Archive for the Uncategorized Category

The Hourglass of Life

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 29, 2018 by Her Broken Wing

What did you say? Sitting next to him, I impatiently asked.

And then I saw the pain in his eyes that told me he was doing his best.

He was old now and his speech had begun to slur. I took his hand and held it. I was convicted. The twinge of pain ate at my soul. I looked at his hands. They were wrinkled and aged–they were old. He shook as he squeezed my hand back. There was an unspoken language between us then.

In that brief existence, his heart spoke of a time when he was vibrant and virile. A man who raised a family. A man who had a career and worked a garden in the hot Sun. This is the reason his hands were weathered today.

His heart spoke through his eyes, he was a man of God. Although my impatience saddened him deeply, he understood. For he had once been young and he too had been quick to judge an elderly man like himself as I did him today. Oh, he understood, he just didn’t like it.

I saw all this in the look of his eyes and the small tear that fell.

Time passed and we sat there quietly–together.

An understanding.

A forgiveness.

A love.

Psalm 71:9 “Do not cast me off in time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent”

Connie

The Saint Fallen into Grace

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 26, 2018 by Her Broken Wing

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”(Matthew 7:5)

Did you hear about…? Or so and so…. Or I hear that another Pastor lost his…  Did you hear about Connie?

I cringe.

We are becoming desensitized. Or is it we are thankful that it is someone other than ourselves? But what about when it is us.

Oh, not because we are innocent although we might some times forget what our own “fleshy desires” might be.

When I fell, I fell hard. my flesh took its toll. I took a path of a non-fruit bearing life and yes, with Jesus by my side (See, Jesus never leaves us). I lived in the lie for many years which led me into a life of self-loathing. Eventually, I tried to take my own life. But God was not ready for me. I am alive but not without much pain. And there are always consequences of my choices. There will always be physical, physiological and emotional scars to me and my family.

I learned that another friend that I have always looked up to is not perfect. Imagine that?! Do you think the song, “Don’t look at me, look at Him” brings tremendous merit here?

I am always on my husband about his own flaws or one in particular. In hit me and hit me hard this week that it is not my place to worry about that any longer. Matt 7:5 slapped me so hard, I truly felt dizzy. For my husband has his own journey with Jesus and who am I to interfere? I thought what about my own weaknesses, my own problems that keep me apart from perfection?

Oh, flawless? That is right, we are not the perfection that God speaks of when He thought of Someone as the perfect Lamb that gave His life! Otherwise, what did we need Jesus for! And as in Galatians 2:21, God reminds us that Christ did not die in vain.

But I still wonder, so many people, Godly people are falling into the fleshly desires. Despair. Pain. Disease. Disappointment.
I have my own weaknesses that keep me on my knees, weak and praying. It keeps me forever giving grace to my friends and family as I am aware of my own limitations. The plank in my eyes help blind me to the pride I think I carry and helps me to reflect on an inner love that can only come from God. Spiritual blindness! Not an accident but part of God’s plan.

It is almost as if to say, in some daily reminder, we are nothing apart from HIM.

Daily we fall into grace. Daily we are reminded that we cannot live without HIM.

And as the battles rages… and it will–Satan wants us to give up… He wants us to give in and feel helpless, crying out, “Why bother, dear brother!”

On the other side, God is standing in, not surprised, not anxious but calmly waiting… He already knows where this is going….

You and me, all of US–Into the arms of our precious Savior…

As we–Fall into Grace, His Grace…

And when we stand before our Lord, we will know… we will worship… we will praise… HIM
He will only see us through the love of His Son and the forgiveness of the CROSS.

Amen

Connie

 

Daughter of the King

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 24, 2018 by Her Broken Wing

Some days, I don’t know, who am I? The oceans’ waves roll in calling me such names like self-pitied , self-destructive , unworthy  , depressed, and  chasing  shadows of the night, haunting my time in seeking peace and serenity.

People (I) gawk at things, my weakness and failure like an anomaly of nature, having come up on a bad wreck, trying to see how bad it really is,  I slow down to take a look. Why do I or we do that? Why do people look and stare and whisper….about me? “Do you know she’s ….?” I look back in wonder at the wreck. The wreck of my life. We  have all been there in a sense, staring and talking. Yes, you have in your human frailties. Denying it does not mske it go away! I don’t know but maybe watching  others in pain and destruction  makes our life’s  look, well normal, tender, loved and safe and more.

I had become the victim. Poor me. I used to believe that was a good place to be. People would feel sorry for me outwardly. But that wasn’t  the case.  A friend told me  when we have the victim mentally it is ugly and not an advantageous place to be. Just think about someone we knew with  the victim mentality, how do we feel about the person?  It isn’t appealing and sometimes grates us the wrong way.

What  I did to pull out of this? Several things

1) acceptance – I am an addict. Life changed  no happy hour. It is what it is

2) Go to meetings. When I was new,  I did 90/90  meeting a day for 3 months. Then, several meetings a week.

3) find a sponsor— I cannot begin to tell you how important this is. They have pulled my ass out of many trenches before! Start with one, you can get another one when you learn personalities.

4) work the 12 steps- start #1 it’s  so important.

Step One. “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol— that our lives had become unmanageable.” I wear this on a bracelet my daughter gave me always reminding me to give thanks

5)  clean my side of the street. In other words, quit blaming others. Find my part in situations

I could not do any of this without God. I wouldn’t be sober if it weren’t  for Him?

At the end of the day when I put my head on my pillow in the darkness of the night, i watch the silhouette of the trees on my wall.  The trees sway to the moons commands. Serenity I am reminded and I am also reminded of who I am…the daughter of the King!! (Psalm 45:9)

Good night and love  y’all,

Connie

Tentacles of Hope

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 20, 2018 by Her Broken Wing

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The image was engraved forever into my mind when I woke up in ICU from a suicide failure, something that would forever haunt me.

I’m so sorry to those I hurt. but at the time I meant to die. I’m glad God spared my life, as I was already unconscious when they (my husband and police)  got to me. I had really believed, and thought I would die. I could only imagine the horror of my husbands face when he found me.

I had been so sick for so long. I was untreated for the following; anxiety, severe depression, mania, yep bipolar, I had drug and alcohol abuse for 10 years, later PTSD (I started having nightmares, screaming every night and my husband had to console me to a safe position) And rIght, of course, my eating disorder  (bulimia, anorexia) and dissociative (which started at age 5 after a severe trauma). Now it’s on rare occasions. Yikes, there is more but I’m sure I’ve outworn my welcome here.  For now…

In 2010, I went into drug rehab. I did not realize  what was ahead of me otherwise I would have hauled ass but I had a sick mind. And that I was being groomed by this creep man, this so-called Doctor. In 2012, I was sexually assaulted by this man who took an oath, “Do no harm.”

Over the next year I started losing weight like crazy. My eating disorder had exacerbated.

Looking at pictures, I looked horrible, I had people ask me if I was sick instead of  I was smokin hot! I asked to go into treatment but the doctor just said, “you are too old.” I was like 50!

Whatever age, whatever sex, I believed we all deserve treatment. My nursing board sure thought so as I had been approached by the nursing board. You don’t want that, trust me? Then I had no choice, no voice.  I wasn’t too old, there were women older than me in rehab which only as angered me. I wasted precious time damaging my body.

My mind was killing my body. I was a deserted shell.

The octopus has his arms. (There are 8, like duh). You get rid of one arm (well you can do the math), calling my name into their world.A black abyss, bottom feeders.  So bipolar is a disease, not much I can do about mental illness except do the work to stay as normal as possible. Whatever that is? Treatment for me includes medicine and it has taken years to find the right mix. A good counselor someone I could trust. psychiatrists to prescribe your meds. And a 12 step program.. prayer and meditation ( that isn’t crazier than me), a sponsor, someone in the program that I can talk to. And the most important thing is i need God. If you are atheist, you need God too.  This is my cocktail for surviving mental illness and addictions.

The shame and guilt which can be crippling at times, I  was able to share my experiences for the first time and because of my illnesses, after I sought treatment , treatment, treatment and drugs like antidepressants etc., I was able to get back on my feet.

For me, when I got sober, I was on the 12 step or AA pink cloud. I floated. All was well. And when the sexual assault happened. This is when I plummeted. I crashed

I went from one arm of the octopus to another  arm of the octopus. I was vulnerable (James 1:2-3), I had not put my faith in God’s way, my shield of armor. And my ED went nuts in 2013 where I spent a total of 3+ months in rehab.

What was the image I mentioned that had been engraved  into my mind forever when I woke up in ICU, I will never forget my children’s faces with tears streaming down their cheeks. That image still haunts me.

As does my own experience as a child, My parents attempts and my granddads successful suicide, It left me with  scars that were deep within my soul. I am still angry. I have had extensive counseling, therapy and many other things but mostly Prayer on my knees kind of praying.

The crash  was pivotal in my healing of a very traumatic life, childhood trauma, etc.  Oh, I do have to work at it. AA, sponsors (a 12- steps),engaging with others,the hardest for me was changing playmates and playgrounds. And most importantly a higher power which I call God!  I was blessed with the best of friends, all in the program so they get it! But My family rocks! They have stood with me in spite of me!

How good is that?

Blessings

 

disclaimer: This blog is my experience. Take what you can use, leave the rest. Respect me and others or I’ll send the monkeys. Connie Barris and may not be used, reprinted, or published without my written consent.

Treading Stillness

Posted in Uncategorized on January 19, 2018 by Her Broken Wing

Fast food, fast cars, fast check out lines,  fast data at our fingertips and fast everything.  We don’t like to wait for anything.  So what happens when God asks us to wait for Him?

God asked Abram to wait 13 years for an answer and direction. (Gen 16) God didn’t do it because  of displeasure but to learn discipline.

I remember praying to get clean and sober for years. I could not imagine why God would not answer my prayer. I begged, cried, and screamed. I tried to run ahead of God. I didn’t handle my idleness and Stillness as He seemingly did not answers my prayer. “Why God,” I asked so many times, surely you want me to live without this sin? And I believed that if I got clean I would be perfect, sin-free. That was not the case.

I eventually many years later got clean. I was powerless. By then. Like the just drowning swimmers, you wait until they are so fatigued then you go get them, their fight has left them otherwise you both drown. I believe God had His own plan for me. He waited til I had no fight left in me.

I found though my life was far from perfect. My life had become unmanageable and  I was powerless.  I had turned my life over to God. But had I? I was supposed to, wasn’t I? I would give God my life then take it back and this went on. It became a game of tug-a-war.

Oh, I was sober but not emotionally sober. I was not giving my life to God. I wanted an answer now. If I had to wait 13 years, my life would be such a tangled web of destruction.

But then  God “allowed” me to fall on my ass. And I thought life would be so perfect if I got sober, ha. I thought I had hit bottom before but someone once told me, “Be careful those bottoms have trap door.”

In my worn out, world scorned, God-filled world, I chose life in Him today.

”It is in the middle that human choices are made; the

beginning and the end remain with God. The decrees 

of God are birth and death,and in between those 

limits man makes his own distress or joy.” Oswald Chambers

Blessings,

Connie

 

 

First Kiss

Posted in Uncategorized on January 17, 2018 by Her Broken Wing

I was 9 and his name was Randy. He was 9 and had red hair. (Maybe that’s why I am so partial to my sons red hair.)  We were playing Why do you build me up Buttercup or something like that on our little turn table. We danced. My uncle taught me to dance on a little old radio. I can only imagine what I looked like dancing.

My first kiss with drugs. I was in my 20’s. I had the flu and was given pain meds from my medical doctor. I was high as a kite.  That was the most awesome feeling. I felt numb, tingly, and carefree.

Sometime after that, I hurt my back. I couldn’t even stand up. I was given pain meds again. I got high. But I noticed I didn’t feel the same high feeling that I felt the first time.

Not realizing it, I was an addict after the first pill, after the first kiss.  I looked forward to situations where I needed to take drugs. I wanted to feel that feeling.

When I turned 40, I started having bad migraines. I had to go on pain meds (or maybe I didn’t; or probably shouldn’t have). I started taking pills more and more in search of that initial high, never quite reaching it.  Such as,  you can never recapture, the first kiss.

After 10 years of drug use, I went into rehab. Instead of reaching a high each day (because I took drugs everyday, I had to to keep from going into DTs), my world went black and I hit bottom after each use. I was so very sick.

8 years ago, I walked through the doors of rehab. My first kiss of healing. My life has never been the same. No more searching a high. Well just not of drugs. I do seek highs in other areas. I guess I am a serotonin seeking junkie.

i have found my high is now thru my spiritual awakening in trusting God.

My first kiss with life.

blessings

Connie

 

Jake Gained His Wings

Posted in Uncategorized on January 13, 2018 by Her Broken Wing

I want to follow up on a blog regarding my precious dog Jake.  My boy Jake 2002-2017, he was my companion and savior! He gained his wings in 2017. I had shared his  story in my blog earlier.

Wait on me Jake!

Hugs

Connie

Angel wings

Posted in Uncategorized on January 11, 2018 by Her Broken Wing

This is our son when he was an acolyte. Once he was at the altar and we took a picture. Later we looked at it and noticed the outline of white (angel) wings. It still gives me chills. How can there not be a God?!  (Matt19:14)

The innocence

Connie

 

She Said “No”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 11, 2018 by Her Broken Wing

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Everyone it seems has a book. I don’t have a book. I have plenty to write about. But I don’t have a book. I think it’s the cool thing to say, I have a book. So maybe I should. I might even have people. Yea, scratch that. Let’s see I could write about my life. Child abuse, sexual abuse, drugs and alcohol abuse, mental illness, the medical world and sexual assault as an adult from a professional figure that I trusted. That is only a few of the things. I have more but then you wouldn’t believe me. No, I didn’t murder anyone, yet.

I read another blog today…talking about a book. It talked about sexual abuse. That raised a lot of emotions within me. It has not been too terribly long that I had been there. I’m an adult. I should know better, right? I’m a nurse for heavens sakes. But truth is I was sick, undiagnosed bipolar, just off opioids after 10 years. The worst that could happen did. It was the perfect storm. I trusted. I don’t trust people and I had let down my guard.

Where have I been? Coming back from the dead, literally. And my poor family has had to pick up the shattered pieces.

Over the past years when I pray unforgiveness, God says “for they know not…” (Luke 23:34) but what about “Connie, I got this”. If it weren’t for the 12 steps of acceptance, forgiveness, looking at my crap…..

For so long I didn’t believe God. When I say I didn’t trust anyone, I meant that, not even God. “How could you God?”  This shouldn’t have happened. So I withdrew into my dark cold world. I uttered “no” when it happened, it was there I heard it, maybe it just wasn’t audible but it was there.

He was powerful, how could I fight back? I would get in trouble. Do you know I still have nightmares about you? I just don’t wake people up screaming. Sometimes they aren’t even when I am asleep. Thank you drugs for PTSD.

Don’t worry, no one will know who you are, a deacon, a fine man of the community. No. Who would believe me. After all, I am a recovering drug addict.

My book?

She said “No”

forgive them Lord for they know not ………

Connie
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Bring the Rain

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on January 10, 2018 by Her Broken Wing

 

How I can praise You with
all that I’ve gone through…
Maybe since my life was changed…
When this life brings me pain
But if that’s what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain
The dark clouds that may loom above
You are greater than my pain
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what’s a little rain
So I pray
I Long before these rainy days  ,Mercy Me

We all have a thorn to bear, cross to carry and burden too heavy. Some more than others.  Some of us get the award for a tragic life including me. I’m crazily raising my hand, pick me Lord as if I would get an award. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. I sometimes thought the more heartache we bear,  the closer we are in proximity to God when we get to Heaven. But that isn’t what the Bible says. Nor is it fair.

Our lives are forever changed during suffering. I grew closer to God after I got over being mad, I can look back and see the change. I can see how things would have  been if the hardship hadn’t occurred. For example, when I went into nursing recovery  I lost my job and was under a consent order for almost 5 years. This means I could be randomly drug tested anytime even when on vacation. I had to do self-reports and employer reports every quarter. I had a addictionologist that ended up causing more harm that good.

I’m not saying I want hardships cause like Lord I get it, I am on my knees. But if that is something I need, Your will be done.

Jesus, Bring the Rain

Connie