The Cave

It’s a long commute home on any day, but this day it was longer. This particular day I was driving down the same road, but on a different journey.

There is a road that I jokingly call the “long road”, because it is the longest of 3 country roads I take to get home after I exit the interstate. On this day, it was as if the “long road” had turned into the long, dark, twisted entrance to a cave; a cave I’d once been in and thought I’d never go back. I’d been there nearly twenty years prior, when first diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I’d left college, going home to my parents, because I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I had been misdiagnosed by the college medical staff as “depressed”, but it was more than that. I was depressed at the time, but the medicine they gave me, anti-depressants, made me feel worse. So I dropped out of school and went home. By the Grace of God, my mother is a psychologist, and my father a counselor. They helped me find an amazing psychiatrist whom I saw, once a month (or more, if I needed to) for over 12 years. He said I reminded him of his daughter. He was a great doctor.

So there I was, on that road, headed for that cave again. Why? Because my friend was there, and I would not let him navigate that cave alone. I couldn’t drive fast enough to get to him, I was concerned and interested to see how he was, but not scared. I was never scared of him. I was scared for him. I knew that whatever he was facing, though different than what I faced, he would need me, and I would be there for him. Most importantly, I was bringing help. This time, as I entered that cave, I had Jesus with me.

I knew my friend’s smiles around others were faked because that’s what I used to do. I faked happiness for years so that I wouldn’t worry anyone. I just wanted everyone else to be OK, and not to pay attention to me. I wanted to melt into the background, go unnoticed, and just hide under a rock someplace. I saw this in my friend. I heard his words, and like a time machine, they took me back twenty years. Back to when I’d said those exact same words. “It’s like I am putting on a show for everyone”; “It’s exhausting”; “I don’t want to do this anymore”. I’ve known my friend more than 14 years, and saw though that fake happiness like his smile was made of glass. I saw through to the worry and pain he was in. I didn’t understand it and neither did he, but I would be there to try and figure it out with him.

I drove down that long passageway into the cave and found my friend. In this cave you never know behind which rock, or which corner, another scary thing is hiding. I knew because, like I said, I was in there twenty years ago, trying to sort it all out. For example, I would take a medication that was supposed to make me feel better. These medications can take 6-8 weeks to really start working. So I took the medication diligently, and for one month I was more depressed than ever. Fail; on to the next one. “Everyone reacts differently” my doctor said, “we have to keep trying”.

Around the next bend, I’d be prescribed something to help me sleep, but it only made me completely wired with a bad type of energy. So much terrible energy, that there was no way I could sleep. In fact, it gave me awful panic attacks. Fail; on to the next one. I felt like I was trying every medicine under the sun. But I had to keep trying.

There is light at the end of this cave; you can get through, and you can overcome. Not only that, but I think, after twenty years, I finally know why God allowed me to wander into that cave to begin with. So I could help others. So my cave becomes a blessing. From dark to light, from walking through hell to helping others. Amazing. Amazing realization for me but my friend still has a long way to go. So do many other people who find themselves at the mouth of this dark cave.

But I will be there with him every step along the way. On the other side of this cave is the rest of his life. I know because I’ve been thought it. And who knows, maybe I’m still walking through that old cave of mine, but now I have my faith, my God, and Jesus. And that makes all the difference.

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I’d just like to give a shout out to The Lord. Without HIM, I would not have made it through these past few weeks, would not be making it through each moment today, and would not have hope for the future. 

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19


The Lord is protecting me. In so many ways HE is letting me know HE hears me. In mysterious ways I never could have thought of, HE is protecting my heart and mind. 

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Like I said in my post a few days ago, I’m hearing God talk to me through others. In my father’s words, I am reminded of God’s Word; something I’ve read in the Bible. Today a truck parked next to me at the store playing music loudly, a song with lyrics “I’ll be with you, girl, like being low. Hey, hey, hey like being stoned”. I used to know who sang that song. I used to sing along. Today though, when I heard the song, I immediately thought of Stephen, Jesus’ disciple who was stoned to death.

God’s Word. Flooding my brain, cleansing my thoughts; protecting me with the truth, and keeping me from negativity. The faithfulness of our Lord in action. Coming out of nowhere, surprising me and totally amazing me with His Love and faithfulness; His promise to protect me: mind and soul. 

When I pray for peace in a difficult situation, I feel peace. When I talk to God, when I worship with song or writing, when I share my story and I am not afraid, He is pleased. 

When I first started this blog, because I felt God telling me to share my story, I was shy about sharing my story with too large an audience. But today I’ve decided to utilize every outlet I have to share my story with the world. 

God is keeping his promises to me. Protecting me. I will keep mine to Him and share my story without limitations.  

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Sometimes I just like to write poems

Have you praised the Lord this morning? Have you looked into the mirror, looking in your eyes and praised the Holy Spirit? Have you lifted your voice in worship to our Lord, despite your woes, do you have faith that Jesus is aboard this tiny boat? Aboard this boat with you that always seems to leak, but hope floats, don’t you know, and with faith you will not sink. With faith you’ll fill those holes, and with praise you’ll keep on sailing, and with love you’ll keep on going; with Jesus you’ll keep prevailing.

Quote by Toby Mac #SPEAKLIFE

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Counting It All Joy

What you’re about to read is coming from a woman who has had one of the worst weeks in her life.

It’s a very early, foggy, morning drive to work today. I woke up an hour before the alarm went off. Before leaving I prayed, as usual, and then I checked my email and Facebook because I had some extra time. On Facebook, someone commented to me about all of the things that had happened to me this past week. Big things and little things. From my husband being in ICU at the hospital to losing the key to my office. My friend commented “Fake it till you make it, Bree, and we’re all here with you, counting it all joy”. I had previously put the hashtag #CountingItAllJoy in one of my comments about all the problems I was having that week. Her comment also resonated with me because my dad always said “Fake it till you make it”. Recently, I heard someone say that the following Bible verse is no one’s favorite:

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4 NKJV

Meaning, even when you face bad or uncomfortable things in life, count it all joy, because God is growing you and your faith. He is stretching you, and ensuring your faith remains strong even during times of difficulty. Will you turn to God in all situations? Will you praise Him no matter what?

The hard part is that we cannot see the forest through the trees. We see all the trees, the tall strong ones, the pretty ones, the short ones, the dying or broken ones, and we even see the dead leaves on the ground. Sometimes it’s like that in life when we experience things that are good and make us feel happy. But there are other times when we see a sapling that’s not getting enough sun, and probably won’t grow up big and strong. We see trees with broken limbs, and like our brokenness, we wonder if that tree will make it. Yet we have hope in the Lord. God accepts our brokenness. When we are weak, God is strong.

 “But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”2 Corinthians 12:9-11

I’m thinking about all of this today because I’m wondering how I got through it all, and how I’m going to get through the rest; knowing there is a long road ahead of me. I’m blessed to have a supportive family, and wonderful friends to lean on, but when it comes down to it, it’s my faith in Jesus that held me together, that gave me strength. I am made strong in my weakness because of God.

Jesus died on the cross, conquering sin and death. He was tempted in the wilderness. He has experienced anything you are going though; He has already been there. In addition, He has already forged a path forward for you towards home in Heaven, and He will walk with you. When you’re in the valleys of life, He is there. He will not give up on you saying “this is too hard for me, you’re on your own”. No, not our Jesus, He is always with us no matter what. Turn to Him in times of trouble. When you feel like that leaf that has fallen from the tree and is dying on the ground, remember, your nourishment and strength doesn’t come from anything that you can do. It comes from inside you, from Jesus, who you invited into your heart.

During the difficult week, I kept asking “why is all this happening?”  Then something else would happen. It was so hard, one thing after another. I came to realize, with a friend’s help, that I was asking the wrong question. Instead of “why” I should ask God to help me. So even when your life seems like a wreck, turn to God immediately. When you feel it coming on, that dread, and you just know, what should your first thought be? Maybe something like this: “Thank you God, for I know that you are with me and I am made strong through you” Because no matter what you are going through right now, it compares not to the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, out of love, so that we could have a relationship with our Father in Heaven.

Whenever I say “my Father in Heaven”, I always think of my father here on Earth, who loved me and raised me along with my mom. The other day, when daddy and I were talking, I realized that God was speaking to me through my father, who is not a believer at this time. My daddy’s advice is always amazing; he gives great advice. This past week however, when I spoke to my dad, I was constantly being reminded of something I’d read in the Bible. It was strange, and I told my dad that his advice was reminding me of things from the Bible. “Really” he asked, surprised. At the time, I gave him a very specific example. In fact, I think that my daddy is a believer, and he just doesn’t know it yet! He’ll probably laugh when he reads this! Daddy’s words to me have always been insightful, loving, caring, intelligent and non-judgmental; no matter what.

I know I am blessed to have a daddy to turn to in difficult times. But if you don’t have a daddy on Earth, you can always turn to your Daddy in Heaven, God, who will give you advice that is loving and kind, gentle yet strong, and non-judgmental. Because God doesn’t see you in the mess and muck that you’re standing in, He sees you through the eyes of His son, Jesus who redeemed us; who traded our sins for His righteousness.

So I will continue to “fake it until I make it”, which is a saying my dad has said a million times to me. I have God’s spirit inside me, and with Him, I can handle anything this world throws at me.

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That wasn’t the plan.

The week prior to this was great. From every which way I kept hearing God tell me He hears me. He hears my prayers. Through conversations with friends and family and even strangers who had just the right thing to say at just the right moment.

This week has been awful though. Not like in a “difficult work week” kind of awful, but in a “terrible accident taking two of your most loved people from you” kind of awful. No one passed away; but someone just turned and walked away without looking back.

I’m confused and heartbroken. If you know me, its probably not because of why you think. It’s not because of my husband. It’s because of “her”. I’m not ready to talk about it yet, but I needed to write about it. Writing is therapy for me.

God, I’ll follow you. I’ll walk through the valley with he who needs someone to walk with. I’ll keep my promises made in a covenant with You and my husband  as best I can.

But why am I so heartbroken? It’s not about my husand’s suicide attempt. Which probably sounds awful. But if I’m honest, my heart is breaking because “she” left.

Once, a lady I met at church told me “friends come and go”, you’ve got Jesus. Jesus is your best friend anyway. Although I know she’s right, my heart is telling me something is wrong with this one. This one was long term. A life long friend. I just know it. But she left. Or I pushed her away, I’m not sure.

I’ve had nine days of hell to deal with, and so much work to do ahead of me, but all I can think of is this one loss: her.

Maybe its just easier for her  (I’m sure it is) not to walk any further through the valley with me. Maybe this is where we part ways. I hope not. That was never the plan. It was never my plan at least. Maybe, though, it’s part of God’s plan.

God, I’m going to be praying a lot,  asking you why. Why she left? When will she come back, if at all? I’ll be waiting expectantly for an answer. Not from a friend or a stranger, but from You.


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