Category Archives: Gratitude

The Face of My Beloved

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There is nothing I desire more than meeting Jesus face to face. For me Philippians 1 and Philippians 3 say it best,

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. ~ Philippians 1:21, NIV.

All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of His resurrection, to share in His sufferings and become like Him in his death… ~ Philippians 3:10, GNT.

To stay here is to glorify God, and give witness to the saving grace and healing power of Jesus Christ. To die is far better, because then I would be where I most desire to be: in the presence of Jesus, meeting Him face to face.

There is nothing better!

 

Go To Forgiveness, Go Right To Forgiveness. Don’t Pass Through Guilt, Don’t Go To Condemnation.

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God’s been working some changes in me over the last few weeks, and I’m so excited that I have to tell everyone about it.

I don’t play computer games. Well, not very much anyway.

Well, two games.

Fine, three games.

Okay, okay, four! Gimme a break!

It really is only four: two online games, one called June’s Journey, and one called Ravenhill: Hidden Mystery. I also play a crossword game, and a game that’s a combination between mahjong and solitaire, called Mahjong Solitaire Epic. The two online games are hidden object games. I play the crossword game to, hopefully, increase my vocabulary, and I like Mahjong Solitaire Epic because it requires strategy and makes me think as I’m playing, plus the graphics are beautiful.

My point in talking about my computer games is that, until about three weeks ago, everytime I played one of the games I experienced a great deal of frustration everytime I made a mistake, with subsequent panic/rage attacks and consequent self-abuse.

I used to get so angry at myself when that happened! I had to forgive myself for the self-abuse, and forgiving myself has always been like pulling teeth for me, plus whenever I get upset enough to hit myself, I always feel like I need to ask God to forgive me.

Playing these games has always been a struggle for me, because I’ve always had the feeling that I’m not supposed to be playing them, yet if I stop playing, then I’m afraid I’ll get bored.

So about a month-and-a-half ago, in a drastic move, I deleted all my games. I got tired of feeling like I was disappointing God by playing the games, plus I knew I was spending way too much time playing, so I decided to get rid of all of them.

Then after about four days, I realized I’d made a mistake, especially with one particular game, June’s Journey. And of course, June’s Journey is the one I like the most.

When I deleted it I was at Level 299, going on Level 300, and I was in the middle of upgrading the pirate ship, with only the country mansion left to renovate (I’d already finished upgrading the lighthouse and the chapel). I’d been playing for about a year-and-a-half, and was far advanced. I then realized my mistake and tried unsuccessfully to re-download it at the same level as before, but when my efforts were ineffective I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to play June’s Journey, I’d have to start over.

So that’s what I determined to do, but I realized I’d been spending far too much time playing when I could have been doing other things much more conducive to serving God. Things like reading my Bible more consistently and going to church on a regular basis.

Then God showed me that it’s okay for me to play the games as long as I do it in moderation. I decided I could do that. That I could manage.

All of this transpired a little over three weeks ago. Then I re-downloaded June’s Journey. All of a sudden, all the frustration that had driven me to hit myself was gone, simply gone. It was like there had been a sharp arrow embedded in my mind that got dinged whenever I made a mistake, causing agony and self-abuse everytime, and God had supernaturally removed the arrow and healed the wound it had made. So now, since the arrow is gone, so is the consequent frustration, and the subsequent self-abuse.

And along with everything else, forgiving myself is now easy.

I can’t tell you what peace and joy this change has brought me! It feels like God has done a miracle in me. In fact, I think He did, because one day I was hitting myself, and the next I wasn’t, and in addition, it was suddenly easy to forgive myself. I don’t know why I would doubt that, or find it strange, because He’s been doing miracles in me for years as He’s healing me.

GLORY TO GOD! HALLELUJAH TO JESUS! THANK YOU, HOLY SPIRIT!

I thank God for His inexpressible and unfathomable gifts to me! He is so good to me!

Fathers and Mothers, or Ever Onward With God.

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For most of my adult life I’ve had problems with the holidays. You know, Thanksgiving and Christmas, etc. Actually it started around Hallowe’en and continued through the middle of January. I would get horribly depressed, often to the point that I had a hard time getting out of bed, and it would be hard for me to blink and breathe.

Interestingly, however, in the last couple of years, God must have been healing me on the sly, so to speak, because all of a sudden I realized I wasn’t experiencing the usual horrible, soul-killing depression over the holidays like I always had.

What sweet relief! To know I won’t have to go through that yearly, terrible, mack-truck depression again fills me with joy and a deep, abiding peace. I can’t even describe how wonderful it feels to know I won’t have to go through that again! The only problem is, now God seems to have moved on to another set of issues.

Rats!

While I didn’t think I was completely done with healing, I thought at least He might give me a little respite before He started in on the next issue.

Not so! Silly me for thinking that! Ever onward with God!

What I’m experiencing now is the same kind of depression, only not to the same degree, thank God, around Mother’s and Father’s Day. When each of these celebrations comes around I start feeling all jumbled up and fragmented inside, like I did when I was multiple. I’m not losing time or anything like that. I think more than anything I’m just feeling sad.

Everytime I hear some DJ or radio commentator or news journalist talk about how wonderful and amazing fathers are, or how important and special mothers are, I want to yell at them that they don’t know what they’re talking about. And then I feel horribly depressed and sad for hours afterward.

In the middle of all this Mother’s and Father’s Day folderol I found a verse from Proverbs in an email from RZIM,

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother. ~ Proverbs 1:7-8, DRA.

DRA is the Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition of the Bible, for anyone who wants to know.

I read that passage and thought, this is what I was supposed to get from my parents, but didn’t.

For whatever reason, I don’t feel jealous of other people’s happy childhoods. I just feel sad because of what I missed out on, sad and lonely. It’s probably the only time I’ve ever felt lonely, because I like being alone most of the time. When I was a kid the only time I was safe was when I was alone.

My mom used to say that the best way to punish my sister was to isolate her, and the best way to punish me was to spank me. She knew she couldn’t isolate me, because if she did I would actually welcome it, and then go off and read a book for hours on end.

It was during that period that I became a voracious reader. I could read a book and get lost in the story, thus escaping the chaos and confusion of whatever was going on in my family. It still works for me to this day. Reading is the most relaxing thing I do, except for petting Lily, my cat.

I would make a great hermit, because I don’t feel alone, even when there’s no one around. I can feel God’s presence with me all the time. Please don’t think that makes me a spiritual person or anything like that. I think it’s a gift God gave me to help me during the difficult times of my childhood. At the time I didn’t know it was God, and it wasn’t until just the last five years or so that I’ve realized that He was there all along.

I am SOOO GRATEFUL to know that God has been sustaining me throughout my life! I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is faithful and trustworthy, and that He will never, ever leave me nor forsake me. I know this because His Word promises He won’t, but I also know it because I have the proof from my childhood. He sustained me and kept me alive throughout, regardless of how bad it got. He saved my life a number of times when I would have died if He hadn’t been there.

So regardless of the fact that I didn’t have parents who cared about me, I still had God, and I think this is a season of healing that I’m going through, where I may feel depressed around Mother’s and Father’s Day, and whenever I think about issues surrounding mothers and/or fathers, as I did around Thanksgiving and Christmas for many years. Thank God I don’t experience what I used to feel around those holidays anymore, so hopefully this Mother’s-and-Father’s-Day season won’t last very long.

God is SOOO GOOD!!!

 

The Sweet, Simple Joy of a Baby

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My friend Karen came over this afternoon (Saturday, June 8th), and she brought her year-old baby, Jonathan. We sat on the grass outside my apartment, and Jonathan, in perpetual motion, walked all around both Karen and I, and pulled up bits of grass, making mud-pies with the dirt and grass-blades.

Jonathan laughed and babbled in baby-talk. He’s getting close to saying his first words, making bi-labial sounds. He’s such a delight, and a joy to watch and listen to.

I had picked up my mail during our walk, so after we sat down, I let Jonathan play with it. He was carrying pieces of it around and dropping them in various places. That didn’t bother me any, because I didn’t want any of it anyway, plus I loved that he was having so much fun with it.

Jonathan With a Dirty Face. He’s so CUTE!!

Jonathan With a Dirty Face, 06:08.2019

Being around Jonathan is making me realize something, a lot of things, actually.

The abuse I endured as a child was so extreme that I had to become multiple in order to survive, both physically and emotionally. Additionally, what was happening to me was so traumatic that I had to repress the memory of it, because, as a child, I wasn’t equipped emotionally to be able to process or handle what I was experiencing. The maturity required for that wouldn’t come until many years later. As a consequence, the first ten years of my life are pretty much blank.

As an adolescent, I babysat to earn money for clothes and other incidentals. One time, when I was about thirteen years old, I was taking care of a friend’s one-year-old baby, and the baby started crying and couldn’t stop. I think she had colic. Her crying turned into shrieking, and I couldn’t make her quiet down, and I didn’t know what to do. She kept on crying and shrieking and crying and crying, and I finally lost it, and started shaking her.

Immediately I got really scared, because instinctively I knew that what I’d done wasn’t right. So even though she was still crying, I put her down.

I’ve never forgotten that experience. Ultimately the baby did stop crying, thankfully, and I’m gratefully able to report that she suffered no lasting effects from being shaken. But I came to the conclusion after that babysitting session that I could no longer babysit, and I could not think of becoming a parent, even though, at the time, I had no memory of being abused. I was sure that, if I had children, I would abuse them. I had no idea on what I was basing that fear, other than that one time of babysitting. I just knew with a strong certainty that I would abuse any children I produced if I were married. So that also meant I could never be married.

At the time I was a little disappointed about the idea of not being able to be married, because I’d long held a dream of an amazing wedding ceremony with a beautiful wedding dress and lots of gorgeous flowers. But a wonderful day meant nothing along side a life of misery if the miserable life was made that way because I was treating my children in unloving and ungodly ways by abusing the life out of them.

In later years, after memories started to surface and I began to fill in the ten blank years with reality, I began to understand why I was afraid of having children. I began to see that my fear of abusing any children that I might have was realistic, based on what I’d gone through myself, though my reasons for not wanting to be married changed somewhat. Part of the reason still had to do with fear of abusing my children, but I now realized I was terrified of sex as well, because of what Harry had done to me throughout my childhood (see the post from October 10, 2016 called Am I Afraid of Anger or Do I Get Angry At the Fear? for a good explanation).

All of that is to say that God has done a tremendous amount of healing in me, and I’ve only come to realize just how much in the past year since being around Jonathan.

Once I knew what was in my background I made it point to never be alone with small children and/or babies. I’ve never been afraid I would abuse them sexually. I’ve never been tempted in that way. In fact, the idea of doing that is utterly repugnant to me. What I’m terrified of is that I would hurt them physically.

But since Jonathan came into my life, I’ve had several opportunities to be alone with him, and even though there were times that he began to cry, I was never triggered or tempted, not even a little bit, to hurt him or get upset with him.

Wow! Just Wow!! I’m in awe at the wonderful works of God! I can feel a qualitative difference inside from the way it used to be. It used to be that when I was around a child and that child started crying, I could feel a lump rising in my throat, and my fists would start to clench and unclench. I could feel tension building up inside, and the lump in my throat would begin to make my throat close. I would want to scream at the child, “SHUTUP!! STOPCRYING!! until the crying stopped, and I could barely keep from hitting or shaking the child to make him or her stop crying, though logically, if you hit a kid, or shake him, he won’t stop crying. He’ll cry even more. Duh!!

Needless to say, you can see why I had to stay away from children!

But it’s different now. All of those negative feelings are gone, thank God. Now I feel a wonderful peace, and a deep, abiding joy when I’m with Jonathan. I’m able to sing to him, and play with him, and just enjoy being with him, rather than worrying that he’s going to trigger me into abusing him. I will probably always be careful when I’m around children, out of an abundance of caution, because I would never, ever, want to be guilty of hurting one of God’s innocents in the way I was hurt. But I’m so grateful to God for healing me in such marvelous ways that I can now allow myself to be around children. Having to keep myself away from them always caused me tremendous heartache, because I love children! They’re amazing!

Thank you, Jesus!!

Hurray for a Working Computer!

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My computer was completely non-functional for about two weeks, so I had to do everything on my iPad. It wasn’t much fun, I can tell you. Writing on an iPad is very difficult to do if you don’t have an external keyboard, which I don’t, and as consequence I haven’t been able to post anything here for most of that time. I’ve decided the iPad isn’t good for anything but playing games, and maybe making art if you can figure out how to use the apps.

Part of the problem was that it took my computer guy two weeks to figure out what was wrong. As it turned out, the problem was a simple, yet profound fix. Something, I forget what, had come loose inside the casing of the computer, and as a result, I couldn’t even boot up properly. Everytime I turned it on all I got was a blinking file folder with a question mark in the middle of it.

I thought I was going to have to buy a new computer, and after pricing them out, it would have cost me almost $4000 to get a new Mac with the specifications that I needed. I’m very grateful to God for saving me $4000!

But finally, Tuesday, they figured it out and fixed it. Praise God! And now I have it back, fully functioning. I can post here and play games and listen to Scripture and go online, and just EVERYTHING!! I can also pay my bills, thank God.

You don’t realize how much you need something, and how grateful you are that you have it, until you have to go without it for awhile.

It’s a good lesson in gratitude that I must remember to keep on practicing!

Codependent Me Becomes Entitled ~ Or Was I Already? ~ ‘Tis a Mystery…

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I haven’t posted anything here in just about a year. Last September was the last time I wrote anything; however, I’ve been going through some things that have made me feel like I might benefit from writing about them, so here I am. I’ll have to see if I can actually make a go of the whole writing thing over the long-term. In the past I’ve only been able to keep it up for a couple of weeks or a month at the most. Maybe this time will be different. We will see.

So now, down to what’s been going on…

I’ve come to the realization that there’s a part of me that actually feels entitled and narcissistic where Mom and her money are concerned, something I dislike about myself rather a lot, and something I wasn’t aware of ~ at least not to this degree ~ until just the last couple of months.

I think I understand the root of it. When I was younger the only way I could get what I wanted or needed, no matter what it was, be it physical or emotional, I had to do it for myself. I couldn’t depend on my family to get it for me to save my soul. For example, one Christmas or birthday, I can’t remember which, I wanted a specific cookie press from Williams-Sonoma, so I told Mom and Dad about it, hoping they would get it for me.

When the big day arrived and I opened my gifts, Mom started telling me this tale of the trip she and Dad made to Williams-Sonoma to purchase the cookie press I’d asked for. However, the cookie press I ended up with wasn’t the one I asked for, because… And that’s where it gets weird.

Apparently they made the trip to the Williams-Sonoma store to get the cookie press, but when they got there they had a difficult time finding a parking space ~ my stepdad had multiple sclerosis and, even though he was still able to drive, he had a handicap placard because he could only walk short distances.

So they started out on the bottom level of the parking structure (there were four or five levels) and couldn’t find any available handicap spots. Next level, same thing, and so on up to the top. I don’t remember if Dad was using a wheelchair at that point. If he wasn’t I can understand a little better why they didn’t stay, but even then they could have ordered it from the catalogue~at least that’s how it looks to me as I look back.

I might have asked them why they didn’t order it from the catalogue, to which they would have replied that it would have been late if they’d done that. As far as I’m concerned that’s not an excuse because they’ve given me things before that were ordered from catalogues, and that were late for whatever reason, and it was no big deal. They just gave me a box that contained a picture of the item, and said it was coming late, and I was fine with that.

So whenever I feel like this, where I’m complaining about some gift that Mom and Dad gave me when I was younger, I always feel guilty, like I should have been grateful for what I got, like I was lucky to get anything at all. I mean, there are a lot of kids who are so poor that they don’t get anything at all for Christmas.

I think my problem isn’t so much one of ingratitude for the gifts they gave me, but rather, the fact that I could never depend on them for anything. And the issue of the gifts was simply how their lack of dependability was expressed.

And the other root of the entitlement thing is that Mom did nothing to protect me from Harry’s horrors. Nothing whatever. Plus, she abused me herself as well, though not as viciously and violently as Harry did. So I’ve worked hard to forgive her, but I’ve come to realize that it’s a work in progress. I’ve heard it likened to the layers of an onion. The deeper the layer the harder and more painful it gets. Well, I’ve dealt with enough pain in my life that I’m not especially worried about that

So that’s about it for now.

A Game That’s Not a Game

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I’ve been playing this online game called TrainStation on Facebook for a long time, probably a year or more. I spend too much time playing it, and I’ve had a feeling for awhile now that the Lord doesn’t want me to play it anymore. I’ve tried a number of times to stop playing it to no avail.

One time I managed to stop for a little over a week because I unfriended all the Facebook friends that were playing it with me, but I felt so uncomfortable that I ended up going back to it. I shouldn’t have allowed the physical feeling to rule over me like that, but I did.

I’ve begun to realize that I’m addicted to it, which may have been why I felt uncomfortable when I stopped playing for that week. Not a good thing!

The reason I like playing it is because it’s fun and relaxing. There’s no violence and I don’t spend any money on it. It’s just quiet fun that’s relaxing. I’ll admit there are a few times where I get frustrated because the screen moves unnecessarily in full-screen mode as my finger brushes against the trackpad when it’s not supposed to~something I can’t help. But that’s the only problem I have with it and it’s more of a technical issue with the trackpad and my straying fingers than a problem with the game.

I’m going to post what I’ve written thus far because something happened with Mom yesterday that I need to write about. Once I’m done with that I’ll come back and work more on this.

Life can be SOOO interesting at times!

July 24, 2019

This update is almost four years later. For the most part, I’m no longer playing TrainStation, but I am playing four other computer games. However, I don’t spend as much time playing them as I did while I was playing TrainStation. Additionally, the frustration I used to experience as I played any game is no longer a problem, thank God. The self-abuse is gone, hallelujah!

The fact that the self-abuse is gone is probably the biggest change, and the most welcome. Self-abuse has haunted me for many, many years, and I have longed to be free of it. I’m so grateful to God for setting me free from this besetting sin!!