Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Great Physician

Yesterday my child decided to get bit by a dog.  I have no idea what happened because he was at his dad's  at the time but he ended up needing 8 stitches.  He was hysterical.  We tried to do topical numbing medication but he wouldn't hold still so the doctor decided to do conscious sedation.  While he was stitching he was talking about the scars that would be left behind.  He will have 2 possibly 3 on his lip and 1 under his chin.  The doctor said that as the scars heal they will fade but also as he grows they will look smaller because they will stay the same size but he will not.

Last night I started thinking about that explication and all the scars I have.  My body has some scars from surgeries and injuries but my heart has so many more.  So then I was wondering if my emotional scars are the same as my physical ones.  Did they heal the same way?

Any time we get hurt we have three choices.  First, you can choose to do nothing about it.  We could have just acknowledged the fact that Kole got bit and leave it at that, let it heal on its own.  The end result would be a lip that did not heal properly.  Pieces of tissue barely hanging there, not able to eat right because of the gaping split in his lip, and infection because of all the exposed tissue on the lip where bacteria would love to call home.  Eventually it would scar over but it would take a very long time and would be more likely to be re-injured because there is not a lot of protection there.

The other situation would include him getting hurt, us getting it stitched back up but he would not grow any more than he already is.  The scar would be there and be just as big in 10 years as it is today.  It healed well, no infection because it was protected by stitches and medication, but it would always take up just as much space on his face as it already does.  Or, we could get it stitched, take great care of it and as he grows the scar will stay the same size but it will take up less and less space.

So what if I apply that same idea to my emotional scars.  The way I see it I have 3 choices when life decides to hand me my own scars.  Choice number one:  Do nothing.  These wounds will heal and scar over but in a way that would only bring me more pain and hurt.  I can allow the pain that has been done to make me bitter, angry, hard-hearted.  That would make for one sad existence.   Choice 2:  Allow healing to take place but that is the extent I allow Him to do.  I do not grow, or learn, or change.  I just mend, i just survive.  I can look like I have it all together, happy and healthy, but it is all superficial.  Underneath there is not much more than that scar that still harbors a large part of my heart.  Choice 3:  I can grow.  Every trial we go through, every hurt we experience gives us the opportunity to become closer to Christ.  Each scar we earn has a purpose and will take time to heal, but if we turn it over the Christ and allow him to heal us then the scar will become less as He becomes more.  It will always be there but in a way that can serve as a reminder of all that He has done for us and all He can do for others.

I have been hurt so many times I have lost count, some of it from my own doing, most of it from others making choices that affect me.  Some experiences hurt more than others but they all left their mark on me.  They have all shaped me into who I am today.  I can't say that every time I faced heartache I turned to Christ.  More than once I have turned from Him, tired to take care of it on my own, and I usually ended up worse off than before.  True healing can only come from Christ.  He will bring a type of healing that gives us hope for the future, not despair for the past.  Through every trial He is there to comfort us, to encourage us, to love us and to grow us.  It may be in the form of a friend or through His word or through His church, but he is always there, being the strength we need, giving us the hope we crave.  I have known so many great doctors over the last few years but none of them compare to Him.  He is the only one who can heal my heart.  He is the only one that can save my soul.  He is the only one that can take this ugly scars and make them a beautiful reminder of the Love he has for his patients.  He is the only Great Physician.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

I Think I Can Live With That

Last night Courtney and I were watching The Patriot.  There was this one guy that was completly evil.  He murdered two kids and many innocent people.  But, no matter how hard people tried, they just could not stop him.  I have seen the movie so I knew how it ended, but I couldn't help but wish that it was him getting hurt or killed instead of all the other innocent people. 

To some people, that makes me seem heartless and not very loving at all, but I think most people would be lying to themsleves and others if they said their initial thought process was not along the same lines.  But that got me thinking, just as much that vial man deserved to die, so do I.  I may not be going around killing everyone in sight, or molesting children, stealing from the poor, what have you.  But, I do lie, worry, stray from what I know to be truth.  I often make decisions I will regret later and more times than not, I disregard this temple that He gave me for my short time here. 

Rabbit Trail Alert:  I understand that are views on either side of the argument, either all sin is the same and it doesnt matter what it was, or there are sins that are worse than others and will not be judged the same.  To be honest I do not know where I stand.  I think it hard to feel that all sin is equal in most everyone's thought process.  I mean, I can forgive my neighbor for lying to me a lot easier than iw ould be able to forgive them if they came over and held a gun to my sons head to steal all of our belongings (I do not have a neighbor who would do that!)  The point of this blog is not to debate which idea is correct.

My point is that all sin, no matter how small or how evil, will sepearte us from our Father.  He is perfect, and can not be in the presence of those who have sinned.  Which really sucks because I am going to fail, literally everyday. I am going to screw up, stumble, fall.  There is no way I can be perfect.  I have tried.  I find myself falling into this thought process that if only I could stop sinning then my life would fall into place. I would have enough money, find someone to marry, have another baby, all of my desires would come to pass because my behavior was perfect so it would make God grant all of my desires. 

But the Truth of the matter is, we deserve death, but we are granted life.  Life because Jesus, the pure and spotless lamb, died in our place.  We will all experience physical death, but some of us are living in a spirtual death while they are still alive.  The type of life where there is no hope for tomorrw, there is no peace, joy, love.  The type of life where  everything seems like its fine, but there is no real purpose. 

I deserved the death on the ccross, but Jesus took it for me.  I have done nothing that is really frowned upon, but I sitll sinned and still can not be in the presences of all that goodness and glory.  But, the second I chose to turn my life over to Christ, I was alive.  I have hope for the future, it may not be what I envisioned, it may never include a signifcant other and more children, but it will include an eternity with my Father and my Saviour.  I think I can live with that.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

In All Things

One thing that we learned in nursing school that has and should stick in every nurses  mind is prioritizing.  What is the most important thing to do first, then second, and so on?   Always planning ahead and always basing these priorities on who is the sickest.  Take for example a code blue, when a patients heart stops beating.  What do you do first? To be fair you are probably doing multiple things at once, calling for help, assessing for breathing, heart beat, responsiveness, what have you.  But, you are not always in a situation where  you can do more than one thing at a time, you can't go see two patients at one time, so you learn to figure out which ones you need to see first.  

It is a skill that I never knew I needed until I learned it.  I remember getting so stressed because I had so much to do and I didn't even know where to start.  Now, I find myself planning before I even realize I am doing it.  Or I start to categorize everyone's situations and deciding who needs more prayer, or whose situation is more important than mine so I do not go into this "poor poor pitiful me" stage, which is what my last blog kinda did.  I was hurting but I realized that "it could be worse".  

I do think this is an invaluable skill and is necessary for everyone.  It puts life into perceptive.  It is so easy for us to get sucked into ourselves, that we forget that there are others around us who is hurting and struggling as well.  It may not be as great of a struggle, or it may be one that you would not wish upon your worst enemy, but we all have them.  And if you say you don't, you are lying to yourself.  Please do not misunderstand me, there is always going to be those times where you can not look past your situation because it is just so extraordinarily heavy and consuming that you literally can not focus on anything but that.  Perfect example is Brillyn.  If anyone expects Ashley and Cody to be able to take their attention off their immediate family  and focus on your broken toe (just an example), they seriously need to do some soul searching.  

I was thinking about all of this today.  I have so many friends/family who are going through a lot that I find it hard for me to focus on my needs/desires/plans/what have you because I feel guilty when I think about how tired I am knowing that Ashley and Cody probably have not slept more than a couple hours at a time, or I picture Brillyn laying in the hospital bed fighting for his life.

But I think that is what makes my God so amazing.  He does not have to prioritize because He is able to take all of our concerns and address them with the same love and power.  He can handle them, and he can hear them, and though he may not answer the prayers we think he should he will answer them.  He can listen to my neighbors prayer about his broken toe (I do not have a neighbor with a broken toe) and give him peace, while he is listening and comforting the hundreds of people who are constantly praying for B at the same time.  He does not choose one situation, or one person over the other.  He loves us all the same and while we have to focus and prioritize our attention on situations for our own well being, He is everywhere and in all things.  It kinda blows my mind when I think about the fact that He loves me just as much he loved Mary, the mother of Jesus, or someone who prays all the time and has their life figured out.  Just chew on that for a bit :)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Jesus

On Tuesday, I planned my whole day around my son meeting his sister.  On Thursday, I watched my son hold his little sister with such awe and love that it was tangible.  The only thing is, I did not give him this little sister, his dad did.

Nothing solidifies my failure more than watching my son get everything I ever wanted to give him through someone else.  You know, a home with brother and sister and mom and dad all under the same roof.   My failure as woman, as a mom, as a human being, all because I do not have a family for my son.  A "family" at our home, you know a mother and a dad every time he is here, and a sister and a brother. No one wants a not so skinny, single mom with baggage.  I have no prospects, no ability to provide any of that "family" for my son.

But then, last night I watched my sister have dinner with all of her family.  The pretense was to celebrate her and Cody's birthday.  But the real reason that everyone was there to tell Brillyn "see you later".  Next week, Ashley and Cody will place the life of their son in the hands of some very capable hands.  But, as they fake a smile, force a laugh, put on a strong face for everyone else, I know the real struggle is something that most people will never imagine.  Anyone who is a
mother, father,  aunt/uncle, friend of kids, who has half a heart can feel their anxiety, but it isn't even half of what they are going through.

As I am driving home that night, I am listening to a song.  I am not paying attention but I hear one line.  I hear nothing before and I hear nothing after.  But that one line says it all.

It goes:  "There is power in the name of Jesus".

There you have it folks.  There is power in the name of Jesus.  We all have our own struggles, concerns, fears, failures, but there is an amazing power when we call on Jesus.  I could never imagine putting the life of my child into someone else hand and have no guarantee of the outcome.  She will watch those doctors take him back to the operating room, but they will have no guarantee of the end result.  But, there is one guarantee, no matter the outcome.  Jesus is real.  He can give us hope no matter the situation.  His Father watched Him leave His protection, come to earth, only to be crucified on a cross.  He knew the outcome.  He knows her struggle.  He put his life in their hands.  But that sacrifice was not in vein.  It is so that we can spend eternity with Him.  Brillyn, no matter the outcome will be with either loving parents and family, or with an even greater Heavenly Father when this is all said and done.  The only question is will you be there as well?  Have you called on the name of Jesus?

We can do it now.  I would ask for a family, a husband, a baby, and a happy and healthy Kole.  Or, even though I know that His will is perfect, I will beg that it is to leave Brillyn with us for as long as possible.  He gives everyone around him a light and an joy that you don't get to experience very often.  He is so strong and courageous.  And, he is sooooo stubborn that there is no way this child will not surprise everyone, including the doctors.  This boy has fought for something that we all take for granted every day.  He has fought for his life since day one.  He will continue to fight until we are all very old and decrepit.  But, he can only do that through the Power of Jesus.  So please Lord, give him your strength so he can show us your Hope.

You can do it now.  Just say JESUS, I want to know you.   There you have, it is that simple.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Cycle Is Broken

If you saw me on Sunday you might have noticed a tear stained face and blood shot eyes.  You see, it was father's day.  I am not a huge fan of father's day and/or mother's day.  My family never made a big deal about either "holiday".  We would do dinner for the woman and for grandpa but it was never a huge sappy day that we would go out of our way to celebrate.   When I became a mom, I got so excited because I was finally a mom and could celebrate it for real.  But my newborn son did not realize that you were supposed to let mom sleep in.  And, well, father's day was never a priority.  And this year I did not think it would affect me at all.  Just another day.  But I guess that is why I cried.  I had prepared myself for just another day and sermon that would be encouraging and not so close to home.  

The cliff-notes of the sermon was  this:  A father's actions affect his kids, wether we believe it or not, statistics show it.  Children of single parent homes are more likely to do drugs, commit suicide, be in unhealthy relationships, have depression, so on and so forth.  Ok, well not the best cliff-note version, I do not think you would pass a test with that, but that is all I needed to hear.  I had no control of my dad walking out on us for as long as he did, or the man that was my step-dad for as long as he was.  I had many father figures in my life and I still do and today I am blessed with some very caring men in my life who do not have to try to protect me but the still do.  But I was one of those statistics of a single parent home or step-family homes.  Mine was a little more complicated than that but its not relevant any more.  Because I am an adult and I thought I could chose what path I chose for myself and my son who does not like to sleep.

Ha!  I hope you all laughed at that sentence because it is very humorous.  The fact of the matter is no matter how much I tried to prevent it and tired to be perfect, my son is now one of those statistics.  He is now living 3/4's of his time in a single parent home. I thought that I could control that and never let him be one of those and now he is.  That is heartbreaking.  He is now more likely to be depressed, turn to drugs and ETOH.    All because I could not control the choices his dad made.  And, at my house, on a regular basis there is not a God-fearing, caring man around.  Please do not misread that.... By "on a regular basis" I mean consistently every night a man at my house showing him how to be a man.  How to love, how to treat people, how to be responsible.  We have a lot of men in our lives that love us and do whatever they can for us but its not an everyday occurance.  I can not change that.  I refuse to just allow whom ever into our lives and show my son what not to do.  And it seems all the good ones are taken or are not interested in us....

So here I am.  Crying on a Sunday because I have failed my son.  I have made him a statistic.

But then he said it.  "You can break the cycle."  At first I was thinking to myself that I can not break the cycle.  I am the reason I am a single mom.  I am the reason he does not have a God-fearing father figure at my house.  I have no control over the fact that I am still single.  There is no way I can fix this because I am alone and will be alone for the foreseeable future.

And then I hear it.  A gentle rebuke.  A subtle yet powerful reminder.

"You do no have to break the cycle because I already broke it for you"

I have to think about it for a second.   How did you already break it when it is still a very real truth in our lives.  So I started looking from the outside in.

First of all, I like to believe that his father, no matter how much we do not get along or how much he annoys me ;), really has changed.  But even if he has not, and will always repeat the same cycles, my child knows Jesus.  He has accepted him and knows Him personally.  He will stumble and he will fall, an he may make some very stupid and horrible decisions, but there is no doubt that my child knows and loves Jesus personally.

Second of all, my son may not have a father figure at my house.  But that is because when my son's mother felt the nudging of the Lord that what ever relationship was not right for us, that relationship was ended soon after.  I may have used other reasons but, I can honestly say every time I ended a relationship started with a very quiet thought that it was not God honoring.  Most people will look at that statement and think that I am just blowing smoke.  But that still small voice was always in the back of my mind and things just started going down hill after that once I finally listened.  So, Kole does not have a Godly role model every night he is at my house.  BUT there is not a man living with us that does not know Jesus either.

I was crying because I can not protect my son.  Then, I was crying because I can not protect my son, but He already has.  There is a verse about how perfect love casts out fear.  My fear is based on my love for my son.  But there is a love that is greater than the one I have for him and it is perfect and protective.  If I can have faith in the perfect love and let it continue to protect Kole, then I know the cycle is broken.  I know that my son is not a statistic any more but rather the exception.  That perfect love that was given to me and shown to me through His word and His works has now been given to my son and that is the only thing that could have and will every break the cycle for my son.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Inspired

Kole and I went to watch Tomorrowland this afternoon.  Disney movies don't always seem to have any Biblical principle to them but they could have some good life applications if you are paying attention.  I am not good with movie quotes but there was this one scene where the gist of the idea was that humans, in general, are given imperative information and we hold onto it, we do nothing to with it.  We hold it in and either wallow in it or bask in it, but we rarely do anything outside of ourselves and/or beneficial with that information.  

They used the examples obesity or global warming.  I, for one, can identify with this statement.  I am a nurse and I still struggle with eating the right kinds and amounts of food or exercising regularly.  I have been warned and I have seen the effect of obesity first hand.  Many of my pts have their "Chronic Diseases" because of obesity. Yet, you can still find me sneaking that cheese burger swearing that my life change will start tomorrow, or eating those fries swearing this is the last time I get them for lunch.  I have a wealth of information and experience screaming at me about what these foods and these non-active lifestyles will do to my quality of life as I age, yet I do nothing with it.  So while I am thinking about all the things in my life that I complain about but nothing about, I started thinking about a few other ideas, concepts, truths that I have but I keep to myself.  

Ok, so now it is your turn.  Think of something that is inspiring to you.  Something that was once shared with you or you happened upon it and it touched you in some way.  Your initial reaction more than likely was to tell someone.  To tell about what it was that touched you and why it touched you.  But, as time goes on, the excitement dulls, the need to tell people lessens, and soon its a memory.  No longer is it what you live and breath, but an idea that every-now-and-then presents itself in how you live or who you are.  What once was awe inspiring has no become mundane.  What used to be the essence of who you are has become a small portion of everyday life.  

At this point, the line in a movie was no longer a good life lesson, but a convicting message from the Holy Spirit.  When was the last time I was excited about Who should be the very essence of who I am?  When was the last time that I was so excited about what He was doing in my life that I just had to go share it with someone? I always thought the one thing I never wanted to do was to feel sad.  I have experienced enough sadness to last a life time.  I have cried enough tears to make a river named after me.  But, after this movie and after church today, I realized that there are worse things than feeling broken and sad, and that is to feel nothing.  Which is where my heart is a good portion of the time.  I do not get angry, I do not get sad, I do not get excited, I do not get happy.  I feel nothing.  I have no desire to change anything because I have no hope that anything will change.  I do not want to tell anyone my story because it is not important.  I do not want to make new friends or date any more because my life is a huge platter or nothing.  The impact I have on those around me is nothing.  I have trained my mind and my heart to think that feeling, saying, doing, and meaning nothings is better than feeling, saying, doing, and meaning anything at the risk of those may lead to sadness or hurt.  There are probably only a handful of people who can evoke any emotions out of me and only a couple of those people are the ones that bring out positive aspects of who I am.  

But as I contemplate my current state of mind I can't help but be inspired by it.  Let me explain that a little more.  I am inspired because there is truth and is there is hope.  The truth and the hope I have is not found in me, what I do, what I say, what I feel.  The only truth I have is that Jesus Christ died for my sins and the only hope I have is that He making me new.  And there is a lot to make new in me.  I often wonder how to make the changes I need to so that I can be healthy.  I tend to identify all the problems in my life and think that there is no solution.  But I have the answer, the solution, the way.  These answers and fixes that I am constantly trying to figure out and find start at the Cross and continue through the Gospels and spread to my heart.  The answer has always been and will always be God the Father, Jesus my Savior, and the Holy Spirit. 

I was desperate and had nothing left to hold onto, and at my weakest moment I was given a gift.  It is a gift that is ok to regift.  Its not like at Christmas where we frown upon someone giving way the gift we gave them.  It was never ours to keep in the first place.  We were given this gift so that we can go and give it to others.  We are inspired by this gift.  What it does in us and for us and to us.  We start by wanting to go and share the good news with all who will listen.  But, it soon becomes an afterthought as our daily lives take over.  At least for me, I get tired so I chose to sleep rather than spend time in the Word.  My conversations with God soon become one word pleas in a rushed day.  No relationship can last when it gets put on the back burner, and no matter how much we know and can feel the Holy Spirit, this relationship is even harder to keep burning with a bright flame because of the intangible nature of it.   But, there is nothing more heart-filling and joy-giving than an nurtured and cultivated relationship with our Father and Savior.  There is nothing more inspiring than the stories and testimonies that come out of this dependancies.  And there is nothing more deserving of sharing than these Divinely Inspired testimonies.  So let's get inspired and go spread the flame :)


Sunday, June 7, 2015

My Problem

I am not a fan of cleaning.  I usually do the mare minimum to make the house look presentable and then call it good.  Usually that entails me shoving what I can in whatever space is open and forget about it later.  Just recently I had to organize my house because I had a friend move in and so I went through all of my hiding places and I was extremely surprise how much junk I had and how messy my house actually was.  On the surface things looked great and spic and span, by on the inside my house was just a bunch of junk crammed into already filled spaces.

That is how we are in life sometimes too.  We have this image that we show everyone, this mirage of what we are supposed to look like and hardly every do people see the realy you.  The real struggles, the real reason behind what you are saying or doing.  Take me for example.  Most days, if I am walking in church or in work I do not make eye contact.  I do not usually start conversations.  And I come off as being a total "B". But, if I let you see what was really going on in my hear and my heart it would go a little more like this:  I walk by these people who I would really like to talk to or get to know but I know that I am good enough, funny enough, skinny enough, pretty enough, smart enough for whom ever it is that I may encounter that day.  Let me rephrase the beginning part of that... I think I am not good enough. 

I am pretty open about my insecurities but there are other aspects of my life that very few people know about.  Deeper struggles and desires that I can not get rid of even though I wish I could.  But on the outside no one would could know this.  I do such a good job at wearing a mask that sometimes even I start to believe the facade.  

I have a ton more examples I can think of.  That youth pastor on the outside who is a sex addict on the inside, that health nut on the outside but a food addict on the inside, the got it together stay at home mom on the outside, but the depressed alone and angry woman on the inside, the rich business man on the outside but the drowning in debt and addiction lost soul on the inside. Or even the strong independent single mom who does not need any help on the outside but the scared, lonely, helpless, tired girl on the inside.

What you get on the outside is hardly every what is going on inside of people.  We take all of our junk that we do not want people to see and hide it deep down in the closets of our heart that should already be filled by the Holy Spirit.  We tend to think that people would never love us or even like us if they really knew what was going on.  Or we are so wrapped up in our own sin and/or selfishness to know what our heart really wants.  I do not know how many times I have heard justification for a behavior and if you really look deep at what the real issue you, hardly ever do the coincide.  

We think that if we have this perfect little mask up for everyone to see then we will have an easier life or better standing with people around us or even Christ.  But that is so far from the truth.  From my own experience the more that I try to keep this mask up and the more that I pretend that I am ok, the lonelier and more secluded I become.  The more that I pretend everything is ok and that I have it all figured out the further away from my Savior I become because I stop relying on Him and continue to rely on this mask that all of you see.  

I often put up these premisses so that I will not look bad to those around me but really it does not matter what those people think.  Even those closest to me.  If I look amazing and sparkly on the outside but am a total disaster on the inside I am not making my Father happy.  There are numerous times in the Bible, the Word of God, that show me that.  I do not want to have it all figured out because then I will stop relying on the one that really matters!  I am still not sure how I should change this. But I guess the first step is always identifying the problem.  So my problem in once condensed statement:  Hi I am Kristy, I am a scared, lonely, helpless tired single mom who likes to pretend to be a strong independent woman so that people who not matter will think better of me and the God who loves me more than anything can't change the fact that I am a scared, lonely, helpless, tired girl.