Happiness Snuck Up on Me

The Lord is good. He is better than good. He has snuck up on me again and has left happiness in His wake. I had not thought that I would know what happiness would feel like for a very long time, but here I am, filled with it to my heart’s rafters.

I was laying in bed and felt complete peace and a warmth that encompassed my entire being. I felt at one with my world and the inhabitants in it.

I have been seeking God more and the subsequent episodes of happiness and peace have been a by-product of that search. The Lord said that we would find Him if we searched for Him with all of our hearts.” And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Je.29:13). So, I have gone on a manhunt, if you will. Only I haven’t been hunting for man. I have been hunting for God like someone seeking out great treasure. And I have been finding the treasures of God and His word. I have been as giddy as a school girl in love with her first beau.

I am aware that there are many people in this world who do not believe that God is real. But I am here to tell you that my life is proof-positive that He not only exists, but He is brilliant. For He has orchestrated the happenstances of my life in such a way that I can only shake my head in wonder of it all. If you would have told me that I would go from homelessness to a state of utter bliss and contentment, I would have told you that you were out of your mind. But that is where I find myself now. I am totally content with my life and would not change a thing in it. Oh, sure, there are certain things that I would not mind having, but they are not things that are paramount to my living a contented life.

Content. Not a word that I would have associated with my existence several years ago. Life was truly difficult and there were times when I wanted that existence to come to an end. But God had plans for me. He had jobs for me to do and this blog is one of those jobs. Only I did not know that then. Back then, I only felt pain. Pain in my body, pain in my soul, and pain in my spirit. The Lord was good to me and took all of that pain and replaced it with peace and love.

My life has been one of great suffering. Most of my life has been suffering personified. I have lost  everything that I held dear in life. I have endured excruciating pain in my body that lasted 24 hours a day for five years. I lived with a debilitating illness that left me bedridden 23 hours per day for eight months. That illness lasted for four years until God gave me a miracle and healed me and brought me off of that bedridden state. The list of my life’s suffering is long and agonizing. However, as I have stated in a previous posting, I am so much more than my suffering. I am a woman who has taken a lickin’ and come back kickin’. There is so much more to life than sorrow. In between the strands of heartache are moments of beauty so touching that it stirs the soul.

In this blog, I will be sharing both the suffering and the beauty with you. For both have made me who and what I am. The dichotomy between the two have given me the ability to help others through their own hardships. So, follow me. Follow me as I tell you about the loss of the greatest love I have ever known. The kind of love that is the gist of fairytales. See me as I show you great worth that comes from sorrow and suffering, two of the greatest companions that I have ever known. You will discover your own worth as you walk with me. I guarantee it. So, see me.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Advertisements

Thoughts For the Day

Today has been one of productivity for me, for which I am thankful. I want always to be moving ahead in my life and not become stagnant or unfruitful.

I think back on my life of homelessness and those thoughts are both painful and strengthening at the same time. I am remembering when I walked the streets, searching for help from any quarter, and finding none. Not even the church I went to would offer me any assistance, though the people at the service worshipped the Lord with a zeal that I found attractive. Until I found that that zeal only extended to arms raised but did not include putting those arms around a sick woman who had nothing. (For I was sick with CFS and that illness made my life as a homeless person much more difficult to bear.) To my astonishment, I discovered that there were people in the world who only love the Lord with a shallowness that boggled the mind and saddened the heart. My spirit was crushed and I talked to God in my heart and gave Him my pain and He lifted it. If only for a moment. For after a moment, my situation was back in my face with a vengeance and I cried out with fear and a desperation for someone, anyone to provide me with some type of aid.

But my pain is not the focus of my thoughts today. That belongs to the fact that although I was on the streets for two years, that did not crush my spirit. Although the forces of life did their best to pull me down into the pit of despair. I will admit that there were moments when I allowed the fear to cloud my faith and I shuddered like a startled baby. But those times did not last because my spirit of perseverance and the fortitude that I had grown up with in a totally dysfunctional and violent home came to bear and I used those resources to keep going. Ever going. And I use them today as I attempt to get over my mother’s death without becoming drowned. And I am succeeding. It is a bit surprising to me as I had thought that I would never be able to get over her passing, especially in the first days of her death. I can celebrate her life without sadness now. I know that she would be proud of me.

Today is a productive day. I am proud of myself. You rock, Cassie! You rock!

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Musings

Well, what do I do now with my life? It has been turned upside-down at the death of my mother and I do not know if it will ever be righted again.

I thought of her yesterday. Not today, but yesterday. I kept seeing her face and I can hear her voice if I concentrate upon it. At least I can think of her without pain now. That is a blessing. I don’t think I will ever get over the fact that she is gone, but I am getting used to her death. For today. Tomorrow I may be a basket case. I simply do not know. I don’t know much of anything these days except that my life has changed yet again and I am not sure if those changes will be good or bad. Ever since mom’s passing, I feel a trepidation that I cannot shake. Her death was sudden and unexpected, so I spend my days wondering if another shoe will drop and if it will be one that will be a blessing or a curse.

I feel more optimistic about my future, though that may be paradoxical. I see bright beginnings and some things that I had lost has been restored to me and for that, I am grateful. Things can only go up from here. It is odd that the very thing that has so devastated me (my mother’s passing) has shown me that there is much to live for. Her death is teaching me that life is short and that I must reach forward and not to the past. I must pounce on the opportunities that life is holding out to me without regret nor apology.

I look forward to spring. A renewal of the spirit and of life in general. A time of flowers and sunshine, grass turning green and leaves on the trees. Of children on bicycles and the ice cream truck making its way slowly down the streets. Of tennis shoes and walk paths.

I may have been dealt a death blow literally, but I still pick myself up and march onwards and upwards. There is so much more to me than my pain. That is why I want you to see me. I want you to see the extraordinary person that I am and know that you, too, are  person of great worth.

There are so many words inside me just itching to get out and into the world. There are so many that they get tangled up in my mind and remain stuck there until I pry them loose with perseverance.

Be patient with me. For jewels of great price in the form of my life are ready to be revealed. All I need  is time and a willing audience (you). Together, we will make something great.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

 

 

He Heard Me

My heart is filled with wonder right now. See me as I gaze with wonder at the face of God.

I had been feeling out of sorts and all alone today. My anxiety level was high and I did not know what to do with myself and I was in this state for most of the day. Until I got into the word of God. Before I did that, I got on my knees to talk to Him first, but He let me know in no uncertain terms that it was in His word that I would find what I was looking for.

I was looking for Him. I had felt as though He was being silent towards me again. I got a bit flustered because it is the Lord that I want more than anything in this world. I want to be close to Him at all times. So, when I felt far away from him, I became discouraged. But I should have known that when those feelings came upon me, that was only a trick of the enemy. Of sstupid ssatan, himself. For when I got into the word, I found encouragement and strength.

I refused to take an anxiety pill. I was determined to find my peace with the Lord in the pages of my bible and that is precisely what happened to me. I cried as I came across this passage: “For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.” (Ps.31:22) Because that is precisely what I had experienced. In my haste, I said that God was not hearing me and I was alone, but He pointed out to me that He heard me and that made me cry.

Oh, God is so good. If you do not know Him, you are missing out on the greatest experience of all time. He is so full of compassion and love.

Oh, see me as I love on my Lord. He heard me. And He comforted me. I will forever be grateful for HIs presence and His kindness toward me.

Oh, blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Homelessness

See me. See me as I sit here at my desk, searching for words to say that will draw you into my life. For I am so full of feeling that the language inside me won’t come. It just stands like sentinels guarding castle walls, only these are the walls of my heart.

This reminds me of the days of my childhood, when it was  unsafe to speak. I can hear the voice of my father now, vitriol spewing out of his mouth as he screamed at us children. I remember being silenced by fear, but now I am able to express my thoughts and feelings without the threatening and railing of a person who is no longer here to shut me up. So, let me show you me.

Who am I, you ask? I am a woman who has endured great suffering at the hands of life and others. That suffering has made me the incredible woman that I am.

It does not matter that my words are jammed up inside me and will not come. I will still write about who I am and through those words, my life will open up as a flower that unfolds in the spring. So, see me.

See me on the streets of Montana as I lived there, homeless. My husband of thirteen years, who had been the love of my life, left me as we dealt with the loss of our home and our jobs and my health. He had seen me through hell and back, but was finally broken and ran out of our life as fast as his feet could take him. I do not blame him, for I would have escaped me if I could, but, alas, I was stuck with me. Stuck with severe depression and anxiety and the beginnings of schizoaffective disorder due to the torment of living on the streets. I was terrified and suffered major panic attacks on a daily basis.

It’s amazing that my husband hung around for as long as he did. There is a part of me, however, that wants to call him a son of a bitch for walking out on me when I needed him the most. I wonder how my life would be if he had only stayed for even a short while longer. Long enough for me to get on my feet. But the man left me alone in a motel room without a dime to my name and only a few pills on the nightstand. I was sick and suffering with severe chronic pain and the beginning stages of CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome, although that definition does nothing to describe the hell of such a condition). I was also dealing with hemorrhaging. So, as you see me, you see the mess that I was, left alone by the one who told me I would never be alone again. I crawled around the floor of that motel room because I did not have the strength to stand and I cleaned it up on my hands and knees and then I left that room and entered a phase of my life that was the most painful of my life. For my husband left me, my father died less than two weeks after that, and I went to stay with my oldest brother, who put me through hell in the short four months I lived with him. I ended up back on the streets of Kalispell, Montana in a homeless shelter.

See me as I hobble along the streets of Montana because of my sickness, struggling to get to the library because it was the only place I had to go, apart from a mom and pop store and diner. I spent my days at that library, alone and afraid, searching on my old laptop for help of any kind. No one would reach out a hand to offer me assistance. People looked past me on the street. And my family was nowhere to be found. I lived this existence for two years. Only the Lord was with me, and there were plenty of times when I felt that even He had deserted me. But He had not. Instead, He gave me strength. It takes strength to survive the homeless life and I have not only survived it, I ended up thriving in the end. When I walked away from Montana and got on a bus for Illinois, I had to get rid of all of my earthly possessions for the third time except for what I could take on the bus. That took strength. Even now, I only have a few possessions. I have learned that life is more than what we have. It consists of more than people in our lives. I lived on the streets with no money, no help, no health…nothing. All I had was my faith in God. And that was all that I needed. I can say with certainty that if your trust is in the Lord Jesus Christ, you cannot fail. It is absolutely impossible for you to lose when you have God as the source or your life. All of the suffering I experienced as a homeless person (and there was much) was nothing in the end compared to the grace of God. God is real and His love is all-encompassing and He is with you through all that you have to go through. I am a living witness to that fact.

See my triumph as I conquered homelessness. If you are homeless, I encourage you. I pray for you. And I want you to know that there is a way off of those streets. Don’t give up hope. That is one of the things that I had to fight when I was homeless. Hopelessness. But the Lord gave me hope. And I discovered that there was more to me than I had believed. I am strong, in the Lord and in my spirit. So, see. me. That strength can be yours, too. As you travel along with me on the journey of my life, you will pick up skills and encouragement. For I am more than those things that I have suffered. Much more. They only made me who I am. They did not define me. Nor does your suffering define you. My secret? I embrace my suffering. Oh, I cry and sometimes I yell. However, I embrace my suffering, for with it comes great strength and purpose. Keep reading my blog and you will see that purpose.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

 

The Lord is My Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd. In Him will I trust.

I am going through a horrific period in my life right now. This morning, my mother was buried. I went to the funeral and could not believe that she was encased in that casket. But God was with me. I felt as though I was wrapped in a blanket of compassion and comfort. I did not shed a tear. I just sat and stared at my mother’s casket.

The Lord is so good to me. He has been with me every step of the way since my mom died on Christmas day of 2016. I have been in a state of suspended disbelief and I’m continually startled by the fact that she is gone and God has been present to help me through the grief and the pain. It’s as though He is holding my hand and I am forever grateful, for I did not know how I was going to get through this unbearable loss and grief.

I have been watching the movie “The Gospel of John” over and over and it has ministered to my spirit. Watching and listening to the Lord as He talked to the people and poured out compassion and love upon them brought me closer to Him and it is giving me a greater revelation of Jesus, the One Who loved this world so much that He gave His life for it. Now, that’s love.

My life has been changed by the death of my mother and I will do the best I can to embrace those changes and lean upon the Lord for my help and strength, for He has said that He is my help and my shield. (The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. Ps.28:7)

The Lord Jesus truly is my shepherd. He leads me and guides me gently. He is never harsh with me and shows incredible patience towards me. He knows me inside out and I have a longing in my heart and soul to know Him in the very same way. I want to know Him intimately. And as I continue to walk with Him, I WILL come to know Him in just such a way. God is good. Praise His wonderful name.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Nothing

Today was an interesting day, emotion-wise. I spent it in a haze of nothingness. I went to the funeral and felt nothing. I gazed at my mother’s casket and it was as though a stranger was peering through my eyes at the tableau before me.

I did not go to the grave site. I did not want to see my mother’s casket hovering over the open hole that would shortly swallow her up. So, I took the small bear that had been on her casket, was driven home by a true family friend, and got undressed. I crawled into bed with the bear and covered myself. And dreamed the dreams of the undead.

I am grateful that I feel nothing, just a numbness that is all-encompassing. Like a wooly blanket that scratches my face. I wrapped myself in it and allowed the emptiness to fill me.

I still cannot believe that she is gone. That I will never see her again on this side of heaven. I cannot believe that casket that was wheeled past me contained her body. Mama, where are you?

I must move on, away from this loss and on to life that awaits me. It is what my mother would have wanted. She is in an amazing place now. She dwells with the Father and is watching over me now. What she could not do for me on this earth, she is accomplishing in heaven. Loving me. So, I will live my life and it will be a good one.

There will be changes made. I will write and that well. I will show this world who I am and embrace this wild ride called life. I will make my mother proud. I will make myself proud.

See me, world.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.