Wednesday, April 29, 2015

When I am Afraid

A golden nugget from Robin

“When I am afraid, I will trust You. ” Psalm 56:3

This verse has special meaning to me. It was my anchor during a terrifying time in life. Circumstances were so overwhelming and out of my control that I literally shook with fear. Repeating this verse over and over helped me remember that my comfort and security was not based on the assurance of a favorable outcome, but trusting that He was big enough to walk me through it. I was not alone. That there was a bigger plan in place and my job was to put one foot in front of the other and just keep walking.
Max Lucado in He Chose the Nails says,
“How did Jesus endure the terror of crucifixion? He went first to the Father with his fears. Do the same with yours. Don't avoid life's Gardens of Gethsemane. Enter them. Just don't enter them alone. And while there, be honest. Pounding the ground is permitted. Tears are allowed. And if you sweat blood, you won't be the first. Do what Jesus did, open your heart. And be specific as Jesus was. "Take this cup,” he prayed. Give God the number of the flight. Tell him the length of the speech. Share the details of the job transfer. He has plenty of time and compassion. He doesn't think your fears are foolish or silly. He won't tell you to “buck up” or “get tough”. He's been where you are and knows how you feel. “
"And he knows what you need. That's why we punctuate our prayers as Jesus did with, "If you are willing….” Was God willing? Yes and no. He didn't take away the cross, but he took the fear. God didn't still the storm, but he calmed the sailor. Who is to say He won't do the same for you?“
"Don't measure the size of the mountain; talk to the One who can move it. Instead of carrying the world on your shoulders, talk to the One who holds the universe on His. Hope is a look away.”
“No, what are you looking at?”
For today, 
Lord, thank you for allowing me the space to be authentic and honest about my fears. Like Peter who sank when he focused on his fear instead of on You, I will drown without you. Give me clear focused, laser beam vision on You, the source of my hope. 
I will trust you to carry me when I am too paralyzed by fear to move.
I will trust You to give me the strength and courage when needed.
I will trust, even when You choose not to take away my circumstances that You will take my fear.
I will trust You with the process.
I trust You will reveal Yourself through this situation
I will trust that no matter how bad it looks, You have my best interest at heart. 
For you ARE trustworthy.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Spring is finally here in my neck of the woods. The trees are actually getting buds on them. Michigan tends to have long winters. Days go by when you only see grey skies. There is light grey, medium grey and dark grey for variety! This morning though, there are blue skies. Now mind you it is only 30 degrees but it is a gorgeous 30 degrees without a grey sky to be found.

I have lived several places where there is only one season, green. Now mind you, I love green grass, green trees and all but after awhile, green gets old. I am thankful here in Michigan we have all four seasons, even if one or two are short.

What are you thankful for today. I would love to know.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hear From My Brother

I love all of my sisters, and I love Jill a lot.  Jill and I have been able to build a good relationship over the years.  I can't say I "enjoyed" reading her posts regarding our family's dysfunction but they have helped many of the readers come to grips with their own abuse and neglect.  My sisters and I all have dealt with our broken relationship with our father differently.
In Jill's "Forgiveness" post she said "forgiveness is a choice" and she is correct.  However before I go into that I wanted to say that when I was young my hero was Mr. Spock from Star Trek.  He had no emotions; he could suppress them and bury them.  I tried this approach, and in some ways it worked. When dealing with beatings and other abuse I could remove myself from the situation at least in my mind. This worked until I reached a boiling point (something not in my control) and I exploded in a rage.  To my shame, my rage usually rolled downhill to my younger sister Robin and broke our relationship.  It also ended up with a broken wrist when I punched a concrete wall in a rage. Even as an adult I have had to deal anger issues.
I read and took seriously the Commandments especially the one that reads that God is a jealous God visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those that hate him.  I knew that someone had messed up my dad, and my dad had messed me up. I did not want to pass along the abuse in any way, shape or form to yet another generation.  I decided not to have children.  I had already done enough damage.  I could not trust God that far.  I could not read the next part where it said that he would show steadfast love to those who loved him and kept his commandments.
I actually hated my father.  I could see "removing him from the human race".  Even if he knew of my hate, which I doubt, he wouldn't have cared one lick, and would have told me it was my fault.  It took many years to forgive him.  Forgiveness is not only a choice, a one-time event, but an ongoing, daily, sometimes hourly choice.
I told Jill that I liked this particular post of hers because it made me compare and contrast human forgiveness with God's forgiveness.  Humanly speaking when we forgives someone all we are doing is releasing OUR right to punish someone for what they have done.  My dad didn't care one way or the other, so forgiving him did nothing for him.  What forgiving him did was release me from the prison I thought I built for him.
Again, humanly speaking, the damage has been done, and can not be undone.  There are permanent scars, physical, mental and spiritual.  There is a broken relationship that will never be healed.  I have given up my right to hurt him back and I am free, but I live day by day in the shadow of that broken relationship and other damaged relationships.
Our father chose his own way and sinned greatly against each of us.  He broke the trust that should have been there.  He struck out against us in every way imaginable.  My father will leave this world without justice being done.
Have we not each done the same thing to our Heavenly Father?  Each time we chose our way and say God I will do this my way, not yours; we strike out and slap God in his face.  We abuse his name, we stubbornly want our way and we break the trust between us.  Justice must be done.  God is holy.  He is forgiving, he is loving, but justice must be done.  He grants us mercy and takes the justice upon himself.  His own son Jesus hung on the cross for MY sins, and yours.  Justice is complete and mercy is complete.
And here is the good news.  This is the only relationship we have were the trust can be fully restored, where forgiveness from God heals the wounds, where love remains steadfast.

"The greatest sorrow in life is regret"

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Thursday, April 23, 2015


 I have been thinking about my own Mom lately. While growing up, when other kids would ask me about missing my mom I said, "What would I do with a mother if I had one? I can cook, do the laundry and clean the house. What would I do with a mother?" Back then I truly had no clue what I was missing on an emotional level. It wasn't until our daughter was born that I asked myself the first little question. What did my mom think of me when I was born? Was she glad I was a girl, was she disappointed? Did she think I was cute? Did she snuggle with me? Did she ever sing or read to me? Back then, the questions were short and quickly dismissed like all of my other feelings. "There is no way to know Jill, just buck up"

I am part of a group on Facebook for Mama's who are grieving the loss of their babies. I originally joined to be an encouragement to all the young Mama's who have had to say goodbye to their children much too early. Almost every day there is a precious picture of a baby whose life was cut way too short. Then I think of my mother and think about the life she lived and how it was cut way too short. My mother had four children at the time. When she fell asleep on the couch that fateful night, she had no idea she would never wake to see her children again.

My mother was cremated after she died. There was a memorial service for her. Her remains were never picked up by my dad. They sat in a little cardboard box in the basement of the funeral home for years, with just her name penciled in. My dad hadn't had the common decency to bury her, but walked away from her remains all those years ago. When I think about the lack of respect and decency, it makes me want to hurl. My sister and I went to the funeral when we were teenagers and inquired about her remains. The funeral home said any remains that had not been picked up are usually put in an unmarked grave. He went to the basement and low and behold, there was the box with our mother's remains. It had been over ten years that they sat in that funeral home basement.

I have come to realize that there is a giant size hole in my heart that doesn't seem to go away. Every single mother's day I feel this terrible emptiness. When I hear of women who have lost their mother's I am sad for them but deep inside of me my mind goes to a dark place. They have wonderful and maybe some not so wonderful memories, when they think of their mothers. I have nothing. Not one shred of one single memory before that fire started all those years ago.

I remember as a child in school, each year our classroom would make mother's day cards. We would make flowers out of tissue paper and design sweet cards for our mommies. Each year I would raise my hand and tell the teacher I didn't have a mom and I just got a pat on the head and told to make one anyway. Now my heart breaks when I hear of a Mama who died suddenly, leaving behind little children too young to remember them. It's the loss of memories that breaks my heart.

When I delivered our first born I begged God to allow me to raise her long enough to remember me. With each successive child I asked the Lord to please keep me on the earth long enough to have them remember me. As they started to get older I would go back in the mind the age I thought they should be safe to have memories should I die early. The Lord honored that request. I was privileged to raise my children all the way through. They will remember me, the good and the bad but at least they have memories.

I never miss an opportunity to tell my children I love them. It doesn't get old for me. I want them to know, deep inside of them that they are loved by me. I watched them grow from babies to adults. I am blessed. What I wouldn't give to hear just one time from my own mother, I love you Jill.
Some final thoughts tomorrow.
Till then, In Christ Alone

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Some special thoughts from my sister Robin today enjoy!

“I know I'm in my own little world, but everyone knows me here.”, says my friend, Katie.
I can so relate! It may appear chaotic and crazy to the rest of the world, but inside my blonde little brain, I make sense. I am brilliant, totally understood, and accepted. I am also easily entertained.
I am, indeed, in my own little world. And sometimes I seriously just want to keep it that way. It feels safer. Take yesterday, for example. HB (Honey Bunny, my significant other) and I were having trouble communicating- as in- all day. You've been there. It's painful. It's exhausting. By the end of the day I just shut down and retreated to the rooftop to look at the stars and talk to the Creator of them. Life is hard work, and relationships are especially challenging. Pain is always involved. The normal response to pain is to retreat. How quickly do you sprint to the nearest blade of grass when your bare feet are getting scorched on burning asphalt? Emotional pain brings the same response : withdraw and retreat - I'm outta here. Unless I'm nominating myself for a Darwin Award, self preservation and survival is instinctive. So when the battle is at your doorstep, what do you do? Batten down the hatches, protect and defend. Become an impenetrable island.
Remember the Simon and Garfunkel song, “I Am a Rock”?

I've built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.
I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.
Sometimes I have to fight the urge to pack my bags and fly off for a little island retreat. My typical response to pain (and shame) is to withdraw and isolate. Others may fight because they're more acquainted and comfortable with anger than vulnerability. No matter how you slice it, though, hiding behind walls we've built kills relational intimacy. Most of us are experts at hiding and we don't even recognize we're doing it anymore. For example, as a functioning introvert I can act appropriately extroverted in public when called upon, yet crave the safety and quiet of being alone. Big groups and small talk terrify me. It might have something to do with my fear that I'll say something stupid, won't be interesting or entertaining enough (compared to others), that they'll see the not-so-adorable side of me, or will demonstrate my historically poor storytelling skills and embarrass myself, or worse, embarrass HB.
The opposite method of hiding looks different but has the same motivation (don't let anyone see who I really am). I didn't realize I used this method until recently when I was called out by a good friend. Don't you just love friends who will tell you the truth? Ha! Confession time. I have a tendency to ask people a lot of questions about themselves in order to understand them better. People are interesting. Everyone has a story and I like to hear them. Not necessarily a bad thing if you're a counselor, but I'm not. Without mutual sharing and discerning disclosure, it's hiding. Then of course there are the Teflon-armoured people who pretend to be something they're honestly not (aka wannabe, fake, poser..), or those who can't go deeper than a surface conversation, who are too scared to be real and let others see their true selves yet wouldn't admit it if you threatened to take away their chocolate. You know, “Them” (I say with three fingers pointing back at me!).
Being real and authentic is scary, but a challenge I'm willing to and need to take because it is something I highly value. A friend of mine once told me, “Life is too short to be phony or be around people who are fake.” Agreed. Being authentic involves risk and overcoming the fear of sounding dumb, being wrong, or sounding crazy at times. Because after all, I wasn't made to sit here like a bump on a log twiddling my thumbs all day. I was created for more. (You were too.).
Martha Graham once said that each of us is unique and if we didn't exist something in the world would have been lost. Holding onto the lies that “I can't ..” or “I'm not…” keeps me from being me and living up to my God given potential and design. Some things on this earth won't be done, some people won't be touched if I live in fear and hide. There are people to see, and things to do. Time to get off the couch and get going.
As the game is over and I hear the call, “All-y all-y in come free”, I know the gig is up and it's safe to come out of my hiding spot. There is freedom in living real. The alternative is exhausting and lonely.


Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Our housing saga started almost 6 years ago when hubby got sick and lost his job. At the time we had a simple ranch home out in the country of a tiny little town in Michigan. When we moved in I told our daughter that this was the last time I would be unpacking boxes. The next move, I told her, would be feet first! I loved living in that house. It was out in the country with fields in front of me and a hot tub and gorgeous London Plane Tree out back. It was perfect. After moving 17 times for the military and full time ministry, I was putting down deep roots. I was going to grow old under that London Plane Tree. Life was good.

And then it wasn't. Rich got shingles and from there it became a domino effect on his body. After he lost his job we held on to our lovely home for six months. It became obvious I could not care for Rich alone at that point so we moved into our daughters home. There was simply no emotional energy to grieve the loss of the home that was truly a sanctuary for me.

As Rich got worse, I was thankful for the support of my children and grandchildren. I was not alone in serving my husband. As things became worse he went into hospice. Rich decided he did not want to die in his grandchildren's home so we rented a little handicapped apartment right around the corner from the hospital. As you all know,  most people don't come out of hospice alive. Rich lived to tell the story. So we lived in that little apartment for three years.

That little apartment fit our needs at the time. We were right next to the hospital for all his doctors appointments. It was tiny though and as Rich started to get a little better we wanted something a little bigger that we could call home. So last October began the saga of trying to buy a home again. We have bought multiple homes over the years without drama or fanfare. Apparently, this time was not to be the case. After 7 failed attempts I have cried "Uncle" We were within 4 days of closing on the last house when our bank closed the loan because the seller did not even attempt to do the work that was agreed upon.

We have been house sitting for a sweet friend since the middle of January. It is a lovely home. The windows are large, the sun shines in brightly. I have had an office upstairs to work on my school. It has been bright and sunny, everything that little apartment wasn't. But all good things eventually come to an end. It's time for our sweet friend to come home for the spring. Since the last house fell through last week we have been scrambling to find a place to live.

SO, we are now going back to renting, this time a double wide mobile home in a town not far from here. We have signed a one year lease. Obviously it was not the right time or the right house to buy. It is time to sit and wait again. What does the Lord have in mind for us? I have no clue. I do know that I am tired of looking at countless houses and none of them working. I want to spend the next year waiting on the Lord. I will be in a nice comfortable place to do that now. We will move next week and for that I am thankful.

What are YOU thankful for? Let me know.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Friday, April 17, 2015


I really wanted to go see Cinderella after our daughter's family went and came back giving it rave reviews.  I was off work early today and decided to take myself and see it. It was refreshing to watch a movie that had no swearing or intimate scenes. What was awesome though was the lessons I took away.

When the Prince meets Cinderella in the forest she had been racing her horse to get a break, away from the oppression she was dealing with. A step-mother that was cruel. Two step-sisters that were petty, spoiled brats. She is forced to move out of her lovely, comfortable bedroom and up into the attic. When she first goes to the stairs leading to the attic she pauses and takes a deep breath, trying to gather the courage to go up those stairs. The words of her mother must have gone through her brain. Great courage and kindness was her mother's motto. It took great courage to go back to her home and continue to be abused by her step-family.

When Cinderella got ready for the ball, her step mother ripped the dress her mother had worn. I have to tell you that was hard to swallow. You see, my mother left me a string of pearls that had been given to her by her brother. The necklace was purchased in Japan and has always rested in a beautiful Japanese silk box. The pearls are priceless. They are natural pearls that I treasure since they were worn by mother, the woman I never knew. They have always been my greatest physical treasure. Several years ago I decided to pass them on to my daughter while I was still alive. I wanted to see her wear and enjoy them. I was passing on something I considered my greatest physical gift. It gives me great joy when I see her wear them. Every-time I wore those pearls I thought of my mother. I can't imagine the feelings that would erupt from my very soul if someone had ripped them off of me and stomped on them.

When the transformation of Cinderella took place and she races to the ball, she runs to the top of the stairs in that gorgeous blue gown, for all the kingdom to see, it was then that my heart skipped a beat. She was absolutely stunning.  There was something about that scene that struck a chord with me. In that moment she not only looked pretty but she felt pretty. She embraced the moment. She didn't wallow in where she had been, instead, she celebrated where she was right then. When was the last time you felt pretty? The love in the Prince's eyes was priceless.

When the final scene opens with Cinderella singing up in the attic I wanted to stand and clap. The Prince realizes what has been going on and comes in to put the glass slipper on her foot. The Prince knows where she has been. He takes her for his bride inspite of the circumstances. What he understands is this, her circumstances do NOT define who she is. Her heart, her courage and her kindness is what really counts. In his eyes, she is a real princess.

Cinderella walks out of the house granting a gift the step-mother and step-sisters didn't deserve, forgiveness. She has kept her promise to her parents. It took great courage to forgive those who treated her badly.  Because she was willing to forgive, she could walk out of her home without the anger and bitterness that others display.

My dear friend, your circumstances do NOT define who you are. Just rest on that today and next week we will pick up from there.
Many blessings

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Freedom is NOT free. Ask any soldier or family member of a soldier. Freedom comes at a terrible cost. Blood is spilled, hearts are broken, the innocent are buried. We pay a very high price for our freedom. The above picture was taken in Michigan. My sister Robin and I went in search of this awesome painting. Our country was created on the backs and the blood from men and women who believed that all men should be free.

This wall represents my own freedom also. Freedom from my past, freedom from judgement, freedom from what others think of me, freedom from negative thoughts, freedom from bitterness and anger. Freedom to be who God created me to be.

As many of you know, it is not easy to conquer your past. Old hurts can bubble up easily to the surface. Old patterns of thought and behavior invade our minds and bodies. Many people are trapped in their own minds, being victims. I can tell you from years of soul searching, I have never been a victim but a victor! Being a victim robs you of your personhood. You are powerless, like a prisoner sitting in a tiny cell. The bars are thick and impenetrable. I will chose every day freedom from past hurts and failures. Any I have plenty.

I have met many victims in my life. They are angry, bitter and have an overwhelming sense of helplessness. They allow life to just happen, allowing the waves to just toss them about. I am saying just the opposite, our circumstances should never rob of us who God meant us to be, never.

It doesn't matter what life has thrown you. You can chose to a victor and not a victim. I chose to be victorious no matter what the circumstances are right now. Life is too short, time is too precious to be wasted by being a victim.
Which are you today? Are you living a victorious life or are you allowing life to toss you to and fro? Think about it.
Till next time.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It's Complicated

 Good morning friends. I told you that my dad was put into hospice a couple of weeks ago. All of us sibs have reacted differently. It took my by surprise that I once again struggled with the possibility of his passing. My sister Robin has written some excellent thoughts on how she feels. I have to say, she has put into perspective beautifully her thoughts.

It’s complicated

Just two weeks ago I signed my dad into hospice. The complicated emotions actually took me by surprise. If push came to shove, I honestly didn’t know, until recently tested, if I’d even weep for him when he was gone. There is sadness for the life of abusive destruction and tangled lies he lived, sadness that he never knew his grandchildren nor even his children as adults. (Yet it was purposeful on my part because protecting the innocent from an unrepentant past and present abuser was and is, unapologetically necessary.) There is compassion for a fellow human being in the humiliating stage of life when someone babysits you while you eat and changes your diapers. He would absolutely hate this, as would I, if he was cognitive enough to know what was going on.
For years I’ve been talking to God about dad, letting him know that I was okay with His timing in taking him. But the honest truth is, I think I was ready for my dad to die. When I moved him here 3 ½ years ago I didn’t think he would live this long – aka…that I would still “be dealing with him” and all the associated range of emotions at this point. Don’t get me wrong – I love my dad and from that love I feel compelled to make sure he is safe and well cared for. But in my heart of hearts, I’ve been ready for closure. That sounds incredibly horrible, I know.
So why, God, does this grumpy, miserable bully have nine lives? What is the purpose in his life at this point. He sits in his room all day watching tv, sleeping, and being his customary gruff, insensitive and rude self whenever I’m around. Easily triggered and worn out from putting on my emotional armor every time I talk to or visit him, I’ve limited my visits in the last year or so to every two to three weeks and only stay a short time. Communicating and overseeing the care takers has become my main responsibility. Maybe he’s felt the same way- that his existence was only that, existing. Without social interaction and a sense of purpose, the desire to live dies, and physical death isn’t far behind. A few months ago I sensed he had given up and was just ready to get on with the business of dying, so-to-speak. The assisted living staff confirmed and echoed my suspicions.
It’s a matter of God’s timing. And since I’m not God, I’m smart enough to know that I’m supposed to trust him with that. So I’ve continued to search for those lessons over the last few years: Am I supposed to learn patience? Respect for the sovereignty of the Almighty? Respect that the Creator is the Life Giver? Surrender my prideful self-righteousness in deeming anyone’s life as “worthy” or not. Truth: Only the Creator has the right to determine the value of and judge His creation. Practice forgiveness. Practice compassion. I’m being painfully pruned as I’m trying desperately to see my father the way His Father sees him. After all, we see the outward appearance, but God sees the heart. Ugly truth: Mine is just as ugly as dad’s. :-/
It’s an ongoing process, but I can tell you this; God is answering me in that still, small voice. It appears that compassion is challenging and dissipating my short flashes of anger and indignation while reminding me that forgiveness is a daily letting go of my right to judge. And while healthy boundaries are biblical, good and necessary, hardness of heart isn’t. As I said, it’s complicated.
I’ve come to recognize that it’s quite possible that God has kept dad alive not for only for His and dad’s purpose, but also for mine. Maybe, just maybe, dad’s sole purpose in life right now is to exist so that God can prune ME. He has things to teach me and is graciously allowing me the necessary time to learn them. From that perspective, I cherish the time he has left.
Now at least I believe the tears I shed at the end will come from a place of compassion rather than anger and bitterness. For that I am thankful.
Isaiah 40:14 “Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what’s good or what is best?”
“God has his own ideas regarding what is good and he doesn’t always agree with us. If there is anything good about you, believe better things about others. This will keep you humble. It will not hurt you at all to consider yourself less righteous than others, but it will be disastrous for you to consider yourself better than even one person. The humble are always at peace; the proud are often envious and angry.” From The Limitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
“Vengeance is mine, I will repay” ..the Lord will judge his people”. Hebrews 10:30. Funny, I’m not seeing my name next to the Lord's!

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I am going back to my original Gratituesday blog for every Tuesday. I have sorely neglected it and have decided to get back to the practice of counting my blessings on Tuesdays. So, after reading mine feel free to post what you are thankful for.
Today I am very thankful for this man in my life.

This summer we will celebrate 38 years of marriage. The last six years he has been sick. To say it has been hard would be an understatement. Until you have lived with someone with horrible, debilitating chronic pain you have no idea what the term suffering means. The past six months have been particularly hard. On top of all his other medical challenges he now has RA. It is the fast moving kind of RA. Most of his body now has it. In spite of the debilitating pain he has taken on the daunting task of finding us a home. We have bought homes before without a hitch. It has always been simple. We walk through 15 or 20 homes, pick one, make an offer and buy it. Not this time. We are on our 7th offer trying desperately to find a place to call home.
I have been almost no help at all. I took on a challenge from school to study midwifery 400 hours from January 12th through April 12th. I studied like a crazy lady. I went to work, did hours of prenatal, caught babies and studied. Day after day I would spend almost every waking hour that I was home up in the office working on my school work. He never once complained. For the most part we ate terrible during the challenge. I doubt I cooked more than half a dozen times in the 90 days.
I would not have accomplished my goal, and then some if he had not been my biggest supporter cheering me on. I am so thankful for this man of mine. Thank you God for blessing me with my husband.
Today honey, this ones for you.
Much love,

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Monday, April 13, 2015

Forgiveness, a Choice

Good morning everyone. I have sorely neglected my blog because of school. I have finished a huge chunk of my school and can now get back to writing. Last week I had someone share with me that they had read my story, they wanted to know how in the world could I ever forgive this man who had terrorized me and my siblings? It's so interesting that she asked because forgiveness came up once again a couple of weeks ago.

First a bit of the story I have not shared before. That first day my dad was in hospice and we all met was not the only time he was "dying".  When you deal with someone who truly is a pathological liar it is very difficult to know fact from fiction. Do you remember me telling you the day my older sister and I confronted him on the homosexuality and the sexual abuse? He cried big crocodile tears and wrote a poem about how much he loved his children and would never harm them. He could try and convince you that you were the one that made all this drama up and he would never harm anyone.

His "stories" are legendary. Most of the stories are grandiose like dining with the president kind of stories that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt simply are not true. So when it comes to his health it is difficult to sort fact from fiction. He managed to convince doctors early on that he was dying, without any medical records as proof so the doctors wrote illnesses in his chart that simply were not true. We have joked for years that he will outlive us all. He is like a cat that has nine lives. So when he does die I have said I won't believe it till he has been dead for three days and then a doctor confirms it. Even writing this sounds crazy, I know.

So recently, my sister called to tell me she thought our dad truly was dying this time. He was going back into hospice. Since we have played this game before I was once again skeptical like the rest of my siblings. But, this time seemed different. Maybe he really is dying. That thought brought up a whole lot of emotions that I thought had been dealt with many times before.

Forgiveness, such a simple word, yet such a tough concept when you are faced with reality. For about 24 hours I was frozen in time. I was that little girl again, desperately wanting my daddy to love me. Time was running out. The sad truth was and is, he never loved me. I have written that sentence over and over again and each time it just stares me in the face. How do you forgive your own dad for never loving you? How is it possible? He hurt all of us through sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. He neglected us terribly. We were never nurtured. How do you forgive that?

The forgiveness I give to my dad is a gift. He does not deserve it, because of what he has done to me. He does not deserve my love, my time, or my respect. But, I am much more than my feelings and emotions. What I know is far greater than what I feel. What I know is that all the abuse me and my siblings were given did not happen in a vacuum. There is a reason my dad is who he is. He didn't wake up one morning and say, "I am going to get married, have children, abuse other people's children, terrorize my family, become a pathological liar and become a homosexual" Something happened when he was a child to make him who he is. All of this evil came from somewhere. Again, it did not happen in a vacuum.

Forgiveness is a choice. I believe we all have free will. I can chose to believe the lies my dad screamed at me. I can chose to believe the lie that I would never be good for anything but a prostitute. Oh the lies that swirled in my head all those years ago. I chose then and I chose now not to believe them because I know that I have great value. I have great value not because of who I am but because of whose I am. Even though I have an earthy dad that hated everything I was and am, I have a heavenly father who truly loves me. I chose to be a daughter of the King of Kings.

So when I was faced with the prospect of my dad leaving this world recently, I was faced with a choice once again. Can I be alright with never hearing those words every little girl wants to hear from her daddy? Can I truly forgive this man for all he has done to me and countless other children? Can I walk away knowing there is nothing left for me to do? Do I allow anger and bitterness to rob me of who I am? Each time I will chose freedom. Freedom from anger and bitterness. I will not allow my circumstances to define who I am. I chose to forgive.
Till tomorrow.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".