Stepping out in to the storm

I had a plan to continue my story where I left off but I will have to come back to that.  I guess this blog will never follow a specific plan or timeline, because I am just following where I am told to go.

The other day, my cat and my dog were fighting.  They always fight but since the cat is declawed (and please don’t lecture me on declawing a cat, he is the only one we have ever had to do this to but it was for medical reasons), he has never taught the small dog a lesson to leave him alone.  He finally had had enough and got the dog by the throat and was going to do some damage.  I said if he does it again, he has to live someplace else.  It happened again.

My husband loves that old grumpy cat.  There was no way he was letting him go live somewhere else.  He was not home when it happened.  I knew this was going to be a large argument before he even got home.  I sat and waited for him to get home, in a depression, from the fear (there are only two basic emotions, love and fear, as I mentioned before), that we would be fighting like cats and dogs over a cat and a dog.

I did not go to God and ask Him how to handle this.  I did not let it sit and figure something out.  I was afraid.  I hate confrontation when it comes to my husband.  And lately, our communication has not been going well with all the stress of the hurricane, and a million other things.  I sat and worried about the confrontation and the argument.  Are you seeing where this is going?  

I stepped right out into that storm.  Just walked out of the Love and Peace in Jesus, and out the door and into the storm, like it was easy.  My husband walked in the door and got hit with it.  He didn’t make the dog and cat fight but he got it anyway.  In my mind, he had not stopped it either.  I had tried, I had worked with the dog but if only one side is behaving, this will not work.  But when my husband said he did not want to talk about it anymore, I kept the storm raging.  I followed him when he left the room.  I wanted a solution, and he did not have one, which just made us fight.  He did the only thing he knew to do and he left, with no phone, and not saying where he was going.  I have a panic disorder and gastroparesis.  This kind of thing will just make me sick.  And I did it anyway.  I stood in that storm like I had no idea there was another option, and I let it rage all around me.  

I did not sleep that night.  I knew he got home a couple hours later, but I did not sleep.  I am not sure he did either.  Let’s be clear, this was over a cat and a small dog fighting; not children, not a crisis, but a cat and a dog.  In hindsight, it seems beyond ridiculous, but at the time seemed like the most important thing because we were not at peace, we were not in God’s loving hands were we would have perspective.  Fear ruled the moment.  

I calmed down first the next day and discussed the whole incident with my friend Kay, and she did exactly what I needed her to do.  She did not take my side, and tell me that I was right.  She just listened and helped me figure out why I would do what I did.  And remind me that we are all human.  We make mistakes.  

Then I went to Jesus, on my knees, curled up in my bedroom closet, where I know no one will disturb me, and I confessed to Him all about how I had not had the faith to stay in Him and trust Him, but  took this silly problem on myself and messed up so much.  I asked for His forgiveness and prayed that my husband would forgive me too.  And I forgave him for leaving me, which always freaks me out.

It gave me such a clear view of how stupid worldly problems can be.  Preachers can preach, and you think they have it all figured out, but they do not.  And someone can know how to fix a problem and still do exactly the opposite.   I have to listen to what I already know, to stay inside….there’s a storm out there!!! 

If you would like to contact me please use the contact button at the top.  I read all emails sent to me.

-Sandi

The recent rough patch (Part 2)

Oh wait, this is exactly what this blog is about NOT doing.  I will give you a little more information because it is when I made a realization, but making a list of all the things that happen around you as an excuse to be angry, or scared, or unmotivated, is exactly what NOT to do.

To quote Dr. David Jeremiah in the book Overdrive “When someone strikes out at you to hurt you with an evil act or accusation, don’t curse it; don’t rehearse it; don’t nurse it – but do reverse it”.  He was discussing revenge at the time but the ‘rehearsing’ it part is where I can be the worst.  I can run the bad things over in my head to the point where they become what I remember the most, and not the good times.  They become my excuse for the behavior that God would disapprove of the most.

To finish the story in a short way, my husband and I had our identity stolen at one bank.  One quick thinking customer service representative realized something wasn’t exactly right and she called my husband while the thief was on the other line.  We did everything we were supposed to do change password and logins, give phone passwords, other forms of identification to lock this person out, but because they had so much information on us, they were able to continually sweet talk another customer service agent into letting them in.  We were playing a game of whack-a-mole with some very smart person in Maryland (were the credit card copies went).  Imagine if this person would use that amazing brain power for the good of humanity and not just to get our bank account.  

After that I had more issues with getting my temporary feeding tube replaced because my surgeon was no longer available.  In the end I was told to go to the Emergency Room again and force their hand into putting in a new permanent tube.  

After two ER’s in the same day, a very nice Nurse Practitioner told me that the surgeon said he could see me the next day in his office.  But without realizing it, my fight/flight/freeze mode had gone into fight.  Purely out of survival, but it was stuck.  I was rude to her, and she had a look on her face that I had not seen in years. I had promised myself never to go into fight mode again.  Years of being terrorized had caused me to do damage to others for the excuse of survival.  

I went back to the waiting room and told my husband about it and he said, you should just take the appointment.  I went back and found the NP and told her that I had had been rude and I had no excuse and that I was sorry.  I would be happy to take that appointment and clear some room in the ER for other patients.  She said she could not make me take and form of care I did not want, and that is why she had that look, but she would make the appointment and was very kind and helpful after.

I went home after and hadn’t quite fully come out of this mode yet.  This was not the full shock I needed.  I actually started to argue with my husband, who is nothing but supportive and helpful.  He did not say what he was probably thinking, which would have been rude, but as we started to argue I started crying and realizing what was happening.  I told him, I think I am stuck in fight mode.  He said, well, I told you that you had been snippy lately, which is his polite was of saying what he could not say.  I had to see it for myself.  I had to come to the point of needing to fall on my knees and ask for forgiveness and help from the Lord before anything was going to change.  

The next morning, I tend to wake up about an hour or more before any alarms go off, and this is my quiet time, my time to talk to God, or listen to Him.  In the next entry, I will tell you how the blog came to come into existence.  

If you wish to contact me, there is a contact button at the top and I try to answer all emails.  Thank for reading.

And the thunder continues to roll……..

The recent rough patch (Part 1)

I start writing this post while looking over the devastation after Hurricane Micheal gave us a direct hit here in Panama City Florida.  That was the beginning of the rough patch after we had just moved here in May.  Luckily, we had evacuated just as the storm started.  As some saw on the news, we had very little warning that it was coming and even less to decide when it increased in size and speed to become a killer storm.  I had just had a feeding tube surgically placed and was no longer in the hospital but my feeding pump would need to be charged daily, and all we had was a small generator.  We knew that when it became a category 4, increasing to a category 5, it would leave us without power for at least 2 weeks.  I had already been through a storm this size in 1998, during Hurricane Hugo in Charleston, SC and knew it would not be good.  My husband has also been through his share of natural disasters.  We left and stayed with my sister and her husband until power was restored.

 (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Thanks to the power crews that came from all over the country, it was back up in 10 days.  They were a blessing, working day and night, and living in tent cities.  They even had to clear roads just to get their work done.  

When we returned, we found our house to have taken little damage, other than the neighbors large castle playhouse on our back porch, taking the fence and railing with it, and the usual damaged roof and siding.  Our house was livable, unlike so many.  We were blessed. We had no gas stations, no grocery stores, no pharmacies.  The GPS would take us to roads that no longer were passable but had no way to understand we needed to redirect around those roads.  We were new enough to the area to not know how to get around and even the natives were confused at times.

We managed to find an open grocery store in the next town, clean out our refrigerator and freezers of all the rotten food and get supplies.  Water had to be boiled before use but that was not too difficult.  Water in bottles was being handed out all over town in cases, thanks to the generosity of people all over the country.  

We started helping neighbors, my husband with a chain saw and I helped at the church food bank.  We dragged limbs and picked up trash and debris.  All around us was the zombie stare of people with every kind of problem imaginable.

Soon we ran out of our normal medications.  One of mine is a Class 4 medication for a panic disorder.  I cannot go without it.  My doctor was both homeless and office-less at the time and nowhere to be found.   The pop-up clinics could not fill any Class drugs with no history on the patient.  I went from one to another trying to get help, but was only told “I don’t know what to tell you”.  I was getting to my last few and it was getting scary.  My husband thought of the VA.  We are both veterans, and next to the VA is also a Navy clinic.  The Navy clinic saw me and filled the prescription, one week at a time.  They did not want to clean out the little pop up pharmacies, that were really semi trailers.  But for the near future, that problem was under control.

My feeding tube had just been placed on August 31st and the tube still in was a temporary tube used for healing.  It was made of rubber and tore.  I went to the Emergency Room where it was originally placed to find that the hospital had been heavily damaged.   

Bay Medical Sacred Heart Hospital

The surgeon could not replace it because the supply building was deemed contaminated and as you can see in the picture, there was nothing left to work with.  The surgeon, his nurses, and I tried to hold the tube together with everything from tie wraps, to paper clips, but two days later I woke up in a pool of formula.  Back to the Emergency room, but this time at the other hospital in town.  They replaced with another temporary tube, which needs to be sewn to my stomach to hold it in place, while I am awake.  I went into a seizure. 

This was just our first two weeks home.  We also noticed that the news covered it nationally for about two days, and once the fires in California started, we were forgotten.  People started saying “that still hasn’t been cleaned up?”.  In reality, this will take about 5-6 years to rebuild, and the trees will not grow back in my life time. And every day I was praying, asking for prayer from friends, and every day I felt like it only got worse.

Please feel free to contact me through the link at the top.  I try to answer all emails that I receive.

Next comes the identity theft…….And the thunder rolls.

I am not qualified

I can just see you looking to the bottom of the page to see where it shows  my qualifications.  I have none, at least not in this area.  I am not a Pastor, or a PhD, nor have I any experience in any form of ministry.  So there is no point in looking for that little box at the bottom that shows that information, it is not there.

I can only say that I got that “calling”, that quiet little voice that told me to do this after a rough point in my life. I first thought of a friend of mine, Holly,  who has had a tougher younger life, a greater understanding of how to cope and is also a writer.  Maybe God missed her and got me.  She would be much more qualified.

He reminded me that there is a book full of people who were not qualified to do what they did but they followed what they were told to do.  That book would, of course, be the Bible.  I am sure Noah did not know how to build an ark, and thought he may have lost his mind when he was told to do it….”what? am I hearing voices? This is crazy!” but he did it.  When David made the decision to go down into the valley and face Goliath, there had to be a split second when he thought, maybe there is someone else that is better qualified to be doing this, but he knew that no one was coming in his place.  Moses must have wondered when a burning bush was talking to him.  I could go on, there is a book full of examples, but for now I will leave it at that.  

Mine was not an ark, or a giant, or to divide the Red Sea, but to write.  Hmmmm, how bad could it be?  I would rather scrub the kitchen floor with a toothbrush than write, but if God says write, I will write.  At least it will be on a subject I am more than familiar with.  An explanation of that subject and why the blog is called what is, will come in the next entry.  I just wanted to save you, the reader, the time and effort of looking for my qualifications.

My qualifications are that I am a woman who has had a tough life, but a blessed one as well.  I graduated from the school of hard knocks, as salutatorian….my friend Holly, whom I mentioned earlier would be better qualified was valedictorian.  I love God and follow His directives whenever I can find them.  And I know that Jesus is my personal Lord and Savior.  That’s all I got.  (I actually do have a Bachelor’s degree and I was a high school Algebra teacher, was in the Navy for 4 years, and raised 5 kids, but none of that is what anyone would be looking for here).

I hope you enjoy the blog to come and understand where it is coming from.  Directly from my heart and  I am letting my fingers be controlled by a power much bigger than me.

Photo credit: Pastersponderings.org (not affiliated)