Watch “Possibility of Losing Independence” on YouTube

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Ever wonder how I take care of myself on my own? I rely on God and a couple close Christian friends. This video shows the PERFECT example why… in real time.

People who do not understand my relationship with God do not realize He takes care of me. He has me.

I do not understand how people stay sane without a relationship with Him.

He Provides

Since I have had to go on Disability, I have dreaded paydays. My bills overshadow the income, even on my minalmist lifestyle. Naturally, I feel alone, helpless, and like a failure being this limited at my age. Knowing the smallest emergency can impede my ability to provide for myself frightens me into a severe panic attack, as well as a Crohn’s Disease flare up.

For example, I had a bad fall on a cement parking lot two weeks ago. Within days, my hand became swollen and infectious. A few of my friends gave me the same advice- go to the doctor . I was too prideful to confess that wasn’t an option since I had no money for the copayment, nevermind money for an antibiotic. Plus, I had a feeling I would need X-rays, leading to a radiology bill.

I stopped going out around friends and when asked, proclaimed my hand was much better. Someone asked if I had a fever when I made a comment about MRSA. Embarrassed, I admitted I did not own a thermometer. Basically, I live like a squatter. There was a time when I had more than the minimal survival tools and money in the bank. But that was before my mental breakdown in 2008 when I donated everything I owned to charity and lived out of my car for periods of time.

Since I was making decisions from survival mode, my estranged relatives (who never believed in psychology, which I found out upon declaring my major in college was Psychology), likely had images of me being carried away in a straight jacket by men in white coats, kept their distance more than ever. My church and friends pretty much followed along, leaving me all alone… but Jesus stayed. In fact, He pulled me closer. This was time He made Himself clearly known to me.

I had nothing… I had no one… except I had Jesus… and with Him came an unspeakable peace and comfort surpassing all understanding. Since then, I have had all I TRULY needed.

The past ten years haven’t been the easiest, but they have been the best as I have been forced to depend on Jesus, my Savior. He has never abandoned me, even when I try to run away from Him. I have gone without food, medical care, heat, and family.

It has all been worth it to me. If I hadn’t lost everything, I would have missed out on this priceless relationship with Christ. I have learned to trust Him completely. The more I walk with Him, the more He blesses me.

So today when I sat down to figure out which bill I would have to put off, somehow, my SSDI covered all of my basic needs. Wow! Unbelievable. Well, unbelievable to non-believers, but for me… I looked up and imagined Jesus smiling at me. After all, He is Jehovah Jireh … My Provider.

Stars, Family and a Tire

Jesus has me crying! He loves me sooo much, He brought me home safely. This morning, I went to check my car to see if I had any cash to pay a $27 bill due in 2 weeks. It seems my electric company AND PayPal made multiple charges “by accident” *Karen is my witness… it was NOT my fault. PayPal is reimbursing my bank, but the electric company said they could only credit my electric account. So my balance is under $500 and my $745 rent check hasn’t posted yet. I cancelled everything so I will only have one overdraft fee. THE DEVIL AIN’T GONNA STEAL MY JOY! So I find EXACTLY $27 cash to pay my bill. *You tell me that’s not God!!! I also found a flat tire with an inch hole in it. GOD PROTECTED ME FROM A TIRE BLOW OUT ON THE ROAD! I WAS GOING 85 MPH YESTERDAY! See, God AIN’T letting me go to heaven until it’s HIS timing.

I called roadside assistance, and Sue… (I don’t know about car stuff… my daddy took care of my car). Even though Sue and Jim are on vacation, they dropped everything to take care of me like family. They told the mechanic what to do, Sue offered to pay him, but he refused to charge me. Sue and I prayed over the phone, both of us crying, thanking Jesus. I can imagine my Heavenly Father with my daddy smiling down at Sue and Jim.

Oh, I told the mechanic I just got home from meeting Reba. He thought that was cool. I said, “Sunday, I met a Country star, and today, I met you… a Rock star.”.

Understanding Not Understanding

Yesterday I literally kept trying to figure out how God knitted the intricate pieces of Thursday’s blessing together. Discussing the events of a couple spiritually mature friends only left us more baffled. Guess it’ll be okay to start using names for clarification. I have probably 5 people in my life who I consider “family” (not including my Godparents). My entire life, specifically until December 31st, 2017, I have gone back and forth trying to get along with my relatives, well, my immediate family as I haven’t spoken to extended family in literally DECADES! Needless to say, my mental health (and physical since my Crohn’s Disease is hypersensitive to emotions) has been unpredictable. My family dynamics are toxic, regardless of who is at fault. There have been days a simple text from my mom has turned me from loving life to contemplating- even attempting- suicide. My father was a good man and never physically hurt me, yet he was brainwashed by my mother, so we never talked until I sat with him on his death bed this past Fall. So the only member I want(ed) contact with was my brother, Mark, who… well… after a discussion with my mom, I was suicidal. It was Thanksgiving Day and he yelled at me because I made him miss his daughter’s reaction to Santa in the parade because I told him I needed help and was wanting to die. Oh, the irony of Christmas becoming more commercialized than celebrating the birth of Jesus! This same brother proceeded to imply I am NOT a Christian, am NOT saved (even though we got saved and baptized together on May 15, 1983), and THE WORLD WOULD BE BETTER WITHOUT ME. And this was the “Good brother”!

*Keep following, this is all related (no pun intended). My entire life, I believed the Christian thing to do is to be at peace with one another, and the Bible instructs us to take care of our family, especially immediate relatives, and those who fail to are worse than a non-believer. Whoa! * See 1 Timothy 5:8. I am not able to continue writing about this because it is stirring up negativity. Let me summarize with Jesus said if anyone does not choose Him over their family, they cannot be His disciple. (Luke 14:26).

As of December 31st, 2017, I chose Jesus as I have my entire life. No regrets. No looking back.

Okay, so back to the INCREDIBLE BLESSING 2 days ago… I was in a bad predicament and needed help ASAP. (One reason I held on to family was in case of emergency… which they were NEVER there in times of emergencies. If anything, they made it TEN TIMES WORSE!).
In my Bible study today, God revealed to me the following

After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.
Job 42:7 NIV

Seeing all of Job’s troubles, his friends assumed God was punishing Job. The Lord was mad at THEM for misrepresenting Him. Troubles are not always due to our disobedience.

We are supposed to support and encourage friends going through physical and mental illness rather than accuse them of disobeying God. We don’t know what goes on between an individual and God. In fact, John 9:3 tells us disabilities may happen “so that the works of God may be revealed”.

Also in Job 42:3, Job says, “Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?” Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.

You know what? I don’t need to know how Thursday’s blessing happened. Just trust God is in control. He showed me He’s got me. He has wonderful people is my life who love me. People who think this world IS a better place because I am in it. When I get into predicaments, He provides vessels to take a family role, not because of our blood, but because of His blood.

God gave me a hint in the next verses which leaves me with anticipation and excitement to SEE what He has planned for me:

42:5 – My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.

Why don’t we trust Him when he proves His faithfulness again and again? He was showing me I have people who love me like family, and most importantly, I have Jesus who has promised to provide all we need to fulfill the plans He has for us.

Toxic Relationships

*I am using this letter to a friend to explain my release from family drama. Just because your parents are your parents, if it is a toxic relationship, you need to let them go.

No one and nothing is worth your sanity.

By the way, there has been a lapse in my writing the past few days because of toxic relationships. By tending to toxic relationships, I have neglected the friends, work and quiet time that fulfills my quality of life.

Went to Walmart and got generic food… my fridge is full. Thank you. It’s beyond comforting to look in my pantry and find food. It’s like a life raft. 

I agreed to write for a travel blog on how hotels are accommodating to people with disabilities. I need to catch up my own blogs after getting behind from crashing over the weekend.

Relatives are calling me and I finally got to the point of being honest when they ask where I have been for 30 years. They tell me my mom always said “Shelly isn’t speaking to me”, so last night, I told my cousin everything. Everything. From when mom butt called me and I overheard her saying how horrible I am, to trying to commit me, to sitting there when Mikie went to punch me, to not letting me stay with my dad on his death bed. So, yes, she was right saying “Shelly isn’t speaking to me”. And I explained why.

And my cousin CRIED, saying she had no idea, and how have I survived? And I said I kept going back to her until New Year’s Eve, when I wrote her off forever. And I have never felt freer.

I have you and wonderful people in my life. And I have never felt more loved, or healthier.

We have to let go of the past for our own sanity. And God blesses us by filling our opened heart with people who love and treat us as we deserve.

Thank you for showing me the love of Christ. I love you, and trust Jesus more than ever.