Tag Archives: #mentalhealth

Encountering Homelessness in 2019

Happy New Year!

2019 Is The Year Of The Voice

I struggled to get off the jam-packed freeway full of road rage and weary drivers that found themselves parked instead of moving forward.  Here it was 6:45 p.m. and I needed to get my life-sustaining heart meds before 7:00 because the pharmacy closed its steel doors at the strike of the 7:00 hour and would be closed for the next two days. 

Once I got off the freeway, there was no way possible to maneuver over four lanes in enough time to turn into the pharmacy’s parking lot so I was forced to travel another bumper-to-bumper half-mile to perform a U-turn.  Amazingly, the light connected with my anxiety and turned green, rushing me into the parking lot with just a few minutes spare to run in and get my prescriptions. 

As I leaped out of my car, I was stopped, even bullied and challenged by an unknown homeless man who was adamant that I give him a couple of bucks. 

You see, in my city, the City of Roseville, I refuse to put up with panhandling.  It’s a distraction.  It initiates fear and crime and there’s ABSOLUTELY NO NEED FOR IT! 

I have even been known to stop in the middle of an intersection to get them to move on.  It’s not that I lack compassion; after all, I run a homeless organization, but it’s just that we have many resources available and their panhandling is an excuse and becomes an eyesore.

I work hard to help guide and direct them to get tapped into alternative resources and get off the streets. 

It’s hard for reality to prevail over guilt!

When encountering panhandlers, I instinctively stop what I’m doing and give them the lowdown of who I am, how and why I run an organization catered specifically to helping love on the homeless, and if they are hungry, I will buy them food.  I then pray over them, give them my business card, and tell them that if I come back in the next hour and still see them panhandling, I will have them arrested. 

You might find that harsh given my heart pours out the love of Jesus into these individuals daily, but if the services we offer don’t suffice, then it’s obvious they’re only looking for a quick fix related to drugs and/or alcohol.

This man was the FIRST AND ONLY HOMELESS individual who didn’t pack up and leave.  Sadly, he felt his fear tactics and threats to kill would influence me otherwise. 

I challenged him with his futile threats to go ahead (not the brightest move admittedly), but I’m ready to meet my savior, Jesus Christ, at any time so it didn’t really matter.

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is praying that 2019 initiates a new attitude and compassion for stabilization regarding our homeless epidemic. 

Being the founder of Blameless, I want to be very honest here.  In working to stabilize our homelessness through God’s Great Love, I humbly admit I get frustrated and quite offended when I encounter panhandlers.  Giving them “money” is defeating our arduous work!  It’s much easier to trigger sympathy than to seek help.

Mental illness is the main precursor of homelessness; addiction, depression, psychosis, abuse, rejection, and abandonment issues are the leading causes, but a lot of homelessness has to do with shame and guilt and the need for guidance to get reestablished back into society. 

I don’t like seeing the makeup of my town changing because homelessness is out of control, and everywhere you look they’re either lined up around our stores or in parking lots panhandling or passed out in our parks while depleting our fire and law enforcement resources.

Blameless Homeless Rite-Aid

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Please don’t encourage Panhandling!

There are many ways you can help and we need a village of people to come together and help combat this Goliath.  Please don’t encourage panhandling by offering money; but instead, as you encounter homeless beloveds, acknowledge their presence with eye contact and a warm smile and maybe even say “good morning.”  Being affirmed builds worth and a sense of belonging.

You could offer to buy them a sandwich or burger along with a milk.  A used bike and metal cart is invaluable. 

Another idea is sharing you are tight on money, but could they use laundromat tokens or clothing?  Share with them you’ll go home and be right back with a few things and/or buy tokens with laundry detergent. 

Better yet, donate to charitable nonprofits like Blameless that deal with homelessness.

Here is a glimpse of one homeless beloved who wanted to go to the laundromat for his birthday…

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I personally have found that the most significant treasure was asking if I could pray for them.  Praying over an individual offers hope and a sprinkling of love that someone actually acknowledges their presence and took the time to pray for them.

Being the hands and feet of God encourages the homeless that they’re seen and their lives matter.  This is the way our communities can come together along with the homeless and help find a remedy to stabilize and tackle this epidemic.

God is going to do mighty things in 2019 and tackling this homelessness is going to be one of them. 

Happy New Year!  May God be with you, keep you safe and bless your generosity.

 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

When You Have Been Abused, Abandoned and Rejected, What Is Next?

When You Have Been Abused, Abandoned and Rejected, What Is Next?

Part 1

I’ve been abused, abandoned and rejected.  Now what?  What does that say about me when others treat me as rubbish and waste?  We only discard filth, so does that mean I’m not worthy to be loved, honored and cherished?  Who discards their child with contempt anyways? 

Disclaimer:  This blog series for the next couple months may trigger some Beloveds that have been a victim of abuse.  Abuse and rejection are hard areas to heal.

Who wants to vocalize and admit they’re a victim of abuse, abandonment and rejection?   Not me, but it’s something we need to talk about and share with one another, so…

We all desire to be loved, accepted and belong.  I am no exception.  Admitting I was thrown out as waste and unwanted droppings automatically labeled me as a reject, unwanted, refused, loser, no value, screwed up, refund demanded!  What does that say Blameless Clearance Rack 3about me as a Beloved, my worth and value, and every decision I would make subsequently thereafter? 

When you’re not wanted and abandoned, that rejection tears right through your heart, mind, body and soul.  Plus, you don’t know how to love or be loved; instead you become one whom must perform to others’ expectations in order to be loved.  WRONG!

I’m glad I’m a Beloved who chases after my Lord, even though He never leaves our side.  Otherwise, I truly don’t know how I would have walked through such a lonely, hopeless and heartbreaking journey, much less become the bold and courageous Beloved I am today.  God turned my ashes into beauty.  I know I’m God’s treasured daughter who was once found at the bottom of the dump, but God meticulously cleaned me up and now I’m crowned skipping merrily in freedom, confidence and wholeness.  What a beautiful assurance of His Great Love.  That’s called a beautiful exchange!

As the torturing fire of acknowledgement burns the pit of my stomach as I write, my mouth regurgitates “I’ve been rejected, AGAIN!”  The reality of such an abominable tragedy to any child is overwhelming, but the power from the eruption of St. Tammy’s Emotions exposes an even deeper level of loss and insecurities.

I am so grateful the Lord didn’t consider me scraps that are thrown out to the pigs.  Instead He chooses to love, cherish and relentlessly pursue me so much that He even extended His loving arms down from heaven to protect me when I drove myself off that cliff 37 years ago and redeemed my life with His Great Love.

God doesn’t kick His children to the curb or throw them away like a piece of deplorable regret.  In fact, He calls His children His masterpieces and works of art!  His Love never ceases and He will never forsake us either.  There’s nothing we can do to lose that Love.

When We’re Considered A Piece of Deplorable Regret!

I am not the only person who’s been rejected and abused, much less abandoned.  My heart genuinely grieves for the Beloveds that have been violently tormented.  My teeth grit just thinking about the unconscionable behavior of others.  It’s hell that no one could even begin to understand unless you’ve walked through the valley of the shadow of death yourself. 

Emotional trauma caused by those who profess to love you is the hardest journey to walk through victoriously.  It can cause other mental health issues such as depression, addiction, eating disorders, you name it, just to escape and numb the pain that afflicts the heart and mind.  I know, alcohol makes a great numbing agent, or did!

This is really hard for me to talk about.  Dealing with the tragedies of life and facing it head on is something that is outside of my comfort zone without Mr. Denial, but…

When one is discarded like rubbish, though, this torment leaves a permanent marking from the scorching cauterization of the branding iron.  This imprint of “rejected” forever tarnishes one’s worth and value tragically and effects behaviors regarding life, love and choices and decisions.  Even effects our relationship with God.

God is a God of love and mercy, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love (Psalm 103:8) who never leaves our side.  I’ve been healed by the touch of God and now I understand why I passionately want to help the unlovable because all lives matter and deserve to be loved. 

One thing is absolutely certain besides my tangent:  No one is unlovable and removed from the touch of God!

My bestie lovingly reminded me of the worse offenders to help soothe the sting of my abuser’s manic explosion.  She shared, “Some moms sell their children as sex slaves for rent money and to satisfy their own drug fix.”

We are not the labels our offenders branded us with!

The greatest gift God gives us is family and friendships.  If we’ve been orphaned, God brings us friendships to fill those vacancies and walk alongside of us being the hands and feet of God, along with offering their precious hearts and time.  The love, hope and affirmations we receive from our relationships cultivate our beauty to bloom right where we’re planted.  That’s how we thrive and not just survive.  Investing precious time into our relationships not only shows love, but it also revives honor.

Because we are loved immeasurably more than we could ever imagine, the torturous time feeling invisible and insignificant, you know, overlooked because we are tossed out with the rest of the trash, God sees us.  He not only sees us, He is even proud to be seen with us and calls us the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8).  Blameless Crown Tiarra 7To know we are His prized possession and treasured Beloveds should empower us to walk bravely and take risks with confidence knowing He will never leave us. 

When only Love could make a way, being immersed in God’s mercy and love creates a wholeness and contentment of heart.  Knowing we are called His treasured daughters enables us to forgive our offenders.  People are full of pain and pride and sickness.  Shame cripples and shackles.  It’s a powerful membrane.  But we don’t have to stay entangled in the Black Widow’s web of destruction.

Honestly, even though I am at a great place in my life spiritually, professionally and emotionally, admitting that I’m orphaned and not wanted is a hard pill to swallow.  It’s hard to admit that.  It does leave a sense of loss to my heart, but I’ll allow this pain to help others.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless New Beginnings 1.1

 

When Words Pierce Our Armor And Hurt Like Hell

Blameless Prepared For Battle

When Words Pierce Our Armor And Hurt Like Hell

Are You Prepared For Battle?  The Enemy Is! 

Manic Explosion vs. Armor of God, Part One!

If recovering from a fierce infection that attacked the heart’s chamber with erratic arrhythmia wasn’t jolting enough, the deep lacerations from daggers of hate and rage that accompanied a manic explosion would.  Who plans an attack on others while they’re in the hospital?  The enemy does, especially when your relationship with Jesus exposes their lies.

Family and friends are usually a great source for consolation and encouragement during traumatic times, but words from a meticulously planned attack were intended to take me out.  Patients are vulnerable to many infections during hospitalizations.  When random attacks from a family member announced their concern by delivering calibrated electrical shocks more powerful than any defibrillator left me stunned and infected. 

The explosion of this manic shrapnel left me bewildered and injured.  The slamming words of hate and bitterness increased the pressure of infection that laid beneath the sutures holding the weak and tattered heart together.  Hurt people hurt people; we all know that.  But how does a beloved swim against the current in a raging storm when the flaming arrows of the enemy refuse to cease?

Why is it people use the word “love” as a means to exercise control and manipulation?  God calls love an action, not a feeling or means for abuse.  When people are trying to keep the fuel lines of anger going while we work ever so hard to bring peace and forgiveness, they become desperate and exaggerate our imperfections to keep the truth from being exposed.  But when the offensive armor of our sword is sharpened, the injury afflicted willBlameless Forgiveness Even When It Hurts sting, but life-giving courage offers us to see clearly through all the bloodshed, carnage and death.

Her words pierced as she vomited words of rejection.  Her own shame caused from humiliation that the exposure of truths and confrontation delivered left her pride to declare “Done.”  I was shocked that she would choose my second hospitalization to download her shame and guilt.  Maybe it’s because her absence is normally the rule and she needed justification, I don’t know.  This time something was different.  So different that even my own reaction shocked me.

I used to run after unhealthy love and relationships.  I would do anything (understatement, hello!) to receive this conditional love of abuse in order to be affirmed and belong.  Everyone wants to be acknowledged and loved, but that longing becomes intense when we’ve been orphaned.  The cravings can be insatious when we are depleted of the affections that the covering of love is supposed to offer.  Abandonment and rejection can lead us down a path that is dangerously unhealthy.

Even though I may be orphaned, the love of my good, good Father in heaven has adopted me and claimed me as His own.  He has poured so much love over and through my heart, soul, body and mind as He relentlessly pursues me, His love has captured me and brought healing.  My relationship with my daddy enables me to keep my sword sharpened so that when the enemy attacks at the most inopportune time, and we’re talking here about a slivering and sneaky enemy who moves about lurking for someone to ambush (like in the hospital), we can raise our shields of faith to withstand these flaming arrows.

Oh sure, the words stated hurt.  I cried a bit in the hospital in order to release enough of this toxicity from further damaging my heart, but between the love, touch and prayers offered from fabulous friends, I was able to keep self-controlled long enough until I got home.  Then once I got home, I cried me a Noah’s Flood as I tried to process and understand this affliction that erupted from an emotional plague.  Some things are better left unknown.

So what are we supposed to do when others have manic episodes exposing their true bleeding hearts?  Yes, we are to forgive them, no doubt; but how do we get to that point where we’re able to forgive?  That forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean we will continue to engage in a relationship with them, but how can we become free from the toxicity that was poured out?

For me, that required surrendered time in prayer while being immersed in God’s Word to understand this pain.  God blessed me with an amazing bestie who knows my heart and celebrates my life through the good, bad and ugly.  This allowed me to be vulnerable Blameless Crown Tiarra 7without fear of judgment in order to process through the pain while receiving comfort and peace. 

I didn’t have to spend weeks or even months reliving this trauma in trying to understand how cold and bitter another beloved’s heart was through hurtful words and why they were spewed out.  Trying to tarnish another beloved’s character only exposes your own depth of rage and bitterness.  That energy and focus stays on who God says I am, His Treasured Daughter.

Every day as I am overcoming, I am becoming more and more like Him.  Pain is inevitable, sadly.  I am learning to be true to myself, react with love and continue sojourning this side of heaven without the lingering effects of pain caused by others.

You see, I am trying to embrace the fact that I am a Beautiful Beloved chosen and pursued by the Lord God Almighty, just like you!  God is the one who holds the key to my heart.  Nobody can strip me of my identity and worth; not family or ex-husbands.  They didn’t give me my identity to begin with so why would anyone feel that they could actually take it away, especially through threat and coercion?  They may try as they are crafty, but the more I know and love my good, good father and the more I realize how much He truly loves me just the way I am, their daggers and threats cannot penetrate my armor.

Because we are loved by our amazing father, nobody can take away our acceptance.  Nobody can take away our love that is freely given.  Nobody can take away our identity.  Why?  Because it was never theirs to give us in the first place.  That love is given by our Lord and no one else.  That’s what He did for you and me.  We are unconditionally loved by Him.  That’s what He does, He gives.  He doesn’t demand we conform to His way or the highway, He loves us just the way we are!

You know, it’s not about what our family did or does, nor what our friends do or did.  We need to remember where to place our focus and receive our affections.  It’s about what God did for us.  If we can just remember that it’s about what God did for us, we won’t concentrate on the afflictions that others cast upon us.  We will live bravely knowing we are the Bride of Christ and have royal blood running through our veins while being unconditionally loved.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless Don't Leave Home Without It (3)1

 


 

Suicidal Survivor ~ Even When It Hurts

Blameless Anxiety by Daniel Rochelle

Suicidal Survivor

Even When It Hurts

This daunting portrayal by Daniel Rochelle illustrates society today by depicting how many people are existing and feeling on the inside.  We’re exhausted, anxious, overwhelmed, addicted and sadly, a lot of us are depressed.  We may look radiant and put together on the outside, but this depiction confirms what’s really going on inside.  This illusion portrays anything but being peachy-keen!

Is it too far-fetched or imaginable to slow down and open our hearts while daring to take the time to feel, experience and peel away the layers that clutch those deeply hidden tears long enough to identify the underbellies causing this horrid despair?  We might be shocked to learn how many people today quickly remove this facade once they’re safely behind closed doors in their rightful places of refuge called home.  This only causes more of an epidemic with isolation.

Beloved, there was a time in my own life where I portrayed this persona of having conquered the world and achieved all its accolades that “worldly success” derives from, yet I was so lost and empty.  You know that image, the one in which dreams are made of?  It caused resentment through higher education, liquid assets, affluent lifestyle and, you know, having drinks with the mayor over at the country club (so overrated!!!). 

I was screaming to get out of my own skin because, for one, I didn’t feel I belonged because I wasn’t good enough or worthy enough; and two, I felt as if I had to perform to a higher expectation without blemish in order to fit in which had me running away to deny its pressure.  I became oblivious to who God designed and created me to be.  That tug of war that exists between flesh and spirit is intense!

I still struggle with fears that haunt me occasionally today.  Fear of being laughed at and rejected.  Being plagued with great insecurities and fears throughout my adolescent and teenage years conceived this grave depression that manifested into suicidal tendencies.  Depression is smart, it leeches onto and attaches itself to the life-sustaining vital organ that could nurture and cultivate its growth:  Our beautiful hearts.  It’s a silent killer!

It took me years to learn how to explore and/or process these hurtful emotions or even to understand the magnitude of what I was feeling.  No one prepared me to deal with these screaming emotions ticking away with an already fragile, unstable heart.  How could I become prepared or equipped to be honest enough with myself and others about my feelings with all these voices clamoring for attention?  I had no idea how to discern the difference between simple experiences of sadness versus anger, joy or dread.

This fear and lack of emotional stability even leaked over onto my precious children who are learning themselves today as adults how to claim victory in this battleground.  Tragedy was developing and occurring before I could even process suffering that occurred over a decade prior which contributed to my being emotionally absent.  I was present physically, in a shell, but unable to be emotionally present and intimate because of the raging war going on underneath my hood.  Talk about living in the wrong neighborhood.  Our mind is a powerful gift.

We are living in a world where image rules and oftentimes either opens or closes most doors.  Society dictates we are to be seen and not heard.  Probably why I’ve become unleashed in my passionate pursuit to share with the world how loved we are, that our lives matter and are needed, and how we are amazingly considered God’s precious and priceless works of art. 

If you read Jeremiah 18, you will understand this very notion of being molded into these masterpieces by Love Himself.  We are pliable in the Potter’s hands.  This allows the Master Crafter the opportunity to transform us each and every day, the imperfect beings that we are, living in an imperfect world, in order to prepare us for when we will be perfect; eternal destiny for those who believe.  He’s never rushed.  All He asks is for a little time with us.

God promises to take our tainted hands and fainted hearts that hurt like hell after having cried a Noah’s Flood ushering us into His loving arms not only to be mended and healed, but stronger and more vibrant than any wish-upon-a-star could deliver.  God promises to wash us in His Great Love.  Depression sucks and it hurts and burns much like the enemy’s branding iron marking its territory as it penetrates our lifeless hearts shaming us to believe in his lies.  Hence, my motto:  There is no shame in our game; Jesus is His Name!

This mental illness classification is nothing to be ashamed of.  It means it’s recognized and can be treated.  I have been healed completely for decades all due to this Great Love affair I engage in.  This heartbreaking depression builds walls of shame that become so thick and tolerant with heights constructed so high, you become a slave shackled in your cells of hell without any windows, exits or doorways.  It destroys more hearts than the one afflicted.  When I drove myself off the cliff 37 years ago, a lot of hearts were damaged in my family.

This is probably a good point to pause and reflect.  I will pick up next time when we meet again.  So much to share.  I would love for you, however, to stay a little while longer so you may be blessed by this beautiful song from Hillsong United called Even When It Hurts,” which is dedicated and prayed especially over you, my new friend!

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries believes if you need a lifeline because of thoughts of suicide, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8522.  There is no shame in reaching out.  It requires bravery to grab ahold of that hand extending down from heaven.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Living With Addiction Day 11 ~ Depression and Belonging

Blameless Window of Blessings

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Depression

Damage more than the Afflicted

Day 11 of 40

News Alert:  That mask I lived behind for many years showed the deep darkness to what controlled my very existence.  Depression is a lonely torment.  The enemy plants these tiny seeds of doubt into our minds with words like “You don’t belong, you’ll never be good enough or pretty enough.”  This scheme of deceit creeps into our minds and hearts while this full-blown warfare develops solely to steal, kill and destroy.

Somehow, some way, I saw the hand of God extending down from heaven as I was driving off that cliff and grabbed ahold of it as my car smashed and bounced off the wall of rocks.  Jesus had been patiently waiting for me to grab ahold of His help so I would understand why He came; to set us ALL free, those who would believe, so that we may have life and have it to the fullest (John 10:10).  It was then that this weapon of depression and force of destruction that was being formed against me lost its power during my final attempt at suicide.

While I was unconscious due to my skull fracture, I witnessed that bright light that some near-death experiences receive as I witnessed my life flashing before my very eyes.  I was touched clearly by the hand of God; how else could I survive flying through the air 350 feet after going through steel beams and bars and smashing into the cliff’s rocks, not to mention living through the force of the impact that compressed and wrapped my remains around the twisted metal of what was once my Volkswagen Bug.

So what happened to good ‘ole Scott, that dreamy boy, that some of you have asked?  You know, I don’t know.  I will never forget the “words” from his get-well card saying, “If you ever want to drop in anywhere, drop in at my house.”  He said I looked beautiful at the concert and disappeared right afterwards.  Due to our amazing seats, he was unable to get up front with us, but that he was behind me the whole time watching us a dozen rows back.

My parents and I moved to a completely new area shortly after my release from both hospitalizations and I never saw him again.  The enemy is good about robbing us of blessings and gifts that were ours to begin with to open, but we let doubt, insecurities, and fears, you name it, rob us of our value and our gifts intended just for that day.

Since Isaiah 54:17 reassures us that no weapon formed against us shall prosper, then it is my duty and responsibility to believe and walk out my faith trusting God at His Word.  This will require moving forward in great expectation and obedience so I may receive the deliverance from this weapon called depression however He chooses to orchestrate it.

God is faithful; He brought my deliverance and healing, but it was not without great cost and pain; the death of Jesus Christ.  I’d call it nothing short of a miracle.  Being healed by Jesus offers us a lifelong journey of hope and joy while giving us glimpses into what heaven will really be like. 

When we encounter this Great Love affair on a daily basis breathing, living and applying His Word to our lives, we become redeemed and transformed and our old strongholds and insecurities that genetically shackled us are removed and we become restored and renewed to being these Beautiful Beloveds God designed and created us to be.

It also helps us love others, even those that have brought us harm.  I want to live and love like 1 Corinthians 13 tells us; through kindness, humility, patience, and by being one who does not easily anger and holds no record of wrongdoing while seeing the best in others through the lens of the forgiveness that was bestowed upon me during the outpouring of love and redemption.

Having a relationship with the Lord changed my perception on who I was!  I finally belonged, to the King of kings and Lord of lords, mind you, and experienced the Love that we all yearn for; the Love I was even going to die for, but Jesus took my place instead and rescued me from myself.  This is called our Father’s Love!  He’s a good, good Father.

Until next time…

 

Living With Addiction Day 11 ~ Depression and Belonging

Blameless Window of Blessings

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Depression

Damage more than the Afflicted

Day 11 of 40

News Alert:  That mask I lived behind for many years showed the deep darkness to what controlled my very existence.  Depression is a lonely torment.  The enemy plants these tiny seeds of doubt into our minds with words like “You don’t belong, you’ll never be good enough or pretty enough.”  This scheme of deceit creeps into our minds and hearts while this full-blown warfare develops solely to steal, kill and destroy.

Somehow, some way, I saw the hand of God extending down from heaven as I was driving off that cliff and grabbed ahold of it as my car smashed and bounced off the wall of rocks.  Jesus had been patiently waiting for me to grab ahold of His help so I would understand why He came; to set us ALL free, those who would believe, so that we may have life and have it to the fullest (John 10:10).  It was then that this weapon of depression and force of destruction that was being formed against me lost its power during my final attempt at suicide.

While I was unconscious due to my skull fracture, I witnessed that bright light that some near-death experiences receive as I witnessed my life flashing before my very eyes.  I was touched clearly by the hand of God; how else could I survive flying through the air 350 feet after going through steel beams and bars and smashing into the cliff’s rocks, not to mention living through the force of the impact that compressed and wrapped my remains around the twisted metal of what was once my Volkswagen Bug.

So what happened to good ‘ole Scott, that dreamy boy, that some of you have asked?  You know, I don’t know.  I will never forget the “words” from his get-well card saying, “If you ever want to drop in anywhere, drop in at my house.”  He said I looked beautiful at the concert and disappeared right afterwards.  Due to our amazing seats, he was unable to get up front with us, but that he was behind me the whole time watching us a dozen rows back.

My parents and I moved to a completely new area shortly after my release from both hospitalizations and I never saw him again.  The enemy is good about robbing us of blessings and gifts that were ours to begin with to open, but we let doubt, insecurities, and fears, you name it, rob us of our value and our gifts intended just for that day.

Since Isaiah 54:17 reassures us that no weapon formed against us shall prosper, then it is my duty and responsibility to believe and walk out my faith trusting God at His Word.  This will require moving forward in great expectation and obedience so I may receive the deliverance from this weapon called depression however He chooses to orchestrate it.

God is faithful; He brought my deliverance and healing, but it was not without great cost and pain; the death of Jesus Christ.  I’d call it nothing short of a miracle.  Being healed by Jesus offers us a lifelong journey of hope and joy while giving us glimpses into what heaven will really be like. 

When we encounter this Great Love affair on a daily basis breathing, living and applying His Word to our lives, we become redeemed and transformed and our old strongholds and insecurities that genetically shackled us are removed and we become restored and renewed to being these Beautiful Beloveds God designed and created us to be.

It also helps us love others, even those that have brought us harm.  I want to live and love like 1 Corinthians 13 tells us; through kindness, humility, patience, and by being one who does not easily anger and holds no record of wrongdoing while seeing the best in others through the lens of the forgiveness that was bestowed upon me during the outpouring of love and redemption.

Having a relationship with the Lord changed my perception on who I was!  I finally belonged, to the King of kings and Lord of lords, mind you, and experienced the Love that we all yearn for; the Love I was even going to die for, but Jesus took my place instead and rescued me from myself.  This is called our Father’s Love!  He’s a good, good Father.

Until next time…

 

Living With Addiction Day 10 ~ Depression

Blameless Depression I'm Fine

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Depression

Damage more than the Afflicted

Day 10 of 40

Today started like any other summer day before my senior year in high school; I took a shower, smoked a joint and cigarette and headed down to the beach to surf and sunbathe.  Today was special, though; there was a new boy in town named Scott and tonight was Pablo Cruz’s concert at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  Scott had the hots for me and said he would meet me down at the concert after work.

I scurried about in order to catch a ride on the morning surf and soak up as many sun rays possible needed to obtain that “been-at-the-beach-all-day look” with the peeling red nose and face to contrast and compliment my long, blonde hair!  That’s what looked hot and defined us surfer chicks!

Today held the promise of hope and love.  After my longstanding feelings of rejection and abandonment with my family, the constant jeers of being laughed at and not fitting in, coupled with bouts of depression unattended to for a couple of years and the breakup of a long-term boyfriend; there were glimpses of sunshine peeking through the dark clouds from a dreamy boy who was way out of my league. 

Scott had curly brown hair, green eyes, around 21, and even had surfboard racks on top of his BMW.  He said I was hot!  He made my heart palpitate.  My heart was beating again and I felt alive.  I couldn’t wait to receive more of his CPR.

After the beach, I showered with intention and detail to look beautiful in my size 3 Jordache jeans that were long enough to compliment my 5’11” frame and wear cowboy boots.  I looked hot, just like a supermodel!  I jumped into my V.W. Bug feeling beautiful and picked up a couple of girlfriends and headed down to the fairgrounds.  We drank some beer and smoked a few joints before we entered the concert. 

Upon arrival at the concert, we were fortunate enough to get escorted and seated in Row 3 right smack at center stage.  Every band wants a group of screaming teenage girls upfront.  The whole time we were talking and laughing, my mind became fixated on the whereabouts of Scott and it interfered with my ability to have fun engaging with my girlfriends.  The concert was getting jammed packed full of concertgoers and still no Scott.

The feelings of not being pretty enough and good enough was the perfect environment for the brooding of the storm.  Each emotional dagger of rejection were all consuming, turning the gusts of shame and walls of torment into deafening sounds diffusing the emergency warning system of the impending tornado.  Being tossed to and fro in the quiet eye of the tornado left no time to hear or acknowledge the warning sounds that this storm was about to implode even though it was louder than thousands of screaming cheers as the concert began. 

I started looking at everyone in the concert smiling, singing and dancing, the band focusing directly on us girls upfront, and I felt a sense of loss and gloom.  It wasn’t the spin of the tornado that was making me sick, it was because I felt alone in this crowd and no one could hear my screams for help and panic.  I didn’t belong and I didn’t fit in and I was scared to death.  My mind kept focusing on trying to find Scott in the chaos because my heart needed help. 

Once the concert was over, we headed over to the restroom.  I took one look at myself in the mirror and became horrified.  Between the sweat and oil from the heat of the lights and stage, the profusion of sweat from being one sardine amongst a compressed can, I looked horrible.  I no longer resembled the perfection of the model I put on beforehand.

The beads of sweat bonded my hair like glue instead of free-flowing locks that could be flicked back and forth; my black mascara resembled more of a tarantula instead of highlighting my green eyes; my peeling red and flaky white nose resembled my white eyebrows stuck to my burned forehead.  No wonder Scott stood me up.  I felt ugly and not worthy of love.  I had to get out of there.  I couldn’t let anyone see me like this and I needed to hide.

I told my friends that I wasn’t feeling good, so we needed to go home.  Everyone was laughing.  They wanted to stay and continue to have fun.  They didn’t look gross like me, so they stayed.  I walked to my car alone.  I felt ashamed because everyone was laughing in large groups and I was alone running to hide.  I felt unworthy because of my appearance.  Why do we place so much significance on our looks?

I got into my Volkswagen and headed home.  I cried the whole way home, but no one was there when I arrived.  All the thoughts, emotional daggers and flaming arrows that were penetrating my heart and controlling my mind became desperate. 

I drove to my favorite spot, Swami’s Beach, and circled the parking lot a couple of times after finding no one to love on me and snapped.  Before I knew it, I was driving through the protective barrier and wall built with steel beams and bars free-flying through the air bouncing off the rocks landing onto the ocean floor.  All I remember is seeing a bright light with my life flashing before me.

I wanted out of my cell of hell.  People with depression who don’t receive help can get this low.  There’s nothing to be ashamed about.  I was screaming “help me,” but I could not find a solution to ease the pain except for this final attempted suicide.  Thank you, Jesus!

This is Swami’s Beach.  Beautiful, isn’t it?  Hard to really gauge the cliff’s height, but I believe it’s a little over 350 feet.  I wrote this from what I can remember as to what set me over the edge, so to speak, 37 years ago.  I want to share that I have been completely healed by God’s Divine grace and mercy of depression many years ago.  Today I’m living in freedom and flying free of yesterday’s guilt, today’s fears, and tomorrow’s grave.  All because God loves me just the way I am!! 

There is hope for everyone suffering with depression; please just don’t let it get as far as I did!  This was my drug of choice, depression, living with addiction and the generational strongholds.

Until next time…