Real Truth From Real People

One Hope for all consuming thoughts

Growing up was extremely challenging for me.  I am a deep thinker and an extremely passionate person.  I am a very empathetic person and it’s easy for the problems of this world to consume me and weigh me down.  I’ve always said I was an open book.  I was willing to tell anyone how I felt or thought about any given subject.  In some ways I was and in a lot of ways I was not.  I didn’t realize it back then but I struggled emotionally and couldn’t find a way to tell anyone how I truly felt inside.

Unfortunately, I struggle with a disorder called PMDD.  This makes it very difficult at times to see things with a clear picture.  I easily fall into a deep dark scary depression.  The best way to describe it is my perception literally changes. The thoughts and feelings are so overpowering and so overwhelming there is no way a normal person could possibly understand and help.  When a person goes through this they may or may not even realize it’s happening.  They hesitate to reach out. It’s embarrassing.  People assume you are just sad about a situation when in reality; you may not even know what your upset about.  It seems as if your mind has come up with some fictitious scenario and the reason you can’t talk about it is because what is there to talk about? “I feel annoyed, angry, hopeless, bored, miserable and uncomfortable and I don’t even know why.” I feel as if I am no longer in control of my own emotions or even thoughts to an extent.  I perceive that people are angry with me.  I am not as patient as I usually am.  I feel like I can’t get happy or joyful regardless of what I try.  Thoughts of suicide creep in.  Thoughts of how horrible my life are seep in.  I suddenly forget all the blessings God has bestowed up on in the last decade.  I argue with my husband and I misunderstand his body language and his words.  I feel like nobody sees me. I feel like I’ve failed as a mother, as a wife, as a Christian.  It’s an extremely scary feeling when it happens.  I am in a completely different state of mind. I make mistakes at work and can’t for the life of me explain why I did what I did.  To say the least, I am a total wreck.

Sometimes I catch it and I know when it has started and sometimes it creeps in.  I find myself crying uncontrollably, situations seem to pile up and are magnified and appear much worse than they are. When I say “depression” I don’t mean sadness.  This is one thing that I feel a lot of people do not understand.  On a spiritual level you can call it spiritual oppression.  The definition of oppression is prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control. When PMDD hits It’s hard to talk about or even explain to people who do not deal with this problem. It’s embarrassing and I find myself constantly apologizing to the people around me for my behavior.  I’ve been told I view my behavior way worse than anyone else sees it on the outside.  It certainly doesn’t seem that way to me. I plan my life around PMDD.  I typically choose not to plan activities and events around this time.

Why explain all of this to you?  This is a real problem that so many people deal with.  This is what it is like to have a mental disorder.  When a person struggles with any type of mental disorder whether it be hormone related or something else, it’s debilitating.  It can render the most together person a complete wreck.  It is almost as if they are held captive in their own mind.  There is a saying that “the mind is the devil’s playground. “When I was growing up and I didn’t know anything about this, there were so many times I begged God to end it.  To just take me out of this world.

The only thing that I can truly say kept me from ending my own life was the fact that at 6 ½ years old I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart.  The Holy Spirit dwells inside of me.  And because of this I have always had hope. Every time the thought of ending it came into my mind, the Holy Spirit was there to remind me there is a true and living God and He created me for a purpose.  He knew my life before I was born.  He created all the outs I would need for all the captivity I found myself in.

When I go through an episode where I feel like the world is against me and that I can’t trust anyone and that nobody understands me, I am reminded that this is temporary.  That Hope is ALWAYS right around the corner.  No situation ever stays the same.  I look in the mirror and tell myself, this is not real.  This will pass.  It hurts so much but it will pass.  God sees me even if I don’t see myself.  He sees how I am feeling. When I am consumed with every horrible thought that enters my brain as if I am in the middle of a tornado, He is there waiting for me when it passes. He is my anchor.  If I can just manage to hold onto Jesus I know I will be okay when this storm passes.

For so many people that do not have that One Hope, anchor to cling to, it’s the scariest most painful thing mentally and emotionally a person can go through.  Sadly, so many people choose to end their life because they do not have that hope. I can only say that Jesus Christ is my anchor.  I know that even when I don’t feel like praying or reading a devotion or the bible that I can just yell and He comes to my rescue.  Sometimes all I can do is cry and yell and tell Him I don’t like the way I feel right now and I don’t understand.  The Holy Spirit speaks to my soul.  He reminds me that this will pass and I will come out unscathed.  And every time I do.

If you have felt this way or if you go through anything similar, please know that there is relief is right around the corner.  Hold onto that one hope that this is a season and even if you may go through it again, this one will pass and there will be relief.  Just run to The Lord and break off those chains and throw them away.  Cling to The Savior. Get so lost in His promises that you are only consumed with Hope.

Psalm 23:2-4 says; “2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for the sake of His name. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

And Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

I’ve mentioned this poem before but I will mention it again, “Footprints in the Sand” has been my theme poem.  This poem describes a person walking on the beach with The Lord and looking up to see their life before them and looking down at the footprints in the sand. They see two sets but at the lowest and most hopeless scenes there was only one set.  This is when The Lord says He carried them.  It represents how God is always with us and we are never on this journey alone.  He is our one truest hope in a whirlwind of all consuming thoughts.

My hope is that you understand you have an out and it doesn’t have to be the end.   That you never have to feel that no soul out there could possibly understand what you are going through.  That we are acknowledging your thoughts and feelings and that the God who created you has a purpose for you.  Jeremiah 29:11 says For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Valerie Close

Barefoot Devotions

Not Forgotten

It always amazes me how distracted we can get on a daily basis and forget how far we have come in life. We do our day to day things and have our day to day issues.  Could be a stressful day with work and kids and so much to do and so little time to do it.  Or I just got paid and now I have no money.

Recently, I was watching a documentary on the Oklahoma City building bombing that sadly happened back in 1995.  I remembered that I had written in my journal just a few short days afterwards about how I had felt about it.  I ran upstairs and grabbed my journal out of my suitcase full of all my teenage memories.  Which is pretty fitting considering I moved around a lot as a child.  My parents were divorced and I found myself going back and forth between the both of them.

So, I started reading my journal which only consisted of a few months from that year. I must have remembered the old saying “don’t print anything on paper that you wouldn’t want broadcasted on the front page of a newspaper” Lol. As I was reading, I couldn’t stop.  All these memories that I had blocked out.  I was such a depressed and lonely teenage girl.  I wanted to reach into that journal and hug her and tell her everything would turn out okay.  My day to day journaling consisted of boy trouble, abuse, feelings of suicide and loneliness.I had wanted to have a closer relationship with Jesus but I found myself drowning in depression and anger.

I do remember times of shaking my fists and screaming out to God to take me out of this world.  To make all this go away.  To save me.  I had no mentor back then. No woman to show me what a life for a girl is supposed to be like.  I lived with my father and my 2 brothers most of the time.  I longed for someone to see into my soul how tormented I was.  I suppose I didn’t know how to articulate any of that at the time.  I only knew how to yell and fight and defend myself.  I only knew how to express how angry and sad I was.  I got myself into quite a bit of trouble. Drugs, alcohol, premarital sex. I stopped caring about myself.

I don’t actually remember much of the details of that time; even the events I wrote about, but I do remember making my mind up at some point that I was going to look forward to the future and hold onto that last thread of hope that God was real and what I’ve learned my whole life was true and that Jesus loved me and hadn’t forgotten me.

Now, as I look around at my beautiful house and the peace in this house I see how God did deliver me.  I have wonderful children.  I didn’t do too much in my life in the right order but God still blessed me none the less.  God saw through my soul and saw my pain and He delivered me.  He set me on solid ground.  I may have messed up in so many ways but being the Sovereign God He is; picked me up, dusted me off and pushed me forward.  What an amazing mighty God we serve. And the thing is, I may have just been reminded of  some of the pain I went through growing up and some of the awful things that were said to me or done to me but I’m also reminded that I am blessed and I survived. That I was saved and He did hear my cries and I was delivered from all of it.  I don’t have to feel sad about it anymore. I don’t have to be angry.  I can forgive and I am forgiven.

The annoyances that happen in my day to day are nothing compared to what The Lord God brought me out of so many years ago.

Looking back I don’t even recognize that girl in that journal.  I know that God has transformed me.  He has worked on my heart and has mended all my little holes and patched all those rips and tears.  There may be scars but they are no longer wounds.

If you are going through a time in your life where you feel like nobody could possibly understand what you are going through or you feel like you are alone; I am a living testament that you are never alone.  God does hear you and even if you don’t see his work yet, He is working on your behalf.  It is always in the right time.

He knows perfectly and strategically where you are at in your grief or your anger or your sadness.  He knows what you need and when you need it. He knows when you are open and ready to receive it. When you can lay it all down and get on your knees and recognize that He does have your back you are ready to receive it.

If you don’t have a mentor or somebody to reach out to that will listen and pray for you or pray with you, I encourage you to get out your bible and pray.  I encourage you to find a bible based church to go to and do not isolate yourself. Reach out to other people or your pastor and ask them to pray with you.  You are loved and you are never forgotten.

Luke 12:7- “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows”.

Valerie C.

Barin my Soul

Barefoot Devotions


I truly understand what it means for The Lord to be the Rock, the Pillar on which we stand.  I cannot do life without Him being the center focus.

Without Jesus I tend to be all over the place.  Everything feels like it is consuming me, but once I enter into His presence it all fades away.  It’s just He and I.  I can tell The Lord anything and I know that since He is the creator of all things, I can trust that if I take myself out of this world for a moment that everything will be okay.

I understand from songs and devotions why people say He is our resting place.  The bible says He is our resting place.  When the world is total chaos it can be very emotionally taxing especially for someone like me who was born an empath.  It can really weigh me down.  The comforting thing is I can go to God and I can literally lay it all for Him.  “Lord!  I can’t do this right now. I can’t carry the weight of the world on my shoulders”.

He comforts me.  Just being in His presence feels like everything else disappears and I can solely lean on Him.  He strengthens me and I can carry on. A few verses in the bible that talk about this are Psalm 31:2- Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Psalm40:2- He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Numbers 11:14- I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.

Most people, including myself, think of my spouse as my Rock and in some ways; he is.  It’s nothing like God though. I know that if everyone in my life left me; God would still be there. He will always be there.  The fact that He knows my future and knows my thoughts and understands me is comforting.  The fact that I know that if I pray God can and will change things.  I’m not saying He will grant all my wishes but He will work in situations that nobody else can.  To know that He is never out for anything but my best interest.  To know that I can’t do or say anything that would ever make Him leave me or not love me anymore keeps me going.

Just to be in His presence there is a complete sense of calm and peace.  I feel like with Him I can do anything.  I can make it in this world regardless of what happens in my life because He is always there to put the pieces back together again.

There are many times where I have been in situations that could have caused me great harm or even death.  I don’t know why I escaped with my life but God does. I have lost just about everything and somehow regained it all.  I have always been able to go to The Lord and pour it all out.  And every single time He came to my rescue.

Things always seem to look clear to me after I’ve laid it all out to him. Some might say that it’s because I vented and said it out loud and that after doing so I felt relief but I can honestly say that is not the same thing here.  I have poured my heart out to close friends and been in counseling but nothing compares to the clarity I get when go to The Lord and lay it all down.

He, God, The Lord is truly my Rock and my foundation.  Apart from Him I would not make it in this world. My decisions would be all over the place.  I wouldn’t survive.  When I need a boost of spiritual energy He speaks to me through songs and or devotions or even social media.  I truly do not have to look far to find His answers and encouragement.

There is a hymn that I’ve heard since I was a little girl.  I can honestly say that I completely understand what this means on a very personal level.  “My hope is built on nothing less”

1. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

2. When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace;

In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil. On Christ the solid rock I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.

3. His oath, His covenant, and blood support me in the whelming flood; When every earthly prop gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay.  On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.

4. When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found, Clothes in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne! On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.

Composer: John Stainer Author: Edward Mote

I couldn’t have worded this better myself.  How exciting to think that we don’t have to do this life alone.  We do not have to figure it all out.  There is always hope.  I cling to this hope while everything may be falling apart around me, He is my anchor, He is my pillar.


Barefoot Devotions

Waffle Brain

I’m beginning to think that I need to get my husband’s full undivided attention from now on before I talk to him.. otherwise I’m going to hear, “Huh?  What?  I’m sorry?” This will avoid me from having to repeat myself a gazillion times because he says he didn’t hear me but really I think it’s because he wasn’t listening.  Pretty sure he was in a different mental waffle box.. KWIM?  Men are like Waffles Women are like spaghetti.

Have you read this book?  If not, I highly recommend it.


It taught me so much about the differences between the way Men’s brains work and Women’s brains. Sometimes I forget what I’ve learned and well, tend to want to rip my hair out. I mean, who really likes repeating themselves over and over every time they talk?

After further prayer and meditation on this subject, I was feeling pretty convicted.  I could really stand to offer more grace when it comes to things like this.  God offers me plenty of grace that’s for sure.  So as frustrating as it is to feel like I’m talking to a brick wall, I have to keep in mind that the process in which men think is a slight bit different than that of women.  And this may not entirely apply to every single human being but for the majority of us,  men tend to think about one thing at a time and ladies if your like me, tend to weave our thoughts like well, spaghetti noodles.  I can literally think about what I need to make for dinner while I’m working and carrying on a conversation at the same time.

So with that being said, I could save myself a lot of huffing and puffing and eye rolling and sarcasm which leads to an argument and then Ugh, an apology,  if I will learn to just offer grace and find another way to communicate with my husband from the beginning.  So here goes nothing… stay tuned, I’ll let ya know how I turn out.


Barefoot Devotions

Love Without Actions

What point is it to believe in God and believe what His word says if we don’t show we believe by our actions? If your spouse or friend told you they loved you but never wanted to spend any time with you, or never acknowledged you on your birthday or any other day for that matter would you believe they loved you? They say they do… You can feel the warm fuzzies all day long but at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter how you feel on the inside; it matters how you interact with that other person. Do you stand up for them if they are unjustly accused? Do you nurture them when they are sick? Do you spend time talking with and listening to them?

The beautiful thing about God is that He loves us anyway whether we reject Him or not but shouldn’t we be “Loving” Him back? Isn’t that what we were created for? I mean we do have free will. We can “Choose” not to love Him. We can choose to love ourselves or anybody else on this planet if we want to. He gave us the option to choose when He created us. Love is a choice is it not? It’s not just a feeling or an action. Love is really all of that combined. Usually the feelings follow the actions.

How can I say to people I have a relationship with Jesus Christ when I don’t ever spend anytime with our Lord? What good is it to have gifts of encouragement and encourage people to read their bible and pray and say I will pray for them if I never spend any time with Him? Our Lord, Savior! The only being that will ever ever love me more than anyone else in this Universe.

God gave us each special gifts and they are to be used for His glory. I believe God gave me the gift of encouragement and discernment. I also believe He has given me a gift a prophesy. None of it does that much for me if I’m not using it appropriately. We were created to worship Him however, we were created to worship Him with our own free will. Will I still go to heaven? Yes I believe I will. God knows my heart. But I believe it breaks His when I’m not “Loving” Him back. If I’m hoarding my money or wasting it or squandering it in every place but where it counts which is promoting the Kingdom of the Lord, then what good is it for me to have money? If I’m not here for Him then none of it matters. If I’m not spending time promoting the Kingdom of the Lord then I’m wasting my time. To love somebody is an action. You choose it and you take action to show it to them. My husband not only tells me he loves me, he shows me. He takes care of me when I’m sick, or even being a major pain in the butt. He still goes out of his way for me even when it is inconvenient. Even when I have weight to lose or my attitude stinks. That is Love. And that is what loving someone is. Taking action to show them even when it’s inconvenient or you just don’t feel like it.

It’s both humbling and embarrassing to admit that I don’t show God how much I love and appreciate Him like I show it to other people. When He is or should be #1 and I make Him last.

Love needs to have action to back it up otherwise it’s not really truly Love.