“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV
Today I visited the cemetery to place a rose in my Aunt’s vase because tomorrow is the one year anniversary of her passing. I miss her terribly. While there, I decided to place a rose on a friend’s grave who passed away in 2010. Her name was Coy.
During this journey of recovery from sexual assault, I have been in and out with God. I have, He hasn’t. One of the first times I really felt like God was still there for me and hadn’t abandoned me was when I met my friend named Coy.
I had only been going through this journey for a few months. She had such a sweet personality and the most adorable southern accent. However, she was struggling too, but she still radiated God’s love.
Coy would tell me God still loved me and always reminded me of it. God brought Coy into my life at a time when I needed a friend and someone who understood how I was feeling, but also so I could support her and feel needed too.
Coy was agoraphobic, which “is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.” (MayoClinic.com) She was afraid to leave her house and be around other people. Yet she would come to our support group once she knew people.
We would talk on the phone when one of us needed support. God truly used her to show me His love. However, God needed Coy with Him sooner rather than later. I had known Coy for about two years and she was making good progress. I was hoping to take her out to coffee soon, but she had a sudden heart attack at the age of 46 and died. I grieved her loss immensely.
Knowing she was now home with God was very comforting, but I wanted her down here. I wanted to see her overcome her anxiety. I knew she could do it. I also missed her encouragement.
I felt so blessed that God used her in my life to keep me going, and to encourage me with some of His invisible footprints on my heart.
My Aunt was like this too. She never knew what happened to me because I never told her. It would have broken her heart, but she knew I struggled with depression and anxiety and was having a really difficult time.
She was too. She was a diabetic who had a kidney transplant and had lost her sight, yet she made the best out of every day she lived. She always called me to thank me when I sent her a card and on my birthday she called and sang “Happy Birthday” to me.
Both of these women were important people in my life, and both radiated God’s love. We need people like them in our lives as we are on this journey to recovery.
It is very common to want to isolate ourselves from others during this difficult time. I do it. I don’t like the questions. What do you do for a living? Why are you on disability? Because to the world complex PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, anxiety and recovering from years of sexual assault are not reasons to be on disability. They judge. I take it to heart.
We should not do this. God wants us around people and He will provide us with the right people to be around if we allow Him to guide us. To be honest, I am scared to go out into the world and let anyone else into my “bubble”.
So, while I isolate I make myself stay very busy. Do you do this? Do you isolate and stay really busy to avoid being “real” with people. To avoid the people God is sending to help us?
I admit it. I do. I have tried to go out into the world, to various singles groups, support groups, and I have a bad experience, or my anxiety kicks in and I’m out of there.
However, today, God is letting me know we need people to walk this path with us. To pray for us. To hold our hands, to let us cry on their shoulders, and we need to be a friend to them. There is nothing like giving back to someone else to cheer you up and be thankful.
I know this is going to be extremely hard. I am willing to start praying for God to bring one new person into my life to befriend me and let Him show me this person is trustworthy. Allow Him to guide the relationship. We don’t have to share our whole story upfront. It takes time to build a relationship.
It will take time to breach our isolation.
Join me as I pray for just one person right now, and then God will open more doors.
I am scared of opening my heart to anyone new. I have been hurt so many times. I lack trust in other people. I need You to be the One to show me who I can trust. Bring into my life just one new person to be a support to me in this journey to recovery and allow me to be a support to them too. Help me to be open God.
© 2017 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.