Katie’s World

I haven’t posted for a long time.  I am sorry to those that are my friends and who follow me.

I was all set to do some writing when my hard drive crashed over the weekend.

My world:

work: I have moved to cashier at Walmart.  I really enjoy it.  I like interacting with people and seeing the kids come through my line. One day last week a little boy found a flower in his cart and handed it to me, and he said for you.  He  stole my heart and made me glad.

home life: Matt and I are still dealing with his heart health and learning how to adjust and live.

My spiritual whitespace: I am continuing to seek rest in finding my own whitespace with God.  I have been through Fidning Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest by Bonnie Gray several times since I received my copy.  I have started a group this fall with my church.  I have been learning to continue to bring ALL of me to God.

I have time off in October to go to the Women’s Retreat in the fall with my church. I am excited.  I am still writing just  not posting much right now.  Hope to talk to you all sometime later.  Love you all.

Spiritual Whitespace: The Honest Truth With God and Others

In the past when I have been upset and angry with God, I shared it with him.  After all he was my best friend and I knew he could handle all of me and my emotions.  Since about January I have been experiencing flashbacks of several different assaults I have had.  My anxiety and depression has skyrocketed.  Panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares would leave me exhausted.  I started to become angry with God and instead of sharing I shut him out.  I told him, I don’t want to talk to you right now, I am angry.  I had no clue how to breakthrough to him and my own barrier I had built between us.

I still prayed for other people I was concerned about.  I still loved singing the songs on K-Love Radio.  I shared my heart with in skin friends and my recovery group, who I know listened to me and prayed for me.  I was working through it all with a Christian counselor.  Yet the one thing  I refused to do was talk about why I was angry with God, to him personally.  It has been several months since I really shared and wrote in my journal, “Dear God….”

I have been reading Bonnie Gray’s book Finding Spiritual Whitespace. This post is part of the  “Finding Spiritual Whitespace Blog Tour” which I am a part of, along with a group of soulful, journeying kindreds.  

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Bonnie is also the author of the blog Faith Barista.  I have been reading Bonnie’s blog now for about four years.  We have become kindreds on  journey together.  I remember two years ago as she started to write a book and began having trouble writing and blogging due to her own struggles, praying for her regularly.  She has become a dear friend who I have never meet in person, but we have exchanged emails and talked on each other’s blogs to one another.

She has been emailing me encouragement to keep going and walk the journey through.    She assured me the anger was a normal place to be in and to tell it to God.

“But there comes a time when it takes more faith to fall apart with Jesus than to stay strong enough to stop it from happening.”  pg 32

I also have another person who I remember telling me that walking into the dark parts of me with Jesus is better than walking in the light without him.

After work one day last week, I was doing some errands. I stopped and got a drink at Sonic and went to Pertle Springs. I sat in my car under a shady tree listening to K-LOVE radio watching the sun sparkle on the lake. The song Just Say Jesus came on. I just screamed out Jesus and broke the silent treatment I had been giving God because of being angry with Him. I poured to him that I was angry and how come things couldn’t be easier and when would this go away and whatever else came to mind. Another song… I didn’t know the name of it…. but the line, “I AM … holding onto you” is what I heard. I have since looked up the song,  I AM by David Crowder.  It is all still there the anxiety, depression, and flashbacks but I have more peace than I have had in awhile.

 

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Even the past couple of days have been harder, since that one moment last week.  I have had several triggers and moments of overwhelming tears and panic.  I am struggling to hold it together. I have had several friends and my dear husband, who I have been able to tell about the flashbacks and panic attacks.  I am not only walking with God in my mess, I am sharing with trusted friends.

Open-hearted vulnerability.  We seek a deeper level of friendship when stress and anxiety bit us.  We seek friends who are not afraid of the vulnerability, friends who meet us heart to heart.  Being known. This is what we find in the whitespace of friendship.  Vulnerability is what our soul needs to rest.” pg 131 

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Bonnie’s book is NOT just another book about REST.  It is a book that has helped me to look at my own soul.  In all honesty it is a book that I am taking slowly and thoughtfully.  I am not just reading it to check it off my check list.  I am letting myself connect with parts of me that previously I have left untouched and  hidden.  Please go here to learn more about Spiritual Whitespace.  

Faith Barista

Re-learning My Story

Have you ever told yourself that everything is fine and nothing is wrong?  I know I have.  I have pretended life was great and nothing hurt me.  I lied to myself so long that I believed this to be true.  I had walls around me to protect me that were lies and were actually hurting me.

The first time I shared my story my heart was racing and everything in my mind screamed, “DON’T TELL!  IT ISN’T SAFE!”  You don’t know if they can be trusted with your heart.  You don’t know if they will go gossip about you.  You don’t know what will happen.

God whispered to my heart… “Share your heart.  Tell others what is inside.  You are not alone my beloved.  You are safe hidden in my love.”

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God began to crack those walls around my heart and slowly began sharing the hurts inside with a few trusted people, including a counselor.  Cracking those barriers around my heart hurt so much but in a good way.  For the first time I was dealing with hurts of my past.  I began to tell others my story.

I found grace and acceptance and LOVE in telling my story.  I found I was not alone.  Others were hurting like me and just needed to hear that they were not alone either.  I found that telling my story encouraged others.  I found that I was able to connect with others around me by sharing pieces of my heart.

I don’t just mean sharing my story up in front of crowds of people, although I have done that now.  Just sharing parts of my story one on one with someone means I have connected with someone.  In connecting and sharing my heart often others feel free to share their own hearts!

“When we tell our stories, the truth about our lives – the broken parts, the secret parts, the beautiful parts – then the gospel comes to life, an actual story about redemption.” Shauna Niequist

Telling the secrets I kept deep inside me, gave me freedom.  Sharing tears with others let others see the real me.  Sharing fun and great things that happened with laughter let others see the real me.  God brought redemption to what I kept hidden deep inside.  God was shown to me through telling my story. I have a recovery group I share my story with weekly

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Yet somehow even though I know this is the truth of what God has brought me through in my past, I found myself the last 4-6 months or so shutting down and forgetting this, even though I still told my group.  Overwhelming fears and flashbacks paralyzed me.  I was functional in that I could go to work and do my job but that was about it.  I shared, but realized I needed more help than I just they could give me.

I have sought out a new counselor.  It has been a rough journey, wishing for my old one back, but wishing him well in his new life at the same time.  I have begun to talk through my story once again with someone new.  I am re-learning sharing my story and connecting with God and others in ways I have not before.  Take a risk.  Share your heart with someone today.

What is your story?  Who do you share your story with?

Faith Barista Whitespace Community Link UP

”Whitespace

Katie’s World

In my world this week I have: 

  • celebrated Easter by going to Saturday evening service with my husband.  It was a great time of worship and being able to celebrate the hope found in Jesus Christ. 
  • celebrated Easter by going to my family dinner at my dad’s house. I was exhausted because I had been up since 3 am to go to work first then drive there after work.  I feel asleep in the back room for about an  hour, but then got up and spent time talking with family. 
  • worked in the bakery helping with whatever was needed so others may buy what they needed to celebrate their Easter with family.  The last three days I worked the doughnut shift and also helped bag bread and wash dishes. 
  • been sick.   I had a bad cold or something. I slept for three days and called in sick early last week, but I am feeling better now. 
  • Matt and I went on a drive and found ourselves an hour away at his mom’s house.  It was fun being able to spend see her, since I work most weekends.  I was up late when I had to be at work early, but I enjoyed the time seeing her flowers, talking with her, and just being with family. 

Hope you all had a blessed Easter!  

Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Bonnie Gray has a book coming out: Finding Spiritual Whitespace.  I have been reading her blog online now for 3-4 years.  I haven’t read her book yet, but I wait with anticipation as it comes out.  Her words have been a balm to my soul.  Her words so often seemed to come from God straight into my heart with what I needed to hear from Him in that moment in time.  Her book is in the pre-order stage.  Click on the link above or here for information on pre-ordering.

Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Grateful For….

I am grateful for all the different ways you reach out to me Lord or for what you have given me to enjoy: 

  • a hug
  • a kind word
  • sunshine
  • spring breeze
  • spring snow
  • prayers of friends
  • a listening ear
  • drinking a cup of hot tea
  • curling up on the sofa under a blanket watching tv
  • phone calls 
  • a job which helps pay our bills

I am sure there are many others ways or things you provide for me daily that I don’t even realize. Help me to see with your eyes all that I have to be grateful for.  

 

 

Help Me in My Brokenness

Dear Jesus,

I have done lots of dealing with past issues in my life.  I have been in my recovery group for many years now and in counseling on and off.  You have shown yourself to me time and time again.  You have been there walking in the darkness with me.  You have been faithful to be there even during the times I don’t feel like you are there.

I am in that place again. Where I feel broken deep inside.  Fear rises suddenly and forcefully.  It overwhelms me when it happens. It comes from a place deep inside me, hidden from most people in the dark corners of my heart and mind.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.  Psalm 139: 11-12 (NIV)

I know when I walk into the deep places inside me that seem dark that they are not dark to you. You are the light that shine in the darkest parts of my heart.  Help me to trust you in my brokenness.  Help me to have courage to walk with you in those dark places.

The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
    a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
    nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
    a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
    We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it wasour pains he carried—
    our disfigurements, all the things wrong withus.
We thought he brought it on himself,
    that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
    that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
    Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
    We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
    on him, on him.  

 He was beaten, he was tortured,
    but he didn’t say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
    and like a sheep being sheared,
    he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
    and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
    beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
    threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he’d never hurt a soul
    or said one word that wasn’t true.  Isaiah 53:2-9 (The Message) 

You have been broken.  You know the abuse I suffered.  You know the assaults I had happen.  You felt the betrayal and brokenness that I feel.  You have also provided friends who walk with me through all of this and they still love me and accept me.  Help me to depend upon you in my brokenness.   Help me to say not my will but yours.  Walk with me.  Hold me.  Give me your courage.  Give me your strength.

Love,

Katie

Wounded Heart

I fell at work several weeks ago, an accident.  Wounded, I waited to see if it would heal, but after a week, it didn’t, so I went to the doctor.  Sprained elbow/Tendinitis of the elbow is the diagnosis.  No lifting with that arm over five pounds.

What about the wounds that you can not see or feel physically?

Wounds of the Heart? Wounds so deep that they are buried from your past.  How do those heal?

The saying “Time heals all wounds” just isn’t true sometimes.  I found that wounds from my past hurt more as time went on.  They were hidden deep inside.  I started having flashbacks.  I was paralyzed with fear at times.  I have felt like I am in a dark pit of pain and hurt inside my heart.  Everything I do is harder right now, including my writing.

Jesus knew pain.  He suffered.  He was wounded.

Beaten

Bruised

Pierced.

Crucified

He was betrayed by those close to HIM.  People mocked HIM. Others turned their backs on HIM.

Yet Jesus still chose to have these things happen to him.

HE KNOWS PAIN.

HE KNOWS SUFFERING.

He chose it out of LOVE for you and me.

Remembering God’s love for me keeps me going in the times that are tough.

What wounds do you hide?  Who do you share them with? Share with someone today.

 

Worthy of Being HIS Special Girl

Today has been a day of tears and feeling like I am worthless and nothing.  I received a honor at work yesterday, 1st shift associate of the month.  Instead of feeling thrilled, I wonder why I was chosen?  I doubt that I am good enough or do enough or am enough.  I feel worthless and wonder why can even God love me?

Imagephoto credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/403831600/”>Pin

I know God loves me… but so often I doubt it even though I know the truth. I doubt it so often due too so much of the struggles I have had. I have had moments where I feel HIS presence and comfort and love. Other times I don’t at all and feel I am in a waste land.

Imagephoto credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/justintosh/759210960/”>Justin Lowery</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

This is when I rely on scripture and friends to help me through and remembering where I have come from and what God has revealed to me in the past. So often just remembering MY story and the intimate times with him has helped me be able to claim the TRUTH that I am loved by God. It is what is getting me through now when I am once again not feeling like HE is there or loving me. It is helping me connecting with others and their stories.

Reading Psalm 139 over and over and over. Psalm 139 — shows his pursuit and boundless love. Where ever I try to flee and hide myself, God is there. Darkness is not dark to HIM, for he is the light which makes darkness.    Sometimes my head and heart don’t agree…. I often wonder how to make the head knowledge into heart knowledge and the truth is I can’t. It often happens only through spending time with God, being still and letting HIM continue to reveal himself to me. Right now my head and heart are not matching up. But that is where remembering Psalm 139 has helped because I want to just run and hide when I don’t feel it in my heart and I hurt.

Reading Psalm 139 over and over and over. Psalm 139 — shows his pursuit and boundless love. Where ever I try to flee and hide myself, God is there. Darkness is not dark to HIM, for he is the light which makes darkness.  Remembering HIS promises of scripture which is TRUTH.

Sometimes my head and heart don’t agree…. I often wonder how to make the head knowledge into heart knowledge and the truth is I can’t. It often happens only through spending time with God, being still and letting HIM continue to reveal himself to me. Right now my head and heart are not matching up. But that is where remembering Psalm 139 has helped because I want to just run and hide when I don’t feel it in my heart and I hurt.

As I sat at Pertle Springs today, reading my Bible and crying, God saw and heard my heart even when I could not utter a word.  He knows what is going on in my heart better than I do.  He sees me in my darkest hour and darkest corners of my heart, yet he loves me.  I am worthy.  I am HIS SPECIAL GIRL (as Bonnie over at Faith Barista also reminded me today.)  God is here with me… is the TRUTH.  I trust this truth, even when my feelings do not match up.  I was reminded of this today, several times.  I was reminded when my own words, many of them above were emailed back to me by a dear friend, Ann, asking if she can use them in a lesson she will be teaching in a couple of weeks.  (Ann and her husband Ben have a blog here).

I am loved, I am worthy.  I am HIS.

Women’s History Month – Day 11

When Krista asked me to write on the topic of a time I felt beautiful, I immediately felt great sadness and fear, yet I did not skip a beat and said yes to her for writing on this topic.  I am honored to have Krista as a friend who has encouraged me to see inside myself and reflect on what is going on in my heart.

I don’t think I am beautiful, not deep in my heart.  I can’t think of one time I truly felt beautiful.  Every time I look in a mirror I see something that is wrong with me…………. 

To read the rest of the story go to Reviving Identity, Krista’s blog.