The Way

1DFD2EC3-6A6E-488D-9C5F-24EB36D0681AAgain, just to get away from the news and the numbers, I thought I would share a part of my life, if just for me. What’s your story? 

Growing up, I was not raised in a Christian home whereby prayer and church was present in our lives. We were always told that we could make our own decision about God and if we wanted to go to church, then go. Very odd, isn’t it? My parents were raised to go to church and they hated it.  My maternal grandfather and great-grandfather were both Baptist preachers. I always found grandfather interesting to see and listen to when we would visit, which was not often due to distance. My dad’s father was a deacon. Church was not a choice for them.89D4587D-3480-474E-B4F7-6B58CC57867D

In our large family, with me being the youngest, almost being like the only child due to being seven years between my sister and I. Oftentimes I was just present and heard a lot and have seen a lot. I would sit out of the way and be quiet. It was nothing to hear laughter, jokes and things little girls should not hear. I can still hear the clanking  of beer bottles from the big brown case as they came in the house, of which I heard often. Oftentimes I was a delivery person when told to go get me a beer, and I did. 

Even though I was not raised to worship and pray, I always felt a drawing and as a young child I knew there was a God.  Perhaps with me going to Vacation Bible School each summer with the family nearby, I heard enough that I was convinced there was a God even though I did not go to the altar to proclaim salvation, I knew enough to have faith, as a child880BBAEA-674D-444C-B3DF-9C0A6AEB8503

Growing up the way I did though, I assumed that is life. You work, you drink, and repeat daily and on the weekend you drink more. Had it not been for my shorthand teacher in my senior year to ask what our plans were after graduation, I would have been stuck in that mode as the rest of them for years, if not still.

College was not as prevalent back then so we each pretty much shrugged our shoulders. It was a small class, not much interest in shorthand but I loved it and still use. With our blank look back at her and having no idea what our futures held, she took myself and two others to a vocational school and two of us signed up for the business and office class.

Looking back, just with her bold move to do this with me and my friend, would have got her in a lot of problems, if today. We both took her advice, did what she said, completed the class and loved it.

A7444428-9223-47B9-97BC-18B5B2CE22BEI love to look back over my life and see the Hand of God in each step in how He orchestrated it all and even still. He does have a plan and a purpose for each of us. He will get us to where we are to be. We might cause detours along the way, but He will pick us back up and get us back on track.

I met a lot people in class from all walks of life, but I met this one girl that was on her way out to start a career but enough time to build a friendship. When it was my time to leave after completion, I had my first real job. At this office, I got to know many bit usually there is always one you gravitate to and become not only co-workers but friends. To find out, she was related to the girl in class, they were cousins so now I am friends with both.

My co-worker and I became good friends. After a bit, I found out her father was a Baptist preacher so I started attending their church. Many times being in their home staying over, as friends do, I watched what a normal family was like. No beer, no alcohol, no dirty jokes or cuss words. The complete opposite of mine and I liked it.

Still as life went forward, I was saved. My heart was beating so fast and I knew it was the time to go forward. As I write, I laugh with tears falling seeing this all played out like a movie, in my mind. I laugh because when I am at the altar, the preacher and three others, I assume deacons were with me, too, as we stood in a circle. The preacher said let’s pray. It was me that prayed aloud in this group for my salvation, they all just stood there. Amen. It had to have been the preacher to say, well there you go, I believe she is saved. No doubt they were shaking their heads, laughing at the dinner table of what just transpired. No doubt about it, I was saved. Perhaps it was my grandfather and my great-grandfather, both Baptist preachers, coming out in me. Amen.

Even though I can laugh now and cry tears of joy, I also feel the sense of shame I have carried through the years of praying when they were to pray, for me. I do not know why I did that, but it came automatic. The sense of shame making me feel like a fool that day and I honestly have felt a hindrance since, in praying out loud. I just realized that. Wow! I wonder if this is my turning point.

6614C487-1ED0-472C-A026-BB93B30A4FB4I still have the white Bible that was given to me by by this Baptist preacher’s family. Somewhere in this time period, The Way, a Bible to easily understand and read was given to me or I bought. I don’t know, but I loved it. I was so joyous of being a Christian and having this Bible, I stayed up all night reading it. I remember my dad getting up and surprised that I was awake and reading. I had joy. I could not get enough of the Word of God in me.

Life moves forward, of course, and I was blessed to have been connected from one friend to another to get to where I was and am today.  Evident of God’s mercy and grace.

Back to The Way, I had a neighbor friend, we had grown up together playing outside, riding bikes and all but never close friends as we got older. I found out that she was in the hospital. Knowing she needed to change her ways or 9ABCFDB1-FF9C-4AD4-AA48-046A0ADDB31Fshe would end up back in there or worse. I took my Bible, The Way, to her and we talked and I witnessed to her as best as I knew how being a young Christian. Thankfully she was very receptive and accepted my my Bible.  I planted a seed.

Knowing her life was not a bed of roses and many issues through the years thereafter, her two children both grown, now a grandmother and raising her grandchildren. Her daughter had lost her rights to her children due to repeated drugs usage and rehabs. Such a sad way to live.

Approximately forty years ago, I gave my friend my Bible, The Way. I always loved it and I went searching to find another and about five years ago I found it, bought it, read it, loved it still. I was so excited to have it once again in my possession, on my bookshelf.

Little did I know and I am sure this was no coincidence but my friend’s daughter was out of rehab and living in an apartment near my home, staying with friends. Different times we would meet out in the yard and talk. While trying her best to get her life together, it was always a battle but she knew that God was the one to turn to. Asking if I would take her to church. Many discussions and plans were made to take her to church with me, with excuses each time. One night, standing on my sidewalk talking yet again, I told her to wait, I needed to get something for her. Yes, I gave her my Bible, The Way. Also receptive of receiving, as her mother did.BE0F9289-EC0B-4796-9658-3FDE43DF319B

How interesting that two generations, the mother and daughter, each got my Bible, The Way.  I am unsure if a page was even read or the Bible even opened or maybe it was thrown away, but they both had a seed planted of God’s Love.

We may not know how our actions or our encouragement will lift up others but it is worth a try to do such. Right now, many need encouragement and hope like never before. What we can do is to give to others whether it is a smile (no cost), a word of encouragement (no cost) or hope (no cost) as much as we can.  If they can see Christ in us, it points them to ‘THE WAY’ of the Cross.

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https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/in-touch/in-touch-mar-1-2012.html

SALVATION… anytime, anywhere, 24/7

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Care of a Cardinal

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To get off of what is going on all around us, around me, I thought would share a part of my life, plus for me to go down memory lane. Think back in your own life and bring up good memories, write them down for your children/family, or just for yourself. We need to deviate from what is happening around us. Take a break!

So today as I stood at my kitchen sink looking out the window, waiting for my coffee to finish, I watched the birds on my deck enjoying the birdseed. It seems like I always have at least ten cardinals all the time. Now and then I will have a blue jay, woodpecker, doves and then, of course, the pesty black birds that try to take over and eat all the seed. C454C9FA-C679-4DF1-B596-18DB6635A8DC

Many have said that when there are red birds, the cardinals, it’s family members that have passed. If that is the case, I am having a family reunion daily, which is fine with me. It is kinda nice to imagine, if so.

Sometimes remembering that saying, and as with family members, they quarrel now and then, pick on each other, but so do the birds, so I smile and think it must be my family members.EB951341-5668-418B-9453-C8ABE81844F8

The bright red cardinal is the male. I never understood why he had to be so bright and pretty, as it should be the female. The females are more grayish with a red tint. No matter, they are beautiful and I do love watching them.

When watching the birds, I was reminded of the day before my thyroidectomy several years back. Standing at my kitchen sink also, I was looking out, crying and praying because I was scared. Majority of the time I can hold it together for the most part, while with others or at work, but I do fall apart when alone. This was one of those times. Even so, I know the Lord has me in the palm of His Hand.

Had it not been for me being in the hospital for four days before Christmas with an A-Fib attack prior to my surgery, this blog would not be as it is.

My family doctor, when they did actually come to the hospitals for visits, she asked if I had the ultrasound of my goiter that was present on the right side of my neck. No, I put off making an appointment due to work or one reason or another. Nobody would have noticed the goiter but it was causing me swallowing issues, as it was pressing on my esophagus. The ultrasound was ordered before they would release me. Please release me, let me go I was begging, as I had only one day to get my Christmas together before my boys were home from college.

I know that nurses are not to say anything to their patients about tests. My nurse though looked at me before giving my release papers and instructions and just said, ‘you need to have a biopsy soon’ with a dead, serious look directly into my eyes. I can still see her in my mind of that serious moment between us  Okay! Just let me go home, I promise.

I did have the biopsy, a fine needle and a core needle biopsy. Now as I write this, I remember there were four of us in the dark room with my head tilted back. The nurse held my left hand, the doctor was on my right and the laboratory technician with the microscope was over to the side to receive the biopsy sample. Fine needle biopsy, done. With the core needle, they were hoping that they would get a good sample on the first try. Hey, I was, too. First try! Those two guys actually did a high-five, like two boys winning a ballgame. Hey, I am over here. Thank God it was over.

As I left the procedure room, now holding a bag of ice on my neck, I just hung out because I knew I tend to pass out, a vagal response. Of course, being independent as I am, I drove myself and now I was afraid to drive. So I found a place in the lobby and just sat down until I felt relief from the pain and the fear that was overtaking my mind. Sitting there, out comes a friend, that I have not seen for many years, from visiting her father and she was leaving. We talked briefly, as people do in passing but then she sat down and stayed with me. Later telling me it was not an accident of this meeting, and I knew that, too, as I needed support. One more hurdle down and a big one to come.

While I have had plenty of surgeries throughout my life, this time the doctor was going to be cutting on my throat. Not knowing for certain if I had Cancer, the fine needle and core needle biopsies showed cells that were questionable. They did not hesitate to schedule surgery. This all was in a timespan of seven weeks, from Christmas  until the day of surgery.

389627B0-3EE9-4120-9A33-92AD87D58CE2So standing at the kitchen window, the day before surgery, out of the blue, a red cardinal came to the window, clutched onto the window screen right in front of me. I am looking at it and it is looking at me.  In that moment, I felt peace. Like it was there to let me know I was going to be okay, and I walked away with that assurance. So you tell me if cardinals are family members or not, as it sure felt that way.

Back then, I felt it was my mom but today I thought now that was a male cardinal so that must have been dad, if so. Either or, I had comfort going forward the next morning for surgery.

As the doctor made markings on my neck where to cut, the right side only was to be removed. He stopped and asked my permission that if they did not like what the left side of my thyroid looked like, can they remove it, too.  Otherwise, in six months we would be doing the same thing. Of course, I gave my permission, I felt I had to.

As they wheeled me back to the operating room, I knew my one doctor (ENT), the one doing the surgery, who specializes with thyroid cancer would be in there waiting to start. As the gurney went around the corner, I see the other ENT doctor I normally would see either for myself or for my boys. He was smiling and saying he was going be in the operating room also. I felt totally confident that these two would take care of me. I did, in fact, have a full thyroidectomy.

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Returning for my post-op visit a week later, my sister drove me, as I was not to look up or down, and trust me, I did not want to. The tape that he used was more of a nuisance than the pain. I am not one to have others in the exam room with me at any of my doctor’s office visits. When they called my name though, I looked at my sister and said, I think you are to be with me today. It was odd to have her in there with me though. As the doctor came in to remove the aggravating tape, bandage and drain tube, he then said that he was glad they removed the whole thyroid. The right side was the one of concern throughout this whole ordeal but Cancer was on the left side.7BD0DA6B-A8D6-4AF6-96E5-8CCA465F5AB2

Hearing the word Cancer will put one in a daze. The doctor said they caught it early and he felt confident that my bloodwork which would be needed often and for years, would show negative results, if so. Thankfully, negative results, still.

As my sister and I left, we got in the car and both just sat there stunned, not expecting to hear Cancer. It was a shock to both of us.

So with the cardinals outside my kitchen window today, reminding me of just how the Lord has had His Hand upon me from the beginning before Christmas, in the hospital, knowing had it not been, my outcome would not have been as positive.

Don’t you at times look back and see how the Hand of God worked in your life? Our ways are not His Ways. Since I procrastinated on that ultrasound for a year, it was no mistake that I ended up in the hospital on a different matter. I really feel that He allowed this in order to stop me from putting it off any longer. I am thankful.

We may not understand what we go through at times, questioning and even angry at God. It is no surprise to Him of our reaction.  Even now with the world-wide crisis, we don’t understand, there is hopelessness, fear, anger and all kinds of emotions, which is normal. Hopefully though, we will see that He is and has held our hand through trials we go through and going through and our faith will increase. We each have a choice and I hope that you Trust Him.

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Check your neck!  Thyroid Awareness is not just a woman issue, men are not exempt.

Red Cardinal Biblical Meaning – The Cardinal Symbols of Faith

Buried Titles

B19F4115-FC0D-480E-ADF8-03CC2383600CThankfully, most of us come a place in life when we see all of the pieces of the past fall together and we can look over our life and see how the Lord orchestrated the good, the bad, of which we caused, and brings us to a point of where you or I are right now.56089E8D-E8F1-40A6-9286-873CAAEA5251

Actually, now seeing the Hand of God, back through the years in my own life, it is exciting. My counselor has said numerous times that she sees a weaving of a tapestry in my life. At times I felt as though those threads were unraveling to the point of almost choking me.

The other night, as I went through some old notes, just because and as I needed proof and to be reminded that what I went through was real. At times as I have discussed issues of my life in our sessions, thinking this can’t be real, but it is, it was. I hear my voice sharing at times of the memories and reliving the moment as in watching a tv show and it all seems unreal. I question myself as if I am lying of the emotional pain and situations I experienced. My notes, my journals, 5D2F9F31-1741-40B5-A66C-B66DB331624Amy screams on the paper, majority having dates of which provide proof and gives a timeline.

I truly have been blessed with awesome counselors, woven in to help me spin and weave this tapestry. Allowing me to understand myself and bring healing to the loose threads of my life.

Many times, consistently I found that I wrote in my notes, ‘Lord, move or move me’ and another was, ‘Don’t let my pain be wasted.’ So many sentences began with ‘Oh Lord, I need you and your direction, please give me strength.’ I believe He did and He is still doing so. 3C9BD2B8-53A5-40B9-B362-80898BDFCEA7

It is just amazing how you can get through some of the lowest points in life and then look back years later not knowing how you made it, but you did. Had it not been for my faith, and at times that was wavering and wondering if He left me to just die in this pit of despair. He was all I had, even when I doubted His Love for me, He still loved me. 273EED1E-7378-4082-A27C-79E9FC201AAC

In my stash of notes, which I have kept for many reasons, but I think I knew, too, that I would need to refer back to them and I have in my counseling sessions. I also knew I have had a desire to write a book for years. Interestingly enough, don’t we all say at one point or another that we could write a book?  I had forgotten that I started back in 2000, maybe even before, of listing titles, for such a dream. In those titles, I knew each one would jog my memory and allow me to go back to my notes and like a DVR, to elaborate as words would appear before me and most likely cause many tears and anger. We all have a testimony to share in hopes to give hope and encourage others.

With my blogs and other writings, these allow me to express my creativity and even my vulnerability of sharing parts of my life with the public. Thank you for reading. In each one, a stepping stone to build my confidence and being patient as I move forward watching it all unfold. I know the Lord is doing something in my life and perhaps my writing is to encourage others and give hope or maybe it is all just for healing within me. 

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Who knows but the Lord of what will come about from the buried titles I uncovered but it was like a treasure to find. Just another part of the weaving.

Look around, look at where you are today, think of those that have crossed your path through the years, ALL of it to bring you to where you are today. Sometimes we go through things that are not so pleasant and we feel alone. Even though, He is right there with you. Trust Him.

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Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.”

https://brokendoorministries.com/4th-day-letters/the-tapestry-of-life/

 

 

No More, No Less

2F54C02B-FAA9-4FAD-8568-DA90C89304A3As I was driving home on this cold, gloomy day from work, my mind travels, too. Perhaps it was the gloominess  and being tired from work, but I started thinking of someone that I miss. We all have those moments that somebody pops in our minds. While it is good to make contact to hopefully let them know they were thought of or even encourage, in my case I cannot do that. I know not to cross the boundary and put myself F6BE2A5F-F6C0-429A-A17E-1FAE9B932A5Cin a place of emotional pain of possibly not being received and feel rejected. Still, my mind thinks about her, my former counselor. I find myself frustrated with myself because I think of her but feel I have been forgotten by her, and perhaps I have, as our time together is over. Spending my time in sessions with her for four years, once a week, which amounts to at least two-hundred hours, is a lot. While my living grief is better, it is still there. I do miss her, but I believe that is normal.

Being one to always look up to others in my life, either as a role model, such as a teacher, or a motherly image because of not having a loving mother that I needed, today it reminded me that I still do this somewhat and I so want to stop this pattern. Keeping the Lord as my focus is my goal.

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As I continued to drive, thinking, talking and praying, I know those that are as role models, and they are smarter than me. Each one has helped me move forward in life, as she did. With her or others I looked up to by them having a degree and being in their position. They helped me grow and for that, I will be forever grateful. I just tend to think others are better, smarter, prettier, wiser, etc., than me and I pop them up on a pedestal. All the while knowing I have talents and abilities. What does that say about me? It says and I have believed that I am nothing and never will be as good as them. EEBAD1AD-71DE-47B3-94B0-F4397B2AB81D

As I have pondered this, and I have done so many times, knowing I do this, but today I was able to turn my thoughts around of her and missing my time of our counseling sessions. Perhaps, with this being Monday, the day and time period driving was when I always met with her for years, which was one of the reasons. I am still in that appointment-zone mindset, I guess.

It was when I changed my thinking, rewiring my brain, as she mentioned quite often to help me to grasp. I started with tapping safely while driving, which is a pretty neat technique. So I did that, just because, and to change my thoughts. Grief brings sadness and I did not want to go there, I wanted to feel thankful and happy instead. I can do that.

AE5A9E9A-8B6A-4AA1-A0B5-A6385B93B657I started saying, I am worthy, over and over and then adding I am creative, I am smart, and I know the Lord is doing a work in my life. It was when I got to and repeated, God you love her but you also love me, the same… no more or no less.

So, as I tinkered with this blog, pondering the whole situation, it comes down to shame. Shame of feeling not good enough yet again in my life of which she made me aware of back then.C8E932A8-308B-4A60-A153-447CB1B2D578

Understanding ourselves of why we did and do things, brings healing. I/we may not have it all together at times but as they say, together we have it all. We just need to recognize and accept who we are.

Remembering and keeping the ground level for each of us because He loves each one of us as if we are the only one. How cool is that?!?  Trust Him!

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https://innerself.com/content/personal/relationships/8957-falling-off-the-pedestal.html

 

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Non-Deserving

47092C98-819F-4153-B630-1B8876B32648The memories and thoughts that surfaced in a conversation between my counselor and I were some I would have rather forgotten. Still, they are part of my journey and knowing they always will be.  As I squinched my eyes, shaking my head somewhat of trying to remember but not wanting to remember also, all the while. Regrets of those days being young and stupid. Odds are, we all have those remembrances and regrets. Please tell me I am not alone.A1D8FBA5-BD0D-439B-A0AD-69A7007128EA

Some of these thoughts and memories spoken in our conversation were like thirty-five years ago or more. Of course, some were not even touched upon thankfully but my mind did and a dread was felt within at the time in session, afterward on my drive home and as I write.

In those thoughts and the heaped-up guilt and shame made their appearances to me. Guilt and shame love me and would love to swallow me up whole, spit me out and do it again. Satan has a way of making one feel so unworthy and so underserving of God’s Love. The lies thrown at me were like darts to a dartboard for a bit of being a no-good-for nothing person on the face of this earth and I should be ashamed of what I did back then, I am not a Christian as I profess, no wonder my family disliked me and well, you get the picture.

Thankfully, I knew enough of his tactics and how the game goes of making me want to crawl back into the hole of despair and depression. I do have a few years under my belt of this mental torment plus years of counseling in how to counteract the negative, which I did.687D7D8D-7CB6-41AA-9D6F-80E611C2AE14

I am stronger today in all areas, as I chose to be in order to move forward. I was stuck way too long dealing with the belief of the unworthiness. Exactly, where the enemy wants me, and even you.

Yes, I did some things I regret and am sorry I did and hate that I did, but I did. Life! Forgiveness of others involved is important but also forgiving ourselves is a must. We learn from such incidents and situations hopefully and in my case, I did. Not a life I 968A38BB-9BAA-4986-A741-1ECE6AF3D441wanted to live but in those years I learned that it was not really living, it was running. Running from God. I knew better and I knew He had His Hand upon me from childhood. Even though I was not taught of God’s Love at home, apparently the Vacation Bible School teaching each summer stuck with me plus the many Christians in my path to lead and direct me. So thankful and blessed.

We are all non-deserving of God’s Love but He gives it freely. He gave His all, His life for us to live. So in that, I know that I am worthy and I am worthy of His Love, you also. It took me a very long time to accept that deep within.6128B30C-0CE1-478F-BEEC-21B2F393E74F

Yes, the past memories and thoughts that were mentioned caused some turmoil within but it also brought me to a place of praise. I am not there anymore and I have been forgiven. Trust Him.

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“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.Isaiah 43:18-19.

https://www.guideposts.org/inspiration/inspiring-stories/stories-of-hope/5-bible-verses-to-help-you-let-go-of-past-mistakes

 

 

 

 

Did I Fail Them?

The motherly guilt was alive and well recently, as I fought through the fear that I have failed my son(s). The ‘if only’ statement rolls in my thoughts, full well knowing that those ‘if only’ wishes will not change a thing. It only keeps me in a fear mode as worry tags along.87FD1186-60FC-4E84-AC54-27D751AC3628

When writing a recent blog and researching the childhood emotional neglect (CEN) yet again, reading the symptoms, etc., which I have had, panic set in for the boys, especially my youngest.

I know it is proven to be passed along through generations, which would be me, and if so, then I have failed them, too. Had I known what I know now, a familiar phrase spoken by many, whether a parent or not, while I did many things right, I would change some areas.

If what I have gone through and the struggles, I wonder if my sons are going to also. Will it be different with a son than as a daughter? I do not know the answer.

My years of them under our roof has come and gone, now they are too busy. The days speed by so quick and time is limited when visiting or in my life as my days are getting to be less.

Reminiscing of their childhood, I had happy babies. Looking at them, smiling and covering them with love, hugs, kisses and prayers as we rocked and read books. This was something I did not have growing up and proud that I did that with them.  Often I wonder though, do they remember?6EE54AA4-E2CB-4339-8940-062D151FB7DD

Through the years, these sweet boys brought me so much joy and even all those dirty clothes. They knew I would be their number one cheerleader back then and know that even now. The teenage years were interesting. The independence and pulling away from mom was happening with my oldest, I remember, which had me frantic at times but soon learned this was normal with boys. When the youngest did the same, I caught on and realized a new 03E2C037-9E09-4BE1-92ED-553848F43F47phase in their life was happening. Okay, I’ve got this. Even in these years, I wonder if they remember and have good memories of their mom. I was there for them, I always will be but less so they could grow into adulthood, loosening the apron strings

Or do they remember me depressed from the dying marriage happening right in front of them with their dad while I am trying to appear strong and happy keeping our family intact? Even though I lost some precious time, I 9854A649-70A7-4ABC-BE1D-A3A0CA65BE88pushed my way through for them. Do they remember? Or do they remember and did they feel the underlying anger I had toward their dad? The dark days of depression added and being buried with much grief of not just my parent’s deaths, but the death of my marriage, a marriage I always desired but will never have, and most importantly time with my boys and us all as a family unit. Grief in all ways was surrounding me. Those were rough days… years. I hope they don’t remember. I would like to forget it myself.

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The ‘if only’ or ‘if I could do over’ days are over, there is no going back. While these statements brought worry and fear along with tears and all the negative thoughts that I failed them and not to forget that I was a bad mother, which are lies and from the enemy.

As a mother, I did the best I knew to do and still. I have to trust the Lord as I did back then, even though I wondered where He was at times and if He even remembered me. I must trust Him. My boys are grown adult 9E1E5E8B-6F88-480F-9BF4-4EFC6FCC7982men now and doing well. Will they need counseling one day to help in areas from childhood? I do not know but if they do, I will support them to do so. I want only the best for them. Perhaps with my own work in these areas, this will stop the pattern in generations to come.

I just hope they remember their mom’s love, hugs, kisses, support and prayers, especially when it is time for a nice, clean smelling nursing home. 🥰

I Love my Boys (Men). ❤️❤️

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So perhaps you have had the parental guilt yourself. The enemy wants nothing more to keep us believing the lies that we have failed our child(ren). All you can do is your best and trust the Lord

Parental Guilt: Forgiving Yourself For Parenting Mistakes

https://drjonicewebb.com/E92393B8-C3D7-4822-9013-4E9EC5F53B07

Word from Lysa Terkeust:  “Satan wants us to be afraid.

I’m not talking about the healthy kind of fear that keeps us safe. No, I’m referring to that horrible kind of fear that whispers worst-case scenarios.

While we’re distracted with fear, the enemy pickpockets our purpose, cripples our courage, dismantles our dreams and blinds us to the beauty of the Lord’s great plans.

Are you struggling with fear in any area of your life right now? Maybe there’s a relationship causing anxiety. Or a problem you’re facing where there seems to be no solution.

Stop right now and speak the name of Jesus. Proclaiming His name brings power, protection and perspective that crushes fear. It is the name above every other.”

https://www.lysaterkeurst.com/

Arena Seats

A2557CBC-A7FF-4DDA-B4F3-86309D05D9ABI really do enjoying going to plays and sporting events but through the years I withdrew going because of the seats. When younger, it was not a big issue but when marriage, children and weight gain, I was unhappy in my marriage and the emotional eating took reigns over my life. I hid and was very self-conscious of my weight and my hips, a pear shaped body.
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I am sure others can relate as weight gain causes many issues, the emotional toil that unhappiness brings and in whatever circumstances.  The hopelessness builds and soon no desire to be in the outside world. Just hide.

F9C8F1F1-6089-4C58-8DA1-0DEFB441A8ECI was thinking back when my former counselor discussed my hesitancy for me to even go to the grocery store, I would put it off and cringed as I walk through the store hiding behind the grocery cart. My hiding became worse when my boys went off to college because I had no need to be in the outside world, other than work. Home to work, work to home and hibernate in my bedroom until the next morning. I knew I was depressed but I knew I was also unhappy in my situation and had been. The empty nest wrecked havoc on my life, more alone than ever, no joy and now no laughter existed.

My oldest was to perform in a large football stadium with the college band, he was the lead percussionist. I will go out on a limb for my children and push myself while freezing of fear inside. Enjoying but falling apart inside.351BB8E9-C777-489D-8B02-85D36BB936BB

My boss gave me two tickets to go see my son perform, which I thought was so thoughtful. Two tickets. I knew one was for me and one for my husband. My thought immediately went to two things, one that I had to take my husband and at that time in my life, I hated the man.  The other were the seats, wondering if I could even fit. Anxiety to the max and making me feel worse than I was already.  How would I deal with this nice gesture from my boss, was always on the back of my mind counting the days down of the event.

To add onto the matter, my other son had an event the same day and time, at another location. I cannot do both and neither could their father. As I weighed out the D0047B2E-21FB-413C-ADAD-5637BA452CD5matter, it came down to my weight and the fear of the arena seats. I had my sister go with my husband to the arena with my camera and instructions to take many pictures. My sister and my husband got along great, actually she is the only one in my family that tolerates him, and still. I went to my younger son’s performance. All is well. My sister took many pictures and one was absolutely perfect.

I felt like I disappointed my boss though, as he bought those tickets for me. Now another task I need to concern myself with and that was how do I tell him that I did not go.  How do you tell him that I did not want to be with my husband or feared I would not fit in the seat? Knowing one day I will share with him but it is not time yet. Thankfully, he knew of my predicament with my other son and the time constraint but I am sure disappointed.  I was, too, for that matter. In more reasons than many realized.  It’s done, over, let’s move on.DD0C4332-F319-47C7-862C-B7711E9C395A

In other events, with other arena seats, I could not avoid. I made the best of it but uncomfortable.  Uncomfortable sitting and the pain within of depression. Once settled in my seat, I would glance over and see another large woman squeezing in her seat. My thoughts of I understand plus wondering if she, too, was struggling with depression, probably so; were they happily married, I do not know but doubtful. It kept my mind occupied while avoiding the close quarters of my own relationship. To escape mentally but wanting to physically.

BB92CBBB-9814-4F5D-B347-229926993A3AWe never know what the next person to us or in our paths are going through. Nobody knew my situation for a long time, even in mine or his family or our friends. I wore the mask well.

To see my picture recently from back then to now, side by side, I look so different. Not even the same person, which is good. I could see the sadness in my puffy, fat face and remember what struggles I went through and endured for years. It’s sad to even look at honestly, such a difference.

F568FC4E-EC16-484E-9DAB-1532498C760COftentimes, many look at heavy set women, and men, think that they are lazy. Perhaps they are but underneath the layers of fat are layers of pain. Physical pain as well as mental, spiritual but most will be emotional pain. They need hope and encouragement. It is none of our business to have all the details what made them that way, but there is a story behind the emotional eating.

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While I have made some changes in my life in all areas right past five years, it feels good. I feel good, better than I did, maybe ever. It has not been easy but I knew I had to take the bull by the horns to be in this place. As the old saying goes, don’t forget where you came from, is a wise one. As with me, I did not go through all of my pain of a sad and lonely marriage, wearing a mask to appear happy, fear of arena seats, weight gain, depression, just to name a few. Plus, 901D9BA0-FE77-4F49-8933-23D227800906turning it around with weight loss, hours and years of counseling, pushing myself out of my comfort zones, involved in church, groups, etc., walking in 5K  marathons, but most of all acknowledging and knowing that I AM WORTHY and that God loves ME no matter. I never could grasp those words and now I do not want to let go of them.

Do I still dread the arena seats? Honestly, I don’t dread as much but I do dislike. I may fit somewhat better now but going down memory triggers a depressive state within for a period, memories I would rather forget.

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We all go through situations in life. Oftentimes, our pain and experience is to help others… to go through. We do go THROUGH! Don’t give up. Trust Him!

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View at Medium.com

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.Romans 8:28

Don’t Waste Your Pain

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