Thursday, November 8, 2012

soaking up God's grace

In 2.5 years, today is the first day that Anne has cancelled an appointment. We've missed weeks but it's always been planned in advance. That is a darn good track record. Add that to the list of 1,017 reasons why she's the best therapist in the entire world. She is so consistent. and her life is such a beautiful picture of integrity. She's congruent. She's brave. She lives what she says and she always keeps her promises. and I can always count on her to say plenty of things that are worth repeating. She is so patient with me and shows me such bountiful grace. So thankful she's mine.

Last week, in the midst of many tears and snot and puffy eyes, she made me look at her. She's never done that before. I mean, I don't know about you but looking someone in the eyes is not my first choice of things to do when I'm weeping and feeling like a total mess. But, I trust her, so I did. and I'm glad I did. I know I've said this before, but I'm reminded every week -- She has kind eyes and the ability to communicate deep concern and caring by just looking. And she said, "This is the cycle of shame starting. Do you hear yourself? Amy, it is OK that life is hard right now. It is normal that you're struggling. You've had a rough couple years. There's a lot of grieving to be done, still. and you are not alone in this." I'm sure she said a lot of other things but that's what I heard. I've been hearing that in my head all week, especially during the times when I feel like a failure at life because I can't work or when I have to lie down in the middle of the day because I'm tired or when I wonder how I'm going to make it through the next month financially.

God provided in a beautiful way today. I've said before that my CDE Susan reminds me a lot of Anne. I asked her once if she was a closet therapist. :) She's just a really great listener and she asks really great questions. She also can read me like a book. She can tell when there's too much information or when I just need to talk or when an hour isn't long enough. Well, I had an appointment with her today. What sweet provision. Susan brings out a part of my personality that most people don't see very often. She makes me witty. It's weird how different people bring out different parts of us. When I'm talking to her, I just feel understood and like it's ok to just be me. I had to tell her about the cake pop, reese's cups, skittles, 2 PBandJs, and distinct lack of vegetables I ate yesterday. I didn't even really notice, to be honest. I'm in survival mode. My new goal is to eat one vegetable a day. My over-achiever tendency would normally try to eat 5 vegetables a day but this time I really only have the energy to think about trying to eat one. Susan treated me to coffee after our appointment today and it was so fun to laugh with her and just get to know each other better. She's a keeper for sure.

I've been spending a lot of time at the church office this week. It's been so good for me. Even if I don't talk to Corey, there's just something about knowing that he's in the next room over that makes me feel safe. It's restful. and I think that's the point of my life right now. I'm trying to slow down and breathe and do things that I want to do. and not feel pressure or stress or expectations. Anxiety is near these days for some reason. Even in little situations, like taking longer at wal-mart than I planned. I'm trying to convince myself in those moments that it's ok to not meet my own expectations perfectly. I don't have anywhere else to be. it's ok.

Anne said something last week that I think is true. She said "I think maybe you're fighting too hard." I spend so much energy trying to get it right and fight to be joyful and happy and content that I end up being just the opposite. How do I just relax and soak up God's grace? How can I just rest in His goodness to me without feeling like I have to DO something?

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