I've heard it said that the best ideas often come when in the shower. The hot water massages my head and the steam opens my sinuses. What happened one June night back in 2010 is something that wasn't a byproduct of heat and steam.
I had been under what I call "house arrest" since 2006, when a violent meltdown at the mall (which included screaming, swearing, self harm and punching walls), bringing many security guards. My mom had to pull me outside with all her strength. I was not mentally or physically able.
A meltdown is such a horrific experience from the total involuntary loss of self-control to the days it takes me to recover. I also have fears based on reality about being arrested or taken, for short periods via ambulance, from my immediate family, which is now comprised only of my sister, whom I live with.
Anyway, I pretty much avoided going out in public, to avoid sensory overload and keep both me and the public safe. It was a sad and boring period punctuated by defeat that followed much effort.
I firmly believe that God intervened that June night in the shower. I had not prayed in a long time, but was thinking about the poor quality of life I had. If I could find out how to lower the volume on the painfully loud world I live in.
Suddenly, I felt the urge to get out of the hot shower and log onto the internet. I didn't know much other than the fact it had to do with God asking me to obey Him and that this was in response to what I had been thinking about, which I just described in the above paragraphs.
I typed a few words into Google's search engine. Baby Bjorn was one. A Baby Bjorn is an infant carrier that is used carrying an infant in front of the parent. I envisioned, instead of a baby, putting my white noise sound machine inside of that and carrying it around with me in public, using headphones instead of the unit's speaker.
I have tried noise cancelling headphones, and they did not work for me. They are really for use around continuous engine use. They actually amplified small child and dog noises, as there are microphones inside this type of sound blocking.
I was ready to go with that idea when God interrupted me. I can testify that God does speak to His children. For me, hearing from Him is like the voice one hears in their head when reading quietly. Some hear Him audibly at times. I have not experienced this...yet.
I can't remember the search words I used next, but it did lead me to a place called the Earplug Superstore, a place in Oklahoma that sells ear protection items. I highly reccomend them, by the way.
I found my Pro Ears Ultra 33 (not sold there anymore in 33, rather in 30, The parent company, Pro Ears, sells the Ultra 33). These are passive sound blocking headphones. They were what worked for me then and continue to work for me now. I also got a trial package of earplugs that included different sizes, materials and shapes.
This may not make sense to you, believer or not, but I know that what transpired that night was God helping me out of His great love.
The trial of painful waiting and wondering if I would ever engage in life outside my home had ended, and not of my own accord. Had God not intervened, I would still be homebound or drawing unwanted attention with a Baby Bjorn with a clunky old sound machine inside.
While there are things I have tried and still not have been able to engage in
(restaurants, family gatherings including dogs and kids, and movie theaters), I enjoy a level of freedom greater than before. With the aid of a help person, I can go out to shop for brief periods of time. I can walk in forest preserves where dogs often bark in passing.
To you, I might not have seemed to make much progress, but for me, the difference has been huge. I am very grateful to my God who liberally supplies my every need.
I thank you, Father, for your faithfulness, kindness and, most important of all, your patience!
God only knows where He will lead me next. It isn't all smooth-sailing, but it is a blessing nonetheless.