Fish bowl.

When something horrible happens in our lives it seems like the world should stop and morn with us. For the most part you understand, after all you are not the center of the universe. Still, it hurts that the everything continues on without you. The world spins, the days pass by and people move on with their lives

It feel like you are stuck in a fish bowl longing to be moving forward with the rest to the world. In time you find your way out of the place you are stuck and begin to move. Most of the time you move forward, sometimes it feels like you are on Willy Wonka’s elevator going every which way possible. Sometimes, I think it would be nice to crawl back in the safe space and take a break, but time has taught it is better to take the leap of faith and see what adventures await you. After all, if you never take a chance you will only miss out.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Parakaleo

I could not have asked for a better sermon this morning. There were a few points the pastor made that were exactly what I needed to hear. He spoke about the Body of the Church and the way it connects all Christians. In the Old Testament, God choose a nation to fulfill his calling, but in the New Testament He chose individuals from all nations who came together as the Universal Church. It was incredible to hear how eloquently the pastor described the love, care and encouragement we, as the Church should bring to each other. As a Christian, we never struggle alone.

Parakaleo, is the Greek word for encouragement, directly translated it means to come along side. For me, this is the perfect way to describe what has happened during my healing process. Since February I have been in the greatest struggle of my life, but not even for a minute have I felt alone. There has been a stream of encouragement and love that continues to pour into me from so many. People continue to come along side of me giving me exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. It is truly incredible what the Body of Christ can do and the healing it can bring about.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Peace rushed over me.

This week has felt long and painful. I honestly can not pin point the trigger for the emotional battle I was facing. I have a feeling it was a combination of a few things. What caused it does not really matter, what does make a difference is how I have carried myself through it. Out of no where tears came, sometimes I let them flow, other times I had to hold them back. I had sleepless nights, and a total lack of motivation.

After mustering all the motivation I had, I went for a hike today. It was great to be outside, even if it was a bit of a gloomy day. There were a few times that I was teary eyed as I remembered hiking with him, but for the most part it was a wonderful adventure. After hiking a few miles I set up my hammock, I laid around for a bit slowly rocking back and forth listening to the stream flow by. I took the opportunity to write in my prayer journal and pour the pain I have been feeling into the pages and up to God. The last sentence I wrote was “Right now my prayer is for sense of peace, even in the pain”.

I understand the pain is necessary to heal and grow, but that does not mean it is impossible to find peace in it and it is important to ask God to help carry you through. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly God can work. Not long after I packed up my hammock and started to hike down the trail the sun came out, the sky was blue and peace rushed over me. The little things I had been thinking about were no longer there and I was able to put things in a better perspective.

Who knows what challenges will come up tomorrow or the next day, what I do know is God is always there wanting to send us love and support. True it does not always come in the form of sunshine, but He always sends us what we need to make it through.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.


Pocket Prayer Journals can be found at Grace & Salt Ink.

Why.

It seems impossible to hold myself together today. It has been such a long time since I felt so helpless. Somehow I managed to hold back the tears for most of the afternoon, but as soon as I got to my car I let them come. I do my best to block out the pain and to hold back the negative emotions, to only see the potential that the future holds, but some days it is simply too much.

Why does it all still hurt so badly? I try to convince myself that every day it gets easier, but lately things that were easy before seem impossible now. Hopefully tomorrow really will be easier, and I really will be stronger. I wish I had more answers, a way to put myself in a better frame of mind but there is no genie in a bottle or star to wish on that holds my answers. It has been a very stressful, exhausting few weeks, I am hoping that is the root of my issue. Maybe once I am back on track I will be able to manage my pain better and feel like I am moving forward again.

I am very thankful for the little ways that I found support today. There was a post on Instagram that picked up my spirits when I was barely holding it together. An unexpected compliment that my short hair looks better on me than long. The perfect song on the radio at the perfect time, and a lost file that was found. It never ceases to amaze me how God works in our lives and always gives us exactly what we need, exactly when we need it

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

 

Time Machine.

If it were possible to go back in time I would not want to correct a mistake. The way we overcome the struggles of our life is what makes us the person we are becoming. I would much rather visit a happy time. A bad point in my life will always be bad, attempting to fix it is a silly expectation. On the other had a high point can always be enjoyed again, if not made better.

There are so many amazing times in my life I would like to re-visit, I don’t know how I could ever pick just one. There were days spent hiking and summiting high peaks with friends. Lazy days wondering around museums. A weekend spend helping a former professor turned friend. Summers at camp when time seemed to flow differently. A birthday ruined by snow that turned into a perfect escape from reality. The first time I read my favorite book, or late nights with new friends freshman year of collage.

Not long after some of these points in my life the people who made them special disappeared. Somehow this doesn’t change the moment. Right now I am trying my best to only think of the good things, remembering past pain is not worth it at the best of times, let alone the worst. Fortunately a time machine does not exist so I do not have to make a choice as to where I would go, but that does not mean I can not revisit so many wonderful memories when I am feeling lost and alone.

The bad days may help define us, but holding onto the hopes and joys of the good days is what matters.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Why I still lifeguard.

Most mornings I walk circles while I lifeguard. Around and around the pool as I watch people go back and forth and back and forth. It is a very soothing calm time of the day. Sometimes I wish I could bottle up the serenity to release it as needed. In my controlled environment of the pool I always think. The complexities of life somehow make more sense as the swimmer go by with rhythmic strokes. The two hours I lifeguard are my short escape from my reality. I have no phone, most of the people I will come in contact with throughout the day are still asleep and my goal and focus are easy to define. It is the perfect escape.

I am often asked why I still lifeguard. Usually I say it is the people, which is true, the morning swimmers are an amazing bunch. There are a few simple benefits to working at the YMCA that don’t discourage me from the effort. Of course the extra fun money is nice as well. Beyond all of those outward reasons I think the true reason I still get up 4 out of 5 work days to lifeguard is the peace and quiet it provides me. The rest of the day I feel like I am in a rush for this or that. There is always the next thing that should be done, but at the pool I have time to think and imagine. A time where my goal is easily defined and executed. I keep the swimmers safe. Sometimes it is nice to know what is expected of you and to know you can handle it.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Ice Cream.

The last few months I have been eating a lot of ice cream. I have always had it around, ice cream is a favorite of mine, but it feels like years since I have eaten so much of it. When I was a kid I could have eaten a gallon in a sitting if my parents had let me. Fortunately, I have no desire to eat that much at once now, but I do eat a few spoonfuls every night. Maybe it is my spoon full of sugar to help the medicine go down, a short escape back into childhood.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Impossible situations.

I think I need to revamp my previous statement that God only gives us what we can handle. Today, I was listening to the radio in the car on the way to and from and heard a guy talking about a difficult time in his life. He said that he disagrees with the statement that God only gives us what we can handle, sometimes he gives us more than is possible for us to get through alone because he wants to help.

God wants us to depend on him for support when everything feels impossible. He wants to take our weakness and turn it into strength and courage. With every fiber of my being I know with God’s help it is possible to do more than survive anything. God will put the words we need to hear in people’s mouths, and arrange the best situation at the worst times. With God on our side we can never fail.

The Bible is full of impossible situations that God helped his people navigate. I am sure that they felt as helpless as we do when times are hard, but through faith they made it to the other side of their struggle. Just as he provided answers and guidance for each Bible hero, he will help pick up our puzzle pieces and start to put it back together again. God may give us more than we can handle, but he never makes us handle it alone.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

 

Weather.

I am not a fan of storms. As a child I was fearless, so I am not really sure when the dislike started. The chances of actually getting hit by lightning or having a tree fall on you is pretty slim, but it doesn’t stop me from wishing the lightning would go away. My fear must be a creation of my own making, kind of going along the theme of the more you know the more you know you do not know.

Even as an adult I have used the “if I am under the covers nothing can hurt me” method of tricking myself into feeling safe. There is something truly magical about laying in your bed warm and cozy, it is a safe place to face your fears. At the moment I have so many fears I am not sure where to start. I have found a good nights sleep helps me put my best foot forward when staying in bed is not an option.

At some point I will stop dreading the small things that come my way. Someday the fear will start to dissipate. I am not sure I will ever run into a storm, but at least I know I can weather anything that comes my way.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Fresh and new.

Every day is fresh and new. Although my day-to-day has balanced out for the most part, it is still nice to face a new days with nothing but possibilities. The pain is still in the background, but I able to keep it there instead of feeling it creep into everything I do.

Most days it is hard to get out of bed. This time of year the weather is perfect for sleeping, I wake up so warm and comfy usually with a cat or two next to me. My thoughts seem clearer before I put my feet on the ground. Emotions I struggled with the day before no longer feel so difficult after a good nights sleep.

I have always had extremely vivid dreams. I do not usually remember them, but I am always left with a sense of what happened. Lately the dreams have been comforting, I rarely wake up feeling worried, scared or anxious anymore. I am getting better at holding onto the good feelings and carrying them through the day more consistently. It is strange how balanced my life is starting to get, two months ago it never seemed possible.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.