My Stand (Pt.1) – That Night

The Armor of God

The pressure was on to wrap-up the assignment with a deadline looming. Down to the last hours to put an entire semester worth of research and study into a well formatted and knowledgeable exegetic work of art. All the hours spent pouring over scripture, revisiting my concordance, scrutinizing commentary while carefully verifying sources, editing draft after draft, came down to the final submission of a sixteen-page interpretation of an assigned section of Ephesians.

Anxiety wrapped me like thick dark smoke that fills a room from scorched grease left on a high flame. Hard to breathe, difficult to see. I’ve managed final papers with ease numerous times before. This time was different. Even I was amazed at my ability to carry on my day-to-day duties, responsibilities and routines while carefully covering any trace of the hell we were living. The alarms were blaring and I heard them, but turned a deaf ear. I’d gotten used to blocking out things that were hard to deal with.

Like the noise from the TV volume intended to disrupt my concentration while I read chapter after chapter of assigned text he said was a “useless, stupid waste of time”. Like the belittling remarks thrown at me like darts that I pretended had no effect. The burning sensation of absolute disgust as his whiskey-induced comatose body pressed against me at night.  I desperately tried to ignore the belligerence going on just outside the bedroom door for so many nights in a row. The hostility projected towards me was undeniable and his disdain slathered me like Vaseline. I just kept willing it away, hoping it would subside, not grow momentum. I painstakingly guarded the rage that was bubbling up inside me and I heaped scripture and verse on top of it. I prayed until my legs went numb. In my secret moments, I cried out to God and begged for courage, for peace, for wisdom, for an end to the torment. Continue reading

God Bless the Broken Pieces & Jagged Edges

Mosaic Heart

As the sea ebbs and flows washing out the discarded and then setting upon another distant shore the same unwanted junk. It doesn’t disappear, just floats around out there bumping into other rubbish following the current until being carried back up on dry land where it will inevitably be ignored by some, dismissed as someone else’s problem until it is either carried back out to sea to repeat the process or retrieved and properly disposed of. Ignored or discarded does not make it invisible. There will come a time when all our junk requires that we deal with it.

Throughout my life, I have moved through each catastrophe and crisis methodically and diligently. Gathering up the broken pieces, discarding the ones with sharp edges, and creating a new mosaic, something beautiful out of every smashed experience. What I didn’t realize was that the “sharp edges” would eventually reappear, slicing away at me until I finally step into consciousness and deal with them. Having barely breached my 41st year, I found myself with bloody painful wounds from repeatedly tossing the sharp edges back out to sea. Having already ignored and wished them out of existence many a times, here they are. Only now, the pain is real and the cuts are deep, they are visible and the jagged edges of childhood trauma, repeated abandonment and self-loathing have torn away at my flesh and rendered me incapable of managing my day-to-day life. Continue reading

Dear Anxiety and Depression,

“6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:6-8 (NIV)

You have been more loyal to me than my husband ever was. You’re never too far from sight and you always seem to appear when I am going through the most trying times. Anxiety and Depression, you have stuck with me no matter how hard I have tried to make you leave and you know all the right things to do and say to influence my decisions. You two drop in unannounced and even when I am unable to count on anyone in my life, I know you’ll be there. You’ve never called or text to say you’re are on the way, and in some of the best times of my life, you just showed up. Our relationship hasn’t always been one-sided though. Continue reading