OK. How bouts I begin with May 26th.
On May 26th... I am pretty darn sure I was sad. Not just a normal sad... it was like... a deep, deep unexplainable... too-profound-for-words sadness that I could not put my finger on... I could not identify a cause... all I knew was that I was plagued and clouded... but functional. I went about my day... went to church... I sang, I took notes during the sermon... and at the end of the sermon, the pastor asked that the prayer team come up and anyone who needs prayer should come up.
Let me just say... that I NEVER go up. I can't remember a time in all my life where I've gone up for an altar call, gone up to be prayed over... I NEVER do it. Maybe I always figured that other people need it more than me... that I'm not the type that responds in public... I respond to God in the privacy of my sanctuaries... in my mind... in my own heart... and I just DON'T respond to God in that way. But something inside of me began to bubble up. My heart started racing... my face got really hot... and I had this feeling that I'm either going to vomit or get up and do what God's prompting me to do. So... I looked at the prayer team. There were two men on the right, closest to where I was sitting. I didn't want to be prayed over by either of those two men even though they're great guys. I looked to the left and there were two women... and the one woman that I know... she was furthest away from me. I would have to walk clear across the entire stage in order to get to the friend I knew. Aye. But... I did it. I got up and spilled all my stuff on the floor... stumbled over my pew buddy... walked down the aisle... walked clear across the front of the stage in my hot pink maxi dress (could I BE any more conspicuous?!?!?) and I walked past the woman I didn't know... and went straight for my friend. I was greeted by her with her usual welcoming smile... and I gave her a hug. After I gave her the hug... I lost it. All control... all composure... everything flew out the door and I started bawling. I couldn't even stand anymore. I crumbled to my knees and let the waterfalls rush out of my eyes... drenching the front of my skirt... and the front of my cardigan... and I could not speak. All I could do was cry.
My lovely friend prayed for me. She prayed what was on her heart and I can't remember what she said... but I remember her hand on my right shoulder... attempting to rub away the convulsions as I wailed and hiccuped and gasped for air... I remember my mind being empty as I cried. I didn't understand it... I couldn't identify any reason why I was crying... it might have been a continuation of the prior week when I cried over my singleness and my unborn eggs... but I think... it might have been that I was fully surrendering my childhood dream of being married and having my own children. I know it sounds kind of like a big thing and it totally is... but I don't understand why I had such a violent reaction that particular day. Regardless though... I remember being puzzled... on my knees in the dark... wailing my heart out... and I heard the worship team sing this song. I think it's the only thing I remember hearing... the only thing that floated over the sounds of my own wailing... was "how He loves".
I felt a little bit better after that. I felt like I made a huge scene... but no one asked. My pew buddy prayed over me when I got back to my seat and I spent a few minutes journaling the lyrics to How He Loves before I was ready to go out and see people again. I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. I didn't look too bad considering I had just wailed my guts out... or so I thought. And then I went about my day. I think that was the day of our last softball games... I was so exhausted from the wailing... I could barely keep my mind in the games... but thankfully I was on the bench for most of it. God's grace to me to give me a little break and to primarily watch my softball team fight our way to second place in our league.
The following day is when God really began to tangibly SHOW me how He loves me. I got texts... from people who asked me how I was doing. As I shared with them that I was having a tough emotional day... they rallied alongside me... they sent me encouragements... they wanted to meet with me... they were amazing. If I ever felt forgotten during my month long funk... I did not feel forgotten anymore.
I stayed with my aunt while I started clinicals at City of Hope. And she took really good care of me. Packed me lunch.. made me breakfast... and friends who were close or maybe not even that close before... began to show me how much they love me. And the timing of it all was a little too remarkable... as if God was trying to remind me... I have not forgotten you. I remember you and I see you... and I can provide for you miraculously in the blink of an eye... to bring about "something" out of "nothing" so you needn't worry about anything. You are not alone. I will never leave you and I will send people to remind you how much I love you and am actively taking care of you.
My emotions were extremely heightened after that day. I found myself both experiencing extreme happiness and extreme turmoil... and crying more than I've cried in a long, long time... but I enjoy it. I enjoy "feeling"... even if sometimes it's not a good feeling. A week went by where I was regaining my bubblies... and finding my smile again... and where flowers started to bloom in the dark parts of my heart... and then... last week...
A friend asked if I would consider going to a Healing Prayer session. Like I said before... I don't go to these kinds of things. But... why the heck not? So I filled out the application and sent it in. They said it could take weeks to months so I kind of pushed it into the back of my mind and thought about other things... but something about that application... moved something deep in the dark places of my heart. I didn't think that any of those dark places were still there but apparently they were. It was something as innocuous as an application with checkboxes that surfaced a deep darkness within me... and I reacted violently to it again.
It was the broken relationships of my past that had come back to haunt me. I experienced so much healing during my relationship and marriage with Anderson that I had forgotten this part of me... but this application brought it all back. It was a landmine which exploded with lies and hurtful memories and a voice which spoke words that served to destroy my confidence, make me feel so small and insignificant... and most of all... worthless, used, damaged, and abandoned. And the words, "you're not good enough" and "who would want you?" plagued me like the dark spirit of Voldemort rose and accused Ron with all his deepest, darkest insecurities when they opened the locket horcrux out in the woods. I didn't know it was still there. I didn't know it was still in me... but apparently it was. And it caused me a whole lot of anxiety. The hyperventilating kind. So I shared with a few of my closest friends... the dark things I had not spoken of in years and years and years... and I began to experience some freedom. I was reaffirmed that I needed to go to Healing Prayer and I was thankful for my friends who supported me and came alongside me in my journey to get there.
So they said it would take weeks to months... but... they got back to me in 5 days and told me that my healing prayer appointment would be this week on Friday. Yesterday actually... but I got the news on a Sunday. I found out at Healing Prayer that to get an appointment so quickly is unheard of. I don't think it is any coincidence that it happened this week. It is also no coincidence that I got the email about my healing prayer appointment when I was hanging out with someone that I knew had gone to Healing Prayer before. And this hangout... was the first time I've hung out with this particular friend even though I've known her for almost a year. That is definitely NO coincidence.
When I got the email, I had a semi-jarring reaction to it. I got really, really nervous. Almost felt like vomiting again. So I told her about it... and she told me more about the process of healing prayer... what they'd probably do... that they were really nice and that I didn't need to feel nervous at all. But she did say that she would send out an email asking the other members of my small group to pray for me about it. And she did.
The following day... I got email responses from members of my small group... and one series of emails in particular from my small group leader. She gave me a list of things that she saw in me... that she wanted me to think and pray over as I prepare my heart for healing prayer. Top on the list was my relationship with my mom and my parents in general. It is also no coincidence that I received this email as I was out to dinner with my parents. Prior to the email... I was slightly stressed. I needed to have a quick dinner so I could go back to doing homework. But... I figured... I'm here with my parents right NOW. I'm going to talk to them about it right NOW.
This is VERY significant for me. I have a decent relationship with my parents but I do not talk to them about my feelings... there have been times in the past where I've tried and I've felt shut down... or I've just wanted to talk and my parents keep trying to fix my problems... so it discourages me from wanting to just talk to them. They're updated on the big things but on the day to day things... they don't know and I don't tell. Until that Monday. So there we were... in the middle of Souplantation... crying and sharing and I basically told them stuff I've never told them before... about church... about my feelings... about my small group... school... how I felt like I'll never be good enough to be a good NP... my fears about my competency... and that's when my dad told me that I've always done a good job and I always will. He said that's just the way I am and the way I've been ever since he's known me... ever since my first poop. It was a breakthrough... and the best and most honest conversation I've had with my parents... probably EVER.
The following day, we all came together and shared and prayed. Conversation still isn't as free-flowing as it is with other people... but I think it's a very significant start. Prior to praying with my parents... another friend came over and brought me dinner and we just chatted and caught up on life. It really moves my heart when people bring me food. Something so small... has such a big impact on me.
The next day... Wednesday... was work and small groups afterwards. Work was hard. I spent the entire day trying to play catchup. The computers were so slow, I couldn't keep up with charting. The orders kept coming in... the doctors kept being their difficult selves... and I was running back and forth all day long... almost wanting to cry as I detangle the spaghetti of tubing that always happens when a patient comes back from the OR on multiple drips... I had a billion things on my mind that I had to do and I felt like I had no time to do it in. I barely sat down. Barely rested. Barely drank anything. Barely went pee the entire day. And then showed up to small groups feeling nauseous and like I was about to pass out. Small group leader to the rescue with some pepto and a slice of bread! And I probably downed 4 glasses of water too.
It was prayer and worship night. We only have this every 6 weeks or so... and I NEVER ask for prayer. I didn't even want to be prayed over. I told myself, "I'm getting healing prayer on Friday... other people should get prayed over..." but when he asked "is there anyone who would like prayer...?" I felt my hand raise like it had a mind of its own. And then all eyes were on me and... no words would come out of my mouth. I spit out some words... and asked for prayer in the simplest way possible.... mostly as I hid my face behind a sheet of paper and hid half my body behind my friend. And as I was prayed over... I began crying... hard. In front of my small group. An ugly kind of cry... but probably the best kind. And then after prayer and worship night... I got prayed over again... and cried more tears as I released lies and memories... and replaced them with the love that was pouring into me as the darkness was departing from the depths of my heart.
I walked out of the house and into the dark street feeling washed over with love. I felt like there was a huge smile in my heart that radiated outward... and I wanted to stand in the middle of the dark street, close my eyes, raise my face upwards, extend my arms and just "receive"... and let the cool, gentle breeze blow over me... but I thought that might be a little bit dangerous so I only did it for a few seconds before I drove home.
The next day was my FLOW consultation. I had turned in my application to have a FLOW consultation probably a month ago. FLOW is a ministry that helps you recognize your untapped passion and abilities, helps identify where you came from, where you are now, and where you are going, and to develop a strategic plan that will help me make a difference. So I spent 1.5 hours telling two people my story and then spent maybe another half an hour hearing their initial feedback. I was pretty amazed. I sat there and listened to these two lovely people pull out themes they saw in my life... after only meeting me for an hour or so... and I felt so encouraged. I felt such gratitude for all the love and care I felt from God... from God's people... and so amazed at the series of events which got me to the exact moment in time where I could receive so much heart from so many people... I felt very much in the center of God's will for me... and it was amazing. When I was done, I closed my eyes and turned my face towards the sun and basked in the warmth of the sun. What an amazing feeling.
The next day I woke up and began crying as I opened my eyes. Emotional highs sometimes come with emotional lows... and I was feeling too many emotions all at once and it came pouring out of my eyes at 6am. I emailed my small group this time for prayer and received many emails and texts. And God brought to mind the song... "How He Loves" and I played it on repeat the entire morning as I got ready for clinicals... as I drove to the hospital... and I was reminded every single time I sang the words that He loves me so, so much. I was able to make it through my day at clinicals... amazed by the kindness of my colleagues... and also the extreme generosity of the physicians who have allowed me the privilege of learning with them. The people around me are extraordinary. I don't know how it seems like amazing people just seem to meet me everywhere I go... it's like there's an endless supply pouring out from heaven. I ended clinicals a little bit early so I hung around my unit and I spent time with my co-workers and they tend to make laughter pour out of me... originating from deep in my gut. I love laughing like that. I love my coworkers. I spent some time thinking back on the people I'm learning from this year and there have been people who have shown me EXTREME kindness... who have gone above and beyond to teach me their trade... and have been so affirming in the process. And when I say "thank you"... they brush it off like it was no big thing. It IS a big deal... to me anyway. I was thinking about how I learn best and this is the way I learn best... when an expert has me follow them... allows me to ask the questions and fill in the gaps in my own thought process... and who teach me one-on-one. And I learn best in an environment where I feel safe to be who I am and ask questions. It seems very obvious but it's pretty rare to be in an environment where a teacher/mentor takes the time to meet me where I'm at and guide me in the ways I need to go. All in all... a good day.
And then it was time to drive to Irvine and I could barely hold the tears in again. I was listening to my "favorites" playlist on the drive over... and I love every one of the songs on my "favorites" playlist... and yet I could barely sing for 10-15 seconds without getting choked up again. Thankfully I was able to make it to my friend's house. Yet another lovely friend volunteered to accompany me to healing prayer... and she also made me dinner. I don't know why but I LOVE it when people feed me and when people drive me places... and it was so exceptionally meaningful to me that she never left me the entire time. I felt a lot of peace going into healing prayer and I felt a whole lot more coming out of it.
Hmm... there were a lot of things that we did and prayed over during that prayer session... but one activity... I think I'll be pondering for a long time afterwards. It was a memory... of the day in 3rd grade when I punched a boy for making me mad and I got detention. I had to sit on the wall during recess and watch everyone else play. I was rolled into a ball with my head between my knees. No one paid attention to me, and yet... I remember feeling such shame. They asked me if I felt Jesus' presence there with me. I kept saying no. They reminded me that He was there... even if I didn't see Him. They asked me to ask Jesus to come nearer to me... so I did. They asked me to speak to Jesus and what I spoke to Him made me burst into uncontrollable tears. I told Him to "please... never leave me". And He said, "I won't". And through my tears... I asked Him to stand in front of me... look me full in the face... pick me up and take me home. They asked me why I said that... and all I could say was that... I wanted to be picked up, held, and taken away from this place... because I felt like I didn't belong there.
I'm not quite sure why they wanted to do this exercise... but I think it speaks to how I feel sometimes... as I'm crumbled and ashamed... for the wrongs I've done... I want to be seen; I want to be rescued; and I want to go some place safe. And that is what Jesus did for me on the cross... it is what He has done for me here in this life... and it is what He will do when it comes time for me to join Him in heaven.
I'm still so amazed at the events of this past week. I can't remember the last time I've felt such amazing love... and have spent SO many days receiving so much from so many people. It may be said that it is more blessed to give than receive but receiving so much also makes me feel SO blessed. I feel like more has happened in my heart this past week than has happened in years. Such good, good things. I wonder what God has in store for me. I'm not sure if He was just reminding me in powerful ways that He loves me, He sees me, He's taking care of me and He will always take care of me... or if God's preparing me for some great something... but I think I shall just enjoy the peace and happiness and continue to turn my face towards the heavens and receive more and more of His glory. I think exciting things are taking place and I'm very, very glad.
Sorry this was a long one, I think... but this week is a week that I wanted to document. So remarkable. I can't even find the right words to express exactly how I feel. And I'm getting tired so I think I'll just end this for now.
much much love,