I’ve spent the evening reflecting. Reflecting on the last week, the last month. The last few years. Reflecting on life in general. Where it has been, where it now, and where it is going/could go.
So much change. Last night a friend and I were chatting about the change, over the years.
He used this analogy – ‘you were like an uncontrolled forest fire, now your like a gas hob. Lots of fire but under control’.
I had no come back to that. Which is how I know actually, he is right.
I’ve had some spectacular arguments with people, both online and offline. I would often end up getting into a war of words with someone I disagreed with, or with someone being disrespectful toward me or something I believed in or am passionate about. Or with someone judging me. Or street preachers who pick on vulnerable people … or or or, the list is endless. I’ve had a lot of arguments/rows over the years. And given a lot of people ‘what for’.
I am still fiesty. I am still fiery. But I am learning to pick the battles I fight more wisely. And I am learning how to fight them more wisely too. I am trying to learn a better way. I AM learning a better way.
A way that is more grace, kindness and love.
Which is what a lot of people have and are showing me, over the last few years, and at the moment.
Grace, kindness and love.
This morning, someone very quietly and very gently came and stood by my side, during church when I had become a bit tearful (I’ve never attended a church before where tissues just appear so effortless and quickly!). They gave me a hug, and then simply stood/sat by my side. It was powerful. Because sometimes there are just no words to say. And sometimes knowing that someone knows that and does not try, but just offers solidarity means a lot.
This morning was grace, kindness and love.
The last month or so has been immense. Some really big changes. Some really big stuff happening. Some really big stuff to have to process, think about, reflect on, and move on with … without adding anything else to the mix, moving on from ‘Fragz’ has been incredibly freeing, but, and I had not expected this, emotional, and hard work too …
The very last line of the very last blog I wrote on fragmentz.org – was this:
‘You’ve all known me as Fragmentz. But actually my name is Helen. And thats who I’m claiming back’
And that is what I am claiming back. Who I am claiming back. God has called me again. By name. And I am striving to move on in this new journey of claiming back who I am … and who I am meant to be.
But this new journey is not without its tough. Change is not without tough. Well it never has been so far, for me, and I’m not expecting it to be any different this time …
The challenges thrown at me over the last 6 weeks have been huge.
Just 10 days after sensing God calling my name once again, I found myself fighting for my life one Thursday/Thurs eve due to an asthma attack that they were unable to control. When the conversation turns to moving to intensive care and being ventilated, you know its pretty serious … The impact of that has been massive. The battle with my immune system and issues revolving that is also raging. Having bloods done tomorrow and the likely hood is I will start either immunosupressant drug treatment or low dose chemo drugs next week. So, my quest for better health at present is failing. Dramatically. When I made a pact with God on the 20th October to roll with change, this wasn’t what I was expecting.
The other incredibly difficult and painful, but significant thing to happen was that I experienced a ‘flash back’. Something I am not ‘prone’ to as regularly as the nightmares. The nightmares have become/are a part of life, which at times is more difficult than others depending on how many nights in a row I’ve had them. But flash backs are an infrequent event. To the point of, if you were to ask me to think of as many things I could that could possibly get in the way of this new journey, that could possibly cause me stumble and falter, I’d never in a million years have come up with flash backs.
But they have appeared. Again. Most disturbingly, the first one I’ve had in a long long time, a few weeks back was while I was in church. During a worship encounter. During a time where I had closed my eyes and tried to focus on God. Tried to worship. And all I could see flash before me every time I closed my eyes were the nightmares. And then 20 minutes into the evening, did the flashback wave over me. People experience flashbacks in many many different ways – for me, I’ve been known to lose control once or twice during one, hitting someone once. But for the most part, I’m still. And they don’t last very long. The thing with a flash back, or my experience of them anyway, is that, for that time, for that moment you are living whatever it is your mind has taken you back to. Whatever event it is you manage to mostly live life on from, whatever event you manage to put at the back of our head. A trauma event. You are living that trauma again. Reliving it. As if its real. And its disturbing. It made me spend days and the following week feeling as though the event the flashback had taken me back to had just happened. I felt re-violated. And the challenge has been to battle through the feeling and emotion that has bought with it – its meant making myself go back to church. Because the temptation has been/was to think ‘is this mistake/has this been a mistake’. All this change, all this striving, all this seeking after God again, really, is this the right thing to be doing? This ‘safe’ space I was/am starting to feel loved and accepted in, had become/has become a place where my mind was/is taking me to violation. That is not safe.
A few weeks ago I tweeted asking people for some help to write a new ‘twitter bio’ and a new ‘about me’ page. Changing from Fragmentz has involved many challenges, including learning to write more positively when describing myself. I was overwhelmed by the responses – so thank you! But one response was from my church Pastor. And its become one of my ‘tag lines’. Its become important. It is important. To me. It was this :
‘ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, changed and changing, blessed and blessing’
All of it is important, but right now, tonight as I write this, and as I reflect back, and start thinking forwards again, the ‘changed and changing’ line is significant.
However tough this season of change gets/is, and it is tough, and is not instantly going to stop being tough, I’m clinging on to the fact that God called my name again, and I am claiming that back.
I’m holding on through the health battles, through the flashback and nightmare battle, through the other challenges that are thrown out in the way to the fact that I am changed. Changed from years ago, and changed just in the last few months, and continuing to change. I have no idea how that change is going to look, but its going to be change none the less.
I really believe that this is signifant. In my ‘Good bye to Fragz’ blogs, I referred to a phrase a few times, and the sense of ‘now is the time’. And I still feel that. Still sense it.
Now is the time. Now, tomorrow, next week and the months to come. And 2014. For change. Significant change.
I am changed. And changing.
Had a lot of conversations about nightmares and flashbacks with my psychologist. Like you I’m more on the nightmares side of things, I don’t get many flashbacks. However I do still think that it’s my brain’s way of reminding me “hey, you haven’t dealt with this yet!”. As flashbacks and nightmares are, there is some logic to having them I think.
Anyway, I’m not expert on God or the Brain really but consider that you do feel (more) safe now. Maybe it’s your mind or God, just giving you a nudge to say – hey, it’s okay to start dealing with this now. To make progress so that nightmares get less. It’s SAFE to do so.