Monday, September 29, 2008

When Vulnerability meets reality

I have to share a funny store with you. I Posted a few weeks ago on how I am having to make myself vulnerable to Daniel and I have been doing a great job at it and I love it, but this weekend I had my biggest vulnerable moment with him. We had gone to Nashville for the weekend and we were staying with my uncle and aunt. We had been at the mall for a little while on Saturday and I started not feeling well. Achy legs, didn't feel like I could hold my body up, just cruddy feeling so we headed home. I tried napping but that didn't work and I got really frustrated. I started talking to Daniel about it and I started feeling incredibly claustrophobic, which is usually the first sign that I am about to have a serious emotional break down. I realized I was so terrified to break down in front of him, not because I was afraid he couldn't handle it, but because I know I push people away when I get upset. I have been feeling the need to cry for weeks now and haven't been able to and I think I have realized that deep down inside I wouldn't cry because I didn't want to push him away. I explained to him that alot of times I feel the need to cry and I don't have anything to cry about and don't know why I feel that way but generally I feel better after a good sob. I told him that I didn't want to tell him I needed space because my heart was saying let him hold you and comfort you but my head was saying you just have to breath. It's when I am held tightly when trying to cry that things get really ugly and I tend to scream in fits of rage. I explained this to him and he asked me why I needed to cry and why I felt I couldn't. After repeating several times 'I don't know I just can't cry' I burst into tears, sobbed my eyes out, explained to him that I don't ever want to be one of those wives that runs and hides at the first sign of conflict and I don't want to hurt him and push him away because I need to breath. Within a few minutes and several sobs later I felt so much better! I told Daniel how crucial this moment was because so far it was my biggest moment of vulnerability. I was allowing him to see part of the cry of my heart, the area that in the past I have been so quick to anger. We talked to my mom about it last night and I explained that when i was younger I didn't care to push my parents away when i was upset because I knew no matter what they would still love me, they would still stay, but at any point Daniel has the ability to leave, even though I know he won't. Saturday night I was talking to my mom on the phone and I told her of my little emotional break down and her first question was 'how's Daniel?' I bust out laughing and said don't worry he's fine. She said is he still going to marry you? And he said Yes, I still love your daughter and I am still going to marry her.....I have a feeling my emotions where my mom's biggest fear also. :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

The next chapter of my life starts right here.....

Here is a picture of me and Daniel at Metcalf Bottoms on Labor Day. I would love to be all mushy and gushy and tell you what a wonderful man he is, but I still am very speechless because of how blessed I am.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Vulnerability is not a weakness

Vulnerability is a characteristic that I have lacked for many years and had no desire of aquiring. My outlook on life has been if you want something done, and done right, you better do it yourself. I didn't like asking for help, prayer, money, anything! I felt some kind of pride in being able to say I did it all by myself, and whenever something went wrong, I never understood why. I have been hurt by many relationships in the past therefore I tend to keep this wall up when I get to know new people. I only let them in so far until I decide that it is enough and we don't need to dive any deeper into each others lives and hearts. I liked to stay in the "safe zone."

As me and Daniel started dating I wanted to desperately open up to him, but the outcome of past circumstances was telling me 'don't open up, because if you do, it gives him full reign to destroy your soul like so many have done in the past.' As we spent more time together and our feelings became stronger for each other I really began to battle with what my heart and my mind were telling me. I prayed desperately that I would have the strength and courage to open up to Daniel, so I decided the best way to get the ball rolling was to talk to him about it face to face and express my fear. We had lunch one day after church and I told him that if I come across indifferent it is not how I truly feel, but I am trying my best to make myself vulnerable to him. I have learned that it is only when we make ourselves vulnerable to someone that we not only give them full reign to hurt us, but to love us.

It hit me last night that we not only have to make ourselves vulnerable to others, but to God. It is when we open the door and say ok God, come in, use me, heal me, work through me that he can show us the vast measure of his love. I have made myself vulnerable to God to say use me the way you see fit, if you have in your plan for us to move after we are married, then so be it. By making myself vulnerable to Him and really allow him to teach me, I have been overwhelmed by his perfect timing and the amount of love I have felt from him over the past few weeks.

What I once saw as a weakness, a longing, a need, I now see as a door that has opened my life up to bigger and better things.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Medicine only goes so far, then comes God

For about the last year I have suffered from extreme exhaustion, restless sleep night after night, and aches all over my body like when you have the flu. I thought for several months that it was just because I was working long hours chasing 3 kids around. Once I moved back to the Smokies I wasn't working and I wasn't feeling any better. I knew that something wasn't right, I just didn't know what. I heard about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and its symptoms were very similar to what I was feeling. I went to my doctor and she said that it sounded more like Fibromayalgia than CFS. Fibromayalgia is a hereditary disease and a few of my family members on both sides have it, there is no cure, and the cause is still unknown. I have never been big on taking medicine so I wanted to check out some other options. My mom scheduled me a meeting with a holistic doctor to see what vitamins I could possibly take to help. I explained my symptoms and he said it sounded like textbook fibromayalgia and he gave me a list of vitamins to take and foods I should and should not eat. I've been taking my vitamins daily since the middle of July and they are actually helping some. I have good days and bad days when it comes to my aches and pains, but we have yet to figure out why I just can't seem to get a good nights sleep. When I get really tired my eyes have a hard time focusing and I feel cross-eyed. Me and Daniel have dubbed it cross-eyedis.

Today has been one of those bad days. I've been laying on an ice pack most of the day feeling like I have a half dozen knives in my lower back. This has given me plenty of time to think.... Every morning when Daniel and I talk he asks me how I slept, how I feel, and/or if my back hurts, and every morning, I give him an answer that is the same or similar as the morning's before. I slept like a rock but I feel like I've been run over by a truck, my back feels blah, my body is get my drift. Well this morning I felt ok when I woke up, but our first conversation went just like the days before. I told him he doesn't have to ask every morning how I feel, it doesn't bother me if he does, but I just feel bad that I always give the same answer. I realized this morning why it is that Daniel asks me those questions every morning, he asks because he believes for a better outcome. He said he prays daily that God will give me a good nights sleep and to make me feel better, to heal me. I have always had a hard time asking God for things for myself, because I feel like he has already given me so much, asking for more is just being selfish. I'd much rather pray for someone else's healing than my own. I have been telling myself that I won't let fibromayalgia rule my life, it may be hard, but I'll work through it. I need to be positive, I need to be like Daniel and expect a better outcome, no matter how long it may take, I need to hope for the best.
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

I have done more thinking, praying, and searching for guidance in the last few weeks than I think I have ever done my entire life! I was having this great conversation with God the other morning when he asked me a question that stopped me dead in my tracks. For you to better understand let me explain this.... I have dated several guys in a few different branches of the military and for years I have thought I would marry a man in the military. The thought of my husband having to be gone for extended periods of time didn't frighten me, after all I have installed a toilet! And having to move on a whim? How exciting! I mean yes it would be very hard to be away from my family, but I could live places I never would have if my husband had a "normal" job.

So the question God asked me was this, Why is it that I would be so hesitant to move if I felt He were calling me to go, but I would jump at the idea if the military said to pick up and move? At first this shocked me! I mean why on earth would God want to rip me out of my comfort zone where I feel safe and in control and ask me to follow Him? A peace came over me as God told me this: "Your prayer has been that you would find a man whose heart was on fire for God and it was blatantly obvious, I have given you that, and in return I am asking for your complete faith and trust in me that I will take care of you where ever I have you go. Though Daniel is not a part of the U.S. Military, he is a part of my army, he's not fighting for freedom, he is fighting for the hearts and souls of nonbelievers." I accepted this frightening challenge and agreed that if that is what it took for me to marry a man on fire for God, it was well worth it. And what is more amazing is that that night Daniel asked me if He felt God calling us to move, would I go? Without hesitating I said yes, if that's what we felt God was calling us to do. It still amazes me that he would have even thought to ask that question, but what amazes me more is that God gave me my answer that same morning. This whole week I have been saying this quote over and over in my mind every time I am frightened about what my future holds, "Security is not found in the absence of danger, but in the presence of God."

Daniel has told me countless time how desperately him and PL want to change the world. They can influence it, but they cannot make people change. I have been wanting to share this passage with them that I read years ago, I wish I knew the author, but my memory fails me. "When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I realized the word would not change and I decided to shorten my sights, somewhat and change only my country, but it too seemed immovable. As I entered my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I sought to change only my family, those closest to me, but alas they would have none of it. And now here I lie on my death bed and realize that if only I’d changed myself first, then by example I may have influenced my family, and with their encouragement and support. I may have bettered my country, and who knows, I may have changed the world." Daniel and Leonce, I want you both to know how much you mean to me. I would not be who I am at this moment if it weren't for your influence over the past few months. You have changed my world.