Monday, August 13, 2012

Escape Plan

I have been thinking a lot lately about my desire to escape. It seems that I have put so many things on hold throughout my life. When this happens, when that happens...then I can live the way I want to. Not that life has been bad; I have enjoyed it----- despite having regrets over a few decisions.

When I was a child, I had plans for when I grew up. Well, I ended up 17 and pregnant. Marriage, the funeral of my son (who only lived 2 months), and the decision to have more children meant that I would postpone things...until the kids were in school. The first one started to school, and my marriage ended. So, raising and supporting children alone became the norm, with thoughts of "when the children leave home...".

The oldest turned 18, and my family was involved in a wreck. The wreck was 18 years ago (8/13/94), and I still have not fully recovered from the injuries. A year later, there was a glimmer of escape with a promise of training. (I always wanted to return to school. While it isn't much, I am rather proud of the A.A. Degree I received at the local community college. A Liberal Arts degree did little other than making me a well-rounded conversationalist---but I accomplished a goal!) Then, my oldest returned with a broken marriage, an 11 month old son, and 8 months pregnant with a daughter.

That basically started Motherhood: Part Two. I postponed my plans so I could always be available to baby-sit while my child rebuilt her life, and I was happy to do it; I wanted a better life for my children. Not long after they all moved out of my house, though, my youngest child's son needed someone to step in and raise him. Once again I shoved back my thoughts of "escape" and took on the challenge of legal custody and single grandparenting. My sons did what they could to help support me, esp my middle child. Actually, there was even more fun this time. I had always been involved with my kids' school activities, but now I could do it full time. My kids are grateful that I waited until grandkids before I found out the fun of dressing in costumes for various school events. I am still shocked I did it! :)

Don't misunderstand: my children and grandchildren have always brought tremendous joy in my life. There has been heartbreak, anger, frustration, etc., but that is part of life. Time spent with them was worth every moment and I can't regret these years...even if I could have cheerfully strangled each one for various reasons over the years. Family and loyalty are God gave them to me to raise. Sadly, I let them (and Him) down numerous times...because I simply gave up.

What I regret is the chains of depression, poverty, despondency, fear, poor choices, and health issues that I have allowed to overtake me. With each setback, I have gained more weight, lost more ability to move, had to rely more on government handouts, withdrawn more into myself, had more serious health issues, and lost the ability to dream. It has reached the point of paralysis---not in body, but in confidence, trust, dreams, and hope. Being around people I know takes every ounce of confidence I can summon. (Sometimes I suspect there is a bit of an actor within me.) The thought of meeting new people, especially those whom I have come to care about through social media, is terrifying. I must keep a barrier erected. It makes it worse as I read comments that people do not realize describe me either physically, financially, or emotionally. That is why I frequently assure people that they really do not want to meet me.

During the past month or so, I have watched post after post deriding people who are on government handouts. I don't know if it makes anyone feel better, but I do not buy (or use) illegal drugs and I have never purchased lobster. It does break my heart and my spirit a bit more as I continue to have to use these benefits. I have even considered suicide, although the irony is that the taxpayer will have to cover the disposal of my body. But, I do try to volunteer as often as I can to give back to the community. I know that the internet is a luxury, but there have been kids here who needed it for homework. We don't have a car, and walking to the library--if it is open--isn't always an option. But, I use social media to promote and pray for people and projects; it is all I have to offer. And, I would gladly take a paying job to get off of all benefits. Instead, it looks like I am going to have to break down and apply for even more as health issues worsen a bit, income has dropped even lower, and family issues have arisen. I was recently told that I should just learn to trust God (and to read my Bible). Trusting God has been the only way I have survived for my entire adult life! However I have immersed myself within the power and clutches of the various "enemies" of fear, failure, rejection...and not trusted God enough to surrender those parts of my life to Him. So, I guess that person has a point. (PS: I do read my Bible. And, I actually try to apply it to my life.)

A favorite passage of Scripture of mine is Psalm 25:

Lord, I turn to You. My God, I trust in You. Do not let me be disgraced; do not let my enemies gloat over me. No one who waits for You will be disgraced; those who act treacherously without cause will be disgraced.Make Your ways known to me, Lord; teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; I wait for You all day long. Remember, Lord, Your compassion and Your faithful love,for they have existed from antiquity.Do not remember the sins of my youth or my acts of rebellion; in keeping with Your faithful love, remember me because of Your goodness, Lord.The Lord is good and upright; therefore He shows sinners the way. He leads the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. 10 All the Lord’s ways show faithful love and truth to those who keep His covenant and decrees. 11 Because of Your name, Yahweh,forgive my sin, for it is great.12 Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will show him the way he should choose. 13 He will live a good life, and his descendants will inherit the land.14 The secret counsel of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He reveals His covenant to them. 15 My eyes are always on the Lord, for He will pull my feet out of the net.16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am alone and afflicted. 17 The distresses of my heart increase; bring me out of my sufferings. 18 Consider my affliction and trouble, and take away all my sins. 19 Consider my enemies; they are numerous, and they hate me violently. 20 Guard me and deliver me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in You. 21 May integrity and what is right watch over me, for I wait for You.22 God, redeem Israel, from all its distresses. 

Of course, my enemies are not people. At least, I know of none. :) But I do allow enemies of fear, depression, pride, anger, distrust, bitterness, etc. to triumph when I know that battle belongs to the Lord. In  Hebrews 13, Deuteronomy 31 and Joshua 1 (along with many other places), God assures us that He will NEVER leave us not forsake us.
God is with us ALWAYS!!!


But now, I think it is time I turn my Escape Plan into a plan of action. It may mean swallowing my pride and utilizing even more government handouts to help me get on my feet so I may be able to more effectively serve Him and others through Him. I haven't even called my dr for an appt when health issues have worsened...because it is a "free" service. I may have to apply for disability. I may have to trust people and not automatically expect rejection. And if they do reject me...Jesus loves me. (I may often think He doesn't like me, but I do know He loves me.) I don't know where my escape plan will lead me. Away from where I live? Maybe. I just want to be open to all possibilities, no matter where they lead. However, even if it means I live the rest of my life right here where I am, I want to escape from this pit of despondency and despair and to live in the center of God's Plan for MY Life!! To paraphrase and personalize Psalm 37:24, 'Though I may stumble, I will not fall, for the Lord upholds me with His hand.' Even though, I am kinda hoping no one ever reads this (I am posting it more as a reminder to myself)...if you do, please say a prayer! Thanks!!! :)


BRY TAYLOR said...

Thanks for sharing your heart, Cindy. Many prayers going up for you. So glad I know you. :)

Cindy said...

Thanks Bry!! I am so glad I know you too! God blessed me when He put you in my life. You have quickly become a trusted friend.