|courtesy Mad Penguin Creative|
Intensive counseling enabled me to understand what was going on. The multiplicity of crises have piled one on top of the other resulting in a severe stress reaction. In fact, if I had checked 2 more symptoms on the diagnostic chart, I would have been right up there w/ vets returning from war with PTSD. I had no clue!
My counselor assured me that, while my life has been crazy-making, it has not made me crazy. Whew! I'm relieved and now have a certificate to prove that I am NOT certifiable. Just in case you want documented proof. I can fax you a copy...for a fee...in American dollars.
My counselor gave me a copy of a book called Night Shift. (I know Stephen King comes immediately to mind. Scratch that. For the life of me, I can't remember the author's name at 1:30a nor can I put my hand on the book. I'll give you the 411 later.) The premise of the book is the important point for tonight. Simply put: God has some folks serve him on the night shift...when it is dark and cold and without the light of day to illuminate the way.
Working in the cold and dark is a lot more arduous and lonely than working in the warmth and light of day. The author put into words what I had decided about me. God had no use for me. Every dream I had ever had about serving him was in smoking ruins all around me. Then, I got to rehab--aka the writer's conference. I began to listen to the conversations around me. Stories at least as horrific, if not more, than mine echoed all around.
Jim Watkins, acquisitions editor for Wesleyan Publishing, gave a keynote. He had us turn to each other and say, “You are just a mess.” And then, he said, “As a writer, I don't have tragedies, I have anecdotes!” He shared his anecdotes, and this Fraidy Cat found a friend. Well, we haven't met yet, but he knew me w/o meeting me.
Today, this fraidy cat found herself sharing her anecdotes when she least expected it. The response was, “I am so thankful I started talking to you. I'm not sure why I did. But, wasn't God wonderful to prompt me to talk to someone who could hear me without judging me and know the depth of my pain..” I could have kept on my mask and pretended I had no clue what kind of pain she was in. That's what my inner fraidy cat wanted to do. Today, the fraidy cat lost. Know what I mean?
2 Cor 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (NIV)