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Jack's Personal Growth Chart

The personal writings of a twenty-something screw-up... as God screws her back down.

Updated: 2015-09-16T18:06:05.225-04:00


Randomness and Birthdays


Today is Tate's SEVENTH birthday... Can you believe it?? Wow... Time really does fly. (Aside: does this mean I'm having fun?)

I also really miss singing... been thinking about that lately. Quite alot. Right now all I have are my CDs in my car. It has now officially been what feels like forever since I really sang.

And I'm sleepy. As in so-tired-I'm-dizzy sleepy.

Bleah I have a parent teacher conference tomorrow... sooo early...

I want to go back to school. There's so much to figure out in order to make that happen, but I just have to do it--I have to go. To not go back would be to turn my back on one of the things God made me for.

I guess I've got a lot to do. Better get some rest...



God, what am I supposed to do? Please help me... You know what I'm going through with Tate. Please show me what to do, show me how to love him--the way he needs to be loved. Show me how to teach him--the way he needs to learn.

I'm at my wit's end, God. I don't know what I'm missing, but I know I'm missing something somewhere--otherwise we wouldn't be going through this. I don't know how to bring him back, how to bring out the good that I know exists in him. Please give me patience, so that I don't end up making it worse in anger. I just don't know how to break through to him. One minute he's got his arms wrapped around me, telling me how much he loves me and how I'm the best mother a boy could ever have... the next, I'm finding candy wrappers in his bed, stolen fixtures from a store, outright lies pouring from his lips, lying about stealing even my own money, God--not once, but continually, with no sign of letting up... and on the surface none of it seems so bad independently, but when heaped upon one another again and again and again and again, and knowing that this has been a constant struggle literally FOR YEARS, and seeing it get worse instead of better... it's overwhelming me. It is daily---and all day, God... why is he not getting it?? What am I missing?

Show me what I'm doing wrong so that I can help him. I don't know how to handle this, how to get him to stop hiding and lying and deceiving... how to get him to start caring. Do I just need to be more vigilant? Hound over him every moment? If that's what it takes, of course I'll do it... but I can't help but get the feeling that's just being a warden to him, beating him down further... when what I need to do is help him to learn that it's not ok to be this way, get him to want to be different, to want to be honest, to want to make the right choices.

It's hard to believe I'm talking about a little boy who is about to turn 7... sounds like I'm talking about a 17 year old. Something's just not connecting with him, God... please help it connect.

- Jess



Hi, God. I know we've been talking, but not much here. It's been a while since I published anything. So I'm restarting.

Things are going ok, right now. I'm feeling a lot better, but still not entirely the way I want to feel, the way I used to feel. I'm trying to stay proactive, and make positive steps forward, steps toward You. I'm learning a lot about myself. A lot of really helpful stuff. Thank You for that.

One of the things I learned today related to how birth order affects personality. Just analyzing various personality traits, seeing how I identify very strongly with some of them... it helps me to see who I am, why I do some of the things I do, cope the way I cope, etc. And understanding myself and the reasons behind some of my fears and behaviors, helps me to be able to make corrections when I uncover those things negatively impact me and those in my life.

Hopefully I will get a chance to note some of the things I'm learning tomorrow. I have a lot to do in the next couple of days. Right now, it's late, and I have to get some sleep.

Thank You, God, for helping me with each step... G'nite.

- Jess

Pause for Posterity


I'm pausing the conversation to inject some things I want to remember... Some things I want to reference, some things I want to make sure I get down, so that I don't forget them... Most of it will be random and probably make sense to no one but me. Most of it will be things I have learned or found that are especially important to me.

- Fear is a completely normal reaction for anyone faced with an out of ordinary situation that threatens his/her important needs
- There is no way to tell how someone will react to fear. Fear usually depends entirely on the individual rather than on the situation at hand
- Fear could lead a person to panic or stimulate a greater effort to survive
- The worst feelings that magnify fear are hopelessness and helplessness
- You need to accept that fear is a natural reaction to a hazardous situation and try to make the best of your predicament
- Live with fear and understand how it can alter your effectiveness in survival situation
- Control fear, don't let it control you
- Survival more often depends on the individual's reactions to stress than upon the danger, terrain, or nature of the emergency. To adapt is to live
- Your brain is without doubt your best survival tool. It is your most valuable asset in a survival situation (my translation: don't do things that would diminish it's capacity---i.e. drinking)

In determining what types of situations to be prepared for and to develop a survival plan for, research what has happened to others and what you are most likely at greatest risk for.

Not nearly done, but I'll wrap this post up with one more thought: My body is a temple. But if I don't treat it that way, and give an impression with my behavior and treatment of my body that is contrary to that, then I cannot expect others to know that it is, and then further to respect that it is.

Stay with me


Please give me the strength to get through all this, God... and to do what I need to do. And to keep moving forward, and to keep reclaiming myself and who You made me to be. And to keep letting go, and to face all of this without flinching...

I've been flinching a lot lately.

Keep me real, God. And just stay with me... please.



That's what I feel right now, God. And on top of it, the nausea has set in again, out of nowhere. I think that might be my fear and uncertainty. I notice it, but I will not be ruled by it. I'm afraid, God. I'm sad and afraid... part of that fear rises from hearing him rehash things he has forgiven me for but can't let go of---because he hasn't forgiven me for lying to him, deceiving him... for hiding something vital from him. He hasn't forgiven me, but neither have I asked.

I think that's because I haven't forgiven myself... or maybe I'm afraid of his answer. Probably both. I've been thinking about that all morning and afternoon---that I haven't asked him to forgive me for my dishonesty. I think it's the first time that that has occurred to me, that I haven't actually asked him to. How can I forgive myself if he can't? He can't even see who I am through his anger and hurt----and the cold hard wall he has put up to try to heal it, to try to block the pain. All he's doing is trapping it in with himself, surrounded by it, unable to let it out, let it heal, let it go... but how can I blame him for that? Would I do the same in his place?

I might have, if I wasn't where I am now---where You have brought me. To a place where I can't escape the truth. To a place where I can't do anything to fix the mess I've made with my mistakes. Yes, I would probably do the same in his place, if not for what I know and can't escape. I would probably try to hurt him for all the hurt he caused me. I would probably try to build a wall around myself to shield myself from further hurt.

I'm so sorry, God... I'm so sorry I hurt him... I'm so sorry...

I just want to fall at his feet and beg his forgiveness, but how can I??

I'm not worthy of anything, I'm not worthy of You, or him, or even of living... how could I do this to someone I love so much? How could I lie to him? How could I deceive him? How could I do such a horrible thing? How could I be so selfish and afraid that I would cause him so much pain? Did I love myself so much?? Not anymore... I can't love myself at all, let alone more than him.

I guess that's how You made sure I could love him more than myself now... Make me undeserving of love...

Please wait...


Hi, God... So I met my new counselor today. I know You already know that, but... Anyway. First, I want to thank You. Thank You for giving me that hint today. It was more than a hint, it was an eye-opener. Thank You for giving me greater understanding of what You had me do last night, and helping me see that part of it was for me. Thanks for being awesome like that, for keeping me on my toes and surprising me with how You completely You can handle anything.

But God, I need to ask You for something. It just doesn't sit right with me, God. You are showing me so much, and restoring me and helping me see the truth, and that its not what it seemed--even to me... But, God, what about him? How can I be restored if You aren't doing the same for him? I know that You want to, that You are waiting on him... but I can't simply leave him here to suffer, to hurt, to grieve... I cannot accept restoration without him... I can't leave him here. You know that. You know me, You made me, and You didn't make me like that, God----like one who could just leave him.

I know he's not listening for You right now. I will be his ears. I know he doesn't see You in this. I will be his eyes. God, You know I will trade my own place for his. I will take on all the hurt, both of ours. I can't just leave him here... I won't. Please, God, stand in the gap and show him Your love, Your healing... Please, just give him at least that much so that he can be happy. Give him the kind of peace that comes from truth... that comes from You.

Frustration, ignorance, and crumbs...


WHAT are You doing?? Seriously!!

Can I just be frank for a minute, God? I did what You told me to do. Exactly what You told me to do. Exactly the way You told me to do it. I told Him everything You showed me. I focused on what You told me to focus on, and I said it over and over.

Thank You for finally unblocking the rest of it, by the way. I don't know if that was me blocking it or You blocking it... Yeah, it was probably me, now that I think about it. It's how You work. You don't generally DO this stuff, but You allow it... So that lines up.

I have no problem anymore admitting what I've done wrong, seeing the truth of it. I just realized that. And it's because of what You helped me to do tonight, what You told me to do. I hit rock bottom and You made sure I knew exactly where that is, no higher, no lower. Precise. But You showed me what it feels like to be even lower--and that actually helped. I know where I am. You saw to that. And I'm not upset about that part--it's what he's doing with it, it's what You didn't warn me about--why doesn't he know where I am?? How can You let him take my acceptance of the things I did wrong and let him turn into into 'everything I did was wrong'? I did what You told me to do and I trusted You, I still do, right this very moment... Is that why You told me to do it that way? So that he would see me as worse? So that he could twist everything into lies? I am trying, God... I'm still surrendering to You...

But SERIOUSLY, God... why? A hint at least? I thought I understood, I thought You showed me... Was it another trick? Or are they both for something? It's frustrating, God. Really frustrating. I know, I'm still learning... and I know half of this is just an imperfect creature expressing it's imperfection... But I keep going over what You told me to do, replaying it in my head, wondering if I missed something...

" Tell him everything, and stay open to Me, stay broken, for I will show you even more and you will tell him that too. Unedited. You will not defend yourself--you will do the opposite. Stay broken. Vilify yourself for him so that he can't do it anymore, take that burden from him, bear the full weight of it on yourself. Take the angry wind out of his sails with the starkness of your words. Take that wind out of his sails, so that I can fill it with Mine. Stay broken, Jessica."  

Father, where is Your wind? Where is Your truth? Where is Your breath and Your hand and Your comfort? What are You doing? All he did was turn his sails and catch another wind, even further from the truth---how can he not even see that? Why didn't he turn to You? I thought that's what this was for. How is that wind going to take him anywhere?? How can he think it possible to take what has already been established and build any kind of wall over top of it as though it wasn't there?

Where are You in this?

Well. At least I have comfort in knowing the truth, even if You aren't showing anyone else... So I suppose I just found another breadcrumb and will keep going.

Darkness and Guilt


I've felt a darkness of sorts pressing in on me today, God. It seems attached to the guilt... which is attached to the new awareness I have... I think back over the last couple of years and I know that the dark, the bad, the wrong is not all there is... but it's all I see right now. It's where my mind instantly goes. And it makes me nauseous.So much guilt wells up in me right now over what I've done... over how I've conducted myself. I used to keep my body safe, my mind strong, my heart protected and pure... and in such a short time I've traded it, without even really knowing it. I think I somehow thought that I could just "add" a few things to who I am. But every bit I did myself took a little more away from You.Or maybe it's like a seasoning I tried to add myself, and ruined the flavor of the whole thing...I don't know. I see, right now in my mind, recent events and not-so-recent events and I feel like they are converging somehow, into this thing, this beast, this one massive sin, the mother-load of all short comings... not just "a (large) number of times I have failed" but The Failure, proper noun, so enormous it spans years... Why is that? Why are they doing that in my heart? Is it because they are linked/related? Ah, it is, isn't it. I remember when mom told me... "Jessica, don't you see? It's your heart. The condition of your heart. That's why. Big or small, it's all falling short, it's all symptoms of the condition."Then I feel the urge to face off with it and do battle, to conquer it---that rush of adrenaline and hope, like "Hey, now that I am seeing so much more clearly, I see I'm the good guy and God is on my side, so I'm going to war with this sucker." ...but then I realize how small that "my side"-that-God's-on really is right now... and how big I let that monster get. And then to make matters worse, I see that the monster is actually a growth on that little bitty me... It's attached to me... Because I let it in... I let it grow... I nurtured it and let it become what it became... it... it's a part of me... And there is an enormous weight of guilt that accompanies that knowledge... and it began haunting me today. Not sure exactly what to do about it. Not sure exactly how to proceed from here... I know I am just to keep moving forward, "just do the next right thing..." I know that it will take time to feel the weight of that guilt lifted off of me. And I don't know how it will even happen. Do I resolve it moment by moment, mess-up by mess-up?Oh... I don't resolve anything, do I? You do that, don't You? If I am to be restored, only You can do it. If I have value, it is because of You inside me. If I have anything, it is because You give it to me.This will take practice for me, this surrendering of control until I relearn it so well that I do it better than breathing. It's mental more than anything...Relearning, retraining... On the way home from work today, I was thinking about how You have made my body a temple. My body is a temple, my body is a temple... And I saw this pristine temple, well-kept and clean and maybe not the biggest or best or shiniest or most full of treasure, but the best it could be--and that was pretty good, considering. And then I saw the same temple a few years later and it was a completely different place...God, not only did I stop tending to the temple... but I damaged it as well... and then I didn't repair it... and then I did it some more... and then, I let security slack in my lazy and preoccupied management of the temple and I let others in, outsiders, and they robbed it...And I didn't even know what was going on... I didn't even know I'd been robbed... I was too busy partying upstairs in the banquet room...Oh, wow... I think I'm going to be sick.I can't believe You still want this temple... I can't believe You still have me taking care [...]

Unedited: A note from the author


If anyone happens to tune in, that last post, the one right below this, is the start of a journey, unedited... It probably isn't going to make sense to anyone, and frankly that isn't a large concern of mine right now.

It's rather prophetic, I think (surprise, surprise?), that when I started this blog some years ago I thought I was being so clever with my title... and my subtitle...

Jack's Personal Growth Chart...
The journey of a 20-something screw-up as God screws her back down...

And now, here I am. And it has never been more true... more precise... before it was clever and witty and sort of true in a way... But now, it's life or death. It's brutal honesty. It's almost mocking in it's directness, it's almost too gentle a heading.

A lot has happened since I was regularly posting. Even more in the last 3 months. And even more in the last 4 weeks. A lot of it will explain itself as God and I get me back to where I'm supposed to be... or, well... get me to where He wants me. It may not be as "back to" as I may guess...

The journey that I'm on now is really and truly between me and God, and I'm putting it here, where He and I were close and in this place that He set up for this purpose. This is what He wanted me to share. Ordinarily, I'm not a very "every other word out of my mouth is 'God'" kind of girl, even before all this. But I'm telling you now, it's going to be pretty heavy for a while. Don't know how long, just know it's gonna be a while.

So anyway... All you really need to know is that I need to do this "unedited". The thoughts I place here are going to be put down unedited....

...Head to fingers to keypad to u...
There's no other way to do it. It's not me mulling over things all day and then recording them here. This is a conversation with God. This is processing through a whole lot of crap. This is my personal "book of revelation", if you will.

If something occurs to me throughout the day and I don't come immediately here and blog it out as it's occurring, then I will make note of it when I enter it, that it is not free-form thought and real-time discussion with God. That's what this is. Every question in that last post was as I thought it. Every statement, a revelation.

If you have questions along the way, it's ok to ask... but if I don't answer a question or respond to something, please don't be offended. I honestly feel like my heart is just barely beating right now, and there are some moments where I only have the strength to keep breathing.

So anyway... If you're here, hi. If you're lurking, hi too. Just didn't want y'all to think I was crazy ;-)



I let go, God... and it doesn't feel very good. It's just You and me. Now what? Part of me wants to be angry with You... a big part at the moment... but You showed me something about that today too, and I want to say it's keeping it at bay. So please, show me something quick before I lose control of it. Yes, I am hurt... Yes, I am afraid. No, I don't want them to collide and produce anger. I want to follow You... but why did You do this??WHY??? Why would you let me fall so far?? Why would You let me love someone and feel so much and then undo it all just like that???? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS?? How could you hurt him so much, and hurt me? What for?? What good can come of this?? Why couldn't I have just been in some horrible car accident?? Why can't I just be mangled and on life support? Or horribly disfigured? Why was that not good enough? Why would You need to break my heart into a thousand shards of pain and grief and hurt and fear and anger and doubt and misery? And then make me keep going as though I'm a normal person... that might be the cruelest part of all. Damnit---why???Trust? Gone. Credibility? Gone. Respect? Gone. Even indisputable facts are twisted into lies now. There is nothing left. Not even the good, the true---the moments that were straight from You, the bond that was so beyond this world, this life... Why did You let us taste it if You were only going to take it away???? Why did You let me stray so far and have so far to come back? I imagine I'm losing everything now, aren't I? Save for family, of course... and hopefully career. You've brought me closer to my sister in the last few months. I imagine she's going to be helping You keep me alive... if that's Your plan at all. I'd rather be dead right now. I don't need to say it, do I? You already know that. I'd think I was dead from the way I keep going numb... fire one minute, cold the next... searing pain unlike any other, and then nothing, emptiness...So, what now, God? What now? Was it REALLY that necessary to have me quite so alienated? Well, I suppose I did that to myself, didn't I? By slowly trading off my old life, my life with You and with what was right for me... for attempting to cultivate a new one... it never even was satisfying, I felt constantly out of place, never comfortable, never myself... so what am I even whining about? Because I never fit in, did I? I wish You would have pointed that out to me a long time ago... I already had that bond and that love before I went there, didn't I? ...Oh, God... I just didn't know it. I didn't think I had it... So I thought, well I have to go further that way---I have to emulate that in order to secure that bond, that connection. I mean, I'm so different, I'm just too different, who would want something so different... Different is something you get curious about and find amusement in for a while, but it's different... it's not normal, it's not what they like or how they are or what they want... I need to see what that's about, I need to see if I can do that. It's what he's got now---it's where he is. So, I'll go and be a part of that, see if I can be like that--at least give it a shot. Who knows, maybe I'll like it and can fit some of it into my life...And I never once found anything I wanted to fit into my life. I never fit in. I never could quite relax and be myself. Because myself didn't belong there... did it? Wow... I've never realized just how much I didn't like it. And now I realize how much I won't miss it. So... why did I keep trying to force it? Because... I thought it was a permanent part of him? Because if I couldn't fit into his world then he would leave mine. Way to go, girl---just keep bulldozing through. Hey, you've wandered this far off from God already. I was sup[...]

Random and Unrelated


Wow... I slept til almost noon. It's raining out. I could use the sunshine today. Hopefully this will stop so I can mow the lawn. The back is only half done... I guess for now I can try to work on the laundry and garage...

Or my heart. Maybe my mind. Then there's my body.

You never cease to amaze me


I do not deserve Your love. I do not deserve Your mercy. I do not deserve Your forgiveness, Father, let alone your grace.

And yet You offer all of this to me... You offer all of this to us...

Please help me through this. Please help me do what I need to do, face what I need to face, take those necessary steps. You know I can't do it without You.

Help me see it through to completion. Help me see what You see, feel what You feel, know what You know. Father, give me the strength to show Your love through it all.

Thank You for loving me... thank You for choosing this--for me, and for us.



I think that describes it best right now... not even numb, as I first thought. Just stunned. Like the opposite of numb but so close you have to strain to feel the difference. To where I feel everything at once and it all sort of neutralizes one another until it's almost numb but not quite the same.

I'm stunned. I'm shocked and hurt and stunned and blown away and betrayed and confused and deceived and lost and all these things...

I got beat down... I got depressed and hurt. I had held on to what I knew, and what I had, and was told for a long, long time... but recently, it started becoming more and more faint--or weak, I guess you could say. I stood steadfast. But I began to doubt. I ignored it at first, turned away from it. But soon I began to believe there was no way to deny it. I guess I've been a fool. I guess I only saw what I wanted to see, and believe what I wanted to believe, and hear what I wanted to hear... for so long. The reality of it slapped me in the face and told me to go away. There's no denying anymore, it told me to go away.

I was so hurt. I was angry. With that reality, with myself for buying into it... with God for letting me be such a fool. For letting me think He wanted me to remain steadfast. Wait and bear the burden I have given you, Jessica. Hold tight, for I know the plans I have for you... How could I have been so wrong? The weight of it was crushing. It threw my whole world into a tailspin. I wanted to stop it.

I was so deceived...

A Letter To Scott From God


Scott,Jessica wrote this letter for me about two years ago. But I never let her send it. She kept wanting to, almost did so many times. But it had to be saved for when I was ready for you to see it. Neither of you knew or imagined that the time I needed you to see it would be now, because neither of you could foresee something like this ever happening. And if she wouldn't have written it so long ago, if she wouldn't have heard these things in her heart from me, then none of this could have worked. So yes, I do work in mysterious ways it may seem. But whenever I do something, whenever I get involved, no matter how bad it may hurt, it is always to get you back to what I want for you, to the good that I have planned for you.I know you have a lot of really hard questions right now. But know that I love you. Know that I am intimately involved in your life right this very minute and in what is happening. This is not just a bad thing that happened to you in life. There are some very good reasons for it, and for why I allowed it and am working within it. But we will talk some more after you've read this letter... Hi, Scott. It's God. I've been trying to talk to you. I know things are hectic and stressful right now, I know you're busy. And I know you're not happy. That's me, trying to get your attention. But you haven't done a very good job of putting two and two together, so I'm taking a more direct approach. Yes, Scott. You're getting older. Everyone does. I made you that way. I know you don't like it and you're doing everything you can to fight it, but I didn't design you to go backward. I designed you to go forward. I also know what's best for you, even more than you do. I know it's hard to understand that someone else could know you better than you know yourself, but I've even tried to help you with that---by giving you another person that does. I made her that way too. Maybe you think it's unfair---I know she does sometimes. But she's ok--she's doing what she needs to do, even though she doesn't understand it. She listens to me--she doesn't always obey, but her heart is pointed toward me. I haven't told you as much about my plans as I've told her. I haven't told her everything, but I've told her as much as I needed her to know in order to hang on... I've told her with dreams, with whispers, with inexplicable feelings. But you... you don't play a good game of poker when your hand is forced. I should know, since I made you that way. But she has more faith in me, and in what she cannot understand. I gave her that too, because I knew she would need it to be able to go through this fire and still hang on. But like I said before, you haven't been listening. So I'm going to tell you what you've been missing, why everything is in such conflict, why you feel such discord and why none of your attempts to fix it all yourself have been working, or will work. I'm going to tell you that until you stop and listen and make sound decisions as the man I made you to be, it's only going to get worse. I know you've heard the saying "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." That's how I made you, only more extreme. She, on the other hand, is more pliable for me. Not for everyone, but she is for me. She trusts me. I made her that way on purpose. I made her that way for you. You are a complicated creature, Scott. You have desires that seem to conflict with one another, but they don't really. You don't have to choose--you can realize fulfillment in them all.You told me that you won't buy in to the white-picket-fence deal. So I burned it out of her. She used to long for it, as all little girls do. [...]

New look, same girl


So I've had the same template for years... literally. And while I liked it, it had certainly become outdated and didn't manage to keep up with technology.

So here's a new look. I saw this picture and love it. For those of you who didn't know me in grade school (which should be all of you), I have a thing for blue lights... Don't ask, I couldn't begin to explain it. But I am and always have been mesmerized by blue lights...

I'll feel this out for a bit, see if I like it.


Still here...


I'm still here. Don't know where I've been, really, but I *am* here. I doubt anyone else is, but that's neither here nor there.

I've thought about this place lately... I think I want to see if I can manage to make it over here with some regularity and start blogging again. I know I've said it before (and it didn't make any difference), but this place was very good for me... It made me think more, helped me articulate my thoughts, process the mess, make sense of it, vent... In a way, it helped me see the intelligent, independent, and valuable woman that I am. It helped me stay clear on *who* I am.

I guess I'm hoping I can get the same result again.

Can you believe my son is six? yeah... I know. I can hardly believe it either. He's in kindergarten. That's been a whole other struggle... won't go there just yet.

Quick snapshot of life since I last gave any inkling: I'm all too close to no longer being in my twenties, Tate broke his arm on Good Friday, I'm still single (and still tired of the grief I get for it), I work for a huge healthcare company selling surgical instruments, I do go to the gym but not like I used to (struggling to find the enthusiasm I once held for it)... My younger sister is pregnant with her second child, my father lives in Daytona Beach (45 minutes away)... Oh, Tate and I were in a horrible accident in October but we both walked away pretty much unharmed...

Yeah, I think that's probably enough for now. It's hard, when you've been away for so long and there's so much you want to process, but there's just so much explaining to do. I think maybe it's better that way. Let's the thoughts brew a bit longer before I pour them...

'Til then...

What a mess...


Do you ever feel like your life is just a mess? Not always, but just for a brief moment, you step back and take stock and wonder where the heck all this crap came from? How did I get here? To this... this mess...

But you tilt your head to the side in curiosity, and--wait a second--it's not such a mess, really... there is beauty... there is love... there is joy... it's just that it's not how you thought it would be. And this just happens to be a none-too-pleasant moment in it.

But do you keep going like it is, work with what's there... or do you draw it all back in, reorganize, and start over? I've written before about how I've attempted that very thing, the "stopping", shall we call it? The reigning in of it all to start over... It never goes very well for me. As a matter of fact, it's been those times that I've done it that have turned out to be the worst times of my life, generally speaking... where I am lost in a desperate attempt to even ascertain a starting point, let alone get going toward anything or anywhere...

So I guess I just answered my own question... God made me not to stop, but to keep going, through whatever it is I find myself in. I will keep moving forward, working with what I have, acquiring what have you along the way (i would say "good or bad" here, but it seems more appropriate to say "good and bad"), making what I can of what surrounds me, and letting Him handle the whole lot of it, really.

I need to just let go... Let Him take me where He wants. I need to stop overanalyzing and start trusting. After all, I'm going to get there one way or the other... but the journey is much less painful and stressful if I follow Him instead of being dragged kicking and screaming and trying to rationalize it all. One thing I know for sure is different: My heart has hardened to some extent in some ways... unintentionally of course, but I'm thankful I have the presence of mind to recognize it. I know now that is a gift not everyone has.

Ok, I think I'm done rambling... I'm sure this has made very little if any sense to anyone else out there... But I needed it. Just so we (or I) am clear: I'm going to soften, I'm going to relax and enjoy the journey...

...or at least I hope I am.

- Jess

Not a clue


I have no idea why I'm here right now. Just decided to take a short break from work and clear my head. Oh yeah, did I tell you I no longer sell drugs? ;-) Though there are days I long for the simple, brainless monotony of it, lol

Nope, I'm moving on, moving up, moving forward. And these last few months have just reiterated my need to keep doing that. I think I became a whole other person a few months back, and I don't even know how it happened. It definitely won't happen again, that's for sure. Somehow I gave up my strength, my determination, my independence, my confidence... At first, I think I blamed it on another person... but that was unfair. I'm starting to see that it was more in relation to circumstances that I just didn't know how to deal with. And instead of stepping back and tackling them as myself, I think I just got lost in them, unsure of which way was forward, which way was back, afraid of risking anything...

But the smoke is starting to clear. I felt more like myself yesterday than I have in probably six months. I'm back on my turf, prioritizing and running my life. I like it that way. I've decided to go back to school and finally finish my degree, but at the moment, my next step is to figure out just how/where to accomplish that. I have to apply and be accepted somewhere before I do a FAFSA, right? Egads, it's been so long I can't remember.

I'm also looking for a new opportunity as far as my career... It's a looooong story, but basically, the company I went to work for is a start-up and they really don't have their junk together. They supposedly hired me to help them do that, but the boss is basically operating from fear now, and is unwilling to make the changes necessary not just for success, but even for survival. So I'm not able to do much, and it's not really going anywhere.

So we'll see. Keep me in your prayers if you think of it. I'm not a big fan of uncertainty, so I'd like to line something up um, well, today would be good. I'm just done, you know? Ready to have it all back under control. And while no, I didn't design the landscape, I'll hold my own reigns, thankyouverymuch. Basically, my current outlook is that I played a part in getting myself here, I take responsibility for that. Nevertheless, I am here--pretending not to be is counterproductive to getting out. So no, while I didn't design my current surroundings, I am the only one who can get me out of them (with God's help, of course---just go with me metaphorically, lol). So yeah. That's what I'm doing. I don't like where I am, but I have to deal with it until I get to where I want to be.

I wonder if any of that made sense. Ok. Back to work! Go do something amazing.

- Jess



I feel like I'm in a hurricane--or perhaps more accurately, I feel like a ragdoll in a hurricane. Part of me doesn't even care. Part of me is confused. Part of me is angry. Part of me is offended. Part of me is defensive. Part of me is weary. Part of me is anxious. Part of all those parts is bewildered...

...and still another part says, "Bring. It. On."

What else can I do but meet it head on and deal with it? Running is cowardice. Hiding is weakness.

I am stronger than your fear.
You fear that too, don't you? There's no reason to. If you understood where strength comes from, you wouldn't be afraid at all... If strength were to be feared, you wouldn't be drawn to it. But until you understand where it comes from, you'll never attain it the way you so desperately want to. You'll simply continue to cultivate hardness...

But love is stronger than all of it...

"Metaphorical Touch" and "Living"


Do you ever feel like you are always reaching out to touch those you love... friends, family, what have you... and they will allow you to touch them, but they never really touch you back? I feel like that all the time... So I stop reaching out so much, knowing the passive rejection that awaits and wanting to avoid it... but in doing that, I inadvertently place more significance--and more hope--on those fewer instances... thereby magnifying the rejection I feel. So basically, I'm creating my own problems. Lovely.But why is it that they don't touch back? Why is it that they are content to just allow you to touch them? Is it because you have established a pattern of doing all the reaching/touching so they don't even notice or think to? Or is it because you don't matter to them like they do to you? I think maybe it's both... I don't know...Just kicking the dirt around in my head. On the one hand, I wish I could stop feeling... at least so intensely as I do. It would make life so much simpler. But on the other hand, having known this depth of feeling, having come this far in life, I don't think I could ever be content to go back. I look around me at all the people afraid to feel or oblivious to what life offers in that respect, and I feel sorry for them. I heard a good quote today: "We're not here for a long time... We're here for a good time." It wasn't talking about partying or being reckless and stupid. It was talking about making the most of it, and not putting things off. Making the time time that we have here good. Not wasting opportunities and making sure that everything is perfect and prepared before moving and doing... It brought to mind something that I say to myself--that the key to success is to START... If you want to succeed at something, you must first start that something... the first step on the path to success is just that: a step. Action. Doing. We don't learn and then live--we live, and in so doing we learn. This is the way I think of it: We are not born with the tools we need to succeed in any area of life. We have to acquire those tools. If they were sitting right in front of us, then we'd all be raging successes with love and family and God and work and the whole lot of it... but we aren't, are we? The tools that we need are found only when we begin to move forward, which starts from birth. They are there for the taking at various points on the journey. We move forward, we find, we master, we keep moving forward, finding more, mastering more... We prepare for life as we live life, not before or in between. For it is life that prepares us for itself.As an aside to that, it would be beneficial to note that just as those tools are spread out along the way, so are the life experiences that those tools were designed to help you with. We will not always be fully prepared for what we come upon, but that cannot prevent us from moving forward. Yes, we will get scratched and tripped and whirled around and sometimes even beaten to within an inch of our lives. But the only way through it is through it. Wow, ok, I'm gonna stop... I don't even know where all that came from (well, i kinda do, but...). Been a while since that's happened. I hope that helps you, whoever you are...- Jess[...]

Much Better Place and Reconciliation


I'm in a much better place right now... I started feeling better Sunday night, after the Super Bowl, though I didn't even watch it (I guess the Colts won... who'd they play?? heh)

I began reconciling with a friend, a reconnection if you will. Then it almost dissolved into a greater dispute and the connection was almost lost, only it was 100% my fault and completely retarded of me and thoughtless and insensitive and I hurt their feelings and wanted the earth to swallow me whole right before them because I could see the hurt in their eyes... It completely sliced me open, killed me right where I stood... But then God stepped in and answered my prayers and the connection remained, feeble as it was... And my friend stayed open to me and let me explain, and though I knew the sting was still there (what with it being so fresh), I think they understood, or at least they tried, and that small thing--that trust, that love, that small effort--was all that was needed and reconciliation continued.

Ever since that moment, I've been feeling better and better... not to say that life has been sunshine and rainbows, but my own disposition, and even my own strength, have been improving steadily ever since.

I was talking with another friend yesterday when I realized: I can handle conflict... I can handle stress and trials and tribulations and anything that life can throw at me or one of my treasured relationships (of which the aforementioned one is one of my most priceless)... but I think a major factor in my ability to cope with all of it is in needing to know that we can get through it, that we're still in it together, that the other party wants to reconcile and resolve it... that is crucial for me.

Upon reflecting on that today, it occurred to me that I don't think I matter to people the way they matter to me. I'm not sure why, and I intend to revisit that, explore it a bit (don't want this to get any more random and fragmented than it already is), but yeah... i need reassurance that they are not going to abandon me , that their love for me does not evaporate if i am not perfect and happy and a sheer joy to be with at any and all given moments or because we've had an argument and they are unhappy with me...

Anyway... it's late. I'm going to bed. 'Night, folks.

- Jess

"Friends", and why they suck


One thing I've really come to hate about "friends" is that sometimes there comes a point when their behavior changes for the negative, and all in the name of friendship. people stop being real, stop being honest, because they think the truth might hurt you... but what they fail to realize is that the little white lie, that teeny little calculated omission, hurts more than the most shocking or horrible truth... And the truth always comes out anyway... So now, I've lost faith in them, respect in them... They are no longer trustworthy...

But I suppose that in it's own way is a sort of truth coming out... that they would do that. I need to know that about a person as well. Just really stinks that I get blinded by who I thought they were, and I've already trusted them too much.

I need to work on that.

- Jess, aka "Jack"



It's almost that time again... Why does every February seem to bring me back here?

I seriously doubt anyone is even out there anymore. It's likely no one will see this. Strangely, I'm comforted by that. Anonymity can be a freeing thing, in ways. But it has it's chains too. Keeps you living in the hell you want to escape because no one can find you to help pull you out of it.

Life is really screwed up. Mine anyhow. I thought I was doing ok there for a while. And I know it's getting better... But it's still so close to bad that it's not really noticeable yet. But of course, once my mood changes, I'll probably have a different perspective on it. It's very gray out today... Been raining on and off. And we all know what that does to me. The melancholy sets in, despair dancing around it's edges.

I suppose I have a lot of catching up to do... Sit tight. I'm sure it'll come.

- Jess, a.k.a. "Jack"

My Heart Hurts...


It was two years ago today... and it still hurts like it was yesterday.