Personal Entry: Feb. 2018
Prior to 2010, I was a discreet person. I was considered 'private'. To give you an example, in 14 years of working for the same company in various positions, a woman who managed me through every role said to me years in 'You are so serious. It's taken me 10 years to see your silly side'.
When I was at work, I worked. I was always so grateful for my job & absolutely loved every minute of it. But, I was in sales. I wanted to be Number 1. I never took emotions into my job other than to celebrate sales numbers. And yet people now know me as a fairly sensitive emotional person. So ironic.
I was all about teamwork & 'getting the sale'. And keeping my personal life, personal. And I did. I never mixed professional & personal. Ever. I learned that from my dad.
In my personal life, I was quite relaxed, laid back, fun & yet focused a lot on athletics in the city. I absolutely thrived while traveling the country & exercised constantly. I really loved to socialize & host a lot of formal cocktail parties.
And then I got sick. While receiving the flu vaccine seemed to be the explosion (and it was the tipping point), there was a few months prior where I was feeling flu like and physiologically 'off'....nothing to slow down for but, noticeable. And then what felt like a fast paced landslide.
So, when I got sick, I had just become a Christian...two weeks prior. I had just deliberately changed my life leading up to giving my life to Christ.....I changed all of my relationships (well, 98% of them). I was single. Everything felt 'new'. I was about to meet my new small group in a few weeks. I was eager to do missionary work. And I was ready for everything to change even more.
And it did. But, not the way I ever fathomed.
As I was lying in so many hospital beds, I was in the most vulnerable position of my life. I was in a position of complete 'need'. No more self sufficiency. No more independence at the time. I remember praying to walk again. I remember begging Him to please let me drive a car (I prayed that prayer for two years). I remember praying 'Please please please let me walk even a half mile'. I was absolutely terrified & desperate yet determined.
It was as if the years of 'privacy' came pouring out. The yin & yang philosophy applied. I swung in the complete opposite direction. My story poured out to anyone who would hear me. My life & story were completely 'open' for all who wanted to hear it or help or befriend me.
I equated 'Christian' to mean 'good' and 'trustworthy'. I openly trusted most who I met w/ that were Christian in my small groups, church, life. I shared everything. It wasn't uncommon for a Christian to say 'Tell me your testimony' and out came my whole life......without even slowly building trust with this person or people.
This was not wisdom.
I have been on 30 pills a day for years (minimum) and detoxing my body - ridding the body of symptoms - dispelling toxins - maintaining organ function - healing damaged systems of the body. And with it all came so much of my emotions spilling out.
Again, not wisdom. This was the opposite of wisdom.
I accept grace from God for my ignorance because this journey has been one of full on survival. People still have no idea all of the moving pieces I manage simply to stay afloat. No one will ever know the depth of the suffering other than my doctors & a few friends who have been with me since the beginning.....like my friend Laleh & her husband Brian.
God has done so much in me through it all though. I feel like He is waking me up...again....now. I feel like I have been in a washing machine & I get to come out now....I can think clearly.
With Him, you can be brand new.....in a moment's in time. You can be new...and different....now. Doesn't that leave your jaw on the floor?
I find myself in the last few months, quietly studying Dr. Henry Cloud's boundary courses, obtaining so much wise counsel & establishing new boundaries. I am establishing a new life slowly. I am not where I want to be although I appreciate where I am. I hope that makes sense.
I find myself relating to others differently. I find myself stumbling when I am asked the same questions which I now realize are so invasive. Sometimes I still answer and regret it and other times, I instill boundaries. Every change comes with new habits....new behaviors. There is a quote that I love by an 'unknown' that 'everyone wants change but, no one wants to change to experience change'. It's a bit of a riddle but, so true.
Because I have opened up my entire life to everyone, you'd be shocked the kind of invasive questions I get 'regularly'. But, to others defense, they don't think they are invasive because frankly, nothing was off limits via discussion through my trial. I went from a life of too strict of boundaries to no boundaries.
So it's up to God & myself to make changes. To show up differently even if that makes others uncomfortable. I am already in the process and feeling pretty fantastic about where I am headed.
To be introduced to God in a hospital bed - in the process of losing your career due to sickness - while losing your financial savings - while trying to create new Christian relationships while living most of the time in bed- while meeting with doctors each week - while taking 30 pills a day - while trying to keep up with bills & your home and all that comes with suffering, requires strength that no human has. But, a strength that only comes from Him. I am in awe of Him.
I have made a lot of mistakes in the process. I have sinned a lot. Thank God He forgives us. But, I have always prayed through it all. There has never been a day in my life as a Christian woman that I have not prayed for myself and others. I have a teachable heart so, I have been like a sponge to The Word. But, too much like a sponge while listening to other people.
Lastly, people do not like when you change. I can tell you that. This is probably the worst analogy but, what comes to mind. When an alcoholic stops drinking, his or her life completely changes. They change their activities, how they spend their time & who with. And the friends of the alcoholic want their friend back...to drink with. They might even insult him for his 'new life'. So they try to pull him back.
Another example is when you have two friends who eat a lot of toxic food together & one of them decides to became.....vegan (This did not happen to me haha but random hypothetical example I thought of). The one who eats poorly is going to try to pull the other back to what makes them comfortable.
But, my advice is 'Go with God'. I am. My changes aren't dependent upon what people think of them as long as my decisions are made with Him. And I have a lot of wise counsel which I am thankful for.
So, heading in a brand new direction that He prepared for me. He was just waiting for me to move my feet. And I am simply grateful I can.