Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tomorrow's July. Dang.

Well, I got up today.  So there's a plus.

Not much else happened.  Just another day of helping Mom with Blake and procrastinating studying for the GRE.  I really need to get on that.  I mean, I'm not worried about it, but I really need to do really well for the schools that I'm applying to.  After this comes the fun part of doing the grad school applications.   Yay.  (I really am excited.)

Tomorrow's going to be a busy day of cleaning this mess of a house, going to the post office to send three packages to three people I love, picking up a medication, and setting up four doctor appointments, three of which are necessary to get the DMV paperwork filled out.  At least it'll give me an excuse to get up at a normal person's hour and be productive.  The bad thing about quitting my job is I'm just so freaking bored all the time.

Seven weeks left until Campbell.  Thank God for that.

Hopefully I will have something more entertaining and worthwhile to say tomorrow.  A day of working around the house with my family certainly has potential.

Sayonara, June!

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Just another day.

I haven't gotten out of bed at all today.

Stupid head.  All I can do is sleep when it's this bad.

Hopefully tomorrow is a better day.

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Friday, June 28, 2013


This is the problem with me having more than a little bit of money in my bank account:

I want to spend it.

Except not on me.

On gifts for other people.

Which, ya know, if you're going to have a money-spending problem, there are worse things that could happen than being obsessed with buying presents for people you love.

But see, here's how this started.  And I have to be vague because the people these gifts are going to know about and sometimes read this blog, and ruining the surprise would take out all the fun. :)

Okay, so I finished a book tonight.  Again and again as I was reading it, I kept thinking I needed to send it to  Person A.  It's kind of weird because A isn't a big reader or super passionate about her faith, but I just really feel like the Lord has been telling me she needs to read it.  So I'll be mailing this as soon as I get her address.

Then I remembered I had already promised this book to Person B.  So I texted B and told her I was ordering her the book and why instead of just sending her my copy.

Then I remembered Person C.  C was the one who told me I should read this book in the first place, but I know she's never finished it.  So I texted her and told her she needs to finish this book before a huge event in her life late this year, and if she didn't have the "Revised & Expanded" version of the book I want to get it for her.  I've yet to hear back from her on that.

And then I remembered Person D, C's significant other.  I got the idea to send him the guy's version of the book I want to make sure A B and C all read.  D doesn't know he's getting it.

I don't know what's gotten into me, but it's fun.  And I like it.

I've actually got 3 other books to send to B.  Good thing they're already in my possession.  No more money spent for a while!

Turns out, that whole "'tis truly better to give than to receive" thing is actually true.  Who knew?

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Casting Out Fear

The other day, I realized that my sisters and I actually have something in common.  I know that sounds silly, but some days it feels like we couldn't be more different from each other.

We've all, in some way or another, been convinced that we're unlovable.

We all react to that in different ways: Chelsea thinks she falls in love with any guy that gives her the slightest bit of attention, Holly places her entire worth in and centers her whole world around her boyfriend/relationship, and I ran away from everyone, certain that even the people who swore a million times that they loved me couldn't possibly really be telling the truth.  I find it happening less and less as I grow in my faith, but still, sometimes the broken and scared little girl I used to be shows up and scares me to pieces.

I actually talked about this with Taylor once, how even though I know that he, Kyla, Caitie, Bruno, and others truly are my friends, sometimes I get so caught up in my own head wondering what they see in me that I forget what I know about them.  I forget that I can tell any of them anything and not be judged.  I forget that they believed in me when I could barely look at myself in the mirror.  I forget that they faithfully see who I am beneath all the times I do something wrong and forgive me.  Sometimes I still see myself as the girl I was in high school, and I hate it.

The truth is, I'm still the girl that cares for people so intensely that it gets me hurt sometimes, I'm still the girl who just wants to be like everyone else - to be liked, to be treated like I'm not different, to be seen as lovely.  And like I said, that voice that asks why these incredible people care about me has shown up less and less as I focus more and more on my identity as a child of the King, but it's not gone.  And I don't know if it ever will be totally gone.

I'm reading this book "Captivating" right now, on the recommendation of Kyla, and I've only made it through Chapter 4, but the beginning of the book talks about how little girls just want to be seen as lovely, and the first person they look to for that reassurance is their dad.  The book talks about a lot of different situations where girls didn't get that from their fathers, but they left out my situation - a daughter whose dad left not by his own choice, but still leaving her to grow up without learning what to expect from men.  And I think that's a huge part of the reason I see myself the way I do now.  Because at 21, I'm finally beginning to learn what it's like to have a Father who sees you as perfect and lovely and a princess.

I asked Matt once why he had never, in all the years that we've been close, told me I'm pretty or beautiful or I looked nice or anything like that.  And when he told me that that was because "that's something a guy says to a girl he wants to be his girl, not what a brother says to his sister", the truth is, it hurt.  I thought to myself that if he didn't even think I was pretty, maybe all those lies were true and I really would be alone forever.

Then again, I was still crazy about him at the time.  Now I know he just didn't want to give me the wrong idea.  It was when I stopped listening to the things I'd been told all my life - that I was worthless, that no one would ever love me or notice me or want me in any sense - and started listening to him - that I had worth and sooner or later I'd find people who'd show me...when I started believing what Matt was telling me, that was when I let myself trust other people, too.  That was also when I started finding a security in us, when I stopped telling him he had to be lying to me and couldn't possibly when the whole world hated me.  I knew we could go weeks without talking and everything was still fine.  I didn't realize I'd even hit this point until he called me one day and said, "Is everything okay?  You haven't contacted me in weeks!"  I had to laugh at the role reversal.  That was when I knew I was secure in who he is and what we have and that he really was telling the truth when he said I could never get him to leave "unless I tried to kill him or something."

I think that's why I spent so much time wrapped up in him.  Not only because he made me feel wanted, but because I felt like he was just as broken and scared as I was.  He told me time and time again that I shouldn't care about him, and all that did was make me that much more resolved not to leave him just like everyone else had. I tried so hard to "fix" him, to make him see himself the way I saw him.  I tried with everything in me to make him believe he was worth more than the world told him he was.  I still don't know if he ever believed me.  Despite all that, though, I believed the feelings he said he had for me.  I felt security with him just like I had with Matt, only of a different kind.

But I couldn't let myself feel that security with everyone else.  I was so used to people leaving, I didn't want to let myself believe they were actually going to stay.  It was why every time one of them told me I'd done something to hurt them, my heart would race and my palms would sweat in terror that I was going to lose them.  But I didn't.  I still haven't.  These people have stuck by me even when I questioned them and their intentions, when I was a flat out pain in the ass, when I stuck my foot in my mouth, when I was scared I was taking too much from them and not giving enough.

But just like with Matt, I know in my heart and soul that those lies are just that...lies.  That when I freak out, it's not because I don't actually trust them.  It's because I get scared I'm not good enough for them.  These friends, though, they loved me at my worst.  And every time they showed me they weren't wavering or going anywhere, the more they showed me Christ.  And the more they showed me Christ, the more I trusted in Christ's love for me.  The less I get scared.  The less doubt I have.  The more security I have in this family that God has placed around me to draw me closer to Himself and show me the way He sees me.

"We accept the love we think we deserve."  That's a line from "The Perks of Being a Wallflower", and it is so true and evident in my life.  The less I questioned the love in my life, both from my perfect Father and the people who surround me, and just took it, the more I found my identity in the Truth, the less scared I became of falling for more lies, of getting my heart stepped on again.  But I guess that's just what love does.

1 John 4:18 "Perfect love casts out fear."

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Joy and Scars

So I didn't get my permit today.  I passed the tests, but medical paperwork has to be filled out, sent in and processed before they can give me my permit.  "It could take a month or more to process."  Gah, go figure.  But scores are good for 90 days, and if it takes longer than that, at least I know I can pass the tests now.  I really hope it doesn't take longer than that, though, I'd like to practice some before I leave for Campbell.  But hey, I've waited years beyond the expected time to drive a car, so what's a few more months?

And anyway, I don't really care about that because in the past 36 hours, I have seen some major prayers get answered, and my excitement and gratitude to God for that far outweighs some minor disappointment regarding my permit.  And the funny thing is, none of these answered prayers really have anything to do with me.

First off, family therapy for my mom, Chelsea, and Blake starts July 16th.  Not only that, but Chelsea didn't even put up a fight about it.  I'm so proud of my mom for actually following through on what she told me last month and getting this worked out.  Our family needs it desperately.  I'll even attend the sessions until I leave if they or the therapist wants me to.

Second, my mom has a new job.  I didn't want to mention that she got a "resign or we'll fire you" letter from her old school until we knew what was going to happen next, but days after she got that letter, her best friend told her her school (in a different county) had an open English position.  My mom's best friend is the department head.  We sent in her application weeks ago, they officially made the position known a few days ago, and she had an interview this morning.  They're required to interview at least two people so it doesn't look like they just hand the job to someone, but the second person cancelled.  So suffice it to say, my mom's name is being taken to the county school board for recommendation for employment tomorrow night, and with the principal and her best friend behind her, the principal said he didn't foresee any difficulties.  This new job and the family therapy is going to do so much to help with my mom's depression and just her general outlook on life.  I haven't seen her smile like she did today in a long, long time and that makes me so incredibly happy.

The third and final major prayer that's been answered recently is about my friend Steven.  He's a guy from Pastor Chris's church that Chris asked me to get in contact with because he's been facing medical trauma far worse than mine and at the time was struggling emotionally and spiritually and Chris thought I could help him.  Well, he's been diagnosed with a disease that is so deadly and rare that a vast majority of cases are diagnosed in autopsies.  Beyond that, he's going into the hospital tomorrow to get nutrients to strengthen his body to prepare for the surgery that will happen next week.  If everything goes as planned, he'll be healed.  His faith lately has been such an inspiration and encouragement to me lately, and it has been such an honor to pray for him and a joy to see him get a real shot at getting back to living a full life.  Steven is a beautiful story of God's healing power.

I'm going to be honest.  I sent a text to Steven tonight of the prayer I am praying for him as he faces this next week, and I meant every word of it.  I am truly so excited at the idea of him getting healed.  But as I read back over the prayer, a couple words jumped out at me.  I asked God to help him let go of the emotional scars he has from the years of trauma he's been through.  And it was in reading those words that a feeling rose up in me that I wanted nothing to do with...I realized I was jealous of him.  Jealous that chances are looking good that this time next week, he'll be cured of this disaster that's been plaguing him for years.  What about me? I thought.  What about my healing?  I realized I still have my own emotional scars to heal from, more than I realized before tonight or wanted to admit to.  But this is what Brennan and I talked about after my doctor appointment last week - now that I'm seemingly out of options, now is the time for me to let go of that aspect and find peace with it and heal from my own scars.  I know it's going to take time, and I know what I'm feeling is a natural human emotion, but I don't like being so self-centered.  I just want to be happy and prayerful for my friend without feeling sorry for myself.  Sigh.  It's like I told Brennan - the physical stuff I can deal with, I know how to deal with that, it's the emotional scars in the aftermath that seem to knock me off my feet.

Jesus, help me.  I can't work this out on my own.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What I have to say today.

Today was a very long and tiring day.

Not in terms of stuff that we did, just that Chelsea was in an awful mood when she was with us and that makes everything feel longer and more exhausting.

We had to go to Jacksonville because Mom, Chelsea, and Blake all had appointments, and it was a mess and all I can say is thank God for iPhones with music and earphones and my ability to sleep anywhere because I got a lovely nap in that waiting room.

Then we went to Walgreens to pick up a ton of medication, and then Mom and I got so sick of Chelsea's attitude that we took her and Blake home.

So Mom and I tried to go to the DMV so I could get my learner's permit (ah!!!!) but got there at that awkward time that you're early enough that they're still open but late enough that they tell you they won't see you today.  I should be getting it tomorrow, though.  Provided I pass the tests, that is.  Fingers crossed!  I always put unnecessary pressure on myself.

So then we went to Walmart for a bit.

And then I treated her to Mexican food.  And I had a margarita with dinner.  Because I can.  And they didn't even card me!  Let me tell you: that margarita was much, much stronger than the one I had that night with Holly and Michael.  Guess that's what happens in a Mexican restaurant.  That one margarita did to me what 3 drinks that night after my birthday did.  But it was good.  And I wasn't gonna let my money go to waste!

And then we went back to Walgreens because Mom forgot some stuff.  And because we didn't want to go home quite yet.

And then I watched TV and took a shower and hung out and here I am.  And I have to get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

I tell ya, the day may have started off rough with Chelsea and whatnot, but the time spent with Mom was great.  We have the exact same sense of humor, and sometimes I swear it's like we share a brain.  Mom made a joke involving the word chicken (I honestly don't remember what it was right now I'm so tired) and we both started bawking like a chicken right there in the middle of Walgreens at the exact same time, and then proceeded to laugh-cry our way down the rest of the aisle.

Tomorrow it also looks like I get to have a little chat with my former boss because my paycheck for the pay period of the 4th to the 17th (my last day was the 16th) wasn't delivered tonight like it was supposed to be.  So I'll be calling if it's not in my account when I wake up.  Ain't no way I'm letting these people jip me out of two weeks of pay.

That's all for tonight.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Bring me joy, bring me peace.

Dude.  I'm so tired of being sick.  And blowing my nose.  I feel like someone is sitting on my chest every time I breathe and like I'm about to cough up a lung all the time because my coughs are that violent.

I'm also tired of not having a job.  Because oh yeah, I quit my job at Hardee's last week without having another job lined up.  Since everything is traceable on the internet, let's just say sometimes people aren't nice and I knew I couldn't go there and pretend like everything was fine.  But at least I have a back-up plan for Nashville.  I'm really hoping something else works out, though, because otherwise, it's going to be a very long summer.  At least if I don't have a job that'll give me more time to study for the GRE.

I haven't really done anything today except chores and helping Mom with Blake.  Since he got kicked out of daycare, the poor woman is now stuck taking care of a 3-year-old full-time because neither of us wants Chelsea to have to quit her job because then we'll have to deal with HER full-time, but still, she's exhausted and I wish I could help her more.

I'm so ready to be back at Campbell.  I miss it.  I miss my church family.  And as things continue to be really bad here, I'm ready to be away from it all and be where I feel at home.  Ahhh, and so returns the lesson of I need to get my joy from the Lord and not from circumstances.  Jesus, help me.

All right, I need to get to bed because we actually have a pretty busy day tomorrow.  If things work out the way I hope they will, you'll be in for a happy and not whiny (like today, sorry) post tomorrow.  Guess we'll have to wait and see!

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

He gets it.


God bless whoever created the Internet, because without it, I'm not sure I would have ever gotten connected with Pastor Chris, and his sermons continue to pour truth into my soul and teach me things about myself and who I am in Christ.  I've teared up almost every single week sitting here in my room with my earphones plugged in listening to the words God wants to give through him.

This morning's sermon was about betrayal.  And it came at the end of a very, very hard week for me both dealing with my head pain and in issues with my family.  Two distinct situations that I've realized time and time again that, no matter how wonderful my friends are, you can't understand until you live through them.

It reminds me of what Taylor texted me when I was in the hospital.  I may never meet anyone who understand this.


Jesus knows the hurt.

Jesus knows the pain.

Jesus knows the fear and the doubt and the anger.

This is why I have to remember to rely on God above any person, because they're not always going to know what to say or do or what I'm going through, but He will.  I am never alone because He is always in the middle of whatever I'm facing fighting for me and grieving with me.

Jesus died to free me from my hurt and my pain.  He suffered so that I wouldn't have to.

That's why I know that I owe him every piece of me.  Not only because He gave me everything in exchange for nothing, but because He is the one who will walk with me through everything and never disappoint.

Thanks be to God.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

It was only a matter of time.

First Mom, then Chelsea, now me.

I am sick.

So sick I slept until 7 PM when my mom woke me up to eat and am currently blogging from my phone because sitting up and getting out my computer seems like too much energy to expend.

It's fun.

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Friday, June 21, 2013


I had a talk with a friend of mine today, and during that conversation, they expressed a concern over something minor I had done a few times that could end up having negative ramifications for them and/or their significant other.  Nothing had happened yet, but of course, I apologized, and they well knew that I would never intentionally do something that could cause a problem for them.  There was no misunderstanding between us; it was more based on the nervousness of what other people could judge about it if they didn't know or chose not to find out the story of what our friendship is really like.

But it got me to thinking about something, and we even talked about it for a minute.  I don't think I ever would have realized that that thing I had done could turn out to be a bad thing, because it really was that minor, but as soon as it was mentioned to me, I understood.  I needed this person to point it out.  My mom would call me oblivious, Holly would call me naive, but the root of the problem is that despite the wonderful group of close and loyal friends that I have now, I still have no freakin' idea what I'm doing most of the time.

Part of me thinks I should have figured at least some of it out by now, but part of me thinks it's going to take a lot more than 2.5 years of forming friendships to counteract the mental damage that 12 years of either having Matt or having no one at all did to my ability to be friends with other people.  And I mean that only in the sense that all those years that everyone else was forming friendships and figuring out how to be friends with the same and opposite sex people, learning boundaries and what's appropriate and where lines need to be, I missed out.  I'm just getting the chance to figure it out now, when everyone else thinks it's common knowledge.  I'm just blessed to have the handful of people who are closest to me who know that and get that and love me even when I mess it up.  Heck, I told Ryann on several occasions that she was my guinea pig for figuring out what it meant to be best friends with a girl..

And then the conversation got to a point where I knew I didn't have to worry about this person and me, because they proceeded to analyze who I am as a person and as a friend just about as good as I've ever been able to, and I like to think I've got a pretty good handle on who I am.  This person flat out called the intense way I care about the people in my life a good thing, and knew without me saying it that the reason behind all those times I got hurt in the past was because my intensity came off wrong and people misunderstood my heart behind the way I loved them.  Hearing this just made me that much more thankful for the group of people I have walking with me who know my heart so well they can see it behind my mess ups.

This person also understood something that very few people have in my past: when I say that I need my friends to tell me 100% honestly if I've done something to hurt them, or annoy them, or bother them in the least, I mean it.  They said that most people assume I don't really mean that, and they saw today that I really did by the way that I reacted to their concern.  I never have to worry about where things stand with this person, or Ryann, or Matt, or several others, because they get it.  They come to me full of honesty and second chances so I can do my best to rectify the situation.

There aren't words to describe how thankful I am that these people instinctively know that despite however many times I may not think something through all the way or simply just go wrong, I am still learning, and I am loving them the best that I know how.  There's such a sense of security in that, security I never had before, and it is such a sweet picture of the Lord.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013


I have nothing to say today, so instead I'm posting this Youtube video that Kyla sent me that instantly made me cry.  It pretty much goes right along with my post from yesterday.  God is the ultimate healer, this I know.

"Healer" - Kari Jobe

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What's Next

Remember how yesterday I said that I told Brennan I wasn't excited about today's appointment, and listed the reasons why?  Now, I'm thinking that that was God already preparing me for what today would hold.  I'm way too exhausted physically and mentally to try and write this in some poetic or beautiful way, so let me just get right to the point:

This new doctor I saw today, lauded as the best headache specialist in North Carolina and one of the best in the country, didn't have any more options than the other doctors I've seen had.  I need Botox treatments.  That is literally the only treatment option I have left, and that's if my insurance will pay for it.  And it's not even as strong as the DHE treatment I did in February and in April, which didn't give him much hope that the Botox would work.  The DHE IV treatment is the strongest treatment that exists for chronic headache pain, and the stronger of the two doses didn't work at all for me.

All of that to say, medically wise, there are no more nexts.  There is nothing else I can do.

That was a really hard thing for me to wrap my head around.  I got so used to doctors telling me, "Okay, we have this, and if this doesn't work, we can do this, and if that doesn't work, we'll try this..." and on and on and on.  There was always a next step, something else to try, another option.  Now, there's not.  And I have to accept that.

So I've done the only thing I know: talk it out with God, and with a couple dear friends.  I told them just what I've been telling myself for weeks months now:  if God doesn't heal me, I know He's going to do something so good with it I can't even imagine it right now.  And as I told these friends that tonight, I knew that I believed that in my core.  God is too good; He's not going to give up on me now, and I'm not going to give up on Him, either.  When God heals me, I'm going to have a testimony that tells people this was His doing and His alone.  I'm so excited for that!!

I'm beyond thankful that my faith hasn't wavered as this story has unfolded.  I posted that song yesterday for a very specific purpose - because it's what I want to say to all the people who wonder how I do what I do, who have thanked me for pointing them to Our Father as the ultimate healer.

I can count a million times,
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through.
The question just amazes me.
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You?

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days,
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on You, oh Lord,
My only shelter from the storm,
But instead, I draw closer through these times.

So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days 
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You,
Jesus, bring the rain.

Today was God telling me no...for at least right now.  And I know with every piece of my heart that as He makes it so clear that this is the path He's laid out for me to walk right now, I'm going to go.  I'm going to go wherever He leads me in this because my soul's purpose is to obey Him and follow Him with reckless abandon.

Please don't think I have this all figured out.  Trust me, I don't.  In fact, the reason I called one of those friends tonight was because I knew I needed to process out loud, the way I always do.  All I know is this:  My God is still good.  I don't know what's coming next, I don't know what's going to happen to me from here.  What I do know is summed up best in another song that's been on repeat the past few days.

Sometimes life doesn't make any sense, full of war and pain and accidents.  [S]he's praying, I don't know, I don't know what You're doing, but I know who You are.

So what's next for me is healing of a different kind: the mental, emotional, and spiritual healing that comes when you accept the fact that you can't change the situation you're in, and I mean, truly, completely, wholeheartedly accept it, not the pseudo-acceptance that's left me feeling like I've been holding my breath for the past year.  It's time to move on to the next piece of my story.

And I'll be honest, part of me wonders if I can do it.  If I can actually let this go and give it wholly over to God, but in the words of a very wise friend of mine when I told him everyone else always seems to have more faith in my capabilities than I ever do, "Maybe you need to take that as a sign."  To stop doubting what I can do, to start seeing myself as the daughter of the King who can do anything with Him at her back.

I don't know what He's doing, but I know who He is.  And I think, for the first time, I really believe that that's 100% enough.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What You Will

When I was talking to Brennan Saturday night and he asked about how my head's been, and I told him that things were the same but that I was going back to the doctor this Wednesday (now tomorrow), he asked me if I was excited about it.

I had to be honest with him - I didn't think I could call what I was feeling excitement.  I have a hard time getting excited about any new doctor appointments or possibilities or chances anymore.  Not because I doubt God's ability to heal me, that's not it in the least, but because I find it nearly impossible to convince myself something big is going to happen and I hate getting my hopes up for nothing.

Here's the weird thing.  The old me would have said what I just did and meant it as a recognition of defeat; this me says it as a sign of acceptance.  I've said this from the beginning, and I find myself meaning it more and more every day - if this is the story God has written for me, if this is how He wants to use my life to show His glory and goodness, then I don't want it to change.  I wasn't able to put all of this into words regarding this particular doctor appointment until late last night when I was up listening to Pastor Chris's latest sermon titled "When a Father Says No."  In it, Chris spends a lot of time talking about the prayer that Jesus prayed when he was pleading with God that there might be a way for him to avoid going to the cross.

"Abba Father, all things are possible for You.  Remove this cup from me.  Yet not what I will, but what You will."

YES.  That is exactly where I am at.  I have not stopped asking God to heal me because I know full well that His capabilities are endless, and I do want to be healed.  But what I don't want is to be the one calling the shots here. I don't have the full picture, but He does.  I only want this healing to come if it's His will.  And I promise you this, I lost the ability a long time ago to put up a facade when it comes to my faith; I wouldn't be able to write those words, let alone say them to anyone, if I didn't mean them.

I am not in control, and for the first time in my life, I am totally okay with that.  I want my life to follow His will for me, not my own.  I know that if God doesn't heal me, He's got something so awesome in store I couldn't even dream it up.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Birthday Weekend Recap

Let's start from the beginning, shall we?

Saturday, I woke up at the crack of dawn.  Okay, it was more like 7:45, but still, way earlier than I should have been awake on my birthday.  Eventually, I fell back asleep, though, and woke up about noon.  Mom, Mommom and Blake were at the beach (I was too sunburned to go) and Chelsea was at work, so I had the house to myself for about two hours before Mom and Blake got back.  I was texting Matt on and off, and he showed up right about 3:00 because his parents were out so he had nothing to do.  As soon as he walked in,  he was a Blake magnet, and I tell ya, I always knew my best friend was wonderful, but I had no idea how adorable he was when he gets around small children.  He played with Blake for two hours straight until Mommom got here with Chelsea and he was SO good with him the entire time.  My heart just about melted.

Since we didn't go out to a restaurant, dinner consisted entirely of things I chose: steaks, asparagus bundles, fresh corn on the cob, and my mom's incredible garlic mashed potatoes.  For once, all my grandma had to do was bring over the dessert, which was also my choice - Cheesecake Factory cheesecake: strawberry, blueberry, and chocolate mousse.  Guess which one I picked?

I had two Cape Cods and everyone had some limoncello, which I hadn't had since I was in Rome in 2005.  Funniest line of the night, Matt's immediate reaction to limoncello: "It tastes like the smell of Pine-Sol."  During dessert, Matt's momma, aka my other mother (she's "adopted" me like Mom's "adopted" Matt), came over to see me.  The funny thing is that she and Mom have the same name, except she is Sherri and my mom is Sheri. I thought that was super sweet of her, but what Matt didn't tell me was that she was bringing me a gift!  Then again, Matt may not have known.

It had a bottle of Mary Kay after sun replenishing gel, because she sells Mary Kay and saw my post about my sunburn, and two little bottles of rum.  It was great.  She stayed for about 45 minutes, and of course I had to get a couple pictures before she left.

Excuse the off-kilter shirt.  I'm not the most observant person.  Ha!  After she left, it took 45 minutes to get Blake in bed and Chelsea to leave us alone.  But then, like I said yesterday, we spent the next 3+hours just sitting on the couch like this.

Well, eventually I moved on to my back because my hip hurt, but still.  We just talked.  I showed him the blog post I wrote about him on Tuesday, he told me I was a cheeseball and thanked me.  But after that, we talked.  About God, religion in general, politics, the news (because apparently I'm not the only nerd in this friendship), and our history as friends.  We haven't had a night like this since before he moved to Raleigh in December 2011 right after he graduated college, and it was exactly what I needed and wanted.  It was pretty cute, too; while we talked, he alternated between rubbing my hair and resting his arm on me, and sometimes he'd just randomly lock fingers with mine.  It's great, because we both know I am totally over him, we can be intimate like this without him having to worry about me getting the wrong idea.

(two separate pictures, I'm not so weird that I'd crop one picture just to post it twice)

There aren't words to describe the love I have for this kid, or the love I know he has for me.  He eventually left just after midnight because I knew I had to get up at 5 to get ready for work.  He gave me a peck on the lips goodbye, again something he's never done before and could never do before I stopped having feelings for him, and I thought I was going to bed, but then Brennan called.  Two minutes later, Matt showed back up because he forgot his phone charger inside, and he gave me another kiss goodbye.  Then I spent the next 45 minutes talking to Brennan.  I knew I had to get up at 5, but I didn't care - I will always pick talking to people over sleeping, and we haven't talked in quite a while.  It was so good to talk to him.  He initiated subjects by asking questions, gave me advice and his opinion, updated me on his life, asked me on his own to text or call him after my appointment on Wednesday, and prayed over me before we hung up.  I already believed it before, but this conversation was such good reassurance - I legitimately believe that we both learned from our mistakes last year, and he really is different this time.  He even said that he will make sure we see each other when I come to Nashville, and that he's looking forward to it.  I'm so happy I listened to my heart and didn't give up on him.  The night already felt perfect after spending so much time with Matt, but talking to him was just icing on the cake.

I didn't fall asleep until close to 2 am, and woke up at 5 to get a shower.  I was at work until noon, then came back and hung out with Mom and Blake.  I got to take about a 90-minute nap before Mom needed my help entertaining Blake while she cleaned in preparation for Holly and Michael's arrival.  Chelsea and Mommom arrived just before 5:00, and Holly and Michael arrived just before 6:00.  Because both of them were able to find someone to cover their shifts today and thus did not have to leave until late tonight, we had an easy meal last night: tortellini, leftover corn, yellow rice (which I also love) and broccoli.  My grandma brought over these cheesecake bites that were delicious.  Holly, Michael, and I left just after 8:00.  We had to go to Morehead for them to get bathing suits because we were planning on going to the beach today, but we were back in town by 9:30 and headed to The Icehouse (just a great local restaurant) to have some drinks.  It was Holly's idea to take me out for drinks, which was sweet of her and exactly what I'd hoped for.

Of course, the one night we go out, the bar is completely FILLED with people I went to high school with.  I thought it was going to be super awkward, but it wasn't.  People were cordial, and a guy I know named Tyler even bought me my first drink.

I guess people really do grow up.  :)  I had a Fuzzy Navel (peach schnapps and orange juice), some concoction Holly learned from her time at Ruby Tuesday's called a Relaxer (I couldn't tell you everything that is in it, but it was good), a margarita, a small taste of Jim Beam bourbon, and a Royal Flush (Crown Royal whiskey, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice).  I was feeling good by the end of the night!  Haha!

Some random dude that Michael started talking to at the bar took pictures for us.

Sisters!  We get along so great now.  I love it.  And her.

Michael thinks he's too cool to smile for pictures.  Just kidding!  I love him.

:)  They both took great care of me, the alcohol virgin, the whole night.

We got back around 11:30, and Holly came up with one more concoction she wanted me to try (shh! Don't tell Mom! :p), and we hung out until close to 1:00 when finally, I crashed.

This is normal Michael.  I think he'll fit right in with this family. ;) I didn't even notice he was doing that.

Don't worry, I'm not becoming a big drinker or anything, but I just wanted to do something stupid this one time.  Not many people in this day and age actually wait until their 21st birthday to get drunk for the first time, and I didn't do anything absurd or black out or anything.  Besides, Holly and Michael wouldn't have let anything happen to me, and now I know that I can have a few drinks without affecting my seizure disorder.

Turns out, that much alcohol knocks a girl out.  Aside from getting up to go to the bathroom, I didn't get up until 4:00 this afternoon.  Thankfully, Holly and Michael made me drink enough water last night that I didn't have a hangover headache or anything.  I guess two consecutive days is as long as Chelsea can go without being mean to me, but hey, I'm just happy she didn't cause trouble on my birthday, so today was kind of rough in that aspect but I tried my best not to let it get to me.  I had Brennan's advice in my head, which helped.  Tonight we had Hawaiian baked chicken, asparagus bundles (because thanks to some miscommunication and forgetfulness, we had six bunches of asparagus going into this weekend), the end of the mashed potatoes, yellow rice, and the end of the cheesecake and cheesecake bites.  It was great.  I was pleasantly stuffed.

In other news, I had a pretty bad conversation with my boss today.  While I thought they were being understanding about my disabilities, but they're actually not, so as soon as I get another job lined up, I'm quitting.  I just don't have the time or energy to spend all summer miserable because of these people.  Me being me, right after I got off the phone, I started crying, partially because I was upset that I'm essentially being punished for my disabilities and partially because I knew I needed the money in order to afford a plane ticket to Taylor and Kyla's wedding in November.  But God being God, two really wonderful things happened immediately after that.

First, Chelsea remembered I had gotten a card in the mail.  It was the SWEETEST birthday card from Caitie.  I seriously teared up and smiled so big.  I'm gonna treasure it for a long, long time.

Also, my grandma overheard my mom and I talking about how much I need the money to go to Nashville in November, and she oh-so-generously offered that, if I can't get enough money saved, she has enough frequent flyer miles that she would get me a ticket with those and it wouldn't cost her a dime.  Of course, I want to be an adult and pay for this trip on my own, but it was so nice to have this backup plan.  So it's officially official: I'M GOING BACK TO NASHVILLE!!!!!!!  149 days and counting.

And so ends this absurdly long recap of the past few days.  God has been so good to me.  I have had an amazing weekend surrounded in several forms by people I know love me.  Spending so much time with Matt totally rejuvenated me to face the next two months before Campbell.  Talking to Brennan gave me a new perspective.  All the texts and calls from people reminded me just how NOT alone I really am.  A night out with Holly and Michael gave me a chance to let loose and totally forget my troubles for one night.  My grandma gave me an incredible gift.  The past three days have been filled with more blessings than I ever could have thought to ask for.  God is so good.

I'm ready to see what the next year holds for me.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pretty Perfect

I know I said that last year was the best birthday ever, but I'm pretty sure this year topped it.  Almost entirely thanks to the fact that I spent 9+ hours with this guy.

Seriously, I didn't realize how much I needed a night like that with him until it happened.  We literally did nothing but sit on the couch for hours, and it was exactly what I wanted.

I got three hours of sleep last night before work, and I haven't had time to update at all today because I've been exhausted and busy helping Mom.  And now Holly and Michael will be here soon, and after dinner, they're taking me out for drinks and dessert.  Chances are likely I'll be drinking enough that I won't want to even think about this computer when we get home, so consider this my post for today.

And I promise, tomorrow there will be a recap of both days of this birthday fun.

But for now, just know that yesterday was as close to perfect as I could've hoped for, and I could not have been happier.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013


About dang time.



time with Matt tonight

It's gonna be a good birthday.

Pictures to come.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

A do nothing day, indeed.





More sleep.

Lots of aloe.

That's what my day has involved.  And I'm happy about it.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Note to self: You are an idiot.

Mom, Mommom, and I went to the nice beach on Camp Lejeune this morning.

"Use the spray sunscreen!" Mom said.

"We'll put it on when we get there!" she said.

I don't know why on earth she or I thought that would be a good idea for me.  The wind was blowing, and I didn't know I had to rub in the sunscreen after I put it on.

The end result?  The most hilarious, splotchy, bizarre-looking sunburn I have ever seen.

The good news is I got to take a nap on the beach in the summer sun with my feet in the water, which was amazing.

The bad news is this burn is so bad I can't even think about going to the beach again until it heals, so I'll be spending my birthday at home instead of back at the beach.

Another reason I'm an idiot?  I was almost certain I was going to get fired today.  I did not.  My mom and I talked to my head manager, and everything's fine.  (And yes, I know it seems childish to bring my mom to that meeting, but I wanted her there to tell him all the disabilities I've told him about really are true because I was starting to think he didn't believe me, and she has a calming effect on me when I'm nervous.  Yay moms.)  He only put me on night shift this week because a bunch of his employees are high schoolers and they asked for the whole week off because of graduation.  That never occurred to me.  And he got the manager that I had to work with tonight to get off my case about things I've told her are due to my disablities, and when I was in so much pain tonight that I couldn't mop, she didn't yell at me.  I'm just praying that I have worked my last night shift.  Days don't even really bother my back and feet anymore, mostly because you actually get breaks then.

There's a big ol' thunderstorm outside, and aside from that nap on the beach (which was about an hour), I've been up since 5:30 (yay insomnia), so I'm gonna catch up on the rest of this internet stuff and go to bed.  Chelsea works tomorrow and Blake can go to daycare, so Mom and I have declared tomorrow a "do nothing day".

Which is probably good, considering the first 24 hours after I get a sunburn are usually the worst.  Yay summer.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Aside from the fact that I earned my first tip today, today's shift was not good.

We were so busy, and I was trying to do all my cleaning on top of it, that my body eventually just locked up and the pain became unbearable just before 9:00.

Thank the Lord that 9:00 was when I was supposed to get off anyway and the nice manager was on so he didn't yell at me for not finishing my stuff.

But Mom and I decided we need to go in and have a talk with the head manager tomorrow because I really need to be taken off night shift and he said he was going to do that and then didn't.

I'm nervous.  I really don't want to get fired.  I'll accept limited hours if it means they'll only keep me in the daytime.

Prayers are appreciated that my nerves are for nothing.

I'm going to bed.  I need to not sleep all day tomorrow, especially since I work tomorrow night and was too exhausted and in too much pain to wash my uniform tonight.  So sleep it is.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Best Friend

I just want it to be Saturday already.

Not because it's my birthday, I'm not that self-centered, but because it means I get to spend quality time with the one person who, without fail, can make me feel safe and sane and wanted with just a hug.  He's the one who can look at me and tell something is wrong, and then hold me until I'm ready to let go.  He has always been the one person that I know can make me feel normal when the rest of the world told me I was nothing but an outsider.  He's the one person whose love has always felt absolutely unconditional, whose love I never felt I had to earn, who never held expectations of the kind of friend I was supposed to be because he always instinctively knew that I was loving him the best I knew how.

Things with my family the past few days have been, needless to say, really bad.  Worse than usual.  The kind of bad that makes me retreat back into my shell and just pray I can make it through the latest war without losing my mind.  And it's spells like this that only serve to remind me that I don't belong here anymore.

But here I sit, for another two months and one week.  In a town that doesn't feel like home, with people that don't really seem to want me around, working a job that isn't making me happy, a town where I have zero friends to make me want to be here.  Because let's face it, I do so much better loving my family from afar.

That's why I can't wait for Saturday.  Saturday means that for one night, I can be reminded of what life is like outside of this house, this town.  I can joke and laugh and talk with the person who knows me better than anyone and remember what it's like not to feel like an outsider.

The ironic part about this whole thing?  In the almost 11 years we have known each other, Matt has never been a Christian, yet I think of God every time I look at him.  Not in some I-worship-my-best-friend kind of way, but as a reminder of how much God has blessed me beyond what I could ever imagine.  I see the way Matt loves me, and am reminded that God's love for me is infinitely greater.  He hugs me in that warm way that only he can, and I remember that I can run to God and be wrapped in His embrace anytime.  God knew exactly what I needed through the darkest years of my life, and He handed me the one person who could put up with all of it, love me at my worst, and never leave even when the rest of the world told him he should.  I'm not kidding when I say that his presence saved my life every day of my high school years.

But honestly, the thing that blows my mind the most is that Matt is, I would say, the person who loves me best and most unconditionally.  As much as it pains me to say, there have been periods in my life where I've felt like I had to be something or do something well enough to earn my mom's love and attention.  I know now that that's almost certainly not the case, but that's the way it felt.  And because of the issues my mom faces in her own life, there have been times when she simply wasn't capable of being present the way I needed her to be.

Matt, though?  It was never a question with him.  Even the times when I said I was convinced that he didn't really care about me, I knew in my heart that wasn't true, I was speaking out of fear, and he later told me that he never got mad about all of those instances because he knew why I was lashing out at him even when I didn't.  He has seen me at my absolute worst and never retreated in the slightest, not even when I told him to.  I learned what it means to fight for the people you love because of him.  He is my constant reminder of God's unconditional love for me, even if he doesn't understand it himself.

And I am so thankful that I've finally gotten to the point where I appreciate this relationship for what it is and want nothing more out of it.  He is my absolute best friend in the world, my big brother, the person who knows me like no one else.  If he had ever caved to all the times I practically begged him to let me be his girlfriend, or even worse to the times when I offered my body to him in hopes that that would make him love me (and thank God for that, because I would've hated him afterwards), in the end, I know that I would have lost him for good.  I would have lost my best friend.

What we have, this quirky, bizarre relationship that no one else really gets, is the kind of gift that you can't replace.  And I wouldn't trade it for anything.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Not An Accident

Today, I got really, really mad.  But before I get into why I was mad, let me explain the situation.

I called to get my schedule for the week from the head manager, and what he gave me means I am set up for 15 hours for the entire week.  Wanting not to automatically assumed the worst, I asked how long new employees have to be on part-time hours (knowing full well that 15 hours isn't even considered part-time).  He then told me that the hours I have aren't because I'm new, "they're based on performance."  I asked, if my performance was/is the problem, how I could improve.  He completely evaded the question and told me to just see how this week goes and then hung up before I could say anything else.

Never mind the fact that he told me he was going to take me off night shift and two of the three shifts I have this week are night shift, I laid there on my bed completely stunned that my performance is a problem.  I work as hard as I can the entire time that I am there.  I never complain about being in pain.  If a manager critiques something, I immediately go back and fix it and don't talk back.  I'm respectful to managers.  I'm kind to customers.  And since I didn't know or understand what the problem was, my manager wouldn't even tell me what I was doing that was wrong or how I could improve.

My mom wasn't home at the time, so in the silence of my room, I cried.

I cried for the feeling that I was being punished for physical disabilities I'd been upfront about that are out of my control.

I cried for the people at my job who weren't even trying to understand.

I cried for the knowledge that there are things my body will never be able to do correctly.

I cried for all the effort I put into making up for what my body can't do.

I cried for how much I hate feeling different.

I cried for the fact that no matter how patient, kind, supportive, and loving my friends are, no one really knows what it's like to be me.

Basically, I was having a good, old-fashioned pity party.  Until the beauty came.

Through those tears, I felt the Lord whisper to me two simple words, I understand.  And I realized how foolish I was being.  I had forgotten one of the biggest truths that I have learned since I became a Christian, one of the hardest for me to learn: I am never alone.  No matter what blow I am dealt, no matter what feelings I feel trapped inside me, no matter what pain I feel - physical or otherwise, there is always a Father in Heaven who feels and grieves every bit of it with me.  He watched His own son be put through a torturous death; He knows the agony that physical pain can bring better than anyone else.  And I know that as I laid here on my bed earlier tonight crying, He was laying with me.  I'm sure of it.

When the tears stopped (and then resurfaced and stopped again when my mom got home and I told her what had happened), I remembered words that Taylor told me quite some time ago.  I don't even remember when it was, maybe sometime last year, or the exact words he said, but the basic gist of it was, "Mal, the things you can do with your mind and your words more than make up for the things your body can't do.  This is your gift."  In the moment, they just felt like a sweet compliment from a dear friend, but now I realize just what a gift from the Lord it was.

"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.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Psalm 139:13-16 ESV

God knows me.  He knows me.  None of the issues I have faced in my nearly 21 years of life have been a surprise to Him.  He knew every little detail that my life story would  hold before my mom and dad even dreamed of having a third child.  He knew doctors would think I'd be born with Down Syndrome when my mom was still pregnant with me.  He knew each surgery I would face.  He knew the pain I would live with on a daily basis through high school and college.  He knew all of the challenges that I would face, and yet He chose to bring me into existence, anyway.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

He created me in this body, with this life, because He knew the plan He had for me.  He knew that His plan could and would surpass any diagnosis or disability.  He knew that my life had a purpose, and that that purpose would hold true when the world tried to write me off.  He knew that my life was not an accident.

It is those truths that I hold on to tonight, long after the tears ceased and the heartache vanished.  God has proven time and time again that He gave me this life and this story for a very specific purpose, and He has gifted me with the tools necessary to tell people about His grace and goodness.  That grace is sufficient to pull me through when the world tells me that I'm not enough, that my best isn't good enough.  The Creator is the one I put my trust in.  He has carried me through extreme difficulty when I didn't even know He was there.  I have every reason to trust Him, and no reason not to.

So tonight, I choose to focus on my identity in Him, and the knowledge that He is always enough when I am not, that the body I was given is nothing but a tool to live out the story He wrote long ago for me.  I choose to believe that if I had a healthier body, I wouldn't have had some (or any) of the God-breathed moments that I have been blessed to experience and write about.  I choose to trust that He will make the plans He had when He created me come to fruition, no matter what obstacle is put in my way.

Despite everything, I choose to trust that my life as it is right now is not an accident.  He has a plan; that much I know.

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Out of Energy

Here's what my day looked like:

7-11:45 work

12-3 sleep

3-6 help Mom with Blake and dinner

6-7:30 lay in bed staring at the ceiling

7:30-11 sleep

11-now eat and blog

And then I'm going back to bed. I don't know why I'm so tired. At least I'm one day closer to my birthday!

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Thanks, Andrea.

I was not looking forward to going out in the pouring rain and heavy winds to go to work, and about five minutes before I was ready to walk out the door, work called and told me not to come in today because they were so slow because of the weather.

Only later on Instagram did I find out that this several days of pouring rain and heavy winds wasn't just normal NC weather, but an actual tropical storm.  Tropical Storm Andrea, to be exact.  Ah, the beginning of hurricane season is officially upon us.  The west gets earthquakes, the midwest gets tornadoes, and the east gets hurricanes.  All equally capable of massive destruction, all very different entities.

My state has survived some pretty nasty hurricanes, so I know how dangerous they can be, but NC, especially the coast where I live, is so used to it, we basically don't evacuate unless it's a Category 4 or 5.  And those are pretty rare.  So for a minor little tropical storm, I'm just happy to have the day off work.  It turned out to be a huge blessing because my head got really, really bad a few hours later, and I have thus spent the whole day in bed.

Now I'm going back to sleep.  I'm so out of it, I'd rather wake up before the sun to take a shower than take one right now.

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Good news!

This won't make a bit of difference to anyone but me, but after a day that involved really really really bad news for Mom that I can't talk about (please pray for her) and my back being so screwed up all day that the slightest bit of movement made me want to cry, this was exactly the kind of thing that I needed to hear.

I always knew that Matt was coming down to see me next Saturday on my birthday, but at first I thought it was gonna be super late that night because he'd have to work.  Turns out, he's coming down Friday night to spend time with his family that night and the next morning, and then spending the whole evening at my house, even including my birthday dinner.  I am so so so excited!  I don't remember the last time we got to just hang out.  And it means so much to me that he's sacrificing the money he could be earning at work, which he really does need because he barely makes ends meet, just to come be with me on my birthday.  I love that kid more than I can ever explain.

Also, my manager agreed to take me off night shift and I think he's going to start giving me more hours, so that's good news, too. :)

Now, I'm off to take another muscle relaxer and go to bed.  Work tomorrow and Sunday, off Monday.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013


I'm staring at my computer screen, trying to come up with something interesting, or thought-provoking, or witty to say.

And I've got nothing.

I did nothing today except work 4-9:30, which will hopefully be my last night shift.

I have to be back at work at 8 am tomorrow.  Boo.

The only reason I'm still awake right now is because my uniform is in the dryer and I need to make sure it gets dry before I can go to sleep.  Because Hardee's only gives you one work shirt, meaning I have to do laundry every. single. day.

My body hurts bad.  Hopefully the two muscle relaxers I took don't make me oversleep tomorrow.

But yeah, other than that, I've got nothing.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Unanswered Questions

It's really awful when you catch yourself missing someone whom you know was never anything but bad news.

There I was, sitting on the beach in the late afternoon sun, listening to the waves crash and feeling the wind blow.  I was the most relaxed I've been in quite some time.  It felt like a pretty perfect scenario...

Until I remembered.

I remembered a story he told me once, about how he had seen me on that very beach, laughing and playing in the water.  How he wanted to run up and grab me but knew he couldn't.  How he hated that I was so close but still unreachable.

And for the first time in the more than eight months since I told him to get out of my life and never come back, I caught myself wanting to call him.  To see how he is.  To see if he's better, more put together, grown up at all.  Even as those thoughts raced across my mind, I knew it was crazy, I knew I couldn't contact him...but I also couldn't stop myself from missing him.

Why?  Why would I bother missing someone who spent years playing with my heart and abusing the feelings he knew I had for him?  Why would I want to talk to someone who knew I was willing to risk everything for him and used that to try to break me?

I miss the person I believed with every piece of my heart that he was until I found out the truth.  I miss the feeling of security that washed over me every time we talked.  I miss feeling free to say whatever was on my mind, that feeling that let me tell him things that no one else - not even Matt - had ever heard.  I miss feeling wanted, in a way that no other guy has ever wanted me.  I miss how safe I felt with him.

If that guy were real, I believe something beautiful could have happened, but he's not.  That guy is only the picture he created to get me to fall for him way too hard.  The real him used my feelings to try to destroy some of my most valued relationships.  The real him disappeared just when I thought things were okay.  The real him left me wondering if any of the past 3 years had been the truth.

That would be what I'd say if I could talk to him again, if I had run into him on that same beach this afternoon.  Why?  Why would he put 3 years into fabricating a friendship with me for nothing but his own twisted pleasure?  Why did he have to use me like that, couldn't he have found some other way to reach the end he sought that didn't involve stringing me along and breaking my heart?  Was any of it real?  Did he ever love me like he said he did?  Were any of the countless sweet things he said to me during those late nights the truth?  Or was I just a toy that he could use to torment someone very close to me, because he knew that in my heart I had already picked him over her?

But those questions are all just going to have to fade away because I can't reopen that wound.  I've cried too many tears over him as it is.  His presence in my life did nothing but create damage and heartbreak, and that's not what you keep around.  I risked destroying, beyond repair, a relationship that I can't ever totally escape, and he told me it was all a joke to him as soon as I was about to really choose him.  I may miss him, or at least the person he had me believing he was, but I know myself well enough to know that one conversation will plunge me back into that whirlpool of drama.  So I can't.  An attempt at closure would do exponentially more harm than good.  I have to sit with these questions and pray that one day I'll forget these feelings that resurfaced on a simple summer day.  Maybe one day thinking about him won't hurt.

The girl who usually never lets go until she gets closure is finally learning to let go without it. One Word taking on a meaning I never expected it to.

On a lighter note, here are the beach pictures from Sunday.  I forgot to upload them.  This is at a different beach than the one Mom and I went to today...hence the sudden onslaught of memories.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Truth Is

When people know things are rough for you simply because your blog posts are very brief and much shorter than usual, you know it's bad.

Truth is, I haven't had much to say.

My days are the same. Either I'm at work, or I'm stuck in this house, and I'm always dealing with severe pain.  But I don't want this blog to become one long record of complaints about how much this pain sucks because I know the blessings that God has bestowed upon me far outweigh the physical pain I endure.

I guess it's about finding a balance between the fact that I don't want to pretend like things are fine/better when they aren't, but I also don't want anyone who may come across this blog to think that I'm the kind of girl who just focuses on the negative.  Anyone who knows me knows I'm not that girl.

But the truth is, I'm also kind of afraid that if I start talking about the pain I'm dealing with and talk about how rough it is, I won't be able to stop.  Like opening up Pandora's box, I'm scared that if I start on the subject, I'll lose focus of the God that carries me through every day and drift away from this wonderful place spiritually that I have fought so hard to get to.  I can't let that happen.

I've always been that girl who doesn't like to talk about her issues to avoid people feeling sorry for her.  Now it's not so much that I'm worried about other people feeling sorry for me as it is that I'm worried about feeling sorry for myself.  I don't want to go there, either.

So yeah...that's why my posts have been random and short.  I'm just counting the days until my doctor's appointment, biding time while I try and figure out what God has next for me.  I'm learning how to live a life that involves chronic pain without living a life that is solely about that pain.  None of this makes sense to me, but it doesn't have to.  I'm not the poet, just the poem.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

A Guarantee for Deep Sleep

1 Phenergan to get rid of my nausea


2 muscle relaxers for the all-over body pain from yesterday's busyness


Mal goes to sleep before midnight and doesn't get out of bed until 3:15 pm

And the only reason I got up then was because I had to go to work.  Or at least I thought I did.  Meaning I showed up to work in the pouring rain about 4:40 planning on eating before the 5-9 shift that my manager had told me last Monday that I was scheduled for (because our work schedules run Tuesday-Monday), and then find out that I'm not on the schedule at all.

Yeah.  That was fun.

And then I proceeded to lay in bed all night watching Youtube videos because, well, my family was particularly annoying today.

I'm barely getting any hours at work.  It's irritating.

I need to start studying for the GRE soon.

I can't wait for my birthday.  I get to hang out with Matt and talk to lots of people that I love.  It's gonna be a good day.

I'm tired.  This is a very random post because I don't have much to say today.  Good night.

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

One word to sum up today: Ow.

Work, in which I was put on dining room only for 5 hours.

Beach time.

Then shopping with Mom.  We just went to Walmart but we bought a ton of stuff and had fun together.

It was a good day after I got out of work, but I am in severe, severe pain in my head, neck, back, hips, knees, ankles, and feet.  I loved getting to spend some one-on-one time with my mom tonight, though.  Sometimes it feels like we share a brain.

So basically I'm an 80 year old woman at the ripe old age of 20.

And now I'm going to bed.

Thank the good Lord I'm on the evening shift tomorrow and therefore do not have to wake up at the crack of dawn.

I still have to fold laundry and make my bed so...good night.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

It's June. Finally.

I've been waiting for this month to get here for two very important reasons.

1:  My 21st birthday is in exactly two weeks.  It's kind of crazy to think about the fact that this will be the 5th birthday I'll have celebrated since starting this blog, but it is.  Matt, who basically works 24/7, is actually taking time off to come down and see me and take me out, which is going to be very special.  And I've already put in my request for my birthday dinner: instead of going out to a restaurant as a family like we usually do for birthdays, we're having steaks, asparagus bundles, who knows what other sides, and chocolate mousse cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory at our house.  It'll be like 1/3 of the price and it's some of my favorite foods. :)

2:  My appointment with the specialist at Duke's headache clinic is in 18 days.  The importance of this appointment and my impatience for the day to arrive was only reinforced by the fact that I spent all day in bed today.  I had to call out of work, which didn't look very good but couldn't be helped, because I couldn't even open my eyes.  I'm more than ready for another chance to get some answers.

On to tomorrow.  I'm going to work no matter what shape my head is in.  I don't have a choice.  Though I'm praying it'll be at least back to manageably bad by the time I wake up.

Good night.

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