Imagine, floating in the ocean, water everywhere, dying of thirst. Whispering to yourself "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.." Imagine a person, walking among people, isolated in loneliness "People , people everywhere and no one sees me" The people counter the thinking of the isolated with.... " Then ask for help!" " Don't blame us, the problem is with you!" Which is why, The hurting The scared The lonely Remains isolated..... We want them to come into our world. See it how we see it. Live it like we live it. Come to us... ! Be like us... ! But the soul isolated has a need They need us To step into their world. A world that may have no borders No safe places. A world that is Loud Unpredictable Demanding A world that speaks a language they don't understand. A world that is filled with Pain Despair Dread Terror Anxiety A world ruled by a hard, merciless task master. Motivational quotes won't bring light to their darkness. Platitudes won't bring understanding to their pain. A pat on the back brings no comfort or companionship. The hearts of those who are in pain Need to be held in hands, That through Love Time Understanding Compassion Are healed A hand that will work its way through the briars and thorns around the hurting heart. A hand that will hold on to the heart, though cut up, torn, Bleeding. A hand that sees that the heart Needs the hand For healing to take place So the hand stays Holding on.... Come what may...
I have been attending an online summit this week on healing our children. Dealing with foster kids, adopted kids, kids with special needs. I have learnt so much!!!! I love learning, I love being challenged. We need to be the champions of the kids of this world instead of their critics. They need us to love and accept and lead by example. To do this, we need to be honest with ourselves, learn, change and understand why we do what we do, why we react the way we react, and shift the focus from the children meeting our needs, to us teaching, loving, accepting.
We talk often about breaking the cycles of abuse.
We need to now focus, each and every one of us, on breaking the cycle of wrong teaching and reactive parenting.
I have been parenting now for over 21 years, my youngest is 7. We have a myriad of issues, individual challenges, emotional and psychological challenges. My kids need me to never stop hungering after knowledge, wisdom and understanding to enable and empower them.
I really encourage you, if you are in any capacity as a carer or parent or teacher, to continue to learn. To seek.. To pray, to love. Lets not get stuck in a system that is frustrating and dominating . Lets be the ones to champion our children to be the best “them” they can be.
A love revolution.
A heart revolution.
I for one am opting out of the “I am the adult, you are the kid” and opting into, “you are a person for whom I am responsible to love, teach, respect and accept.”
No greater love has a man than to lay down his life for another.
Perhaps it is time to lay aside our superior, dominant attitude and live as our kids need us to live.
We are not in a competition with each other.
We are not in a power struggle
We are in relationship
I didn’t even see the clouds building this time. Usually there are signs. A change.. Not this time.
I have most of his triggers figured out… But every now and then something obscure sets him off.
At times, it can be a lonely journey emotionally, when you have a child , now a young man, with Aspergers.
Who do you talk too about your fears? Your misgivings? Your disappointments? Your heartbreak?
Besides your spouse and the children.
Besides your Heavenly Father, who is so gracious with your rantings and ravings…
Their isolation becomes yours.
Their pain, fear and confusion something you wish desperately you had a remedy for.
Guilt at what your other children at times miss out on.
Guilt that they are sometimes present when the storm breaks
I want an answer, but there doesn’t always seem to be one.
I want to take my heart out, the one that aches for my children, and ask someone else to hold it for a while… Just a few hours so I can really breathe in deep. So I can sit still without being bombarded with questions that have no answers.
I want to make it all better but I can’t.
I am jealous.
Jealous of parents with “normal children.”
Jealous of their dreams that become reality
Jealous of their peace..
I want to ask”What did you do right, what was it I did wrong?”
Of course I know it wasn’t my fault.
Okay maybe there are still those thoughts that perhaps it is….
I want to cry.
But what will that achieve?
Not to mention I’m a little worried what might happen if I really let go emotionally.
Mostly I am cranky at my own selfishness.
Making this about me, when he is the one who never has a break from the voices, the fear, the anxiety. Trying to understand the whys.
He deals with the severe sensitivies of his body
Sensitivity to sound
Sensitivity to smell
Sensitivity to noise
Sensitivity to taste
Sensitivity to heat
Sensitivity to cold
Sensitivity to running water on his body
He has to deal with the memories that reinforced his “difference”
The broken promises
The ones we told him to trust
Who in turned showed him he couldn’t
The ones who promised an answer
But were unable to see it through
The ones who promised companionship
But found it too much of a challenge
You and I deal with these things. Analyse. Compartmentalise.
To him these things reinforce his perceptions. Shut doors and bolt them close.
These things reinforce to him his perception of unworthiness
His perception of not being accepted
His perception of not being “normal’
His perception of not being understood
I can get up again.
Take on the chin my mistakes.
One step at a time.
One day at a time.
One obstacle at a time.
One tear at a time
Because I am his mother.
If he doesn’t have me, then who will be his advocate?
Who will champion his cause!
Who will keep hoping for him, when he has none
Please know I acknowledge his father, my husband, in all of this.
These though, are my ponderings…
There are days,
seemingly endless, where the sunshine is brighter than the dark clouds that always hover on the horizon..
But the storm days, well…
We’ve all seen the devastation a storm can cause….
The day began like any other. The sun was shining.
Laughter serenaded her as she went about her tasks.
Her daughter played at her feet and the child grew within her womb.
She would protectively place her hand upon her body.
Speak words of love and comfort.
Her mind would wander.
Imagining, dreaming, desiring.
The day would end differently though.
A twinge, some pain, blood…
The doctor told her to rest and not worry.
In the early hours of the morning she was woken.
A tearing, a bearing down,
Turning, crying until the pain was no more.
She delivered her child as the world slept.
She said goodbye.
She thought she had know what pain was.
She thought she had experienced sadness.
However all former acquaintances with pain and grief could not compare.
The onslaught. The dying. The burying.
“You are young” they all told her.
“All will be well”
Inside of her a piece of her heart broke away.
A tearing as strong as the one that tore her child from her womb.
She turned to her husband
He sheltered her in his arms.
Her soul turned to her Saviour
He wiped away her tears.
She sat and she wrote a poem to her child;
O little one I never held
Yet loved with all my heart
You filled my days and nights
With thoughts of life’s start
I loved you with a love
Only a mother would know
I protected you within myself
I felt your littleness grow
You were a part of us
One of our family
We loved you oh so dearly
Little one we did not see
One day the Lord came
Took you to His side
It hurt to say good bye
In the cleft of the rock we’ll hide
The questions were so many
The answers so few
Yet you knew no death
You went to Jesus, we knew
Even though we never saw you
Never held you in our arms
We loved you as our child
We wondered of your charms
Little baby, one I love
Its hard to understand
To let you go to heaven
To dwell in the promised land
Sing sweetly with the angels, love
Run freely with the Lord
One day we will run with you
All in one accord
You will always be our baby
Hold a special place
In all our hearts and minds
There will be no empty space
Only peace and joy
Happiness to know
You are in the Fathers arms
Where we too, one day, will go
We will all be reunited
I will run to your side
I will see the blessing of the Lord
He will wipe away all those tears I cried
I love you baby
I feel so blessed
To have been chosen
To give you life
Though for a short while
Within my womb
Yet for eternity
In Gods Holy room.
I love you,
She folded it. Kissed it. Placed it in her bible.
She rose. Closed the door on death.
Opened the door to life
In the months that followed she would once again hear the heartbeat of promise.
Of new life.
She would once again cross her arms across her womb.
Sing, speak, pray.
Words of love. Affirmation.
Her mourning was turned into dancing
She nurtured and grew life within her.
She didn’t notice the storm clouds gathering.
Didn’t even hear the first drops of rain.
It wasn’t until the thunder tore through her womb that she noticed.
Noticed that once again, life was ebbing away.
Once again the tearing, the bearing down,
Once again her womb opening to bring forth life.
Closing upon delivery of death.
Dark clouds blinded her. Pain so deep.
Tears wouldn’t form.
She was blanketed in numbness.
The dam was built with anguish and confusion.
Till the days the waters would no longer be held back.
The breaking, the bursting forth of pain and grief.
Torrential. Unending. Crushing.
With the outpouring another piece of heart shattered.
Eventually the storm gave way to sunshine.
The clouds never fully dispersed though.
They hovered around the horizon
They dulled the light
Cloaked the warmth
Her days she filled with doing.
She woke, she breathed.
Though a shade covered her eyes and the brightness was dimmed.
Her husband clothed her with his strength and love.
Her Saviour wiped away her tears and whispered His promises.
Her daughters laughter bringing purpose, hope.
In the quietness of the night, after days and weeks had passed she dreamed.
She was running through a field. Pursued by a woman.
In a fairytale the woman would have been described as an old hag. Evil in her eyes she focused intently upon the woman she was bearing down upon.
The woman fell.
The hag prepared to bring harm.
Reaching towards the woman, her long fingers dripping with the poison of death.
The hag reached towards the cradle of life. The heartbeat of dreams.
Reaching to steal and plunder the woman’s womb.
“NO! The woman cried..
She looked into the darkened, death filled eyes of the hag.
“In the name of Jesus you will not take my child!” she declared.
The hag reared back. Her eyes burning with fear as she shrank and disappeared
She woke from her dream. She reached towards her womb. Empty. Lifeless.
Over the next few days and into the week, she felt a stirring.
But she dared not to hope. She rebelled against joy and expectancy.
She buried her heart in denial to shield herself from more pain.
“Yes”, said the doctor
Life was once again blooming within her.
A heartbeat of hope.
A promise of life.
Protectively she would hold her arms across her womb.
She would whisper words of love.
Hope. Acceptance. Life.
Days turned to weeks. Weeks became months.
Day turned to night once again.
A scent familiar.
A tune detested.
“NO” she cried within herself.
Her husbands arms covered her. Shielded her.
Hope whispered its goodbyes
She lay in the hospital.
“Sweet baby,” she cried.
Anguish counselled her.
Grief called unto her.
In the stillness as her eyes closed in weariness, a promise declared itself
A memory rose up through the despair.
Declaring truth. Heralding victory.
She remembered. She declared and agreed.
“In Jesus name”
Her eyes closed in sleep.
Her soul clothed in peace.
Her spirit renewed with a promise.
It is well…
It is well…
It is well….
The morning brought forth wonder and joy.
Life still grew within her.
A heart beat still sounded
A promise was growing within her..
She walked the pathway of her pregnancy with two voices accompanying her.
Fear trumpeted loudly.
Her body at times threatening a termination.
However faith was growing in strength and with resilience.
The promise surged through her as life and death battled for the child within.
She woke with a feeling of expectancy.
A river broke from within her.
She woke her husband. He held her hand.
“It’s time” the doctor said
She laboured. She warred again as fear taunted.
Faith however sang a song of triumph
Life came forth.
She looked upon the child still clothed in the garments that protected, nourished and nurtured within her.
She placed the child over her chest as her heart sang. Her child responded.
She closed her eyes as tears formed and journeyed down her face.
She rejoiced and praised and thanked her Father.
She beheld her husband as he embraced her.
Together they embraced their promise.
Their son. Their hope.
What would happen if we all decided to be honest. Exposed. Vulnerable. About ourselves.
What would happen if we ripped off the smile that we have convinced ourselves is expected and showed the world that sometimes there is sadness… disappointment… discouragement.
What would happen if we admitted that some days we just cannot check all the boxes…
Somedays we are barely able to check one…
Sometimes I feel like we have become a people of dishonesty
We tout the philosophy of faking it till you make it.
We sing “The sun will come out, tomorrow” Convincing everyone that all is okay and we are always on top of everything.
The truth is ….. this is not always true…
It’s a mask we wear to protect ourselves….
Jesus calls to us with these words
“Come me to all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest”
Come… yet we so often go…
Go in the other direction
Go looking for something to numb the pain
Go looking at something to mask the fear.
While we are looking, and running and desperately trying to keep our masks in place, our souls are crying out to be heard
To be comforted
To find a safe place
To be able to say
“Today I am not okay”
A once a year “Are you okay day” is not the answer
What happens on all the days the question is not asked?
The answer, I believe is in unmasking.
In not being afraid to say I need help
In not being afraid to say I am vulnerable.
In not being afraid to say I just cant seem to catch my breath.
For those of us who need the unmasking though, there is also a need for the honesty of others to say “I’ve been there, let me show you how to get through to the other side”
If we could truly be brothers and sisters and stop being competitors and critics, maybe then, as the masks come off, the arms open up, we as a people could heal.
Love is so much more than the common phrase it has become.
Love is servitude.
Love is honesty.
Love comes down the ladder instead of demanding that you come up
Love reaches through prickles and thorns and briars and does not consider the cutting, the bleeding, the bruising… it only considers what the prickles and the thorns and the briars are hiding…. a heart… a life… emotion…
Beyond the smiles you see today may be a hurting, scared person.
I pray for eyes to see and ears to hear so that I will become more than the person that says” Jesus loves you and so do I” and then walk on by as the person I threw out my token comfort towards turns away, hangs their head, wipes away the tears.
We are each others mission field.
Jesus with skin on.
So lets start being honest.
Do love, dont just say it
Show you care, don’t just mention it
Comfort someone, don’t just throw them a token and walk away.
Slowly the suns rays sank beneath the horizon of the sea. Faint fingers of light reaching out to the darkness as it descended and shrouded the earth. One by one, a twinkling pierced the darkness of the sky. All was still. A light breeze that carried echoes of laughter.
Wave upon wave silently met the sand, caught a few grains and swept it back into the sea.
A lone figure sat on a bench beneath the gnarled limb of an ancient tree. A witness to the passing of time and the dying and birth of day to night.
Questions invaded her solitude. Thrusting back and forth.
Memories intertwined with the questioning as she struggled to bring about peace. To understand the mystery.
Once, when life was simple, she was a dreamer.
Once, “When my dreams were mine”.. she whispered…
As simple life joined with the demands and the calls and desires of discovery and adventure, she wove her story through the passage of time.
To this point, in this place.
Life, she was learning was more than dreams.
Life, she was learning, was more than the wistful imaginings of a young soul.
Compliance to the breathing in and the breathing out.
Conformity to the rising and the setting of the sun.
When her dreams were hers, there was simplicity.
When reality demanded an audience there was confusion.
The shout of the dream… when did it become a whisper?
The passion of purpose… when it did become indifference?
The bright burning of desire…. when did it start to wane?
She closed her eyes and allowed herself to feel the questions.
She closed her eyes and listened for the answer.
Slowly, like the rise of the sun, the words entered her soul.
The words flowed through her, humming a familiar tune.
” When you forgot the dreams were mine….”
Peace descended upon the torment in her soul.
“Yes” she acknowledged… “yes”
Opening her eyes she saw Him. Standing before her with His hands outstretched.
Remembrance flooded her.
Longing drove her to stand and walk into His embrace.
He held her close.
His heartbeat renewed her.
His strength empowered her.
I would like to continue with you my journey from the darkest dungeon of fear to the beautiful sanctuary on the horizon known as freedom.
During the months of assault at the hands of anxiety I learnt many many things.
I learnt that fear had a taste and a smell. It was overwhelming and suffocating. That part of my journey you have shared with me in previous posts.
I also learnt that in the midst of a battle that had a plan to harm me, there was the promises of victory and hope. There was a voice that called me to be the warrior woman. To stand my ground. To learn and to listen. This voice had a destination for me. The destination was freedom. The vessel that would carry me there was Hope. As overwhelming and suffocating the smell of fear, the scent of hope carried to me on the winds of heaven, was intoxicating.
This scent of hope led me to the
~Gardens of His Grace~
“He makes me lie down in still pastures; He leads me besides still waters, He restores my soul”~ Psalm 23: 2-3
There is something so calming and beautiful about still, quiet waters that refreshes, calms and intoxicates us with peace.
Here we are led here by our Shepherd. Jesus. To restore our bruised, battered and weary soul.
Beside the water we lie, head in His lap as He whispers to us.. Of His love.
Of His devotion.
The only sound the passing of the Living Water as it ebbs and flows and swirls.
Restoring our soul…..
In this quiet, beautiful place, the words He whispers minister life. Healing. Wholeness.
Listen to His whisperings…..
“Child, you are fearfully and wonderfully made… I love you….
Before you were born I formed you…
I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future
The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
Whispers of hope. Life. Truth.
The whispers relieve your thirst
Life pulsates through you, radiating from your heart where He has removed the stone and replaced with a heart of love…His heart…
Hope surges through you. Purpose beats with your heartbeat.
Joy overwhelms you and peace that surpasses all understanding floods your heart and mind.
Calmed and restored. Nurtured and strengthened. He takes you by your hand.. Raises you up.
“Come, let us reason together”.. he says
Walking together hand in hand
Saviour and Saved One..
Redeemer and Redeemed one
He guides you along the right paths for His names sake
Paths of healing
Paths of life
Paths of wholeness
Daily I would sit by the water of the sea, not far from my home, close my eyes and imagine myself in this place… The Gardens of His Grace…
As the sun would reach out its warm arms to embrace me and the wind would gently caress me, my soul would journey to the Garden. I began to notice day by day that the peace and the tranquility of that place of sanctuary would invade my everyday.
The promises of Heaven, the acknowledgement that He loved me.. that He had a plan for me.. that He had made a way for me…
I promise you that the Garden is there for you as well.
It is a garden of grace.
A garden of restoration
A garden of healing
Today’s blog is just a little celebratory one!!!
Seven years ago, one very ordinary day, I received a phone call.
The caller was asking me if I wanted to be the mum of a little baby who was to be born in a few weeks. I was already raising his brother and sister so naturally my response was yes.
I will honestly say I was not that excited, I was actually quite overwhelmed. I already had four children at home, one with Aspergers who was going through a very difficult time. I was not sure how I would cope.
Over the next two weeks I would write in my journal and pray. Bit by bit, the baby was growing inside my heart, as his last days of growth were happening inside his birth mothers womb.
We shopped and prepared.
On Thursday the 23 March 2006 we got the call.
A little boy
On the Monday afternoon he arrived at our home.
I will never forget it. Pacing anxiously waiting for him.. The car pulls up. I walked out, looked into the capsule at this tiny, beautiful little boy and my heart exploded with love and wanting. With tears running down my face, I held my little unexpected son in my arms and his heart was instantly entwined with mine.
This child has been one of the biggest blessings in my life.
He came to us at a time when my heart was being tested, my capacity as a mother was being tested. Holding him my arms, feeding him through the night, spending time in the quiet moments while the house slept, he became a balm to my soul. An encouragement to my discouraged heart that was dealing with feelings of doubt and inadequacy.
He has brought so much joy to our lives and to the lives of many over his seven years. He has such a bright, loving and giving personality.
This partnering of mother and son was not biological. It was heartalogical. He has mine, I have his, forever.
Thank you Father God, for the blessing of this child.
Through his embraces I felt yours
Through his wonder of the world around him, I saw wonder.
The heart connection is just as powerful as the womb connection.
I am a mother because of my love and care and nurture.
He is my son.
I would like to share with you an analogy I have written that is the picture of this particular journey I have been sharing with you over the last few blogs. It is both a summary and an introduction. A summary of the circumstance and an introduction to the journey. The next few blogs after this one will be about that journey to that place called Hope. I appreciate so much all of your encouragement as I have been sharing with you. My purpose is to encourage you. You are never alone in any battle. There is a victory that has your name and my name on it, and no matter how long that journey to the destination I know that we can and will make it.
She stood. Feet braced, stance firm, arms tensed and ready at her side. On the horizon the black, swirling cloud grew larger and wider and deeper as it made its way towards her. The slivers of the sun were swallowed by a monster. Ferocious and hungry. Angry winds tore at her hair and branded her clothes to her body. Still, she stood.
She was a warrior. Trained on the battleground. Skills honed by wars and tempests.
She knew her enemy.
Face set like flint. Resolve firm. Let the battle begin.
The monster waged a fierce and strong war against the warrior woman. Relentless. She stood her ground. Wielded her weapons. Rage welled inside her, fueled her passion to take this ground that was promised her. No force, no darkness, no enemy would take her birthright. It was hers. She would fight for and rejoice in her victory. For she knew. How ever long the battle. However strong the fight. However large the enemy. She would win. She would take by force and never surrender.
Time passed. Welts marked her body. Weary, she still stood her ground. All He had taught her, every weapon in her arsenal He had given her and taught her to use, she wielded against her enemy. Back, back, back it went. Each blow bringing it lower and lower and lower. Each assault making it weaker and weaker and weaker. With a victory cry, she gave her all with a final, determined thrust.
Diamonds sparkled on the surface of the wide, blue expanse of water. Gold rays shone upon her face. Whispers in the wind soothed her tired, battle wearied soul.
Lifting her face she breathed in life. Deep into her soul she drank of the victory. Falling to her knees she bowed her head and gave thanks.
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Moulded in the storm
Tempered in the battle.
Perfected in His Peace….
In last weeks blog I spoke about the birthing pains of a journey into fear and uncertainty. Today I am continuing with that story. We left off after having come home from the hospital after spending 11 hours in emergency, test after test, and finding out there was nothing the doctors could find to explain my symptoms.
A few weeks passed and I was living my life as normal. There was, however, the feint sense that something was not quite right, like a bruise on my soul.
I had a few more times of feeling strange but was able to talk myself through. But each time I seemed to be losing less and less confidence in my body and my mind and my emotions.
Then one day I woke up and my face hurt. Ached. Everywhere. For two days it ached and my tummy slightly churned. Then on the night of day two it seemed as if the full force of a terrorising demon had been unleashed inside my body. My stomach rolled, wave upon wave it pummeled, each wave more relentless than the one before. I was unable to sit or stand still. I found myself walking, pacing, quickly as if I was chasing myself and trying to get away at the same time. My family were inside watching television totally unaware that there was a battle happening on the front patio and I was in the thick of it. I walked up and down, up and down for hours. Real hours. I spoke to my body. I prayed. I hit my stomach numerous times trying to calm it down. I tried to vomit and I was totally unable to. My brain whirred and screamed and ranted at me. My husband prayed with me. My children went to bed. Still I waged this war against unseen and unknown foes.
I eventually assured my husband all was well and he could go to bed. I went inside and started cleaning. Telling my self everything was okay. Telling my body I was in charge. My body was not interested in listening.
I tried sitting under a hot shower, sitting on the floor of the bath with the water pouring over me. I tried to vomit. Felt that would bring relief, but there was no relief to be had.
The water went cold and I crawled out, wrapped a towel around myself, forced myself to dress and went and lay on the couch. I put some worship music on and eventually fell asleep. But it was not the sleep I wanted, every hour or so I would wake. Stomach in turmoil. I would then put on teaching and listen to that. Fall asleep again. Wake again.
The next morning the storm had passed. I was exhausted. I slept.
That week seemed to run smoothly until the weekend. One night I woke up with a fright and that familiar churning and screaming running through body.. “OH no , not again, I cant, not again.”
I woke up my husband. I paced. He prayed. He talked to me. I dug up every little emotional reason, every spiritual reason, to try and find out what was happening. I paced. He prayed. I cried. I paced. Back to the floor of the bath I went. Back to trying to vomit to get release. Back to yelling at my body. Speaking comfort to my mind. Back to the couch and the music and the teaching. Eventuallly sleep came. But again sporadic, tumultuous. Fearful.
Morning came once again and so did the sleep of exhaustion. This time though my mind did not return to a relaxed state. This time though I was on edge waiting for the monster. Listening for his footsteps, his breathing.
I went to the doctor this time.
They looked at the report from the hospital.
They asked me questions.
They did more blood tests.
I went home. Came back a few days later.
Same story. No physical reason for your symptoms.
You are stressed. Here take some anti deppressants.
I said no to the antidepressants.
A fire started to burn in my spirit. I was going to fight. Fight with all I had to defeat this monster and walk in freedom again. I was not spending the rest of my life being dictated to and controlled by this beast.
I went home. I closed my door. I spoke to my Heavenly Father. He spoke to me. The battle had begun.
I had thought it would be a quick one now I knew my enemy and was determined to fight.
I was wrong.
My journey was just beginning and I was about to learn a great, many things. My enemy was going to round up all the weapons and all the warriors to assault me relentlessly.
Heaven rallied around me, angels taught me to sharpen my weapons. Jesus spoke His word and His truths and seeds of life and hope were sown. Father God held me and encouraged me.
I was never alone, but it was a fight that was not going to be easy, or short.
It was the fight that would define me
Define my belief system.
Breathe in, Breathe out…. each step along the winding, rock strewn road where enemies hid and war raged and victory was etched into every fibre of my being.