We'll always be good company, you and me, yes together we'll be.

March 28th, 2013, I went to the animal shelter and fell in love with a gorgeous orange cat. However, by the time they called our landlord for approval the next day, he was adopted. I was sad, but I knew I'd found another cat. I actually wound up adopting his friend living with him in the shelter, Chica. I hadn't paid much attention to her as I'd fallen for Harry, but that's okay. I think she forgives me.

I think love at first sight is a bit of an understatement. I fell for her, but still looked and played with the other cats. Nope, Chica it was. On the adoption form for Harry, I wrote "I want someone who needs me as much as I need them." And while that someone wasn't Harry, it was Chica, who I renamed Athena. You see, Athena could have been staying at the shelter awhile. She's five years old and polydactyl. People don't always want the older or the imperfect cats. She'd also already been returned to the shelter once.

But Athena is everything I could want in a cat. She knew she was mine pretty quickly, even though I  had my worries at first. They are settled now. Athena wakes me up from my nightmares. I must give out some sign in my sleep I'm distressed, because I suddenly have a kitty waking me up and trying to cuddle me. Athena doesn't let me go to school when I'm too sick to go (which has already happened twice in two weeks, stupid immune system) by plopping down on top of me and demanding I stay in the warm bed with her, fine, you insist.

The poor thing was worried to death about me  when I went to the hospital. Before I'd left, I was too sick to get in bed and was lying on the floor with her blankets. She curled up next to me. While I was gone, she spent most of her time by the door, waiting for me to return. When I came home, I swooped her up and those paws and claws dug straight into my shoulder and she was all over me. Instant face kisses. She then hardly left my side for awhile, but that's okay.

Reunited and it feels so good...

Athena loves getting in places she doesn't belong, but that's because she's a cat. Athena also loves toys that are not her toys. Her favourites include the plastic Easter eggs from my Easter egg basket. Athena also is found of my stuffed Pikachu and her hairbrush. Little bugger.

I find it very telling I adopted Athena on Good Friday, two days before Easter. Easter is about Resurrection and new life. I had just come out of a serious depression due to my Cymbalta reaction and had been suicidal.  Athena helped bring new life into me. My little Fluffy McFluffyButt once again gave me a reason to live.For a little furry baby, who depends on me for food, water, shelter, cuddles, and a clean litter box. For a little furry baby who needs love and affection, just like all of us.

Athena is the Greek goddess of is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. Athena is my courage, Athena is my wisdom. Athena is my inspiration. Hey, maybe because she's the goddess of mathematics, she'll help me pass my class, right?

Athena is my beautiful baby. She's my first cat, and has turned me into a crazy cat lady. But I can live with that. Athena Persephone is my little, furry friend who knows just how much she is loved by both me and my roommate. We've forever lost certain spaces in our desks, bookshelves, and various items of ours... but we've also found someone who is forever in our hearts.

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur

Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr.
I thank God for giving me my little Greek goddess just when I needed her the most. I thank God for my little fluffy baby, who loves me and needs me. I thank God for my cat, and how He supplied me with my new furry best friend just when I needed her the most. Thank you, God. And thank you Animal Ark in Hastings, Minnesota for allowing me to bring home Miss Athena. :)


And my wounds will be made whole

When people find out I'm a ministry major, they are often confused. I'm been hurt very badly by the church, so why would I want to work in any sort of ministry setting? I'm very cynical and downright callous toward the church at times, why the heck do I want to spend my LIFE working in it? 

I guess on the surface, it doesn't make sense. Why would it? I have been hurt badly by the church. I went to a church for help for many things, several times. I went to the the church for help when I was suicidal  I was pushed aside, treated as a burden. I went for help from my abusive father, and I was pushed aside. I went for help to press charges against my father, and was given illegal advice not to.

I have every reason to hate the church. I have every reason that I should be against Christianity. I have been let down by the church again and again. I'm reminded that I was never good enough. I was never one of the "cool kids". I was always a burden, always needing something. Always the girl with health problems, always the one who needed a ride, always the one from a broken home. Never the one who had her act together. Never the one who could offer anything. I had a decent enough voice, but other kids could sing better. I could act, but others could act better.

Senior year, when my entire life fell apart, the place that stood by my side to be my solid rock? My public high school. Not my church. They sided with my father, whereas my school took strides to keep me safe. My high school teachers took care of me, when my church could not.

But, I'm reminded of the Casting Crowns song from several years ago:

But if we are the bodyWhy aren't His arms reaching?Why aren't His hands healing?Why aren't His words teaching?And if we are the bodyWhy aren't His feet going?Why is His love not showing them there is a way?There is a way 
Jesus paid much too high a priceFor us to pick and choose who should comeAnd we are the body of Christ

 Jesus does NOT want us picking and choosing who comes and who stays. Jesus does NOT want the ones who need help the most, turned away by the church. And I know I'm just one person...

 (obligatory Muppet link! Oh, come on. It's me. You had to be expecting it!),

but maybe I can be the one person who can make a difference in that child's life.

I have a passion for special needs ministry. I have a passion for the ones often overlooked. It is BECAUSE I have been hurt by the church and by so-called ministries like the church and IHOP that I want to go in the ministry. I know most people hurt by the church want to run from it with their head between their legs. It doesn't mean I've been hurt more, it doesn't mean they've been hurt more. It doesn't mean I've been hurt less, it doesn't mean they've been hurt less. There is no equating wounds when it comes to this sort of things - it does no good. We've all been hurt. I'm reminded of a song that I sang on my ninth grade mission trip to Miami: "I am a wounded soldier, but I will not leave the fight, because the great physician is healing me. So I'm standing in the battle, in the armour of His light because His mighty power is real in me. I am loved, I am accepted, by the Saviour of my soul. I am loved, I am accepted, and my wounds will be made whole."

One church did not accept me. Certain ministries have not accepted me. SO FRICK FRACKING WHAT?  God loves the outcasts, too...

(Oh, come on. I already posted Muppets. Hunchback should not surprise you on a serious blog entry by now from me!)

You know what? The outcasts need a place, too. I want to help the outcasts, because I was once an outcast, too. I still am, I suppose. But just because I was outcast by ministries, just because I wasn't good enough for them, doesn't mean I don't want anything to do with them.

In fact, it's what channeled my passion. It's what made me want to do them. To step up to the plate for the children who had youth pastors who were just there for the cool kids, and ran away when times became difficult for the children. To step up for the children who fell for the wayside, while the youth pastor's wife pleaded with them. To step up for the children who fell through the cracks, because the youth pastor just didn't want to devote the time with them. To be there for the ones with special needs, whatever those special needs may be.

It's going to be a wild ride, one that I feel will bring me a lot of healing, but it's my wild ride and my journey. And I'm prepared to take it.


When she throws the pills out, a hero is made

Each day she goes on is a day that she's brave,
Fighting the lie that giving up is the way
Each moment of courage, her own life she saves
When she throws the pills out, a hero is made
Heroes are made when you make a choice.

I've been off  Cymbalta for several days now. I'm now longer suicidal, although I'm still deeply depressed. I can tell you that it sucks, it frick-fracking sucks. I hate how I feel, but being no longer suicidal is good, right?

I also have a cat! Meet Athena!
Brushes are for playing, silly human