Grief

Yes we are here again at grief. The youngest has gone to his rehab program only to get dis regulated and his bipolar component to get out of control. And so I grieve. I weep for his struggle, even though he goes to work daily it is not a walk in the park. I grieve because the voices remain, even though they are calmer. I grieve over the highs he experiences because it makes the lows so very deep. I grieve that the medicine which once worked so well and kept him stable , is no longer effective and the dosage has been increased. I grieve that yet another medicine has to be added to his already complex regimen and I wonder how much his body can take of this chemical mix and not revolt with some unforeseen side effect that may appear.

And I grieve because NO ONE AT ALL UNDERSTANDS. “He looks good”, He smile is so good to see, He really looks healthy” and yet all the turmoil is occurring in his brain. Yes, he does look good, yes I love his smile too, yes he is doing well with his exercise regimen and his blood work is within normal limits. BUT THAT DOES NOT STOP THE TEARS, NOR DOES IT HELP THE SADNESS THAT PENETRATES MY HEART AS IT BREAKS OVER AND OVER. 

This week one of our church members lost her grandson in a car wreck. This child was about the same age as my son. I feel their grief , their son is forever gone from this place and he leaves a hole in the heart of parents and grandparents. I do not envy their journey, but I wonder how to do this journey of grief when the youngest is still present, still here and yet the weight of a different kind of grief overwhelms me and tears flow. What do you do with this sadness that continues on and on and up and down. Today is a hard day, tomorrow will be a hard day for those who have to bury their beloved son and grandson, but what is it when you have to bury a dream daily. What is this type of ongoing letting go ??

So today through the tears I am thankful for the Rock, to which I cling. There is nothing else . The letting go is hard so I dream no more it is too hard to grieve a dream . If you don’t dream perhaps there is no grief, but I think this is false.  God is faithful, God is good all the time, God is present to the broken-hearted  , This I can say without doubt and This I must say daily because He is present, He is faithful, HE IS SOVEREIGN.  Amen

 

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Onward again

The youngest has had a rough month, and yet he continues to get up, go to work, and do his daily exercise. I am sure some days he does not feel well. He is being closely monitored by the clinical people and yet his depression has set in. So another drug was added to his already full regimen. I am not really happy but that was not my decision, and my son says “if it helps then so be it”. I understand that the clinicians do not want him to be in that place of such dark depression (today is a purple day) kind of depression, but the more drugs you get the more likely the reaction or interaction with one or more.

So I am left just sitting and praying and trusting  the doctors do know what they are doing, that God is in control and that all things will work for the good, but I admit my unbelief takes over . So today my prayer is for fresh belief, fresh starts and fresh thoughts to take over to be placed with a new trust, a deeper trust one that no matter what happens I can still rejoice in the Lord, knowing that He is good all the time. Because He is Sovereign, He is faithful, He is trustworthy, He loves me, He is good and has my good in  his thoughts and actions all the time. Sometimes you just have to preach to yourself because the circumstances say something so very different and God is present even in our unbelief, so help me Lord in my unbelief and console me with your presence today. AMEN

Step by step

After two doctor’s appointments and two medication changes, we are still at issue with the voices. Yes they are still there,  but thankfully they are less distracting. The youngest has done one full week with his job ( no holidays, no snow, no missed days). And while the voices are still there, he is coping. I am in continual awe that he gets up , goes to work, comes home and does his exercises and moves forward. Perserverance is the word that comes to mind. His dad took him grocery shopping on Saturday and at some point he said “ I think I am getting taller” and his dad told him he thought he was right.  In reality he isn’t, but what has happened is that he is standing up straighter, walking with purpose and moving forward. Perhaps no one else sees these little steps but I do. And like Mary, I ponder these things in my heart and keep them there with prayer daily.

so today my prayer is for each tiny step, seen and unseen. Each tiny step with God right there beside us, moving what seems ever so slowly but is in His time and for His purpose. I am thankful that I am on this walk with Him because I know that in my own strength and knowledge that I would be one big fat mess. So I am thankful that He is Able. He is sustaining, He is faithful and He is loving. AMEN

SNOW, SNOW, SNOW

64B33199-F3D3-4CA3-8951-A85B1E1FCFF2And snow it did. I was particularly concerned because the youngest was to see his doctor on Wednesday and the snow was to arrive on Wednesday. And it did what the forecasters had said was 4-6 ,we got 12, and while it was lovely coming down , it halted everything. Fortunately the youngest did get to see his doctor as his appointment was early before the big blizzard.

He was still hearing voices, but after talking with the doctor, they decide that a small (one pill) increase in one of his meds was the best option. And the voices stopped. We  are thankful.

The snow continues all day and it was still snowing when I went to bed. Work got cancelled for the youngest and by Friday he was feeling down. I suggested that he and his roommates go out and build a snowman, or at least get out. He admitted that he and one of his roommates were not doing so good, but later he felt better. We could not get out so no rescue there. By Saturday we had some melting, though the icy spots on our rural road made driving hazardous and there were several cars in the ditches. Hubby got out and carefully went to the store and back. The youngest was out walking about town with his roommate, and asked if we could get him to the store for some supplies. Hubby went and got him. He got his groceries and went back, he had already done his laundry for the week. His biggest complaint was not working. I told him to hang on there were no more holidays until Easter and he would be okay.

Today it is bright and sunny. We went not able to have church due to snow in the parking lot and the road was still a bit icy. But I am thankful for this Sabbath. This rest day of melting snow and bright sunshine. Not everything is perfect, but at least the sun is shining, the youngest is coping with his new situation, and his new friends. He is getting used to the new dose of medicine which keeps the voices away. Can I be joyful in trials, today the answer is yes. This may or may not remain. But today I am thankful for the Lord who sends the snow for a while and then sends the sun (which I like much better) to melt the snow. Thankful for the team that go the youngest to the doctor before the snow, thankful the youngest willingly took his new dose, thankful for the warm house and no frozen pipes. Thankful for the pot of soup that is cooking in the crockpot, thankful for all those who prayed for the youngest and for the voices to stop. Thankful for gainful employment for when the snow passes the youngest will have work to do that will empower him, and boost his confidence.

So today my prayer is one of thankfulness and gratitude. The road is long and we need to preach to ourselves daily that our God is ever faithful, ever-loving and ever- present. I am blessed AMEN

Pots

Last week the pots which bang continually in my son’s head returned. This is not what we had hoped for but were prepared for it. He went to see his doctor on Monday, today is Wednesday and the pots are still there. The prayer team and warriors from around the globe and internet are praying for his relief. And yet the pots still bang away. He however, has not missed any work continues to get up, do his work, his exercise though I am sure it makes him extremely tired. At least the weather has abated  and we are no longer below freezing, Praise the Lord.

This morning I got up and did my usual prayer of  confession and protection and I was struck by the thought that I should guide my son a little bit. He does not want to up his dose of the one medicine that has in the past stopped the pots and voices. I get it, he had a seizure when on the higher dose, but today I texted him and asked him to consider just going up a little bit, 1/2 of one pill a mere 25 milligrams , which I believe would relieve him of his pots. I just made a suggestion, coached him to talk with his doctor and not to wait too long because pots are inherently not a good thing.

I continue to tell him that getting into a new routine takes time, and persistence and I am pleased he is still doing his job. But today my prayer is for him to release his anxious thoughts about increasing this medicine, to advocated for himself, and most importantly for the pots to stop their incessant clanging. It makes my head hurt just thinking about it. I know that God remains in all thing , over all things, and through all things, that He is present and capable and always works for good. Amen

New beginnings

So the youngest got off  on Tuesday, today is Thursday. What an adventure!!! We took him off to work , it was 20 degrees. Now that may be normal where you live but in North Carolina it is frigid. He called Monday night seems there was an issue with his meds,but that got sorted out and now he just has to get used to the routine. On his own , getting up, going to work, coming home, doing his own meals. Am I concerned, yes, a little because he has practiced all these skills but not for long and I do so want him to succeed.

Last night it snowed, I figure that maybe the good Lord is doing a throw down of the worst stuff and if the youngest can get through the worst stuff then the rest can be a piece of cake. We spoke with him last night, he was tired and that is a good thing. He wold us that his work kept him distracted from his issues which is also a good thing. Sometimes thinking is the worst thing you can do, mainly because you can get trapped into that downward spiral of worst case scenarios and all your confidence just floats away like a whiff of smoke on a windy day.

I love my son, but I can also love him into a sickness of dependency and that is worse. It is hard to see him struggle. We all want our kids to have an easy way but we are not designed that way. Without some adversity we wouldn’t use our brains. Without something to push us we wouldn’t develop our muscles and gain strength. I have to believe that this experience for the youngest is strengthening  him in ways which he could not be strengthened if he remained at home.

So today my prayer is for him to gain confidence, strength, discipline and courage. And my prayer for me is to sit on my hands and remain in prayer for him, but not intervene because he is capable, he is guided by good people and he is loved by the Lord who is a rebuilder, refiner, Helper and who loves which an everlasting love.

So I will keep Jeremiah 31:3-4 in mind today for the reassurances of being loved with an everlasting love, and for the assurances of being rebuilt, thanks be to the Lord of all, who remains immutable, in all things, over all things, and through all things. AMEN

2017 a year in review

January started out in LIMBO and proceeded into Feburary with a Boom and preserverance, March the voices returned and there were transitions. By this time we were still struggling with social skills and sitting in the nursery at church rather than in the congregation. I can hardly believe it was this year. It seems like ages and ages ago and the youngest has made great strides praise the Lord for all His bounty. April it seems I was contemplating acceptance of this situation and the choices we were making and the voices disappeared ( I give full credit to all my prayer warriors who were alerted and began praying quickly) within one week of them returning. They still seep back for short periods and when things get a little off kilter for the youngest, but he realizes that they are not permanent, threatening or debilitating as they had been in the past. Another Praise the Lord moment here!!

In May we started over still trying Daily to get back into society and for me it was a struggle of not knowing if I was doing the right thing or not but I just put it in the Lord’s hands and did my best. And in June we got some transitions going along with some accountability and a little boost from some volunteer work the youngest had done. Thanks to the support of those persons who accepted the role of mentor in a small but significant painting job. July was hot and humid and we had some surprises like his anxiety blowing up on us and some grieving to do. I still don’t know what to do with the grief sometimes because it just creeps up on you and the tears flow. We also got caught and diminished , no , not really because the Lord is the Lord who magnifies all little things into great things. We saw the eldest, the son-in-Law and the grandson off to a foreign country so that was truly a change of seasons

September saw little things turn into a miracle and followed by October with the youngest turning in his application to a residential vocational rehab program, and can you believe it when just 10 months ago he wouldn’t or couldn’t be around people, I am still in awe of the amazing power of The Lord who heals.  There were October birthdays and moving forward days and slow step by step progress.

November the youngest went for his trial visit, succeeded and then the wait. We had the holidays of course and a deep-fried turkey which the youngest helped cook -delish, yummy. And excitement as December rolled in with the news that he could move in January 2 for his residential visit.

I actually am pretty amazed at all that has happened this year and the last few days this verse has come up on my devotions. Jeremiah 31:3-4 “I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt.”  And all I can say is Amen and Amen because I have been blesssed with this everlasting love, This unfailing kindness and This rebuilding. Has it been easy, no, is it a miracle, yes. Did I know what was happening in the moment, no but looking back I can surely see the hand of God in all this mess of life after all He is One God the father of all who is in all things over all things and through all things Amen and thank you readers for your prayers uplifted I am sure they were heard and if you ever doubt God is present just review the year and sit in amazing grace and awe of what has happened . Happy New Year, the journey continues.

In wait, a trial of patience

So we are in wait again, as this Advent season has come upon us, we are also in wait for the funding from Vocational rehab to come through. The Advent Sunday’s celebrated in my church are Peace, Joy, Hope, and Love. As I reflect on them I also reflect on this path which has brought the youngest so far. No the journey was not easy, no it is not over,yes there were many times when I did not find peace anywhere around me and my house was so full of anxiety that it actually smelled (stunk) of the stuff.  But God (love that phrase) in His infinite wisdom and timing works things out. Continue reading

Unwinding, decompressing, learning

So the youngest completed his 5 day trial stay, successfully. The director called us on Friday to let us know that they had identified ares which they could work on with the youngest, that he had shown what they needed to see in order to participate in the next step and that we were to pick him up around 3:30. It was all really good

so we went and got the youngest, he was meeting with the jobs counselor. This is also exciting. The group there works to find jobs for those who are in the program and matches them, coaches them, gets them to work, appointments and other things as they progress through the program.

When asked how it was the youngest said he had learned a lot. He learned that work is good for everyone, all the people there are good, serving people, that the worst didn’t happen, that it a structured program “which I like”,and that he wants to go back. When asked what was the hardest he said “coming home from work” because there is time to fill and he wasn’t allowed to take his laptop. He continued to do his exercise even though he was tired,working different muscles, pushing mowers, loping bamboo, raking leaves and generally working. So all in all positive steps. Minor things included their medication stuff and after one email from me and the director, it was straightened out.

So returning will happen probably after Thanksgiving if the funding goes through Vocational Rehab, which it should. There are phone calls in the meantime and some questions to be answered , but not major ones. So we have about two weeks to get things sorted, and we have gotten him a small crockpot lol. Because after all you can only eat so many peanut butter sandwiches. He did very well, I knew he could do it and I am thankful that this program is close by and far enough away. It is such a blessing!!!

so my prayer today is that the youngest begins and continues to feel the successes of this past week. That the people at this place will feel appreciated and continue their good work. And again a prayer of Thanksgiving for all the doctors, counselors, friends who have prayed me and my family through this journey, please continue these; these prayers they strengthen me and sustain my family. And most of all Praise to the Lord, the Sovereign Lord, who is and was and forever more shall be AMEN

Quietude, or calm before the storm

Today is the day. Hubby and I took the youngest off to the assisted vocational rehab place. It is a short 10 minute drive from our house, but this trip was five years in the making. And it is a miracle. When we first got the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder we were (or perhaps it was just me) overwhelmed, confused , distraught and way, way our of our comfort zone. And in the five years we have moved through all the stages and perhaps some not thought of before of this step but sometimes slow step miracle. It is a miracle and today I am thinking about hope.

When we started this journey we were blindsided by the complexity of the mental health system, stymied by the medical and insurance stuff, and confused by all the information and sometimes misinformation that we received from practitioners as well as internet resources and even from the National institutes on mental health. After a year we switched doctors because after the second hospitalization we needed to do something different and I am ever so thankful that the Sovereign Lord placed Dr. P. In our path. The first day we met she said something like this to the youngest “ I know you don’t have much hope now, but I want you to know that I have hope and if you will work with me then you can have some hope of recovery also “ . I have to say it still brings tears to me eyes and joy to my heart because this doctor took the step to shine a light into our dark place and offer hope.

these days with mass shootings happening all too often make me think that people are out of hope, lost, alone, scared, angry and they too could use a little hope, a little light on their dark world. I think rather than more regulations on gun control we need more access to hope, to genuine concern for our neighbors, and easy access to mental health help, less insurance interferences better coverage for mental health and just more Jesus in everyone’s life.

now how do we get that, we start with a little hope. That hope that grows from the fact we are deeply rooted and connected to the rootstock, grounded in Christ and the Sovereign Lord. This isn’t a request it is a command that we as Christians stand up and go. That we go to all nations and all people and show and tell them of the Christ the one true Lord, who is in all things, over all things and through all things.

My world was squeezed down to nothing during this illness, but now it is once again expanding. Yes, there will be troubles, trials , blips. But my hope is grounded in Christ and rooted in the word (the Bible) and my hope is that somehow I can share that hope with someone who is in that dark place like I was when I was offered hope.

Thanks to all who have said prayers over the youngest and for our family, please continue for this journey is not over but has begun anew with hope. Amen

so we heard from the youngest tonight, he worked on the lawn crew, said he had a little trouble but that it was ok, got his groceries and was fixing his supper. Keep up those prayers this is a miracle that needs support from all angles , thanks for reading and praying