Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Teenager, Cancer, Life Lessons, Love, Parenting, Word, Word, Truth, Life, Love

Going on a Bear Hunt – I’m Not Scared!

Tonight I feel like I’m in the old nursery rhyme my kids would chant about “Going on a Bear Hunt.” In the chant the kids would search for the bear in various ways (in tall grass, behind a big tree, through a pond) and realize they couldn’t get around these things – they had to go through them.

The opening refrain was:

“Going on a bear hunt,
Gonna catch a big one,
I’m not scared.
What a beautiful day.

Can’t go over it.
Can’t go under it.
Can’t go around it.
Gotta go through it.”

I guess I’ve been on a bear hunt lately. I prepared for this. I’m a researcher – it served me well in grad school. I prepared myself for my bear hunt – a laparoscopic hysterectomy. I was gonna catch a big one – in this case my big bear is Cancer. Getting my uterus out means a lessened threat of Cancer – because these pre-cancerous cells won’t stop multiplying.

I planned to take off a week and a half from work and then work from home for 2 weeks and then go back to the office. A week and a half off of work is what my budget could stand to lose without setting me too far off-track financially. The surgery would cost this much money. I’d be fine. I’ve had surgery before – three of them being c-sections. I could handle this – no problem.
I’m not scared.
And therein lies my problem – I didn’t really prepare for unexpected complications. Certainly not for the strain this particular procedure would have on me – emotionally.
This was supposed to be a beautiful day.
By nature – I’m an encourager. There is nothing I can encourage myself with tonight. I got nothing.
Nothing could have prepared me for a switch between a laparascopic surgery and an open abdominal procedure. Nor for the fact that I seem to be grieving the loss of the womb that carried my three precious children. Nor for the fact that my hormones would cause so many tears. Nor that uncontrollable sobbing would make my stitches burn. Nor for the dread in my heart as I wait to find out if my uterus has Cancer or not.
Nothing.
And why do I feel so guilty for feeling this way? I’m a woman of faith. I feel the hand of God in my life daily. Daily. I know He is with me and for me. I know His Word instructs me not to worry. I know He has not left me – He says so, and I trust Him.
But I feel so guilty.
I feel guilty that my 21-year-old daughter has taken on the full-time job of taking care of her mother because it hurts me just to get out of bed.
I feel guilty that my 17-year-old daughter feels anxiety because of all this.
I feel guilty that I’m missing Gavin’s last week of school, and friend’s graduation parties, and so many things.
And the lonliness I feel is absolutely overwhelming. It’s the dread of not having a partner to walk through this with. It’s been 15 years without a forever kind of love – and I’m wondering if I’m just always going to walk through life without such a love. (More tears.) Is it too much to ask for a loving hand to hold through this? I’m worthy of love, right?
It’s not fair for me to put this off on my friends.
So I struggle silently.

“Can’t go over it.
Can’t go under it.
Can’t go around it
Gotta go through it.”

All I know to do is let nature take its course. I will heal in time. My hormones will regulate. Life will return to a new normal. I just gotta go through it.
I just hope that soon it will again be a beautiful day.
I must close by reminding myself of the words God gave me a few years back:
“What you’re walking through is a life-season, not a life-sentence.”
Love you,
Melissa

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Teenager, Life Lessons, Word, Word, Truth, Life, Love

Runaway Train

It was midnight in the sleepy trailer park where I lived 3 miles out of town. The house creaked and groaned in the night wind, but was otherwise silent. I stared at the ceiling, then at the shadows the tree branches threw in my window. They felt like hands reaching out to grab me.

I needed air. I needed space. I needed away from the creep next door who decided a 12-year-old looked like fair game. I hated how he looked at me. What he did to me. I hated the bus ride to and from school. The teasing boys. Their name calling: “Cabbage Patch” “Basset Hound”. I had decided at this young age that I was not worthy of love. My mind was a ping-pong table. My thoughts – the ball.

I had gone to bed in my day clothes to make it easier to leave. My 12-year-old self decided running away from my problems would actually solve them. My brilliant plan: I would walk alone in the dark to a house in town some 6 miles away, spend the night, then what? I didn’t know. What I wanted was for my problems to go away.

I left a note. The kind left by a kid who thought she was grown. It surely made no sense.

I left the note, opened and quietly closed the back door, then hurried down the street toward town. In my wake I left a trail of fenced-in howling dogs down all 4 streets in the sleeping trailer park. So much for “quietly.”

It wasn’t until I got out of the neighborhood and onto the open road that my heart started to race. I didn’t dare look back. I felt like Lot’s wife – “don’t look back or you’ll turn into a…”. I didn’t want to think about it, but it was surely worse than a pillar of salt.

A train whistled – far off. An owl whispered. The watchful moon lit the winding road.

I reached a curve. It’s the kind of country-road-curve where there are trees on both sides. The wind picked up. The trees seemed to whistle and cackle and clap as I passed. I didn’t have much life experience at that age, but I felt like I was in the palpable presence of unfettered evil.

So why was it that I felt at peace? Safe, even? I would soon find out.

Lord , you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up; you understand my thoughts from far away. You observe my travels and my rest; you are aware of all my ways. (Psalms 139: 1-3)

I didn’t know how much time had passed. I just remember it seemed like a long time and I had not seen a car pass me all night. I kept walking until I reached the entrance of another trailer park. (I did a GoogleMap search just now. It’s 2.5 miles away.)

That’s when a man in an old station wagon pulled up beside me coming from town. He said, “I was hoping I’d see you again. I saw you earlier and decided if I passed by again and you were still walking, I’d offer you a ride into town. Young’ens like you shouldn’t be out here walking this time a night. I’ll turn the car around to show you I’m headed back into town and I’ll drop you off wherever you’d like. I promise I’m not going to hurt you.” He must have sensed my fear.

It was chilly, I was tired, and confused. No one had passed me all night, right? Chilly and tired won out over fear. When he circled around, I got in the front seat.

You have encircled me; you have placed your hand on me. This wondrous knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to reach it. (Psalms 139: 5-6)

I don’t remember much of our conversation, nor how it was we got to where I wanted to be dropped off so quickly, but I remember he said this: “Wherever you’re going won’t solve what you’re running away from.”

Had I told him I was running away?

Before a word is on my tongue, you know all about it, Lord.
(Psalms 139:4)

When I got out of the car and looked in the direction he drove off in, he disappeared much too quickly. Had I imagined him? I felt oddly at peace.

Where can I go to escape your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits, even there your hand will lead me; your right hand will hold on to me. (Psalm 139: 7-10)

Long story short: I got home the next day to a mom who I’d scared sick and to a whole lot more trouble than I ever could have imagined. But that’s not the point of this post.

Let me get to it:

Even if you’re on the road in the dark and think you’re alone and that no one could possibly care, God does. He knows the trouble that awaits you next door. He knows the evil that cackles and hisses and lurks around every blind curve. He knows the names they call you. He even knows the names you call yourself.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me, and the light around me will be night”  — even the darkness is not dark to you. The night shines like the day; darkness and light are alike to you.
(Psalms 139:11‭-‬12)

When I blog and speak and breathe about Jesus, it’s because He isn’t a historical figure in a book – HE IS LIFE.

And I don’t and won’t know certain things this side of Heaven, but I know for sure that He is real. I know for a fact He sent a messenger to drive me to safety that night. He is Creator, Father, Friend. And since He made me and loves me – I am worthy of love.

For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well.
(Psalms 139:13‭-‬14)

I just wanted you to know that you are worthy of being loved.

You just are!

Love you,

Melissa

Posted in Life Lessons, Word, Truth, Life, Love

Keeping a Close Watch

31934255_10107231317658480_409882846614781952_nI finally fell asleep at 10:30pm, had a dream, and woke up at 12:30am thinking it was morning. I dreamt of something that completely terrified me. Not sure what it was. But I was outside in the mountains and I turned around to run from it and looked up and there in the sky was a cloud perfectly shaped like a living majestic lion keeping watch over me. And I looked and there carved in a rock a little ways above me was a perfectly carved hungry tiger waiting to pounce on me, but it crumbled at the image of the lion.
Now either I possess the most vivid imagination in the world or I just stood in the power and the presence of the Almighty God who showed me that He’s keeping a close watch over every step I take.
I know what I felt and saw and my imagination could never in a lifetime create something so vivid.
Pondering on these things this morning, the terrifying thing I saw at first seems like a tactic to scare me into the tiger’s paws. But God!

Posted in Life Lessons, Uncategorized, Word, Word, Truth, Life, Love

Redeeming Love

My favorite book is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It’s based on the Bible story of Hosea. The main character is a little girl named Angel who is abandoned, abused, and sold to a pimp at a very young age. When she’s in her 20s, a farmer, Michael Hosea, answers a call from God to rescue her from a brothel and marry her – just as she is.

Here’s an excerpt from right after he rescues her from the brothel and brings her home:

So many people I love have been abandoned and abused emotionally, verbally, physically, sexually so often that love seems like it’s not worth the trouble.

I have been one of these people.

Love means being vulnerable. Being vulnerable means letting your guard down. Letting your guard down means the risk of being hurt again.

Sometimes I’ve found myself feeling and living like I actually deserve abuse, abandonment, betrayal. I’ve felt ugly, unloveable, and useless.

This is because I have an enemy – and he is a liar. His plan is to isolate me, taunt me with past mistakes, and make me feel like I’m unloveable.

The truth is, since he is by nature a liar, all those things are lies.

I am loveable. I am beautiful. My past is redeemable. And more to the point, He has rescued me from the pit and called me His beloved.

Yet like Angel in the story I hide from God or shout in his face and treat him like he’s the one who is wrong, when really – REALLY – He’s the only one who has been faithful, loving, generous, and right beside me all along. He’s the one who rescued me from all of that.

And like Michael Hosea in the quote above, when He has rescued me He says, “I want you to love me. I just want you to trust Me enough to let Me love you and I want to build a life with you.” But because my life is seen through the lens of past abusers, I say – “Can’t you understand that’s impossible?”

But ALL things are possible with Him.

Speaking of possible:

This week I let some things go. I ran into some people who had previously controlled, manipulated, and abused me, but I did not allow them the power to do so any longer.

And at each instance, each time I realized the struggle with them was over and I just felt neutral toward them, I felt a still small voice whisper, “Now your ministry can begin.”

I’ve also learned that I’m ready to be vulnerable with my heart again. With the guy who I think is the One, I’ll be bathing him in prayer, asking lots of questions, and making him meet with my dad’s approval first – and I may get hurt again – but I’m ready.

Anything is possible, right?

My prayer is that God would add roses to all my thorn bushes. I love roses.

God has redeemed every hurt I’ve had. That is to say – he’s allowed me to use those scars to help others through similar times.

Will you trust God enough to let His love in?

Love you,

Melissa

Posted in Poetry, Word, Truth, Life, Love

Steadfast Heart

It takes a steadfast heart
To linger when
Its sole receiver
Hasn’t an idea
That a sweet and
Gentle waiting soul
Has a heart of love
To share with him

It takes a steadfast faith
To stay the course
When its intend’s heart
Cries, aches, and bends
And covers itself in ‘pasts’
And ‘what-went-wrongs’
While his ‘true’ love sits and waits
And comforts him

So she will wait
On the midnight of his soul
While in her heart
The sun dispels the gray
Until the Lord says,
‘Turn to him your heart.
I’ve molded his anew
As out of clay.’

In her days of waiting
She’ll prepare to be
One who’ll love his new heart
Unconditionally

Melissa Fairchild (c) April 27, 2018

Posted in Life Lessons, Word, Word, Truth, Life, Love

Enduring Focus

I ordered my usual Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte, set out my vast array of colored pens, opened my planner to the work section, took my usual plethora of vitamins & supplements, opened my laptop, worked a while, and had lunch with a coworker.

It was a typical Tuesday.

And then the room started spinning.

Colors faded in and out, stars danced at my temples, I couldn’t find the right words to say.

I get migraines. This was different.

I made an appointment with my doctor that afternoon. She was obviously worried. She ordered bloodwork.

She called the next afternoon and told me that my iron count was very low and that I have Iron-deficiency Anemia caused by a pre-cancerous condition.

No wonder I felt like death.

She prescribed an iron pill 3x daily and said to repeat the bloodwork in 2 weeks to mark my progress.

Did I mention I take a plethora of vitamins and supplements? A multi-vitamin with iron was one of those, but I had not been taking it lately, because it was at the house and not in my work bag.

I started thinking about this verse from my daily Bible reading:

Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:2‭-‬4 CSB

(The Message version says “…so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”)

So…tested & triumphed faith produces endurance. Full-grown endurance = being complete and lacking nothing.

As I drove home that afternoon, I began thinking over that verse: What do I lack? What am I deficient in?

Well physically right now I lack sufficient iron in my blood. It makes me weak, dizzy and exhausted.

My thought pattern traced the logic in the verse: I have to have faith in the doctor and trust she knows what’s best for me. I have to act on that faith by taking the iron pill 3x a day. I have to repeat the bloodwork in 2 weeks. For this to work I need to employ endurance. I have got to follow through with the plan the doctor gave me. Then my iron levels will not be deficient (lacking nothing).

As I was taking my iron pill tonight I felt that still, small voice of God prompting: What else? What do you lack spiritually and emotionally?

This took me down a path of asking myself, “What are my what else symptoms?”

So I made a list. Because listers gonna list.

What are some symptoms that tell me something is not right in me spiritually or emotionally:

  • Fear / Anxiety
  • Lack of focus
  • Frustration
  • Not finishing what I start

This lead me to ask myself the next question: What element do I lack that may be causing these symptoms?

I lack enduring focus.

I tend to just waltz through life following my own whims and desires. I need to start asking God what His plans are for me. I need to follow God consistently. I need enduring focus.

My friend Rebecca Carrell says:

“You won’t follow someone you don’t trust, and you can’t trust someone you don’t know, and you can’t know Christ apart from His Word.”

I need to be in the Word. Consistently.

To be healthy and balanced spiritually and emotionally, I need a steady diet of God’s Word. When I leave my Bible at home instead of in my work bag, it is easy for me to get out of the habit of my daily reading, and, just like with my lack of iron, symptoms arise.

Oh, I do well with supplementing my life with worship songs in the car, attending church meetings, having outings with friends, and spending time with my kids. But to function well, I need my time in the Word.

Young lions lack food and go hungry, but those who seek the Lord will not lack any good thing.
Psalms 34:10 CSB

I am at my best when I seek Him.

So here are some questions I’ll leave you to answer:

Are there “symptoms” that tell you something is not spiritually or emotionally right in your life?

What element is lacking that is causing these symptoms?

What have you left out lately that you used to be consistent with?

What are you gonna do about it?

Consider how much better your life will be if you just do the thing.

Posted in Word, Truth, Life, Love

Some Kind of Loveable

She drew in a long breath and let it out. She caught her reflection in the glass door and shifted the bakery box into her left hand, opened the door with her right, and expected the worst.

Why was it that she always expected the worst? Everyone in the room cheered and drawled her name. “Mah-lissa!” “Get on in here girlfriend.” and “Girl – whatchyou got in that box is about to go straight to my thighs – shore thang.”

Her thoughts – Melissa, place the pastries on the table, brew yourself a cup of coffee to keep your hands busy, and whatever you do – don’t cry and spoil the party.

This was the usual pattern. Same social anxiety – different party.

She looked around and began the mental checklist:

  • Suzy is always so well put together. Her outfit is so cute. *looks down at her own 3-day unwashed ‘good’ jeans*
  • Carrie’s house is always so clean. *thinks back to the tone she took last night with her middle child about the laundry being left on the bathroom floor – once again*

And on and on the judgment train chugs along until she finds herself seated and every eye is trained on her. There must have been a question, but she missed it.

Her – “I’m sorry, can you repeat that?”

Cute outfit girl -“How was your week?”

Her thoughts – “Don’t cry. Just sayfine’ and let them move on.

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry for help.

Psalm 34:15

Recently a group of ladies I attend Bible study with on Sunday mornings decided that enough was enough when it comes to judgment, bitterness, and silence.

We decided that we need each other. Not one of us is better than the other. We learned that we all had “secrets” that we kept from each other because of fear. Fear of being judged. Fear of not saying the right things. Fear of losing face. Fear of losing reputation or position.

Fear Is a Liar https://g.co/kgs/yBGfCY

Fear is most definitely a liar.

The notion that you are unloveable because you think are the only one who has ever (fill in the blank) IS A LIE.

Here’s the truth:

For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

ALL meaning: cute outfit girl, clean house girl, fancy car girl, rich girl, educated girl, ministry leader girl…we ALL fall short.

And I’m just going to be one more step honest with you: If God can take me from MY past and make something useful of me, then He can definitely redeem your current season.

Because here’s who I was:

Divorced, alcoholic, homeless, liar, judgement-placer, adulteress, pathetic, victim-mentality-projector, curser, co-dependent, food addict, angry, manipulator.

Given that list, I wouldn’t wanna be my own friend.

But when I live with my hands open to God and His desires for my life, when I allow myself to be open to healing, when I’m courageous enough to invite humility to my table, (none of which I ever do perfectly) God sees me this way:

Loveable, whole, pure, loved, His daughter, hand-crafted with love, worthy of love, kind, caring, sacred, an encourager…

And the more I let this list sink in, the better I become at believing it. And the more I keep my eyes fixed on His, the less the habits and belongings of the people at the table matter. And the less I look at myself, the more I see of their hearts, their hurts, and God’s desire for their healing.

This isn’t a blog for you to read and “like” – this is a call for a decision on your part. Are you – dear reader – going to change your circle of influence by making it better or worse?

Challenge: invite someone in your circle of influence to coffee or to share a meal this week and really lean in and listen to their story. I bet you’ll find out they are the same kind of loveable as you.

Always remember this: what you are walking through is a life-season, not a life-sentence.