Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It feels like death is the only way out? You're right. But not yours.

Someone typed the keywords "suicide to hurt husband" and stumbled upon the guest post by Ricci who's husband committed suicide last Christmas. (read Ricci's heartfelt post HERE)
There's no way for me to reach out personally to this woman who's obviously hurting, and though I trust that the Spirit will intervene where it's God's will, I cannot just sit by and pray quietly for this person. My heart and sobs scream out for her brokenness.

I have something to say to you, whoever you are.
So bear with me, as I type through these tears:

Dear Google Searcher,

I don't know you. 
I don't know how you're hurting.
I don't know how hopeless you must feel.

I don't know the desperation behind that Google search.

But I know the One who does know.

It feels like death, blood, is the only thing that will make things better?
You have no idea how right you are.
But it's not your blood that will fix things.

The blood that will set things right was already shed.
The blood that will take away all your pain was willingly poured out for you, so that yours wouldn't have to be.

I know that you are loved.
I know that you were fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of the God who set aside His glory and was murdered for you so that He would be with you again.
I know that you were bought at the highest possible price because you are loved.
I know the One who sent His Son to go spill His Own blood on your behalf.

There is something better for you.
Your life does not have to be defined by the anguish you're experiencing. 

This is a fucked up world.
But this is not the way things were supposed to be.
And this is not the way that things will always be.

I urgently wish that you would call me and barf up all the feelings you're experiencing. 
I wish you would trust me with your deepest longings and painful memories because saying those things out loud to another person causes them to lose their power over you.

I pray that the Spirit would reveal to you exactly how much you are adored. 

Why do I care?
Because I love you.
Because I'm also made in the image of God.
Because I'm empowered by the same Spirit who was in Christ.
I don't know you, but I know the One who made you.
And I know that He loves you. 
That's where my love for you comes from.

If you're hurting, if you're desperate, if you're feeling the overwhelming weight of blood being the only way out, please, PLEASE call this number: 1-800-273-8255

Don't be afraid. 
Just call.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Don't Get Cuffed

Is This Love? 

The Urban Dictionary defines "Cuffing Season" this way:
During the Fall and Winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be "Cuffed" or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed. 
"Lonely and desperate"??
Pathetic much??

Queen Genevieve and the Empty Coffee Cup

Bozeman, Montana 2011 photo by Deeapaulitan
Once upon a time...

There lived a happy little family who was on the road to achieving Financial Peace. There was King Eric, Queen Genevieve, Princess Evie (9), and Princess Kaylie (1).

One day, King Eric heard God speak. Queen Genevieve, as well as trusted royal advisers, confirmed what God had said. 

The one room cabin on 20 acres in Paradise Valley
As you know, when God speaks, you listen and obey. 

So, six days before Christmas, without a job lined up, and without knowing a soul, the happy little family packed up whatever they could fit into their car, and moved into a one room cabin on 20 acres of land in Emigrant, Montana. 

It was a simple time of being together, playing board games, reading their Bible, and playing in the snow. A trip into town to get the mail and go to the general store was the highlight of the week! 

During all the excitement of moving to a new land, King Eric and Queen Genevieve fell away from the carefully thought-out budget, and were too relaxed about keeping track of their spending, however frugal.

So one night, over a shared cup of joe at a coffee shop in the next town over, King Eric and Queen Genevieve finally sat down to have a long overdue budget meeting.

Much to their dismay, the King and Queen discovered that, once everything outstanding went through, their bank account would be completely empty... 

And the gas tank in the royal car was nearly empty.
And Princess Kaylie's diaper box was just about empty.
And the royal cupboards in the little cabin were almost empty.

It was in this moment that Queen Genevieve looked down and realized that the coffee cup was also empty. 
(Read the coffee cup story here: Part 1 & Part 2)

This realization broke Queen Genevieve, and she cried out to God to change her heart from trusting in money... 
...to trusting in Him. 

The King and Queen had already written out a check for an offering to God, but they had not given it away yet. But the royal couple knew that God could be trusted. So they gave the money away, as planned.

Figuring out how to feed a family of four with whatever bits of food already existed in the cupboards was difficult for this domestically-challenged Queen! And the whole royal family quickly grew tired of lentils, pancakes, and potatoes. 

Little did Queen Genevieve know, this metamorphosis of her heart trusting in God instead of in money would be more painful than child birth. When the pain became unbearable, the Queen would crawl into the bed in their one room cabin, sobbing, and crying out to God.

One day, as King Eric prayed over the tired meal of lentils, he said to God, "If we had nothing to feed our children, we would still praise you on the first day without food, on the second day, on the third day, and every day after that."

When King Eric spoke those words, Queen Genevieve knew it was true, that she trusted God to provide.

And they lived happily ever after...

Discover the WHOLE STORY of 
the West Family's journey to Montana:
Princess Evie (9) & Princess Kaylie (1), ready for the drive!
#1 - Going West

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Shattered By Words

In one of my recent posts entitled "I Can Dish It Out But I Can't Take It" (which you can read HERE), I talked about this thing that happens when I'm called to defend my writing. 

It's this debilitating panic that rushes through me. 
Even an innocent request for clarification makes my heart pound and my face flush. 

I'm still questioning why this is happening! 
It's embarrassing and annoying! 

I'm pretty sure that my inability to accept criticism comes across as "prideful" or "arrogant". 
I'm sure because I've been accused of it.

And though I know I have plenty of room to grow in putting on the humility of Christ, this isn't coming from a place of pride!
It comes from a place of knowing I'll be crushed under the weight of opposition, so I run and hide to protect myself, to protect my heart.

Like I said, embarrassing. 

I think it's because I'm pouring my heart out on paper. 
It sucks when someone stomps on your heart, ya know? 

I'm more vulnerable in my writing than in any social situation. 
You will see more of me in my writing than you will anywhere else. Ever. 
Every time I write, I punch that fear of rejection and judgement in the face and click "publish". 
So when there's push back on my writing, there's push back on ME.
Uncomfortable much? 

But God has made me to write. 
The words flow out of me. 
I need to get those thoughts into words, like I need food or water or air... or hyperbole. 

In that last post, I wrote, 
I think my inability to challenge or accept criticism is because some part of me isn't fully believing in and resting in the fullness of the Gospel. 

"God is gracious, so I don't have to prove myself.
God is glorious, so I don't have to fear others.
God is great, so I don't have to be in control.
God is good, so I don't have to look elsewhere."
I'm still figuring this out as I go.
I can't stop writing. 
I can't stop being vulnerable in my writing. 

But, by God's grace, I need to be able to handle people's comments. I need to not be shattered every time comments come. It just extra sucks when it comes from unexpected places.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Karma Sucks

I deserve death.
I deserve to suffer.
So do you.
Even my children do.

I make choices every day, knowingly and in ignorance, that I dig my grave deeper. 

If Karma were real, I would be so screwed. 
So would we all!

But you and I don't just deserve death because of our actions. 
We deserve death because we were born fallen creatures, rebelling against God with every breath and fiber of our being.

We deserve to be punished because we've turned away from God.
We deserve death because we're sinners.

Thankfully, Karma isn't actually a thing.

Sure, we have to put up with consequences from our actions, but it's not a "what goes around, comes around" thing. 

Knowing that people would turn against Him, God had already planned for Another to take our deserved punishment so that we wouldn't have to endure it. 
That's mercy: Holding back something bad that should be coming your way.

Christ took my punishment in my place. 
And He took yours.

But He didn't stop there.

Christ didn't just take the punishment that was meant for us and say, "now good luck with the rest of your life."
He also gave us grace: Giving us something good that we have not earned. 

Thank God Karma isn't real. 
Instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop, I get to rest in the experience of God's mercy and grace.

It's because Christ died, defeated death, and rose again, that I get to live a life free from the fear of Karma, knowing that I'll never be able to do anything to repay Him for His sacrifice.

Need reminding in gospel fluency?

"God is gracious, so I don't have to prove myself.
God is glorious, so I don't have to fear others.
God is great, so I don't have to be in control.
God is good, so I don't have to look elsewhere."

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Eff this. I'm going back on Zoloft

Last December, I wrote a post called The "D" Word (which you can read here) about my depression.

My doctor, my husband, and I decided to try Zoloft.

After just a few days, my husband noticed a difference in me, even before I did.

It's now August, and for the first time in my life, I really like who I am. 

  • I like who I am!
  • I feel like I've finally become the Genevieve I was supposed to have been all along.
  • I can think more clearly.
  • My writing just flows out of me.
  • I can pray.
  • By God's grace, I can sense The Spirit even more clearly.
  • I'm happy with my body just the way it is.
  • I don't feel like every little not-good thing throughout the day, from dirty diapers, to tantrums, to bank statements, to haters, compound one on top of another, sending me spiraling into a funk. 

I was genuinely fearful of stopping Zoloft, afraid that I'd go back to the place where I was when I started it. But, thanks to Jon Acuff's START Experiment, I decided to punch that fear in the face and, under my doctor's supervision, wean off of it. When I announced it via facebook to the START community, I was literally shaking.

What a hot mess that ended up being!
I think my facebook status update said something like,
"Eff this. I'm going back on Zoloft."

But it doesn't have a hold on me any more. 
I'm no longer fearful of stopping Zoloft, when the time comes.
(It was never supposed to be a forever thing, and I don't want to be on it if we become pregnant again)

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy this Genevieve.