Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Joel. Michawn. {Part 60 - In Honor of Christmas}

This is brilliant.

What if Joseph and Mary had been complementarians?

You guys, the Christmas story would be no more.  Things would be drastically different.

And what is described in this piece is exactly what happened with Joel and me.  Different details, obviously.  Ha.  But, the 'gender roles' described here is exactly what Joel was being 'prescribed' (and here) in order to 'deal with me' and my needs.  I was 'in sin' because I wasn't succumbing to acting in these roles.  I probably would have if I could have (because of my own background)...but my physical need for rest didn't allow for that.

Thank GOD Joseph wasn't listening to 'mentors' and advice-givers like in this story, or like Joel did. "Well, an angel came and spoke to Joseph personally...that's the difference in Joseph and Joel." But...Joseph could have easily written off the angel's visit...could have easily blocked any voice from heaven by listening to the voices of (wrong) men too...just like Joel did.  I do not believe that God just left, leaving Joel to his own devices.  Rather Joel was deceived...and the voices of other men became louder than the voice of God in his life in the past few years.  The voices of complementarian men all around are very, very loud and confident in their wrong thinking and beliefs.  They are very persuasive.  Not because they are evil.  But because they absolutely think that what they are saying is right and is 'gospel'...and they speak as such (and here).

I share this to illustrate for you what complementarianism is really like.  How extreme it is.  This just so very clearly points out the absolute absurdity of 'man's religious ways.'  Even complementarianism goes so far beyond what traditional gender roles were like back in the day in many ways…clearly shown in how Mary reacted to Gabriel…and how Joseph reacted to Mary.

Were these reactions of Joseph and Mary the norm?  Maybe not.  Maybe everyday life and roles truly were more like described in this piece.  But that's just it...clearly those gender roles were not so among God's people. He came to set us free from that sort of thing.

Complementarianism just puts people back in that bondage.

The following is an excerpt.  You can read the whole brilliant piece here.

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” 
Mary responded, “I will have to talk to Joseph, and see what he thinks. As a woman, I can’t be certain whether or not there is really a calling on my life, especially if it seems like a calling that will put me in a place of prominence over Joseph. Although we are of equal value, he has spiritual authority over me, and he gets the final say in matters like this.” 
Gabriel face-palmed himself and let out a sigh of exasperation. 
Soon after, Mary went to Joseph and explained that God had called her to carry the Messiah in her womb, and that she would become pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Joseph was skeptical, because Mary was a woman, and easily deceived. He wondered if she had actually talked to an angel, and supposed that even if she had, she must have misunderstood her calling. It didn’t make sense to him that God would call her to a position as prominent as carrying the Son of God, and expect Joseph, a man, to take a back seat. No, it just didn’t seem right. 
Joseph thought about it, and he felt that allowing Mary to pursue this “so-called calling” was going to upset their traditional marriage roles, therefore it couldn’t really be from God. After asking the advice of some wise male friends, he had to make the difficult decision to tell Mary, that this was not a calling from God, and there should be no more talk of babies from the Holy Spirit. Mary questioned the decision, saying that she really felt that God had a calling on her life, but Joseph reminded her that she was not equipped to make that determination on her own, so she submitted to his will.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Joel. Michawn. {Part 59 - Physical Health, 3}

As was discussed in the first part and the second part of this Physical Health series, I was well aware of what was going on with my body beginning in the start of 2012.  I saw what was going on, I listened to my body's cues...and I knew that I needed a break.

As this 'Joel. Michawn.' blog series has discussed, I was denied any kind of break, over and over.  In fact, not only was I denied any break from the stressors in our lives, more stressors were just heaped onto me.  It got worse and worse.

It all started out with adrenal fatigue...but then that led to other things.  Read all the way to the end.

The symptoms of the adrenal fatigue really started showing up at the end of 2011...but I was in a place where I could focus on taking care of myself and being stricter with my diet again (as opposed to the previous couple of months during that summer where I was traveling and had visitors, etc.)  So, things equalized again.  Then came 2012...and stressor upon stressor came upon me.  By August 2012, symptoms were in full bloom.

I shared a few videos and links with you last time about stress and what can result from chronic stress, including adrenal fatigue.  Let me share a few more things with you here about adrenal fatigue...

First of all, the first 4 clips here at this link are really good.  Here, Dr. Oz has on his show three women who are experiencing adrenal fatigue, he shows how the adrenal glands work and what it looks like if things are out of whack (the ropes demonstration is genius), symptoms are discussed, and an expert talks about how to best heal.

I shared this article last time, but if you didn't get a chance to read it, it's a good source of information.

This is also a great video about what adrenal fatigue looks like and how you can heal yourself.  Again, one of the main things you must do, of course, is to de-stress your life.  Oh how I tried.  Again, I was refused that.  

This lady's post I can definitely relate to.  What she says here:
Now, I did ask a doctor or two to check for this, but I got the same usual answer:  ::patronizing smile:: "You don't need that. You're young. You just need to not eat so much and exercise a lot more."   Psssh.  Hey, buddy, if I can weather several pregnancies, attend and graduate college, move my family four times AND take care of my kids who are very needy (medically speaking), all while feeling like a truck ran over me, backed up, and ran over me again, then I am pretty sure I'm a much stronger person than you'll ever be. So shut it.  
I actually cried when she told me the diagnosis. I didn't sob or anything like that, but I definitely needed a tissue. I said "you wouldn't believe how many people have told me to 'just stop eating' or 'if you would just exercise' or have commented on my mood, or my being tired, or..., or..., or." She said "Yes, those things don't work for you because you're body thinks you're about to die...of course you can't do those things!"
It's like the quote I included in the first part of this series:
Every time you have a mental or emotional stress, it’s causing chemistry in your body. Real chemistry. And when that chemistry is the same chemistry as a famine, your body is going to want to gain weight. It’s trying to protect you from the stresses in your life. It doesn’t know what to do. 
All these stresses are causing chemistry and our bodies are trying to protect us. And people get so mad…we get so mad at our bodies…you know, we hate our bodies because we think that our bodies are trying to sabotage us or are out to get us. No…it’s a protection mechanism! It’s nothing more.   --John Gabriel
I include those quotes not only to point to the weight gain element...don't get hung up on that.  Because your body does many more things in reaction to what it thinks is itself dying.

These links and articles all describe adrenal fatigue as involving shear exhaustion and a feeling of being overwhelmed (among other things).  How many times did I say, even on Facebook, that I was just so so exhausted.  That I was just so very overwhelmed with the demands still being put on me ("with all that I had to do" I would say).  Those of you who were around me in real life, and around me on Facebook...since the last half of 2011, that has been something you've heard from me.

The thing about chronic stress is that it leads to things like adrenal fatigue.

And the thing about continued chronic stress and not being able to stop and heal that adrenal fatigue is that that leads to even more problems.

In my case, thyroid issues and being diagnosed with Hashimoto's this year.

Proper thyroid function depends on healthy adrenal glands.  And mine were shot...and had been for years.

From this article:
The complexity of the human body means that one part of the endocrine system (the HPA axis) cannot exist independently of another part (the thyroid). In reality, there are connections and relationships that exist between every system in the body, and a weakness in one area can easily translate into changes in another. 
In the case of Adrenal Fatigue, it has been shown that a weakening in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland (the other parts of the HPA axis) can lead to lower thyroid function. In other words, if your blood tests suggest mild hypothyroidism, the underlying problem might actually be Adrenal Fatigue.
Had I been listened to and allowed a time of healing in 2012, would I still have developed Hashimoto's Thyroiditis?  Possibly.  But, the sad part of all of this is that it would have looked very different.  Why?  Because I knew how to be healthy and my lifestyle that I led (before I had to go into survival mode) was exactly the kind of lifestyle that did all it could to prevent autoimmune disease.  Had I been listened to and believed and allowed a time to heal (instead of thrown into the battle of my life, lasting several years; it's still not over), dealing with Hashimoto's...

1.  probably would have come much later in life (if at all)
2.  would have involved having a loving support system near to me instead of none at all
3.  would have involved my body being in much better shape when the diagnosis came instead of already run down by all of the chronic stress and fight (again, survival) of the past few years

But, none of that is the case now.

So, this is my current newest battle.

I won't bore you with what I'm trying...because I'm working on it, but I haven't found a successful treatment as of yet.  I'll keep you posted about what works for me.

But, I will tell you that, as usual, I am going to fight this too, and beat it.

I'm exhausted over everything else that has happened.  But, I have to find a way to just keep going and find within me even more fight in order to beat this as well.

So this coming year I have many goals.  Several that will all be taking place in the first half of the year.  One of them will be vigilance in finding a treatment plan that will provide health for my body again.

Things between Joel and I were really great after August...until the end of October when things kind of blew up again.  The trust that he was slowly building from August until the end of October came crashing down.  Again.  And it hasn't been that great since.

He jumped ship, guys...way back at the beginning of 2012.  He went from our family's ship to someone else's.  He came back to our ship in 2014...only for me to find out in 2015 that he was secretly sneaking off to that other ship still.  That other ship is gone now.  The people on that other ship are dead to us now, for good, forever.  And he had made his way back onto our ship after counseling in August...until he destroyed trust again at the end of October.

So, now he's in the water...just floating.  I've thrown him tons of life rings...tons of different ways he can start to earn trust and earn his way back onto our ship...we've discussed these things over and over and over again.  He'll take hold of each life ring at the time...and then just let it quickly drift off again.  He doesn't take hold of these things and keep them...and therefore isn't being saved.  He is sabotaging his rescue.  He is drowning himself.

It's hard to watch.  It's hard to live through.  Someone choosing to let go of the life rings.  Someone taking the life rings for granted.  The kids and I root for him...and would love for him to be safely in the ship with us.  But, we also will no longer sabotage our health and our lives just so he can be back in our boat.  He has to do the work required...he has to build our trust.  He has to take hold of all of those life rings...and utilize them...and prove to us that he is for us and with us.  Prove that he can be unselfish.  Prove that he can do the right things, even when they're hard.  And prove that he will never jump ship again.

We will see what happens.  You know that he's been given soooo many chances.  He's on his last one, we've agreed.  It's just time to move on if this chance doesn't work out...if he can't grab those life rings and put them into practice.  Why?  Because we have to just move on.  We can't stay in this same very detrimental cycle.  I'm getting off the hamster wheel and joining my kids in life.  No more darkness, no more destruction...but health and life.  I have to go there.

Would it be nice if Joel would join us there?  It would.  We'll see if he chooses to save himself, if he chooses to grab onto the life rings.  It's been a week since being issued one last chance.  He's been able to stick with it and make mostly good choices this week, starting the very start of the foundation of building trust again.  You can pray for him.

...We'll see.

But, being diagnosed with a disease that most likely could have been avoided had I been actually taken care of?  I knew it was all this serious to begin with.  I knew what I needed and why.  Now maybe others will finally realize it too.  It's too late to prevent it now.  But...

That is why I have to get off the hamster wheel.  I have to move toward health and wholeness.

We'll see if Joel joins us.

But please pray for me as I try to beat this and find the best treatment plan for myself.  And pray that all the stressors are minimized in my life so I can focus on this more.  Thank you.