"You know what?"
I announced to my husband the other night, "I'm happy sometimes now."
We were sitting on the couch, reading books. I'm sure this isn't something that my husband ever expected to hear out of me. A year ago, I couldn't have imagined ever saying something like that.
A year and a half ago, it felt like the bottom fell out of my life. Something traumatic happened, and for months and months I was sick over it. I was probably the most miserable person on earth at that point. I felt betrayed, hurt, lost, abandoned, and incredibly alone. And I felt like God had forgotten about me-- I was that alone. If there even WAS a God. And if there was a God, He probably hated me. I missed a lot of work. Then, I got hurt physically (busted knee@ work), and missed even more work. I had from April to August all to myself-- all day long, stuck on the couch, recovering. And I was driving myself crazy.
Then in October, a child broke my arm--and I had even MORE time to myself because I couldn't go to work.
Three people I loved died. Two from cancer, and my favorite student in the world died from a sudden & unexpected illness. I was hit in the face with what was TRULY important to me. I had no one to help me through these losses except God. I was driven to a closer relationship with Him.
Miraculously, one day last year I came across a book called Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. I'd never read anything like it before. It was about taking control of your thoughts, learning how to think Biblically. It was really hard for me to start doing. VERY hard. My thoughts had been so twisted for so many years. I figured, this Joyce Meyer lady seems to know what she's talking about though. So when she came to town for a conference, I went to 2 of the sessions. Hmmm... that was...different. It was like a giant party...full of people who believed God cared. She talked about how God loved me. Me? Maybe God was still there. I started buying Joyce's CD's as well. Quite a few of them.
I couldn't stand to be alone with my negative thoughts, and my mind on what had happened to me in January all the time-- so I played my CD player ALL the time--even at night. I had a lot of trouble sleeping all those months, so when I would have trouble going to sleep and wake up all throughout the night, I would hear God's Word and positive talk in my ears whenever I woke up, with my CDs repeating all night long. My brain needed a major reprogramming.
Thankfully, I got off some medications I had been taking for several years that were supposed to "help" me feel better. I had no idea they had become part of the problem. Within a month of stopping them meds, I felt like my brain was beginning to work again. Then this spring I got on my WonderMed-- Effexor. WOW!! After 13 years of searching, I found something that actually WORKS on me (its ABOUT TIME!!)- it works on my ADD and my depression as well as helps with some other problems I have. I feel like I should write an "Ode To Effexor" or something. I love this stuff.
There were still a lot of hard times. I remember one night home alone, begging God to give me a new life-- I wanted so badly to get away from the old me, the one I hated so much. I wanted to start all new. I cut off all my long hair, got a new style so that I looked really different. I started dressing a little differently. Because I'd been so sick, I had lost quite a bit of weight, so that made me look different too. But I still needed to work on changing my negative internal world.
Then I read a book by Joyce called Me and My Big Mouth!... and I learned about how to speak more positively. I started trying THAT. So much of my life, since I had been taught to, I had spoken negatively about myself, situations, my future. But this book taught me to speak positively about those things.
But I still didn't have any revelations about God. That is when I found some books and Bible studied by Beth Moore, including Believing God. She talked about learning to believe what God says-that He is Who He says He is, that He can do what He says He can do, that I am who He says I am, that I can do all things through Christ, and that God's Word is alive and active in me. I listened to the study over and over...and I finally got it, 'round about July. GOD loves me. God LOVES me. The creator of the universe loves ME. After 2 decades of being a Christian, I finally GOT it-- Jesus truly did love me.
After that, things got a little easier.
I started talking to God all the time. I started saying affirmations out loud all the time. I started going to classes and Bible studies, to be around other people who were interested in the same things I was. I was scared to pieces at first, but after a while, it got easier, and eventually I started looking forward to getting out (once I could walk again.) When I felt like saying something negative, I made myself keep quiet. I started reading my Bible more and listening to a lot of praise music.
Then, I walked away from my job-one that had caused me a lot of stress. I got a new job. Or rather, God brought me a new job. A new, stress-free job. As some of you read my posts here last fall, that was a major leap for me, but its one of the best things I ever trusted God for.
Gradually, I started trusting God more and more.
I have learned to be grateful for every little thing-like a soft bed, clean water, a safe place to sleep, food on the table. The fact that I had air in my lungs. I have learned to appreciate even the littlest things that anyone does for me-for smiling at me, e-mailing me, my husband making me tea in the morning, a colored picture from my niece. I am not afraid of everything anymore, like I used to be. Instead, I look forward to the future, because I know that God has good things planned for me.
That wound from last year is still there... unfortunately. I still think about it, dream about it, more than I would like to. It hurts too much to talk about. I have to keep a lot of that buried, so that I can keep a smile on my face. There's still a hole in my heart from it. But at least I know that God can heal it. In time, I think He will, because He is our Healer. What happened last year changed me... a lot. But God can take even the worst of things, and make something good happen from them.
He works things out for good for those who love Him and keep His commandments. He takes care of His children. He can take my mess and turn it into a message.
Its still a process. And I still have a LOOONG way to go. Long way. But thank God I'm not where I used to be. For that, I'm happy.