Losing… It!

I’m losing… it. The storehouse of faces I’ve loved. Those voices I once heard whispered in my ear. Those unmistakable laughs. Those unforgettable moments I was dying to tell. Those corny jokes told again and again, but I loved the one telling them. Those little arms that came along with little smiles and wide eyes. Those exciting and luring moments that seemed too hot to forget. And all of those things that made me who I am… by knowing who I am… and knowing who I am not. Memory. That’s my it. So when I say I am losing… it, I am not joking. I am losing… my memories. I am losing… me.

It sounds so selfish to say it like that. But, Lord, how can it be selfish to be concerned about my heath. It’s not healthy to lose everything you have done in me to make me who I am. I am going to lose all of that as well. I am losing the verses, the hymns, the parables, the commandments, and the beautiful love letter your Son left us in the book of John. Worst of all, I am losing everything I know about you, your Son, and your Holy Spirit. My reason for living.

My friends used to call me “human rewind”. I was the one who remembered birthdays, anniversaries, and even phone numbers and addresses long before cellphones. I could verbally playback songs, note for note, ooh ah for ooh ah. I made extra money on jobs because of articulation, pronunciation, accentuation, and remembering the details of products, customers, and all sorts of info. I was given leadership roles in work and college organizing resources of information because I had pleasure (really a need) to keep things in some form of order for immediate access.

By your grace, I memorized countless bible verses, even chapters. You allowed me to memorize the whole book of James. I knew the ten commandments fully. I knew the books of the bible, new and old, in chronological order. I learned so many hymns, in their entirety, not just their popularity. I was asked by church to do a writing ministry because I was already sending cards for birthdays, anniversaries, new babies, weddings, graduations, get wells, and just because. They offered to keep me in supply of stamps, cards, and whatever I needed as they handed me a directory and told me to let them know whenever I found mistakes.

Now… now I’m lucky if I can finish a conversation without fumbling, or rambling, forgetting, or sounding like the high school drop out I was (my high school teacher, who was teacher of the year with NCAE and our school several years running, urged me to quit school to get my G.E.D. and go on into college in fear I was getting bored with school), or a nervous rambling wreck unable to at least keep my focus on topic. I find it extremely hard to remember the simplest of things if they’re not written down. Even then, I have to remember they’re written down already, or at least put a note where I hope I will see it. And my editorial skills, well they speak for themselves.

Friends and family are hurt that I cannot remember their special days, even more by my asking them to write it down… again… and again. They are offended by my writing the same notes I have written again and again over very personal matters, some that they only entrusted to me. They ask me not to write any more. I have not been the one who everyone comes to for everything for quite some time. They no longer trust my wisdom, my confidentiality, or my ability to be genuine.

Most days, I am struggling with medications… having to take them, having to trust them, and having to be careful of them. A couple of years ago I only had a couple of prescriptions to take as needed, which wasn’t often. Now I take 9 to 11 on a daily basis. Some I take more than once a day. I have to be careful discussing this because we have family/friends we have to hide meds from. So I have to hide them and remember. I have to write down what I take so I can remember when they’re due, and catch myself before I accidentally take meds on top of each other, and sometimes when I have already taken them again it gives me a window of time… to know when I’ll be ok. As long as I get to write these things down, it helps.

Lord, it’s hard. It’s scary. It’s depressing. It makes it easy to give up, especially when I see the hurt I put on a face, or when I disappoint those I love, and I mean disappointment that sticks for life, the kind I know from my own personal experience, and to know there’s nothing I can do about it. On top of this, losses in my life and my family have been many and continue. The people who once asked me to let them help, or asked me to be their help are not here to vouch for what I’m like, what I eat, what I’m allergic to, what health issues I have, or anything else that I will eventually have no control over. My life will be at the mercy of strangers. All I can do is pray they are your strangers, with your wisdom, your compassion, and your favor.

How does all of this feel? That’s all anyone ever wants to know. Didn’t I just say that… hard, scary, depressing, easy to give up, helpless, hopeless, disappointing, lonely, frustrated, and there’s nothing I can do… but pray. And I do.

 

That I Might Stay True

Lord, as I read of your people
and hear their many struggles of obeying,
I want to avoid jumping to judging,
and sincerely begin praying.
Please help me to keep my eyes,
mind, heart, soul, and all on You.
Help me to never take Your glory,
even if I didn’t mean to.
Keep me faithful, pure, and just,
that my holiness glorifies You.
Help me to resist society
that I might stay true.
Finally, Lord, I pray You stay
and never have reason to turn.
I really don’t want any more
ungodly lessons to learn.

11-8-11 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)

This Covenant

Lord, what about this covenant You keep whispering in my ear?
What is it You want to make new? between You and me? and why?
Am I falling beneath the mark?
Do I need saving? – Always.
Am I letting You down?
Do I need protection?

I wave the white flag. I absolutely do.
I surrender my strength to Your will…
my strife to Your strategy…
my sanity to Your peace.
This battle is beyond me.
I cannot fight it alone, I struggle just to fight.
You touch this soldier and say, “Go home.”
You want me to trust that You are aware, in charge, and on guard.
Your action speaks louder than my words.

So what is it? As You are once again on this subject?
Have I matured? Do I need to grow more?
Is it time? Do I need to be prepared?
Am I capable? I want to be.

A covenant is an agreement, a vow, a promise,
to be faithful to a commitment,
to trusting no matter what happens.
I want to hide in the shadow of Your wings.
I want to hold You yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Forever, I want to stand beside You,
and to have You by my side.

If this covenant is to enter another,
what are You asking of me?
What are You asking of them?
How can it not mar what is?
What exactly is what stands?
How do You see things?
How do You want things?
What do You desire?

You deserve so much,
far more than I’ve ever given You,
far more than I can,
yet I still cherish every moment
that I can praise Your Holy name!
Lifting up Holy hands to a Holy and righteous God.
I cherish just being with You.
You are everything to me.

I wait, Lord, on You
to show what this covenant is
that You want to make anew.
It is between You and I,
so I will wait for Your answer.
Love You… Amen.

9-1-17 Friday
written by Gail Brookshire

30 Posts Challenge: Follow Up

30 Posts Truth Challenge BadgeHi Guys! Just wanted to share with all of you who came along my journey of posting 30 true aspects about myself that you may not know… the AWARD from our dearest Fatima aka Splendor In Embers! Praise the Lord for using her to challenge me… in many ways!! Wanting to encourage someone I love and care about blessed and encouraged me!

By opening up myself to sharing truths with others, we spoke on these things below:
1. Introducing myself
2. Me and God
3. Me and Writing
4. Me and Anthoni
5. Me and Foster Care, part 1
6. Me and Foster Care, part 2
7. Me and My Fireworks
8. Me and Anxiety, part 1
9. Me and Anxiety, part 2
10. Me and Anxiety, part 3
11. Me and Depression
12. Dying to Self
13. Friday the 13th (A Blessed Day)
14. Designed to Follow
15. How a Devo Becomes A Poem
16. The Devo Poem
17. “Crucify him! Crucify Him!”
18. I Mourn, I Grieve (Edited)
19. What Makes Me Happy
20. River Baptism
21. I Love to Sing Hymns
22. God Speaks, I Listen!
23. Bearing One Another’s Burdens (as a Prayer Warrior)
24. A Friend Loveth at All Times
25. I’m a Very Private Person
26. My Fear of God
27. Ripping Your Heart out
28. My 2017 Solar Eclipse Experience
29. One Last Aspect
30. Challenging You

Along this journey, the Lord used His whispers, His nudges, and His many resources for encouraging me! Lovely A and her Self Care Challenge was a part of those resources! There are others I can’t mention, but you know who you are. Thank You for letting God use you to help me “fly” within God’s gift of life. And what would I do without InnerManTheatre… my patient son for his feedback and tech support (and Anita!).

I praise Him for each of you who took to read  (while patiently waiting for me to learn my way), for reaffirming His whispers (with your likes and follows) to be meant for more than just myself. Your comments allowed God to fill my cup with blessings. And the Awards! So unexpected! All crowns to lay at His feet! God bless you, Lovely A!

My Dearest Fatima, How grateful I am to God for you! For your challenge! For your heart. Please know I am praying for you and your precious family as often as God allows. You’ve always been dear to our family! You ARE family! Thank you for my AWARD!

If you are interested about this Challenge, you might be delightfully surprised to know that you do not have to wait for someone to nominate you, as I have read some of you have for quite some time. You only have to accept and post. See for yourself her 3 rules posted here. Praying for each of you! God loves you! ❤

Unfortunately Right (Texas Flooding update #2)

Four days later, and unfortunately the expectations were right in that the death count went up from 9 to 19 (well last I saw on the news late last night). 6 of them were 2 grandparents with 4 great grandchildren in a van together. A son was the sole survivor.

Another loss in that count was an officer who was on h  is way in the early morning hours to help others. Also a well known and loved coach who had been a part of helping to rescue others. 

This devastation continues as the waters are still rising in some areas. Rivers and different waters have to take their course in going downstream, which adds more water to lower areas already flooded.

 I’m not sure why, but the National Guard and other Official Rescue teams coming to help stopped ALL rescues from continuing after dark, regardless of the urgency. I understand the threat. It’s just hard after watching local volunteers save thousands because they still went out after dark (as untrained rescuers).I thought our military trained for such things.

Another unfortunate right is the looting that unfortunately is happening. Some things are down right evil. News reports were warning and reassuring at the same time that individuals were going to homes impersonating immigration officers to enter and rob homes.

The good news is that Harvey is finally moving out of the area, and weakening considerably. There are also several different fundraisers and donations nation wide, including celebrities and major companies putting forth millions. Please continue to pray for Texas, Louisiana, and all those affected by Harvey, and on the way to help.

Calm In The Storm

Lord, what a dark night… a dark and dreadful night… but it was not my dark and dreadful night. I was blessed with warm and dry shelter. Those stranded in the dark and cold muddy waters were living this nightmare, along with their rescuers. Yet I could not leave that screen. I could not leave them. Especially when it was just volunteers left to help. The night was getting late after so many had been waiting for so long, and much more rain was on the way. The reservoirs and levees were going to release water to try to save them from collapse, yet there was no guarantee they wouldn’t anyway.

As I watched this for hours, my heart and blood pressure were up. I could hear voices saying stop worrying, it wasn’t good for me, worrying wasn’t going to help the victims. I prayed as I saw each rescue, and heard each group plea to help those still stranded. And those children, Lord, with little infants! How could I possibly leave that screen knowing children and babies were out there? I tried to reason that rescue efforts would take days. I knew I couldn’t stay awake like that anymore. That made me realize a lot of things.

When I was younger, my anxiety would NOT let me rest if I heard of turmoil. In some ways that was good. Others would ask me to stay with them through tragic times, or ask me to sit with their family or friend. Reliable and strong were the most common words I heard. But that was all you giving me the strength. At other times it seemed like a curse or a heavy weight to carry, that was absolutely taking me under.

Tonight, Lord, I felt calm in the storm. I was not less concerned, but I could feel my anxiousness give way as soon as I even began to worry. It felt so calming. That is the word that comes to mind. There’s nothing wrong with being calm during a storm. If volunteers were not calm they could not rescue. At times a rescuer is challenged by a frantic victim who becomes life-threatening. This made me pray for the volunteers.

Remaining calm allowed me to think… remembering being rescued in storms a couple of times… as a child… as a disabled adult (close to bed ridden)…  watching my mom suffer night and day for months… unable to ease her pain… expected to sleep in my bed right beside her… knowing any time she could pass. How cruel to close my eyes and supposedly my ears to her pain so I could sleep. If it weren’t for your grace and the medicines you allow, I would have not remained calm to do what was being asked of me.

You allowed these medicines to keep me calm, pray, and absolutely trust you. I just grabbed my color journal and calmly waited as I listened and learned. Sometimes to the news. Sometimes to you showing me all kinds of things about myself, and how far you and I have come. At one point, while in prayer you allowed me to fall asleep. In the past I would have felt like a monster, but now I understand I am human. You made the medicine and the calm feel like good friends. It was nice… to have good friends, and to feel good about it instead of feeling guilty.

There are many things I have absolutely no control over. I must choose to trust you. Thank you for the calm in the storm. You remind me of Matthew 8:23-26.

And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.