Fear by the Creek.

I’ll be posting this tomorrow, but I thought I’d put it up to show you all early.

I made a post today on instagram talking a slight bit, but I have something weird going on. I am not diagnosed, and I’m not exactly sure, I’m not a professional, but it may be ocd. (My husband has advised, and I agree, its probably best- I am seeing a therapist.) But anyway, this artwork has a story behind it, if it isn’t obvious.

In August, I went on a camping trip with my husband’s family. There was a creek I was rompin’ around in. Joe was fishing, and it was me and Christina (my best friend and Joe’s sister.) She took a nap in a hammock, and, being the fool I am, forgot my hammock, so I decided to go have a good time in nature to myself.

Sitting on a rock, I noticed a distance away on another rock one of those caterpillars I hear rumors were poisonous if you touched them. it was bright and fluffy, and I made a note to keep away from there.

So I sat at the creek. And I prayed.

I know a lot of people probably imagine praying as interlocking your fingers and asking God for forgiveness or help with something- amen. But that’s really not what prayer is. It’s a conversation with God. It’s sitting with him, listening to what he has to say, and when you don’t know what he has to say, or you notice he hasn’t said anything in a while, sometimes it means its time to ask him and listen.

So, in that peaceful moment, with all that I’ve been facing involving the events of my wedding and the doubt and fear that rages in my head, I asked God to tell me something.

Very shortly after that, I heard a distinct- “Go.”

“Go… where?”

“Go.”

I fought it a little- “Where? Like behind me? In front of me? Across the creek- down the creek-?”

“GO.”

So I just… walked forward. There was no goal or objective, he had asked me to wander. So I did.

Eventually, i got to about the middle of the creek. And a stick caught my eye. I felt God tell me to pick it up. So I did.

I walked around with this stick.

“Holy crap, why did he tell me to get this stick?? Will i need it? Why do i need it? Oh no this means I’m gonna have to protect myself–?!”

So yeah I convinced myself he asked me to pick up the stick because I would need it to fight a snake.

But, I pressed on. Kept wandering.

I saw another stick. A thin, bendy, one. It was pretty, and I thought I might take it home, the color and texture were so interesting.

“Pick a stick to throw.”

A little shook, I stared at them, trying to decide. My heart started pounding.

I wanted to throw the first stick. I had convinced myself that it meant I’d be fighting a snake, and if i tossed it, it meant I wouldn’t have to anymore. And I could take this pretty stick home and not worry about fighting a snake.

I didn’t really want to keep the pretty one as much as I wanted to throw the first one.

That’s when God pointed something out to me.

I convinced myself this first stick was for something bad, and now I want to get rid of it because I was scared of what I convinced myself it would bring.

So, in faith, to actively work against this unhealthy thinking, I threw the pretty stick, and kept the one that I had.

I could feel God was proud, but also I felt horribly scared.

But, pressing on.

Big ol’ stick in hand, I came back to where I started. At this point, I had been using the stick to draw on rocks with water.

As I was drawing, a caterpillar poked over the rock. A bright, fluffy caterpillar.

I drew water circles around it, carried it around with the stick, and realized-

I had used this stick for nothing but fun.

And now here I am, calling this little guy a friend, the same caterpillar I warned myself to stay clear of.

I’m ready, 2020.

I was going to make this post a letter to 2020, but when I first met it this morning, when I woke up, the most beautiful thing began. 
But it didn’t start out beautiful. 
It started in the dark. 
The sun was shining. Things were at peace around me, quiet-
The dark was behind my eyes. My consciousness arose in a slew of twisted and demented thoughts, with no time to fight. Some thoughts, horrible and unnatural and twisted, others telling me that I’m a fraud, that every word I speak and every action I make is a lie I’m telling myself and the people I love.
I have tried everything I could think of to battle these black ideas. Chanting in my head and creating new images to distract myself, to even giving in and bracing myself for shame-
I’ve been doing this for ten years.
Wow. Ten whole years of this.
It was a hard morning, This January 1st, 2020. It was the epitome of my everyday struggle.
I don’t know what’s been wrong with me. I’m not any kind of psychologist, but I’ve been having panic attacks and doubts and things, and it’s been beginning to torment me every day, at this point, the second I become conscious in the morning.
This morning though, it was just one that had me defeated.
When my husband tried to comfort me, the lonely feeling that there is nothing he could do, nothing even I could do, it feels so. utterly. lonely.

I eventually got up got in the shower. I don’t know how many of you all have spiritual moments in the shower, but I tend to. I was so upset in that shower. I’ve never asked God, “Why haven’t you just fixed it??” Not angry like I was. I feel so trapped, all the time. I said, “how could you possibly fix this one?” But God told me that I would be okay.
Look, I know, it didn’t fix anything, but God deeply understood me. He knows what’s going on with me more than I ever could. He told me that this is all for the better of me, that he’s going to use this, and He allowed this so I can share who He is, how He has a plan to rescue me, and that this is the making of a beautiful story.
The beauty was that the first event of the decade- God spoke.
It was stirringly powerful.
I let it rattle the dark thing roaming my head.
This is the year, it dies.

MerMay 2019

Here’s all of MerMay 2019’s Posts! I did my own prompt list an I also got married in May so I obviously didn’t do every single day but this is the collection. I’m thinking about preparing a little sticker pack or something to put on RedBubble if anyone is interested.

 

A Love Story in Pictures

We met on a trip to an amusement park. His sister, Christina, is my best friend, and when she invited me to join her family to visit King’s Island I was of course excited to go. I love roller coasters and days in the sun like that.

I had met Joseph just once before, very briefly at Christina’s house at a New Year’s party, but during that trip I was I was pretty positive he liked me, but, you know, I liked him, so I just assumed I was reading into it and barely fancied the thought.

His sister and his dad left to go look for inner tubes at the wave pool, leaving me and him together for a while. They were gone looking forever, and so him and I float around together. He as very adamant about holding my hand or the handle on the inner tube and keeping me with him, which of course, I didn’t mind. 😀

Hanging out with my best friend about a week later, she took me out for my birthday. I saw on her phone he had text her and was asking about me, hoping she could ask me to come backpacking with them. It was enough I asked her how old he was… and she was surprised, and told me he wanted my number.

 

I got his number, and we were texting every day since that day, and calling every night not soon after.

He lived two and a half hours away for school, so we didn’t get to see each other except when he would come up for some weekends.

On that backpacking trip, we had a great time. It was my first one, and there would be plenty more to come. Hammocking, swimming in the river, catching fish with our bare hands, it was all so new and exciting to me.

He came up again for our first official date. We went to Applebee’s, were both visibly nervous and got the same thing to eat, then we went bowling- and it wasn’t even 7 o’clock. So we decided to go to the park for a walk.

I had worn heels (stupidly, unaware of the fact we would be going on walk-) so I just took them off and went bare feet. We did like three laps around the park though… talking, and my feet were hurting from the sidewalk. So he insisted on carrying me from the park bench to the car.

More talking on the phone late every night. It was something I loved, and of course he did too, it was a great way to relax, wrap up the day, and spend some time together as best we could do over the distance.

I was invited to go camping with his family a few weeks later. Christina and I rode with the parents and would meet him at the camp ground. Another great trip. We had our first kiss outside the camper one night. It was so incredibly awkward it was sweet. It was my first kiss, and I had no idea what to expect. But it was the first of many kisses to come 😀

Whenever Joe would come up, he would sometimes teach me to drive. For a few different reasons, I didn’t get the opportunity to learn very often. He was the best to teach me. His incredible patience with me and his willingness to push me even though I’m a bit scared is something I’m so happy to call him mine for.

The naps on the couch after church on Sundays were the best naps for obvious reasons. My favorite little memories while getting to know him were the moments like this. Just relaxing together and being a reminder to each other that things are okay.

He proposed February 2nd, 2019, at the same park that we had our first date. He tried to recreate the first date as best he could, so I saw it coming a mile away- so we were both sitting in the Applebee’s- all nervous and flustered like the first time. 🙂

He proposed on the bench he carried me from. Then honestly we both just sat in the car looking at the ring in shock for a while.

While we were engaged, maybe two weeks after he proposed, his grandpa had died. So Joseph drove up here to come travel with us to the funeral. But on the way, the weather was really bad, and he hydroplaned and flipped his car twice.

But he came out without a scratch. His car didn’t, but he was okay. Christina called to tell me, and it was the scariest call of my life.

He eventually got home really late. I thank God for keeping him safe, and bringing him home to everyone who loves him. I know God has incredible plans for that man, and I never appreciated the gift of him so much until that day I thought I could have lost him.

Our engagement was eventful to say the least, with insane family drama and a wedding being planned, his accident and so much more you all- but he was my best friend, my voice of reason, my confidence, and my peace through the whole thing. Lots of prayer together over the phone and focusing on a good time together while he was there.

Our wedding was May 17th, 2019.

I’m so happy I get to spend the rest of my life with the best man I ever met. He changed my life and me in such a short time, and it will all never be the same. I am more in love with my life than ever, and i keep falling in love with him more and more every day.