Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fear Not - 365

Did you know the words Fear Not are in the Holy Bible 365 times? That means we are told every day to 'Fear Not'.

There are many people who live in fear and for years I was paralyzed by it and still fight it off quite regularly.

Some fears are:
Public Speaking
Offending people (parents, spouses, children, co-workers, supervisors, etc.)
Driving/Public Transportation
Leaving home
Money (or lack thereof)
Failure in school, business, etc.

This list is really endless because there are as many fears as there are people in the world.  God knows your fears, and so does the devil. God will not use your fears against you, but the devil will use anything, anyone and everyone against you if he believes it might steer you away from God's will.

In a lot of cases, fear, anxiety and depression are misery roommates that work in an evil cycle to keep a person down for a very long time.  It is very hard to fight your way out of it. For myself, I turned to many books, devotionals and prayer constantly to keep these feelings at bay.

God does not wish for his children to live in fear of anyone. But I know firsthand how hollow that may sound to someone in an abusive situation that does not see themselves as God sees them. I felt forgotten and that somehow I deserved what I got and I know now that those feelings were the devil and my ex-spouse beating me down emotionally and physically. 

When you come out of an abusive situation you are fearful of most people for a very long time.  For me, when someone complimented me I assumed they were lying and still struggle with praise and compliments to this very day because I assume they are insincere or just pretending to be nice.

 I actually stood in front of a mirror every day for about 3 months telling my reflection that God loved me and that I had a purpose before I started believing it and living again.

I highly recommend getting your Bible out and reading God's promises to his children. I also recommend the book Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer to help you get on track. You must choose to believe you can change before you can make the change. Praying for all those that need a way out and that they find peace and strength while they fight their way to freedom.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911 - If you need assistance finding a way out of an abusive situation, please call 1-800-799-7233 and someone will answer you and listen to you.

Monday, March 23, 2015

You are Not a Tree!

I often hear people complain and complain about their job or living situation and then when I give them suggestions, they just say, "Oh, Well, I am stuck".

God made us in his image and he did not create a world full of trees that are only planted. He created human beings with the ability to learn, grow, change and even move from place to place!

No matter what the situation is, you can choose to seek assistance and change where you live, who you spend time with and you can make a difference too!

I completely understand the 'feeling' of being stuck. I was there for years as a single parent wondering if I was truly making a difference or just wasting my time.  I was also there in my second marriage wondering if I would ever feel strong enough to leave again.

If this little Tennessee gal can move from TN to GA and back to TN and not have a job and within a years time get an office job again (I worked in a book store, a gas station and a hardware store in the mean time). Then I believe YOU can make a change too.  Yes, Change is scary but it is so worth it on the other side when you realize what you have accomplished.

Trees and flowers are planted all over the earth for many purposes and I love taking pictures of nature, but I know God created me for his purpose and I will not stay stuck.

I invite you to take that first timid step and make phone calls to find that new, rewarding job or new place to live.

Even if you have to live with friends or family in the meantime, Please enjoy the blessing you have been given. Remember everything we have comes from God, not another person, not our own means, God provides it all because he provides us the intelligence to work, drive our vehicles, provide for our families. God is truly the ultimate provider and when you see it this way, you will be amazed at what God is truly giving you!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pain has a purpose

Most of us see the word pain and imagine illness and all sorts of things.

However, most kinds of pain are unseen and people have pain every day that you don't know about.

There are many people who have physical pain every day and push through it to get things done. There are others to tell you about every ache and pain they have and sadly they are consumed by this pain they have.

Think back over the turning points in your life. What if those people had not done those things to you? Would you still be where you are today?

I know without a doubt in my mind that both of my ex-husbands changed my life and my outlook in ways that I never imagined.

If my first husband had not isolated me, injured me, abused me and cheated on me, I would not have left when he got his 2nd wife pregnant. I am so thankful that I was able to come home to TN (we were stationed overseas when the marriage ended) and was able to recover, refocus and get myself and my kids our own place so we could get on with our lives.  It was not easy in those single parent years but we survived with the help of our "village".

If my second husband had not lied, cheated,  & verbally abused me, I would have lived blindly with someone that only pretended to be a part of my life.

After both marriages I came out wounded for sure but in 2013 I started writing as therapy and it eventually evolved into this blog.

I write to help others know they are not alone, that they can overcome and that God is there for them if they will only seek him out.  Please share this blog using facebook, twitter and even email it to those you care about.

If you are in immediate danger call 911. If you are in a domestic situation and need assistance/resources to get out or where to turn, please call 1-800-799-7233.  Take Care of YOU!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Show Love Always

I believe in being as kind as possible even when you have to correct someone or give them bad news.

I have had bosses in the past that were rude, hateful and mean as can be. These folks thoroughly enjoyed calling me out with a mistake in public, in staff meetings and even threw me under the proverbial bus to outside business owners when I goofed up. This made me very distrustful of supervisors that were strong-willed women.

There is a time and place for correction and I believe that it is best done face to face if possible or in private communication if there is no way to do a face to face.

Even when you disagree with someone you should have the heart of Jesus and show that person kindness through whatever is going on.

This is very difficult to accomplish in a separation and/or divorce situation and even the custody issues that sometimes follow.

 I know for me personally, I tried over and over to reach my ex-husband to tell him calmly that the divorce papers were on the way back in 2013. He ignored my calls and emails so then a month later when they arrived at his address he told me that he was surprised I moved so fast on filing the papers.  Looking back, I guess he honestly didn't believe I would follow through with my appointments or file for the divorce.  I had been through enough and I no longer wanted to be connected to him. 

Thankfully by the time the papers were filed, it was all a matter of formality because we had stopped living together the previous year and he had very quickly found someone else to pay his bills and care for him.  I still pray for him to find peace and for him to be okay. I do not wish him any harm of any kind. We were married 11 years on paper and most of that time we lived together. You cannot spend that much time together (in spite of the affairs and money issues) and not care for someone on some level. I was told many times I cared too much and put up with too much. Yes on both counts I suppose I did, but I was afraid to live alone or that I would end up homeless.

I make daily mistakes and I still offend people when I had no intention to do so. I am very abrupt and to the point at times and that comes off as harsh.  I apologize to people a lot and I am still learning every day how to forgive others and forgive myself for my mistakes.

I am so thankful for those that have shown me unconditional love when they really had no reason to. Those are the ones I count as blessings every night when I go to sleep. My church family at Covenant Church in Burns, TN has shown me love in so many ways.  They accepted me and have stood with me, sat with me and prayed with me through a pretty rough 2 1/2 years. I hope to be able to give back and bless others by helping them and sharing my story of triumph through Christ one day.

I will not judge anyone by the name on a church building, I only suggest that those in hurtful situations find a Bible believing church that is accepting of divorced women/men and single parents. If the congregation and pastor has a heart for those things, then you will find a place to grow and worship that you truly enjoy.

If you are in a dangerous immediate situation, please call 911. If you need assistance or suggestions for a difficult marriage or living situation, please call 1-800-799-7233 and a friendly voice will be happy to help you and listen.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tend to your Own Garden

Ever heard the saying, "The Grass is greener on the other side"?

Most of us have. A few years ago I heard a pastor's wife say that if we would water our own lawns and tend to our own business then not only would our 'grass be green' but we wouldn't have time to see what is going on in someone else's yard.

This resonates with me today.  All I see in the mirror these days is a single person in her 40's working every day to make ends meet who tries to help others every day.

There are few places where I truly feel part of a family and these places are not at home. I feel full of life and joy when I am with my church family and I am very sad when I leave church services because outside of that group of people I truly only see a single woman.

I feel that I have a purpose when I am leading and teaching my business team but again, when the workshops are over, I feel lost and lonely quite often.

I feel part of a team when I am at my Monday-Friday job. Through teamwork we all get the job done and we have fun while getting the work accomplished.  If you have a sad face at the office, then it is your own doing.

I know that I am better off and completely secure in the decisions I have made in the past 2 1/2 years. I do not want to go back or resurrect either of the relationships for any reason.

What I do find myself longing for is a Godly relationship with a Christian Man that God chooses to send to me. I am committed to seeking God in all things (home, work, office, candles, children, grandchildren) and praising God while waiting for what God has in store for my life.

I share all this with you to let you know that yes I am happy and healthier than I have ever been but I still have things in my life I would love to change.  I refuse to seek out things or people that would hurt my faith or take me away from my path in God's Kingdom.

The best thing I can do during this time in my journey is to do the things I know I am meant to do, follow the Bible and seek God in all things. I choose to tend to my own business and not look at what others are doing.

If you are in danger, please call 911 or call the domestic violence hotline for ideas/suggestions to get assistance at 1-800-799-7233.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Unseen Pain

I would bet that most of us have someone in our life who is in constant pain but rarely mentions it.

To the person in pain on a daily basis, I am right there with you. Every day I have pain in my body and deal with several issues.  No, there is really nothing a doctor can do so I adjusted long ago and learned to live with it. Sometimes, the pain is overwhelming and I have to take pain pills and/or medication to get the symptoms back to a manageable level and that is just part of my life.

If you ask me how I am doing, I will most likely say that I am fine because I refuse to become that person that complains every day about everything in their life.

There are many ways that pain shows up in our lives. Some examples are:
* Pain of heartache over a child you can no longer reach
* Pain of missing a family member who passed on
* Painful memories of a failed relationship

Depression, sadness, pain all go hand-in-hand and if you allow the Depression to take over, you will fall into a downward spiral that is very difficult (not impossible) to get out of. Each person will deal with these issues differently and please don't do anything without consulting your doctor.

Some people fight depression by exercising, walking, running. Some choose to focus on their work and that can become an addiction too.  I don't have any 'for sure' answers but I know that when I get out of the house and take a walk in the fresh air or just change my surroundings, or listen to praise/worship music that these things usually lift my spirits and get my focus on other things.

The bottom line is that I wish everyone would treat others with kindness. You truly don't know what someone else is going through at home, work, or with family and kindness never hurt anyone.  Your smile may be the only one they see that day.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Apologies, Forgiveness and Letting Go

I have made many mistakes in life, business and in general.  Some people would even say they were probably not a big deal.  But when confronted with the fact that I hurt someone's feelings, I knew in my heart that I had done the wrong thing.

So, I spent a portion of February apologizing to people in person, on the phone and through cards I sent in the mail. 

I always want to be kind to others (even the ones who don't like me). I cannot predict how they will react to the apology or how they will treat me in the future, but I said my heartfelt apologies and asked them to give me another chance.

Forgiveness has been something that I haven't always done. It took me many years to start even thinking about forgiving my first husband but I did it for myself and for my kids. He never responded to my letter or email back in 2007 but I still can see myself writing it.

I spent most of my second marriage forgiving him for a lot of things and he always said he would make it up to me.  Now I find myself forgiving myself for staying in that marriage long after he had broken his vows into a thousand pieces. I thought if I stayed and supported him unconditionally  that he would come around and be the Christian husband I so desperately wanted him to be. This never happened.

To this day I am thankful for the time I spent living in Georgia for my eyes were opened, there was much emotional pain but I saw what I needed to see. I had Godly friends at Sears and through the direct sales community that supported me without even realizing what was going on until I moved back to Tennessee. Thank you Emilee, Debbie, Amy, Sherry, Natalie, Colette, Lissa, Tammy, Jean, Karen & Jamie!

We must let go of past hurts, forgive ourselves and others to truly move forward. There is a saying that says "You can't reach for the next goal if you are holding on to past pain." and I completely agree with that.

So Today at the start of a new month, look around and choose to Let Go, Forgive, Apologize so you can move on in peace.  It is not easy, but the feeling of letting go and letting God handle it is awesome!