Thursday, May 17, 2012

Are you not worth much more than they?

"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? ~Matthew 6:26 How true, right? God promised to take care of the birds and yet HE tells us that we are more valuble than the birds. And you know what, we are! It's been a minute since my last blog. And what an amazing minute it has been. During the past few months I can say that I am feeling amazing. God has provided and helped bring me out of such a terrible state. He has reminded me of who I am...HIS child! He has given me a new outlook on life. I am 100% certain that my family and friends have noticed a change in me. My husband and my kids are loving having their wife and mom back. And I am most certainly enjoying being back. Before I got help I could make myself mellow out at the drop of a dime...and now...well, now, I'm back to having issues controlling my laughter. I'm having fun again for the first time in a long time. I'm enjoying what all the Lord has blessed me with. I used to dwell on all the "things" I didn't have but now I don't even look in that direction. I don't want "things!" I have what the Lord has given to me, all of which I do not deserve. I said in my last blog that depression is real and it really is. Depression doesn't just effect you, it effects everyone around you. For months that turned into years I had a mask on my face. I hid behind my problems. I blamed others for my faults and I wasn't willing to accept that I had a serious problem. My husband walked on egg shells all the time, which in return effected the things in his life. My friends had to be careful what to say to me because it might cause me to become upset. It takes a lot to admit that you need help but needing help doesn't mean you're a bad person. We pray and ask God to protect us, to help us, to lead us, to guide us, to give us discernment...well...asking God for those things do not make you a bad person either. Life is such a precious gift, do not waste it wondering "what if." Do not allow something to consume you of being who God created you to be. If you do, Satan wins. No matter what the situation may be. I ask that you continue to pray for me and my family. I had a follow up appointment with my doctor last month. She was very pleased with how the medicine was working and did inform me that I may have to up my dosage if I notice changes in my mood. So far, everything has been wonderful and my prayer is that it stays the same or I'm able to one day come off the meds. As of right now, I'm not in any hurry to change anything. They also ran blood work that day and my liver enzymes were elevated. I'm supposed to go this month for more blood work. The doctor wasn't too concerned because everything else was perfect and my enzymes were only slightly elevated. We are hoping that it was due to taking Tylenol for a cold. I know I've said it before but I will never stop saying it...God is so good! He has more grace than I could ever imagine. My prayer for all my friends is that you know how special your life is and how important you are. I have been blessed with some amazing people in my life and I'm eternally grateful for each and everyone one of them.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Grace Part V

On my way home from a friends house, I called Joe. It felt like we argued all the time. I would ALWAYS find something wrong. I could point out his flaws in the drop of a dime. I blamed him and accused him of some of the most hurtful things. Tonight's phone call was another argument. It was the argument that forever changed my life! Without going into too much detail, this argument might have been the pettiest argument in the history of arguments. It was also serious. The "D" word was tossed out but it was by me. My amazing husband threatened to stalk me for eternity. I told him I was going to my cousins house to clear my head. I wasn't thinking of anything or anyone. Not even myself.

Joe demanded that I come home. As I sat in a Wal-Mart parking lot, crying, lost and all alone I kept saying NO! I told him I was done with everything. I was tired of putting on a mask trying to pretend that I was happy. I couldn't tell him why I was unhappy, but I was extremely unhappy. It wasn't him. He was everything I ever wanted.

When I told him that I wanted to leave it was because I felt like he deserved better. And he did, but our vows were for better or worse and he constantly reminded me of that.

I cannot tell you why, but I started my car and drove home. I don't think I was the one steering the wheel that night. I truly believe it was Jesus Himself!

When I got home, Joe grabbed me and hugged me. I jerked away screaming and crying. I looked over at our stove where we keep our steak knives and grabbed a knife. I was ready to die. I WANTED to die! I wanted him to be happy and I kept thinking that he would be happier without me. The world would have been happier without me. I was causing pain everywhere I went. I was exhausted trying to pretend all the time.

After taking the knife away from me, Joe and I dropped to our knees and he began praying. He prayed without ceasing over and over again. My eyes were closed but I cannot honestly say I heard what he was praying.

We laid in bed that night and he held me in his arms and together we cried and we cried. I told him I felt lost and alone and all the other emotions. I told him that I knew God was there but I just couldn't feel Him. I needed to feel Him. I told Joe that I knew Satan had a grip on me and my life but I felt trapped.

The next day I called a couple of friends. One yelled at me, told me I was being stupid. She told me that she loved me and that I needed to see it. She and her husband told me that they were praying. I knew they were and what an instant comfort knowing I had a friend that was sweet enough to tell me what I needed to hear and not what I wanted to hear. Another friend comforted me. She too had struggeled with some of my feelings and told me what to do and who to call.

I made an appointment with a Christian female doctor and I told her everything. From my petty arguments with my husband to some of my past. I told her that I knew God was there but I just couldn't feel His presence. She comforted me and she diagnosed me. She said that I was going through a lack of hormone called progesterone. One of the side effects of lack of hormones is depression. She gave me an antidepressant called citalapram and I've been currently on it for almost three months.

I can say, I'm feeling like myself for the first time in a couple of years. I'm back to being the old Shellie. The one that didn't have to make myself be happy, I just wake up this way. The one that knows I am am loved and wanted. The one that feels the Lord's presence with me everywhere I go. My relationships have become so much greater than what they once were and life is wonderful. It's not perfect but it's just great.

I used to think that depression what a mind set. If you could tell yourself you were depressed then you were and if you could tell yourself that you aren't, then you're not. However, that is not the case. Depression is real! I know! I've been there and I guess one could say I still am. I will eventually get off my medicine and there's a part of me that is scared but I know with the help and love of my family and friends and the amazing Grace of my God, everything will be ok.

My husband is the greatest man I know. Having to put up with a crazy woman for so long and never giving up on me, even when I was ready to give up on myself. He deserves the best. I'm not always certain that I'm the best (I do still think he deserves even better) but he's stuck with me and I will strive to be everything He deserves. I want to be all that I can be to everyone around me. A better mother to my children, a better child to my parents, a better friend to my friends and most of all, a better follower of my Lord.

Grace...God's riches at Christ's expense. God sent His Son to die for ME!!! I surely want to live for HIM!

Grace Part IV

So August came and so did Maggie Grace. A perfect little girl that would complete our family. I decided that since I was unable to nurse the boys I would try nursing Maggie. That caused a lot of discomfort and tears.

I began feeling different. I was easily hurt. I had real fears of rejection and abandonment. My self esteem was basically non existent. I realized what was going on and just started focusing on the good things. A family of 5 that, according to doctors should have never been.

Life continued as normal but life with me was becoming more and more stressful. Maggie was already one and learning new things. I was excited but not the way I should have been. Not like I was with the boys. I was also experiencing something very new to me...jealousy.

I made an appointment with my doctor for a sick visit and while there I began telling him of my emotions. He gave me a test and it came back that I was on the verge of being severly depressed. I scored a 69 and 70 was the severely depressed stage. He gave me an antidepressent called Welbutrin. I came home in tears and told Joe. I prayed and decided I wasn't going to take the meds. Instead I would work on losing weight and getting healthy. For the next year I lost nearly 50 pounds. I was quite excited going shopping and fitting back into a size 2! It reminded me of my high school days of being super skinny and I was loving it. But I didn't feel like a 2. When I looked in the mirror I still saw this overweight girl that was ugly, unliked, unwanted, unloved, uninteresting, un everything.

We celebrated Maggie's 2nd birthday. I had reached the point of not caring. I never wanted to do anything. I wanted to stay at home, in my PJ's, in bed and not do anything! I dreaded everything. I would pick up my kids from school and would instantly get in a horrible mood. Joe would come home from work and I would instantly get in my mood.

To be perfectly honest with you, my marriage was struggling because something was going on with ME! I began giving those I loved the cold shoulder, I pushed people away. I had a friend tell me that she thought I was different and I shrugged her off, thinking it was just an excuse so she could leave me. After all, I was unwanted.

Grace Part III

Shortly after Joe and I married I began having serious stomach pains. I went to a doctor and she told me that I would never be able to have a child. Of course, as someone who eventually would want children, I opted for a second opinion. To my surprise, the second doctor said the same thing. But that wasn't good enough. I got a third opinion and this time the doctor said there was a possibility but not to wait.

We didn't. After being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian syndrome (PCOS) Joe and I conceived our twin boys. It was a hard pregnancy and even harder labor and delivery but I've already blogged about that.

We had decided that after the twins we didn't want more but after several years the Lord began laying another child on my heart.

This is where my story for the blog finally begins...

I was a very happy person. I've always been happy. Even with all the trials and tribulations that happened in my life. I knew that God had a purpose for all of it. God was always in control. He gave me a dad that loved me, He gave me a mom that always did her best to provide for me and to show me the kind of woman I wanted to be, He gave me a husband that would do anything for me and He gave me children when people said it would never happened.

My friends used to say that I would be a Kindergarten teacher or an aerobic instructor because of my excessive amount of energy I had beginning in the mornings and not ending until bedtime. I was named Most Spirited my Senior year of high school. I was happy.

Then Christmas time of 2008, we got to celebrate life once again as we told our parents were were expecting another baby.

Grace Part II

Midway through my sixth grade year I received a phone call from Junior. Very rarely did he exercise his visitation rights and the phone calls were the same. Obeying the courts orders to provide child support were out of the question since he would jump from job to job. Spending time in jail because of not paying child support didn't matter because, well as he said "he had a place to sleep, hot meals, tv, new friends and didn't have to work." Junior explained to me that he never wanted me. He told my mom to abort me and she didn't. He said that I was nothing more than a mistake that should have never happened. Let me remind you, in sixth grade I was ELEVEN years old!!! He said that if he ever saw my mom and I on the road he would try to run us off. Crying hysterically, my dad (remember, Brad?)took the phone, walked outside our house and well...I'm not sure what all was said. All I know is that when my dad came back inside our house he gave me a huge hug and asked if I would officially like for him to be my dad.

The summer between sixth and seventh grade my name changed legally to Shellie Pittman. My birth certificate now read that Brad Pittman was my Father...yay!

From that point forward it all seemed to go by so fast. I was a typical teenager doing typical teenage things. I was a good girl. I never got in trouble. I was always afraid to. I had boyfriends but of course my dad never liked a single one.

Before I knew it I was entering my senior year. I was working at Chick-fil-A and had just started dating Joe. It was my last year of school, my last year of cheerleading and the first year to the rest of my life. Christmas of 1999, still in my senior year of high school, Joe proposed to me. My first boyfriend that my dad actually liked. Preparations for a wedding quickly began as well as preparations for graduation. Can you say busy?

I graduated in May of 2000 and on November 18, 2000 I was having my first kiss as Mrs. Joe Wilburn. It wouldn't be long and there would be more excitement to come.

Grace Part I:

Let me start out by saying that this blog will be long, which is why I've given it parts. It will also contain some very personal and very real emotions and feelings that I've had over the past few years. What I am writing isn't for a pity party, it isn't a story that has been created for enjoyment but it is about my struggles that I personally have had.

I've thought long and hard about what to name this entry. I constantly kept going back to GRACE. I love the acronym for GRACE...God's Riches At Christ's Expense. That's exactly what my journey has been full of. Without Grace I would be condemend to hell.

Let me tell you a little about my past...

I have an amazing mom!!! She did everything for me as a child. Even if that did include working three jobs at once. She put me in beauty pagents, bought me whatever she could and never once did I realize how poor we really were. My father (and I use that term loosly) worked but mom and I never saw the money he would bring in. We lived in a tiny duplex. While my mom was busting her tail working, my father was also working and I would stay with my Nanny (Grandmother.)

Instead of referring to him as my father, lets call him Junior. I don't feel he deserves to be called my father. Junior worked as a security guard for a Ryan's Steakhouse on the North side of town. When his shift ended he was able to bring home leftovers, which he did. They were in a white styrofoam box and he would put his initials on the box with the words, "DO NOT EAT!" My mom and I were left to eat whatever we could afford, which usually consisted of bread and water. On good days, we would get peanut butter and jelly. I remember countless times eating spaghetti noodles with ketchup. Junior would sleep all the time and when he wasn't sleeping he would trash the house that my mom had just worked hours cleaning.

When I was around 5 years old I had to stay with baby sitters if my Nanny was sick. It was then that the sexual molestation began. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. I was told that I was in trouble and if I told anyone that I would get in even more trouble. As a child terrified, I never told and it continued until I was nine years old.

If that wasn't enough, when I would come home from the sitters house I would have to listen to my mom and Junior argue. Sometimes it was over me but most of the time it was over his many affairs. I remember one time walking by their room and seeing Junior with a gun pointing it at my mom.

Mom and Junior eventually divorced and mom remarried my Dad...not stepdad because that's just not sufficient enough for him. His name is Brad and he's amazing! He's my dad through and through! Life wasn't easy but I guess after a divorce it wouldn't be. We moved to a small two bedroom/1 bathroom apartment. We used boxes covered in sheets for end tables. Mom brought my bedroom stuff for me and she and my dad slept on a matress with blankets. It didn't matter what we had, for the first time in my life (at the age of 8 or 9) I had a real loving family and a dad that allowed us to eat and gave me hugs! Of course at first I despised him. I was being fed many lies about him but once I realized that all the words that were told to me were just lies, everything changed.

We moved in with my new Grandparents when I was in the third grade. I began getting very sick and the doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me. I was constantly throwing up and just very weak. My mom came into my room crying and asked me what happened while at the sitters house. When I refused to talk she questioned me and knew the whole story. She told me that it wasn't my fault and that I should never be afraid to tell anyone. A little counseling and things finally settled down. My sickness went away and all was well.

Life was becoming amazing. We moved into our own place and had real furniture. School as a child was fun. I met my very best friend and still to this day we stay in contact, Jessica. She and I were always joined at the hip and I have memories with her that I will forever cherish. School was passing by. Then it was time for sixth grade. I began the school year as Shellie Turner. That is, until a phone call changed it all...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Such an exciting time!!!

After struggling with infertility and having extremely difficult pregnancies Joe and I prayed and felt that it would be best for us not to have anymore children of our own. Now that doesn't mean that one day we wouldn't adopt if that was what we felt God wanted us to do but for now, we're done! HOWEVER, I'm so excited! It seems as if everyone around us is either pregnant or adopting. I LOVE IT! What a blessing it is for so many! What a blessing it is for me personally!

Just the other night a sweet friend informed me that they had a daughter (she's adopting!) It's just so exciting to see how God's putting children in people's lives. Earlier that same day, another one of my sweet friends had me confirm her pregnancy test. She and I have so many similiararties with infertilty. We both thought that we would never be able to conceive a child on our own. However, God showed just how incredible His love is and how He is the ultimate physician and when He wants us to have a child, He will allow it to happen. Even when we are uncertain on just about everything.

God's love is so amazing. We don't deserve any of the blessings that He gives to us each day. We deserve death and yet He gives us everything, including life eternally. I serve an awesome God. I'm so excited for my friends! I'm looking forward to going to some baby showers and some welcome home showers soon.