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Archive for August, 2018

A1F5D190-87BF-4F8D-8A24-91D6D73F2F42.jpegThe slightest thought of it feels so stifling, hot, and uncontrollable, that I avoid it at all costs. This is what happens with trauma, you don’t get over it, you learn to live with it.

Everyone thought I lived in cities until I got married because I was a “city girl”. Actually it was because of one thing and one thing only: I didn’t have to drive.

You see when you die as a young child  and come back after being hit by a car, followed by being in car accident as a teenager that caused internal bleeding, you sorta hold onto a car being a lethal weapon. A weapon I didn’t drive until my mid twenties out of fear that I couldn’t ever get past the point to be ok in the drivers seat.

So the first step was in my mid twenties I decided I didn’t want to be confined by fear, and took driving lessons. Great right? Did I mention they were in New York City? I mean who wouldn’t want to conquer their fear of driving in the streets of the craziest driving city in the USA? I even took my driving test there and happy to say: I PASSED. Granted this was after they made me drive over the Statan Island bridge and back in rush hour traffic! You would think all trauma I had from my childhood would disappear! I was cured! Right? WRONG!

When your greatest fear is enmeshed with your biggest anxiety, you end up finding yourself in an invisible bondage that owns you. When I moved to the suburbs in Connecticut, I was strong enough to drive around town, only because I knew as a mother I needed too. Since birthing three kids, my anxiety for driving and others driving increased three fold.

While on the highway, I may in fact be the worst person to have in your passenger seat because I jump, hold the door, and use my “pretend break” the entire time. My heart is beating, I’m sweating, and all I keep thinking in my head is “I don’t want to die today- I have to many things to do still”. Which brings to the highway, and my driving: I don’t do it. I may go a exit or two near my house, but shaking and on the verge of tears.

Here is the thing about fear – it paralyzes you if you choose it. Or on a day like today, that you prepared years to get too, you choose to push through it.

Ladies and gentlemen: I drove on the highway today on my way home from Canada.

You may think it’s the silliest thing you ever heard- to me I slayed the biggest demon of MY LIFE. Then I continued to drive for almost two hours, and drove through the city of Syracuse (praying to Jesus for His strength through that one). Dare I say I actually liked the serenity of listening to music and just being in the moment. The entire time, for almost two hours, beautiful monarch butterflies kept flying across my windshield, and I kept thinking heaven met me today in my fear. I also was wearing my “Spritual Gangsta” shirt today, which I don’t think was a coincidence.

At the rest stop where we switched drivers, I sat under a tree alone and cried. Not a sad cry, but a core relief that I am FREE, cry! You see, I was dependent upon the world before today to take me anywhere, and today I reclaimed my independence!

If I can drive on the highway I can absolutely do anything in life. I literally slayed my ugliest, scariest, largest, demon today.

I pray your day will come too!  When you can look in the mirror and know there is nothing in life you are incapable of doing! Most of all that fear no longer serves you breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but keeps asking you out and you decline in strength.

I AM FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Hair blowing in the wind, wondering what else is next on my hit list! Hey scary things in life – I’m coming for you next!

I’m ready.

I got this.

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Castaway

My feet were firmly rooted in the sand of this sacred space, as it urged me to say goodbye. It brought a great amount of heartbreak for leaving, and fear on what was to come. I treasured the moments I had experienced there with God. His voice so clear, His intention so vivid, and His love so overflowing.

The stillness on these morning walks cleared the way for God and I to be one. I was a vessel of His words. Words, I certainly didn’t adore hearing throughout my time there, but knew He knew the way better than I. He was calling me in unexpected ways that I was unsure if I was strong enough to do.

This particular day, I was expecting to hear Him the loudest. I started walking the beach with “What do you have for me Lord?”, and He was silent. I thought for sure when I got to the hotel He adored speaking to me in front of the most, called the Sovereign ( I kid you not-His humor and symbolism is never-ending), I would all of a sudden get a download of Jesus. Instead, I was urged to continue walking. So I did.

On the way, I decided to pick up two beautiful shells as a token of the beauty in which this place had offered to me. I tucked them into my pocket for safe keeping.  As I continued to walk, I hear him prompt me to pick up a less attractive shell. I haven’t a clue where this is going, but hold it tight and walk. He places the worship song He has sung to me for days in my head. I hum “He’s a good, good Father”, and feel a prompt to sing it aloud. As I do, and people stare at the seemingly crazy girl singing to herself, I turn around to see I am front of the Sovereign hotel again(of course I am).

He clearly tells me to write the words He has told me daily, in the sand, “God is Love”. In the same place, in front of the same hotel. I do, and I wait. What about this ugly shell I am clutching Lord? I start to walk, and He answers.

“Pray and put all of your fears and worries into this ugly shell. Pour it all in. Leave nothing behind, and thank me for taking care of them”.

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I start to cry, because when you name your fears aloud and thank the Almighty Sovereign One, you begin to realize just how broken you truly are. You also realize how desperate you are in need of Him. When I was done, He told me as an act of faith to toss it in the ocean. I did so, and thought it was a beautiful way to let go of the ugly, and that my walk was complete (or was it?).

I continued to walk, and clear as day He said, “What about the beautiful ones in your pocket? You don’t plan to only give me the ugly? Take them out. Pray and put all the things you love, and find joy into them. Pour it all in. Leave nothing behind, and thank me for them”.

Now this, this was even harder than my fear, because don’t we hold the things we love the most with all of our might? I was sobbing. I didn’t want to let go of the pretty shells, nor did I want to let go of what I love the most in life. When I was done, He told me as an act of faith to toss them in the ocean. I tossed them and cried my eyes out for the last half of mile, while declaring my love for Him.

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If I have learned anything in life, it is, no matter what life gives to you, deliver it back to Jesus with gratitude. It sounds ridiculous on those terrible, horrible days that you can’t find a glimmer of hope in. However, once you do it, you realize HE IS THE HOPE. He also sees the whole picture, while you suffer in a sliver of  it. We are incapable of seeing His vastness, and grandeur of His will and love for us. We must lean into faith giving Him our all, the ugly AND the pretty. It is there, where you will be SET FREE.

I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me. He knows my heart. He made it perfect.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7 -As hard as it is-its the solid ground you need to stand on, even in the sinking sand. For God IS love.

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The Space We Claim

I sat in it. The moment after the words spilled out of my lips, and my kids began to cry. I cried with them and sat in it. Sometimes life is so damn overwhelming. Every turn I have been taking in the past six months, I keep thinking “this is where the pain ends and the growth begins Aimee- hold tight- there can’t be more” and there is always more.

Social media sees me on a carribean island right now, drinking fruity drinks, and floating in the ocean, saying things like “you are on vacation again?”. And I feel like a fake. They don’t see the moments like this, that I want to be anywhere but here.

Paradise isn’t a place it’s a space.

Parenthood is hard. Parenting a child who is Autistic and is rigid in his thinking, is even harder. Parenting a child with a flaring brain thanks to PANDAS/PANS plus Autistic, is somedays impossible. This particular day, it broke me. I was broken in shambles, screaming and crying. I didn’t want to be anyone’s mother that day. I just wanted to be me.

The part they never warn you when you have a child with special needs and other children that don’t is, most of who you are will go to the one with needs and the scraps of you to the ones who don’t. There isn’t enough of one mother and one father for everyone in this case. Never mind seeking enough of me to be wholly, truly me.

So the next day I promised to walk the place they called paradise, in order to seek the space of paradise.

While everyone was still waking up, I walked the beach in a cry out to God. Help me find my way.  God reminded over and over that He made me perfect, and that I will see why I need to endure this when all is done.

I was angry. I wanted more. I need more answers than that! GODDDDDD Do YOU HEAR ME?

So the next day, I got up early and did the same. That day he prompted me to write in the sand what is Love. The answer immediately came to me “God Is Love”. Love is always the answer. I cried some painful tears to Him. Then I turned my pain upside down and thanked Him for it. In fact, I spend twenty minutes naming and crying all the things in the past six months that have caused me to break, and thanked Him for it.

Then it was there – as graditude birthed it- the space of paradise. When you have accepted, for whatever it is, and where you are at, that it will serve in the greater good- in LOVE, you find a sense of peace that it is worthy of you howling a big ol’ SOS.

On the way back to hotel moments later, I found a beat up dime floating in the ocean. I picked it up and heard the Lord tell me: “see this dime. It’s thin and beaten up, but it has survived. It can be cleaned up, but it will never be what it was because it has been transformed. This is what I am doing to you. I am getting to your core and transforming you. You will be beaten up, you will feel like you have been stripped through all the layers. And then – in the most raw space of you- I will USE you in ways you never saw coming”.

So I held that beat up dime close to my heart thinking about God’s promises to me. That even in my faults, when words spill out of my mouth, or days I am the worst parent in the world who no longer feels like parenting- He loves me still. Just as I love my own children, He loves His.

No promise in the universe, no binding document, no forever planned anything, derails what is the MOST important bind- and that is Jesus loves me no matter what.

It is important to note we have had mostly joy on this vacation. However, I felt it imperative to say, looks can be deceiving. My greatest desire is to share my truth. I truly believe this is where I will rise.

My truth is- I love to be positive. I love to love. I love to seek God in everyone and everything.

But im also human. And life is hard.

When I am raw- I share my best self. May you excuse the battered part of me and see the work He is creating.

May we honor the space He places us in, thank Him for it, and have faith that paradise isn’t a place but space.

Be the paradise.

Claim the space.

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