About Me

Nooksack, Washington, United States

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Just call me Jillian: Kenosis


I decided to write another blog post after hmmmm.... almost a year!?!?!?  I was astonished to find that the date on the last draft I attempted to accomplish was for November 2012.  Seriously?  The ironic thing is that today I was inspired to write about nothing other than...  The Rush of Time.  OK, so, obviously, time, for me, is literally rushing by as it has been almost 11 months since I used the venue of blogging for some catharsis.  The other astonishing discovery?  When I started the November 2012 post I did so from a place of sadness and, although my outlook on life did improve as January 2013 approached, September 2013 has not been the best and I once again am feeling the pull of darkness.  The best part about all of this is that I was surmising in the middle of my "slump" last week that there may be a pattern to my depressive cycles because it always seems to hit around the start of the Fall season.  Shall we say that after stumbling upon the November 2012 post I have had an "aha" moment?  To give you a glimpse of where I was at here is the post from November 2012 titled "Kenosis" (Ki-Noh-Sis) -meaning "to empty".  This title was chosen as a reflection on how I was feeling - empty. 
November 2012:
KENOSIS (Ki-Noh-Sis) - meaning "to empty".... The last few months have been hard. And that is putting it very simply. My world has been rocked. And I don't mean in a good way. In fact, I find myself staring down the black hole of depression again. It hasn't completely taken hold, but it has come like a cloak and rested its heavy weight upon my shoulders. The good news is that I am finding moments where I can shrug it off. At this point depression has not gained the upper hand and I am able to resist the pull of its evil vortex that wants to suck me into the world where I believe I am all alone. Unfortunately, the voice of reason (I am not all alone) is more often drowned out by the emotions(I am all alone). There is also great comfort and strength in writing these things down. Somehow it helps to dispel the fear that I may once again go to that place where I can't catch my breath or see the forest for the trees. Confessing the fact that I currently have days where I feel lost in a sea of blackness is akin to raising a white flag in surrender to my pride. But pride has never served me well. If eating a piece of humble pie allows me to see a shaft of light coming through the darkness then hand over the fork

The truth is that in the depths of my heart I know WHY the depression comes this time of year.  It is directly related to the start of abuse that occurred in my life. Last year the depression was challenging, but this year seems to be darker than normal.  These days it is directly related to the ages of my children and in this knowledge I am obsessively aware of TIME.  This obsession causes me to recognize the literal ticking of the clock.  Yes, the clock on the wall, but even more so the clock of my life, the clock of  minutes and hours that can never be lived again and turn into days, weeks, months, years all rushing by at a dizzying speed. The fact that I can't ever go back in time and take these moments captive, do not have the power to change them, is somewhat driving me insane.  This rapid passing of time reminds me of the water that rushes through my fingers every time I turn on the faucet to wash my hands.  It is way. too. fast. There is an urgency inside my spirit that births anxiety and the overwhelming desire to STOP THE TIME!!!  I know that I must rely on Jesus to bring His peace and calm my restless spirit.  There is truly nothing I can do to keep my children from the growth away from me that seems to occur at such a break neck speed.  It is inevitable.  I know rationally I must find the positive, the gift, the goodness in my children moving "out" from me, away from me to be their own person.  I know this is the way it is supposed to be, the way I will measure my merit as a mom is in their independence.  But today I am a screaming toddler throwing a GIGANTIC tantrum!  I DO NOT want to let go!  Can't I just keep them little forever? Because this struggle is directly connected to the chronological ages of my children the time has come, dear reader, for me to make that connection in writing so that I can hopefully move on from this place of anxiety.  I must move on because after all isn't time precious?  Don't I want every minute with my loved ones to count?  Yes, a million times yes!  So, here's the deal, my daughters and my son are at the same exact age where profoundly painful things happened in my life. Just seeing that written out in black and white makes my heart drop.  Because I remember 8, 10, and 13 in vivid colors, smells, and emotions that make me want to go crawl into my bed, pull the covers over my head and never come up for air.  I will spare details, but I do believe that this overwhelming desire to STOP TIME has much to do with wanting to go back and fix the little girl in me.  I know that my three blessings are experiencing a completely different life than I did, I know that my projection of pain onto their childhood is not helpful.  In fact, for the most part I can stop this projection and see them and their experiences for what they are, not for what I walked through. But, I am a work in progress.  My hope, my prayer, is that in time this will get easier.  Most of all, I am grateful that despite these dark valleys I have learned that when I take the hand of Jesus He leads me to the mountain top.  And, ironically, this exploration of my feelings through writing took nothing other than TIME!  And, dear reader, your time as well.  Thank you for spending it with me. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Been too long

It's been way too long since I have taken "pen" to "paper" and expressed my heart. Today I felt inspired to revisit this cathartic expression of my deepest thoughts. Much has transpired since my last post. I am now a full time student working towards a Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. This is a long awaited goal of mine and I am both enthralled and terrified at the same time to see it become a reality. I have currently achieved a 4.0 G.P.A. for the first time since my one semester my junior year of high school. This is more startling to me than comforting. The taste of success is unfamiliar territory. It has been much easier for me to fail. If I succeed what will happen? The rest is still unwritten, but I will strive to keep my readers posted!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My New Normal

My New Normal

Sometimes I like my new normal and other times it just really sucks. I know those words lack eloquence, but any other way too describe it presently eludes me. I perused my last blog entry and it made me wonder at how I came to that peaceful place on that particular day. I do recall that my new normal brings me coziness that I can wrap around me like a warm, fuzzy blanket on a cold winter's day. But, today is a different day. Today I am cynical about the idea of "freedom" from the past. If I could only package the clarity I had on that day into the form of a pill that I could take on those other days, days like today, when I question everything about everything in my new normal. Yes, it is true that there is a tremendous sense of calm that comes with setting boundaries. This peaceful spot of NOT getting entagled with the chaos and confusion of my old family system is only one side of the coin. And on the other side is loss. It is the Yin in my Yang.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Alright, I gave myself more than a week and it's time for a new season. If you recall, I had decided it was alright for me to mourn my losses. That was good, but I'm ready to put it on the shelf again for awhile. I learned, I grew, I am stronger. Anyone who ever says it's not o.k. to revisit the past is a liar. For how do we move on from it if we don't pick up all those jagged pieces and discover just how they tore at our hearts? There is much wisdom in this practice. It is a great teacher. I learned that I am not required to rescue or fix anyone. As I mulled over the messages I heard growing up I realized that I had taken a great burden upon myself at a very young age. No one asked me to take this burden with actual words, but there was a great expectation that I sensed from a very young age. How does this happen to one so young? I'll never understand this mystery. I know it happens to many and I am not alone in this phenomenon. It is one thing I can't wait to ask God about. So, I now have given myself a great big hug and told my little girl she can let go of this burden she thought she had to carry. The burden of being a "good girl" so as not too upset the household anymore than the chaotic state it was always in. The burden of listening to disparing tales of bad decisions made by older siblings and being asked for advice on how to remedy the consequences of these decisions. How was I to know what was needed to right a wrong? The burden of lying in my bed listening to drunken teenagers as a fear enveloped my little heart and mind as to who would take care of me if something really bad happened? The burden of knowing mommy and daddy were at work and I was left in the charge of young adults that were acting in very childish ways. And it dawned on me as I pondered this jagged piece of my childhood memory that this must be where I first developed the concept that I, not being drunk or stoned, was the only one sober in my house at a time when my parental units were not there to play that role. Guess what? That really messes with a kid! So, to make a long story short, imagine if you will an extremely heavy weight attached to a very long chain that is shackled to my ankle. On this heavy weight is the burden of "taking care" of my siblings. There are the words "responsible one", "quiet one", "one who carries the worry", "good girl" are all scribbled in child like letters across this weight and it dawns on me that I am no longer a child! I DO NOT have to drag around these beliefs any longer! And this revelation has enabled me to take an axe to that chain and severe it with one swift hack. I am letting go of all responsibility to my siblings, imagined or real. I am NOT responsible to help anyone but myself! Freedom!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The pain is palpable

Today I am surrounded by my pain. It is crushing my chest into the size of a shriveled up raisin, but leaving a big, black gaping hole inside of my heart. It feel so big that I swear if I were to walk outside someone would say, "hey, Jill, what happened to you, did you get shot?" It is so intense it is causing my arms to feel like lead and my legs to spasm with their own rhythm. It hurts. That is an understatement. I want to scream and shout and cry and swear and hit and run, and writhe on the floor. But,I can't because I have a life to live here. I have children who need a mother when they get home, when all I really want to do is curl up in a ball and beat my head against the wall. I have a life to live. And I wonder is this healthy? Do I keep pushing this pain aside? I don't have time to give it full credence. It sucks because it's making my body hurt. ALOT. How do I let it out without freaking everybody in my world out? For if I could really express what I'm feeling it would be the ugliest, blackest, most disgusting thing you have ever laid eyes on. I literally want to throw up this pain and get it outside of me. I don't want to carry this any more. It is robbing me of my joy and my peace. I find myself in a position of complete helplessness. I don't know where to go, who to turn to, how to proceed. I have no words, and so I say to my Jesus, take this cup from me! I am finished now. I can't hold it any more. I know if you are reading this you are wondering what the hell I'm talking about. Why this abrupt disbursement of words regarding my intense emotional pain? I got a letter from my sister. You know, the mom of my beloved nieces. I don't know what to do now. I feel so incredibly stuck and frozen in time. With this letter a flood of memories opened up for me. And kudos to my sister for writing in such a way that I actually gave myself permission to be really pissed off for the first time. I mean, really pissed off. All the things I have been pushing down, hiding away, not saying since I was a child, as to protect her from being hurt, well, all those things came flooding back into my memory. OH, and it is so incredibly painful. There was more manipulation, denial, and jealousy towards me than I care to remember. We never had a normal relationship. I always felt responsible for her. I can remember laying on my bed and begging, begging, begging God to protect her. I knew, even at 7,8,9 years old that things were really bad. I knew something wasn't right. I was burdened with something I can't even describe in words. It was a defining moment in my life and I will never forget it. I made the decision that I must be a GOOD girl in order to save my family. What the??? It is what one does as a child who is trying to control an environment that is so incredibly chaotic they fear they are going to disappear. And this is when the pain comes. When I remember how I decided to just shut up. I shut myself up. I closed down. I became mute. I stopped using my voice and did everything in my own childish perspective of power to right things in this very wrong world I lived in. Maybe if I was quiet enough than things would get better??? I can remember sitting at the kitchen table and imagining myself standing on the chair and screaming at the top of my lungs, "something is terribly wrong!!!! I am being molested, my brothers and sister are getting into some serious trouble and I am scared out of my frickin' mind". The feeling of powerlessness is so destructive. Who took my voice anyway? When did I decide to stop talking? When did I decide to stop asserting myself? HOw did this ever happen to me??? And so today I weep for me. It feels so selfish, but I think I might be onto something here. I weep for the lost little girl who gave up her childhood to child molesters and fear and sadness and abandonment and neglect. I am choosing to honor her today and tell her that what happened to her was so very, very wrong. It was so incredibly wrong. And that's all I can say right now. I just realized I need to be o.k. with allowing me my own pain. Yep, lots of people hurt me because of their pain, and in my home growing up that's all that mattered. You cared about the person hurting you more than you cared for yourself. Guess what? That's not working for me!!!! So, here goes: for the next week I am going to care about me. I am going to recognize that I had a pretty shitty time of it growing up.
This should be interesting....

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just to be me....

I made a promise to my G-girl. What was I ever thinking? She knew of my secret desire to be pierced and so she challenged me. She asked that I get pierced for her if she successfully completed her time at the ranch where she willingly submitted herself to a season of discipline and self reflection in Februrary of 2010. On June 11th, 2010 she had accomplished this. And now 9 months later, I have finally made good on that promise. There were so many reasons that held me back from doing this sooner. The first being the thought that I am getting too old and the second that it goes against all the "conservative christian" arguments in my head. What would my fellow christian's think of me? I was always taught that those who were tatooed and pierced AFTER knowing Jesus weren't acting very christian. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. What was I to do? I wrestled with the desire to be true to my word and fulfill my promise. Wondering if perhaps this action could allow me to be a vessel of the transforming love of Jesus? If I kept my promise perhaps I could give my G-girl just a sliver of a glimpse of His great love for her. Little did I know how much it would allow me to experience this same love again. Being taught that tatooing and piercing was wrong always troubled me. I was born a very creative and expressive person. I thoroughly enjoy expressing my faith through writing, music, dance, and even creating art for my home in the form of curtains, bed spreads, and even the colors I paint my walls. All of these things have GREAT thought behind them. They are an offering of worship, an expression of love experienced by Him and flowing out to others. And I also believe that God, being my creator, is the one who made me like this. And being this way leads me to experience God in very non traditional ways. Do I enjoy going to church to rub elbows with fellow believers? Absolutely! But, in all honesty the times I truly feel the closest to the Lover of my soul is when I am doing all the artsy things He created me to do. Being of the artistic persuasion also means that I see things in rich colors and feelings. I feel the most ALIVE and loved by God when I am expressing myself in an artistic way. Now, what's even weirder is that I actually feel the closest to his love for me when I am in physical and emotional pain. In those moments of agony I am broken and more open to hear from him than at any other time. I am sure some of you are thinking I may need to be committed after this confession, but I am nothing but authentic on this blog of mine. So, in pondering this promise to be pierced I sought God. I prayed and read the scripture and here is what I was led to over and over again; "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends" - John 15:13, New International Version, ©2011)'>John 15:13John 15:13, New International Version, ©2011)'> O.K., so I wasn't going to be laying my life down, but in keeping my promise to be pierced maybe I was being given an opportunity to give Gretchen a sliver of a glimpse of that great love. And so I did it! And, being the person that he created me to be, it was for me a spiritual experience. The moment I sat on the stool to be pierced and closed my physical eyes, my heart's eyes were opened. Before me was the broken body of my Savior and mere seconds later as the needle pierced my skin I heard "a promise is sacred". At that moment of intense pain I did cry but the pain was only a fraction of the reason for my tears, for when the needle punctured through my skin I saw written in red these words from Isaiah about the Lover of my Soul, "But he was pierced for our transgressions,he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5, New International Version, ©2011)'>Isaiah 53:5. As I felt the needle going through I was shattered by the realization that my miniscule act of love by keeping a promise, was grossly inadequate to what my Jesus did for me. This moment of physical pain resulted in the warmth of the great wave of love "crashing" down upon my head and spilling down, down, down into my whole being. This piercing experience has given me much to ponder and I anticpate will be the catalyst for great discussion with my God in the months to come. Dear Reader, may you know the depth, heigth, width, and breadth of his love for you. For when you do it will change your life.

Being the artsy person that God created me to be I have penned the following song :

C:\Users\JKarber\Music\Unknown Artist\Unknown Album (12-21-2008 4-40-30 PM)

No greater act of love is found
Nothing else makes the world go round, round, round
But love, love, love
Love makes the world go round
The world’s confused by his action
That He laid down his life,
but still he is hated
How can I fear that I’ll ever offend,
To not proclaim the love of my best friend?
So now I’ll shout it from the mountain tops

Chorus -

His blood flowed down
His blood flowed down
From the thorns on his crown
It flowed love, grace and freedom
If love His love were a color it could never be painted
You can try to cover it up, make it prettier than it was, You can try to shut up His love
But his blood will cry out
His blood flowed down
His blood flowed down
From the thorns on his crown

So many things to distract me
that take my eyes from the Prince of Peace
Who gazes on me with perfect love
He sees my heart and all my transgressions
Every sin that I've committed
He even sees the way's I've been mistreated
My shattered heart and broken dreams
Common sense says walk away
If God is love, why the pain?

His blood cries out to the poor, the rich
His blood cries out to the beautiful, the down trodden
It can never be silenced
He came to seek and save what was lost
OH, you can never shut his blood up
You can never stop his love

His love flowed down
His love flowed down
from the thorns on His crown
It flowed love, grace and freedom
If His love were a color it could never be painted
You can try to cover it up, make it prettier than it was, you can try to shut up his love
But his love will cry out,
His love flowed down
His love flowed down
from the thorns on his crown.