Escape Plan

33D9F4A0-764B-49AD-9BCD-7CB884F1E342I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again.

No doubt, at certain times or in joking, the lyrics of that song were sung and maybe deep down wishing it to be true.  I know I have, many times.

Remembering a time while talking to my counselor yesterday, there was a time I did take a jet plane and flew out west to visit a friend.  I needed time away and was desperate to get out of my life, an escape. It was probably the worst time of my life, feeling lost and numb and wanting to walk away from everything and everybody. Trusting few as my trust in others was growing smaller and smaller.  How could I open up to a pastor or church leadership when the preaching and so forth was on faith, trust God, your joy is in the Lord, etc. Why be subjected to more pressure of not having enough faith and be disillusioned even further of my church family that seemed as distant and trustworthy as my own family.  Where do I go?

Thankfully, through these years, I knew enough and was strong enough in my Christian walk to know that the Lord was my only hope.  I have always heard through many sermons that we must know the Bible enough to grasp hold to the words as if we did not have a Bible to reference.  Plus, we cannot depend upon others to walk this Christian way for us.  I was learning that well through this dark, lonely wilderness.  I had nobody.  At times I felt invisible and walking through a maze blindly.

Since that time, I have managed and all by the Grace of God.  When I felt so alone, I knew deep down that He knew my name and He knew where I was and I had to say those words aloud so many times in desperation, “Lord, you know my name and you know where I am.”  It has been hard at times and still feeling my way through the maze of chaos and confusion but the end is in sight, I know it is. There is joy and then there is fear and sometimes they seem to slap one another within my mind.13578DBA-BF26-4992-B77D-DC5431BEBD1B

I am at a point again to escape but this time to settle some things and get a new perspective, alone.  Just me and God.  A sweet friend said the other day that she did this at a pivotal point in her life, just her and God hashing it out.  That is exactly where I am.  To escape as there has to be more and I need His direction.

966C8FC2-09BE-4567-AE40-A02F221B38AELife can be overwhelming and we can be consumed with hopelessness in situations.  If you make no changes in your circumstances, nothing will change.  We have to make a decision to want more.  I seriously started with this change back in 2014.  It seems like forever ago but there was a lot to sift through and I do not regret the time spent, financial aspect or the emotions expressed.  I am not the same person I was when I walked in my counselor’s office the first day, back in September, 2014.  I had to and you have to make a decision to start taking care of YOU.  Nobody will do this for you.

Sometimes we have to escape to find ourselves.  It’s okay!

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My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.  And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove. I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah. I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest” (Psalm 55:6-8).

https://stillnessofthemorning.wordpress.com/tag/psalm-556-8/

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I Wait

4DD5F693-E894-462A-A418-4088F4293B0DThe other day, working and running from one appointment to another after leaving work early, in hopes that everyone needs to run on schedule as I had to.  Three appointments, an hour each, everything worked perfectly.  It was a good day, the stars all lined up, as they say.

Well, until the last one. It was the third appointment, at 4:15 that I pushed to get there on time and I sat.  I waited.  I enjoyed a few mints.  I usually never dig in the candy 10AB8E47-3B46-4ECC-922E-94DEAB502A64dish although I have one on my desk that is open for guests to enjoy. I waited more, thinking the appointment my counselor was in would soon end and she would be rounding the corner to greet me.  I waited, still.  I wrote, texted, read, ate another mint and I could feel myself melt in the chair EBD01CF0-49A0-48AD-A1CD-B3BF90F9A094from tiredness of the early morning alarm and the busy day.  I was now too tired to really talk, the clock was ticking away and I finally set my time that I would leave.  I wrote a brief note and I left. I never do that either. Done.  Goodbye.

Realizing, I had somewhat of a guilty feeling to leave but I was forgotten. A fear of abandonment and rejection that normally would knock me down and cause panic within me.  A conversation my former counselor and I have had many times before.

The fear and panic that would overwhelm me, but I did not feel that this day. It was one of those shake your head moments. Now, in real time, I am actually forgotten by my present 1C50A904-3D97-4456-AD9D-9B07D5AA037Fcounselor. Oh my gosh! The ‘OMG’ panic, fear and anger was missing. Whether I was too tired or was I just frustrated, I tried to figure out.  Was it me? Did I forget or have the wrong day? Knowing this was an off day to meet due to a previous engagement, but we both agreed the week before and also confirmed in an e-mail days before. My mind tossed this and that as I drove away. Have I changed that much? Has there been a healing in this weak area of my life of fear of being left, rejected, forgotten? I even had to think of my relationship with her compared to my former counselor, is it me that I do not care enough for this counselor. I do care. There is a difference between them, of course, but that was not it either. This feeling of being forgotten before would not matter whom it was or situation.

So. What just happened? Who am I?

To definitely get the one question answered and clear, she is a great counselor also. I know, too, what happened in this circumstance, as I came on a day before my normal appointment and she just forgot to write it down. So yes, I was forgotten but instead of digging a hole of self-pity and sadness to bury myself, I accepted the fact and in the end, was right plus receiving an apology from her.

With me sitting there so patiently, I did realize I am very patient, more than most would be.  I have had a lot of practice in this area, I believe. I try to give a benefit of a doubt to people and situations but sometimes that leads to anger afterward within me. Accept, shrug your shoulders and move on. I am to E6C17036-4CAA-47BB-B48A-38A334D14F0Bthe point that my time and that it is more valuable than being concerned with things I have no control over.

I realized I apparently did pick up some tricks of the trade from my former counselor of many years, which was rewiring my brain. Just like the thoughts of ‘what if’ and I would continue down the dreaded rabbit hole of negative thinking. I did it! I came out on the other side. While I approached home and at the last traffic light, I had a brief moment where I felt the tears building, my heart rate increasing and that panic.  I recognized it and acknowledged. Fear. I was exhausted. Again, to recognize and realize, I knew she would not purposely forget me.52C92B41-EAC9-4D34-9275-36E4201969A6

 

We are not to believe every thought we have. Turn those negative thoughts or lies around.

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I was just amazed and still how that time sitting and waiting did not knock me out of the game of life and counseling. If anything, it made me stronger within myself and probably the connection between us as counselor and client.

Moving forward as I will not let this stop me.

Above all, and most importantly, I know the One that will never forget me.  He loves me. He sees me where I am.  He knows where I am going.

Same with you!  Trust Him.

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Zoom In?

D033BD35-324B-4B9F-85AD-CB34C5C90FDESmile, you are on camera.

These days, I sense ‘frown’ you are on camera. They are everywhere. While very handy, they can also be intrusive.

I have cameras inside and outside of my home. I get that. Our cell phones can take great pics and I like that until used wrongly.

Where I am going with this, is in the church and those emotional moments at the altar or in worship.1486566F-A67C-4548-8816-9D2414A8F116

I don’t mind the cameras rolling to get the service so the service can be shown for many to view to shut-ins, around the world to spread the Gospel, to watch again, etc.  What I do mind whether it be me or others, please get that camera out of my face and allow my private time in prayer or worship whether in the congregation and especially at the altar.  630FBAFC-E0B4-4D5B-8A99-C2EAA3243044

Then you know the cell phones and in church. People feel they can video or snap pics of the same.  Please have respect.

One service I was at, one heavy set woman was touched by God and she was worshiping. I could see her fat jiggling as she was dancing and joyful, being touched by the Lord. I was happy for her but would have been mortified if she knew behind the scene, the cell phone camera.  The mother and daughter in front of me were giggling and videotaped this of her.  I was livid. No wonder I do not move out in such services.  There are other reasons but the cameras are hindering the move of God, not just in me but for many, which is not right.

Many, as I stated, not just me feel the same. They, too, will stay seated and not move anywhere the camera might zoom in.  The altar for one, and the most important place of a church.

Respect! Where has it gone?

15CB6338-7CDA-4FE4-888A-28DB1CECF8B9This past weekend, I was at a great ladies conference and while no large camera was rolling, I saw many cell phones out and being used more and more as the conference continued.  It was like, monkey see monkey do.

I would say that many would be intimidated by such and freeze. This action halts the flow of the Holy Spirit. While we should not hinder His move, it does.  To bring this up, it goes in one ear and out the other of those in leadership. Sad.

I myself attend a late church service when I know no camera is used and it is less drama and theatrics.  I know some love the spotlight and I understand the 3E63E732-FAFC-4D5B-8670-3810AD8D6CEEplatform of those to be on camera, close shots, etc., but the congregation in worship and prayer, it is not the place.  To cover the whole service from the back of the sanctuary is sufficient and still allows a freedom.

This is my pet peeve, as you can tell, but I have heard so many say the same.  How about you?  What are your thoughts?  Do you experience the same?

Please be considerate and respectful during such spiritual moments. Reconsider your camera use. If your church and mine and video techs are zooming in on the ugly cries, please stop.

6301DAB7-F907-4F46-8F7C-5E945BB9D65AThe ugly cry. What is it? Urban Dictionary defines it as “a type of crying that feels really good and really bad at the same time.” But it’s more than just that. In an article for New Republic, Rachel Vorona Cote writes that “to ‘ugly cry’ means to weep so fervidly that one’s face contorts in ostensibly unattractive ways.”  

These days, more than ever, people need God. Those camera moments can be made from a distance and the message received for the hearts to receive instead.  Newcomers are fearful enough and dealing with sinful matters that they do not need to fear this, too.  Even professed Christians are dealing with matters, we all are, so let’s pull back the cameras and let God move.

Let God move on the hearts of those in attendance. Please!

We all need a move of God more than ever in our lives and in our churches.

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Give Me Your Pen

For whatever reason, I guess after discussing with my present counselor last week because I am coming up on my one-year anniversary from my former counselor, I am still grieving.  While I am blessed to have my present counselors, I sure miss my former one of four years. Still, I am moving forward and as they say, life goes on.

Being one that has dealt with feelings of abandonment throughout my life and understanding that fact in those four years, I recognized things about myself. Those moments of I do this or I do that, all of which were coping mechanisms I managed to use and still as an older adult, they appear.  I never knew the effects of such until then so the last five years I have been getting to know myself, the good, bad and ugly and understanding the whys in life.

It has been almost a year since a session with former counselor, as I stated. When meeting regularly, weekly sessions usually, I found myself in a panic and feeling the abandonment before she would go on vacation. I thought a week or God forbid, fourteen days were forever. The anxiousness and CDCC0BB6-758F-4B2E-8CE1-CD64A17BF769unsettledness was ever-so present. I counted down the days until her return.  To help me and I shared with her, I installed a timer app on my phone, I still use it.  My coping mechanism, as it keeps track so my mind can be somewhat at ease of not counting.  With this, I can just look at the time, acknowledge my thoughts and feelings, cry if I need to and move forward.  Technology in this sense shows me I made it, some days were rough and have been, but I was and I am moving forward. It’s what works for you to bring calmness.

We discussed this matter many times before and after vacation periods. Many times, and being one dealing with abandonment, a physical item such as a pen is helpful to hold onto. There were times, I wanted to ask her to give me her pen. A2807F53-426E-47CF-A4CC-F3A6A79D58A3The pen she holds that just made notes about me in her file because of the connection between us.

While that pen was an inanimate item, it would have given me a part of her to hold onto.  I would give it back upon her return.  I would be keeping her pen safe with me and I felt safe, as she was still with me.  Abandonment sucks. 9B2A83DB-B250-48D0-AD89-CDFD39EC7C32How sad it is to consider that a little girl, now older woman still clings to such. What happened in that little girl’s life to hold on for dear life to such objects? Maybe one day, when the Lord feels the time is right, I will know exactly why and mostly, what happened to cause such a deep root to still rear its ugly head.  Abandonment in love, emotional neglect was definitely evident.

As crazy as this is, it is somewhat normal, especially one with abandonment in their past.  This was part of my coping mechanism then and still.  Just as in this pen, it is a bonding between us and serves as a way to calm the anxiety within me, just meaning she is still with me.  It’s a transitional object, such as a security blanket for a young child.

As I researched, the weighted blanket that many use nowadays, it calms the anxiety within.  Not saying it is due to abandonment but anxiety can disrupt life.  Anxiety sucks, too!

Whether it be an inanimate object, timer on my phone, a ACDE0AED-5710-49AF-BE61-507DFC2DD64Fphoto, these were typical of me through life and sadly still.  I know the three hundred and sixty-fifth day is approaching since our last session.  My grieving is present still, I acknowledge that.  Will I see her again for a session? No. It is just my coping skill to get through the loss, sadness and hopefully healing as I see this pattern and know I have made it and I will make it.

My time with her was definitely orchestrated by God in those four years. Many times her wisdom and expertise in her field along with her sweet and caring nature and at times stern comments, I grew and will always be thankful.  The Lord knew I needed her as my life became very hopeless in past situations for years, she was my lifeline. Understanding of the past and present became real to me so I can look forward to the future.  88A1B105-FCFA-40D6-855E-87E449118E91

There was a bonding between us.  I can acknowledge, as I did when in session before or after her plans for a leave on vacation that there was a panic within me that happens, which is abandonment.  I did not take her pen but I wanted to each time, or some object.  I survived even though anxiety was apparent.

Today, I can also acknowledge that abandonment became real when she left her counseling position abruptly.  Not only discussing it but also experiencing it by her.  A real life sink or swim moment came into effect dealing with the emotions, thoughts and even anger.  Most importantly, I am still thankful of our time together.

FA259C47-230E-4B65-B0DD-940CC9A03161If you have dealt with loss and lack of love in childhood or as an adult, you will understand me.  It’s real.  It’s real hard, too.  Through it, you have to learn to care for yourself, re-parent yourself, get in touch with your inner child and just love and appreciate yourself.  Do I have all that together?  No, but I do know now what I am dealing with and what I lacked and taking one day at a time.

I am worth it and above all else, I have had to fully trust the Lord moreso, as He loves ME and He will never leave me.

You are worth it and I pray that you put your whole trust in the Lord, as He loves YOU and He will not leave you either.

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Fear Upon Me

Fear.  Nothing new to me.

Faith.  Nothing new to me either.

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It’s distinguishing them is the trick sometimes.  Thankfully, I am full aware of the feelings both bring.  Fear brings chaos within me and faith is peaceful. I try to rein in those when I have a decision to make or situation before me.  Easy enough, it seems.

BE819327-CB9F-4226-877C-707DF6EBDAEBToday, I had read about a pastor that committed suicide and the focus was on the anti-depressant drugs.   How sad.  Then my mind went to my son who was prescribed anti-depressant medication this past month.  He is doing great so I have faith that this was a good turnaround for him but then reading this post, fear immediately went into action.

I also thought of a friend and her husband committed suicide and there, too, there was anti-depressant medication involved.  My head was swirling with fear and questions and unable to do a thing, as my son is of age to make his own decisions.

50FF3085-BE03-4342-8C23-FD9E726A6A25Oh how I miss the Tonka truck days and dirt tracked in the house, a house full of their friends and feeling like a short-order cook.  I have no control.  I have no say.

I do know he is doing better and it has been great to have my happy, talkative son again.  I missed him.  I do believe medication is good and in his case, a definite.  It’s the ‘what if’ questions and fear that I have to fight against in my own life for him.  The meds are helping (faith) but what if he contemplates suicide from them (fear).

Working through my fears and thoughts as I am mopping the floor feeling stressed, it was when I prayed.  Lord, I have no control.  You know all about my son, you have your hand upon him and always have had.  You know his counselor and the doctor prescribing this drug to him  Please protect him.  I have to give him to You yet again.  Peace came.

How many mothers (parents) deal with this or similar all the time, day after day?  I have to trust and put my faith in the Lord.  I have to basically do the same with my son, as he is grown.  He has to make choices and hopefully wise decisions.    CC208DCD-8735-4E46-84C0-A7A1E99C81BA

What I can do is continue to pray for and encourage my son, which I do.

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Perhaps you have dealt with the same or similar, and still.   It’s not easy.  Perhaps you have dealt with or know someone that suicide took a life.  Devastating.  All I know is to trust the Lord and in that, too, anger might be present.  It’s normal.  Perhaps not what you wanted or expected with your child’s life or whatever situation you may be facing.

Many years ago, I had a situation, and I was angry and with God.  It was when I confessed and screamed that out to Him, while I thought it was crude, I also grew in my faith.  Seriously, He knows we or that I was angry anyway, so I might as well confess it.  Life can give us some hurdles but it is trusting Him through them.

Being a parent is not always an easy task, no matter what age but it is the most rewarding.

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When You’re Angry at God

Homeless Little Girl

While getting ready to be picked up by some friends recently to attend a popular musical in a nearby city, many thoughts kept coming to mind that I haven’t thought of since I was a child. At least this much thought.

I do not give myself such luxuries to attend these types of events often enough. One, because they are too expensive and I am not too terribly fond of musicals. Perhaps for this very reason I am writing that I am not a fan. This one had a meaning, as my son was in the orchestra pit so you bet I would pay and make myself available to be with others to enjoy. Slowly crawling out of my shell, too.

Since it has been years, like I said, I was a young child and I might have been ten, if not a bit older but not by much. There was this girl at the other end of our small, country town and we were becoming friends, hanging out, as we talked on the telephone like most girls do, which was all nice. While I liked her friendship, I knew she was more outgoing and just better than me. I have always thought everyone was better than me, a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem.

0941A85F-F0C1-4B8A-B855-1CD52ED17D18It was when Jen called me at home one evening. As a typical young girl, I played outside, did not dress up much and spent just an ordinary day at home, most days and weekends. Her call was to ask me if I wanted to go with her, her mother and maybe another person to a play, a musical or something fancy. Knowing and thinking that I may never have this opportunity again, I agreed and thought it would be fun. Of course, with that agreement, I had to be ready within minutes. Sure, I am ready, I said. Now, I had no idea what or where we were going, just with my friend. I felt special knowing I was asked to go. I felt special and important.

It was when they arrived to pick me up and my friend, younger than me by a year, walked through the door with her mother. I remember the exact place I was standing, looking at them, probably thinking oh my. I’m sure my mom and others in the living room were thinking, what the hell. While I do not remember what the mom had on, I do remember my younger friend looking like an adult. All dressed up, 14C7F979-C6D1-454A-B751-78D4DD1A1062wearing her mother’s mink stole and makeup. They were both classy looking. Here I am, probably greasy hair somewhat, in my normal clothes from the day. Remember, I only had five minutes to be ready. Not knowing what to expect, definitely not this night or what followed.

I do remember my mom asking me if I really wanted to go. I know now that was to protect me from being hurt due to the way they were dressed and the homely look I 8cb1ff75-fa04-467a-aec4-0c7793a42308-43917-00000876b968150aportrayed compared to them. At that time, I did not give much thought to this, although I remember the shock when they walked through the door beaming, but I made a commitment to go so off we went. No doubt my mom was concerned, but I did not know how to say no and to go somewhere was a luxury.

As I gave thought to this fancy outing with my friend dressed to the nines and here I stand with them in the lobby area of the event feeling very insecure, as I see people stare at me. To them and those around, I did look homeless and I am sure I was an embarrassment to them, sorry they even asked me.9EF4F1E2-2795-4293-890E-F52792B130A8

As I got ready to go to the musical for my son, I felt a little apprehensive about what to wear, which brought up all of these memories. Dealing with excitement to go but the torment from the past. I was dressed nice, my Sunday best somewhat, but I caught myself scanning those that picked me up and others in attendance around me. Fear. I found I was dressed appropriately although I was overdressed probably to some. Anything goes nowadays, anywhere but not so much back in my day.

0e3b2b0e-2c25-422e-a280-f8ab576f69be-10228-0000025b43f0b48bInteresting how my morning getting ready to go dealt with the night almost fifty years ago. I felt as though the Lord was revealing some hidden hurts that need attention and healing. No doubt, enough to make my head swim.

So many thoughts took me back, as a lot of negative roots in my feelings of myself and even others grew from that night. I remember them all dressed up and we are standing in the foyer area to enter for seating.  It was like I was frozen watching others look at me and then those I was with.   Strangely enough, I do not remember anything else from that night. I was there physically but nothing more.

d0033ac5-e020-490d-a057-24f0c1a90c7c-43917-00000875474bb142I wonder if I disassociated myself during that outing and have allowed that to happen throughout my life, at times, when hurt or placed in predicaments where I was uncomfortable. I felt anger from these thoughts of that night. As I thought of this event and that this so-called friend used me because probably because a classier friend could not go or maybe others and I was was the last one on her list. Last resort is what I felt like. To still remember seeing myself standing there feeling like dirt, perhaps that is why all my life I have felt I never measured up. Interesting how such things affect us throughout life. I freeze in fear and other issues. How sad that such an event that should have been a big deal and enjoyable but it caused some major issues for me that I have kept buried.

No surprise, our friendship did not last. Even though I never discussed this back then with anyone or since, it all affected me. Here almost fifty years later, I am remembering and writing about it and acknowledging the moments. I understand a little more about me, which brings more healing. That in itself, I will accept and move forward.

In fact, my fourth grade timeframe has been zapped from my memory and I never could understand, as I have mentioned to my counselors. No doubt, I bet this event lines up, as I was swallowed up with shame.834FBE85-E9B9-42FC-A0FF-56650D179ABA

Feeling used and ‘used’ might not be the word I am searching for but I do know how hurtful it was and to feel like a no-good human being due to looks, clothing, etc., can be devastating. This whole scenario was wrong in so many ways.

I hope and pray that from this point on, remembering and analyzing the dynamics of this classy musical or whatever it was that was fancy enough for them to wear mink and to appear more than what they were, I hope I never put on an air to be something I am not and make someone feel so worthless. Also, to cause some hidden hurts that I have carried due to this situation but I must forgive them, too. My friend’s mother passed away many years ago and sadly my friend, too, just years later.

I have no doubt that the Lord saw me then and knew I would be at this place now. He has carried me way too many times in my life of hurts. How awesome! 💕

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Despondent

How do you reach out when someone won’t let you reach in to help them?

I don’t know. I am a loss of how to do this with my own independent, grown child. I know there is something going on for him to be so distant. Breaking down the wall is like hell. I have tried to encourage him, expressed my concerns, hug him, pray for him and that is ongoing. The spiritual warfare in his life that I believe is happening, too, is pushing me in emotional bouts many times and fear that I have to constantly fight off and rebuke.3946f751-ac17-4c3c-912b-e2fc8617dc1c-580-0000001b98a7d097

Knowing full well that he is so much like me, I find myself angry at myself.  I understand the wall and isolation.  I know what it is like to be despondent while I work out issues.  I know what it is like to feel overwhelmed.  I do understand him and this is not a very easy or comfortable place to be.  Thankfully, I know I have to turn it over and ask the Lord to help me but does he?  I can pray and comment of just that but until he is ready to do that, the struggle remains.

As a mom, we will fight through hell and high water for our child(ren), taking a toil on us but that is a mother. Still the thoughts come that we are not doing enough and guilt is thrown in our face of not doing enough, have being a good enough mother and every other negative accusation possible. That is definitely the enemy at work. Bind and rebuke. Although it gets tiring, we must fight and push through.  Keep pushing through mama! While writing this to maybe encourage others, reminding myself, too.

I am unsure what all my son is dealing with but it must be a mountain to him. I feel it. I hurt for him. Knowing he can get through this, I wait. My faith and trust in the Lord to do what He must do in this situation, I wait.

I will reach out but my son has a choice to reach back out to me. He has a choice to seek the Lord and call upon Him.

I can nag, point my finger, show my Bible and demand church attendance but that would even push me away, even now as an adult but I can pray. I can and I do, sometimes begging the Lord to change the circumstances, as something is wrong.

Independence in life is needed and normal and I know he knows I am always here for him, his biggest cheerleader. The balance of enough to not enough contact is tricky, as I do not want him to feel forgotten, far from that.

As long as I can remain in peace feeling that the Lord has this, I am good but continue to pray. Always. When the enemy starts his game plan, I get in there and I fight. This spiritual warfare is on. I am not letting go of my son, my child.

Parenting is a blessing but can be so hard. It does not end at the legal age of eighteen but a lifetime of care, concern and prayers.

3738cb1a-bf6c-4bc1-a047-a65b0fd4a10d-580-0000001af60e7147Pray for God’s hedge of protection around them, their jobs, finances, friendships, etc., daily, wisdom, knowledge and the Favor of God to be upon them.

Do they know just how much we love them? A reminder that we need to remember how much God loves each one of us. ❤️

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