Archives for category: godly

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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“In our own case, we accept excuses far too easily, in other people’s, we do not accept them enough. As regards my own sins, it is a safe bet that the excuses are not really so good as I think; as regards other men’s sins, it is a safe bet, that the excuses are better than I think…to excuse what can really produce good excuses is not Christian charity; it is only fairness. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the excusable in you.” C.S. Lewis.

What a beautiful quote I read tonight as I was doing my D.C. homework. Funny, I’ve had trouble writing lately because I’ve had too many thoughts wrapping around my brain – mainly because I’m fighting Satan at every angle of my life. I do not want to go back to my old life, and one tiny slip will spin me spiraling out of control into the dark again. I’ve had trouble writing too because I keep thinking about a text I received from – what I thought – was one of my best friends and someone I loved dearly, although she recently told me I did not love her – I guess because I chose a different path than what even I expected. Her text read “you are right, I do not know you. The person I know is gone. Very sad.”

Really? You prefer the broken me over the newly healed me? You prefer the person who would let everyone walk all over her and not give her any respect? You prefer the person who was sad all the time? You prefer the person who strove for perfection at all times, yet received no thanks, no praise, no recognition? You prefer the person who was spiraling down to a depression no one could save her from?

This same “friend” then went on to tell me how I had lied to her, to my therapist and yet doesn’t want to be put into the same category as my earthly family who also doesn’t see the new me, the free me, the saved me!

I’ve shown several people who know my story the text about the old me being gone and they all say the same thing “hallelujah”! Yes, my therapist may have just been – as my earthly mom pointed out – a licensed clinical social worker – but she helped saved me. Weekly visits followed by biweekly visits – finally ending in “hey, Teresa, you got this, you are where you are supposed to be, you can keep coming here, but I really have nothing else to offer” – What? I’m cured? Why, how can you say that? She could say that because I did the work, I did the homework, I did the resting, reflecting and repenting! Not only was I seeing her, but I was meeting twice a week with my Christian family who drove me towards God’s word so I could see that I was worth something to my Lord and Savior. He sees me. He knows my worth, more importantly, He knows my name!

I also recently saw a Facebook post that read “Never run back to what broke you” Toby Mac…

Never run back to what broke you…hmmm…to me that explains a lot. I’ve spent 46 almost 47 years running back to what broke me. I’ve tried to live up to everyone’s expectations and not given too much thought as to what God thought of me, or what I even think of me. Last March it hit so hard and in April even harder, and in May when I decided to give my life to Christ, it wasn’t a whim, or just a “oh hey, let’s try this for a while” it was a “I’m all in this and need to do better and need to really focus on the one man who gave HIS one and ONLY Son for my undying, undivided, 100% attentive love!”

Being accused of lying, cheating, no fully disclosing who I am to people and being accused of having mental instability, bipolar disorder, multiple personality disorder, hearing my earthly parents say to my therapist “do you know what we’ve been through with this one?” Really? Do these same people know what God has gone through waiting for us? What we have done to disrespect God? To run from Him and try to live on our own? To try to prove to GOD that “I got this, I don’t need you?” It’s okay, go ahead and view me as you want. I know the truth, God certainly knows the truth, and if you opened you eyes, listened, saw, heard, watched me, you’d see too…

So, yes, in the past, I have accepted excuses for what I have done too easily, I’ve been too hard on others and not accepted their excuses for what I believed has wronged me and I have forgiven because Christ forgave me. But that does not mean I’ll go running back to what broke me. No way, no how. I see me FINALLY for what God sees. And that’s a very valuable, lovable, grace-filled creation. I am worthy – and I will not be broken – not again. Not as long as God is with me and I plan to remain in Him forever.

Romans 5:1-5

“Seems like all I could see was the struggle, haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures, wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son, stop fighting a fight it’s already been won”

All my life I have been called unworthy, named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”, I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet

Because I don’t have to be the old man inside of me, ‘cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I’ve got a new name, a new life, I’m not the same, and a hope that will carry me home

I am redeemed, You set me free, so I’ll shake off these heavy chains, wipe away every stain, yeah, I’m not who I used to be, Oh, God, I’m not who I used to be, Jesus, I’m not who I used to be, ‘cause I am redeemed
Thank God, redeemed.”

Okay, so I broke down on Sunday, December 27, 2015, I cried for about an hour, maybe longer, I’m not sure, I remember hearing the 3:45 bell chime, and the 4:00 bell chime and I don’t really remember anything else until the 5:00 bell chimed.  Sunday, resulted in many an anniversary date and what more could I do, but give in and let go.  As I cried, I was filled with emotions from shame, regret, failure, being unworthy, sadness…I listened to the words of the one with me, and kept repeating what was being said  “God is here, I am here” and I wondered, if God was really here, why was my heart hurting so bad?

These feelings subsided and I was able to fix dinner, and I turned on a few of my favorite songs, “Held” by Natalie Grant followed by “Cry Out to Jesus” by Third Day.  Then, I broke down again and asked for an out loud prayer.  Nothing like hearing someone pray out loud for you – and to not only hear the words but feel the words in your heart.

I went home, went to bed and spent mostly a prayerful night, listening to my heart and God’s promises…it’s funny how one event can bring a rush of emotions back…it’s time to let go of them all, however, because I am redeemed.  I am not who I once was, and I don’t want to be who I once was.  I don’t want to live in shame, regret, and feelings of being unlovable and unworthy.  Monday morning I was met with a sermon about “The Bible is the only Truth” by Dave Stone and several songs came on the radio which brought peace to my heart.  I did pick up my head and told the devil to get out of my head.  He has no room in my head, my heart, my home.  He has no room in my life.  He has no space to fill.  He is not good, he is not worthy of MY time.  I will not allow – no wait – God will not allow anyone, anything, to fill the space in my heart or head with negativity, shame, regret or let me be drug into the past.  I am not my past, I am not defined by my past, and I can have hope for a brighter future.

I’ve learned we bind ourselves by our pasts – God doesn’t.

I’ve learned we let the devil in – God doesn’t.

I’ve learned we don’t allow forgiveness in – God doesn’t.

I’ve learned I am my own worst enemy – God isn’t.

I’m looking forward to 2016 – a whole new journey is waiting for me, and I’m ready to embrace it all.

 

“Mary did you know?”  What a song.  Did Mary fully comprehend what God was telling her when He came to her and told her she would carry His son?  Did Mary fully comprehend all that Jesus would do when she was given the honor of carrying God’s son?  What exactly was the full conversation between God and Mary?  I know the Bible gives us glimpses, but I wonder sometimes if Mary said “seriously, God, you want me to carry a child who will die on a cross and suffer a horrible death to save the world?”  And God said, “Yes” and Mary said “okay”.
When you think of all Jesus did:  walked on water, healed the sick, raised the dead, made the blind to see, calmed storms with just the wave of a hand, walked in heaven with the angels…all that and so much more did Mary grasp this with all her might?  Did she feel somewhat scared, happy, overwhelmed???
I think about all this and my heart beats just a little faster…I don’t know if I could have listened to God tell me I would carry a child, watch him be persecuted, die on a cross and then rise again, just to save a sinner like me, I don’t know if I could answer as Mary did  “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.”  (Luke 1:38 NIV)
So, then, Mary, being nine months pregnant, has to go traveling on the donkey to Bethlehem to give birth to this perfect human in a manger full of straw, animals, no midwife, no doctor, no family.  I can see myself now, telling Joseph, “are you out of your mind?  I am not riding a donkey through the cold and giving birth in a strange hotel!”   I’m sure she was scared, but did the comfort of knowing God was with her make everything lighter?  It certainly does lighten my burdens.
I think about the lyrics to “Breath of Heaven” where Mary asks if a wiser person should have taken her place, but Mary continues to believe and offers herself to God and just asks God help her be strong in His plan.  And what a plan He had!
I think about God’s plan for my own life and how I tried to live it on my own and do what I wanted to do instead of listening to the inner voice of God telling me, to let go and let Him.  I think about how I lived my way and nothing seemed to go “right”.  I think about how I gave my life to Him fully over the past year and how much better life goes when I simply let go and let Him lead my path.  I think about all the people, situations, and turmoil this past year has brought and then I think about how peaceful I have become since He rules every aspect of my life.  I see how people can’t seem to grasp this peace I have found and how I do not feel the need to explain myself anymore.  I don’t feel the need to explain, argue, bicker, or justify myself – because I know God has His plan, and my hope is found in Him.
I wonder if Mary felt the need to explain.  Joseph could have had her stoned to death, but he didn’t.  I wonder if Mary felt the stares and heard people talk behind her back, call her names, questioned her character, integrity, her heart.  When I think about all this, my problems don’t seem so big at all.  I haven’t been called to carry the son of God, all I’ve been called to do is live the way the Bible tells me too, to listen to God when He tells me to move, to love Him with all my heart…and I do.
For some reason this holiday season has found me focusing on Mary.  What she experienced, what she was thinking, how she had so much stacked against her yet remained strong.  I think about how, as a mother, you have to be strong so much for the sake of your children.  I think about how God must have thanked her immensely for being such a noble woman and remaining true to Him.   I think about my own life and what God has witnessed in my life.  I realize all the times I thought I was experiencing something alone, I truly wasn’t.  God was walking with me every step of the way.  He’s had my back, my pain, my joy, He was in the storm before it even began to rain in my life.  I cannot even begin to thank Him for enduring may pain and for giving me so much joy.  I think about Him giving His ONLY son for our love, and it overwhelms my heart.  I think of Mary and what she endured and I can only look upon her with a humble admiration.  She gave birth to the most precious gift I have ever been blessed with receiving.  I cannot – in good conscious – take this gift lightly.  Mother to mother – it’s being given a heart transplant and receiving the gift of life – everlasting life – and all I have to do is give her Son my heart, my life, my soul.  That’s a gift I will not return, will not take lightly.  I hope as you think about the people involved in the first Christmas you find someone you can identify with, someone you can relate, someone who touches your heart.  This year for me, it’s definitely Mary…my gift to her is to not dishonor her Son, to hold Him close to my heart, to love like He did, to be thankful for the sacrifice His family made, so I could take a breath.

“To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.” ~ George Mueller

What a great quote for this weekend. Yes, I have seen many trials and I have learned FAITH can see you through any storm. This weekend marks the one year anniversary since my daughter “left home”. I have no idea really how to word it – did she run away?  Did she leave for a reason?  I know she got mad and instead of choosing to talk about it, and be open and honest with me, she left. Has she spoken to me yet?  No, but I did get one email in 12 months…wow, I’m enlightened ( not!! )  In turn, my entire family turned their back on me instead of talking…what I have learned however, is maybe this was all for the best. I have learned I tended to surround myself with toxic relationships. No one but my daughter and I are to blame for her leaving, although there were certain factors about my life I could have changed to prevent this all from happening… When my parents and I went to counseling a few months ago and my mom said “do you have any idea what we’ve been through with her” to my therapist it hit me – sometimes parents have issues they haven’t dealt with and even though you say you are a Christian and go to church, sometimes, you are not a true follower of Christ, therefore, you can’t let go of your own past hurts and those demons will soon consume you. I let my demons consume me for many years, and at times, they still creep in and if I let them, take over my head, sometimes an entire day…but I will not allow them to define me. I am worth so much more to my Father in heaven, then any earthly being could ever understand. I am not going to let anyone who doesn’t understand this new found worth destroy me…because it has certainly been used against me in the recent weeks. My happiness and peaceful heart isn’t out of the need to “rid” myself of bad things, it’s been used to truly find out who I am, who I want to be, and who I put my trust, who sees me for me and not what they want me to be. I used to always put my trust in earthly beings and felt if I was just “this much more good” or “this thin” or “this way” or “did this to please others” I would be happy. After Olivia left and my family distanced themselves and wouldn’t speak to me and I found myself (with the exception of a few moments where people were “there”) praying more, listening deeper to Christian songs, looking up the verses in the Bible where the songs came from and finding a deeper meaning to my hurt. I found that yes, I had been through some pretty traumatic events in my life, but I was still standing and reason is because GOD had me. And God continues to carry me. Yes, I am happier now at this moment than I believe I’ve ever been in my life. And even through this weekend was met with four bouts of crying, and reaching out to those who have truly walked along side me during this past year. The emails or texts back were full of encouragement, hope and verses from the Bible I have read several times, but continue to speak to my heart. Now, is it a good thing – and am I happy – that my daughter and I are separated and even though I continually reach out she chooses to ignore? NO, it’s a very sad, hurtful thing, but when she comes back will I say to her or anyone in the room “do you know what I have been through with her?” NO, I will simply wrap my arms around her and welcome her back into the place of my heart she belongs. Will I ever blame her for leaving and for the hurt she put me through? No, because if she is anything like me, she already knows what she has done has been extremely painful and it’s not my place to make her feel worse, it’s my place to make her feel loved. It’s what several people have done for me – no judging, no blaming, no condemnation, no words of making her feel worse for the wear, just love. It’s what we are all called to do…rest, reflect, repent, reconcile. I understand I played a part in her leaving, I understand I did things that hurt her, I understand I was not, and am not, and never will be a perfect mother. But am I forgiven by God, am I granted grace by God? Yes. It’s just too bad earthy being don’t fully grasp the grace God has given us. I think if we all understood this, the world would be a much happier place. Is it easy to extend grace? Not always…it’s it healthy for us to do? YES. And for those, who throw my “happiness” in my face and continue to repeat hurtful comments to me, you do have a place in my heart, you do have a place in my life, but you have to come to chapter of the book I am in to fully understand my life now. You are not some distant memory, you are not forgotten, but I cannot and will not continue to live my life in the past. I need my future, and my future will be one of hope, faith, encouragement, no judgment, no condemnation, and the extension of true grace. This is something that cannot be explained, it has to be experienced and I’m telling you, when you walk through the fire and know that God has you, you’ll understand… As for me, I’ll continue to remain hopeful, my daughter will be experience this same “AHA” moment I had earlier this spring/summer, and that she’ll see me as a parent, who though made mistakes, loves her child with all her heart, and I’ll continue to walk in faith, I will continue to pray for hearts to soften and for people to see me through the eyes of Christ and not their own eyes. For it’s only when we see people through Christ’s eyes we can fully extend forgiveness, grace and walk there with…I’ll make it through today, for I’m holding strong to faith that endures…Romans 5:1-5.

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….

As I sit to write tonight, I have no title.  I really have no words to even explain what’s in my heart, so I am going to shoot from the hip here…so bear with me…I have been trying to rebuild a relationship with my parents and thought we were making progress, but then, this past Tuesday, I received a call, from a friend, whose friend called her to let her know a small incident that happened at the hair salon.  Seems my mom was getting her  hair done the same time as my friend’s friend, who obviously knew that was my mom because she knew of her.  Seems my mom was speaking ill of me and stating what a horrible person I was…in public, with other people around…at a hair salon.  I guess the lady who does my friend’s friend’s hair, knew more about me and my life then she cared to know.  This happened less than 2 weeks ago.  How can that be?

Then I got to thinking about my friend who called me to tell me all this and the love I have in my heart for her.  She would never lie to me, she would  never intentionally do a thing to hurt me.  Yet, when I asked for things to change in our relationship, she could not love me enough to do so.

Which brought me to thinking about my family again.  How can you call yourself a Christian, and say to my face you love me, yet turn your back against me.

Therefore, I’ve come to the conclusion, humans are incapable of real love.  Not if you are not IN Christ at all times.  It’s something I’ve learned over the past year – to truly love, to truly forgive, to truly BE you have to have Christ in your life.  Now, I’m not saying, I’m always this perfect person, but I’ve been completely honest with my feelings on a lot of issues, how I feel about certain things, and what I am capable of as a human.

I’ve told my parents I want the past in the past and I want us all to move forward in Christ, they say that’s what they want too, yet less than two weeks ago they are at a hair salon talking about how horrible I am?  What’s with that?  My friend was even upset because she doesn’t believe the feelings I had at a time in the past for her were real and true.  I just said them to say them?  No, I meant every word of them, but like my relationship with my parents, my life has changed drastically in a years time.  I’ve grown, I’ve changed.  I’ve realized what’s holding me together 24/7. I have to respect that…and more than any human, it’s been God holding me together.  It’s been prayer.  It’s been a true reflection on God and all HE has done for me to get me HERE.  And as I thought about all this and how hard it is to explain to people, I decided to take time and do the four R’s.

What are the four R’s?  Its what my daughter’s college age pastor told me to when she left…rest, reflect, repent and reconcile.  Here’s what I’ve learned about that…I can rest and think about all I’ve done wrong, and I can beat myself up for it, and I can be sad, think horrible things about myself.  I can say I’m sorry for all the hurts I’ve caused and then I can try to reconcile relationships.  Which is what I’ve been trying to do for almost an entire year now!  What I’ve learned about reconciliation is it cannot happen unless BOTH parties in a relationship are willing to admit hurts, apologize for them, and get out of the hurt and move forward. So I spent a few hours crying and beating myself up for all the hurt again, and thought about what I’ve even done over the past 8 weeks and did what every person does in times of need…I emailed my DC Chicks and asked for prayer…what I got in return was prayer, phone calls, cyber hugs, and reassurance I am okay – I am on the right path – I am learning to let my heart beat again, I am saying good bye to where I’ve been, I’m looking at my shattered life that’s in about 1000 pieces on the floor, I’ve been on my knees again asking God to give me the strength to give up my family, my loves, my hurts, to help me realize I don’t live in the past, I live in the NOW – I have a future, I have plans, I have to take one step at a time out of darkness – putting “band aides” on my scars yet looking at them and appreciating them for what they are…failures, where I’ve used to be – and that was not a good place, it was a place where I lived for everyone else and didn’t do a very good job of it, it was where I was dishonest with myself and tried to be what everyone else wanted and wasn’t true to me.  It was living but not breathing…it’s hard to explain this to anyone who doesn’t realize the childhood I had, the marriages I’ve survived, the deep pain that existed in my heart.  Yesterday is a closed door and I do not live there anymore, and I have to remember first and foremost I’m God’s child – He loves me, this is the season He decided to give His ONLY SON to have a relationship with me.  To have me in His love and embrace.  My heart is beating…but every now and again, I get pulled into yesterday and want to live in the hurt – but I have to say good bye to the hurt.  When you hurt, you hurt others, and I don’t want to be the person who hurts others…I don’t want to be the one who doesn’t let others live to their full potential and get all the wonderful things in life they deserve.  So not only do I want my heart to breathe, I want theirs to breathe too…and I think sometimes that means you give up what you love, because by loving it, you cause it more pain.  Maybe this makes sense, maybe it doesn’t.

So sometimes, when I let myself open doors I should leave closed, I live in the hurt, I see the pieces on the floor, and realize I’m shattered and I’ve shattered others…I realize I can’t put anyone else together unless I put myself together first.  And I’m doing that.  I’m leaving darkness and I’m reaching for the Son…and for those I’ve hurt, for those who I’ve shattered, for those who can’t see my heart today, I am sorry, I hope you heal, I hope you find your peace, I hope you know my heart beats a little for you every day with hope, faith and longing for a time of reconciliation and healing…I hope someday your heart will also beat again…and I guess that’s what this title should be…heartbeats….

Romans 5:1-5