I called my mom earlier today, just to talk. We ended up talking about God, as usual. I was sharing some of my frustration and questions and whatnot, and she was asking questions and giving me answers, and all of a sudden it hit me...

I see God as just another G.

No joke.

(Yeah, the one I put in prison for molesting me. That one. *wince* Sorry, God!)

But I do. I mean, that was my father figure, I guess. That was my idea of "Daddy". That's what I called him- Daddy. For years. Even after the divorce. I called him by his name at the beginning of the marriage, and I call him by his name now... he doesn't deserve the title of "father", much less the endearment "daddy".

So what was G like?

Distant. Self-serving. Petulant. He paid sporadic attention to us kids, but mostly just ignored us, unless he was punishing us. (I got the brunt of that one.) Immature. VERY selfish. He wanted what he wanted and it didn't matter if it hurt anyone else. Egotistical.

And I remember trying SO hard to get him to like me, to pay attention to me, to approve of me... I watched him play video games. I remember sitting on his lap for hours at a time as he played Final Fantasy VI on the comp. He even named one of the girl characters after me, and I felt so special.

I became a Raiders, Dodgers, and Lakers fan. Please. I know nothing about sports, and I don't really care. But I do know that Earnhardt was my favorite NASCAR driver. Again, courtesy of G.

But he didn't care.

All he cared about was his agenda

After the divorce, when it was just Mom and K and I in our little one-bedroom apartment, he came over once. He lay on the floor, listening to Pink Floyd, the. entire. time. Of course, I sat on the floor next to him, showing him that, hey, I love Pink Floyd too! Love me! Please, love me! He ignored me.

Another time, he came by to pick up the two little ones once they had joint custody, and he lent me the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy set. Of course, I read the whole thing so that I could discuss it with him the next time he came. Why won't you love me?

It didn't matter. None of it mattered.

And that's how I feel with God. Vague. Distant. Like he's got his big old agenda to deal with, and he doesn't have time to deal with me, and I can't get him to like me anyway, so what's the point? (I know, I know that's not true, but this is how I feel, okay? These are the driving motives beneath my behavior.)

Like he doesn't enjoy me. Like I'm just... there. An inconvenience of sorts. Like I'm there to meet his needs and nothing else.

Which lends some explanation to why evangelism is so difficult for me. I feel like I'm being used, ignored, and punished, all at the same time! lol Like I'm just here to do what he says, and it doesn't matter how I feel, or what I think, or... anything. Because only his stuff is important. I feel I am of fleeting value.

G's punishments were totally out of proportion, and usually over trivial matters. I recall standing in the corner for well over an hour, simply because I didn't like the macaroni salad they served at the wedding shower and didn't want to eat it. Talk about a power trip. Then there was the board he spanked me with... or the belt... or the wooden clothes hanger... or the weekly starve sessions... or being sent to bed with no supper (but mom would sometimes sneak us food ^_^)... etc.

And I think God is like this? Motivated by the same self-serving, apathetic indifference? Just doing what he wants, because he can, and we just have to go along with it or we'll be punished?

In reality, I think God is more like my mom. I can talk to her about anything. Whereas G would ignore us as much as possible, Mom would literally die for one of us kids, or kill herself trying! ;)

She genuinely cares about me, and she believes in me like no one else. She told me today that I could never disappoint her by the choices I make, because her love will never diminish or go out. She may not like or agree with what I choose to do, but she still loves me.

She gives her best when it comes to her kids, whether that be talents, time, wisdom, help, etc. It may even mean withholding help, sometimes, because the kid needs to learn a lesson. But oh, man, does she love us. We are her life.

And when I told her that I see God as being a lot like G, she set me straight in a hurry! God is love, and love is not like that. He can't be like that. It's just not possible, because love is a totally different animal from what G was displaying.

I've never had to try to get Mom to like me, or even love me. She just automatically does. Heck, she's even proud of me! Wrap your mind around that one.

I have a difficult time transferring that idea of loving parent over to God, though, because truly... the freedom that would result from that way of relating to God would overwhelm me. I wouldn't know what to do with myself. It'd be like a cage-raised chicken being set loose on the prairie. FREAK. OUT.

But I begin to understand some of the resentment, fear, and mistrust of God. It makes sense, for I resent, fear, and mistrust G, too. No one likes being abused.


...That was fast. :) I know I asked for something outside of the Bible, but I'll take what I can get. (Still open, though.)

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." ~Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

Dear God,
I don’t know what’s going on with me. I am so lost in this vortex of my own thoughts, Biblical mandates, other’s opinions and hopes and dreams that they’ve projected onto me, my conflicting ideas of who you are, ideas of “right” and “wrong”, and... just so much stuff.
Right and wrong. Is it really so black and white, so crystal clear? Some think so. I used to think so. Now, I’m more towards “there are standards that guide our lives, but not explicit directions for every case, and you have to apply the standards as best you can”.
Am I really just a poor excuse for a Christian? Even in my heyday, I don’t feel like we truly had intimacy. Why do I have so many questions? Reserves? So much rebellion? Why can’t I just do the right thing and forget about everything else? Why do I get so angry with my perception of what you ask Christians as a general whole to do?
I refuse to lose my identity, my wants and dreams and wishes and desires, my likes and dislikes. I will not forsake my identity. I’m so confused, though, over... well, a lot of things. I’ve been taught to behave and believe one way, but the only part of me that really believes it’s the way to go is the part motivated by fear of rejection and fear of punishment.
I believe that I must do the right thing, or you will punish me. You will withhold affection. I won’t be eligible for heaven anymore. One misstep and the eternal consequences kick in. You will ignore me, abandon me, cease to care about me--if, indeed, you cared in the first place (which I have a very difficult time believing).
And I hate being this way, and I can say that I don’t believe it, it’s not true, I believe the opposite, but... to me... it IS true. And something inside me rebels at my compulsion to serve and allegedly love such a person. It’s like I have no choice, because if I choose not to, then the aforementioned horrible things will only be intensified... so I have to. I have to love you and serve you, and while I’m doing that, I have to do it right. Or else.
And so that leads me to this awful love-resent dichotomy. Because I try to love you. I want to. I want to want to, if that makes sense. But I know that I don’t truly love you in the real sense of the word (or any sense?!). And I’m getting to the point where I just want to throw up my hands, throw in the towel, and walk away. After all, I can’t seem to please you when I’m trying, so why try anymore?
Intellectually, I know it’s not true. I know it. I mean, I need to believe it. Not I need to as in “I should”, but I need to as in “I don’t know how I’d handle reality without the knowledge, however faint, that there’s a benevolent deity looking out for me somehow”.
I really hope counseling helps me clear some of this stuff up.
I know you exist. I can’t deny that. The science is too clear. But who are you? What are you REALLY like? If he just believes in your existence, that’s the step I’m looking for. Because that’s where I am. I don’t see us being unequally yoked, because I’m nowhere spiritually. The thing missing is a belief in your existence. Maybe we can learn together? One thing’s for sure... I love him in a way that I can’t seem to love you. That scares me. I’ve heard the dire warnings against idolatry... but in our situation, I think I’m screwed, because even my love for food is more of a tangible reality than my love for you.
What are people seeing when they say they’ve seen me walking closer to you these past few years? When they say they see Jesus in me? I think they’re just seeing a good person, really. I am a good person. A strong person. Is that a bad thing? It sounds like it, according to some Christians, some apparently Biblical teachings. I can’t be good, and I can’t be strong, because you’re supposed to be all that. So what do I do with the reality that I am both?
If you really are capable of reaching down and helping searching people, then help me! It says in the Bible that I will find you if I search for you. 
I can’t believe I made it all the way through Bible college. Unreal. And how miserable I was during that time... trapped. Trapped in a cage of appearances, of “rightness”, of looking and doing and being right for fear of being wrong. (Don't get me wrong- there were happy times, too. Just like there were in the abusive, dysfunctional home I grew up in.)
I am paralyzed by the thought of doing the wrong thing. It is to the point where I’m afraid to do what I think is right, because I’m afraid that it’s really the wrong thing and I’ve been tricked into thinking it’s right! And so I do the “right” thing, because it’s right, and because I’m afraid of what will happen if I don’t. In addition, if I want it, it must be wrong. 
How do I know if you care about me? Besides the Bible. Jury’s still out in its veracity and applicability in my mind, until I can study it. But if you are the all powerful God who created the universe to be just-so, I know that you can show me, somehow, if you care about me. Some way that I will recognize.
I’ve heard it said that it’s harder to be lost than it is to be saved. I certainly hope that’s so. I want to be saved, but it’s so hard... how can anything be harder?
As a dear friend pointed out, what's the point of a secret blog unless you can write about your secrets? It's been driving me crazy... I feel like I've been living a double life. I need to blog... but I can't... because I need to keep this secret...

I just found out two days ago that my little sister is pregnant. She is, apparently, a little scared, but mostly excited. She's almost 20.

I don't really know how I feel about it... I mean... I feel sorry for the baby, 'cause she's very moody. But maybe having a child will change some things? Her boyfriend had better be a man and step up to be a part of this child's life, or he's gonna have a colporteur-turned-headhunter hot on his trail.

She's going to stay at home with Mom and R, and the timing is near perfect (as far as these things go), because they just sold the house in IN, and R's been wanting to remodel the house anyway. (They bought it with that intention.) So, now he's going to remodel it so that K has a room and a little nursery area in the basement, J will have a room and bathroom in the basement, and Jr will have his own room upstairs. Mom and R will get a master suite upstairs, as well.

Also, Mom will be around for guidance, to help her. Plus I know Mom is stoked about finally having a grandbaby- she's been bugging me about that for years!

And I almost made her dream come true.

I just don't see how it's fair, really, that K- the immature, moody, not-a-functioning-member-of-society-yet one- gets to keep her baby (so far), and I... I'm having a miscarriage. How is that fair?

Technically, I'm not pregnant, because I haven't gotten a positive test back yet. It was too early to know. But when you know your body... sometimes you just know. Granted, I vacillated between thinking, "Oh yeah, for sure I'm pregnant, there's no way I'm NOT!" and "Yeah, right. I must be crazy! How could I be pregnant? No, I'm certainly making this up, it's all in my head, etc." But the more time went on, the more certain I was. 96% sure.

And now? Now... nothing.

Life will go on as planned, I guess.

And I'm slightly devastated. Just as I predicted.

The whole "I don't want kids, I don't want a family, I don't want to settle down" thing... nothing but a protective shell. If I say I don't want it, then when I don't get it, I won't be crushed. If you don't hope, you can't be disappointed. This showed me that I do want a family, I do want a husband, I do want children... and I really wanted this baby.

I mean, sure, it was going to completely screw up my life, and I was scared as all get out, but... it's a child. My child.

I didn't tell anyone, for understandable reasons. I mean, it wasn't even confirmed yet. And there's always that off chance that I was wrong, and that there was something else accounting for my typical pregnancy symptoms.

But I knew. And I allowed myself to get excited, to look towards the future...

It was going to be a baby girl, I think.

But now it's nothing.

I'm still cramping, in a lot of pain, and bleeding, but the bleeding hasn't gotten very heavy yet, and I haven't passed any big clots yet, so.... maybe there's still a chance? *Revision: I think it's too late, now...*

I'm trying everything I can to keep this baby. I can't bring myself to dismiss this situation with a trite, "The Lord Knows Best", because my heart is aching and bleeding too.

But either way... Mom gets to be a Gramma. And I look forward to holding my first niece or nephew. A December baby, I think, which coincides perfectly with my annual visit home! :)

And it was pretty funny that K and I were pregnant at the same time... Poor R. lol.

I don't know how this will all turn out. But I know that I have a lot of people that will love me regardless of what happens... and that's a great comfort.

So the farther I go along this journey of faith, the more questions I find myself having. Used to be (and usually), I'll find some superficial answer that satisfies me and move on. Quite frankly, I'm not one of those deep studiers. I like to know a little about a lot, but I'm getting to the point where I'm desirous of knowing a lot about a little.

And, lately, these questions are taking me back to square one, essentially, which is somewhere I never really started. I became a Christian coming from a background of always having believed in God, at least peripherally, and having been taught certain ideas ("truths") about God and about life and about what's going to happen in the future and about how people should be. So I never questioned, really, and just sort of swept any questions I had under the cognitive rug.

Now, however, it's not so easy... especially finding my faith challenged by atheist and pagan friends. It's like, do I believe what I believe out of circumstance, or because it is the most logical conclusion? Do I believe what I believe out of ignorance and blind trust, or because I've made a rational, intelligent commitment to something I believe is real?

A little of both, I think. But I'd like to be more secure in my logical reasons for believing in God, and for believing in the Bible, and even for being an SDA.

I've been reading this book lately, Case for a Creator, and although I'm only halfway through, I know that there's no way I can ever not believe in God's existence anymore. Theism is the only reasonable scientific theory as far as the creation of the universe goes. Natural selection, Darwinism, random undirected process... I don't have enough faith to be an atheist, quite frankly.

A month ago, I told God that I was forgetting everything I'd been told about who he is, and the assumptions I've made about who he is, and I just wanted Him to show me who he is.

That's the encapsulation of my first question. I have no doubts as to God's existence anymore, but now I need to know... what kind of a God are we dealing with here? I think the very universe he created can speak on some of his characteristics: incredibly smart, foresight, intentional, attention to detail, consistent, creative, artistic, enjoys giving gifts to others.... that's all I can think of off the top of my head.

And I'm almost sure, by looking at how finely tuned and incredibly set up Earth is for discovering the rest of the universe, that he is not the god that deism portrays- starting the process of life and essentially walking away to let it take its course. No, God went to a lot of trouble to make sure that we are in a privileged position in the universe, and I can't imagine that he'd simply walk away and leave us alone after he so carefully set us up. I mean, theoretically, it's a possibility, but the evidence points elsewhere. No, I don't see deism as a viable option at this point.

So the first question is, "Who is this God?"

The second question would be, "How does he communicate with us?" I know I'm supposed to be able to find out a whole bunch of stuff from the Bible, but I first need to determine whether the Bible is trustworthy. Is it really a compilation of messages from this God to us? If so, then I can use it to answer further questions. But I don't dare use it to answer the following questions if its veracity has not been established in my mind. (Not that I've stopped reading the Bible--I know, I know... I'm in a strange place! But I need to know for myself that I can trust it, rather than just assuming I can, or resting on the fact that other people have determined its trustworthiness.) Fortuitously, a friend randomly gave me a whole set of cd's last week at church, and one series in there is called "The Picture of God in all 66", and it apparently deals with the veracity and trustworthiness of the Bible! It even touches on why there are so many apparent contradictions (which, to the best of my knowledge, is simply a matter of the translation to English). I'm hoping to come across some resources that can explain whether or not the Bible is consistent with history-- I know that I can trust Daniel 2 at the very least!

Once I establish whether or not the Bible can be used to answer my other questions, things should speed up a little.

Other questions I have may not be answered so easily, though... but they're pretty critical to me, and have been bothering me for some time.

Question three: How am I really supposed to relate to God in terms of "my strength" vs. "his strength"? I hear a lot about how "in myself, I can do nothing" and "it's all God" and so forth. Well, in my experience, that's a big fat lie. I do too have strength, and I am a strong person. Does God know what I have survived? Granted, I didn't come out the other side with healthy coping mechanisms, but I did survive. I have my weak days, but I also have a deep reservoir of strength, and my basic thought is that if God is trying to get me to give up that strength that has helped me to survive, this strength that is growing as I walk along the healing journey, then this is not the kind of God I want to have any part of. If I'm supposed to revoke my ability to handle anything, I think these Christians are barking up the wrong tree.

I don't understand the whole "rest in Me" and "tap into My strength" thing. I don't. I know that I have strength of my own, and I know that there's a limit to that, but I'm not going to deny its existence for the sake of religion. I know that God has a strength that far surpasses mine- without a limit, apparently- (I can see that just from the organization of the universe) but I don't know how to access it.

Question four: Am I really supposed to lose my identity and become this pre-designed Christian? Because anyone who even slightly knows me will know that I immediately and intensely recoil from that idea. Seriously. When I meet people that are "following the blueprint" and "heeding the counsel"... they look the same. They eat the same (weird) way. They're just... blah. Not something that I'm interested in. Where's the spark of life? Where's the enjoyment? Life was meant to be enjoyed! Yeah, it's seasoned with hard times and down days, but to live this life of sad, somber strictness is... for what? I don't know. (By the way, there are a few exceptions to that rule that I can think of... but they're few and far between.)

Like, the whole, "deny yourself" and all that. Is wanting something bad? Is pursuing something that I want bad? Oh, right. Not when I both want it and it is in line with God's will. I'm sorry for being a little sarcastic, but I've been through this "anything you want or like is automatically wrong and you don't get it because God wants to teach you to deny yourself" idea before, and I'm not going back!

The fifth question gets even more theological, and it is this: If Jesus supposedly did not have any advantage over us, and he was perfect, then why can't I be perfect too? Not that I want anyone or God to expect or demand perfection from me, but seriously- why can't I be perfect? I want the freedom of imperfection with the hope of perfection. The best of both worlds, right? ;)

And, eventually, I need to get around to dealing with this SOP issue. I still can't stand her. It really, really bothers me when people quote, or refer to "the divinely inspired writings of" or "the pen of inspiration" or whatever. I don't know why. But it just... bugs me. Something deep inside me is uncomfortable and squirms around and says, "Get me outta here!" (How did I ever make it through SOULS with an SOP aversion?!) I find myself rolling my eyes a lot, whether inwardly or outwardly. Only if no one's looking.

I suppose that many of my questions stem from my background, and the particular issues that I face. But I really, really want to search out my own answers for these, and be convinced one way or another.

Bottom line right now? I believe in God. I'm reasonably sure about the Bible. I know God's been involved in my life at least a few times, so I'm almost certain he's at least somewhat of an interpersonal God.

I still have a lot of questions, and, honestly... I don't think that's a bad thing.
No, I never thought I'd stoop to the level of defending my depression (or perhaps my right to be depressed? Or maybe defending the reality of my depression?).

I guess it's kind of like that annoying kid brother-- you want so badly to be rid of it, but let anyone talk bad about it, and you rise to the cause.

Anyway, I just can't fathom the supreme ignorance of someone who would suggest that my at-times debilitating struggle with intense cyclic depression is the product of boredom, or perhaps just a bad day? Because, you know, everyone has bad days and gets down. Yes. I know that. But you don't understand... this is FAR more than just a 'bad day'. Like, hey, so-and-so, have you ever been depressed? Had a bad day? (So-and-so says yes, of course.) See? It's nothing. Everyone goes through that. Right. Pull the other one.

(Here's the kicker...)

Besides, you don't look depressed.

Oh, yeah. Because if I don't look like something's wrong with me, it must not be. No, I don't look like I have cancer, so I must be fine. Nope, don't look like I have hypothyroidism, so I don't. Food allergies? Nah. I don't look like the kind of person who has food allergies, so I'll eat whatever the ---- I want!

And you know what really irks me? That is the exact same response I got when I was looking and looking for help those years I was so sick. "But you don't look sick. You look healthy! I'm sure it's nothing."

And what nudges me over the fine line between irked and really ticked off is that this incredibly ignorant person is supposed to be a naturopath... someone who prides themselves on their health knowledge.

Really? Really?!


After walking fast and hard for an hour or so, yelling to God, and just basically venting, I came to this conclusion...

I do not need her validation on my problem. I know that sounds kind of weird, but it goes kind of like this:

I have a problem. Namely, depression. My best efforts have not knocked this, and I'm finally looking for help.

I do not need your permission or validation to know that I have a problem, and I need outside help with it.

Just because you are dismissing my problem doesn't mean it's going away. Been there, done that.

Therefore, I am owning my truth, which is this-- I have a problem, and I need some outside help. Thus, I am getting that help, regardless of what you think. And I am going to get better. I am going to be normal and stable... no thanks to you.


(P.S.- I DON'T have cancer! Just an example. Besides... I look too healthy for that.)

Oh, Jesus... I'm so tired. I'm sorry I'm not amazing. But you knew that I wouldn't be, didn't you?

*sigh* I love you. I need to learn to just rest.

Will this depression be healed soon?

Went to a wedding today, which I enjoyed thoroughly. There's just something about two people uniting their lives in the fear of the Lord that's totally, completely inspiring and amazing and kinda tear-jerking, all at the same time. Especially when you've seen some of the spiritual struggles one of them was going through back in the day, and to see where he is now is just incredible. He left the Marines, and he's going to to study to be a pastor. I'm so proud of him! I know I didn't have anything to do with it, but I feel a little like a mother watching her baby boy grow up. Is that silly?

Now, when his younger brothers go through this, THEN I'll be in serious mama hen mode, because those are "my boys".

God answered my latest continual prayer quite definitely with yesterday's sermon, and this wedding.

Stick witih God's blueprint, and he will bless you. He'll honor your obedience, and it will be worth it.


You know the funny thing about keeping a secret? It's... secret. Which means that when you know there are certain people reading your blog, you can't blog about it, because it's... secret.

As we used to say, "Secrets make leaders." I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I do know that the magabook leaders sure seemed to have a lot of secrets!

So... here I am. With my happy little secret... secretly. Yup. This is kind of a new thing for me.

And don't bother asking about it, because it's a secret.

I'm really starting to love that word. ^_^

Anyway, I'll just be moving on with my day... drinking chamomile tea and eating carob-nut squares, working on stuff for group tomorrow night.

I've got an appointment with my doctor tomorrow to talk about depression, and an echogram the day after to check out my alleged heart murmur. Then I work the next three days, and after that is a reception for my newly married friend. I have special music that morning for church, AND two songs at the reception! What a busy day that will be.

That's okay. I've kinda been isolating myself lately, so I think it will be good for me to be a little busier than I have been. Just kind of making the gradual slide back into depression, I guess, which I don't want to do!

Ah, life...

You can't live with it, and you can't live without it.
That is all.
I didn't know how low these valleys would be, or how high the mountains would be...

I think of Pilgrim's Progress, or Hind's Feet In High Places.

What kind of sweet narrative would be going on in the background of my life?

P.S.- I NEED to learn this song on guitar!!
I'm past the "it hurts to breathe" phase. That lasted a day or two. That's better than when I broke the engagement...I remember aching for weeks.

It seems unreal, but this whole thing with C only lasted two weeks. What an eventful two weeks it was!

We briefly talked about marriage again this time around. I know for a fact that he'd be happy to settle down with me and raise a family.

And now, in the "I miss him so much!" phase... that's a mighty tempting thought. However, I keep reminding myself of the reasons why I had to get out of there. It's easy to downplay the shadows when you're walking in sunlight again. (And, while I have hope that, in our own place--"my domain"-- I could effect a change of influence, that's not nearly enough to negate the fact that it's too remote of a possibility to bear any weight.)

And what's funny is that, in the process of saying, "No, I'm done. I'm tapping into my resources of strength and putting my foot down," I've gained some of that feeling of worth that I was seeking in C's affirmations of me. (At least, until the next bout of depression...)

I miss him though. A lot. I've got that restless, "I want to see him" feeling. It's only been three days.

No, I don't miss him because I'm desperately sad and I want to feel better. I know that I can be strong and weather these sad feelings. (I've done it before... for three years, was it?) I miss him because of him.

Watched a movie with B tonight- Chick Flick Night! :) It was fun. The movie was called Straight From the Heart, and it was awesome. Horses, cute cowboys, and good, clean romance. Sigh... I miss the northwest!

Anyway, I recall thinking during the movie (about the part where they fall in love), How nice it would be to love someone without all the obstacles...

Seriously. It seems like anyone that I've really liked or really cared about, there are always people around to tell me that it's not a good idea, that he's not good enough, that there is this issue and that issue and so on, so forth.

Is it really just me? Or am I always going to be getting that message from the people I care about when I am romantically involved with a guy?

Maybe I just pick the wrong guy. Over and over. Even though all these guys were so completely different from each other.

On a similar, yet unrelated topic, I've got an appt with my doctor next week to talk about depression. I may end up on meds for a while, but if it brings some sort of stability to my emotional life, then I'm okay with that for a while.

And I've been arguing with myself for a couple of days.
Don't be ridiculous. It's all in your head. You're just looking for an excuse, a reason to stay connected. Yes, but... there's a chance I'm right until I'm proven wrong. Yeah, okay, sure. And if you're right? Yeah, that's what I thought. I'd better be right. You don't want to be right. Right? Right.

Either way, I'll be right, which is nice. Amusing, but nice.

And either way, I'll be at least slightly devastated.

So I guess it's win-win, huh?

Rest and receive?
Far too easy!
What must I do
to prove worth to You?

Give up all friends?
Confess all my sins?
(I did it that way
only yesterday...)

Deny taking food?
Never a bad mood?
Tell me what I must do
to prove love that's true!

Rest and receive?
Trust and believe?
I don't think I can
let You just take my hand.

I'm sorry, dear God,
but like it or not,
I'll continue to "do"
so I'll know I've pleased You.

Note: This isn't actually my decision for the day, oh no! But I recognize that it is my mindset most times. Just resting and receiving is too easy... I've gotta DO something!


By the way... I found it!

Finally! An accurate summation of what I go through. Those "spells of darkness"...

This is my life. I knew I wasn't crazy.

Now, I can get help.

(And, interestingly, the article links hypomania with the depression, which in turn brings out hypersexuality as a component of the hypomania, which totally matches with what I go through with C. Oh, snap. Could all these things really be puzzle pieces?)

The Pound

Grampa woke us all up at 5 this morning, blasting Dwight Nelson. (He's losing his hearing fast. Unfortunately, the rest of us aren't!)

I asked him to turn the volume down, which he did, but I couldn't go back to sleep...

I've been having troubles sleeping lately, anyway.

However, this presents me with the perfect opportunity!

I'm taking Holly to the pound.

This decision has been a while in coming, but I was hoping to find her a better home first. Nobody wants a cat, it seems, especially an epileptic one.

So, I'll get ready for work bright and early, and have enough time left over to drop her off, pick up Grampa from the car repair place, and still make it to work on time (if the timing all works out).

I feel cold-hearted about it now, but I'm sure that I'll be sniffling when we have to part ways.

In many, many ways, though, it's a relief.
Last night was agony. Sheer, unmitigated agony. I finally fell asleep sometime after eleven... and my eyes are still puffy today.

Yet underlying the pain is a strength, a resolve that's never been there in my decision to leave C before. Why is this?

I've been thinking about it...

In the past, it was that I had to leave- "This is God's decision and I have to abide by it."

So, since it wasn't really my choice, it was all too easy to wander back again.

Now, I've made the decision for myself. This is my choice, for my best... and I can abide by that. I have the strength... as much as I miss him.

I still feel like I'll never love anyone again, but I know that can't be true, for I loved D.

It's hard. No bones about it. I'm in a great deal of pain.

But I'm also strong. I'm not desperate this time around.
I didn't have time to wash my pajamas, and they still smell like him.

Sleeping alone is the worst part.

"Oh darling, I wish you here..."
I broke up with C today.

Yeah, yeah, we "weren't in a relationship", which is bologna.

It took a while, and the help of a dear friend to shatter my rose-colored haze of optimism, but I realize that... I don't belong in his world. It really hit home while I was hanging out with him and the guys playing D+D last night. We're worlds apart...

If we lived in a bubble, all would be well. We could love each other and be fine.

But we don't. And we can't.

I think my heart has imploded.

He played me this song this morning before I broke the news... said he listens to it when he has a hard time falling asleep sometimes.

It fits me now, too.

The Cycle

"The Cycle"

Breaking free,
I rise amid the dawn's aura-
the hushed glory of a new, unpolished day.

Soaring even,
warm drafts bear me steadily-
on towards quicksilver clouds and gunmetal fantasies.

Slipping quietly,
the lukewarm mist of apathy rises-
the horizon where despair meets hope... all too close.

Landing hard,
I pick gingerly through a shrapnel forest-
wings folded, head bowed, wandering vainly in search of anesthesia.

Hope rising,
warm sunlight bringing whispers of better days-
heart and wings lift at the knowledge that I may soon be

Breaking free...
My sis J sent me an ecard, and the message is so beautiful that I want to remember it always. Sooooo... I thought that, if I write it down here, it won't get lost! I just wish that I could convey the beauty of the music, as well. It's such a pretty piano piece.

The card itself says,
"God created you... every little detail about you. He gave you life and special gifts to fulfill a unique purpose in this world... a mission He planned just for you. God knows you better and loves you more than anyone ever could.

He is your wise Father and faithful friend, who takes great joy in you.

Celebrating you today and hoping you remember that God celebrates you every day!"

The note from J at the bottom says,
"My dear C,

I couldn't help but think of all the pictures you took of our grapes when I saw this ecard. It reminded me of the artistic talent God gave you for capturing life on film (digital film, LOL). I admire your skill. Keep it up!

I hope that this will be an extraordinary birthday for you! I know you've been going through a lot of emotions and feelings lately, and I pray that this birthday will not only bring laughter and joy, but healing as well. I wish we could spend it with you (although we'll see you in just a few weeks!!).

Eat an extra piece of GF dessert for me.

Love you sis,


The nice thing about the running-away impulse is that it is just that-- an impulse. I know it will pass, eventually, even if it kills me to stay where I'm at.

But I'm planted here. God is using me. How or why, I can't fathom... but these girls have attached themselves to me in an unexpected (to me) way.

I'm seriously considering coming back and joining the staff of the Healing Journey when I'm done with school. I've been asked to. I'll get to use massage for what I wanted it for. Hmmm... I'll just have to wait and see what doors God opens and closes.

Depression. It comes and goes. Right now, it's mostly gone. I hiked Telegraph Pass, and felt much better. Mom called partway into my hike, so I climbed a small mountain to sit and talk to her for almost an hour. After that, I no longer felt like the hike was to punish myself, but to challenge myself. It was good. I still haven't made it to the top, but I've only tried twice, and each time I get farther than before. If I keep doing my best and going farther than I've gone before, inevitably I will reach the top. I mean, if I went from halfway to two-thirds of the way, it's totally doable!

Mom and I both wonder if I don't have some sort of chemical imbalance going on... I may talk to my doctor about it.

However, more importantly, I'm on the waiting list for a counselor who deals with abuse issues. From what I understand, she also does Christian counseling, and I am glad.

This whole thing with C has forced me to really look at myself, and I saw... I saw that I go through this same spiral whether I'm doing the "right" thing or the "wrong" thing. Common denominator? Me. I've got some deep-rooted issues that need to be processed through and healed. I firmly believe that God is going to heal me from the inside out, and that as I heal, my behaviors will fall in line... 'cause honestly, I'm so tired of manufacturing righteousness... of doing the "right" thing out of fear-- fear that God will abandon me or hate me, fear that other people will no longer like me, fear of censure and rejection...

I want to want to do the right thing. Right now... I don't want to, in some ways. But I want to want to, and I think that's a good thing. God gave me Psalm 37:3, 4 today. It seemed to me to be saying, "You want to do the right thing. Good. Delight yourself in me, and it'll be okay."

Gramma was afraid I was leaving the church or something. No way! I love God. He has my allegiance, whatever percentage or strength that amounts to.

Yesterday, as I was hiking and thinking and praying, I realized... I'm really messed up right now... and that's okay. Because God is bigger than I am. He's the Fixer, the Deliverer. I won't be like this forever.

I sat C down last night and told him what I learned from this little run-in with depression. I told him about finding a counselor. I told him why I need to be with him. I also told him that, as I get help, I will be growing and changing, and that as I heal I won't need him anymore like I do now.

Mom and R both called me, and they're wonderful. Good advice. They still love me. They think I'm a good person. They're rooting for me, basically... whether I've got it all together, or whether I'm struggling and kicking and rolling around in the dirt.

Oh, and I'm now the main facilitator for the group. Apparently, B thinks I'm "incredible" and really organized and strong and confident and great with the girls, and she's just too busy to be reliable at this point. Wow. So, she'll "co-host" with me every week, but I'm the main one.

Privilege, incredulity, and a creeping sense of self-esteem. I'm a little daunted by the task, but all I have to do is what I've been doing. E is already bemoaning my absence, even though it's five months away! lol.

God is good. I'm glad I'm a part of this. It's forcing me to face issues and weaknesses I could have ignored in the busy-ness of life. (I would type "business", but that looks like the wrong word, like an organization or something.)

I have to go make my lunch for the next couple of days.

The most low key song I've ever heard by this group. You can even hear a harp in this one. It's haunting... and I listened to it over and over again until about 2 a.m.

I called a counselor this morning. I had to leave a message, but I'll try again later.

I really want to be better. I know it's not so much an issue of "behaving" better, but of healing the root issue so that I will want to be behave better.

Until then... I want to disappear. Or run away. But I won't do either. I have a life to attend to.

Thank God I'm off tomorrow, too. Maybe I'll feel better by the time my other job rolls around. (At least working with SA kids, I'm allowed to feel crappy 'cause I'm going through stuff too!)
Good old Evanescence... always echoing the cry of my darkened heart...

I wanted you to know I love the way you laugh
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain away
I keep your photograph;
I know it serves me well
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain away

Because I'm broken when I'm lonesome
And I don't feel right when you're gone away

You've gone away
You don't feel me here anymore

The worst is over now and we can breath again
I wanna hold you high, you steal my pain away
There's so much left to learn and no one left to fight
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain

'Cause I'm broken when I'm open
And I don't feel like I'm strong enough
'Cause I'm broken when I'm lonesome
And I don't feel right when you're gone away

You've gone away
You don't feel me here anymore

My Heart Is Broken
I will wander 'till the end of time torn away from you.

I pulled away to face the pain.
I  close my eyes and drift away,
Over the fear that I will never find
A way to heal my soul.
And I will wander 'till the end of time,
Torn away from you.

My heart is broken.
Sweet sleep, my dark angel,
Deliver us from sorrow's hold...over my heart.

I can't go on living this way,
But I can't go back the way I came,
Chained to this fear that I will never find
A way to heal my soul.
And I will wander 'till the end of time,
Half alive without you.

My heart is broken.
Sweet sleep, my dark angel,
Deliver us.

Change - open your eyes to the light.
I denied it all so long, oh so long.

My heart is broken.
Release me, I can't hold on.
Deliver us.

My heart is broken.
Sweet sleep, my dark angel,
Deliver us... from sorrow's hold.

Musically, this is how I've been feeling lately. I'm practically obsessed with the song- it's almost all I listen to. I am determined that I will play this some day soon.

I had a great time with C today. We went to the oldies car show, and I some some absolutely stunning vehicles. Then we went to Walmart to get some Drano, cleared out his drains, and went to a sushi place for lunch. It was a little difficult for me to find something to eat, but I did find several things, and it was very good! C even let me pay the tip :) Then we headed over to Claire's and I got a couple of headbands (since I've been breaking mine lately), and after that to PetSmart for some feeder minnows. C and I headed over to his dad's place to do laundry, and we hung out and talked about ideal government systems with his brother D for a couple of hours. It was enlightening and very, very entertaining. By the time the laundry was done, it was time for C and D to head back home for their D+D session with their buddies. I took off for home, and came back to this message from a dear friend...

Subject heading: "Appeal to stay on God's pathway for your life!!!"

"Dear C,

You are my sister, colleague-in-ministry, and friend! I feel impressed to write to you this morning. I recognize that I don't know exactly what is going on in your life, but you know that I care for you and your joy in this life! Here's the message: (highlighted in yellow and written in red, I might add! lol)
'Stay on God's pathway for your life. Do NOT let the Devil side-line you with relationships that aren't committed to Him. God has brought you too far for you to turn to the left or to the right. You MUST stay straight ahead following Jesus, the Author and FINISHER of your faith. Do not ignore the voice of God or the words of your elder brother D! Call me if you want to follow-up on this further. I am praying for you-- of course, you know that J is always/daily praying for her sister/daughter C. Proverbs 3:5,6 continues to guide my life from day to day.'

From your family in Northern Idaho: 'We love you and miss you!'

God bless you and guide you and remember He can only lead and richly bless as you choose to follow Him!

Curses. Foiled again.

And, quite frankly, I'm ticked off about this whole thing. I really am.

I'm upset with C for not being a Christian. Silly, I know, but I am. Like, what's your stinking problem?! Why won't you even explore the possibility for me? You know that it's the dividing factor, right? Oh yes, you know that... but you need proof. Always proof. Well, I can't give that to you. You have to search for it yourself, and you don't really have the inclination to do that. So fine. Let it divide us forever, then.

I'm ticked at myself for my weakness. Today went well, though. Pious people the world 'round will be gratified to know that I kept my clothes on today.

But seriously? Why, girl, why? Why must you play with fire? Is your need for love that deep? Yes, yes it is.

Yes, I know well enough that this semi-relationship isn't the best... or even good. But, oh, it fills a need deep within me... and everything in me cries out, "Don't make me go back! Please, don't make me walk away from the warmth and back into my emotional Siberian exile again!" I finally feel something... something wonderful... and now I'm supposed to hack it to pieces in the name of the Lord.

That brings me to my next point. I'm ticked off at God.

Why can't this be okay? What is your big stinking problem with it, anyway? What's your deal with C? Why can't we be together, God? Is this another one of your things where I hurt so badly that I want to die, but it's actually for my good? 'Cause I'm really getting tired of that.

I want to be with him. Why is that wrong?

I know, I know... C is not the end-all be-all. He's not the only one that will ever love me, though oftentimes it feels that way. Guys come into my life, they dash my heart to pieces, and then walk out. I think in this scenario, I've broken C's heart more times than I can count. I've been abandoned so much... I don't want to do that to him... again. And, finally, a man who loves me and has stuck around all these years? God, I don't want to lose that.

Foolish girl, if you'd never gotten mixed up with him again, this wouldn't even be an issue...

God, have you seen the way he looks at me? Or the way he loops his arm around my waist? Or the way he threads his fingers through mine? Or the tender kiss on my cheek? Have you seen that? Do you know what seeds of self-worth that waters within me? God, I don't hate myself when I'm with him... and I'm so tired of hating myself. And I'm so tired of being alone. I don't want to be alone anymore.

And it works so well because we're not technically together (which makes me easy, I guess...), and I'm so scared of settling down, that I get the best of both worlds.

I've got 5 months left here. Can I be bad for 5 months, and then straighten up when I go away to school?

Should I even have come here in the first place?

I just want to run away... away from it all. Start clean. Again.

The only things I've got to tie me here right now are obligations, support groups, and C.

Bother. That's pretty much my whole life at this point.

Besides... where would I go? I'm broke.

Mom offered their place... but I can't leave my job. I just started.

I'm going hiking tomorrow. I need it. And I'm going to find a counselor. Maybe if the problems deep inside me get fixed, I won't need C anymore.

And, upon reflection... it is gratifying to know that my friend cares enough about me to write that letter.
I love the poem "Desiderata" by Max Ehrmann. The title is Latin, and it means, "desired things". Just like the Serenity Prayer, there are certain parts that jump out to me at certain times, such as...
"Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here."

I need that reminder. It's all too easy to jump down my own throat. I treat myself in a way that I would never treat another person, not even my enemy, and I don't think that's right.

I went to the Domestic Violence group on Tuesday night, and it was very good. I'm beginning to think and/or realize that being molested may not be the thing that had the greatest negative impact on me, but rather growing up in dv households. I think I'm going to begin the search for another counselor, or begin phone sessions with my counselor from up north. I'd really like a local counselor, but I'll take what I can get.

I've been going around and around with this C thing... hating myself for not being strong. Like, seriously? Just say no, right? Riiiiight...
He's been on my brain all week.

E and I talked Tues. about him, about the situation... One of the startling things she said was, "I'm not trying to break you guys up." I stared openmouthed at her, then said, "Well, I want you to!" (Talk about ambivalence- I've got that mastered and in full swing right now.) But seriously. I want someone to tell me, "No. You can't." Why? Maybe so that it's not my decision. Maybe so that I have some impetus to make a decision that I fear so much. Maybe to back up all the voices that have told me throughout the years, "You can't. You are settling. He's not good enough. Don't do it." My question is, when will anyone ever be good enough? I've never dated a guy that was "good enough" by other's standards. That's me- forever settling.  (Maybe I'm just too awesome for my own good.) So, honestly, part of me wants to say, "To the devil with you! It's not your call!"

E encouraged me to make a list of pro's and con's, which I vigorously objected to, because I am not in a relationship with C. She agreed that he needs to be Christian before I could seriously consider him, but she did point out that I am, in fact, in love, and to weigh that factor in my dealings with C. She said, "Many women make the mistake of becoming so analytical that they forget to factor in feelings. You need to think, yes, but don't forget about your feelings, because they're a part of it too."

She also encouraged me about who God is... that he's a god of mercy and forgiveness, and he understands my messed up past and my broken parts and my weaknesses. Not that he condones my actions, but he understands my heart, and he loves me. That's good, because I'm having a hard time understanding my own heart right now.

It's about C, but it's not just about C. I love him, yes, but I also love myself, if that makes sense. (It really doesn't, because I don't have much in the way of self-love, but I'll explain.) You see, when I'm with C... I'm worthwhile. I'm accepted. I'm wanted. When I'm with C, I'm beautiful. I'm intelligent. I am a cherished treasure. I'm exciting and desirable. When I'm with C, I'm a good person. When I'm with C, I am loved for who I am, not for what I do or don't do.

I see all these things, and I know that I should be getting that from God, not C, but I just can't seem to get that from Him. I don't know why. I don't understand it. I want it, to be sure. But it's just not there. There's a mental and emotional block of sorts.

E told me not to be too hard on myself. So did Mom. Because when I am so vicious and cutting, it leads to paralyzing discouragement, which is exactly where the adversary wants me... paralyzed.

I had a sort of talk with C last night, because I realize that I really just want to be loved and feel good about myself, and I don't want to take advantage of him because we are not in a relationship, but I still want to be with him. He thought it was "cute", and assured me that there's no way I could use him or take advantage of him. But he can't say that I didn't warn him...

I did end up staying the night. I only got 3 hours of sleep. *groan* And the worst part is... I don't really feel guilty. I feel awful about not feeling guilty, and I've agonized with God about that. I worry that I've committed the unpardonable sin, or that, because I'm intentionally sinning, God will write me off.

The worst part is, I've been having questions about and issues with God lately, anyway, and now this... this mess that I've made for myself. *sigh* But, no. I will not forsake God. I must remember how he has led me, and that I know him to be real. I have not followed cunningly devised fables. I have questions, yes, but I know they will be answered in time.

I called Mom this morning in tears, and she helped talk me through it a little. She mostly listened lol. But she did share some words of wisdom and encouragement with me, and agreed to call C and talk to him as well. I felt that she had a clarity and perspective that I couldn't get across to C at this point. She called me later and told me what she told him, but he hasn't talked to me about it yet. We've got a date tomorrow to go to the car show, so I expect we'll talk about it then. She did reiterate to him something that I tried, unsuccessfully, to get across, which is that I need him to be the brakes. I am weak when it comes to him, and I have resolve for the first attempt, or the second, or sorta the third... but then I break down, because I really want him, and that's the whole reason behind going over to his house around bedtime 'cause, oh darn, I'm too tired to drive home and I guess I'll have to spend the night... Shucks. (My bedtime is about the time he gets off of work.) So Mom told him that he needs to be the strong one, the brakes, because I'm weak. His response was, "Guess I've got some growing to do." That gratifies me.

Another thing I've been thinking about is C's character. Was there abuse present in the relationship or not? Or is it something that I've rationalized in to make being apart from him easier? A month or two ago, I took a couple of criteria quizzes online, and while there were a few red flags for each type of abuse- physical, emotional/mental, and sexual (but not verbal)- the criteria for actual abuse did not apply to the relationship... which, I must admit, surprised me. Have I spent these last few years demonizing C so that I can be okay with being apart from him? Like, "Oh, yeah, I'm SO glad I left, because that was abusive, and I should never see him again..." Don't get me wrong, I am glad that I left. It's what I needed to do, and I think it's been the best thing for both of us. We've both grown. He's more open-minded now, less stubborn. But I'm on the alert for red flags. Was he really isolating and manipulative? Or were those just suggestions planted in my head by certain people? I wish I could see this all objectively... I don't want to rationalize either the present or the past for any reason. Let me see reality in all its garish glory.

I get so ticked off at myself for being so weak... but maybe this is just what I need. To be weak. So that I can see myself as I really am... and how God relates to me, really. Without all the false conscience garbage, or the superstitions and assumptions that have fossilized my heart and mind for so many years.

I think I'm done for tonight. I have only scratched the surface of what I need to get off my chest, but I lack the words. I could wish for a larger vocabulary... that'd be a nice birthday gift. :)