Tag Archives: healing

Recovery

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Recovery is not for the faint of heart. It is however for the bold, the brave, the desperate, the addict, the weary and the broken. You simply have to be human to need recovery. The human condition is such that breeds hurt, dysfunction and pain. No one is immune because no one is perfect. There is a perception that recovery is for “those” people. Well I’m here to say it absolutely is for “those” people for your mom, dad, sister, brother, boss, pastor, best friend and for YOU. Celebrate Recovery is for definitely me. I have been in recovery now for 2 plus years and it is the best thing I ever have done for myself. If you look back at my blog there is some dark and desperate posts that characterized my battle with panic and anxiety. I was a person who didn’t think recovery was for me and I didn’t need help, I would figure it out on my own. I could not have been more wrong, I was in a constant state of chaos, reeling from hurt, ignoring God and saying yes to all the wrong people and situations. I was lost and I couldn’t even see it.

The first day I walked through the doors of Celebrate Recovery was probably one of the most transformative days of my life. That’s the day I started saying yes to God and no to my own way. Allowing God to transform me into the person He wants me to be and it has been one of the hardest battles I’ve faced. One of the hardest things in recovery is to face the truth. The truth that I and I alone was responsible for my pain, that I cant do it on my own and need help. Yes people hurt, took advantage and negatively affected my life, but I made the choices that created chances for people to hurt me. I didn’t protect the life and heart that God had given me from the sickness of the world. I had become casual about sin and had a someday attitude. Some day I will live for Christ, when I am through school, happily married, thin, more financially stable…the list goes on. Someday hit me squarely between the eyes and said NO TODAY IS THE DAY YOU CHANGE YOUR LIFE. My panic attacks were debilitating and getting worse everyday. I wasn’t functioning anymore and I tried to fool myself into believing that I could just muddle through it. But I was slowly dying it was a matter of time and I would have been dead. Maybe not physically but emotionally, spiritually dead. In reality I was there and it was no kind of life it was pure torture.

Miracles still happen God brought me, the dead, back to life.  I have now been 2 years without a panic attack, but the most miraculous thing that has happened since I have been in recovery is that I have a renewed faith and sense of hope. God has brought me out of denial and apathy onto a path of redemption, grace, forgiveness, truth and spiritual growth. He brought me to Himself and is allowing me to enjoy my progress and see my growth. He is showing me how to use my life in service to him and I love the work He is doing in me. For the first time in many years I can say that this year is going to end on a high note and I am looking forward to what God has for me next year!

Jenness

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Updates On Life In Recovery…

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I think it’s important for me to post about my life during recovery because it truly can help me gain perspective and gives me something to look at when times are bleak or really awesome. I’ve made some decisions on the things I should be focusing on first. There is far too much to conquer all at one time so I’m trying to think about doing it in manageable pieces. For example I would like to be more responsible with my spending habits ensuring I have enough to cover the month reoccurring things like car insurance, gas, cell phone…you know the things that help you do your life.

My small group has been hard but I feel like I’m finally getting it and taking little steps towards openness and transparency. I appreciate that I have place where I can be completely real and forthright with no fear of retribution or judgment. I can see how this could help me get to the deeper issues the things that truly have caused the chaos.

I was having a panic attack a few weeks ago and I felt like I was literally losing my mind. I would vacillate between smiling and giggling at the show I was watching and sobbing. I felt like my mind wasn’t my own, with my feelings all over the place I kept getting this sense or more a reoccurring thought much like ‘a still small voice’ (1 Kings 19:11-13 KJV) saying get on your knees and pray. Now the verses I mentioned in my last post are still ringing very true for me that the fires of my affliction are burning hot. But I feel like maybe I have more control over them than I previously thought. And by control I mean I am the greatest causation factor for them in a sense…I’m sorry if that doesn’t make sense…it’s hard to put my crazy thoughts into cohesive explanations. (Thankfully I have people in my life who speak fluent Jennessease and can decipher the crazy when it comes out. :)) So as to eliminate excuses I got myself ready for bed grabbed my Bible and got on my knees. I was broken in prayer but was also led to a glimmer of hope…I reread the verses that I had been lead to before about being refined in the fire…but I also turned to my favorite verse…Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away”…I usually stopped there but that night I kept reading…not only will there be relief an end to pain but, 5. “He who was seated on the throne said, I am making everything new! Then, he said “Write this down for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “I am the Alpha and the Omega the Beginning and the End. To him is thirsty I will give drink without cost from the spring from the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” The overcomer will inherit God’s kingdom. That came as such a comfort to me as someone who has been long suffering.

My point is though the journey is long and the road fraught with pain and most likely more suffering that glimmer remains. God has something special planned for His children that overcome what seem to be unbeatable odds…

My prayer? That the glimmer becomes a roaring fire one that lights my path and the world around me so that though “I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for (I will know that) he is with me his rod and his staff will comfort me”… (Psalms 23:4) All the personal demons of the past will be put a faint memory…how I long for those days and so plunge forward into the unknown of recovery and try to embrace hardship as the pathway to peace.

Jenness

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Words I thought I would never hear…

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Today I heard words I thought I would never hear (well read)…Kay’s murderer has been found. These words sent me into an emotional tailspin I didn’t know what to think or feel. I was sitting in a nap room with kids still awake and I had to cover my mouth so that I didn’t sob out loud. As soon as I got the chance I took a break from my class and went outside of work sat in a chair called my mom to talk for a few minutes. And then sobbed for a full 20 minutes. So many things where racing through my mind and so much pain surfaced that it surprised me. I was shaking and raw like it happened yesterday. I let myself feel every moment of it and just let it out crying as hard and loud as I needed to let it out so I could function at work for the next 3 1/2 hours. It is hard to articulate what I am feeling the best I can do is to say that its a mixture of relief, sadness, anger and pain. I tried the best I could to sort it all out in my brain.

Then I saw him, the man who ruined my life the perpetrator of such unspeakable evils. Anger and rage surged through me in that moment I hated him and I could feel it in my throat I wanted to scream at him, hit him and make him see the pain he created. Every filthy word I have ever heard to describe the evil that this man is were being silently screamed at him. 15 years of no answers and hurt spilling out of my brain I abhorred him.

And then…it hit me square in the face like a still small voice…On March 25th in memoriam of the 15 year anniversary of Kay’s death I wrote this blog post…15 years later. Now that there is a face to the monster it is so much harder to let God’s justice reign supreme. I want justice I want to see and hear all his reasons, for him to have remorse, basically I want answers. But there is that still small voice in the back of my mind that was saying pray.  Pray and forgive. I resisted. I mulled it over through the rest of work and the calmer I got the more clearly I could hear what was being asked of me. I hate it I don’t want to forgive I want to hate this despicable piece of shit who ripped apart so many lives. Kay is not his only victim he is a life long criminal and a truly evil man. Evil deserve hatred in my book…right?? As, I have thought on this throughout the rest of my work day, I talked to several people and still there was that voice again pray and forgive. God’s words haunted me and so did my mothers. Not only does God say vengeance is His, but He also says to forgive, when asked about it He said…Matthew 18:21-22 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Yep there it is in black and white and God is breathing this into my heart and mind. My mother has said it a million times to me…forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person it has everything to do with you. Harboring hatred and malice in my heart for a man who doesn’t even know my name and could care less about me…holding onto these feelings can eat me up, they could embitter me once again and falling into that trap hurts me and it hurts Peanut. It doesn’t change anything and it doesn’t make it any better.

I came to a place of peace some time ago in relation to her murder. I truly believe in the supreme justice that God provides. I believe that whether he faces the consequences for his heinous actions here on Earth or not he has to face his maker. God is the one who will right this wrong, he already has…so I will not give in to the hatred that is trying to edge its way in. As I was driving away from work with tears in my eyes I prayed for this perpetrator of my pain. I told God I didn’t want to do it and I will have to give it over to Him again and again but I don’t want to be ruled by this evil. I am rejoicing for the sense of closure it has brought. Peace and total forgiveness are going to take a lot of work but I know that God is with me and that He knows what is best for me and for my heart so I am going to trust Him and I am going to pray. Praise God for this answer to prayer praise Him that Kay’s family is getting closure. God is good. Tonight I was surrounded by my wonderful family who, on a moments notice came and had dinner with me to provide comfort and support and pay homage to this victory of justice. Thank you to my beloved family for always being there when needed. I literally could not have gotten through this without your loving support you are what kept me alive in my darkest days after this tragedy came to our lives. I appreciate your support it was like being wrapped in a warm blanket on a cold day for my heart tonight. I love everyone of you all the way to God. ❤

Jenness

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For the full story from past coverage to how it unfolded today here is the link to the Idaho Statesman…Kay Lynn Jackson.

 

 

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Tired But Happy…

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I am tired but happy…day 2 went well I have enjoyed the women I have met I appreciate that I am getting a good idea of the kinds of people I will be working with and I like that I will have some diversity in this position and maybe an opportunity to be a helper and love people to Jesus…though it is a  Christian childcare center you are not required to be a Christian to work there and one of the young ladies who I worked with today admitted that she was not religious. Now I do not know if she meant she is not a believer or that she just doesn’t buy into the whole idea of organized religion and religious attitudes. But my intuition says that she is not a believer. Which is an opportunity for me to be Jesus with skin on. I really think that there is a reason that she is working in a Christian center…granted I may not be able to make a difference for Jesus but I know what I can do is pray and talk about my faith and my experiences with God.

I think it is good for me to be in this situation where I am thinking about my faith and about God on a everyday basis. I literally feel the presence and see the beauty of God every single time I have driven to the Center and walked out the doors to go home because of the beauty that surrounds me there a picturesque view of God’s creation. Mountains and sky for miles. I love it!!! I also have been driving in at sunrise everyday and have been filled with peace and joy like God is speaking to me through His creation.

Draw me closer Lord show me your hand and make me crave to be in your presence. I love how you work and touch my heart uniquely in a way that no one ever could. I have been so blessed and even through the darkest times I could feel your hand on my heart begging to be let in. I would not be here today without you. Thank you for never letting go of my heart.

Peanut and I have been listening to KTSY in the car and I am loving it I have had a bad attitude about Christian music for years. I just made a decision to change one thing and that was the music in the car and I have been pleasantly surprised because there is truly some fun and great songs on there that are fresh and modern. Peanut is starting to sing along with them and I love hearing that sweet voice singing about her love for her Heavenly Father.

As for her and I we have had a good week with little to no drama. For which I as a single Momma am eternally grateful…things with The Man Vincent are going well and he is still making me smile everyday. And the more I know the more I am intrigued by him. What an amazing story he has, I am especially enjoying his good, strong and intelligent heart and mind. I appreciate that I am seeing the upside of things right now and that I have a glimmer of joy and a measure of the peace I have so longed for in recent months.

More to come of this adventure…

Jenness

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly…

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As usual crazy brain is rolling out many thoughts and I am struck with the need to sit down and write…awhile back I wrote about my biological father in Heartbreaker I didn’t share this post on Facebook which is where many of my readers including my family link to the blog.) I think part of why I didn’t share it was because it came from a part of me that is dark and broken (also if he ever decided to look at my page he would have seen it as we are FB friends) and that part of my heart is sometimes scary to me and I didn’t know what reactions to expect from the people I know. It isn’t even that I don’t want him to read it, I do what him to read it I want him to be affected by my pain, frustration and anger, (which has not happened despite my attempts to communicate them to him) but moreover I was afraid that if he did read it that it would destroy our relationship. Realization hit me…the damage is done, and I didn’t cause it.

Some time has passed and I am starting to see that no matter how hard I have tried to hold on, no matter how hard I have tried to right the wrongs in my mind I am powerless in the face of fairness and attaining justice for my tattered heart. Do I even deserve it?? No where have I ever seen in God’s word or in the world this idea that all of life has to be fair and go the way you want it to go. I think more over what it boils down to is…do I as his daughter want to be in constant inner turmoil or do I need to come to peace with the idea that I will never get an apology or even an attitude of remorse for the ways that he has hurt and betrayed my heart.

It hurts, it sucks and I am not all to happy with what I know I need to do if I ever have a hope of a peaceful resolution for myself in relation to my relationship with him. Forward motion and forgiveness is needed. Ugh!!! (I don’t want to!) So many times my mother has said forgiveness isn’t for the person being forgiven…I don’t think I am yet ready for the place of total forgiveness but I am in a place where I can lower my expectations and start seeing him for who he is and try to start healing while at the same time protecting myself and my Peanut from being hurt in this capacity by him again.

I think that this issue ties into the whole idea of my goal to be emotionally healthier, therefore I cannot for myself harbor bitterness in my soul it doesn’t benefit me and it doesn’t benefit my life in any way. So I am in the process of adjusting my expectations and accepting that in this situations I may never get resolution, I may never fully understand all the why’s and I need to be ok with that.

I seek freedom for my heart to love more fully and to further accept people for who they are…the good, the bad and the ugly.

Jenness

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Truth and Lies…

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With so many random thoughts running through my brain it is hard to decipher which is the loudest and begging to be let out of my heart’s chamber to be thrust into the unknown to be read judged and liked or not liked. I have so many plates spinning that it is hard to stop and breath and focus on the things that need tending like housework and job hunting. I made a command decision that I needed help for the crazy brain to return to its “normal” amount of crazy and not be in hyper drive 24/7. So, with that being said…I have been realizing that though I am making legitimate efforts toward “getting better” the struggle is still ever-present. I have had many up days and some down ones but in the back of my mind the voices are getting louder and though I am trying to keep them at bay.

These things that plague me tell me that I am not worthy of peace or sanity and that the help I seek I am not worthy to have. But I know the truth I am worth it. I don’t want these things to hinder my dreams. I took this semester off to work I had bills to pay and needed a break so I made  the hard decision to put school on hold for a bit. But the longer I have been at home the more I want to be at home…I have become lazy in my household tasks I have become lazy in my parenting and in the past 6 month my butt got bigger by 15 pounds. It sucks yet my anxiety and depression are holding me hostage with their lies robbing me of the confidence and the truth. I am a people person I do better with consistency and I need to be more active and doing exactly what the liars are telling me I can’t do.

I had a job interview today and I loved the interaction with the interviewers it was nice to think of once again bringing in much-needed resources to our broke world. I would love to be able to actually purchase my daughter new clothes since she seems to be growing out of the ones she has (btw she also has holes in every pair of decent pants) and she has nothing to wear for summer time. I love the idea of my gas tank being full and being able to once again leave the house without the restriction of not having enough gas to even get to church. All these things made me put on a pretty shirt do my makeup and go to the interview that I just didn’t want to go to. And for that I am grateful and whether or not I get the job I am trying and will continue to look for the right fit for as far as jobs are concerned.

It is sad to me that so many of my years have been spent shrouded in hurt, disappointment, fear, anxiety and more than I would like to admit that wicked four letter word depression. I often wondered what purpose it serves. I am not normal the world makes me long for ordinary and “normal” but my heart tells me to embrace the oddities and to let them right a fun, quirky and far more interesting story than normal could have ever brought me. When I was talking with Vincent he highlighted that what makes me “abnormal” is what he appreciates. How lovely of The Man to encourage me in the way that touches my heart the most. (If I could have kissed him for his words I would have!) Of course much more was said in the course of the conversation but my take away has been throughout our getting to know each other process is that I need to shift my focus and stop letting the lies rule the roost…I know for myself that I need to lean more on God and trust His words of love and encouragement…because He knows the number of hairs on my head!!! Now that is mind-blowing and if you have ever seen my wild mane of practically unmanageable hair that my beautiful Grandmother used to call my crowning glory, (she wore rose-colored glasses) you would understand how truly fantastic this really is!!

At the end of the day I am Jenness a crazy haired, crazy brained woman who is a Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend and I own all the dysfunction its ugliness, its beauty and its role in the person I am and the person I am becoming. I will try with all my might to give it purpose even when I don’t understand it and maybe just maybe I a beautiful, wonderful life will come out of the fight.

Jenness

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Philippians 4: 13 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

15 years later…

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To say that 15 years later that the death of my friend Kay Lynn Jackson (April 5, 1998) left an indelible mark on my life would be an extreme understatement. There is not a day that goes by that I do not see the lasting impression that the tragedy of her murder left on my heart and mind. Here is what I have learned about grief…there literally is no time-table for healing and don’t let anyone guilt you or pressure you into “being ok” with an event that negatively changed your life forever. I would say that yes indeed time is your friend and that the severity and rawness that comes from the feelings you experience in the midst of tragedy do fade into a bearable faint reminder.

15 years is a long time but the tears were fresh in my eyes a few Sunday’s back when my Minister brought Kay’s name up in the course of his sermon…my family was sitting a row behind me and I knew if I turned and looked at their faces when her name came up that the tears would be uncontrollable. So I physically willed myself not to look behind me and I sat up straighter and steeled my emotions. I think part of why this was such a life altering moment in time for me was because of the lack of closure, her murder has yet to be solved and in many ways because of that it has been a lesson in forgiving the unforgivable and finding a way to lean on God’s justice and trust that it will prevail.

Many times I have heard my mother say forgiveness is not for the person you are forgiving it is for you…how can you move forward in life if you choose to hold onto the past? I have found this ideology to be true and frankly quite poignant because in my short life not only have I needed to be forgiven a million times over but I have found myself needing to forgive and the least of the people I have had to forgive is myself. Something changes when you see the absolute worst part of humanity, you go to a dark and cynical place and begin to dwell there…bitterness and hopeless begin to blacken your heart and the lies of the enemy become your constant companion robbing you of sanity and the ability to use forward thinking. (What I mean by forward thinking is having the courage, strength and fortitude to move through rough times and tragedy.) This state of mind is a very emotionally draining and potentially detrimental place to reside for any length of time…trust me I know.

After Kay’s death this is where I resided I begged God to let me switch places with her I thought out plans of how I could end my life bringing the least amount of pain to my family as possible yes a naïve thought but nonetheless I was in immense pain and wanted an escape. I remember very little of the week after her death and I remember very little of the months to follow…but looking back I can see the poignancy of the footprints poem specifically the part about their only being one set of footprints…

“The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you.” Mary Stevenson

Truth be told I am sure this is the reason I survived that time in my life. I had nothing to hold onto and the world that I knew had been shattered into a million little pieces and I didn’t have the proper tools to recover. Everyone around me had great intentions and they were also hurting because this tragedy touched many lives either directly or indirectly, the whole community of Boise was mourning. I also didn’t share with my loved ones (even though they could probably read it in my actions) the depths of pain I was in and I didn’t do one key thing…I didn’t ask for the kind of help I needed.

With time the monsters in my mind became a dull roar and some sense of normalcy came back but I have never ever been the same. My innocence was robbed from me and not only that but the dark place that I described above continued to reside in a deep part of my heart and some of the bitterness and blackness lingered. Not to say that it has ruled my life because I have always had this idea that there is something better out there for me and I have been hopeful to a degree about things but I think that Kay’s death was a trigger for the deep pain that was inside me that I always hid behind my smile.

Though I have so many negative correlations to this time in my life one lessons that I learned has served me well and it is this…pour into people…pour love, understanding, forgiveness into the people who touch your life because you never know if you will have a tomorrow with them. I loved Kay and I wish that I had let her know how much she and her friendship meant to me and the good that I have been able to gleaned from the situation is just what I mentioned…cherish the ones you love hold them close and build into their lives…and, that we can use the tragedies in our lives to better the world one person at a time. I pray that with all the lessons I have learned through her death and all other paths that lead me to the place I am today can aid me in doing just that, pouring love, understanding, and forgiveness into people’s lives to positively affect them and help them through the trials and tribulations that life brings. Lord thanks for getting me to the 15 years later point. ❤

Jenness

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