Right Relations/ When should you let go? / June 12, 2019

The term ‘Toxic Relationship” can be applied to a number of relationships we may have. What makes the relationship toxic? Well there can be a number of reason to label a relationship toxic. The word ‘Toxic’ implies that it is poisonous, harmful and even deadly. A relationship is obviously toxic when you can see the outward signs of abuse. Bruises, black eyes, and broken bones, are signs you can see. What about the unseen? The emotional and mental damaged being done that the eyes do not always detect. What ever  the excuse or reason that we may have to stay in these relationships, there comes a time when we need to realize that we are doing more harm than good to ourselves and to the other person. We may have the need to stay to help them, but how can you save someone from drowning when you are drowning yourself?

We need to remove ourselves from harmful relationships. This does not mean you do not care or that you have to hate them to leave. Sometimes the saying, ‘If you love someone, you set them free’, is very exactly what we need to do. Staying in a harmful relationship does neither of you any good. You could be standing in the way of God reaching that person, or they may be standing in the way of God in your life. Proverbs tells us that it is better for a man to be on top of the roof with a dry morsel of bread than in a house with a quarrelsome wife. If you are a woman or a man this is telling you to distance yourself from the one who is trying to do you harm. This could be physical, emotional or verbal, no matter what it is that is causing you harm, the only way to stop it,is to remove yourself from the picture. You would not put your hand in the fire and keep it there. If you did, more than your hand would catch on fire.

Some relationships will be restored and others will come to an end. either way you will grieve the loss, whether it is temporary or permanent. It will hurt more than ripping off a band-aide, but it is a pain you will heal. Healing is the goal in letting go of a harmful relationship. It takes courage to walk away, especially when you love the other person, and they may actually love you but sometimes the only way for the both of you to find healing is to let go.

(A personal thought – bleach is a cleaner and ammonia is another cleaning product, but you don’t put the two together. Why? If combined they produces a toxic gas that will kill you.)

Right Relations / thoughts on Abandoned and Rejected/ 5/19/2019

When I was 5 years old, my parents divorced. My father got custody of me and my brother. I grew up thinking that my mother had left me behind. It was an abusive marriage, and I was left with her abuser to be abused myself. I felt abandoned. I was lied to for most of my life about my mother and how my father got custody. I was made to believe that she left me by her own choice. That she was selfish and only cared about partying and sex. She was in my life, and I saw her often but I still felt abandoned. As I got older and started living a very self destructive life. I loved and hated her. I loved her because she was my mother. I hated her because I thought she had abandoned me to be raised by her abuser. It was not until the year before she died that I learned the truth. She had not abandoned me, but had to make a choice that no mother should ever had to make. I have shared my testimony on my arrest and trials, so I will not go into all those details. Yet that was what it took for her to share what had been done to her. It was one of the most painful conversations that I have had. Yet it brought us both healing, and understanding. I learned that she had not abandoned me, but had done what she had to, so that she could be in my life, even though she knew what kind of man my father was.

I have had a problem with relationships, for many reasons. Growing up thinking that I had been abandoned, had also caused me to feel rejected. I still struggle with feeling unwanted. I don’t feel like I fit in. So how can I feel close to an unseen God?  My Heavenly Father. Being lied to and feeling abandoned and rejected, how can I trust Him?

First I have to realize that He is not a man. He is God. In other religions the god requires sacrifice from their subjects. With God, my Heavenly Father, He sacrificed His own Son, to forgive us, and to adopt us, making us His children and not just mere worshippers. Yet even being called His child, with my history with my own parents is still having an affect on how I am able to relate to others. Including my Heavenly Father. How can I trust that He wants me and that He has chosen me. I know I don’t deserve His love, that I have committed many sins. Yet in spite of all that I have done wrong, His love is perfect and He loves me perfectly. He will never leave or forsake me or you.

Read Deuteronomy 31:6&8

Hebrews 13:5-6

Psalm 27:10, 38:21, 71:9

Right Relations/5/12/19/Abused or Abuser

It took me blowing up and verbally abusive towards my daughter to realize that I was taking out my physical and emotional pain on her. When I heard the words coming out of my mouth, I realized that I had become my abusers all rolled up in one. Even though it was verbal, the damage was done. My relationship’s with those who had abused m, had affected how I was relating to my daughter. Thankfully I realized that I needed to stop and get help. The words that had come out of my mouth still haunt me. I had to acknowledge that I had allowed pain and anger fill me with hate.  Filled with hatred how could I love? Anger and resentment towards others effected how I treated my daughter. I love her, but what she got was an unstable mother who loved her but did not know how to love. I am thankful that through counseling and going through ‘Life ‘s Healing Choices’ a small group my church had offered helped me to make the changes that I had to, so I could heal from the abuse O had suffered. That what was done to me did not justify my behavior. I had to acknowledge the wrongs that I have done without blaming my actions on another. I am grateful that God forgave me and that I am not who I used to be. Now I pray that my daughter can forgive me and know that she never deserved how she was treated.

I am back! Thoughts on ‘Right Relations’ 5/11/19

ADAM N EVELast year I began a project on relationships, and I called it ‘Right Relations/How our relationship with people effects our relationship with God’. Well I have been distracted and derailed more times than I can count. Lately my health has been in a major issue. I am not writing consistently and it has been months since I have put any effort it into ‘Right Relations’. I have not wandered away from God, and my faith is still intact, but my focus is off. There was a reason that I wanted to write about our relationships. As God had shown me how each of my relationships in my life has had an effect on my relationship with Him. Though I had not forgotten about this project or how important is is on a personal level, I have allowed myself to get busy with other things and I have neglected this work. My back has been locked up for over 2 months now and I have had migraines, ear infections, blood vessel in my eye burst and a long list of other issues. I have barely been able to work and that has been the most I have been able to do. When I do work I come home and collapse unable to do much else. I pray and listen to my audio Bible, but I am frustrated and my focus has been on what I am unable to do. Instead my focus should be on what I can do and what God is doing for me in the midst of this valley. This project was not only to help others get closer to God but it is to help me better understand my relationship with Him.
Who of us has not been hurt, felt rejected or neglected, and even abandoned by the people in our lives? One way or another in our relationships we have been let down and have lost our trust in others and at times even with ourselves. So how can we have a good relationship with an unseen God, who we call our Heavenly Father? First we need to learn how our relationships have shaped our way of thinking. Jesus told us to even look with lust in our eyes is to have already committed the sin of adultery, and we are told to take every thought captive. Why? How we think dictates how we act or react. If I think someone is going to hurt me, I can push them away and build a wall around me to keep them from hurting me. I could run away and hide, or I could even try to hurt them before they can hurt me. The list goes on what I could do. So why do I think I might get hurt? Is it because I have been hurt in the past? The more you have been hurt the less you tend to trust. Yes there are those who seem to trust blindly who constantly get taken advantage of because they keep hoping that there is someone who they can trust who truly loves them, this is not healthy either.
One thing I have learned since I began this journey is that God is not man(this includes women too) No matter what any person has ever done to me, and no matter what pains I have suffered He has been the ONLY ONE, who has never let me down, but I have my focus on those who I feel I have to protect myself from more than I have kept my eyes on Him. So here is my ‘Do over’, starting back to work on ‘Right Relations’ but taking it from a new perspective. I my only have one post a week to share my progress, but this is my minimum goal. As I share my progress I hope my journey helps you with your relation with God too.

 

 

January 19, 2019 Starting off the year right.

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Art by Julie Sheppard

Hello Everyone!

I am sorry that I have not written anything for a while now. This last year has definitely been busy and a lot has happened. I have also learned a lot. I started working on’Right Relations’, last year and it does not feel like I have gotten very much accomplished on this project, but it has given me time to reflect on the relationships I have had and the testimonies of how each of the relationships had effected me and my relationship with Jesus, and even my current relationships(none that are romantic). I am praying to share my insights through out this year and possibly help or give hope to at least one person.

This year has started off well. I was able to share my testimony on my last suicide attempt which I have shared here, ‘Testimony, I gave up on life and survived’. Even though I had posted this a few years back I had not publicly shared it, with those who knew me or went to church with. I am grateful I did though because since I gave shared that part of my testimony, I have had people talk to me and share about themselves and how my testimony did help them. I have many chapters in my life and many testimonies of the things God has done for me through some very dark periods of my life, and I have written some down and shared them here. I guess it is coming to the time to share them in person.

All of you reading this have testimonies. You are alive and lived through so many different things, some good, some bad, and some tragic. You have a story to share. I encourage you to so so. Share your testimony, break it down into chapters so you do not become overwhelmed. In Revelation 12, you will read …10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down—he who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea; with great fury the devil has come down to you, knowing he has only a short time.”…

Life shared is life given, and that is what you give when you give your testimony. I know how afraid you can be when thinking of sharing yourself with another, and how even writing your testimony can be a draining experience. Pouring yourself out, exposing yourself, and knowing that once it is out there you can’t take it back. Then fear of judgement and rejection begin to work on our thoughts. Afraid that if they learn who we truly are and what we had done in the past they would no longer love or want us in their life. One word of encouragement is, ‘god knows you, and He knows everything you have ever done and He still loves you!’ Proof is in that He loved you so very much that He sent Jesus, His Son to die for you. So that you can live. Yes some may criticize or even condemn us when we open up and let His light into the dark areas of our lives, but His light overcomes the darkness. His love never fails, and He will never abandon you.

So it is now your turn, speak up and share what He has done in your life, and reach out to someone you do not even know that is hurting and give them hope.

P.S. I have not stopped working on Right Relations and I am still looking for testimonies on relationships, both good and bad, that I may include in this work. If you feel led to share with me please leave me a comment and I will give you my contact information. I also would like to tell you anything you share with me if used can be kept anonymous.

Thank you and God bless

Right Relations / Rough Draft Continues / Adultery

We have looked at adultery through the eyes of one who was cheated on, now let us look at adultery through someone committing the act. The best example found in the Bible is the story of David and Bathsheba. You can read about this in the Bible 2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12. David who had fought in many battles before did not go with his army. Then one night while his soldiers were gone to battle David was home and woke up in the night. He went to his roof top and saw a woman bathing. He didn’t just watch her bathe, he inquired about who she was. Finding out that she was the wife of Uriah one of David’s soldiers. He still sent for her and slept with her. Then when she told him she was pregnant, David tried to cover up the affair, by first bringing Uriah back from battle. Yet Uriah did not go home and sleep with his wife. So David sent him to a place he was sure Uriah would die in battle. So not only did David commit adultery and betray one of his soldiers, he had the man killed and took Bathsheba for his own wife.  The story does not end there. The Lord sends Nathan to David to reprove him. Nathan confronts David about what he has done letting David know that God knows his sin and has removed it but one of the consequences of his sin is that the child will die and that the sword will never leave his house.

So David does finally acknowledge his affair but he had to be confronted first. How different the outcome might have been if he had owned up to his sin before trying to cover it up to only make it worse. They say it is better to tell the truth because when you lie you have to keep lying until you forget what you have said and eventually the lie is exposed. When we lie and cheat we hurt others and ourselves. These unseen wounds will not heal overnight. You broke the other’s trust in you and it will never be the same again.

What if it is you that has committed adultery? Are you still having the affair, or have you ended the relationship? Do you feel like there is no hope, and that you cannot be forgiven? Read John chapter 8. You will read about a woman caught in adultery and how Jesus forgives her of her sin and tells her go and sin no more. Acknowledge your sin and repent.  People may never trust you again and this might be the consequence of your sin. There is forgiveness in God’s love. As Jesus said, ‘Go and sin no more’.

Right Relations / Rough Draft / Adultery

(This is a rough draft and will be in parts)

How many of you have experienced the sting of betrayal that was caused by someone cheating on you? You were dating or married, and they had an affair. Even if the affair was not sexual it was intimate, taking the affection they once had for you and giving it to another. Jesus told us if we even look at another who is not our wife or husband with lust in our eye we have already committed the sin of ADULTERY. It not only breaks your heart but it can devastate your life. It breaks up families and causes a chain reaction of divisions. Divorce doesn’t just hurt you, but your children, family, church, and friends are hurt too.

You did not accidentally have an affair. You chose to act on a selfish desire and did not care about those who would be hurt by your actions. You may not ever plan on leaving your wife/husband, and believe your affair is secret and that your spouse will never find out. They may even be pretending nothing is happening because the pain is too much for them to bare and they do not want to loose you. Denial and pretending is only deceiving one’s self, and the wound only deepens. I still remember the day when I opened my front door and saw my husband kissing another woman. I didn’t run up to the car and bang on the window. I quietly shut the door and lied to myself and said I did not see that. I was mistaken and that he must have been reaching into the backseat for something. Our marriage was already bad from the abuse but confirmation that he was having an affair was too much for me to handle. This woman had even wanted to throw me a baby shower.  Oh, did I forget to mention I was pregnant? This was a woman who knew of my existence and our marriage did not stop their affair, both were willing parties to their illicit relationship. So not only was I being beaten, I was being cheated on. Now this was not the only time someone had cheated on me, I have had other relationships where not only my heart was broken but so was my trust.

Adultery is found in the Bible a number of times.

Short list

COMMANDMENT: Do not commit adultery.

David and Bathsheba had an affair that lead to the murder of her husband and their baby died.

Hosea, a prophet commanded by God to marry Gomer, who was a prostitute. Time after time Hosea had to go after Gomer who constantly was unfaithful.

Mary the mother of Jesus was thought that she had an affair and Joseph was going to send her off quietly(We all know she did not and Joseph learned the truth as well)

John the Baptist was beheaded because he spoke out against the adultery of the king with his brothers wife and at the request of her daughter at her mothers’ instruction. Mark 6:14-29

Even Abraham had almost caused his wife to commit the sin of adultery out of fear for his own life twice.Thankfully God intervened and spoke to the king and kept this from happening.

I have been discussing adultery between a man and his wife. Both men and women have been guilty since before the time of Moses. There is another kind of adultery most never think about. Spiritual adultery. When we are unfaithful to God. We have not one but two commandments that tell us God is the only One. First commandment no other gods. Second no idols. He needs to be first in all areas of our lives. These man made gods and idols do not love us. They only take from us. We might find momentary pleasure from them but it never truly satisfies. They take away our love and attention to the One who has given us everything to seek after things that do not last. We are called an unfaithful people, and we are. We seek after our own selfish desires and we break His heart. The One who loves us so much that Jesus died for our sins.

You may go to church and know your scripture but if you are still seeking after your own selfish desires you may know His Name but you are not living for Him. You might as well spit in His face. He is not looking for you to be perfect, but He does love you perfectly. Forgiveness and grace do not give us license to continue to live sinful lives.

Please remember this is not a completed work, but I guess you can say there is no relationship that does not need work