Fear

April 16, 2017

If there is one thing that would change my life for the better, it would be having less fear. That is an understatement. It wouldn’t just change my life, it would revolutionize it.

I am not afraid of snakes, spiders, or bridges. I’m only a little afraid of heights and commitment. I am, however, terrified that I will not be taken care of.

I have believed in God for my entire life. But I don’t trust God. I don’t believe that God cares about me or will care for me. This is, of course, a bit of an exaggeration. I believe in my head that God cares about me, but it’s never made it to my heart.

I want that to change. I really do. I don’t want to spend sleepless nights trying to figure out what I’m going to do about housing a year from now or if I’m going to be alone when I die. I don’t want to go through every worst-case scenario and everything I’m afraid of and try to figure out what I’ll do in every possible case.

I want to actually believe God. I want to trust God. I don’t understand, but I want to know that God cares for me, cares about me, and will take care of me. I don’t want to fear the future; I want to be excited for what God will bring me.

But how?


This Too Shall Pass

May 6, 2013

I’ve talked about my nightmares before and how that’s one of the things I consider to be a miracle.  Granted, I have no idea why God ever permitted such horrible nightmares, and I’m often very angry about that, but I’m also able to be glad for the healing (although I’d really really like an explanation!)

Today I was taking a nap, suffering from allergies and Benadryl and all that fun stuff so the nap wasn’t very restful but I was having a hard time waking up.  All of a sudden, mostly asleep, I had this strong sense that the depression was back and I’d feel like this forever.  This was a pretty common element of my nightmares before and I’d often wake up and not really recover from it all day.  Today, even still mostly asleep, I felt something telling me “This will pass, this too shall pass.”  In my dream.  And I woke up and I was OK.  Minor and miraculous at the same time.


He Cares for You

January 22, 2013

I’ve been reading 1 Peter 5:7 a lot lately, in various translations.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Throw all your anxiety onto him, because he cares about you.

God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him.

Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.

I’ve been having some sort of PTSD effects from the dog situation. I’ve never been scared of dogs in my life and I’m finding myself skittish around dogs when they interact. My neighbor who was involved mentioned that her dogs are having a lot of trouble with other dogs since the incident, and I feel terrible – but what else could I have done? I put my dog down, can’t do more than that. Also I miss her and feel guilty. Not as guilty as I thought I’d feel, which is a blessing, but guilty.

I’m worried about money, and finding a new dog who is right for me (which is seeming like an impossible task now), and being single forever, and about a million other things. And I’m trying to remember in all this that God cares for me. That’s pretty big. The creator of the world cares for me. I don’t know why I believe that sometimes; it seems ridiculous, but I do believe it.


Grace and Comfort

December 24, 2012

This last week has been incredibly difficult on a personal level (I haven’t even been able to think about events on a national level because I don’t have the bandwidth). After what I described in my last post, I made the very difficult decision to put my dog to sleep. She was a wonderful dog almost all of the time but with that tiny fraction of time that she wasn’t, she was dangerous. I contacted several dog professionals who I trust implicitly. They told me, with great sadness, that there wasn’t another responsible option.

I wanted a miracle to save my dog. I didn’t get that, but I got a different sort of miracle – I actually felt God with me. There were a number of details that could have been much worse and weren’t. There was not one person who judged me for making that decision. There was not one person who expressed anything other than compassion, love, and sadness for me. No one offered suggestions for what I could have done or should have done.

One nationally known dog trainer/behavioral specialist who bills way more per hour than I can afford and who met me and Rio once made herself available to me by phone and email all week. My dog trainer who loves Rio came with me and held Rio’s paw until the end when I couldn’t handle being in the same room. A friend came over immediately after the incident when I had to deal with the situation. My brother spent the night on my floor to be with me when I had to put Rio down. Other friends texted, called, came over, and helped me clean up her toys. I can’t imagine having to do this without these people – or without the comfort I experienced from God.

This month, besides the tragedy in Connecticut, I have had two friends file for divorce, one lose her mother in a fire, one lose her brother, and several more who are dealing with anniversaries of death. And there was enough grace and compassion for me when I lost my dog.

I’m still very sad. My sister was explaining to my 2 1/2 year old niece that we weren’t going to see Rio any more and she said, “But I DO want to see her.” I do too. But I am feeling the truth of God binding up the brokenhearted, even when it’s “only” being brokenhearted about a dog.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners”


For Those of You Who Pray

December 17, 2012

please pray for me tonight.

This feels like a silly thing to ask for prayer for with all the violence against humans in the world and I have been mourning the Connecticut situation as well. But closer to home while not nearly on the same spectrum, I have an emergency dog situation and she is part of my family.

I’ve been doing really intense training with my dog around her aggression issues because she is really strong and could really hurt someone. And attacks other dogs when she is afraid. She attacked my neighbor’s dog today and wouldn’t let go. In the process, she bit both me and my neighbor on the hand. My neighbor had to get two stitches so there was a police report but since it’s her first offense they don’t mandate anything like putting her down.

However, they don’t know it’s not her first offense. It’s her third, and there were a number of other very close calls. In two of the cases, she bit a person as we were trying to separate them, and drew blood both times. I talked to my dog trainer as well as an dog aggression specialist who is really good and knows her and they both, with much crying on all sides, said that she needs to be put down. They added that I’m the one who makes the final decision and that they’ll support me in any way they can but I think they’re right.

My heart is breaking. I love this dog, and I lost my other dog two years ago and it feels like yesterday. When she’s not aggressive, which is 98% of the time, she is sweet and loving and likes to sleep in front of the space heater and snore. I love her so much. But, while everyone’s OK today, if there had been a child in front of the dog she was trying to attack, things would not be so OK. She could have easily broken my fingers or taken a few off. I’ve never seen her this bad and it was terrifying.

I don’t know if I have the strength to do the right thing and put her down and I don’t know if it is the right thing, although I suspect it is. I know she’s a dog and she won’t know what’s going on. She loves going to the vet and then she’ll go to sleep but then I have to go home without her. Please pray for strength and for knowledge of what to do. And for no guilt.

And I feel like, “Really, God, really?? With all the tragedy in the world you couldn’t leave me my most immediate source of comfort? You couldn’t leave me my dog who I love?”

again, i know it’s just a dog but I love her.


Just For Today

August 29, 2012

I feel all right again and not even especially breakable.  I feel like a normal person again (haven’t had a lot of experience with that, but some) and like maybe my meds are working.  I don’t feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I also don’t feel like I have anything exciting to celebrate like many people do.  No babies, no new house bought, no impending marriage or new boyfriend, no husband with a promotion… sometimes Facebook is hard.  I wish more people were honest and would say what was hard in their life too because then I wouldn’t feel so far below the norm.  But I know that’s not how we humans work – that’s way too vulnerable.

I want to celebrate something but right now I’m going to stick with being OK and going to sleep.  It could be much, much worse.  And I’m going to try to remember to thank God for this.


Anxiety

July 25, 2012

I made a doctor’s appointment for Friday, which is also my 37th birthday.  Going to the psychiatrist on my birthday is not really what I want to be doing, but it was the first appointment she had and I need to go.  the amount of anxiety I’ve been having lately is at a whole new level for me.  I find myself awake at night worrying about where I am going to go for Christmas (yes, I know it’s only July), who I’m going to carpool with to my friend’s wedding next month, when I’m going to be able to walk the dog, when one of my paychecks is going to come and if it’s too early to ask about it again, how I’m going to get the scratches out of the floor, if I’m a good enough dog owner, who’s going to take care of me when I’m old…Some of these are really important questions, some are not, but none of them is going to get solved in the middle of the night.  At the same time, I have random conversations repeating in my head, songs I can’t get out of my head, adrenaline running through my body, and a constant need to go to the bathroom because I am so nervous.  Needless to say, I’m not sleeping.  In fact, I was thinking about lying on the hardwood floor last night because somehow I was convinced, in my anxious sleep-deprived brain, that that would calm me down.

At the same time, I don’t want to tell anyone because I feel like I’m a horrible person who doesn’t deserve friends.

Fortunately, if there is a fortunately in all of this, I have been dealing with this mess for long enough and gone to enough therapy that I know there’s something off in my brain and that at least most of this stuff isn’t true.  And I can look back at my writing and see that fairly recently, I felt really good.

The unfortunate part is that this may mean more trial and error with meds. I tend to need new meds every few years and that is expensive, inconvenient, and sometimes terrifying.  I never know what will work, what will cause side effects, what will make things worse, and what will only work enough to make me think that this is as good as it gets for the rest of my life.

And this is what I get to do on my birthday.  I’d appreciate prayers – the last time I had meds adjusted in a major way, it worked out really well.  Chances aren’t great that it will work out that well again, but here’s hoping.