I AM THANKFUL… ARE YOU?
This Thanksgiving season, I want to celebrate the rich blessings I received this past year. Some came in the disguise of pain, suffering, great loss, divorce, affliction in my body, turmoil, and depression in my mind, mental illness (Dissociative Identity Disorder, PTSD, Major Depression Disorder), fear and brokenness to my soul. But, God, who is SO RICH in His mercies has healed and restored me!
“Weeping may endure for a night (season), BUT Joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
In our Night Seasons, we encounter pain and sorrow beyond what we are able to handle. It appears to be overwhelming. Sometimes it feels as though God is not listening and He has turned a deaf ear to our prayers. It also seems the pain and agony of our souls will last forever, so we might as well get used to it… because this is how it will always be. We feel stuck! But, can I encourage your heart today through this blog; Our Lord IS… HE IS whatever He said He will be and will do whatever He promised to you that He would do!
Years ago, I woke up one morning feeling lost in my soul, overwhelmed by the voices within and without accusing me of not being good enough, worthless, having too much baggage in my heart and soul. I felt guilty about my past, ugly, ashamed, and feeling like no matter what I did to try to please my husband or my Lord, it was never good enough. It was the same feelings I felt towards my mother. Have you ever been there? I was trying desperately to measure up to some Christian standard I had read about in the Bible, “Be PERFECT TRESCA because I AM PERFECT.” I came to the conclusion that my Heavenly Father was asking way too much from me. The only perfect one is Christ. And, He said, “Yes HE IS, BUT, will you allow my Perfect Son who is PERFECT LOVE live in and through you?” Papa was never talking about sinless perfection. But, I thought, “How? I am a mess inside and out?” One day while sitting on the bed, the Lord said something to me that gave me such peace and hope. He said, “My Beloved, I WILL RESTORE YOUR SOUL.” Wow, that’s not my job, that’s His! Over the years, He has been faithful to do so; let me tell you how:
- At four years old, I was molested by my next door neighbor. When I told my mother she said to a four-year-old, “You shouldn’t have been there in the first place.” It left me feeling if anything bad happened to me, it was my fault. After that incident, I never went to her again with my pain.
- My great-grandmother was an alcoholic; beginning at age four, she took my sister and I to houses that were dark and cold where the stench of urine and alcohol filled the air. One old man, Mr. Shorty, had no legs grabbed me and kissed me. I began to pretend I was in another place in order to deal with the stench day in and day out.
- I heard the sounds of yelling and screaming as my father beat my mother, they separated, so I was left without a father.
- I was molested on a train by the conductor as he got my mother drunk and escorted me around the train alone.
- My father molested me along with babysitters, mother’s boyfriends, and others.
- My mother had a serious mental illness, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which always made me feel, no matter what I did it was never good enough. She was very critical, knick-picky, or complaining about something. Life always centered on her; little focus was on my needs or desires. I was created to fill the needs of her world. (A little child can’t do that and was never created to meet the needs of adults).
- My father was in and out of prison and jail, so I missed the affirmation, love, and approval only a father could give.
- I was raped at 15 but I couldn’t tell a soul because it was “my fault.”
- I was abducted by an ex-con and taken into the woods to kill me, but he didn’t, I charmed my way out.
- I was in a police car chase with my mother. I was in the back seat alone while the police were shooting at the car; I was around eight years old.
- I witnessed a lot of bloodshed and dysfunction all around me growing up.
I will share my story in my New book in 2018 called, My Return to Innocence (Carried in the Arms of Grace through Trauma and Mental Illness)
There were 27 traumatic events that negatively impacted my life that caused me to suffer from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). My little brain split off into separate alters (all me), they all had a specific purpose to take care of me and to help me function and manage life until my Lord Jesus was ready to restore them all back together again. DID was a gift from God! How can a child function when the world around her was unsafe, filled with chaos, fear, rejection, and pain? For 54 years, the Lord kept me using DID, not the drugs, not my education, not my alters… BUT MY LORD!
In 2015, my brain atrophy began to get worse and we had to close His Fullness Ministries. In January of this year, everything began to unravel emotionally and mentally, even my marriage. Neither, Tony nor I could function together as ONE, anymore. The pain for both of us was overwhelming. Peace and grace left our home, then my Papa said, “Tony is not ready for healing, but you are. We are moving to Ponte Vedra, Florida, I will restore YOUR SOUL.” This was the darkest time in both of our lives. Before leaving, Tony and I cried together. He said, “You were a good wife to me.” I wrote him a beautiful letter of gratitude thanking him for being so amazing to me on our journey together and that we both need healing from our past. So, March 9, 2017. I said goodbye to my BEST FRIEND and trusted him into the hands of the Lord and our Father who joined us as husband and wife. I knew what God had joined together, no man can separate, not even myself.
Papa had given me a dream years earlier and a scripture that He reminded me of during our time apart.
Psalm 66:12 –You made men ride over our heads [in defeat]; We went through fire and through water, (to purify and restore our souls in You). Yet You brought US out into a [broad] place of abundance [to be refreshed].
March 2017, I moved to a beautiful place where outside my backyard is a quiet and serene pond. Every morning and afternoon I watch the birds dance, the ducks and herons swim, and even, Max the little alligator, bask in the sunlight. And, here in this amazing place… HE HAS RESTORED MY SOUL! Papa picked out three doctors who are friends to care for my soul. My psychiatrist helps me with the meds to manage the brain atrophy. My psychologist helps me through processing my childhood trauma. And, my neurologist helps me with the brain aneurysms and brain issues. But most amazing, is my best girlfriend Carolyn, who visited me on several occasions to help me to integrate my scattered soul back as ONE! Jesus, “HAS RESTORED MY SWEET LITTLE SOUL, AS HE PROMISED ME YEARS AGO!”
I am thankful for my best friend Tony. He is my pastor and amazing brother in Christ. He has visited me every other month as I was healing. By phone, he has been there for me through my psychotic and depressed moments, especially when I was out of touch with reality, he has been right there. Our love for each other grew stronger, it never faded, not even a centimeter through it all. Our Father is restoring our souls and our marriage; we hope to be remarried real soon! I can’t wait!
I am thankful for my sister Tonyea and brother Ralph. Even though they live 5 hours away, they have been here to help me move in, guide me, protect me, and take care of me when I couldn’t take care of myself. I love them both beyond words! Whatever I needed, they were here.
I am thankful for the love and support of my niece Treskall and Dad, who loves me and believes in me.
I am thankful for my sister Tracy and brother Keita, Yoshida, who came to be with me and just be there for me! Just knowing I am thought of and loved was amazing!
I am thankful for the love and support of my family in Christ, Jan, Kathleen, Debbie, Network 220 members, Vicki, Katy, Julie, John L, John A, Mike, Mark, Ralph, and so many others have been so sweet and thoughtful. I can’t thank them enough for just loving me when I felt so unlovable.
I am thankful for such awesome landlords Bob and Lynda, who shared their precious home with me to live in and care for and has become my dearest and closest friends through the process.
I am thankful for my next door neighbors Adilson and Chris, who has cared for me emotionally and physically and always brought laughter into my darkness.
I am thankful for my precious realtor Toscha, who was so patient with me through the whole process of moving and supporting me.
Papa provided favor at every turn, Julie and Amy at Havertys in Austin. So many people touched my heart and life through this process and I am forever grateful!
More than it all, I AM ONE THANKFUL AND GRATEFUL SOUL, WHO LOVES MY PAPA, MY JESUS, AND HOLY SPIRIT WITH ALL OF MY MIND, HEART, SOUL, AND BEING… I AM YOURS FOREVER!!! THEY LOVE ME AND BELIEVE IN ME WITHOUT MEASURE!
“Weeping may endure for a night (season), BUT JOY COMES, IN THE MORNING.” Psalm 30:5
Are you thankful? If not, then be thankful with me… because I am eternally grateful!