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Posts Tagged ‘church’

I’m really slacking on keeping a journal (via blogging) to help with my anxiety.   Since I was down for the count for that week, and I feel better in that regard, it’s hard to take time to write about things when I don’t feel “bad.”  I don’t feel it creeping up, but there are times that I think to myself that I need to get something out of my head.  That alone is progress.  I don’t normally have rational thoughts about my feelings, I tend to just hold them in and make do, or portray that I’m making do.

In the last 2 days it’s hard not to feel like I’m slacking more because I was the one that prodded encouraged D to start blogging to help him get things on paper and allow him to sort through the things he kept going over in his head about B.  Needless to say, it’s been 48 hours since he started typing, and as I type this, he’s on his 8th blog post.  Talk about overachieving.  I’m kidding, he needs this, and we need this.  He needs it so he can allow things to come out of his head so he can work, sleep, eat and be functional.  The last week at our house was rough on all those things.  We need it because it’s allowing him to let things out and know that I encourage these thoughts and feelings because it’s good for him.  It’s also allowing him to work through things better when he sees it on “paper” because he knows he can come back and think about it whenever, so it’s not something he has to dwell on.

I’m off track, as awesome as he is, this was about me!  Settle in, you know I type a lot.

We have been talking for a few months, and D and I were both raised in private/Christian school, so we both agree that it would be a great opportunity for J.  We had found one school, through a neighbor that taught there, and to make the long story short, J’s dad shot that down because they aren’t accredited (which isn’t as important as most people think), and they aren’t doing 8th grade next year anyway.  So, we were fairly resolved to sending her back to her school and trying to find a private one for high school.  Last week while driving to Lowe’s hardware (an anxious time for me), we passed a small church about a mile from our house, and they had just put up a banner announcing sign ups for their private school!  We wrote down the website on the way home and I immediately went to it, read all about it, and the next day called and made an appointment for us to go talk with the administrators.   J got home last Thursday, and we told her about it, she was thrilled…ok, I’m lying.  She didn’t really care, her first questions were “what about my friends, do they have uniforms, how many boys go there?”  Once we told her to hush answered her valid questions she was content to go to the appointment (mostly because school is 4 days a week).

Now, we have all read about my anxiety (and if not click the “anxiety” category over here ——>), and we all know that it just comes when it wants.  After the Lowe’s trip last week, D made the statement that he has general anxiety (he has “off days” where he feels off balance and on edge), and I have situational anxiety (once I’m removed from the place/situation/emotion – I’m totally fine).  I don’t know which one is worse.  Most of his days he’s absolutely fine, I’m actually jealous that he can get in the car and go somewhere alone, without a second thought.  However he endures an entire day/days where he just feels like ass.  I am generally fine, at home, at friends houses, in public places that are easy to get out of.  If we go to a new place, or a big (Walmart, Lowe’s, mall) I am a hot mess sometimes DAYS before we go.  If I know we have to go to Lowes this weekend to get something, I think about it for days, and work myself into this panic.  Then I get there and I’m on autopilot waiting for the ok that we’ve done what we had to and we can go, and once we are done at checkout, and don’t HAVE to be there, I could literally walk around the entire store.  Stupid.  He’s calm cucumber through all this.  We are totally made for each other.

I’m getting closer to my point of this post…stay with me.

So, meeting with school people, Tuesday.  I have a full 5 days notice here…and not once was I anxious about it.  I know it’s a small church (no problem), it’s closed, we are meeting 1-3 people, not a huge crowd.  I’m thinking we’re going to talk for 5-10 minutes, get the packet and hit the road.  A psychic I am not.  For the last week, with the B deal we have been laying down for a few hours at night and closing our eyes.  Literally…we haven’t slept.  So, by Tuesday we’re both just a mess of tired.  J had her friend spend the night, so we have an extra in tow, which is good, it keeps J busy.

I’m going to tell the rest of this story as it happened, so you can experience what I was feeling (kinda).  People often don’t “get” what a panic attack is, yes, it’s in my head, but it’s very real.  We get up and I haven’t once had a bad feeling about this meeting so far.  I move around, and eat some late breakfast. I always eat before we head out, because I know I get jittery and feel “off” and I don’t want to have low blood sugar because it makes me more cranky and have more things to worry about – so eating helps curb that one bad thought pattern, I also go to the restroom before leaving the house because I hate public ones and it’s just something else that keeps me IN somewhere if I want to bolt. (Yes, it’s stupid) We head out at 12:45, to be there by 1.  I’m thinking in the car that I’m ok, there is no need to worry, nothing big is going on, say a prayer for calm. Park the car, and we head in the side door to find that there is a table, and another appointment going on, one lady comes out, says hi and says “we’re almost done, please have a seat and we’ll be right with you.”  OH CRAP, waiting, sitting to talk, I wanna go NOW, we’ll just say, we have something to get to and we were just coming by for information and we’ll call you later (Yes, I have lied to leave somewhere) We go to the vestibule and J and her friend sit on a bench and me and D sit on the other, it’s the one day so far this year that the heat index is 105, and the church is closed, and didn’t really leave the air on high, so it’s cooler, but HOT with the huge windows.  D is hot, I am hot…I am also now clenching my fists and fidgeting, both my pre-flight coping mechs.  I take a sip of water, which, I always have a drink (it distracts me, but with the bathroom thing I’m thinking it’s a dumb idea now).  D plays with his phone, J and her friend are laughing and being girls.  I’m not really listening. You know the sound of a muffled things when you are waking up or going to sleep…that’s what I’m hearing.  I just block things out instead of focusing on them, because listening to them makes me feel like telling everyone to stop making noise and CHILL OUT.  It’s really me that just needs to chill, so I block it.  I tell D, I’m not comfortable, and I wanna go.  He says “you’re fine” and holds my hand.  The lady comes out and says “we’re ready” (it’s been maybe 5 minute since we walked in).  J and her friend go waltzing in like it’s the J show, and D gets up, and I get up Stomach turning, eyes watering, heart racing and turn toward the big window and say “I can’t.” He says, “yes you can” and I look back and him with tears streaming and say “I can’t go in.”  Running seems like a good idea right now, straight out the door in front of me and to the car…not home, just OUT OF HERE.  Stop, pray, you’re in church. I’m about to have to sit and talk to people I don’t know, for God knows how long and I can’t just leave because I need this information, J is in there, these people are going to think I’m crazy.  Why am I crying?  I don’t cry? He can go in by himself and get the info while I regroup in the car.  D says “ok, just let me tell them it’ll be a minute.” I’m crying still, trying to stop, and figure out what my issue is. He returns, puts his hands on my shoulders from behind me and says “what can I do?”  I HAVE NO IDEA!!!!!!!!!!! GET ME OUT OF HERE? I tell him that I don’t know and that I don’t even know what my problem is.  He says to breathe and chill out, and that I’m ok.  I’m mad that I am crying, it’ll give me a headache and make me feel lightheaded, which adds to my biggest fear – fainting in public.  Why?  I picture people stepping over me looking down going “what the hell is her problem?” Totally unwarranted…yet still very much my thoughts.  Less than 1 minute has passed since my freak out, but to me it feels like 10 minutes.  I tell him that I need a tissue and then we’ll go in.  So I head to the bathroom and dry it up, and walk out, and he’s in the room sitting and saved me the chair by the door…my baby knows me.  At this point I don’t know if he’s told them, or if they just thought we were talking, or if they think I was on a phone call.  Knowing I look like I’ve been crying, I walk in, sit, and they are all nice and look at me and I just say “I’m sorry, I have an anxiety issue and had a small freak out…” Waiting for the WTF/she’s crazy looks…nothing.  One of them says “oh dear, are you ok? It’s fine, we understand.” Wow, nothing more?  No, really, this is a GREAT thing. I’ve told them my issue and now if I freak out again they’ll get it.  I then said if I have another moment I’ll handle it and be back and they should carry on.  We start the meeting, and maybe 2 times in the 15 minutes I thought “Oh crap, get me out,” but it passed quickly.  D is a talker…when we are in public it REALLY puts me on edge, this time it was fine.  We had the meeting, it went well, we were both very happy with the school, and J seems to be ok with it.  We’re still praying and waiting to be sure of things.

DOH!

DOH!

As for the freak out…I don’t know what it was.  I mentioned to a friend that maybe this school is where J needs to be and where we needed to be and Satan didn’t like it.  I’m very easy to attack in moments like those.  Yes, we were in a church, and yes, I prayed before, and during, and after, but when there is the opening for fear and things are as severe as they are with my panic I think it’s very possible.  I don’t know what that says about me, I feel that I am a strong Christian and I’m very close to God, and I know that those are the ones that are attacked the most because it’s a huge game to him.  Some might argue that Satan can’t be present in church, I’d agree, and no I don’t feel he is “in me,” but I do think that thoughts are placed to come up at the most opportune/worst times when he needs them to work the most.

Bottom line is, I made it.  I didn’t run, I didn’t bolt, I didn’t faint, didn’t make a fool of myself, I really don’t even think those ladies noticed.  I did close the meeting letting them know that if we had something like a meeting or something and they saw me hanging out acting weird, gimme a minute and I’d be just fine.  D has proven time and time again that he can fully handle my issues.  He is the perfect balance of letting me freak out and being supportive, and not letting me give up or knowing when I’ve had enough and need to be removed.  So, for the millionth time, I’m thankful for my amazing husband, and happy that he and God helped me prove to myself that I don’t have to bolt…every time.

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What is with these things?!  I want some fun assignments.

I’m going to ignore this question, as there is no one I feel (which is probably not right of me) that I have to forgive.  There’s people that should ask me to forgive them…can I put them down?

Let’s go the Biblical route and further show how off base I am.  These verses come to mind:

(Matthew 18:21-22) 21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, ““I don’t tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven.

(Mark 11:25) And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

(Luke 17:4) If he sins against you seven times in the day, and seven times returns, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.

(Ephesians 4:32) And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.

Crap. I just blew my own post.  This assignment is now going to prove how I don’t do what I’m supposed to do and therefore I am wrong.  Way to go Mel.

So, before really going into these verses, which we all know and love, let me just say this.  If I write here who it is I feel I have to forgive, it’s going to:

  • prove that I haven’t yet, and by default how I’m not listening to God completely
  • bring to the attention of others the fact that I feel I’ve been wronged and call out some people
  • show how long I can remember things/hold a grudge (you’d be impressed)

All things I don’t wish to do, sorry.

We are urged, commanded, instructed, told to forgive.  We’ve had this talk in Sunday School, and last week I started a section in my devotional, the difference in forgiveness and what we tend to think we have to do, which is “forgive and forget.”  We are never commanded to “forget.”  We are told to forgive up to 70 times 7, and also to forgive as many times as someone repents (seems like a good loophole).   I don’t think God wants us to forget things.  It’s a protective action to remember.  We should always remember who has done something against us, or what they did, I’m not saying dwell on it, but if you don’t remember, then I think you’re just a sitting duck waiting for them to do it again, because you’ve allowed them to do it once before (or numerous times if you “forgot”).  “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.” Yeah, I know it’s not a verse, but it’s smart.

I think God wants us to forgive, because we can only be close to him when we allow him to handle how other people treat us.  It is his job to punish, teach, lead, convict them, not ours.  It also shows others His love through us, what he did for us is mirrored by our actions to others.  They can see His forgiveness through ours.  Hence, the commands.

Where the line bleeds for me (aka “my excuse”), is that I don’t think everyone listens to God, hence I don’t feel like they’re going to “get it” when God tells them “hey, you need to apologize to Mel.”   So once I feel wronged, I feel like it’s my job to cut my losses and move on.  Truthfully, if I’m not around them, or talking to them or they aren’t a part of my life anymore, then I don’t feel angry or upset, or “wronged” and can effectively (for me) move on comfortable in the knowledge that I handled it.  Apparently, I’m very wrong.  I’m just gonna sit here and be wrong in my wrongness for a minute…

Ok.  Yep, still wrong.  I have the uncanny ability to remember why you’ve pissed me off, and argue it until you get it, or just ignore you.  I don’t have a conscience about this.  It’s a fault, and I’m not even really concerned about it (I swear I’m not that arrogant – most of the time).  That goes into the whole “protect” mode I have going on.  I did not say it’s right, but it’s me.

So, I admit I’m not the person to ask for advice on forgiveness, unless you just want the rules.  I got those down.

~Mel

The previous post illustrates just how well I can argue, and talk in a circle without answering the original question.   You’re welcome.

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Edit:  This is the first in my “submission” posts.  Please read the others:
Submission…when he’s lovin’ you better be submittin’.

To submit…or not to submit (it’s really not a question, it’s a command).

The following was my comment on a blog post that has since been deleted.  The post was discussing how Christian women were “doormats” and being controlled because they were too dumb to speak up, or because they were in abusive relationships and needed a way to feel “validated” for staying.  The writer claimed that Christian women in submissive roles in their marriage were weak and needed to get out.  This could be no further from the truth.  On to my comment.

So many people fail to realize the importance of keeping their mouths shut because they insist on being right all of the time.   I assure you, I know no one like that 😀  I lie.  This selfless, putting others first, unconditional love, desire to better the other person, put their needs above yours, is the foundation of ANY good marriage, religion or not.  Let me also say that religious and Christian to me are very different.  I feel that I could be one and not the other, however I am both.

“The cake is good…but why is her halo falling off now?”

My background is normal, I was raised very strict legalistic Baptist (no pants, no rock music, hymns out the ying-yang), and then was moved to the South and learned what the SBC was.  I’ve been religious and not religious at many times in my life.  My best times are always when I am closest to God.

Ok, I’m hijacking your comments.  I just really wanted to say, since there is no “Christian married woman” comment on here…

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up to the cross for her.

My vows to my now husband included these verses, at my request, at our agreement after we had both mentioned them while dating.  I am very headstrong, very opinionated (his word for me is “forceful opinions“), yet everything, yes EVERYTHING is either run by him, or he is informed of my decision after I make the call if I don’t feel I need to consult him.  I normally don’t need to consult him since I try to pay attention to what he says and know what he’d say.  The verses in no way demean my ability to make a decision, carry out my own ideas, or plan things without his knowledge.  They simply allow me the freedom to not have to make EVERY choice there is to make.  Which is totally freeing.  I don’t know how many times I’ve felt overwhelmed before in marriage (not to him) and wished JUST ONCE I had help and didn’t have to be the final word on things.   Or that someone cared enough to say “hey, let’s do it this way” not “that’s not right, I can’t believe you did that” or some other demeaning type of comment.

The verse “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church” in no way makes me feel like some meek little thoughtless nothing.  As a Christian, without Christ as the head, we have no reason to believe in God or listen to him, so of course I agree with that…so I say, just as I have the freedom to listen to Christ (and mess up royally if I don’t) I have the freedom to listen or not listen to my husband.  I’ve learned in both instances that my not listening doesn’t get me very far, because more than likely I’m making it harder on myself, or just not thinking of the best way to deal with something.  My husband proved his worth/position many times before we married with his advice on topics I was concerned about, or asked his opinion on.   He always had a fresh idea, or a common sense explanation or way to handle things.  THAT is why I agreed to those verses in my vows, because he’s proven he’s smart and I have no reason not to submit.

Now, let’s talk about HIS commitment (which is so much harder than mine).  “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up to the cross for her.”  Oh wow.  The Bible never said I HAD to love him.  (Lucky for me and him I do though).  He is commanded to love me, as Christ loved the church, Christ DIED for us.  DIED.  That means, when I’m totally wrong, upset, hardheaded, annoying, no make-up, burnt dinner, not cleaned the house, yelling at a kid, having a headache…ALL OF IT…he has to LOVE ME.  He can’t say “nope, you’re wrong, sorry, don’t love you today.”  Nope. Can’t do it.  If you know me…I’m quite a piece of work.  I have quirks and “forceful opinions” and lots of crap that would drive people crazy, but him, he has to love me through all of that.

I have to submit to him, which when he’s loving me though all of my moods and problems, is a piece of cake.  God knew what he was commanding.

I think I got the better end of that deal.

~Mel

Good book to read:  Love and Respect  By Emerson Eggerichs

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