That's the reason you're here anyway, right?
I remember having a conversation with one of my young (underage) family members. He had been caught smoking marijuana, which is illegal in GA.
I had an issue with this. I called him and pleaded with him... "Find something else to do. Do something different. Everybody around you smokes weed, drink, and party all the time. Do something different please. Read a book. Go to college, get out of the hood (truth is, the hood can be a trap), move away and make a GOOD name for yourself. Get new friends and do something different. Get your passport and travel the world son. Do something different. Please!"
Most of my life, I watched people grow physically but remain the same mentally and spiritually. I watched people exist above ground but never live. I watched some go to church Sunday after Sunday without change. Religion with no relationship. The thought of publishing this makes me nervous. This is not intended to be offensive but to spark ideas, movement, and change. If it's offensive, check yourself, not me.
I have heard over and over again that if you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done. Sadly, we often believe that what we see is our destiny. We believe that where we were produced is where we must produce. That we must also bare the fruit of the trees around us. We believe that our circumstances determine who we are and who we are to be forever. That is NOT so!
So on THIS day, I speak healing, deliverance from harsh circumstances, and peace over the life of the person reading this. I speak life and that BY FAITH your feet will move FORWARD, no matter how tough life seems to be right now. KEEP WALKING! Crawl if you have to BUT COME OUT! I declare that you won't stay the same, that whatever God has in store for you that your faith won't just "believe" but it will cause you to WORK towards healing, work towards restoration, work towards better, work towards more, work towards relationship with the Father! IT WILL WORK!!! Faith doesn't just sit, faith MOVES!! By faith, MOVE; while knowing that God is with you, ordering your every foot step, protecting you and making provisions for you. I pray a spirit of boldness and faith into your spirit. So that you may do what God has called you to do because SURELY HE has not called you to be mediocre! In JESUS name! Be free!
STAND UP AND STAND OUT, IN THE NAME OF JESUS!
Let's talk about my grief counseling experience.
After months of grieving, I just couldn't recover from it. I found the thought of death frightening and every phone call from Georgia terrifying. I cried often. I looked exactly like what I was going through.
I finally decided in August 2015 to get help. I waited so long because I thought as a Christian, God-fearing woman I didn't need a stranger to fix my brokenness because I have Jesus. The truth of the matter is that God placed gifted people on Earth to be his eyes, hands, ears, shoulders, lips, etc. He put people in place to help. So I went to a grief counselor. She asked why I was there. I told her. My cousin and grandmother (both in the same family) died 3 days apart, 2 months after I had my baby. I was just getting back to work like two weeks prior. Life was moving on but I wasn’t. After a few sessions things got deeper and I found myself bawling through each one. I told her I felt guilty because Derrick died and then Granny; but it was like I just hurried Derrick away, buried him (in my mind) and then just grieved over Grandma. I also couldn't get the image of my Grandma's lifeless body lying in her bed out of my head. I remembered my aunt calling my phone when she couldn't reach my Mom. She yelled, "Get here NOW!" My mom lived down the street from Grandma. So I barely got dressed, woke my husband, grabbed my baby, and wrapped him up. I ran from Mom’s rear house to her main house and woke her and we jumped in the car to ride there. We pulled up and one cousin was in the yard crying, another I could hear screaming when I walked in the house. I slowly walked to Grandma's room and I remember screaming "NO!!" as I doubled over when I walked into her bedroom. I had been praying a selfish prayer that God would keep her here a little longer. I needed more time, more of her wisdom. I wanted her to spoil my baby rotten like she did my cousins'. She was the matriarch of the family and the big yellow house on the corner of Elm and Gillespie would never be the same. I cried out to God over and over in that moment, until I was numb.
Any who, back to therapy... The therapist told me that she wanted to try a treatment called EMDR because the reason I couldn't heal from the hurt was because I tried to push it to the back of my mind without dealing with what actually happened. She asked me to choose what I felt from a list. I chose "helpless" and then what I wanted to feel after our sessions. I chose "empowered." I felt like I should have been able to control these emotions and thoughts.
So what is EMDR?
It’s Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Most therapists use a finger, asking you to follow with your eyes as they move it side to side. She used a light instead, that moved in a side to side motion. She could remotely speed it up or slow it down. While I followed the light, she would ask me about the most painful memories. It brought out many emotions. She then asked me about good memories of my cousin and grandma. I did. My cousin was a jokester and Granny was the sweetest person I knew. I had great memories of them.
“At first glance, EMDR appears to approach psychological issues in an unusual way. It does not rely on talk therapy or medications. Instead, EMDR uses a patient's own rapid, rhythmic eye movements. These eye movements dampen the power of emotionally charged memories of past traumatic events.” –WebMD
So before being treated, I had to sign a form agreeing that I had no upcoming court dates in which I would have to recall specific events. I was concerned. "I don't want to forget them or forget what happened! I want to heal from it." She said I had nothing to worry about and I wouldn't forget. She was right. I didn't forget a single detail but I can admit that the EMDR treatments weakened the effects of the negative emotions.
I needed help. The grief was starting to affect the way I functioned daily and then I started to feel like people were tired of me grieving; but the truth is that there is not a time-limit for grief. Not to mention, I had to learn how to live with a new baby and how to live without those family members who left so abruptly. Grandma had been sick for a while but I really believed God for her healing. He is sovereign and had a different plan for her. Derrick was 35 and had just visited Grandma the night before he had a heart attack. Gosh...
I was able to move forward and grief no longer had that strong hold on me. I still miss them every single day and sometimes even cry on their special days but I have recovered and healed. I would highly recommend EMDR for anyone dealing with grief, PTSD, addictions, anxiety, or any type of psych issue.
P.S. It’s okay to get help. It doesn’t make you weak. Christian or not, there are people whose sole purpose in life is to help you when you need it.