How I got to here…

This post is to hopefully raise awareness about this. I am not in any way trying to put down, or hurt any feelings. This is how I went from an abusive marriage to my life today…cliff notes version.

It does have to do with the fall of the American Family. I’m not going to get into my thoughts on why it has happened, just that it has, and how it’s affecting the children who are then becoming adults.

I, myself, am at a loss for words with regard to the justice system. I was very blessed to be a stay at home mother for most of my marriage. It was only once all three children were in school full-time that I began to look for means of helping with the financial support of the household. While my ex made fairly good money, we didn’t live beyond our means, as I tried to keep costs very minimal, yet we seemed to always be short, so I wanted to help with that.

Unfortunately, any money I made was basically eaten up by monthly parking rents, fuel, and the after-school care. But it got me out of the house, and I was able to meet new people. It was here when I met a strong godly-man who was able to help me on my then recently found path back to Christ and God. Eventually though, costs of nearly everything rose and I was in the hole with any pay I received. It actually worked out, because it was a temp contract position that was finishing anyhow.

God really doesn’t work in such mysterious ways.

Being at home full-time again was actually helpful for all involved, and there were a couple of us who had gotten pretty ill and was on bedrest for some time. Eventually, I was diagnosed with MS, but after my own research and changes within my lifestyle (which also was helping the entire family), I began feeling well enough, though my disease was still progressing.

Though he was physically present, and a decent provider, he wasn’t with us.

And it had always been that way. I just continued to pray that He would soften his heart and bring him to see his family as a unit who not only loved and cared about him, but needed him as the head of the household. There was so much distance. He was annoyed by everything. Nothing was ever good enough. The children were considered by him to be a nuisance. His infidelity continued. His physical, emotional and verbal abuse toward everyone was becoming worse.

Walking on eggshells, waiting to see how his mood was.

I was so frustrated with myself because I promised myself I would never get into this type of relationship again, and here I was 14 years later, in the longest abusive relationship of my life, outside of my father (which, happily, I can say, is a more positive dad-daughter relationship!). How did I allow it to get as far as it did for as long as it did? Will damage be worse for the children’s emotional well-being by leaving, or by staying?

I continued to pray for guidance. I didn’t believe in divorce. I didn’t want my children to go through what my sister’s and I had to witness and deal with from our parents’ divorces. I continued to feel compelled to filing for separation, but I didn’t think God would seriously encourage that. Until one afternoon, my ex completely wigged out. He began his drinking early afternoon.

My oldest had moved out a couple months before this happened. At the age of 17. He was angry with me because I wasn’t able to stop his step-father. I had a couple of restraining orders against him because of how he treated my son, but also because of things he had said to me…his anger…I had legitimate fear of the man. But he had been emotionally abusing me and mentally destroying me for so many years, I was weak, and I wasn’t strong in the Word. I tried to do what I can. I had even gone to my previous pastor’s for help, to no avail.

I wasn’t going to lose another child because of the abuse. I was done.

At that time I truly had zero clue how I was going to get through this. I didn’t have any income of my own (I had only recently began my Herbalife business), no resources, no place to go (I had been living on my own from my parents since I was 16), no help from the state or government (I had already been denied Disability and SSI at this point).

The place we were living in had our lease good only until that April. I was worried, because with no money, and having relied upon my husband for his financial support, which he knew and liked to hold against me, I really had no place to go, and didn’t want to have to bring my kids with me to a shelter. I had to do that with my mom and sisters when I was in my early teens, and it was really tough.

My mom came through and to the rescue!

She had just purchased a duplex with my sister, and although each unit was a 2 bdrm, my mom offered her second bedroom to the children and I. She also had been living on her own for quite some time, though she has stayed with both myself and my oldest sister for periods of her transition time.

Or did she?

It was a tight and uncomfortable situation for all. My mom became verbally and emotionally abusive toward my children and myself. I was saving every dime I could and looking for places near the kids schools I would be able to afford. I didn’t want to bring my children from one abusive environment to another.

And now years later…

So many ups and downs. Allowing myself to get back into old, and bad, habits and to give in to Satan’s temptation. Falling flat on my face. Believing and trusting in God to provide, which He always has and always will. But as soon as things were going good, I would literally become so “busy” and focused on every other aspect of my life, except where it counted.

Each time I have “taken a break” from being in His Word, whether from busy-ness or illness, I began to lose touch with Him. And then, of course, His blessings to me began to slowly fade away…because my acting faith was laying down on the job.

Sometimes it takes multiple times of doing the same wrong thing, just getting slightly different negative results, before we finally stop, think, reflect, pray, and realize, how absolutely lost we truly are in the world without His presence near and within us.

It’s time for a  permanent, and positive change.

I’m done with getting knocked down a few pedestals more each time I put every one and every thing above Him. You’d think I would have learned by now, and hopefully this time it’ll stick and stay with me, within my heart and soul, for my remaining days on this planet.

Realize how blessed you truly are. I certainly have. And honestly, things look so much more beautiful when you look at the smallest of things as the blessings they are.

~J

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

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Back home in Vermont

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I can’t believe it’s been a month already! I am so sorry for having been away for so long, but unfortunately, I was having computer and wifi issues. I am currently up in Vermont on vacation…by myself! The kids didn’t want to have to unplug while being up here, so they chose to stay home, and their father is staying with them.

This trip truly has been amazing so far. I’ve been up here for about 10 days and plan to be up here for another 8. While I do miss my kiddos, I haven’t had to deal with any symptoms since being up here, which is always a good thing. I have been able to visit with both family, and this time, more friends than the usual one or two I meet up with while visiting.

I would love to say it’s been gorgeous out every day, because we have been experiencing quite a few storms lately. Some of them just appear out of nowhere, like the one last night, whereas the one the previous night had wind gusts of up to 60mph which caused some power brown-outs and brief outages in addition to fallen limbs and trees. What was nice about both is they lasted no more than an hour or two and cooled off the weather significantly in addition to decreasing the humidity.

It’s been nice though. I’ve never sofa surfed as I have this trip, and it’s wonderful! I literally came up here with $30, some non-perishables, my Herbalife, and a full tank of gas. Being able to have the time to visit with my friends and family for longer than just a quick 30 minutes has been glorious. I’ve been able to reach within and get myself back to being closer to Him, and to do some further soul searching, in addition to improving my health, even if only temporary.

edited_IMG_20160712_090246222_HDRMy great-nephew <8 weeks

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Prepared for anything…IMG_20160709_123108IMG_20160709_123152IMG_20160710_162308

ex-boyfriend, Rob, but still a great friend!IMG_20160710_192206

L – R: Niece Briana, Nephew Tommy, myself, and younger sister ShannaSnapchat-491294056949549364

Myself and My oldest niece, Ashleigh, who is also Mrs Vt International, 2015Snapchat-1385296201752309185

My brother in law, Steve. Also Ashleigh’s father and Astella & Rhoswen’s grandfather.

So this has been a fun trip. It’s nearly done, and once I’ve arrived back to Mass, I’m sure I’ll have plenty more pictures to share and upload. This truly has been such an amazing time for me. I haven’t been this relaxed in I honestly don’t remember how long. It’s been so wonderful to be able to visit with family and friends and not having to worry about whether or not I have to leave sooner rather than later because the children were bored. That’s not to say I don’t miss them, because I most certainly do, but I’ve been able to partake in more activities this time around and it has been wonderful.

Well, Since I am borrowing wifi at the moment, I should really start packing up and get moving to my next destination.

Be blessed! Thank you for being so patient in waiting for this post. ❤ ❤ ❤

The little things

I truly love days like today. The humidity is down, the temps are comfortable, and there’s nice breezes that pass through the windows on the 3 season porch, which is where I’m sitting and just being in the remaining minutes of the day.

I had a doctor’s appointment again this morning, though this time was about this horrible cough I’ve had for quite some time. I think since around the time of the first prescriptions I was put on recently. I was sent down for a chest x-ray. It may sound odd or whatever, but I actually am hoping they find something, anything, this way some of the horrible can be explained and dealt with according.

Oddly enough, this all hit me when I was at the pharmacy picking up 2 more scripts. I need to start saving all of my medical-related receipts. Thankfully, as far as I can remember, I have been keeping them all in a general area.

God continues to bless me by allowing me the privilege of waking up each day. Though I have my aches, pains, and feelings of frustration from all I’m going through or have, I continue to be blessed by Him. He continues to love me regardless of me. Unconditionally.

And it’s a beautiful day. I can see the soft blues of the sky, fluffy clouds in whites, and even the random dark grey. Birds are chirping while playing and looking for something to snack on. School for the children is almost done for the day, and it’s been so beautiful out, combined with the medications and new doses, I was fortunate enough to fall into a state of napping in front of my laptop out on the front porch. 🙂 There was more than one nap though, which was interesting and I’m praying I didn’t nap in such unique positions which would cause me further pain.

Have you taken a moment in your most recent past, or even right now, where you just stop and be? Watch thethings happening around you. Listen to all the different sounds and even try to locate them, especially the beautiful songs of the birds. Watch as the leaves on trees sway to and fro as they’re being gently rustled by a very faint breeze.

Truly I feel, even being in a busy area, by taking just a few minutes each day to be and enjoy God’s art He created, one can truly feel begin to feel His presence and His greatness. There is so much beauty and greatness out there; just having the realization the extra special care He used when He was designing and creating us still just baffles me. Because He didn’t need to. He knew everything that was going, and has yet, to happen. He knew each time we would sin and how much it would hurt Him, yet, He still loved us so much, He continued to work on us through completion.

The unconditional love and grace He shows us; to try to imagine just how much is unfathomable. And of course, that brings up how Great and Magnificent He is which can sometimes cause us to view Him as this amazing power that is nowhere close to reach. This is the absolute furthest from the truth.

Just the mere fact of how amazing of a power He is and how He still individually breathed life into us along with offering His only Son to take OUR sins upon Himself, even those not yet committed, should help us to grasp how much He loves us.

He has given me strength to refrain from nearly all unhealthy food temptations, which is a HUGE Blessing since the prescriptions have weight gain as a side effect for most of them. 😦

I had decided a short bit ago I was tired of being tired and the effect the added weight has had on me. Little by little, I began to pay attention to my daily habits. I wasn’t drinking water as much as I needed to be, I certainly wasn’t putting healthy nutrition in my body most of the days, and had become very sedentary.

Today was my first of the longer of my short-term goals in getting active/out. I wanted to walk a bit further, actually, since I had begun to feel better, just was still dizzy and mapmyfitness app was almost not going to be able to give me a complete and proper workout reading since my battery life was on 4%. Yes, I know…but it was one of those spur of the moment things and closer to the end of the night so there was no reason (or so I thought) to charge my phone before bed.

I am drinking more water, and my nutrition has gotten much better. I have slowly worked more activity into my day to help me feel better faster. I’ve been doing mini-spurts of exercise, so while it may not seem like a lot individually, the overall has been working.

This change though, came when I chose to put God as my priority again. Am I the definition of a perfect Christian? Most definitely not. But I am always a work in progress in each and everything I do, and I will always push for my best to be given in whatever I can.

We all stumble along the way. Sometimes we get to where we feel we don’t deserve His love or forgiveness. Or perhaps we feel our sins are far too great for anyone to forgive. One of the beautiful things about Christ is He isn’t just anyone. He is Someone. Someone who loved us so much He took our sins as His, even though He was sinless, and He gave up His life so we could have eternal life with Him when The Time has Come.

Have comfort knowing that each and every little thing about you He used by careful selection in your creation, and He did so because He has plans for you.

Ask Him to help you find your way, the one He uniquely designed you for, and then follow the plan He made for you. Once that’s done, He will move mountains to help you to achieve your absolute greatest. Have faith and then believe it to be true.

You are loved beyond words can express.

~J

To Script or Not

I try to avoid prescription chemical medications for many reasons, most importantly is because the affects of the side effects are worse for me than what the script is being used to treat for. I have many different health issues, which one may not guess to look at me, because most of them are ones that don’t always show externally.

And let’s not forget trying to remember following the detailed instructions in taking the script so as to avoid the side effects as much as possible, especially those rare side effects.

Which I happen to quite frequently fall into.

So, I eventually became my own personal advocate for my health and stopped lining the pharmaceuticals wallets with our hard-earned finances.

Since then I have researched a lot. I began making simple changes in my family’s nutrition. I had bloodwork done along with fasting. I abstained and slowly reintroduced options of things I was told I had allergens to. Oddly enough, most of my allergens were to healthy foods I loved!

So, I swapped out to organic and began the slow acclimation process.

But I also knew it was more than that. My size was out of control. Not even taking BMI into account, I was at that point teetering the line of morbid obesity. 4’11” and stuck at 145-150#. I saw a nutritionist, who let me know I was headed in the right direction, but I was lacking in nutrients.

I knew something that has worked in the past, so I immediately began saving up by using extra coupons, finding better deals, anything I saved from doing things like that, I put aside.

And I finally got it. Within 36-48 hours of beginning my program, I felt to be a completely different person… I was actually able to get out of bed and move within 4 hours of waking up!!!

Since then, I was able to lose over 35# and over 10 feet of fat from my body.

Then I began getting sick again. And any of my supplements or other natural and holistic weren’t helping out with some of the problems I was having. I was put on steroids, which caused me to gain 20# back, that I had kept off for over 3 years. I then had surgery, which kept me out of work and in bed. This caused me to gain an additional 10#. I was able to lose that and had finally gotten back down to less than 10# of where I was able to stay for the previous 3 years.

Unfortunately, the illness was brought on by a combination of things. Coworkers coming into work when they were contagious, improper sterilization/cleaning of shared equipement…having an already compromised immune system, it was not a healthy situation for me. What also came with this though was situations at work which became extremely stressful, causing me to acquire new illnesses…

I have faith and belief He will get me through this as He always provides for His children. If I don’t get what I think I should be, it only means He has something even better or greater in mind for me. This helps to alleviate some upset I may have because of expecting things to go my way, as if I’m God and He isn’t.

I know everything I go through in this life is for His glory. I only want to do the best I can to be the person He created me to be. I believe all the things which have happened to me in my life He has allowed because He knew it would help to strengthen me as well as He knew I would be able to not only learn, but to help others.

And that’s what it’s really about, right? At least this is something I need to be better at remembering. Sickness is as a result of the sin in the world. Everyone is dealing with something that no one knows nothing about. Be kind always. Try putting yourself in their shoes. Try to imagine what their life may be like.

I’ve found, usually the ones who are more watchers than doers when it comes to interactions with others, are the ones who are struggling with some deep thoughts and possibly demons. Show a caring hand by reaching out to them. See if there’s anything you can do to help, perhaps not by asking, because chances are they fear requesting help for rejection, but by listening, by watching, by being in the moments with them. See how they live.

Now, as far as the prescriptions go, I will do my best to do as I’m told, however, I will also be doing my own research and finding other more natural ways to hopefully deal with what is going on.

In the meantime, I get to begin the mental preparation of leaving the house in the morning for a couple of hours, and being around other people…I should probably not think about it so much so as to perhaps alleviate the stress and anxiety of it.

I truly hope and pray everyone had a blessed Memorial Day and realize the true meaning behind the holiday, and it’s not for the BBQ’s…

Be blessed knowing He loves and cares about you no matter what you’ve done. You just need to ask Him back into your life and for His strength to get you there.

~J

When the lenses have lost their color

As the title of my blog mentions, I have MS. I also have PTSD (I had not only a fairly traumatic childhood, but an adolescent one as well), Fibromyalgia, Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s Syndrome, BiPolar, OCD, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, IBS, and well, these are the most prominent anyway. Unfortunately, stressors, or triggers as I call them, can cause any one of these to act up individually, or as a group, and therein lies my health…

My Backstory:

I have no living grandparents. My maternal grandfather died when my mother was still in high school, so I never knew him, however, I did know my maternal grandmother who passed away from alzheimer’s in the past decade. My paternal grandmother also passed away from alzheimer’s in the early 80’s. My paternal grandfather lived until 1997 without her and died of old age (he was 93).

My parents seperated around the same time as my dad’s mom passed. About a year later, they divorced and my older brother, the closest relative I had and who would always stick up for me, died tragically. So much so, his funeral was a closed casket and us girls were unable to attend. The next year, my uncle/godfather (who also stuck up for me) was brutally murdered on one of the beaches at Cape Cod.

My father was abusive. He has since changed his ways, but it took many decades for him to learn he had the power to break the cycle. He was constantly picking on me about my weight, my large ears, and my very buck teeth. He wanted me to undergo a surgery to have my ears stapled so they didn’t look as large. He had me try every orthodontic procedure available before braces, and then the braces. Any food intake was constantly monitored.

My sister’s learning from our father’s treatment of me began rumors of nicknames for me at school such as Bugs Bunny Jr,  Bugs Bunny’s Sister, beached whale, overgrown walrus…it was awful. And mind you, we attended a parochial school, so if anything, this shouldn’t have been allowed. Anytime I mentioned something to a teacher, they basically brushed it off as something siblings do. I also had a family member who was sexually assaulting myself and my sisters, but we couldn’t say anything…

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And this all caused me to believe I wasn’t worth much, if anything. It didn’t matter to me how everyone is created in His image. I became an introvert. I wouldn’t go out of my way to speak with anyone because of my presupposed opinions of what they thought about me; none of which were positive. I turned to reading and writing poetry. I couldn’t speak with my mom, because my dad made it virtually impossible to have any type of a relationship with her until I was about 11-12 years old. At that point, I moved in with my mom and we eventually moved to Vermont.

If only all the abuse stopped once we moved. But it didn’t. Our step-father was not only sexually abusive toward my mom (which I didn’t find out until years after her divorce to him – the marriage only lasted 2-3 years at most), but others as well. While I had become the bit of an introvert, I did have a close circle of friends, some of whom I’m still in contact with today. This group of friends had introduced me into my first “real” bf outside of elementary school.

It’s too bad that he wasn’t all he projected himself to be. Shortly after my 14th birthday, he stole my virginity and then not only became verbally abusive, but physically abusive as well. I was so lost and confused and hurting, feeling as though God was upset with me for some unknown reason, I tried to take my life. I tried slitting my wrists and downed a full bottle of tylenol.

Obviously, it didn’t work.

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After my two younger sisters moved back down to live with my father again, my mom had become so concerned for my safety and well-being we moved out of that small town to try to get me away from the abusive boyfriend. We moved to one of the nearby cities, and he had no idea where I was. Until one of my sister’s had become angry with me for a reason I can’t even remember now, and she told him where we moved to. This began a chain of him stalking me and harassing me again. After about 3 months, my mom moved us again, to her hometown, and my sister told my ex where we moved to again.

Fast forward a couple of years. I then make friends with a new student at the school. Unfortunate for me, jealousy is a horrible thing, and rumors began being spread about me, and by the end of it, the girl I befriended was able to turn all my friends against me. I ended up getting horrific migraines and missed more school than I should have because of it.

It was around this time I was diagnosed as being bipolar and OCD. On top of that, my mom was working on trying to get one of my younger sisters out of the Massachusetts fostercare system and get her up to Vermont. So, there were a few times, after having gotten my license, where I would have the day off from school, and drive down here to Mass to go to juvenile court and be there on my sister’s behalf.

Eventually, it worked, and we gained custody of my sister again and she moved back to Vermont with us. But obviously she had been through so much, she was negatively changed, and the help to get her through all the pain wasn’t enough. She began to be physically and verbally violent and abusive toward our mother and I. She chased after our mother with a butcher knife, and had cut my eyes out of some of my pictures leaving them on my pillow with notes saying to not sleep too heavily or I will turn out like the pics.

Shortly thereafter I moved out into my own place. I was 16 years old, going to school full-time and working after-school part-time. I was still being bullied and dealing with the after-effects of it. I had become anorexic because I believed what the bullies had drilled into my head for so long – how I was so fat that no one could ever love me for anything except sex. I was alone and felt as though God was punishing me, because at that time I didn’t have the right kind of relationship with God. I didn’t know Him as my Loving Heavenly Father.

I didn’t have a personal relationship with him.

I would pray to Him. Sometimes, even, I would try to bargain with Him. I’m not the only one who has done this, and I’m certain I won’t be the last. This just goes to show how wrong my relationship was.

The guy who moved in with me. Boy, did I think he was who God wanted me to be with. I mean, my mom adored him and spent over 2 months saying and doing what she could to convince me I should go on a date with him. It was a whirlwind romance for certain. He was a perfect gentleman for a long time. He would walk up to the high school to meet me at the end of the day and walk me home. He would hang out with my mom and sister trying to learn more about me. It was only after a year of courting when we did move into the apartment together.

I eventually missed so much school they suggested I drop out and come back the next year. Instead of suspending or expelling those students responsible for the bullying, I suppose the paperwork was easier to just have the one that’s being bullied drop out and return to graduate with the following class. Of course, this didn’t help with the bipolar or the OCD.

Unfortunately, after a few months of my boyfriend and I living together, he began to change. Marijuana, speed, and alcohol became a daily occurrence, I began missing school, was still being bullied, but now my boyfried was allowing it by his friends. One of his best friends (who was dating one of my friends at the time) tried to rape me one night when he knew I would be alone. Were it not for one of my friends stopping by out of the blue, he may very well have succeeded.

I found out in the early spring of the next year I was pregnant. My doctors were all concerned because of the trauma I had suffered and all their diagnoses being I wouldn’t be able to hold a pregnancy past the first trimester. At the time of my finding out, I was about 2 months along. On my way to the hospital one day to have another ultrasound after finding out I was having twins, I got into an accident. I prayed. I prayed so hard. I wanted these children, not to try to keep my boyfriend, but because of the diagnoses from the doctors. I was even bargaining…again.

I bargained if He allowed me to have these babies, they would be His. The accident though caused me to lose one of the babies. I thanked God it wasn’t both of them and I prayed I would still be able to have the one who didn’t miscarry. It was at this point in my life I should have opened the Bible my mother gifted me for my First Communion, and began to learn how to be a godly parent. Yet, I didn’t.

The pregnancy was quite eventful. It was most likely due to all the stress I was under in addition to being a high risk pregnancy. I was in the hospital regularly for stress tests, and toward the end of the pregnancy, multiple times weekly I was in for overnight stays because my baby had this wonderful knack of giving his young mother a heart attack but just randomly stopping his heartbeat. Six months after giving birth to a beautiful and fully head of hair baby boy, It was necessary to cut ends with his father and informed him he was no longer living with us.

I then finished school and went right to work, taking some liberal college courses in the evenings while one of my cousins would watch my then toddler. I became involved in a wonderful relationship with a wonderful man. He loved my son as his own. He helped me to get an amazing job which was able to get me on my feet and off government assistance. Things were great for about a year. Then, not so much.

Our relationship ended, my son’s father’s new woman was a bit pscyhotic and tried running us off the road numerous times, and my father was becoming very ill.

So I packed up everything and left. Moved back down here and my younger sister introduced me to a man she said loved children and was an amazing person. I did end up marrying this man, but I’m not going to say the whole relationship was amazing, because that’s not the case.

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It came to be, as was the case with previous relationships, he was actually abusive and a cheater. The abuse didn’t begin though until after his mother passed away, though the cheating began to happen once she became real ill. Perhaps this was his way of acting out his anger, hurt, and frustration for losing someone he loved so greatly, he felt it okay to do so to the others who loved and cared about him.

And yet, I still married him, because I hoped he would change and at that time, I had a baby girl as well as my oldest and felt no one would ever want a single mom with two children. I turned to my mom for encouraging and truthful motherly advice and she basically echoed my thoughts. I wasn’t speaking with my father at that point because when told I was pregnant with my daughter (who I also had given to God), he said I should abort her because her father was a good for nothing. Basically, that earned his not being invited to the wedding.

I’m not going to say I was all right in the relationship and he was all wrong or vice versa, because it’s not true. Because every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Had I yet to open my Bible, I probably would have handled things differently, though I still didn’t have that personal relationship with Christ, and I wasn’t in regular attendance of a strong and Biblical Christian community.

So I continued to struggle. And my relationships continued to struggle. And I suffered multiple miscarriages. And I finally became pregnant again immediately following a miscarriage, so I prayed hard for a healthy baby I would give to Him, but I still didn’t open my Bible or try to get that close and personal relationship.

Though he was a twin where I did miscarry with the other, after a week stay in the hospital to clear up multiple infections early on in the pregnancy, I did have that healthy baby.

I was blessed to be able to stay home with the children. My oldest was in elementary school at that time, and my daughter was about to begin preschool. My husband was still in a downward depression years after the loss of his mother, and continued to turn to alcohol and other women. It was so bad, he actually brought one of the women he was seeing on the side into our apartment and said I needed to go out to a halloween party with her.

And still, I didn’t open my Bible, yet continued to bargain and pray. And I still didn’t have that relationship.

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Once all three children were in school full-time, I went out of the home to try to supplement the income, to do my part, so to speak. I was placed in an amazing government agency and met a wonderful Christian man. I was able to ask him questions I had and he would speak with me about it in a  way I would understand, but that didn’t stray from the Bible.

I became so excited! Finally! I found someone who could help me with whom I was also friends. We both decided though it would be easier for me on learning how to be a woman of God from another woman rather than a man, so he found a woman in his church who had a daughter my age, living in the same town as me, and who attended a church in close proximity to me.

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We began meeting and I then not only began attending and serving in the church, but became a member. I did pray regularly, but didn’t pray on if that’s where I was supposed to be or learn how to read and understand His word. I still didn’t have that personal relationship I was yearning for.

I began to become real ill. I had a nonstop 24/7 migraine I couldn’t get rid of. No doctor could figure out what was going on. I was finally sent to a neurologist after having partial lower paralysis for a week, who ordered a brain CT Scan. The results from that scan wound me up in the hospital for a week as they poked, prodded, and nuked my insides with the radiation from all the tests they ran. I ended up having three, yes, 3!!, spinal taps, and multiple visits to neurological specialists in Boston in a two-year time frame before finally receiving the diagnoses of Multiple Sclerosis and fibromyalgia.

Due to being bed-ridden, we began having pastoral visits at home. They helped me to stay in touch, but eventually, my husband had accused me of something which wasn’t true and had me ex-communicated from the church. It hurt so much I felt God really had no love for me. That He was so tired of me I had no right to be anywhere near His House, or His children. I believed Satan’s lie for about a year.

A whole year it took of me listening to my local Christian radio station, to believe He wasn’t angry with me, He still loved me and cared about me and missed me. He wanted me back, and I certainly wanted Him back, though He never left me.

I began attending a non-denominational church. It was Bible based teaching from God’s Word, and they welcomed me. In no time I began serving and learning how to have this personal relationship I’ve been longing for my entire life. I began praying again. Not bargaining prayers, but prayers of thanks and praise.

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I began to hear His loving voice to me. I listened to what The Holy Spirit was saying to me and I tried my best to be obedient, and if I wasn’t, to be remorseful and sincerely apologetic. I continued to pray on my relationship with my husband and for him as he refused to attend service. I was feeling compelled to leave my husband due to the Biblical reasons I had, but also because of how unevenly yoked we were.

It wasn’t until his anger and abuse had reached to the point of my oldest moving out, and my husband losing it on our daughter’s room with she and our youngest nearby watching and listening, I decided enough was enough. For a long while, in response to prayers on my relationship with him, I would receive a response I was to leave him. At first it was to be a separation allowing him time to work on his issues and me on mine. But after only a few weeks, he began seeing other women and wasn’t showing me he wanted the marriage to work, so I filed for divorce.

I didn’t know how I was going to support myself and my children. I was let go from the job I had, it literally took me nearly a year to get that job, I only recently began Herbalife and was suffering from deteriorating self-worth because of the marriage. My mom allowed the younger two children and I to move into her 2 bedroom duplex with her, but it was difficult to adapt for everyone, and my mom was verbally and emotionally abusive to my children, so I had to get out of there sooner rather than later. I hadn’t lived at home for 20 years and mom and I were both used to our own way of living. This was also her first house ever, so she shouldn’t have had to share it.

Even more so because her cancer returned and the aggressive treatments she was put on weren’t helping. She ended up suffering from a couple of strokes, needed a malignant tumor removed from her brain which all but killed her as she became a quadraplegic and unable to speak.

I prayed. I listened. I hoped. I dreamed. I obeyed.

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I was reacquainted with old friends who I know God put in my life again to help me push forward. One of those friends just happened to have a managerial position at his company and was looking for someone for the hours I needed. Needless to say, God blessed me by putting me in touch with this friend at just the right time.

 

Through this friend I got the job. I was then moved to a different department. It was at this point where mom became worse and the substitute manager of the department verbally assaulted me in the office in front of other employees and customers. At that point, I all but lost it, went to the GM, mentioned what happened, mentioned I was having symptoms from MS and they were getting worse by the minute, so I needed to go home.

Doing this got me fired, though they said I quit (forgetting if I quit I wouldn’t have left all of my personal effects), so there was a battle about unemployment, which I eventually won. Though I lost my mom a week and a half after I was fired, the win was bittersweet.

The previous department though allowed me to gain connections. One of these was at another company where I went to for business and came out with a job in the same department as the first one I was in at the other company. Coworkers were bullying me, and the manager of the department allowed it. In addition, we would agree to certain things, and then he wouldn’t follow through giving one excuse or another for it, and then outright lie about it. They told me things weren’t working out. I had surgery scheduled late in June, so I was looking for another job anyhow, but this put a wrench in the works.

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I continued to pray and believe. I finally had the close personal relationship with Jesus I had been longing for. I continued to remember His promise to His children in Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” He blessed the younger children and I and got me another (supposed to be) low stress job. Once I had been in the job for a few months, He blessed us again with a beautiful 4 bedroom house, they could keep their pets, it was affordable, in a good area, and the land-family is very sweet.

It seemed as though things were finally working out. I moved up the ranks at work quickly, but then I came into the same situation I had at the previous two jobs. I wouldn’t budget my time properly for alone time with Him. It became worse to the point where I began to have anxiety about going into work, and when I was there, I was physically ill. I went to see one of my doctor’s as I felt I was no longer in remission and they told me I was to remain out of work until further notice, and I would not be allowed back to the current job unless the manager was there.

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It had literally taken me 18 years to get to where I was when I left VT, and then all of this. I took precautions before leaving, as I was planning on staying at the company for a long time, so I signed up for short- and long-term disability as well as a Roth IRA.

Then I find out I’m being denied for everything. I can’t collect unemployment since I left on medical leave and can’t work. I was denied for the work disability because even though I received two additional checks after my last day of work and I wasn’t deemed unable to work until after the date I became eligible. I’m denied Social Security because I don’t have enough work hours/credits.

Trying to call anyone for any type of help is almost useless because even with my writing everything down, I don’t know how to do shorthand and so therefore cannot document full conversations so I will remember at a later time. YAY! brain lesions.

Not to mention the new and wonderful thing called: Agoraphobia. It literally takes me hours to mentally prepare to leave the house to go to a doctor’s appt. The only place I feel safe is in my home. I feel I’ve been abandoned by everyone. People I used to speak with regularly will no longer return my messages.

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Were it not for God reminding me Satan is the one who is sending these attacks, and the wonderful anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, and pain meds (I’m being very sarcastic about wonderful since I truly dislike prescription medication), I’d perhaps begin thinking nobody really liked me to begin with and that’s why they’re not talking to me.

But of course, that is all the devil’s doing, trying to steal my joy. Something I can’t allow.

I am truly believing I am going these trials during this season of my life for the goodness of His Glory. I believe in His Truth things will be better and He has wonderfully glorious plans for me and my children.

Each and every day is a struggle. While some days are more difficult than others, God continues to give me strength and makes all things possible. I may not understand fully why I’m going through what I am or what I have except I can continue to hope and pray He will use me as a means to share His light with others.

He loves us so much. No matter how many times we may mess up or falter, He is always there for us when we need Him and even if we don’t. Yes, we may be punished every once in a while, but that’s because He does love us and wants what’s best for us. I’m so grateful we can speak to Him whever we want and He will ALWAYS respond to us. No matter what. He is never too busy for anyone.

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Be Blessed. You are loved more than words can say. Be your absolute best and try to release any hurt or anger because it is only preventing you from having your own happiness. Don’t allow the devil to steal your peace.

~J

World MS Awareness Day

I read an article about Jack Osbourne’s dealings with MS this afternoon. To be honest, I completely forgot he was diagnosed shortly after I was and with the same type of MS, RRMS – Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis – which is the most common of the four different types of MS.

Thinking about it, I’ve come to the realization that I haven’t really done any research into my own diseases, not just the MS, to learn more about them and alternative or homeopathic remedies to help in the alleviation of the symptoms, since probably shortly after I was diagnosed.

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I suppose it’s as a direct result of the onslaught of television commercials and print ads for pharmaceuticals to help with all of the illnesses, but that come with their own plethora of side effects which are sometimes worse than the symptoms from the illness. My neurologist wants to put me on some chemo-type injections to at least halt the disease. I’m more than concerned about this. I want to get better, but I want to do so as naturally as possible.

So then I just continue to pray. That He will place on my heart the best path for me. Thus far since being diagnosed in 2010, it has been about keeping as many chemicals and processed foods/drinks out of my body and more natural stuff in. This has worked fairly well so far, and so, if something’s not broken it shouldn’t be fixed, you can always look for other ways to improve upon the current.

And that’s just what I’ve been doing.

I’ve begun getting into stretching, yoga, light weights, and cardio via running up and down my stairs. Overall I’m not feeling worse, but my internal system is still a bit out of whack.

To learn more about MS, please click here.

To learn more about my nutritional supplementation, please click here.

In the interim, and until I next post, be blessed and grateful for all you have in life. Be thankful for all the good so you could know joy and happiness, and thankful for all the not so good so you could gain experience and wisdom. I shall continue to pray that He leads me down the path I am to go on. Perhaps it is to bring further awareness to these diseases???

~J

Type A Procrastinator?

Is it truly possible? Can a Type A Personality actually be a Procrastinator? Or is it possible one could presume if the individual had involved, purposely or not, enough added circumstances or situations it could adversely affect one personality trait with another?

First, I would like to apologize for the erratic posting. As I’ve been a bit under the weather with this horrible cold on top of everything else, I’ve had plenty of thoughts on what to post about, but had such brain fog, couldn’t put the words down correctly. Prayerfully, this post won’t disappoint. 🙂

I have always been organized. Whether it’s a possible increase or growth of brain lesions or not, I have been completely bat brained lately. I can’t remember sometimes the most simplest of things, something that is a known result of the lesions due to their location on my brain. I have always been huge on routine, since a younge age which has been my way of having some type of control on what seemed a beyond out of control life.

For probably the past year though, I have been the worst Type A personality out there. I want to be in control, yet by procrastinating, while I’m being in control of my own actions, I’m not in control of when certain tasks are in need of completion. Of course, this typically happens only when it comes to paperwork, or online version thereof. However, once I have finally removed myself from that mode of delay, I find I’m beyond productive; it’s just a matter of getting to that point.

Unfortunately, over the past many months, with all the many different stressors along with the effect they have on my illnesses, procrastination has been more of a savior than not.

Retention has also been quite problematic. I am so far behind on weekly sermons due to slight agoraphobia coupled with having this horrible lung issue causing me to cough in bark-like sounding fits that are frequent and prevents regular church attendance. This, along with the retention issues have also made it difficult to view sermons online.

But alas, these are all excuses in His eyes. There is no reason whatsoever why I should continue to put myself and my earthly problems and desires above Him and my love for Him. He has always shown me love, protection, guidance, and provision. He never fails me and never will.

The problem with everything is me though. Not personally or physically, but mentally and spiritually. I allow myself to take my time away from being in relationship with God and learning more about Him and put useless distractions in those very times I had for Him. Soon enough, I began to be too busy, or too tired, or too sick, or too something, for making Him my priority as He did for me when He took my sins from me and was crucified on the cross. The amount of grace, forgiveness, and love, all of which I am quite undeserving of, but He so willingly and freely gave up the Life of His only Son, Jesus Christ, which should be out of reach, He gives to each and every one of us.

I hear the phrase God works in Mysterious Ways! more often than not. But I would like to posit His ways are truly not that mysterious if we are aware and conscience of all He truly is. This was just shown to me as I have been typing this and missing His community and ministry, a very dear Sister in Christ and Proverbs 31 Woman telephoned. He truly works in ways to make all things good for us as is promised in Jeremiah 29:11. She offered her assistance in any way to help as she understands the difficult season I am in and genuinely inquired how I was feeling…not just physically, but spiritually. Her call truly was sent to me by Him and I am beyond grateful. One of the best parts of our conversation was when she prayed for me.

Truly, I have never met a person who didn’t want to receive a prayer or two, or more. 😉 I’ve been blessed to have been prayed on by many different people and many different ways and types of prayer. Some were very simplistic, but to the point and clear. Others were lengthy and elaborate. There were also prayers which were a combination of things. But each prayer was said with love and faith they were already answered.

I suppose I could take a few lessons from my own post.

1 – Procrastination while Type A is possible, though essentially, not recommended.

2- While it is sometimes okay to escape in your head, it is not suggested to remain there for any length of time. The longer one remains detached from reality, the more difficult it can become to acclimate to life again once returned.

3 – While completely undeserving of eternal grace and forgiveness, if one is truly grateful and thankful for such a Gift, they should put Him as the highest priority in their life and always give thanks.

4 – God already knows what is needed. He always provides. While it is necessary to have that faith, He also expects for us to give our 100% as well. We are not to be idle.

Be blessed. Love lots. Give graciously.

~J

Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”