Hope In the Midst of Rejection

I happen to be the 3rd mom to all three of my boys, and Gary the 3rd dad to Evan, so blending our hearts is taking a lot of time and patience.  I’ve heard it said blended families are more like crock pots than microwaves.  It’s true.  Gary and I both lost our first spouses to death; and for our 3 sons, they have each lost 2 mothers over the course of their lives – first by adoption and second by death/2nd adoption.  Evan has also lost 2 fathers, one by 2nd adoption, and one by death.  We have each struggled with incorporating the other into our worlds.  Understandably.

Because of this, holiday seasons have been a lot of “difficult”, so I understand how the feelings of rejection can hijack what is supposed to be a time of great enjoyment. None of the boys asked me to be their mom, nor did they understandably want it.  They had no choice in losing their mothers/father. Over many years of first blending with Evan, and now blending with Gary’s son’s, I’ve had to work through feelings I care not to admit, including anger and great pain.  I’m very grateful that now is a season of beginning healing, ever so slowly.   None of us ever imagined suffering the losses we’ve endured.  But, as I head into another holiday season, I am comforted by knowing I can run to Jesus no matter what happens – he never turns me away.  I am also becoming more confident in seeing over time, God is truly changing them and me.

Evan, is growing into a caring man who is, I think, beginning to understand that his mom isn’t trying to purposefully irritate him. I don’t always understand how the mind of a person with autism thinks; nor can I imagine what it is like to have lost 2 moms (and 2 families) and never be able to talk about it (as he is mostly non-verbal).

I’m learning I have so much to learn.

I mentioned in a post a week ago, that we hosted Thanksgiving Dinner with my oldest step son and his girlfriend.  It was very special, revealing that healing is taking place. Today we had a meeting at school with my younger step son and the friend he has chosen to live with.  It was very cordial, and in the midst, my step son handed me a gift, prompted by his friend.  A beginning, I hope to healing.

I am learning that in the midst of swirling feelings of rejection, to heal I must choose to:

Dwell on Christ’s love and acceptance rather than the pain

Relinquish what I want and embrace Jesus and his plan

Yield to God rather than trying to fix it myself

Along with counseling, a new book written by Lysa Terkeurst, “Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out and Lonely” has greatly impacted how I’m healing .  If you or a friend are struggling this holiday season with the pain of being “uninvited” in some aspect of life, I’d highly recommend this read.

Thank you for joining me this week as I have attempted to open my heart and home to you. I do hope it helps in some way to make the season more doable.  Your  comments are certainly encouraging me.  Thanks!

I look forward to “seeing” you again on Monday!

With Love and Prayers,

Robin <3

p.s. You may also wish to read:  I Do Matter

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When Christmas Won’t be Christmas

Sunday morning as I paused to text 2 dear friends currently in the throes of hospital visits and cancer treatments, my thoughts were transported to Christmas 10 years ago.  I remember wondering, in the flurry of holiday activity surrounded by my own husband’s daily cancer treatments, what it all meant.  He’d been diagnosed with internal Melanoma during Thanksgiving week. My mind was still numb to the reality, but aware enough to know life wasn’t the same, and some huge monster had invaded our home, and  I was scared if I thought too much. All of a sudden, who cared if the Grinch stole Christmas, and how horrible would it really be if some child didn’t get the toy they’d hoped Santa would bring? Suddenly, much that seemed to matter to the world around me no longer mattered to me.  I needed a huge dose of hope and an assurance that even if the world was moving at break neck speed over seemingly trivial things, that someone saw us, and our struggle, and cared.

Is that where you are as the Christmas season approaches?  If so, whether cancer, or a wayward child, or…. I get it. Even now in the stillness and peace of my home 10 years later, grief slaps me afresh as I replay those scenes. Reality is, life is never fixed by Hallmark’s “Christmas Magic”, no matter how much we’d hoped it would be.  Christmas can be messier than we’d like to admit.

I did find the hope I longed for that Christmas, as an amazingly intimate God bent down and wept with me in so many ways.  As I daily, quietly spent time with him to quell the chaos around me, the Holy Spirit began to comfort my heart with an amazing thought:

God’s Son’s first Christmas was very messy.

As that thought sank in, I began to look at Christmas from a completely different paradigm.

I  wish I could sit with you, pour you a cup of tea, hold your hand and encourage you  with the idea that everything will turn out just fine. But I can’t.  I can assure you from the other side of the mess that because Jesus chose to enter a world full of messes that first Christmas, there is hope beyond what you now face.

Would you join me the next 4 weeks leading up to Christmas Day?  Each week we will look at a different aspect of the first Christmas, and allow The Father and the Son who came to cry with us.

The first day of the week I will share a meditation to ponder.  Other days I will share a prayer, a song, a short story of hope, or a suggestion for making the holiday easier.  Please join me.  Also, please, speak up!  I’d love your thoughts and comments as the weeks progress – how this is helping or not, and what is or has worked for you.  Thanks!

With love and prayers,

Robin <3

A Change of Mind

20160822_081848-01-02A few weeks ago, a friend said to me, “Pain is inevitable.  Suffering is not”; adding (my paraphrase), “Suffering happens when we refuse to embrace the changes, and instead fight the pain.”

This summer has been a journey of embracing changes.  The biggest change I’m finding is that

I need to Let God change my mind.

Romans 12:2 states: (NLT)

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (emphasis mine)

God’s Word (the Bible) is unlike any other book written by men.  Many see it as a rule book to follow.  Yet, as I come to know the author more fully, I am learning it is a love story from a powerful King who has the ability to keep his promises as he radically transforms any who venture to follow him.  Transforming them from the inside out – by changing the way they think.  Anxiety to peace. Hate to love. Anger to forgiveness. Purposeless to purposeful.  Hopeless to hope.  By the power of his words through the work of his precious Spirit.

Hebrews 4:12

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”

Do we just sit back, read God’s words and let them do their “magic”?  No, his words say that those who choose to follow him also have a responsibility.

II Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (emphasis mine)

How am I letting the words of God change me?  By choosing to focus on and follow God’s words in the Bible regarding forgiveness, peace, acceptance, and hope rather than focusing on all the other thoughts that swirl around my head  – anger, worry, anxiety, rejection, hopelessness. Trusting God’s Spirit (the power behind the words) to do the changing.

To assist, I have set up a series of “Memo’s” on my phone.  The first memo is headed “Transform My Mind – Through Discipline“.  I have listed several verses that remind me of the importance in taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, as well as verses on how I can do so.

Galatians 6:8-10, Galatians 2:20, Galatians 5:16-18, Romans 5:5-8, Hebrews 12:1-3, Proverbs 15:32, Galatians 5:22-25, John 14:23-24

I am finding subtle changes beginning to take place – I still struggle, but less often. I am more easily able to reel in my thoughts. I am finding peace and calm more quickly taking over. God’s Spirit through his words are working.

Take Every Thought Captive – Rather Than Letting Every Thought Captivate

If this resonates with you, let me know.  Thanks!

With love and prayers,

Robin <3

p.s. You may also wish to read: Attentively Waiting  Caution, Emotions at Play!  I Do Matter!