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Amanda's Blog (273)

How much heartache there is in the world

It's been raining the past few days and many areas close to the river are under flood warnings. 



Yesterday was stormy, hot, and humid, and it seemed more like summer than spring time, but, today, it was much colder and the rain, too, was cold, as a slow and steady drizzle of it fell all day long.



Just typical April showers, but the grass in the fields is turning green now, and all the buds on the trees are beginning to grow again. Their branches are so amply filled with… Continue

Added by Amanda on April 14, 2015 at 10:30pm — 9 Comments

Faith Crushing Fear

I feel stranded in the feelings of hopelessness and futility.



I see myself slowly deteriorating.



My life has been nothing except dominated by failure.



I'm not healing from the past, not winning the battle, not climbing over the mountain of fear and shame.



A better future is just unimaginable.



I have faith crushing fear.



Jesus once asked, "Why do you strike me?" (John 18:23)



When we are hurt, we might want to know why,… Continue

Added by Amanda on March 24, 2015 at 12:05am — 5 Comments

Meeting with many trials ...

Last Thursday afternoon, it was sunny and clear and the temperature was much warmer than in previous days, rising towards the 60s from having been below freezing only a few nights earlier, and I decided to go into town to take care of some errands.

Since Thanksgiving, I’ve written six letters to one of my older brothers, who has chronic progressive liver disease…

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Added by Amanda on March 15, 2015 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

You've no reason to praise Him?

Last night, during TheNET praise and prayer meeting, when asked to share a praise, I found myself looking around helplessly, trying to think of something to say. I felt nervous, but, this morning, upon reflection, I realized there was more to it than just anxiety, as I was remembering having said, "A praise? So much is wrong. I don't know."

Yet, when they were gathering up prayer requests, I was able to share, fairly easily, three personal appeals for divine help.

 

Today, it…

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Added by Amanda on March 10, 2015 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

Difficult Situations

Do you ever feel inferior to others?



I do.



It's more than not feeling adequate or suitable.



I feel inferior for defects that seem impossible to change and are the results from experiences that were psychologically damaging and emotionally scarring.



I know my deficit is real. I think some of it is leftovers from the helplessness I felt as a child, and some of it is from events that have happened to me as an adult.



The only thing I know to do… Continue

Added by Amanda on February 28, 2015 at 9:56pm — No Comments

Outside Looking In

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Added by Amanda on February 24, 2015 at 11:00pm — No Comments

"Why do you never pray this for you?"

There are times when I just want to shut out the world and I spend a lot of time alone, just wanting quietness. I've read that there's nothing wrong with it, as long as you don't make it a regular thing. It can even help you find a balance -- whatever that means. (I'm taking a guess, but, I think it probably means, in my case, as opposed to being unbalanced). 



I have made it a daily thing. I seldom want to be around people. 



Last night, temps dropped here to -22 with wind… Continue

Added by Amanda on February 19, 2015 at 2:30pm — No Comments

But it's not even what I wanted to write about.

These days, a lot is being said about selfies and their possible links to narcissism, mental illness, even psychopathy, but actually, no matter what taking them and posting them might be really saying about us, good, bad, or ugly, selfies are nothing new in human behavior and the social environment. 



Selfies have a long history.



A brief google search reveals that many artists have painted self portraits, not only modern artists, but ones who lived as long ago as the…

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Added by Amanda on February 17, 2015 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Both can be right

Most of the time I want to be just by myself. I've tried talking to others only to discover that no one really understands what I went through and some even forget what I share, which, when that happens, whether it's true or not that they were listening, I don't know, but it feels like they weren't listening, let alone understanding, and it feels like passive rejection, but maybe they just have too much of their own stuff going on for mine to really register with them or to really mean anything… Continue

Added by Amanda on January 28, 2015 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Loss can become the center of one's life

Will it ever stop hurting? 



Maybe you are wondering.



I wonder.



Most people who have experienced a loss, no matter what it has been, has felt a pain so severe that it seemed unendurable. The suffering, sadness, and crying can appear to be bottomless and eternal.



The loss can become the center of one's life without one even realizing it. 



It seems like a loss never occurs singularly, but many losses come in a big bundle, all wrapped up… Continue

Added by Amanda on January 15, 2015 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Holding all of the pain tightly inside ...

I've always had a way of losing myself in my thoughts and my emotions. 



Emotions can be so strong, over-powering, difficult to manage. It's easy to lose oneself in them.



Shutting off your feelings is an emotional defense against pain and loss, and I've used it in the face of so many struggles and so many losses, so as not to lose myself.



I learned, at a very young age, how to put a lid on grief and loss and all the other negative emotions. It seemed like the… Continue

Added by Amanda on December 31, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

How could I enjoy myself when others are suffering?

Have you ever wondered how it's possible to be at peace and still enjoy things when there is so much suffering going on around you?



I remember always feeling this way, even to the point of wondering, when Dad was terminally ill, how could I possibly enjoy so much as just having a hot cup of coffee with a warm danish while someone so close to me was suffering?



I've always felt bad because others were feeling bad.



I suppose it's sympathy, but it means I suffer…

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Added by Amanda on December 18, 2014 at 8:00pm — 5 Comments

A ship with damaged sails ...

I can feel myself beginning to shut down, again.



It's happening, almost just like before, when a series of negative events occurred, and I couldn't stand up to the stress from the challenges in my life, and I gave in to depression.



The feeling is like being a ship with damaged sails, just casting adrift.



It's like that phrase that is often said where one will "freeze like a deer in the headlights" not only unable to move, but unable to think clearly or make good… Continue

Added by Amanda on December 6, 2014 at 11:30pm — 2 Comments

No way of knowing ...

One of my brothers is terminally ill. I have seven brothers, five older, two younger. He is second to my oldest brother. 



He has chronic progressive liver disease and is not a candidate for liver transplantation. 



His health has been gradually declining for several years, but such is the case for those diseases that cause organ failure.



I saw him on Thanksgiving Day, while visiting my mother.



He was using a cane, but was unable to stand for any length… Continue

Added by Amanda on December 4, 2014 at 5:00pm — No Comments

I can't relate to them.

Although I have kept asking to know Him better, I've been growing further and further away from God, not closer. 



I have heard others describing their deep and meaningful relationships with God, their growing faith, their immense love, but I struggle with the feeling of being cut off, being forgotten. 



My heart echoes the sentiment found in this verse, "I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” Ps… Continue

Added by Amanda on November 29, 2014 at 9:30pm — 2 Comments

There's nothing anyone can do ...

I say them often to myself. 



Those words, I wish I was never born. 



It's a negative message that I received as a child.



I wish you were never born. 



It remains with me.



There's nothing anyone can do to change the past, or to remove its pain, or to fix the damage. 



As I was praying, during the early hours this morning, I acknowledged all of it to God, and especially that it can't be fixed -- the damage. It's done.



I… Continue

Added by Amanda on November 23, 2014 at 10:30pm — No Comments

I won't be able to do this in my own strength.

Last evening, it was more of an introduction for new volunteers, than a training session, which I attended, and the speaker, a licensed clinical social worker for the advocacy agency committed to helping victims of domestic violence, shared information about their mission and ways that they help survivors heal, as well as the dynamics of abuse, warning signs of violence, and how to respond.



The meeting was held in the conference room at the shelter, which is located on a farm, fully… Continue

Added by Amanda on November 12, 2014 at 11:00pm — No Comments

I'm praying for courage ...

Whenever I begin feeling hopeful or joyful, even in small ways, I also feel I am waiting for inevitable bad things to happen.



Always, it seems that the one event that brings joy is linked somehow to the other event that brings a trial, and even when the joy is very light and small, the trial is very bitter and hard, and, all too often, it will consist of more than one problem.



Nonetheless, I have to press on. I mustn't turn back.



I've asked God to come into all… Continue

Added by Amanda on November 11, 2014 at 7:00pm — No Comments

I wonder if He means me ...

As I sat alone on the sofa, tonight, I noticed a bright light starting to shine through the cracks of the closed window blind, hanging on my front door.



I peeked through it and then stepped outside the front door into the chilly air.



The moon was rising in the east, a full round disc, right behind the empty, dilapidated, old farmhouse that sits, noiselessly, just across the way. 



Its ruins to most are an eyesore, with shattered window panes and rotting… Continue

Added by Amanda on November 7, 2014 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Makes me want to withdraw inside and isolate from life even more ...

What a blustery and rainy November day it has been, with falling leaves rustling and swirling through the air and the cold wind scattering and scurrying them across the ground. 



The trees are almost bare now and the grass in the fields is turning brown. 



What a dismal day. 



What a dismal mood. 



Nature can push its discomfort onto me. 



I'm easily influenced by weather. 



Cold makes me want to withdraw inside and isolate from life… Continue

Added by Amanda on November 6, 2014 at 7:30pm — No Comments

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