Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Battle

         I’m searching for the perfect words, but they are elusive. What can I say that hadn’t been said before? You are like me. You smile and laugh all the time, your friends say you’re a ray of sunshine. People like to say you couldn’t possibly understand their sorrow since obviously you have a perfect life. How little they know. They do not see the tears behind closed doors, small and silent in the night. They do not hear the heart wrenching sobs that cause you to close your door and turn the music up so you can’t be heard. No one sees you on your knees, pressing your hands to your head in an attempt to squeeze the voices into silence. No one is in your head when you spend half an hour in the morning trying to convince yourself that the days plans are meaningful and y should get up even though everything feels pointless. No one is there in the night when you wake up in a full panic from dream and spend 4 hours trying to calm yourself enough to fall asleep. What’s more, when they do witness the torture in your head, they cannot comprehend. Your co-worker sees you struggling to sign a meeting form with your violently shaking hand and looks with confusion into your perfectly calm face. Your church friends tell you, “When I get anxious I just pray and it all goes away!” but they’ve never heard your raw and bleeding cries sent out to God, begging  Him to fight this battle for you. You ask why. You lie awake at night wondering what you’ve done, what you’re doing wrong that you are still tortured. Some nights your faith wavers and you question whether God is really on your side. Some days you feel you might be sick if you pull one more convincing fake smile. I know. I understand. I face those thoughts too. I’m fighting this Battle as well. My beloved ones, I have no solution, no fix all to take the pain away. However, perhaps the most powerful way we can combat these lies is with the real truth. Prosperity gospel is the worst thing for anyone with a mental disorder to hear. It lays all the blame on you, all the things you already accuse yourself of, and the times you say, “I’m a failure to God and this is my punishment.” Are only encouraged by pr0sperity gospel. Here’s the flat our truth though. Faith does not equal comfort. Not only did God not promise comfort, He promises trouble. When you follow Christ, the enemy will fit endlessly to destroy you. Joseph listened to God and he was enslaved. He rose to power in Potiphars house and was imprisoned because he obeyed what is good and pleasing to God. Job would at first seem to follow prosperity gospel. He followed God and was greatly blessed with health, wealth, and family. Job did nothing wrong, but God allowed him to be tested. Everything was taken from Job even though he remained faithful. God is not looking to give us comfort in this life, but to grow us spiritually. James 1: 2-4 “Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.” That’s the key, spiritual growth. As w grow through suffering, we can be compassionate enough to come alongside others who also suffer. However, do not think this means you are alone in your head, in the darkness that threatens to destroy you. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” ~ Psalm 34:18 He will not always deliver us from the darkness, and He will not always make it easy. He makes one promise… to be with us.
Whither shall I go from thy spirit, or Whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend into heaven though art there.
If I make my bed in hell, behold, though art there.
If I take on the wings of the morning,
Or dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there thy hand shall lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, ‘surely the darkness shall cover me’ even the night shall be light about me.
Yeah the darkness hide the not from thee, but the night shine through as the day.
The light and dark are both alike to thee.” ~Psalm 139: 7-12 

                                                              ~Katie Stone~

Thursday, February 9, 2017

You Have I Loved


     This is to you, my dear friends who are slowly falling away. We walked side by side in life and faith, but now life is pulling us in different directions. We used to talk all the time, and when we talked there was never an awkward silence, only natural conversation which built on itself. You know who you are. The ones who heard every prayer request, the ones who listened to my midnight musings. When we were together, we were unstoppable. Still today just one word can flood my memory with a hundred inside jokes or deep conversations we shared. We were the ones who were always together, and when people thought of me they thought of you as well. Some of you I called best friends, others I called brothers and sisters.  Now we are just… friends. I hold nothing against you, for there is no one to blame. We didn’t fight, we didn’t neglect one another, but the path split and I took the left while you take the right. Perhaps one day our paths will fold together again, and I have no doubt that we could be as close again, but for now I think this is a small sort of goodbye. Aloha, which means goodbye, hello, and a special kind of love. Please know that when you need me I will still drop everything for you. When you’re sad, I still know precisely how to cheer you, and some days we will still have long and meaningful conversations. Most days, however, we will go about our lives and the thought of you will dance fleetingly across the landscape of my mind, there a moment and onto the memories in the next. I love you, and I always will. You have touched my life and changed me in ways no one else could have. Because for a moment in time our paths crossed, you will continue to change me forever. I am so thankful for the time we had together, and if you’re somewhere in my future then I look forward to that day. Until then “You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting.” ~J.M. Barrie
                                Grow, change, live, but my darling ones…
                                                           Stay you.
  
"To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace." ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
             

                                                       ~Katie Stone~



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Thursday, January 19, 2017

When You're Not Smart




      I have a confession. I’m a 17 year old junior in high school and I’m only halfway through Algebra 1… yeah… I’m a 17 year old junior in high school and I’m the self-published author of two full length novels with a third on the way. One of these facts tells you that I am stupid, lazy, and I’ll never get anywhere in life. The other tells you that I am intelligent, skilled, diligent, and already making my way in life. The question is, which statement is true? If you look at one side of me, the mathematic side, you will expect nothing and think nothing of me. If you look at another side of me, the english side, you will expect and see greatness in me. Both points of view are detrimental. Everyone is like this, full of positives and negatives, and everyone seems incapable of seeing more that one side. If you see only the negatives of someone then you will tear them down before they have the chance to begin, and the Bible says, “therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”  
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11. However if you only see the good, the second someone fails you can’t believe it. They were perfect, how could they fail at something?! The Bible says, “…no one is good except God alone.” ~Mark 10:18. Instead we ought to be fully aware of one another’s strengths and weaknesses. Where one is strong, encourage them to continue on and do good with their gifts. Where one is weak, react with grace, build them up, and help them overcome. 
      As humans we will always fail; we are all flawed. However, when  our weakness is surrendered to God, we can walk in strength with the gifts and talents given to us, glorifying God in our strengths and weaknesses. Your failings do not make you a failure. Neither do your successes make you a success. You are a whole human being, created, designed, and loved by God with a unique purpose and pattern in the tapestry of His own making. “for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for going works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” ~Ephesians 2:10 
        
                                     ~Katie Stone~ 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year, Nothing New

         As 2016 draws to a close everyone complains about how bad a year it was and rejoices that a new year is here. One of my co-workers said today, "2107 will be better" but you know what? Last new year we dissed 2015 and swore 2016 would be better. Every year "New year, fresh start" It may be a new year, but do not be fooled.; It is not a new life. The new year changes nothing. It won't change that people are hateful creatures. It won't change whatever problems are in your life. 2017 doesn't renew your spiritual life, it doesn't make you healthy. 2017 wont change you or the world. You have to change your habits. You have to take your stand and change the world. There is no new life at the start of a new year unless you make a new life. You don't even have to wait until the new year to make changes. You want to believe in something new and fresh? Every minute is new and fresh. You can make a choice that changes everything at any given point in time. There is nothing new under the sun. So stop pretending that a new year, a new set of numbers is going to change things. People change things. People with passion and faith who don't stand by watching things happen  and pass the job off to someone else, someone else who never comes along and never changes things. Every year, like every day, and every moment is what you make of it. Make a difference today and every day. Shine your light into a dark, lonely, lost, and hopeless world. Do not say "I can't" because the Scripture says, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." ~Philippians 4:13

                                               ~Katie Stone~

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Worth of Wisdom

   As I look around at the state of America, I can't help but wonder how we came to be as we are now, and what happened to a once great nation. As a nation we are entitled, as a nation we disregard the value of human life, as a nation we reject God. We lack wisdom. We have no respect for the elderly, but the Bible says, "You shall stand up before the grey head, and honor the face of the old man." ~ Leviticus 19:32  When we do not respect or heed our elders, we cannot learn from them. The elderly are wise, "Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?" ~Job 12:12 As we lack respect for elders, we lack wisdom, and as we lack wisdom we lack respect for our elders... on and on it goes in a never ending loop until we are all fools in our hearts and despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7 says, "The fear of the the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 13:20 says, "Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm." Well have become fools and companions of fools, and so spell out our own doom. We scorn wisdom, and take pride in our own limited understanding. "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." ~Proverbs 16:18 We must learn to humble ourselves, admit our own folly, and seek God-given wisdom. It is not too late, for we are told, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." ~James 1:5 "Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding." ~ Proverbs 4:6-7

                                  ~Katie Stone~

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Finding Dory and ADHD

   


     Finding Dory is about someone with short term memory loss, which is obviously very different from ADHD, but it definitely has some similarities and, as an ADHD girl, I really connected with Dory on that level. Throughout the whole movie you can see her struggling to remember something that should be easy. Such as "two lefts then a right." or Jewel of California... Something. Even I can't remember. There were several moments I was nearly sobbing, not because of a sad part of the movie because but because I connected so much to Dory's struggle. Such as the line "the thoughts just leave my head." or when she's lost in the kelp with no clue what she has forgotten or where she just came from. All she has is the crushing knowledge that she has forgotten something important, and she's all alone with no one to help her. She deals with kinda an overload and goes into a panicked frenzy until she stops and just figures out things out from what she does know, which was actually a great lesson. Sometimes you just have to force yourself to take it one simple step at a time. Ocean, or kelp? Kelp is better. Rocks, or sand? I like sand, sand is squishy.
    One of the best things about this movie though is that it wasn't a lament, "Oh, poor Dory has to live her whole life with this disability!" but rather an eye-opener. Just because people like Dory, or those with ADHD can't do what others can doesn't mean we're useless. We have our own special abilities no one else has. Like the way Dory always finds a way out because she's willing to believe in an idea so crazy it just might work. Sound familiar? A disability is just a different ability, and that's the message I really got from Finding Dory. She can't hate on herself for forgetting things because she can't help help it. She can, however, find things that work for her.
    Jenny is one of my favorite characters in Finding Dory because she doesn't get frustrated with Dory's inability to remember, but rather helps her overcome it in unique and interactive ways, such as coming up with phrases or songs like "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming" These things stayed with Dory even when she couldn't remember where she learned them or why.
    So to all of you out there like Dory, or like me, just keep swimming and know that you can accomplish great things and that you are "Fearfully and wonderfully made" ~ Psalm 139:14
   To all of you who are the friends, family, or significant other of someone with short-term memory loss or ADHD, thank you for staying with us and loving us through it all. Thank you for your patience. We don't say this enough, but we would not have gotten this far without you.

                                                ~Katie Stone~

Friday, July 15, 2016

Empathy vs. Apathy

   

   


      One of my favorite songs is "If We Are the Body" by Casting Crowns, and this has been resounding with me particularly clearly as of late. There's so much happening in the world, and I keep hearing "My heart breaks for our Lord" and "This world needs Jesus!" all good and honest sentiments, but here's what bothers me. We type "My heart breaks for this world" as we sit behind our computer screens scrolling through our Instagram feed or laughing at the newest trending vine. I'm guilty too! We live in a world full of apathy, we say the words we should mean and then move on to the next thing like it doesn't even matter. If our hearts truly broke for the world, we'd be out in it, serving the poor, healing the broken, and spreading hope to the lost instead of clicking a thumbs up and considering our job done. The words we say over the internet cannot replace feet that go to all corners of the earth seeking the lost, arms that comfort the broken and hurting, hands that heal the wounded, and voices that speak truth and grace rather than fingers that type without thinking. This stifling apathy toward everything can never replace the empathy of Christ that feels every heartache and despair alongside the hopeless spirit. If we cannot find it in our hearts to reach out to the hurting, lost, and broken, we have no right to say that our hearts break, or that we feel the pain that God does when He looks at the earth. Today I challenge myself and all of you stop next time you're about to just hit a like button, or post a #cause, and think about what you can do to actually make a difference, to actually serve, and spread the love of Christ. "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." ~John 13:35 
  "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." ~Matthew 5:16

                                                    ~Katie Stone~