In December 2018, I posted a blog on the Bird Box Challenge in a group for blind people. Matt commented on my article, and we started commenting back and forth. When I learned that he was an author himself, I asked if we could chat via Facebook messenger. We took our time getting to know each other, writing to each other on Facebook messenger and calling each other on the phone. Soon I realized that I had a friend. As the months went by, I drew closer to Matt despite the geographical distance that existed between my home in Florida and his home in Maryland. I was drawn to Matt’s honesty, respect, and his love for the Lord.

In the summer of 2019, while working together with a workbook to help improve my self-esteem, Matt and I both realized that I could benefit from therapy. After finding a therapist I was comfortable with, we began to see my self-esteem improve.

As our friendship continued to develop via Facetime, I asked Matt about the possibility of dating. He told me that he wanted to finish college and was not ready commit to a relationship. I knew what that was like because when I was in college, I wanted to finish my education before I started dating. We continued to pray for one another and about the possibility of dating. Then one afternoon in the spring of 2020, while on a bumpy bus ride in Baltimore, Matt called me on the phone and confessed that he liked me more then a friend. Once he graduated college, he would like to possibly consider dating. I was head over heals that day.  

We continued to do Bible study together and talked. Then one day I asked if I could come for a visit. Matt agreed to this plan. God had one bigger plan for this visit. During one of our Bible Studies, I asked Matt if he could Baptize me, and he agreed. We planned my Baptism for over a month. During the time I was preparing to come visit Matt gave me a facetime tour of his apartment. In addition to this, he introduced me to some of his family and friends.

After doing a background check, and a friend doing an even deeper check, I realized that I had  actually learned more about Matt’s history from reading his memoir, Seeing Through Blindness, than from the background checks. I agreed to come for a visit. 😊

My visit in March of 2021 went wonderfully. My Baptism was everything I ever could want. The night of my baptism, and after taking the lord’s supper, Matt asked me to be his girlfriend and I agreed. Because my visit went so well, we planned to see each other again in October.

During the summer of 2021, as we continued to get to know each other even better via facetime our relationship evolved.

In August, because we were in love, I mentioned the possibility of getting married one day. We continued to pray and ask God for wisdom. God answer our prayers.

In September, Matt asked me to marry him, and I accepted.

I am so excited to become his wife and to see where the Lord is going to lead us as a couple.

Book Time!

I have exciting news to share! My book is now finished, and I am currently working on getting my KDP account set up so I can get it published.

I would like to thank following people for helping me make this book happen. Jessica, you are an amazing editor. Not only did you edit my book twice but multiple times. You made the editing process a great learning experience. Matt, my assistant editor, thank you for helping me when Jessica was taking a personal leave of absence. To our editor dogs, thank you for all the giggles and fun. 😊 Thank you to my graphics artist for helping me with the cover. Thank you to my Friend Tea and Beckie for helping me understand the formatting.

Guys, as you can see, I’ve worked hard on this book. I know this is a cheesy plea, but please buy my book. I hope you enjoy it. 

2021:More Life, Peace and Goodness-August Edition

This month went from being a good one to a rough one. I had my six month follow up appointment with my nurse. My nurse took her time with me an answered all of my questions about my medicines and about some other concerns I had. What I really appreciated about this appointment was one of my friends was able to join me via telephone to help me with my notes. Believe me I had a lot of them. 😊 All in all, it was a pretty good appointment.

I started working on my continuing education class. The class’s focus is how to write a full-length memoir. My prayer is this memoir helps others and reaches those who do not know Christ as their Savior. I already have an idea of where I want to start and end my memoir. I just need to learn how to make these ideas flow.

God certainly has shown me peace this month. Two weeks ago, my grandpa and I had a disagreement. I was ready to leave and move out of state because of this. However, after a few days of this my grandpa and I decided to let our differences go and just move on with life. I would like to thank everyone who has stepped in to support me during this difficult time.

Another way that God has shown me peace is he is teaching me that there is power in prayer and patience. The past two nights I have gone to bed angry. The first night I was angry because I am nervous about my upcoming vacation, and I fear I will be judged by my looks. Even though my friend has assured me that I will not be judged even if I do not meet my weight loss goal, I feel like I have been failing for the past two weeks. I have not been walking and I feel like I am overeating. I constantly feel like I am craving sweet things. I really am going to have to push myself next month to reach my goal. Then I felt like I could not reach any goal at all. With the way the world is constantly changing I do not know if I should set goals and work towards them or not. This feels especially true when it came to financial goals. I really want to get a debit card so I can start paying for some of my own things, however I am still researching the one that is right for me. All I could do was turn my anger over to God and ask him to soften my heart. The next night I was angry because my friend was having some technology issues with his Iphone. I was able to teach him some things last March, but I was not able to teach him everything. Because he has not been able to learn how to troubleshoot yet I felt guilty that I was unable to teach him this yet. I once again went to God and asked him to soften my heart. I was able to share my heart with my friend today. He gave me reassurance that he was the one that has to learn these lessons and I did nothing wrong.

Lastly God’s goodness is once again all around me. I feel this month I need to take a step back once again and look at the goodness that God provides. I have friends that have become like family to me, that truly listen and care for me and my wellbeing. I have been able to go through my belongings, and I plan to donate to those less fortunate than I. I am doing well with my Braille classes, and I have two book clubs that I can enjoy. Yes, God is good all the time. Even when the month has been challenging. 

2021: More Life, Peace and Goodness-July Edition

Oh boy, July was another month that was full of surprises. For the first three weeks of the month, I was battling some severe nausea off and on due to some of the medicines I am on. Luckily, I was able to deal with it with peppermints, some over the counter medications, and a whole lot of prayers. Then the day after I posted Pains, Plans and Prayers my stomach issues stopped. I thank God for that.

I had my sixth month evaluation with my therapist. The good news is I am making progress with my therapy. I am working on being less angry, building self-confidence through exercising, and saying positive things to myself by using a technique called “thought stopping.” Let me give you an example of how this works. I was going on a walk, and my mind started to worry about my next vacation. On my last vacation I had problems with my state ID being accepted at the security checkpoint. I decided to apply for my passport as a backup. As I was walking my mind started to race. “What if I did not get my passport in time?” “What if my ID did not work again and I could not leave?” At this point I told my brain to stop. I was on my daily walk, and I was not at the airport. I had already applied for my passport, and I am patiently waiting for it. All I have is today which is full of God’s grace. The very next day my passport was in the mailbox. It really is in God’s perfect timing.

God is showing me how to have peace in more ways than one. One day my grandpa came to me and told me he found a dead snake in the gutter. Since he was busy helping a neighbor, he asked me to pick the snake up with a big shovel and throw it in the woods. I am terrified of snakes.  I walked out into the yard and called my best friend. I complained for at least five minutes of how scared I was and how much braver his daughters and he was. He reminded me that standing there looking at the animal and not taking care of what my grandpa asked of me would only prolong the process. I mustered up the courage and gave the snake a nice burial. I felt great that I faced my fear, but later that day the Holy Spirit reminded me, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6.)

Another example of peace was when I had to walk home with Duke from the groomers. I was scared. The last time I walked Duke home the neighbors came after me thinking that Duke was lost. Then the neighbor took me to the wrong grooming center. This time I was determined to walk Duke home by myself. Duke’s still working on learning how to walk calmly on a leash. Duke did great on his walk. I felt good about the walk too.

The last example I can give about learning how to walk in peace is a friend of my is having a lot of medical tests going on to find out what is going on with his hip and back. Instead of panicking on the days he has an appointment I pray for him, and I ask Jesus to keep me calm. I have learned that worrying is not going to make the appointment go by any faster nor will it change the outcome of his appointment. Praying and staying calm is the best I can do.

When I stop and look around, I can see God’s goodness. I was able to enjoy a shopping trip to the mall. I was able to get a few items that I needed for my upcoming trip.

In the world of business, I made three keychain orders. I am so happy that my butterflies love my keychains.

How was July for you? Let me know down in the comments below.

Pains, Plans and Prayers

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”-Psalms 139:23-24

If you read my 2021: More Life, Peace and Goodness-June Edition you know that last month was a little rough. Sadly, it feels that July wants to follow June’s example. Ever since I started my antidepressant tablets, I have been battling a sour stomach. This, in turn, makes me even more anxious. I have a big fear of ending up in the Hospital without insurance which makes my anxiety even worse.

Because I have not felt well, I had to cancel or change my plans. This past weekend I missed a friend’s birthday party. I was looking forward to the party and I just had to miss it. I called the following Monday to see if I could see my nurse any earlier then my scheduled appointment. The clinic could not offer me an earlier appointment. All they could offer was a quick phone consultation with the prescription nurse who told me to keep track of my symptoms and to try antinausea medicine. I have tried it, but it has not worked. The only thing I have found helpful is to take my two prescriptions at different times and to take a mint when I need it. Moreover, I was planning on taking a continuing education class on writing my memoir. I ended up deciding to wait until August to take the class.

During this time, I have been praying that God is hearing my prayers and will heal me. Please keep me in your prayers.

2021: More Life, Peace and Goodness-June Edition

June was not an easy month for me. Life through me a curve ball. The first three weeks I was sick with a stomachache. I was having a lot of anxiety attacks that were making my stomachaches worse. I had a big argument with a ex friend online, and I kept repeating the argument in my head. I went to my doctor who prescribed me some medicine for my stomach and anxiety.

After my appointment, my stomach started to improve. I went ahead and picked up my prescriptions. It took a few days for me to feel completely better with my stomach.

I had another appointment with my therapist who increased my therapy sessions. We are focusing on sleep hygiene since my anxiety tends to increase before bedtime.

I lacked peace during this month. I had several times to exercise peace, but instead of focusing on that I focused on my problems. For example, instead of accepting the fact that my friendship was over with a friend who cussed me out over a Facebook post I questioned if I did the right thing by blocking her and discounting our friendship.  This person has cussed me out both publicly and privately before and my mental health was being affected by her actions. I have forgiven her, but I felt it was best not to be friends any longer.

I became fearful when my best friend told me about his upcoming doctor appointment. Instead of focusing on the fact my friend was finally getting help for his hurting hip I worried about the outcome of the appointment even before he made it through the door.

Even though I had these setbacks God’s goodness is all around me. This month I applied for an internship where I would have the opportunity to edit videos, write blog posts, and post to the company’s social media websites. I was nervous during my interview, however I stayed positive, and I was given an offer. I felt proud of myself. However, the company did not offer what I needed, so I had to reject the offer. This did teach me that with a positive attitude I can make it through interviews and get offers. I am not going to give up on my writing career.

I had a meeting with my social worker, and we worked hard for over an hour to try to find me some resources. I found a few. Now it is just a waiting game.

God is good all the time.

Starting over with a new therapist

About a month ago I got a call from the low-income clinic. “Hello, Amanda. I would like to inform you that your therapist will have to cancel your upcoming appointments until further notice. As we move forward with your care, I may just have to reschedule you with your current therapist or reassign you to someone else.” I was in shock. I really felt like my therapist and I were in a great therapeutic relationship. I felt like I was doing well and making progress towards reducing my anxiety and depression. “What happened?” I asked the receptionist. “I can’t get into it, but just know she is okay. We will call you when we find out more information.” I hung up the phone and started to panic. I went and told my grandpa what was going on. Then I called my best friend, who told me sometimes things happen and all you can do is press forward. My other best friend said the same thing. As I started to process all of this, I had feelings of uncertainty and abandonment. I went to YouTube and watched a few videos by Kati Morton. During that video I learned that writing down what I was feeling would be helpful. All I could do is to text a friend of mine to explain how I felt.

During the next two weeks I felt like my anxiety went into overdrive. I started having tight muscles, stomach aches, and trouble sleeping. My thoughts of having to meet with someone else made me uneasy. I did not want to have to reexplain my past, where I was in the present, and my hopes for the future. The next appointment came. I called the clinic hoping for an answer. All I was told was that my appointment was canceled, and I was supposed to call back next week when the clinic would have more answers.

The next day I could not take the pressure of my anxiety any longer. I picked up the phone and called the clinic back. I got news I did not want to hear: my therapist was gone, and I would have to start all over. I quickly explained that I was on the no co pay sliding scale fee, and if possible, I would like to see a female. I was set up quickly with an appointment and given a name.

I looked up my new therapist on a few websites to learn about her background. This helped me feel a little better knowing that her credentials met some of the problems that I have been struggling with.

I once again called my best friends and asked for advice. Their advice was to wait for the appointment, see how it goes and go from there.

The day of my appointment arrived and soon I was in the digital waiting room. My new therapist was full of energy, and she was easy to talk to. She started off by asking me a few basic questions about my support system, my past and what my previous therapist and I were working on.

I told her I had just had a big argument about a Facebook post, and I had to block a specific person. We also talked about sleep. I am having a lot of problems sleeping especially right before my period. She asked me to start tracking how I was feeling and maybe find out some meditation videos I could listen to before bed.

After that she scheduled me for three more sessions. All in all, I feel like this new therapist and I are going to work well together.

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