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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Who I am and Who I want to be! Prayer for 2 Families!

I am finding in my journey I am struggling with who I am and who I want to be. I have an inner self that yearns to break free. I find I don't know how to be the inner me.

I keep falling back on searching out how I can make money so that I can be free to serve God, even though I know with in myself it is Jesus Christ I need to seek alone and affix my eyes too.  1 Timothy 6:9-11  God is who makes me.

My Heart desire is to sell everything I have so I can be free to serve God where ever he wants me to be. My heart aches everyday to surrender my whole life to Jesus. I find though I wage a battle as I don't know how to follow my hearts desire while I have people dependent on me. How can I do what my heart desires to fully give my life to Jesus free of the chains of this world. How can I walk with Jesus and show the love he calls us to give by leaving those who are dependent on me. My son is not yet set up in his adult life independent of me. I don't know how or when my son will be set up in that life where he gets control of his Autism again and has a means to support himself. How can I do my hearts desire to give it all up for Jesus when people are dependent on me and those people I care deeply for?

I here all these sermons and songs that talk allot people asking why questions to God and how could he do this to me? I don't have these questions as I know it is for God's glory and greater plan. I find I fight more with myself. I so want to be like Paul who faced great suffering but didn't wine about it but rejoiced in it. I want to serve Jesus Christ even through the suffering in this way, but my weakness keeps getting in my way as my heart pains not to suffer anymore, to be able to breathe with out wondering how. I want to trust Jesus with it all but my human sinful reactions take over and I start losing hope that my circumstances will ever change.

When we went through 2009, we were thrown into poverty with no visible way out. I know God has a purpose behind all that he does in my life, even when I can't see why.

God has been speaking allot to me about not walking this alone and that I need to get rid of my stubbornness and let other people into my life to help, could this be why he has brought me to a place that I can't survive on my own so I am forced to go out of my comfort zone and ask for help?

I struggle with asking for help as I know I could never be able to pay anyone back. I also know that right now there doesn't appear to be away out of our poverty making our need long term and how can I ask for that kind of help? I have been asked why do you not go to the Church? I have to say I have been quite open with the Church and their support from what I understand are a short term relief for those in need. I did have someone from the Church say they would look into how they could help once they came back from a missions trip, but they have been back for awhile and I have heard nothing more about it.

I honestly would love to hand over our income and our bills over to the Church and see if they can find away to make what an accountant, a budget consultant and we can't get to work, work.

I have noticed when I finally cry out on facebook our situation, the people that mostly step forward are the ones facing problems of their own but put their hand out to help us anyways, in an act of faith.

I have worked this last 7 days and have 3 more days to go till I get a day off. After I went to church, I headed of to work and as I was working I started getting the image of a human body and how every part has its purpose  and together they make one body. 1 Corinthians 12:12-30

I have no idea why I started thinking this but here I go to try to explain the thoughts that started flooding in my mind. If we were baptized by the spirit to form one body (verse 13) and we are now the body of Christ (verse 27) when one part of the body is in pain how do we deal with it? Do we find out what is causing the pain and treat it with something that will cure the pain eventually, even if it takes time and cont monitoring to make sure it doesn't get worse or do we treat it with a quick fix and hope for the best and if the pain returns screaming find another quick fix and hope it works this time.

I think most times we do the latter as life gets to busy to take the time to take care of what is hurting, so we throw a band-aide on it and hope for the best, but unfortunately some pains aren't that quick of a fix and need nurturing back to health with time and care.

I'm finding while God has put me in this place of discomfort and suffering he is teaching me allot and opening my eyes where they once were closed. I pray one day God places me in a place that I can be a blessing to someone else for His Glory, like he has brought those who have been a blessing to my family and I.

I am seeing many being taken to that place we were at in 2009, where one thing after another just keeps piling up and you just don't know how you could take anymore and you finally get to that place where all you can do is laugh as another gets thrown on top. We were so there as what is read in the Testimony of 2009 was only part of what we were going through. We were also going through the terminal diagnoses of my Sister & my Nana. My Nana passed as we were still dealing with 2009 and a year later after great suffering my sister passed away.

My prayers are for the Klassen & Kuhn families as they walk through that moment when life as you know it stops and your dependency on God's mercy & grace becomes a greater focus.

Please pray for these families that God renews them on a daily basis and showers them with his peace beyond understanding and healing for their families.

Father thank you for us being able to take in that first breathe every morning! I lift up the Klassen and Kuhn families to you Lord, place a hedge of protection around them and cover them with the blood of Jesus. Renew them and fill them with the Holy Spirit daily, flood them with your peace beyond understanding and fill them with your love. I ask that you put your healing hand who need it my Sovereign God, but in all things let your will be done. In Jesus precious name amen.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

God how much stronger do I have to get or...

... is the point that I need broken again so you are the only strength I need?

I have been struggling this last week as the waters rise in my life, once again. I find it is turning into a daily battle to stay focused on the promise that God will never leave me nor forsake me and I know I should be content with what I have, but I am a sinner.

I struggle every time I get paid from work and I know that I really don't have enough money for me to be able to get to work until the next week. My son and I have even walked to church, 4 hr return trip, on a Sunday just so I can stretch the gas.

I found it has been a bit harder this last few weeks knowing I had to drive an extra 124 km last Wednesday to go to the heart specialist, as the weeks leading up to the last payday were hard as I had to make this same trip to get my Electrocardiogram so the specialist could have the results for this appointment and I barely made it through to that payday.

I struggled with doubt, as I went out to my appointment, that I would have enough gas, but Sunday came, I had driven a whole week to work and the gas gauge didn't leave the full mark, so we drove to church answering my son's prayer as he didn't want to walk it again.

Wednesday came along and the gas gauge had still not moved far off the full mark. I drove to my appointment and back. I woke up Thursday to still having a half a tank of fuel, this isn't possible I told myself in my thoughts, but God said nothing is impossible! I have to say I still have over a 1/4 of a tank of fuel.

I also struggle when I come to the realization that I won't be able to visit my daughter who moved a Province away. I had put my hope and plans in seeing if the money that it would cost to ship her stuff to her would just cover me driving out there with her stuff and getting to see her, I miss her terribly. I was getting excited with the anticipation of wrapping my arms around her and lifting her off the ground in the biggest bear hug yet. I told my daughter what my hopes were and she too was getting excited. Then the reality kicked back in and the bubble burst. How could I have been such a fool believing that I could afford to do this. Why didn't I just leave it as a surprise for my baby girl? But no, I had to tell her then I had to tell her I couldn't. I couldn't hold back the tears when I had to tell her as I knew I had not just hurt me but I had hurt her as well. I swore I would never do that to my children and here I did it....

I go back and forth with struggling with our finances and I don't know why I just do as the doubt creeps into my thoughts, the doubt that things will ever change. Will I ever be able to move or will I stay in this one spot, not knowing the way out.

I sometimes feel like the Caterpillar who is in the cocoon that God is transforming into a beautiful butterfly, but I seem to be stuck, not being able to break free of the cocoon  so that I can spread my wings.

I struggle with sin, it is like a roller coaster, just when I think I can trust God with every part of my life I find I pull back in doubt and insecurity. I try to fight the doubt and the insecurity but it grabs hold till I fall back into brokenness.

I wonder though if the brokenness is not a bad thing, yes it hurts and the pain can be unbearable at times. I'm finding though when I find myself in this brokenness I run back to my Heavenly Fathers arms and spend more time with him. I start praying more and I start reading his word more as I search for that safe place again, in his arms.

When I get deeper into his arms the peace returns and then eventually the joy returns back in my heart replacing where once sat the doubt and insecurity sat. 

I had hit a low point this last week and when I went back into God's arms with his word these are the scriptures he brought me too:

Ephesians 3:14-21

Numbers 6:24-26

Psalm 1:2

Psalm 16:5-11

Psalm 62:1-2

John 12:23-25

Mathew 13:31-32

Revelations 22:17

Mathew 5:1-12

Thank you God for your patience and love for me! Thank you for being my rock when all the other ground is sinking sand! Thank you for holding me together when all I want to do is fall apart! Thank you for being my provider when I can't provide for myself! Thank you for your forgiveness when I sin against you! Thank you for giving your Son so that I can be with you! In Jesus Precious Name Amen.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Stepping Out

Last Friday night I was reading the news paper and noticed a piece on a Forum that would be held in town on Mental Health I had never gone to one of theses forums before but after being thrust into the mental health system in 2009 when my child experienced the undiagnosed reaction to a prescription drug, I was intrigued. I think it helped that they were putting out questions:  What’s working? What can we build on? What do we still need?.

We fell through so many cracks back then with services that were there and weren't listening, were there but didn't have to be there when we needed them the most while in crisis, were there but truly didn't get the impact that they were contributing to the problem or just weren't their at all.

I know in some of the cases it was because services were stretched far to thin to be of any use to someone in crisis. I truly can't understand why we as a society wouldn't take our funds to be proactive to preventing a crisis, saving far more money than being reactive causing more services having to be used to get control of a situation that could have been prevented in the first place. When a community is one of a reactive nature it is like trying to use a band aide on a gaping wound and seeing if it will work rather than stitching it up. Ultimately the person will have to come back and get stitched up causing twice as much unnecessary work and expense that could have been placed else ware.

I emailed with my interest in attending and on Sunday I received a reply that included this statement:

 "I'm wondering if you think you could talk about your story from the perspective of "here's what families do/can do to support people who, for one reason or another, are experiencing a mental health crisis," possibly with an addition of some thoughts about what might better support families to play this crucial role?"

I was being given the opportunity to speak on a subject that I am passionate about. Would I be able to speak without my nerves getting in my way? I had to try because I needed to voice what was on my heart.

I tried writing a speech, before I replied, to see if I could do what he was requesting.  I sat in front of the computer drawing a complete blank. What we had gone through was so much more on survival and instinct, not something that had time to put thought behind. How was I going to write about that? I sat and nothing was coming.

I finally decided to pray about it. I have to tell you it would be so much easier if I would just remember to pray first.

After I prayed the words started flowing as I typed them on the computer. I so thank God for that speech, if it wasn't for him my first speech would have never happened.

Here is what was written:

    First I need to say Thank you to the Advisory Committee for inviting me to speak with you tonight. 
    I am here to speak to you about how families can support those they love when they are faced with a Mental Illness.
    I, as a single, parent of two children, one of whom has Autism/ADHD and the other who was thrust into the mental health system after an undiagnosed reaction to a prescription drug caused non-coherent hallucinations that lead to calling 911 over 60 times in a 6 month period, I have had some experience supporting someone through the Mental Health System.
   I have suffered from a mental illness, as I have faced depression and after my daughter’s experience I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I come to you today hoping to use what we have journeyed through to help educate and create change that will hopefully be helpful and reduce the isolation that families feel when they go through a crisis of Mental Health.  
     The greatest gift you can give someone with Mental Illness is to get to know the person behind the illness and what they face everyday as they battle against it; for many it is a very isolating battle filled with fear, shame and rejection for what they are going through.
    You can support them by not taking personally  the effects of the Mental illness that are pointing your direction, many times the person has no control and would rather not be doing what they are doing if given an option. From the experience I have had, I find most moments of rage and lashing out are more directed inwardly than outwardly, as the person gets mad at themselves because they cannot control what they are doing. I remember my daughter coming out of one of her non-coherent hallucinations begging the police officer on her knees to please lock her up because she was becoming a monster and didn’t want to hurt anyone, as she looked at the added bite and bruise marks on me and she knew some how she had caused them.
      Setting strong boundaries is also essential for families, because no matter how bad it gets there are always certain lines that should not be crossed and if the boundaries are not kept you may be an enabler to the problem. My son was not yet diagnosed with Autism and use to go through rages, I know them now as Autistic Meltdowns, He would thrash his body around and be self injurious so I was taught to give him a love hug, a form of restraint. Any time he would rage he would be given a love hug; this was a boundary that was set because it was not ok to hurt himself or destroy things. Eventually, I would have to do them less often and then not at all because this boundary was set not allowing the self injures behaviour to continue.
When we as a family journey through Mental illness it is important to keep a journal of events and conversations with names, dates of who you speak to and about what in regards to the Mental Illness for a few reasons. 
1) You may be asked to answer questions by service providers and makes answering easier. 
2) Journals help with finding a pattern to what is happening. 
3) I found if there is a problem that you need to advocate for the person with mental illness you will have something to back you up. 
      I have needed to go back to the Journals I have kept for both of my children and if it wasn’t for the Journal I kept with my daughter we would have not had the evidence that clearly supported the medication as the cause of her mental illness. My son’s case it helped in tracking triggers to his behaviours. 
Awareness of the shift in moods and personality are also important as there can be two serious reasons for a shift in these. 
1) May be a sign they may heading to depression and/or suicide, as the feeling of helplessness grabs hold. 
2) May be an adverse reaction to a medication used to treat a mental illness, causing more severe symptoms of the mental illness and/or physical health.
      All of us have a little voice in us that gives us what I have been told are red flags that tell us when something is not right. Trust it, trust yourself. You know your family better than anyone else and if something doesn’t feel right chances are it isn’t. What if no one will listen to you? Well we teach kids who are being bullied or abused to keep speaking till you are heard, it’s time we take that same advice, if you don’t feel you are being heard keep speaking until someone listens.
We need to remember that we are all human and this includes the professionals and we can all make mistakes, the greatest gift you can give yourself is to forgive yourself when you don’t get it right because you are doing your best and that is all you can do.

I sent it off to him, to see if it was what he was looking for, along with my plan for the iblong Community Centre that I have proposed to Fraser Health. I received an email back Tuesday, the day before the event, saying Fantastic! I think I was hoping in the back of my mind it wouldn't be what he was looking for, so I wouldn't have to speak in front of a bunch of people. No God wasn't going to give me that out.

Many people I know don't realize this but I am shy. I was that kid in the grocery store who hid behind mom and wouldn't say a word.

Having to fight for my son and then my daughter I was forced to face some of my shyness to overcome some situations and because of that I force myself to go past my comfort zone until it becomes my new comfort zone. I hope that made sense?

I have to say I was excited to get what I needed to say out but also absolutely terrified to speak out in front of allot of people.  I have allot of Faith, belief and confidence in God and that he will get me through anything I have to face, but as I am finding out I have not got the same for myself.

I know that when I am nervous I either giggle or talk like a road runner, either is embarrassing.

I remember a moment when the nervous giggle got me into a lot of trouble.  I had gone up to the monastery, in Mission, BC with my friends and the PEI exchange group they were apart of. I was kneeling so the people behind could see, while the Monk was speaking. My knees started to hurt and my nervous laugh decided to pay a visit just as the Monk was speaking about their vow of Chastity, now try getting out of that situation unscathed.

Well back to what I was saying.

I would be speaking. I arrived at the event not knowing how I would recognize the person I was emailing with and had no other instruction of how this was to proceed. I guess it was a good thing I have my photo up on the internet because he had Googled me, I think that is the first time that has happened to me, so he recognized me.

I would be speaking after the service providers, just enough time for the nerves and anxiety to build just nicely. I kept telling myself I would be ok, now if my body would have only listened. My heart started racing. I was given the indication I could go now so I stood up and turned to the crowd behind me, was thankful there was one familiar face in the audience. I had earlier had brought up some of what I was going to say as there was a police officer there that was being for lack of a better word being verbally attacked and I needed to counter that as we would have not made it through 2009 if it wasn't for our local police officers and their kindness and compassion, so I had messed up myself and really didn't know where to start raising the stress level and lowering my blood sugars as I spent out to much energy on anxiety.

I was thankful that earlier in the evening others had spoken even though you could tell they were nervous.

I finally told everyone I would just read from what I wrote so that I wouldn't miss anything with my nerves, so I planted my face in my paper notes. I read like a roadrunner, stumbled and fought back tears but I made it to the very end saying almost everything I wanted to say and by the response I got it was received.

I have learned one valuable lesson about doing a public speech only have listed on the paper the points you want to speak about, do not script it because you are going to want to stay on script and it is impossible to do.

Well I also spent my first week outside at work and in grand fashion it has rained off and on, but I have to say I enjoyed just getting left to work and get it done.

I guess I should be leaving you for now as I start hearing the rest of the house starting to stir, as the morning starts. Have a blessed day or night depending where you are!

Thank you God for getting me through another week of my life, please continue to walk me through the rest till I get home. In Jesus Precious Name Amen.