Archives for category: child Christian

Have you ever seen the sign for a one-way street? Ever wondered what it would be like if you only took one-way streets and never a two-way? I have learned over the past 18 months, a lot of people only travel one-way streets. Some people travel two way streets and thank God for this because my daughter called!!! Yes, folks, that’s right, the Prodigal Daughter has returned and I keep driving to her and her to me! (A two-way street!)

It’s been a whirlwind of activity, stress, love, stress, new beginnings, stress and learning who my daughter is again! She’s great…she’s really great and I have learned not all told to me was exactly accurate, but that’s okay. Like I told her, communicating through others is NOT a relationship, only face to face and phone connections will heal us – and it is healing, and growing, and it’s wonderful. It’s a two-way street!

Her weddings plans at the church she was attending fell through, so my husband and I scrambled to find a venue, food, photographer, etc., and it was truly a beautiful event. The kids as my husband to perform the ceremony, and while hesitant at first, he accepted and truly made the day special, memorable and I read what he wrote often – not only to remind Olivia during difficult marital situations, but to remind myself of what a wonderful, Christian, loving man I have in my life.

But I digress and get off the subject of streets…there is so much to convey, relay, and rejoice about right now, and I have no clue where to begin, but I feel the one-way/two-way street is a beginning. It brought joy to my heart to hear Olivia had been following my blog and so she knew how I was feeling for some time. It would have been nice, I’ve told her, if she would have clued me in at all, so I could know what was on her mind, but we have the rest of my life to explore her thoughts and feelings. I have been told people read my bog and ask Olivia to interpret my feelings. That’s a one-way street – call ME if you want to know how I feel – my child cannot answer for me, as I cannot answer for her, but whatever, like I said, some cars only travel one-way streets.

I have been informed the book I gave my parents to read at our counseling session, that completely changed my life, was given to someone at their church to read and interpret for them. So much for my parents asking me why the book changed my life – how it changed my life – what I learned from reading it – how it grew me, saved me, comforted me. The man who read it doesn’t even know me, nor has he called to ask how, what, why, when about the book…again, there is a perfect example of a one-way street.

So, in the weeks leading to the wedding, we had many small side streets to travel, traffic lights that were only red and highways leading to nowhere – venue, food, photographers and several people dropped out of the wedding for their “Christian” values and morals. My husband and I kept telling the kids, “where is grace?” and explaining to them what we meant by grace. Olivia had some relatives that were supposed to participate in the wedding, but due to my attendance and participation, they dropped out of their duties and/or threatened not to come. My response was the same over and over again. “Olivia, I can, not attend your wedding if it is easier and less stressful to you and Nick”. Her response was the same x 100 “Mom, I want you there, if other people don’t want to come because of you, that’s their problem”. And so, we, not only hosted a wedding, but rejoiced in the union of Olivia and Nick. What gets me the most is the comment someone made to Olivia in the days before the wedding that went something to the effect of “your mom abandoned you and the entire family, it’ll be awkward to be with her”. SERIOUSLY? Thank you Olivia for setting THAT statement straight. I’m glad she had the guts to inform this person that she left me and that I was specifically told “not to contact anyone” in that particular person’s family.

Yes, I was completely overwhelmed the week of the wedding, but my husband I prayed every morning and every night and I had my family in Christ praying for us, the kids and the entire situation, and because of these prayers I knew, the day would be what the kids wanted it to be.

The day before the wedding, we didn’t have the bride, we had the groom and it was completely awesome. The morning of the wedding, my husband fixed him breakfast, we gave him a card, and were able to pray with him. As we were driving to the venue, I wondered how my daughter was feeling, and if she was nervous, we texted a bit, and when I arrived at the venue and found her, she was snippy, grumpy, jittery and looked at me and said “blah, blah, blah – just HUG me” and so I did.

My husband and I prayed the morning of the wedding the day would be exactly what the kids wanted it to be and I feel they did receive the wedding they wanted because at 9:15 p.m. on their wedding night they called from their hotel just to say “thank you” for their day. Of course, that made me cry because you want your daughter to have a beautiful wedding and I believe she did! And for gaining a son, I believe we gave him the best day possible too!

So, of course, at her wedding, I had to approach people first, of course no one would take a step towards me – some family members only gave me “the glare” (there’s the old one-way street again) and really, it’s fine. These people didn’t communicate one bit when Olivia was gone, so why worry with them now? The only people I cared about seeing were my parents, I said my “hi’s”, introduced my husband, and that’s that. I requested my table be set aside from others (mainly for their comfort, not mine), and Olivia agreed and we picked out my “family table” the night of rehearsal. I was surrounded by those who have walked with me through the darkest of times, rejoiced with me during my happy times, and it was such a joy to celebrate my daughter’s return and wedding with them – a beginning of new life for all of us…these people haven’t left my side through the good, the bad and the ugly. They do not judge, condemn, ignore, give books to others to read, question my motives, my sanity, or sit around and analyze me. They love, extend grace, show Christian love and help grow me. A beautiful, two-way street.

In the weeks since the wedding, the kids have been un-friended on Facebook (is this really a big deal, I think not…but…it still hurts at times…and fuels their anger), given ultimatums, been ignored, judged, and have shared their experiences over the past 18 months. It’s been stressful, relieving, insightful, sad, hurtful for them, and it’s hard to see them struggle with my past mistakes, their mistakes, being condemned for talking and forming a new relationship with me, and completely ignored by some. It’s good to know people sat around and discussed my mental state, my thoughts, my feelings, my mistakes, judged me, condemned me, discussed what type of counseling I needed and came to conclusions about my life, my life experiences, and how those experiences shaped me without asking me to participate. (You see the one-way street here?)

Am I surprised at any of this? Nope.
Am I shocked? Not really.
Am I hurt? Of course.
Does it really matter? Not in the way you would think.

The past 18 months have shown me who really cares and who will be there when the lights on the street turn dark. I’ve told the kids – don’t just keep those around who ride with you when you are happy and driving the freeway full of joy and no cares – remember the ones who traveled with you in the dark, dank, scary streets – those are the people who will cross every bridge with you.

Life isn’t perfect – I still have a bit of fear I will offend one of the kids and they will never be heard from again – but I have an understanding with myself – and it was given to me by God and that is this: God didn’t promise life would be perfect, He promised to walk with me through the storms – He promises to hold my hand and help guide my thoughts, words, and actions if I fully rely on Him. And, my husband tells me God has me first, he has me second, he has the kids third, so with that, and prayer – where can I go wrong?

So, I put my trust in those thoughts totally. I may offend the kids, (unintentionally – of course), I may make another mistake – but if I do, and they come to me and let me know, I can either fix it, apologize or both. Being in Christ isn’t a Sunday thing, not a volunteer here and there thing, a pick up my Bible and give it glance or two thing, it’s a daily thing, and knowing HE has me, and I have Him – well, that’s a two-way street with no exit ramp!

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Last night I was able to attend a Women’s Christmas Tea at church the men served us all dressed in black pants and white shirts and it’s the first time in a long time this lady had someone waiting on her.  I ate before I went however since the Celiac disease keeps me from really participating in meals…but the atmosphere and the conversation before hand was great.  My new friend from DC and I sat together and her husband was working different tables, but as we sat and watched, she told me a little about her insecurities when they first met and how her story effects her relationships now.  Which was very sweet because I am currently struggling with knowing I am loved…maybe I should say, I am worthy of love…it’s a daily struggle for me, and I remind myself constantly, I am worthy…

I then had an opportunity to explore the relationships I’ve had in the past and talked to her about how if people are really nice to me, I have a problem because I don’t know nice for the sake of nice…I look at good people in my life and wonder “why did God place them here, what do they want and when will they leave”…she asked me “why wouldn’t He?”  We then talked about self worth and how differently we look at things because of our past…I’m used to abuse and negativity, so positive affirmations seem quite odd to me for the moment, then I got to thinking about this song, one of my other friends loves “He knows my name” by Francesca Battistelli, then it hit me!  DUH, why am I not allowing myself the good?  My normal isn’t good, that’s why…but over the past few months I’ve worked really hard to change my normal, so why not keep embracing it?  I lose sight of all the good when I let my past creep into my present and if I keep doing that I’ll ruin my future.

Another DC friend answered my very long email and suggested that by ignoring my family and choosing to be silent, I am actually allowing myself to heal even more and to keep forgiving and keeping the anger that may creep in at bay.  That’s being more Christian and helpful then allowing myself to keep begging for the kind of relationship I long for with them they are not capable of at the time.

I had to let this simmer for a bit, and took myself for a pedicure and manicure…read a little bit of the Bible (I always go to Romans for comfort) and thought about my friend asking me if I wanted her to stand with me when the speaker last night called for those with broken relationships to stand…I truly didn’t want to stand, but her encouragement and smile said “it’s all going to be okay – I am here with you”…and she was right, standing and showing the room full of other women that I too have a broken heart, a broken relationship, a heart that is healing and resting in the arms of our Savior, well, it was another step towards healing.

I’ve handled so much of my life on my own because it was “too much trouble” for anyone to lock arms, or “I have no clue what you’re going through” so I’m just going to “remove myself from this problem and ignore it and not mention it and it will somehow go away”…well, that doesn’t happen.  All that does is build resentment toward people and makes you feel like people don’t really care about what you’re going through.

For those I’ve ever done that too, I’m sorry.  I truly care about your problems and your sadness so please forgive me my trespass…

Then on the way to my favorite coffee shop with one of my favorite people EVER, I saw my daughter’s BFF – or who used to be her BFF, I have no idea if they are still friends or not and I have to tell you, she did not look so good, and it was an awkward conversation, I’m sure she was thinking (after all I’ve HEARD my daughter has supposed said) why is this crazy lady talking to me…but I embraced it and hopefully she has told my daughter I saw her and I looked happy…because I am…

and I’m totally getting off track here too…ooppss!!

So then the speaking started talking about our story…who is the author, what’s the beginning, who are the characters, how does it end?  My story begins and ends with Jesus…He created me, He perfected me, He saw the strength He would instill in me to survive child abuse, abusive marriages, my daughter running away…He gave me the brain to think about what’s right and wrong and what steps I need to take to make life better…He has given me the hope if I remain in Him and He remains in me I can conquer any giant that comes my way…and I am ready to do so…so I’m definitely letting go, AGAIN, of past mistakes and negativity in my head and I know it’ll be a daily fight until the negativity is gone and all the positive thinking is back..I’m going to remember I am a child of His and He has me…and I’ll call on my friends and family in Christ and remember they are the Hands of God, and they will lift me up, because on my own, it’s not enough…but I know they’ll have the words of wisdom and hugs and love that I need when I need it most…they are part of my story, they are the characters…my ending isn’t near yet, but I’ll keep you posted on the middle…it’s going to be great!!!

Romans 5:1-5….

Here we are, another year has come and gone, and even during the midst of a great stormy year, I have abundant blessings…had you asked me a year ago, if my life would change this much, I would have sad no, and would have said I was perfectly happy in my current state, but Olivia leaving and pushing me closer to God and out of my comfort zone has been the greatest blessing of all.  I found my voice, my heart, my purpose, and my life over the past year and for that, I am very thankful.

I have joined two groups at church and grew more in the past year than I have in the 47 years God has given me on this earth.  I am happier, have the ability to be more open and honest with my self and others, and have learned to lay all my secrets, shame, despair, and joy at the foot of the cross and move forward with life.

I have said goodbye to past hurts, let go of what I cannot change, and learned I am worthy of much more respect, compassion and love than I have ever let in and I am thoroughly ready to experience it full force.

I have talked about my first ex husband, abuse I suffered as a child, and learned others have walked the same path.  The stories may be different, but the outcome is the same – feelings of being unworthy and shamed – feelings of letting your spouse, your family and more important, God down.  I have learned there are other women and men out there who have suffered at the hands of loved ones, strangers, and the greatest enemy of all – ourselves.

I have learned it’s okay to have a prodigal child.  We are not given a handbook at the birth of our children and told how to deal with every situation in the perfect manner so as to not hurt our children with baggage from our pasts, and stressful situations we find ourselves in.  This knowledge, has helped me forgive my own parents for what I feel are their “mistakes” and move forward to only want to love them and spend whatever time they have on earth enjoying their presence if I can.

I have learned I do not have to stay in relationships that are “stuck” in what was and what could be – and be the only person working towards a goal of good communication, respect and commitment to a better future.

I have learned it is okay to stand up for myself and state what I do and do not like about my life.  I am within my rights as a human being to have my own opinions, thoughts, and wishes for my life.  I do not have to live for everyone else, I can live for me.

I have learned it’s okay to be a “Jesus freak” as I have recently been called.  He carried me through this past year and never left my side.  He spoke to me through friends and family and told me “I have you” and when I asked, He gave me answers to some of life’s toughest questions and gave me the strength to deal with the pain, the tears, and reconciled my heart to know “it’s okay to not be okay” at times.

I have learned when you are walking with those who truly love you, your pain becomes their pain, and in times of deepest sorrow, your pain is carried – by them – and when you are healing – you are able to help carry the pain of others.

I have learned there are people who will stick up for you when you are attacked and will fight for your dignity and honor.

I have learned sometimes people truly are put in your life for a season and it’s okay to let them go when the season has ended, wish them well, pray for their happiness and know you served a purpose for them too.

I have learned God doesn’t promise us life will be easy, He promises us when everything around us is falling, we are held.

I have been blessed, as I stated earlier, with several new friends and am enjoying celebrating their blessings – new babies, IVF treatments, job successes, pregnancies – the list is long and joyous.

I have been blessed with love – love from people I never imagined possible.  Love from the past, love with hope for a wonderful future, love with no conditions, no boundaries, no expectations or limitations, full of respect, compassion  – love as Christ intended love to be…

So as I face this thanksgiving season without my daughter, I have a lot to be thankful for – and I am so humbled and overwhelmed.  I will miss her face, her hugs and will miss watching Christmas Vacation after eating our Thanksgiving meal, but that is short-term – if I look to my blessings, I have a wonderful employer and his wife (my friend) who I will be spending the day with, I have love in my heart, I have a new house waiting for me to make it my home, I have friends who love me for me, and see Him in me, I have two dogs who touch my heart with their wagging tails, does the list end?  No, because in Christ  I have a brand new life waiting for me to embrace it – and I couldn’t be happier to have a peaceful heart, a humbled spirit, and a renewing of my life.  Blessings my friends…Romans 5:1-5…

So, I find myself angry.  There are those who say I need to start my anti-depressant again, but SURPRISE to all of you, I was angry before I stopped it, I’m sure others will wonder what I am angry about, I can list a few for you!

1.  My parents will not give me one hint as to what my daughter is doing, where she goes, if she is in school, if she is alive, what kind of car she drives, what her cell phone number is, and I can go on and on and on….on this one…

2.  My sister has been known to say she isn’t mad at me…REALLY – what would she have to be angry about?  Did I send her a nasty message on Christmas morning telling her “until you get the help you need I can no longer be a part of your life”?  Nope.  So, my dear readers, why is she entitled to NOT be mad at me?

3.  Evidently, my family – and I am including all family, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, except one cousin, spouse and one aunt and uncle – if you read this you know who you are because you actually speak to me and tell me that it will all be okay and you don’t understand it either…..for you four, I thank you and am deeply indebted to your compassion – however, the rest of my family is in denial about what a couple of 20 year olds have to say…thank you for never asking me my side, and by saying “I don’t want to be involved” well, when you listen to one side and not the other not only are you involved, and you have clearly chosen a side.

4.  I am tired of cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and doing nothing but work, work, work, work, work…thank goodness for a few close friends who see my exhaustion and the need to be emotionally recharged from time to time.  To you, my most precious girlfriends, I love you more than I can ever mention, and I thank you for your time you invest in me.  Your compassion and silent undertanding means the world to me.  I know you know who I’m talking about.

5.  I am angry because my efforts to reach out to my daughter are fruitless.  I can apologize, ask forgiveness, recognize her birthday, holidays, engagements, send cards, emails, presents, money, and it all goes unrecogized and certainly no mention of receipt is given…AND…if I ask my “parents” they can’t tell me anything because it would violate my daughters privacy.

6.  I am angry because I am being treated like I am a drug seeking, child beating, POS, prostitute that has never done anything to benefit her child.  And, those who believe her story and never seek me out to ask anything of me, think they are so right, when in all actuality, if we read our Bibles and seek God’s counsel, you will see they are clearly wrong.  But you can’t tell them that, because clearly they think they are without sin.  Good for them!

7.  I am upset because I have two diseases that are robbing me of my health, and cause daily pain, bloating, stomach issues, toilet issues and the only one who is taking pains to help is me.

8.  I am upset because I am rowing a boat by myself and all I really want is for someone else to pick up the oars and row for a while.  Would that really be so hard?

9.  I am angry because every parental mistake I’ve made has been raked over the coals of those who shouldn’t judge, and I have not been given the chance to plead guilty, or defend myself.  The charges, trial, verdict and sentence have all been made without the star witness.

10.  I am upset because I am tired of praying and being met with not an iota of a answered prayer.  I know, all in God’s time, and good things come to those who wait and God is working on it, He does all things for our good.  I would just appreciate one hint of an answer.

11.  I am upset because my daughter has gotten engaged and is planning a wedding without me.  Seriously, planning a wedding without me.  My relationship with my mom wasn’t all that great, but I still wanted her involved in every aspect of every important event of my life.  But my daughter’s hate for me right now is so huge, she will take her vows, someone else will walk her down the aisle, someone else will answer the question “who gives this woman”, somone else will light the candles, someone else will pull her veil over her face, someone else will give the toast, someone else will help her with dress, hand her the bouquet and watch her give her first kiss as a wife.

12.  I am upset that not one person has chosen to give her dose of reality, as I would if this was somoene’s child I know, and say, HEY, WAKE UP, you are slowly killing your mom, you will regret this some day, give her a chance to show you how her life has changed, give her a chance to be forgiven, give her a chance to show you anything, and remind her of the fact that I loved her first, I grew her, I birthed her, I prayed for her safety, her dreams, I sacrificed to make her happy, and I will, unlike my family, I will be here for her no matter what.  No matter what, even after all the pain I’ve been in because of her, I would welcome her home in a heart beat, I would take all her anger just to hear her voice, I would crawl through fire for her.

13.  I am angry because she made my worst nightmare come true.  She got mad, walked away and I know I’ll never see her again, and all the the faith in the world will not change that fact.

14.  I am angry that her fiance and his family claim to be such great Christians, yet they allow this distance to continue.

15.  I am angry because I am lonely.  I miss her.  I miss her so much, I ache sometimes.  What do you do without your child who is out there, missing, avoiding you, ignoring you, pretending you don’t exist, how does a mom deal with that?

16.  I am angry because what I thought would be the “friend” phase of our life is gone.  Just gone.

17.  I am angry because people don’t understand that family functions make me sad.  I don’t want to celebrate birthdays and holidays and children’s special moments, sporting events, graduations….does anyone understand how painful they are?  I used to do those things with my daughter, and now they are gone.  There is no time limit on this folks, I feel what I feel and I cannot fake happiness for you or anyone else, I have a hard time faking happiness for myself at times.

18.  I am upset with myself because if I found out some members of my family were deceased, I don’t know that I would care.  I recently talked to someone I am pretty close to about this, and she as has her own “issue” with a family member and she confided in me, she feels the same way.  Does this make us bad people?  I am not sure, but I think God sees the pain more than he sees the anger, and he understands.

19.  I am upset because my daughter now has a full-time job and didn’t have the courtesy to tell me hey, you can stop paying the amount you pay a month in health insurance, I have my own now.  She knows what a money struggle I have, she can’t even send telegram saying, Hey, save yourself some dough!

20.  I am upset because after all I’ve said above, I still just want my daughter to call me, write me, send me a note and say, hey, I’m alive, I love you, I’m just working through some things, but I recognize all you did for me…I know you did your best, I know you made mistakes, I know that!!  I love you mom…

That’s just to name a few things that have upset me, which is clearly just the human side of me.  The Christian side says, it will all be okay, you will see her again, you must continue to pray (1 Chronicles 16:11, Romans 8:26), you must continue to persevere (Proverbs 3:5-6, James 1:12), you must continue your journey and rest, reflect, repent and reconcile.  I feel like the little train that could, I think I can make it one more day, I think I can not cry one more tear, I think I can keep the faith (Luke 7:50).

So, I’m angry for the moment, and possibly having a pity party for myself, I think it’s okay, I think those who love me the most will understand.  My dogs certainly understand and I love them so much, they keep me sane these days, Harlie with her snuggling in bed and Jordyn with her never ending hugs.  I will get though this, I will wake up every day and keep going, I will rejoice  in the Lord during this time of trial because I know the path is set by him and I know his love is perfect and I know he is walking with me.

Like God has seen me take ownership for all my sins, mistakes, regrets, and repentance I want the chance to show my daughter.  But I realize she has to give me the chance.  I was thinking about our trip to the beach last year and how we laughed and sang and shared quiet moments….that was the best week ever for me…reminded me of our trip to Clifty Falls and our hikes in the woods, laying by the pool..such great memories for me…all of which she said were faked on her part.

I would love the chance to see her again and tell her again I love her, I’m sorry for my mistakes and would love the time to show her how my life and heart has changed.  But again, I’m not the one not reaching out.  There is no indication how long the prodigal son was gone, I wish I knew a time table, wish i knew the hour of her return, I wish i knew I wouldn’t be old, gray and on deaths door…time is so short, so precious….my anger has subsided while writing.  Now I’m melancholy.  I guess I’ll walk the dogs and enjoy the great outdoors…sunshine and the love of a dog…God’s warmth of the sun, and His unconditional love from a furry face….until later my friends I leave you with Psalm 51…

“…Grant me a willing spirit to sustain me…”