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Where I’ve Been

April 10, 2014 - Author: Michy

I haven’t posted anything in ages, and I’m sorry. If you know me, you know it’s been a tough few months! Car trouble, pregnancy, money, depression.

The goal for my next post was to finish up my series on why God allows trials. I have a ton of notes written for that post, but I wasn’t able to complete it before I was hit with one of my own trials (or my own series of trials). Hopefully, my experiences over the last three months will make it a better article than it would have been!

I’ll write it. Soon. But until then, I wanted to say that I’m still here, and I haven’t given up. I’m also still learning. I didn’t face my trials as well as I could have. I was disappointed in myself when my attitude became very negative and I told those closest to me that I was not okay and the situation was not okay and not going to be okay. I believed God was still with me and would see me through, but knowing it deep down wasn’t the same as letting it be reflected through my actions and attitudes. But I will write and finish that series.

By way of update, Hubby and I are expecting baby #1 sometime before October. Smile We have a new(ish) car with lots of back seat space. I am in business for myself as a Virtual Assistant over at www.Michelle.io (check it out!) (running a business is a lot of work!) and have plans to expand and grow. Speaking of expanding and growing, I’m almost ready to get into maternity clothes. And, though I was depressed for a while, I can see the sky again, at least for now, and I’m always grateful for such times as these. Oh, and I’ve learned to drink lots of water. I think that’s most of the new stuff.

Categories: Christianity, Depression, Personal

Why Does God Allow Trials? (pt. 2)

December 10, 2013 - Author: Michy

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

During my time away from God, the time I spent calling myself agnostic, I let down a lot of standards. Certain things weren’t temptations for me, so I stayed pure in some areas not because of my morals or standards but because I just had no interest. I did, however, try out (more) forms of self-medication and escapism. I left my family, turned my back on their attempts to help, and ran off to Arkansas where I moved in with a guy I barely knew. Then later I ran off with another guy I barely knew. I lied and snuck around and let things come out of my mouth that I’d not previously allowed.

My coming back to God was a process. It didn’t happen in a sudden transformation. In fact, it’s been an ongoing thing ever since its beginning, but I guess that’s how relationships work.

After several months of wandering, I hit a new low. My depression and anxiety were untreated because, of course, I had no insurance and no money. My Asperger’s had never been diagnosed, let alone had I learned how to handle it. I had no job. I was alone with a guy I’d only known a couple months with all my family hundreds of miles away. I had a suitcase of clothing and books, a pillow and blanket, and a tent with a leak, and it was winter. And it was in the mountains of North Carolina. And it was raining. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

For once, it wasn’t just me who was lying awake at night.

He was cold and frustrated and, now, wet from the leak in our tent. I was miserably curled up on the half-deflated air mattress, my precious Tempurpedic pillow hard as a rock from the cold. We had moved our camp down the mountain a bit, so it wasn’t quite as freezing as it had been the previous nights, but it was miserable nonetheless. My one beige blanket wasn’t enough to keep us warm.

It had taken hours, the first night, for my hip to touch the ground, but apparently the hole in the mattress had grown, and this time it only took half an hour. I couldn’t help but think of the waste of money both the tent and the air mattress had turned out to be. What useful things we could have bought when we arrived in Asheville, NC, if we hadn’t purchased these wastes. Food, for instance, would have been good. Shampoo, maybe. A camping stove. But we had none of those.

The rain began to fall harder, and we realized we couldn’t stay in the tent all night like this. Instead, we let ourselves out into the dark woods with our jackets and single  umbrella and began to walk into town. There was a 24-hour diner down the hill and about a half a mile past the Greyhound bus station (where we had arrived several days prior). We took seats and ordered coffee and hot chocolate, and I pulled out my old Nokia cellphone, grateful once again that my sister had let me remain on the family phone plan when I ran away.

While he lay down on the bench on his side of the table, I dialed my mom in Texas, and I told her about my miserable predicament, but it didn’t take long before I realized I couldn’t accept any offers of help from her since they would involve leaving him here, stranded and alone. My parents – no, actually, every one of my family and friends disapproved of my choice of companion. I could see their point. If I had not gotten involved with him, I would still be in Arkansas with a place to stay and a not-so-bad job at a daycare. Instead, I’d brought home a stray and decided to take care of him, sacrificing what little I had because he liked me and gave me attention.

The staff in the diner grew tired of us, of him sleeping in their booth, of the fact that we were obviously just using them as a place to hide from the weather even though we couldn’t afford any real purchases, and they told us we needed to leave. We ended up walking about 3 miles down to Walmart, the only other business open in the middle of the night, and we spent the rest of the night pacing around the store, killing time.

The next day, we were sitting in a church waiting for the attached soup kitchen to open for lunch, when I received a phone call from an angry-sounding man asking for my companion. My companion filled me in after the call, telling me it was nothing – a misunderstanding or a wrong number. They said he owed money, but he didn’t, and they had the wrong guy. They claimed to have a recording of his voice, but it wasn’t him. Feeling confused, I tried to shrug it off, but the ball dropped later that day as we were in the bus station.

It was my sister who called, this time. Michelle, I need to talk to you about the cellphone bill. I knew it was going to be bad. And it was. He had racked up hundreds of dollars on my phone, which was in my sister’s name. What was worse, the charges weren’t all innocent like the text messages that cost $0.10 per message or the calls to information (411). Most of the charges were from calls and texts to 900 numbers. Hotlines. Inappropriate, embarrassing secrets, all going on behind my own back on my own phone.

Finally, I was disgusted enough to agree to my mother’s offer. That same day, I got on  yet another Greyhound bus and headed back home to Texas, leaving my companion behind. (For a time.)

Mom and Michelle in 2006

(My mom and me eating cake for my Bday about a month after this story takes place.)

Categories: Christianity, Narrative

How to Be Productive

November 25, 2013 - Author: Michy

I sat down this evening to make a list of “stuff that I do.” The idea was to have a somewhat balanced list. On one side, I’d list all the productive activities. On the other side, I’d list all the unproductive activities. Then, when I finish something I have to do (like work), I can decide what to spend time on next by picking from one side or the other.

I don’t know if that would have worked or not because a funny thing happened while I was making the list. I was able to think of eleven productive activities very easily, but when I moved my pen to the other side of the paper I could only think of three unproductive activities. I sat. I thought. I checked my favorite search engine. I looked around the room. Nothing. Just three things.

My list is so unbalanced.

But here’s the other funny thing: I spend more of my non-work hours on those three unproductive activities than I spend on the eleven productive activities!

I guess it’s time for a change. I get 8-9 hours each day (most days) to live my life outside of work & sleep, and I want to be more conscious of how I’m spending my time. Play is good, but there needs to be a balance. And my productive activities aren’t all work. Some of them are (cleaning, for example), but many of them are just good, constructive uses of time that are plenty enjoyable.

After all, I’ve been thinking lately about who I want to be, especially now that I’m closer to 30 than 20. Unless the person I want to be is an unkempt bum who wastes most of her free time, I should probably start using my time more wisely.

That is all.

Any thoughts? Please share!!

Categories: Personal, Time Management

Why Does God Allow Trials? (pt. 1)

November 22, 2013 - Author: Michy

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

The first time I really, honestly questioned God’s existence was when I was 18 and facing a rough spot in life, a trial. My trial was mostly internal and invisible. At the time, I wished I had been crippled or had cancer or something, anything that someone else might be able to see from the outside. I hated the fact that people could look at me and think, “She has it pretty good!”

I went through a long trial, and I was a Christian, so I prayed. I prayed things like, “God, I know you’re there, so please help me,” and like, “God, I’m not asking you to change my circumstance. Just help me through it. Please. I need you.”

But I felt nothing as I prayed. And I felt nothing after I prayed. And I saw no sign of any supernatural help from God.

I thought I wasn’t believing hard enough or wasn’t living perfectly enough, so I put more effort into doing the right things and praying the right way and believing harder because that’s what was supposed to help. Eventually, though, I crossed a line and allowed myself to consider something else.

My rationality became: If God exists, I believe He has to be the God of the Bible. I believe He is everything the Bible says He is. Therefore, God must be holy, just, omniscient, omnipotent, merciful, and loving – all these things I’ve always believed Him to be. I don’t doubt that He is those things. But a loving God wouldn’t do this to me. If God exists and loves me, He would be helping me, not ignoring me. I’ve been pleading for a year, and nothing has happened. There’s no chance that God is simply not those things; therefore I have to conclude that maybe God doesn’t exist at all.

After I figured that out, I started calling myself agnostic. I stopped going to church. Stopped praying. Let down my guard and my standards. Went about my life as best as I could without God. (For a time.)

Categories: Christianity, Narrative

A Girl Overweight (Part 1)

November 13, 2013 - Author: Michy

I have a confession.

I’ve been trying to write about my struggle with my weight and food for a long time. When I say a long time, I mean at least 2 years. I mean almost since the beginning of this blog.

I’ve been trying to write a good summary of all my problems and how I overcame them or at least how I planned to overcome them, but the truth is that I don’t know if I ever will.

I’m not just overweight. By all accepted standards, I’m technically obese. I may always be. I don’t want to be, but I can’t promise a radical change at this point.

I’m someone who works from home, who plays computer games and Xbox games, who watches Netflix for hours on end, and whose favorite hobbies are “artistic.” Art isn’t usually very active, unless you’re talking about dance, and while I do enjoy dancing, I’m not a dancer. I’m sedentary. Even when I fight against it and get into a routine of regular active, I’m still a mostly sedentary person. And I eat. I eat when I’m bored and when I’m sad and when I’m stressed and when I’m not-sober.

And here’s the honest truth. Here’s where I am right now. Here’s my real confession. I absolutely hate my body.

I’m not saying that to get sympathy. Believe me, that’s not the goal. I’m not even saying it to beat myself up, nor to motivate myself to change. I just have been trying to write about this for so long, and I’ve been trying to convey a “good” message, and I’ve been trying to change the way I think and feel to fit the way I want to write about my struggle. I’ve been trying to write about it, but not just tell the truth about it. The truth is I positively HATE my body, hate the fact that I’m fat, hate how much I eat.

I mean, seriously, I cry about it. I cry at the most random times. Even if I’m eating healthy food, while hungry, I will sometimes cry over the guilt of the fact that I’m eating at all. I mean, I feel like I don’t even deserve to feed myself.  And I don’t know if you’ve ever felt that way, but it’s just horrible.

I want to be different. I want to lose weight. I want to have a healthy body and a healthy body image. I hope that some day soon I can write part two of this story and explain how I started to make positive strides. But every journey starts somewhere. Wherever I end up going from here, I just thought it was worth documenting my beginning.

Don’t worry. This isn’t going to become a weight-loss journal. I just needed to get this off my chest. And, now, I’m going to post it before I have a chance to back out.michy 24th bday

Categories: Personal