It is true. God does place people in your life who are full of encouragement just when you need it. He knows what you need. And He provides for you. He did just that for me today.
At some point today (while I was napping/resting/sleeping), I heard Bella barking. Lord, was she barking! But, my head was throbbing, and I chose to just lie there, like a knot on a log, and not get up to see if anyone was there. After a bit, Bella came back to bed and I asked her what she’d been barking at, but she just crawled back under the sheet and didn’t answer. So, I didn’t worry about it.
After finally getting up, I saw that Mary Helen had sent me a message saying someone was trying to get in touch with me. Upon seeing who it was, I told MH that I’d get in touch. I sent this person my number and said to give me a call, which she did.
She began the phone call by saying that I had been on her mind and that she thought God was telling her to contact me. We spoke for a bit about random things and then she told me how much she enjoyed reading my thoughts and wondered if I had ever thought about writing a book. I had to smile at that point. Yes, I’ve thought about it. Yes, I’ve been encouraged to do so. But, no, I don’t think I ever will. I explained that my thoughts are so random and most of them are so very personal, I cannot imagine getting them corralled into any type of meaningful book-type grouping.
I explained that I had begun my blog as a way to finally purge myself of childhood memories and experiences. As a means of therapy, the blog has been extremely successful. I was finally able to “let it all out” and that was good. I was cleansed of the secrets. But, in the same breath, it was devastating. I had spent my life keeping secrets and I had done a good job doing so. By finally putting those memories into word form for others to read, I exposed myself to judgement and criticism. I had told the world who I was and what I had done and that was, and still is, a frightening feeling. And I had done it in front of the town in which I live. I had come clean in front of the people who had been participants. Not only did I expose myself, but I exposed them, also. While I named no names, I know that people aren’t stupid. With a bit of thinking and talking to others, identities can easily be known. And that is not fair to them. At that point, the guilt began.
I’ve always been someone who can claim guilt in a hot minute. I do it well. In fact, I am a dad-gum expert at claiming guilt. I have to smile at this thought because my therapist has told me a million times that I needn’t think that I was so important that I could claim to be the “best” at anything in the world, but I know that if I’m not the best guilt-claimer, I’m right up there at the top of the heap. So, with this, the cycle begins again.
But, let’s get back to God putting people into your life at specific points. I needed this call today. I needed to hear words of encouragement. I have cut myself off from most of my friends lately. It’s safer to isolate, to not have to constantly wonder if someone is judging me. I have a core group of friends with whom I can be totally open and they have been my salvation. They know me; they know all my secrets and they know how these secrets have affected me. They pass no judgment; they only give love. But saying that is not fair to others. I most certainly have received encouragement and love from many others. And I know, in my heart, that judgment is not being passed. It’s my head that gets in the way. My head is trained to believe that I am guilty of everything and that I am not worthy, and I find it almost impossible to get rid of those thoughts of guilt and judgment. That, my friends, is what depression does to you. It makes you believe all those dark, ugly thoughts that swirl through your mind. It makes you believe that you are not worthy, not deserving of anything good, not deserving of forgiveness. No matter how many people give love, there is always that one memory of someone telling you that you are not worthy and are not loved. And you latch onto that one thought and believe it. And yes, at this point, I truly miss my sweet friend, Luann. She was always quick to remind me to clean out my thought closet, to rid myself of all those dark, ugly thoughts, and to remember that I am loved.
But today, God sent someone to remind me that I am worthy. And I needed to hear that. He knows that I am struggling. He knows that I am in the midst of a war with myself and that isolation has become my best friend. So he sent Elaine Hicks. Thank you, Elaine. I needed to hear your words today. You will never know how much I appreciate those kind words. Yes, I will continue to write as you have suggested. I will use my words to help myself and perhaps to help others. Who knows? Maybe one day I will find a way to put them all together in book form as you suggest. We shall see. Until then, I will use my blog.
As I got ready to post this, I received a message from Mary Helen making sure that I had followed up on contacting Elaine. I shared with her the encouraging words I had received from Elaine and how they had helped fill my heart. Here’s the kicker. Mary Helen then sent me the following message and from it you shall see why she is part of my core, part of what sustains me. “Like Mark Twain wrote about the Mississippi, Faulkner about race and class, you write from the depths of your soul. And often your pain is palpable.” Mary Helen “gets” me. With words like this, my heart is full.