Freedom from Anxiety

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As I picked up the phone and listened, I heard utter desperation, I heard unspeakable pain, and soul wrenching anguish… There was loud and soulful sobbing, and also the kind that is so painful, no sound can be uttered at all. My heart was breaking… I know this pain, I know that cry, that desperation, that complete and utter anguish… I felt everything that was happening on the other end of that call. I didn’t know what to do, so I prayed, as I spoke to this precious beautiful soul.

I’ve had this call before, I’ll have it again. Different people different situations, but it’s all unimaginable pain. This pain is something I can understand, it is something I live with every day. The reasons and type of pain may vary, but I experience it all. I live with PTSD, anxiety, depression, anxiety attacks, and extreme chronic physical pain on a daily basis. I have wondered, when it will end? I have prayed and asked that it be taken from me. I have wondered why me? From the time I was a young child until the present, I have had more pain than most people will ever experience, in their entire life. It seems unfair. There are some people who never have a difficult life, who have situations that at one time, I would’ve considered superficial, which they could not bear. I now know, that all pain, all suffering, is unbearable. My pain is deeper than some, more extensive, and ongoing, but that doesn’t minimize other people’s pain. Pain is just that, pain.

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There was time when I did not understand anxiety, or anxiety attacks. I hate to say it, but I thought the beginning and end of it was simply a person that worked themselves up into a lather, and panicked. I wish I hadn’t been so uninformed.. I really thought it was something that was completely within a person’s control, and that they could stop it. If only, they would attempt to calm down. I had no idea what they were living through. I am so sorry I ever thought those things.. I never said it out loud, but I am sure that it was evident in my demeanor in some fashion. I am terribly sorry I ever thought that way.

I remember being in a vehicle with my best friend in high school. We came upon an accident, that had already taken place. As we approached I remember, how she began to get so nervous and cry. I told her, just don’t think about it, relax.. It was not long before she was in complete hysterics. I recall thinking, why won’t she listen?

I now live with anxiety, it was a long time in coming. I should have dealt with this my entire life. When I began having anxiety attacks, I was engaged to marry my husband. That dumfounded me. At the time I thought it was because we loved each other so much, which we did, and I couldn’t handle being separated from the man I loved so deeply, much less go back to a place that wasn’t even my home. So when we married, and he would be gone for a time, I was completely baffled as to why that was still happening to me, only even worse.. The thing was, I didn’t realize that i was having anxiety attacks. I didn’t understand at all what I was feeling, or why it was happening. I was out of control, and couldn’t come back to reality, in fact that was my reality.

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My husband is a good Christian man, and we are very happy together. Not perfect, no one is, but happy none the less. “So why now?” I recall thinking. I was no longer in an abusive relationship, this should have happened then, but it didn’t, or so I thought.. While I was in that relationship, it was quite easy for the symptoms to be masked, as I had a physical reason for the manifestation of panic, fear, and tears. I dealt with that for far too many years.. I was out of that now, and happy. So once my husband and I were married, I finally realized something was wrong (after almost five years) I was completely befuddled.

My former therapist knew I had PTSD, anxiety, anxiety attacks, OCD, perfectionism, and that I battle anorexia. However she never mentioned that I should perhaps seek medical intervention. Although, that may have been due to my weak emotional state at the time, (and multiple major issues) that I needed to walk through with her. It wasn’t until I had an anxiety attack over this past summer, that I would learn that I was even having them..

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One weekend this summer my husband was gone with my son, and some other fathers and sons, at a retreat. That weekend I found on the very first day, immediately, I could not stop crying.. That lead into a vastly deep and dark place… I felt my heart racing, and palms sweating. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest, I could hardly catch my breath between my racing pulse, and the weightiness I was feeling. I felt panic stricken, like I was going to die.. or worse yet, what if he did?? I began to spiral, spinning completely out of control. I could not function, I could not think, not rationally anyways.. I had to take care of my daughter, and could not. I could not focus. I could not get out of the deep abyss I fond myself in.. I could not sleep, eat, and certainly could not enjoy anything at all. I was in utter and complete confusion and despair.

That week I saw my therapist and described what happened, telling her I was not rational in any way that particular weekend. She told me “you’re right, you were not rational, you were having an anxiety attack. So what are you doing to manage that?” I was confused, and asked what she meant by manage it? She said with medicine. I told her I wasn’t on anything. I mean, I told my doctor, but she didn’t say I needed anything, or ask me about it, so I thought I was fine. That is where my journey to relief began.

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After a few appointments gone wrong (medicine prescribed that interacted in a very negative way with my migraine medications) causing serotonin syndrome, I made an appointment with a psychiatrist. Now let me tell you how God orchestrated that. A few months prior I was in a McDonald’s and I saw a girl that looked so incredibly familiar to me. I thought perhaps she just has one of those faces.. I kept thinking about how familiar she seemed, then thought, huh, she really looks like a girl I went to high school with. She was studying something with a friend. So even though it was incredibly difficult for me to go up to her, interrupt them, and ask her if she was who I thought she was, I did so. Not because I wanted to, I am an introvert, and I also hate to interrupt people. In addition to that, any “no” EVER, makes me want to curl up into a ball and die. No matter what that looks like, someone saying hi, but it wasn’t to me, an unreturned message, not being available when I ask about getting together, you name it. So I most certainly did not want to go up to her, in fact I tried to leave. But I felt so strongly that God wanted me to go up to her, I could not leave without doing so, even though I did attempt to. It turned out that she was in fact, the girl I thought she was.

I would later find that she works at a hospital with psychiatric patients. Through our developing relationship I learned so much more about psychiatrists and their patients. That eased the stigma I had in my mind about those things. Another friend of mine that walked this road with me, with her professional experience, softened the hurt, burden and stigma that I once held. Having that burden lifted, enabled me to seek out my own psychiatrist once I was informed I needed a little help.

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Cast all your Anxiety on him

In conjunction with prayer, worship, and reading scripture/doing devotionals (which is the only way I survived/ functioned to that point without turning to destructive alternatives) I began to take some medication that he prescribed. One day, there was a series of four or five events with my children, which would normally have made me absolutely insane with frustration and anger. When the first set of circumstances arose, i just walked away. then another, I went and sat down by my husband. Then yet another, all of this in twenty minutes or less. I recall saying, “I’m just not going to react, it’s not worth it,” to my husband. When the next event took place I felt the same, and was in awe that i was able to be so self controlled, and truly self controlled on the inside as well. I was annoyed, but not at all the way I would normally be. At this point I am always yelling, and a ten for anger, giving consequences and such. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t reacted yet.. I said to my husband, “the medication must be working!!” I realized that after four days, just as my doctor told me, if it was going to help, I would start noticing it. Boy did I ever! I hadn’t even noticed what day it was, so this truly took me completely by surprise.

 

I was overjoyed, but also incredibly sad.. I was relieved as I realized what it was like to be “normal,” which I had never felt before. Not that I realized I was anything else, that simply was my reality. I thought it was that way for everyone. That only added to my feelings of failure. I couldn’t understand why everyone else seemed to be able to handle all of that terribleness. Why couldn’t I? I had a reason I was utterly unaware of.. I was so sad once I became aware of how terrible I had been towards my family. I was filled with regret over what they had endured. I apologized to them. I had hope, for a better life for all of us, especially them. I felt better, not being a constant ball and stress and frustration. I can not begin to feel you the relief that I felt, and my family as well.. It was like the compacter had been released me from it’s grasp of clenching my shoulders, chest, heart, and mind…This is what life was supposed to be like.

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Friends, I urge you gently, if you are suffering, seek help. Reach out a friend, and find a good doctor. If you think live with someone that suffers in this way, try to be patient with them. Know that they can not help what is happening, it is not a choice. Gently talk to them about how they are feeling and asses the situation. I HIGHLY encourage finding a good therapist, psychologist, or counselor… They have the proper training, and education to help your loved ones. Do research, find out how they are rated, ask around if you know anyone that does see a therapist of some sort, and get a referral if you can. Becoming self aware, prayer, and intervention, is the only way to the road of healing for all of you. I can not stress this enough!

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I am grateful to God for putting the proper people in my life to get the help that I needed. Two of my friends are therapists, another a psychiatric nurse, still others prayer supporters that I know I can count on, and call on anytime. You need a good support system. I f you don’t pray, find a church home, God will provide.. I have that now, thanks to the Lord. He placed each one of them in my life, at the proper time. God is good.. He has always been there for me every step of the way. Working in the background where I was unaware of His beautiful weaving.. He wove beauty out of ashes. Yes, He still does, and I have faith that He always will.

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#beauty #ashes #pain #fear #anxiety #healing #God #faith #friends #life #depression #hope #therapy #joy #freedom #Christian #help #despair #scripture

 

Unspoken Blessings

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Recently I was reminded of something, more intimately. There is a reason for the pain, a reason for each heartache, each trial, each suffering.. God does not cause these things to happen, but He does use them for good. I know this, but I had the blessing of experiencing the good that comes from the pain. I had a person that is in pain, the kind of pain that I am in daily. This precious soul reached out to me. While I was terribly sorry to hear that they suffer, and truly felt that pain for them, I was reminded of how God takes all of that bad, and turns it into something good. In this situation, I can be there to support, encourage, and give resources. There is such a beautiful blessing in that friends.. My pain and experiences, allow me to have deeper empathy for the hurting, and also allow us both, to have the blessing therein.

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Yesterday I was on the receiving end, once again, of that blessing. I was the one in terrible pain. I received the blessing of help and support from new friends, as well as established friends. My bible study group (the first one I have ever lead) came around me, and each sweet new friend helped me. I had a friend step in to lead the discussions that day, and continue to lead when I had to leave. I had confidence that my girls were in good hands. That helped when the time came that I could no longer bear the pain. I had love and support, prayer, hugs, a massage, essential oil offered, words and touches of encouragement, and later messages. I felt all of that so deeply, I still do. That speaks love and healing to my soul..

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I had to excuse myself to go to the restroom where I could cry more freely, without disrupting the video message. I could no longer contain the weight of my pain. As I stood there in the stall sobbing quietly by myself, I couldn’t decide what I should do. I wanted to stay, I showed up, God always helps me when I show up.. This time was a little different though.. God showed up indeed, but He did so through friends…

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I tried so hard to fight through the pain, to wipe away the makeup stains that soiled my cheeks from the abundant flow of tears. I stood there trying to clean myself up, and also trying to hide as a couple of ladies were still having their discussion in that room. Part of me was hurt, thinking how could you not see me, and ask if I am ok? But the truth of the matter was, I was also embarrassed, and did not want to be a burden. So I tried to wait it out in the stall. Then I tried to hide when I eventually realized they were not going anywhere. That made me remember all of those years pregnant with tears in my past life. All of those bathroom scenes, where at times women, strangers, would hear me (though I tried desperately to be discreet) and ask if I was ok. Oh those years were complete torment.. I was in a prison. Those women never knew how much it touched me that they reached out to me. I wasn’t yet ready for help, I wasn’t mentally strong enough. They gave me encouragement though, and helped me to know somebody cared… That I did matter to someone. I still cry when I think on that time in my life. I will never forget those women though.

PLEASE, PLEASE, reach out to them. To us, when you hear or see trouble. I was being abused, and while I did not take their help, that spoke hope to me, that spoke love, and courage. Eventually those women, those situations, became a source of strength for me, so that when God told me to tell someone, I had a little more courage, though not hardly enough. With God’s help however, it was enough to do so. That was life transforming… Be a life changer, be a lifeline to someone that needs help. Don’t be afraid to ask, because even though they will likely say thank you, but I’m ok, or even perhaps be rude, they NEED your support.. You will likely never know how much you may have helped them, but you will have at least given them a chance, you will have been love and caring to them. I can tell you first hand how much I needed that. I know it’s uncomfortable, and awkward, even scary, but you have no idea how much you may impact a woman in trouble. You never know why those tears are falling, but you can be certain that they need someone.

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After they left, more tears flowed, and I tried to wipe them away, and once again pull it together. I washed my hands, wiped the counter, and turned to throw the paper towels away and go back in. Some ladies were entering as I was about to leave. As I was turning to go, there my friend stood. Oh my, my friend that understood the pain I was in, as she has also suffered this way.. She said something funny to me and I collapsed in gentle sobs in her arms.. I knew I had a safe place there, and someone that would truly know what I was going through.

As I stood there in her arms sobbing, there was so much comfort and love felt.. She just held me, until I could talk. She knew it was likely my pain. After I confirmed that, she said she would drive me home. I told her I thought maybe I could make it through the rest of the session, and honestly I don’t recall what she said. I needed help, and she helped me. She even helped me make the decision, that I seemed incapable of making myself. I didn’t want to fail, to let anyone down. The thing is, I didn’t fail, or let anyone down. I, in making the best decision for myself, allowed God to bless them, by helping me. There is where God was.. He showed up in each and every one of them that helped me in so many different ways. All of them allowed God to use them as His hands and feet. He did show up, He did help me, He was there all along..

So my sweet friend made all of the arrangements, and drove me home, along with another friend.She made certain I would have my car to pick my kids up later, if I was able. If not, that same friend would do all of that running for me. I had peace knowing everything was going to be ok, and to be in the company of a good and understanding friend. Yes, I have been there before, and I am sure I will be again. That’s the thing though. When I do allow my friends to help me, not only do I receive the blessing, but they too are blessed. Don’t be prideful, or feel too ashamed to accept help. That is not a weakness. That lie is from the enemy, to keep us from doing what God intended. We are intended for community. Allow yourself to be blessed by letting someone help you, and in doing so, you are not in fact a burden, you are allowing them to be blessed! I have never helped someone and felt burdened, have you? No! So let’s stop that way of thinking! Allow the blessing to take place. ❤

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This friend suffered greatly. I suffer greatly. Because of her suffering, she was able to be to me, and reach me, in a way that few could. That is how God uses our pain. There are so many ways, my blog for example. There are those that have reached out to me in prayer and support, as well as those that have needed the same from me, or told me that they found hope or inspiration in my story. I find that being transparent, and most of all, listening to God, reaches far more people than anything I could do my own. My writing is inspired by, and prompted by the Holy Spirit. This is not my own. I am incapable of doing this on my own, in fact I never wanted to. God prompted me to for a long time, before I listened. It was so hard to publish that first post.. There are many I have not put on this domain yet. I will gradually switch them over here. Each one of them was a gentle nudge from God, that I could not ignore. I am so glad that I didn’t! Honestly though? There have been many that I was nudged to write, that I did not. If I choose not to, they disappear from my mind. So here we are! I will no longer, avoid God. Not here, and not anywhere else in my life. I would miss out on the growth and the blessing, and so would others.

So, listen friends. God has a plan for you, whatever it may be. His voice is gentle, He whispers. Sometimes directly, sometimes through a friend, a song, a message, or through nature, but He is always there whispering. You just need to choose to be still long enough to hear Him. That is a blessing well worth the wait! God will use you, He will use the bad things and turn them into something amazing. Let Him bless you!

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#faith #suffering #pain #God #life #love #hope #healing #blessings #friends #community #support #outreach #women #strength

The Real Me

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Nearly as far back as I can remember, I thought everything about me was bad. I didn’t think that in my earliest years, though that quickly became my perception. In the beginning it just really hurt my feelings, my person.. Eventually the words spoken about and to me, changed my perception of me. There were multiple sources of the painful and damaging words. However, they all pointed to the fact that everything was my fault, and that I of course then, must be bad. So for approximately 40 years of my life, I believed I was failure, ugly, plain, stupid, simple, a burden, not wanted, not good enough, not enough, worthless, too sensitive, that I had no place where I belonged, unwanted, too much, in the way, unloved, incapable, undesirable, less than..

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Friends, I believed that even after I became a Christian. I still believed that after I recommitted my life to God.. I believed that after I met and married my husband, and continued to grow in my faith. It didn’t matter how many times he told me I was beautiful, or how intelligent he said I was. It didn’t matter what my friends said. It didn’t even matter what God said.. Those thoughts and feelings were so deeply entangled in my heart and mind, that there was no beginning and end, no way to separate them. So, no matter what anyone said, I couldn’t accept a compliment. I always felt uncomfortable and gave the excuse/reason, that it was not true. Eventually I began to try to believe what people said, what my love said to me.. It did not change how I really felt.. No matter what I tried to accept outwardly, inwardly I still heard all of those hurtful words. I still saw the fat, ugly monster in the mirror.

I have body dysmorphic disorder, and have battled anorexia since I was twelve. Well, actually long before then mentally, but not actually physically acting it out. These are certainly not my only issues. In this regard, that was part of it, but so was all of the years of abuse, and the hurtful people, sometimes even “friends.” I still struggle with these issues. I no longer am 103 lbs, and not having my period for years at a time, but I battle it none the less. It is a mental disability, not a choice. I don’t want to be this way, and I have hope in time, I will be healthy. God can do anything. I have seen this disorder pass on in my family, from generation to generation. It is painful to watch, and absolutely terrible to be unable to help the ones you love. I do not want this for them, I do not want this for me, or for anyone for that matter.

For awhile I poured myself into running. In the beginning it was good. In fact it was time with God for prayer, and to hear His direction for my life. He took me farther, much faster than I should have been able to go. I went from hardly being able to run a quarter mile, to eleven miles in approximately two months. The problem was that my diseased brain kicked into over drive. Not long after that I was running fifteen miles or so a day, but that, was all for me. I tore my body up, until I could no longer run at all. I then poured completely into exercising and volleyball. I was lifting weights seven sets each lift and a ridiculous amount of reps, too may to remember. I do remember it being over a hundred. On top of that I was doing at least an hour of cardio a day. I did this every single day. I also would ride my bike at least twelve miles a day. Like I said I was playing volleyball as well. I began with one league, then added another, then did a recreational league, so to say. All of this never filled me. I was always searching for more, determined to find enough to be happy, and to feel fulfilled. Each of these things temporarily filled me, but that never lasted. I was always longing for more. It was never enough, I was never enough.. Then one day my body would no longer support all of the abuse it was enduring. So it gave out. I have been on a medical, emotional, and at times, spiritual roller coaster since then.

Just recently that has begun to change however. You see God kept calling me to show up. For about a year, I did the exact opposite, using my health as an excuse. While that was valid, I was in terrible physical, emotional, and spiritual pain, it was still an excuse. So one day after trying it my way for that year, I decided to listen to God. I showed up, and I kept showing up. (With a few slips in between.) The thing was, if I showed up, God helped me through it. Not only that, but each time there was a God appointment, someone that needed me. Situations I knew God would still fill if I slipped, but if I was there, I too would find blessing in those situations. Time, after time, after time, it happened. So I began to truly see if I showed up, God would do the rest. That is how my life has gone since this past spring, I believe.

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One of the most pivotal moments for me, was when I called my pastor for prayer. He said to me something to the effect of, it’s a shame when you are not able to come, it prevents others from being blessed by seeing the hope God has given you to endure all of this.. Those words stuck with me. That helped to change my mindset.

Recently God has been showing me, truly showing me, who I am in Him, and who He designed me to be. My journey began with reading a book called, “Living Your Strengths.” This book also included a very comprehensive test “Clifton StrengthsFinder.” One of the strengths/gifts I have is empathy. While, that did not surprise me, it did take on deeper meaning. There are definitions, scripture and examples given each gift in that book. I began to understand this particular gift, along with others, on a much deeper level. As I began to learn more about how I am gifted, and who I was designed to be, I prayed and thanked God for my gifts. I also asked God to show me more, to show me how to use these gifts, and to grow. Well that is exactly what He is doing. I began to ponder the things I learned. I focused on each of them, but much more on the one I understood best. As I pondered that gift, I learned more about it, and thought back on all of the people that saw it as a weakness, and said so to my face. Those who made fun of me for it.. When really that part of me, that “sensitivity,” is the part of me that helps me love them, feel their pain, understand them better, give them encouragement, and love. That is not at all a weakness, that, is a strength… A strength many have benefitted from, all the while they persecuted me for it. They persecuted my daughter and son for it as well. No, no more, we now know for a fact, that is one of our greatest strengths!

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As I thought on that gift for several days, I began to think about my body. How sensitive it is, how reactive it is. How bad it is.. Then God showed me, that was not true at all. Yes, my body is sensitive, just exactly how God designed it to be. That is also a gift. I get to experience life in a different way, with deeper feeling. That is not a bad thing at all. Yes, at times it has not been good, but that is because my poor body experienced pain, far too great for it to bear. All that abuse was so bad for me on an even deeper level. I am still learning about this particular gift, but I know this, it is good.

As I ask, God answers. He is opening my eyes to so much more.. Things I once thought were bad, I am now learning are not only not bad, they are good, they are gifts. I am learning who I am in Him, and who He designed me to be. I am teaching my children what their gifts are, even when they seem bad, when they get into trouble. We will nurture their gifts, and instruct them in how to develop them fully. My children will not grow up feeling bad, they will understand their gifts so much better than I.. They will know their strengths and be able to use them well. What a blessing that is! In my learning who I am, they are being blessed, and so they will bless others.

Here is the point of this friends, I am learning about myself in a whole new light. That is transforming who I am, and who I see in the mirror. I am walking in confidence now, knowing better who I am truly, in Christ. I see beauty, I see strength, I am beginning to see God’s masterpiece. THAT is who I am!! That is who YOU are!! I feel full, no longer needing to fill that space. I want grow more, I want to learn more, but I am full friends. Nothing has ever filled that space.. No amount of efforts, or accomplishments, could fill that hole. Only God could, only Love, only Truth, only Jesus.. I pray that God helps each of you to learn the what a masterpiece He made you to be!

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What God says about us;

Psalm 139:13-14 ESV “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Genesis 1:27 NLT “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Ephesians 2:10 NLT “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Peter 2:9 NIV “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

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As for empathy;

Romans 12:15 ESV “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”

John 11:33-35 ESV “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.

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What God did for us;

John 3:16-18a NIV “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

1 peter 2:24 NLT “He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.”

John 5:24 NLT “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.”

John 20:21 NIV “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

#beautiful #worthy #loved #empathy #God #Faith #value #worthless #hopeless #forgiven  #Christian #life

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Seeing Beyond the Hurt

I had so much hope in my last post. I wish I could say things are better… but they are significantly worse. I still have hope, God can do anything… After my last post, my husband had a meeting. We had so much prayer going into this, individually, our family, our friends, and our church family came along side us. With love and reconciliation on our hearts and minds, my husband met with hopes of reconciliation. Unfortunately things did not go well. I sat there praying, and was sick to my stomach over what he was going to have to go through, on his own. I hoped.. I hoped so greatly, that after all of the hurt that occurred, we could find reconciliation. I had not replied to any of the hurtful things said or done, I loved them, I honored them, and I was kind to them. Surely my silence over things I had every right to defend on my children’s behalf, but that I chose not to, rather listening to what God told me to do (to say nothing) would give them pause to reconsider. That I was not judging them, and would not hold any of this against them, in fact I forgave them in my heart. That God’s Holy Spirit would be allowed to move, to show truth and to bring healing. We had no idea what he would be met with.

I sat there patiently waiting. I prayed that when he came back and spoke to me of all that had transpired, I would be able to listen, and not react, at least outwardly. The last thing he would need in that moment, would be my emotions on top of all the emotions I knew he would already be bearing. God answered that prayer. There is no other way I could have remained patient and silent, with all that I was about to hear. I was calm and collected on the outside, so he was able to unload the hard, and eventually even vile things he heard. Initially he was met with shouts and accusations of how he didn’t want our son to know his mother. I couldn’t even begin to understand why in the world they would think that… My husband loved her, of course he wants (we both in fact, want) our son to know her.

I wish they knew of how my husband spoke of her, and speaks of her when Isaac asks, or when the moment arises. I wish they knew how I speak of her, and how I point out things about him that resemble her. I wish they knew the hours upon hours I spent sifting through photos, to put albums together of her, for him… Before, and after he was born, so he could know her better. I wish they knew that though, at that time, that caused me great pain, I did it.. I did it because I love him, because it was right, and because I would want the same done if it were me. I wish they knew how just a week or so ago, I sat down with my children, going through their baby books, and photos from their first year of life. I wish they knew of my deep love for him… He is my son… He is her son.. He is born of my heart and dreams, carried there for so long… Yet, I did not get to carry him, and hold him close in his first years. I wish they could see the blessing of him being so loved, by so many. I wish they did not think things that are just not true. That’s the thing though about wishing, it doesn’t make it so, so I pray… God can do anything…

After that initial confrontation, my husband was able to speak to them calmly. He gently guided the direction of the conversation, by giving them the choice of two avenues for further discussion. Though he and I had hoped for reconciliation, there was none to be found as far as their relationship with us was concerned, in their eyes. That made me sad, as I do love them, and hate division, but their minds were made up, and we had to respect that. So they went forward, calmly discussing things for awhile. Then my husband asked them to please do only one thing, and that was to still see their chosen granddaughter, when they saw their grandson. After-all, for the last five years, by their choice (much to our surprise, even when we told them we did not expect them to treat her as such) they chose to treat her as their own grandchild. They said she was just so sweet and lovable, that they loved her, and wanted to do so. So they did, and that was a blessing, so unexpected, and so loving of them to do. That filled a hole in our daughter’s heart, from all the rejection she had faced in her little life, to that point. She had lost so much, and she prayed for a family, and God gave to her abundantly..

What happened next was unexpected, but more than that, what followed those next words, was unimaginable.. My husband was told absolutely not, and let me tell you why…
To say what they said, is so vile, I can not believe that they could think it.. I will not even repeat the words that were said. It was completely disgusting. I can only surmise that they have been driven mad with grief. I do not judge them for that. I hurt for them for that reason. I can not imagine what they have endured.. I am so proud of my husband for handling that with such grace, patience, love, and truth.. My husband was able to stand up for his daughter, and his son also in doing so. I am proud of him for that, and that he did so in love.

Ultimately, they chose to not see either of them. They told my husband that they would rather not see their grandson, if they have to see their granddaughter. I can not wrap my mind around that concept. I am terribly brokenhearted to hear all of this, but glad to be made aware, so that I could better understand what we are dealing with. Perhaps in time, they will realize what they have said, and chosen to be wrong. I pray that they allow God to heal and work on their hearts, so we can move forward.

Well, I thought I had been put to the test before… this was the ultimate test for me to this point.. I had to ask God to restrain my anger over the words so wrongfully spoken of my children.. and to quell the storm inside my breaking heart over all that was lost, and what yet may be lost.. I needed to turn to the Lord, for comfort, wisdom, and and how to move forward both loving and honoring Him, and loving and honoring them. I was at a complete loss. As I was trying to reconcile how to move forward, to mend things, I felt a small little voice inside me saying, stop, stop trying to force this, you have tried so hard, you listened to my instructions, stop, and rest..

With a heavy heart we returned home. I asked how she seemed, when he held her for the last few minutes before he left. He told me “devastated.” I said, “I am so sorry…” I then asked “was she devastated enough to talk to me so we could work this out, and put it behind us?” He told me “absolutely not. I will have to talk to them again.” Oh how that broke my heart so much more… I hate that she feels that way.. I want her to feel better, to see we as mothers can come together for the sake of the children, that I don’t hold all the things she said about me, or my kids against her. She was just coming from a place of deep hurt, and while we do not pretend to know her hurt, we do understand that. That I still want to have a relationship with her.. We can just move forward. That I still love and care about her. To let her know she didn’t lose me, or us.. How awful it must be to be so broken, but not be bendable enough, to make things better?? If only in the breaking, she allowed God to come in and do what only He can do..

In the coming days, I would tearfully speak to my Godly council separately, only to hear the same thing over and over again… I had truly done all that I could, I listened to God even when everything inside of me was screaming to do it my way, to stand up for what was right, to defend my children, and our integrity. I obeyed my Lord. This was not my failure, as the enemy would have me believe. I didn’t do things perfectly, but I did listen, and I did my absolute best, and did so in love. This was not about me, or my children. This was about their deep unimaginable hurt, and their relationship with God. If only they would allow God to bring them some healing… He would so gladly do so.. Nothing will ever be the same for them again, and my heart hurts so much for them.. God can give them new direction though, He can bring some peace to their hurting hearts. I pray that for them. Do not judge them, they are hurting, and hurting people sometimes hurt people, but they hurt themselves most of all… Pray for them, Pray for healing of their hearts and minds. Pray that God restores them. Pray that they allow God to restore them..

I learned so much here, how to love the hurting, even when they hurt you. I learned to be fully broken, so God can come in and heal me. Learning that being incredibly broken, but not enough to bend to God’s will, only brings more hurt, has been eye opening. I learned to forgive what seems unforgivable. I am reminded that I am that person too… God forgave me, though I was, and am, unforgivable. We must extend the grace given us, to others. Otherwise, why should we receive that grace? I also learned there can be, and is, so much more going on than what you can see in someone else’s life. Of all the ill and misguided thoughts, that they have had of me over the years. All the while I was actually on the same team as them, trying to be at least. You truly can never understand all that someone has and continues to go through… I also learned a completely new type of forgiveness, as I made a choice to forgive the terrible things said of my children. I admit, that was incredibly difficult.. But time and time again, God has shown me how important forgiveness is.

Friends, forgiveness isn’t about letting someone off the hook, or saying what they did or said was ok. Forgiveness is about letting go, freeing yourself, so as to not harbor anger and bitterness in your own heart. Which only hurts you, and separates you from God. In the process of choosing to forgive, God has helped me to feel it in my heart. Although the enemy sure likes to try to bring those words back to my mind, to stir up anger.. I have to actively say no, when he tries to take me there, and remember what God says. To remember they are hurting, and don’t realize what they are saying. So my friends, be wise, be kind, and love one another as best you can. I am reminded of these scriptures;

Romans 12:18 ESV “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”

John 13:34 ESV “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Psalm 37:30 NIV “The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just.”

1 Peter 4:8 NLT “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NIV “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

#hurt #love #faith #forgiveness #God #family #life #learning #pain #difficulty #hope