My Brand of Crazy

“I want to be a mouthpiece for hope not a megaphone for fear.”
– Joy Cannis Original

Now more than ever, we need someone to lift our face from the ground, back to what’s in front of us and up to the heavens, reminding us who we are and that there is greater purpose just beyond our edges of self-preservation. Recognizing and utilizing that which has been inside us all along. (Yet what we’ve been looking for everywhere but where it is.)

Stop waiting for hope to find you and be the hope right where you are. I am learning that the only way to become unstuck is to put one foot in front of the other until I’ve repositioned myself to excel and grow.

The last 18 months have been some of the most difficult in my journey.
My children have struggled beyond my ability to step in and rescue.
I weened off of a two-year opioid prescription.
I ran back into the arms of my eating disorder.
I cried on my doctor’s exam table.
I shared my testimony with thousands of women.
I entered into a season of intensive outpatient therapy.
I broke apart…shattered…into tiny pieces that I wasn’t sure could ever be repaired
until the Master Creator picked them up, one by one, sanctified each jagged edge and put me back together in a new way than I’ve ever been before.
And the Holy Spirit is present with me in a way I never thought possible.

Have you heard the saying, “Feelings are constantly changing so don’t rush to act on a certain/current feeling”? I have experienced a multitude of feelings in this season. I would go from sheer elation to utter hopelessness within the course of 24 hours. Sometimes more than once. Most days I felt like I was on the brink of insanity. I’m so grateful I didn’t act on any one particular feeling.

I think back to a time, 22 years ago, when the head of psychiatry at the treatment center where I had taken up temporary residency wrote, “This girl is narcissistic and beyond human aid!” on my treatment plan. I cut out of rehab 1 day shy of the required 30 and was therefore considered to have left “against doctor’s orders” and didn’t receive any of the personal items I had come in with. Nope. Just the clothes on my back. That was my m.o. You say I’m ________________ and I’ll prove it.

I stayed mad at that shrink for a long time. I replayed his words while picturing the scribbled notes in blue ink. I used it as an excuse to stay drunk.

Now, today, in this moment, I can tell you that doctor was right. His definition of me was spot on. I wasbeyond human aid.” Which allows no room for doubt…

Only God.
Only God could heal what was fractured.
Only God could restore me to sanity.
Only God could allow me to be broken, once again in such a way that He alone could pick up each piece, breathe life back into it, and put me back together.

Although I have had a tribe of badass physicians, friends, prayer warriors and family surround me with their incredible courage, love, and support, God changed this girl’s heart. From the inside out. He gets all the credit.

I don’t know what “feeling” you’re sitting in today?
For what it’s worth, I’m living proof that yesterday’s feeling turns into today’s relief.
Whatever it is,
However hopeless or wonderful it “feels”,
It’s going to change.
So if it’s incredible, enjoy every moment
and if it’s seemingly unbearable,
Hold on.
Hold on.
Relief is coming.
Maybe not the way you are expecting or what you’re used to, but it’s there and it will be yours.

To the Oldies, the Newbies and Those Inbetween

thank you I want to take a minute to say, “Thank you.”
To those of you who have shared my writings all over social media,
To those who have read and commented,
To those who are receiving notifications of new posts,
To those who aren’t afraid to disagree with me,
To those who I’ve never even met, but consistently send me encouragement,
To those who email me with desperate pleas for help with addiction, eating disorders or something else you know I have walked through,
To those who find community here…
It is such a privilege to share this space with you.

I love that we have comments from all over the world complimenting our stories. It’s incredible to read of the laughter and tears shed (sometimes in the same sitting) while reading posts and comments on these pages.

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know that I’m a egomaniac with an inferiority complex. Some days my feet never touch the ground, while other days my face never leaves the dirt. I am my own worst critic with an inner cheerleader. I fluctuate between feeling like a goddess and an ogre. I am either the happiest, most optimistic person in the room or the anxiety ridden pessimist who draws the blinds and sits in the dark.

Through all of the emotions, I have written. The one constant in my physical life has been the ability to verbally vomit when needed and find healing in the chaos. Through the journey of starting my own business, grieving the loss of someone close to me and walking into incredibly fragile situations with families I had never met, to document the last few moments of their baby’s life, I know I can come here, to this page and process.

I have been completely overwhelmed (in a good way) by the response to many of the things I write. Astounded that anything I have to say would resonate with anyone else and move them to positive action. Elated to find that I am not alone in any struggle.

I am so grateful to you for using what I know to be valuable, precious time, to be with me for a few moments. It’s a gift and one that I do not take for granted.

The days ahead are full. And though I can’t come visit with you as much as I would like, please know that I think of you, my beautiful readers, all the time. I pray for you and I thank God for you.

Thank you for investing in my story.

Love and Light,
Signature

 

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Jesus is Lord…and you know it

I saw a billboard on the way to Nashville and then again coming home. (It was double-sided) I couldn’t take a picture at 70 80 mi. an hour, so I recreated it. Which was easy since it was black and white…no color…absolute, with no room for misinterpretation.

BillboardBoth times it made me cringe and physically sink down in my seat. I felt defensive and embarrassed when I read it.

This post is really going to rub some of you the wrong way. Feel free to stop reading now.

I am returning from a trip where God was present. He showed up. His spirit was alive and well. Jesus was glorified and the worship was sacred. I’ve not seen this kind of community, maybe ever. Interestingly enough, not one time did I feel defensive or shamefulfrightened or remorsefulregretful or resentful…you feelin’ me?

Who knew a billboard could get me this riled up? Or maybe I am just that tired of so-called “Christians” belittling others under the guise of sharing Jesus.

I’m not asking you to condone behavior. I’m not asking you to pretend. I am however asking my Jesus lovin’, God-fearing, friends to avoid making this way of life so dang unattractive.

There are hotties who love Jesus. There are married couples enjoying sex more than once a week, who love Jesus. There are those who watch Modern Family and still love Jesus. Why are we not speaking out? Why is the voice of the Pharisee so much louder than the voice of the Jesus follower?

Stop assuming that people who are living a life that you consider to be less than “good” will be attracted to scare tactics. Shame is not attractive. Fear is not attractive. Guilt is not attractive to anyone…not knowingly.

So, stop it. Stop. Stop using the name of Jesus as a way to be passive aggressive. Just…stop.

Jesus did not attract people by condemning them. He did not come to accuse, he came to save. And as followers of Christ I can’t help but know that we are to do the same.

There need not be accusations in our words and our actions, in our face, in our…anything! Denunciation does not draw anyone, if anything it pushes them further away.

So if you are threatening people with hell to bring them to their Savior, how about enticing them with heaven? How about sharing your personal story of freedom.

How about sitting down and listening to their story. Relate, empathize, be compassionate. Be attractive in a way that has nothing to do with outward appearance.

I believe in heaven and hell. The thought of anyone spending an eternity suffering is unimaginable. This is not about that. That’s an entire post in itself. That said, Tell me how many people you think see or hear a passive aggressive message like, “Jesus is Lord and you know it!” decide that they want our way of life?

There is no life in judgment. There is no life in statements that make people feel small, guilty or shamed.

I don’t want to be the traveling judge and jury. I want to be one who brings light, gives hope and shows purpose everywhere I go. Whether it be the grocery store, doctor’s office, work…everywhere I go. Though I fail often, it’s worth working towards.

What’s your first thought when reading the message on this billboard?

Leading and Loving It…The Book

Hi Ladies! I have the privilege of sitting under the influence of several incredible women who are making a positive impact in our world. I don’t want you to miss the opportunity to share in the wealth of wisdom offered by Lori Wilhite and Brandi Wilson through their years of experience in the world of ministry.

No doubt, ministry can be one of the most difficult career choices because it is so much more than a 9:00a.m.-5:00p.m. It’s a way of life. We must have the tools already in place to combat discouragement, loneliness and the pressure bearing down on us day-to-day.A strong support system is key to keeping us going.

If you are a woman in ministry, considering going into ministry, engaged or married to someone in ministry, praying about next steps towards a ministry role, may I encourage you to pre-order this book? As someone married to a full-time ministry man, even if I wasn’t working in ministry myself, I would have this book on my nightstand.

Listen Darlins’, one of the most detrimental things we do in our relationship with Christ and our ability to be of use to others is allow ourselves to burn out. The quickest way to strip us of our purpose is to listen and believe the lies of darkness. Please guard your heart and mind. Have a plan to avoid the traps of discouragement along the way. Join this community of women all around the world who are going from just leading to leading and loving it.

Here is an excerpt taken from the Leading and Loving It website…

The Book“In LEADING AND LOVING IT, Lori Wilhite and Brandi Wilson offer a gut-honest look into their lives in ministry and dive into Biblical insight dealing with leadership challenges. You will get tools to help regain or maintain the joy that God holds out as you follow Him in this calling on your life. You will rest in the knowledge that God, knowing your weaknesses and shortcomings, has called you to this work and this role. You will realize that you don’t have to face life and leadership alone. You will grow to lead, and love it.”

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Five Minute Friday: Song

The following is a song that I have been listening to on repeat for the last several days. When the world gets loud, I want to hear His voice.

Here’s my heart Lord
Speak what is true

Here’s my life Lord
Speak what is true

I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I’m made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free

‘Cause You are strong, You are sure
You are life, You endure
You are good, always true
You are light breaking through

You are more than enough
You are here, You are love
You are hope, You are grace
You’re all I have, You’re everything

Click to hear David Crowder singing the album version of “Here’s My Heart” from the Passion CD “Let the Future Begin

What are you telling yourself these days? Are you listening to the world or to the one who knows you best?

Morphing into Grace

“The grace of God is equal to…
the most unfavorable circumstances.
It’s glory is to transform a curse into a blessing
and show to men and angels of ages
yet to come that where sin abounded,
grace did much more abound.”
~ A.B. Simpson ~

1-Minute Meditation: Everything

The day before me feels like a battle…as if war is being waged and I am not well suited to fight. Because of Christ, I no longer engage anyone or anything in senseless argument or folly. I will cry out to the One who knows me from the inside. I will ask Him to guide my thinking and center it solely on His grace, His goodness and His unfailing love. I will ask Him for gentle reminders of His faithfulness throughout this day. I will ask Him to protect the ones I love and guard their hearts against the fiery darts that others throw. I will envision the army of truth at my side, before me and behind me, entering the battlefield with all of heaven. I ask so little when He is capable of so much. And today…the only thing that will sustain me…is all of heaven.

“Everything”
by Lifehouse

Find me here, speak to me
I want to feel You, I need to hear You
You are the light that’s leading me
To the place where I find peace again

You are the strength that keeps me walking
You are the hope that keeps me trusting
You are the light to my soul
You are my purpose, You’re everything

How can I stand here with You and not be moved by You?
Would You tell me, how could it be any better than this?

You calm the storms, and You give me rest
You hold me in Your hands, You won’t let me fall
You steal my heart, and You take my breath away
Would You take me in, take me deeper now

How can I stand here with You and not be moved by You?
Would You tell me, how could it be any better than this?
And how can I stand here with You and not be moved by You?
Would You tell me, how could it be any better than this?

‘Cause You’re all I want, You’re all I need
You’re everything, everything
You’re all I want, You’re all I need
You’re everything, everything

You’re all I want, You’re all I need
You’re everything, everything
You’re all I want, You’re all I need
You’re everything, everything

And how can I stand here with You and not be moved by You?
Would You tell me, how could it be any better than this?
How can I stand here with You and not be moved by You?
Would You tell me, how could it be any better than this?

How can I stand here with You and not be moved by You?
Would You tell me, how could it be any better than this?
Would You tell me, how could it be any better than this?

Lyrics copied from MetroLyrics.com