This is one of those posts that isn’t fun to write because it takes me back to a time I didn’t love and of course, I don’t come out looking too great in it. But I know I’m supposed to share it, and I believe it will encourage someone out there.
Our newlywed years weren’t normal or easy. I had chronic pain because of a severe case of PCOS. There were many days I was in bed because of pain as soon as I got home from work. I had to receive shots in the backside that were not easy to give or receive. And then there was the baggage.
I came into the marriage with low self esteem and huge trust issues. I was a wounded person who usually felt better wounding others. It wasn’t a good place.
My husband worked a new job with a lot of hours. He was in community theater. We were new in our church and wanted to be active there together. We grieved his kids not living in the same state anymore and trusted God had them and us.
When he had a bad day from any of these stresses or even something else, I had one thought and one thought only.
I’m the reason he’s upset.
It’s my fault.
It will always be me.
It will always be my fault.
When he needed time to chill, I took that as a personal rejection. I didn’t get that men need their cave time. When he’s ready to talk, he will. But my own emotional baggage couldn’t allow me to see that. So I’d chase him down, causing more stress.
And guess what?
It wasn’t about me until I made it about me. And that’s when real conflict started.
I had a lot of problems then, and a big one I didn’t realize was one I think a lot of young women are also dealing with: you want your husband to be your savior.
Sorry, ladies, he can’t. He’s human and he’s going to fail. The harder you pursue him with that expectation, the faster he’s going to retreat. I tell you from experience. Then your pain is that much stronger because you’ve got another man in your life who has rejected you.
How did I get out of that spiral? It wasn’t easy or fast. I had to hit a rock bottom and realize even when his bad day wasn’t about me, I had a lot of healing to take care of. I had people praying. I read a lot from Chuck Swindoll to Sheila Walsh. I went through two Bible studies that changed everything—Believing God by Beth Moore and Captivating by Sheila Eldredge. I started to see my Savior was there to rescue me, He is Jesus, not my husband. And when I put that in the right order, everything changed.
My view of a Heavenly Father wasn’t healthy because I was envisioning someone with closed arms disappointed in me. Pressing in through my relationship in Christ and giving Him everything about me re wired my thinking. God’s arms are open wide even when I goof up and it is about me.
Now that I’m healed from those hurts, I don’t rely on my husband to be the source of all my happiness. I have the discernment to know when he’s having a bad day when to approach and when to wait. I no longer have those internal alarms going off thinking he’s upset with me.
If this is a struggle for you, I pray something in this post gives you hope to seek healing as well. If you are not part of a Bible reading, Christ centered church, I pray you find one and surround yourself with people who can pray for you. I’m rooting for you!
When a water vessel is filled with dirt and stones, it cannot be used to quench a thirst. But, when this vessel is emptied, there is an opportunity to fill it until it overflows with fresh, cool, life-giving water. Water that quenches. Refreshes. Soothes.
Our souls are the same: filled with fear, doubt, and disappointment. Running over with unanswered prayers and lingering questions. When we empty the mess of our lives in the presence of God, we’re offered an invitation to come. An invitation that allows us to come empty – so that we can be filled until we overflow.
Come Empty – Pour Out Life’s Hurts and Receive God’s Healing Love guides you through fifty days of experiencing the fullness of God’s love and His ability to overcome life’s hurts. Each day, you will receive assurance of God’s presence in your difficult situations. Each devotion gives new vision and perspective when you’re hindered by emotional blind spots, and leads you to experience God’s peace and wholeness. When His invitation is accepted, He will set your captive mind and heart free to live fully by His grace. The question is not if you will get an invitation. The question is, will you come?
This is a 50 day experience that I believe you will want to return to time and time again. You choose the ones you feel best fit and be prepared to be moved. Each reading is transparent and emotional. What is an absolute standout to me is the Lord’s response. It’s obvious this was a Holy Spirit guided endeavor. That’s why I say COME EMPTY is an experience. It’s not just a book. I believe it is an anointed tool to bring comfort and healing to your life. However, it means you need to do more tha read. Like the book description, the author states this isn’t about whether you get an invitation. The question is, will you respond?
I highly recommend COME EMPTY and that you use it for all its worth.
To purchase COME EMPTY, click here.
I received COME EMPTY from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Apparently God’s got a theme for the season and it isn’t raking leaves and turkeys.
It’s fake vs real.
Masking vs transparency.
Prison vs freedom.
Not long ago I posted about My Fake Family.
After that went live people started to comment about my necklace. I’d clutch it and blurt, “It’s fake. It’s a knock-off of Origami Owl. I paid $20 and that includes the chain and four charms.”
And no one could tell the difference.
Including one woman who bought the original at three figures and wasn’t happy with her deficit.
I’ve done the same with the ring I wear on my wedding finger. My original wedding rings are packed somewhere because they don’t fit and I really struggled with them. At the time I was so low in self worth I didn’t want a ring. I didn’t feel that I should have one. As we married and grew in size and faith, the rings didn’t fit and I still didn’t feel right about them. It was the old me that had those rings.
The ring I wear now is from our anniversary cruise to Mexico. To me it represents the real me, a daughter of the Lord who has fought hard for everything we have. I don’t mean things, I mean prayers. Life’s battles. And to be at fifteen years (at the time) and not only still married but growing closer, that was cause for victory.
Hello, cruise jewelry sale.
My husband is mortified at what he paid for that ring. I mean it was under
$100 $50 $45. It’s Mexican gold, I think, and I don’t care. It’s a sparkly thing with as much sass as I have. Surrounding it are 14 small diamonds. Add them up and you get 15 for our anniversary.
When I take care of it and remember to wear it, it looks like the real deal and again, I can’t help but blurt it out. “It’s fake.”
Something changed a couple weeks ago. I blurted, “It’s fake. But I’m real.”
And then the Holy Spirit download began.
That answer wasn’t always the case. I lied through my teeth, in church, especially in church, telling everyone I was fine. I wasn’t. I was wounded, lost and in desperate need of a spiritual and emotional healing. It didn’t come until I surrendered the fake and got real.
I can’t speak for the guys but us women, it’s a temptation. The name brand purse. Top of the line shoes. Fancy jewelry.
The lies we tell when asked how we are. The mail we hide because it exposes the sham of a perfect home. How? It probably contains bills we can’t pay. Legal documents ending what we pretend is the best thing in our circle. School letters spelling out what we don’t want to face.
It made me think of reality celebrities. Everything Kim Kardashian wears to an event is probably top notch, name brand, real stuff. But let’s be honest–she’s a reality star on a show. Sorry, but the show is scripted. Sorry again, her life is scripted. Not much about her is real. And I don’t envy her.
For this topic to come up again gives me the inkling someone out there read the first post about the fake family and shoved their issues further away praying that nudge was anything but the Godly hey, let’s work on this they deep down know was happening. Well, this post is for you.
Not to condemn you.
But to encourage you.
I was the queen of masking. I know all the pat answers, sincere expressions and token cliches. I also know how hollow I felt living that way.
Surrendering the fake answers, phony lifestyle and pretend happiness was one of the best things I’ve ever chosen for my life and the people who love me. There is a freedom I promise you money can’t buy or people can’t get for you. It’s for you to decide.
Don’t let my shiny fake jewelry be what gets you to confront whatever it is God’s trying to help and heal you with.
Let my real love for you and the prayer I lifted up writing this be that instead.
Yesterday I presented an interview with author Sharon Srock. Today I have a review of her women’s fiction book, Callie. This is Book One in the Women of Valley View by HarbourLight, an imprint of Pelican Book Group.
I think it’s natural for every woman to want to help, make a difference, be a rescuer. I also te think it’s reality to have the very best of intentions and have things go horribly wrong. When it does, the urge to never help again is something I can relate to.
That’s why I believe readers will enjoy Callie. She’s not a college-age model as most TV characters appear, but a fifty-something grandmother with frustrations and dreams. But when tragedy strikes, Callie wants to retreat. Yet as a grandmother and Sunday School teacher, she’s drawn to a young girl who looks like she needs help. Trust is a mutual thing as Callie as to trust it’s worth helping and that results can be different, and for the family she encounters, they have to trust things will work out for their benefit.
In the middle of this story of friendship, grace, and healing are strong, well-developed characters that will become your friends. I especially enjoyed the interactions between Callie and her husband, Benton.
I found Callie a warm and tender read, perfect for a night by the fireplace.
Three dire circumstances. Three desperate prayers. One miracle to save them all. Callie Stillman is drawn to the evasive girl who’s befriended her granddaughter, but the last time Callie tried to help a child, her efforts backfired. Memories of the tiny coffin still haunt her. Samantha and Iris Evans should be worried about homework, not whether they can pool enough cash to survive another week of caring for an infant while evading the authorities. Steve Evans wants a second chance at fatherhood, but his children are missing. And no one seems to want to help the former addict who deserted his family. For Steve to regain the relationship he abandoned, for his girls to receive the care they deserve, Callie must surrender her fear and rely on God to work the miracle they all need.
Readers, you are in for a treat. Sharon Srock and Harbourlight have a free PDF available for you to download that contains a glimpse of Callie. You can enjoy by clicking here.
A copy of Callie’s story
A certificate for Terri’s story when it releases in April
A 6 piece Cherry blossom bath set
A cosmetic bag
A Bath Wrap
A Cozy pink eye mask
A Pair of aloe infused booties
A Hair Turban
A Tennis Bracelet
A 25.00 Amazon gift card
From Sharon: “The rules are easy. For every reader that comments on my feature, they get an entry into the drawing. Please remind them to include some contact info with their comment. A winner will be drawn Monday November 19th. The items add up to well over 100.00 in value.”
I received Callie from the author in exchange for review.