Friday, May 8, 2015

"Feeling Good"

I woke up this morning, tired. 
There are some things that just are not good - and one of them is a lack of sleep.
But the day wasn't paused or waiting for me to feel rested, so I climbed out of bed to start the morning routine.  Made lunches, Dennis made breakfast, we ate breakfast, made beds, and we all went in different directions.  Seth was off to school with tulips for an amazing teacher.  Dennis was off to work.  Usually I would clean the house, but unfortunately the house was already cleaned.  So....I thought maybe hitting up a few thrift stores might change my attitude.  Ivan and I were off on an adventure to find a treasure - not sure what it would be.  My little one enjoys browsing thrift shops with me.
We stopped at one church thrift store and they had an entire room dedicated to nothing but books...I stayed in that room as long as Ivan would allow - I found Priscilla Shirer books for a quarter.  I also picked up a book about taking your faith further or something like that, but when I opened the front cover - there was a picture of First Baptist Church's Congregation from 1974 and a handwritten quote about loyalty.  I had to buy the book just because of what he wrote in the cover - oh and it was only .50 for a hardback book! I wonder why the postcard was significant and why was it saved?  Could the person who owned this book been in the picture on the postcard?  I felt like I had hit the jackpot with so many good books, at such a great price.
We were headed to the next thrift shop when I noticed a sign by one of the most inspiring churches that has ever graced my path...apparently they have a thrift store that was open today.  I should pause here and give you a bit of a back story on this church.  When I was having orthopedic issues in middle school and high school, the doctor I was seeing was at Nemours downtown. The surgeries that I had were at Wolfson Children's Hospital.  Once a month, sometimes more, sometimes less we would head downtown to see Dr. Hahn.  We always took the same roads, passed the same businesses, felt the anticipation and anxiety of not knowing what the appointment would hold. There was also a church we passed, and every time there would be something inspirational on the marquee in front of the church.  That was one thing that I always looked forward to seeing on our way to those appointments.  It was like a little bit of hope among all that was going on.  Eventually they 'fixed' me - I no longer had to go downtown for the appointments. While I didn't go past that church as much, I still was always encouraged by the sign when I did have an opportunity to drive by it. I had no clue how God would show up and work through this church, in my life, once again....but He did.
We parked and headed in, such a neat little place filled with all kinds of treasures.  Naturally I was drawn to the wall of books.  I was taking it all in the - the smell of old books, the elderly people running the thrift shop and talking about their gardens, the music playing -  "One thing remains" - ok have to pause for more back story to the back story....there have been mornings when I woke up struggling with the affects of depression and anxiety, and the only thing I knew to do was pull the bicycle out and go for a ride.  Ivan enjoyed it - got a seat to put between me and the handle bars and would turn on some music on my phone...every single time that I took the bike out under those circumstances - that song always played.  And that song was playing this morning, on my bad, tired morning from this church that always encouraged me when going through surgeries.  In case you aren't familiar with the song here are the lyrics -
Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing… Remains
 Your love never fails, never gives up
Never runs out on me
On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never, ever, have to be afraid
One thing remains
 In death, In life, I’m confident and
covered by the power of Your great love
My debt is paid, there’s nothing that can
separate my heart from Your great love...
So that song was playing as all my senses were taking in this little place when I glanced down and saw the book "Feeling Good The New Mood Therapy" by Dr. David Burns....This marks the third time that this book has been brought up in conversation, suggested, or flat out showed up in front of me!  My dad was going through some classes and they recommended it to him - I went to the extent of checking it out from the library but the size of the book was intimidating and, 'what if it doesn't work' never got read.  Then my new psychiatrist had given me some worksheets and help examine my thinking that were taken from that book and she recommended the book.  She even offered to bring in her personal copy for me to read.  I left that appointment that day and went to books a million where the book was out of stock.  I could have searched it out but I didn't.  Then today, I find it for a quarter from a church that has provided inspiration to me through some difficult times. The fact that this book has been brought to my attention so many times, in so many different ways, from different people, who couldn't possibly be talking to each other --- makes me think that God REALLY wants me to read this book.
I came to this epiphany tonight - this church has been very encouraging and inspiring to me, and I have never stepped foot inside it....I wonder what would happen if I opened the doors and went in.....

 The book and the church....

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