The struggle

The struggle is wanting a forever companion but no desire to marry or even date.

The struggle is wondering why I started with that. Most likely because I miss living in a community. You see, I moved from the Southeast to the Northeast (or is Michigan Midwest?) a month ago.

The struggle is choosing to vulnerable yet not knowing who or where to turn to do so.

The struggle is knowing the thoughts and worries you want to be vulnerable are most like irrational and what’s the use of talking about the irrational.

The struggle is claiming people as my support system but not being direct on what I need from those particular people.

The struggle is facebook deleting a message that I had planned to send to those that I claim as my support system.

The struggle is fighting numbness and to fight to be honest and vulnerable with myself.

The struggle is realizing that anxiety has decided to come back with a raging fire after taking a month long vacation…or maybe it was a business/strategy session on how to attack my mind.

Do know that I thankful that I got a job with full time hours and soon to be benefits within a week of being in Michigan.

Know that God has confirmed many times that He has called me to Michigan.

 

Advertisements

Might have found a church to call home

I visited Courage Church which is a little church in Mexicotown of Detroit  on the fourth day of being in Dearborn. My roommate was working so I decided to walk 5 miles because when I googled Assembly of God churches in Dearborn, that was the closest that popped up. The wife of the pastor was preaching that day and she said a lot of things that confirmed God calling me here to Dearborn. Unfortunately my roommate works Sunday mornings and I probably could take the bus but I was really hoping to find one closer.

The next Sunday, my roommate and I went to Floodgate where my roommate has attended a few times. The problem is that it is 45 minute drive away. I really enjoyed the worship and the word given was about transition so it was obviously something that struck a cord in me.

While walking to work on my first day, I passed by Springwells, an Assembly of God church, that is less than a mile from my apartment. I told my roommate about it and she said she passed on her run that evening.I decided to go to check them out on a Wednesday night. I wasn’t sure what their Wednesdays looked like so I found out they have bible study. We went through a few verses and broke down each verse. Questions were welcomed and referencing verses was expected. There was good conversation and questions asked that I would have never thought of.

Sundays at Springwells happen in the evenings. Sunday school is at 4 then dinner at 5 with worship following at 6. This past Sunday, the worship service was spent in prayer since it was 9/11 and they wanted to pray for our country, the Muslim population, and other issues that are going in the world.

Springwells is a missional church which means the pastors raise their support. They minister to the Muslim population in Dearborn. I don’t know the percentage but I know the majority of Dearborn population are Muslims.

I am praying about what part I am going to play in ministering to the Muslim population through Springwells church.

Pulling weeds while thinking it’s the root

The hardest but sometimes the best thing to do is just let go.
 
I have always struggled in friendships. I somehow only know how to be a best friend and have no idea how to navigate any of the other stages. I dive in head first into the deep end without looking back to see if my new friend joined me. I have set my standards and they seem unattainable.
 
God has been revealing that some of my standards and expectations should be only held for my future spouse. I have never been close to my siblings or parents. No one is to blame. Busy schedules and different interests didn’t help. I think un-diagnosed mental health issues add a whole new level. I know that my family loves me [and I love them] but I have never received emotional support or felt a connection. 
 
I have been searching for the connect, the sisterly bond in friends. The majority of people have great family connections who are their built in support system. I have received financial support but lack the personal, emotional support that every human hopes to have.
 
I told a few people that they were my support system but didn’t explain what that meant. That is because I didn’t even know where to begin or how to explain what I needed. I am still searching for that answer and how to explain to those who I have chosen to enlist as my support system.
I am doing good. I have felt complete peace since entering Michigan and God has been good. God is continuing to allow me to see the parts of myself that needs to be worked on. He is showing me the root of my issues slowly. I keep pulling at weeds thinking I had pulled the root. God has been gracious to allow me to work though the weeds to get back to the root and try again to pull the root out.

Fully trusting God’s plans

A door opened for me to move to Dearborn, MI. A door into many uncertainties but God has confirmed that this door has been clearly open by him. I am not much of a planner and have the soul of a free spirit. Now, that doesn’t mean I am just going on a whim and not trying to plan as much as possible.

God hasn’t given me a picture of why He wants me there but I learned a long time ago to just say yes when you feel God calling you to do something or go somewhere. God has always blessed me in the times o f obedience.

I will be staying with a World Race alumni that I have not officially met but World Race alumni are family. Megan Czerwinski has a dream to start a non-profit to work with teens who have been abused or dealt with addictions and use art therapy as part of the healing process. I love the idea of art therapy and even consider it as career before God called me to go on the World Race. I don’t know if I will be able to part of the non-profit but that was the first sign that I felt God give me about this being an open door.

The second sign I believe God gave me was the prices of the megabus to Atlanta and a flight to Detroit. I researched prices for megabus, greyhound, amtrak, and flights. Sometime last week when I checked last week, a flight to Detroit on August 17th was $89 pre-tax. I checked today and it is now down to $49! Praise God because I was expecting the flight to be over $200/300. The cost of the megabus is $10 right now.

IMG_1672

I only screenshot the price for Monday, August 15th but the cost is $5 for every Monday of the month of August.

IMG_1671As you see above, flights are $49 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I applied for a seasonal job at OfficeMax in Mobile so I might be leaving later in August that the 15th. I am going to call tomorrow to figure out the details. I will update this blog as needed. I might post a blog of updates. Not sure right now.

I have been looking at LinkedIn at possible jobs in Dearborn and in Detroit which is about 15 minutes from Dearborn. The city transportation options seem better than Mobile’s so that is a plus and will help a lot with expanding options for jobs. I applied for an admitting position in a hospital in Detroit last week so hopefully timing will work out.

I plan to get involved in ministries that reach out to those who are,  have been, or vulnerable to getting trapped in the system of human trafficking. Yes, it happens in the US if you somehow have been living under rock. It might not be in a sweat shop or in front of bars. I want to also reach the men who pay for services of the people are trapped in the human trafficking. I also want to reach out to the bar owners and the ones who own/are in control of those trapped in human trafficking.

There is a big Arabic/Muslim population that I would like to get involved in a ministry to ministers to that community once I get settled in and know roughly what my work schedule will be like.

There are many uncertainties as you can tell but I know God does not open a door without provision. I am not saying I am expecting for God to provide me with a flow of finances. Although I do believe that if I am being faithful in saying yes to where He is calling me that everything I need will be provided. Yes, I may only eat roman noodles for a while and work somewhere that will not help give me experience for doing something in the mental health field but I will not go a day in lack.

Fund the nations designed a shirt for me to sell to help me get to Michigan as well pay living expenses until my first paycheck. The money I will get from (hopefully) OfficeMax will go towards finances that I still have in Mobile.

Here is what the shirts look like:

Elizabeth Nettleton Shirt 2

The cost is $20 and offered in sizes XS-3X. They said they run a little snug so if you can’t decide on a size, order the larger size. I will need money before I order the shirts so I have set up a venmo account.

The verse below the Adventures Await is Isaiah 55:8-9:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” declares the Lord. “As in heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Please keep me in your prayers through this whole process. I am the kind of person does well living in the here and now so I am excited to see what God is going to do in Michigan and in me in the coming years but it hasn’t hit me that I’m leaving Mobile in a little more over a month from now. I don’t think it’ll hit me into I’m in Michigan and been there for more than a week.

Also, my lease is up at the end of this month and there is already someone that is moving into my room in August. So please be in prayer about me finding a place to stay until I leave Mobile. Anyone have a room/couch that I could sleep in/on for a couple of weeks in August?

Do you have a hard time saying yes or fully trusting God when there are uncertainties? Are you willing to move somewhere you never thought you would on the feeling that God clearly opened a door for you there?

Mental health

God is in the business of redemption and restoration.
He patiently works his way through out stubbornness.
He allows us to go though messy situations.
He allows for not so great things to happen.
He allows us to struggle
So that our faith will be strengthened.
So that the world gets to see His glory.
So that we fully rely on Him.

He gives patience.
We squirm like a little child.
We want things instantly.
We want things to go overall smoothly.

We have become entitled
Thinking we deserve a good family.
Wisdom and knowledge to do well in life.
Even thinking we have the right to the bask necessities.
All of these are privileges.

God has given us grace
So that we get the chance to have these things.
We take for granted all that God has allowed us to have.
Especially in first world countries.
The majority have the basic needs:
Shelter, security, clean water, and access to food.
We even get pleasures such as education, clean air, and enjoyable food.

These are not bad things but
Since most of are born with these things
And do not know what is like to go without.
It has caused to strive for more, for better.

Having access to all of these things
Are a way of not seeing the internal struggles.

Mental health has been stigmatized for far too long.
Mental health has been the scapegoat for too many tragedies.
Mental health is not supposed to be bad.
Mental health affects other parts of your body other than your brain.
Mental health is as important as physical health.

Mental health problems are not a result of sin or lack of faith.
Seeking help shows strength and boldness.
God gave knowledge and resources so that
Individuals could help others through struggles.
So that there could advances in medicine
To help with imbalances in the brain
Just like medicine can help kill cancer cells.

 

Have I found my resting place?

My automatic response to when connections seemed to no longer be bounded is to run. I have run from church to church, group to group. Some happened suddenly and some happened slowly over time.

I am tired of changing churches when it seems like I am worthless and a burden. That has unfortunately has happened too many times. I don’t want to say specifically what happened at each church because it doesn’t matter.

I don’t even want to talk about why I have fought to stay put at the church I am at for the majority of the time I have attended. I have been there for a little over two years.

I haven’t gotten the chance to directly experience what the family that is called the church yet. Maybe my expectations of a church family is too much. Not exactly sure where they all came from.

When people talk about the church family, I hear things such as living life together, being there for each other, willingly to walk through the dark and hard times with each other among other cliches that many who have attended church have heard.

I have noticed that people are good at doing those things when it is with the people you know are have known for a while.

I get it. It can be scary to go the unknown. To be willingly to go through things with people you barely know through dark times. It is hard to try support someone who hasn’t experienced direct support.

I don’t know why I have such a desire to be active in a church but it’s there and I have been searching. If that desire wasn’t so strong, I would have left the church the long time ago and would have given up trying to finding one.

I do have an amazing community in RUF.

I know one of my major flaws is that I don’t open up to others when I am currently suffering or in a dark place.

I have tried not saying certain things because I don’t want people to make quick conclusions. I write blogs because I don’t want to be a burden to anyone by sharing what is going on. i choose to share personal things [to an extent] on this blog so that people can choose to hear about my life if they want. I don’t want to force someone to have listen to me.

I don’t want to be a burden.

I know that my mindset isn’t in the place to seek people out. So this is my plea for you to reach out. I know some might think I am seeking attention and if you gave it to me that it wouldn’t help me. [I don’t know] I’m pleading for you to reach out because I am not exactly sure who to trust. Even if you reach out, I might be hesitant to tell you anything. I ask you to keep at it. To be patient. To keep getting in contact with me.

I know that this seems to be putting pressure on people and that I might be upset if you don’t reach out then I will somehow lash out. I am trying to get better at how I handle disappointments. I know I might have accidentally or subconsciously purposely called people out on here without specifically naming the person or group; that is how I coped. Sorry to the people/groups who I have done that to.

I wish I could say I was strong enough for it to just be God and me but God didn’t create us to be alone on earth.

I have gotten so much support from RUF and it has helped a lot.

Unfortunately I am still struggling to go to people in the moments of anxiety and depression but working on it. Please pray for me doing this time.

I know there are others out there that have felt similar. Know that you are not alone. Seek help. Speak out.

Struggling to learn when and how to let go

When entering friendships, I tend to latch onto the ones where there is a connection. It takes a lot for me to walk away. I am usually unhappy for a good while before I choose to inflict anymore hurt onto myself by continuing to put myself in situations with friends.

I struggle with the fear that I will never be able to commit to anyone if I choose to run therefore I stay. I think that is honestly why I am okay with being single. I also fear that I enter an abusive (verbal, emotional, and/or physical) relationship and won’t be able to get myself out.

And there is how I feel about myself most of the time:
-Not worth anyone’s time
-Not worth anyone’s heart
-Not worth sharing my time
-Not worth sharing my heart
-Not worthy
-A burden
-A failure

Truth to the lies that are the cliché Christian answers with reality:
-I am adopted but still have past hurts as well a lot of issues.
-I still have a brick wall up; even between myself and all the stuff I have not dealt with because I cope by distraction and avoidance.
-No matter how much I dislike that the thought, I may need to revaluate the timeline of the next few years
-Sacrificing your possible happiness/feeling complete is not worth this pain or frustration.

I know I am not the only who struggles with these things. My stuff might be different from others but we all struggle with something. Some are more willingly to be open about their struggles while others protect with their life; so let’s be understanding of how each other decides to share. Let’s be open to differences.

I’m struggling. Repeating the cliché crap isn’t helping. It’s actually making it worse.

The worst thing is that sometimes, I’m not in control what happens in my brain or what happens to my emotions.

Unmet expectations met with contentment

Expectations can make things seem exciting and fun but when they are unmet; we become entitled. I have always thought I grew up not really having many expectations.

I never made a list of things that my future husband needed to be or have. There is nothing wrong with that and I do need actually write out what qualities I want in a possible future husband. I never set an age to be married by but now that I am 25 and never been in a serious relationship has caused me to have stints of longing to be in a relationship.

I am content in my singleness. I still have a lot to do. I have to finish my undergrad, get my masters, and my doctorate. That is just the education side. I want to work/intern somewhere to get experience before I apply for graduate school because I know that my GPA isn’t great and I will need experience with a great recommendation in order to be considered.

I am not saying I couldn’t date and eventually get married while doing those things but my focus right now is my education and doing the things needed to get me to the point to be able to be hands on with victims of sex trafficking.

Part of the journey is being content, even joyful in the expected circumstances that don’t look good in the beginning.

I recently moved into a studio apartment that is in the back of house turned store. No one is in the store right now but in October, there will be a salon. I found this place through a college acquaintance, we’ll call her Katie. I had seen the place once before a couple months back. The formal move in day was today, August 11th, since I had to be out of my previous apartment on July 31st;  let me move my stuff and live there. It has been about a week and half since I moved in. Katie didn’t start packing until last Wednesday and finished this Saturday.

Katie rarely slept at her apartment when she lived there. She stayed at her boyfriends for most of the time. Just to give an example, here is the kitchen and fridge. Her boyfriend cleaned most of the dishes that were in the sink. The fridge still looks like that. I plan to clean it out later today.

Katie had a hectic scheduled with work and playing shows almost every night. For about the half day on Saturday after she left, I was really frustrated that place was a mess and it wasn’t my fault but I still have to clean it. I could choose stay frustrated and angry about the situation but there isn’t anything I can do right now. I do need to find a way to a store to buy cleaning supplies, cat food, and some kind of allergy medicine.

No, I didn’t adopt or get a cat; Katie kept feeding a stray cat so it still comes by therefore I have a cat. I need allergy medicine because it so dusty from it not being cleaned or lived in for a while.

Since there was no way to clean dishes and Katie hadn’t packed everything up yet, I didn’t want to take my kitchen stuff out of the box yet. So Friday morning, I had cereal in a coffee mug. I do like how this picture looks and it is a good snack size. : )

ceral

I will probably become frustrated again as I attempt to clean the kitchen and eventually the bathroom. Oh yes, the bathroom. Okay so like all the other southern states, this past winter was crazy cold. When it got to the lower temps, we all made sure all the faucets were dripping so that our pipes wouldn’t bust. Katie did the same for all of the faucets except the shower. The pipes didn’t bust but the shower isn’t usable. It is set up with a bathtub so I could take a bath. I wouldn’t right now because it needs some deep cleaning. Therefore I have been taking bucket style showers which take a lot more work than a regular shower.

Yes, I did take bucket showers on the world race but that was when they were an expected activity. This is main thing that I am having a hard being content with. Yes, it will get fixed by the step-dad eventually. I wished I wouldn’t get frustrated with something like having to take a bucket shower.

I have joked about shaving/buzzing my head. Don’t worry, I won’t.

So if it looks like I haven’t showered in a day or two, it is probably because I haven’t. I am been telling myself that I need to go back to washing my hair every other day. Three days is the most my hair can go without getting a wash as right now without looking too terrible. I need to invest in a hat very soon.

I guess I am frustrated with the shower thing because I want to go and apply places but I don’t want to pour cold water on my hair and body every other day. I highly prefer hot showers.

Then again what do should I expected from place that is $250/month plus utilities that comes with a bed and a couch.

it is really crazy to realize how entitled I sound especially with all the craziness in Iraq and Ukraine.

I always find it interesting to discover what expectations I have once I have started or gotten into something. I never do realize them until I am already in it.

Are you in a place where you need to work through some unmet expectations? Have you started to become frustrated with the littlest things? Ask God to reveal the parts that are good while you are in this not just to fix the situation.

Raw vulnerability

I don’t like myself but I do love myself…I think.

I have come to the realization that I am pretty independent because I had to be. I unfortunately need others but don’t we all. I think I either act independent or completely the opposite. I haven’t found a middle ground or at least I haven’t been able to be content in the middle ground.

You could say that I have a high value on friendships; maybe too high. I can’t seem to figure out where the boundary line is between friendship and relationship. I have ruined many friendships because of this flaw.

I’m always in a vicious cycle of trying to figure out how not be fully independent but not be too needy or too selfish. I fear if I speak up about feeling excluded or some other idiotic thought that I will sound needy and come off clingy. I know people choose to stay in your life and care about you because they listen as well as stick around.

Or is that I make myself stay around and become like a leech. I then find myself becoming annoyed by how I am acting. I then do this. Write blog. Not sure if that it is a bad thing but I need to get better at face to face, even talking via text or facebook. I don’t know how to hold a conversation.

I seem to know how to listen or I know how to share all my problems but not listen In friendships. It is always one extreme or the other.

I don’t do well at keeping friends and I guess I have always blamed myself for that but never enough to figure out the reason or at least never cared enough to work on it.

I don’t know if I should ignore that I am starting sound a little bipolar or not. I don’t know if there is something else going on or if I am overreacting. I don’t know what to think. Maybe I should I just pray for God [and not go see anyone] to give me clarity and pray that I will focus on the present..not the past of the future. And that I will not think about where I should be in life. I want to pray that I will eventually desire what most mid-20 something singles do; a relationship, a family, to be settled but should I. Probably not. Probably should be praying for guidance to the root of all of this.

Is there point of being too vulnerable? If so, I think I reached or most likely passed it with all of this.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter! It is sunny outside and feels wonderful which is why I hate to be in this emotional state. I hate seeming unloved or unwanted or anything that is opposite of what I am.  I got to go to a church where many of the members know me and care about me. I know that I have an amazing church family. I got serve this morning by helping in the infant-toddler room during the 10:45 service and it was a blessing. It is a blessing to spend every Sunday during Sunday school hour with the 3-5 year olds. They are so precious and I see God’s beautiful creation when I am with them.

You see, I know God is a good God. I know that he is my comforter and my peace as well as my father. I know that he loves me and that knows what’s going on. I know that he is the one that has the completed puzzle and I only have pieces that I have been trying to put together. It is a jumbled process. It’s a humbling experience.

So, I truly do hope that everyone had a blessed and wonderful Easter!

Beauty from ashes

I am bold.
I am strong.
I am confident.
I am brave.
My faith is the strongest it has ever been.

It has taken me years be able to make those ‘I am’ statements and actually believe them. No, it hasn’t been easy and it won’t be getting any easier. It’ll most likely get harder. I expect to endure attacks but I also expect to see the mighty ways of the holy spirit. I live in the expectance of having to fight the devil off. I know I am not alone in this fight, angels are standing beside me.

If I don’t live in this manner, then I will most likely be knock down quicker, longer, and more often. If I don’t, then I won’t be able to discern the reasoning for that current struggle. It might be my struggle or someone else’s struggle that I need to be interceding for.

I may not know what I believe on some of the important doctrinal issues but I do believe that God has saved me and continues to pour out his love and grace onto me; not much else matters. [I’m working to figure out what I believe on some of the doctrinal issues though.]

My faith has always been pretty strong. I seriously find it crazy when looking back on everything that I still gave the church many chances. I find it crazy that I still believe in God’s plans for my life when I have only gotten glimpses. I am marveled at how faith works but never enough to look into it. Then again, that is what faith is; believing in what you cannot see, know, or understand.

 I am thankful, humbled, and joyful that God brought me to Moffett Road Assembly of God. It hasn’t been perfect but what church or group of people are. It’s been fun getting to know the lingo.
Funny moment: It took me about a month or so to realize when people said ‘MRAG’ that it was the abbreviated form of the church name. I thought it was the name for the fine arts competition, but that is just called fine arts. Ha ha, I know.

But in all seriousness, the people of Moffett Road have been His hands and feet to me. They have opened their ears and hearts to me. I have told many of them but this community is the first one that I felt that I am actually part of. I feel that I am part of the family and it’s truly amazing to realize that I have felt this way fully since January and I haven’t even been here for a year.

To get a little bit vulnerable [and random], today has not been fun. I woke up to feeling heavy for no apparent reason. I sought out the possibilities but couldn’t think of why I would have been in a sad mood when I haven’t thought about most of the things in a while. I asked God for strength and discernment. None came. The heaviness got worse. I ended up laying in bed for hours. I tried to figure out what to do with the heaviness and why I was feeling this way. A few things came to mind but no solution. I have been in the state of depression most of the day.

I don’t claim to suffer from depression but from what I have heard, read, and seen of depression; that is what I felt.

Yes, it’s only been one day but it has helped me feel and know how debilitating depression can be.

I truly think this day of feeling depressed is either an attack or a feeling of someone else’s depression that I need to be interceding for.

Side note: It is hard to live life without most likely having a person’s voice in the back of your head. It’s hard to fully believe God and fully commit to Him when you have the words of other’s opinions and ideas.
Quick examples I had a hard time writing the last part without having a few people’s voices telling me that not everyone has gifts of the Spirit or not the particular gift of a feeler.
I noticed that I might have annoyed my roommate who is a grad student studying exercise science [or something close to that] by thinking that most of the time I talk to her, I might talk about some symptoms of some sickness or a physical pain. I feared that because of feedback I once received.

I write that side note because not just those two experiences but many others have caused me to be more careful with what I say and to who I say it to. Words are powerful. Words can put a label on someone or cause someone to not be bold and go after something. So please be cautious with what you choose to say. I know I struggle with this but I am working on it.

Okay, now that I have moved topics twice; I am going to end this.

I have to be reminded of whose voice and opinion matters. He has to keep placing his arms around me when I want to run or when I want to grab my roommate’s alcohol to become numb. I have to let His grace rain down upon me. I have to pray for strength.