Does It Get Better?

2E3094F2-334F-4D7C-9FA3-EE1B2248CC19

Dear little Amie,

Does it get better?

Yes and no.

Yes, the hatred you feel will stop burning in your veins. The anger that causes you to tear your hair in the closet won’t follow you any longer. The anger that constricts your voice and kills all those around you will no longer poison you.

No. The pain will still be there, just morphed and changed. It’ll still squeeze your chest and cause rants. You’ll still lie to people and tell them you’re fine when you’re dying inside.

Yes. The people that used to hurt you so much will no longer cut holes in your heart. No, you won’t get along with them. Yes, you will be breathing freely, but no. You won’t be the olympic athlete.

Yes, you won’t have to spend each morning trying to swim through your own mind. You’ll be better, you’ll be able to run, you’ll be singing and laughing again without a cough.

But no, you’ll still be up at two in the morning, wondering why you’re alive. You’ll be asking your body to just give up the fight, but unlike your mind, it’s not a quitter.

Yes, you’ll have people supporting you, pushing you back up when you fall and swear to yourself that you can’t move again. They’ll be there, and no, they won’t always know what to say.

But sometimes being there is louder than any of the words they’ll ever be able to say.

No, you’ll still wonder at times if this life is worth living. If the stars are worth seeing. You’ll wonder if the Word is worth reading, and the songs worth singing.

But yes, someone will look at you and say I love you. And you’ll realize that you’re important. Why? Doesn’t matter. To some people, you’re important. Some people need an Amie in their lives.

No, some people will still be unable to understand you. People will still say things that burn, do things that hurts, and refuse to let you through. But you will learn that they aren’t worth your time. They won’t take their words back, but you don’t need them to do that.

Yes, Amie. Overall, it’ll get better. You’ll have relapses. You’ll sit on the floor, wishing you could cry the tears that simmer underneath. You’ll be on your bed, silent because the thoughts in your mind are too loud for music. You’ll refuse to talk to people, you’ll neglect food.

But each time you’ll come out stronger. More determined not to let your mind to take control of your life. Each time, you realize that you’re a fighter. But you’re not the only one fighting.

There’s One that shines through, stronger than you. One that can fight better than you do. One that won’t let you go through with the lies that are whispered to you.

So fall apart, but don’t let the fragments shatter.

Because remember, it’ll be better.

Perhaps, it’ll get worse before it’s better. But always, in the end, it’ll get better.

Chin up, future Amie. You’ll get through.

~~Amie~~

Motivation for Every New Day

Image 12-6-18 at 1.30 PM.jpeg

*takes a long sip of coffee* 

Today I’m not exactly sure where this post will go, but I want it more hype, so hang on as I turn on my hype playlist. 😉 Okey, we’re ready to start writing. So, just fyi, taking your siblings on dates is a super fun thing to do, and I would totally advise it. It’s the only way I can justify buying coffee for myself. 😂

But today our post is about something that I struggle with. Motivation for every new day.

I’m the person that loves to have a deadline set by someone else. I have a month to do this, a week to do that, I have to have this done by tomorrow night. I thrive on doing everything last minute, my brain seems to get so many ideas right before the deadline, and I can actually crack down and work on things.

But once that’s over, what’s next?

How do you wake up every morning without a goal and find motivation to do exactly what you did the day before?

I’m not sure what it’s like once you graduate, but for me while I’m still in school, it’s really hard to get up five days out of the week, workout, practice the same songs I played the day before, and do the next lesson in each of my classes. Sometimes it feels like the only thing that changes is what people post online, and what I create in my own mind. (Especially if we’re eating the leftovers that we ate the day before.)

I’m a paradox. I love and hate change. The less I see of change, the more I hate it, and the more I crave it. Without change, I get stuck in my head, loosing sight of reality.

Let me tell you, when the thoughts in your head become more real than the world around you, you’ve got yourself a problem. So how? How do you stay grounded and create your own change?

Listen to lots of different music.

8247A475-C142-43FC-9A20-0161A4458FD4

Music creates different emotions and if you keep changing up your playlists, and the artists you listen to, I’ve found it helps pull me out of my head, and realize that not every day is the same.

I hate shuffle. I like knowing exactly what song is coming next, I like being positive about the order of everything, but I’ve found that eliminating surprise from life eliminates the force of the outside world.

Dress up.

C1F9CC65-6F74-46CC-AF80-F4976243F603

Wait, what? I’m a slob when it comes to my clothing. I would literally wear sweatpants or jeans with a sweatshirt/tunic and jacket all winter long. But I’ve found that being intentional occasionally pulls me out of my rut of being a slob, and gives me confidence to take the day on, even if it’s the same as the day before.

Also, I mean, why not change your outfits? If you have comfy fancy clothes (like ruffly socks. 😍) then why not dress fancy every now again?

Talk to someone.

305A69C5-5FC4-4DF6-B9F5-00CDDB1E5591_1_201_a

This is the biggest one. I hate phone calls, and sometimes I don’t like making time to video chat, but being able to talk to someone totally helps. It often gives me a new look on life, and inspires me creatively.

Even the most introverted introvert needs human interaction, and I think that’s something a lot of people forget. We need to take time in our busy schedules to talk with people, and build relationships.

If you aren’t able to do any of these things, do one thing that is so important. Pray and exercise. Those two things can change your whole outlook on a day, and help make it better. ❤

What are some of your favorite ways to change up a day? Do you have trouble with the same thing every day, or do you enjoy it?

~~Amie~~

Diamonds 2020: Interview w/Sara Willoughby

61936349-46B6-4C6B-AC68-5D1869E7E403

I have two chronic diseases.

I’ve shared slightly on my blog about my health, and the problems that it gives me, but I’ve mostly talked about my mental health, which I’ve been realizing stems from my physical health. But today I’m going to talk quickly about my own problems with my physical health, before interviewing Sara. I deal with asthma and life-threatening allergies.

My asthma keeps me from doing a lot I want to do, because if I sing a whole song, I’m winded, and when you can’t breathe, you grow so tired. (The past few weeks, I’ve had to swallow my pride and just realize that I can only sing one song at church, instead of all five.) My allergies keep me from a lot I want to do as well. My symptoms flare if I even smell seafood, so I’m unable to go to many restaurants, and even some church functions because I just can’t be around seafood.

So when I found Sara Willoughby’s ministry, it just helped me understand more about my illness and accepting that I can serve God and others while taking care of my body.

Because going from a healthy child, to a teenager with problems that stop me from living a “normal” life has been hard. It’s been hard to accept that I do need to take care of my physical health, and to understand what taking care of myself looks like.

This weekend is the Diamond’s conference, which is an online conference for Christians with chronic diseases and illnesses. And oh my. The sessions I’ve listened to so far have been so good and encouraging.

So today I’m honored to be able to interview Sara! Thank you so much, Sara, for your ministry, for this conference, and for coming on Crazy A today. 🙂 My questions are bold, and her answers are regular text.

1. From my understanding, you were a healthy child, and at the age of fourteen you became sick and just never got better. Did you deal with depression during that time? Was it hard to trust God?
 
Yes to both. At first, I experienced the usual despair that comes from having hopes crushed again and again with each misdiagnosis. That was bad enough. But eventually, as I got sicker, I also had deep depression brought on by the brain damage my illness caused. Those were some of my darkest moments, and I felt like I was failing as a Christian.  I definitely had many a moment when I struggled to trust God. I continually asked Him “Why me? Why did you allow this? When will this end?” Honestly, that’s one reason I ended up clinging to the song “Diamonds” by Hawk Nelson. It spoke of the purpose God has in pain, and I remember one day, in particular, kneeling in the kitchen home alone at a friend’s house, scream-sob-whispering the lyrics over and over again. Chronic illness brings so many unknowns, and it is so hard to not know what you’re going to face tomorrow. But while I sometimes struggled to believe it, my comfort was that God was in control and that He loved me. 

2. When you were so extremely sick, what was one thing that kept you going?
 
 God is the one who kept me going in a thousand ways. Every time I would be on the verge of giving up or at one of my worst moments, I would get an email or text or hug or flowers would bloom on the bush outside my window, and I would be encouraged to hang on for just a little longer. My family also kept me alive by doing all the practical things for me when I could no longer take care of myself.
 
3. Your ministry and testimony is so very encouraging to so many people dealing with long-term illnesses. If you could tell fellow Christians dealing with illnesses one sentence, what would it be?
 
Aw, thanks, I’m honored God is using my story. I would tell them, “You are not alone, God’s grace is sufficient for you, and this won’t last forever.”
 
4. When it comes to sports, and outside activities, does your health limit you? How do you deal with those limitations?
 
My health does limit me. Before I got sick, I was an athlete. I lived in the Pacific Northwest and I loved to run, hike, swim, and play flag football or paintball or capture the flag with my siblings and the neighborhood kids. We had so much fun. But when I got sick I could no longer do those things. It was incredibly hard, sitting on the sidelines, watching my friends laugh and run and play. As my health has improved over the last year, I’ve had to learn to “play” again and let myself join in the fun. I still can’t play organized sports and I still can’t run, but I try to participate however I can, even if that means being creative with the rules or games. And when I can’t participate, I find another activity to enjoy that doesn’t require as much physical exertion.
 
5. A lot of people pray for healing from their illnesses, and can be discouraged when it seems that God isn’t answering, or at least, isn’t answering in the way they expected. Did you ever experience that? And if so, what are some words of encouragement for those Christians? 
 
You’re asking some super deep questions! 🙂 I did experience it. All throughout my illness people have prayed for me, laying hands on me, commanding the illness to leave my body, praying over me in tongues, anointing me with oil — but my healing didn’t come. And when I finally did start to get a little better, it happened very slowly in the most mundane way possible. When people had prayed for me in the past, I often felt a whispering in my soul that God was going to heal me. But there was no instantaneous healing. Eventually, I realized that God was using my illness and my slow healing for His glory and my good. It was not at all what I imagined, but I finally saw that He was using my story to encourage others. So if someone reading this is struggling with God not answering your prayers for healing, please be encouraged that He does have a plan in this too. It isn’t pleasant being sick, but Him not answering your prayers the way you want Him to doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing something wrong. God can use illness and your reliance on Him for His glory and to shape you into a diamond.

 

Thank you so much, Sara! And I think that is so beautiful. That God will use the pain, the forgetfulness, the pain, to give Him glory, and to shape us into a beautiful diamond. That also follows the idea that God will refine us into a brighter kind of gold.

Keep pushing forward and wait on the Lord, for as Isaiah 40:30-31 says, “Even youths shall faint and grow weary, and young men shall fall exhausted, but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not grow weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

~~Amie~~