Where do I start? I don’t know. I am still shook about the nasty message I got last night. Someone I not seen or heard from in forever storms back in and begins to berate me? Yeah, that is not sitting well with my soul. My inclination is to school them, publicly on a few things, but that is my flesh talking. I am sitting here pouting because the Holy Spirit has a restraining hand on my typing. It would not be profitable, but it sure would feel good.
I think in this life there are times that we have to create family because our own flesh and blood are not who we need in our lives to be content. I was rarely content when interacting with ANY of my flesh and blood family. Yes, some of my thoughts and opinions were colored by my parents and how they felt, but there were actions and deeds that tinted how I perceived things. There are most definitely three sides to every story and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. My dad is a good man. He is patient, but most definitely aloof. My mom had an acerbic tongue and could cut you off at the knees, but she also had soft heart. Much like our home, when my dad would have rather not connected with his family, my mom was the one who prompted him to reach out. There were some to whom I know my dad was close, because it was never about the old feuds, it was just about love. Now he is just trying to keep his head above water caring for a wife who is leaving us piece by piece.
I need to let go of the indignation and the need to just “let it rip”, it is not what needs to be done. I long ago forgave the players, now I am being forced to let it go again. I was told that I was prayed for and I won’t turn down prayer, however, I too will pray, yet it is prayer to change how I see this person and others, so that I can be settled in my soul.
Yes, I know it’s very late and yet here I am writing. I am wide awake because I chose to check my email after awaking to a noise and received a nastygram on this blog from someone I haven’t heard from in years. Surprise, it was from “family”.
The comment will be deleted because I am not going to entertain that kind of nonsense after addressing it once, here….. No matter how you believe things to be, you don’t get to tell others what they have experienced is wrong, you didn’t/don’t live their life and from your end things probably looked a lot different, however, you don’t get to negate their experience just because you don’t like it.
You don’t get to sneak around peeking in from the outside and pass judgement on them if you haven’t spoken to or contacted them in years (like close to 30). You don’t get to try and chastise them now when you have been MIA. You also don’t tell someone that you have prayed for them and then and then backhand them in the next sentence. You can try, but in my experience that usually leads to dirty laundry being aired.
My experiences are exactly that, MINE. They are what I have lived and am living out with my family here and now. If you don’t like how I see them that is for you to work out, not send a “bless your heart” email thinking that you have made things right, that the record is now correct.
Despite not having extended family in our lives, we as a whole, are happy. My parents are doing the best that they can without extended family and I know they are ok with that. I know, like me, they don’t miss what didn’t exist. Just as this “family” member has the right to be indignant on their parent’s part I do too. I can be upset that my father was not included in goings on and had to find out that children were born or lives were being lived by a third party and I know that it hurt his heart. I can be upset that communication that had dwindled rapidly to a once a year phone call (sometimes) on a birthday did not make him feel loved and missed. I also know that he cringed when my mother and I were provoked to wrath on his part because he never felt he should rock the boat (probably because he knew he would receive a nastygram or call and didn’t want to deal with it).
I admit many years ago I stumbled and said some things I shouldn’t and offense was taken. I apologized sincerely, but I couldn’t and can’t make it be accepted. However, don’t lurk and sneak about and then believe it is your duty to berate me for my experiences, my perceptions and writing about it. I choose to “ramble” about my what I am dealing with or what I am contemplating at the time. YOU are not required to read it.
BTW the people that are around me? Some of them are family……CHOSEN family.
“I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world…
I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I’m too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left”
These two verses from the song Worn by Tenth Avenue North are really about how I have been feeling lately. I seem to keep saying, “I don’t like people…” I add today in there, but it has gotten to the point that it’s not just today.
Even people who normally would be those I would consider friends have either disappointed me or just plain ticked me off.
Just the other day I got caught in the crossfire of a power struggle between two people and got seriously wounded. I never thought I would be spoken to by this one person in the manner that they spoke to me, and I most certainly did not deserve it. I was trying to simply do what I was told to do. It reminded me of my car accident several years ago, I did everything right, but still wound up with a totaled car and an injury that would later cause me to have surgery.
The funny thing is, this all happened in church. Now I know you cannot expect perfection when you put a bunch of sinners under one roof. It can sometimes look like a refuge camp at Sinner Town with the same attitude of a toddler who hasn’t had a nap. However, for quite awhile now I don’t feel like I can do much right and it makes me not want to step out and serve for fear of snap back.
Yes, I am fragile in the feelings department. Living day to day has become a little harder than I expected. Slowly losing my parents, still trying to raise my adult children, and losing bits and pieces of me with each surgery or malady that comes along, it makes for someone who is easily hurt or angered depending on the day.
But I am tired, I am worn…and I am crying out with all I have left.
People are just messy.
My uncle died two days ago. He was my father’s brother and only 4 month older than my mom. That really isn’t what has me so sad, I know it should and my heart breaks for my dad because now he is the only one left.
I guess I am really lying when I say he is the only one left. There is extended family and my cousins are still living, but we don’t have contact with them. Part of it stems from me letting my mouth run away with me. I said something that I shouldn’t have to my cousins. It’s not a moment I am proud of and I did sincerely apologize, but the damage was done and apparently grudges are a part of life for this side of the family. That should be quite clear since my mouth got me in trouble mainly because my father’s family essentially cut him off once he decided not to return to Texas and then really cut him off once he married my mom. My grandmother’s side of the family were a bit mean and would like to pretend that we don’t exist. I made it known that fact was noticed and got called a few choice names and was kicked off the family Facebook page.
There were things that my grandmother and my uncle did to my parents and I that were uncalled for, rude and even tried to cheat us, but I point out bias and I am the bad person (insert shrug of the shoulders here). I have forgiven them, but it makes me wonder how hardened their hearts are/were to have behaved that way. When my second oldest cousin called to tell my dad that his brother had passed away she couldn’t even remember my mom’s name when my mom answered the phone. Does that tell you anything?
My dad and I just by being his daughter were always the bad seeds and I had the additional black mark of being raised Catholic and a Yankee. It hurt and I know that it hurt my dad more than he ever admitted. Yet there have been shot gun weddings, divorces and children who have been MIA for one reason or another and in our family no matter the trial we manage to hold it together, and we are the ones who are shunned.
The lesson in all of this has been even if you have forgiven those who hurt you it doesn’t always mean they are repentant for their misdeeds and even if you apologize for your own stupidity it doesn’t stop the other party from holding a grudge to the grave.
“You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”–Leviticus 19:17-18
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”–Ephesians 4:32
I have found it incredibly hard to write as of late. Having moved and trying to put my house in order has taken up a lot of my patience and a lot of my time. I have also been not feeling up to par. I thought it was stress, but this is becoming a real issue and is wearing me out. Then there is the scariest thing…..
In 2013 I had major back surgery. I had gotten to the point of having to use either a walker or a scooter to get around because my back had gotten so bad that my legs would randomly stop working. I saw an excellent specialist and I became the owner of two rods 4 screws and three cadaver discs. It was a long recovery, but afterward I was so grateful that I could walk again even if there were twinges of pain it was nothing.
Then comes the big move. I was feeling some pain off and on and had some difficulty doing the tasks that usually came naturally, but being overweight and having to pack up a whole house was what I thought was the main contributor to the problem. Now the boxes are primarily moved in and while I am still overweight the pain is increasing at an alarming rate and I will admit, I am scared.
I have had to sincerely focus on Philippians 4:6-9, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” to just get by lately. When you are in pain it is hard to find that for which to be thankful. I am thankful that for now I can still walk, I am thankful that the pain is not overwhelming, I am glad that my husband is understanding and helps all he can, I am thankful that no matter what happens with my back I am breathing and able to enjoy my family and our new house. I have struggled to find the peace of God, but I know it’s there and while it has been fleeting moments there at least have been moments.
I will make an appointment with the specialist as soon as I can, but I am anxious Lord, help me to focus on the steps I need to take to lessen the pain and not drown out your still small voice.
We are finally in a place in our new home that I can take a break every once in awhile just to decompress. So many things have gone by the wayside. Not all of that a bad thing. I find myself on social media less which is very good for my blood pressure, because there are times that some people make me think bad words even if I don’t say them.
It’s been a bittersweet move. We love our new house, but getting it in shape has been a daunting task to say the least. We had to stay in a hotel for 3 days (Labor Day Monday to Wednesday) with our dog who was not happy about that and our cat had to stay with my father in law. What we didn’t know is that our cat was very sick and dying. We were all finally in our house by Thursday night, but Winston was not well. We took him to an emergency vet, but the poor cat was drowning in his own body fluids. He couldn’t breathe properly, even though he purred when we petted him and meowed his pitiful squeak. My husband had to make a very hard decision at 10 pm having had little sleep for three nights and so very heartbroken that we didn’t see the signs sooner that Winston was feeling ill. He had been part of our family for 15 years and it was one of the hardest goodbyes that I have ever had to say to a pet (I am tearing up now as I type). We don’t consider our pets our fur babies, but they are part of our family and saying goodbye is hard and sometimes even heart wrenching. Winston grew up with my children and tolerated our dog. Shiloh (the dog) came to live with us after Winston had been in residence for awhile and we always said that they were frenemies. We imagined that when we were gone the two of them curled up together and slept peacefully, but the moment someone was looking they swatted, snipped, meowed and growled at each other. We even joked that when we gone for an extended time they played poker, smoked cigars and drank water at our kitchen table till my father in law came over to take care of them or we came home.
The house seems incomplete without Winston and I am sure that it will for awhile. Even Shiloh is missing his feline buddy. Our hearts will mend and in time we will be able to talk about him without getting teary, but we will always have the memories and the love.
What do you do when all you did was try and offer a little comfort and maybe a different perspective on looking at a situation and all you get back is hate and anger? I got a belly full of it today and it was completely undeserved.
A fellow believer mentioned that her parent had cancer and a brain tumor and was going to be having surgery of which he had a 50% chance of survival. I know how it can be so easy to focus on the 50% that means death, my mom was very ill while I was growing up and I lived with the thought that the next heart attack could be her last. That was extremely hard for a young girl to live with. Imagine being 7 years old and your mother falls on the floor unconscious, you try everything you know to revive her, and your father is at work (no cell phones then) over 20 miles away. Or being 4 years old and the only way your mom can play with you is from her hospital bed in the middle of the living room. So I know sorrow, I know being scared and I know hurt, and now I am struggling with the mortality of my parents yet again, but yet I was the target of a really nasty reply to my message of focusing on the 50% chance of living and being concerned about his salvation because if he knows Jesus the battle is already won.
I was called a bully, that I obviously never learned that people go through these feelings in any psychology class. I was accused of finding people’s faults instead of sharing the good news of Christ like a good Christian would. It hurt! I didn’t think I did anything to deserve that emotional vomit. It was as if someone poured acid all over me because they were hurting.
This whole incident has really made me think how it feels when I lash out at those who don’t deserve it. I know we operate in a meat suit and it’s hard not to let emotions get the best of us, but to completely unload on someone who meant nothing but good and certainly no harm…..where is the love in that?
Now I get to lick my wounds, overhaul where my attentions will be today and try make sure that my words follow Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”