Fragments of a Broken Childhood: Final Conclusion

After writing Lesson 2 of this series, I’ve come to terms that the rest (besides this post) of my childhood struggles are going to stay in the past. I could write about the numerous suicide attempts I’ve witnessed with my mother. I could write what it was like being a changing girl to woman without a woman to guide her. I could tell you about numerous schools, always being the new girl. I could tell you how living everywhere and nowhere is confusing. How it can damage a child to never call anywhere a home. But unexpectedly within two articles of writing, and a few other interventions in counseling, something has just settled down deep in my soul. It’s time to lay it down and let it go. That yes, I did indeed have a messed up childhood but it no longer is something to be ashamed of. Also, I don’t desire that validation of how bad it really was anymore. It’s done. Time to make sure my daughters don’t go through anything remotely close to what I experienced. I can’t protect them from that without stepping away from the past and into the present.

The last fragment to share is my 9th birthday. I’m not for certain if it was ninth or any other age, but I stick with 9th when remembering or telling others.

I can tell you this happened on a Sunday. I was with my grandparents over the weekend. They dropped my sister and me off at home. At that time we were living with our mom in the same trailer park, different trailer. We arrived to a full blown party. Keg in the bathtub kind of party. My first memory after a feeling of disappointment, was sitting on the couch opening a card from my mom with a 5 dollar bill in it.

Earlier that day, was my birthday party that my grandmother threw for me. My mother didn’t come. Honestly I don’t remember her at any of the parties that were ever for me.

So here was my party from her to me, I guess. Just what every 9 year old wants. A kegger and a 5 dollar bill. Back then though 5 dollars was alot unlike these days you have to stuff a card with a 20 to get a smile out of a child.

The next memory is my sister climbing out the back window and leaving me there. I’m pretty sure I didn’t want to leave because that meant leaving that coveted money behind. She rode her bike to another kid’s trailer, called my grandparents and they drove back to get her.

The next memory of that day was at night because it was dark. My birthday is August 12th so that means this memory had to occur around 10pm. I am sitting in my dad’s car in front of the trailer. He must’ve come to see me on my birthday. Meaning he didn’t go to the party grandma had for me either. I remember begging him to take me with him. At this time he lives with his parents as he’s a  divorced, single man. I believe he was saying yes he would take me because I remember hope. But…the next memory is my mother climbing on the hood of his car banging on the windshield. “You take her and I’ll come throw bricks through your parent’s windows!” And I’m sure she had some really good french to go along with it. I remember saying over and over again “Just drive dad, just drive.” It feels like that moment of her banging on the side of the car, the driver’s window and even on the hood, went on for ever.

He didn’t take me with him. Sadly, he believed that she would throw bricks through their windows. I remember the feeling of, “I almost got out of here.” I remember the feeling of, “I should have went out the window with my sister.”

The last memory of that day, my birthday, was being in the backseat with another girl who was younger than me. My mother and another woman were in the front seat. It was dark out and hot. They had both front windows down. I remember they were yelling at other cars, hanging out the windows and even lifting up their shirts at oncoming traffic. We were going to the state line because alcohol could not be sold in our state on Sunday.

Those are the only memories I have in my mind. But as time wore on over the years I would have many questions. Why wasn’t my dad at my party? Because he wasn’t invited. Why wasn’t my mother there? Because she had company, I guess. (That’s me being a smart-mouth if you didn’t catch it) Why didn’t my grandparents come get me too? I’ll never know. Why didn’t my dad “just drive”? Because she scared him.

Along the years I would realize that was the day that they all somewhat betrayed me. I know it sounds a bit overboard. But in reality it’s true that no one had my well being in mind. And as the years would go on even to this very year, she has somehow ruined my birthday in some way. But this past Aug 12th-sitting in the car after asking my husband to give me a minute to put myself together before walking into his mom’s for dinner she made me…I listened to myself. I had just been hurt again by my mother’s words and the lack of Happy Birthday, I heard myself say, “You dont matter. You don’t matter to her, you never have.” I dried my eyes, got out of the car and put on a fake smile and walked in the door of my mother in law’s where she had put on my favorite meal.

Then that evening, my father came for a visit and forgot it was my birthday. I ended up, as usual, helping him feel better about it. I really felt insignificant by that night. And the mental talk then was…”You’re 44years olds now who cares if neither parent cares about your birthday? You’re no longer a child.” I’ve come to terms that never having that feeling of being cherished from them is just the way it will be.

I can tell you that I had a breakthrough in counseling that week. And that yes indeed, I do matter. I matter to my husband…he told me so that very night. I matter to my children and I matter to my mother in law. And that’s plenty. More than some can say. I’m done with their rejection. It doesnt have to hurt me any longer.

My middle daughter, the one who saved my life unbeknownst to her, had her 9th birthday this weekend. I decided to give her what the little girl that I was would have wanted. I dont believe I spoiled her, but I did go overboard a bit.

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It felt wonderful to see the delight and excitement on her face throughout the whole thing. She was allowed friends over. We did  a couple painting crafts and we weaved friendship bracelets. I tried to be with her every step of the way that day to let her have a memory of a wonderful 9th birthday.

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I am blessed beyond all measure to have what I have. My counselor reminds me often that, considering the circumstances that I was raised in and the addiction I went through…statistically I should still be an addict and worse off because of how it all went down for me….But my God had other plans for me!

One day I will share my childhood memories and my mistakes during the addiction years with my daughters. Until then I put the past in the past and move on to the present so that I can give them a past of cherished memories.

Here are a few more birthday pics and pics from a local festival we went to the next day.

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They made a letter A for Abigail!

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My Post Picks Sept 20

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This pic is for our friend Stuart. In his post this week he has graciously designed a way to have a blog-prayer chain. Go here to see the details if you’d like to be included on recieving prayer requests to pray for.

We start with a post by Marques Jefferies…Are You Prepared. As he shares with us something he saw on fb about the coming flooding and hurricane on its way to NC. This was wrote last week. Very impactful.

Storm Breaker by Wordcoaster is really good as he reminds us in a poem of there being more than one kind of storm in our lives.

Next is Vulnerability by The Eclectic Contrarian as he becomes vulnerable in order to get his point across.

Let’s Have Fun by Laleh Chini is such a good good tale of doing the right thing! You’ll enjoy this read for sure.

Ok so My Kathy Wire knocked two out of the park last week in my opinion. First was Leona’s Secret...left me wanting more and I could see the makings of a good book. Oh and Tears of Gold…so good. I can’t tell you anything about either or I will ruin the stories for you.

Next up is The Miles by Warren Richards. Truly, every other sentence is another nugget of rich truth that we as Christians need to remember as we journey through our walks with God to the finish line.

Pray Anyway by Cynthia at Tears in a Bottle just posted an hour ago as I write this. Are you a wife who feels like things will never change with your unbelieving husband? Need some hope? Read this!

What Are You Afraid Of at Atimetoshare got me thinking. She speaks of fear and describes it to us. She then shows us Who can dispel all fear!

Amen

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Gripping on so tightly, you didn’t want to let go. What was once so cherished and momentous, has now burdened you so.

The torch you carried so bright in your heart, you fed and fed to keep afire. But to no avail, for lusts of the flesh consumed that desire.

Sin and deceit crept in, riding in the coattails of despair and grief…left you wondering how 20 years could seem so brief.

Now you stand at the precipice of the unknown wondering where to go. Holding tightly to your faith in God, reminding yourself, Amen means ‘make it so.’

With empty hands and a swept out house, you make your daily prayer...”God guide me, strengthen me, I know You’ll always be there.

For it is You I will grip onto so tightly. And it is to You, I will give myself nightly.

As I make my new way in this cruel world. I know I have You and I’ll always be Your girl.”

Amen-So be it

We Are His Vessels

635998799230671009-966146032_26743881-A-businesswoman-checking-email-via-mobile-phone-and-holding-a-coffee-cup-against-urban-scene--Stock-Photo.jpgSomething peculiar and fascinating happened to me Sunday that I’d like to share with you.

Every year we have Bible College students come to our church and minister. We roll out the red carpet for them. We provide housing for them to stay with families in our church. And of course we feed them, which they appreciate so much. We usually put together a service in the park and they do their thing with their musical talents as we try to woo in the community. On Sunday morning of this big weekend, our platform and service is turned over to them. They’re given full run with the music as well as the preaching.

Up to the mic steps this young man. I remember thinking how adorable he was, as he was short and small with a kind face. As he began to preach, he mentioned that he had come to our church last year and preached. He spoke of how down and out he felt last last year right before he was to preach. He felt as if he didn’t have any idea of what he was doing. And when he did preach that morning, he walked away feeling like he had no impact whatsoever. He also said he was going through a rough spell during that time in his life too.

He then says to us that a lady in our church gave him a letter last year. She told him, “Every time you go up to preach, read this.” He said he wouldn’t expose what was in the letter, but that she shared her heart with him and some of the struggles she was facing as well. He said the letter changed his life and was exactly what he had needed to hear. He then went on to say, if you’re here today, I’d love to talk with you and know how you’re doing.

As this young man is speaking of all of these things, I realize it was me that wrote that letter! I didn’t recognize that young man’s face when he came up to speak. But the familiarity of what he said just started dawning on me. I then remembered sitting at my table writing something and calling a mentor of mine to help talk me into giving him the letter. The mentor said, “Obviously, the Lord wants you to encourage him, so do it.”

I remember giving him the letter. But I can’t tell you for the life of me what it said! Not one word. I admitted to him after church that it was me. And he knew immediately that it was me. He said he’ll never forget how that letter helped him. He said that when he heard the college was coming back to my church that he just had to come to tell the lady how her letter helped him. He had the letter back at his dorm room, and he couldn’t recall all that was wrote.

As I’ve reflected back on these events these last few days, I felt bad in a way for not remembering. These big inspiring and encouraging words. How could I not remember? But then I got to thinking….what if they weren’tmy words at all? What if they were God’s words?

I was a vessel as we so often call ourselves. But do we really think about that? Do we think about how God uses our mouths to speak His truth? Our hands to do His work? Or even how He uses our writing abilities to write a letter from Him to someone He loves and has a word for?

So the next time you feel a nudging to step outside of the usual actions of your daily life, stop and question if it’s the Lord. One way you’ll know is that nudging doesn’t stop, it persists. Another way to know is, it’s usually something you don’t want to do. Amen? Even if it is a letter or a card to someone you just cannot get off your mind. And if so, don’t worry about what to write because God will do the work, you just go grab and pen and paper and be the willing vessel!

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Where is Your Treasure?

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Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. This scripture has been swirling around my brain the last couple days. Maybe I’ll do a poem. But nope! Nada, zilch. I’ve got nothing for ya. I do believe my new job and a few other new responsibilities have zapped some of my creativity. Where words and ideas would flow, now trickle and are forced to light. But my desire to write is still there. I’ve got many drafts but they have no ending. So today you get my ramblings…For I must write!

Back to the scripture. I think it means where you spend your money, your time, your efforts the most-is where your heart is. This is where you find your passions, your desires.

Have you seen them? Those that put everything they have into fitness, working out. They’ve got the latest smoothie recipes, newest workout clothes. Their talk is like another language as they speak of micro-nutrients, reps/sets, pecks and my favorite, triceps. I was this person for a short stint last year, until I found out I’m old and my body simply can’t keep up. I have accepted I’m 44 (I know, I know I’m not old) but my get up and go has gone got up and left! Can I get an amen in the house? I do still try but in a more reasonable manner.

How about the brand name only, gotta go to the mall every weekend, moms whose kids have every hair in place and million dollar clothing on their bodies…that they grow out of anyhow. What about them? They’re being such good mommies as they visit the library for every scheduled display and craft. And aren’t they the greatest for spending 300$ for a birthday party for their child? I tried to be one of these kind of moms…nope, can’t do it. Simply can’t do it. I came to learn it creates a want for more inside of my child that I won’t be able to control down the road…I do try to keep every hair in place though.

What about those who give everything they have to their job? I watched someone go down this road and it wasn’t pretty. This individual would show up early every shift. And stay late. He would learn the ins and outs to every facet in the company. He moved up the ladder quickly. But what ultimately happened was he woke years down the road and realized he wasn’t appreciated, and felt invisible to his employers. Once he climbed up as high as he could, he was then held down by their proverbial thumb. He took a pay cut and found a different company to work for and has a new outlook on how to be an effective employee without giving his right arm to do so…this was my husband and I’m proud of him for changing jobs. It was a big step for him. The kids and I enjoy a happier man in our home these days!

Yes I know, you’re thinking these scenarios are a balance issue. That we have to balance out our time. To have enough to go around. Yes that’s so true and I’m learning it firsthand these days. But what about your treasure? Your everything. Your deep down, so important to you, worth more than anything, treasure? What is it? Money? Acceptance? Material things-the latest and the greatest? Time?

Now that I’ve had some time and opportunity to rid myself of weights of my past…I’m learning that my love for God, my time with Him, my work in His kingdom is where my treasure should always be. AND I want to pass that desire to my children.

How about you? Can you relate? Do you find it hard to keep your focus on the real treasure freely within your grasp? Have you had similar life experiences where you’ve had to let up and prioritize?

 

Our Battle Cry

Do you hide in the trenches, sunken down low? Are your ever searching eyes darting to and fro?

Watching, waiting for just the right moment to steal the show. Running onto the battlefield with your ancient weapons, yelling behind you to your allies, “It’s a go!”

“Anxiety you go left! Depression go right and freeze them in their tracks! I’ll go down the middle and frighten them until we see their backs!”

“Go, go, go! Hit ’em where it hurts! Relieve them of their happiness and shock ’em with every curse!”

I wonder if you see where you’re headed, do you see what’s in your path? Look up and see your tactics have brought down God’s mighty wrath.

Fear, are your feet getting tired as you try to slog your way towards me? Jesus’ blood flows around you and will bring me to victory!

Run in retreat depression, anxiety and fear, I am finally free. For because I have Jesus you can no longer beguile me.

See my flag waving valiantly, my standard raised high? When you come in like a flood, you will always hear my battle cry.

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Daily Word Prompt: Beguile

My Provider

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When I hear your prodding to sit up straight or try not to be late. When you whisper, “Not now my child…just wait”—-

I hear my Mother

“My Princess, he’s not a man of his word, not the one.” Your knowledge of the unknown helping me to see ahead. The lifter up of my head.—-

I hear my Father

Looking into the empty passenger seat but feeling you, a still small voice speaks to my heart, “You’re not alone, I am here with you.”—-

I hear my Friend

When my world roars with laughter aimed at me, “You’re enough for me. You don’t need them.”—-

I hear my Sister

When grief comes in like a flood and the wind has left my sails, “Its going to ok. I am holding you and won’t leave you.”—-

I hear my Comforter

“I’ve been there all along. The nights you cried out to Me, I was there. The days you needed my strength, I gave it to you. When everyone walked out on you and were careless with you…I was carefully holding you. Look up my child I have so much more in store for you. I have begun a good work in you and I will be faithful to complete it. Know that my words never pass away. I love you my daughter, my friend, my princess…trust in Me”—-

I hear my God