Her Song

Each semester, my school assigns the students a semester project. This project can be anything from performing a song you wrote, to presenting a painting you painted! The point is that we express, in whatever form fits us best, the ways in which we have grown this semester. Well, I decided to write a short story about my dreams and my heart’s deepest desire. Its not horribly long, but I have never shared my writings before and I’m a little nervous. I hope you enjoy it and it moves your heart!

Her Song by Katey McLaughlin

Beth walked out into the field and saw them. They surrounded her. Some were huddled together, some sat separate from one another. There were thousands of them and as far as she could see, they just kept going. Women of all different shapes and sizes, races and nationalities. Young and old, they surrounded Beth. They were shrouded in darkness, covered in dirt and human excrement, shivering from head to toe as they crouched in the mud. But they didn’t move.

As Beth reached out towards the woman closest to her, she heard whispering. She froze, suddenly afraid she was interrupting some sort of gathering. She looked around for the voice… Where was the whispering coming from? As she began to listen she realized it was not just one voice, but thousands of tiny voices speaking in perfect unison. But where were the voices coming from? She moved closer to the woman next to her and tried to identify the source of the whispering. The woman’s lips were not moving and no noise was coming from her, but yet the whispering was close. She could feel it more than hear it now. Then, Beth saw it. A monstrously ugly creature no bigger than a dime, sat atop the woman’s ear whispering lie after lie into her mind and inevitably, her soul. As Beth continued to listened, she could hear there was a creature for each woman and they were all whispering lies. Like a demonic chant, they repeated it over and over until the woman was beaten and broken, unmoving in the mud. “Oh Abba. What do I do?”  She heard the simple reply, “Help her beloved.”

Beth turned to the woman on the other side of her and realized that it was a young girl she was friends with! “How did she get here?!” Beth reached out to touch her shoulder but the creature, suddenly volatile, doubled in size and attacked Beth’s hand. Pulling back in fear and pain, she looked down at her hand to see a deep cut spreading across the back of her thumb. Clutching her hand, Beth watched as the creature, having protected its prey, casually went back to spitting lies into the mind of the friend in front of Beth.  “Father, I don’t know what to do. How am I to help these woman?! They don’t even know I’m here with them.”

Beth realized that she was crying and as she felt Abba wipe her tears away and calm the pain in her hand, she heard him say to her, “Sing, beloved. Sing over them. Your song is louder than the lies.” So she knelt beside her friend, and began to sing. Softly, and so gently at first, her song came forth. It was a song of light, of hope, and of freedom. All around her, Beth heard the whispering stop, she felt the darkness disappear, and as she felt the returning sun warm her own skin, her friend looked up. Surprised eyes looked into Beth’s eyes and as Beth kept singing, her friend started singing with her. Beth watched in amazement as the dirt that was caked on her friend’s skin fell away to reveal skin covered with colorful brush strokes. As her friend’s song became louder and more bold, the artwork on her skin began to glow and pulse. With a sudden jolt, she jumped up and, laughing, she practically dragged Beth over to the next woman, who was starting to stand on her own. This woman was desperately scratching and tearing at the dirt on her body. Worried that she would unintentionally break her own skin in her desperation to remove the dirt, Beth enveloped her in a hug and as she pulled away, she looked down to see that all the dirt was simply falling off of the woman’s skin. Before Beth, stood a woman glowing and as the woman gave Beth the widest smile she’d ever seen, Beth took a step back and looked around. She listened to the song that was soaring through the field and realized that each woman, once they were awakened and cleansed then quickly ran to the nearest woman to help her! Beth took a glance around and saw hundreds of joyful, dancing women. Some were covered in beautiful, colorful brush strokes like her friend and some were sprouting lush and vibrant bouquets of flowers from their heads. Some women were surrounded by stars that twinkled and glowed brighter than they did at night! And some women were laughing and with each laugh out came all sorts of feathers or sparks of electricity. But ALL were helping one another, hugging each other, and singing the same song; that song of light, of hope, and of freedom.

Far away, Beth could see women still shrouded in darkness, but as she watched, the women were spreading like fire and the influence of the song was growing steadily. Beth sat down in a small field of wildflowers that had sprouted at her feet and wept for joy. “Thank you Abba. Thank you.”  Her ears were full of the sound of her song, of chains breaking, and women laughing.

 

“Wake up Katey! You’re gonna be late!” Forgetting my dream, I threw off my covers and rushed through my routine of getting ready in the morning. I grabbed my coffee and my keys and practically threw myself down the stairs. It wasn’t until I got in my car and grabbed my steering wheel that I noticed it. On the back of my thumb, about two inches long, was a recently made and healed cut. In a flash of colors and sounds, my dream came flooding back into my mind and I watched as the cut on my hand glowed and pulsed, and then disappeared. “Uh… Abba? What the…?” “Well beloved, where shall we go next?!”

 

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peace 

There are some mornings you wake up and you cannot find the laughter. The tears come and you want to be able to see the humor, but instead you feel the anger. 

They’ve mentioned that a withdrawal symptom of cymbalta can be unreasonable anger. I didn’t believe that would happen to me. I tend to bounce back and forth between happiness or sadness. Anger has never really been my thing… However, this morning I woke up with dried tears on my face from a frustrating night of restless legs, brain zaps, intense body aches and headaches. I wasn’t able to sleep until at least 4a.m. and I woke up angry about it. 

I want nothing more than to run away. The idea of going through another day of these symptoms and pains seems hideously cruel to myself and to my body. Then I remember why I’m doing this. 

I’m doing this so the fog that has enveloped my mind for four years no longer exists. I’m doing this as a testimony to the strength and healing hand of God. I’m doing this because I want to know what true emotions are. And I’m doing this for my long term neurological and physical health. 

I know I talk often of laughter and joy, and I very much want to embrace that, but I think being honest about hard it can be is necessary as well. I cannot pretend that it is ALL laughter all the time. My eyes are tired, my soul longs for rest, and my body aches. 

“The Light of My Presence is shining upon you, in benedictions of peace. Let my Light shine in you; don’t dim it with worries or fears.”        -Jesus Calling (March 19)

I woke up angry. I woke up sad. But I’m struck by God’s faithfulness as I write this. I feel his presence and his peace. I am thankful that God’s peace is stable, unconditional, and everlasting. 

💛💛💛💛💛 

Katey

For your amusement…

I tend to cry a lot these days. The joke used to be that my mom was the one who was always “half a second from crying about anything”. I believe that joke now applies to me more. Most often, they aren’t sad tears, they’re more like, “how cute” tears. Or even “STOP SAYING NICE THINGS TO ME” tears. So here’s a little list of things I cried over in the last couple days (without exaggeration):

  • Cried when I saw a needy man and his dog on the side of the road in the rain. Specifically because the dog had no coat. 
  • Cried when I couldn’t get an online order to go through. (I realized I had the wrong card information… and then cried more.)
  • Cried while doing yoga. (Nope I don’t know why.)
  • Cried when my pastor talked about the first time his dad told him he was proud of him. 
  • Cried when my roommate told me I was a good friend. 
  • Cried when I couldn’t find the right shade of green for my coloring book. 

One thing I’m definitely learning through all this? How good and okay emotions are. Do I want to tear up with each passing emotion, literally? Not really. Do I? Yes. It’s like my body desperately needs a release from all the stimulus flowing through it right now, and so I cry. There’s a part of me that is embarrassed when it happens, and then I quickly just accept that it is happening. As each tear falls, I feel a sense of detox and release. 

For this season of my life, crying over the good, bad, and cute is acceptable. So if you see me crying, feel free to ask if I’m okay… just be prepared to laugh with me at the same time as the tears fall. 

Be brave friends. He is with you. 

Katey

less pills, more laughter.

About a week ago, through a series of interesting and divine events, I stopped taking my anti-depressant. This decision has resulted in a, well, interesting past week. It is because of this past week that I’ve decided I’m going to chronicle my silly, emotional, dramatic and senseless stories that come about as a result of this withdrawal process. Why? Because laughter is the best medicine and I want to remember that principle as I start down this path.

Yesterday, after coming home from classes, I decided to do my dishes. They had been sitting there for a day or so and I felt bad that I had just left them there, so in an effort to alleviate this guilt (never a good reason to do the dishes friends) I decided to do the dishes. I got through about three of the dishes before I picked up a wine glass and proceeded to drop it. It, of course, broke. Immediate tears welled in my eyes and I became so annoyed with myself. I then, in anger, picked up the stem of the wine glass and threw it back down in the sink with more force which of course only made a bigger mess. My annoyance grew and the tears started falling down my face as I collapsed on the kitchen floor with sponge in hand.

Broken Glass

Friends, none of this exaggerated. I literally sat on the kitchen floor for probably about 10 minutes just sobbing. Pathetically sobbing I might add. You know the type, where you can’t breathe so you start to make noises like a seal and snot starts to try to fall down your face and you wipe it away with your sleeve? Yeah I did that, but forgot I was holding a sponge, so then I got soap in my eye. That did NOT go over well with my tears. As fast as the tears had come, they subsided. I took a deep breathe and stood up, cleaned up the glass, and finished the dishes. I then sat on the couch and pondered over what had just happened. I think it was in that moment I knew where my writings would be focused for the next bit of my life.

Some of this might make you think, “um, sweetie, you need to stay on the anti depressant”or you might even pity me a bit. Neither of which I want so let me explain. Withdrawal from an antidepressant (cymbalta to be exact) can cause symptoms ranging from neurological to physical. One of the official scientific terms for a symptom that often occurs is “brain zaps” as well as vertigo, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, extreme mood swings, tremors, and so on. The symptom you just previously read about are those “extreme mood swings”. Coming off of a medication like this can be extremely difficult and the rates for successfully doing it are low, to say the least. However, with the help of vitamin supplements, patient friends, a lot of Jesus time, cup after cup of water, and regular lavender baths, I believe I can do it.

So please don’t pity me or worry about me! I have an amazing support system, an understanding psychiatrist, and a loving Father. All who are helping and equipping me to make the wisest decisions when it comes to my health. Instead, laugh with me over each mood swing, or time I cry at the crippled bird on the street, or bathroom mishap. I’m sure there will be lots of stories along the way, and I’d love to have people that help me see the humor in it all. Honestly, this could be hard, but I know that laughter is my lot in life and so I am embracing it!

I pray there are no broken glasses in your day today and that you get to laugh from pure joy. Blessings my friends.

Katey.

xoxo

P.S. If you are currently taking any sort of antidepressant, antipsychotic or prescribed medication that helps with psychological problems, please do not stop taking them without the advice of your current physician.

I also would like to clarify my friends that I am fully aware how necessary medication can be. I make no judgements on those taking medication. This is simply my own journey that God is taking me through. If you have ANY questions about this particular subject, please feel free to ask or message me. I love you all!

the name

Have you ever had a moment in life that you know you’ll always remember? Something so monumental happens (you may not even know what) and you know you’ll always remember that moment? I have a couple, but the two I remember most gave my unimportant blog an important name.          

  “Be Brave”                                                                                                                                                            A little while after a suicide attempt, in a “Cognitive Behavior Therapy” Program at a hospital in Southern California, I met a man who gifted me with one of these moments. His name was Keith and he was schizophrenic, sometimes violent, and troubled. A stylish and exuberant man in his early 50’s, I was immediately drawn to Keith’s magnetic personality. He was always kind to me and showed me nothing but love. In the 6 weeks I knew him, I knew a man who was selfless and kind, unique and protective. Everyday, in the midst of my continued abhorrence of who I was and what my life was, he would tell me how strong and smart I was. On one particularly horrid day, when fear seemed to be the only thing I was capable of feeling anymore, Keith came to me. He gave me a fatherly bear hug and then became very serious as he looked me in the eyes and simply said to me, “Katey, Be Brave.” The smile that lit up his face after he said those words to me was so full of confidence and love, I couldn’t help but smile too.

I never saw Keith again after that day and I’ve chosen to believe that Keith was my angel. Because even when I feel the fear knocking at the door and the darkness trying to drown out the light, I remember Keith and his strength as he said those words to me with such purpose and confidence. I now know that if Keith, an imperfect human (or angel, wink wink) could have that much confidence in me, how much MORE confidence does God have in me? And not only that, but how much more strength, courage, and purpose does God give TO me, so that I may live a life pleasing to Him?!


“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9.   

   “Habibti”                                                                                                                                                                   Habibi حبيبي (male) / Habibti حبيبتى (female), is an Arabic word used to describe someone the speaker likes or loves. It literally means my beloved, and is normally used between close friends of the same or opposite gender or between couples romantically involved.


Syrian Refugee Camp in the Beqaa Valley

I have a unique love for this word. I spent about 6 weeks in Lebanon amidst the Syrian refugee camps and getting to know the Lebanese people. Before we left for this trip, we were given a, very, small lesson on Lebanese Arabic so we could communicate some basic language while visiting. This word “habibti” was easily my favorite word but it wasn’t until I learned the intimate nature of this word that I heard God say it to me personally. It is a word reserved for someone who truly is special to you. It is not thrown around easily and it is not said to someone of the opposite gender unless they are in love. I, as a female, would not call a guy friend “habibi” unless he was also my husband. And I, as a female would only call my very best girl friend “habibti”. The word has a weightiness on it akin to that of “love”.

Weeks after I came home from Lebanon, as I was spiraling in pain and quite literally shaking in fear, I cried out to God. He held me in his arms and whispered to me, “habibti, oh habibti…be brave.” In that moment of intimacy with my Father, I remembered my love for the arabic language (well, the little I know), my love for the Lebanese and the Syrians, I remembered God’s love for me. Shaking in the arms of the Father, I remembered that I am his beloved and he is mine. I felt courage surge through my bones and laughter bubble in my throat. In that moment, my puddle of pain quickly became a dance party. And over and over again, I would hear Papa say “habibti, be brave.”

 

So there it is. The important (at least for me) reason behind this just begun blog. I just felt like someone should know. Goodnight my dears.

xoxoxoxox

 

 

Katelyn: Phonetic form of Caitlin – the Irish form of Katherine; Pure.

Hello Friends,

My name is Katelyn and I am pure.

From the day of my birth, when my parents named me “Katelyn”, they gave me a legacy and an identity. This identity was one I didn’t know how to live up to for many years. For many years I floundered in not only my fleshly purity but in my spiritual and emotional purity. I gave my mind, heart and body away to men and women alike, as I searched for love and identity in all the wrong places. By twenty years old, after a heartbreak with the man I thought I would marry, I believed myself past the point of saving. If a man who loved the Lord more than anything, couldn’t love me in my brokenness, then who would ever love me? I somehow knew enough about God’s love to know that it could equip other people to love monstrously, but didn’t realize that God’s love reached all the way to me, without having to have another person as a conduit of this love.

Instead of embracing my name as a prophecy over my life and believing it to be me, I embraced the opposite of my name’s meaning. I became enveloped in sin and dirt; running from the one thing that could help me… the Father’s love. Yet, I remained angry and bitter that the Father didn’t pull me out of the pit I continued to crawl back to. Isn’t that how we humans often react to the Father? We want him to pull us out of our sin, but we are the ones who crawl right back to it, and we continue to blame him. Through all our abuse, he remains full of mercy and grace, always pulling us back to his lap to comfort us and gently correct us.

Over the last year, God has been teaching me so much about the prophetic nature of our names. I think of bible times when names inspired not only identity, but it often prophesied over the child’s life. I believe, wholeheartedly, that my name is a prophecy over my life. I’ve heard it often said (forgive me for paraphrasing) that the areas where you struggle the most, or even feel weakest in, are most likely where your calling in life resides. Satan and his demons comes against us most strongly in the areas of our breakthroughs! He does not want us to hear the true calling on our lives, so he does whatever he can to convince us that we are weak and powerless in these areas.

For years I have said that I want to work with women who have suffered sexual abuse, who have lost their innocence too young, or who just want to know their sexual identity through the eyes of Christ. Only now do I realize that this was prophesied with my name. God called me pure at birth, and though it has been a struggle to understand this, to embrace it, I now know that the things that God has taught me and will teach me, will be used to help other women know their identity in Christ as well! I have not, by any means, arrived at perfection, nor am I saying that I no longer struggle or am tempted by things of the flesh… No, these things still try to control me. But I have the Lord Almighty on my side and the Holy Spirit resides within me. My soldiers and I are constantly ready for battle if need be. I finally feel equipped to embrace an identity of purity and let God lead my life as he wills.

I hope you’ll hang out with me as I start to fully embrace this journey. I’m not always the best writer, but I know it does my heart good to write, and so I will set out to inform you guys of God’s goodness and love as much as I can. Blessings friends!

Katelyn (Katey)

xoxo