Abound in Hope

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (Psalm 56:3 ESV)

I whisper the above verse over and over again most nights. Especially nights with bad dreams and haunting memories that I fight in vain to make sense of knowing full well that there are some things that will never make sense in this life.

I hate being afraid.

I do not trust easily or well.

For a long time I beat myself up over them, trying to will myself into being better, into trusting more. It worked about as well as you’re imagining it did. Failure compounded upon failure.

Until the prevailing thought became a fervent desire for it all to be over and how that could happen.

I’m still there most days, and especially most nights.

It’s in the darkness that the monsters come out, whether it be in physical form when I was a child or in dreams and memories now.

So I whisper to myself, trying to turn my attention from the monster to the One who can help slay them.

But I have to be careful of it too, because when I get stuck there I begin to wonder what I’m doing wrong that it’s not getting better, and that thinking creates a whole other set of issues.

Sometimes staying in the midst of the memory is necessary. I don’t know why yet, but I’m choosing today to believe that instead of believing I’m doing something wrong and/or being “punished” for lack of trust.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV)

I whisper that in the bleak moments as well.

I wish I could say that it’s simply a matter of choosing to turn to Him instead of being anxious or afraid, but it’s a battle. I hear the old scripts (you’re stupid, you’re worthless, you’re a failure, and so on) playing over and over again in my mind and I feel the tug of other less-healthy-much-less-desirable methods for handling those moments.

It’s a fight to rest in that moment, in the midst of a memory and believe it’s ultimately what God wants in order for true healing to occur.

It’s a fight because it’s really ugly and painful. I remind myself that it will get better “one day” too.

Some days that’s easier to believe than other days.

Last night was long and difficult. Today has been hard.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13 ESV)

Sunday Mornings Stress Me Out

Sunday mornings stress me out.

Six weeks ago tonight I went to the hospital by ambulance having had a “mild” heart attack. Even though my family history for them is very strong, I’m in my 40s and do not have either high blood pressure or high cholesterol, so it was a shock. After weeks of piecing the puzzle together it was determined I have an infection in the heart valves which is now being treated with IV antibiotics. If I heard correctly it might have something to do with chemo. I also apparently have hypokalemia and anemia and so figuring out why and treating them is still a work in progress, although I am certainly focusing nutritionally on making sure I’m eating smart.

I’ve also heard the “don’t over exert and lower your stress levels” spiel multiple times over the past weeks. Easier said than done.

Being pretty much a hermit, I find it difficult when the work week is over to leave home. As in it causes me anxiety. This is somewhat new having started a year ago and steadily gotten worse over the past year. There are reasons for it (and that’s not an excuse) and working through them is a process. Calling for help might not have happened three months ago.

Sunday mornings I should go to church…even typing that I feel the anxiety building.

I haven’t been attending church long and it’s been very sporadically over the past eighteen months that I’ve been going. Once I’m there, generally speaking all is well although occasionally I get asked a question or a comment is made that send me into panic.

One Sunday a few months ago a very well intentioned elderly lady asked “Are you ever going to be better?”

I left during the greeting time (my least favorite part of the morning I might add).

On the last Sunday in June someone I know (and like) said “Wow, two weeks in a row, I hope we survive.”

He was joking.

I didn’t make it again until August.

It’s not them, either, it’s me, and I’m acutely aware of that fact.

I went last week and dragged some friends with me who don’t normally attend church at all. It was fine. We even went out to lunch after.

Less than three hours to the start now, and I still don’t know about today. The “voices” in my head on both sides are clamoring to be heard, and it’s exhausting me this morning.

Sunday mornings stress me out.