Out of the blue

You ever run into someone you haven’t seen in a while? Or hear from them? It’s like you never even stopped talking. Especially if they are a good friend.

Same thing with memories right? Something will remind you of that moment long ago… A scent. A dream. And it’s like you are back there, reliving it.

Have you ever been so caught up in a memory it’s almost like you are there? What about a negative memory? Does your heart rate increase? Your breathing almost stop? Your body tense?

If you’ve been in an abusive relationship, I encourage you to seek help if memories of the abuse are overwhelming to you. I know it took a lot for you to leave, and now here you are dealing with the aftermath. When will it stop? When will you be able to move on? I know… I understand. But sometimes we need a little more help moving forward, and that’s ok.

PTSD doesn’t just affect our soldiers. PTSD can affect those of us who have been under the oppression of severe abuse.

If you are having frequent memories, flashbacks, or dreams… or if you get upset during moments that remind you of the abuse (triggers) then you are having PTSD symptoms. You don’t have to do this on your own. Seek help.

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What’s in a name?

I love finding out the meanings of names. I know all the meanings to my children’s names. Pure, Peace, Trust, Soldier, Blessing, and Strong-willed. I definitely see these characteristics in my kiddos. I think it is ok to wait a bit before naming your child. Praying about it, getting to know them a few days. It’s not necessary to get that birth certificate done the day of birth. Give it a few days and see what comes to you as you get to know your new one. I believe a week went by for each before we named our middle two.

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Another variant besides seeing the characteristics of the name meanings in the person, is seeing the need for that characteristic. For instance, my ex’s name meant Peace. And he was missing this. I prayed this over him, asking the Lord to help him walk out who he is, that he would learn to walk in peace and know true peace. I’m not sure if it was all in vain. Or maybe it helped at times. It just seemed he had too much chaos to overcome. He was never able to find that peace. At times now, when I am frustrated or overwhelmed with life as a single mother of six, I can feel myself wanting to blame him still. And I am reminded that this is my life now, each step is my choice, it is difficult, but it is where I am. I am not going to live my life blaming someone else. Constantly frustrated, constantly complaining. And so I take those thoughts and I turn them around and I pray Peace over myself. I take those deep breaths and think those happy thoughts. I count my blessings and thank God for every one. As life comes crashing down around me, I praise Him for the good things. And I find Peace, despite the chaos.

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The meaning of my name- Worthy to be Loved. Oooh how I desired this. When I was a young girl I discovered the meaning behind my name. I remember this feeling welling up in my heart of pure joy over being worthy of love! And I remember needing that. To be loved. To be accepted. To be wanted. Sadly, I fell into looking for it in places that turned out to be detrimental to me. Isn’t that the story we always hear? Young girl, looking for love in all the wrong places? She’s wanting to be accepted and she goes off with someone who “accepts” her, but in actuality he is also broken. Maybe he lacks esteem, so he belittles her to make himself feel better. Maybe he lacks peace, so he throws chaos at her to try and get rid of his own. Maybe he lacks love, so he tells her he hates her, so that he isn’t the only one. Misery loves company.

And all through this she still had that childlike faith, that if she could just smile enough, he’d be happy. If she’d be calm enough, he’d find peace. If she’d love enough, he might one day love her back… But you can’t fix someone who isn’t willing to be fixed. You can’t change someone who doesn’t want to change. The only person you have any control over is yourself.

So here I am, years after draining myself, pouring myself into someone who didn’t reciprocate. And I’m trying to grasp the meaning of my name. Trying to walk in that meaning. As someone who is worthy of love. Trying to walk with my head up instead of always looking down. Trying not to hide in the corner. Trying not to run away at the slightest hint of rejection. Trying not to isolate myself. And it’s hard. I feel I’ve come so far in these years since I left, but I still have so far to go. I look at that meaning, and I roll my eyes. Who would love me? What do I have to offer?

But then I am gently reminded that it’s not all about me, but Him. He is my creator. He saw fit for me to be here. Who am I to question Him and His decision. He created me, He loves me, and He wants nothing more than for me to walk out the full Glory of who I am in Him. And so, I stop, I breathe, I find peace… And I realize, I am loved.

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Still swimming

Note: I’m pretty sure I blogged about this incident before.. but it’s been a couple years since I blogged and this was such a big event in my life, it was bound to come up again.

 

“I haven’t moved anywhere,” I thought to myself as I looked at the water tower to my left. “The current is too strong.” Tears came to my eyes and defeat tried to overtake me. I was weak and tired. How long had I been swimming? How much longer would it take to get back? Could I get back? Will I see my children again? I blinked back my salty tears, and lowered my goggles over my eyes to protect them from the salty ocean water. And I swam.

Earlier that day my husband and I had decided to go snorkeling. We had no experience. He was a strong swimmer though and had heard enough about snorkeling that he felt comfortable. I hesitated because I wasn’t much of a swimmer, but I didn’t want to disappoint him, so off we went. The rental hut was covered in reeds, lights dazzled, flowers brightening the entrance. “Snorkeling are we?” questioned the man. He gave us some tips and suggested a small coral reef off the shore on the other side of the beach. So there we went.

The water mixed with the sky on the horizon. “We got this,” my husband encouraged. “You’ll do fine.” Goggles, mask, flippers, gloves, thumbs up, and into the water. The cold waves dancing on my already goose-bumped skin, set in from a tinge of fear. And yet I swam.

It was beautiful… the colors, the fish, coming up to say hello. I was relaxed, laughing at the puppy fish following me, just as a little puppy would. My husband wanted to see more. He led us out into deeper water, hoping to find another reef, another corner of the world to explore. Darker waters where we couldn’t see much. I motioned that I wanted to go back. He nodded, and then turned. After a moment’s pause he looked at me. The shore was a beautiful landscape, like one you would see on a postcard. Except, this wasn’t a postcard. We had gone much further than we both had thought, the current had carried us out. Were there sharks? How strong is the current that brought us out here? I was frozen. But then I swam.

That’s when I noticed the water tower off to my left. And that’s when I started my journey. This was a quiet journey, in which I discovered apart of myself that I didn’t know existed. A determined journey. I watched the world below me, unknowing to my struggle, my desire to get back to my own world. Along they swam, so easily, so happily. I lost sight of all of them, as I had to push through each stroke of my own. Feeling hopeless in their world where they so easily moved. But I swam.

Eventually the waters cleared and I lifted my head, taking it all in. The tower behind my shoulder. The reef in front of me. My husband closely following. I had done it. I swam over to join the frolicking world of the reef. I celebrated with them over my accomplishment. The colorful party of fish coming over to me to offer their congratulations. Some people say we are a small brick in this vast cathedral… a speck in the universe… a mere drop in the ocean. All you gotta do is swim.