Countdown Complete..

It’s been a very long 90 days. But it’s finally over.
I started this journey back in January, and to be quite honest, I’m not sure that I wanted it at the time.
There have been a few times along the way that I’ve felt the same way.
Recovery is hard. Especially when it’s intentional.

But there have been numerous people that have walked alongside me in this journey, and for them, I am forever grateful.

And I don’t by any means think that I’m fixed or that I’m all better now.
Recovery is an ongoing process.
But I am and always will be a fighter.
I have learned to not give up on myself.
I have fought hard to get to 90 days of recovery, and I will continue to fight for every day after this.

To those of you that have been there with me throughout this journey, your support means more to me than you will ever know.
I know for a fact that I could not and would not be where I am today without each of you.

To my intern/M1A family, you guys.. Well, I don’t even really have enough words to express the love that I have for each of you. You welcomed me into your family and made me feel like I’ve always been a part of it.
I have made so many wonderful memories in the few months that I have been here and can’t imagine my life any differently.
On the days where I wanted to give up on recovery, whether you knew it or not, you reminded me that it was worth it. That I was worth it.
You have encouraged me every step of the way.
And while there are some of you that may have a bigger role in this process, just know that every single one of you have been appreciated and I can’t express how much you all mean to me.
It was no accident that I showed up here when I did. And honestly, I didn’t expect to be around long. But God had something else in mind.
Thank you all for your love and your friendship. Thank you for seeing me for me.
I look forward to continuing this journey with you.

To my best friend, I honestly can’t imagine my life without you in it. We have had our moments where we let emotions get in the way of being good friends to each other, but I’m so glad that we have fought through what we have. You get me more than anyone else and have always supported me in everything that I’ve done. I love you to the moon. Thank you for loving me regardless. Thank you for seeing me for me.

To everyone else that has played a role in this, I love you more than my words could ever express. Your kind words have never gone unappreciated and neither has your friendship. You are all such beautiful people and I’m so lucky to have all of you.

To my Creator, I am continually humbled by the opportunities that you have put in front of me this past semester. I know that self harm is something that you never wanted for my life, but it is something that has been a part of me for a long time. And there have been many times that I’ve wondered why the things that I’ve gone through have happened, and I’m sure that I’ll never have a solid answer. But I know the things that you have done through me as a result. You have given me a heart for broken and the courage to shed light on issues that people don’t know how to talk about. Thank you for blessing me with more than I could have ever hoped for or dreamed of. Thank you for loving me where I’m at. Thank you for pursuing me when I needed it the most. And thank you for putting all of these wonderful people in my life.

This has been a tiresome journey, and it will never truly be over.
But I am in a better place than I was 90 days ago.
I am a better person than I was 90 days ago.
This has been the hardest mountain to climb, but what a beautiful view to have now.

Today I insert a big semicolon to my story.
This is just the beginning. My story is far from being over.
Thank you for the company along the way.

A new chapter starts today.
I hope you all will join me..

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In the Homestretch..

In two days, I will reach a milestone in my recovery process that I honestly never thought I would.
I will have completed 90 days of recovery.
That is something that seems almost unreal to me.

This has been such a hard fought battle to get to this point.
And I know for a fact that I couldn’t have done it on my own.
Not with everything that has been thrown at me.

I have been blessed with such an amazing support system.
People that I can create open and honest dialogue with about my self harm.
Which is something that has been very hard for me to do in the past.

In the past 88 days, there have been several where I just wanted to quit and even more where I questioned if recovery was something that was even meant for me.
Recovery is hard when it’s intentional.
It’s hard when you have people that will ask the hard questions and expect an honest answer in return.
And sometimes those answers are hard to form words to.
But I’ve done it.
And now here I am, two days away from something I’ve been working on for six months now.

I think back on some of the low points of this journey, and there have been plenty.
Trying to let go of the past.
Believing that I’m worth recovery.
Believing that I can trust the people I’ve brought along for this sometimes bumpy ride.

I remember when this second attempt to reach 90 days started back at the end of January, I was at a really low point.
I didn’t want recovery.
I wanted to stay in my relapse because I thought I deserved it.
I wanted to quit my internship.
And I wanted to shut out the people that have helped me the most along this journey.

But here I am.
As stubborn as I am, most of them are even more so.
And that’s a good thing, I promise.

I don’t know why this is the path in life that I’ve found myself on, but as hard as it’s been at times, I’m glad to be where I am.
I have a story and a purpose.
And both are far from being finished.

On Tuesday, I will celebrate.
And on Wednesday, I will celebrate again with the very people that have helped me reach this point.

 

My story continues..

Counting down to 90..

This is a number that for awhile, I didn’t think I would ever see again.

This is a road that I’ve been on since November.
Yes, you read that right, November.
And in that time I managed to reach 64 days of continuous recovery before relapse crept up on me in January.
And let me tell you, I thought my world had completely fallen apart at that point.
Trying to stay positive and upbeat about it doesn’t help matters much either.
Opening up isn’t easy for me. And as you could imagine, I did not want to talk about it.
But I reluctantly did.
And for that, I am thankful.

In the days since my relapse, I have been able to create open and honest dialogue about the realities of self harm.
The good. The bad. The uncomfortable. The addiction.

And now I’m sitting here at 79 days.

If you’re wondering why 90 is the number I’m shooting for, let me fill you in.
It’s been fairly easy for me to reach 60 days on multiple occasions.
In fact, I’ve actually made it two years being self harm free on two separate occasions.
But honestly, those numbers were achieved not because I was being intentional about recovery, but rather because I ignored the process. 
My new way of dealing was to keep myself as busy as I possibly could.
Whether that be an overwhelming course load in school or working as much and as often as I could.
But it seemed like any time that recovery was intentional, making it to 90 days was the most difficult part.

I started this new journey to 90 days the end of January.
And it has been a difficult one.
But because of where I’m at in my life and the people in it, I’ve been able to create an ongoing conversation and share this journey with people.

I’m so thankful for the people that are taking this journey with me.
I don’t take it lightly.
I know how hard this is.
I know how overwhelming it can get at times.
There are days when I just don’t want to do it anymore.
And if it weren’t for the people in my life, I think I might have already given up.

Recovery is hard when it’s intentional.
When you open up about some really dark and scary thoughts and moments of your life.
When you stare your addiction in the face and bring people along with you.
But in the end, it’s the most beautiful thing to have.

In 11 more days, I will celebrate a milestone that I’ve been working towards for almost six months.
It won’t mean that the journey is over.
And it won’t mean that recovery will be over.
But it will mean that I am more than my self harm.
It will mean my story is far from being finished.

To those walking this journey with me, the hardest part is almost behind us.
Thank you for sticking with me.

 

Usually

I try to let ignorant or inappropriate comments about self harm roll off my back.
I try to give people the benefit of the the doubt that maybe they aren’t educated on it, or if it’s someone that I know, that maybe they don’t know that part of my life.

But sometimes.
Sometimes I just can’t.
Sometimes I let it get to me. And I let it consume me.

I try really hard not to.
But I’m not having very much luck with that today.

I hate that people make such comments.
It makes sharing the journey that much more difficult.
It makes recovery that much more difficult.

I have worked my butt off to get to 71 days of recovery.
And I’m proud of that.
And I certainly won’t let a couple of ignorant comments come between that.

At a crossroads..

As my previous post mentions, this past weekend was probably one of the best ones I have had in a very long time.
And on several different levels.
But currently, the one that sticks out the most with me would be the ways in which I encountered God over the weekend.

I was raised in the Church of God-Anderson, Indiana movement.
I was taught a specific way of doing “church”
This is what was done, this is what wasn’t done.

I am currently a youth intern at First Assembly.

Completely different in a few aspects of doing “church”.

 

Some examples:
AG believes very strongly in the baptism of the Holy Spirit and that the first sign of that is speaking in tongues.
They also believe that as a result of that, you also have gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as words of knowledge, healing, etc., and that these things are available to any believer.

CHOG-Anderson believes that baptism of the Holy Spirit is a spiritual gift.
Period.
That it isn’t available to all believers.
And it is something that is never taught about or preached on.

I went to a CHOG-Anderson college and in my freshman Foundations of Ministry class, my professor stood in front of the class and passed out a spiritual gifts test for us to take and began to go over it with us.
As we were reading through it he told us that he knew which two gifts we were all looking at and unsure of: speaking in tongues and the interpretation of tongues.
He proceeded to tell us that in the 30+ years that he had taught this course he had never had a student ever score anything in either of those categories and that he didn’t expect any of us to either because we were all from CHOG-Anderson churches.

And that was that.
All she wrote.

Over this past weekend, I was part of worship services that have literally changed me.
Friday night, 19 people were healed of various things.
Myself included.
The group from CFNI came forward and all had words of knowledge that God had spoken to them and shared them with those of us there, and one of them was exactly what I had been dealing with: right knee pain.
I stood where I was at and two friends of mine came and prayed for me and I was healed.
And it blew my mind!

Later that night, as I was being dropped off at my apartment, a friend got out of the car and came up to my doorstep as I was unlocking my door and spoke a word of knowledge over me.
I didn’t think too much of it, other than it did apply to my current situation.

Saturday after 20 Camp training, a group of us went to Arby’s to go eat before that nights service started.
As we were sitting there talking and sharing stories, I found out that one of the guys that was helping with camp this summer had a very similar story to mine in dealing with self harm and attempted suicide.
It’s not too often that I come in contact with people that share that experience.
Later that night during service, that same person came up to me and asked to pray with me.
He began to speak a word of knowledge over me that was almost identical to the one spoken over me the night before.

Mind officially blown at that point.

 

I grew up with none of that.
Where worship was very structured and almost no room for the Spirit to come in and take over and lead the service.
Now, I’m right in the middle of a church that does.
And I’m experiencing things that I never had before.

I can recall a few services or camps/conventions both while in high school and in college where I lifted my hands in worship, but never before in my life as a believer had I become so consumed by God to where I got down on my knees in worship.
Partially because of my previously injured knee, which the night before had been completely healed.
And mainly because that’s just not how we did things at Eastside.

And so now I find myself at a crossroad.

I feel like I’m right in the middle of these two very different ways of doing things.
And I have so many questions.
And I want to grow in this new way.
But I’m not so sure on how to go about it.

 

It’s hard to grow in something if you don’t know what it is.
And that’s where I feel like I’m at..

 

So now begins the journey of finding out what all of this is and what it means.
And how it applies to where I feel like I’m at.

So now I will begin sharing a new journey with all of you.
Both are uncharted waters.

But both are exciting.

Much love to you all.

20 Camp training

20 Camp training

This weekend was hands down one of the best weekends I have had in so long.
And on so many levels.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going in to this weekend.
But man. Did God show up in some big ways.
Lives changed.
Healing taking place.
And just an amazing time of just seeking after Jesus.

20 Camp training didn’t disappoint either.
I was a bit hesitant beforehand.
I don’t like not knowing what I’m doing.
I like to have some sense of control or idea of what’s going on.
And with this being the first time that I’ve helped out with 20 Camp, and not knowing anything, with the exception of few activities, I was uneasy to say the least.
But by the end of the day and by the end of the night, wow. Talk about a great day.
New friendships were made and God showed up in such big ways..
And apparently I came out of my shell yesterday, even though I wasn’t aware that I was in one.
But looking back, I guess I kind of was. So I’m glad that I broke out of that.

Man. I am so pumped for camp. It’s gonna be great.