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“Can I buy some peace of mind?”

I just find this amusing. Ironically amusing, as if the drug handbook was mocking me. Because if only peace of mind can be bought at your local drugstore, I would have bought a truckload of it. Yet sleepless nights driven by haunting memories cannot be relieved by sedatives. No amount of narcotic- analgesic can ease the sorrow of the soul. Give me rivotril or morphine or anesthetize me with propofol; they are of no avail. Only Jesus can give my mind and heart the peace and rest it yearns. And as I wait for that tranquility, let my body slip away into slumber. Bed is calling.

Peace I leave with you: my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Her

How many years had she kept it to herself? How many nights did she cry herself to sleep? How many times had she pretended not to know the answer?

Believe me. I know how it feels to hold the world by yourself. To keep yourself smiling when all you wanted to do was breakdown. To hide the answers because knowing them will cripple not just your mind but your soul as well.

Jesus knows them and feels them, too.

Facing harsh realities

As a nurse, I have learned in psychiatry that who we are is a product of our past. Our experiences, both wonderful and traumatizing, had affected us- our personalities, our beliefs, the way we handle future stresses. Coping mechanisms are formed and nurtured through the various experiences we have throughout our lives. Some are primitive, meaning we develop them since childhood and are not as effective when used during adulthood; while some are mature, which are often the most constructive and helpful to some adults. A couple of nights ago, however, a very close friend just told me, with tears in her eyes, something I would never forget. Something not even my most mature defense mechanisms can cope with.

What can take away the greatest damage in one’s life? What can heal the most deep-seated wounds? What can repair a person’s battered and bruised heart? So devastating it was that she buried them into her mind’s oblivion. Most of her ugliest memories she has repressed. Or so I think. She can still recall bits and pieces of that awful memory as she told me her story. You would never want your very close friend to have such an awful event happen to her. Much less to your sister.

It was like nightmare turned to reality. One would never have thought it could happen. But it did and I can’t do anything about it, because it already happened. And what’s worse, it happened during a time I was too powerless to prevent it. Too many thoughts came running into my mind as she recounted the events that propelled her to be who she is today, to believe the ideas she now believes, to hold on to those beliefs tight. It was all a domino effect. If that single, horrifying incident didn’t happen, she would have been normal (we all have our abnormal tendencies, admit it or not). She would have preserved her innocence.

Some days I can’t stand the silence because I can hear her telling me those dreadful words. I can imagine her as a little child crying to me, to her Mom and Dad. When I close my eyes I see her ID picture when she was younger. How cute and naive her smile was. And then images of that event suddenly invade my mind. I can’t help but cry and ask God why He allowed such a thing to happen. Why, to all people, her? Would I have accepted such a thing if it happened to me? Would I have taken her pain and damage and scars instead? Despite our very close relationship, I guess not; I am only human and I don’t think I can afford to bear such pain. But she does! And because she shared it to me, I now bear the same pain as well. Yet, maybe not as painful because it did not happen to me personally. Nevertheless, it is a burden too heavy for our hearts to bear.

Many hours I’ve wasted crying and regretting and listening to the devil’s lies and accusations. It was my fault it happened. If only I had been by her side, she wouldn’t be like this. I’d like to see the person who did it to her suffer the same pain he inflicted. Satan had tossed a lot of negative thoughts and emotions to me and I readily accepted them. I fell prey to an endless spiral of misery and guilt and anger. I have forgotten who I am in Christ.

Yes, I may be powerless over her past, I can no longer do anything about it, but I can still do something for her present and future. Jesus has called me to be the salt and light of the world (Matt 5: 13 Ye are the salt of the earth, v. 14 Ye are the light of the world). I have to let my light shine (Matt 5:16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.)  and lead her to Jesus. I must not allow myself to be defeated. God has called me to be victorious, through Christ (Romans 8:37 Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us) and I can overcome. Because I am now in Christ, I never have to worry being alone going through whatever this life throws at me for God has promised never to leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13: 5). Whatever I would need, my God will supply (Philippians 4: 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus). There’s a lot that I can do for her. I only have to step up and allow myself to be used by God.

And as for her, my dearest…if only I could erase her painful memories and bind her wounds. But I know my abilities are limited. The best way for the both of us to heal is to yield to God. Only He is powerful enough to use the bitterest memories and turn them into songs of praise. I never want such tragedy to happen to her yet God has allowed the unimaginable. I know He is working at her heart and soul right now and I know He will rescue her.  He may take long, however my hope will remain. I believe God will deliver her from the nightmares of her past and bring her into His glorious presence someday.

Ten Memorable Writings

Amongst the books I’ve read, here are ten that left deep impressions. They are listed in no particular order. Number 2 is a fanfiction, a retelling of a Korean book and although it is not really a book, I decided to include it because it’s really worth it.

1. The Prince of Tides- Pat Conroy
2. Thirty Minutes on Thursdays- SecretSeven
3. The Djini- Eleanor Hoffman
4. A Walk To Remember- Nicholas Sparks
5. Veronika Decides to Die- Paulo Coelho
6. Blade Silver- Melody Carlson
7. Cruel and Unusual- Patricia Cornwell
8. Ballads of Suburbia- Stephanie Kuehnert
9. There’s A Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom- Louis Sachar
10. Sex|God: Exploring The Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality- Rob Bell

No matter how hard the situation is for us, remember that nothing is too hard for God. Luke 1: 37 For with God, nothing shall be impossible

No matter how hard the situation is for us, remember that nothing is too hard for God. Luke 1: 37 For with God, nothing shall be impossible

Into the Lion’s Den

People need to verbalize feelings in order to cope with stress. Talking with a trusted friend, writing on a journal, painting a picture, anything as long as it is cathartic, anything as long as it will purge out the negative emotions in you.

For most of the past week, I have found myself crying and craving for chocolate. Because work had been stressful. Unfortunately, when I got home, I had no one to talk to. This plus the nursing responsibilities made me want to quit. Maybe I’m still in the adjustment period, thus my mentality.

I’m still figuring out how to handle the tasks assigned to me. I’m still trying to manage my time. I’m still working my way to forming meaningful relationships with workmates. I think it is too much for my heart to handle- being outside my comfort zone with nothing familiar I could hold on to. I think God just threw me in a lion’s den.

A daunting task it is. A task ready to break me. And I think I am getting broken already. But I know God has a great purpose for all of these and I can see His hand despite my tears. My circumstance is pulling me closer to Him. In my weakness, He is my strength. 2 Corinthians 12: 9 is a great reminder: And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Friend, if you are going under a lot of stress, verbalize your feelings to God. He wants to listen to you and wants to lessen the weight you are carrying, so give Him the chance. The road ahead may seem too dark for you to follow, but God led you there for a purpose. Trust Him that He knows what He is doing and trust Him that He will deliver you whole. Yes, you may not emerge unscathed, but you will definitely emerge a better person, a person molded by time and pressure for God’s glory. He did not bring you to the waters to drown you; He brought you there to cleanse you. Applying this to my current situation, God is taking people away from me so I can have only Him. He is emptying me so I could be filled by Him. Let us not resist; instead, let us yield to God. Let’s do this together, friend!

“Whatever you give a woman, she will only make greater. Give her your sperm, she’ll give you a baby. Give her a house, she’ll give you a home. Give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. Give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!”

-Eric S. Gray

Scholars believe that the word sex is related to the Latin word secare, which means “to sever, to amputate, or to disconnect from the whole”.

Our sexuality, then, has two dimensions. First, our sexuality is our awareness of how profoundly we’re severed and cut off and disconnected. Second, our sexuality is all of the ways we go about trying to reconnect.

Rob Bell, Sex|God: Exploring The Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality