wrote it down so she will remember to bring them up when I go back. That helps me because no matter how much I want to talk about something, it is very hard for me to bring things up. Anyway, she wants me to read a book called "Boundaries in Relationships" because apparently I have some boundary issues. ;)

I went to swim meets last night and this morning and had two ten year olds and an eight year old stay the night. In case you don't catch on by that sentence, I am worn out. I have to get ready for bed so that I will get my self out of bed for church in the A.M. Let's all hope that I really do get to cover week four this week. I will be excited to actually move past that hump, I think. It seems to have been a holding pattern for over a month now, so, here's hoping. Night.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I sort of don't want to post this yet because I feel as though I really need to process what happened. However, I feel like I can't hold it in.

My mother is not well these days. She has been doing radiation for about a month and a half now, and she seems to be deteriorating. She can no longer walk, she can't even get herself up on her own. She can't bathe without help, it is just really bad. Tonight my dad called 911 because he couldn't get her to wake up. Turns out her blood sugar was very low, she is diabetic. Her count was down around 40, but with some orange juice, she was doing better in a short time. I haven't spoken with my mother since she gave me the invitation to my brothers wedding over a month ago. Tonight I called to make sure she was ok and to talk about options. At this point something has to be done, she needs to either move with my sister to Oklahoma, or we need to get her into a nursing home. She simply is not safe in her current environment and my home will not work. I live in a two story with no bedrooms or shower/bath on the first floor.

Anyway........I don't know how it happened, I am still in shock, really. We went from talking about her healthcare to child hood traumas in what seems like a split second. Understand that my mother and I have not had a conversation that involved real communication from me in twenty years. Since that day, at ten, when she didn't believe me. Tonight, though, when I saw a window, I jumped head first straight through. After many words and many tears she told me she was sorry, that she loved me, that she had always loved me, that she had always tried to make sure I knew she loved me and that nothing I could ever do could make her not love me.

There is more to say, no doubt, but what a huge jump. I know she did the best she knew how, and told her as much. I guess, regardless of which parts she argued with or said I didn't remember correctly, the important thing is that I spoke. Even if she had told me I was insane and she hated me, still the important thing would be that I spoke. Don't get me wrong, I am very thankful for the way it went. I am thankful she apologized. I am thankful that I was honest with her. I am thankful that God orchestrated the whole thing because we all know I couldn't have done that on my own.

I admit that I am experiencing a little fear as to the possible backlash. She has the habit of taking conversations, twisting the words, then sharing them with everyone else. I pray, literally, that this time will be different. That the realness that we just shared, after a very long twenty years, will have gotten through to her as much as it did me.

I'm in shock, still.

Monday, November 06, 2006

On Withdrawing

I read a friend's post this morning and it sent me into a tailspin of contemplation. I began to leave a second comment but after about three paragraphs I realized it would probably be a little, only a tad of course, too long for a comment. So, here we are.

Assuming you just read said post, you have the premise of my contemplation. So, I was thinking about withdrawing and why we do that and the fact that so very many people do it. Most of us, when feeling threatened, whether by a real or assumed threat, we run. Maybe not physically, but definitely emotionally. It's self preservation, I think. So, since it seems to be such a common issue, I thought, in a very non-cliche way, what would Jesus do.

My first thought was Judas, then Peter. Any of the disciples would work for this lesson, I think, but we know more about those two. Jesus washed Judas' feet then told him to go and do what he had to do. Jesus told Peter that he would deny Jesus three times that very night, then asked him to go and pray with Him during what had to be one of the most painful, vulnerable, gut-wrenching moments of His life. When Judas came to kiss Jesus, He did not run away, He did not turn, He did not punch Judas in the face, He simply let Judas kiss Him. Jesus didn't run or withdraw when He was faced with the opportunity of rejection or ridicule. Beyond that, He didn't run when He knew the betrayal was imminent.

I suppose we could even go a step further, God and creation. God knew of our impending and repetitive betrayal and yet, here we are. So then I was thinking, why would He do such a thing? Because He thinks we are worth the risk. And, I think that is the point to which we must arrive. We have to believe that the relationship, whichever it may be at any given time, is worth the risk of pain we are sure to endure. Why are we sure to endure it? I'm human, you're human. As sure as you are to, at some point, hurt me, I am just as sure to hurt you.

I'm not there yet. I don't yet think it worth the risk. I don't even want to get there yet, because I hate pain. Even so, I want to want to. I want to be in the place where I am so secure in the love of Christ, that the unavoidable pain of this world no longer threatens to destroy me. That's it, I think, why we are so afraid. We are so afraid because we are expecting something from that other person. There is some place we are looking for them to fill. Some hole, some need, some desire. Some place that they simply can't fill. If we were truly filled up by God, daily, we wouldn't need some other person to do the filling for us. Of course we would still need connectedness, but remembering that all those that we are connected to are just as frail as we are, I think that would take some of the pressure off.

This is why I am not a preacher, I have begun to ramble. That's ok, I got something out of it, and it's my blog, so that makes it ok. ;)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Ungratefully Procrastinating Trust

Well, here it is again, Sunday night. I can't blame Sunday this week. So, I won't. We didn't have support group this morning b/c the other lady in the group was sick. I am seriously beginning to wonder if there is some good reason I can't seem to make it to week four in this darn study. My first class was September 10. Hello, it's November and I have yet to get to number four. That's just sad. So, since I was there at 9 with nothing else to do, I went to the early church service. The pastor spoke about trusting God. Not something I needed to hear, of course. (that was a joke, just in case you didn't get it.) Seriously though, it was good. He talked about idolatry, which as I'm sure you know, is when we worship (or depend on) anything other than God. He talked about why some don't trust God, which is because we don't know God. Sure, we are saved, but we don't really know the true and living God. We know the caricature painted of Him throughout our lives. So very often, though, that is far from the truth about who God really is. It is certainly that way for me, anyway. And finally, he spoke about what we can do to trust God more. Ok, done with the preaching for now.

As I lay in bed last night chatting with God, I found myself asking what in the world is going on with me. Have I shut down with out even knowing it. Is this me being uncomfortable with a lack of serious crises. Am I perfectly fine and I should just stop worrying about it. I just don't know. And this is what came to mind. Get up and go write your letter. I guess I should have prefaced by telling you that my homework for therapy was to write a letter to my brother, which I have of course procrastinated for almost two weeks now. So, arguing with God or myself, not sure which, the whole time, I got up, found some paper and a pen, and started to write. It wasn't pleasant. I don't think it was very nice either, and I spent more time crying than writing, but it's done now. I was thinking of posting it, but honestly, I am scared to go back and read it. I just wrote, didn't think about it, didn't care what I said, just wrote. So, I am a little frightened about going back and reading it now.

I am not sure where I was going with that, except to say, I guess, that at least I am not completely shut down. On the other hand, at church today, I was a hundred percent withdrawn. I don't know what is going on. Perhaps I should quit thinking about it. Or, perhaps I should figure out what the heck is going on. I don't know.

You know, I am so overwhelmingly ungrateful. I was driving today and went past a neighborhood that wasn't a place I would ever want to live in. I have lived in that kind of neighborhood, but I never want to go back. A woman in a truck was pulling out while I was passing and I was thinking, I wonder what is going on in her life- I do that sometimes. I thought, I bet she has things to complain about. I bet she has things to be bitter and angry about. As I drive by in my big SUV headed to my house that is barely two years old. And I thought, I am so ungrateful. I passed by a woman panhandling on the side of the road last week. Well actually, I was stopped at a light and she was right outside my window. Not by my car, just sitting there on the grass, looking so...worn. She broke my heart. I tried to imagine where she must have been in her forty or so years of life. Where she must have had to journey through to bring her to this spot. The lines on her face and the weariness that flooded her eyes spoke volumes. So I gave her what little cash I had with me and drove on. And thought, how very ungrateful I am. Tonight I'm watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition. I know it is always a cry fest. You can't have a free new house unless your story is a tear jerker, I get that. But tonight it is about a little girl with a heart condition, which is sad, sure. But what got me is a song the little girl wrote while in the hospital for her last surgery. It speaks of the concern for her parents, and making sure they know she loves them just in case she dies. Again my thoughts, I am so ungrateful. I have the same issue reading this blog. I can't imagine being that mother, and I can't imagine so faithfully clinging to the sovereign God as my baby struggles for her life. I am so ungrateful.

That's all I've got. I hate the time change. It's 7:30 and it feels closer to midnight. Ok, night.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Little Something of My Nothing

Ok, either I have disassociated from my life without even knowing it, or my life has become boring and my brain no longer has need for deep theological, philosophical or any other 'ical' thinking. I haven't a clue which one it is.

I am reading a good book. It is called "Restless Faith" written by some dude I'd never heard of named Winn Collier. Anyway, good book. No Sunday school answers which makes it quite appealing to me. I'll let you know more about it when I am able to form worthwhile thoughts.

So, that is all I have. Sorry I am of no interest, but I figured better something than nothing.