Love One Another Deeply

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I have recently learned that it is not okay to withdraw from relationships… not just not okay, it’s a sin! Go figure! It makes us feel terrible to withdraw anyway, regardless of us withdrawing for emotional safety. 1 Peter commands us to love one another deeply, and Proverbs 17:17 says that a friend loves at all times. Withdrawal is a form of self-protection, which is meeting our needs through our own  means. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not a sin in and of itself, it is our brain’s natural response to dealing with extreme stress. PTSD does, however, make certain sins feel safe, including withdrawal, minimizing our own and others’ sins, avoiding conflict, controlling, manipulating, anger, or being judgmental and condemning… They are all in the name of self-protection from further pain, but not what God would have for us.

I am learning that my perceived needs, which include security and love, are not needs according to God. God has already freely provided them for us through Christ, but they are not needs… they are privileges. For the longest time, I have thought that if I could simply find someone, completely unassociated with my trauma, to love me, I would be well on my way to healing. I desired unconditional love that does not trigger. Guess what! That does not exist!

I would find someone to mentor me but I’d panic and push them away as soon as I began to feel vulnerable. I have even begun to push away the most important people in my life: my husband and children, because they make me feel most vulnerable. It’s the feeling of vulnerability that scares me. I am finding that I cannot run from feelings.

I have tried time and again to even push God away… Maybe because He was there during my trauma and allowed it; maybe because I feel debilitated in my PTSD at times; maybe because He isn’t healing me as quickly as I desire. But try as I might, He will not leave. He chose me before the foundation of the world, and determined every step I would make before I was born (Psalm 139). He knows when I will choose to make my bed in hell, and when I will choose to look to Him. He knows my self-preoccupation and He knows my desire to glorify Him. I can be as angry at Him as I want, and yet it does nothing but hurt me those around me. It’s miserable.

What’s my alternative to self-protection? Accept what God has for me, and look to Him for contentment and peace. In therapy, it’s called radical acceptance. And it is radical! But it also requires the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit to be okay with what God has given me, including my trauma. My training tells me to explain to my clients that they must find their own way into radical acceptance and healing, but I do not know anyone who has healed from complex trauma in their own means. I believe walking with the Lord is the only way. As I seek to glorify God in my thoughts and actions, He will soften and transform my heart. It is the most difficult task I have ever undertaken, because it includes a complete change in mindset, but “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Galatians 4:13, NKJV).

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
 -1 Peter 4:8

Image credit: http://www.ibelieve.com/inspirations/love-each-other-deeply.html

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Why I dropped to the half marathon- I’M PREGNANT!

I’m pregnant!

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I have been very quiet on here lately because we’ve been keeping the pregnancy quiet- and that’s all I want to blog about! I am 12 weeks 5 days pregnant, and due at the end of March 2015. We were able to see the baby on ultrasound yesterday, and he (or she) was hanging upside down kicking his legs, completely oblivious to the outside world.

We are a little overwhelmed at the prospect of having three babies to take care of, but excited- both at the very same time! I have quit therapy because of the new baby, though. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. My therapist is a trauma therapist, and I do not want to process my trauma while I am pregnant. It’s hard enough to keep my emotions in check with ginormous hormones and a big fat belly, so I think I’ll spend the next year focusing on what she has taught me. We will keep in contact, and perhaps in the future, if I need it, I will return to finish what we started.

Right now, I am focusing on meeting my children’s needs and trying to get food on the table regularly- meals is my Achilles heel. We are also now the proud owners of TWO businesses, one of which has been running for the past two generations. My husband is the third generation to take it over. We are excited but again, overwhelmed! 🙂

I am also strongly considering changing my blog url and my username. I am ready to move on from being identified with my mental illness. I still want to bring awareness to it, but I am not a victim. I am a survivor. I want my blog to reflect this. I am tired of dwelling on my struggles. I am ready to move forward and focus on my health, not my past.

I will post on my half marathon next. It was quite an experience!!!

 

Happy birthday to my son

My son had a birthday on Saturday! Here is a letter that I wrote to him.

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To my handsome four year old,

Today is your birthday! Four years ago today, I held my breath until I heard your soft cry on the warming table. Only after you began crying did I remember to ask if you were a boy or girl! You came into this world a bit too early, and yet you met all of your milestones early! You were a scrawny newborn who quickly grew into a 90th percentile weight (and 30th percentile height) fat little baby. Today, you are 75th percentile height and weight, and are a well-proportioned little kid with 6 pack abs and clearly visible calves and quads. Those wrestling sessions with Daddy sure are paying off!

This has been your biggest year yet! You started swimming lessons!! You are the happiest kid in the pool, laughing hysterically the whole time! You also started reading. You can read all of the Bob Books Set 1 fluently and comprehend it all! I am so proud of you. You can sound out words like “peekaboo” and “sinking,” which seems phenomenal to me!

You also became a big brother. Wow. I am seeing your empathetic side flourish as you spend time with your sister. One time when I let someone hold her, you asked, “Where’s our baby girl?” We have caught you on video talking to her and giving her toys, and trying the console her when she starts crying. Being a big brother was a huge adjustment for you, and yet your love for her brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for being so gentle.

Right now, your favorite food is the Super Kingpin quesadilla from Moe’s! Everyone is so surprised when you eat it all! Your favorite color is green (on most days). You have never tasted candy, and you choose carrots or peas for snacks. Your favorite movies are anything Thomas Trains. You love all music, and you have been known to bust out dance moves during church worship. And we don’t even go to *that* kind of church!

I love you so much, and you have taught me more than you could ever know. Patience, gentleness, prayer. My favorite moment of all time was the first time you were being corrected for a tantrum and you stopped crying and asked God to forgive your sins and help you make wise choices. Daddy and I had not taught you that, but it was evident at that moment that God was speaking to your heart.

Your smile melts my heart. I hope you have a happy birthday. I love you more than you could ever imagine.

Mommy

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