A Lesson from My Pa in Orange

My Pa in Orange recently celebrated a birthday. So this week’s blog post is a tribute to him. One of the biggest things I am trying to learn, which my Pa seems to do effortlessly, is to never give up. His life has been coloured with hardship, heartache, loss and health issues a plenty. Each time he gets knocked down he manages to pick himself up, adapt and soldier on.

For me I tend to break first; floods of tears, feeling like I just can’t get back up again. I have to make the conscious choice to not give up and for the last couple of months in particular, I have had to make that choice to never give up every single day.

A few months back in Sunset and Sunrise I wrote:

Two weeks ago I went to the doctor and explained that even though I struggle with anxiety the feelings of deep sadness, hopelessness and suicidal thoughts were new and they worried me. After a lengthy discussion I was diagnosed with reactive depression.

When I have feelings of wanting to give up it goes further than just having a bad day. It brings the feelings of deep sadness and hopelessness to the surface with incredible force.

Psalm 94:18 -19 “When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”

For the last couple of weeks I have really struggled with tiredness, due to Chronic Fatigue (see A Mountainous Journey), to the point of having afternoon naps (which I never usually do) just to get through the day. I forgot it happens every year as the weather changes from winter to spring. This year I coped better emotionally for the most part. I say the most part because I didn’t cry this year; but I did feel like a horrible person for needing to rest. Like I was one point down in the friendship or family stakes. Without realising it at the time, I was able to better meet the challenge of overwhelming tiredness by becoming more like my Pa.

Become a self – cheerleader rather than a self – critic: Pa has always had a positive outlook on life; me I sometimes allow the negative to have too much of a say. In the past I have yelled at myself to the point of tears for being tired and tearing shreds of myself as a person. But Chronic Fatigue is largely out of the person’s control who is experiencing it. I have no choice of when it affects me more severely than other times. So I am learning to tell myself it is not your fault you feel tired at the moment and being tired does not make you less of a person people want to be around, in fact people love you regardless of the fact you struggle with Chronic Fatigue.

Ride it out: Whenever my Pa has a crisis in his life, he has taken it one day at a time. I couldn’t change how I was feeling despite desperately wanting to. So I took each day as it came. Interestingly I felt a lot worse if I slept in, feels like a hangover; compared to taking afternoon naps though, I will admit it did mess with my night time sleeping as a result but I struggled to get through the day without it because the fatigue was so overwhelming.

Find ways to regain quality of life: My Pa is a champion at this. For me, going through a low in Chronic Fatigue I chose to exercise as this helps elevate the daily living with Chronic Fatigue. I would do some stretching or go for a walk (which is what I usually do) but I also listened to my body, if I didn’t feel up to exercising I didn’t push myself as I knew I would feel worse.

This is the fourth day I haven’t needed an afternoon nap to simply get through the day. I will take that as #winning.

Thanks Pa for your love, support and encouragement and showing me daily what it looks like to never give up, and to be happy in spite of my situation.

Love,

Cathryn

Cheerleader

Last week when I wrote about 10 Things I Am Learning through My Journey with Depression I really surprised and hurt some of my family and friends. Why? Because I revealed an underlining thought pattern that has been with me for as long as I can remember. I am a burden. Four simple words that have wreaked havoc in the way I do life.

I have physical limitations that come with a life touched by Cerebral Palsy. There are daily challenges and impossibilities, such as I can’t put on my shoes no matter what they are, impacting my life. I adopted the habit of only asking for help when I really needed it, not just needed it. I would weigh up in my mind whether I have asked that friend or family member for too much help lately before I even approach them with a simple request like ‘sorry but can we please walk a little slower?’ My inner dialogue would get dark at times with things like ‘if you weren’t here their life would be so much easier’, ‘you are such a burden, what good do you add to their life?’

You can see how my family and friends were more than a little upset when I asked them whether I was a burden to them. I wanted an honest answer; and as to be expected they gave it. I got a resounding YOU ARE NOT A BURDEN to the point they were almost yelling at me in love. Yet the negativity and lies had become my ‘truth’. It is time to change what I listen to, especially my internal dialogue. I am tired of my inner critic tearing me down constantly. I want an inner cheerleader instead. After they said I wasn’t a burden on their life; I said ‘I am going to believe what you said to be true’. It was a conscious decision on my part, but a freeing one at that.

I shared a video on Facebook about positive affirmation. I have decided to include some of that in my own life. I am seeing small changes in my life happening. It takes time to change therefore it is progress not perfection.

Philippians 4:8 “Whatever is true – think about such things.”

Every moment I am faced with a choice to embrace the positive and push back the negative or vice versa. This morning I chose to listen to my inner cheerleader; I had the house to myself so I cranked the music up high and sang and danced to my heart’s content. I had fun because I let go of the negativity. Negativity that I couldn’t sing in tune. Negativity that I didn’t know all the words or dance moves. And I just enjoyed singing with some of my favourite artists.

Love,

Cathryn

10 Things I Am Learning through My Journey with Depression

There are days when the struggle is really intense. On these days I am quick to tear myself to pieces. I feel like a huge burden to those around me. I wonder why they choose me as their friend or my family puts up with me because they have to; surely not because they want to. When the storm closes in tears are frequent. Overwhelmed is how I would describe days like these. I had one such day yesterday. I wanted to take on the world and change everything that second. I am feeling better today – what a rollercoaster.

Though there are days when I feel depression will break me I am learning things through it; that even though it hasn’t removed the storm I face, it has helped improve the experience. Here are 10 things I am learning through my journey with depression:

  1. See the good – I wrote a post on both Facebook and Instagram about writing down the good things in your day to remind us life is good and beautiful despite the challenges we face. Although there have been some days since that post I have forgotten to write the good things down I do think on them. It has changed my perspective. I now look for the good and additional ways I could add more good things to my day.
  2. Reduce speculation –Recently I had strong feelings of being a burden while I was at work. I tried to reason with myself but it did no good so I thought rather than allow the negative thoughts and feelings continue I would ask. Turns out I wasn’t and my supervisor thought I was a quick learner.
  3. Focus on what is real and true – I am reading a book at the moment called Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George. It has encouraged me to think on what is real and true about myself, my relationships with others and my circumstances.
  4. Exercise – I already knew many benefits of regular exercise but I am learning afresh the benefits of exercise improving the mood. I love it!
  5. If it is meant to be it will happen – I struggle with trying to open doors that have closed for whatever reason. It is a slow learning process to let go and surrender.
  6. Acknowledge what is – This came from the doctor on a follow up consultation. It has been so entrenched in my life to run and ignore what is. One example of this is Cerebral Palsy as there has been so much pain associated with this. I wanted to be like everyone else, in many ways I still do, so for a long time to acknowledge it meant I would have to admit to myself I will always be different, I will always have challenges I don’t want. But the doctor advised that once you accept you can start working with it – celebrating your uniqueness. I am not quite there yet but I am willing to start trying – something I should have done a long time ago.
  7. Be gentle with yourself – When I am having a bad day my inner critic seems to yell the loudest and is the most constant. It has been a conscious effort on my part to be gentle, kind and positive about myself and my life.
  8. Don’t isolate yourself – Friends and family are great mood boosters for me and sharing together helps to feel not alone in our struggles.
  9. Be proactive with your emotions – If I am feeling like a terrible friend, for instance, I am now choosing to text my friends to see how they are going, putting into action how much I love and miss them.
  10. Be hopeful – When the storm is at its fiercest it is easy to lose hope. It takes determination to hold tight to our hopes and dreams but I for one don’t want to give up on them.

If you struggle with depression or know someone who does, just remember everyone’s journey is different.

Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Love,

Cathryn

 

Happy 1st Birthday

It is one more sleep until we have made it a year! That’s right on 15th September 2016 I posted my first blog post for Dandelion Dust & Honey called New Beginnings. I was never really the person to be like ‘one day I am going to start a blog’ I mean what would I call it and what on earth would I write about? The excuses kept coming. Yet Jesus kept nudging me with the idea. I remember a friend’s dad once said to me something like ‘Jesus only shows us one small piece of the masterpiece He is creating at a time’. That was the last conversation I had with him before he suddenly passed away. Jesus echoed in my thoughts as my heart was shattered what are you waiting for? And Dandelion Dust & Honey was born with the simple purpose of encouraging everyone who reads. I had a few ideas what I wanted to write about in the first weeks of blogging but mostly it has been taking each week as it comes and the writing reflects that. It has been amazing to watch it unfold the way it has. Thank you, to YOU, my readers, for coming on an adventure with me I am so very grateful for the way you all have embraced Dandelion Dust & Honey.

Below is a few of my favourite blog posts.

Love,

Cathryn

 

Fighting Back

Letting Go

Beautiful Scars

A Lesson in Gratitude

Loving Yourself

Just Breathe

Determined Yet Flexible

Nurturing Confidence

Happiness Challenge

Confidence is Growing

Do you remember last week in Happiness Challenge I wrote you are volunteering to gain confidence to be able to apply for paid work? Well over the last couple of weeks my confidence has grown little by little to the point where I didn’t have a panic attack and talk myself out of even applying for a job. Yay! At least for this time anyway; as I am prone to my anxiety ebbing and flowing. A few days previously someone said to me that I should apply for a position, to which I quickly responded that they would probably require experience which I do not have. Yet when I looked at the job description years of experience were not required. Each dot point was met with a: I could do that and after a friend encouraged me to apply; I applied.

Sure I am not perfect for the role I don’t have the required first aid training and in probably many ways I am as green as they come. But whether I get the position or not doesn’t really matter to me. The fact is I applied for a job! We need to throw an ‘anxiety didn’t have the final say’ party. It is a personal achievement for me and for that I am grateful and happy.

Riding on the high, I even looked at applying for another job which I didn’t end up applying for due to two reasons a) theoretically, thanks to my Strategic Communication degree, I could do what was required but I didn’t have demonstrated experience and b) travel to Melbourne and around Victoria would be required, which is challenging to say the least. I am disappointed but surprisingly I was able to let it go and not be critical of myself for days over things outside my control, namely Cerebral Palsy which is another personal win.

So what have I learnt from this experience?

When you are working on your weaknesses, mine in this case being confidence, be prepared to be surprised by yourself and Jesus.

Look at how far you have come and how much you have grown rather than lamenting over how much growing you still need to do.

Create smaller, short – term goals (I really struggle with this, so much so I needed to ask for help) to reduce the sense of failure and to increase the sense of accomplishment.

If it is meant for you the door will open, if not, that door was not meant for you. I have had past experience of trying to open doors that would not budge; leaving me with bruised emotions. You can read about it in Unexpected Detour.

Surrender; Jesus has even more awesomely, amazing plans for you than you can even imagine.

Don’t set your heart on it; I have had too many broken-hearted moments when my plans have fallen through. Have a backup plan.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Love,

Cathryn

Happiness Challenge

I have decided to start a happiness challenge for myself with particular emphasis on right now. Too often I have found myself thinking I was happy when… or more frequently I will be happy when… I will be happy when I get paid employment, I will be happy when I am able to move out and away from my hometown, I will be happy when I have abs, I will be happy when I get to travel particularly internationally, I will be happy when I get married, I will be happy when I have children. You get the idea it is a long list of yet to be fulfilled goals, dreams and desires I have. There is nothing wrong with striving for your goals, dreams and desire; they give a sense of purpose and determination and when achieved it is an awesome feeling. I have just allowed mine to rob me of joy for right now to see the beauty in where I am (literally and figuratively) rather than where I want to be.

Change needed to happen because being unhappy quite frankly sucks. It began with a gentle wakeup call after spending the day with my brother recently. My brother rang that morning asking if I wanted to go see a movie; he would be around soon to pick me up. Despite only getting out of bed a little while ago and having things planned to catch up on, I was not going to miss this opportunity. After checking the movie trailer I readily agreed. It was an awesome, spontaneous day; we both enjoyed the movie and each other’s company and we are hoping to do it again sometime soon. As I climbed into bed that night, feeling happy, it dawned on me, if I had children I wouldn’t be able to spontaneously drop everything at short notice as easily, let alone go to the cinemas and watch a film uninterrupted. Now I can hear some of you say yeah Cathryn that’s obvious. And for me it is too. But I hadn’t thought about it that way before. Previously I had only thought about how much I want to become a mother not how things would change once that dream is fulfilled. No, this realisation has not damped my dream to become a wife and a mother in the slightest; what it has done though is allowed me to gain some perspective and to truly cherish the moments I am experiencing.

Some of you may not want to get married and have children. That’s fine, everyone is unique and as such, have different goals and dreams that capture their heart. This post is not about telling you what dreams you should have only you can decide that. I just want to encourage you to find happiness while you are waiting, hoping and striving because it is something I have struggled with for so long. Why? I think it is linked to a fear of being stuck. That I will be sixty years old still living at home, never married, no children, haven’t travelled anywhere etc. – it gives me a panic attack just thinking about it. In moments like these when your dreams feel like they are on shaky ground remind yourself of the truth, for me this is:

Your parents have promised you that if you haven’t moved out in a couple of years they will help you move to where you want to be

You are asking people if they honestly want to travel with you and if that falls through Mum and Dad are the backup plan

You are volunteering to gain confidence to be able to apply for paid work

You are working on your character so that when you are in a relationship it can have the best shot at thriving

Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

When I tell myself these truths it helps calm the panic in my heart. I am now making deliberate steps in my personal happiness challenge; it is about mindset, focusing on the good, being thankful and trusting Jesus will fulfil those dreams in your heart according to His will and timing.

Love,

Cathryn

Nurturing Confidence

I have always had low confidence in myself period. It doesn’t matter which area of life we are talking about from my appearance to my talents low confidence seems to be the trademark. Do I want this? If a person was to describe me, what would they say? In the past, especially with my talents, I would manage to turn a compliment into self- induced pressure. I would stress about living up to that compliment next time.

During my childhood I had more confidence in comparison to my teen years. In primary school I participated in the district schools cross country where I would come last by quite a lot except one year I came second last when a girl sprained her ankle yet still finished. Every year I competed everyone would stop what they were doing to cheer me across the finish line; I ran faster at their encouragement.

Late primary my confidence started on a downward slippery slope that only accelerated as I got into my teen years. In Letting Go I wrote: the bullies each managed with great success to erode my confidence and self – worth. The primary school bully ruled the social scene dictating who would be in the ‘in’ group by getting the potential new members to sing a song (as a way of discouraging people from joining). I tried but I am certainly not the next Adele let alone being able to sing in tune. What can I say? Singing just isn’t one of my gifts. Needless to say I was not welcomed into the group. Being a small, country primary school there were not many kids and a lot of my friends were in this group. In high school a staff member was the bully from laughing at me when I got homework to being critical about me biting my nails, little maybe, but constant.

Through those experiences I subconsciously built a wall around myself not wanting to be open to vulnerability; some people did manage to become my friends through that time in my life but they first had to scale the huge wall allowing me to trust them. Much of the time my friends got a filtered version of myself. I was scared that if I shared my real self the friendship would be over and I was much too insecure to allow that to happen. Truth be told it wasn’t just the bullying that lead to the greater loss in confidence. My body changed a lot while I was a teenager (like everyone) but I hated the changes, mainly the weight gain and acne; but I also hated the events that had shaped me and the things I couldn’t change like Cerebral Palsy. I wanted to fit in. But I only saw all the things that made me stand out. I couldn’t brush it off as easily as I did when I was a child (even then it still hurt).

It took until I started university that I made the conscious choice to find more confidence. Fake it ‘til you make it if you will. I was done having regrets over my character namely my confidence. I was done simply admiring other people’s confidence. It became a little, and I mean little, easier during university as I made more friends. But it was after university when I discovered I was truly loved by Jesus. With Jesus’ help I began for the first time to truly love me and to believe others when they said they loved me; rather than internally saying really? While knowing I am truly loved has helped to develop my confidence in many areas, such as my appearance, there was still a gaping hole in my confidence; that being with my talents and skills.

Many reasons contributed to my decision to withdraw from a Bachelor of Commerce. One of them was the realisation that even when I finished the degree I would still lack confidence to complete everything the degree said I could do. The piece of paper could give me a lot of things but it couldn’t give me confidence. I get frustrated with myself over having a weakened characteristic I admire in others but that doesn’t produce the desired characteristic; it only increases the disappointment in myself. I did say weakened; I am taking steps to strengthen my confidence.

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

How? Through volunteering. I get to use my skills and talents without the weight of expectation. During my interview I was taken aback by how interested they were in having me help out – I didn’t even have to beg. My supervisor is lovely; she has complete confidence in my skills and gives me tasks to do, that are not only helpful for everyone, but also uses my skills. Jesus knew I needed a supervisor like her. I find Jesus places people in your life when you need them the most. During university I had a lecturer that would inspire confidence as she explained the assessment to the class. I was less daunted and more excited to see where my ideas and creativity would go. This lecturer’s positive impact flowed into my other classes.

I don’t think my confidence will ever grow to epic proportions and I will still struggle with self-confidence because a) I have flaws like we all do and b) I have had low confidence for so long it is easy to slip into old habits. But I will give it a go.

Love,

Cathryn

Sunset and Sunrise

I wasn’t going to write this; I was going to hold onto it a little longer as I come to terms with yet another label that goes right to my core and infiltrates everything. Two weeks ago I went to the doctor and explained that even though I struggle with anxiety the feelings of deep sadness, hopelessness and suicidal thoughts were new and they worried me. After a lengthy discussion I was diagnosed with reactive depression.

Part of me was relieved that I finally had answers to the emotions that had been troubling me for about 2 – 3 months and that I could work towards changing things. But the larger part of me couldn’t understand how I had let myself sink so low. I have a beautiful life, far from perfect but still beautiful. How could I be depressed? Sure I had been struggling, but depression had only entered my thoughts a few days earlier as I researched the symptoms. I wasn’t caught completely off guard but neither was I comfortable with what seemed to be like a branding iron searing deep within my skin.

Psalm 13 “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me for ever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.”

For those who don’t know what reactive depression is, it is reaction to an external event or circumstance, such as the loss of a loved one or job. For me I think it can be pinpointed to when I started my degree in Commerce; very quickly I went from seeing it as a challenge to feeling completely overwhelmed. I tried hard to be positive you knew it was going to be hard work; imagine all you could do with the degree. But despite the positivity I told myself and others, the truth was I hated it. My original reasons and inspiration for completing the degree didn’t quite stack up anymore. The doctor suggested I seriously think about whether I want to continue with the degree and what I want to do in general. I gave myself a week to decide what to do.

It was a very anxious week filled with many panic attacks. Pretty early on in the week I knew I wouldn’t be continuing to study a Bachelor of Commerce even though I contemplated taking medication to help me through (it wouldn’t take effect for three months). The career outcomes no longer interested me, they only made me feel more anxious. Yet I held onto the idea a bit longer. Why? For three main reasons a) I felt I would be walked over in business if I didn’t have the degree b) yet again I had attached my identity to my degree. I was convinced (shamefully so) that I would be nothing without it c) I wanted to make my Dad proud of me for having skills that come naturally to him. FYI (and my own) my Dad loves me and is proud of me and for the record I don’t need to be an expert in everything. If you are wondering where the need for my Dad’s approval comes, from aside from being his daughter, you have to look at my past. I look most like my Mum and so people naturally see characteristics of her in me (she is my Mother after all) but they would rarely mention my Dad. My Dad brought the athletic gene to our family but I didn’t get it. I couldn’t share the same depth of love for sports as my sister shares with him due to her natural gifting. So I guess from a young age I sort to find ways we were the same as if to say to everyone, see I am my Father’s daughter not just my Mother’s. Anyway, another idea was to study something else. I thought about a Diploma in Business Management, so I could get basic business skills or Interior Design, I love watching design and renovation shows. As I explored these options I found out that enrolments for this semester are closed so if I choose to study, it would be next year. Another idea was to volunteer to gain confidence in myself and my skills/talents.

After lots of discussion and prayer I made the decision to withdraw from my course. I was expecting to feel really anxious as I let it go. Instead, much to my surprise, I felt super relived. So what am I going to do now? Well, I contacted my brother’s school wondering if they would be at all interested in allowing me to volunteer. They were. At the second meeting I felt peaceful. I start on Monday.

Please don’t get me wrong, this blog post is not about saying my depression is worse than yours or that the answers are simple. If you are struggling with depression or otherwise my heart breaks for you; I wish I could give you a hug. Seek help, you don’t have to struggle alone.

Love,

Cathryn

Together

Last week, in The Flickering Flame, I wrote how sometimes life really hurts. This week I wanted to write an appreciation post for those who help life hurt a little less. They are like warm sunshine on a cold and cloudy day. They are like honey with sweetness that can touch the rawness in my life and make it so much better. They bring out the best me and I love them alot. They are my friends and family.

Showing vulnerability and being honest about how I am going is relatively new for me. I always hid behind a smile; scared that if I shared truthfully the joy and also the heartache they would run in the opposite direction because my messiness is too much to handle. I had to start healing from my past and start to finally feel secure in myself to open up.

Lately I have been struggling but here is a few things I have learnt from sharing together:

You are not alone: When I am struggling with life it can seem very lonely; but sharing together makes you realise that you aren’t alone, that they stand with you in the storms of life just as you would stand with them.

It is ok to be vulnerable: It is ok to admit you are not ok and that life hurts at the moment. I have found it to be true that when I share honestly they in turn share honestly about their own struggles sometimes similar to mine.

Gives erspective: When I look at university graduation photos where I am so happy it is easy to forget how hard it was to get to that moment. So let’s review – it was the amazing experience but not without its struggles. For over a year I questioned whether the degree I was studying was right for me. I was annoyed to be going to Bendigo and not Melbourne. I cried the first night on residential accommodation sure I had made the worst mistake of my life. I had to go home every weekend just to cope with my crippling anxiety. I had crisis talks with a friend and my Mum regularly. I struggled to let strangers help me, especially when they had to see me naked. The carer organisation I was first with didn’t listen to me and kept making empty promises which made me feel powerless like in year 7 when I was bullied by a member of staff. My health struggled as I dealt with the ever – increasing demands of university study.

And yet I stayed… and graduated. The good definitely outweighed the bad. The memories made were worth it. So as I am currently struggling with my second degree, it is nice to be reminded that the first time was not easy but the photos prove that I indeed made it despite the challenges. That I can make it again and have my cap and gown moment a second time around.

Good times: It is important to take time out just to have fun and relax.

Cheer squad: They believe in me and encourage me to achieve my dreams as I do for them. I am so proud of what each of them have accomplished.

Love: They love me and I love them. In my darkest moments when I wonder who could love me their faces come to mind.

I am not saying you have to share real and raw with everyone but I encourage you to have some people who you can be that with.

Ecclesiastes 4:10 “If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no – one to help him up!”

Love,

Cathryn

The Flickering Flame

Sometimes life really hurts. In moments like these it reopens wounds that had started to heal. Emotions are on edge as anger and sadness take turns in being the most dominant emotion. Once hopeful and optimistic to losing hope fast and feeling trapped. Knowing deep down that I am lovable but wondering how that can be. When my belief and trust in Jesus is down to all but a flickering flame that I consider walking away from my source of peace, hope and joy. Darker still, wondering for a fleeting moment if I should end it all… the hateful voice in my head saying none of your dreams have come true and who would want you in their lives anyway.

If I have learnt anything in my battle against fear, worry, anxiety and stress it is that no matter how loud the negative internal dialogue gets (I can have it screaming at me) it does NOT speak the truth. It is not truth that none of my dreams have come true. I have made friends no matter where I am and I completed a university degree; both are dreams and desires I had and they have come true. It is in the dark moments that negative internal dialogue likes to remind me of my weaknesses, limitations, broken dreams and dreams and desires yet to be fulfilled. It hits hard and hurts deeply. It feels like I am hanging onto the side of a cliff by my fingertips with raging waters beneath me. A monster is smashing my fingers with its spiky foot making me scream out in pain. Jesus is there kneeling over the cliff and reaching out His hand saying ‘let me help you’. After a few moments of weighing up my options I take Jesus’ hand.

So here I am choosing to rebuild our relationship again. To discover the trust and closeness Jesus and I shared that seems but a distant memory. My Mum is helping me, because it has gotten to the point where I am scared of reading the Bible because it has created distance between me and Jesus through my doubt. I can’t say the distance between us is a result of the dreams I have not being fulfilled yet. But of something deeper that even if I got everything I desired right this minute it would provide a band aid solution for a while but ultimately my head and heart would still struggle. Time to light the fire from scratch and search for Jesus anew. I am a little worried that Jesus wants to hit me with the sticks because it is I who wanted to walk away. But in months gone by He has reassured me that He truly loves me. I hold onto that. Jesus will help me rebuild our relationship stick by stick until it is a huge bonfire. Together we will emerge from the desert stronger.

Psalm 61:1 – 4 “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call to you as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent for ever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.”

I don’t know why I have Cerebral Palsy and no one else in my family does (a fact I am very thankful for). I don’t know why I have Chronic Fatigue yet others that go through similar experiences and leave with their energy still intact. I don’t know why life sometimes threatens to break us. I don’t have the answers. But I do know your life matters. You have a purpose for being here and Jesus loves you very much. Hold on tight to Jesus He will never let you go.

Love,

Cathryn