Tuesday, August 14, 2012

She's in shock!

Tonight I feel like writing. It isn't often I get a chance to take a break but this week has been a good opportunity for me to get my thoughts straight. I think one of the challenges of being in such an all consuming program is that sometimes you push your thoughts, desires, relationships and more aside to succeed. I knew the price when I entered and I know God is faithful...always. Today I volunteered for a paramedic and EMT state practical skills exam. I was a patient with bruises and a broken femur!I had been thrown from a car! I was also unconscious. I must admit it was pretty fun. But laying there I thought,"wow this is so fake for me but so real for somebody at this very moment". As the training paramedics announced I was going in to shock I thought, "these guys will save someone's life! How cool is that!" But this is what our profession is faced with every day - life and death. In order to see the value of a life saved we must also see death, dying and suffering. My teacher said that you can not be a emotionally stable nurse unless you deal with your own mortality. What does that mean? Well, to know that just like our patients lives were thrown off course, ours could be as well without a moments notice. We can not escape the reality that this life on earth will end and we do not know when. I've had a lot of fears about this and still do as I write this. I have many fears as those of your who are close to me know. There are days I would choose to live in the house than go to the store because WHAT IF a storm comes? I panic a lot. The worse case scenario floods my mind and I can't shake it. When I confide in people most say, "well, fear is the opposite of faith!" or "what's so bad about dying? You'll be in heaven!". Hmmm, this doesn't really fix this mentality of thinking. Are those things true? Yes. If I say it over and over will I begin to believe it? Probably not. What does work is when I say, "God has a plan for my life." I know this! Surrender is such a hard thing. That's what I struggle with. Surrendering my own desire for control for His. Life is messy but there are times when we look back and say, "No that was a beautiful time in my life". Those moments help me remember I serve a sovereign Lord who designed me for a purpose. Do I fall short? Yes. Does he use me anyways? Absolutely. Will there be messy times when I say "what the helicopter is going on and what am I doing?" YES. But because I know Jesus there will be a time following that of a chance to minister, a chance to grow in character and a chance to embrace the life I have been given. So now you know I have a bit of an anxiety disorder which include fears of : driving in the rain, leaving the dogs for too long, leaving the coffee pot on and the house burning down, being stranded on the side of the road at night, dying of some mysterious illness I haven't quite pinpointed yet other than I always have it (LOL), taking antibiotics because they can cause steven-johnson's syndrome, and the list goes on and on! haha. But each day I will thank God for the life he has given me, for the lessons I have learned and will learn and the chance to breathe everyday. And when my time is up (in 80 years..just sayin) I will rejoice with my Savior who has never left me or forsaken me! I am also thankful for those in my life who embrace this part of me and work with me to think differently. I know I can not be the only one who feels this way...so if it's you...YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Let's start a club! haha. Love ya'll!

Monday, April 9, 2012


‎"Redeemed ... "to pay the full amount owed so as to secure the release of the debtor from the Debtor's Prison." (literal translation at the time of Christ). Praise God, I've been Redeemed!

Dad posted this on my face book today and it hit my heart. "Debtor's prison" rang so true to the mindset I was in a year ago. To feel so trapped in your own sin, selfish thinking, and pity is definitely a prison. And yet, in His perfect timing He reached in to my life and pulled me to His chest and said "this isn't what you were created for" and I cried. I never asked Him how he would fix this....this brokenness. Truly, I was so desperate I clung to whatever He said and said "thank you Jesus for going before me!" It was truly like he had been searching for his little lost sheep. I believe I had a lot of heart issues. My heart was not in him, it was in me. Well, it's still in me (pulse 66...lol) but my love is for Him. What breaks His heart breaks mine because we are one. I have looked around at the suffering around me and I couldn't figure out why I was so sad for them. Yes, empathy is a gift I have but tears all day? Tonight I realized I am shedding the tears He is shedding, my heart breaks for the lost as His does...because when he redeemed me....he took my broken heart and made it His.

I want the ones I love, even the ones I don't like that much (being honest here!) to experience that. Sometimes I want to grab someone's hand and say "you're not alone". Most of the time it's Brittanie's hand because she's the only one at school that won't let go. Yeah, I get it..it makes people feel weird. But really, what I'm saying is "I love you. He loves you. We are not alone." I literally can be walking with Mercie, see a sweet old man walking his laps and have a overwhelming desire to hold his hand and say "Hi, you are not alone." (Are you thinking safety issues?? Well, I do too which is why I didn't do that.) This is a new thing for me. Actually it just started this past year, an overwhelming desire to hold people's hands while they talk to me or physically embrace them. A classmate came up to me the other day and gave me a hug. She said "You always give them out so I thought I'd give you one." Oh, my heart flipped with joy! It DOES feel good to be embraced and be told we are not alone. A teacher hugged me in the hall today for no apparent reason, not knowing how heavy my heart was today. There's freedom in an embrace. For that moment we feel connected....saved....

I believe that is how redemption feels. I believe that is what Jesus longs for us to feel everyday. Redeeming power. Endless love. Hope for the broken because of Jesus' sacrifice.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Old jacket, squeaky car and five dollars

So there are a few times in my life when a lightbulb goes off and tears fill my eyes. During that moment I think...I must write about this! It doesn't happen as often as I'd like but days like today help me remember how loved I am. Here's the story....

Today was a typical day. I wanted to get out and get some errands done since yesterday was apparently a holiday? Who knew! Grocery shopping was on my to-do list which normally consists of fighting the crowd at the(kind of gross) Wal-mart in Valdosta, waiting in line for 30 minutes and feeling like I must use hand sanitizer the minute I get in to the car! Haha. But not today. My husband texts me while I am waiting in line at the bank. "Hey, what are you doing? Could you bring me my basketball shoes?", read the text. And he's so sweet...how could I say no? So I go home, get his shoes and make my way towards base. While I am on base I decide to go to the commissary (which I never do). I am a creature of habit and Wal-mart has been my shopping place for almost four years! Anyways, I make my rounds at the store where I am pleasantly surprised by the selection and prices. I also love that there are not crowds of people fighting over the boxed dinners, carts stopped in the center of the isle, or people bumping in to me every 5 seconds. I love this! I go to the check out and remember they have baggers at this Commissary and it is polite to tip them when they help you out to your car. "Can you break this 20 for me please?",I ask the cashier. My bagger was an older asian woman who spoke little english. On our way out she commented on how cold it was outside. She had a thin jacket on over her work clothes. "I must get a bigger jacket!", she said with a smile. Followed by, "You're jacket is so nice and thick."(It's five years old and I think it smells funny). As we approach the car I am shocked when she says this, "WOW, you are doing so well for a young person! You're car is so nice!" You may ask why I am shocked. Well, Austin and I do have a nice car...2008 Ford Edge. And we are very blessed to have a 95 honda civic with a bad tint job that is paid for and runs nicely. However, it is not the nicest to look at. "Yeah?....", is all I can get out. As she shuts the trunk I hand her a five dollar bill. Her eyes fill with tears and she holds it to her chest and says ,"five dollars! You have just made my day!"

I pull out of the parking lot, tears streaming down my face. Not because I am so moved that I gave her five dollars (yay me) but because so often I forget how much I have been given.

Austin and I watched a documentary the other night called "A day in the life". People all over the world sent in footage from their day on July 24th 2010. It was compiled in to a very artistic film that I enjoyed. We talked afterwards about how we forget how other people live. I forget this is not the only way of life. I forget that having money in our pockets makes us wealthy compared to the poverty of this world. I forget that "my world" is not everyone else's. It makes you sad when you realize the worries of your day are not worries in comparison to the people going through garbage to eat or showering with one cup of dirty water. ...or a sweet old lady who thinks your 95 honda with no air...funny smells and bad tinting is so nice. ...because maybe she doesn't have one at all.

My prayer is that I never forget how blessed I am. I want to continuously thank God for every drink of water, hot showers and the opportunity to give back.

I gave her a hug before she walked away and it seemed she was even more thankful for that. She doesn't know it, but her thankful spirit was contagious today.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The already obtained Christmas gifts

Hope. It is a word that I hold dear this Christmas. This past year has held more trials and character altering circumstances than any year in my life. I am so thankful for the hard times, the loneliness and the times I felt like I was walking on a tight rope, about to fall at any second. Every day I wake up and question my faith. Why? I live in a terminal state of "what ifs" and doubt. Very rarely do I just sit and empty my mind of the irrational thoughts. Jesus has literally saved me from myself more times than I can count.

I haven't written in awhile. I've learned boundaries and just because I feel it doesn't mean I should air it out to society. Some things should just be kept sacred. But there is a balance, and there is a part of Melody that desires to share my heart.

So what do I say? What could I possibly say to Jesus except "thank you". When asked for my Christmas list this year I just could not think of anything I had to have. That is WEIRD if you know me. The only explanation is that I have received so many blessing while feeling so unworthy this past year. How could I ask for more? I have my husband, which will always bring tears to my eyes. Being a military family and being separated sheds a new light on what is important. I have my family. They believed in me for so long and even now they stand beside me...cheering me on...with my track record being to crumble when it gets too hard. I have Austin's family, who are not obligated to love me but they do any ways. I have a few friends here in GA that have unknowingly been my angels, just loving me. I have two beautiful nieces that still remember me and Austin. To hear them say "Mu" just melts my heart. A hug from Kate could take away a thousand tears. A laugh from Layla helps you believe there is good in life. These things I can share because they are gifts from Jesus. I treasure them.

Getting in to the nursing program was the goal...and the Lord has helped me through testing anxiety, feeling that I would die (literally...lol),feelings of inadequacy, and the list goes on and on. When I found out I got in to my program I was like "NO WAY...NO WAY...HOW?" And then I was like "OH GOSH CAN I DO THIS?". Which was followed by, "WHAT IF I FAIL?" And the words of my father seep deep in to my mind "If you fail, you are no worse off than before. You just get back on the horse".

I have three exams on Wednesday that I am terrified of doing poorly on. I have above average grades in all three classes but "WHAT IF, BLAH BLAH BLAH". I actually just finished studying. But it never feels like it's enough. Sometimes when you have failed before, you forget you are capable of succeeding. I think I am genuinely surprised when I get good grades. I jump around like a kid shouting "I DID IT!". I appreciate that though. To feel that "I DID IT" emotion is better than shopping! Sadly, it is followed by "what if I don't do so well on the next thing?"...ahh the power of thoughts. I'm working on controlling those. Me and Jesus talk about that a lot. He says, "Why do you feel inadequate?" and I say, "I don't know! You tell me!" and then He says, "I love you."

In conclusion, I can thank my computer teacher for this entry. She read aloud to the class a small discussion on Access software that I wrote. She wrote me me a little something that reminded me that I should share more often. Even with this next year being in a nursing school coma, I will attempt to keep you readers up to date with this life Jesus is molding. :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Job (long O)

"Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless. What he trusts in is fragile; what he relies on is a spider web. He leans on his web but it gives way; he clings to it, but it does not hold" - Job 8:13-15

I don't even know where to begin. I started reading Job a few days ago. Why? I've always disliked the story, the despair...the chaos. It is not exactly my favorite book of the Bible. God allowing satan to take everything a man loves out of his life to prove he is faithful is painful. Yes, I can say that. God already knows. lol. Revelation is another book I have yet to dive in to. But that's another story. ANYWAYS, so I started reading this mans story. At first I was like, "geez this guy whines alot!". Then I started to relate to him. Knowing I serve a faithful God does not mean I do not have days that I cry and say, "WHY GOD? What is this all about?". It's an emotion that every Christian experiences but feels ashamed to admit. After all, aren't we BELIEVERS? If we aren't saying "PRAISE THE LORD!" people may think we are doubting God. But don't we all.

I find it ironic God laid on my heart the book of Job (long O)...also pronounced...Job (soft O). To be honest, I am not comfortable where I am working right now. A few months back I had two job offers. One was a hospital photographer and the other a call center. I really felt like it was the right thing to do when I turned down the photographer job. I WAS CRAZY. lol. I felt like this one would be more flexible with school. I literally cried when I hung up the phone after saying no to the offer of photographing newborns in the hospital. It felt completely wrong but right at the same time. After Austin left and my training was over I was on my own. Everyday going in to listen to people rant and rave over their television (due to some legal papers I signed I am not permitted to say which provider...haha). I have encountered people who have no hope. Listening to their conversations saddens my heart. Listening to people yell and scream about a 3 dollar charge on their bill saddens my heart. Sitting in a box all day and coming home to an empty apartment...really saddens my heart.

Before I started reading Job I felt guilty for feeling so bitter. I felt like I should suppress it and not ask questions. But lately, I have been so honest with God. I have no one else to confide in; there is no one who understands my heart completely but Him. I guess I feel like I'm walking into a place of darkness everyday. I feel like I blur into the darkness, like I forget I am a light. I walk in to a place of despair and take despair home with me. I don't want to live that way. But I feel other people's emotions so strongly and this is what the majority of them feel...no hope...despair. I know there is a reason I am there right now. If for no other reason than to not be alone at home all day while Austin is deployed. I know I will see this as a blessing in the future. Just like Job was blessed in the end for trusting God...so will I be. But in the middle, it is life's hardships that bring us to that trust.

I normally don't ask for prayer on my blog. But if you'd like to pray for me...pray I find a job that allows me to be face to face with people in a semi-loving environment. lol. Pray I find a job that works with my school schedule..which I have found out this one will not. Pray for Austin as he also is working where he does not wish to be working (the desert). Pray for both of our hope to be restored and rest. We know we serve a faithful God. Being apart comes with being in the military and we thank God for the people He has sent us to build relationships with. You may never know how you have changed our lives during this time. We will continually thank God for his love for us. His hand is on us and He is not a God who will lead us to death, but life more abundantly. This is part of the process and we accept that. We are taking this one day at a time. We both appreciate the kind words and prayers that have already been spoken. May I touch a life the way some of you have ours.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Do you have any change?

Sometimes God will not change your circumstances until he changes your heart.

"Hello, thank you for calling. My name is Melody. Can I get you to verify the first and last name on the account?" I say this all day long at my job. Tonight I was reflecting back on the time I prayed and thanked Jesus for getting me a job here in Valdosta while waiting on school to start. I was so excited on my first day. This new thing from Jesus was so exciting! Now...not so much. Everyday I wake up alone. I go to a job where people are more concerned about television than life itself. My husband is deployed and my dog seems depressed. Life is not exactly a happy circumstance. I've wondered so many times the last few weeks if I have done something wrong. When I prayed that the Lord would change my heart and my attitude I did not expect it to be such a lonely and daunting experience. I was embracing change! The one thing I needed the most. Shouldn't this be a fairly easy process if I am in God's will?

But change only comes when we confront the fear in our lives. And the enemy is not happy when we do. Thoughts I called my own I am now realizing are lies. "Melody, what are you doing? Did you really think you could live away from your family while Austin was deployed?" "Wow Melody. Good job choice...way to turn down that photography job you were offered. You thought you were doing the right thing, huh?" And I've wanted to quit. I've wanted to quit this job and do what Melody does best...give up. I've wanted to find a happier circumstance, associating that with God's will for my life. But I am learning that change is a process. We pray and ask God to change our hearts. He does this through refining and testing of our character. And that my blog readers, is NOT happy times. Just because I feel alone doesn't mean I am. Just because it feels like I don't belong where I work doesn't mean God doesn't have a purpose for it. I am one that allows my fears to control my decisions. I think we all are. It takes a renewing of your mind everyday to push through those fears and say "I know I feel afraid but God says there is nothing to fear."

When you have lived 25 years of life paralyzed by fear...it's almost like physical therapy when you decide you want to walk again. Will you be reminded that you once couldn't move? Yes. Will you feel like the pain you feel in your body from trying to walk is too much? Yes. will you be discouraged that maybe one day you never will and this is a waste of time? Yes. Does that mean that you desiring to move again is not God's will for your life? No. Does it make Him any less sovereign or loving? No. It just means He needs to remind us that it is not possible without Him.

You see, God knows I am a co-dependant person. I find security in others. And when I knew he was calling me out of that I had no idea this would be the way out. SO I have a choice (as my mom would say)...thank God everyday for bringing me out of this circumstance the way He intended to...or go back to being paralyzed. So satan, you can suck it. Because I will not just walk...I will RUN. I may cry my way through physical therapy. I may ache to have Austin's companionship. I may worry about his safety or lively hood. But all of these things are emotions. Emotions come and go. God's promises are always true. So instead of focusing on my emotions...I need to focus on the truth. The truth is that being in God's will isn't always comfortable. It isn't roses. Knowing you need to pursue change in any area of life is difficult. Just mustering up the courage to admit it is tough. But walking through it is even harder. I always say that if satan is trying this hard to stop me....God must really be working. When you leave one thing it's not always important you enter in to a better circumstance...but that you are following the voice of God.

So I thank Him tonight through my tears. I thank Him for this time of solitude and reflection on my own character. I thank Him for teaching me how to relate to my husband in ways I never have before. I thank him for the promises He will fulfill through this muggy Georgia summer filled with gnats and call centers. : )

And satan you can still stuck it....yep...even doing the hand motion...because you are a LIAR. Can I get an amen? MAN! Where's my hand held fan? It's gettin hot in this church!! LOL.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hidden cell phone

"I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me"

Sitting down at the place I do every morning..got my coffee...my lipgloss...my cell phone hidden...no one has come in to work yet. Someone says to me, "Why do you believe in Jesus?". Taken back by the sudden urgency of this question so early in the morning I respond..."Because he loves me". This brings on a conversation of how do I know He loves me? Look at this world we live in! Look at the tragedy and hard times in my own life! How could I say He loved me? Tears fill my heart for this beautiful unbelieving person sitting in front of me. Raised in church, force fed religion and heart hardened by tragedy...they never knew Jesus. The beautiful Jesus who holds me when I cry in the car or watches me throw fits. The Jesus who watches my fears play movies that paralyze me at night and still prays for my unbelieving heart. The Jesus I trust with my life because He is the only eternal thing I have. The only one I trust enough to even get up in the morning and live life.

I literally cry after conversations like this. I am so mad that the church doesn't teach Jesus. I am so mad that these loved ones are taught rejection by the Christian community. For a while I even boycotted church. Why go? Well, because if I don't love those people how will THEY know the love of Jesus. I think Jesus would go to church and teach people how to love each other. I think not one is worthy...including those in church. We are all human. We reject people all the time. Who am I to judge? The purpose of church is to learn and grow. I will not boycott that any more. I am no better than they are if I say I am too good to be apart of them. While sometimes I fear rejection...afraid they may see my imperfections and not allow me to associate with them. If they do, that's ok. Because "a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God not people." And I will continue to love.

I once wrote a blog about prisoners at work. I remember seeing them on the side of the road with shirts that said "thief" and "murdered". I wondered what my shirt would say. Or what would happen if we all had to wear shirts that disclosed our worst moments. I think we would embrace each other. I think we would realize how unworthy we all were. I know that Jesus loves me in spite of what my shirt says. And I believe that that is what true love is. Knowing that someone loves you regardless of what you have or will do is the ultimate love. Knowing that he also died on a cross for those exact things written on all of our shirts so that we could know His love. How great His love for me must be. How could I not cling to that? It is the greatest gift of all.

So why believe in Jesus? "I have come that you might have life and have it to the full"- Jesus. I believe in His promises. I know He is alive and I feel his love everyday. I can not help but love him.