When I was in the midst of my deepest depression, darkness would be so heavy upon me that I could hardly bear it. I have described depression as feeling like you have fallen into a deep murky pool, looking up from the bottom, you can see that there is light, and maybe even the movement of others. You can’t cry for help, you can’t swim up for air, you know that you are drowning, and there often comes a point where you stop hoping to make it out alive, and would just as soon get on with the dying. Just like you have probably heard victims of real near-drownings say, especially when hypothermic, when you reach that point, it is critical, and if you don’t find it in yourself somewhere to start fighting again, you most likely will die. There definitely is a spiritual aspect to depression. Satan is a cruel tormentor and accuser.
The enemies of the Christian are Satan, the world, and our very own flesh. Now, those are some pretty formidable enemies. Our flesh is not our friend, and yet our bodies are the “containers” of our spirits for the time being while we live out human life on Earth. That our own flesh is our enemy and will betray us, is a fact to accept. A tendency toward depression can be a boon for the devil because it makes it easy to skirt accountability. Truly, when your mind is sick, your spirit suffers along with it, and it does muddle the picture. But having an illness that may affect your judgment, or your impulse control, or anything like that doesn’t let a Christian off the hook. What it does, is requires you to work a lot harder at self-examination and at being obedient in order to remain in line. I may snap at someone in the midst of pain and fatigue, but if I do, I am still responsible to apologize and make amends.
When I was experiencing devastating mood swings, so irritable that I could barely stand to be touched, things like noise, bright light, could often be overwhelming. Those things did not have to be overly excessive, to feel unbearable to me. Usually when something is too loud, or some place is too bright, an adjustment in location or lighting or volume could bring relief for a normal person. But for me, all my senses were on hyper-alert. When you go long months or even years, being sleep-deprived, since our human body was not designed to function normally under those circumstances indefinitely, you tend to have to delve into your “back-up systems”. God built-in mechanisms which provide some degree of compensation that is meant to be temporary. But I think that due to such prolonged years of situation stress, added to emotional stress, added to psychological and physical issues, my body was using adrenaline, which is normally reserved for short-term emergency functions, for getting through daily life. When you live off of what is meant to be your back-up resources until you burn through all of them as well, then you are in trouble. That is when you crash. The year of 2000, going into 2001 was my crash.
Getting the Bipolar diagnosis, whether it is in fact accurate or not, was still a step in a better direction in that symptoms were being treated. I was upset over the label at first, but I came to realize that labels are really just that, like a sticky note on the edge of a file in a filing cabinet, it merely serves as an indicator of “what’s inside”, or what the needs are of a given patient who “wears” it. It serves as a shortcut so every doctor doesn’t have to re-invent the wheel.
It took a full year and a half on the medications for me to begin to feel any semblance of normalcy. When I started “to come out of it”, it was like coming out of a coma! You aren’t aware of what you aren’t aware of, until you once again become aware. It was like working in low light, and then someone comes in with a really bright lamp, and suddenly your work is so much easier because you can see! And now you also can see what you missed. I look back and I don’t know how I accomplished what I accomplished during those difficult years. I knew it had been hard, but I couldn’t appreciate just how hard, until I started getting better and things got a little easier.
My mind got clearer, I could remember things, my moods evened out. I literally couldn’t remember much at all of my second son’s babyhood, but after my mind started to heal, when I looked back at photos, videos, and read my journals, I began to stitch together those memories that were in there, somewhere, recorded in my mind, but filed haphazardly and inaccessible for a long time. In all I was on the Bipolar medications for about 6 years.
Mood stabilizers work sort of like those “bumpers” on the kiddie lane at the bowling alley. They keep your mood from being able to get too far one way (manic) or too far the other way (depressed). After I started getting that really refreshing sleep with the Narcolepsy medications and had been doing so for several months, my mood started to be squashed. It was as if someone moved the lines to within a foot from one another, and there wasn’t room for going up or down at all. When I told my psychiatrist that, he said, “well, maybe it is time for you to come off of them and see how you do”, and that is what we did. I have been fine without them ever since, and now my moods are almost like normal people’s moods. I get down, but it only lasts a couple of hours or perhaps a day or two, then I come out of it. I don’t have that excruciating irritability anymore. Under severe stress the mood instability can flare up some, but not to the kind of extremes I have had in the past.
Euphoria was never in my repertoire, although when I was on the upswing, I did get agitated, and had trouble being still. At first, I could get a lot done with that energy, but as it got worse, it was torture and I felt like I was coming right out of my own skin.
I believe that everything that happens to us, happens only with God’s permission. If that sounds like a cruel God, well when we were little and didn’t understand why we couldn’t jump off of the pier, or play with firecrackers or use the stove by ourselves, we probably thought our parents were being mean then. We thought the nurse was mean who gave us a shot. Things we don’t understand can often feel cruel. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became an adult, I put away childish things. 1 Cor. 13:11
My understanding of God when I was young, was very immature. That is natural, but I also have been living here in the U. S. where Bible illiteracy has become the norm. What a shame, for a nation that was founded on Biblical principles. But just like the day arrives when your family upbringing is no longer an excuse for how you behave, the same goes for your walk with the Lord. Sooner or later we have to stop looking at “the church” and bemoaning the condition of her, and realize, hey, wait a minute, I am the church. Yes, it is a body of Christ, but if I’m a hand, what kind of hand have I been?
I think one reason that I feel compelled to write out my story, is this: We have to get over this idea that Christians “have it together” in ways the unsaved don’t. We have to be able to be real. We have one thing the unsaved don’t have, and it’s the covering of the blood of Jesus. We are hidden in Christ. The New Man is earnest, we are not the “new man” yet, but we will be. We are being remade in the likeness of Christ. But we are not Christ-like yet. We are no longer bound to the old master, our flesh, not technically, and yet, we are, physically. We are still subject to it.
This is where I think a great many sincere Christians get confused. God, when He speaks in His Word, is always speaking from outside of time He speaks of the future as if it is now, because to Him (and in Him), it is! That is one reason why when you read Paul’s epistles, it sometimes sounds like he is going in circles. He is speaking of truths that are “yet future” here in our present realm, but “are already” even at the same time, in that realm outside of time. He is trying to get us to see ourselves as God already sees us, that we might strive to live up toward that mark, rather than staying under the influences of our fleshly nature.
“That which I would not, I do, but that which I would, I do not”…… Eh?
We are called to live as if we aren’t subject (prone) to sin any longer (in other words, as if temptation has no power) by striving toward the obedience, and not looking backward as Lot’s wife did. But sin does continue to sit there within us as a possibility for as long as we still wear this flesh. I think too many Christians come to church polished and spit-shined, and say churchity things, and do churchity stuff, and their fellow church members would be the very last to guess if they were struggling in any way. Why do people feel they can’t be real in church?
We have been to a number of churches over the years. We would try to plug-in, and we’d start to make some friends, get involved, and the next thing we knew, there was some faction that had gotten upset with another faction and the church split. It happened three different times. We never understood any of them but it felt a lot like what I imagine kids in a divorce go through. How disillusioning to have come back to the church only to find the church itself so messed up. We would have liked our kids to have had the chance to grow up in a church family that felt like their second family, like their father and I both had as kids. But I think that is pretty rare anymore, if not extinct.
Sometimes I really do feel like just about everything about this world is so far gone, I just can’t fathom why God hasn’t obliterated it all. Of course I know why. Because He is not done yet. There are more to gather into the fold, and He won’t call us home until “the fullness of the gentiles has come in”.
But if you are like me, I truly have tried to understand what God wants for us, and to be obedient. I truly have shared the gospel with friends, loved ones, strangers, I don’t want anyone to go to hell, and it tears me up inside when I just walk around in a public place, and think about the fact the Lord could come any minute, and how many of these people have no idea. But we aren’t capable of doing any good thing on our own.
I want to be filled to the brim with His Spirit. I want for that power that can move a heart to conviction and to salvation, to flow through me, and to be used of Him in the reaching of souls. And yet, I’m tired. I long for the rest which I know is coming. I long for the “mounting up with wings as eagles, the running without being weary”. Those things are merely figurative in regards to this life. They don’t become real in their fullness for us until the next one.
A few years back my fellowship with the Lord took a leap into deeper waters. Having witnessed some pretty bad things, ruthlessness really, in churches, and even some personal betrayals, just had me crying out to the Lord, “please help me understand! What has happened to the church, the real church? I don’t want to know what man thinks, I want to understand what YOU have said to us in Your Word, Lord”. And God used my Dad to cause me realize that I had to take my eyes off of people, I mean, altogether. Don’t expect anything from them. Don’t put stock in them, don’t expect them to have wisdom, don’t expect them to have answers, or to do the right thing.
It was this “look ME in the eye moment” with God. I stopped looking at “the church”, and focused on my own understanding. I became a Berean, Sola Scriptura, just me, the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.
I took my entire bag of “what I know” in regards to the Bible, dumped it out, and piece by piece I brought it before the Lord, and said, “what about this, Lord, is this true, based on Your Word? I studied for myself. I prayed, and I searched scripture. I did this in a continuous and consistent manner for about 3 years running. And my hunger for the Word became insatiable. I rejected some things I had formerly embraced, and I was grieved deep, deep to the depths of my soul, for how we must grieve God in getting so much, so wrong, so often. I was on a quest to know only the truth, from God, from His Word, and to be able to say why I believed what I believed when all was said and done.
Old and familiar scriptures seemed to explode with meaning. Especially the epistles. Something as familiar as Galations 2:20.
I could really relate to Paul, because of my struggle through all of those years, having this sinful nature that allowed me to be led down the path of destruction, and wondering how I went so wrong. I did not understand this dual nature within when I was 18 and 19 years old. I was surprised by it. That it was still in me, that it could undermine my best intentions. If you are saved and a “new creature in Christ”, I thought that meant that nature was gone, when I got saved. I didn’t understand the fact that the two factions within us war one against the other continuously. And even though I had learned of this somewhat in the interim years, when I was studying it, God seemed to take the scripture and apply it to my life, my history, and show me the relevance to my own experiences, putting two and two together, so to speak.
It was because the Holy Spirit Himself is my teacher and because I was serious in my desire to understand, serious enough to fast, to pray, and not give up until something happened in my understanding. Even though the Word exposes our flaws and downfalls, it simultaneously gives hope in that we see in a real and personal way, how God suffices where we fail.
It just sparked my enthusiasm more than ever, that I was getting a grasp on something that seemed already so old and familiar as those passages, and I was very excited about the Word.
Unfortunately, when I shared this new enthusiasm with some of my Christian friends, they were offended. One friend pretty much went away because of it. (The story is much more complicated than that, but I’ll just leave it at that). The other friend sort of wanted to know what made me think God was giving me something “new” that He didn’t give “to the rest of us”. Which is not what I was indicating anyway. I was merely saying that I was drawing closer to the Lord in a way I never had before. That friend later apologized for her reaction, and I really hadn’t been offended by it anyway, because I also knew that I probably wasn’t making much sense in what I was trying to say. I was experiencing a personal revival, and a surge of hope I’d not had in a long time. For me, it was Grace. It was that thing that had been missing in my understanding early in life. It is best to know of this threat, this old nature lying within us, capable of rearing up again. But it can be kept at bay by the Spirit within us, if we consciously choose to dwell in the Spirit and not the flesh. We do that by conscientiously remaining in an attitude of continuous prayer, and staying in the Word, and dwelling on those things we’ve learned from the Word.
The disciplines of Christian life are a little like dieting. We know that if we take in more calories than we burn, we will gain weight. We know that we should eat our 6+ servings of fruits and veggies, drink lots of water, etc. The knowing and the doing are two different things and even when you are vigilant, you can find yourself slipping. God took me through a remedial course on the basics when He focused on some familiar verses and gave me new and deeper understanding of them. It’s like going to a Weight Watcher’s meeting. Hearing afresh, the principles you already know, and realizing that they still work, and that putting them back into practice, a few at a time, is not as impossible as we have come to think.
For me, it meant, depression doesn’t get the last word. God’s Word gets the last word. For someone who had been tossed and battered by internal storms, by life-storms, by “brain” storms, this was revolutionary! The Word itself, and the conscious and deliberate putting on of the armor, gave me a sense of empowerment against that darkness. I don’t have to take on the devil, as some folks seem to like to do. But I don’t have to take his torment “lying down” either. There is a place I can go, where he cannot follow. Jesus said if we who abide in Him, and He in us, we will bear much fruit. Abiding. It is not a matter of church attendance, though that is important. It is not a matter of someone laying on hands to “give you the spirit”.
If the Bible tells us to “be ye filled with the Spirit” (which it does Eph. 5:18) then does that not imply there is a greater measure to be had? A portion we do not get at the moment of Salvation? The Spirit is ours, dwells in us from the moment we are saved, but does He fill us? Do we give Him free access to all of our self? Do we fill our mind with more and more of His Word or do we just nibble a little every once in a while? There is a big difference between “having the Holy Spirit” in you, and being filled with Him.
If we are growing and maturing in Christ, our capacity for the Spirit to fill us up inside, is always growing too. Being filled means ever pursuing more and more. I think that the reason I was getting an “extra portion” at that time, which for some reason seemed to offend my friends, was simply because I grew tired of settling for less, and asked for more. That’s all. It wasn’t anything “new” that God doesn’t offer to everyone, only a matter of “he who seeks, finds”.
It was a new and deeper understanding about Faith, how it works. I think Satan gets busy peddling his counterfeits, and we are so worried about accidentally falling for them, that we throw away the baby with the bathwater. My discovery really was the simple fact that feasting in the Word is what fills us with the Spirit. In-spire! The Word is God-breathed. “Spire” is spirit. Spirit is life. You get more filled with the Spirit, the more time you spend in the God-breathed Word. That was exciting for me to realize and understand! Just like drinking water consciously and regularly, tends to cause us to thirst, it was the same with the “water of the Word”. Because of the “word-faith” false gospel out there, and because of the questionable aspects of the “spirit-filled’ movement, I was missing out on the real deal in my disdain for the counterfeit. I think it is that way for a lot of Christians.
Sort of works in the same way that the gays hijacked the rainbow and now you dare not put a rainbow sticker in your window for fear someone might think you are gay, or the way Islam hijacked the term “religious tolerance” and changed it’s meaning. Satan hijacked “fullness of the Spirit”, made a mockery of it, and now people don’t seek the real thing because they have only seen the fake and were not impressed!
When I was a child, I delighted in Him. I longed to get that back. God had in many ways, restored unto me the “years the locusts had eaten”, but I wanted that wonder back again in my relationship with Him. And He gave it!
The Christian walk is a series of mountains and valleys all the way through. We want to live on those mountaintops. We have all had them. We’d like to stay there. But the valleys are where the fires burn which forge real faith in us and purify us.
Yes, I have been through some very hard and painful and unpleasant things. But the deeper God carves my inner capacity through struggle and pain, the greater also grows my capacity for heights of joy and glory heretofore unimaginable.
I have been an instrument of comfort at the bedside of a dying saint, and been used of God as a vessel of comfort to the family. I have written a letter to a grieving widower, and had him tell me years later what a difference it made for him. These are not things accomplished by me. These are amazing instances of God reaching through me, and ministering to the heart of someone dear to Him, and I just got the privilege of being a part of it and to witness it.
There was an old man who worked with me those years ago at the store where I met “H1”. Mr. Moody was the sweetest old fellow I think I ever met. He was just guileless. He was funny, simple, compassionate, lively, and mischievous. He inspired a poem in my mind, and I wrote it down, and then I wrote a copy out for him to have as well. I gave it to him at work one day, and he just thought that was the greatest thing, that someone wrote a poem about him. Years later, after the divorces, after finally finishing nursing school, and after coming back to the Lord, I stopped in that old store again, just to see if there was anyone still working there that I knew. I stepped up to the office and the office manager was still the same. I asked her about old Mr. Moody. As it turned out, he had only recently passed away. He apparently had a massive stroke while he was driving. They found him in his car, up against a tree only a few blocks from home. He died instantly, and no one else was injured. But what she said next was very humbling. She said that when he had died, the family and the store had tried to locate me. It turns out that Mr. Moody carried that poem in his wallet for over 20 years, everywhere he went. He frequently took it out and shared it with people. And the company wanted to publish it in honor of Mr. Moody in the company’s newsletter, and also the family wanted to read it at the funeral and put it in the memorial leaflets they handed out at the funeral . They were trying to reach me to get my permission. I learned that they went ahead and did both, which I was glad to hear, because that poem really belonged to Mr. Moody and I would have definitely wanted them to use it any way they wanted for him. The Lord is the real author, He just used my hand to write it. It just goes to show, you truly do not ever know how God might be using you. I think ideally, in our lives, His expectation for using us has a lot less to do with the affiliations in the church house, and much more to do with the associations that move in and out and through our paths in the day-to-day of living. I have come to realize that living for the Lord doesn’t have to mean that you go on the mission field, knock on doors, or preach from a pulpit. And though it is really important to know how to tell people the reason for the hope that is within you- the actual scriptures, I also think that sometimes a kind or compassionate deed is gospel enough. I think more people know the way to God than let on, they just cant see the point. They can’t see what difference following the Lord makes, because all the professing Christians they know either live exactly as the rest of the world does, or they try and fool others into thinking that they are never troubled when really they suffer just like everyone else.
I have often expressed my opinion over the ridiculous expectation peddled in the church that if you are saved you ought to be smiling and happy because the world won’t want your Jesus if they see you frowning and looking whipped. I disagree! I have a different perspective altogether. I don’t think we do “the world” any favors whatsoever by trying to make it look like living the Christian life is all Joy and Blessing and Goodness and Light. It isn’t. It is warfare and struggle and being an alien in the only world we have ever known. Getting saved is about getting back something we, personally have never even known or experienced. We were born under the curse!
When Christians wear their plastic smiles to church, we don’t fool anyone. All that does is turn people off. God doesn’t give us any exemptions from the hardships of life. Who do we think we are fooling? I swear I think that some church folk have gotten so used to their plastic smile that they themselves have forgotten it is fake. Come off it. You haven’t “overcome” you’ve just gotten really good at hiding the struggle, keeping your failures private, and bearing your burdens alone. Is that what God intended? Really? We aren’t fooling the unbelievers. They walk in, see right through it, and say, “no thanks”. They might not know God “the way you do” but they know a sinner when they see one. It’s nothing but false advertisement! Then we wonder why they don’t want to hear the gospel from us?
I had a neighbor who was a foul-mouthed biker chick. She cursed like a sailor, was loud, blunt-spoken, and would fight at the drop of a hat, but she never pretended to be anything that she wasn’t and for that, I loved her. She was a breath of fresh air. We got along well, she respected my faith because I practiced it way before I ever tried to witness to her with words. I knew I could count on her if I ever needed anything, and she knew that about me too. I wish that I could say that about more Christians. I am not bashing my own, here. I am just being honest. Taking pride in being “good for the Lord” is as bad of a trap as any other of Satan’s snares. Even after you are saved your own righteousness remains nothing more than filthy rags. Jesus doesn’t give His righteousness over to us. He merely covers us with it. Any good thing we do “for Him” is merely a gesture of gratitude. It never begins to accumulate in our favor.
Below are some poems that reflect various times and the accompanying states of mind, some hopeful, some less so.
By Sandra Thompson (Lloyd) ©1990
As the years melt away and as life passes by
I watch it become more distant, like a star up in the sky
Of course it is no secret that this world is full of sadness
There’s so much to fear, faith gets lost among the madness
I think it is not wise for one to view one’s life through a microscope, looking closely at the disappointments there.
Better to view it through a kaleidoscope, casting bright colors like a shield, over what one sees there.
Better to see with the eyes of ones heart, not thinking too much on the way.
For the heart can forgive and understand, what the mind would condemn right away.
I’d rather believe in magic, in clowns and happy children, in a world of fairy tales and bubble gum.
I’d like to believe that God has a plan and look for some good in everyone.
It’s hard to see the world through a child’s eyes
But there’s still that child in me and I hope she never dies
For the child doesn’t know, the child only feels
The child can always love and the child can always grow.
This is my prayer today, Lord please always keep my heart open
Give me courage and strength to get me through this life.
Please let there always be some of that
Happy little girl
In the sister, daughter, mother, friend, and wife.
Don’t Be A Dreamer
By Sandee Lloyd ©2010
Don’t be a dreamer because life doesn’t happen in your mind. Don’t follow your heart, you have to lead it, with eyes open, and mind engaged.
Twenty-four hours and there went a day.
What did you do?
Sun-up, sun-down, tide in, tide out, fourteen years and what has been accomplished?
Life is not harnessed. It happens. Wearing away under friction, we are all carved and whittled. It is not our turn anymore. Time is a predator, stealing the opportunity to fix that mistake, to stay those words, to conquer that fear.
Tiny baby clothes in boxes might as well have been let go, disintegrating windows didn’t matter after all. Boys to men. They are who God made them regardless of what we never had to offer. All they required was love and protection, room to grow, and lots of pizza. Life is what happens while you are dreaming your dreams.
The following poem was written when I finally acknowledged the wounds inside from what happened when I was 19 and through the decade of my 20’s. I didn’t have any trouble taking responsibility for my own part in making myself vulnerable to what happened. I so blamed myself that what I didn’t allow myself to acknowledge until nearly two decades after it happened was the fact that it was, indeed, a violation, perpetrated against my will, and which I did not want, ask for, or deserve. The young and vulnerable girl that I was, got drawn into something way over her head, and paid a very steep price. The “other ghost lingering by” is the tempter/accuser Satan, but also represents the images that can never be erased inside my head. The little girl represents lost innocence but she also represents that girl that I was, who was injured and who never mourned, never healed, never got over the pain, never got to have the life she intended to have. The woman is the adult me, the one who survived, lived to tell about it, went on with life. Put the injured part deep away inside behind walls. And ultimately about reconciling the two. Over the years, I learned of many friends and family members who had gone through some degree of this type of violation or another, and I have read stories of and met real people who became so shattered inside from it and all of it just makes me so angry at Satan, so disgusted at evil, so sad for the pain evil causes. I despise the flesh. Not my self, not my body, but the flesh. I can’t wait to be free of it. I look forward to getting that new name in Heaven.
Ghost In My House
By Sandra Lloyd ©2005
Like the seed tufts of a dandelion on the wind pulled apart, blown away and scattered. Like a mirror thrown to the floor, the shards trampled, shattered. Torn to pieces inside, two poles taking stance, and thus begins a sick and evil dance.
There’s a ghost who lives in me. She’s just a young girl. She wanted to be cherished, that’s all. But she found the world to be such a frightening place and so she began to build a wall.
She became quite demanding, wanting her way and acting her age. She was fighting for her life. Her anger filled me up with rage.
And the woman that I am, had to take a stand, couldn’t be held down anymore. I was straining to grow, trying to let go, but of what? I wasn’t even sure.
That ghostly young girl has spent twenty-some years haunting my house, shedding her tears.
The fierceness of the woman trying to get free was hurting her more, and it was killing me.
There ensued a battle, a fierce tug-of-war between the warrior woman and the young spirit-girl.
The woman was only trying to be free and grow strong, but that haunting voice inside her told her something was wrong.
Beaten, battle-weary the girl must be heard yet. Twenty years of crying there is something she must get.
In exhaustion I collapsed knowing the pulling had to stop, or else I wouldn’t make it through alive. So I stopped fighting her and instead came face to face with our agonies, determined to survive.
I began to search the halls, I began to open doors, look into the corners, no more pacing the floors.
And I found her crouched behind her wall, that young girl that was me and I took her in my arms and held her tight. Together we trembled as I held her in exhaustion and we surrendered in our loneliness and fright.
We grieved our pain and years of shame and thought it was over, then the realization came that we were not alone, myself and I, there was another ghost, He was lingering by.
“Oh why are you here? Can’t you leave me alone? Please leave. You have no right. What you did to me was wrong.
You made my spirit a slave and you’ve kept me in this prison. Your enticements were like honey, but all you gave was poison.”
Oh he sneered and he laughed while he twisted the knife, “I’ll be staying right here, thanks, I’m a part of your life.”
“That was then, this is now, and I don’t want you here”. But he only pretended that he didn’t hear.
Oh what could I do, Lord, what could I do, but bring my poor wounded spirit to You? I know I can’t conquer these ghosts wrought by sin, so Lord please enter here, and let healing begin.
7-10-01 Journal entry
Moving forward in time I am becoming invisible. I wake up from fresh nightmares where I am no on and do not matter.
Some days I find hope; an unexpected buoying of spirit, but how elusive. Just as easily it slides away. I squandered the best of me and have cheated those to whom it rightfully belongs.
Some days I dream only of deliverance, of being set free from the overwhelmingly heavy gravitational pull of Earthly existence. God gives me each day, and shame on me, but something is wrong with my senses. I can no longer feel, see, hear, taste.
I contribute merely a presence, a watchful eye, guardian, companion, minimally filling a position in my family’s lives. Yet in a world where many children have no mother, no parents at all, I suppose I am better than a void.
I know there is no such thing as purgatory, and yet I feel I am somewhere in an in-between place; between living and dead, between Earth and something, but painfully far from heaven yet. I am so tired. God, how I long to just go to sleep and like a child who played until exhaustion overcame her, wakes up in the familiar security of her own bed, having been carried there by her father during her sleep. I long to open my eyes in heaven.
Go to Chapter 10