I envy those who write with such transparency. Raw-ness. I strive to be like that. I recently read a blog post about the Semicolon Project http://www.thesemicolonproject.com/. Their statement is: “A SEMICOLON REPRESENTS A SENTENCE THE AUTHOR COULD HAVE ENDED, BUT CHOSE NOT TO. THAT AUTHOR IS YOU AND THE SENTENCE IS YOUR LIFE.”
This blog post really struck me as I have been there. I’ve been in that dark place where I wanted to end my sentence. But I didn’t. Instead I was saved by a radio Pastor. I was on my way to visit Thomas in the psychiatric hospital and I honestly thought this world would be a better place without me in it. The only thing that kept me here was my husband and my girls. I wasn’t worried so much about Thomas as he was the catalyst to my depression. Anyway, I was driving and I liked to listen to a Syrus radio station called “Family Talk” or something like that. It was a station that, every half hour was a different talk from a different Pastor. The only name I can recall was David Jeremiah but I don’t know if he was the one who was preaching. So here I am driving and listening to Pastors’ preach and this one Pastor began talking about suicide. He didn’t say how evil it was and how you were going to hell for taking your own life. No, this Pastor talked about what a gift we were from God. How our bodies were a gift. And why would anyone want to hurt something that was a gift from God? I’ll never forget that sunny afternoon and that Pastor from the radio and how he literally saved my life. I’ll also never forget that I have a God who was thoughtful enough to put me and that radio Pastor together on that afternoon.
So reading about “The Semicolon Project” brought it all back. But it’s ok because I don’t recall that time with tears. Instead I remember it as if I’m remembering a movie I watched. It all seems so far away especially considering where I am now. I’m in a place of peace and I’m happy. Thanks be to God and the right meds.
I was wondering what I have to blog about to get a lot of traffic. Part of me doesn’t care all that much since I mainly blog for myself and share with everyone what I’m thinking about at that moment. But… there’s another part of me that wonders what it is like to be a popular blogger with a ton of readers. I don’t blog about anything controversial or obnoxious. I do blog about my life and my relationship with God. I also write about how life was like when I was depressed (clinically depressed not just a sad mood).
I find myself holding back many times. Whether it be to protect myself or the feelings of others. There is so much about my depression especially the very dark times I haven’t written about. I wonder who I am protecting? Myself; my family? I read some bloggers who have total transparency and I am envious of them. Envious of the ability to be so very open and raw.
For example I never wrote about how deeply I was depressed. It was a very dark time in my life and to be perfectly honest I really felt the world would be better off without me. The only thing that kept me hanging on was my husband and my girls. I wasn’t worried about Thomas as he was the catalyst to my depression. One afternoon I was driving the 2 hours to visit Thomas in the psychiatric hospital and I was listening to a Christian satellite radio station. The station was called “Family Talk” or something like that on Syrus. Every half hour they would play a sermon from well known pastors. I remember David Jeremiah was one of them. Anyway, this particular afternoon during this dark time in my life; the Pastor (who’s name I don’t remember) spoke about suicide. This was definitely from God as no one on this earth knew how I was feeling. This pastor didn’t condemn people and say you were going to hell if you harmed yourself. Instead he spoke of the beauty of oursleves and how our bodies were gifts from God and why would anyone want to hurt God’s gift? I’ll never forget that day or that Pastor because he saved my life. I remember the highway I was driving on and that it was a sunny day. I’m so very thankful to that nameless Pastor and thankful I have a God who cares enough about me to put me and that Pastor together one afternoon.
I’m no longer in that place praise God and new meds. I’m pretty happy with my life right now but that dark time is not something you ever forget. And you have an all new insight and empathy for others going through the same thing. When you hear of someone who did in fact take their own life you understand the pain and despair and I personally thank God for taking me out of that place.
I love to people watch. Especially on my way to Manhattan. It makes the commute all the more interesting. There is every walk of life at the ferry terminal. Everyone has a story. Everyone is going someplace. On the ferry during the week women are applying makeup and/or doing their hair, either in the ladies room or right there at their seat. Today (Saturday) on the Manhattan bound ferry there’s standing room only at the ladies room mirror.
New Yorkers are stereotyped as being rude. I don’t believe so and haven’t been witness to such rudeness. Quite honestly I find the tourists to be a bit on the rude side especially when boarding the ferry on the Manhattan side. In my experience even the homeless are polite when asking for money. If you haven’t noticed already, I love New York. I love living here.
I want another one. I currently have 4. I need another one. It’s funny because when I was depressed I never thought about anything other than getting through the day. Now I look forward to the next day and right now the next tattoo. I plan to get the tattoo on my left thigh. I will only get tattoos where they can easily be covered up. But that’s me.
3 out of my 4 tattoos have meaning which I’m sure most people’s do. My first one is a butterfly on my left ankle. There’s not much “meaning” other than it was my first. My second is a butterfly on my left back. It’s a butterfly that is taking flight. At that time in my life I felt unsettled and I was looking to fly I just didn’t know it. We were living in New Jersey at the time and I was not happy living there. Hence wanting to take flight. My third tattoo is a tribal (solid black) butterfly settling to land on my left shoulder. At the time I had that one done we had moved back to Staten Island and I knew we were here to stay and that I was ready to put down roots. I love that tattoo. My final and fourth tattoo on my left foot is a dandelion being blown into the wind with the dandelion strands turning into birds. . There are 4 birds one for each of my children. The birds range from small to big with the biggest being my oldest, Thomas and the smallest is Samantha, my youngest. I asked the artist to add two very small yellow birds to represent my two miscarriages. You can barely see the yellow birds and that’s ok; I know they’re there.
I almost can’t wait to get the next one. Yes it will hurt but it’s a pain you get used to when the artist is working on you. Hard to explain to someone who’s never gotten a tattoo. But it you have one or two or five and you’re reading this, you understand.
I’ve been thinking lately about what I want to do with my life in the near future. I’m actively job hunting. I do enjoy the job I have now it’s just not enough hours. I currently work 2 days per week. I would love another day or two but I don’t see that happening.
I’ve also been praying to God for Him to open the door to another job. Whether He will or not is His will and not something I can control. I’ve accepted that. Maybe He wants me where I am for now for whatever reason. In the meantime I search optimistically and ruminate about what direction I want to take.
I’d rather not work in a hospital or nursing home. I’d prefer an office. I’ve decided right now to stay in the nursing profession. God doesn’t make mistakes and I’m here for a reason. I don’t particularly want to return to school which is what I would have to do to make a total career change.
God does have the perfect job picked out for me I simply need the patience to wait on Him. In the meantime I pray, take care of my family, work my part time job and exercise my love of the thrift.
I’ve been reminiscing in my past couple of blog posts. How the depression knocked me down and how bad things became with Thomas after his medication change.
I’m not in that place any longer. It feels good in some way to revisit those times. Even though they weren’t happy times I learned a lot about myself, my son and also my marriage.
I have joy these days. Joy in Christ. Joy knowing my Savior lives. Joy in worshipping a God who loves me. I have joy in my identity in Christ and in knowing my sins are forgiven. I have joy in the Gospel.
That’s not to say I don’t worry or have anxiety. I do. But those times aren’t as intense as they used to be and for that I give God the glory.
I went to bible study last night and was struck by a conversation surrounding how the enemy likes to strike us down, we then question “why me God?” And wonder why He even chose us to follow Him.
I started going back to church and accepted Christ as my savior when things were going well in my life. Thomas was living at home we had a wonderful counselor for him who came to the house to work on various goals such as going to the stores and paying for items, etc… She easily became part of our family. Life was really good.
Fast forward a year or so and Thomas was having potentially dangerous side effects to one of his medications. We
had to change his meds and it was disastrous. He became aggressive towards me and I was forced to call an ambulance more than once to preserve my safety and Thomas was hospitalized many times. I felt like my world was falling apart. This was
also when the depression started settling in. I remember feeling far from God. That he moved away from me. I even had a dream that I was praying and I had a big glass dome over me and my prayers couldn’t get past the glass to reach God.
At no time did I stop believing or blame God. I did become angry at him but I did not feel forsaken, just separate and broken.
I find it so interesting that He chose me to return to Him and accept Christ during a “good” season in my life and then the storms hit. I kept praying even though I felt so far away. One particular storm lasted for years (the depression).
During this season of my life things are nice. Not stress free but calm. I know He has great plans that have yet to be revealed. And even though I had a season of feeling separate from Him, God never left me.
I have this song running through my head this morning, Blessings by Laura Story. Yesterday my husband and I were talking to a neighbor who also has a special needs daughter. Many of you know about our Thomas who is also special needs. We’ve been through many, many trials with Thomas. And everytime I hear this song I think of him. What if our greatest trial is God’s blessing in disguise?
Anyway, when we were speaking with our neighbor she mentioned that she often wonders what her daughter would have been like had things been different. My husband replied that he often thinks the same thing about Thomas. I do think that also about Thomas. The big “what if?” What if he’d been born “normal”?. What if? It almost makes you loathe the word, “if”. That word can hold so much. Thomas is one of the greatest achings of my life. It still pains me that he cannot live at home. I know my husband feels the same. I love Thomas for who he is now, not what he could have been. Thomas being the way he is changed me as a mother. And if I were to be able to change him to a “normal” person, would I then have to change myself to how I was before he was in my life?
I honestly don’t dwell on the what ifs because it is pointless. I tend to focus on the present and future which can hold enough worry all by themselves. But this song speaks so perfectly to my heart. Especially when she sings, “This is not our home…” No, this is not our home. I often wonder if when I do meet our Lord will I ask Him questions about my earthly life. Thomas being in the forefront of those queries. Why were we chosen to be his parents? Why did God make things so challenging? Why the heartache? Or will I even care at that point? What I do believe is that when Thomas meets the Lord and joins us, I believe he will tell us himself. It will be glorious to hear my son talk clearly and coherently. I was given a glimpse of this in a dream I had a couple of years ago. Thomas was just a typical teen and him, Alyssa and I were just sitting in our front sun porch talking to one another. I have no idea what we were talking about I just remember Thomas being “normal”. I know when we’re all in heaven together we’ll all talk again. God gave me a preview.
God’s presence in our lives is so important. It’s something you don’t realize you have until you feel it is missing. His presence is real and it is powerful. I feel so blessed to have our Lord’s presence in my life.
When I was depressed I missed God’s presence. The depression makes you feel alone and forgotten. I still prayed and believed don’t get me wrong I probably prayed more when I was depressed than I do when I’m not depressed. Or rather I pray differently. These days I pray more in praise of His greatness than for healing. It makes sense now that I’m in a different place.
Today our Pastor preached about “Jars of clay” and how that is what we are as Christians. But we contain a treasure which is the Gospel. I loved it. To know that we carry such a powerful message and it is our charge to spread that message. That Jesus poured himself out and died for us. Sinners. This message is one that we should not contain yet we do. I do anyway. I don’t see myself as a minister even though that is what I am according to my Pastor. I worry that when presented with a situation to spread the Gospel I will fail. I will fail the Lord and Savior I worship. My only calming thought is that the Holy Spirit will not fail me and carry me and my words to exactly who and where they’re supposed to be. I wish for boldness in spreading the Gospel.
His presence surrounds us and I never forget His promise that He will never leave or forsake us. Those truths are what keep me centered and focused. We serve a mighty and wonderful God.
Today I was in Manhattan and I *had* to stop by my favorite Salvation Army on the upper West side. To be honest I was there to see my therapist and lucky for me she’s near the thrift store :). As my dad said, I had a whole morning of “therapy”. He was right!
I first found amazing brand new Vince slip on sneakers. Did I mention they were brand new?? I was ecstatic to find they fit me perfectly .
On to the the clothing section! There I found a perfect pink t shirt by Splendid, an awesome Free People tank, Joe’s Jeans shorts and Citizens of Humanity skinny jeans!
I then took a look behind the glass case where they keep the sunglasses and jewelry. None of the jewelry caught my eye but these sunglasses sure did. Oversized tortoise frame, oh my! I asked to see them and I was thrilled to find out they are Vera Wang, still being sold online.
And bonus selfie wearing said sunglasses
I know they are a little big (haha) but I don’t care I love them!