I began a conversation with my husband as he got home tonight. I was reminded again about our financial situation and the lack of income coming into the house. As the wind and rain blow through, I am reminded again about our financial situation. The shingles on the south end of the house have blown off due to previous heavy wind and rain. We have a tarp over that area and the shingles in other areas are peeled back. As I go out to get the mail I am reminded again of our financial situation. Last weekend a driver took out our mailbox that had originally been encased in a brick stand. There are bricks scattered in an empty lot and a mailbox that is a crumbled mess. Satan loves to hit us in the most vulnerable place. As I walk back toward the house, I am joined by my little blond blue-eyed boy, who is not so little anymore.
Not to long ago he could not put a sentence together. He did not hold a pencil correctly. He had to be removed from every daycare or school he has ever been to. He was a bitter. He had angry outbursts. He is sensitive to noise and would often run down the hallway at school to escape from it. He is dyslexic and at the beginning of the week when the new spellings words come out, you can almost guarantee a call from school. Nobody wants to hear what the family goes through at home. Families often fall apart with the stress and turmoil caused by a non-typical pattern of behavior. I feel guilty as if I could change the madness. Behavior specialists can give good background tools, but there is no situation that is the same.
Lupus finally took me down about a year ago but I fought it for years before that. I was a single mom until he was five. When you are so busy, you do not stop to enjoy what God has given you. It is very easy to look out and see what you don’t have. Day after day you become embedded in a routine that seems so solid that nothing could break the barrier. I would isolate myself because I felt like a bad parent. I could not leave my children with anyone because I was so ashamed. You want to change the behavior but everything you do doesn’t seem to matter. And, it doesn’t get better, it just changes as they get older. You go through the motions day after day.
I never thought I would be so stagnant. Now, I sleep half the day sometimes. I am at the point where my income has stopped coming in. The other day he looked at me and asked me if I was going to go back to work. Before I could answer , he said I am afraid. I do not want you to go back. You might die. He heard me say for so long….¨i cant do this anymore¨! just cant do it, he was scared. I saw him for how his behavior affected me, I never saw him for how MY behavior affected him. He is reading and schoolwork although still hard, gets done in a somewhat sane way. I forget these boys who feel abandoned by their father, have overcome great obstacles . Even though I now am remarried, I am the only parent they really know. When you are a single parent you sometimes feel distant and cold, and removed from the relationship you have with your children. That is the biggest mistake I could have made.
I grew up with performance based grace. I was separated from my father at ten years old. I have lived my entire life trying to please him. I grew up under his watchful eye as he scrutinized my every move. I was never quite good enough in the things I did. I have started to look at my relationship with my sons and I wonder sometimes if they can feel my insecurities. I know my mood shifts and my temper can get the best of me. I wonder if what I am saying to them is a mirror image of what I learned as a child. I learned that it was easier to stay in the shadows. It was easier to avoid confrontations. I would end up with hurt feelings and a self-image that I would suffer with my entire life.
My relationship with my husband has started down the same path. I feel like a timid child when confronted with a problem. My intimate, loving response to his touch has grown cold. I feel the quick, angry, disposition from him the way I felt when my father was disciplining me. I do not look to him for his leadership role in the house as I should. Our marriage has become out of sync with what God had planned. We both suffer everyday trying to grasp hold to the root of foundation he laid out for our marriage. My resistance is causing rejection in everyone around me. My husband feels rejected because I cannot find grace in my life.
I have struggled to maintain a productive life. I measured my worth by my abilities. I was successful at my job but, in every relationship getting below the surface became very painful and scary. Now, being unable to work and produce predictable income has torn open my flesh and exposed me to various levels of pain. It has also peeled open a joyous thirst for God. I can sing praises and give thanks even though I cannot see around the corner.
I am thankful that my marriage has been bonded by God. Even though I stubbornly, and selfishly follow God, I know that my rebellion will be met with Grace. The real value of a person is inside not on the outside. Our performance in life is not what is appealing to God. It is our heart…..Thank goodness my husband has a HUGE one!
¨He saw it fit to see me through another day,¨ This is just one of the statements Oklahoma residents are mulling through today. The devastation and emotional terror that overcomes you is unexplainable. I know this devastation all to well. I lived through a tropical storm that dumped water over our city for days and eventually caused a levy to break. Our city was downstream from raging water. In a matter of hours, streets and houses were flooded. The rescue effort brought boats and rafts to evacuate us and whatever we could carry. Nobody could get in or out. Our cars and homes were held hostage by red Georgia clay water. The city water plant flooded and we had no water for three weeks.
I know as we see this devastation, we wonder what we can do. What good do we get from this? It is hard to know on a personal basis, but have you ever thought about starting over? This can bring a transparency of sorts, leaving you vulnerable to deception and attack. This battleground can have a devastating aftermath that can linger even after all the destruction has been visibly removed. I wanted to have my stuff. That made me hopeless and lost and only God can replace that.
God gives us many ways to reclaim our relationship with him. Unfortunately, we continue to bring destruction back into our lives. The bondage we carry around is to hide our transparency and leave our relationship with God detached. The intimacy we are so graciously given will always be there. The purpose for such tragic situations can be Satanś greatest instrument of deception. We all will face defeat and challenges but it is how we choose to walk through them that matters to God.
As a women I am constantly aware of my deep, inner feelings. I am always looking out for my own needs and was.. It is important to me that others love me the same way. If we did not love ourselves we would not be concerned about being rejected, hurt, or mistreated. We all want to be accepted. Our need is not to love ourselves more but to love the image and direction God has given us.
The last year has been physically and emotionally tough. I had surgery and developed a large hematoma. I was released from the hospital while I was still complaining of significant pain. Three days later I was at the doctor. I had become bruised from my waist to my thighs. My wound had literally opened. They packed me with gauze and admitted me back into the hospital. I went to surgery for a debreidment. I left the hospital with a wound vac which heals or closes the wound from the inside out. Every three days I had to get it changed. The pain was the most unbearable bondage I have ever experienced. About three weeks with the machine, I was running a fever. My drainage was foul with the tint of infection. I was told so many times that my wound was healing nicely. I continued to run fever and have the foul odor. At one of my dressing changes the nurse pulled out a piece of gauze. The wound vac had pulled it up through the healing process and that part of my wound had not healed. It WAS infected. The gauze had been left in my abdomen at some point.
I could not work. I could not play with my children. I was a prisoner in my own house. Mistakes like that can change the way you see things. I began to justify my pain and laziness because I was damaged.. Instead of fighting, kicking and screaming at my physicians, I withdrew. My problems were being ignored. I did not like myself, so I began to feel mistreated and rejected. My problem still denies me from my life.
Don´t stop believing. Instead of denying our self-image, we need to receive Gods love and purpose. In her book”Lies People Believe,¨ Nancy Leigh Demoss writes Jesus says we need to give to others the same attention and care we would give ourself. Your situation does not describe you. I hope you never stop loving yourselves and believing the negative foothold the devil sneaks in.
Mental health is not a subject most of us do not talk about over coffee but, It could be a topic that we talk about around the water cooler at work. There is a stigma that follows that entire category. People genuinely enjoy talking about themselves but certain secrets we tend to hold onto tight. We deal with our mental health with stuff. God has empowered us to manage our lives for his glory. So, If we can talk about ourselves so freely then why do christians have a hard time-sharing their faith? Look around your community. We can empower people who may have a secret hidden way back in their memory.
When my older sister was around eight her class at camp was walking through the woods. She was a little behind her class with two of her friends. A man came out of the woods and grabbed her. He took off down the trail while running with her in his arms. The two boys she was with, had the instinct to chase after them. After a few moments he dropped her.
All types of relationships are needed to develop our faith. At the same school, I was assaulted. I was to young to remember so it shouldn´t affect me, right? Well it did. Even though I do not remember all the facts my memory kept it stored. For most of my life I was very introverted. I obsessed on my pain. I was quiet and shy. To fit in, I choose activities that forced me to be extraverted.
These memories were never worked through. We did not talk about it and everyone figured we were okay. I have experienced the unique characteristics that come with this memory. I have lived my life depressed. I was lucky to have support but hospital stays were very confusing and they really made me feel very alone.
Mental health affects everyone. Your experiences cannot be disputed by anyone. We must go out to the hopeless and pull them out of the place they are holding onto so tight. Godś grace has brought people in your life. It is a honor to share your faith. It is even more of an honor to walk with them so they will have a partner to be accountable to. Mathew 7:1 says ¨Do not judge or you too will be judged.¨ God uses the word hypocrite. So, we need to take the speck out of our own eyes.
I know we all have our own obsessive thoughts, right? I have been confined to my couch for a good part of a year now with short intervals of my formal life breaking through every now and then. This year has been filled with many devastating set backs. Day after day I loathed in sorrow. I was doing nothing to help my situation. Then, a really good friend showed me that it was my pride that was getting in the way. Pride hurts us and it hurts others around us.
We are not gracious or compassionate by nature, We are jealous and quick to anger. When life is good we take too much credit. When life is bad our pride is hurt and we become self-conscious and shameful. That becomes another way of taking too much credit because God’s will is never wrong.
I have worked diligently through the years in a field that I love. Unfortunately, it was not job description I had always longed for. My performance reviews showed extremely high ratings and now after 20 years my arrogance finally took me down. I could not perform the description of what my job entails. I became depressed and broken.
God hates pride. But, God also gives us grace and mercy when we are at our worse. I cried out to him so many times. Still I never could pick myself up. I did not get to hear that still small voice that comforts us as we pray. I was pulling away. I got very angry. But, I realized I wasn’t supposed to pick myself up, …. God was. My friends were so helpful. People brought food and a lended ear. But, I was crying out for the wrong reason. I am arrogant. I want to be the best at whatever I do. But,that is not what God wants. I feel like I am a burden and my pride doesn’t allow me to fully feel God’s grace and mercy. My friends were not burdened, they were serving God.
God knows when we genuinely surrender. He knows our heart and motives. Pride can take your life. We are never as bad or good as we think we are. Surrendering to God while you are still grasping to your pride will not work. God gives us unconditional love. The less we credit him the further we pull away.
Have you ever begun a project that you did not finish? Life happens right? As I sit at my desk I am reminded of the multiple tasks still staring me in the face. What if you have unfinished business with God? When I was sixteen years old, one of my best friends was killed in an accident. She was thrown from the car and died immediately. All the other passengers survived including the driver who was drunk. The three remaining victims lost a piece of themselves that night. The seventeen year old driver returned to school with a stigma that was unbearable. In fact, we all returned to school and mourned the loss of our Homecoming Queen.
What happened next, was a media frenzy. News reports and articles were headline news for a while then we all started to talk about it less often. Sadly, this is one of those times that was unfinished. The bible describes hell for non-believers “as torment with fire and brimstone.” (Revelations 14:10) Pure agony. You cannot revise the outcome. We don’t know Hell and its accommodations, but in the bible it is described as eternal loneliness and torture. We owe this explanation to God. The Bible has never been wrong. When we don’t use its context strictly as our guide for life, we are unfinished. When we rebel against God hell is imminent. We have our whole lives to choose this gift that could affect our eternal life.
As believers we should rejoice in knowing that we will be free from the torment and pain we have in this life. Many christians have doubts about what God is bringing into their life. If you do not repent, this becomes unfinished business. We are forever changing. The solid foundation we are set upon should continue to bear fruit. We will always have unfinished business until we go t heaven. When we ignore situations and the people involved we miss the opportunity to finish the most important reason God has us here on earth.
We live in a world of uncertainty.<!–
We are all free to perform everyday routines that affect the people around us. Everything we do has an effect on somebody.
I love being able to open the minds of my children that otherwise would have an inverted view of social development. I love them. It is as simple as that. They have unwillingly been my source of strength. Both of my children have difficult, demanding personalities. My oldest child’s entire life has been a struggle. His mind is brilliant but he has developing impulsive, disorganized, forgetful traits are not tolerated in our schools today. He is kind and loving but, he cannot use compassion as it is intended.
In my darkest days being a Mother was truly a burden on me. I say that not to hurt anyone but to describe how painful the mistakes I made in his young life, still hurt in the pit of my family’s heart. The only deep attention he got was punishment. Poor Parenting and Teaching obviously made his disorder worse. But, his condition was genetic and it came from God.
We have the freedom to believe in God. C.S. Lewis said that doubt is not the opposite of faith-it is a necessary ingredient. If there was no element of doubt, there would be no room for faith. (It would just be fact).
Most people do not think of faith when they start the car. We don’t look at our phone as an object of faith. We turn it on and make a call. All of the technical stuff is left up to the developers and their genius ideas. But, we have FAITH that these devices will work. What about the minds of these children and the lost? They have no freedom. To me, faith is my freedom… We need to teach faith differently some times and get into the minds and hearts of all the faith-busting ideas people struggle with today.
A Grandmother Is sitting on the bed of a 10-year-old boy whose father had just left the home due to infidelity. The boy stood in front of her motionless and emotionally drained. She asked the boy to close his eyes and think of his father. After many half-hearted attempts he closed his eyes tight and thought. Once he had the memory that he cherished the most, she asked him to hold out his arms and grab that memory and pull it tightly to his chest. The boy did as he was told. With profound concentration, he opened his eyes. She asked him to hold that memory tight in his hand and put it in the pocket of his cloths. There the memory would stay. It would be there for him anytime he needed it.
God made us perfect. Although, we are all sinners, we are still God’s servants. and we are instructed to forgive. No sin has more value than another. We have all broken the commandments of God at some point in our lives. Some people are reminded of their sin everyday by the choices they have made.
The most difficult part of life for me is forgiveness. We work at clearing our heart of all the demons and the people we hurt , but do we really forget? God’s grace gives us the power to do that. The bible says, not only does God forgive but he also banishes the memory. He remembers it no more. (Isaiah 43:25.)
Bitterness and hatred can consume anybody. We are all born with God’s purpose in mind. Although the path we choose can be a result of our circumstances, God has a will for the situation you are in. Even if the choice you make has brought you down, look up. Give God’s grace a try. Forgiveness and repentance are gifts we all have. Forgive yourself one step at a time……
Maybe a child right now is holding on tight to a memory of you.
How do you know what love is? Better yet, do you know how to love? What expectations do you put on the people in your life? Love can be crazy at times. I know in my personal life I can be selfish. I am not patient and my pride gets in the way of treating people with the unconditional love Christ has shown to us. It is amazing how events in the early stages of your life can affect how you love and interact with people. When children are hurt , it is usually unexpected. They are loved by the people closest to them. The care and nurturing that mold a child is done with love and compassion. This kind of love is as close to unconditional as Christs’ is to us. Then here comes life…..I was praying with my oldest child and it had become the daily nighttime nightmare. Back and forth for one thing or another. It was just a normal routine that he learned gave him power. As the fight was ending he blurted out loudly, I miss my best friend. Now, I know he has many friends at school and in the neighborhood so this caught me by surprise and I gave into the grandiose thinking. As he saw the astonished look on my face he blurted out …I miss my daddy. All this time he was trying to fill a hole that I was not able to give him. As mother’s we try to fix life. But, I was starting him on a path of destruction. As adults we fill with anything we can.
He has not seen or talked to his father for about 4 years. There are many details to this part. I have sheltered him from most of the circumstances around that time. I had to go down this path for many reasons. It is amazing what Mother’s will go through to raise a child that only wants the love of the absent parent. Single Mother‘s have a very powerful role and will never fill the gap. They have the power to steer their children in a way that even though there is an emotional hole, we can teach them to fill it with memories or anything powerful for them. The pain is still real but if we give them a chance to fill it with what they want, they will learn to work out these emotions before it becomes a part of their personality as an adult.
My children are impulsive. They are sensitive to touch and noise. They can go into major bouts of tantrums. But giving them the resources to understand such a simple, direct reason for their pain gives them alternatives for handling their anger.
My Mother raised four girls. We were all at different places at the time of the divorce. Take time to talk to your child. Never assume their circumstance isn’t affecting them. My sisters and I all grew emotionally different. I only know this because I went for years not knowing why the pain always came back to me. All the time I spent in the dark, she never let go of me.