I saw, I know, I’m aware. I love you anyways. Did you know that before you came to be, I saw you? I’ve been pursuing you your entire life. This is not coincidence. You have made it to these words on purpose. The love I have for you isn’t intimidated by your real thoughts, hurts, feelings. I’m intimately acquainted with you. I watch you as you sleep, watching over your entire life, breath by breath. I know things have been hard, I know it’s easier sometimes to numb the pain than to sit with it. It was painstaking and an act of passion to take all the mistakes and sickness—wrapped up all in one—on that tree so that I could forever be with you. I want you to know that I’m a safe place to put your heart. This world is crazy, I’m aware. When things around you are swirling like a tornado, come find me in the eye of the storm. My feet have always been available for you to lay all your concerns and I’ve spread wide a net for you to cast your cares to me. I’ll take care of them for you. I just wanted you to know that I’ve been thinking about you, and my thoughts towards you are good—they have always been and always will be. My grace is sufficient and covers you. My ears are always available to listen, I love to hear your voice. I know all your anxious thoughts and I want to let you know, that they aren’t overwhelming to me. If I can hold the sun in the palm of my hands, whatever is troubling you can be held there too. I love you, God. fffffffffffff
Jesus, my safe place.
Peace is something I can’t live without. I can go without a lot of things and learn to be content in many situations but having unrest in my life is a deal breaker. Peace can easily be taken for granted, but when it fails to show up, it is unmistakable. When you walk hand in hand with it, allowing it to lead and guide all your steps, it is a game changer. Simply, when God is at the helm of my life—when I walk with him, listen and look for him in all I do, I have an addictive peace I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Isaiah 48:22 states, “But there is no peace for the wicked,” says the LORD.” In Isaiah 57:20 it continues to say, “But those who still reject me are like the restless sea, which is never still but continually churns up mud and dirt. There is no peace for the wicked,” says my God.” Personally, I don’t like to consider myself wicked, but it simply means evil or morally wrong. In all honesty, we all fall short of God’s standard of perfection and miss the mark morally. That’s why Jesus could confidently say to the crowd anxious to condemn the woman caught in the act of adultery, “Let’s have the man who has never had a sinful desire throw the first stone at her” John 8:7 TPT.
He knew that every single person has erred morally and would not have the ability to condemn her—and neither did he. In the text it is written, “Upon hearing that, her accusers slowly left the crowd one at a time, beginning with the oldest to the youngest, with a convicted conscience. Until finally, Jesus was left alone with the woman still standing there in front of him. So he stood back up and said to her, “Dear woman, where are your accusers? Is there no one here to condemn you?” Looking around, she replied, “I see no one, Lord.” Jesus said, “Then I certainly don’t condemn you either. Go, and from now on, be free from a life of sin.” John 8:9-11.
Although there is no peace for the wicked, Jesus made a way to be our peacemaker, our fiercest defender and the one who’s love is relentlessly extravagant. God never designed us to be apart from him, yet he gave us the choice to decide if we would love him or not. For those who want a life with God, he made a way for us through giving the world his son Jesus Christ. God in human flesh, born unto the world, came to be sin so we could live a life free of sin. This basic belief that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior offers us the gift of his holy spirit which is the tangible form of peace and direction that we so desperately need.
In this crazy life we need a beacon of hope—like a lighthouse sending out a reassuring light to let sea travelers know that they are near shore. I too feel like I am voyaging through the rough and choppy waters of life. It can be disorienting from day to day, even moment to moment with changing emotions and stressful situations. However, God, his word, and his holy spirit are my ever-present help—my light assuring me I am close to shore.
Lately my emotions have been overwhelming, and situations have seemed bigger than life. The temptation in those moments is to turn to something that will numb the pain or allow me to escape whatever I am facing, but I’ve found a better way to deal. I’ve taken my big and broken heart and I’ve opened myself to the Bible. I’ve taken myself exactly as I am, overwhelmingly big emotions and all, and have taken refuge in His words. I stay there until he heals my wounds and pours out his peace, which he always does.
It’s captured perfectly in Psalm 18:24 “God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.” I have had a tight grip on my life and have never let myself be vulnerable with anyone, not even myself, never realizing how damaging that was! I always prided myself on being a truthful person but didn’t feel safe being honest with myself. How could I have lived my entire life loving God but never opened my heart to him, fully? I’ll never know every single why, but I do know that when the student is ready the teacher appears.
God doesn’t always reveal to us why he does certain things. God knows sometimes that it’s better for us to learn from our circumstances than to know the ins and outs. It says in the Bible that his ways are higher than our ways and I know that a lot of times our perspectives are what need changing. I challenge you to open your heart, His word and let the God of the universe in. He has a once-in-a-lifetime plan for you. He wants to take you to places you couldn’t imagine in your wildest dreams. There is a pathway of life he has for you, and it’s time for us to walk it out and see our future unfold brighter and brighter.
He left us instructions for this life in a hand written love letter, customized for you, known as the Holy Bible and the transformative life and love of Jesus are written in red.
HEARING FROM + SEEING GOD IN EVERY DAY
It’s so easy to walk through life and miss some of the most beautiful moments and miracles. There is a hidden, secret layer of life that exists right before us. It’s God, plain and simple. He exists and he is before us. We often miss him completely. Here’s an analogy. Have you ever seen a Fed-Ex truck? Many of us, myself included, have. Have you ever noticed the arrow between the ‘E’ and the ‘X’? If not, would you have naturally noticed it? For me, I had seen those trucks a million times but have never seen the arrow until someone had pointed it. It had been right in front of me, right in front of my face, the entire time.
Similarly, hearing from and seeing God in every day life is a lot like that. He is like a magic eye puzzle. He is there either right in front of us or in the immediate background of everything. If we just settle ourselves, rest our vision and be still (key word, still) he and everything he wants to speak to us will come into focus.
I often think we make hearing from God more difficult than it is. I know I often create similar environments from the last time God spoke in order for him to move and speak in the same way, but God is not to be contained. He can speak and move however, whenever and wherever he wants.
God sometimes feels so far away but he is as near as our breath. He is in the sky, the snow covered hills, the clouds and stars in the sky– everything you can see and even don’t see!
It may feel like God is far away, but here is a metaphor. God can not directly touch us like we can, human to human; there remains a barrier. It’s as if we are fish in a big cosmic bowl. Yet, God looks over us and in moments of him speaking or moving it’s as if he put his finger in the water bowl, swirling the waters above. We can see the ripple effects of this and we can know he has spoken and is God.
Wide Open Spaces of Grace
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference..Robert Frost.
INTO ME YOU SEE
In the act of trying to die, I died to myself.-me
SEMICOLON PROJECT 416: The semicolon is used when a sentence could have ended, but didn’t. And The Semicolon Movement is for anyone who has ever self-harmed, has a personality disorder, or has tried to commit suicide. The goal of the movement is to help people remember that “your sentence is not over yet.”
- 1.an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe.
But I can’t write a book on a post. So I’ll do my best to condense.
Ok, so here I go.
Last year I found myself drunk and shrouded by depression and wrapped up in bipolar. I guess in this sentence I am coming out publicly as having bipolar. I feel like there should be some sort of celebratory cheer–or maybe could have announced it differently, but for my stories sake it is what it is.
I also found myself at the end of my rope. I was overworked, overwhelmed and sinking. Living on my own almost two hours away from family and disconnected from community, I found solace in alcohol. Basically, I was self medicating with alcohol. I had semi-recently ended a dry lonely season in DeKalb and entered into a challenging, fast-paced role in a new company in Oak Brook; I had moved yet again, further from my family.
On that particular evening, I picked up the largest knife I had in my house and drew it to my wrist.
Something pulled it away from me.
I never told anyone–but those closest to me and not even immediately, but a while if not long after the incident had occurred.
I didn’t seek help. I didn’t go to the hospital. I had a job to do, high rent to pay, and life wasn’t going to stop moving because I had a suicidal moment in my drunken stupor.
That was my first attempt in 30 years to end my life. Now I’ve thought about it for many years. I can remember when I was in junior high–vividly–asking to speak to my Mom and telling her how sad I was, as tears streamed down my cheeks. I remember very little of junior high–except being spit on by everyone on the bus when I got off, being made fun of, trying to fit in with the popular girls by buying purses like them, the fun times of dance team and the few unfortunate events that I will not describe here.
I must tell you that I was a problem child from second grade on. I was on ritalin for ADD by second grade and had several behavioral issues as an adolescent. It wasn’t until seventh grade that I was diagnosed with Bipolar. I don’t remember much of that season– I think I’ve blocked it out honestly. But I remember sitting in front of my parents car to prevent them from taking my sister to a skating party instead of mine. That was the day that my Mom admitted me. They determined I’d be in an intensive outpatient program. I don’t remember much except watching a stupid video, having art time and being able to eat cheese burgers for lunch every day.
Summing up here, I spent the next approximately fifteen years in denial. I wasn’t bipolar. I was NOT a crazy person.
Well, without spilling my entire memoir, I suffered tremendously during those years because of my refusal to be honest with myself.
One day, in DeKalb, during my second medical leave I had a break through moment. In the office of my Manager sitting with my Regional, I broke down in tears realizing I had a problem and needed help. I can’t express to you the weight that was broken off of me and force of it I felt when I accepted my mental illness.
From 2010-present I have had 4 medical leaves. The first one was from severe anxiety and the rest are from either mania or depression from bipolar.
I know you probably have questions about what is this bipolar she is talking about. For sake of this post, I will reserve it for another post.
Fast forward to January of this year. I had moved home with family for my health. It was the most intense transition I’ve ever made in life I feel. I went from living alone in the suburbs of Chicago, working a high profile role within the bank to living back in Rockford with my parents working in a retail position within the bank.
In April, after a whirlwind romance and terrible falling out, I found myself overwhelmed in a job I hated where I was working my life away–again. I would come home from work and drink a six pack to numb the pain and lay in my bed. I stopped doing everything. I entered my fourth medical leave and went into the deepest depression. I wouldn’t leave my bed or the house for days at a time. At my worse, I hadn’t showered or brushed my teeth in four days. I drove an hour and a half to my Doctor in Aurora who tried desperately to manage my medications. It got to the point where my meds were just numbing to me. I was overly medicated and had memory issues.
One day I remember taking my medication every few hours just so I could sleep the day away. I remember shortly after that I was sitting outside thinking of ways I could die. I remember one night I sat out in the three season room, drunk and high off my medication and I realized I needed to do something about my health.
In July I entered Rosecrance for crisis and unfortunately was pulled out after five days because of insurance issues. In August, I felt suicidal again and went to Swedish American and they referred me to Rosecrance again. It was almost 24 hours of being awake before getting a crisis bed, so I was exhausted. I couldn’t catch up on sleep or focus on any of the groups and to be honest, I went to Swedes to get admitted into their outpatient so being thrown into impatient again threw me off guard. Needless to say, I left the next day AMA (Against Medical Advice).
Fast forward to September 3rd. Nothing out of the ordinary. I was over at my Sisters and my guy friend was over as well helping her fix her mower. I don’t want to go into the details of what triggered the incident, but again I found myself with a blade open and wanting to self harm.
This was my second attempt at suicide.
I honestly remember very little of the incident but it was traumatic for all involved. Soon my Mother was over at my Sisters and they told me that I have to go to the hospital and that there wasn’t any way they would not let me not go.
The next thing I know, I’m being transported on a gurney to a psych ward in Chicago, and my third hospitalization in three months. The first ward transferred me to the second one–again due to insurance issues. Thank GOD because the first one looked like a preschool. Next thing I know, I’m again on a gurney being transferred to another psych ward.
I enter on the gurney and a handsome, stout older black gentleman assures me calling the third floor “up to the Penthouse!” It really was a beautiful facility. I spent about seven days there.
Most of the time I was high on Ativan shots or sleeping. It was pretty low key so I was able to really deal with myself in the way that I needed to in regards to sleeping and taking it easy.
I actually enjoyed my room, it was kind of like a penthouse room too.
I don’t remember much of my stay there because all I did was wake up, sleep, eat, bathroom, occasional groups. I had phone conversations and visits I remember vaguely.
BUT FINALLY, I switched some things up meds wise, and I started to feel HAPPY again for the first time in the longest time.
Needless to say, I am home and continuing treatment and in the process of brainstorming for a book.
I’m writing this to tell you that I tried to end my life on September 3rd and the things I have learned since then are more than I can fit in this post. It’s overwhelming to even know where to begin at how to describe or explain.
But this is only my second day out the ward, so I have to take it easy. I take each day at a time. I can only do a few things each day. I need to take rests and sometimes even naps. I can’t talk for too long or listen for too long without being overwhelmed. In fact the first night I was back I had one of the worst panic attacks I’ve had in a really long time. I was just flooded with family wanting to see me and going again from being so restricted to being so free. You really do need to transition from something like that–and I’m still transitioning. I feel like this post isn’t how I wanted it to go, but it’s what I’ve got for now.
Through out this process I realized I want to help people with substance abuse and mental illness. I want to be an educator and someone who empowers others. So many people suffer in silence. It’s OKAY. You’re not alone in your struggle and people deal with things privately behind closed doors–and we pass each other by and have no idea. Mental illness is a silent disease that is much like the wind, not easily seen outwardly but visible through behavior.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I want to start sharing more of my story with you in each and every post. I think hearing the truth and telling the truth is what sets you free.
I hope this has helped somebody.
And lastly, I realized that my life is so much bigger than my own through this entire experience. Some people mock suicide but I truly believe it’s because of their ignorance of mental illness and how the mind of someone suffering thinks.
Suicide is selfish, but it’s a very real issue that isn’t talked about OPENLY. We need to break the silence and change our perspectives on mental health in America. I hope to contribute in a major way, Lord Willing.
Hope this helps.
You are LOVED.
You are truly ADORED ABOVE.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
It’s Not How You Start It’s How You Finish
2 John 1:8Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
8 Watch yourselves so you don’t lose what we[a] have worked for, but that you may receive a full reward.
I’ve been wanting to give up. Yes, I said it. Give up. I’ve been tired, weary, frustrated, angry, and above all else, discontented in a lot of areas of my life. I’ve realized in this season, that I’ve over invested in some areas, which undoubtably are important but underinvested in areas that are most important. As a result, I’ve become somewhat resentful, because I don’t believe I’ve yielded what I believe I should have, or deserved to have, with the amount of work I’ve put in. I think this will happen to just about anyone who mixes their priorities or over invests or under invests misappropriately. But regardless of this conundrum, we are still called to be excellent. We are called to work as if we are working unto the Lord, and not men. We are called to be diligent with our time, and the time we have been allotted her on Earth.
So I say all of this to say, that I can’t lay down or be passive, as much as I want to emotionally. It’s really not how you start, it’s how you finish. It’s hard when you know something new is on the horizon but it is not yet here. It’s easy to cast away your confidence and settle or stop believing. That’s what a lot of people do, and they never really accomplish their destiny. But we are not those people. You wouldn’t be here reading this, if you were. I believe EVERYONE can choose to be the person who CHOOSES to NOT give up. To push in when you are tired, to FINISH the season you are in with excellence.
What I’ve come to know, and it’s frustrating as all get out, but it’s always how it seems to work in my life… Is that promotion comes when you aren’t looking for it. The end of your season comes when you are so busy giving your all where you are at REGARDLESS of whether that season will ever change or not. (Ok, so we are always waiting, hoping, wanting, but it’s when we put that waiting, hoping, and wanting on a shelf and get to work, working efficiently and excellently, that we either realize we have or are entering into a new season, or God simply delivers us onwards)
So for me, my prayer is that I don’t give up when the night is darkest, because we know that it’s darkest right before the first break of dawn. When we are up against a battle, it’s when we lose our ability to carry on any further, is when God’s Grace kicks in and allows Him to fight on our behalf. It’s in that surrendering, where we are truly walking in Gods will because we were never meant to carry our life stresses on our own strength. It’s that letting go, where God really gets to do His thing and in the end, truly gets all the glory.
Well that’s enough for my 1:35 AM post. Hope this encouraged you, in whatever season you may find yourself in.
Remember who you are. Tell yourself who you are. Even if it doesn’t make sense right now and even if you don’t feel it, it’s true. You are a conqueror in Christ. God is with you in this fight. You are never alone. It’s never as bad as it seems. It could always be worse. Count your blessings, not your obstacles. Speak to yourself and remind yourself that you are loved, God has a plan for your life, and even if you can not see it just yet, it’s right around the corner. And never, ever, ever, give up.
1 Corinthians 13:12The Message (MSG)
12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
You are ADORED, xx
Good Morning, Sunshine. Rise & Conquer!
Hello, Hello! Good morning from Chicago! Just a quick post before I breeze onto my busy day.
A few things, first, today is a new day. You probably hear that and think of a collective groan. Sure, it’s cliche and it’s overused, but think about it. Today really is a new day. Your yesterday, your even one second ago is done and over with, and before you lies the untapped future–yet all you can really grasp and work with is right now. So what are you going to do with it? How will you fill it? What will fill your mind, your will and your emotions? Positivity? Enthusiasm? Excellence? A good work ethic? YOU decide. Take that thought and mull it over. Think on it. Allow it to inspire you to action, empower you to do something GREAT today. I believe in you!
Second, your thoughts frame your world. Is the world you live in, your reality, the way you’ve always envisioned for yourself? You might think not, but let me tell you it is. WHAT?! How dare you say that?! Well I stand by what I have said. Your reality IS what you have envisioned, because you have been thinking on it, subconsciously have agreed to it, and you meditate on thoughts that will perpetuate whatever it is that you consistently think about. CRAZY, right!? I’m guilty of this. I feel like God has been really providing me the thought that I can believe for a different set of circumstances. He’s really inspiring me to use my thoughts and my words to call out greater things into my life, out of me. It’s as if, let’s say, you’ve lived in a shack all your life and God starts calling you to dream of a royal life in a castle. Ok, so it sounds a little crazy, but that’s the truth of Gods word. We can dream, desire, and pursue greater things. Doesn’t mean “things” or “materials” but whatever it is that God puts on your heart to believe for, you better believe it’s coming, but YOU must do your part and AGREE with it in all of your thoughts and in all of your words.
Lastly, Share this with a friend! Do it, do it, do it ❤
With Love, Alicia xx
Twitter: AdoredAbove | IG: withlove.alicia
God you have been so incredibly good to me.
That seems to be the theme in my heart lately. I don’t know where it started exactly. Actually, now I
remember. I was having dinner at The Melting Pot and was talking to our server, who was incredibly
concerned about his future. He was almost terrified to take or make any next steps. I began to
encourage him, and challenge him. What’s the worst that can happen? So you fall utterly and
completely on your feet, but then you get back up. You find another way. Honestly, everything in life
that looks insurmountable, incredibly huge and impassable truly never ends just the way we think.
Everything that has ever felt that way in the past for you, you have already survived it–so far.
Everything always works out, even when it doesn’t. I really believe that, almost as if it’s a fact of life.
Still doesn’t take the fear out of those next steps, but you must take risks in life.
That’s when we started talking about hope and believing. He said he wanted to believe that could be
true for him. I kind of smiled and laughed and nearly cried in the same breath. I had forgotten a
moment that defined my forever–maybe not forgotten but buried deep within my memory bank.
I remember a certain day in Church where I was completely lost in my life, really without a hope to my
name. I was sitting in church, deep in thought, and honestly don’t even remember what the Pastor was
saying. I was probably not paying attention. I opened the Bible in the back of the seat, thank God for
those Bibles in the backs of seats. Anyway, I opened it up and the verse which talks about that God
will finish the work he has started… ‘Being confident in this, that HE who began a good work, will
finish it unto completion’ I remember staring at that, with near tears in my eyes and thinking loudly in
my heart ‘I WANT so desperately to believe this could be true of me… I hope this could be real’ And It
brings me to near tears right now, just even REMEMBERING that moment. It was such a hugely
pivotal point in my life. Everything after that moment is a blur, but what I can say now with great
confidence is that HE HAS REALLY, TRULY, brought hope to my life. He has fixed and healed so
many broken areas. I don’t even recognize myself, from the girl in that moment, until now. It’s as if I
was completely fashioned and formed from the very nothingness I was at. I can’t begin to even
describe the person I used to be. One day, I will. But for NOW, I want to share with you that
(as I read in the word of the day) “THERE IS NOTHING TOO HARD OR TOO WONDERFUL FOR
Whatever you are facing today, know this is just one snapshot, one slice, one piece of the picture, of
your life. Whatever you are looking up at in fear, worry, anxiety, uncertainty, or even with an
overwhelmed spirit… KNOW that God has a PLAN for your life. He really does. And if you ask Him,
look to Him, and have even just a mustard seed of faith, or even the faith that says “I just hope, I just
wish, I want to believe that this could be true for me…” THAT my friend, is enough.