Saturday, September 8, 2012

Scientist vs Christian

...More from September 3rd...
I’ve started to thank God more.  I didn’t used to do that.  But now, I make a point of saying, “Thank you God, for my perfect little car.  Thanks for the roof over my head, this perfect little house that you have placed me in, that I can afford, and that I can come home to every day.  Thanks for my friends.  Thank you for my church family, a place I can really belong.  Thank you for all the new people you are constantly bringing into my life.”

I was not used to actively thanking God all the time!  But once you come to realize that his will is perfect and he knows what he’s doing, you start to get thankful. 

And then, I lose sight of that gratefulness a lot.  My brain chemistry is not always my friend.  I have not been blessed with a great upbringing and loving, supportive family.  I’ve been blessed with a messy upbringing, and a small, difficult, challenging family.  But, it’s made me who I am.  It’s made me able to appreciate people more.  It’s taught me how to love unconditionally, and give of myself, constantly, over and over again.  And, it is not always possible or easy to see this as a blessing!!  ßanother challenge.  Good grief. 

Because of my upbringing, my past experiences, my past challenges, and the way that I was supported or not through those challenges, my brain chemistry is wired a little differently than most.  I am blessed with the mind of a scientist as well as the mind of a spiritual leader, and so this can be very challenging as well.  I say this because I would not be able to understand brain chemistry, had I only been blessed with a spiritual mind and heart.  I am very in-tune with the physical world, very aware of our choices as physical beings on a physical planet.  And understanding the human mind is part of this.  Brain chemistry is a touchy subject, especially for Christians.  God is supposed to heal all, be in charge over all.  And he is…..BUT, I live the daily challenges of having your brain and mind fight you!  My brain fights me every day.  I have to fight back to make it line up and do what it’s supposed to.  I have to work very hard, relying on God of course (confusing as HELL, right??) to not let my brain chemistry constantly create clouds of darkness over my life.  It sucks.  It is not fun.  I have to take a little pink pill called Pristiq every morning to help balance stuff out in my brain, to help chemicals release when they are supposed to.  And then, I have to constantly work at self-affirmations, reminding myself that I have a God who created me wonderfully and fearfully, and for a purpose, thus fighting every single thing, physical, spiritual, or otherwise, that has always told me that I’m not good enough and not doing what I’m supposed to, and that I’m difficult, and that I’m whiny and I complain and I cry too much.  I have to fight all of that, every single day! What people rarely understand about mental illness or struggles is that we don’t CHOOSE to feel bad about ourselves or feel sorry for ourselves; we are in a constant battle with the chemicals and hormones that are creating all these feelings.  And it sucks! 

So, all these challenges, add to my challenges. They make the things that God wants me to do that much harder.  They make the things that I want to do, that much harder.  They make seeing my purpose, that much harder.  They make the desire to push through, that much harder to come by.  They make the desire to be better, that much harder to come by.  They make positive thinking, hard.  They make getting up and exercising and taking care of my body, hard.  I am in a constant battle.  With hormones and chemicals.  Really??!!

So I have no choice but to take my life one tiny step at a time.  One choice, one bite, one breath at a time.  Each choice is carefully calculated not because I’m an overly-analytical type-A, bitchy personality, but because I have to be so very careful with my brain chemistry and emotions.  I have to be careful because I have to protect myself.  I have to protect myself because I am constantly under attack; attack from my own body, and attack from The Enemy, who doesn’t want me to take care of myself, or listen to God.  So either way, it all comes back to God. 

And this is my greatest joy, and my greatest struggle.

Yup, I’m complicated.

My Plans are not your plans..

More excerpts from September 3rd...
I don’t really want to be like anyone else on this planet.  I am very happy being myself, and drawing inspiration from where I may, and spending time on the inside of myself, developing my goals and values.  So I think that’s my challenge, is working with people who intimidate me and make me uncomfortable.  I think what makes me uncomfortable is that they judge me.  They don’t understand me.  I am able to understand them, even though I don’t know them very well anymore.  They are motivated by different things than I am motivated by.  They like their cars, money, status, and hype, social circles.  I am not motivated by cars or money.  I’m just not.  I would love to have more money to help my mom and sisters, to help people in the neighborhood, and to have more in my savings account.  But, I also know that God is going to provide everything I need with everything I have.  I honestly don’t want a flat screen plasma TV.  I don’t want 400 channels of cable.  I don’t want designer clothes.  I just don’t.  I believe in using used things.  I believe in using things and resources that are already in existence.  Why create a bunch of crap that contributes to the energy crisis and a wasteful lifestyle?  ß That is honestly my lifestyle motto. 
So, it is extremely difficult for me to play a part and rely on people who don’t agree with that lifestyle at all, people who have to have the latest, best, and trendiest.  That’s just not me.  That’s my challenge.     I know people who are not into God’s timing, they are into their own.  So…this is very hard.  I have to listen to God and rely on his grace to give me the courage to proceed with this business as he sets apart for me.  I can do this business in the name of Jesus and for the glory of his’s kind of all up to me.  And then I stop and go, “No, it’s not all up to me, God will reveal.”  Exasperation!! Then, I have to fight the exasperation by taking deep breaths and reminding myself that God is in control.  I kind of feel schizophrenic.  J I feel like lots of different sides of my brain all battling each other, lots of different aspects of my personality constantly at work, and it’s kind of exhausting.  I think the biggest thing I’m learning in my walk with Jesus is this: yes, you’re going to have dreams, hopes, and goals for your future.  However, God has dreams, hopes, and goals for your future, too.  And guess, what?  These may not always line up.  Are you willing to sit still where God has placed you once in a while, and listen?  Are you willing to say, “God, you are in charge today, help me be everything I need to be today, please!”?  Or, are you going to say, “Sorry, God, but your plans for me just aren’t good enough.  I think I’ll do it my way today and see if you approve later.” 

Thinking and Growing

September 3, 2012

11:30 am

Okay, so here’s the deal.  Today, I am trying to do things differently.  For the last several weeks, I’ve really been itching to write again.  Just write, but still have it have some purpose or clarity.  In the last week or so, I’ve realized that I’ve been avoiding my thoughts.  I’ve been laying in bed on days where I can sleep in, and just willing myself back to sleep because I don’t want to busy myself with all the thoughts in my head.  This sent me to a bunch of blaring alarms going off in my head, because it reminds me of my really bad depression stages, back in 2008 and 2009.  I used to just sleep days away.  I haven’t wanted to go back to that.  I haven’t wanted to have days like that again.  But now, it seems that I want everything to slow down, and I’m almost willing myself to a stop in order to accomplish this.  I’m trying to see if it’s “a desire to slow down and have more ‘me’ time” OR “avoiding everything and hoping it will eventually go away/depressed type thinking”.  There’s been lots on my mind. 

My job is pretty awesome.  I work with kids and families, and I set my own schedule throughout the day.  I make my own appointments and then just have to follow through with them.  I then document pretty much everything I do, to show the progress the kid or the family is making.  When broken down like this, it seems much simpler than it actually feels during the day, especially the day when I get so bogged down with something small, like having a deadline for a treatment plan that needs updated.  I have gotten really stressed out the last several weeks; the beginning of the school year has been really messy for me, really stressful to try and figure out the new scheduling and stuff.  We work by quota, so we are responsible for a certain amount of hours of service we need to provide every month.  After like 3 months of not making this said quota, you start getting asked questions about how well you’re doing your job.  I don’t want to lose my job.  So I worry and I stress and I try to make myself better, and learn more about the job, and tips and tricks and shortcuts to make myself more effective. 

And then, I start to get angry.  I get angry because I get competitive with myself, if that’s the right word.  I start to expect more from myself.  I start to think, “You have your business; you’re not doing anything with it; if you were, you could be one step closer to not having to worry about this damn quota thing.”  It ticks me off that I have something so valuable in front of me that I haven’t been able to do much with at all. 

That’s where Jesus comes in.  I then think, “Well, it’s not my time.  God’s gonna put me where he wants me anyway, and then it’s my job to do what he’s asking and be happy with it.”  I don’t think it’s right to say that I get angry with where God has placed me.  I don’t think that accurately describes my feelings.  I think I get impatient.  And that I’m constantly being called to a deeper level of faith and understanding and trust, and I’m just not used to that.  The truth is, I am at a whole new level in the faith game.  I have a relationship with God like I haven’t had before.  And I look at the people around me, all the people in my life, and I can tell who puts God first, and who doesn’t.  Lots of people I know thank God when things are going well and “give him the glory”, but He isn’t first in their lives.  He doesn’t run their lives; they do.  They run their own lives.  I, on the other hand, am willing to let God take the wheel.  I feel like I have no other choice.  Why would I say, “I  CHOOSE to run my own life, be my own captain, run my own show”, when I know that I’m not going to do it perfectly?  God is.  He is doing it perfectly, according to his will, what he already has determined for me, and why would I want to mess with that??  I just don’t understand why I would want to mess with that.  I have been blessed with many talents that I have the opportunity to use on a daily basis.  No, I haven’t been able to minister and translate in as many settings and countries as I want to yet, but I have my whole life ahead of me, and who knows what God wants to do?! I can’t risk all that, just because “I want this residual income to happen right now, so I’m gonnna go out blindly and do it all myself, and find these people, and train them to do the same thing, etc etc etc.”.  It’s not up to me.  It’s up to God.  So why would I force it?