Barb's Space

Observations about life, family, church...anything else that is on my mind from the perspective that God rules, no matter what

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Location: Indianapolis, IN, United States

I am a 65 year young woman who has changed much in the last few years. I'm single again. I changed jobs twice (learned new skills), had a serious stroke in 2008, "retired" and after getting better started taking up new interests, and am continuing to get more fit. Some things have matured. I've enjoyed watching my three guys grow into men I respect and am proud of. One waited 11 years to have his first birth child. Today I'm a grandma of six (four boys and 2 girls between two families)! I have learned to love Jesus even more, and I have regained my sense of adventure. Someone said, "The best is yet to be."--I believe it, if I keep an open mind and heart and keep growing and walking with God.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Reviewing the Past

Today I want to talk about the past. One way I'll get to the future is by looking at where I've been. I have been rereading my blog articles lately, and know that where I am today is partly seen in what I've been writing about. I am being tested as to whether I believe what I feel God inspired me to write.

I found myself saying a loud resounding "yes" to these articles again. After all, they are as much for me as for anyone else. I do believe the right kind of wasted worship is the only way for me to go. I do believe what I said in the articles on God saying, "I Will Build My Church." I believe the things I wrote in "Hearing God's Voice--What's Stopping Me?" and all the other articles. Even the articles that I don't believe were specifically inspired I believe.

That is integrity. If I didn't still believe these things, I would need to remove them. Now though, I need to see how they apply after the stroke. I have also written some other things on a web page, things I need to go over. I wrote about an auto accident in 1983 and how it affected my life. I needed to go back there because it speaks of what I can learn during severe physical trials. You can find it at http://www.geocities.com/skywatch5/1983mystory.html if you want to read it. Just copy the address and paste it in the window and go. That and some poems are found in the section called "Suffering's Challenge." It also helped me to go to the poems and read "Wonderings" and "Learning to Yield."

The other night in the middle of the night, God was there when I woke up. I've been thinking a lot about my future in the last couple weeks especially. I feel like He just showed me an attitude that needs to change. He showed me how I thought about something that I have always gotten around through ignoring it. Now I'm hearing Him say I have to get to the bottom of it. It's time to confess and forsake it. I'm hearing that as I do, my future can be better than my past.

As I look ahead, I am also being told to look at my giftings and ask how they can be used to best advantage. You see, another thing I believe is that work-wise we should do what we were made for. I have not been doing that. I have been working where I have because that's what God gave me to do for those seasons, but I feel now is the time to really examine this area since I can't do much right now. I am asking where God wants to take me and how He wants to get me there.

All of this is one way of saying what a serious crisis can do for and in your life. I know I am going to learn a lot more in the days to come as I keep asking, seeking and knocking. Feel free to come along.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Tests and Trials - Part 2

The stroke I had last summer has touched many areas of my life. I was so out of it that it took a friend of mine to point this out to me. It has touched my physical health, my emotional health, my financial health and my spiritual health.

As I said last time, I lost my job. I am getting ready to consider what I can be trained to do now. My thoughts were not clear in the beginning, but I am now gaining clarity and can hold my thoughts for a while. However, with my speech still in flux and so much trouble typing, things are hard. (One thing I thought I heard even before the stroke was the Lord saying the enemy was going to try to take my voice. I didn't know that was literal.) Also, learning is not as quick as it was. We will see what happens--and did I mention there seems to be a dearth of jobs right now?

This is also a financial battle for me. When I was working for A Hearing Service and Omega Retirement Plans during the last seven years, I saved as much money as I could. I had never had a chance to save before and now I was doing it. Even though I have a gift for saving, I could only save so much, and couldn't save enough. The hospital wrote off my bill, which I could not have paid, and some of the doctors did as well. Other bills were scaled down. I had thought I was saving for retirement... . I have had to go on disability for now. It started six months after the stroke. I also was able to get on the Healthy Indiana Program which helps when you have no health insurance. (I have never had a job with health insurance.) Right now I need these things, and I am grateful, though I would like to get past this. I really don't want to be tied to the system for healthcare and provision.

I'm having an emotional battle because I feel useless with no quick turnaround in sight. I felt depressed for months, but that has lifted a little as I've started reading counseling books and writing on here and Facebook, and have started praying and listening to God a little more. It helps some when I'm listening even if He isn't talking.

The spiritual battle is to totally yield to God in this situation. It's hard to yield when you are angry and have many questions.
Another part of my spiritual battle involves some things I said yes to the Lord about a year ago January. It seems that those things have completely evaporated. I wonder what my future holds, what I can do for the next stage of my life. I believe God still has something for me or I wouldn't be thinking He might but it's a challenge just waiting.

I am working on what it means to trust God again when I have nothing I am doing for Him or for myself. I don't feel very capable right now, but He says His love is not based on my worthiness. I am getting another lesson in being loved by my Father, and will let you know more as I learn.


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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tests and Trials - Part 1

Hi, everyone. It has been over a year since I have written, though several things are in draft form. I had thought to write more, but life has a way of intruding. I got in touch with a group of people from the past last spring, and talked with them for a few months. That took all my energy and didn't turn out as I'd hoped. It was worth trying, however.

Then I went from the frying pan into the fire. On July 29, 2008, five days after my 57th birthday, I had a stroke. It was in the top left side of the brain, and because it was in a somewhat unusual place some of the things I'm having to recover from are unusual also.

At first I was emotionally numb, and then I got very angry at God. This wasn't supposed to happen. One of the fears I've had for some time was that since I was divorced in December 2004, I wondered what would happen to me if I was alone and something happened. I kept fighting the fear, but it still stayed. Well I was alone and something did happen, yet I survived. I was in the hospital for five days, then went to the home of some friends who used to go to the church I went to. I stayed with them for six weeks--long enough to get stabilized and to start dealing with the high blood pressure I'd been trying to deal with naturally for years and diabetes I also learned of in the hospital. (Diabetes is now being totally controlled by diet.) I was there also long enough to begin to deal with the stroke's effects
.

I didn't know it can take up to two years for a person to recover as much as possible from a stroke. It has been almost seven and a half months now. For all this time I have been working to go from not being able to speak to where my speech therapist says I have "voicing" with the proper pitch for my voice 65% of the time. At times I still speak in a whispery, hoarse voice. When I do speak, my words are usually very clear, however I speak. As far as singing goes, I never had a great voice, but it is much worse now.

Other areas I'm dealing with include typing and driving. My fingers on my right hand don't want to cooperate, and it takes me a long time to type. In my speech and typing the word being used is aphasia. Driving is also hard. My eyes are more sensitive to light (need sunglasses most of the time) and I have another challenge as well--being mindful of what's happening all around me. I'm working on that one also.

All of this means that though I score high enough on intelligence, I can't work right now. The lady who did my job before I did came back from August through mid-December. I couldn't remember in November how to do my job. The owner very kindly kept my job that long for me, but when I couldn't relearn it fast enough, someone else had to be hired.

This means I spend many quiet days at home. I read. For a time all I read was Christian fiction. I watch some movies. Some friends come over and take me out as they can. More often now I pray and try to listen to God. It gets easier as I get less angry. I just started reading books like Competent Christian Counseling by Tim Cllnton--a 700-some page book I've been wanting to read for a long time. Now I'm on Crisis and Trauma Counseling by Norman Wright.


In October, two of my children moved me into their apartment complex so it would be easier for them to help me with rides to the dr, the grocery, etc. This meant changing churches. It's a challenge getting to know people in church (or in the apartments) when it is hard to talk. But I like the worship here--it has been helping me get closer to God again.

There is more to share about the effects this is having on my life, but not today. Talk to you all later.

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