Surviving to Thriving

It’s been ages since I posted. When I started this site, I had high hopes of posting my Proverbs 31 journey. But what does a single woman, completely invisible to men, know about being a noble wife? Absolutely nothing. Heck, I don’t even know how to thrive at being a single woman. The media keeps giving me mixed signals of who I should be. While the church thinks I should be a wife. So I spent the past year of my life severely depressed – stuck in this identity prison, stripped of any joy that I ever had, trying to just make it through each day… Alone.

As a Christian, I’m not allowed to complain, but I’m also not allowed to keep it bottled up. I’m supposed to focus on all I’m grateful for, and all the bad stuff will eventually disappear. Well after 152 days of doing that, guess what? I’m still anxious. I still battle with depression, but those days are fewer and farther between. It’s hard to find something to be grateful for on those bad days, but I do it anyway. It makes me that much more grateful for that one thing.

When I reflect on where I was this time last year, and where I am now, I think about Paul’s statement to the Corinthians that we only know part of the story, but one day we will know the whole thing, just as we are all currently fully known by the Storyteller. Oh how I wish I knew the big picture, but do I really? I mean, I don’t like spoilers in any story…

Proverbs 31:25 says that “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.” So let’s armor up, and look forward to what’s ahead, instead of living in the dark spots of our past.

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His Love Endures Forever

Inspired by Psalm 136 & Acts 17:24-29

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good,

His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods,

His love endures forever. 

For He made the world and everything in,

His love endures forever. 

Sunflowers, autumn leaves, sunsets and Spring,
His love endures forever. 

Give thanks to the Lord of Heaven and Earth,

His love endures forever. 

Natural disasters pale to His strength,

His love endures forever. 

Lord even over the President’s reign, 
His love endures forever.

We won’t find Him in shrines made by human hands,

His love endures forever. 

No, our hearts are the homes of the Spirit He sent,

His love endures forever. 

He is not dead; no, our God is ALIVE!

His love endures forever. 
Give thanks to the One who has given us life,

His love endures forever. 

Give thanks to the One who has numbered our days,

His love endures forever;

Who has, through one man, determined our race, 
His love endures forever. 

For the broken, oh the Lord is the one who restores,

His love endures forever. 

In Him we live, move, and have our being,

His love endures forever. 

Because I’m His child, fear no longer grips me,

His love endures forever.

The Prison of Anxiety 

I have battled with anxiety for offially 3 years. If I’m being honest with myself, probably my whole life. Anxiety looks different on everyone, but for me, it masquerades as perfectionism. Perfectionism is my prison. When I was younger, perfectionism drove me to be better. The only trigger toward panic would be others biting comments of “you think you’re so perfect.” Actually, I don’t; that’s the problem. Flaws grit at me like nails on a chalkboard. The trigger has only worsened with age. The trigger has led me to react harshly and critically toward the people closest to me. Sometimes it’s easier to avoid others just so that I don’t have to see their imperfections (but mostly so that they don’t see mine). So I isolate myself to avoid my social ineptitude. But the isolation is lonely, and makes the depressive part of anxiety so much worse. 

It’s a tough and seemingly endless battle. I cry that I hate going through it alone. But it’s my reclusive reaction, not others, that is making me do this alone.  

I’m so grateful of the blessed hope (eternal hope) that this is not going to last an eternity. I am thankful that I can cast my anxiety at the feet of Jesus, because he cares for me. I am glad that joy will come in the morning. 

My prayer is that the joy will come this side of Heaven. But until then, I think I finally recognize this battle belongs to the Lord. I just need to be faithful to him, and let him take care of the rest.

Good Grief 

After quite the busy summer, I realize that I fell off the blogger sphere. Maybe I will share some of my stories when I continue my Proverbs 31 journey. For now, I must take a step back, and bare my soul on the process of grief.

Once my life started to settle down a bit, the relationship loss hit me like a vengeance all over again.  What is wrong with me?! It’s been well over a year! Heck, it ended just as quickly as it began!  Why am I so distraught over this… still?! Luckily I have a wonderful counselor who can help me make sense of all this. Her answer? There is no rhyme or reason to grief. We just need to experience the changing emotions, and go through them. Yikes!  It can sometimes be paralyzing, but that’s normal.  It has no standard pattern for completion, other than the result of finally moving on – whenever that is.

The stages of grief are categorized as follows: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.  The way that someone moves through these stages, varies on the individual. Some might go straight to acceptance.  Others may cycle around the block a few times, and take an extended water break at one stage before continuing their journey. The important thing to know though, is that everyone has their own journey.