Let’s see if I can remember this blogging thing.
Yesterday was my birthday.
The past two years on my birthday I’ve cried, sulked, felt sorry for myself, shopped and went to a movie. I realize those things are not all bad, however I’ve used them as a way to run from the pain of losing Mom and Dad.
This year was different. It was such a good day.
Since November 3rd I’ve been participating in a program called Partial Hospital Program (PHP). It’s for those suffering with depression, anxiety, etc., and after I spent a night at the inpatient behavioral health hospital on October 28th, I realized it was time to get help. PHP is full-time for the first two weeks, 8:15 – 3:30, the third week is three full days and the fourth week is two full days. The final week is graduation!
It’s a hard program. But as my sister has told me, if it’s not hard, it’s not helpful. I have met wonderful, caring nurses and counselors. I have met wonderful, caring, struggling, depressed friends. Friends that really understand the struggle of depression. Friends who love Jesus and long to be healed and lead a fulfilling life.
The first three days were difficult. Well, like I said they are all difficult, but the first three are especially difficult. Dealing with and processing so many emotions that have been stuffed for a long time is exhausting. But it’s also freeing. Slowly the cloud of depression and anxiety and thoughts of self-harm have lifted. They have been replaced with hope and purpose and peace. Hope and purpose and peace that I don’t think I’ve truly experience since June 11th, 2012.
Well, back to my birthday!
I woke up and took Molly outside like I do every morning. I did my breathing and listening exercises while I prayed. I looked at the beautiful sky that was filled with bright stars and a radiant moon. I thought, “Mom and Dad, are you there?”
I continued to breath and listen with my eyes closed. And then the Lord gave me a vision. I saw Mom and Dad in heaven. They were dressed in white and standing with Jesus. Mom was jumping up and down yelling “Happy Birthday Missy!” Dad was smiling but he was also looking a little embarrassed for Mom. Hahaha. If you knew Mom and Dad you would know that was exactly how they were.
It was so amazing. I knew that it wasn’t my imagination. For the first time since they died, I could see them in heaven. It was the most overwhelming experience. And I knew it was my birthday present from Jesus.
My kiddos woke up and wished me a happy birthday. I needed to go into work before group and so I had to leave a little early. I was at work from 6:30 am – 8:00 am and I had the opportunity to have a nice visit with a co-worker. When I arrived at work I saw this:
I don’t know who makes these signs, but everyone gets one on their birthday. Once again, it was a very special birthday present as in the past six to nine months I’ve really given up on my writing. Yes, I’ve been working on my devotional but I’ve been struggling with that the past two months. It was as if the Lord was reminding me of the passion for writing that He’s given me. It was such a blessing.
After getting settled at my desk I read my daily calendar:
Thank you Lord!
One of my friends from group had bought me a women’s devotional book during my first week. I keep it at work so I can make sure to read it every day. This was the devotion I read that morning:
Once again, it was a reminder of God’s presence in my life.
I went to group at 8:15 am and it was a good day. I shared my joy with the group of how this was the first birthday since Mom and Dad died that I didn’t feel that despair and hopelessness. It was a great encouragement to others in the group. When you are experiencing such a deep dark depression, it is so helpful to see others who have been there, who have come through to the other side. I know that I still have healing to experience, however I was so thankful to be able to share my joy with them.
After our lunch break one of my close friends in group brought me these flowers:
Two roses to represent Mom and Dad, along with this card:
I broke down crying as she wasn’t in the room when I shared about my day and about my vision of Mom and Dad. It was such a God moment.
Later in the day we had a very difficult session as one of our group members shared some things he was struggling with. We were able to encourage him and pray over him and it was so evident that Jesus was with us in that room.
After group I went back to work for a few hours to find over a dozen birthday email messages from co-workers. I’m so thankful and blessed to have the job I do. They have been so supportive of me getting the help I need. At 5:00 I met Pat, the kids and Grandma Barb for a birthday supper and then we went home to veg out for the night. I snuggled on the couch with my babies as we watched documentaries on the company that makes LEGO and one on animals with prosthetics. I know weird, right?! But super fun for us!
One of the best blessings on my birthday was that I learned my brother Jim and his baby girl are coming to visit us in three weeks!! Unfortunately Leana can’t come, which I’m really bummed about. But I’m so thankful that Jim and Cleo are able to come. I mean seriously, look at this little chubby monkey!
We love her so much and can’t wait to see her. And Jim too of course.
We were all in bed by 9:00 pm. A late night for the kids, but an early night for me and Pat. I’m sure the kids fell asleep fast to dream of all the snow they’d get to play in today. I fell asleep fast with a prayer of thanksgiving on my lips and peace in my heart for a beautiful, blessing filled birthday.
Thank you for the many kind wishes on my birthday. Not only on Facebook, but many received via text. Thank you for thinking of me and being a part of my birthday.
Thank you, Jesus.