Thursday, August 10, 2017

New Names, New Seasons and My Favorite Title: What I Promise My Neices


I have always believed that names are important and this year I am changing mine! Yes, there are wedding bells and I can't wait but in the midst of this season there was one person missing...one whom I really wanted to honor...my Aunt Mary. After lots of prayer and talks with my parents I have decided to change my name to Sarah Mary Elizabeth Dotson 

Most of you who are regular readers of my blog know that my favorite person went to be with Jesus a little over a year ago. It has been a hard year without her because so many of the things she spoke over me, so much of what she stood for has come to pass in my life and I will always hate that she is not here to see it. 

My Aunt Mary was special. My favorite lessons were learned from her. She taught me what it meant for Jesus to be your best friend. She taught me how to be ornery. She taught me words to all the hymns and she most definitely taught me that the "Aunt" title is more significant than most people know. 

My favorite memories were spent holding her hand, listening to her tell all her stories, watching her kick her feet to the beat when her favorite hymn came on and hearing her get lost as to if it was her turn in dominoes. She had this special gift of making everyone around her feel like they were the most important person in the world. My Aunt Mary never had children of her own, but she always made me feel like one of her own. 

I am getting married this year with no idea if children are in my future. But I have three wonderful neices...one brand new :) and the Aunt title never gets old. But in the midst of this happy season I ache to have her with me. I can hear her now calling me stubborn and ornery but never letting me forget that she loves me. But the greatest lesson my aunt taught me? You don't have to be a mom to change someone's whole world. 
This I promise to my neices: You will ALWAYS be a priority. I will always listen to your stories, always fight for your heart, always want the best for you. I will always want to know why pink is your favorite color and if you want to be a rocket scientist, teacher, or doctor, I will always believe you can do it. I will always have open arms and listening ears. And I will never take the title of Aunt for granted. I will love you like my own and me and Uncle Derick will be there whenever you need us. My Aunt Mary was always a safe place, and I promise to be a safe place for you. But most of all? I will love you no matter what. 


Sunday, May 28, 2017

When Satan Whispers...BUT God


For some reason I feel like I can't be the only person who needs to hear this and I promised God a long time ago that anything I wrote would be to bring Him glory, even if it meant being honest about areas I prefer to hide..so here we are.

I have a litany of lies going on in my brain all the time. I read truth statements almost every day, listen to Joyce Meyer every night and most mornings, pray every day and read my Bible weekly.

But the lies? They just get louder the happier I get.

"You can't love anyone the rest of your life. You are not capable of being a wife. And no one is capable of loving you the rest of their life."

But Satan whispered one lie that backfired.

"God promises good things...but look at your life...did He really mean good things for you?"

And that one question....begot this blog...

It's on....let's look at my life.

Born blind then miraculously healed. Told I would never make it and I lived. Meant to be a vegetable...have 3 degrees.
Yes.. But "You were suicidal...Remember Depression?" 
Yes...I was. But God pulled me out of the pit and I don't even recognize who I used to be.

But you weren't supposed to fall in love...you are meant to have your heartbroken. How often were you're dreams handed to you only to be ripped away?
If by dreams you mean things I thought I wanted then yes...But God's plans were so much sweeter. I sobbed the day the door to Mozambique closed...but then came Nigeria.
But what about all those guys you gave pieces of yourselves to? The one you let yourself love even though he didn't deserve it? You swore you would never get over it.
Indeed I did...But God had a different plan.
I cried myself to sleep every night but then came the sweetest dream of all
Adventure I can't even begin to convey
Falling in love
I spoke word curses over myself for years but I have broken agreement with every one of them. And Jesus promises I reap his harvest..not mine

And His harvest? His harvest is plentiful, abundant and precious.

It looks like Berkley and Ellie asking me to play all the time when I never even thought they could love me.
It looks like Derick needing me and loving me, and letting myself need and love him.
It looks like taking care of Poe and planning a wedding that I never dreamed of planning.
But most of all?
It looks like saying yes to Life and all the glitter in it even when Satan whispers "But God"

But God??

I would have been dead...but God
I would have been alone...but God
I would have been heartbroken...but God
I should live in shame...But God....

I should not have the abundant life I do...
But God

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Saying Goodbye to Her



I have a problem I don't like to tell anyone about.
I cling to the past and let who I was define me.

I made choices in my past that I regret every day.
And it has caused me to buy into a lie

I don't deserve to be happy,
And I will always wind up heartbroken
Because I will always fall in love with the wrong man
Or trust the wrong person.

Enter my fiancee.
He met me not even a week after I made a decision I regretted.
And if I am being honest?
I still don't feel like I deserve to be happy.
My heart still waits to be broken
Even if I am the one who breaks it.

But one thing the Word says that I cling to,
"The heart is deceitful above all things." BUT "Jesus is greater than our hearts"
My heart tells me all the time I will ruin this.
It reminds me every day of what happened yesterday.
So that the future seems impossible

I guess I am writing this because when I think of my past I remember one promise Jesus promised me over and over. I will send you a man who loves you like I do. No one exemplifies Jesus love to me better than Derick.  And Jesus loves better than anyone else I know,
Even writing this, scares me because I keep wondering what if I ruin it?

I guess I am writing this as a declaration of faith because I am not capable of ruining the plans God has for me. And Derick? He is the sweetest plan God has ever laid out for me. I am writing this to say goodbye to who I was.
Goodbye to the depressed me. The heartbroken me. The tears every night me. The "he led me on again me"
Goodbye to dreaming of the day life ended.
Goodbye to toxic friendships, fear driven decisions and holding myself accountable for choices that weren't mine.

My Derick is precious and I cling to that
And I choose to say not only goodbye to the past
But hello the future

Friday, May 5, 2017

Handicapply Ever After: The Life I Have Chosen


Those who know me know that I strive to be very intentional with the things I write. As a woman who never thought about her wedding day, my first thought after saying yes to Derick was "I want our wedding photos to have a hashtag that will reflect our vows, who we are, and what this means." After much thought, we agreed on "Handicappily ever after."

Every day these words mean more to me. I fell in love with this hashtag for multiple reasons which I wanted to tell you about.

Firstly, Derick has been the restoration of many things in my life. But one of the best things D gave me was the ability to live in my identity as a disabled woman without shame or question. Being with D has shown me what a special thing it is to occupy the world of the disabled. From asking bus drivers about their families, to having an instant community of people who are all learning what it means to be different in a world that screams for conformity, being disabled is special. It is so sweet to experience that with someone who occupies the same special place.

Secondly, I do intend to live with D forever after. But Happy seems like such a paltry word for what we have. We are not always happy. I am not always the glorious glittery princess I wish I was. I get anxious, I get easily frustrated if something out of my control happens. I need to start carrying Snickers in my purse because my man gets hangry. But we aren't just going to live happily ever after. We are going to live HANDICAPpily ever after.

This means when his chair breaks down, or my mind goes crazy, or the bus is late or the government fails, I choose him. It means when I am tired, or overthinking, or can't turn my brain off he chooses me. It means we choose each other with all of our handicaps, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I don't want "happily ever after" I want Handicappily. Because this love is real, even when the happy part is harder to come by. I want D when I am happy. I want him when I'm sad. I want him when I am angry or tired or anxious. I want D to want me with all my handicaps. But most of all, I want him to know that I am there for him the same way. I am there when he is happy, sad or angry. The beauty of handicapply ever after? CP is until heaven, the same way our love is...and man...what a miracle that is.

Here's to Handicapply
Ever after

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Letting You Into My Closet: Anxiety, Faith and Mental Illness


For three years now I have been battling a monster I haven't wanted anyone to know about...Panic attacks and anxiety (What I call "crazy brain") have become an all too normal battle of my daily life.
Hyperventilating and tense, there have been too many nights I can't sleep because I can't turn my brain off...And I have so much shame.

What is wrong with me? Why can't I control this? Anxiety can sneak up at any point, be it drinking coffee with friends or completely alone in my bedroom watching Netflix.  As I was praying about it all the other day I felt the Lord very clearly tell me to be open about my struggle and what it means for me as a Christian.

I have never once felt like Cerebral Palsy was my fault, but somehow because anxiety is "just in my brain" (though my body disagrees) I feel guilty that I can't control just when an anxious moment will sneak up on me. However, I genuinely believe that sometimes anxiety, like depression is a result of a chemical imbalance, and I refuse to feel guilty because my brain's chemicals misfire sometimes.

I am happier than I have ever been, but the anxiety I deal with is at an all time high because I have done the unthinkable...I have let someone into the deepest, most vulnerable part of my struggle: The fear and thoughts I firmly believed meant I would be alone forever/

I guess I'm writing this for all the believers out there who struggle with some form of unseen disability. You are not alone. If you need to take medicine (even just for a little while) do it. If you need to go to counseling do it. I will openly say I do both. Even writing this causes me some anxiety and fear of judgment but honestly, I feel like I can't be the only Christian out there who battles the idea that my faith should be greater than this monster in my head.

Here's what I know though: Jesus loves me. My faith is being stretched but He knows I am doing the best I can to love Him and live the abundant life He calls me too, even if that means taking medicine. I hope the day will come when the medicine is unnecessary but until then I am not going to beat myself up.

Even in anxiety and medicine, panic attacks, sleepless nights, and fear I have never been more thankful for life because God is good and if this has taught me anything it's that the Holy Spirit is a precious presence in moments when no one else can be. Life is good, and even in the dark it glitters.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Remembering Her and Winning



King David was led into temptation because he refused to fight a known enemy. This blog is my refusal to make the same mistake.

While these memories go off in my brain like fireworks- leaving ash and debris in their wake, I sit in the trenches.
Not because I'm cowering in fear, but because I have found my safe place- and in light of that, I have something to say.

Jesus made me...you can yell lies, whisper fears, scream of terrors that are headed my way.
You can remind me that I am too much- too analytical, too loud, too real.
You can throw all the fiery darts in your arsenal

But there is something you should know - I am not without weapons and I will use them.
I have the helmet of salvation that means, come what may I am safe.
I have the shield of faith that is destined to catch and quench all these arrows aimed for my soul and turn them to the one who shot them.
I have the sword of the Spirit, and I am no longer a new soldier, I have been fighting with this same armor for several years, and I intend to keep doing so because I know more now than I ever have.

And also? I read the end of the story...you lose.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Day The Demons Came: And I Lived

Something happened yesterday that has not happened in a long time...the enemy came and decided to make my mind his playground...

Remember when you had your heart broken, and your dreams destroyed? You are still not over that...you probably never will be. You should probably warn Derick about all of the memories, that way he can go ahead and run away...because you know you're not enough.

Remember the pill bottles, and the late night notes written in case you didn't live until the next day? You won't make it down the aisle. You will have your heart broken...Remember

Remember....Remember

And Then...

BE STILL

Remember all of the days you sought Me. Remember My promises. Remember I pulled you from the grip of death and into the loving arms of eternal life. Remember when you gave me the broken pieces of your heart and I put them back together, and promised to give you someone who would treasure them forever.

Remember how we talked about Derick and how we did life together while you fell in love?

Sweet girl. when the demons come and remind you who you used to be, where you used to be, the pieces of you they stole...Remember...they already came, We already fought them. We already won. You remind them that you are Mine, you are meant to be Derick's because I promised. You are exactly who you are meant to be. I died so that you and I could live together.

Baby, remind the demons when they come that they are already too late. You have been bought with a price. You chose life. You are not fighting demons. You already fought them...and we won. Now, remember I set you free.

Go live happily ever after.