The moths, hovering

The clouds beckon the coming storm, and I rock in my chair and survey the grandeur. Yellow, orange, pink, purple...and every shade in between. I bask in the eye of the storm, waiting for sunset to fade it's glow   melting the the evening sky to bring out it's lights of night. Waiting for the first mist of cold rain to come across the fields.

I've been in a storm since the beginning of April. My diagnosis is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and I am taking a slew of medication in an attempt to slow the anxiety and help me keep control of my impulses. I have gone 4 weeks now without hurting myself intentionally. One therapist pointed out that physical pain is helpful because it shunts electricity from one part of the brain (the conscious part that is running scared) to less intellectual parts of the brain. We came up with a list of things that "hurt" that I can do without truly hurting myself. Just in case anyone reading struggles with self-harm or suicide attempts, let me give you my list:
  • Walk on the gravel driveway barefoot
  • Clean your finger and toe nail beds
  • Put a piece of tape on your arm and rip it off later
  • Work out
  • Squeeze hands tight
  • Bite your lip
  • Chew your fingernails
  • Do some heavy lifting, boxes in your basement, etc.
My favorite is walking on gravel. When I walk down our driveway, I am not thinking about anxiety or depression or the bad things that happened in my life, I am thinking only about the stones digging into my tender feet.

The sky darkens, but the beauty remains. Whether you are in a season of life that is full of sunshine or roses, or you are walking through the darkest depths of the valley, there is beauty and joy to be claimed - actively claimed - if you lean on Christ and trust Him for what you need. He steps in and gives you a sunset, or a warm day, or simply the whispering breath of your child sleeping in your arms. Seek those moments, treasure them, hold them like precious jewels tight to your chest. In some ways they are the reward here on earth for the suffering. If you weren't walking through the night, you would never notice the beauty of the stars.

Don't let anything steal away from the feast 
God has prepared in the presence of your enemies. 
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (I Corinthians 15:53-54)