Full of Life

Recently someone asked me the reason for the name of my blog, “Accumulating experiences while enjoying the journey”.

Most of my life I have been the outgoing life of the party while deep within I kept tucked away secretly great sadness and pain. I remember growing up with the feeling that I was never enough. There was a strong sense within me that I had to make people happy, all people, and all the time. As we well know, this is something that is not accomplishable. However, because of this twisted sense of direction I was constantly feeling as if I were a failure, people did not like me (they were laughing at me, not with me – in an “I feel sorry for you” type of way), and I was always striving to be perfect in everyone’s eyes while never obtaining that perfection.  I would now be known as a person that was OCD in ‘approval addiction’.

I could go down a list of things that, in my mind, caused me to act, think, and believe the way that I did. Most of the things could be considered relevant and too, irrelevant. Nonetheless, I was what I was, an unhappy person. I learned to wear a mask and reflect a façade of what life was for me to others. This got me through many, many, many moons.

All my life I remember thinking how much I hated life, how I wish I were dead, and that no one would miss me if I were gone, let alone even notice. All the while  I would think about ways to end my life: I could crash my car at the perfect place at the perfect time to make it look like an accident; I could slice my wrist or even my throat; I could overdose on pills; I could drown myself; the things that came to mind were ridiculously insane. (pun intended – ha)

When I was a teenager and in my mid 20’s I attempted starving myself and working out like a maniac. Later in life, I tried slicing my wrist, twice. I had been put on antidepressants, multiple times and multiple types. I would of course lie to the doctor and insist that I was fine until something would happen that would send me running back to him or her. Then in 2005, I had decided to divorce my husband after a 14-year relationship. Things were said and done the night of my decision that once again leads me to my spiral of suicidal thinking. I left the house that night and drove to a dam near my house. While sitting there, debating on whether or not to drive myself over it, I called a friend. This friend was the only friend in the entire world that new my deep struggles. She was not one of my lifelong friends, she was not a pastor’s wife or anyone of influence to any others, and she was not even a newly acquired friend. She was merely a friend that I had known over the past 8 years, at this point, and she saw me, really saw me. When she answered her phone she said, “I was just thinking of you. How are you?” She listened to me for the next 10 minutes and when I was finished this is what she said, “I don’t have any words to say to you other than I love you and I am praying for you. But there is a song that comes to mind that I would like for you to hear.” I held on the phone while she prepared what it was that she wanted me to hear. She never came back to the phone. I heard the song play and then heard a click.  

The song said this: “Has the sun gone down on you? Have you given up on truth? I wish I could say all the right things to make your pain go away. I wish you knew how beautiful you are in every way. When the world is falling down, just kneel with me and pray. So you’ll take a thousand pills hoping to be numb. Lie awake in bed counting all that’s wrong. No one understands, no one ever will but trust me when I tell you, I know just how you feel. You had all these dreams but your small town killed them for you. You had nothing else to do but use and use and use. Just sing a song for me, it’s not as bad as it seems. What matters today won’t matter tomorrow, count all your blessings instead of all your sorrows. If you’re gonna fly away, don’t fly without me, don’t go nowhere, I need you.”

I sat there at that dam for 5 hours after that. I cried out to God and told him I was confused, He had promised me that I had a calling on my life yet nothing had come of it; He even at one point revealed Himself to me and hugged me in a real embrace. So where was He now? I had left my car running that entire time and just as I had finally decided to change the gears from park to drive I heard, “I am the way the truth and the life. I have never left you nor forsaken you and I have a plan for your future. All who live must live in and through me.”

The voice of truth spoke to me and at that moment I decided no matter what came my way, good or bad, rain or sunshine, I was going to live my life and in doing so LIVE! Since that day, the storms have still come and I have still gotten through them all with a few tears shed but a smile on my face. There is nothing in this life that can separate me from the love of one who gave His life for me. I have never once since felt depressed, suicidal, or even taken a pill for depression. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds my future. Life is worth the living just because He lives.

The best compliments I receive today, is indeed my most treasured compliment received… “You are so full of life; it’s what I love most about you.” Different people have said it to me several times in the last year in different ways. I am honored and humbled, knowing where I come from and where I am going, to be able to enjoy my journey with my daily life experiences.

Live as if today is the first day and the last day of your life!  

Accumulating experiences while enjoying the journey!

Accumulating experiences while enjoying the journey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song: If you’re gonna fly away  Artist: Faith Hill Words and Lyrics by: Alicia B. Moore and Linda Perry 

Copyright by reflectionsbypj 2009/07/12

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7 thoughts on “Full of Life

  1. It’s funny that you wrote this. I really don’t know you except through facebook but as I was watching your trip on facebook the last few days, I thought to myself that you really seem to enjoy yourself.(the DWR episode was funny. It made me laugh).

  2. God is awesome! I won’t dwell on the negative( I know there is plenty!) but I will praise THE ONE that brought you out of bondage! I hope that God continues to use you in mighty ways! I know you left footprints on our hearts and especially on my children and I am forever grateful for that! My love and prayers always! pam

  3. You have to love Pink and Linda Perry. They have a song that helped me, too…I hear ya on the perfection idea; I’m classic OCD which means I expect myself and my life to be perfect. I’ll die with that desire, because there is no cure for OCD. Meds help tremendously, as does therapy, as does faith, as does writing. In my experience, God made me this way on purpose…and there are many good things about it. But you have to take the bad too…Jesus did. Anyway, great post. Glad you’re still with us. Glad I am too. 🙂

  4. Its a beautiful thing to see one of God’s chosen to show us how to be real. You Bless more people than you know by just being you and LIVING and sharing your LIFE with us. God Bless You! 🙂
    p.s. (when I grow up I want to be more like Penny;)

  5. Penny I have known you for many years and I never realized things were as bad as they were for you. You hid it well.
    Don’t feel alone in your feelings. I too went through the same thing you did growing up. I use to have to lock my car door because satan would tell me to just jump out every time I got in the car.
    In one of my hopeless times God spoke to me too and he told me just as he told you. I will never leave you nor forsake you and he hasn’t and I know he won’t.
    God is the greater power and I am glad both of us ran to him instead of to the other side.
    I love you Penny. You are special in so many ways. Don’t you forget that.
    Betsy

  6. This is a beautiful testimony, Penny. It’s hard for me to imagine you depressed and miserable. The Penny I know is joyful, determined, and real. You are a joy to be around and bless others through your laughter and energy. I am so proud of you for turning your life around.

  7. Thank you for being transparent and saying what so many wish they could get out. God is good and faithful. Your life has just begun. Love you dear friend!

    You are a light & treasure in my life!

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