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Rest vs Unrest

1 ambulance ride

10+ emergency visits.

10+ surgeon/specialist meet ups

20+ appointments via phone or in person. 100s of hours in spent in pain. For those who don't know, I have been having quite the trial and tribulation with my physical and mental health. Not in the way you would expect, however. It's not a "my body is sad and therefore I am sad," because that definitely happens for some people. For me, it's a little bit more all over the place. It's like the movie Everything Everywhere All At Once (without Kung Fu and dimension travel).


For those who don't know (round 2), I jump through a lot of hoops in order to get through an average day. Recently I've been letting some people who are close to me know about this face-to-face, and now I feel like I'm ready to announce it a little louder.

 

Weeeelcome, it is 10:41PM on July 16th, 2022 (i can't believe that's really the year lol) and I have been writing this blog for around 3 months. I've wrote and deleted, wrote and edited, edited and deleted, etc.etc. Literally in this very moment, while I'm waiting for Photoshop v23.4.1 to update for my school (im in school btw), I decided that tonight's the night to share. My goal for this is not to be a trauma dump, or a "pity me plz" or even a "look at me goooo!" My goal is 110% to share with you the struggles and how Yahweh is carrying me through them. For the last three years, I have had over 40 appointments// encounters with the health system. From surgeries (both minor and major), to emergency hospital trips in the ambulance from being unable to breath, to spending literal HOURS on the phone waiting in a cue to be referred 7 times (that was truly a test of patience lol). It is with a rather heavy heart I can say that corona has been the least of my worries in these past years. (photoshop is at 45% so i better make this quick) I can literally go on a long and terrible rant about the food I can no longer eat, the drinks I can no longer have, and all of the bad stuff that has happened just physically, but what I really want to share is the mental & emotional aspect.


I have tentatively been diagnosed with PTSD, ADHD, and Dyslexia (amongst other things). I say "tentatively" because the person doing my intake said "you check all the boxes, I'm just not a Dr. so I can't say you have these things." I can tell you that this side of my health has been way more tiring than anything physical ever could be.


The ADHD & dyslexia is neurological, and I'm relatively okay with that. Most days I forget to eat food to the point where I'm shaking, wondering "What's wrooong with me?" and then my gracious wifey asks me what I've eaten, to which I say "our kid's leftovers." Mentally, because I've eaten something it checks my box of eating, and I move quickly to another task. But just because I've eaten something, doesn't mean I've eaten. That is something I've made my peace with. The trade-off for that is coffee helps me focus more than the average joe AND I can hyperfocus and go on binge cleaning in our house <3 Dyslexia comes with me not enjoying reading our kid's books before bed because I'll stutter and mess up the words (they correct me every time HAHAHA). It comes with me misreading the assignments for my school and literally doing the opposite of what I'm supposed to do, even though I've read the assignment briefing three times over. This week I wasted nearly 6 hours on a project, in my last class I did this twice, causing me to waste more hours away from my family. The trade-off with dyslexia is that I can see things in 3D mentally. For fun, I imaged and visualize the physics of water, sands, air currents or smoke. I literally sit and think about cellular, molecular, atomic and quantum physics for fun hahaha (i am no genius so don't ask me Q:s).


PTSD comes with nothing. No trade-offs, no bonuses, no anything - it's just heavy, discouraging, garbage memories that get unlocked by hearing a sound, smelling a scent, listening to a phrase or lyric, touching a certain type of fabric, or being plated a specific texture of food. For over a year, every morning and night when I would brush my teeth I would have the same flashback. In between those flashbacks, I'd have to deal with other ones that would come up as I parent my own children. On top of doing that, there would be days where I'd have to deal with that, and not be able to walk because of hernia issues, hip issues, ooorrrr foot, leg, or back issues.


(photoshop has finally loaded, but we're just getting to the good stuff) In regards to me and my life, it is solely draining. My body can have a physical shut down from a single memory - having to push through that while being the primary caretaker of two boys under 5 is truly a challenge.


"Pain is just a door that allows Jesus to meet you where you're at." Is something I heard from someone who I admire deeply. My first thought was, "they really have no idea what's going on in my life right now." Even though I was offended, it became a seed that was planted in me. It was an invitation for me to allow Yeshua to talk me through some of the things that have happened to me that gave me PTSD to begin with. It caused a deep level of surrender, and it caused a lot of healing. I'm expediting a whole journey as I say this, with taking that previously offensive sentence of pain being a door and applying it actively, I no longer have flashbacks when I brush my teeth daily. On the odd days where I do, I can move past it easily. "Rest has to be a prerequisite for our faith and not a consequence of exhaustion."

The first time I heard THAT precious gem, I was floored. Truly floored. How times in my exhaustion did people tell me to get some rest lololol. I'm expediting as I say this as well, but it's true regardless: in the face of all my troubles, I have now the ability to truly stop and rest in Him. I've been to be told devasting news and take it as if it was a happy report because of that rest (take in mind, i have been told small pieces of mediocre news and have been devasted - not claiming perfection it this hahaha just claiming that im growing in it). My second most cherished memory, which trumps all PTSD, is when I had a major issue come up in my life. I remember having that stupid wrestle in my mind about "casting your cares about de Lort" "hold all thoughts captive" "set your mind on the things above" and all the other typical responses I've been fed. When I entered into rest I was able to freely pump the worship music in our house while the kids were napping and WORSHIP. No agenda, no pre-planning or trying to out-plan the Lord, no prayers I was secretly waiting to pray until I felt spiritual or holy enough, or that I spent enough time praying to God - I just worshipped. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually free - resting in the knowledge that our prayers will be answered is what carries me through. I have learned two things during this time: 1. God works out ALL things for good - all things. ALL THINGS. 2. If He doesn't stop until ALL things are good, then I will not stop either. The day where I couldn't breathe, was on the cold bathroom floor while Michelle was on the phone 911, one of my first thoughts is that I would sing a worship song when I could get my breath back. It took a while, it was quiet, and it was oh so sweet. That is a moment I would not trade for anything and will cherish forever.


 

I encourage you, find that place with Him that gives you rest to the deepest levels. There is such a glorious testimony on the other side of the hoops you're jumping through and it needs to be told. Live in surrender, and give those traumas to Yeshua. Rest in Him, and find that place where in His love that makes you be still, and know that the plans He has for you are real, tangible, and GOOD.


It is with a joyous heart I can tell you that the biggest physical, mental, and emotional issues I've had in my life these last three years have led to my greatest depths with God. I have never felt closer or more loved by Him. What I have to process on a regular basis doesn't scare him.


In my process of healing, something beautiful happened 3 weeks ago. I was out for coffee with a friend when a literal child approached us sweating, shaking, and breathing heavily. They told us they ran away from an abusive housing situation and are hiding from people looking for them. My friend and I were able to calm them down, buy them food, listen to a bit of their story and speak some peace over their life. It was like looking in a mirror of a younger me. I remember what that first day of running from an abusive home felt like, and I was able to share a bit about myself and my story. My friend and I ended up praying for the kiddo and while the situation was anything but perfect, the child was sent to a safe place.


Let your pain be a gospel bridge that reaches into other people's lives. It's now 11:44PM, my wrists and fingers are seizing up which tells me I need to put my braces on. Tomorrow is church, and I'll probably have some anxiety issues on my way over (which usually happens), and there is not one cell in my body that doesn't believe that God will work all things out for my benefit. I pray you're encouraged by this and that you feel the tangible love of the Father. Have a good morning, noon, and night

-Merlin

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