<![CDATA[His Porcelain Soldier - Blogs]]>Fri, 29 Jan 2016 00:07:24 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Eon Neurostimulator Implant (for chronic pain)]]>Fri, 04 May 2012 03:38:09 GMThttp://taracameron.weebly.com/blogs/eon-neurostimulator-implant-for-chronic-painI decided to start this blog category for the purpose of educating the curious & possible future candidates of this implant I've recently had put in my back. I get a lot of questions since this all began (months of preparation before the actual implant) and people who are curious because they or some one they know have chronic pain like me. It's one thing to read about things like this from their makers. It's another to hear it from some one who is personally acquainted with the device. So here I am. I'm your guinea pig.  Anyone who knows me already knows my pain history. I won't get into too many details because this blog is about the implant. But I'll just give a brief description for education purposes & why this device might be needed for others.

I had 4 back surgeries previous to the implant (5 now.) I had several damaged discs to say the least. I also have Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis, both progressive autoimmune disorders. Needless to say, I live in daily pain. I've had physical therapy, multiple surgeries, and multiple injections of the course of a few years. I was also on a very strong regimen of narcotics for two years prior to my back surgeries. It was the first attempt to avoid the surgeries in the first place. But I couldn't accept the medications for the rest of my life because I felt it changed who I was as a person. It didn't make my quality of life better if I wasn't actually living my life as 'me.' So I took myself off the medications (under Dr. supervision of course) and went ahead with other routes. The implant came after all attempts at everything else. Keep in mind you don't have to have all my conditions to qualify. It's for chronic pain, period.

After months of trial and error with injections I had a consultation with my pain management Dr about the implant, and then they set a date to do what is called the "trial period." (The trial lasted about a week and a half.) This was a small procedure with light sedation (similar to injections) where the Dr put a temporary set of leads inside my spine.

These are the actual set of temporary leads that were put in my spine for the trial period. My Dr told me to keep them as a souvenir. He's funny like that. 

The leads were placed inside my body on my spine and then had cords coming out of my back that were attached to the leads. The cords were sewn in place on the outside of my body (so that the leads wouldn't move during the trial.) The cords were then attached to what I called the dinosaur. Think of a really giant pager (if you can remember what those were.) This was my dinosaur:

You can see a bit of the cords on the bottom there. Those cords are the cords that came out of my back (attached to the leads) and led to this dinosaur of a remote that clipped to my hip/clothing (just like a giant pager.) But this device controlled all the settings. Oh that reminds me, some of you might be wondering what the neurostimulator does exactly.

It is a device (as we've established) that is implanted in your back and attached to leads that are attached to your spine, and the device sends impulses through you body (upper or lower, depending on where you get the implant.) If you click here, this will tell exactly how it works to stop pain. (It will open a new page in your browser.) Okay... back to the trial, they bandaged me up like a mummy... well only my back, but I felt like a mummy. Here were my bandages on my back:

I had impulses going all through my lower body (I am getting another implant in my upper back in the future. But most people don't need one for the upper and lower lumbar like me. I'm just a freak of nature.) The cords coming out of my back are neatly hiding under all that mummy wrap. Here's the downside, I couldn't shower for the whole trial. Since the cords are coming out of your back (literally) you can't get anything wet. You have to sponge bathe or squat under the tub faucet like I did and do your best. It was not fun. But worth it.

So a week and a half later, the Dr removed my leads (no special procedure, he did it right in the patient room.) Then I had to take a course of strong antibiotics to keep safe from any possible infection due to the work on my spine, and we set the date for the implant for about 6 weeks later (they have to let your spine heal from the trial and make sure there was no infection or bad effects from the leads.) (But in order to qualify for the implant after the trial, you have to have received at least 50% or more pain relieve during the trial, FYI.)

6 weeks later (roughly) it was surgery day. This is a major surgery and they will cut through a lot of muscle and tissue to get to all the places they need to put the implant in. Here is a pic of the implant (I borrowed it from this article here, where you can also get more info on the Eon:)

The device is implanted in your body as such.
The surgery was about two hours long. I was sedated but not completely out while the Dr put the leads in (because they needed me to voice the feelings of the stimulation as they were installed.) And then I was put completely under while the implant was implanted into my body. I woke up in the recovery room. Here I was right after I woke up. I was saying, I am totally stoned... Ok, I was really saying, "Thumbs up. All is well" to all my friends in the cyber world. But I was in fact, totally stoned. I had this REALLY bad headache when I woke up. I've had spinal fluid leak headaches before, and that's what it felt like. So they put some strong narcotics into my IV until my headache was gone. That was on top of all the meds I received during surgery. So ya, I was a little out of it. Don't judge me.

Then my best friend (you too will get a best friend if you ever have one of these) started to program my device. You will receive said best friend during your initial consultation for the neurostimulator. He/she (I had a she) will be a St. Jude rep (makers of the Eon) that will follow you all through your neuro journey. They will call and/or text all week during your trial and check on you. They will make themselves available for questions at any time (texting is always fun at midnight.) They will be at all your appointments that involve the stimulator. They'll be your comfort, question answerer person, and anything else you need them to be during this series of months. My personal BFF even served as a personal comedian and flattery filler. Because she was totally impressed with me having 6 kids and being the size I am. She just couldn't get over it. She loved to play a game with all the other medical staff and ask them to guess how many kids I've had.

They will even be with you in the OR during your trial procedure and your surgery. You want them there too. Your BFF has a master remote, and they can control all the impulses your body feels...they can even turn the impulses up REALLY high. Be sure to stay their BFF!

Okay, I've decided to cut it here for now and write a part 2 of the blog. I will pick up with what happened after surgery & explain all that good stuff in the next blog (ie, what to expect during recovery, how long, etc.) This is enough info to process for now. In the meantime, you can read all about this nifty device at Poweroveryourpain.com
<![CDATA[My Aspie Husband]]>Sun, 29 Apr 2012 20:42:44 GMThttp://taracameron.weebly.com/blogs/my-aspie-husbandFor those who are not familiar with the term "Aspie" I will enlighten you. It is a term given to people with a syndrome known as Asperger's Syndrome. It is a high functioning (for him) form of Autism. (He is too intelligent for his own good!) For many years I had never heard of it and neither had he. We've been together since I was 15, and needless to say, it's been one big major adrenaline rush of a roller coaster ride in our relationship. If you're not aware of what a person with AS is like then you can guess if you've been around him long enough, or read some of the symptoms I'm about to list:

The biggest factor in people with AS is that they do not comprehend or 'pick up' on what society would consider 'normal' social cues. Ex; They blurt things out at inappropriate times, and most of the time don't even notice the strange and confused looks on people's face when they do it. They don't read body language and expressions like 'normal' people do. They don't understand them and tend to lack things such as empathy when it's typically expected. They can come across as being very callous because of this. They don't usually 'fit in' anywhere, work, school, etc... They're often misunderstood, perceived as lacking common sense because of their lack of 'normal' social skills when in reality, they're gifted with intelligence. (What is normal anyway?) 

They're introverts. They don't like going on camping trips with the guys. They don't like going to the family BBQ's, church gatherings, work parties, etc. They are most happy in their own home, either alone or with their immediate family (and they can be perfectly content completely alone.) This is due to what is known in autism as a 'sensory overload.' Social gatherings as these trigger the sensory overloads. Imagine your computer when it crashes because it's been 'overloaded' with a worm or viruses, or even just too many downloads and uploads. It shuts down when it  gets too overloaded. Autistic people in general are wired differently than 'normal' people. Sights, sounds, touch, all the things we use to communicate is in overdrive for them. It's like some one just turned up the volume all the way. and everything our bodies sense is intensified for them. Social situations create stress and anxiety for them that will even bring on physical ailments such as fatigue.

They don't care for human touch. Again, it becomes a sensory overload issue. Something as simple as a touch just rubs their nerves and sensory system the wrong way. They prefer not to be touched because of that. They're somewhat accepting of it with a spouse or close loved one, but they also have a problem with germs. So they're not likely to be so accepting of others touching them.

These are just a few examples to give you an idea of what life living with some one with AS might be like. Put yourself in a relationship with one, and it can turn into an epic failure. Aspie's don't like to cuddle. If you try to sit near them and cuddle, they'll probably even get up and move (they will.) They won't want to go to your best friends BBQ with you or on the church camping trip. When you're excited and want to tell them all about what made you so happy, they won't share your excitement with you (that empathy thing I mentioned.) In fact, they might even get up while you're mid sentence, and just walk out of the room (I know this from experience.) They won't even show excitement when their wife gets published in a book ;) Oh, and they have very frequent mood swings, and they are unpredictable.

They can be quite neglectful to say the least. (Remember, they just prefer to keep to themselves, even in a relationship.) But when they love some one they are very loyal and committed to that person, and they love them very deeply. They just don't show that love. You will get your feelings hurt a lot if you're with an aspie and don't understand them. I spent many years living it. You will feel alone, even when he's there, if you don't understand him. It can be an extremely miserable and lonely relationship/marriage for the non aspie spouse. It is a constant roller coaster of highs and lows. They tend to be obsessive for a period and then begin to obsessive over something else. This is to include their spouse. They are very loving and in tune to the relationship in the beginning. But with all things they obsess over, it does come to an end and they might get in to video games or puzzles. There's really no rhyme or reason to the things they might obsess over. This is their downfall in relationships. The non aspie spouse has suddenly gone from a blissfully loving relationship, when the perfect spouse loved to listen to her, do anything for her, and just became everything a best friend could be, to feeling alone, together with this now total stranger. That's what happens in the beginning anyway...

I'm barely scratching the surface here, but I needed to paint just a tiny picture of what being married to some one with AS is like and what an aspie is like in order to explain the rest of what I want to say. You see, Dale and I have struggled for nearly 15 years because of this disorder. As teenagers we were always on again, off again, on again off again... and I always had the same reasons for 'hating' him again every time. "You don't act like you love me. You don't pay attention to me anymore. You're mean and critical. (I didn't mention their negative nature, but they can be very cynical and critical, that's apart of their callous seeming nature.) You never show affection..." etc...etc... For years, it would be the same thing, over and over again, different situations, but always ultimately ending (on my part) for the same reasons. I always felt lonely and unloved. And anyone married to an aspie will go through this.

Once I realized he had the disorder however, I began to learn everything I could about it. I googled everything about it. I bought and read books, and even cried reading the books on marriage with an aspie because it felt like I had been reading our entire relationship together. They were more tears of relief though. I learned that I wasn't actually alone. And I learned about him and why he was the way he was. I began to come to grips and accepting this disorder. Once I understood him, I was able to understand that he really did love me, and so I stopped feeling the hurt for awhile. Because if he didn't love me he wouldn't be here 6 kids and 15 years later with me.

And so instead of trying to 'change' him like I'd been trying for years (really just trying to make him love me, in my mind), I began to change myself. I thought, okay, I have some tools now. I 'get him.' So I can adapt to him now and understand that he still loves me, even when he walks out of the room when I'm in mid sentence. Because he has Aspergers. And once I brought it to light and he learned that he had it, we both began to use it as a crutch. He finally understood why he was so different and couldn't seem to fit in anywhere in life. He would say to himself, "oh well, that's just who I am, I have AS." So he felt justified in who he was and the things he did (or didn't do.) And I too would blame everything on the AS. It worked for awhile. It was a great thing for me to learn all the things I did and finally truly understand him. I made great attempts to adapt to his disorder and just accept that it was our life, and that was how it was going to be for the rest of it because he had a true medical disorder.

But then I found myself struggling again. I'd go to marriage classes alone. Read books on love languages and marriage, and yada yada yada... I tried to talk him in to marriage counseling... I was frantically trying to hold together a marriage that seemed to be falling a part, and he had no idea it was even broken. I was doing everything I could to change myself so that I could accept who he was. The problem with it is that I was sacrificing my own need for love and human nurturing in order to 'adapt' to his disorder. But by the time I figured that out, it had already become too late.

I became numb. In order to adapt to some one that doesn't need or give affection, or any kind of nurturing that humans need, you have to be numb. But that numbness turned into lack of love all together. I no longer felt any kind of love towards him at all. I was suddenly resentful, hurt, lonely, and I was tired of feeling those things. I was tired of fighting for something that was never going to change. He had a true medical disorder. How could it change? I came to a point where I was just done. I had asked myself a question, "Can I live without being loved the way I need to, for the rest of my life?" My answer was no. I wanted out. I had respect for him. But I knew that I couldn't spend the rest of my life being lonely in the same house together. It was a basic human need, nurturing that an aspie doesn't give.

I told him my feelings. It was a course of weeks, talking, explaining, and even planning. I was making plans on how to support and live my own with my kids...where would we live, getting a job, etc... But when it initially went down and I told him I didn't want to be with him anymore he said to me, "I don't want you to go. I haven't fought for you in the past, but I'm going to fight for you now." (Remember how I said they don't mind being alone? I was always the one doing the breaking up in the past, and I was always the one leaving. He never tried to stop me, even if he didn't want me to go. That's just how an aspie is.) I told him, "I think you have good intentions and mean what you're saying, but I've done this too many times before. I know how it ends. It'll be good for a couple weeks (remember how they get obsessed), and then things will go back to the way they've always been again." His heartfelt words at that moment weren't enough to change my mind anymore.

I didn't have plans of leaving right away. There was no physical abuse or danger to anyone's life (Aspie's are also very peaceful and non-violent.) So I didn't want to take off with no plan, a place for me and my kids to live and no way to support myself. I just began slowly making those plans. I didn't want to jump out of the plane without a parachute. But even though he knew my intentions, he still kept fighting. A couple weeks went by, and when I expected him to go back to his 'normal', he didn't. A couple weeks turned into a month, and at that point I thought, ok, he's making a conscious effort so I'll 'try.' But it half-hearted. I felt nothing, at all. I was going through the motions. Because I had already made up in my mind that it was just never going to work. He eventually noticed that I was going through the motions. He said to me, "...it's like when I try to hold you, you just can't wait for me to go away." He was right. I couldn't wait for him to go away. I had become so numb I no longer even desired to be close to him. But those words became a very defining turning point for us. Because the first thought that came to my mind was "Wow. Welcome to my world all these years." At that moment, it went without saying, that we both suddenly understood the other for the first time. He felt my hurt and rejection for so many years. And while our reasons weren't the same (me having numbed myself and him just having AS,) I felt his feelings of not wanting to be touched. While I hadn't intentionally been numb or meant to make him feel what I had always felt, I found a sense of relief knowing that he finally understood what I'd been begging for, for so long. It had finally been recognized and acknowledged. That made a difference for me. I needed it.

I realized that in all my planning, I hadn't thought to include God thoughts. And the thoughts of his that came to my mind were, "With God all things are possible.... even a marriage with an aspie." Dale kept fighting. I was still very reserved as I spent many years losing faith and trust in his abilities to give me the love I needed. I still didn't trust it. That trust needed to be rebuilt. Dale finally starting attending the marriage classes I had long given up on. I had begged and begged him to go in the past until I just stopped going myself. But suddenly he just decided to start going, and I didn't have to fight to get him there. I began to see true changes in him, not necessarily anything we were learning in the classes, but everything as a whole. Having learned everything I could about AS, I knew how hard it is for him to sit in group settings such as the marriage classes. I recognized the sacrifice he was making just to do that. I knew that social situations like that overload his sensory system, causes him anxiety and makes him uncomfortable, and so it meant that much more to me that he was going. Because of that, I didn't mind so much when he didn't want to go to the last social shin-dig with me (my brothers homecoming.) I didn't feel unloved when he said he didn't want to go (like I would've in the past.) But he was respectful even in that. He would've gotten an attitude in the past to let me know he didn't want to go. But this time it was just, "Will you be upset if I just stay home?" I said "no'' and it was sincere.

He has consistently been showing affection... from listening to just giving me a hug for no reason. I know that those things are especially challenging for him too, more so than some one that's just having to learn their spouses love language. He has to do more than consciously make the effort. He has to fight against a medical disorder that not only doesn't give him the natural ability to communicate in these ways, but even causes physical problems that I know are uncomfortable, anxiety, and an overload in his nervous system that isn't wired like mine and others. But he does it anyway. To me, this is the equivalent of some one who runs a marathon with a missing leg. Those people usually have a prosthetic device to help them achieve their goal, because even though they can't do what others can naturally, they don't let it stop them from achieving what they want out of  life. That's Dale. That's what he's done for our marriage. He has put on a 'prosthetic device' and put his heart and soul in it, and that makes all the difference.

I finally put my walls down and trusted in him again. He worked to get that back too, and he kept his word. He fought. I recognize what he fought to get there too, and it wasn't just me. It was Asperger's. He will always have to live with it just like some one with one leg has to live with that. But he's proven that he won't let it get in the way of his life anymore. He overcame that obstacle and has learned how to nurture despite it. It's become a marriage of give and take now, with a mutual respect and understanding of each other's needs. I've always been proud of him even when I didn't feel too loving towards him. But of all the things I've been proud of him for, I've never felt more proud of him than I am right now. He is beating all the odds that are against him. He's showing me and every aspie out there, that there is no excuse not to give your spouse the love they need. Where there's a will there is a way. He is an inspiration to me and I feel blessed to have him.

I now have more than hope for the rest of our lives together, I have joy in knowing we get to grow old together.

<![CDATA[A look in the mirror... more on my journey to love]]>Mon, 20 Feb 2012 17:13:00 GMThttp://taracameron.weebly.com/blogs/a-look-in-the-mirror-more-on-my-journey-to-loveSome of you may or may not already know (if you keep up with me on facebook you probably know).. I have been on a mission recently to unravel the mysteries of love... not just any love, but true love. I have decided on a book I'm going to write about how to love after having been abused or traumatized. The thing is, after 30 years of living I am just now figuring out that my versions of love have been perverted and distorted because of abuse and trauma. What I have thought love is and isn't all along is mostly either backwards or completely wrong all together. So I am on a journey to find out what true love is supposed to be in order to share what God has inspired me to write with the rest of the world. I've got my shovel in my hand, and I am ready to dig deep, uproot rotten roots and lay new seeds. It's going to take research, prayer, the Word, and commitment to get there. But I'm in sponge mode, and I'm ready to absorb any education that comes my way. I'll be jotting down notes along the way (blogs) so here is one of several:

A friend emailed me a devotional by another writer, (Elisabeth Elliot), and it was about love. She did something in her article that I decided I must do. She took Corinthians 13, wrote the opposite of each love characteristic, and replaced the word "love'' with her own name. Just think about that for a minute and let it sink in (I had to.) It's a scary thought to think of using your own name, and I had  to let it soak in for a couple of days before I got the guts to do it myself. It's scary because I know it will reveal things about myself that I don't want to see. But I want to change those things, and they're not going to change unless I admit they exist. I would encourage anyone to do this exercise, whether you think you know what love is or not. (Anyone who does this will have it worded differently than me because it's about the individual. So if you do it you would fill in the blanks about yourself. It doesn't mean I think that I'm horrible at everyone of these traits (or that you are if you do this.) But I'm going to go through each one best I can because there is always room for improvement. You have to write it how you interpret it for yourself, not how I do.) There is always room for improvement. So here goes nothing...

Actual scripture:

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

A look in the mirror:

Tara is not patient. Tara is not always kind. Tara isn't always content with what she has, takes it for granted and often thinks more about what she doesn't have rather than count the blessings she does. Tara often lets her pride come in between her relationships and dictate them rather than love...because she's stubborn, always has to be right, and is not always a good listener= because pride is deafening. Tara sometimes shares thoughts/opinions about others that doesn't bring them honor or paint them in a good light. Tara has been in survival mode for so long that she's taught herself to look out for herself, and it has caused her to be self-seeking sometimes instead of thinking of others first. Tara is easily angered when she's feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Tara dictates her relationships with others by how they have hurt her in the past and holds onto those hurts to use as a crutch against someone when they hurt her again. Tara needs not to be cynical of others and wouldn't be if she remembered to be happy in Jesus who is the truth. Tara does not always protect the honor of those she's supposed to love, especially when they hurt her. Tara is insecure and does not trust those she should trust the most. Tara doesn't look for hope in bad situations. Instead she looks for the exit sign. Tara often gives up and checks out mentally when things get too difficult and often perseveres halfheartedly. Because there are times she knows she could try harder, and she knows what she needs to do in those times, but she doesn't...

So many things I've always thought there was justification for... but the Word does not change. The Word does not bend. And so there it is, right there in black and white. This is a big step among all the little baby steps to learning what love truly is. I do believe, that what ever has been done in the past to distort my views of love CAN be undone, because I believe in the Word, and it's more than ink on paper. It's truly alive. I know because I feel it. It breathes air into my life. It moves through my life like the wind blows through the trees. All I have to do is open the door and let it in.

Porcelain Soldier

<![CDATA[The Vision]]>Mon, 31 Oct 2011 04:01:36 GMThttp://taracameron.weebly.com/blogs/the-visionGod gave me these words one night after fervent prayer (when I was 27.) He had finally given me the intrepretation to a vision I had as a little girl (note; vision, not dream.) I immediately began to write down these words 'in the spirit' describing my vision and its interpretation.

The Vision
 "And the Lord said unto satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy
  power; only upon himself put not forth thy hand. So satan went forth from the
  presence of the Lord." Job 1:12

A field consumed with dark figures that resembled people was what I saw
  that night. Their eyes stared at me. They wanted me. They wanted me like a wolf
  wants his prey. I stared back with complete innocence and no fear. I wasn't
  afraid of them. They had no power over me. I was eight, and my innocence mocked

My eyes led me to the centerpiece of the table of evil before me. He was
  there. He was there in all his glory...his glow penetrating the atmosphere. He
  knelt as he prayed, and they stood there bound by his powerful presence alone.
  They couldn't touch me. His power was too great. I stared in awe at the
  magnificent scene before me. I stared until my eyes wouldn't stay open anymore
  and then drifted peacefully to sleep.

And as I grew they taunted me. They tried to follow me everywhere. They
  were on every corner of my life. They consumed my home and my family. They
  attacked & devoured all those I loved right before my eyes. They feasted on
  the weak all around me. But they couldn't feast on me. Oh, they couldn't feast
  on me. I was betrothed to another. He had already staked his claim, and they
  couldn't touch me.

Their hell was no match for my beloved. They tried to bring their hell to
  me but my beloved walked alongside me all the way. Where many only saw one
  innocent, helpless girl, they saw two... and they knew, they couldn't touch me.
  And when I was weak and lost he was there. And they couldn't touch me. And when
  I cried and hurt he was there. And they couldn't touch me. And when I wandered
  through the darkness, and the branches and thorns scraped my
body, he was there. And  they couldn't touch me.

  Covered by his blood and fused to his power there was nothing left to
  expect but a mighty explosion. Who are they... but the filth beneath the filth,
  beneath his feet. He does not waiver and the
mountains  bow beneath his feet. His voice guided me through the darkness and
vanquished  their filthy whispers. He led his porcelain soldier home, and they
couldn't  touch me. They couldn't touch me. ]]>
<![CDATA[Won't let you fall... ]]>Fri, 21 Oct 2011 18:44:57 GMThttp://taracameron.weebly.com/blogs/wont-let-you-fall1<![CDATA[Won't let you fall... ]]>Fri, 21 Oct 2011 18:44:53 GMThttp://taracameron.weebly.com/blogs/wont-let-you-fallI picked up one of my 3 yr olds today and was hugging him. He said, "I'm going to fall." I said, "No, I won't let you fall."  I had an epiphany at that moment. I thought about one day when all six of my kids grow up and venture out on their own into this world. I thought, I'd never let any of you fall. But then... I realized that a day will come when I have to let them make their own choices, those choices might cause them to fall, and it would be beyond my control.  I can guide them and teach them everything I know about making it in this world. I can be there for them and protect them as much as possible. But I can't always make their choices for them. One day, I just might have to let them fall. I can only hope I've taught them that falling doesn't equal failing and to just get right back up when you fall.

This made me think of God and how he feels about me. He doesn't want to let me fall. He kept me in innocence as a child. He protected me. But one day I grew up and had to start making my own choices. He has had to let me fall because he had to let me grow up and make my own choices. But he's taught me that falling doesn't equal failing. I've learned to just keep getting back up. If I keep getting back up, I have not failed. One thing I can understand about God and being a parent, is that, like God, I don't raise my kids to fail. They might fall and stumble sometimes, but I'm going to be right there to encourage them in getting right back up again. The choice is ultimately theirs however. I pray that I'm somehow managing to raise them to rely on God always. He doesn't call us to fail. He doesn't give up on us. I hope I can be an extension of him as a parent and show my kids the same love he's shown me. ]]>
<![CDATA[Spiritual Suicide]]>Wed, 30 Mar 2011 20:00:50 GMThttp://taracameron.weebly.com/blogs/spiritual-suicideFeelin' tied to a beam on a bridge... watching em' stand on the edge.

Screaming into the wind...screamin' please don't jump.

Feelin' so helpless...and that somehow it's all my fault.

I've stood there before.

I've taken that jump.

The bottom hurts...

a thousand stones stabbing through your veins.

You scream but you're too far gone for them to hear you anymore.

It's a long fall from the top.

The wind may suffocate you first.

The pain doesn't go away down there.

It only hurts more.

A survivors guilt... list of what if's and coulda' shoulda's...

I can't... can't watch you jump...won't.. won't let you...

Down on my knees again tonight.

Not gunna watch you go down, not without a fight...

*Feeling a heavy heart tonight... keeping my church family in prayer... Lord bind us together...Somehow, all the petty things don't seem to matter anymore. Suddenly, I realize I care more about others than myself, and I don't know why I wasted so much time focusing on me and my petty concerns. All the petty things... people are dying, and I've been too busy watching petty... too concerned with me and not enough of others. I'm sorry.

<![CDATA[If You Knew Me...]]>Sat, 18 Dec 2010 12:50:16 GMThttp://taracameron.weebly.com/blogs/if-you-knew-meIf I could lend you a piece of my soul
what with it would you do...
Could you see the world through my eyes
and then see me...

Could you feel the beat and hear it...
the beat that no one hears but me
The beat that sometimes I trip over my own feet
and sometimes gracefully cascade across the floor to...
As I make my way through this dance I call my life

Could you figure out what makes my
spirit stand out in such a bold silhouette
Yet often, I still
feel...so invisible

If I could lend you a piece of my soul
could you see past your own insecurities
long enough to see mine...
...long enough to see my heart
long enough to see me...

How loud do I have scream inside
all these jumbled thoughts keep me awake at night
There's so many people here and yet I feel so alone

Sometimes I think it's just me and God
because he's the only one who knows me...
He saw my soul so many times 
and held the little girl who used to stay awake and cry at night

If only... if you knew me...

<![CDATA[He gives POWER to the FAINT!]]>Tue, 16 Nov 2010 07:44:40 GMThttp://taracameron.weebly.com/blogs/he-gives-power-to-the-faint"He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength." Isaiah 40:29

Weeks of training led me to my graduation day in boot camp (Air Force.) I had left (at home) 4 kids and a husband while I was away. I missed them terribly. I'd never been away from my kids before, ever. Boot camp was a little easier for me than others, considering that I was older than most of the others who had just come out of high school, and considering that I was married with 4 children already, and had already been through a lot of life's "boot camp." The TI's didn't scare me nor did they change me. But I still learned a lot of valuable lessons, and there's one I will never forget.

I had to run a mile and a half in less than 12 minutes in order to graduate boot camp. I have never been a good runner, and I certainly didn't become a better runner after having 4 kids. I was nervous about that run test, because I knew that if I failed, I would be recycled back into a flight who was a couple of weeks behind mine, thus, having to wait that much longer to see my family...my children.. whom I missed most of all.

My TI knew that I was worried. We'd had more than one private conversation in his office about my children & worries of not graduating on time. I had done well to get through those long weeks of training... but sometimes, usually at night time, when our day would slow down & we'd have time to think, I'd cry to see my kids. I'd cry just to hear their voices, because we were lucky if we even got a 5 minute phone conversation to home once a week. At one point, my TI called me to his office and offered to give me some extra phone time to call my kids. As bad as I wanted to take the offer, I declined. I told him that I knew everyone else missed their families just as much, and that I just didn't feel right about getting special privileges to call my kids. He said my situation was different, but honored my feelings on the matter.

The day of the run had approached. I was on a track, with hundreds of others running the same track and the same test. We had 6 laps to run to reach a mile and a half. We wore ankle devices that counted our laps because it's just impossible to make sure that many people run their required laps at the same time.

So I ran. I was in tears by about the 3rd or 4th lap. When you have to run that long with a short time limit it hurts your body. My face was red and I was ready to give up. But I kept picturing my kids faces in my mind, and did my best to keep pushing forward, knowing that I could see them if I just passed this test.

My TI was watching me as I ran every lap, but I didn't know it. As I crossed the line and ended my 5th lap, I saw my TI running right beside me from the corner of my eye. He could see that I was about ready to give up. He could see that my body was tired & I'd become too weary to finish. He began to yell at me, "Come on Cameron!!! You can do this!!! Come on!! I am not going to let you fail! You are going to see your kids!!!.... " His encouraging words was just enough to keep me going, because my body had already given out on me. His words kicked my will power in, and my mind finished that run.

He did this with me all the way around the track until I finished that last lap. He could've been watching and running with any of the others. But he didn't. He watched me, and he ran out onto the track to run with me and only me. I passed my run test in just over 11 minutes.

We all get this way spiritually. We become weary and ready to give up. Our bodies get tired. Our minds get worn down by the enemy, and some of us even quit. But God is watching each and every one of us and counting every lap we run. None of us are needles in the haystack on this track. He sees everyone of us and he knows where every one of us are. Some of us just stop listening for his voice when we get tired. What would we all be if we really KNEW that he's running right beside us and pushing us along?

He never gives up on us. He never leaves us. He KNOWS we get tired. He KNOWS the enemy attacks us. But he believes in us just like my TI believed in me. Even when our feet are dragging the pavement and we're ready to fall over and quit, he still believes in us. He won't run this race for us, because it's a choice we all have to make for ourselves. But he'll run with us, and he won't give up on us.

There is an end to this race, and only God knows when. YES, you're going to get tired! You're going to want to quit! The devil is going to do all that he can to wear you DOWN. But keep running! Keep pushing forward!

The day before my graduation, we ran what was called the "Airman's Run." You'd think that after all those weeks of NO sleep, constant training, and running a mile & a half in under 12 minutes just the day before, we'd be too exhausted to run TWO miles for the airman's run. The mental exhaustion of boot camp alone should've been enough to make us quit. This run was special though. We ran with our flights in a steady formation and sang jodies all the way, and towards the end of that run, our families were waiting on the sidelines, cheering & hollering for us as we rolled in... heads held high, smiles on our faces, pride swelled in our hearts, and renewed strength! We weren't tired because just knowing that everything we'd gone through was worth it, and knowing that we'd finally made it gave us back strength we didn't know we had.

I can just imagine that THIS is what the end of our race will feel like one day. Our strength was renewed by the beautiful sounds of our jodies and the beautiful sounds of our loved ones on the sidelines. All the weeks of training & tears were behind us...we had made it to the finish line! We finally got to march across the "Bomb Run" the next morning as we graduated. It was the first time we'd been allowed to even see the bomb run during our weeks of training. Heaven is waiting for us to march across its gates too! We dreamed for weeks about seeing the bomb run for the first time. That is an airman's goal, to see that bomb run for the first time the morning of their graduation. It's sacred ground at Lackland AFB.

Don't stop running! Don't give up! God is with us. God is in us! The heavenly Bomb Run is our final destination, and we're just passing through this world! This isn't going to last forever! Heaven is forever. The WORD is forever. GOD is forever. Push through your tears! Push through that burn! Push through your pain! Push through your sweat and KNOW that GOD won't let you fail if YOU DON'T WANT TO FAIL! I passed my run by the mercy of my TI's voice, but only because I DIDN'T WANT TO FAIL!


Devotional reading: all of Isaiah 40 (It'll bless you to read about what a MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE!)
The Bomb Run & My flights in the distance, getting to ready to set foot on it!
<![CDATA[Another Visit From Dark. ]]>Mon, 15 Nov 2010 05:37:58 GMThttp://taracameron.weebly.com/blogs/another-visit-from-dark"And the Lord said unto satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thy hand. So satan went forth from the presence of the Lord."
 Job 1:12

It's happened many a times over the years to me in my dreams. I get this feeling of darkness come over me, and I try to shout for Jesus & my mouth will either turn to squishy jello so that I can't talk, or "Dark" (as I like to call the dark figures) just muzzles it everytime I try to shout out the name of Jesus. It's literally the feeling that someone has their hand over my mouth. In the past, it has scared me, and I've woke up in sweat, tears, and just plain feeling totally disoriented. I've always ended up being able to call on Jesus' name, but it is always a struggle before the nightmare is over. Last night's visit was a little different then all the other times though.  Dark came & tried to scare me in my dream again. I don't know what the dream was about. I only remember that I was walking, and Dark tried to scare me by using the surprise tactic. It literally jumped in my face, short of saying "BOO!" to scare me. I didn't panic this time though. I wasn't even scared, not even a little... I wasn't even startled by the "surprise" tactic. (And I knew right when it showed up that it was the same familiar, evil spirits that have taunted me in my dreams before.)

I simply stopped walking right in my tracks. I looked it straight in the "face", and I started LAUGHING. It wasn't just any laugh either. It was a deep down in my tummy ache kinda' laugh. I simply found it absolutely amusing that Dark tried to scare me. And it just stared back at me, quite taken with my response. Dark seemed confused, with a shocked & defeated look on its "face." For a change, Dark didn't know how to react to ME. For a change, Dark's sly attempt to creep up on me unexpectedly & rattle my soul was an epic fail.

When I was done laughing, I said, "I rebuke you"... and at that moment, Dark tried to muzzle my mouth again, like it had done so many times in the past. But it didn't work this time. I just pushed passed the muzzle, and yelled so loud, "I rebuke you in Jesus name!" that I literally said it out loud, and literally woke myself up mid sentence, in just enough time to hear myself yelling it out loud. I wasn't crying when I woke up. I wasn't sweating or scared, not one bit. I was in total peace, and quite smug about it, to say the least... so I closed my eyes, said a quiet thank you to Jesus, and went back to sleep, peacefully...

Last night was a defining moment in my walk with God. Nevermind the years of anguish that are behind me! Nevermind the unknown future that's ahead of me! Nevermind those spirits who have taunted me since I was a little girl, showing themselves in dreams and visions, showing themselves in this world & the people around me...something changed forever in that moment of laughter. Dark will never be able to shake me again.

Maybe I laughed at Dark because I've seen it so many times before, that it's become laughable that Dark thinks it can still scare me. Maybe I laughed because Dark looked so pitiful trying to scare me with its surprise tactic... almost as if it were cute, the way my 2 year old would be cute if he had tried to scare me in the same way.

I know though, that Dark can never scare me again. I remember as a child, "stomping" on the devil, by stomping my feet on the ground, and proclaiming that I was stomping on the devil. It was an act of innocence & "pretending" as a child. But now... now it's just real. Dark has no power over me. Maybe Dark is a cute 2 year old, next to the super strong tower I call my God... who, resides, in me.

I'm not afraid of you anymore Dark. Your evil shadows linger in this world, I know. You tear people down, you tear their worlds a part, their families, their lives... and you've even been known to assist them in their suicide. I've heard your stories from others before... I know I'm not the only one you've taunted out there. But you've been harrassing me for as far back as I can remember. I must be something special, because you've invested an awful lot of time into me.

You can't touch me. You've never been able to touch me. You can't scare me anymore... I'll laugh in your face. This world you devour can't have me. I won't dress like it. I won't talk like it. I won't think like it. I won't live like it. I won't die like it. I'm not yours to have. I never have been.

 People look at me and think that my "religion" makes me follow a bunch of rules to be a part of it. I look at people and think that this world makes them follow a bunch of rules to be a part of it. I'm not following any man's rules. I'm just the spitting image of my Father, like any child. And this world, this world that is being led around like puppets on a string as they live in darkness & their lives are torn a part & being taken away...  is the spitting image of Dark.

Dark can't have us all. Because we all have a choice. And God's mercy is greater than the shadows who linger in this world. He's coming ... he's scooping up his people, and Dark, you just can't do anything about it. There aren't enough demons in hell to overpower the power that's in me. There never will be. There never was. He's always been with me. He's been in me since I asked Him in as a little girl, and He's never left.

I'm pushing through your barriers at the speed of sound now, and Dark, you just can't stop me. You will never be able to stop me. Your attempts are laughable. You're nothing. Nothing. Nothing. You're nothing.