Thursday, April 30, 2009

What A Friend I Have In....?

If you know the worlds to the song, It's "What A Friend I Have I Jesus!"
I've been thinking about the meaning of friends and friendship. This last year I've dropped a lot of folks who were under the "friend" title that I really didn't care to have there any longer. At a very young age my siblings and I were taught how to be unselfish and learn to serve the community and others. The good part is we enjoy doing things for others. The bad part is, sometimes we do what we should for ourselves because we're do so much for others. I believe I have found the balance. I will no longer do more for someone than they're willing to do for themselves. When service becomes a "cumbered" service, I'm done serving. When I start to feel resentment and can no longer give with the spirit of Christ, I'm done. There are several things that bring about this personal balance.
Over the last 10 months I hit the emotional/mental rock bottom. I believe, had I not fulfilled my spiritual self I would have come out so strongly. I cannot stress how important it is to nourish your spirit and soul with the Words of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ on a regular basis. You NEVER know when your testimony is all you have to keep you looking forward each day. I not only had to depend on my Heavenly Father heavily to know and provide for my needs, I have to rely heavily on family and friends to provide for my needs as well. I was put in a position where I had to forget about those around me and focus on my 100%.

Each of us are a bit selfish from time to time. However when I say I had to focus on me 100% I mean, in a way very few can possibly imagine, that I didn't know what day it was on a regular basis. Even now, when I start to stressed or overwhelmed, my memory and recall time will basically start to fail me. It's like speaking to someone with Dementia, they will ask the same questions over within a matter of 10 minutes. The other day I went to go to bed and my sister asked me if I was done looking in the fridge.
I asked her
"was I just in the fridge?"
"Yes" she said...
"Foreal?" I asked

"Uh-huh, you left the door open" she said.
"oh! what was I lookin for?" I asked?

" Ummm.... I don't know. But If you're done I'll close it."
"I think I'm done Since I don't even remember being in it."

Apparently I've left the front door open when I've gone Upstairs for a 2 hour nap
I paid the heating bill 3 times and forgot to pay the electric bill which almost got cut off.
I've double the payment on the phone bill.
I left the stove on for 2 hours, but forgot to cook what I turned it on for.

I welcomed my friend to my new home. He had been here before. It was about 4 days after i got blind sided with PTSD. Which was in June. I welcomed him in October.

I would cook huge meals in the middle of the night because when I get frustrated or anxious or upset, I cook. And then put all the food away.

There were days when my goal for the day was to get out of bed and get dressed.
Eat 2 meals for the day even if I weren't hungry
Answer the phone and doorbell when it rang.
remember which day of the week it is.

This last Saturday I lost 4 lbs of brown sugar. Bills I thought were paid off aren't. Some bills are caught up for the next 3 months. Not sure but I think there's a couple things in collection. I'm sure they'll be calling soon to remind me.

I've seen pictures of me from summer of 2008 and have no Idea where we were and what we did. But I looked like I was having a fabulous time in most of them.
I can remember about 5-7 days of my whole summer.
I can remember bursting out crying when I tried to explain the situation and hyper-ventilating into hysteria, and then falling asleep for 3-4 hours afterward simply by trauma exhaustion. I remember waking up in hysterics and crying.
I remember sleeping with all 7 of my raggedy ann and andy dolls and holding them close to me for comfort and protection.

I have a TON of self portrait from my cell phone. And I look like a different person in all of them. It was almost like you could see what my spirit and mind was purging me off.

Any Ideah what it's like to wake up in the middle of the night with a knee brace and forget why you even have the darn thing and what happened?? (slid down some stairs like I was sliding into a baseball base and landed with one leg in front and one folded behind in a "hurdle" position.)*ouch*

People wanted to me teach their lessons for them or pick up a child from school or make a dish for a funeral make phone calls for this or that. People wanted me to help chaperon this function or serve at that function or help set up and take down chairs and decorations.
I would turn them down. For the most part I didn't want ANYONE in my personal space. I didn't want anyone near me, or talking to me or even approaching me.
I have never known my self esteem to be this low as an adult.
I remember 1 day while visiting a friends in Michigan I put a couple of things in the wrong place after cleaning their kitchen and got scolded for "changing their life" or some weird thing.

What I remember most about my trip to Michigan was how I felt, not particularly what I did while there. I think we ended up on a cruise to Canada for a day. I remember feeling secluded from friends and family and in the way and unsupported most of the time. I"m not sure now, if it were wise for me to have gone in that condition. My self esteem was at it's lowest point and I felt it sinking lower. There were some fun things I remember about my trip there, but for the most part...i probably should not have gone.

Anyway my point is this: There were literally times when I didn't know what day it was, where I was at or what was truly going on around me. I was faced with letting people know I just couldn't do whatever they were or were going to ask of me. I just wasn't going to happen because I had to focus on me and getting better.

Throughout all this process I feel as if the Lord opened my eyes to a few things. I began to see in some of my friends what came across to me as extreme selfishness. I began to recognize who will take (even from a weak person) and who will give back to edify. I began to recognize drama... who causes and creates it and who keeps it going. I began to recognize friends who manipulate, lie, cheat, justify, hold double standards and have no desire to recognize their own shortcoming while pointing out yours. I recognized who asks for help or advise on how to make things better, and then get offended or defensive when that question is answered. I recognized who keeps their word and who only speaks their words.
I pretty much knew these things for the most part and overlooked much of it. During my journey through all of this, I gained a huge disliking for these things and those who practiced and lived their lives with these things included. I learned to take myself from the drama. I learned to tell people my needs while also helping them with their own.
As I gained knowledge about all these things the most wonderful started to happen: I lost a desire for the company of these people. Not having them around anymore made room for people who truly care. People who value friendship. People who know how to give as well as receive. People who are able to look inside themselves and see where they may have been wrong, and can evaluate the weight of it and make adjustments where needed. People who I now believe are more like myself and who I want to become.

As a child we are under the impression that a friend is someone who stands by us, supports us as and helps us no matter what. This is only partially true as adults.

Age and wisdom has taught me that I do not wish to have friends who support me and justify my wrong doings. I do not need people to be by my side in my desire to do the wrong things. This is what I would have expected in 6th grade, 8th grade 10th grade.

As I try to grow closer to my Father in Heaven, I don't NEED friends who are going to help me get in trouble, disrespect myself by disrespecting others. I can do bad all by myself. True friends... REAL friends will call you on your crap. Real friends are in your face letting you know when you are out of line. They're not afraid to speak their opinion because they know you truly value and respect it. And you would not be afraid to speak your to them because you value and respect what they have to say. They are slow to jump on the defensive. When someone is quick to jump on the defensive or justify, they have failed to take the info given to them evaluate, internalize and see where it can apply. I have learned that true friends are not reactive, they are proactive. There's not a need to run to and fro and take surveys from everyone around them to prove if your comment is true or untrue. We know ourselves better than anyone else knows us. And we know when we need reinforcements to Justify and we know when should go within ourselves... have that come to Jesus meeting and improve.

I've been running around and dealing with "Justifiers" for a while. Let me take this opportunity to say to them.... I really didn't believe you anyway so no need to try and explain. The fact that they try to explain in the first place is more proof of a guilty conscience to me. Normally I will stop and evaluate (try to discern) the true meaning or intent. If I need clarification I'll ask.

I feel I've been very blessed this last year to go through all that I have. In my days of laying on the couch wondering when I would get back to 100% I never once felt resigned to the condition I was in. I never felt as if I would be weak, forgetful, "loopy" and confused for the rest of my life. I never felt alone or abandoned. I never felt revenge or "why me." I felt since I gonna be going through it to just do what ever was needed to get better. I always felt.. "This too shall pass." Because "It came to pass" it doesn't come to stay. My memory may never be the way it was. I may always suffer nausea in certain situations that make me nervous. I might be another 5 years before I can comfortably go out in public and not feel anxious or nervous about certain social Situation or people too close into my personal space w/o being invited. But I know that I am surrounded by family and GOOD friends. I know that I am well taken care of and should anything more happen to me, I WILL be well taken care of. I am in good company of those who take AND give just as much. I am surrounded by those who do not and will not take advantage of what I have to offer selfishly. I know that those who I NOW call friends, I can come to them in any condition and be safe physically, mentally and spiritually. My name is safe in their mouths. My character is safe in their mouths. My life is safe in their hands. And theirs in mine.

This knowledge and peace makes my life fulfilling. I do not miss those who have been left behind. In doing so I have freed up extra time. I have less drama. No more emergencies that need my being taken care of. I have less stress. I have more time for me and my family. I am happier. I have never felt such peace and joy.

I am so grateful for My neighbors, family, neighborhood, old and new coworkers, former and current bishops, Michelle @ LDS Family Services who guided me and helped me work it all out.
I'm grateful for a Father In Heaven who knows EXACTLY what each of us need to go through to over come our weaknesses and gain strength and experience for each phase of life we will go through. I'm grateful for his timing in know WHEN we need to move forward instead of staying put and floating around w/o the progression we all need.

I'm Grateful for Jesus Christ. For his willingness to go through the pains of my last 10 months Long before I or even my parents and grandparents were born. I'm grateful he sent to me the comfort and protection I needed in my many many moments of weakness. WHAT A FRIEND I HAVE IN JESUS!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

For God So Loved The World...


"The Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless. The Apostle Paul said, "If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and [our] faith is also vain."

In all the history of the world there have been many great and wise souls, many of whom claimed special knowledge of God. But when the Savior rose from the tomb, He did something no one had ever done. He did something no one else could do. He broke the bonds of death, not only for Himself but for all who have ever lived—the just and the unjust.

When Christ rose from the grave, becoming the firstfruits of the Resurrection, He made that gift available to all. And with that sublime act, He softened the devastating, consuming sorrow that gnaws at the souls of those who have lost precious loved ones.

I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross.

On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth.

Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day they stood triumphant.

On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain.

Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were both overcome with grief and despair. The superb man they had loved and honored hung lifeless upon the cross.

On that Friday the Apostles were devastated. Jesus, their Savior—the man who had walked on water and raised the dead—was Himself at the mercy of wicked men. They watched helplessly as He was overcome by His enemies.

On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled.

It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.

I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world's history, that Friday was the darkest.

But the doom of that day did not endure.

The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.

And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.

Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.

But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.

No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.

I testify to you that the Resurrection is not a fable. We have the personal testimonies of those who saw Him. Thousands in the Old and New Worlds witnessed the risen Savior. They felt the wounds in His hands, feet, and side. They shed tears of unrestrained joy as they embraced Him.

After the Resurrection, the disciples became renewed. They traveled throughout the world proclaiming the glorious news of the gospel.

Had they chosen, they could have disappeared and returned to their former lives and occupations. In time, their association with Him would have been forgotten.

They could have denied the divinity of Christ. Yet they did not. In the face of danger, ridicule, and threat of death, they entered palaces, temples, and synagogues boldly proclaiming Jesus the Christ, the resurrected Son of the living God.

Many of them offered as a final testimony their own precious lives. They died as martyrs, the testimony of the risen Christ on their lips as they perished.

The Resurrection transformed the lives of those who witnessed it. Should it not transform ours?"

The Resurrection transformed the lives of those who witnessed it. Should it not transform ours?

Should we believers of God and followers of Christ be the first to "Stand as Witnesses of God AT ALL TIMES and IN ALL THINGS and IN ALL places?"

Our belief and love of God our Father and in our Savior Jesus Christ should be reflected in our speech, actions and associations. There should not be one part of our lives that doesn't reflect our belief in them. Each thing we acquire should be humbly accepted with thanks and gratitude to them. We should seek to build up their kingdom and honor them each day and not only when it is convenient in times of trouble, sorrow and desolation.
And those who don' know them should feel as if they do BECAUSE they know us.

As we reflect upon the life...

....and Death of Jesus Christ let us know within the vast reaches of our hearts and minds that Jesus has suffered the betrayal, loneliness, deciet, manipulation,lies, heartache, and every other pain and injustice known to all mankind, such was the love he had for us. As we rise up on easter morning and face whatever our lives decisions have brought before us let us not remember the misconception that is was nails that held Jesus on the cross. For it was his LOVE FOR US and the WILL OF GOD his father, nothing more, that held Jesus on the cross.

***The highlighted portion of this blog are the Words spoken by Elder Joseph B Wirthlin in the October 2006 General Conference Session. I couldn't think of a more suitable start for the next 3 days to begin to celebrate the Easter Holiday****

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments
Hand in Hand


I earned some temporary wings!