Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2016-The year of unanswered questions and tears

Here I am again writing about what has happened in my life. I still can't believe all that has gone on. 2016 has been the year of tears for me.

I don't know how much in depth I will go in this blog post but somehow something tells me i just need to get out all of my frustration with this one and also to help me remember what went on with moms final moments.

So I will start off by saying that for a long time I've had anxiety problems. I've had fear problems. I have never felt so out of control like this. I think moving to London way back in 2000 made those start to increase little by little till I couldn't control them by myself. Most of my anxiety and fear i think came from the enemy reminding me why I couldn't decide what i want to do in life. The enemy caught me while not having my full armor on. You know, the belt of truth, helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, ect. Anyway, I have been having some problems in my personal job life with not being able to find the job that I want that would fit my schedule that I would love to get up and love working at. So around May of this year the anxiety got too much that I couldn't handle it anymore and I pretty much really in all honesty just gave up. I mean, I had given up before and still had enough strength to pick myself back up again and again and find something else. But this time was different. I was pained. By the end of May, I had completely stopped eating for a week. I still to this day don't understand why I did that. It was a stupid decision. I guess I just was at the point of end with myself trying to fix everything and I just couldn't do it.  I felt like I was in a  blender that was turned on and had so many things inside just going around and around and around without stopping. I just was being swept up in the wind of things and it felt like it was never gonna turn off anytime soon. Emotionally, I was dead. Physically, I was dead. Spiritually, I was dead. Suicide never entered my mind. It was not like that. I just wanted to feel relief from everything. I wanted so bad for it all just to work. I remember after a few days of not eating, I just felt really bad sick and weak. I started shaking one day and couldn't stop. I thought it was because my body was not getting the same amount of sugar like it was getting (way too much for that matter) I started crying one afternoon with mom and dad as we were coming out of Wendy's for lunch as that's where mom and dad would go for lunch everyday. Dad asked me what was wrong and I think i said something to the effect of I'm just done with it all. I don't think I had eaten anything that day for lunch. He looked at me and said we need to get you to the doctors and see what they say. I had not mentioned anything to them yet about not eating because I was scared about what he would say. In all of this chaos, the devil was making me feel like i had diabetes as well. Well, I had some notions before all of this had started because i was only eating comfort food and felt like my body was not working the way it should. I had seen my mom's health over time  (years) slip downhill because she had it and I didn't want it. So I got really emotional and really started crying even more because i thought I had it and was just asking God (please don't allow me to have this.) It was very nightmarish for me to even think about it. I had a dream where I had it and thought it got to the point of having to amputate places on my body because of it. So I finally made an appointment to have me checked out. I went and they told me that I really need to do a blood test to find out for sure how bad my health was. Mind you, I had a lot going through my head at the time so I was completely out of it and didn't really know what was going on. I finally get my results in a few days later and was very relieved that I didn't have diabetes or Anemia. This blood test results I got back was a miracle for me. I was so sure that I had diabetes or at least there was something wrong with me. So when i got the results back, I was shocked. Literally, it through me back to see that everything was normal. Not one thing was abnormal. It just seemed to take some of the pain/stress away from me. But there was still other things I was dealing with as well. My doctors assistant recommended that I start taking some anxiety medicine to help. I told her no the first time she asked me which was my very first doctors appointment I made way back in June. I knew I didn't want to get addicted to it. I had heard so many stories of people including family members that started taking medicine like that and it didn't suit well with them and made them worse than before. I asked other people about what they felt about medicine. Some people encouraged me to try it. Some people said to stay away from it. I thought about it for a few weeks and decided to try it. So i think one day when i had a doctors appointment, I said I wouldn't mind trying medicine to help me. They recommended me to see a psychiatrist in the same building and told me that he was really, really good. I went to visit him and I felt like I could trust him. He would then proceed to put me on a small dose of medicine. At first I thought it wasn't bad at all. I also started seeking help from a friend that works in the behavioral health department. I shall refrain from using his real name in the post and will just call him Mr. Ed. My dad had mentioned I might even need to see Ed and talk to him about things going on in my life. I was thinking the same thing that I would probably need to talk to somebody that could help me kinda get me back down to earth. I called him and asked if I could come talk to him. I never in my life thought I would need somebody to talk to like that. Like, I'm perfectly fine. I don't need this kind of help. Don't get me wrong but I always thought this kind of help was only for people that had addictions or suicidal. Not for me. I wouldn't even put myself with that category. But, here I am. I'm not ashamed to say that I got help but, I'm just so bummed that I had to and needed to. God has a vision for me and I was just not seeing it or agreeing with it. After a few weeks of being on the medicine, I really started to feel better. My concentration that was swirling around seem to just lessen. Then I finally could be able to think clearly again. I didn't really have any bad side effects from the medicine if any but still having the shakes daily. But then one night in August, I couldn't really sleep at all. I think i might have got 10 mins of sleep the whole night. I was praying and talking to God pretty much off and on all through the night trying to fall asleep.  I think it was around 3 am that i started to kinda get chills. But, i wasn't cold. Slowly I could feel my body start to shake. It kept getting worse. I got out of my bed finally around 4 am. I put my feet on the floor and the shakes started up so much so that I could hardly walk standing up and in a straight line. I thought, Oh my gosh. Please don't let this start something I can't handle. Luckily, my dad was supposed to get up in a few minutes to go to Lexington to fly out to TX for my cousins wedding. I felt so bad because nobody else was up yet to help me. I finally made it to my bathroom and thought, if i could just get in the tub, and sit in some warm bath water the shakes might go away. I was hoping that it would make them go away, anyway. It was so bad, I didn't think I could take my clothes off to get in the bathtub. About the time I get my clothes off and get in the tub, my dad opens his door and turns the hall light on and I say: dad, I've got a problem. I'm shaking really bad and can't stop. I have the bathroom light off still with the door open and tell dad from the tub not to turn the light on in the bathroom. He asks me what he needs to do. I tell him I don't know. This is the first time I have ever had something like this before. I think after being in the tub for 20-25 seconds, my body starts to relax and shakes slow down. They finally subside after about 2-3 minutes but I'm scared if I try to get out that it might make them start back up again. So I just lay there and cry. I've never felt so bad in my life. Dad comes back down the hallway after eating his breakfast and asks how I'm doing. I say i'm doing better but i'm scared to get out since i don't know if they will come back after I get out. He asks me if he just needs to stay home and make sure I'm okay. I tell him, no. I said you spent all that money on plane tickets and car rentals. You need to go. I'll be okay. So about the time he is ready to go, I get out of the tub. I feel like I'm gonna be okay. To this day, that has not happened again and I'm so thankful. I think I really started to feel good about 4-5 weeks after i took my medicine. I've been trying really hard to make myself start eating as well. My dad finally orders me some product called Juice +. I really didn't know what to expect. I knew i needed to have good nutrition in my body no matter what form it was. I knew if I didn't start doing something that I would have got worse and maybe ended up in the hospital. Through all of the 30+ doctor visits I have had this year (no joke) and trying to get back to better health, it has been such a task.
Through all of this, I've never stopped praying. This is the Jo I have never wanted to meet and really want to get well. My prayer may have changed through the whole year but it's never ceased. And although I kept praying, I have also been listening to what God had to say. I think the hardest part of it all is knowing that He hasn't really said anything specific to me like I wanted Him too. I've not even felt His presence either. But I've had to keep trusting and knowing the truth that He has not left me to fend for myself and He would never forsake me. Its been so hard. This has probably been the worst time in my life ever that I can recount, and it was about to get a little harder. I had been praying for my healing. Also, for God to show me what I need to do as far as job/career. I have never told anybody this as well but, I also had been praying for my mom as well and for her health and also for her to get better. I felt like I needed her in my life more than ever a few months ago and for the Lord not to take her home. I specifically prayed that prayer many times. But, something in my gut was turning within me like i knew something was about to happen and I just didn't know what was coming. I felt that tug or pull from an unknown source that was pulling stronger than me, than my prayers. I think it was around September that I started to have some really bad anxiety days and the only thing that would calm me down was to get a back rub from mom.We have this rollie back rub massager thing and it does a really good job. So my mom would run the thing over my back and it would help me relax to where I could think again. Anything I could do just to spend time with mom. Her embrace would mean so much to me in the coming months. Some days I would just cry because I didn't want to feel like the way i was feeling for no reason. I felt safe in my mothers arms. That was my hiding place of refuge since I was very little. I felt like nothing could touch me. I would lean my face on her chest to hear her heartbeat. I never thought this life would get any harder. She would hold my face and look into my eyes and tell me she loved me. Many times she would do that. Man, I'm teary eyed as I'm typing this.  All in all I was not ready for my mom to leave me yet. I wanted her there for me on my wedding day. I wanted to be able to look up the aisle and see my mom up there turned around smiling at me. I wanted to be able for her to help me get ready for the ceremony and to be able to tell me how beautiful I looked. All of that would fade to black on November
6th 2016.
Dad and I went to church Sunday night like normal. Usually mom was on the couch watching the tv and we would come back to find her in the same spot. We came back as usual and the tv was turned on but mom was not on the couch that night. I guess she had gone to the bed room to lay down. Sometimes she would turn off the tv before she would go lay down but sometimes she would come back in the room after laying down and watch more. Dad went to the kitchen to start fixing his supper and I told him I wanted to go grab me a sandwich from somewhere in the drive thru and that I would be right back. So I take my car to McDonald's and grab a meal and come back home. Probably gone no longer than 15 mins at the most. I come in the door and dad's coming down the hallway and tells me that I need to call the ambulance for mom. My heart dropped. I said why? He said she can't move. She has no strength. She was laying on her side on the bed and Dad had went in the room and she asked him to help her roll over. She had never had problems like that where she couldnt roll herself over on the bed. Dad went over to her side and said she needed to go to the bathroom. He helped her swing her feet over but when her feet hit the floor, her whole body just fell with them. No strength at all. So I went back to the bedroom after I put my food on the counter. I went back and asked mom how she felt. I ask: Are you feeling okay? She would respond, No, I'm not. I grabbed the phone and tried dialing the ambulance of laurel county first not knowing really how sever the situation was. No answer. So then i called 911. It took them 30 minutes to get out to our house. I didn't go back with them to the bedroom since it was a small room and didn't want to be in the way. They put the gurney in the hallway and had to carry her to it to put her on there. Dad would ride in the ambulance with mom and I would follow in my car to the hospital. I would start to panic after they left in the ambulance. I didn't know what to do. I never knew that I would not be coming home later that night without mom. I texted my Pastor to let him know and a few family members to let them know what was going on. I make my way to the hospital. Mind you, this is the first time I ever step foot in Saint Joseph London. I make my way to the emergency waiting room and text dad and tell him I am there. He would come to get me after probably 20 minutes after I arrive. He takes me back to where they have mom and I think at this point they are still trying to get an I.V in her arm. They finally get her hooked up and see that her heart rate and blood pressure are not normal. Her heart rate was border line to her flat lining (33bpm). So, they find some fluid around her heart as well and say that they need to drain the fluid before the put a temporary pace maker in. They start to drain the fluid around her heart, then tells us she needs to go to the Cath Lab for her temporary pace maker. Thats when I knew that my good friend Carma would be called in that night to help with mom. I see Carma come in the hospital and run up and hug her and tell her how scared I am. But I also know shes in good hands with her and her crew members.  So we go with her in the elevator and the emergency RN that was working that night and as soon as we get to the floor the door opens and moms rushed out and the lady says this is where you say your goodbyes for now. As shes being rushed off i said out loud: Mom, i love you. You will do fine and be okay. This would be the last time I would see her alive. I have no idea how coherent she really was or even if she heard me. She seemed really weak in the elevator and she had her eyes closed.  Me and dad go find a place to sit down in the waiting room and I'm not sure what time it is. We both pray for mom to have a good insert of the temp pace maker. I can't remember how long it take. Then I get a text from Carma saying everything went fine and that they were gonna put mom in an ICU room tonight so she could get her pace maker tomorrow and she would come out to the waiting room in a few minutes to greet me before going back home (since she was on call that night). I think by this time a family friend (Don Pinson) had arrived and we were updating him on what had happened. Then also our Pastor has came to check on mom and didn't stay too long because we told him that everything was looking like it was going to be okay then. 10 minutes went by, nothing. 15 minutes went by, nothing. 20 minutes went by, still no Carma or no word where mom was. I started to get uneasy after a while for what seemed like eternity for us not to get another update. Mom was the only one in the cath lab that I heard of that night. I walk around the waiting room and end up in a corner. I start bawling. At this point I just really don't know whats fixing to happen. I'm in a deep sobing state and i hear someone call for help to Cath Lab. My heart finally realizes that this really isnt looking good for mom. Finally I saw Carma and some of her team come out and their faces told me something was not going good at all. They told us to sit down. Carma comes around and just sits down beside me and just hugs me.  I just knew it was not gonna be good from that point on. They tell us that putting the temp. pace maker in went very well. It started firing like normal and her vitals kept getting better. One of the team members asks mom how she felt. She answers, I haven't felt this good in years. Something to this day, I have never heard from mom. She would always say stuff like: im okay or I could be worse... ect. She never said anything like I felt like a million bucks. Me and dad both agree that, at that point, she had to have seeing angels. But then a few moments later everything went south. Her face started to droop and she got to where she had slurred speech then she couldn't speak at all. They told us that she had flat-lined a few times so they were doing chest compression's on her but when they came out she was stabilized for the moment and there for a few moments it felt like everything was gonna be okay. They reassured us that they were doing all they could to help her. I told them I know they would do everything they could to help mom and knew she was in good hands. They leave and go back to where mom was. Dad and I say okay we should be okay after this and Dad gets up to go to the restroom. No later than 3 minutes pass I see Carma again and she comes to me with the saddest face i've ever seen on her and says: Jo, its not looking good. She flat-lined again and they were doing compression's again. About that time Carma comes out to tell me this, dad walks out of the bathroom and I tell him moms not doing good now. His face is just in disgust and he tells me he was gonna go over and start praying for mom. Carma proceeds to tell me that one of her team members would call her if and when we knew something. 2 minutes later i hear the ding on her phone and I ask is it her team member and did mom make it?  Carma starts crying and shakes her head. She didn't make it. My heart sank. I just sat there for a moment. I think we hug and I look at Carma and say: Ill go tell dad. I think this needs to be a family thing. So I walk over to where dad was and kneel down beside him and didn't have the heart to stop him while he was praying. He just kept praying and saying God, we need a miracle. Please, just heal Jean. Then he was quiet for a moment. I touched him on the shoulder and say, Dad. He looks up at me and I say, Moms with Jesus. She's gone home. I've never heard my father cry ever nor even hint of sadness in anyway. He started grieving like I'd never seen before. Then I start to cry again and we just hug and embrace for a few moments together. He says he at least wanted to kiss her again and say his goodbyes for now before she went home. I just want to hear her tell me one more time she loved me. I go over to where carma is and she says they need to fix mom up before we can view the body and say our goodbyes. So since that would take a little bit of time, I get up and call my brother to let him know mom had passed away. I'm in tears as I'm talking to him about it and he says he really should have been down here with us while we were at the hospital. I tell him that mom went really quick and that there wasn't much time that he would have got to see her. I texted my pastor to let him know that mom had passed away. He arrived shortly and then Zach Rice also came. I had also been talking with Christis and her family, so when we were notified that mom didn't make it, don called the family and they came to see us just as we were leaving the hospital. The coroner shows up and talks to dad about an autopsy report and we decided not to do one. Then carma comes back and says they are ready for us to come see her. We go back and see mom one last time that day. I get on one side of her and dad gets on the other side. To me, mom didn't look like herself. I wasn't telling my mom goodbye. Dad picked up her hand and kissed her forehead and told her he loved her. I just kissed mom on the forehead and said I'll see you later and then I left the room and hurried to the hallway. I couldn't stand even being in the room. When i kissed her forehead, it was cold. I was like wow, i doesn't take long for a body to get cold. But I asked dad later and he said she was still warm where he kissed her.  We leave the cath lab area and go back to the lobby and pick up our stuff to head home. I drive home and it was complete silence in the car the whole way home. I can't sleep at all that night. I might sleep an hour then get up and cry. I go back to sleep and wake up and cry some more. I tell dad the next morning, he doesn't need to go into work that whole week. He takes the whole week off as we prepare for moms funeral.
I'll be completely and openly honest here. I mean I have throughout the whole post but especially here: I really don't know how I made it through that week. I seriously don't know. My mom had just passed away. I was taking my medicine (which the doctor had increased) and it made me really really tired all the time. It mellowed me out real good. I still wasn't eating real good but since moms death, everybody was bringing us food. So I had to eat. I figured I would get fat again, somehow. I'm even shakier from the medicine. I think I had 1 or 2 anxiety attacks at night during that week. I cried so much. But, the day of the funeral, I felt I held it together pretty good. It was like my body was there in the building. My heart was there in the building, but my mind was somewhere else. Somehow I knew I needed to hold it all together for the visitation and the funeral. I could let loose when I got home. Some of my family members have told me that they were proud of how I held it together. I'm not bragging here. I'm just really saying I only know God must have done it somehow without me knowing it was Him, even though I know the only person that could do that would be God.
My grandparents have been wanting me to come and stay with them for a couple weeks since the summer. I wanted to come but didn't feel right about going then. I didn't know how bad the medicine would effect me and that I would need to go back every 2 weeks to a month for a checkup from my psychiatrist. They kept asking. I kept telling them I wanted to but not now. So after mom died, I told them I would probably come around Christmas and stay for a little bit weather permitting. I have been here in Georgia since December 16, 2016. I dearly hope they don't kick me out soon. I feel so blessed to have them as grandparents. I never get to see them, hardly. Mostly in the summertime for a week or Gatlinburg for 3 days or Christmas for a weekend deal. So this place has been a nice healing opportunity for me to reflect and recalculate certain areas of my life. I kinda don't want to leave but then again, I really do. My grandparents are starting to get on me nerves. I say that in love. I really do love them and appreciate them very much.

This year, I have asked a lot of questions. I have asked God a lot of questions. I don't necessarily know if He has answered them and feels like He really has not. It seems like the questions I've had and the time I've had to think of possible answers pose more and more questions. One could get drowned in so many questions again and can bring you down. I know subconsciously that in due time God will answer all of them. But, the more time He takes to answer them, makes me upset. I feel like I can not move forward until I get some answers. Its getting almost to the point where I'm gonna demand them. But then again, that's not what I want to do. God doesn't demand anything of us. He has given us a choice. He has commanded things but not demanded them.  All in all I just want to be able to move forward. I want to keep going. I understand these things happen to everybody.

Okay. So that's pretty much all I have for now. I know I probably will have to come back and re-edit some stuff especially with moms last few moments just to have everything on the post so i can remember everything that happened and have it correct as it happened. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

I am certain that I've got uncertainties!

Ive got so many uncertainties in my life right now i just cant think straight. Some days i feel like im in the taffy puller and im about to break. Other days its like Im not worried and i know God's taking care of me. We have been looking at the book of Genesis all of last year and we are finishing it up in the next couple of weeks. From what I have read and from what I have heard through the preaching of it, I have seen God work in so many situations. Some of them where I could relate. He does always come through in the end somehow.  But then i still go back to disbelieving that God isnt gonna come through because i just don't believe that He's working. I sit there and think of everything going on in my life and think of the worst possible ending situations and then i start believing that that is what will happen. Yes. My faith is small. Its so shallow. But, my God is mighty. He is the greatest One! 
I am realizing that when our faith is weak or so shallow, thats when God makes Himself bigger! Don't give up hope! Keep going! Trust God to do what He says He will do. If you draw closer to Me, then I will draw closer to you! Be blessed!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Here i am again. (Insert curse word) Sorry if that offended anybody reading this. Its just really how I feel. Emotionally and physically im drained. Ive dealt with insecurities all my life. But now it just seems to come get right in my face again. Why now? Why do i have to deal with this again and again? Ive apparently made some wrong choices and Ive clearly not dealt with them accordingly. 
Somebody knows how to expose my weakness and shove it in my face. But, i tell you now. Ill will shut you up. I will be victorious in this situation. God will see me through to the end. He's never left me or forsaken me. I trust Him. We will get through this. We will rise and we will win! I press on. I keep going. 
Pack your bags... you are done here. Done. 

(Puts mic down) 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Real or Fake?

Im so done with having to show a fake smile. If im not happy, i frown or show my usual jo face. But, when im happy and joyful, I do smile. I just don't like people who look me dead in the eye and say smile Jo when i dont feel like it. It has made me mad to even hear others tell me to smile. I have no idea why either. I'm just being open and honest. I know I have been going through stuff for a long long long time and have finally just got fed up with it. 
God is still working on me. 
He says He is here to stay so we are gonna work on this together. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Focal point

I used to struggle with this so much growing up. I would be so mad when we wouldnt sing the contemporary songs that i particularly liked and felt that God and or the Holy Spirit was there in the midst of. You know, the songs that we sing at camps/events. The ones you raised your hands up and just gave everything up to God and you sang with everything you had within you because thats what you craved at that moment, maybe even cried at times. Well, I have been there and yes it's very humbling to worship with thousands and thousands of believers. But its very crucial that you not miss this like i did for so long. You can worship God anywhere. You can sing to God anywhere. You have that freedom. If you truely have asked Christ to come and change you and ask for forgiveness, then you will want to do these things. You just want Him. Don't miss out on those times at even your local church or any place of worship when you can sing the songs that were picked to sing that day. Worship in that very moment that you have been given. Listen to the lyrics while you sing. Sometimes I just listen to others around me sing. I try to embrace each moment. If He is your Savior, then worship Him. Raise your hands. Fall at His feet. Whatever you feel like you need to do in that moment. Don't let those moments pass by without acknowledging your Savior who is more than worthy to be praised. 

Its not about the songs. Its not about the words. Its about The Christ who came down from heaven and paid our sin debt price that He freely gave up His life for all to be able to be set free.  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Me To The Core

God has been talking to me and I have also been listening. But, when words dont speak up music can and has been. Ive been a music person all my life. My mom would always tell me that I kicked her as I came out but I'm not proficient on the foot pedal bass drum yet. As a child, i would always have these melodies in my head and I would make up lyrics to them about anything. I never wrote any of them down but, everything just flowed and made since to me. That was the real Jo.  Then going into my preteens I lose contact with that innocence and I go into my awkward stage. I join my church youth choir and sing there but it feels so different from my songs that i had in my head and heart before. When i get to go to youth for the first time, it seems fun but its not alive. We go to this same camp site every summer and have church camp. Somehow, our youth pastor finds these people from california that do praise and worship stuff. I can not forget them. After that particular summer, for me, i can feel a change take place within the youth group. They get a praise team started and from then on it starts to become more alive. But still this is way before my real rededication to God.
I feel like now Im getting back to who i am as a child.  I always have music going.  I am always singing something. I've always got my ipod on me or when im home, some kind of music in the background playing. My youth choir and praise team played a big part in my life. I didnt realize it at the time but looking back on it now, that it really was a tiny spark into helping me find my inner singing voice again. 
I acknowledge right now that Jesus is my song. He has been and will be forevermore who my praise is for.  This is the real Jo. I feel that if I dont sing or play my guitar for God, that Im just wasting away. I certainly dont feel good when i stop either.