Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A New Role....

First and foremost let me say I love my mother. God has redeemed our relationship and renewed it in many ways. With that being said I am now able to have hard, honest conversations with her and speak truth with love and grace. Something I had never been able to do in the past. I would try to be speak truth, but it would always come out in anger and shame which shuts people down.

She recently went on a trip to see old friends in a city we lived in when I was a child. We often went back and visited our old church and I know they heard horror stories of my disobedience and rebellion through-out the years. My mom told me that this trip she told people that my marriage had gone through a really rough time, we went to counseling and were doing much better. Thankfully she didn't give details, from what I know, but still once again I was the focus and even though it was redemptive, I do not know these people and frankly all they have ever heard are my struggles. At first I was reactive. I got upset that she even said that, but then I was to able to sort through the reason of why it bothered me so.

I was able to see that once again I was the scapegoat. Why would she tell them about my brokenness and not her own? That her and my father had been to counseling as well? That they had a hard marriage at times? It has been far easier for her and my family to speak of my brokenness through-out the years because mine has been outward. On display for all to see. I own these sins and blame no one but myself for the choices I choose to make. There were things that went on behind closed doors in my house which were by no means horrific, but there was dysfunction. There were things that made my sister, the performer, act out inwardly, but no one would ever talk about that.

I have always accepted this is the consequence of my sin, and I guess that is partly true, but I am sick of playing the part of the broken one in my family. Stepping into light, becoming a new creation and having old thought patterns about myself swept away has not been easy for my family. Speaking truth in love about their own brokenness has been hard, but good for me. No longer do I accept things that just aren't the truth. Am I, was I broken? Absolutely. Are they, were they broken? Absolutely. That is all I wanted her to be able to see and admit. Denial is not a fun place and thankfully God walked me through a sin that could not be denied any longer at the end. That is why you hear some say in AA rooms, "Thank God I am an alcoholic".

So, through this conversation my mom did cry, she did apologize and I think maybe she understood. My boundary for her was to please discuss her own brokenness, her own story of redemption and not mine to people I don't know and who don't know me. It was a good, but hard conversation for me to have and I wanted to call and take it all back the next day bc in reality I have lived as the broken one so long it feels easier sometimes to just assume that role. I know, though the words that were hard to speak, they were the truth and maybe God will use it to shed light to her in her own walk with Him. I am grateful and thankful to feel redeemed and made new through Jesus, to have old thought patterns broken and to live joyous and free.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Things aren't always what they seem (part 2)

Well, I reread the last post and felt some sorrow, some more confirmation that all is not well in this world. People are sick. People lie. People are broken. All I wrote about Lady D I would like to believe. I was willing to give her a chance, to help her, to believe in redemption, and that people are trustworthy. I have no clue if anything I wrote about her is the truth. I would like to believe parts are because that was what I was told and believed.

The following day after she had spent the night, I had shared my heart with her and had hope for her, slowly begin to come crashing down. It started out in the morning, a feeling that something wasn't right, was it my selfishness in having someone live with me? OR were we and my friends helping care for her and being used? Finally mid-afternoon I called my best friend who had been and was helping her. She smoothed my fears over some and off I went to work. Still unable to shake an uneasiness in the depths of me I called my husband and voiced what I felt and told him to pray God would show us truth or if it was selfishness I was dealing with. I hung up, my phone rang, and the roommate had called my friend. Lady D had been drinking with her, Lady D had not been kicked out of the home she was living in, Lady D was lying to us all. We confirmed all this with the lady she was living with, my friend called Lady D, confronted her, she sat in my den as I sat in the kitchen and prayed. God is alive and well.

The details that happened are to many to explain, but all speak to the fact God knew what we needed and provided, we didn't even have time to think. I told Lady D I loved her, I was sorry she was back in the middle of her disease, but the fact is she lied. She lied to people who love her, who believed her, who were trying to help in every way possible. We told her she had to leave because of this. I got a call there was a bed at the Salvation Army. I got another call someone would come get her. She was sorry and sad, we all were. Me and my husband sat on the porch with her as she waited for her ride. My husband wanted to give her another chance, I knew we couldn't. We could not dismiss lying and the consequences it has and the bottom she has got to get to.

I hope the best for Lady D. Some of my friends are taking care of her from a distance. I will contact her again, just not right now. I hope she has some peace, some spiritual awakening, but I know all I can do is pray "Thy will be done".

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Things aren't always what they seem...

Once there a young girl who fell in love with a man. To escape a hard family life they decided to wed. They had 4 children, went to a promient church and I can only imagine she dressed her little ones in the finest. She was a stay at home mom, she loved her children, and all seemed well. Her prince had an affair, got his mistress pregnant and at 29 she found herself a single mom to four children under 8. She had never drank. She had never been to a bar. Her friend suggested they go out, she did and had her first black-out. She describes what many alcoholics do about the first time they drank, "I finally felt peaceful". And thus her hell begin. She put herself through college and got a degree, she got a well paying job and by the time she was 33 she had made her way to AA. She was sober 15 years.

The story doesn't end there...she relapses, a few times, not for long, but enough to screw her life up. Today Lady "D" as I will call her, is homeless. She see's none of her children. She is alone and has a liver cancer. She starts chemo on Friday. Tonight Lady "D" sleeps under our roof. Tonight she helped me cook and is old enough to be my mother. Tonight she shared stories about her golden years of being a mother and cooking every night. Despite her circumstances Lady "D" has an extremely positive and happy disposition. She is thankful for even the smallest things and offered to give me her food stamps, meekly and humbly. She once was a mama just like me, she was healthy and raised her children...and ironically we realized I was friends back in the day with her girls.

I don't know the different paths she chose and exactly how she ended up where she is. I do know her roommate who shared the bills and rent relapsed forcing Lady "D" to once again be homeless. She is beautiful, you can tell she was a knock-out in her prime. She is fun and lively even though she feels very sick. She has Jesus and hope and she glows. On one hand it terrifies me to think she went back her addiction, but it reminds me "but for the grace of God there go I". So pray for Lady "D" that her hope won't fade, that she can remain with her eyes fixed on Jesus and we will know how best to care for her. We praise God for a house big enough to share with her for a while, food we can provide for her and we pray for compassion to shower upon her.

She calls daily for a bed in a homeless shelter, but they are all full. Tonight as we sat on the porch and listened to the pitter-patter of the rain, I was grateful for everything I've been through. That I am able to share my experience, strength and hope with her. That I am broken and in need of a Savior just as badly as she. So, as the rain continues to fall, Lady "D" will hopefully sleep peacefully tonight knowing that God has met her needs for another day and despite her feeling very alone, from a worldly perspective, she is a sought after, chosen child of our God who offers hope and redemption to us all. It has been life-giving in sharing what I've been given with another, and it's only by God and through God that I am, today, not in her shoes.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I need some, but instead I write. The days are long, but the years are short, right?! I am tired and worn slap-out. I have been sick, took antibiotics to make me feel better and it felt like poison pumping through my veins. Thankfully, the Dr. took me off and I now await a hopeful chance to see another Dr. this week. Physical health affects my mental health and throw in 3 kiddo's and a couple of addicts and you get completely overwhelmed and rundown, not to mention down right crazy. Thankfully, my MORE that I want today is Jesus and I keep, moment by moment, turning to Him, although I don't feel instant sanity...I want what C.S. Lewis says about humility "a blessed self-forgetfulness".

I long for heaven, for something that nothing here on earth can satisfy. I long to meet my Savior face to face and have my sorrows hurled to the sea, forever lost and forgotten. My "Savior" used to be alcohol and truth be told it did relieve some of the mounting pressure, it made my troubles, at the time, not seem overwhelming and depending on how much I had, I could truly escape into oblivion. This is how I got to hell on earth. The thing that helped take off the burden of life became my own pit of destruction, a hell I could not escape, and the worst part about it all.....it stopped working. The MORE and MORE I consumed the pain didn't end, it increased. Thus I came to my beautiful undoing- to grasping nothing here that promises a release will in the end quench my ever thirsty, dying soul. That can only be found at the foot of the cross. I often picture myself worn down and weary, crawling, begging for relief at the cross. It comes, but it comes slowly and through perseverance and faith... I know there is another side. There is true relief that comes from a power not of my own. My sister reminds me the Psalmist says in the 23rd Psalm, "when we walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death"...not TO the valley. He only gives us what we can bear. I remind myself of this through-out the day.

With all that being said, my marriage is an 8 out of 10, which is good. I do have glimpses of hope for a life that feels futile to the core, many times through-out the day. But for now it feels awful futile... I know I am not alone. I probably feel it heavier than most, but it only makes me turn to Jesus more. People in my life whom I dearly love are feeling the weight and sorrow of sin...I should not complain. One friends husband announced, after 20+ years of marriage, two children and a string of serial affairs he wants a divorce, another with two small children and health problems watched her husband check himself into Bradford, hoping and praying this time it works, another friend's husband lost his job AGAIN (the economy) and baby #3 is on the way, our car is broken down- a new transmission is needed, I ran over a cat tonight who ran away and I could not find...and I could go on.

So now what...well, I keep persevering. I pray, I take a day at a time, a moment at a time, I pray for others, I spend time with those hurting and my mentors as well, I read my Bible, I tell God my exact needs, I hug my children and pray for Joy. I know if I have faith as small as a mustard seed that I will begin to see things through my lenses of joy. Through lenses of hope. I am just in my Valley right now, walking through, weary and weak, but not alone and there lies my hope.... A God who created the universe, hung the sun and moon and sent this planet in motion is a God who will never leave me. A God who has hope for me. A God who can handle my complaints and hardened heart. A God who cares for the cat I hit, the women who is hurting and alone, and the women who is tucking her little ones into bed by herself hanging onto the smallest glimmer of hope their daddy will come home better, for all their sakes, a God who knows the angst I feel in my soul and who whispers "it's okay". And that is the MORE I was longing for all my life, the MORE I thought alcohol could give me, my friends could give me, a husband could give, but was always let down. A God who is out of this world, who can handle me, Who doesn't give me instant satisfaction at times, but tells me and has shown me His promises are true. A God I can trust to control my life and circumstances far better than I ever could. A God who sent His one and only Son, so that we might live. I can't wait for heaven and today my prayer is Jesus, come. Come quickly.