Our Scars Are Paralleled AND Canceled

Do you have scars in your life? Emotional scars? Physical scars? Relational scars? Hurtful, painful, knock-you-down scars?

I too have had deep emotional pain and deep physical pain – they have left scars.

But those scars are paralleled by His scars which have healed us. His scars cancel ours out. We need to feel that love the deepest.

When you think about the scars you carry in life what comes to mind first? Immediately? Is it thankfulness or sorrow? Is it joy or is it pain? Many times it is the latter choice in each, isn’t it? Losing someone in our lives is sorrowful. Chronic illness is painful. Broken hearts are … broken.

But I want to challenge you today to try what I’ve learned, what I received.

 

Joy and thankfulness – PEACE.

 

I wanted it. I asked God for it and I received. His will on earth as it is in Heaven.

Now, this doesn’t mean that when I think about my dad who took his own life when I was 9 that I don’t feel sorrow for having never had the chance to get to know him. It means that sorrow is covered in grace and love, so that I feel thankfulness that I had him in my life that long and that he loved me.

That doesn’t mean the years of depression early in life are blotted out of my memory. It means I smile when I think about it because He held my hand. He brought me through the fire refined. He healed me.

That also doesn’t mean when I think about the day my husband nearly died in the ER that I don’t feel pain and fear. It means the pain is swept away by the joy and peace that God has given this wonderful man to me to love a time longer.

That doesn’t mean that when I feel this chronic pain in my body that I don’t hurt. It means I instantly trust Him that I am His and His scars were for me.

I am healed spiritually and I am healed physically. I know physical healing because I have experienced miracle healing twice ~ in my life and my husband’s life. It means it could not be explained by the doctors. So should God choose to not heal me physically just yet this time, I turn those instant thoughts of pain into thankfulness that He will work through this to touch others and me. But make no mistake… I am healed and I know it will come to be in my life.

No, I am not thankful for all of my pain. That would be set inside my limitations of this earthly body. I am so thankful, however, for the going through it part that I wouldn’t change a thing because it all made me who I am today… because God brought me through it. Many times souls were changed including my own. That makes it all a worthwhile plan.

Our scars are covered in grace and joy. We don’t have strength within ourselves, BUT His Joy is our strength.

You can be thankful and full of joy and peace if you focus on what God has already done in your life. In those moments where you are broken down, crying out for relief, straining to see tomorrow’s light… ask Him.  On earth as it is in Heaven.

“… And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” ~  Nehemiah 8:10

The Edge of Everything: The One Thing That Brought Me To My Knees {NO ONE KNEW}

I was standing on the curb that day. The sun was shining. Laughter and voices filled the air. High school was out for the day, and I was standing somewhere in middle space – half way between “here” and the outer extremes. I was standing on the curb, but in my mind, I was actually teetering on that curb that bright sun shiny day ready to fall with the slightest whisper. NO ONE KNEW.

And the whispers came…

“I could step off this curb in front of that car coming up the street. No one would care. No one would miss me. No one loves me.” NO ONE KNEW.

“No one would miss you.” There was that voice again.

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I was standing next to a friend at the time, and it was his mom we were waiting on that was driving that car up that street next to that curb. He didn’t know. She didn’t know. NO ONE KNEW.

That curb. The one holding on for dear life of my beating heart. The one which I felt dissolving under my feet.

That wasn’t the first time I had danced with death in a prelude to the Edge of Everything. Everything that told me I was unloved, unwanted, uncared for, unworthy, un-me.

That wouldn’t be the last time either. I didn’t tell anyone in the moment. I rarely trusted anyone to tell them I even had those thoughts. Can I just call them what they are? They aren’t really thoughts. Sure, that’s what medicine labels them as. That’s what those who can’t fathom them label them as. That’s what Everything labels them as.

But they aren’t just thoughts.

They are the reality of a middle space that occupies a dying soul that has no hope.

I was in the middle of nothing listening to Everything. The reality for me that day was One Step. Just one. Right off that curb to …

“What exactly comes after this life? Am I really sure that there is anything beyond this? Would I truly be happier?”

Those are the questions the soul asks even if the mind doesn’t speak that language.

They are the same questions every soul asks when it is so close to death that it teeters on the Edge of Everything.

Maybe you are teetering on the Edge. Maybe you have in the past. Maybe, just maybe, your Everything Edge is the line you walk every day of your life. Your Everything… what is it?

“I am no good for my family.”
“Everyone could get along fine without me, even better.”
“I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
“I can’t get anything right with my spouse.”
“LIFE IS JUST TOO HARD.”

But then…

There are THOSE questions. The ones that your soul asks.

“What is on the other side of this life? What is next? This can’t be all there is. That would be going from pain to pain. It just can’t be.”

NO ONE KNEW. And I am certain that someone – maybe many someones – are reading this who could say the same thing. NO ONE KNOWS. Or maybe, like me, you began to give hints to those you trust the most. They help at times sure. But it’s not those times that consume the teetering. On that edge. For some it happens only occasionally. Life crud just gets in the way, right? And for others it becomes Extreme.

The car came within a parking spot’s distance away as she veered to her right, slowing down to pick us up, and from where I was teetering, I easily could have taken that One Step.

But I didn’t.

I don’t recall the exact in the moment reasons that I didn’t step onto the Street of Death that day. But I can tell you this … I knew I was missing something. I KNEW.

So as time passed by and my depression sucked my spirit in more and more, I began to give up on all hope of finding real joy for life. But I never stopped asking …

“What is next? What IS next?

The teetering of the Edge of Everything that I tell you about that day would repeat itself in one form or another at other moments; and each time I never took that step. I knew that there had to be more. I felt that I should just slam to my knees everytime and stop the madness, but I couldn’t do it. The knees would have to wait. They’d have to wait until the SOUL KNEW.

The other side was something I had no true idea about, but I knew that I had to know. Because if I took that step to the other side of the Edge… where would I be?

Happy? Eternallly?
Non-existant? Eternally?
In pain still? Eternally?

I knew those were the only three possiblities. So I HAD to find out more in my soul. Ultimately THAT is what stopped me from taking THAT STEP and the others to follow.

And so I went on a search for Eternity.
And I looked EVERYWHERE while EVERYTHING was screaming in my mind.
There was only one Eternity, after all my searching and wandering, that panned out true. Nothing else made sense. Nothing else was without fault. NOTHING else answered my soul questions.

I tried everything until my Everything changed.
Realizing that falling to my knees before Jesus was the only thing that would give me joy and hope and love and truth, I fell. And the Edge became this beautiful place where it didn’t matter who loved me, beause He did.
I KNEW.

When Intimacy Is Sacrificed for Healing {Love Should Not Suffer}

Sometimes one must sacrifice bed space for heart space in order for healing to be possible.

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When this happens to a husband and wife, the bedroom can be a very lonely place. It’s dark and cold and silent.

In the dark is where I feel the coldness in the bed where he usually lays. Palpable coldness that envelopes my entire being. Just coldness.

In the dark is where I don’t hear his breathing next to me like I used to when we both used to lay inches apart. No other heart beating to the air in the room. Just silence.

In the dark is where I remember the intimacy struggles we had ~ because of a simple surgical procedure gone wrong by a careless doctor after I gave birth to our daughter twenty years ago ~ which were never completely resolved before this chronic illness became our bed partner. Pain on top of pain.

It all leaves me so silent.

In the dark, I feel so lonely. I miss my husband who has loved me more than any other person has in a way no other person can… because he chose me to love. And he loves me well. In the dark, I focus. I can’t see… but I focus. I begin to see… I see the sacrifice my husband makes for me to move towards healing.

Then is when I focus on the Other who chose to Love me, Who sacrificed for me. In the dark is where I am overcome with the peacefulness of God reminding me He is my forever healer as the tears of missing my earthly love fall heavily down my face.

Love is lost with every tear, but replaced with every breath.

Then I am thankfully in focus again. Thankful that my God takes care of me and has given me a beautiful soul on this earth to take care of me and I of him.

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. ~ Colossians 3:14 ESV

My husband takes care of his wife and that is no easy task as any wife knows, because life is hard and marriage is hard. We must work at it for many reasons to a beautiful outcome. He hugs me carefully when my body pain is at a high with this Fibromyalgia; he sleeps in another room to allow me the possibility of true restorative sleep to help me heal, he lifts things, he carries things… he eases my burdens. He loves me like Christ loves The Church – His own.

When chronic pain or illness is the other bed partner, both husband and wife need to sacrifice and both need to remember Love always comes first. It can effect every single part of life… finances, careers, child care, household care, family fun times and recreation, socializing, and intimacy… but in the end of the “this-life” rope from which all those things dangle is Love holding it all together. In the end is… Love. Always Love.

Love canceling out the pain, and the coldness, and the silence, and the dark.

For without Love, nothing else matters.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ~ John 1:5 ESV

~ Heather

The Story of My Healing: How Healing Moments Lead to Ultimate Healing {SDG Part 4}

I have waited 17 years to tell this story this publicly. It’s time. It’s certainly time.

I sat there listening intently to the words coming out of that Prison Minister’s mouth. No, I wasn’t in prison. Or wait…

I suppose I was in my own prison.

So I listened to the Pastor who traveled to prisons to win the hearts and souls for Christ as God had ordained Him to do. He reached out to those who chose the bars of a prison cell by the actions they had committed. He was visiting our church that evening to share those stories with us, and to speak of healing as it fell inside God’s plan.

I may have not chosen those steel prison cell bars in my life during those first 27 years, but I certainly had chosen to accept prison bars around my heart, my soul, and my mind. Bars that kept me tied to a fear and loathing that was too hard to bare. Bars that no one could break except Jesus, the One who was standing in that prison cell with me.

But that night I heard this Pastor’s call to pray with such great resounding echoes in that church that the words came at me lightening fast. I sat there hearing his call to anyone who wanted to pray for healing. I had read in the Bible that not everyone was healed (like Paul with that thorn in his side), but also that it was not God who inflicted us, but rather He allowed certain things to happen to us that would then see glory brought to Him when it was brought to Light in an ugly dark world.

I decided to stand when I heard “Go and be healed.

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“I want that healing, God. I have been talking this over with you for a very, very long time. Tonight, I believe you want to work that miracle.”

I really want to share with you about what happened that very moment… after I stood up and made my way to healing. There were so many healing moments along my 20+ year journey that culminated in that miraculous moment. So very many. But I knew. That night was different. It was very holy.

I’ve never shared on my blog what I share here; I’m proud to share the entire miracle story in the final part of my Trapped Mind series at Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood.

Don’t miss the beat of my heart… that moment that changed my life forever. I’ve wanted to share these details publicly for 17 years. Now is the time.

Live Blessed,
~ Heather

How to Live Out the Hard in Every Moment {SDG Part 3}

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Life is hard. Sometimes it’s really, really tough. I’ve been asked many times how I dealt with the depression once I realized I had to make better choices. I’ve mentored other sufferers in these very ways. I see the plan God had for me on the other side of it all… to love others and to show them God in the lingering-life moments, those moments that seem to overwhelm.

I give a very simple answer, when asked that question, with practical ways to live it out. Literally every moment counts. Would you join me over at Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood where I’m sharing this answer?

Stay tuned for part 4 to be released near the beginning of March in which I tell details of my miraculous healing.  I’ll let you know when it releases, because I am super excited to finally share that story with the world!

Live blessed,
Heather

A Heart That Loves Is A Heart That Hurts

True connection is a heart thing. My heart is deep. It hugs hard, can be hurt hard, and soaks up love hard. It’s a serious heart beating for all that God gives me to do in this life. We’ve only got one, you know. One life. One heart. ❤️

Remember that “blogging” apology I made? I guess it turns out some didn’t like it. But many did, and you let me know you’ve been feeling the same things. Thank you for trusting me with those not-so-easy conversations.

And remember that goal of mine to change things back to my original calling? Well, my new site is nearly done and I am so excited to get it done! {If you’ve peeked at it… there’s more coming!}

I’m sorrowful I lost people. But it’s not my job to convict, and yet that is likely what it was. In all honesty, God convicted me too. That’s WHY I came to that place of “turn around and redo”.

I don’t like getting notifications when someone unsubscribes from my blog email newsletters. I’m certainly okay that they do. I just want that these softwares didn’t tell me. It hurts my heart in some ways.

I have done so – unsubscribed – and nearly always it’s because I’m reading the blog another method (readers, social media links, bookmarked it, etc) or it just changed and doesn’t seem to be much more than self-serving, or harsh in preachy tone, or full of “buy this” wording.

If I change my reading methods (which is usually the case}, then I still try to stay in contact somehow with that person -comments, likes, shares, etc. I believe in real connections, not just “I’ll follow yours if you follow mine”. I want to touch people’s hearts and souls for Jesus, and I want the same from their sharings.

I really appreciate those who message me privately about something I’ve shared. I do that too. It’s important that we connect through more than simple likes and quick comments.

But I’m concerned. Not because I have had 8 people I don’t know and 8 people I do know unsubscribe from my sharings since November. {Yeah, I know it is not something bloggers want to admit. But I carry no shame to tell you, because I’m convinced God has the followers, not me, and so He will bring those to me who need to hear Him through me. After all, if that weren’t how I believed then I might be in danger of going seriously off-track and I’d have to unsubscribe from myself. ;) }

What concerns me is the vast amount of people who subscribe/follow others just to see if they’ll subscribe/follow to theirs. It started to concern me over a year ago, because I realized I had fallen into that blogging quick sand trap! It didn’t take me long to stop that. And also concerning me is that “back scratching” mentality of “once I follow you you must participate in and share my stuff”.

No one says it out loud.
But I’ve seen it happen.

Connecting is great! But I don’t want to be “yoked” to someone who simply wants something from me. I’m not assuming those 8 aren’t reading in another way (actually there is no indication that most are}, so I will admit that it hurts the heart to have people leave in the middle of my sharing soul deep about my illness and what God is doing through it. I guess things will never stop hurting as long as we are here.

So to those who read my soul as I lay it out on the screen, please know I appreciate you and the love you have for the Body of Christ in testimony.

And to those who read to learn more about Christ, know that I am still learning too and applaud your efforts to do so. That is the way to fully living life.

And to those who just follow/comment/like to simply get others to reciprocate for your “recognition” or whatever reason…

Stop.

If you say you are doing this all for God, then make it true. That’s what I intend to do.

Lord, please keep me on the road to renewal and keep me off the road of “empty connection, participation, and recognition”. Search my heart and make it as pure as it wants to be. Ruin any fleshly desire to want the wrong road that destroys Your full plan for my life. Amen.

Live blessed and to bless,
Heather

When a Woman Cries {An Update Full of Tears}

Last week I sent out a request here that flew on angel wings around this globe. And wow did you respond! It is a phenomenal love for God that a person has when that person, who is on the other side of world, would pray for me… a person they have never met in person. Phenomenal. And I have been overwhelmed with all the love and prayers. I haven’t had a lot of energy to respond to all the emails and texts and messages, but I have come beautifully undone in spirit with every single one of them. I have good news to report! But first let me share that day with you…I cried 4 times.

It was a hard day for all of us… for my husband, for my daughter, and for me. But God was with us every moment. And so were you. But I cried. And not for all the reasons that would first come to one’s mind.

I cried during prayer that morning.

I was so grateful that God has sent so many to pray for me. I have witnessed an outpouring of prayer many times in my life, but to witness such amazing love from people all around the world who only know me through what I share here was something I could not put into words. So my tears were my way of worship in thanksgiving.

I cried when we were on our way to the appointment.

There he stood at the intersection. His clothing old and tattered. The cold weather bearing down on him. His cardboard sign nearly easy to miss. His need written all over his face. My daughter handed me one of the hat and gloves set we carry in our car to bless others as I was getting the food gift card for the same purpose out of our glove box. Simultaneously, my husband begin to roll down the window and motion to this gentle man in need. As my husband handed him these things from the heart of our family the man smiled. As the light turned green and traffic proceeded to move off slowly we heard him say, “Cooool.” The smile he had worn grew much bigger. I cried. I knew that his response meant that he felt that someone cared enough to think of him before hand. We don’t have much, but we have plenty. We can always share our plenty.

I cried at the appointment that day.

The uterine biopsy was an extremely painful procedure. Extremely. While the Fibromylagia that I deal with likely made the procedure harder for me to deal with, I’d still have to rate it as one of the worst pains I have ever felt. Thankfully I was blessed with a doctor who was amazing and caring and so was her nurse. They were beyond even the most caring I’ve ever experienced.

And I cried when I got home.

Tears did not refrain from streaming down my face when I thought about how caring my husband and daughter are. Their level of sacrifice is pure. It is Jesus love in action. They carry a burden of love for me that cannot be put into words. And neither can my thankfulness.

I waited over a week for the results to come back. Because of the infection and this procedure, my body experienced a fibromyalgia flare up so I even did some crying during that week. Crying doesn’t make us weak. Crying brings us relief. I cried right into the arms of God.

And I cried in thankfulness when I heard.

Praise to my beloved Jesus! My biopsy and blood tests came back normal! No uterine cancer or abnormal cells, no PCOS or endometrial disease… and negative (in a good way) on a whole bunch of other things.

That basically leaves major hormone imbalance which is what I thought all along for the problems occurring. Hormone deficiency happens with both Fibromyalgia and peri-menopause (which I am in). They needed to check though to rule out the majors, and I’m glad they did even though that biopsy was a nightmare.

This leaves me with some difficult decisions on how to tackle it since my Fibromyalgia body can’t really take the procedure which would likely be the best option to help. I’ll be praying over what is the best route. God will provide.

I am so thankful that no major abnormalities were found. Praising Jesus! Thank you, thank you, thank YOU for your prayers. My love to you for thinking and praying for me and my family.

I don’t have a pretty picture to share this week. But I do have this:

If you don’t have this kind of love in your life, then please be open to it because there is truly nothing else like it. If you don’t have Jesus in your life to the fullness in truth that He is, I would love to share Him with you. I also would like to pray for you. Because I want to love.

~ Heather

Friends, My Family Needs Your Prayers Today

Today is the day. I have the uterine biopsy. Would you pray for my daughter and husband? I know that you love to pray.

They need prayer as much as I do. I love them dearly. I’m really quite in awe of how peace filled my daughter is over these things. Remember what I wrote about her the night my husband was in the hospital near death? She has a peace that truly is not explained by human ability. But she does carry some burden inside as we all do. That comes out in her body referred as mine does.

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My husband has been worrying for two weeks since I found out I had to have this biopsy. It certainly has taken a toll on his body. I’ve encouraged him to remember how God carried him through that medical scare back then and certainly a few other big events in recent years.

Sometimes I wonder. I wonder if by my intentional decision to be an encourager, I’m seen as never having really hard moments. Real life moments. I wonder if all those people who tell me “you are so strong!” see that it isn’t my strength at all. It is God.

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Life is hard for me too. It’s really really really hard for me right now with the illness and this other issue. I don’t worry. Well things come to my mind, but I choose to say “Here, God, take this. I can’t deal with it.”

And I know He will. But the stress of it all comes out in my body. Yeah. Some days I’m just a broken mess. Broken I tell you. I wonder if some don’t like it when I’m being downright real about my own life not feeling so strong?

I figure if no one sees the “real” then how are they going to see the Glory.

About today, I am hoping and praying that it does not hurt at all. I REALLY appreciate all those who have sent me messages and comments about keeping me in your prayers. These things could be traumatic on a body with nerve issues. I can take pain, but never know how much my body will ramp up the level of something that should just be uncomfortable. I doubt I hear results this week, but am praying I don’t have to wait too long. I really don’t have symptoms that would alert them to anything major, so I am praying it is just pre-menopause gone haywire… and that there is an easy, safe fix. Preferably a natural route. The symptoms do have me on my knees in pain sometimes… or reduce me to a ball of fatigue other times… and then there are the migraines at times. I barely can leave the house other times. Then other times the vertigo is horrible. Something’s gotta give.

It hasn’t been an easy road my family has been been traveling the last many years. But you know what? It’s been a beautiful one. I want them… these two I’ve been given to love deeply… to feel this incredible peace I feel today. God’s got this. All. The. Way.

I just want you to know how much your prayers, your messages, and your comments have meant to me. I really mean more than I can put into words. It all helps in my quiet moments by myself… when I am thinking. I thank God for you.

Live and LOVE blessed,
Heather

Handling Life and Its ALL: Call On Grace Himself

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Anyone else? I’m clearly at a place where I can not handle it all. My normal leaning on God takes on a whole new level at this point. If ALL THIS is any indication that it’s true that the worst attacks come to try to stop the Big in the Plan, then I can’t help but wonder what will be on the other side of this.

In all this pain, I’ll be thankful. In all this dependency on others, I’ll be thankful. In all this waiting, I’ll be thankful. And in all these days where the tears flow from the pain, the frustration, the unknowing, the stress… I’ll be in love with the One who has it all in His hands. I thought maybe I’d been through enough of the bad in life to tell what He did to bring good from it all, but I surely will have more to testify to regarding God’s great goodness among the trials. My story isn’t over yet. And yours isn’t either. Because He is the God of ALL Grace.

I’m
Still
Working …
On that “changes” announcement.
On the specific things I said I’d share since the summer.
On telling you what I see God doing in my life and ministry… because I treasure you going with me.

Soon, Beloved.
Soon.

It’s just all there waiting for something. It’s there. I just need to get it from my brain to your ears.

I was overwhelmed with love by all the comments and messages regarding my last post – the “apology”. Goodness will surely follow you all the days of your lives.

Because when you love… You shine your Light.

#ALLIN
❤️ ~ Heather

{What If} We Let God Be God In Our Illness and Pain?

We can believe we will be healed. We should believe we will be healed. We will be healed. But. What if… in our trust for healing we touch another life in a way that is eternal? What if we touch many souls because we dared to let God be God? How many souls have been touched for eternal purposes by witnessing this?

This video is from 2009, but it is eternal. A Jewish woman sings Christian songs to this AAlzheimer’s patient as a form of Validation Therapy.

I was deeply moved ~ to tears ~ when she strokes her cheek and asks her if she can spend some time with her and Jesus.

May we all love like this.

Meet Gladys Wilson and Naomi Feil…

#Thankful. In a Very Different Way

In my mind I can think of a million shards of memories that try to come together to remind me of a life in torture that I used to live. Those moments. Those which found me screaming out in wretched pain. Those which found me wanting to just sleep and never wake up.

No one has any inkling, even when I put into words, how horrible… and lonely… it was for me all those years ago.

But I’m so thankful. Beyond words.

Why? Because those memories do not come together to form that same puzzle anymore. I am actually thankful for those memories. For they remind me…

They remind me that I looked up and chose to continue on. I was always walking in the Plan… and I finally saw the Truth. I’ve got the Puzzle Maker… the Plan Maker. The Architect.

Jesus was always in it.

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Now those shards come together, perfectly glued to form a picture that I love today. Those parts and pieces were allowed to shatter for what came later… and what is to come.

I’m set aside for this. Exactly this. My long lonely life has prepared me. How could I not be thankful for that.

No question. No question mark.

Don’t give up if you are in the middle of a million shards, Dear Hearts. The Plan Maker is right in the middle of it with you. #ALL IN.

Live blessed,
Heather

The Trapped Mind Series – Part 2 {SDG}

I thought if I could stay “in control” everything would be just fine. Yet, I found my irrational side taking control and ruining everything I held dear. It all was a huge conflict that I wore like a heavy winter coat pushing my shoulders down so that it was hard to even walk.

Choice is a pathway to victory.

Trapped Mind Series Part 2 | 40YearWanderer

To truly understand the trap of depression in its whirl wind of a sucking vacuum, we must first understand that the battle OF the mind is IN the mind. It’s not a matter of just “dealing with occasional occurrences of disappointment”, or sadness of life events, or even the bad things that get thrown our way. Depression, in the deep form, comes from within the mind and pushes its way out bowling over everything in its path. It becomes the mode of how the person views everything and makes decisions, small and large.

This pain and fear worsens as it is given life and authority. Relationships of all kinds are hard to handle. The person stays busy trying to make sure that other people like them and understand them so they don’t feel alone. The enemy still tempts them to believe they are always alone even in a crowded room. Smiles can surround them, yet they believe the lie inside the mind that buries the hope. It is a thing, a very big thing, that puts a person in competition with others and themselves all of the time.

These are things I felt for many years. These are the things that I gave into in the comfort that shouldn’t be. It became all I knew. And the little glimmers of hope were dashed into a million little pieces of “will I ever feel better?”

As I grew into my teenage years, I succumbed to all sorts of abuses. I found myself in very dangerous situations — nearly dying on many occasions — sometimes at the hand of others and sometimes by my own doing. All of these things worried me immensely, but I could not stop. The fear controlled me all while fooling me that I was in control. In some weird way I guess I felt comfortable in my ill-thought ways. Probably because it had become all I knew. It is all very hard to put into words. But the battle OF my mind was IN my mind.

Full story at SDG…

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In Part 1 of this series, last month, I talked about how depression is a trapped place in the mind and how easy it is to stay there… a comfort that shouldn’t be. In part 2, I want to share with you how those attacks of the mind and on the mind felt. Pain filled with moments that make horror movies seem like reality. BUT! I also want to share with you how to stand against those attacks and the enemy. Because the victory is found in the choice.

Next month, in part 3, I want to encourage those who suffer inside the trap of depression with practical holy ways to trust and turn to God in those hard moments. And then I will share how and when God miraculously healed me. It’s a moment in time that eclipses all others that are associated with this. It is the victory.

I pray each person who suffers inside the trap of depression finds true Hope and true Help. I so desperately want others to know the healing that I came to know 17 years ago… in whatever form that looks like in their life… through God’s plan.

I’m here for you. It’s what I do for Him… because I love Him and you.

Love and live blessed,
Heather

If you’d like to read the soul-deep stuff I share… I’m eternally grateful to walk this journey with you… You can get me in your email inbox… Well, not really me. ;)

Have you gone ALL IN yet? I invite you to the ministry that has been in my heart for a decade.
It’s different than anything you may have ever seen. It’s #ALL IN for Christ.

Beating Chronic Pain: Healing and Hope Inside His Plan {Part 2}

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The waiting, Lord. The not knowing. The questions. The battle. I’m just fine, Lord. In all of it. Because I have you. And in all that, I’m thankful. Because you’ve blessed others through me. And you have blessed me.

 

I am doing tremendously better and I’ve wanted to tell you about it for a long time now. It’s just that I wanted to be sure the time was sufficient for me to see if I was helped and just how much. I have been experimenting with treatment, seeing a rheumatologist, and reading tons and tons of articles and journals. I am ready to share now. Sharing not medical advice, but Godly living for the whole body and and mind … and how I have gone from chronic pain and symptoms that have bothered me for years to this amazing turn around.  I don’t think it was a coincidence that I changed things in my life for the better after I began seeking knowledge about these things. But then again… I don’t believe in coincidence.

 

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I prayed through this with great hope, and looked forward to sharing the progress as I have had many asking about it since I shared so much of the painful journey while trusting the Lord. I wanted to get rid of this severe pain in my life. I wanted to be able to stand longer than 15 minutes in the kitchen and walk without pain that occurred within 15 minutes of walking. I’ve experimented with the treatment plan to make sure that it was truly helping me, so I stayed on it for a while and then went off for a few reasons and now I’m back on the plan. It is all natural and it is easy. I spoke to my rheumatologist about it and he said to me, “If this is helping you then I recommend you absolutely stay on this plan. The medicines that we prescribe are for the symptoms only, since we have not found a cure for it. And the truth is, they only help about 20 to 30% of the time.”

You may have done as much research as I have to make your best decisions regarding your health. You may have already tried several things I’ve tried, and they haven’t worked for you. I understand how hard it is to find the very best ways to improve. I came about this from a very different perspective, because I wanted God to be in the middle of it. I didn’t want to just go to God in prayer only asking to be healed or to feel better, because prayer is not just a one time/one mode thing for me. It is how I live in relationship with God.

I thought many times about how God healed me when I was 27, from depression and brain disease, and how powerful that moment was. I am so thankful that He took that horror from my life that I had experienced since I was a child. I knew that day without a shadow of a doubt that He was going to heal me. He had worked in my life for years and years to help me grow closer to Him, even when I had strayed into other things beyond His umbrella of grace. I had so much pain and anguish that I ran towards other things to find peace and none of it worked.

But that day was a culmination of many years of getting to know God better and relinquishing control I thought I had or needed to feel better. The moment I was healed is one of the most significant things to happen in my life. Important days…  they are life giving ~

giving my life to Christ and accepting His gift of salvation,
marrying my husband,
the birth of our daughter,
the healing my husband experienced in the hospital in 2008,
and my healing in June 1997

 

… those days mark my life with beauty and grace and love beyond anything human. They are days God showed up so amazingly in my life that His presence demanded that everything else wait.

 

I went home after that prayer with the prison minister who visited our church, and I knew without a shadow of a doubt God healed me. When it comes to a conversation between a soul and God like I experienced that night, the soul just knows. I knew nothing more in that moment except that God stepped out from heaven and into my earthly world and removed the beast that have plagued me for so long.

I know healing. I know it intimately.

 

And there is not a day that I breathe that I’m not thankful for what He has done since that moment. I’ve been able to tell my story and help people inside their own hell on earth with depression. His glory shines through every time the story is told, when it lands on the ears and hearts of those who need to hear it.

I know healing. I know intimately.

 

Because I know healing, this Fibromyalgia chronic pain beast, has been another source of growth in my relationship with God. I asked and believed for healing, but inside my soul knew it was different than before. I have heard God saying “not just yet”. For some, especially those who know of my first healing and long for another in my life {you are beautiful to me} that is possibly a hard thing to understand.

“Why, as a person who has been healed miraculously of long suffering, can she accept not being healed again?”

 

Some question whether I have enough faith or belief. I truly feel love and blessing from those people, but I assure everyone… those things could not possibly be further from the truth.

I know healing. I know it intimately.

 

God wants me to be healed and whole as much as I do. But sometimes in His plan there is reason to pause, to wait on the manifestation of that whole healing. And because I love God so very much, and I desire nothing more than to live with in His plan and not my own… I wait upon the Lord.

 

 

Healing on the Way to Healing

 

During this waiting time I have experienced so many symptoms that I thought I had several different things going wrong in my body. But the more I researched and read articles and medical journals, I realized that there had to be some connection. I prayed, as I always had, that God would show me what I needed to know and lead me to the truth through what I was reading and studying.

Maybe I could help other people.

 

What has helped me may or may not help you, but I strongly encourage you not give up and not to just accept blindly the normal protocol that can produce other long term effects. Keep looking for things that will help until you are healed. Sometimes God chooses to use our situation to bless others and bless us in ways we never imagined… inside that waiting.

Humanity needs God. And inside our humanity we can show God to the world. When God’s people walk inside His plan, boldly, the world can’t help but see it. And from the outside looking in, they want more than what they have in life. They want what we have. Let’s show them. Let’s show them God.

As I prayed, I asked Him for knowledge. I want to take care of this body, this vessel for my soul, that He has given me. I began to see how very easy it has become for people to abuse their bodies by not taking care of them in the healthiest way possible. I wanted to take responsibility and not become a worldly statistic.

Two doctors agreed that I had a malfunctioning nervous system. That made so much sense when I compared it to the fact that I had lots of symptoms and problems all throughout my body but at different times, recurring with no particular pattern for the last several years, and yet nothing that could be pinpointed. I needed to fix what I had gotten in a bad way.

If you have chronic symptoms for no apparent reason, you might want to look to your central nervous system. The nervous system has two basic components: the sympathetic nervous system part and the para-sympathetic nervous system part. The sympathetic nervous system component is also known as the ‘fight or flight’ system. When a person is in danger or has some serious event going on in their life that causes much stress, the body is put into fight or flight mode. Essentially it helps us deal with danger or major stressful situations by controlling different parts of the body. It is what helps people in high extreme emergency situations.

The doctors both said that my sympathetic nervous system was on most the time. That meant that even when I didn’t have a high stress situation going on in my life {I’ve had a few!} that my sympathetic nerves were still turned on to high gear. This affects the digestive organs, nerve communication issues, skin sensitivity, pain throughout the body in the muscles and sometimes joints, temperature intolerance, headaches, and numerous other problems. In fact there are about 40 known symptoms that can occur with Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain syndromes such as CFS and ME. And the cross over symptoms with other ailments lead me to think the nerve communication malfunction – which starts in the brain – could actually be part of the cause for numerous illnesses.

For those who have these malfunctioning nerve conditions, it is a massive undertaking during a particularly bad spell to deal with it. People looking at us don’t always see the symptoms that are flaring up. Unless they are educated about chronic pain illnesses, they don’t understand the degree of pain can actually be so severe that just our clothes touching our bodies can cause pain, let alone hugging someone or shaking their hand. I don’t pay mind to the stigma, but I do want people to understand before judging others; because if they do then judging never happens.

I wanted to learn everything I could about my body and how it works especially the nervous system. As I prayed and read, I believe God revealed to me that all those years ago some of the symptoms that accompanied my depression probably were caused by this very same thing. Seems I have been dealing with this on some level my whole life.

What I learned is this: in order to have a properly functioning nervous system certain chemicals in the brain and body needed to be replenished to appropriate levels. I was amazed to see how intricately our brains control our bodies and how the slightest imbalance of anything that our body needs can cause symptoms that most of us put off to other things. There are so many illnesses, I believe, that can be eliminated from our lives if we just took better care of ourselves. So that’s what I started to do.

A common underlying factor for chronic pain and some other illnesses is non-restorative sleep which causes unhealthy levels of serotonin, melatonin, and certain hormones. I found many doctors who have tried to find reasons and causes and subsequently treatments. Many of them agree that these things being at unhealthy levels can affect us greatly, to the point of these chronic illnesses. I found a doctor who had successfully treated thousands of patients around the world with Fibromyalgia and CFS symptoms. I have a friend who has Fibromyalgia too, and she has seen great success. She is being treated by him and her life has improved as much as mine. Since I couldn’t visit his office or afford the long-distance care plan, I watched his videos in which he trains other doctors to help patients through this treatment plan to restore and maintain the proper levels of what is needed to have a heathy nervous system. He explains in his book that he feels that this is the mission he has been given in life, to help people have their health restored.

So I listened to his videos and read his recommendations. I began his plan of treatment in the middle of this past summer by starting with something called 5HTP which is 5 Hydroxytryptophan. You’ve probably heard the word tryptophan before at Thanksgiving time, because it’s commonly thought that because of the tryptophan in turkey people want to nap after a Thanksgiving meal. While there is tryptophan in turkey, it is not enough to make us go to sleep. {But when we add all the other things we’re eating, especially the carbohydrates and other items with tryptophan – and the fact that we usually overeat! – the naptime desire usually follows.} I knew my 2 hours of sleep most nights for several years, with a couple of longer night scattered in between, were depleting my system of seratonin and the other chemicals. I needed sleep!

His theory, which is very similar to what other doctors in the world who are studying:

If our serotonin levels, among other needed chemical and hormone levels, were restored to normal then our stress-coping hormones and brain functions would also be normal. That means that our nervous system would not stay on high alert all the time making our bodies react.

 

Since one of the main symptoms of this illness and similar ones is problematic sleep to the extreme, it made sense to me that restorative sleep would in turn raise the levels of tryptophan which then turned into serotonin – which helps in the production of melatonin – thus bringing about a healthier beginning process. Healthy beginning process means healthy functioning nervous system and brain communication.

I knew that no matter what, my years of getting very little sleep every night meant my body was running on empty… and then so was my nervous system. The funny thing is that I found out even when a person sleeps, if they have an unhealthy body and brain function, then their sleep is not restorative and they are not producing the right levels of these chemicals so badly needed in our bodies. Sleep, friends! It does a body and brain good!

I read carefully and listened carefully to this doctor’s protocol and compared it to others around the country. They had a lot in common that made sense to me, and so I started the treatment this past mid-summer. {Keep in mind that I am also in perimenopause which causes symptoms of its own and so I have to separate those out.}

 

The treatment plan has helped me tremendously.

The first thing I noticed is that I was sleeping so soundly that I felt like having a party in the morning to celebrate. I was actually going to sleep and sleeping six to nine hours at a time. Despite the few times in the last five years that I felt like I was having a stretch of good sound sleep, I just hadn’t felt the same as this. I couldn’t believe that I was sleeping so soundly. While I still have had some body pain, it has reduced at least 80 to 90% compared to what it was before the treatment plan began. The other symptoms have reduced drastically as well. And some of what is left could be peri-menopause.

Come on body! I started this “change” 6 years ago and I said I’d take the beard hairs if you just got on with it! I DON’T want a full beard though so hurry up!

 

The few weeks I stopped the treatment, my sleep pattern quickly went back to problematic. Now I am sleeping again, and the pain I had during the time off of the treatment has again subsided substantially. I still have some pain and symptoms, occasionally, and that’s almost always in the morning which is common for this illness. I have been taking several of the suggested supplements and vitamins in this plan, and while I believe they all are helping, the major thing that I am so thankful for is that I have been sleeping.

Thank you TURKEY! ;)

 

And because of that, I am confident my serotonin and melatonin levels have begun to level out, which, as I mentioned, is the beginning of the brain process that even extends to the adrenal glands. My life has drastically improved! I am so thankful that through my journey and trying to take care of this body that God has given me, that He has helped me to feel healthy again. I am so thankful that my trust in Him led me to knowledge that I need to have. I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to encourage others to experience these things and help shine a light into their lives. Some of you are those very people that have now become my friends. I want to encourage you to try everything you can to be healthy until your time of healing arrives. And if your sleep is rare or non-restorative… then, what might change in your life if it was better?

We’re given one life on this earth and one body to live it. We are to go into the world. Let’s go healthy, together!

 

Live Blessed,

Heather

 

40YearWanderer.com ~ The Vision
GoingALLIN.org ~ The Mission

 


 

 

Related articles that I pray will encourage you, friend:

Why Am I Not Healed Yet?

Conversations With the Enemy and God: Faith In the Midst of Chronic Pain

The Trapped Mind Series at Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood

If you’d like to read the soul-deep stuff I share… I’m eternally grateful to walk this journey with you… You can get me in your email inbox… Well, not really me. ;)


Have you gone ALL IN yet? I invite you to the ministry that has been in my heart for a decade.
It’s different than anything you may have ever seen. It’s #ALL IN for Christ.

Beating Chronic Pain: Healing and Hope Inside His Plan {Part 1}

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So many of you have asked me what treatment I’ve been following that has helped my chronic pain so dramatically. I intentionally waited to write about it until now ~ having wanted to write about it so many times in the last 2 months ~ because I wanted to be sure I shared with you what God would have me share.

You see, healing is very real to me. I was healed in 1997 instantly of clinical depression… a diseased imbalanced mind. I had suffered for two decades in a trapped mind that was so influenced by evil that I nearly didn’t wake up from the personal nightmare that stole much from my life in more ways than one. God worked in me over those years to change my mindset, and in June of 1997 He healed me.

I’ve been redeemed.
Set free.
So I get healing.
Truly. I get it.

And I get that healing comes in many different ways as allowed by God in His plan.

But I also get that Jesus Himself never promised that God’s ultimate plan would heal us all of infirmities if only we prayed with strong enough faith, or righted all our wrongs, or something else. In fact, He told us quite the opposite.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33

“In this world you will have troubles” is quite a statement. BUT God provides protection and a way out. And sometimes that comes in the form of physical healing and sometimes it comes in another form. We must wait on our physical healing inside God’s perfect timing ~ whether in this life or our eternal life.

He said we are healed, yes. But for some that healing hasn’t manifested in this life. And for many I suspect it won’t. Maybe my first healing doesn’t guarantee the healing I seek now from this Fibromyalgia beast. I suspect I’m being asked to carry this thorn in my flesh for a few reasons. I’m okay with that because I want to walk within His plan. There may be others to bless if I walk this out; things to learn; souls to touch. I don’t want to miss any of my purpose. But I still want to be healed. And I will be.

So I’ve spent a lot of time praying and seeking the Lord on this Fibromyalgia that I have been dealing with for a few years now. Actually there are around 40 symptoms and I can look back and see that most of my life I’ve had several of them all along. It’s been in the last four years that things have gotten drastically worse. It has been this past year that doctors suspected that my nervous system was messed up ~ on overdrive all the time. Turns out that is what Fibromyalgia is… a nervous system messed up so badly that the brain can’t effectively communicate with it. That’s the reason for so many symptoms and not one cure. But God can cure me just as He did in 1997.

I’ve asked Him, not only to heal me, but to show me how to take better care of the body … this soul vessel that He chose for me. I don’t want to just mask symptoms, nor do I want to just manage the symptoms. I want to be fixed. So I don’t give up. Ever.

I knew that something that had been going on for years in my life ~ quite possibly something that was genetically predisposed or even messed up at birth ~ wouldn’t be fixed overnight, certainly. I also realize that the vast majority of the diseases, cancers, and other illnesses have come about or ramped up in the last 40 to 50 years. I figured it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there has to be a reason for that. Modern times bring modern problems. I prefer to take care of myself and my family in the most natural ways possible and that includes what we eat, the medicines we take, and the outlook we have for our mind and body health.

So I set out to read as much research, documented experience, and studies on my symptoms. As a few doctors agreed that my nervous system was certainly not functioning properly, I began to realize that all the many symptoms were related somehow. Last week a fourth doctor confirmed it is fibromyalgia. I’m thankful he ruled out other extreme life-threatening and debilitating diseases, but this diagnosis is no walk in the park on the scale of illnesses.

Since I have researched and learned so much about health, and since my family has changed the way we eat and take care of ourselves over the last six years, I was prepared to find a natural treatment. And when the doctor confirmed what I had been reading in various places, that the medicines prescribed for Fibromyalgia are merely treating the many symptoms and that they only work about 20 to 30% of the time, I knew that I was on the right track with trying the natural treatments.

The one, of many, that has helped thousands of patients all over the world has also helped me so very much. Actually my pain is reduced probably 80-90%, and most of the other symptoms have drastically reduced or have not bothered me at all since I started this plan in July. The rheumatologist supported my decision and was happy to hear that it had been helping me so much. While I do still have some days with pain and other symptoms, and some mornings are still the hardest for me, I really have felt incredibly better!

I want to share this information with people who suffer from chronic pain or who have a loved one that does, and I’ve had countless people write me and asked me to, so I will. But I do want you know I don’t write a health blog, nor do I claim this is a cure just as the doctor who has helped so many doesn’t. But he wants very much to help chronic pain patients overcome the illnesses and reclaim their lives. That is what I want for myself, and that is what I want for you. I just can’t say that this will or will not work for you, but it has helped many with Fibromyalgia, CFS, and other nerve related pain illnesses.

Having said all that, I believe that this plan would help even more people if they would just give it a try. So in the effort that this might help others, I will share what has worked for me.

I have a friend that is being treated directly by the doctor that developed this particular treatment plan, and she has experienced the same results! It’s going to take more than one post for me to explain what has worked so well, so I encourage you not to miss one of them if you want to give this plan a try.

It really is not complicated and the central idea is to re-balance the brain chemicals through restorative sleep. Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain illness patients have a great deal of trouble getting full deep sleep. There were many sleepless nights for me especially in the last four years, some nights barely getting two hours and that was not necessarily in a row.

In part two I will go into more detail about the treatment plan, who the doctor is, and where you can find it for yourself. I just wanted to let everyone know first and foremost that I know that I am healed by God, and that He does not desire for me to be in pain. I also want to carry out His plan and not miss the purpose in this trial.

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I will also be writing more about the concept of healing from a Scriptural point of view. I know many people do not believe it even when they see it, and I know many people believe strongly that experiencing physical healing is ours for the taking. I don’t see either of those view points in Scripture. Since I have been instantly healed of a physical disease before and I am waiting for healing to take place this time, I am searching for all of God’s truth and want to share what he has revealed.

Part two in the series I pray will encourage you to live with hope for healing no matter how and when that comes about, because God loves you and doesn’t desire to see you suffer. You can talk to Him. You belong to Him.

I’ll also be sending out the email soon to everyone who’s been wanting more information about my new ALL IN ministry. I’ve been busy putting together the team and building the website. We are so excited! This is a vision that God started giving me in bits and pieces over 10 years ago, and to see it come to fruition has been amazingly worth the wait. You are going to love it!

Live blessed,

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Related articles that I pray will encourage you, friend:

Why Am I Not Healed Yet?

Conversations With the Enemy and God: Faith In the Midst of Chronic Pain

The Trapped Mind Series at Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood

If you’d like to read the soul-deep stuff I share… I’m eternally grateful to walk this journey with you… You can get me in your email inbox… Well, not really me. ;)

The Trapped Mind Series {SDG Connections}

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I am writing later today about my Fibro treatment and what God has taught me through it all. Even if you don’t have or know someone who has a chronic illness, you won’t want to miss what I am sharing. God has taught me so much about the importance of REST. Healing comes in so many forms, friends.

Today though…
the first part in my new series lands softly over at that beautiful place…  The Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood. It’s deep and stirring with encouragement… questions answered that many ask. I open up in ways I haven’t before, all dealing with the depression that nearly stole my life during the first half. May His love go out through it to many. This is why I write.

I’m so thankful for this opportunity, because God has asked me many times through the years to share to bless others, and I take that very seriously. I have experienced both sides in the extreme ~ from desperation to hope, from severe illness to miraculous healing, from death to life.

Depression.

Such an ominous word. Such an ominous state of being, because deep in the mind is a place that becomes a trap.

People ask questions; especially when we hear about a suicide so prevalent in the news … an abrupt ending to a life. But those questions are always there.

Questions galore from those who experience it or know someone who experiences it, and questions from those who don’t understand it at all.

Why do they not know they are loved?

Why didn’t they feel how much we needed them?

But their life seems so perfect; I don’t understand?

Why did they do such a selfish thing?

Didn’t they think about those loved ones left behind?

In the mind of someone who suffers from clinical depression is a place that is a trap. I speak of it with experience. Twenty years of torment. The many facets it contains are complex, but more common than many imagine. My soul’s desire when I share my story is to shed light on those many different facets and encourage those who live with this disease that there is Hope. This life was not meant to be lived alone. God is the answer in so many ways.

For those who have a physical ailment, learning to deal with it comes through a process. It’s helpful that other people can see the physical illness and therefore are able to help. But when illness is in the mind, it’s a whole different story.

First… let me take you into the trapped mind…

 

Would you join me, for the first part of my series, and the beautiful community at The Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Live Blessed,
Heather

 

BIG CHANGES… How Could I Say ‘No’?

Dear You,

Yes, you, in your AMAZING prayers and messages and thoughts for me while I go through this treatment for my Fibromyalgia, while I zone in on what Jesus is doing in my life for this ministry, while I pray over what I am supposed to be doing inside the beautiful territory He has given my soul:

You have been a part of all of this.

You have ~ too numerous to count you are! ~ poured into my life’s calling with encouragement and prayer and true friendship.

You have lifted me up to the One who is sending me on this mission.

I want to thank you a million times over. You’ve been there when I couldn’t do anything but cry out. You’ve been there when I was the one who needed a push up because I felt so heavy with all of this. You’ve kept me in heart and mind and soul everyday. I know who you are and I’m praying for you. I’m thanking God for you ~ because you are a gift from God.

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It’s lonely where I am many times. Ministry can be lonely. Fibro and chronic pain and illness can be lonely. It’s in those lonely moments ~ even when you have an amazing loving family as I do who is there for me every minute ~ that you should focus on what and whom you are thankful for in life. God’s will for us is to be always thankful. Cry out to Him but always be thankful in the tears, in the fear, in the unknown, in the temptation, in the trial. That’s how I got through the depression 20 years, the near-death of my husband in 2008, the painful heart ache of things my daughter experienced the last several years, the unknowns of not having an income for two years… always thankful in the every-moment He gave me.

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That’s what I am. Always thankful.

Big things have been happening. And many great things that will be revealed in an ongoing heart and soul effort. Big changes in my ministry. Big changes here on my website. Big changes in the book plans. It is a slow process…. this whole life thing.

BIG.

HE HAS REVEALED MUCH.
And I’ve been listening.
How could I say ‘No’?

I say “Yes” to Him.
For Him.
For you.
For love.

Love love love you all.
Thank you for hanging around me and for me. Just wait until you see what’s coming!

Blessings right into your heart deep,
Heather

If you’d like to read the soul-deep stuff I share… I’m eternally grateful to walk this journey with you… You can get me in your email inbox… Well, not really me. ;)

The Trap of the Mind Inside the Evil of Depression

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Depression. My story. Deep in the mind is a place that becomes a trap. People are asking questions. Especially when we hear about a suicide like Robin Williams … an ending to a life. “Why did they not know they were loved? Why didn’t they feel how much we needed them? Why did they do such a selfish thing? Didn’t they think about those loved ones left behind? But their life seemed so perfect?”

In the mind of someone who suffers from clinical depression is a place that is a trap. I speak of it with experience. Twenty years of torment. A father and grandfather who committed suicide. Please, if you experience these things, figuring it out is not the answer. Or if know someone who does, forget about those questions. You can’t figure it out either. In that moment …

well…

Allow me to share with you what’s it like. Please find hope and help. This is a bit of my life inside the trap. I have been asked to share more of that life in a series soon on The Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood about this life I share. The many facets it contains are complex, but more common than many imagine. I am honored to share this and more as God leads. I only want souls to be touched.

I pray you find hope and help. I’ve mentored other people in this same place in their lives. It is truly an honor and a blessing. It is heartbreaking too. When I say I cry for this. I mean the heart shattering, desperate love kind. I so desperately want healing and hope for others too… in whatever form that looks like … through God’s plan. Even for those who don’t know God yet.

Want those questions answered? Curious of what that trap is really like? Want to know how my life is completely the opposite today? My story…

Depression. Oh the pain of heart pain. None to be equaled.

Depression is a very difficult subject to understand,
to discuss,
to live with,
to handle,
to be around …

Do you ever stop and think about what in your life is a comfort that shouldn’t be?

Is there something that consumes your thoughts in such a way that you know it isn’t healthy or productive but you go there anyway?

BEWARE! That’s a trap. Beware because it can enslave you and affect everyone around you.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that the hole in your heart can only be successfully filled by One.

Let that hole be filled.

Fighting without God is like losing before you even start.

We were not made to be alone.

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in hell, you are there” ~ Psalm 139

My story may be different from any you’ve ever heard… but parts might be just what you’ve lived. Share with me. I’m ALL IN to love.

-Heather

A COMFORT THAT SHOULDN’T BE

The self loathing was a ‘beyond my control, caught in my throat’ kind of oppression. It led to the most emotionally excruciating pain I have ever experienced. The conversations in my mind were increasingly evil. So loud, yet they somehow made perfect sense to me.

I planned ways to die. I yearned deep in my soul to leave the pain behind forever. I saw no end in sight. I would hear a voice whisper with such evil force, “You are not worth anything.” That was an awful voice, but it was familiar.

Yet, I faintly heard another voice that never left me. Screaming, in the most comforting way, to help me.

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DYING TO LIVE

My life did not start out full of peace and happiness that I solidly know today. It was hard, heavy, full of depression and darkness — even as far back as I can remember. Troubled to the point of destruction, yet cared for the by the protective Hand of God even when I didn’t recognize it or admit it or want it.

The divorce of my parents and suicide of my father all before the age of 10 weighed heavily on my heart and mind. I knew really nothing of the circumstances at the time, except that my mom loved me and my brother and took care of us no matter the sacrifice; and that my dad loved us and he left us. Carefully digesting that in my mind and heart was not possible for me for many years. Because I had very little understanding or direction, my thoughts took me deeper into the pattern that would nearly destroy me. The concern that someone else I loved might eventually leave, too, haunted me day and night.

Have you ever felt that way? Even for a minute in your life? It is a scary feeling, isn’t it? We were not made to be alone.

That thought became demonizing to me as a young girl. During those early years of my life, I dwelled on the memory of seeing my dad with drugs and alcohol — annihilating his life — and seeing him cry on my shoulder with tears large and heavy. That burden, chewing away at my consciousness, drove me deep into a fantasy world that mirrored what virtual reality would look like before it was even invented.

I found myself lying in bed each night exhausted trying to listen to what was going on in the house; listening for my mother’s voice, her breath. On any given night, I could hear the wind slam against the windows, the house creak with settling, my heartbeat racing wildly to stay on alert.

My greatest fear was that she also would leave in the middle of the night never to return. Make no mistake: she gave me no reason to think this. She gave everything of herself to me and my brother. We felt her strong and protective love. It was all just my mind working overtime and the effect of the attack that was trying to destroy who I was to become.

Not an easy way to fall asleep every night — thinking about such things. Deep and dark and tormented. It took every ounce of energy in my tired body and mind to hold myself up against the negative force that was oddly becoming my friend.

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The Battle OF My Mind Was IN My Mind.

This pain and fear worsened as I grew older and found relationships of all kinds to be hard to handle. I was always busy trying to make sure that other people liked me enough not to leave me. I felt in competition with others and within myself. I thought if I could stay “in control” everything would be just fine. Yet, I found my irrational side taking control and ruining everything I held dear. It all was a huge conflict that I wore like a heavy winter coat pushing my shoulders down so that it was hard to even walk.

As I grew into my teenage years, I succumbed to all sorts of abuses. I found myself in very dangerous situations — nearly dying on many occasions — sometimes at the hand of others and sometimes by my own doing. All of these things worried me immensely, but I could not stop. The fear controlled me all while fooling me that I was in control. In some weird way I guess I felt comfortable in my ill-thought ways. Probably because it had become all I knew. It is all very hard to put into words. But the battle OF my mind was IN my mind.

Do you ever stop and think about what in your life is a comfort that shouldn’t be?
Is there something that consumes your thoughts in such a way that you know it isn’t healthy or productive but you go there anyway? That’s a trap. Beware because it can enslave you and affect everyone around you.

Sadly, I believed I could continue to handle it all silently. My mind was being beaten and I didn’t know the depths to which it would sink.

We were not made to be alone.

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SCREAMING TO GET OUT

I had terrible thoughts constantly of hating myself, of how no one liked me, really of how everyone hated me. I would hear a voice whisper that I was not worth anything. That was an awful voice — but it was familiar.

Yet I faintly heard another voice that never left me. It was screaming, in the most comforting way, to get out and help me.

I felt I had no where to turn.
I didn’t want to burden my mother or the new father in my life because they loved me.
I didn’t have many friends and was bullied in school, so I hated going to school.
I longed to be the center of attention to gain approval.
I wanted to please everyone but seemed to please NO ONE.
I had so much anger and I cried much of the time, yet felt invincible and elated other times.
I developed an obsessive compulsive disorder for a while — obviously a cranked up way of control.
I didn’t even want to get out of bed most of the time because the attacks were relentless.

Do you see the pattern there?

I … I … I

Until I learned that it was not ‘I‘ but ‘We’, nothing would change. Nothing. Not ONE thing.

I was in my very own ‘day in — day out’ life — just harsher than normal.
Always looking for the answer to THAT question.

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DYING TO LIVE

At age 15 I turned to a friend and trusted teacher for help, and that took an immense amount of courage and energy. They persuaded me to talk to my mother, because even though it would be painful for her they knew I was dying to live — freed from the pain. I did just that, and eventually was told I had Manic Depression – what is now called Bipolar Disorder – because of the dramatic alternating mood swings. Some were of extreme happiness or mania and others were of hopelessness and despair; back and forth with a dash of normal in between.

But as all medical knowledge evolves, I can look back now and see it was probably Borderline Personality Disorder because the episodes were often minutes apart, not months apart. The things I was perceiving in my environment would greatly affect the mood I experienced. The fact is that the diagnosis only matters from a scientific standpoint, because most of the same medicines and therapies are used for both diseases. And, does it really matter what they tell you that you may have when all you are looking for is peace of mind? Although I needed the medicine at the time, I am still not convinced that medical science has it all right. Getting help at the time is, however, extremely important. Help from all good methods.

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THE DARK SHADOWS THAT LURKED

The dueling voices in my mind were fighting a battle before I even realized it. I would sit completely alone staring at the wall noticing every crack on it as if they were every problem I had in my cracked up life. I could feel the overwhelming presence of evil — lurking, trying to draw me in. It was brutal and inhuman. It was hard to breathe, all around me like a fog. The dark shadows possessed something that was trying hard to make me lose control completely. I would have bouts of sitting in the corner of my room crying incessantly and pulling my hair out of my head because I could not get the demonic thoughts out. I felt trapped and it was the scariest thing I had ever experienced, even after going through the years of anxiety. The thoughts of hatred, shame, and wanting to die were so consuming that I felt like I was living inside another realm screaming with every ounce of breath “LET ME OUT!” Fear was all I knew — and it almost became a comfort to me. Had that happened I know that I certainly would not be alive writing this. The demonic feeling was far worse than any horror movie. They really can’t capture that experience on film, and I am having a very difficult time recounting it on “paper”.

I was being bombarded constantly with morbid thoughts beyond comprehension. I hated myself even more because I felt disgusted and depressed. I felt unworthy of anything and everybody. Even in the midst of that anguish, I knew that if I didn’t get help I would end up taking my own life to end the pain. I found myself at a point in which I was planning my own death with intricate details. I felt myself slipping gradually into a pit of darkness falling not hard and fast, but so slowly in a spiral that it was sucking the life completely out of my soul.

After going through these horrible things for years, I went searching. You see, I was desperate. Desperate for answers, for sleep, for love, for help. Desperate for peace.

I cried out to God, “Why are you letting this happen to me?”

I had to cry out — even if I didn’t really know God.

I had gone to church now and then when I was young. Not often. But enough to know a little about God. I had been reading a Bible my mom had given to me, in hopes that God was real and would answer me. I was searching for an answer to get away from the nightmare.

I looked toward the New Age attitude of “Peace Within Yourself” — the “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” mentality. Epic failure that was. No one is really Okay. And why would anyone strive to be just “okay”?

I turned to all the “self-help” gurus. You know the ones. They are still on television and writing books today, because so many fall into the trap of believing they can do this all on their own.

I tried the “religion” thing. Do this and that so you can get this and that.

I turned to the metaphysical and paranormal for answers. Let me assure you of something here and now that I know for a fact:

You call the demons… they will answer.

I fought them hard, but mostly by myself. If only I had turned to God. I did not put my full trust in Him. None of what we try on our own works and fighting without God is like losing before you even start. Nothing gave me the Peace of MIND that I was looking for so desperately. Nothing.

I found no answer in the religion and new age studies I was trying to focus on.

I continued to make choices that were just stupid and ill-conceived even as I sought help. Really — hear me carefully now — it is all about CHOICE. I don’t mean to say that the diagnosis and medical treatment were wrong to seek out or even not needed at that time, nor am I trying to minimize anything similar that anyone experiences, because it is a hell on earth to which some feel they can never return. BUT, what I am saying is that every day we all wake up faced with choices, some tiny, some huge, but choices which will likely impact us greatly and also those around us. It was not until I started to view every single choice I had to make as one that would set the course for the rest of my life that everything started to change, especially my heart.

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NOT OF THIS WORLD

I grew to know that the battle was certainly not of this world. I would cry out to God. IF ONLY HE’D HEAR ME! But each time the depression and pain took me over. This disease that crippled my mind made me feel frightened for my life either way I looked at it. I realize now I was not looking for how God was in it. He was. Oh, He certainly was.

Although I didn’t understand much, I did understand one thing. I believed, with only a tiny amount of faith, that God had shown me that He was in fact real — and if that was true then I kept hope that He might help me. That choice to have that tiny bit of faith was a pivotal point in my life. I had asked and accepted Jesus into my life at age 16, but it was not until my late teen years and early twenties — the peak of all that I have described — that I started to focus on Him.

The only thing that had kept me alive during that time was the promise I made to God and to my mother (although she was unaware) that I would not take my own life. I believed He had given it to me and so I did not want to hurt Him, and I did not want to hurt my mother. I turned to God just enough.

Let me say that one more time. I turned to God – Just Enough.

It is a sad thing I have learned: that so many people give God “just enough” when we could experience all He has for us if we would just give Him all we’ve got.

At times, I had wondered if He really cared because my pain didn’t end when I became a Christian. I just didn’t GET IT like I did later and certainly not like I do now. He got it though. And that my friends, is all that mattered. He never abandoned me nor left me. He is always faithful. Jesus had me for eternity, and Satan knew it, but that was not going to stop him from trying to destroy my life. What I went through was not human. I made it human with my choices however and the battle raged on. The saddest part is that I continued to let that happen. No one could convince me that Satan was not a real force in this world after what I had experienced. Call evil – it will answer.

But God was there – and bigger.

I now know that Jesus had in His Will to never leave me and watched thoughtfully, knowing He would prevail. He waited patiently, hearing and answering my prayers to just stay afloat. That is all I prayed for at the time. To just stay afloat. I eventually learned — God didn’t cause the pain. He doesn’t want us to hurt. We cause so much pain ourselves.

He wanted to bring me through it for His plans. They are greater than my own. When I asked him with even a small amount of faith, He reached His hand deep into the pit of despair I was in and He grabbed my stretched out hand to pull me to peace and love and life. All that I had been searching for, He had in His hand.

I reached out. He loved. I loved. I chose.

If I could shout one thing for every human being to hear it would be this:
God has a plan for you. He wants to have a relationship with you. He loves you. YOU.

God completely healed me of this disease and depression in June of 1997. In a prayer, in an instant, I was healed after 25 years of the pain. I intend to write more about that in my book and on my blog, but just remember if you are going through this and you are not healed yet… DO NOT STOP looking to Him. He has a plan and in the end, you will see it. He loves you right through it.

You (I) + God = We

Don’t go through it alone. Please.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. – Isaiah 55:8

I know without a shadow of a doubt that the hole in your heart can only be successfully filled by One.
Let that hole be filled.

Fighting without God is like losing before you even start.

Live Blessed,
Heather

#LIVEALLIN

This post originally appeared at 40YearWanderer.com.

Trading Hope for Sex to Find Love {50 Shades of Grey in Real Life}

I’ve got so many posts coming in the next two weeks. I’m doing at least one book giveaway, sharing a very special guest post from my author friend, Michelle DeRusha, participating in a blog tour interview, and a few other “big” things. For one, I’ll be revealing what happened to me when I traded hope for sex to find love.

I am so heartbroken over the women who have invested their hearts, minds, and souls into “50 Shades of Grey”. Its destructive wake across this world now must be corrected. And Christ Following women, that empty space can be filled by God instead. Our spirits know it’s wrong.

I’ll be writing about this … because years ago I lived believing similar lies that fulfillment like this is healthy on some level. It, and what I did because of it, nearly destroyed me. I know all the reasons women steal away to this type of story. I get it. Most of the time, at its core, it’s a hidden craving for simultaneous control and love… neither of which belong together in our souls, hearts, or minds. Feelings deceive us.

“I’ve noticed that some of the women who give me a hearty ‘AMEN’ every time I write a post condemning pornography, are the same ones gushing frantically about this film. They don’t want their husbands watching porn, but they’ll not only watch and read porn themselves — they’ll advertise that fact to the entire world. As if the hypocrisy isn’t bad enough, they had to add in a touch of public emasculation.”

That quote is from a Matt Walsh article. Yeah, it’s “in your face”. But it has every right to be. Because we should be falling our faces in prayer over this.

Go, Matt, go.

Coincidentally, regarding the quality of this book in quotes I’ve seen … I’ve read better literary treats on the back of a pickle jar.

This is an article you won’t want to miss reading.

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Love Blessed and #ALLIN,
Heather

If you’d like to read the soul-deep stuff I share… I’m eternally grateful. You can get my soul-deep stuff in your email inbox.

Why Am I Not Healed, Yet? {Mustard Seed Faith}

Thank you all for these beautiful, beautiful prayers you are sending my way! I feel them and not afraid to admit I need them. We should not forsake coming together for prayer… even asking for ourselves.

For those who have known me for a very long time, it is not a surprise to hear that my faith in being healed is completely strong, because I’ve been healed before. I was healed when I was 27 (for those who want to hear the story it’s here on my website), miraculously; after 20 years I was restored and made whole in my health. I saw my husband healed in the hospital ICU, miraculously, (that story is here on my website too). I call these Glory Stories. Had we not lived them in God’s glory, then others would not have been encouraged and blessed, for the past many years, by them for their own pain.

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~ Knowing that God does not want us to be sick or have problems or trials and tribulations

~ Knowing that Jesus has finished all

~ Knowing that He prayed, as we should pray, that God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven

~ And having experienced healing in God’s perfect will

I know that I am healed….
and I know that I know.

Sometimes God’s perfect plan doesn’t happen in an instant just because our faith is big enough or even as small as a mustard seed, which is all it takes He says. Sometimes it takes a little while to manifest because of what is in His ultimate plan. This “thorn” in my side, in my flesh, just as he talks about in His Word… reminds me that I know that He is sufficient for all in my life.

And that healing? Until that day comes, I will continue to know that I am healed and in waiting for that I will do my best with His strength in His power to live under His plan and bless as many people as He will touch through me.

The people that have reached out to me from around the world for encouragement and to encourage me, for prayer and to pray for me, is resoundingly glorious!! Glory to Him!

So as far as I can see (which is about a nano-second), I will not be demanding of my Jesus, my Lord, my God, but I will believe and continue to believe and know that I am healed and also know that glory is brought to Him on either side of this equation. It’s all for Him. He refines me.

Live Blessed My Friends!
~ Heather

http://www.40YearWanderer.com

If you’d like to read the soul-deep stuff I share… I’m eternally grateful. You can get my soul-deep stuff in your email inbox.

What Is Not Heard In the Silence {LIVING with PAIN}

In the silence…
The pain is deafening.
The exhaustion is overwhelming.
The fatigue is crushing.
The foggy brain is scary beyond words… because words literally can’t be found.
The all over body symptoms are relentless.
The feeling of defeat is real. REAL. REAL.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about my Conversations With the Enemy. I let you in those moments. They are heart and soul crushing, but, as God is God, He provides the healing my heart and soul need in those moments. It’s just that those moments are happening more and more often.

Fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ~ whatever your silent pain… I know it is REAL. I’m there with you. You are not alone. I know… it is a lonely feeling we get.

What will our future be like?

Chronic illness. Real. REAL. REAL.

These seem silent … like silent health issues to others who don’t live this silence. But they are anything but silent to those who suffer from them. The fact I have this chronic pain and other issues ~ fibromyalgia ~ has opened my ears further to the silent enemy.

Silence isn’t always bad. Sometimes…

Silence brings relaxation for me. I need it. I have learned to admit that and not just keep going and going to get things done. Tomorrow really doesn’t need me to worry about it, just as Jesus said.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. ~ Matthew 6:34

Did you catch that? He also said, “Today’s trouble is enough for today.” We can have every ounce of faith and believe in a positive outcome ~ for anything ~ and we can ask with expectation, but we can’t expect to live a trouble-less life. He warned us. It came with the garden fruit choice.

Silence for me now has come in the form of being off of Facebook and social media except for things I have to check. And OH OH OH … I decided that isn’t much. I have felt relief that I really didn’t expect. In order to finish this book ~ which I’m not even sure I will since I feel like things are just too heavy ~ and figure things out for my health, I needed some silence from the world. I have felt your prayers more than I could even express in words. Your messages, emails, and comments here… they have overwhelmed my soul with love.

I have felt a lot of fatigue, pain, heaviness, and sadness this past couple of years… and much in the past 6 months. I have heard what is not heard in the silence.

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I’ve been spending time writing. And being in the good silence. My silent space, my soul rest space. Either in my bedroom or outside in the sun which helps my health.

If you know someone with chronic pain or another illness that seems only “bothersome”, remember that they are probably suffering in silence. Inside Silence. The enemy version.

Fibromyalgia {caused by an over active malfunctioning nervous system} feels like this:

~ Intense muscle pain unexplained.
~ Nerves shooting pain in an instant.

{Both making it exceedingly hard to walk or move at that moment.}

~ Major sleep problems.
~ Extreme exhaustion and fatigue.
~ “Out of nowhere” stress.
~ Mood attacks or depression.
~ Migraines and headaches.
~ Digestive problems.
~ Dizziness and balance problems.
~ Foggy brain and memory problems.
~ Dry mouth.
~ Tingling or numbness.
~ Urinary frequency caused by bladder spasms.

There are more things that can happen, but this list is overwhelming just to think about let alone live. Imagine what it’s like to feel like you must have a serious allergy affecting your mouth and everything you eat tastes like salt. Everything. Yeah. Thankfully that didn’t last but a few weeks for me, but the dry mouth still bothers me. Now add about 90% of those other symptoms and know that you can’t even lay down to get away from the pain. Then add in the fact you think you have something else wrong… buy a new mattress, get stomach issues checked, take more meds for pain, stop the madness!

I’m tired, friends. Starting my day sometimes is just about as much energy as I have for the rest of the day.

I’m believing for healing. I’ve been miraculously healed once in my life. I’m waiting and believing. I trust God COMPLETELY.

I just feel like
I’m
Doing
It
Alone.

I’m not and I know it.
But it lies like that.
And the Silence Enemy lies too.

I know the Ultimate Healer… and He is no liar. He is Mine.

Thank you, Jesus, for being with me in my silent moments.

~ Heather

If you’d like to read the soul-deep stuff I share… I’m eternally grateful. You can get my soul-deep stuff in your email inbox.