thepalmofhishand

What in the World is God up to?

Month: March, 2013

Easter Lunch with Friends

Ever since my husband’s arrest, our two daughters (they’re both married) have been…subdued.  They needed quite a bit of time to get past the shock and anger  When we see them now, they are very kind and loving, and we can laugh together.  But we don’t see them as much as we used to, and they don’t call us hardly ever anymore.  We still send texts and emails, but it’s not the same.

Neither one of them invited us to eat Easter lunch with them.  I don’t know if they got together or not.

But about two weeks after my husband was arrested, a wonderful couple that we had known for quite a while, but hadn’t seen in months, called and invited us over.  They have been incredibly supportive, loving, forgiving, and just all around precious to us ever since.

They invited us to their house for Easter lunch.  Their two sons and daughter-in-law, a sister and brother-in-law were there.  What is usually a family day they included us in and made us feel wanted and comfortable.

I don’t think they will ever understand how much their friendship has meant to us.  We’ve repeatedly told them we didn’t know what we would have done without them and that they are always a glimpse of Jesus for us, but even still, there’s just no way to express how much they have touched our lives.

Eating a meal with good friends.  Isn’t that one of the last things Jesus did before His death?

Bringing joy to friends who were grieving.  Isn’t that the first thing Jesus did when He rose from the grave?

T. and C., we love you.  Thank you for loving us.

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The Heartache of The Passion

On Thursday, I decided to watch The Passion of The Christ during the next three days.  Yesterday, Good Friday, I watched the portion where Jesus was taken and flogged by the Romans.  The scene was graphic but, ironically, probably nowhere near as graphic as the actual floggings the Romans used to inflict during that time.

Before I reached the scene of the crucifixion, I was in tears…no, that doesn’t describe what happened.  I was sobbing into my husband’s chest, begging God to renew my heart, to change the wickedness in me. I have been a believer for over 40 years and, to my mind, I’ve never done a thing for God.  I’ve ignored Him a good part of the time, praying token words of thanks for safe travel, grandbabies and a great vacation, etc.  But I mostly kept my belief hidden from the world, only sharing it with other believers, and even then in a superficial way.

I think those years of lukewarm Christianity are the biggest clue to my struggle now to believe in God’s absolute Grace.  How am I to make up for 40 years of complacency and taking my salvation for granted?  How can I prove to God that I love Him, and prove to Jesus that I don’t take his life, his suffering and his death in a cavalier manner?

Jesus said we are to forgive seventy times seven.  He’s way past that in forgiveness of me, and my mind and heart just ache to believe He has remembered my sins no more.

I’ve said it before–I want to be completely undone by God’s love and grace.

Praying for all those who have been so encouraging with your comments for my blog, and the prayers you have offered up for me.

May this Easter be a time of knowing that God’s love and mercy and Grace is falling on us in a deluge.

Blessings

Good Friday

It was Good Friday for us.  The adored Son of Heaven suffering beatings, crucifixion and the sins of all mankind–past, present and future–settling on Him.

I have wondered what the angels felt when they saw their darling boy on that cross.  I can’t help but believe that they absolutely ached and grieved for Him.  He had been with them since time began, and now, snarling, cursing, abusive humans were tearing Him apart.

It is a sobering thought.  Jesus’ crucifixion and death suddenly took on a new aspect for me as I thought not just of God watching that horror, but all of the angels seeing The Beloved be tortured and die.

There are times when it just seems impossible to have happened.  As I long to know God more, the greater my times of “this is too insane to believe,” are.  But I desperately need to believe this wild, savage story of how much God and Christ loved us…before time began.

My disorder manifests itself in several ways.  One of the worst is the feeling of being unworthy of love.  If I could only rid myself of one of the aspects of being a borderline, that would be it.  I am unworthy of being loved, but God loves me anyway.  I am just struggling to believe it.

But I am certain that it was a Good Friday for us.

Time Moves too Fast

It’s too ironic.  The days of this month have flown by, and yet my recovery and therapy is moving so slowly.  My understanding of who God is and how He feels about me is going even slower.

I have this dread of five years flying by and me still being as nearly screwed up and unfaithful as I am right now.  I’ve said it before–I’ve never felt so old.  Before my husband was arrested, we went swimming several days a week, went out of town for weekends and traveled.  Since the arrest and the loss of the major part of our income, we can’t afford to swim anymore or travel like we used to.  I still spend several hours in my “paralysis chair,” although that is getting better, but I’m still a long way from where I should be.

Life-jolting trauma is difficult to overcome.  When you throw in being in therapy for my own personal nuttiness, it’s even worse.  Getting past what happened last summer was going to be tough enough, but I have a big, old, thick layer of baggage from my past thrown on top.

I had a great session with my therapist today, but I still feel like a boat that’s been pushed away from shore and has no rudder.  I never know when the wind will blow me onto the rocks of despair, onto the beach of cautious optimism, or crashing into a storm of anger.  It’s unsettling to say the least.

I asked my therapist today how it was possible that my negative mood could be stronger than God’s voice.  He said he thought I was hearing God’s voice, just not in a way that I could recognize.Guess what?  That is still frustrating.

I don’t know who I am and where I’m going.  Eradicating the bad stuff in me that I’ve known for 40 years is great, but when I pull that out of who I am, there’s a gaping space left and I don’t know what will fill it.

I haven’t resolved anything with my siblings–haven’t forgiven them and I’m still trying to figure out how to do that.  I’m afraid I don’t have enough years left to enjoy after all the pain, heartache and therapy subsides.  They’re flying by so fast.

Blessings

Dueling Therapists

Yikes!  Yesterday I went to the psychiatric APN who manages my meds.  She asked me how I was doing; I told her I was depressed.  Then I mentioned that I had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and the reaction I got caught me way off guard.  (This is someone I have spent about 90 minutes total with since September).  She jumped all over my diagnosis and wanted to know who my therapist was.  I told her and she wrote down his name. (They are not in the same city).

She said there was no way he could know I was a borderline in less than a year; that it was a horrible diagnosis to saddle someone with.  Then she said she thought I might have OCD or be bipolar, but BPD should take a lot longer to diagnose.

After I left there, I sent my therapist a text to tell him that I thought she might call him and I was just sending a heads-up.  From there, it went to emails, blah, blah, blah.

BTW, she asked me what his certification was and when I told her, she called him a glorified social worker.  Woah!

Psychiatrists and psychologists are a competitive lot.  I didn’t realize how much.  I think this may be one of the HUGE problems with therapy.  If you see therapist A, he/she may tell you one thing.  If you talk to therapist B, you may get a different story.  That’s why it’s really important to find a good therapist and stick with them for several months at least.

Yesterday was a “dang! calm down” kind of experience.  It rattled my cage a little.  I’m sure I’m borderline, not as much as I could be, but enough that it has affected my life and my family’s life to a certain degree.  There is too much that diagnosis makes me say, “Wow, that’s me,” for me to think it’s an incorrect diagnosis.

BTW, I feel like God has disappeared from my life again.  It makes me doubt my faith, even my conversion, because surely I should be more settled in my belief of who He is by now.

Pray for me.

Blessings

 

Accept and Suck it Up

Went to therapy yesterday; not a great time.  I sensed impatience and a little bit of contempt from my guy.  I came home and told my husband that our therapist was mean, but after thinking about it, there’s more to it than that.

His advice is that yeah, life stinks for me (not as much as it could) and it might for the rest of my life, so I should accept that and suck it up.  And I guess I should have moved past the hurt of the last nearly ten months by now.

Oh that it were that simple.

My soul still aches from many things, my heart still cries out to God and longs for healing.  Therapist says I wouldn’t be able to hear God if He was talking to me because I’m so negative.  It’s very possible that’s true–life has taught me to protect myself.

He’s told me to be honest and tell God when I’m angry with Him.  I don’t think that’s a good idea.  It hasn’t done much good for me and if God wants obedience, I don’t need anymore demerits.

So, I will live in limbo.  I wish my therapist would quit talking about free will; that’s a joke.  Most of my free will was taken from me when I was a child.  The things that happened to me poured a thick goo over me that would stick to me for the rest of my life.  Free will?  Hell, I still can’t escape the goo that clouds my vision, makes moving towards anything else an exhausting effort.

Contempt just adds another layer of goo.  Frustration with me because I can’t so easily accept and suck it up does, too.

 

 

I Got Nothin’

You would think after nearly 10 months, I would have some idea of what was going on with my life, where I was headed.  There have been a few days when I thought things were about to settle down, but it seems we’re a long way from that.

Today, I got nothin’.  “Recovery” seems to have flattened out.  I have never felt so old or like such a nobody, which is saying something because I have never really felt like “anybody.”  I think that is largely due to being a borderline, but I’d thought I would be further down the line after four months of therapy.

Don’t know if I trust my therapist anymore–some of that is due to being a borderline, too, but something is “off” there.  I don’t think he would give me the time of day if we’d met under any other circumstances.  Everything I say and do has to be measured–thought out carefully and more cautiously spoken.

I wish God would just write it on the wall.  Life seems gray.  You’d think that was a good thing because borderlines usually only see things as black or white.

But gray is not much better.  It’s the color of rainy, cloudy, cold days.  That’s kinda how life feels right now.

And why this should bother me, I don’t know because my life could be so much worse…but the ache and sorrow are still with me and I’m worn down.

God, is the verse about abundant life for our time here on earth?

 

Pray….How?

Over a month ago, my therapist told me to quit praying for myself for a month.  I could pray in adoration of God, but no prayers for myself.  After all, the Holy Spirit groans on our behalf and God knows what we need before we ask.

After that experiment, he told me to stop praying at all.  Just to sit quietly with no distractions and let the Spirit pray for me.

He and my husband don’t believe our prayers have any ability to “change God’s mind.”  Other people do and are constantly asking for prayer for someone who is very sick, someone who has lost their job, for people who are starving.

Jesus said to pray like this:  “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.

In the garden of Gethsemane, three times, Jesus ” fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

In Psalms 28: 2, David prayed this way: “Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.”

Daniel 6:10: Three times a day Daniel got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Matthew 7:7:  Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Luke 18:1:  Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

Ephesians 6:18:  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

James 5:16:  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

1 Peter 3:12:  For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer

Romans 8:26:  The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

Matthew 6:7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

So, how do I pray?  On my face, on my knees, with my hands raised?  Does it make any difference to God’s will if I pray?  Scripture seems to indicate it does make a difference.

But can we really “change God’s mind?”

Honest to goodness, I have no idea what the answer is.  It sure seems like, at the very least, I should know how to pray after 50 years.

Any suggestions?

Why isn’t it Enough?

I went to therapy today.  I’m pretty sure my therapist is tired of seeing me twice a week.  He probably thinks I have gone as far as I can go, at least with him.  But, hell, I don’t know where else to go.

Today, we found out that our youngest daughter and her husband are expecting our fourth grandchild.  My oldest daughter is about 3 weeks away from delivery of our third granddaughter.  I’m really excited for them all….but not as excited as I would have been 10 months ago.  I think that’s because of everything that’s happened in the last nine months.  It has changed my perception of my life, and left me wary of joyful events.  I didn’t realize that until our oldest told me she was pregnant.  I was happy, but knew my level of interaction with this pregnancy would not be as great as the first two.

I find this fact disturbing.  My life has been so jacked up that I’m self-absorbed and find “new” unsettling.  I feel less confident in who I am than I did ten months ago, and that’s saying something because my self-esteem ten months ago was pitiful.  Trying to explain this feeling to my husband and therapist (BTW, they were both in my session today and it kinda felt like they ganged up on me a couple of times) just made me feel like a whiny baby.

Maybe it’s just the borderline in me.  I’ve never felt like I was worth much to anyone.  I’ve written two novels my own daughters won’t read; talk about a kick in the butt.  Took me 25 years to believe I could write, then I finally did and none of my siblings or my children have read them.

Yeah, I know…I sound like a whiny baby.

But I’ve never known who I was and now I know even less.   Except that I’m a borderline, which is not a great thing to find out about yourself.  So I go to therapy to try and figure out why I don’t like myself, why I feel so unworthy, who the heck I am, and my therapist is hinting that I don’t need to show up twice a week.

Why shouldn’t he be tired of me?  I’m freaking tired of me, too.

My New Theme Song

Verse 1:
Lord I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the one that guides my heart

Chorus:
Lord, I need You, oh I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Verse 2:
Where sin runs deep, Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
Yes where You are Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Bridge:
So teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus You’re my hope and stay
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus You’re my hope and stay

by Matt Maher

Blessings