And now, a rant from your resident Nora

I've been told before that I'm lucky to be on Medicaid. While I don't deny that it has it's benefits, do any of the people having any idea of the hell I face?

In order not to have chronic nausea, I require a medication that costs over 2 grand a month. I don't get it.
In order to not have chronic pain, that would run nearly 200 a month. Instead of paying for that, they pay for trigger point injections, acupuncture, physical therapy, and more. When if they just paid for the damn medication, it would be cheaper.
They denied my spacer for my asthma inhalers. 30 bucks. Complete with rude pharmacy tech who got snippy with me when I told her I couldn't pay today.

I'm filing an appeal for my CT scan. If it's denied, it's over $1,000. Why did I have it? To make sure that the rods from the back surgery that we had to FIGHT to get covered, hadn't shifted. Yet, oh no, it's not "medically necessary."

I can't get the cough medicine I need to sleep some nights. It's only $35.

I don't have the money laying around to cover these meds. I go without medical treatment that I need, just like everyone else does. Just like the people who have "good" insurance, I go without.

Just because I'm on welfare doesn't mean that I get everything handed to me on a silver platter, which many seem to think. I still fight for my medical needs, and yes, I go without.

Don't just judge me because I'm on welfare. I don't have it easy, either.


Until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow

I miss the Christmases of my childhood. Since moving to Minnesota, I have not been to a single Christmas Eve service. Something has come up every single year and I haven't gone. I've spend them with friend's families every year. But oh... sometimes I miss the traditions of childhood.

I miss my childhood tree ornaments. I miss eating a shrimp ring on Christmas Eve. I miss my grandfather heckling me on Christmas Day. I miss playing with my new toys on Christmas morning.

It's hard, I guess, and a part of growing up.


Do not go gently in that good night

I'm gonna walk with my granddaddy,
and I'll match him step for step
And I'll tell him how I've missed him every minute since he's left
and then I'll hug his neck

Pawpaw's birthday was yesterday, and I forgot it. I'm an awful, awful granddaughter. I feel awful because he was the most important man in my life, and I loved him dearly. I still miss him. I still grieve him. And how could I forget his birthday? My grandma's (dad's mom, not Pawpaw's bride) was December 5th. She'll be gone 16 years come January 27.

Funnily enough, my Mawmaw and my Grandpa Dale had the same birthday, only one year apart. That's pretty cool.

I miss my grandparents. I hate being only 24 and that my grandparents died in 1975, 1996, 2006, and 2010. It's a weird, hallowing feeling that they're gone. And in some ways, I'm angry and bitter about it. In some ways, I feel bad for sometimes forgetting dates like the day they were born or the day they died. I know, I've been swamped with school, finals, and health stuff and they wouldn't want me to be held up. And I just feel so lonely... so lonely. My grandparents are gone. My future husband will never meet my grandparents or my parents. I'm left alone. And it sucks.

these wounds won't seem to heal
this pain is just too real
there's just too much that time cannot erase...


One December, bright and clear

For the longest time, the month of December has sucked. It's always been a hard month. Various things have happened in December over the past 6 years, and it's just an incredibly difficult month. I last saw my father that December morning, 6 years ago (I moved out on October 31, but I last saw him in December). 5 years ago, I was in the psych ward over December. Various things happened over the years, and December just seems to be the month when the shit always hits the fan.

Christmas holds a lot of painful memories. And it's hard to have a "good" Christmas in spite of all that, in spite of all the pain and anger that also happens over the holiday season.

"Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
let your heart be light,
next year all our troubles will be far away...

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
make the Yulitude gay
Next year all our troubles will be miles away

Once again, as in golden days,
happy golden days of old
Faithful friends that are dear to us,
Will be dear to us once more

Some day soon, we all will be together
If the fates allow,
Until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

I know that Christmas will always be difficult. I know that I won't be spending it with my biological family, and, well, that sucks. There's no sugar-coated, candy-frosted way to say it, it sucks. But until the day when I'm able to accept things, until the day where I spread my wings and fly, I can allow myself to have a "Merry Little Christmas" until then.


So tired that I couldn't even sleep

December 3, 2004.
3:43 AM Eastern Standard Time

"sometimes, i just want to give up. i just want to scream. and cry. just to avoid the look in people's eyes. just to avoid the look in people's eyes. it's why i hate talking to people, you see the pity in their eyes, not only pity, but concern, but love...

Did I say I hate love? I really don't know. I hate pity. I have having people worried about me, and concerned. And love...it almost scares me. I'm not talking about a boyfriend "oh my gosh you're so cute" love, or a grandmotherly "I want to squish you" love, I mean a more of..compassion? a more of I care about you, Angelique love. and in a way, it does scare me. having people love me. having people care about me. That honestly is a scary thing, because if I screw up, I have people who will be worried about me, because they do care. If I show them how much I'm hurting, I have people who will be worried about me, because they do care.

and it's just...I don't know. I don't even know anything anymore. Well, I know stuff, saying I don't know anything is like saying a fish doesn't know how to swim. and I just want to break down. and let someone hold me, and let me tell them what all has been eating at me. and it just seems...like I can't. like there's a wall.

And I know I've always been one to build up walls. I've built up walls for so long, I don't know if there's anyway to tear them down."
I wrote this 7 years ago. I was 17, homeschooled, and still living with my father. This was before all the shit hit the fan.

I wonder the same thing this days about love. And walls. Do I put up walls to protect myself, or do I put them up to protect the ones I love? Do I really love? Love still scares me so much. To allow myself to be loved, and allow myself to love. To be that vulnerable, that open, that free with someone. I don't know that I can allow myself to do that... and it scares me because I almost like my walls. They're not the best for me, but they're safe.

How do I tear down and allow myself to be vulnerable?


I learned it bywatching you.

Tim Hawkins summed up this song with "My son got mad 'cause I worked all the time, he grew up to me a jerk just like me. And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon, and some other poetic stuff."

John Mayer sang "Fathers, be good to your daughters. Daughters will love like you do." A powerful PSA from 1980's is "I Learned It By Watching You"

The thing is, children learn from their parents, if they want to admit it or not. Ultimately, in the end, we have the choice to act on what we learned and what we were taught, but it doesn't mean that it lessens the imprint on us.

There was never a time my father was without a bear can in one hand. His breath always smelled like beer, usually Milwaukee's Best. He'd sit in front of the computer, with his bag of potato chips and his beer can, watching the telly.

I learned so much from watching him. I learned how to be a good girl. I learned how to act on and to lead people on into thinking everything is fine. I learned how to play the game that makes people think that life is fine and I learned how to throw up walls. I won't even go into what I learned from my mother.

And then it scares me -
what will I teach my children?


Every lament is a love song

My dad's dad died in 1975.
My Grandma Dixie (dad's mom) died when I was eight.
My Pawpaw (Mom's dad) died when I was nineteen.
My Mawmaw (Mom's mom) died when I was twenty-three.
There was my great uncle, my great aunt, etc, etc, you get the picture. I've been to more funerals than weddings in my lifetime.

I've had various friends die over the years. Most were ones I used to be close to but then fell out of touch with. One I used to be close to, then we had a fight and never made up. Others, I just got busy and selfish with life and we just didn't talk anymore. And it sucks. I have various memorials set up in my room to various people: a stuffed pee cup for Nick (LONG STORY), the teddy bears Rachel sent me long ago, my grandpa's beanie baby lady bug, the list goes on.

Hell, I just don't grieve well, I don't think. I stuff and I stuff and I stuff and I stuff. My puppy (Pirate wasn't even a year old when he died) died 10 years ago and I still haven't fully processed it.) But my biggest fear is that I am going to die young. I'm plagued by health problems. What if I die young? What if I leave friends behind asking the same questions I am asking now? What if it isn't my health that takes me, but a car accident? Something else? Will I leave behind a legacy?

I just can't help but wonder these things. I'm terrified of dying.

Mrs. Tanner: Sweetie, I'm seventy-four years old, I'm ready to go.
J.D.: Yeah, but with dialysis, you could live another...eighty or ninety years.
Mrs. Tanner: I think you're being a little irrational.
J.D.: No I'm not.
Mrs. Tanner: Everybody dies sometime.
J.D.: No they don't.


Dr. Cox: (In mock crying voice) But what about our duty as doctors? (Back to normal voice) Look. This is not about Mrs. Tanner's dialysis, this is about you. You're scared of death, and you can't be; you're in medicine for chrissakes. Sooner or later, you're going to realize that everything we do around here, everything is a stall. We're just trying to keep the game going, that's all. But, ultimately, it always ends up the same way.


I'm terrified of death, which is odd considering I was hospitalized in 2006 due to being suicidal and in a crisis home for the same reason in 2009. But I'm terrified of death. It scares me senseless. and that's just... I don't even know. I'm out of words to describe how it makes me feel. But I know that my health is falling apart. I know I'm not a healthy 24 year old.

And it breaks my heart that one day, likely while I'm still young, my friends will be wrestling with the same gut-wrenching questions that I wrestle with.

Every lament is a love song,
yesterday, yesterday,
I still can't believe you're gone...


Because a thankful heart is a happy heart

"I give thanks for this day, for the sun in the sky!"

It's Thanksgiving 2011. As I sit in northern Minnesota watching The Big Bang Theory wearing pajamas and mismatched socks and a mug of Nutcracker Sweet tea, I realize that I have so much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for funny TV shows, such as The Big Bang Theory, Scrubs, and How I Met Your Mother. They allow me to laugh and just enjoy things.

I am thankful for friends. Friends are family, too. I am thankful for friends that make sure I am no alone on holidays and that send me random texts throughout the day. I am thankful for random facebook wall posts, random emails, et al.

I am thankful to be alive. After the epic medication fail right after back surgery, after being diagnosed with an eating disorder, after medical test after test, I am grateful to be alive. Even though days are difficult and things like fibromaliga suck, at least my doctors are trying are to give me answers.

I'm thankful for video games! They are fun to play and give me an escape from life. And they let my mind wander and explore things.

I am thankful for gluten free food and that companies are getting better and making gluten free food.

I am thankful for comfy clothes.

I am thankful for my honey dew shampoo that makes me smell awesome.

I am thankful for the Tea Gardens! Mmm, bubble tea.

I am thankful for going to a school where there are disability coordinators who work with me and don't belittle me.

I am also really thankful for a break from school. I was approaching a nervous breakdown and about to totally fall apart from stress. Which would be bad. I don't think exploding and randomly falling apart is generally advised. I am still stressed to high heaven but hopefully the break will give me a chance to breathe.

I like writing out this thankful blog post! ^_^


Now she's left cleaning up the mess he made

I still haven't forgotten that autumn day, ten years ago. November 28, 2001. It's kind of hard to believe. I was depressed. And by depressed I mean really freaking depressed. I was fourteen years old. And I had a plan to end my life.

I likely would have gone through with it, had a friend not intervened and notified the police. Had the police not shown up at my small Christian school. I'm told I'm lucky I wasn't taken into custody or admitted to the hospital.

But even more important was that was the day I realized my dad didn't care. I was fourteen years old, depressed, and realized where my dad's priorities were. My school principal had called my church youth pastor, and my youth pastor informed my father. Less than a couple days later, my father no longer cared that I had had a plan to end my life. He was back to his old self.

This is part of why I struggle to view God as a father. Logic tells me that not all fathers are like that. I KNOW good fathers. I KNOW good, Christian fathers and I know good, atheist fathers. I know there are good Jewish fathers, there are good agnostic fathers, it goes on and on and on. But the fact of the matter is I can't wrap my mind around the concept that the father God is like is nothing like the father I had. Someone who was never there when I needed him. Someone who always had beer in the fridge, but not always a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread.

It gets harder and harder this time of year. Well-meaning people ask if I'm going home for the holidays, and I never know how to answer. I shrug it off, but it still hurts. The ache still lies inside. I have a place to go for the holidays, but gosh, it's not the same.

and I don't know where I'm going with this. :P

Oh, you see that skin?
It's the same she's been standing in
Since the day she saw him walking away
Now she's left, cleaning up the mess he made

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too


After all this time? Always.

It's been five years since my grandfather died. Five years this past August. And I still miss him. I miss him I miss him I miss him. He was the closest thing to a father I had. I recently found this piece I wrote sometime in 2007. Maybe it was an essay. Maybe it was a monologue. I have no clue what it was, but I feel that it's something I want on my blog so here it is.

A Ladybug's Lament - written summer 2007.
It's been nearly a year since you lost the war. Times flies faster than what you expect, and the pain is still as strong. Although the war was lost, the battle was won. You were strong - a trooper, a warrior, a soldier.

You always kept your morale high. Even when you were at your sickest, you'd still have the strength to tease me. You'd always have something to say to make me laugh. You might of never said the words “I love you” to me, but you did it without speaking.

You are my inspiration. You were always humble; you always had something good to say about people. When I think about giving up in this world, I think about you and how you didn't give up. I remind myself of how you were a fighter - and that is what I want to be.

I can't believe it's been so long. Do you have any idea how many lives you touched with your gentle sense of humor and your loving ways? You had a way of touching every life you came in contact with. You touched the doctors who treated you and you touched the family who loved you. You touched those who just stopped in to say hello.

I have always been told that home is where the heart is. However, my heart is broken because you're not here to make it “home” anymore. You always fixed things for me when I was little. Can you fix my heart this time?

You're in a better place, and I rejoice for that. You no longer have the chains of cancer pulling you down. Are you turning cartwheels down the golden streets? I always longed to be able to do a cartwheel. Will you do a few for me? One day, I'll join you. Together, we'll terrorize the angels and swing on the pearly gates. We'll be united again, and you can torment me once more.

Every time I see a ladybug, I think of you. I know when I see a ladybug somewhere, that you're there watching me. I know it is your way of saying you are still here with me. Even though you're gone, your spirit still lives on inside of those ladybugs. I don't believe in reincarnation. However, I have to wonder as I see those ladybugs if it is not actually you. Perhaps you are simply sending them from Heaven, as a sign that you are okay. They are a sign that you are still thinking of me, your “little maple leaf.”

“It don't matter where you bury me, I am home and I am free. It don't matter where I lay, all my tears be washed away.” (Jars of Clay, “All My Tears”). I often feel bad that we couldn't provide a better burial for you. We gave you what we had. I feel bad that there's not a proper tombstone at your grave. These trivial things don't matter in the big spectrum. Are you crying now? I'm crying as I'm writing this. When I greet you again, will you wash away my tears the way Jesus is washing away your tears now?

You are free, Pawpaw. You are no longer fighting the battle against cancer. You are truly an inspiration. You are truly the one I will always weep for. You are the one man who will always hold a place in my heart. You are my hero - I love you.


Nothing (To My Father)

I wrote this poem my senior year of high school spring semester. The assignment for class was to write a "tribute" or "dedication" poem to someone. The other students in this class wrote these mushy lovely poems to someone they admired or who they looked up to. Me? I took the exact opposite approach. I blew the socks off the creative writing teacher as this was his first year teaching and I guess he wasn't expecting that. That's me, breaking the norms! ;D

It has been revamped since then (I last modified it sometime in 2008 when I took creative writing at community college) because I didn't like the format that the teacher made me stick to. So I tightened the language, made it in a style and format I liked, and this is the final project. I still have the original somewhere but I like this quite a bit better. ;)

Nothing (To My Father)

I reflect upon the past,
wondering if I knew the truth
or if I was fooled, and what I knew was

What happened to make things change?
When did you quit loving me?
Did you ever truly love me, or am I

Stop tormenting me!
Yet why should you love me?
Whatever did I do; am I just

You used your tricks to harm me,
and wounded me by your words.
Some scars never heal,

Your priorities were distorted
Alcohol was your idol,
I realized I was simply

I believe Family is the most important thing
You claimed it.
Yet your actions proved otherwise,

The lies begins to come out,
I'm victim to your hypocrisy,
and fading into

As I learned the truth,
and free myself from your grasp
I realize that I was never

Starting live anew,
running free from the past
learning to live without you, no longer

And in the end,
I realize at last
it is not I, but it is you who is

If only in my dreams

I'm dreaming tonight of a place that I love
Even more than I usually do
And although I know it's a long road back
I promise you
I'll be home for Christmas,
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree
Christmas eve will find me,
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams
Listen to Josh Groban sing I'll Be Home for Christmas!

I know I'm not in a war zone. I know I have a place to go for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. But it doesn't replace the ache that lives in my heart. It doesn't replace the loneliness. And I miss the Christmases of my childhood which will never exist again, because both my grandparents are dead. Mawmaw will have been gone one year come Thursday, Paw's been gone for five years now. Christmas just hasn't been the same since Christmas 2005 - my first one without a father and my last one with my Paw.

I don't remember many Christmases before the divorce. They split the summer between first and second grade. I remember getting my tape (as in cassette, yo. Old skool!) deck for a present one year and headphones with it, only to discover it had a microphone jack, not a tape deck.

After the split, it was pretty simple. I'd spend Christmas Eve with my father, then he'd drop me off at the grandparent's for Christmas day, and then I'd go to my mom's for the evening. Some may call it chaotic, but it was what I was used to and all I really knew. And there'd be fun stocking stuffers and good food and presents and FAMILY. But all that is but a distant memory. I don't have it anymore.

I spent Christmas 2006 and New Years 2007 in the Psych Ward. To put it simply, it sucked. Don't ask me what happened on Christmas 2007. I think we went to Maw's after everyone else had left and spent the rest of the day in the new apartment. '08, '09, and '10 I've spent with friends, and will again for '11. Don't get me wrong - I am blessed and grateful to have friends who open up their hearts and home and treat me as one of the family. It's a blessing beyond measure.

But it doesn't heal the ache.
And I'm still homesick for something that doesn't even exist anymore, and I'm not sure every truly did exist.


have you ever heard of a greater love?

This is the day 6 years ago that I decided to write about a youth retreat I'd gone on the previous weekend. It was junior year of high school. To set the setting: I was still living with my father and I was homeschooled. I was attending the Church of Christ. I was full force into self injury, and starting to lapse into an eating disorder. I am not editing grammar or words, but to think the day that my faith was strengthened was six years ago, only to be shattered less than a year later. Only to be torn to shreds. That year I started to climb out of depression, to see the light, to see HOPE. But then senior year happened, and it all fell to shit.


This retreat..blew me away. and I shall share it with you. Because you are all cool people..and I can.

Friday wasn't much. It was Friday. Not much happens on Friday. Just cause it's Friday..'ya know?

I watched soccer tournments on Saturday..fun stuff..and attended an elective Saturday afternoon..which was great...

Saturday was the day. I broke. I’ve been breaking for awhile, and I just totally broke, and I didn’t tell anyone what all was going on. I mean, I can’t even talk about it. I’ve never shared this part of my life with anyone. I’m Angelique. I’m strong. And I made it through the morning fine. Had a blast watching soccer, and eating, and just being a kid, just hanging out and goofing around and hanging out. Which isn’t something that I do often. Finally, it happened. The floodgates broke. And I mean, I was to the point where I was crying so hard, that I couldn’t talk..or sing the words to the worship songs. And I just felt so totally empty inside. And I was. I was empty and broken. and I just sat there and cried. and cried. for at least fifteen twenty minutes…it started out as nothing then got harder…and I was so tempted to walk forward, but let all my fears ingulf me. Kinda like the morning message, when he was talking about fears. I let my fears consume me.

And why? Everything. Like they showed a video of Christ on the Cross…and I lost it. I’ve cut myself when he died for me? Come on! How could I be so lame? How could I turn to myself, when he died for me so I could have life? How could it be? And I’ve felt so empty inside lately, even when singing the worship songs this weekend, and I can’t make myself belive the Bible, like I know what it says, and I know it’s true…and I can’t make myself believe it.

And you know what amazed me more? I was sitting there with two other friends. My youth pastor and the rest of my church was way behind me. A sponser from another church came over to me and asked me if I was alright. And he prayed for me and told me he would be contining to pray for me. It just amazes me. That I'll most likely never see this guy again (unless I'm at other local Ohio events and see him)..and it's just..wow..and he also came over to me on Sunday and told me he was..and it's just amazing..it blows me away..that someone who doesn't even know me can care about me and want to pray for me. That someone who knows nothing about me, my bitter past, my unknown future..and want to help me. And it hurts..and it heals.. 'ya know?

On Sunday..I broke. Again. I'm tired of breaking..but I realized that I do. It's true. I just like God. I don't really love him, I don't really have the burning passion I should. I have so much in my life eating up at me. But I'm too scared to recommit. Which is why I didn't this weekend. Cause I always blackslide. I always fall back into my old habits. So why should I even try to change when I know I'm going to fall back into what I once was agian, 'ya know?

And I feel so empty inside. And broken. And I like God. I don't love Him. and I hate it. Both times..my youth minister asked me if I was alright and if I needed to talk. I told him I didn'tknow if I was alright and that I didn't need to talk..orthat I din'dtk know if he could help..becuase I'm just hurting so much..hurting beyond words I guess?

My elective Saturday night was just plain out spiffy. Chris is so crazy and great. God forgives me, and I really need to forgive myself. I've sinned against God, and I need to realize that. I need to realize that God's given me forgiveness, and I need to let it go. I just can't sit there staring at my sins, and just be like..whoa..that's cool...and not do anything. I need to get in gear, and do something wtih it.

I didn't eat much on Sunday...and so of course, I got told I needed to eat..but I still didn't, and I really don't care. I didn't take communion either. And I feel bad about it, because I attend a church that believes you should take communion every sunday. But my heart isn't right with God. And eveything is broken. So..I can't take it since everything is so wrong..

And I look at the bracelet I got. I didn't even get it when everyone else did..I was crying too hard to go up front..so I dashed up after it was over and grabbed one, but that's ok. Sure, it's too big, and just dangles on my wrist..but hey. I wear it for a double reason. Livestrong. They livestrong through cancer. I support that cause. I am a surviour. I dunno how many of you know that. But I'm a surviour. I had a tumour removed when I was four. Of course, everyone has friends and family members who suffer from cancer, I don't think there's a single soul on planet earth who hasn't been touched in some way, shape, or form by cancer. And in the same way, I can livestrong without cutting. I can livestrong in Christ.

And I'm seriously shutting up now.

I see this post, and long for that childlike faith to return. I'd already seen hell at that point and had no clue of the further flames of hell that would lick me again. How I wish I could stay innocent and naive. How I wish I could stay hopeful for such beautiful things.


I'm still fighting to walk towards the light

I've been told many times that I'm disabled because I'm demon possessed.
I've been told that I am depressed because I am not right with God.
I am told that if I just surrendered my mental health stuff to God, it would get better.
You know what?
It ain't that simple.

More than that?


You (general, not aimed at anyone today claim to love God and love His people. Yay! That's great! Go team you! Fight the power!

But don't cast judgement on me.
You have no idea.

Do you have any idea how many tears I've cried?
Do you know how many times I've broken down, alone, in a pile of tears because this so-called God hasn't chosen to heal me?
Don't you think I WANT, I CRAVE, more than ANYTHING to be healed?
And don't think you're coating it by staring at me, by whispering behind my back.
I'm not stupid and I'm not deaf.
I know.

I'm fighting every day to keep going, and some days the fight is harder than others.
So for someone to say such things, I'm afraid next time one of those things is said it's going to hit my Beresek Button and I will flip out on an innocent, well meaning person.

I juts wish people THOUGHT before they spoke. I feel that since I have crutches, I'm a magnet for people to spew their religion on me. =/


Halloween, Reformation, and Independence

I find it interesting that my Independence Day falls on Reformation Day. I don't expect all my readers to know the details about it, but here are the basics:

Once upon a time in a land far away, there was a dude named Luther. His teachings radically reformed Christianity, and even formed a denomination (called, you guessed it, Lutheranism! Wow, y'all are a smart lot!). Luther, more or less, decided enough was enough and nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Schlosskirche, a castle church in Wittenberg in 1517. This sparked the Reformation. That's a very barebones version, and likely not the most historically accurate. I'm not a profound theologian.

It's certainly interesting. This day is also Halloween - grim grinning ghosts, candy, trick or treat, and more. Halloween was banned when I was a kid because, you see, Jesus wouldn't go door to door begging for candy. Clearly.

But when I think of 31.10, my brain goes back to a different place. 31.10.2005. I was 18 years old, and a senior in high school. A few days later I got the rest of my possessions out of my father's apartment, but that was it. It's hard to believe I've been away from him for six years. It's hard to believe where I was when I was 18. I was still cutting at the time. I was deep in depression (understandably! I had faced things that no one ever should, and made decisions that some adults never have to make). My father later sent me emails chastising me for my decisions.

It gets more complicated because this anniversary also marks the shattering of my faith. Up until this point, I was pretty confident in my faith. But when I went to the church for help and assistance with a difficult, painful choice, and was turned away, my heart broke. When they helped him (note: he needed help, he NEEDS help so badly. But he didn't get what he needed and it breaks my heart. I still want nothing more for him to get the help he needs) instead of helping me and literally turned me away, then I got angry and bitter.

This is a song I remember hearing on Christian radio a far amount those days:

She fools all of her friends into thinking she's so strong,
but she still sleeps with the light on
and she acts like it's alright on
As she smiles again
And her mother lies there sick with cancer
And her friends don't understand her
She's a question without answers
Who feels like falling apart
And she knows, she's so much more than worthless
She needs to find a purpose
She wonders what she did to deserve this
And she's calling out to you
This is a call, this is a call out...
This Is A Call - Thousand Foot Krutch

I think this song sums up that time frame well. Replace mother with "grandfather" (who died the summer after I graduated high school) and there you have it.

I don't know anymore. I sometimes wonder if I'll ever recover from what my father did to me. Maybe I will. Maybe I won't. Maybe I will and it will always shape a part of my personality.

But sometimes, oh sometimes, I wish when my insomnia is rampant I could pick up my phone and cry to my Daddy. I wish that I could find a friend to get in a car with and drive home, knock on the door, and shock him by showing up randomly. Oh, how I wish beyond wishing that I had a Daddy. But I NEVER had a Daddy - I had a father. And at times, since I don't speak to either parent, I feel orphaned. It makes for some really awkward moments in class some times. For example: "How did your parents parent you when you were five?" Cue instant panic attack from me trying to avoid thinking about it. We had to do a family survey in adol. psych and thank GOD the prof bailed me out when she took one look at my face and could tell it was distressing me.

Gosh. As much as people say it's boring to be normal, trust me, this is one place where I'd love to be normal. Trust me.


I sit here locked inside my head

All your insults and your curses
Make me feel like I'm not a person
And I feel like I am nothing
But you made me, so do something
'Cause I'm fucked up because you are
Need attention, attention you couldn't give
I sit here locked inside my head
Remembering everything you said
This silence gets us nowhere, gets us nowhere way too fast
Staind - For You

How long before you screw it up?
And how many times do I have to tell you to hurry up?
With everything I've done for you,
the least you can you do is keep quiet
Be a good girl,
you gotta try a little harder
That simply wasn't good enough
to make us proud
Alanis Morissette - Perfect

Mommy, don't you love me?
Then why do you hurt me?
Daddy, don't you love me?
Then why did you hit me?
Well I tried to make you proud,
but for crying out loud
Just give me the chance to hide away
Exhaustion takes over,
won't this someday be over?
Jars of Clay - He

I can't stop obsessing over the fact the anniversary is coming. I can't stop thinking about it. I want to stop thinking about it, but my stupid brain won't turn off. I want to be free from this crap.

I just want to be free.


Love in any language, not so spoken here.

I find myself struggling with love. It's such a simple concept, really, but at the same time it's so complex and layered. It's seemingly simple, but also complicated and painful. There are so many Bible verses that speak of love:

"Perfect love casts out all fear. We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:18-19
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not post, it is not proud. blah blah blah" 1 Cor.

And so many more. The Beatles sang that "All you need is love." We need love at the core of our being, it's something we all long and crave for.

But the thing is? Love scares the everliving shit out of me. Imagine being a child, and your father never telling you he loved you. Imagine being a child, and the hands that were supposed to love you wound up hurting you. Imagine it. (This is also why I cannot view God as a father and cannot grasp that theological concept, but that is another blog entry all together).

People who know me know I struggle to tell my friends I love them. Sure, I show it in many ways: I send them small gifts, I send them cards, I write out Bible verses on note cards to encourage them, and so on, and so forth. But to actually say the words "I love you" is SO DIFFICULT.

And I think that is where some of my God struggles come into play: I can't grasp the fact that He loves me so. I can't grasp the fact that I am loved by Him. And it's not that I don't want to be Loved by Him, it's that I don't fully understand fatherly love. At all. Again, the father rant is for another blogpost (likely on 31.10, considering that's my independence day)

Love is so much - and something I crave so deeply. Something my soul yearns for, something my spirit desires.

But I don't understand it,
and it scares me to death.


Sometimes you just gotta buckle down

People have often told me they don't understand how I do it.
How I went gluten free on a tight budget.
How I stay in school with all my health problems.
How I function on my own.
How I make ends meet each month.

The thing is I haven't done anything special. I'm not anyone special, I'm just your average 24 year old who loves Sims and Pokemon, anime and manga, the colour orange, monkeys and elephants, you get the picture. And the thing is before I had to do it, I thought I couldn't do it.

The truth is when you find yourself in difficult circumstances, you somehow find the strength to carry on. When you see others in dire places and think "Wow, I could never do that" the truth is when push comes to shove and it's your only option, you just buckle down and do it. It's not easy. It's painful. It sucks. It's difficult.

But I'm not a superhuman because I am where I am now. Because I stay in school with mostly decent grades (adol psych will come up!), because I live on a small budget, because I do so much myself.

Truth is I don't know how I do it, and some days I doubt that I can keep doing it.


oh, for grace to trust him more

I suppose this isn't explicitly from the bible verses, but I find it interesting how whenever angels appear in the Bible, they start off with "Do not fear!" Now, in our precious moments bibles and children's bible stories angels are portrayed as lovely, gentle beings. However, they always start off convos with "Do not fear!" So yet, angels are truly fearsome beings and I don't feel that this is stressed enough in theology.

Psalm 139:13-14
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Even though I don't feel that I'm wonderfully made as my leg drags when I walk, my back fuses together from the surgery, and much more, I'm still wonderfully made. God still has plan for me - brokenness and incompleteness and all.

Author reflections:
God uses all things for this glory. Angels, me, everything. sweet! =)

they say the third time's a charm.

I swear writing this one blog will be the death of me! Aeirth (that's my laptop's name) has decided to eat it. Twice. That's not nice, Aeirth. It's 6 am and I need SLEEP! And the thing is, it's not even that long or complicated this time because I'm crabby and cranky and in pain so thinking isn't working well! Please, please, just post properly this time so I can crash for a couple hours before class, okay, Aeirth? Then I can take a nap after my 1 o'clock class and before my 4 o'clock. Please, Aerith. And please, Blogspot, I promise I will be very nice to you if you will just freaking behave! (Not to mention the other computer settings and other whazzits you messed up when you crashed, not just talking about this supposedly simple homework assignment!)


Quote the First:

"After the fall into sin, we love because God has come to re-create us and re-call us into that pattern." (Kolb, 35)

It's interesting, because this shows how love goes full circle. We were created to love and to be loved. We fell due to sin, yet we were still beings in need of love. And God loved us so much that God started the cycle over by submitting his son to die on the cross to be the atonement for our sins - so that once again, we are fully able to love and be loved as we were created to.

"We are righteous in this relationship because we fear, love, and trust in God above all things."

You know, this is interesting. Love and trust are two things that I struggle with greatly. I don't love easily and in fact struggle with the concept of love, full stop. I'd even venture as far as to say I fear love, but I know that's largely due to my past. As well as my trust issues. And so, the thought that in order to fully have the relationship work I have to have the two things that I struggle with so greatly, well, it has a bit of an impact. Earlier in the paragraph it stated how God is the "protecting Father". Suffice it to say I cannot remotely grasp the concept of God has a father, nevertheless a protecting one. And so - the thought that I have to overcome all this (and not just I, any Christan) in order to have a full relationship, well, it's scary.

Author comments:

Blog readers; if this entry doesn't make sense blame the lack of sleep. Feel free to text me saying "Hey, you sillyface, SLEEP!" I feel that I didn't make enough sense (my first entry was great!) and that it's just discombobulated, incongruous thoughts. But at least I'm pondering things, and at least God is helping my stubborn, stony heart melt into a heart of flesh and be made whole agian, right?


Independence Day

10 days until the most difficult anniversary of my life.
10 days until the day my life completely fell apart.
10 days until the day that I realized I was no longer a child, and had to make the most heartbreaking decision of my life.
10 days until it marks 6 years since I left him.

It's haunting, really. To think that I suffered 18 years at his hand, and even more through emails later on. It's haunting to think that at 18, I had to make such a painful choice, to tear away from my own father. Part of me screams it was 6 years ago, you should be OVER it by now! It's been SIX YEARS. SIX YEARS. But I'm not.

I miss him. God, I miss him. I don't miss the abuse (well, not really, but that's complicated) but I miss having a father. I miss having a Daddy. Sure, he was a buttwaffle, but he was still my Daddy, and yes, I still love him. I'll never understand how I can hate someone so deeply, yet love him so passionately. It's such a mindfuck and the emotions are so twisted, so complicated.

I'm scared. I'm completely scared. I still live in fear of him, even though it's been six years. He got off scott free, so I shouldn't still be so terrified. But I am. And lord, I miss having a father. It's been six years, six long, painful years. And I don't know what to do with it. It's hard to believe, but in some ways it still feels like it was just yesterday I made such a painful, difficult decision.

This is something I wrote just a few weeks after my entire world crumbled at my feet:

SOMETIMES - written November 17, 2005
We can't control what's going on around us. The world literally crumbles in pieces at our feet. Try as we might, we can't make sense of the shreads. We try, we hope, we beg, we plead, and yet, we're just left with brokenness. We're just left with shattered fragments. Hope seems just out of reach. You reach for it, you long to just hold it, and draw it close. And yet, you're just broke. You've reached brokeness. You long for comfort, you look for comfort. You long to be free, you just long to break free of the past. Everything you once held on to, seems to literally shatter at your feet. You just want something to cling to. Some stable ground. Some "strong tower". And yet, you can't find it. You're stuck. Grasping at straws. Reaching for starbeams, and yet falling short. And just longing for happiness. For hope. And yet, you come up blank. You're dark, you're bleak, you're hopeless. You know there's hope somewhere, you know there's light somewhere. It's just so hard to grasp it, and to keep a hold of it. You wonder what it's worth living for. You're tired of being sick, tired, worn out, scared, stressed, weary, and just beat all the time. You just want an answer. Something better. And you just want a happy ending. You just want a better life, a better time. And it's hard. It's so cold, it's so broken...so worn out."

Six years later, it still rings true. Six years later, I'm still looking for all those things.

Suffice is to say my depression is raging now. Suffice it to say things aren't going well. They never go well this time of year, but right now it seems to be particularly difficult. Doesn't help that I don't want to let people in. I've worked for years to throw up these walls, I've worked for years to hide inside myself. And even though I could take them down, brick by brick, step by step, minute by minute, it's terrifying.

Even though it's a bad place where I am currently, even though it's not a good thing, it's what I know and what's safe. It's scary reaching out beyond what I know.

And so, when Halloween rolls around, while other people are trick or treating, celebrate beasts and ghouls, I'll be mourning what I lost six years ago. And at the same time, stepping forward for another year of Independence.

I hate it.


Just take eveything down to highway 61

I hate how my theology class is taking over my blog! So, I'm taking a break from that to do some REAL blog writing. After all, we know I love to write. And babble. And ramble. But that's okay, because that's me, and who I am, right?

My friend and I went up north for the weekend. And I realize how much I fully LOVE nature! I love it I love it I love it. I mean, it's hard for me because it's hard to get around, but gosh, I love it. I loved walking around the outside of split rock light house. I loved walking around and seeing Lake Superior. I LOVE BEING OUTSIDE. I love nature. Even though I hate the cold, I love the feeling of the wind whipping my hair around. Being outside just makes me so HAPPY!

Granted, it's difficult with crutches. Walking is painful, and my weak leg makes things difficult, as well as my off kilter sense of balance. But it doesn't make me not enjoy nature any less, it just means I have to enjoy it differently. I can still climb trees with just my arms (I love climbing things!), and I can limp around and enjoy it.

But gosh, nature gives me such a sense of happiness. It doesn't judge me for being depressed, it doesn't judge me for not being as physically nimble as other people. It lets me take my own pace (until it gets too bitterly cold for that, but you know what I mean). It makes me HAPPY!

but I can't have that happiness often, but for those few glimpses I get to grasp of nature,
for those for moments outside,
it's peace. it's happiness.
it's where I'm meant to be.
I'm able to be outside and see lighthouses (I've always loved lighthouses) and think of how the same way the light saves the ship, there's a light shining head for me, that I'm reaching for, yearning for, leaping toward, that's just waiting for me.

And in that same way... maybe hope, love, grace, joy, peace, all these things I yearn for and dream of are waiting for me.
Waiting to accept me.
Waiting for me to just walk out into them.


and wonder how He could love me, a sinner condemned unclean

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"—" (Gal 3:13)

I know I, at least, don't fully realize the impact of what Christ did. I mean yes, I was taught as a kid that Chris died for my sins. But the church I grew up in (an Arminian church) did not really lay this out. When we are taught the Apostle's creed, the line "he descended into hell" is omitted, and so I don't know that the full ramifications of Christ's sacrifice are felt. I mean, the Crucifixion is clearly taught, as even stated in a very popular hymn in the Nazarene church: "He took my sins and my sorrows, and He made them His very own. He bore my burden to Calvary, where he suffered and died all alone." And so, even though so much is taught, I don't think we fully realize that he became a CURSE - and that by that, he took the curse AWAY from us. HE became the curse, and by rising up from the dead and coming over the dead, he takes that curse AWAY.

and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (1 Thess, 1:10)

I am irrationally afraid of angry people. If someone even raises their voice in frustration, not even anger, I start trembling. If I even think I've made someone remotely angry, I start apologizing profusely. So... the thought that Jesus delivers us from wrath is comforting, because it is something that shakes me to the core so very much.

Author comments:
I love being able to tie things to hymns, and relate the way I was brought up to the what I'm learning now. It's fun!

here is our king

"Jesus came as a substitute or vicar for us; he cames a victim of the accusing law of God and all the assualts of evil in every form." - Kolb, 139
But this I know with all my heart, His wounds have paid my ransom. Jesus took the sin, the blame, the guilyt, he took it all for us. He took everything for us to pay the price that we don't have to pay! Praise God, from whom all blessings flow! Praise him, who became the victim to take the punishment he didn't deserve, so that we don't have to have the one we do deserve.

Author reflection:
He takes the evil for us, he is our king. He is our lover, the one who persues our souls. It is so cool how one great God can do so much.


a king, a priest, a lover.

"Imagery of Christ as a king is often exciting to Christians, and rightly so. We belong to a great and glorious king, who has made us His own." (Mueller, page 143)
"King of my heart, I crown you now. I fall at your feet, and before you I bow." I think that this is something we think a lot: we know that Christ is our King. But I agree with the fact that it says that this is sometimes viewed as a future. Christ is our king yesterday, today, and forever. He will stay our king!

"Our saviour is Christ, the annointed one, the prophet. He sreves us as our great high preiest who offeres himself as the greatest and final sacafrice for the sins of the world." (Mueller, page 143)
Ths verse in Hebrews is one of my favs. He is our priest - who makes the sacafrice and who loves us deeply.

Author reflections:
Christ is not only a king, but a great high priest. He loves us deeply, and cares for us beyond measure. What a priceless gift!


god help the outcasts

Yes, I know I'm just an outcast
I shouldn't speak to You
Still I seek Your face and wonder
Weren't you once an outcast too?

I'm struggling. I feel like an outcast - such an outcast. I don't fit the cookie cutter mold I feel it cut out for Christians. I'm "rough around the edges", sarcastic, and cynical. I don't know what exactly I believe about God, and I don't even know why I'm going into ministry. Maybe it's because I want to right the wrongs. Maybe it's because I want to prove to people you don't have to be perfect to be a Christian.

But Lord, I feel like an outcast. A crippled, limping, orphaned outcast. And the thing is?

I ask for nothing, I can get by
But I know so many less lucky than I

I have no reason to whine. No reason to complain.
So many more have it worse. I just want to help people.
To make a difference.
To help people not harbor bitterness like I have, because it's an awful way to live.


An elephant never forgets

I like elephants. That's a bit of an understatement, I love elephants. I also love monkeys, but that's for another post. Well, I'm wearing a monkey t-shirt but the picture angle kind of hides it.

Elephants. An elephant never forgets, they say. A Nora never forgets, either. It in some ways a cool quality I have, I remember when my friends mention wanting something badly, and I try to make it happen for presents. I remember old nicknames and inside jokes. But at the same time, I remember old hurts, old aches, old pains. I don't forget easy, and it's hard because so many things I'd just rather forget. I'd rather forget how much pain I've been through and I'd rather forget where I've been. But forgetting the bad and remembering the good would hardly do me any good. It would only cause further pain.

But oh how I dream.
How I wish that I could just let go of all these things that have hurt me. And only remember the good.

"You can go on living as long as your heart believes,
although the scars of yesterday remain,
let's stay together always."

The scars will remain, both physical and emotional. The scars won't fade, but it doesn't mean I can't go on living and hoping and wishing and dreaming.


at the cross you beckon me

Descent into hell: is it humiliation or exaltation? Why would you say so?

Can't it be both? It's exalation, because as the words of the worship song "In Christ Alone": "For every sin on Him was laid, here in the death of Christ I live." If he took the sins, then he therefore has to take the punishment, which is eternal damnation. If he decended into hell, then we can see the qualities of exalation: he rose over it, he reigns over it, and hell now has no power over us because he is exalted above it for he went to it, and came back. Howver, if the other includes his death, burial, and suffering, it also intertwines with that, because clearly there was suffering in hell!

The classical Christian teaching about Jesus Christ as fully human and fully divine is confessed in the creeds and councils of the early church.
This is cool. I think we often (to use Christian-ese terms) get trapped in issues of dogma versus doctrine when talking about anything related to Jesus. And we collide on such things and get into verbal fistfights about who is right and who is wrong theologically. But in almost every single Christian cirlce, this is one universial truth. And so, it's cool to see how this one crucal thing goes all the way back and was even agreed on and acknowleded then.

Author Comments:
I like things that make me use vocab, such as the exalation versus humilation, but the English major still runs deep in me even though I switched to psych and ministry. I like how many classic Christian teachings aren't just tied to one particular church, but are more universial Christain truths.


holy, holy, holy

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 18:19 - HCBS)

The Great Commission, something that was taught to me as a child in the Nazarene church. It's such a simple command, but something that's hard to do. It sounds easy, to just go out and make disciples of all, but we all have our own comfort zones, and it's something that, well, feels kinda awkward to do. Doesn't change the fact it's commanded, though.

And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (1 Cor:21-22)

I just think this is a cool mental image. God sealing and anointing us. It reminds me of Isaiah 43: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are mine." It's a sweet image, God sealing us, anointing us, and guiding us.

Author comments:

Everything intertwines so well in scripture. We go out to make disciples and in turn those disciples are sealed and anointed by God. And then they go out and make disciples. rinse, lather, repeat.


Cause you're my little girl...

"We should fear and love God that we may not despise nor anger our parents and masters, but give them honor, serve, obey, and hold them in love and esteem." (SC - The Fourth Commandment)

I have long grappled with this. I don't know how to honour my parents. Without going into explicit details, I have no contact with either one of my parents. It's not because I'm a bad daughter, but I was professionally and legally advised to sever ties. I was not honured by them, instead, I was badly hurt by them. And so, I've been trying to figuring out what honoring and obeying them looks like. I understand that it can't be the traditional view of looking at honouring them, because it's not feasible for me to have contact nor a relationship. But what does honouring them look like? I still love them for I don't hate them, despite the wrong they did. I still protect them the best I can, and try to respect them. I also know that the Bible says this in a couple places:

And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Eph 6:4, KJV)

Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart. (Col 3:21, NASB)

It's frustrating, because I'm trying to find the balance. What do I do? Do I still honour God by not associating with my parents? What does that look like? I long to honour and respect my parents, for I know it's a commandment. But my physical safety has to be secure, my emotional health deserves to thrive. And finding the balance is beyond difficult.

(Sorta unrelated, but this is bringing to mind the Harry Chapin song "Cat's In The Cradle" And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me, he'd grown up just like me. My boy was just like me. And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon, little boy blue and the man in the moon, when you coming home, son, I don't know when, but you know we'll have a good time then, yeah, you know we'll have a good time then. It reminds me of how parents treat their children turns out to be how they treat them when they get older. And how do I find the balance between honouring God and keeping myself sane? I think this is the one thing, hands down, that is my biggest struggle with Christianity).

So will we verily, on our part, also heartily forgive and also readily do good to those who sin against us. (SC, The Lord's Prayer, The Fifth Petition)

This, I think, ties in well with my struggles with my parents, yes. I realize that I need to forgive them, and have started the process of forgiving them. To do good with them, I know I need to honour them. It all comes full circle.

Author comments:

Heh. The more I go through these blog posts, the more I realize my beefs with Christianity. And, of the same accord, the more I want to fix them and use my story of brokenness to bring people back to Him.


{insert witty blog title here}

"This is the church, this is the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people!"
I was taught that rhyme as a child, and we'd often do it in Sunday School. It's a simple little hand game, but it's kinda cool because no matter where you go, where you are, you can make a church with your hands. And in the same way, no matter where you go, where you are - you can be the church.

“What is the Church?” All those in whom the Holy Ghost
through the means of grace has worked faith in Christ constitute
an association or gathering, which we call the Church,” Koehler,
Summary of Christian Doctrine, 210.

I think we often think of church as the building we go to sunday mornings. It's true, this is one part of church. But yet it's like the verse in Scriptures: Where two or three are gathered in my name, then there I am. I think in some ways, especially when we've been wounded by the church, we hold a grunge against them and don't want to be involved. However, the church is those who gather in His name. While there's nothing wrong with the physical church, it's certainly not the only time.

This work is in process,
partial, growing, as Jesus works his salvation out in our lives, defeating
sin, death, and Satan in their death throes.

This really stuck out to me. It's kinda like a caterpillar - it's complete, yes, but it still has to become a butterfly. It has to go through the process of metamorphosis. As humans, we are constantly going through metamorphism. It doesn't change when we become the butterfly, though, for we are always changing and growing and learning.

Author Reflection

It helps me to realize that the church isn't just a church and a group of fallen people, but a community of believers. It helps me to realize that I'm a work in progress. And you string those two together - the church is a work in progress, always growing, always changing. Really neat thought.


And my wounds will be made whole

"Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Cor 6:11 (NLT)

Cleansed, holy, made right. I think it's something we all long for, in some way or another. Even, I think, the most non religious, non spiritual person out there longs to be made right in some way, shape, or form. Perhaps not in the way that a Christian longs, but I think it's a longing within all of us. We long for things to be "right". I know, for me, I long for things to be right: I long to have a family instead of fending for myself and building my own out of friends. I long to not have to poor over ever food label making sure there's not something in it that my body will read as poison and make me incredibly ill. Of course, this isn't quite the "making right" that is being referred to here, but it helps me to put things in real word terms, so maybe it will help others. However, God will make us right in other ways. Maybe not now, and it's a continuing process, but as we call upon His precious name, he cleanses us (Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crismon stain, He washed it white as snow) and makes us new. He makes us right in His eyes, our faults and all.

And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. John 10:16 (ESV)

You know, the whole one church concept has always been hard for me to grasp. I've been around in churches. I was raised Nazarene. When my parents split, I went to a Methodist church, then an independent Baptist church, then back to Methodist with my mother, and another Nazarene church with my father. By high school, my mom was back in the Methodist church and my Father was at a Church of Christ. After my faith was completely shattered in the church due to a tragic, unfortunate experience, I pulled away from the church. I've been around the block since then with different church experiences and different sets of doctrine, and so the fact that they all intermingle together into one church in God's eyes is hard to grasp. I don't think it's bad, per se, that it's hard to grasp, but I do think what we go though in life impacts how we grasp and read the Bible. I do think it's cool, though, that despite all my struggles in the church, it's all one body, one flesh, one blood of Believers.

And so we know God's word applies to our life today, and God has a lot to say in His book...
(Author Comments)

Um, excuse my brief Veggietales moment. God loves His church, and views it is one. It's one of those things I know, logically, and have been taught for years. But applying it and realizing that "Hey, we ARE one body of believers, despite our differences" is another kettle of fish. And it's also cool to reiterate how God cleanses each of us!


I just want you to know who I am

I remember the first time I cried out for help from my depression. I remember the first time I held out my hand. It was 2001 and I was 14 years old. I had braces complete with rubber bands that snapped across the room when I spoke and no sense of style. Exhibit A: school picture from that year. Again, I was so young and naive to many things. I read my poetry from back then, and some of it breaks my heart even now for a much younger me. 14 is far too young to plan out a suicide. 14 is far too young to hold a razor blade in your hand, and makes imprints on tender white skin. I still have those scars. I still see them daily. I still weep for my younger self. But the first time I reached out for help, besides posting on internet message boards that I was broken, hurting, and scared, before emailing my youth pastor and telling him what an inner hell I lived in... was to write a poem, and give it to my Sunday school teacher. This is that poem:

The pain that grips my youthful heart
Rips me up, tears me apart
The tears that brim in my young eyes
Might come to you as a surprise
I cannot handle the pain
Not the tears that fall like rain
The dull, study ache that's settled deep down
The heavy burden that I carry around
But I hide the pain-I hide the tears
I hide the saddness, I hide my fears
Nobody understands, and I feel like nobody cares
And all I can do is say some simple prayers
I just don't know, I gotta get it out
I cannot take this burdern about
No one to turn to, all I can do is cry
No one who'd care if I should die
I'm about ready to use it, I don't know what to do
I guess all I can do is turn to you

I left the spelling errors intact. It didn't seem right to correct them. A month after giving this to my sunday school teacher, I had the police at my school to talk me out of suicide. My parents were blindsided. They had no idea I was so hurting, so broken. I hid it well. I learned that lesson at 14 years old: how to completely hide my pain. How to retreat within myself, how to throw up walls so high that no one could enter, not even myself. I learned how to perfect my facade, how to live within myself. To smile and laugh, and act like I was fine. But the truth is I wasn't. The truth is I was broken. I recently found this snippet of a poem from back then, and my heart broke. I wept.

Just wanna die, just wanna die
Tired of just wonderin' why
Wanna die, wanna be in my grave
Too scared and afraid to wave
Wanna be strong wanna be brave

I was 14. I hadn't lived yet. I had no idea what I would face later in my life, that I would make such painful decisions at age 18 and again at age 21. I didn't know that I would continue to spiral deeper into depression, bounce from counselor to counselor, and have labels such as PTSD and EDNOS slapped on me. That just one cut would turn into a lifelong addiction, and every day is a daily battle to not lapse back into it. I had no idea.

It's scary. I just want to go back and hold my younger self, to tell her at age 24 she'd finally be pulling herself out of all this crap. That she'd finally start approaching the other side, that there's hoping waiting for her. I was fourteen. I shouldn't have felt like this... and yet I did.

ready to smile, and love life

Here she stands today, in her brilliant shining way
Stronger than her pain, in her brilliant shining way

><> ><> <>< ><>

I know what it's like to have crippling depression.
I know what it's like to be consumed with hopeless.
I know what it's like to be drenched in pain, both physical and emotional.
And for the first time, I'm starting to see the other side.
I'm starting to reach out of the abyss.
I'm starting to spread my wings and leap -
leap into hope, leap into the future,
leap into a new life.
I'm a dreamer, a starry-eyed girl, passionate
I love and I live and I laugh and I learn
And I'm more than my disabilites.
I'm more than a list of medications,
a ball of symtoms,
and rattled off disorders.

I am more than an abused child,
rather, I am survivor.
I am more than a victim,
I am an overcomer.
I am more than a child with questions -
Questions about faith and life and love
and God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit
and creation and forgiveness and
sin and the past and the present and
the future
but rather, I am a seeker
Trying to place the pieces of the puzzle together,
trying to finish the row of Tetris.

I am learning to live...
and it's a beautiful ride.


this robe of flesh, i'll drop and rise to seize the everlasting prize

"He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life." (SC)

He forgives daily. All sins. To me, this is baffling (not in a "I don't quite understand it" way, but more in a "say what?!" way). I struggle to forgive. I don't hold grunges easily and for the most part, but there are some things that happened to me when I was little that I still haven't forgiven people for. And to myself, I am the hardest critic. I remember one time, crying to a friend, about how God could not possibly forgive me for what I'd done. All I remember is this friend saying "Angelique, who are you to deem what God can and cannot forgive?" And I think that is how I started wrestling with the concept of forgiveness. Quoting myself feels weird, but I look at a poem I wrote in 2010 which has this line: (he has scars just like ours) [maybe some day I'll post that poem on this blog because it really shows a great deal of my faith struggles]. But he has scars, too. And those scars are the reason he can forgive, whereas mine are the reason I need forgiveness.

God forgives daily. He forgives not only me, but all believers. The believers that, in the past, have hurt me and I struggled to forgive. And in turn, He forgives me for not forgiving. And finally, on the last day he will raise up from the dead and will give to all in Christ, everlasting life. What struck me was the realization: we won't need forgiving anymore on that day. He is forgiving us daily until then, molding us until we are in the state where we will no longer need it.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th'eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th'eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

"But of Christ we could know nothing either, unless it had been revealed by the Holy Ghost. " (LC, number 65).

We know nothing, unless it's revealed. Allow me to repeat that: we know nothing unless it's revealed. We may think we're great theologians, we may think we're great Biblical scholars. But the thing is? We really, in reality, know nothing unless it's revealed. I struggle with this because I'm the kind of person who has to KNOW things before I do anything. But the thing is, the Christian faith isn't like that. You can't really know before you take the plunge, you just have to take the dive in and trust that God will be the life jacket to keep you afloat. You just have to go with what you do already know, and have faith and confidence in Christ that He will, in His divine timing, continue to reveal things to you to enrich your faith and deepen your trust in Him and Him alone.

Author comments:
Forgiveness is a strange concept. To think that what we have done can be washed away by the Almighty. That he can forgive, and continues to forgive. And that he, in his wisdom, chooses to forgive AND reveal to us.

Pretty cool!


now it's time to say good night...

'Kay, so it's 3:24 am. My alarm goes off at 5:45 am. Logic says I should be asleep. But I'm not. I'm sick - I'm coughing up a lung. I'm in pain - good thing the alarm goes off so I can go to the pain clinic.

But the main reason I avoid sleep lately? It's so I avoid the nightmares. The crippling tiredness is the less painful thing to deal with. If I'm awake, at least I can distract myself from such painful thoughts.

If I'm asleep, there's no solace. No comfort. No serenity.

And it sucks.

This was not very deep. I want to write more - oh, how I long to write. How I long to process my thoughts, get others thoughts on my thoughts (I'm not vain and think my thoughts are profound and amazing, but I like to get thoughts on my thoughts) and all that. But right now I'm on cruise control - just surfing through life the best I can. And it kinda sucks, it really does. Because there's so much going on that needs to come out... but I don't know how to PULL it out!


my sin, not in part, but the whole... is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more praise the lord O my soul

"Sin is not a matter of morality. Morality may be the worst form of sin.
Said differently, to understand sin as a matter of morality is to misunderstand sin."

I'm not quite sure I agree with this. Why is mortality the worst form of sin? How is that any worse than child abuse, murder, etc? What is so bad about morality? We are all mere mortals, we are all created mortal. And really, how can you say that "morality is the worst form of sin" when we are taught that all sins are equal? Really, in God's eyes, aren't we taught that a sin is a sin, and no sin is "worse" than another? True, the earthly consequences may be "worse", but according to the Christian doctrine I've been taught (granted, not LCMS, but Nazarene and Church of Christ) that a sin is a sin. I'm not even sure if I fully jive with the traditional Christian concept of sin. And what if people do understand sin as a matter of morality? We are all mortals, so what is so wrong with viewing it that way? What if people do "misunderstand" sin? Does that make them worse sinners than someone else? Does that make them a bad person? I don't think not fully understanding something is bad. Or is it meant more that "morality is the worst form of sin" that doing mortal acts is sinful? Maybe I don't understand. Maybe I'm wrestling with this in the wrong way. Maybe I'm way missing the mark. I don't know. Maybe I'm not doing what I should with this assignment. All I know is I'm struggling with this concept, and trying to make sense of it. That's okay, right? It's okay to show my struggles and where I am more "firmly grounded" (for lack of a better term) faith wise.

"While it is understandable that people in the midst of tragedy or
philosophy ask “Why does God allow x?” the source of sin and evil is never-
the-less not God."

It's not God? But God has the power to stop it. He has the power to "make it better." He could have stopped so much from happening, but he didn't. How do I explain that to someone, though? Maybe one day I'll understand it myself, but I'm not sure I get how I get that through to someone else who has suffered more than me. I just... I grapple with it. And I hope that soon I can write about something that I'm confident about in my faith, right? Right!

Author comments:
Well, sin is always a fun topic to write about. And it's one I struggle with. I don't even know if I view sin in the traditional Christian way or that I really know what I'm writing about. It's hard to write about, that's for sure.


All things bright and beautiful, the Lord God made them all

All creatures of our God and king!
Lift up your voice and with us sing!
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
thou silver moon with softer gleam
O praise Him, O praise him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

This weeks theme is "Creating", and so using lyrics from this hymn seems fitting - for the lord God DID make them all. And so, it seems to fit well with the basic themes we are going with here - God created all, the creatures, nature, etc (at least, that's what I was taught way back in nursery school)

From Colossians 1: 15-17 (HCSB)

He is the image of the invisible God,

the firstborn over all creation;

16 because by Him everything was created,

in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible,

whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—

all things have been created through Him and for Him.

17 He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.

He is creation, and He created all. He created what we see - the lush green grass, the shining sun, the clear blue sky. The dog with the wagging tail, and the child's laughter. But he also created what we don't see - the internal structures of our being, our souls,, emotions, hope, love, joy, peace... it all streams back to Him. And He was before them, and He is the duct tape that holds it all together.

2 Cor 5:17 (HCSB) 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.

God not only DID create, but He continues to create. He is creating more and more every day . Within His people, He is molding and shaping us to become better and better creations. And as the old things fade into dust, He uses the new to mold us and shape us into better creations. Creation isn't just what we see when we look outside - it's not just the freshly fallen blanket of snow, nor is it the brightly coloured leaves that flutter to the ground. But when people "convert" to Christianity, He continues to mold, create, and work towards the state of perfection.

Author Comments:
I feel like this blog was very half-hearted. First, I have no profound thoughts on Creation. I've been taught since I was a child that God created everything, and so this is nothing new to me. Really, what is there to say about creation that hasn't been said? It's hard, though, because even though I KNOW it, do I really believe it? Do I really "Praise God from whom all blessings all flow, Praise Him all creatures hear below! Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" like the doxology says? I mean, if He created everything, then He created all those blessings. He created all those creatures, and the Heavenly hosts. But as I've said before, knowing and believing are two different things. At times I feel that I'm frozen, and that I'm waiting for a thaw. I know all these things, or I've heard them somewhere along the line, but applying them to my life and fully BELIEVING them is a new, scary concept. And I have to wonder... am I ready to make the plunge out into that unknown? I know what it's like to KNOW, but I don't fully know what it's like to BELIEVE.


I've known sorrow, I have known pain.

How ironic. Part of what I'm currently struggling with in Christianity, is right here in front of me. Aye yi yi. I had this convo with my friend Nick a few times. We both suffered from extreme physical ailments, and both lived in constant pain. Nick was one of the strongest Christians I was ever blessed to know. I wish we hadn't had those fights last summer, and I wish he hadn't died this summer. Because I would love to make up, I would love to discuss this stuff with him. But one song he introduced me to (and was also at his funeral) was a song by Chris Tomlin: "And I will rise when He calls my name, no more sorrow, no more pain."

Carry forth on to Luther!

" I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my limbs, my reason, and all my senses," (SC, Article 1).

Honestly? I take issue with this. Quite a bit of issue, actually. Fine. God created me. But he created me faulty. When I complained about this as a child, I was told "God don't make junk" and that "all things work together for His glory". All fine and good and well, I suppose. But when I suffer from so many ailments, I can't help but wonder if I somehow got overlooked. I think this is the one aspect of Christianity I struggle with the most. God created me, my limbs, eyes, etc. And these things don't work right and as each day goes on, fall more and more apart. And it's a struggle, because there's so much pain in it. I hope that one day I can grow to accept it, and that I can find God in the midst of my pain. But right now? I cannot.

"For here we see how the Father has given Himself to us, together with all creatures, and has most richly provided for us in this life, besides that He has overwhelmed us with unspeakable, eternal treasures by His Son and the Holy Ghost, as we shall hear." (LC, Article 1, num 24)

I suppose this blog post isn't very uplifting. I try to have one uplifting part, but I'm sick and struggling right now, so it's just not there. I struggle with the fact that "God has provided" when I struggle to make ends meet. When I make my small amount of money I get a month get all the things I need: food, bills, medicine, laundry, etc. I know that at the end of the day all my needs are met, but the stress that goes through making sure they are all is difficult. And even though I know there are eternal treasures in store, I still struggle to believe.

Heh. Slightly depressing post this time, but I guess it happens at times. Such is life.

Author Reflections:
Kinda odd how I keep looping back to the subject of struggling with how God made me. Guess he's trying to teach me something, eh? Guess this is something I need to learn. Guess it's something that's really hitting me lately. That's okay. Maybe I'll learn and accept it, or maybe it's something I'll always struggle with. I think it's perfectly okay to not always have the answers as much as we may want them.

wake me up when september ends.

I sometimes find myself wishing that life had turned out differently for me. I know, I know, it's useless to dwell on things I cannot change. But how different would things be if I could see better? If I wasn't dysgraphic? If I could walk normally? If I didn't have NF? If I didn't have PTSD?

How different would things be? In some ways, all these things have given me a great appreciation for life. But at the same time, it hurts and it's raw and it's painful. I just want to be normal.

Oh, I have my moments of normal where I play on the playground like a little kid, where I play Pokemon and Zelda, where I watch cheesy movies. But at the same time, I feel very broken, very incomplete.

This isn't a new struggle, it's ongoing for the past 10+ years. It doesn't help that each year my medical list seems to grow more and more. I'm tired of it, already. I'm tired of my vision deteriorating. I'm tired of my mobility getting worse. I'm just sick of it, okay?!

But there isn't an answer. There isn't an answer to why I was chosen for this path, or why this path chose me. There isn't an answer to some of my faith questions, some of my faith struggles, some of my pain and heartbreak.

August-November is a weird time for it. It was August, 2006 (5 years ago now, wow) that my grandfather died. It was October, 2005 (6 years ago), that I gained my independence day (that's another blog entry, though). It was November of last year that my grandmother died. September is always a living hell, between my health going to crap, getting settled into the swing of school, et al. But it was in September of 2005 that I knew what I had to do with my father. Little did I know it would turn into the most painful and difficult decision of my life. Little did I know that one decision would shatter my faith in the church, ruin friendships, and completely break my heart. I think The Fray said it well:
"We'd never know what's wrong without the pain
Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same"

There's so much. So much packed into this season of late summer/early fall, that just brings pain and heartache. And then, once again, the fall turns into autumn. And the outside mirrors my heart: cold, frozen, and waiting for the Spring thaw that seems like it will never come.


oh heart of mine, come back home

I don't have a lot of profound thoughts, or even lyrics for this one. Sorry, folks!

Correlation to Luther’s comments on the Creed may be noted (SC 2:1 –6)

1. I believe that God has made me and all that exists,
2. The Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel

If I may be brutally honest, I struggle with this. It's a concept of Christianity I just can't grasp. OK, so God created me. Great. It's in the Apostle's creed, it's in the Bible. But as a disabled person, I don't understand it. And to be frank, it's one of my major beefs with Christianity. Many times in the Bible God and Jesus are portrayed as divine Healer, the great Physician. So if they are so great, why can't I walk without a limp? Why do I spend every single day of my life in immense pain, often some days to the point where I can't haul myself out of bed? And so, how can I be a witness? I mean, I've been taught since I was a kid that I'm to lead others to Christ. Point them toward the ways of truth. I just can't fathom. If he made me, why did he make me like THIS? Why did he give me such a messed up family structure? He created me and all things that exist, why couldn't He have created things a LITTLE BIT BETTER for me? How can I tell someone that all things are by him, though him, and for him, and that he ordains all things for His glory, when so much just, well, sucks?

"“Sacrament” is a Biblical reality though it is not a Biblical word."

This is something that I honestly didn't know. It's interesting, how we are taught many Biblical concepts, but those exact words aren't actually IN the Bible. That we have this stuff hammered into us, but in reality it's slightly different. Interesting.

Author Comments:

Reflecting. I sense that there's a lot of bitterness towards God and my disabilities that I didn't quite realize. I guess I act like it's not big deal, when in reality it's tearing my apart. And I learned about the sacrament thing, so I guess that's good??


There is a Redeemer, Jesus, God's own Son.

"Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the lamb! Redeemed through His infinitive mercy, His child and forever I am!"

To fully understand redemption, I think we need a good, solid definition for redemption. For me, an avid video gaming, redeeming is merely trading in your points or coins, and you get something better. Now, I'm quite certain that Martin Luther didn't sit around playing Final Fantasy, so clearly he is going for something else:

According to dictionary.com, there are nine ways to define "redeemed", but we are going with this one:

"to deliver from sin and its consequences by means of a sacrifice offered for the sinner."

Galatians 3: 12-14 But the law is not based on faith; instead, the one who does these things will live by them. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written: Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree. The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (HCSB)

What does this mean? It means that Christ, the beloved son of God, redeemed us. Not through points, not through coins, but through His own life and blood. "And when I think, that God, his Son, not sparing, sent Him to die, I scarce can take it. And on the cross, my burden gladly bearing, bled and died to take away my sins." It means that God loved us enough to do something that would break most (I won't say every) parent's hearts: He gave up His own son and watched Him suffer. Can you imagine? Think of the most important person in your life, and imaging having to give them up... but yet, you know you have the power to make it stop. You have the power to stop their pain, and they have the power to say the word and it will stop. But this is the answer. Can you imagine? This is the way that God redeemed us!

1 Peter 1:18-19 For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.

Jesus was the perfect lamb. He was sinless, pure, and innocent. And that is why this redemption "worked", why this payment was enough. This is how this payment was able to meet the price, and redeem our souls.