Depression and Anxiety stole my 30th birthday celebration.

I closed my eyes for just a second. I sat in a chair, holding my hands together, and squeezing them tightly without anyone else noticing because I continued to smile. My hands began fidgeting, one massaging another continuously, but again, no-one noticed because my hands were hidden under the table as I continued to smile. I knew everything was going to be just fine, but then again, it wasn’t.

                   Friends and family laughed, conversed, and then everything became silent. To break the awkward silence, one person looked around and awkwardly asked, “Where is the waiter with our food? Feels like we’ve been waiting for hours.” Everyone else at the table began looking around with no success toward finding the waiter.

                   I looked at the time on my phone to see that it had only been 20 minutes since we’ve arrived. Everyone was already becoming anxious to eat and leave.

                   Small talk continually occurred throughout dinner. Within the hour, some ordered dessert and others explained that it was late, and therefore they had to leave. We said our thank you’s and our goodbyes in which I heard them conversing amongst themselves as they began to leave, “Was it really only 1 hour? It felt like an eternity.” To which the other responded “Agreed. Our night could have been spent better being at home.” My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach hearing these words, but no-one could have known it. Deep down inside, I knew that “celebrating me” was a bad idea. I continued to smile and converse with others as we enjoyed our desserts.

                   As the dinner and desserts were paid for, I began to give my appreciation to everyone for the birthday get-together. But only 1 person responded as the subject was immediately changed, “My birthday is next weekend! We are going to have so much fun,” another person said. Everyone began dancing and laughing as they walked out to their cars. I realized that the “celebration of me” was finally over and everyone was happy about it.

One last “Happy 30th birthday,” was shouted to me by each person before I got in my car and began to drive home.

The 20 minute drive alone was filled with anger and sadness. The thoughts that filled, not just my mind, but my heart and soul, were destroying me little by little. It wasn’t a process that was new… it was as if a well-known friend was visiting me. One that comes and visits when it wants and where it wants.

                   It began whispering the thoughts into me, “You wasted everyone’s night trying to have them celebrate you. Who are you to be celebrated? You should speed up and flip your car right now. It would be best for everyone. You are not valued — you are a burden. People force them-selves to care for you because something is wrong with you and they know it.”

                   “Focus,” I told myself as I began singing worship music in the car. Causing myself to feel free, valued, and loved. I wanted this friend of mine to be overpowered by God’s truth. But, it’s never that easy.

                   I arrived home with a body that felt weak, a heart that beat double, and a mind that had trouble finding rest. I struggled to unlock the door as my friend continued speaking to me, “You can’t do anything right. You can’t even unlock a door. You’re pathetic. Remember the time you tried to teach someone about love and you looked like a fool instead? Remember the time you tried to learn that new skill and again you failed. You’re dumb and you’re weak.”

                   “Focus” I once again said to myself. I unlocked the door and walked straight to my daughter’s room. She was staying at her father’s house that night and I was going to be home alone all night.

                   I didn’t shower, I didn’t change my clothes, and I didn’t call anyone because I didn’t want to be a bother. I laid in her bed, hugged her stuffed animals… and I reminded myself of the pain it would have caused her if I had flipped the car.

                   I cried, and I cried, and I cried. My oxygen was cut low and my body went numb. The pain in my heart was the only thing I could feel.

                   Suddenly, I heard “Mommy! Are you done? You’ve been in the shower forever!”

I opened my eyes to find myself sitting on the floor of the tub as the water poured down. My body still felt weak and my heart was still in pain. No tears ran down my face, though, and I was still 29 years old. Nothing I experienced was true.

                   I got out, got dressed, cuddled with my daughter, and picked up my phone to type a message, “We need to cancel my birthday dinner. I’m not feeling well,” and hit “send.”

                   My friend was gone, I felt at peace, and then I heard the words “It’s time to fight this ‘friend’ of yours. Because it is not your friend, it’s an enemy.”

***Anxiety and depression are real. You’re not crazy, dramatic, or possessed by a demon. This was an experience that I had around the time I began my medication. I missed an opportunity to celebrate my 30th birthday with friends and family who WANTED to celebrate me because of this invisible struggle.***

And to be as openly – honest as possible, I strongly believe that the only reason I am still here today — is because I consumed myself with God’s truth (Bible, music, videos, movies, writings, books) to overpower each time my “friend” came to visit me.

Pray—Connect—Grow. Gods love is GREATER.

Depression diagnosis

Things are good, but things were greater over 1 month ago. And still, my best friend tricked me, yelled at me, and then forced me to see a doctor. It’s been over a month now that I have been diagnosed with major depression. I still don’t understand it.

                   I am somehow truly happy with life… yet the thoughts in my head are insanely scary. And they have been since I was 12-13 years old. I pray, I fight, I read, I learn, I grow, I cry, I laugh, I meditate on God’s word, I follow my dreams, I eat healthy, I exercise, I focus on hobbies, I surround myself with family and spend time with friends… I’ve tried it all. But life happens!

                   I work 9 hour shifts, spend one-on-one time with my daughter, cook dinner, and clean, I can’t always exercise, I can’t always eat perfectly because sometimes there isn’t enough time in the day to pack the perfect-healthy lunch. I’ve prayed and I’ve known that God is with me, and then at the same time I’ve wondered “what’s the point?”

                   I had a very scary episode in which I reached out to Tiffany, one of my 2 best friends since 7th grade who has seen and heard of my ups and downs since. Within the hour she scheduled me an appointment with her doctor in which she said “it would be free because you are a friend of an employee” which was her. She tricked me, she payed for it.  

                   I was hesitant to go because deep down inside I felt like “depression isn’t real. I pray, life is good, there is nothing to be upset about… maybe I’ll just be starting my time of the month and I’m emotional.”

                   The next day, I picked my daughter up from her dad’s house. (this is how God works) My daughter randomly decided to ask me “Why are we alive? Lita (grandma) was telling me about heaven. Why can’t we all just die and be in heaven. I want to die and be in heaven now.”

                   I was stunned. She kept talking about this as my heart dropped and I prayed for God to help me understand so I could give her the right answer. She then ended it with saying “Mom, I’m going to do my best at being the best daughter ever so that I don’t ruin your life.”

                   Again, I was stunned. I asked “Why do you think you’re going to ruin my life?” She said, “The other night. You were really sad and mad, and you said because I’m mean to you, that I’m ruining your life.”

                   My heart dropped again. I didn’t (and still don’t) remember saying any of that to her.

                   I texted Tiffany and said, “Make the appointment sooner. I will be there whatever day and time you want me there.”

                   I was able to talk to my daughter. I told her “How would you feel if you gave me a gift and I didn’t want it?” She said, “bad.” I responded with “God gave us life as a gift. He wants us to enjoy it… to make the most of it… and when the time is right, then we will experience heaven.” Then, of course, I went on and on explaining how there is no way she could ruin my life… and that she has saved it.

                   Over 1 month ago I started medication and I was supposed to start counseling, but since COVID-19 entered out lives, it hasn’t been very possible. I still don’t fully understand depression, but I know it’s real.

                   The doctor was asking me numerous questions and I answered as honestly as possible. A lot of things that I thought were normal… isn’t.

                   So, today… I decided to write about it and share my experience… even though I still don’t fully understand it. I want others to be aware and to be careful, especially since many are stuck in isolation to help reduce the hospital visits and the spread of the virus.

                   I am scared of being stuck at home but it is an absolute blessing that my sister and her boyfriend decided to come stay with me through this so that I wouldn’t be alone and my daughter can enjoy her time out of school at it’s best.

                   My entire family and the 4 friends that know have been pretty supportive.

                   I’m worried about not being able to pay bills, I am worried that the depression might rise again, but those worries are pushed aside as I focus on priorities (health, family, friends, life) and knowing I am doing my best so that God can get to work on the rest.

Everything IS going to be better than “alright.”

Coronavirus. It’s okay to be afraid.

2 nights ago, I woke up at 2am with just enough oxygen to reach over and pick up my inhaler. I was then able to prepare the nebulizer and was breathing normally. I can’t imagine how badly things would have gone if I didn’t have these supplies with me.

                   As I am reading, (to stay informed as we all should be doing) I’ve learned much, including that hospitals are low on supplies — all types of supplies. Of course, I began imagining the worst such as me needing to go to the hospital, them being out of supplies, them using more intrusive ways to get me breathing, or them not able to help me start breathing again due to circumstances.

                   Yea, these thoughts suck — but these are thoughts that could become a reality. These are thoughts that are highly possible. And these are thoughts that cause fear. Which is okay.

                   Fear is a horrible thing when someone dwells on it. Fear is a waste when people convert it into foolishness and selfishness. Fear causes walls to be built, life to be put on pause, depression, ignorance, anger, and many other negative ways of living. But fear can also be a positive power. Use fear to feel alive — not to hide and die inside.

As things are not under control regarding the coronavirus, I will allow fear with wisdom and selflessness. I will self-isolate but not hoard. And I will focus on truth, not dwell in fear.

I will use fear to find reasons to smile right here and right now. I will use fear to be grateful for the life that I have lived. I will use fear to be a friend to others that are afraid. I will use fear to remember that these materials don’t matter — hugging my daughter and my nieces and reminding them what they mean to me is what matters. And I will use fear to plan for a hopeful and loving future to make sure that when I do die, I will be happy with the life I have lived.

As I’ve said many times before — the enemy doesn’t care about our circumstances, he cares about attacking our souls, he just uses our circumstances to reach our souls. Feel the fear, focus on God’s truth (read His word, pray, connect, and grow), and breath easy. You’ve got a beautiful future ahead.

John 16:33

Isaiah 41:10

Isaiah 54:17

Joshua 1:9

Why would a child be in a hospital if God could heal them through prayer? (From my book, The Open Letter)

Why would a child be in a hospital if God could heal them through prayer?

(“If God is the author of all truth, we need not be afraid to examine what might appear to be competing truth claims.” (The Integration of Psychology and Theology – J.D Carter, B. Narramore)

“Where the truth is, in so far as it is truth, there God is.” – Cervantes)

Prayer:

A question has sparked this prayer

A question has caused me to question You

If you are a powerful God

A loving and merciful God

Why are there children in hospitals?

Why are people sleeping on streets?

Why do we depend on doctors?

If you, through prayer, can meet our needs?

I don’t understand your power,

I don’t understand your love

It’s stated that it’s unconditional,

So, why is life so tough?

We gather in prayer for healing,

We gather in prayer for strength,

We gather in prayer for you to come through,

But, is prayer really all that it takes?

Why do we need hospitals?

If prayer will bring the healing?

Why do we need therapist’s?

If prayer will cure our feelings?

I guess what I’m really asking is

Why do our prayers get let down?

Some people who don’t pray at all,

Get healing all around.

Some people who never cease to stop,

Are ignored and so broken down…

What is the purpose of prayer?

How do you choose when to listen?

How do you choose when to answer some prayers?

And how do you choose when to dismiss them?

I’ve read in Matthew, Seventeen, Twenty

Faith the size of a mustard seed is plenty,

And yet sometimes it’s never enough,

God…

Bring clarity to what we speak of.

God’s Response:

Your faith moves me in your direction

Not in the direction that you demand,

Your faithful prayer invites me in

But, doesn’t confirm your wanted plan.

I created the world you live in,

I created the people you see

My love is unconditional,

Which means you have the freedom to be.

Prayer unites us both,

Prayer connects my spirit with yours,

My power will lie within you,

This connection will open new doors.

Doors that evil has hidden,

Doors that will ignite your faith,

Doors that will show you truth,

That lives are not what’s at stake.

Your soul is what evil is after,

It’s your soul that evil will hit.

It uses physical death to fill others with pain,

And their souls to deteriorate.

So, you pray for me to come through,

You pray for me to intervene,

Your prayer leads me to save your soul,

But, you’re blinded by the scene.

You pray for your child to live,

As I watch evil sweep the streets,

I will comfort you in your healing,

And attend to your every need,

But I now hold on to your child,

As your anger blames it on me,

You say that I’m a liar,

Because your demands, I did not meet.

You say prayer doesn’t change things,

You say my love and power is weak,

You question whether I even exist,

Or if your lives even matter to me.

So, when should I take control of your day?

When your child is lying in pain?

Or when you’ve decided to drive while drunk?

To which you avoided the thought of my name.

When should I follow through with your demanded prayers?

As you pray for your relationship to be fixed,

You want me to heal the marriage,

When clearly your souls are at risk.

I aim for your souls to be healed,

I aim for your souls to be free,

I am here for you to experience true love,

Because evil will not let you be.

—————————————————————

“We have hospitals for when we are attacked by evil, because evil does roam this world. And these hospitals fight for our healing which is a success when God says it is better for one to heal. It is not a success when God says it is better for this person to be with Him. Why not do the healing Himself if He is an all-powerful God? Well, when one child falls and scrapes his knee and another child places a band aid on him, does it not make the hurt child feel less alone, help that child to know he has a friend, and simply united with the others around him? God’s love is not proud or selfish, it is unconditional… He wants us to experience love even if we give others the credit and lose our belief in Him because of it.”

Cuts from – The Open Letter

I took a 6-month break from my book because I got super bored with it. I’ve been working on it again but have decided to cut a few things that seem weaker than the rest of the book. Still, I’d like to share some of the things that are being cut out just in case it helps -even one- person. The book I am writing is a fiction story that consists of a variety of people crying out to God, but while being so caught up with emotions and what -seems to be- truth from damaging experiences, they can’t hear God crying out in return with His actual truth.

I am just a mere human

And, I do understand that.

So, when you say I am forgiven,

I know that I’m brought back.

But, God, it’s been a while,

And there’s nothing but a wall.

I’ve been praying for forgiveness,

But this wall just doesn’t fall.

I am numb, and I am silent

My words become violent,

I am angry my God, and it’s not easy to hide it.

My prayers have shortened,

Then my words go unspoken,

I spread your word, God,

But our relationship is broken.

I feel empty without you,

Without purpose, without rest,

Without our relationship,

I don’t feel much blessed.

Father, God, I am here

All I desire is you.

I am not worth much,

But I beg to renew,

The Father and child blessing,

The connection of love,

What has now become a memory,

That I hold strongly of.

What am I doing wrong?

Why can’t we be?

I am asking you questions, God.

Please answer me.

God’s response:

Hold on to my truth, child,

I am here and I’m for you,

If anything, it’s your truth,

That needs to be renewed.

I’ve never left you, and I never will

I am a part of you, holding still,

All the while, you try to be strong

And keep on disregarding my will.

I am the strength of your weakness,

You have sunk to such deepness,

Believing this wall,

Could keep us from reaches.

I am holding you child,

This wall is just a vision,

Please wipe your eyes clean

And see the true condition.

I live in your heart,

And you live in mine,

We could never be apart

So, stop wasting our time.

Pour out your heart,

Let’s reconnect through prayer,

Don’t hold back on your words,

This could all be repaired.

You’ll find me in your pain,

You’ll see me in your stress,

I’ll hold you through each word,

And solve this mattered mess.

So, please rely on me,

Please don’t deny me,

We have this chance for connection,

Please don’t die on me,

But instead re-die with me,

And as you die in me,

You’ll revive to see,

I’ve always been here, and I always will be…

I talk and I write

I make moves and I fight

I want to be yours

But, it’s as if you don’t want me in sight.

I am silent and reserved

I sit still as I observe

My desire to be yours

Is a desire that goes unheard

I am broken and angry

So, I sit back and wonder if maybe,

I’ve fallen so deep that…

There’s nothing left in me.

Why am I a no-one?

Of no importance and no purpose.

Deep within is a brilliant passion

That I fear to bring to surface,

Because, who am I without You?

And without You is where I am

I’ve fought, and I’ve fought, God…

And here without You, is where I stand.

Realizing that God cries out back to us has been a long learning process, but it has greatly impacted my life. We always beg for God to hear our cries, yet, after we vent to God… we move on without taking the time to listen to Him in return and assume he either doesn’t care… or that he doesn’t exist. Most of us are so focused on ourselves, wanting God’s power for ourselves, wanting God to make moves for our own benefit, and then denying his existence because He doesn’t give in to our weak desires. Just as your child would tell you that you “don’t love them” because you won’t allow them to have extra dessert or get out of brushing their teeth. You discipline with love because you know what is best for them, instead of giving in to their weak desires, you enforce what is right. We tend to forget that God’s love is unconditional because we are so focused on what we desire.  God speaks to us… we just have to listen… and accept it. And then other times, we invite God in, but when it is not what we want to hear, we dismiss it. He enforces the right path for us, but if we don’t like it… we make excuses to no longer invite Him in. And through those choices, He still stands by us and waits to be accepted back into our lives. I learned that free-will is definitely an option, but God’s-Will is always the better option.

God’s response:

You could never be without me,

For I am in everything.

Every hug and every smile,

Every hurt and every scream,

Even in the sighs, that your soul so lightly sings.

I am in the Heavens, I am in the light,

I am with you when it’s dark,

And when you’ve fought the toughest fight.

I am amongst the living, I am holding on to the dead

How could you believe that I am not with you?

Have you forgotten the blood that I’ve shed?

First Corinthians, Chapter Thirteen

States the Characteristics of My love

I am not anything near human

I am the God that the Bible speaks of.

So, please re-direct your thoughts,

I am Who the Bible says,

Take time to get to know me,

And stop focusing on you instead.

The world will create a god,

So, let go of its manipulation.

Focus on My truth

And accept the true redemption.

            Again, these seemed to be the weaker writings (weaker writings, not less important of a message) of my book but still held truth to them. Even though I don’t relate much to them anymore, I know there are others who are at a different stage with God. The attacks from the enemy are real but you are not alone.

#Pray #Connect #Grow

#WeSpeak #HeListens #HeSpeaks #WeListen

How is focusing on Christ going to pay my bills?

I remember when I was 11 or 12 years old hearing my dad attempt to convince a friends-mom to accept Christ into her life. Her response was, “Listen, my focus lies on paying these bills. God isn’t going to pay my bills. Please excuse me so I can get some rest for work tomorrow.”

                   I never questioned my dad or anyone else about that woman’s response… but I did talk to God about it for years.

                   She was right. God was not going to give her money or pay her bills. She had to do that herself. (Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach him to fish, he eats for a lifetime. God will not rob us of our best selves by handing everything to us.) Beside the fact that God gave her 2 working legs, feet, arms, hands, a healthy brain, and a stable job that she pursued on her own… she seemed to still be correct. She was working, paying her bills, taking care of her health, taking care of her family, and who knows what else, all without inviting Christ into her life. She was doing – just – fine.

                   But was she really just fine? And even if she was, who wants to settle for “just fine?”

                   Let me introduce you to something that most of the world doesn’t know about: Happiness. She might have it all, or he might have it all, or they might be “just fine,” but life isn’t about being “just fine” or having things. Period. Yes, a yacht with an all you can eat buffet would definitely bring us happiness, but honestly, only for those that are wanting to escape life. Vacations are great, our minds and bodies need them, don’t twist what I’m saying. What I’m saying is, if everything disappeared except humanity, who would be left empty and who would be left with fulfillment?  Who would be left with nothing and who would be left with everything? (questioned directly by me)

                   Matthew 6:33 has been my most favorite verse for over 5 years now. Once I discovered it and the depth behind it, I’ve held onto it with my entire heart, mind, body, and soul. “Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what He requires of you, and He will provide you with all these other things.”

First, I’d like to start by saying that I am human and the process was no-where near perfect and still isn’t. But, it is solid and has well-worth it results.

                   God is not directly paying my bills, but my bills are being paid directly because of Him. And not only are they being paid, but they are joyfully being paid.

                   I have spent most of my days connecting with God and being submissive to Him. Through this, I have learned who I am, whose I am, and how I want to be. Through this focus on Christ I have come to realize that my character has been built into a woman that works passionately, joyfully, and intelligently within the career path I am in now. And because of this, my employers, co-workers, clients, and their families, are happy with my services. Because of my choosing to Focus on Him, the Kingdom, and His requirements of me, my bills are joyfully being paid. And my bills consist of survival and enjoyment. Not unnecessary, unfulfilling things. Does this make sense?

                   As you focus on Christ, as scripture guides us to do, your whole being transforms — in which your whole life transforms. Focus on Christ and He will take care of all things. Relationship issues? Focus on what God requires of you (patience, kindness, understanding, not keeping record of wrongs, etc.) Job issues? Focus on the requirements (Discipline, maturity, determination, connecting with God to find your passion and pursuing that career, faith, reliability, effort, etc.) Health issues? Again, focus on Gods requirements (eating right, exercising correctly, praying with faith, having a calm soul through the process, etc.)

                   The list of problems goes on and on but so does the love of God, His wisdom, and His faithfulness. He doesn’t want us to focus on the “hell” part of life (fear, worry, stress, anger, etc.) or else the Bible would have stated THAT instead of what Matthew 6:33 says. (Of course we should be aware of those feelings, cautious, listen to them with wisdom, but not FOCUS on them.)

                   As you focus on Christ (His wisdom, teachings, sending you to help others, having the right character through the good and the bad, praying, knowing He is involved and in control therefore you do not have to be, reading scripture, BEING the scripture) your soul will be at ease and you will transform into the person you were ultimately meant to be. That way, if everything in the world did disappear or somehow no longer had any meaning to it… you would still be filled with happiness and faith as many others would be left lost and with fear.

Praying for all my readers. You are loved!