bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘God’

Our Father Knows Best

Lately, for some unknown reason, I’ve been looking back on various times of my life.

Yesterday, my former boyfriends was my thought topic. Some of the memories brought a smile to my face, others…not so much. I started doing the “what if…” game.   “What if I had married “Hercules” instead of Tom?” Every time I would insert a different name, a thousand reasons that Tom was better would come to mind. He’s obviously the best choice.

I only told one person “I love you.” And, yes, that was Tom, obviously. I didn’t realize people said it to more than one person. I just never did. I will still remember the feeling that came over me when Tom told me he loved me. My heart leapt out of my chest. I quickly responded with “I love you too!” and then we both hung up the phone really fast. You see, he was calling me to wish me a Happy New Year when he was living in Virginia, and I was living in Missouri.  We’d never dated. Just wrote letters and made expensive long distance calls. But, I knew then that Tom was THE guy for me.

So, as I reminisced about my past boyfriends, I really did come back to Tom as the winner over all those guys. I don’t regret dating those guys, because each relationship taught me something. (I feel like I have to put that disclaimer there. Some of those guys were really sweet, great guys. Others…(rolling eyes))

See, God had Tom out there for me. I couldn’t imagine any of those other guys dealing with my bipolar disorder with the calmness and love that Tom has. Right now, I have tears in my eyes because I know how very lucky I am. But, it’s not luck. It’s God. He’s got the plan. I just have to follow it. He hasn’t let me down yet.

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Still Flying High

I never expected this high from the NYG to last this long.  I expected it to be a short-term thing, and then reality would set in.  So far, it hasn’t.  Well, reality is there, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting me like it usually does.  (aka, bringing me down, freaking me out, stress) Sure, there have been stressful moments, but they seem pretty short-lived.  I just keep thinking about how much God loves me.  And what a great friend he is.  I’m never alone.  That is awesome.

I’ve also given a lot of thought to the type of person I appear to be. I try to reference God at least once a day.  To someone. I want the world to know that I LOVE JESUS and that GOD is the reason I can get up everyday and know that I can handle whatever life throws my way.

An example of this new-ish attitude has been noted by the members of the cast and crew of the musical I am in. Everyone has really cleaned up their language.  The director stated at the beginning of rehearsals that he cusses a lot, and if any of us had a problem with it, he would try to refrain.  I didn’t say anything, but just never used any of those words, and often wore a religious shirt. (Not necessarily on purpose.  I just have a lot of those) I even had one of the cast ask me how long I’d been involved in my church, what kinds of things I do there, etc. 

I’ve been trying to be a Christian, not just call myself one. After being around 25,000 youth that were charged up about being a Christian, it’s hard not to jump in and join them!

Let Go. Let God.

Amazing what those four words can do.  Powerful.  Trust me.

I’ve been trying to get in touch with my brother regarding his attendance at Mark’s confirmation.  I sent him an email weeks ago, letting him know that his godson was already 14 and it was time for his confirmation.

No response.

Yesterday, I called him at work (since we are not allowed to call him at home), and he didn’t answer his cell phone or his work phone.  So, I left a message.  Very nice.  “I really need to talk to you.  Will you give me a call on my cell phone when you get a chance to talk?”

No reponse.

I called again this morning.  Again, voice mail.  “Look.  I really need to talk to you.  Call me.”  Then, I checked my email, and he’d written me and said that he would be available for one hour today.  Which, of course, had already passed.  Not his fault, really.  He wrote that he’d be in and out tomorrow.  I wrote back to call me when he had a chance.

This has been weighing on me for such a long time.  Down doesn’t even begin to describe this.  The pressure to say the “right thing” is huge.  I’ve been praying that God will give me the right words to say.  I just haven’t had to chance to say ANYTHING!

Mark is going to write his testimony about my brother.  His testimony is based on his Confirmation verse, Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”  His take on that verse is that he hasn’t seen my brother in a long time, and he doesn’t know why, but he knows God has a plan.  Do I mention that to my brother?  Or will that scare him off?  Or make him realize how important he really is to Mark?

So, while driving around this morning, I prayed, “God, I can’t deal with this anymore.  Can you take it from me?’  BAM!  Instant peace.  I swear.  Or promise, whatever.  I assure you this is the truth. 

This doesn’t mean it’s gone from my mind.  It’s still there, but the sinking feeling, the anxiety, the general feeling of ickiness is gone.  Completely disappeared.

Why did I wait so long to call on God?  He’s got it.

All Things Work Out in the End

This week some interesting things went a different way than I expected, but in the end it all worked out. 

On Thursday nights I usually have Living Water band practice.  But, this week there was a special  Hispanic Ministry meeting at another church, so I had to miss.  There just happened to be a new member of our congregation who offered to fill in on the drums whenever we needed someone.  So, Dale (our fearless leader) suggested that the “new guy” come to practice in my place this week. 

As I was planning our Sunday School lessons for this week, I ran into a snag.  There were three videos to choose from and I didn’t have ONE!  I could have driven several miles to two different libraries to get them.  Ugh.  I called my dear friend and co-teacher, and read the titles to her.  She said, “Oh!  I have The Secret Garden!”  This one video would solve all of our issues! 

Friday night, Karen got the flu and was sick all night.  Yesterday, she still ran a fever in the afternoon, so I knew that she wouldn’t be going to Sunday School or church, and that someone would have to stay home with her.  Normally, Tom would be the one, since I always have lots of responsibilities on Sundays.  But, this Sunday, Tom was scheduled to count offering.

It was then I realized that all my responsibilities were already taken care of!  Someone was already filling in for me on the drums, and my co-teacher for Sunday School was already planning on doing the majority of our lesson!  How cool was that?  On Thursday night, I remembered feeling as though missing the band practice was “meant to be.”

 I wasn’t all that surprised.  After all, this has happened to me several times before. 

One particular time sticks out in my mind.  My neighbor’s mother passed away and the funeral was going to be in Indiana.  Another neighbor and I were going to go up for the funeral.  I had this strange feeling for the days leading up to the funeral that I didn’t need to think too much about going, because I wouldn’t be attending.

Just one day before the funeral, I found out my dad had been taken to the hospital with chest pains.  I knew in my heart that it was very serious even before I got to the hospital.  God had already prepared me for it.  This would be the reason I would not be going to the funeral.  Sure enough, my dad ended up needing a five-way bypass.  (He’s doing just great now.  Five years later!) 

So, God always has a plan.  Sometimes the things are little, like a Sunday’s plans, and sometimes they are big, like a heart attack.  But, I love these “God sightings.”  They remind me that God is truly here all the time.  And, if I’m quiet enough, I just might hear His comforting voice saying, “Hey, I’ve got it all under control.”

Love That Boy!

Mark on the way home from a somewhat hectic VBS:  “Mom, you are so awesome.  People don’t come to church to learn about God, they come to see you!”

Lightning may strike me for feeling so good about my 13-yr-old to say that.  My reply was, “Well, I hope they learn about God as a bonus.”  🙂

Hannah Who?

This is what greeted me at church on Sunday!

Ms. Montana, eat your heart out!

This was after they had stood on the curb and screamed and cheered when I got out of the car.  After I’d walked about 10 steps they came running out into the parking lot and mobbed me with hugs.  In the second picture, you can see some adults that were cheering, but chose not to run into the parking lot.  And, then more kids came running after I took the pictures.  You should have seen the older adults walking into church!  They would turn around and look to see who these kids were so excited about seeing!  I think it was pretty obvious that it was the chick behind them with the red face.

Several of the kids started the MFFC (Michelle Farmer Fan Club) after I sang a solo in church years ago.  Now that I play drums, etc. they really get into it.  But, honestly, the feeling that I’ve somehow made a connection with these kids makes me feel just fabulous.

It was an amazing feeling.  God has blessed me so much.  People throw out the term “church family” a lot these days, but I will tell you the truth from my standpoint.  Coming back Sunday to all those kids, and then bunches of kids and adults inside that were so happy to see me, truly felt like coming home. 

Now, if they had just had my slippers and pipe ready for me…

It’s Tough Being a Mom in the 21st Century

Tom sat next to me the other day and said, “I have some disturbing news.”  My mind raced in 120 different directions, but most of them went in the “this is a joke” direction.  However, one look at his face told me that was not the case.

He told me to call up the St. Louis Post Dispatch’s web site.  On the home page was all sorts of stuff, one link being related to the Rams letting some players go.  Again, in my rose-colored glasses world, I pointed to that one, hoping it would be the “disturbing news.”  Again, I was wrong.

He pointed to the link:  Wildwood man arrested for child molestation at St. Louis YMCA.  My heart sunk.  First of all, we live in Wildwood.  Wildwood is a nice, safe, suburban area as far west of St. Louis as you can be and still be in St. Louis County.  Things like this don’t happen here.  Secondly, we live maybe two miles (I’m a very bad judge of distance) from the YMCA.  I could tell by the look on Tom’s face that this article would be more personal than just happening in our neighborhood.

When the link opened, I gasped.  The man was someone we knew.

I quickly read the article which seemed to be about four sentences, but it told me all I needed to know.  This man had been arrested for molesting a 16-year-old boy in the YMCA sauna.  After I read it for a second time, I realized that it wasn’t the YMCA near our house, it was actually one in the city.  A small sigh of relief came only because my kids hadn’t spent time at that particular Y.

Now, honestly, I hardly know this man at all.  To look at the mug shot of this guy, you’d never think he was anything but a horrible person.  But, I’ve certainly seen a different side of him than that picture shows.  I know his wife from school activities since they have a son that is my daughter’s age.  This woman is the sweetest thing you can imagine.  She is fun, giggly, and just a great all-around kind of gal.  I would see her at a meeting and choose to sit by her because she was such a positive person.

This was several days ago and my mind is still racing.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  I don’t want to talk to other people about it, because what would be the point?  I don’t know anything.  And, anything anyone else tells me is just going to be hearsay. 

But, maybe the real reason I don’t want to hear anything about it or talk about it, is because it punctures the happy little bubble that I live in.  I live in a safe neighborhood.  Gone are the days in which I grew up that you came home from school, had a snack, and said, “See you at dinnertime, Mom!” and took off to play with your friends somewhere in the neighborhood.  Or after dinner, I would tell my mom I’d be in before dark (dark was officially defined as the time of day when you could see the lights on inside other people’s houses).  But, even so, my kids can run up and down the street and find dozens of other kids to play with.  Safely.  I lock my front door when I’m home only because the dang door won’t close right, so any little breeze makes it fly right open.   We’ve had a few isolated incidents in the neighborhood, but truly, Ward and June Cleaver would be very happy here. 

And, while this guy doesn’t live in our actual neighborhood, he certainly lives within walking distance.  And, there are a few child molesters that live nearby as well.  I would imagine it would be hard to find a place to live that didn’t have someone on the sex offender list either working or living nearby.

As I sat here writing this, Tom told me that he told our son about the incident.  Sadly, he has to because this man is at scout functions.  Fortunately, at all the Boy Scout outings, the adults sleep in separate tents or cabins from the boys.  You can’t even sleep with your own kid. For reasons such as this.  When I first heard that, I thought, “Man, I can’t believe we have to worry about this stuff.”  But, obviously we do.  And, I can sleep a lot better knowing that it has been thought about.

Am I being realistic?  No need to talk about it, because you can’t do anything about it.  Plus, it could turn out to be false.  And, I certainly don’t want to have anyone be able to say, “Well, Michelle said…”  Especially since I don’t know anything more than what I read in the paper.  If I talk about it with others, then I may hear things that I may want to repeat.  

Or, am I putting my head in the sand and living the life of an ostrich?  If I don’t talk about it, it will go away?  Obviously, I’m leaning toward the ostrich’s way of life.  Telling myself that it could be a mistake.  Reassuring myself that I let my kids off the leash “just enough” to give them independence, but still protect them.

I guess I will have to do what mothers have been doing for centuries.  Doing the best I know how to do here on earth, and pray every night that God does His thing up there.

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