My husband and I close on our new home in 9 days!! Let me tell you, buying a home can be incredibly stressful, but really only for short periods of time. It's that hurry up and wait, hurry up and wait cycle that is time consuming then falls into a nice lull for a moment or two. Let me tell you this, we cannot be more excited to be in our new home. Settled in nice and tight for the next however many years. I can't stop day dreaming of paint, furniture, wall decor, tiles, and all the accessories that come along with the purchase of a new home. I also see how many dollar signs are attached to each dream item, and my heart sinks until I remember that really it just takes time to fill a house to make it a home.
We did make an addition to our home on Thursday, it was a little bit premature but I know that this was by far one of the greatest decisions, ever!
Meet Jameson, we call him Jamus (Jame-is) 99% of the time:
This new little one is a Husky/Lab/Shepard mix and he is quite possibly the sweetest boy ever! He has brought so much joy into my heart lately and I just know he was the best addition we could have picked. Being around him my heart feels a little more at rest, a little more healed. He has the greatest temperament, very docile, very calm! I call him my very own therapy puppy. Turns out, after speaking to his new vet, he is likely a great candidate for a service animal. I have been considering training him to be exactly that. I would love for this dude to visit kiddos in hospitals and provide love and concern for the elderly in retirement/care homes, obviously just for a visit though because I am far too in love with him to let him stay anywhere with out me.
Speaking of therapy, I have been considering talking about this on my blog. I haven't really talked about it even in person with the majority of my friends and family. Maybe it's cause I am embarrassed, or maybe I am afraid of being judged, perhaps I am most fearful of the unwanted comments I will get from some that are closest to me.
I started going to counseling. I also was told I have PTSD.
OK, ok, so when I admit that out loud I immediately shrink back into a corner because, well there are hundreds of others out there who have suffered far greater injuries and hardships than what I personally have gone through. This is one thing that I do constantly; I start comparing my brokenness to someone elses. I start to devalue my own feelings and situations because So and So had it harder, or so it seems. I've neglected my own reality that losing 3 babies has been quite traumatic, and our third loss really sealed the deal.
After a few weeks post loss I was good and ok, life felt almost back to normal, I grieved, I made a box.... then about 9 weeks after our loss I started experiencing extreme panic attacks and flash backs that would shift me from reality completely for 30 seconds or more, completely reliving situations that I'd rather not relive . There are things/people/social gatherings that I will completely avoid because it actually increases my desire to RUN and RUN far.... All this was causing an internal struggle within me... I hear far too often that as a follower of Jesus that I am really to be joyful and to have hope at all times and forget my pain and suffering because all is well, I have been saved by grace.
All these things are true my friends! But I refuse to ignore my body telling me that I have completely neglected my emotions and replaced it with guilt. Guilt that I actually feel things, guilt that although I am confident in my hope and salvation through Jesus Christ, I was still sad... Why should a believer be sad, what do we really have to be down cast over? There are loads and loads of circumstances that come knocking, and let's just be honest, they freaking suck and some times, these circumstances are unfathomably hard. We also have a responsibility to address our emotions however fleeting they may be and not ignore them. For far too long I walked in shame thinking that there was something seriously wrong with me because I was still sad, and still struggling, and still upset. I felt guilt that I wasn't joyful even in my circumstances. Although, I still firmly believe(d) that I had joy and I trust that this will work together for my good and His glory. So if I trust God, why am I still grieving....
All this neglect manifested itself into anxiety and panic and flashbacks.
My shame and embarrassment at my lack of ability to cope successfully threw me into a pit of keeping this secret all to myself, my husband, and one close friend. I decided to open up about this because I want to be real. And being real means that even in my pain, even in the trials, even in the crap that comes in (heck, even in the amazing times), I still love Jesus and He still loves me, despite how screwed up I am. I've come to realize that having these emotions (that I've neglected) is ok. It's normal, and my emotions are a gift from God as a tool to help navigate me through. Am I to dwell and wallow in my misery forever, well no. But when I feel sadness and sorrow, I shouldn't ignore it simply because I was taught I should be joyful and not caught up in my crappy circumstances.
So what does joy look like when you are in a pit? For me, my joy really only stems from the confidence that I have that God who created me very intricately, loves me wholly and fully beyond my brain and body's capability to understand. Joy is my belief that my circumstances are only temporary and he will redeem was what lost and redeem what has been broken, even though right now my doubt may be stronger than ever, and he knows that full well. Joy is: that I am completely, undeservingly accepted into His grace, flaws and all, fixed or not fixed.
Trauma is real, and loss is a straight up battle. It robs you of the initial joy and replaces it with fear. It plays with your head and tampers your logic. It imprints memories in your mind you'd much rather forget, and holds you hostage until you learn to validate your feelings and your thoughts and navigate through them to find the truth and accept that the Lord has a bigger picture and we only see a tiny fraction of the story he's creating. I think for a lot of us, walking through whatever it might be, hit this road block and that's when we start asking why... How come.... when...? If we just keep pressing through and hanging on just a little longer, we'll see another sliver of the story. And sometimes the next little sliver still doesn't feel good enough, and that's ok too. Just keep walking, just keep pushing forward....
H - hanging
O - on
P - persistently
E - everyday
Hope and joy doesn't mean to slap a smile on your face when you want to cry. It doesn't mean to hide your sorrow and "fake it 'till you make it". In your deepest sorrows, on the highest mountain, in the lowest valley, hope and joy simply means He, the author of our lives, still loves us, regardless of our feelings, our trials, or roadblocks. I'm tired of the guilt, and I think that's why I am compelled to throw this out in the open; to show my "uglies" and be a little more human, but also a lover of Jesus that isn't afraid to tackle hard issues and be real.
All that being said, the last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. Going, going, going. Appointments, work, house, puppy, life... Throw in car troubles for extra measure (at least my Monday turned into a catch up day, blogging day, and a home cooked meal kind of day). 9 more days!! EEEK! Hopefully the next time I blog I'll be doing so from my new living room, or kitchen table... Perhaps even out by the pool...
Say what?! A Pool?! Yes.. Yes indeed, the Lord spoiled us!