Rain, Rain, Go Away!

I can not tell you all enough just how important, encouraging, and supportive you all have been through these last two years.  One important lesson I have learned through all of this is that the struggles we have in life can breed and grow ever stronger when we’re ashamed and keep secrets of our pain and struggles. I have wrestled with secrets and shame for a long, long time, always trying to make sure that what the world sees is the best, possible picture that I can project.  I have learned, over the last two years, that I do not have to be ashamed of the things that are in my life. I won’t be. I’ve come to believe that all the things that are in our lives, good or bad, make up the special and unique person that we are.

I have been very open about my struggle with my own mental illness and the challenges that have come along with it. It is still very difficult for me to even say I was subjected to inappropriate sexual experiences as a child.  The way I just typed that sentence even seems to trivialize it. It was sexual abuse!!! It has caused problems in my marriage, problems with my overall sense of safety. It has led to fear that I am not allowed to have a say, or any control, over my environment. It sets me up to be easily taken advantage of because of feeling unimportant and believing that it’s true. All of that leads to intense anxiety, traumatic stress, and depression. I’ve also developed some obsessive behaviors in an attempt to give relief to the storms raging in my mind and the all too familiar lies that accompany them.  I have come so far with therapy, listening prayer, and medication.

My reasoning for this particular blog post is to invite you all into the storm that is raging right now. I will not let this cause shame, so I am going to drag it out of the darkness and into the light. Like I said earlier, we have been so so blessed along this journey in a myriad of ways. I would like to believe that, at some point in life, the sun will come out and and dry up the storms. I’m learning that the truth is there will always be storms. But, God does show us the sun in the midst of all the rain, so long as we trust that he has a plan to bless us.

Let me step back a bit and give you a glimpse into the storm and the voices and lies that I hear so often in my head right now. I usually hear pretty consistently that I am a failure at a being a Mom. The things that my boys have had to witness are things that no one, let alone, children should have to see.  They have seen the effects of me trying to end my life. They have seen me be a completely, useless, shell of a person due to the grips of depression and anxiety. They have watched me be paralyzed from fears that have no rationale to them at all. I can see them struggling now and I feel responsible. I also feel very much enslaved in financial bondage because of this illness. I won’t get into all our debt problems, but one example is that our insurance does not cover mental health at all. Therefore, all of my medical bills have been put on credit cards, which has us now swimming in debt, which leads me to another thing. Because we are “self employed” and not privy to group health insurance rates, we chose to get “insurance” through a reputable, Christian medical sharing company. But apparently, if you are Christian, than you are not allowed to suffer from mental illness. At least, that is the message that I am receiving, since they don’t cover mental health AT ALL! That is a topic is for another time but this should not be a message that we as Christ followers are projecting to a hurting world.  It certainly helps perpetuate the lies the enemy is already telling me about my failures. I just add them to my list.

So, we are working really hard as a family to make it through this financial storm. I hear Dave Ramsey in my head saying, “nothing is sacred” (meaning, anything can be sold or adjusted to help get you out of debt). We have cut bills, sold one of our cars – we are a family of five living with one car, which has not really been that terrible – trying to get our mortgage modified. We’ve cut up credit cards and consolidated high rate debt. I’m working two jobs. Kevin is working all the time and I feel COMPLETELY responsible for it all. The lie that haunts me all the time is: we would not be in this position if I did not have mental illness. However, just like we try and teach our kids, our choices have consequences and we are very aware of our responsibility for them.

At no point would I ever ask for anyone to just take pity on us either, and I am still thankful for so many things. I am thankful for the jobs that I work. I am thankful for the roof over our heads. I am thankful for the friends and family that have stepped in and had our back more times than I can count. And even though the insurance part is crappy, I am thankful that my husband has the business that he has and the clients that he has. Our biggest client has been so over the top gracious to us over these past two years. He could have easily said, “I am not dealing with that crazy family and all this mess,” but he has shown us the meaning of grace and compassion by allowing Kevin to be the rock our family needed him to be and still employing him.

So many people ask what they can do to help and a lot of times, I don’t know what that is nor do I ever want to ask anyone to have to step into our stormy life unnecessarily. However, I am going to go way way out of my comfort zone and ask for help. First, and foremost, please continue to pray for me and my family. Pray that regardless of what we have directly ahead of us, or down the road, that we are always seeking what GOD WANTS US TO DO, AND NOT JUST WHAT WE WANT, OR WHAT IS THE EASIEST FIX. Secondly, through Kevin’s friend and client, we started our own Juice Plus+ business. We have our own “virtual franchise.” It is a way that we can work and bring in some more money. I would very humbly ask that you would consider being one of our customers. I think this would be mutually beneficial. If you currently buy vitamins for your family, please consider us as a source of high-quality nutritional products. I am not going to get into a big sales pitch because I’m just not like that. But I am incredibly grateful for what this company has already provided for our family nutritionally and by way of our client and friend.

If this is not something that you can do, I completely understand. Again, just pray that God delivers us out of this time better than when we went in. I know that He has a purpose for this struggle and I pray that the blessings will spread out far beyond our family to as many people as possible. Here is our website if you want to check it out. Or, you can message us if you have any questions. Thanks to you all.


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