Thinking out loud while "changing my thinking"

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The True Story of a Seven Year Marriage

Worth the read! Truly about choice.

The True Story of a Seven Year Marriage.

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Letters to the broken

As I stood in the kitchen washing dishes, the news of his father becoming a drug user began to circle my mind. Even though I knew there was no direct way to verify this allegation…there was also no reason to deny it. He used to deal…he just got out of jail  for dealing, about 8 months ago… and is currently dating a woman who is known to actively use.

The thought of his son, now only 2 years old, losing the chance to have a dad involved in his life… the thought of what he will be exposed to as he gets older, and learns what his father is into… the thought of the cliché “history repeats itself,” seemingly so real, in a world where patterns propagate over and over again. The cycles are so heart breaking and painful to watch. Endless shadows of families that could have been, turned to single mother households… endless tales of young girls seeking affirmation from male counterparts leading to unplanned pregnancies.

Take a trip to your nearest low-income neighbourhood and watch. The evidence is overwhelming. But let’s not pretend it only exists in underprivileged communities. Even the wealthy suffer the same epidemic. Our society is laced with brokenness.

If I could write a letter to each man, woman and child.. it would go something like this…

Dear Brother

Before you walk out that door…Know that this attempt to show you’re in control… to show that you are “wearing the pants” …is a blatant display of your weakness. This woman, that you whispered promises of love and gave hope of a future… will be left with yet another wound, which will turn into a scar. Her heart will be broken… her insecurities enhanced. Her sense of worth will diminish as she recalls every conversation and quarrel you every shared… questioning whether any of it was genuine.. or if she just ‘played the fool’. Know that the fierce, rigid attitude with which she guards her pride, will crumble the moment you walk out. Realize that the child or children, who allowed you to creep into their heart(s), gaining acres of trust, respect and love… will lose their sense of safety and security… their world will become increasingly unstable… they will become intimate with abandonment, and flirtatious with the art of escape.  Before you make the choice to leave… ask yourself, how will this impact them? and is your immediate satisfaction worth it?

Dear Sister

We have been down this road before…I understand those words caressed your deepest areas of need… but must it end in the bedroom? Why not stop this time.. and allow him to learn you in every other way but the physical. Rather than have him be your measure of worth.. why don’t you begin to see your own worth? Look in the mirror and see how radiantly beautiful you are… embrace the tenderness of your heart; you were designed to nurture and comfort.  Don’t be ashamed of your emotions… though you are not to be led by them… having them does not make you less sane…less valuable. Before you submit your body… has he made you his wife? Has he honoured and protected you from the selfish desires of his flesh, and yours? Has he taken the time to know you in all your complex simplicities? Does he lead you down the right path? Will he make the choice of loving you, a daily mission?

If you’re a mother, look in your child’s eyes and ask if this he will be father and “daddy” to this precious, impressionable soul? Realize that the power to influence your child (or children)… is being released into his care.. for better or worse.

Dear Child,

I am sorry for every time your sense of security was trampled on…for every moment your parents chose to put their needs and wants above yours. I am sorry they did not create that environment of love, support and wholesome family hood that you needed. I’m sorry they made you feel like you had to earn your significance; fighting for their attention and approval. I am sorry you were guilted into responsibility or were considered too stupid to ever be a mature adult. Recognize that despite their seemingly infinite imperfections… they too are lacking. Choose to forgive them. Choose to love them. Choose to disrupt the pattern of brokenness by responding… by making the right choice. Your story does not have to follow their pattern. Your story can travel along a different path.

If I could write letters to each man, woman and child… I would say,

“Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light”

There is still hope.


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Things to be grateful for

The procedure has been completed.

If you have ever heard the expression “shot-gun wedding”… today was my shot-gun dental surgery.

Contrary to my earlier post, my endodontist decided to drive back from his other home (1.5 hours away) after receiving my tear filled page at 4 am this morning. I fought to manage my pain..  but nothing..  literally nothing was pacifying it. 2 percocets, 3500 mg of ibuprofen and on my way to refill ice for the 6th time…I broke out in heaving sobs by my dining table.

Oddly enough, as if Angel (my cat) knew I was in pain..she no longer ran ahead for my attention…she stopped, turned and watched me. The pain was overwhelming.

I prayed for relief. I could no longer sit and read online blogs while holding an ice pack to my face because I was starting to see spots…Half sitting up, I curled over the ice pack/towel/pillow set up I devised. Laying in the dark only aware that I was in pain…and that no one was there. (Interesting how in the midst of suffering we become very aware of being alone)

By 7 am…my prayers were answered. Despite aching pain… everything seemingly surreal…a soothing occurred that enabled me to sleep for a couple of hours.

By the time I woke up…I had missed two calls from him…letting me know he was on his way etc…

As I had suspected…though my cheeks are chubby… one side was swollen due to infection and he could tell just by touching it.

Not all the tissue had been cleaned out during the root canal procedure I underwent 2 weeks ago, so it caused the infection from the abscess to fester. As he drilled in…he exclaimed that fluids were gushing out and how I should feel relief from the pressure… and bear with the taste.

Taste?

Forget taste… for me the idea of infection fluid rolling around my mouth and possibly getting swallowed was way worse than the thought of a nasty taste.
To finish it off…he began using a scraper to dig into my gums warning me that I would feel it..but that it was necessary in order for fluids to be drained etc.

He also shaved my tooth down since the infection had caused it to loosen, leading to collisions with my upper teeth.

I now have a hole in my gums, a hole in my tooth and more pills to ingest.

All this being said, I have decided there are things to be thankful for:

Thank You for him deciding to inconvenience himself for my sake.

Thank You for the problem being identified.

Thank You that my tooth could be saved.

Thank You that the infection was caught before spreading to my blood stream.

Thank You that the pain became so unbearable, I did not continue to “tough it out”.

Thank You for relief and for the possibility that I will be able to sleep through the night again.

And there are more… but for now, I will rest.

 

 


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Another tortuous night

Once again, I am giving up on trying to sleep.

Having dozed off multiple times, only to be re-awakened by the nagging pain… and/or from the dripping of ice melting down the side of my face… I just can’t take it anymore.

It’s another dental work gone doubly wrong.

The result of the over ambitious young’un who decided to drill so close to my pulp when filling with amalgam…= development of an abscessed tooth.  Once again, a situation of neglect and failure to listen when I reported having abnormal sensations and pains on my lower right gum/jaw… being told “oh, these things take a while to heal”… rather than investigating the source.

Found out 13 days ago, that the tooth now needed a root canal. But to make all this worse… after being in tears on the plane ride to Denver… after nights…just like this one… of waking up at 2 or 3 am… or not being able to sleep till such odd hours despite popping several hundred milligrams of ibuprofen… It appears the root canal was not done properly. SMH.

What is it going to take to get the right care? How many times must I be crippled with this suffering?

I have taken Percocet and at least 2000 mg of ibuprofen…I have gone through 3 wrappings of ice to help sooth… and when I finally felt the sweetness of sleep hit me… the stabbing became unbearable…sigh.

The response of the endodontist when I had him paged today…

Endo: “Does it hurt when you bite down?”

Me: “Yes

Endo: “Don’t you normally take a while to heal?”

Me: “No, this is different.. the pain is getting worse daily”

Endo: “So you feel pain when you bite down?”

Me: “Yes… it’s really painful.. it typically starts off feeling sore and uncomfortable, achy… then becomes a throbbing pain… progressively spreads through my lower jaw… then my inner ear.. then the temple of my head etc..”

Endo: “Hm. Maybe some tissue got left in there… so do you have more pills or you want me to call in some more for you?”

Me: “I’m sure I have some but I just…”

Endo: “Is your face swollen?”

Me: “Umm.. I don’t know.. doesn’t seem…”

Endo: “Well, do you want me to call in more or you got enough to wait till monday?”

Me: “I have enough..”

Endo: “Okay well I’ll get you in at 7:30 am monday and we will fix the problem… be there on time.. I’m coming in early for you..(etc)

Me: “I’ll be on time..”

(etc)

As I get off the phone… all I can think is…seriously? Because my face hasn’t blown up.. and I have enough prescribed pain pills.. I must continue to suffer till it’s convenient? And coming in early for me?… My original appointment was 8 am anyway… so how much earlier is 30 minutes? SMH.

There was a time, when people in medical fields actual cared about their patients well-being. Am I missing something?


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What’s the purpose of marriage?

For the first time, I am able to understand the “no desire to get married” perspective. So many of my non-Christian friends have expressed this attitude for years and I just never got it. To me, you love each other… clearly want to build a life together… so why not?

What I failed to realize, is that beyond my cultural beliefs… my spiritual/religious beliefs are what truly nurture my views on marriage.

Prior to my salvation, I witnessed what my parents shared, and admired every aspect of it. They fostered a relationship of mutual friendship… knew each other inside out…actively yielded to one another in disagreements, jovially played and had intimate discussions with each other. They were an ideal example and I loved it!

Some early mornings, my brother and I would ease drop at their bedroom door and routinely heard them getting on the same page about any and everything. There was a peace about how they related with one another…it was simply beautiful.

I have no doubt that it took years for them to get to that place. Years of working through trials… years of learning each other and adapting… years for a selfless, unconditional love to develop. But from my 3 decades of observation, I am grateful I have had such a positive example to influence my views.

(Especially after seeing the casualties of the abusive marriage my biological mother endured for 8 years.)

However, my view on marriage got 106 fold enhanced, after coming to know Him.

It is not that I became more unrealistic about what marriage entails. I just saw it through a new set of lenses.

It was no longer just a perfect union of two people… it was a union in God and a powerful expression of His love manifested for us.

Marriage was made for the same purpose we are…for His glory… but what makes it even more amazing, is that in the midst of it…the potential for growth is exponential.

Based on current divorce rates (in the US), it is clear that it takes way more than some puppy love-infatuation-sexual connection-financial security- and wavering happiness to maintain a marriage. The initial giggles and coos from over romanticized fantasies eventually fade to standard daily living. Sometimes physical appearances change… or the act of communicating begins to suffocate rather than liberate.

So what is the purpose?

This was the question posed by a lab mate of mine who is currently in a new relationship. Though culturally, her parents (traditional Chinese) would expect her to tie the knot… she has more “modern” ideologies of how things should go. She believes there is no point… you can live with each other, have sex, enjoy each other for a lifetime or not. Essentially, she sarcastically questioned whether she should do it for tax benefits…and expressed how she sees no purpose in it. In her perspective, if he wants to leave her, she wants him to be able to do so, without feeling obligated…without the messiness of having to separate acquired material goods and finances through a legal system.

It was like, WOW… I get it. There would be no purpose if I did not believe marriage was a deliberate choice to unconditionally love another person… to serve them, regardless of it being reciprocated… to stand faithfully by their side, even if they failed to meet your emotional, physical, or even intellectual needs. There would be no purpose if I did not see it as a testimony of His redemption. So how can I expect “modern” society to view it the same way? I really can’t. Culture, mindsets and beliefs are continuously evolving. So I certainly can’t think that even within a society where people are pushing for same-sex marriage… that “traditionally” accepted marriage between man and woman can’t fade into companionships that either work out for a lifetime or end in a simple break up (though not so simple when years are invested).

Don’t get me wrong. I do believe that levels of maturing can occur within companionships…after all, various close relationships can show our deepest character hiccups as well. But as a Christian, I believe there is something that happens in the spiritual when that union is made. All that being said, I finally understand why some people do not see the purpose of getting married.

 


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A place to call home

Bare with me as I attempt to communicate on very little sleep.

Still awake from the unexpected alarm going off at 3:30 am (UGH)… I can’t help but think about my experience here in Denver.

So far it has been…interesting.

Contrary to what I imagined, the city appears to be small… or better yet, spread out… kind of like Atlanta.

Even on the ride into Denver, we literally saw NO mountains. (jaw drops)… not sure how I could be wrong on so many levels…I thought I searched all possible google images LOL. But to make things worse, there has been no way to escape the tentacles of this meeting aka major disappointment.

Please realize that for the past several months, I have conjured up an image of perfection when thinking of Denver. Between thoughts of the majestic Rockies… beautiful weather… the overall idea of being able to gallivant a real city, yet have the option to retreat to cabins and /or trails with spectacular views and lakes at my disposal… yes…I had a dream.

I had built an idea in my head, that somehow, Denver could be the place for me to finally call home.

 

Within in a few hours of exploring “16th Street Mall”…which I will admit, is very cute and buzzing with energy at night… we had multiple experiences of bad food… bad service (do better Cheese Cake Factory!)…and noticeably fewer options, with all the replicas of stores (such as 6 Starbucks on one strip)…. I was pretty much on the side of “There is no way, I would want to live here.”

But the following morning, around 5:30 am…as the dawn pierced through a sliver of spacing between the curtains… all was quiet…I decided to take a peek at what the city looked like in the stillness of the morn. Much to my surprise, I caught a glimpse of the Rockies from my hotel window. 🙂

I was ecstatic.

From that point on, all the negatives we had experienced began to look like minor divots in a sea of possibilities. No place would be perfect. It could work! I just need a chance to explore.

Now I wish this was a tale of how I played hooky and created the experience I wanted (my typical norm) in trying to discover my “home”…but it’s not. I was stuck in the hotel where the conference is being held and in the vicinity of 16th Street Mall for meals.

But what I take from this, is the potential for more…a part of me longs for that place to call home…and I believe even if it may not be in Denver (still not ruling it out)… It could be in Boulder… or Knoxville…or wherever else. Nothing says I can’t keep exploring my options until I find the place that truly resonates with the desires of my heart.

At the end of the day, my true home lies with Him… so the physical home is a temporal satisfaction… and the possibilities of that, are endless.

Rest assured, I will be back!

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The Blog World (revised)

Somehow my edited version of this blog did not get published. So sorry for the redundancy, but I will take a stab at recalling what I actually hoped to communicate.

The blogging community is pretty amazing. Though I was up at an ungodly hour (alarm went off at 3:30 am Denver time), I finally realized there is a method to the madness!

It began with a notification that Opinionated Man (http://aopinionatedman.com/about-opinionated-man/) is now following my blog. Then by seeing a response, Morning Story and Dilbert (http://morningstoryanddilbert.wordpress.com/author/morningstoryanddilbert/) had written to me…WHO KNOWS HOW LONG AGO!!! SMH!

(utter shock)

You have to realize, each of these bloggers have THOUSANDS of followers… one in particular over 20000…so for them to take the time to respond to commentary is like WOW.

It was at this moment, a light bulb went off!

Though blogging is very much a way of communicating and sharing your deepest thoughts with whoever may be interested… it is also about humbly, valuing the readers…respecting them…showing an interest in them… and in some way acknowledging the time they take to read an expression of yourself.

Afterall, who am I that anyone should take an interest in my rantings?

So today, I say THANK YOU to all those who have chosen to follow this blog and/or read posts. It is definitely not a polished art for me yet, but my hope is that as I continue to read and get inspired through Him and other written expressions…it will get there!