Best When Stressed?

 

I’m coming upon the seventh anniversary of this revelation, and to be honest, I still furrow my brows, face palm, and experience “eyeroll.”  It was September 12, six weeks after I realized I would never again be divorced, and less than a month after I became full time homesteader, physical therapist, treatment specialist, home health aid, and permanent family black sheep.  What a happy time it was.  Someone in his family called daily to check progress, but nobody came to help.  My family on the other hand, was all sorts of assistance and for that I’m grateful, but it came at a cost.  Mr. B had been released from the hospital three weeks prior to this big day.  Oh, the heaviness of all that burden is still so real, as I type this.  It was still not known, or no one had heard, that the air conditioner in the car had broken in July, so I had been making two trips daily in temperatures above 100°, traveling for 3 weeks, doing morning and evening chores between day and night shifts of sitting vigil at the hospital.  I still thank G-d for an amazing neighbor.  She truly was a blessing beyond what I could ask or imagine.

So, it was September 12, 2007, and Rosh Hashanah [Yom Teruah] began at sunset.  Mom and Daddy had come down to “help” and were watching me bustling between chores, taking a shower and getting dinner, so they could hit the road when my mom suddenly said, “Elizabeth, you look great; better than you have in years!”  I stopped for a moment, puzzled; when she said, “Oh I bet it’s the weight you’ve lost, you look thinner.”

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To be honest, as the thoughts of any potential reply collided in my brain, I simply could not dignify her stated observation with a response.  Please, pull up a chair, grab your reading glasses, and let me share the day in which I looked my best.

 

Those days began early, and this day was no exception.   There was a hospital bed in my living room, and I was sleeping on a loveseat with a couch in my kitchen.  It was truly a relief to get up and stretch out the kinks.   That day, I did the morning chores, came in and showered, knowing my parents were on their way.  They were coming later than usual, so as not to disturb Mr. B’s morning routine.  Mr. B’s morning routine involved assistance to the bathroom, covering the dressing and assistance to the shower, a complete change of dressing which took one full hour, one tube of aloe vera gel, a bale of 4 X 4 gauze pads, 2 curlex bandages, three taped dressings, a specially designed and crafted covering, by yours truly;  to redress the 4 surgery sites, not to mention dealing with the C-diff and MRSA he got while in the hospital.  By then it was time to fix breakfast including his specialty shake and supplements.  As I was preparing the food, the phone rang.  It was Daddy telling me not to fix breakfast for them, as they had stopped to eat and should be arriving in about an hour, if that worked for Bob . . . Fine, I said, and hurried to get everything finished so I could have dishes done before they arrived.

About 10:30 they arrived, and I poured coffee.  They got the latest on the progress of the patient, and my mom was sure to ask me about this and that and to inform me of all my sister had to offer on the subject.  Now, my sister’s pending prison term was none of my business, yet I digress.  They were going to help me do some outdoor work and get ready for winter.  Daddy had brought me some sort of craftsman cultivator with additional implements which was nice, and he also brought his tiller, which was wonderful.  My okra was still doing beautifully, but Daddy decided it must be tilled down while his tiller was here, so . . . it was tilled down and to be honest, it felt so good running that tiller in the garden dirt, barefooted I forgot all about the loss of the harvest.  It was a moment of shalom . . . Then it was time to do some mowing, but the ethanol gas had ruined a part in the fuel line, which turned into a disaster.   Daddy went to “mower medic” while mom decided to bleach the front siding.

Daddy returned to start working on the mower.  The next thing I knew, in frustration, he had wenched it up the light pole, while mom wanted more bleach and I should keep as good a track of things as Bob did, and oh by the way, maybe I should get a part time job in home health care . . .  I facepalm as I write this, and shake my head.  

When the replacement part came up missing, Daddy gave me that look I remember as a little girl, and my mom turned around from 50 feet away and asked me what I’d done with it!!!  I prayed.  I prayed quickly, hard, and sincerely.  Wouldn’t you know it, the part was right where Daddy had dropped it on the mower deck!  We got the mowing done, then it was time for evening chores, which I did while they kept Bob company.   Slung mower parts were still being discovered in spring of ’08.  The mower ran by the miraculous power of the Elohim of Israel, that fall day.  I got finished with chores, took a quick shower, and proceeded to prepare dinner.  It had been in the oven all day, so it was basically just grab condiments and serve, which I did . . .  Every cell in my body was screaming in pain.  It wasn’t physical work, it was the emotional stress of it all!  Then the phone rang.  It was Mr. B’s mother calling to see how he was . . .

As Daddy was asking for something to put on his sandwich and I was getting Bob to the phone to speak with his mother, it was then, that my mom told me, how great I looked . . . I hadn’t looked that great in years.  Apparently, from her perspective; I do look best when stressed!   The next morning, Daddy called a little after 7 to see how Bob was doing and make sure the day hadn’t worn him out.  Later, long after noon, when mom had awakened, she called to make sure Bob wasn’t worn out from the previous day’s activity.

Truth be told,  I don’t look best when stressed . . . I look classy when fat and sassy!

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Butterflies or Nausea

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Most people with mental health labels process feelings differently.  I’m not sure that’s always wrong, it’s just different.  In this particular case, I was very wrong.  Many of us learn to read body language very early, for various reasons, but based upon a feeling of self-preservation.  My personal struggle was the reference others made as to butterflies in their stomach, as it related to love/care and/or performances.  Sadly, I confused the horrible nausea with butterflies, I felt when performance was required.  I thought nausea was what everyone else was talking about when they said they had butterflies in their stomach, and it related precisely to the two times I heard it used.

My parents never used the word love, or at least I didn’t hear them use it.  Later they would reference the word that the word didn’t need to be spoken, I should just know it . . . and the nausea would hit.  That same feeling also hit when going to the doctor or performing solos.  The one thing I did realize was how heavy this feeling was in my stomach; not like butterflies at all.  It was easy to dismiss that, as I was already told I didn’t understand things properly.  So, I figured I was misunderstanding my body’s reaction.   My feeling of misinterpreting my own intuition was intensified, especially when performing, because people would use the term love, in that they “loved the song” or “loved the way it made them feel.”  As I got older, I just came to believe my nausea was the butterflies, everyone else experienced.

Needless to say, that made for some horrible situations regarding intimacy.   When I became a believer, things changed in my marriage, and to be honest, as a young believer I was zealous, which did not help the already strained relationship.  He and I were already sleeping separately when we split up, and I remained celibate until I remarried.  So the butterfly/nausea issue had never been addressed, until I found myself completely aware of all the details of my life, in an intimate setting, and that feeling of nausea washed over me, completely over me.  Since this was supposed to be true love, I once again assumed the nausea was butterflies.  Since any attempt at intimacy was a true test of tedious endurance, we both happily went our separate ways on that topic and I embraced my celibacy.  Stupid me, though, still thought this horrible heavy nausea was somehow “love” and I struggled with it for a time.   The misunderstanding of nausea for butterflies resurfaced when I began doing my radio show.     That was when I realized, this feeling of “love” was the same feeling as stage fright and yet there was an element of “mixed emotions.”  I did love doing the radio show and my producer was wonderful, but every Thursday morning, I would awaken to a very upset stomach that lasted until my intro, “Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs,” began.

I then saw the connected memory of those bits and pieces of childhood.  I did love my parents and I knew how much they wanted me to be a perfect performer, so, in spite of the nausea, the show went on.  The various memories flashed through my mind, and I soon realized people whose minds are different actually process everything differently.  In every situation, my attempt at a “perfect performance” was the way I showed my love, and the nausea was not butterflies at all.  The nausea was indeed the sick feeling that I simply wasn’t good enough.

I write this because I know there are several folks with “labels” and those labels alone can make some feel less than acceptable.  When a child has a misconception that is never corrected, or worse, is fostered, that does become their reality.   Of course, no one knew to tell me, being sick at your stomach is not butterflies of good excitement.   This fact continues to confirmed by the comments of those who have known me the longest.  The next entry I’ll share how my perspective was based on the KUDOS I received.  I think many of us do that, whether we realize it or not.

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Regular Doses of Reality

My family struggles intensely against my walk with Messiah and my healing.  It’s changed all the interactive family dynamics, and change isn’t welcome when it comes to family traditions.  The past couple of weeks have given me wonderful insight as to how much about how being a “new creation” is truly new . . . and different.  Sabbath keeping and Torah observance, all these years later continues to be a point of contention for loved ones, but my stand on health has brought some horrendous accusations against me.  I don’t really know, yet, how to share those within the criteria of Exodus 20:12.    So here’s an interesting little scenario that has unfolded for the past couple of weeks that has left me profoundly grateful for the understanding that it really isn’t me.  Since it isn’t me, I have no need to try to defend or explain myself.  I just have to speak truth and then keep my tongue bridled.

Daddy took my nephew on a fishing trip.  My nephew had a summer cold and within a few days, Daddy was feeling it coming on.  He refused mom’s insistence to see a doctor, so she called me for natural remedies.  We discussed a formula for an herbal tea.  I shared what I knew and reminded her of some of the essential oils I’d given them and which ones should help, how and where to apply them, etc.   She ended the conversation with, well, I’ll see if any of this helps, Axl; went to the doctor and got antibiotics.  I’ll let you know if any of this works.  And yes, my nephew, Axl; is named for a the “rockstar” . . . yet I digress.

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I called that evening to see if she had carried out all the remedy plans.  The conversation was short.  “She thought she’d done everything we talked about, but he just needs to go to the doctor.”  I got off the phone.  I called the next morning, after 10am to see how he was.  I woke mom up and Daddy was already up and gone to work on fence or something at one of his places.  But she had advice and a recommendation for me as to how to take care of my husband . . . He should go to the doctor, but probably doesn’t because of my beliefs.  To that I said, my beliefs don’t alter any of lifestyle, I’ll call and check on Daddy later.  I called back that afternoon and woke her from a nap, but Daddy was home, so I talked to him.  He said he thought he was going to get it “shook off,” before it took hold.  He wasn’t up to par, but didn’t think he was losing ground.  I suggested more of the teas and oils and he said he was fixing his tea and applying the oils.

I called the next morning, late again, just to check on him and again, woke mom and Daddy was gone.  She then had menu suggestions for what I needed to prepare for Mr. B’s breakfast and mentioned again that I should do more food preservation by freezing rather than canning.  I shake my head and roll my eyes and get off the phone as quickly as possible, keeping my tongue bridled.

Now, I have an hereditary issue that my Dad has and his Dad also  experienced.  I have discovered a reflexology point that greatly relieves the issue, so I called to share it with Daddy.  It was mid afternoon, and I woke mom from a nap . . .

As I tried to explain what I had discovered she insisted upon telling me what I needed to be doing for my husband.  Bridled, bridled . . . It then hit me like a ton of bricks.  She doesn’t realize I can connect the dots.  She is still trying to have authority over that broken little girl who would just keep jumping through hoops trying to please and meet demands.

Still at this age, now in ministry for 20 years, she has continuously recommended jobs for me, outside of ministry.  She is relentless in her push for mainstream medicine in my life, and she has let me know, the books I’ve authored are unclear to her.   This poor woman is still looking for the disconnected awareness in my former mental health.  She has actually verbalized on more than one occasion that I’m weird . . .  Sadly, she uses the terms disloyal and dishonoring regarding the discernment I’ve been given when YHWH healed my mind.

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Tried and Tested

I mentioned when coming to YHWH in Messiah, He healed my mind.  I’ll discuss more of that as we go, but for now, I have to address how I almost lost my healing.  Rather, I should say, almost gave up my healing.  Life got very, very painful between 2007 and 2012.  I continued to function, but crafted myself a pseudonym for a blog that wasn’t private, but separate from my “already respected work” on the web.  Life was so painful, I found myself fearing my mind would fragment again or simply shatter.  YHWH is good!  He held me together in the mind of Messiah.   I “stayed together” but was sadly aware of the entire bleakness and rejection.  It was a test, and I remember the day I heard, the test was over.

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The pseudonym afforded me a venting avenue, as well as being able to read it and remain aware, that it was indeed my life.  For that five years, life was just intensely painful to the point of grievous.  Even with the Comforter, I couldn’t let go of the pain.  It would subside for awhile, and then overtake me like a flood.  When I wrote this in May of 2013, the test had ended 7 months earlier, but the horrific grief lingered.  I was giving great consideration to telling my truth in novel form, but as I’ve mentioned, there was no peace in that.  So it sat for a year in my “secret blog” under the pseudonym, but no more entries were added.  I knew the truth.  I didn’t have any of the old blank spaces, but it really felt good to view my life as an outsider . . . just for a few moments.  That was when I realized I was at a cross roads.  If I continued to write under the pseudonym it would be like putting my hand to the plow and looking back.  The pain would remain and the confusion of dissociation could very well return, or I could share the truth and proclaim what healing I’ve been given.   This website has made it official!  I have let go of the pain to move forward in the plan by the author and finisher of my faith and share the life in which I’ve been blessed.

The following is that final entry.

There is a woman who is the religious type and considerably outside of mainstream. She’s not a Bible thumper, per se, but she doesn’t let anyone talk her out of what she knows. Her statement is simple. She says, “she doesn’t know it all, but she personally knows the One Who does.”

This woman is living a fairly respectable life, as life in America goes. She took her walk on the wild side in her late teens and rocked that downward spiral until her early 30’s but in her words, had an encounter with G-d that changed everything. The direction of her life literally changed overnight. She wasn’t a big partier, just trying and failing at mainstream, constantly, with a serious emotional disadvantage, and what she calls,”walking outside the favor of G-d.” She now believes in keeping the personal laws of the Hebrew Scriptures, but believes in Messiah also.   She believes that He was the final sacrifice and the Temple is not standing in Jerusalem, so she makes no animal sacrifices and she believes America is a continuation of ancient Rome . . .

She’s been walking this path, serving the G-d of Israel, for as many years as she spent on the wrong path as an adult. Not only does she believe life is spiritually based, but she’s practical as well. She files her taxes, doesn’t have any outstanding traffic tickets or overdue library books. She’s written a cookbook, a few religious books, blogs incessantly and has established a simplistic lifestyle of homesteading. She maintains several domains and has a soap and natural health product business. What a renegade? But enough about her, she’s not the point of my blog. It’s watching her circle of influence that blows my mind.

She prays regularly for a sister who is in prison for child abuse while the inference has been made by her parents that her potential inheritance would reflect their disappointment.  Her disdain for child abuse was perceived as a lack of loyalty toward her sister in her time of need. She did, however; write a letter to her sister’s attorney offering help, trying to direct them in the path that she had heard in prayer. When the trouble first became known, she was asked to pray and even gave a word as to the outcome if they didn’t change the direction.  She mentioned a couple of things she couldn’t possibly have known, without being told from On High. Considering these factors, she still weeps for her sister, prays for her safety in prison, and that she would come to repentance.  Now that her parents are speaking to her again, she continues to honor her parents as best she knows how, sending cards and making phone calls . . .

Now, here’s the next wild thing I’ve seen. Her husband has no regard for her, unless someone important to her is watching, or he can manipulate the circumstances to make her appear cold and uncaring.   He refuses to participate in her interests, but invades and hovers in her relationships.  He rejected her on their honeymoon, but refused to divorce her.  She’s come to accept that. She said she didn’t accept it willingly at first, but when he became disabled, she simply took care of him and accepted the fact that there would never be a divorce.

She now says she’s grateful for the circumstances.  She prepares his meals, washes his clothes, and goes on with her priorities. She says she’s come to a fuller understanding of I Corinthians 7 and she’s stopped demanding that he observe and fulfill Deuteronomy 24.   She admits she used to just cry and beg that he honor that passage by giving her a divorce.   She’s actually stated that being alone is preferable to being in the wrong relationship but his indifferent rejection is as close as she can get to being single, now. So here’s this little cocky, belligerent, arrogant man who has grown a beard and will argue with anyone against Christmas trees and bacon, now disabled.   He has openly told her, as has his mother, that he’s not interested in her nor does he share the same beliefs.  Since he isn’t interested in celebrating any Holy Days, she is virtually isolated from fellowship.

Her situation with her daughter is heartbreaking. People tried to tell her years ago what a problem that daughter was, but oh no, she wouldn’t listen. She fiercely defended that child’s right to be “herself.”  Her method of mothering was in direct opposition to her own upbringing.  She simply states now, it was just not part of G-d’s plan for her to be a mother at that time.  She has verbally acknowledged that she failed miserably and hates that fact. Her daughter now hates that too, but, here’s the current situation. After calling her late last Sunday afternoon to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day and tell her mother all the lovely gifts she’d received, without sending so much as a card to her own mother, another call came Tuesday.

The daughter, middle-aged, divorced and now remarried for less than a year.  The daughter whose ex-husband has custody of their child.  The one who left her mother’s homestead screeching profanities and the most vile of degradation, in a completely outrageous act of anger and stupidity called to ask if there is anything in the Bible against being a dominatrix mistress. This woman brings exaggerated definition to the word “mockery” and possibly a whole new definition to mixing holy with profane.  Her mother acknowledges her failure, but can do nothing more. She simply asked her if she knew Y’hshuwah was coming to dinner would she serve pork chops? The daughter replied, “No absolutely not.” Then the mother asked, if she would invite Y’hshuwah to this potential new career site . . . to which the daughter replied, “Oh yes, I’d be completely comfortable with that.”   The call ended with a tearful, “I love you” and she went and took a shower . . .

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Somehow in writing this in third person, I was able to read it and realize, acceptance by my “inner circle ” would be much more grievous than the rejection and disregard.   It’s given me a bold compassion to realize it isn’t about me.  Surviving the rejection of these people has certainly helped prepare me for the rejection we will face as the world embraces evil.  My mental healing has been tried and tested!  Knowing Messiah has held me through these tests of rejection and The Comforter has sustained me, the rejection of mainstream strangers doesn’t seem so overwhelming.  

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Damaged Goods

This blog has been a real struggle for me.  I know Abba would not lead me to do anything that is against His Word, so I’ve pondered and prayed as to how to be honest in this blog, yet not dishonor my parents.  I know children can be born with physical problems, as well as some developmental delay mentally, but babies are for the most part an emotional blank slate.  I suppose it’s possible for an unborn child to be verbally abused in the womb, but except in the case of multiple births, the womb is a pretty non-interactive site, as human relationships go.  I once had a Sunday School teacher who claimed I was born under a spirit of rejection.  I can’t argue that . . .

Now that babies are born in hospitals, I’m sure there are spiritual and emotional impacts and impressions made upon their lives immediately.  Interestingly, hospital births and child psychology came into existence at about the same time.  So to say a baby is an emotional blank slate who develops normally or with problems is not necessarily to say the parents caused it.  In this case, I am simply going to be honest, as honest as I can be.  My parents were still children themselves when I was born, but trying desperately to prove they were adults.  They seemed to think the best way to prove that was through a high performance child.  I was a very quiet, introverted, creative child, who completely feared my parents, but desperately wanted to please them.  I spent most of my childhood simply not wanting to be seen.

Before the age was four, I knew I was chubby, I was a klutz, but I was athletic, or at least interested in sports.  I could swim, put a spin on a football, and loved the neighborhood scrub softball games, not to mention rope climbing, it was then announced that I needed to learn how to be ladylike.  I was too “big of a girl” to be a tomboy, so obviously, attention was the last thing I wanted.   On top of that news, right before I turned four, my Grandpa died and my world fell apart.  Grandpa had been my “safe place.”  After his death, I clung to Aunt Bonnie every chance I got, but at four, I couldn’t articulate why I threw myself down in front of the door, and hung on to her legs to prevent her from leaving.

By the age of three, I could already write the alphabet and my name, as well as the baby names my parents were considering for my soon to arrive sibling, but that was all expected.  I was tying a bow before the age of three, so I was clearly trying to please.  My sister arrived before Grandpa died and I wanted to help, but my mother was sure her three year old was jealous of the new baby, so I was put in my place . . . Years later, hearing stories from her younger sisters, I realize it may have been her own personal projection.  To this day, I never did figure out how to be a good big sister.

Before I went to school, I could read and tell time, but I was still a chubby klutz that didn’t know how to sit like a lady or use the proper hand to get a drink through dinner.  I was also left-handed, which seemed to be just one more disappointing fact about me.  I was really nervous about going to school.  I already had an inferiority complex about my size and skin tone, I had no idea how strange my personalit(ies) appeared.

I’m truly thankful I grew up in the time I did.  I had a great deal of difficulty finding a place to belong.  Considering today’s culture, some agenda would have had me in the sites.  Sadly, after my Grandpa died, a great part of the rest of my childhood was spent looking forward to being grown up.  By the age of 12, I was looking forward to being 40.  Forty, by the way, was fabulous!  By the time I was forty, my mind had been healed and I was simply content where I was . . .  Seeing all of life at once took some adjusting, but Messiah did indeed send the Comforter.

I’ve mentioned previously, the fact that I just wanted to be invisible.  I still struggle, at times, preferring to just fade into the background or go basically unnoticed.  That isn’t part of Abba’s plan for my life.  I simply do not go unnoticed, anywhere.  I’m not stunningly beautiful, and certainly not sophisticated or statuesque, but I still draw comments every place I go.  Thankfully, most of the comments are kind words.  Harsh comments are by and large in regard to my beliefs, or exclusively from family.   Although I am grieved, I am not taken down by them.

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So Afraid

I was speaking on the phone the other day, to a friend, who is such a precious encourager.  She used a term to describe me that still causes me to well up in tears of gratitude.  She said my “stability” was such a blessing.  Me, stable?  Yes, me, stable!  I told her that was absolutely YHWH.  Before Messiah touched me, stable would be about the last word anyone would use to describe me.  Since that conversation, an old song that hit the Christian charts about 15 years ago, has been “playing” over in my mind and heart.  It was entitled, “Strollin’ on the Water.”

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This was one of the first contemporary songs that touched me, I mean touched me to the core.  I wept every time I heard it, still often do.  In one place, Bryan Duncan sounds nearly breathless as he sings the words “so afraid.”  Before I was made whole, music didn’t touch me.  Oh, I had favorite songs along the way, and of course a few favorite artists.  I sang along with the radio and loved to go dancing, but it was only superficial and “what everyone else seemed to enjoy.”  There had been a couple of spiritual songs way back in my younger days, that now bring a remembrance, but those were reintroduced after following Messiah.  I’ve since read that music touches all of our emotions, simultaneously, but I was so emotionally fractured, that simply wasn’t possible.  When I was made whole, music took on new meaning in my life.  It touched me deeply.  I had no idea what I’d been  missing!    Back to “so afraid.”

 

The reason for coming to the internet was to share my testimony of mental healing.  That was my purpose for buying a computer and going online, but . . . that was back in the days of screen IDs and yahoo groups.  I would have never guessed, in a million years, that I’d have an illustration of the actual place I live, my real name and photo next to books, and actually host visitors in person that I’d met through social media.  I had no idea, the internet outreach would become so personal . . . so when Abba said, it’s time for details in your personal testimony, I was “so afraid.”  I have seen, even those in the mental health field, especially those in the mental health field; don’t believe anyone is ever actually healed.  I even told Abba, in fear and trembling, “but I finally have a reputation of integrity.”  His response was succinct, “That’s why the time is; now.”

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I read the lyrics; I listened again to the song, and even watched Bryan’s video.  My testimony isn’t about me, it’s about what our Heavenly Father can do!  My testimony is about what happens to a person, when Messiah touches them.  Everything in my life has been bringing me to this place for such a time as this.  At this point in history, when the powers that be have a mental dis-health label ready for everyone, I know that I know, psychology is not the answer and pharmaceuticals are not the answer.  Y’hshuwah Messiah is the answer!

 

 

 

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Centered

 

When I saw Messiah’s question in John 5:6, “Wilt thou be made whole?”  I knew, at some point, I’d author a book bearing that title.  There were many years between that “knowing” and the accomplishment.  When my mind was made whole, instantly, there were many shards and rough edges that still didn’t “fit.”  I knew they were there and they were no part of my future, but they were part of my past; and it would take maturity and surrender to The Great Spirit of our Holy Elohim to incorporate those parts as well.  I was forgiven, I’d forgiven others, and my past has no power over me, but it is part of my testimony.  It’s how I am able to bear witness as to what our Savior can do!

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As I sit here writing this, I’m enjoying a cool southern breeze in the window, listening to the rain gently tapping on the sky light in the kitchen, and thinking of all the other things on my “to do” list today.  I’m so grateful to be able to do that.  Before being made whole, I had never experienced that.  Whatever I was doing, that was my entire awareness, with the exception of motherhood.  Regardless of my broken awareness, I always knew there were children that came first, and that’s how the idolatry began.  I, literally, centered on making childhood, safe, fun, and easy for my child, step-children of various marriages, and ultimately when I adopted.   Every facet of my being, every alter, every personality; knew there was a responsibility for children and was determined to protect them.  It’s not an easy thing to express, and far from a good way to live, but it’s where I was until the age of 36.  I like to think if I’d known about receiving the Holy Spirit as a young person, I would have centered on Messiah, rather than motherhood.

A few years ago, one of my Granddaughters asked me if I loved her more than I loved G-d.  I told her I loved my grandchildren more than anyone on earth.  Her next comment indicated that she felt I’d side-stepped her question, so we chatted as we did chores.  She asked me, point blank, if I loved G-d more than I loved her.  I confessed directly that although I loved her, her siblings, and her cousins more than anyone or anything on earth, I did love G-d more.  It was the most precious opportunity to explain about how much G-d loved us in giving, His Son, Y’hshuwah.  It was that same granddaughter several years later that overheard her mother screeching at me, who told me, she would never speak to anyone the way her mom spoke to me.  I, of course, told her how happy I was to hear that.  

Her statement struck that old chord of remembrance in my heart.  Suddenly, I received insight regarding the horrible relationship of 18 years.  My former “god” had made it very clear she was displeased with being dethroned.  That was one of those social teachings, I’d apparently misunderstood through her childhood.   When hearing, “children come first,” “first in a mother’s heart,” I’d taken it literally.   It suddenly made so much sense, although sad, as to why our relationship had deteriorated through her adult years.  She was no longer the center of my world.  I had placed my child above the Creator of the universe and in doing so, failed her greatly.  Abba forgave me when I repented from my idolatry.  Sadly, my daughter has yet to forgive me, for that repentance. 

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