Friday, July 25, 2014

Finding hope amidst sickness...

Still very sick :(  I went to the doctor yesterday, and was told that my pneumonia refuses to go away (Ha!), and I have the adult form of Mononucleosis... which was suspected at first.  I am continuing to smile though I feel very betrayed by my lungs.  On the very bright side, tomorrow I fly to LA to go to Newport Beach for a few weeks.  I can honestly say I am a little nervous, but a lot excited.  Blogging everyday helps a lot with my anxiety, writing is my passion.  I don't know how many people read my writing, but it means a lot to know I have somewhere I can go with my writing.  I have been passing out a lot, and am very forgetful which hurts.  It gets to the point where I have to say my name out loud just to believe that I am... well... me.  A lot of people have wondered about my faith through these trials.  I am going to be honest, when things were getting really bad a few months ago, I felt totally abandoned by God.  It took going through "The Friday Incident" to really realize where I stood.  I realized God had not abandoned me.  I find that I use the footprints prayer analogy too often, but it is so true in my life.  The story goes something like this... or at least this is my take on it:

When you go through a rough time or a "storm" some people look back at their footprints in the sand or the places they have walked through their journey, and they only see one set of footprints.  They feel alone, abandoned by a God who promises to be with us always.  They cry out to God, and he answers.  "The footprints that you see in the sand are not yours, for they are mine, I was carrying you the whole time".

That is one of my favorite stories in the world.  It gives me so much hope.  I know God never leaves me.  He was there in the Emergency room on that Friday.  He was there at the Parry Center.  He was with me in the hospital, and he is here with me now.  He always will be.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Just Keep Swimming...

It is all real life today.  I suppose it is every other day, but today feels different.  I had freedom today.  I am capable of a lot of things but today I am making good decisions.  I got to be alone for a couple of hours which is refreshing considering I have been under constant surveillance for 4 months.  It was good.  I ate some ice cream (duhh) :) and had a lot of time to think.  I thought a lot about how I need to be more real.  I have been such a fake for so long, putting on a smile and living life.  I was living a lie.  Going back to my freshman year of high school.  I was the seemingly sweet and shy girl, who was always nervous and almost never spoke up in class.  I was at SCA.  I thought I was happy.  I wore cardigans to hide scars, I would avoid eating lunch and lie about it, I was anxious up to my ears.  It was a silent battle, one I wasn't willing to share with anyone except for a few people.  I wanted so badly to be popular, to be known but something was holding me back.  I LOVED choir and wanted so badly to be apart of the drama department, but every time I went to audition I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  It was ridiculous.  This wasn't me.  When I was little, my parents took me to disneyland.  All day I begged my parents to buy one of those spray fans from the merchandise carts.  I was just a little girl, but I knew what I wanted.  My parents patiently told me that they did not want to pay for anything like that.  In my tiny brain, I took it upon myself to get this fan.  I walked up to an older couple and reported that there was a fan that I wanted and my parents couldn't pay for it.  My parents were horrified, and the couple felt bad so eventually somehow I ended up with a mickey mouse spray fan that day.  See?!  I wasn't afraid to go after  what I wanted then, so why couldn't I now?  I didn't realize it then but it was severe depression and anxiety that were swallowing me whole.  I prayed continually that year for SOMETHING that would make me felt like I belonged at that school.  God opened my eyes so wide to the work he was doing in my heart that year.  I had countless friends who came alongside me, and blessed me by being there for me.  Secretly part of me wishes I never left that school.  I miss SCA a lot, all of the friends, all of the teachers, all the amazing memories.  Yes, you could say that it was one of the worst years of my life, with the escalating of my eating disorder, consuming depression and anxiety.  But no.  That was not God's plan for me and it still is not.  I'm not meant to wallow and feel bad for my past, but to change my life and run as fast as I can towards the cross.  I was given these trials for a purpose.  For the purpose much greater than I could ever imagine.  I just want to reach into my computer and hug every hurting person who reads this and cry with them, and tell them that everything is going to be just fine.  Yeah life sucks, and throws a ton of crap (being real y'all, life can have crap sometimes) at you from all directions.  We are made strong by our heavenly father, you can do it!  Never give up, for a sunny day is coming.  Tomorrow is always waiting.  I love you all, and God bless!!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Painful memories… The worst day of my life

It is kind of a funny thing, missing a psychiatric facility, but I do.  I miss my friends, I miss the staff, I miss the campus.  I was there for 90 days.  The majority of my time there I was a mess.  Having panic attacks almost every day, my medication was off.  I just did not want to be there.  I would say however that the last month of my stay at The Parry Center, I saw a change.  I wanted to get better.  Before I had told someone that I wanted to stay here for as long as possible, I didn't want to change.  I wanted a label.  I told them that I wanted to be labeled as a psychiatric patient, who never wanted to live a normal life.  That all changed in one single day.  This part is painful for me to write as it was a day of horror for many people, so be warned if you are sensitive because I am going to be very real.  It was a Friday.  I had been waiting for this day for weeks.  I was ready.  It was the big day for my shopping day with my friends and sister at Washington Square.  My therapist and mom signed a few papers allowing me to go off campus, and then we were off.  I picked up all of my friends and we were Washington Square bound for what everyone thought was going to be an amazing day.  In my head, I knew differently.  My mom dropped us off and reported that she would be at the Starbucks in the mall if we needed anything, and then we were free.  I cringed as I realized my new found freedom.  At the Parry Center it was total lockdown, you had to ask to go to the bathroom and even to get into your own room.  This was the mall, I was "free".  We went to a few stores and bought a few things.  We decided to split up and thats when I knew I had my chance.  Quickly I went into a makeup store, and bought a eyeliner sharpener.  I told my friend that I had to go to the bathroom, so we both walked towards the restroom.  My palms were sweating, I knew what I was going to do.  I quickly went into a stall and smashed the sharpener retrieving the blade.  I looked anxiously at my left forearm, and then I did it.  After making several cuts I started to get dizzy, and things were starting to get fuzzy.  I had to get out of there.  I quickly hid the blade, put on my light grey sweatshirt and walked briskly out of the bathroom.  My friends asked if i was doing alright and I lied.  To this day if I had only told them I wasn't fine, maybe this would have all been different, but I told them, "I'm fine."  They told me that I had to go to my mom to take some meds.  I did not think twice, and went to take my meds.  As I walked into Starbucks I looked down at my arm.  Blood was seeping through and starting to drip.  I panicked.  It was too late.  My mom started to scream and I tried to run, but she and my friends grabbed me.  Things could have gone a lot differently.  They wouldn't let me go.  I started to hyperventilate and passed out.  My friend had to call 911 as me and my mom sat on the floor in the middle of Starbucks.  They took me in an ambulance to the hospital.  Emergency room number 15.  This will be important later on.  I never got to see my friends, and have not seen them since "the friday incident", it breaks my heart to know that I deceived them.  I love my friends, I still cannot believe I did this to them, my sister and my mom.  I was put in every restraint they could find at the hospital for trying to run.  As I laid strapped to a bed, my parents read my personal journal out loud.  Tears all around the room and sobs as they read horrifying words that I had written about myself, and how I had planned this whole thing knowing I would end up in the hospital.  I was taken that night back to the Parry Center, crying the whole way.  What did I do?  I ruined everything.  I lost more trust than I realized even then.

I look back on that day and wish with all of my heart that none of that ever happened.  I wish I hadn't lied.  A few weeks later after taking a few weeks back at the Parry Center to recuperate, I went on another outing.  My dad took me back to the mall, and this time it was not about schemes or shopping, but about healing.  We walked the entire mall, praying every step of the way for healing.  I walked into that Starbucks and tearfully asked for forgiveness from God for what I had done.  I am thankful for that time with my dad, and now I am not afraid to go to the mall anymore.  WELL this was quite the long blog, but I needed to say what I did.  Without the Lord, I would have ended my life.  I praise him everyday for a second chance.  Monday I discharged from the Parry Center, and came home with a fever.  The sickness quickly turned into more than just the flu.  I went to the hospital, to get a chest x-ray and fainted.  They took me to the emergency room.  Room 15.  The exact same room that had been so painful before, full of restraints and tears.  Now it was full of sickness, but laughter and smiles.  We prayed over that room.  Another chance God gave me to heal from "the friday incident".  I tell ya, God is amazing, and he works in the weirdest ways to bring good.  I am home now after spending 5 days at Randall Children's Hospital with Pneumonia.  It is SO good to finally be home.  Thank you all for continuing to pray and support me, it means the world to know that I am doing work for the king and hopefully encouraging other hurting people.  I love you all, and thanks for listening to me!

- mads

Monday, July 21, 2014

Humbling pnemonia

It has been 4 days in the hospital with pnemonia.  4 days meeting people like Patrick, Maria, Courtney and Monica.  All nurses who never stopped smiling and never left my side as I was recovering.  I reached a point today when my mom came to visit, I was done.  My arm was aching from the IV.  Wires were plugged into me from all directions.  I hated being in bed, I just wanted to go home.  Later this evening I was completley humbled.  As I walked up and down the halls of the 8th floor of Randall Childrens Hospital, I realized something.  I am crying as I write this because I realized I am only here for a week or so.  The posters and balloons and flowers I saw lining the rooms of other rooms meant they have been here for so much longer.  I am blessed to know kids like these.  Kids who battle illness much greater than mine.  True warriors disguised in hospital gowns.  I don't want to be here but I can honestly say I am humbled.  I am a princess and so is every girl in this hospital, amd every boy a prince.  Royalty of the true king, the healer.  I am praying everyday for each of these kids as they are on their journeys.  Thanking the Lord tonight for his mighty grace, and prayong for healing in this hospital.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Diary of Reckless Abandon...

The Diary of Reckless Abandon is the title of my story I'm working on.  I have been writing things for year about my life and am just now working on putting things together.  I came up with the title when I was listening to a song about living a life of abandon.  It got me excited and I knew that that was perfect.  Since life is not perfect, I added a little reckless in there too, describing my life on this rocky road at times.  On that note, I will be blogging a lot more, and not sharing too many spoilers about my story.  For those of you who have been here since the beginning you know that I got to come home for good on Monday, and am elated!  There is a really neat story I thought I would share, hoping to encourage all of you.  About 6 years ago I went on a Mission Trip to Mazatlan, Mexico.  I went with a few very good friends and my Dad.  Our amazing hosts the Schofield family were gracious to host us.  We have known this family for a long time now, and have been praying for their mission work.  They recently took a team down to Puerto Rico, and while they were down there they read my story that I had posted on Fathers Day to the team. Since I got this news I have gotten hundreds of Post Cards from people in Puerto Rico on that trip.  It has been breathtaking to see that even in the midst of pain I am able to start something amazing for the Kingdom of God.  My Ministry is just beginning, and I am more excited than words to be able to share with the world.  Please share this blog and or my Facebook with anyone you think would be encouraged :)  Feeling very very loved today, and very honored to be doing work in his name, just by doing the simple task of writing.  I hope you will continue to pray alongside me and follow me in my journey!

- maddie