A glimpse into moving cross-country and starting a new job

I have been in Dearborn, Michigan for two weeks now and it has yet to sink in. I felt complete peace since landing into Detroit airport and have felt all the time. My anxiety and depression aren’t as bad as they were. I am not saying that I am completely healed but I do feel that God has protected me from feeling extreme depression or anxiety.

The day after I got here, my roommate and I worked as quality control inspectors at an auto parts place. It was mundane but we got paid above minimum wage and worked 9 hours.

I spent the next week walking to places around and applied online to a few places. I got a call the same day as applying. I got the job the day after the interview. Today was my third day working at Panera Cares. I will be getting full time hours. All of this was an answered prayer and confirmation that God has me right where He wants me.

Panera Cares is a partner of Panera Bread and functions the same but customers are able to pay a donation. So they either pay the amount that it actually costs or less if they cannot afford to pay to full cost or more to help offset those who cannot pay the full amount.

There is a bus that runs near my home to Panera Cares but I have very limited funds until I get paid early next week. The weather been really nice so I’ve walked home the past two days. I have been thankful that my roommate has been able to pick me once and dropped me off a few times.

On my home today, I got distracted by some of the natural beauty that surrounds the roads. Here are some pictures I took with my phone on the way home:

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I am not sure if this happens a lot but one of the perks of closing tonight is that I got free mac and cheese.
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I ate most of it before thinking to take a picture.

My roommate and I tried a burger place that is walking distance from our apartment. Can anyone guess the reference?img_1852-3If not, that’s okay. I didn’t either until my roommate said something about it. Here’s a hint:

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Here’s a little humorous sign that was there as well.
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I went for a run the other day and my split times for the first two miles were pretty good. I usually run a 12 minute mile so I was pretty proud of myself for running a mile under 11 minutes. I am also proud that all my miles were under 12 minutes. I ran a total of 4 miles without stopping. The weather did feel great that day. It was definitely fall weather.

While on my run, I  ended up running to something about Henry Ford which is not that surprising that me living right outside of Detroit.

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img_1875-3The past few days have been pretty warm but not as humid as southern Alabama. There was a short, little storm yesterday while at work that made me chuckle and reminded me much of Mobile weather.

Thought I’d post a blog of things I have been wanting to post about but hadn’t. I realized it was enough to write a blog. I hope you enjoyed this little snapshot into my life currently. I might try more. We shall see.

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Handle with tender loving care

It’s easy to forget how bad it sucked to be in a bout of depression when things are going good. I think that is a good thing because why would you focus on bad moments in your life when life is treating you well. What not remembering doesn’t help is when trying to explain those dark times in your life to people who had been there but didn’t recognize that you were struggling. This isn’t me placing blame on anyone. Please do not read this paragraph as that.

It’s been about a month and a half since my first bout of depression while on anti-depression medication. Anyone should know that one of the side effects of anti-depression medication is suicidal thoughts and sleepiness among others that it is supposed to be helping stop. The medication was not the cause of the bout depression occurred from complications with financial aid kept on piling up on me.

I couldn’t be mad at anyone in the financial aid office for me taking to so long to seek professional help for my depression and anxiety. I can’t be too upset with myself for not seeking help sooner. There is no one to blame. Depression and anxiety doesn’t allow for realistic perceptions of life.

It is hard to change how you deal with things when you’ve spent your whole [or the majority of] life coping a certain way.

With school being out and yet to find a job, time is not good for non-dealt with issues that was put on the back burner because the routine of school with a somewhat packed schedule and organizations that were at school. Issues that you and your mind need to wrestle with and some issues involve talking to people. They involve discussing tough topics with people in your life that you’ve been bottling up.

It’s hard to try to describe my depression pre-medication as well as that first bout of depression since starting medication. I literally had moments where I was too tired of not being to change my mindset, thoughts, or emotions from racing thoughts and untrue thoughts from replaying in my mind. Even though I knew most of the thoughts were exaggerated or complete lies, there was no way of redirecting them.

I was tired of trying and trying yet always failing. Failing with school work. Failing in friendship aspect. Failing in any relationship aspect. Failing at having a plan.

God made me resilient. He made me overly loving and gave me the love to want to know people. God made me with a huge desire for community. God gave me the desire for someone to share everything with but not the desire to date or marry. This desire was for a best friend which I know that a significant other is that. For reasons I have yet to figure out, God gave me a desire for friendship, not a dating/marriage relationship.

I am starting to wonder if I treat every friendship like it’s relationship and that is where troubles/issues arise.

In moments that I have felt like that world is against me, I’ve thought about messaging/calling friends to come be with me but I don’t because I think I fear that would be asking too much. I will think about how much they might be stressed about school, work, other people in their life that might have priority, so many other things that I consider are more important than me. Or I know how irrational my thoughts are and I don’t want to bother anyone else because of the same reasons that I listed above.

Well…that’s a little bit what is in my head yet I am afraid to share with others.

 

Looking back on how God has changed my desires for His [part 1]

….or at least what I think they are as of right now.

In high school, I did have crush and when I did…I did the dumb thing and approach the boy. I guess I was too impatient and too annoyed by the rules that I was supposed to follow.

I haven’t had a constant desire to be in relationship but there are moments that everyone gets when they are lonely or it has been while since they had been in a relationship. Well, I assume everyone gets those feelings.

I usually have about a 2 week stint of feeling crummy about not being in a relationship every once in a while but it is not constant.

I had  a thought as I realized that I prayed the prayer I have tapped on my bible everyday then it would loose meaning.

The prayer:
“Jesus,
Whatever you say, I believe you.
Whatever you do, I trust you.
Wherever you lead, I will follow.
I devote myself to you above all others.
I give up all my desires and pursuits for yours.
There is no cost too great for being your disciple.
I abandon everything so that I may come after you.
For you alone are worthy.
Amen.”

I felt that God reminded me of I have never constantly desired to be in a relationship with a guy. I am not sure if this means that single for the rest of my life but if so then I should find joy in that. I shouldn’t be trying conjure up the desire to be in a relationship because that is the norm.

I have learned that God rarely works in the norm. God likes to blow us away by his provision.

This does make me question my long-time desire to adopt and in the recent years [probably 3] to become a foster parent.

Now combining that thought that I may not be destined to be in a relationship or married and knowing the importance of not raising a child in a one parent home then how can I have the desire to adopt and be a foster parent? It doesn’t make sense.

The thing is I don’t have to know the answers. It doesn’t to make sense now. I know God’s plans are far greater that I could ever imagine so I trust Him.

I am just now getting to see more of God wants me to do career wise. He broke my heart for human trafficking in high school. He gave me a desire but no means to go to Cambodia to work with the Somaly Mam Foundation. He let me sign up for a 4 month mission trip that focused on human trafficking but in the end, took me on an 11 month adventure. I got to do ministry in the red light district of Chang Mai, Thailand.

This past January, 6 months after returning from my adventure; God revealed to me a specific dream. To somehow help set up a specific part of trauma counseling specifically for sex slavery victims.

This past week, I discovered a university where I can get my masters in counseling then a certificate in trauma counseling. I have been searching for a programs but was struggling.

God gives us desires and glimpses of His vision but doesn’t stop there. He leads us on the path.

The thing with the relationship that I mainly desire friendship. I have friends all over the place. I am having a hard trying to figure out balance with the one good friend that lives in the same city I do.

I have always struggled with balance of what friendship looks like and what co-dependency looks like.

I somewhat feel like I have tainted view of friendship. Or maybe I’m just holding too much onto the past. Maybe I haven’t let go of past hurts like I thought I had.

Maybe I form expectations that are too high for anyone to reach and don’t realize until after.

The crazy amazing thing is when God redesigns my desires.

I wasn’t looking to move off campus…I was just going to deal with the fact that I was going to be moving in with a complete stranger and hope that it not being the summer and more stuff going that it would be easier to meet people.

God had someone else come to me and ask me to live with them.. Funny thing is she was supposed to be my roommate this summer and was kinda of bummed when she moved out because of finances. She was graced by the opportunity to live with her pastor’s family. We will have one more roommate.

I can’t wait to see what God does but I am trying to get too excited and think about what could happen because I am fearful of having too high of expectations and be self-destructive.

What I am not sure of is; is me thinking that I put too high expectations on people true or is it a lie that I had been told?

JUST HAD A REVELATION…

God took me back to March 2011 and reminded just how close I was to wanting to be done. That moment only lasted maybe an hour but it was extreme. 

I was tired of feeling like a revolving door. I didn’t know how to be a friend. I really didn’t. I saw the definitions with others and their friendship. I just couldn’t grasp the concept. I was socially handicapped an no one told me.

In March 2011, it had been 4 months since a friend was out of my life without a word [they just left, not dead]. This friend was like the 6th friend at college that I had lost touch with in 2.5 years. That’s a lot of people to go through. I should also point out that I went to college that had less than 600 students.

If I wasn’t in class, I was in my room. I am pretty sure I neglected working on papers too. Let’s just say I was mess but became so numb before I even lost touch that last friend that no one noticed a difference. Actually, that just shows you how not close I was with everyone.

I am not even sure why it take unitl March for me to have somewhat of a break down. i reached out how I always do and posted a note of facebook. That week did show me that people did pay attention to my facebook.

I can be honest and say that the last friendship I had was not healthy. I am pretty sure that I really did treat her like people dating would.

The thing, I really don’t know the difference. I haven’t seen healthy friendship or relationship so I really didn’t know how I was supposed to act as a friend.

I am saying all of this because God revealed to me that I was completely broken and crying out and only wanting it to be me and God when I signed up for the race.

I really did have a severe jaded view of community and friendships. I think I knew there was possibility for me to experience good community.

I was numb and somewhat depressed.

i can’t remember how God brought the world race to me this time. I had heard about it once before two years before. There was a human trafficking 4 month route. I didn’t submit the application until May 29th, probably was hesitant and possibly may have had to wait on money. Anyway, I spent the next week or two looking at blogs about stories of redemption in the bars or what was going on in the red light district.

I had the interviewed and was accepted the first week of June. I pretty sure it was Wednesday when I called to confirm the cancellation or the trip then to ask if I could go on the 11 month one. They said yes.

I didn’t much time think about it because while I was on the phone, my work called and I had to go to work. I remember then joining the facebook group and getting overwhelmed by the fact that I need $3,000 in like a week or maybe it was less and all the gear that I thought I needed. I searched for training camp blogs but since it is better for you to go in with no expectations and no little as possible, I found nothing. i also went to Chattanooga for a few days with my sister and mom to see my now brother-in-law, Darrell. Long story short, I didn’t have time to read blogs on teams or what actually world race living looked like,

I also didn’t know anyone to ask about the world race. Every question that a family member or friend asked, I replied I will know after training camp.Yeah, nope…all I had was the experience of the Holy Spirit, listening prayer, and hearing tongues for the first time. But I welcomed all of that with no problem.

No wonder no one wanted to supported this crazy thing I did.

I did feel like I made a connection with one girl but of course, she wasn’t on my team.

To get to the point, God reminded me that he was slowly working in me to fight the fear of rejection and just started working on me trusting people again. God showed me that I was more focused on Him and me, not my team which was okay.

He let me focus of the busy schedule of ministry we had that month and let me take me baby steps of letting people in. He let me see that amazing community of Hope Church in Dragensti-Olt, Romania so that I could know why fellowship and discipleship is so important. He let me use my servant’s heart.

To be honest. I didn’t realize how much of a distance I put myself from my first team.

God is reminding me that those first three months was for me to see what community looked like from the outside. I actually got to see what it meant to truly serve one another. I got see what another one encouraging another looked like. I got to see how sisters are supposed to be to each other. I got to see what loving a friend/sister looks like.

God let me see what community looks like so that with my next team. I could try to put it into practice. What I learned got challenged when one left without any prior notice. It broke trust and change team dynamics. God showed me how a community builds from being shattered.

Sadly, after 4th team change; community started to look different. A bad outlook had formed.

I ended the race knowing what community was suppose to look like. Sadly, I came off the race from a shattered community.

I began to go back to my old ways of becoming numb.

What God reminded me of tonight was that I started the race completely broken with him slowly working on me. I can’t let what others thought or said of what I was like at the time get to me.

God reminded me that he put me on the race to show me true community. And now, I know what to look for.

To be continued…