Friendships

The Past Has No Hold

The Past has no Hold

Other than the lessons it has taught me

and the pain I remember too well.

The Past has no hold

The lessons have been learned in the trenches and deep valleys, yet the lessons have been learned.

Proverbs 1: 5

Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.

Life often hands us real situations of pain, heartache and loss, yet even in those times we can learn.

One lesson I learned in a particularly trying, painful time was this:

Not everyone can be trusted

How about you?

Have you learned a hard lesson?

Lessons are part of life. We can learn the easy way or the hard way and often God literally has to knock us over the head to make the lesson clear. Our stubbornness can get in the way or often we are waist deep in the “murk” of life we don’t even see a problem. Over time our eyes will adjust along with our heart and the “problem” or lesson will become clear.

I have learned this in so many instances, yet when I mentioned learning that not everyone can be trusted has been a very hard lesson.

I so trusted this person. We had been friends for over 15 years, yet one day I found out that life wasn’t as I had originally thought.

I saw this friendship one way and apparently she saw it a different way.

The reality hit me square in the face one fateful day when something was said that I knew was not part of a healthy relationship. God had opened my eyes and heart to the facts.

The hard facts and a hard lesson.

I felt like I had wasted so much time with this person and now I can look back to see that much of the relationship was very one sided. (mine) She didn’t care about me like I had cared for her.

She wanted my life.

But she didn’t want me..

Only to live vicariously through me.

Over time I could see that she ultimately had ulterior motives which hurt so deeply.

Lessons were learned

But

The past has no hold

The friendships I have today mean more to me than this particular friendship. The friends I have today love me and treasure my heart. Love runs deep between my true friendships.

I cherish the life I have today and the lessons I have learned.

Yet, the past is over and the future is wide open.

Possibilities abound and I am waiting patiently to see where God takes me on this new journey.

Linking up with:

Simply Beth

Jennifer Dukes Lee

Beauty in His Grip

Juana Mikels

My Daily Walk in His Grace

Praying for you today that the past will have no hold on you, other than the lessons you have learned. The past is over and the future is full of possibilites. God has a huge plan for you and for me.

” God has a bigger plan for me than I have for myself.”

Hugs XOXO

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The Days are New

Well, 2014 has arrived.

Where has the time gone? I look back at this last year and it seems to have flown by.

As we grow older, the days seem to go by more quickly. As a small child, it seemed as though Christmas would never arrive, but now that I am in my 40’s Christmas arrives so much more quickly. It often feels like the days go by faster and faster, but some of that is due to how much our society stays connected with social media and the aspects of everyday life are so fast paced.

My grandmother would tell me stories of when she was a young mother and a new wife. She described how families and couples would connect through food and fellowship at one anothers homes. They would play cards or some form of board game. In today’s society, no one connects anymore. Everyone is too busy. We are all so focused on just making the ends meet and connecting with the ones closest to us, we neglect the friendships God has placed in our paths.

days are new

Photo Credit: P. J. Di Benedetto

I know I fall victim to the fast paced life as well.

My duties are as follows:

Part time job

Help hubby with his own business

Write for my website and other guest blog posts as well as my monthly magazine article

Attending church

Helping in-laws

Taking care of my own home and family

This is just a small sampling of my responsibilities, yet I still try to find time to spend with the few closest friends I have locally but I do fall short at times.

It really seems as though no one has free time anymore. Everyone stays so, so busy.

I know personally I struggle with finding time to rest and relax. I tend to feel guilty when I do rest because that usually means that some project or need is not getting my attention. Yet, God wants us to find time for peace, rest and relaxation. Not everything has to be accomplished at one time. We can rest today and the needs will be there tomorrow to focus on.

I am thankful that this new year is an opportunity for me to work on finding time to relax and rejuvenate myself. I need to seek God’s will and plan for my life but to do that, I must take the time to quiet my mind and heart. I cannot do that if I am always on the GO.

Today, I give you permission to REST and REJUVENATE your heart and mind. Nothing is so important in this world for us to lose ourselves and who God has called us to be.

Psalm 62: 1

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Proverbs 6:10

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest.

I love that little verse in Proverbs. Such a sweet sentiment.

I am thankful for DAYS OF NEW.

How about you?

What is your hope for the new year?

Love Is Safe

Love is Safe

Do you agree with that statement?

I know personally that for years I truly believed that love was painful, hurtful and full of anger, yet over the last 30 years of being married to Mike, I have learned a different definition of love.

Oh, of course our story has not been perfect or free from hurt or pain, but I know the definition I have learned from being with Mike, is totally different from the “LOVE” my parents, siblings and other extended family has shown me.

Their love was exhibited in anger, abuse, neglect and damage to others I love or have loved.

This is not LOVE.. This is Hate and not anything I want to be a part of.

The love I have learned in the last 30 years will never make up for the lack of love and acceptance I didn’t receive in my childhood or teenage years, but a life well lived is often the best revenge.

I will not lose any more of my life to people that only wish to hurt me.

What are your views on this? Do you agree or are you a person that feels we are to stay connected to family no matter what they do or say?

I believe my life is so much better than theirs that they just cannot handle the reality of it.

I am not boasting.. I am just stating a fact.

They do not want me healed, happy or whole, yet God has called me out the past fear, anxiety, and agoraphobia just for that reason. I truly believe if God and I had not a “meet to” I would not be in the place I am in at this time. I probably would be dead due to the mental anguish I was constantly in because of the fear and anxiety.

God did a huge work in the life of a sinner when He healed me from the past abuse, neglect and fear, but when He told me ” You cannot go back”, I knew that I had to have boundaries.

Love is Safe.

Not perfect; Just safe.

Today, I want to offer you hope. Nothing you have faced in the past or even today is ever wasted, but I also know that God does not want me or you to keep going back to the “waste”, but to move forward to the place God has called us to be today. The past is over and all we have is today. You and I are both more than conquerors with Christ in our corner. I keep pushing forward and seeking the will of God. The enemy keeps trying but I keep fighting. How about you? Are you going to give up or keep fighting? Our God is bigger than anything the enemy can throw at us. Don’t forget that.. Fight and Win…

To Know Me

To know me, you would have to know me on many different levels.

For years I hid behind a wall that was so tall no one could get close. I hid behind a mask as well, pretending that all was well while on many levels, my life was a chaotic mess.

What do you look like behind the walls and masks?

Do you like yourself?

Do you enjoy being alone with yourself or do you always need others around?

Do you feel happy with your life or are you just pretending everything is okay?

Do you believe you are living a life full of purpose or just going through the motions?

I could say for many years; probably most of my life I could say I didn’t like myself, didn’t want to be alone and certainly was only going through the motions.

Life had dealt me a hand of many trials, tragedies and pain that I seemed to be unable to overcome.

Pain so deep that I often just wanted to crawl in a hole and die.

Hurt2

Pain so deep that no one could understand.

Loss so painful…

Too much to handle, yet my life continued on no matter how desperately I often wished it would end.

Can you relate at all?

Life can be tough just in everyday life. But my life has been anything but normal.

Tragedy has followed my family in so many ways. Too painful to even describe on many levels because the reality is just so disturbing. Disturbing  images of loss of loved ones to suicides and murder are just too damaging to even describe, yet that is what I have had to live with in my own mind for over 20 years.

Yet, God has allowed me to overcome much of my painful past. He has done a tremendous work in my heart and mind over the last two years.  Freedom is possible.

I will never allow the enemy to speak to me of the past and try to control my present. The past will never be forgotten but the past is over. Today is all I am guaranteed. Tomorrow is not promised and the past cannot be changed, so why continue to live there.

Would you mind if I prayed for you?

Lord, I come to you asking you to allow freedom to come to the reader. Help them to find peace and freedom through Your Word and  to feel Your love in the situations they are facing. Help us to allow the walls and masks to be laid aside while we seek to find our true selves. Life can be a battle but the battle is ultimately won by Your Word and by the power of the blood. Evil has no power in our lives. Help us to know ourselves and to believe in ourselves. We deserve the best and often the best is misplaced in the battles of life but YOU have overcome the world by sending YOUR son Jesus Christ to live in our hearts. We believe and want the best, which also means we want to KNOW YOU and KNOW OURSELVES. Thank YOU, Lord for all YOU have done in my own life and for the continued peace. God, grant it to everyone reading this today.

God Is There

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Photo Credit: P. J. Di Benedetto

Text: by Angie Webb

God is There

Life is difficult at times, but even in the dark, God is there.

He is walking beside us, behind us and holding our hand all of the time.

We may feel like there is no one there or that no one understands the pain we are going through, but HE does.

He sent His son, Jesus to die on the cross for our sins..

God knew pain when He had to make that decision and He knows the pain we feel at times living in this earthly body, struggling with life day in and day out. The world is not gentle or kind at times, then on top of that you add relationships, job issues, financial issues, death of loved ones…. on and on.

Life is HARD but….

GOD IS BIGGER THAN ANYTHING WE FACE..

I can relate to pain, difficult relationships, loss of loved ones, job losses….

But I also know the reality of God intervening in my life and totally changing the situation I found myself in, whether it was a financial situation, job loss, a relationship trial.. God cannot raise a loved one from the dead, but He can and will give you the power and strength to move forward without that person. (Well, HE COULD)

I look back at my life over the last 20 years or so and my life contains some of the following:

Suicides of more than three members of our family

Murder of my grandmother by grandfather

Many new jobs and moving for those jobs

A break-in at our home while I was home at night

Abuse of a child

Friendship/ Relationship Issues

Trust Issues

Financial Issues

Anxiety/Fear/Agoraphobia overtaking my life

YET…

See what God has done in my life.

Freedom from anxiety, fear and agoraphobia.

I cannot change the loss of my family members, nor the abuse of my child or the relationships lost, but I am not willing to forget what God has done in my life. I wish many things had been different and the outcome was different, but I am going to remember that GOD WAS ALWAYS THERE..

Today, I want you to remember that GOD has never left you, nor will He ever leave you according to Deuteronomy 31:6.

  • Believe                                               
  • Trust
  • Heal

The Journey

mikeandangie3

Mike and I will be celebrating our 30 year wedding anniversary in a few months. It is amazing when I think about how many years we have been together, because often times it seems like it was just yesterday that we began our lives together.

Where does the time go?

I look back and still remember the dress that I wore when we went to the Justice of the Peace to get married. I can describe the shirt and pants that Mike wore as well. Crazy..

It seems unreal to think about the reality that our oldest son is now 29 years old, married and has three children of his own.

Our youngest son is about to be 23 years old, lives on his own and making a life for himself.

I am thankful for the memories I have as their mother; both good and bad. Life as a mother is not easy.

I can remember the days of our youngest playing with his Thomas the Trains all day and night long. That little boy was so obsessed with his Thomas toys. In fact, today he can still name the trains and describes scenes from the television show and movies he loved to watch.

I can remember the days of our oldest playing Little Dribblers and playing with his dog Princess and Temptation. He was not much of a kid that liked to be inside the house, so more than not, he was outside with friends or riding his bike.

Even though there are certain aspects of life as a wife, mother and daughter, I would not trade my life as Mike’s wife, W and C’s mother or my life as Inetha’s granddaughter or D&S’s daughter. Life wasn’t always easy in any of those relationships and at times, still very painful, but God is still in control.

I have not understood everything that has happened, but are we suppose to really ever understood everything on this side of heaven?

I don’t believe so…

I wish I could have an answer from the Lord as to why?

My life as a child was so painful, stressful and anxiety filled.
My grandmother was murdered
My brother in law chose to take his own life
My in-laws chose to give up on life after the loss of their oldest son.
My family is so dysfunctional
My family is so dysfunctional
My family is so dysfunctional

Do you see a theme?/?
Ha.
We live in a fallen world that will let us down, cause us pain and lead us to question everything…Even our God.

If we are honest, we all have questions that have gone unanswered and we get upset because we want to understand…

God is the only one who will ever know the reasons behind what has happened…

Everything that happens is for our benefit; even loss. even pain.. even hurt… even dysfunction… we all live in this fallen world, even with God we are more than conquerors.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.Romans 8:37

Praise God.. Nothing is lost in this life.

Even after 30 years of marriage to my husband, we have faced more than many others marriages survive going through. Yet, we have stood together, holding hands, as well as fighting through many battles, even at times fighting with each other, yet we never gave up. We kept putting one foot in front of the other, all the while standing on the Word of God that He would turn things around..

From humble beginnings at the ages of 16 and 18 years old, to a life 30 years later;

I STAND IN AWE…

I AM THANKFUL TO MY GOD FOR HIS CONTINUED GUIDANCE, LOVE, PROVISION AND HEALING..

I AM NOT DONE IN THIS LIFE AND I CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR RESTORATION IN OTHER AREAS OF MY LIFE AS WELL.

I want to offer you hope..
God is not done with you yet. Even if you think you have fallen away too far, done horrible things, reached the bottom…
No..
God is an author and finisher of what He has called us to do in this life. Nothing is lost. Nothing is wasted. Don’t give up..

Pray
Seek God
Love deeply
Forgive but have boundaries
Believe in Yourself
Believe the Word

Lord, help us to not forget where we have come from but Lord, help us to continue to seek the path YOU have set before us.

Each person’s path is different so don’t compare your walk with someone else’s. Stay connected to the power source: GOD…

Lay down the past because nothing can be changed, but don’t ever forget the lessons you learned from the past. It will help you or maybe you will have the opportunity to share your story with someone else that is struggling.

Believe What You See

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I know that there is a quote that goes something like,

” When people show you who they are: believe them..”

I have certainly learned that lesson today as well as many other times in life..

Of course, we want to believe the best about those we are in contact with daily; whether through our jobs, families or friends, but are we really suppose to let our guard down in every situation.

I know I have found myself to be:

too trusting

too needy

too scared

too lost

to stand up for myself, the truth and what I needed out of the relationships I have

but that was the OLD ANGIE..

I will not tolerate dishonesty, untruths, half-truths, kissing up to others so there is not any confrontation… on and on.

Today, we live in a world that is so lost as to what the true body of Christ should look like, act like and demand from others in an effort to better our world; we often just look the other way and don’t stand up for the TRUTH..

Truth always prevails. and that is certainly what I am counting on in my own life and the situations I am facing with those I am in contact with on a daily basis as well as those strained relationships that are in desperate need of restoration, repair and forgiveness as well as new roads to be paved for a better relationship.

As Christians I think we often believe that means we stand by and watch life continue to beat us up..

No, we are called to speak the truth, stand on the truth and demand the truth from others.. God doesn’t want wimpy Christians but He also doesn’t want Christians that look the other way because it is easier than standing up for the truth and for what is right.

I ask you today to think about situations you find yourself in on a daily basis or even a weekly basis..

What do you see in others?

Truth
Honesty
Morals
Ethics
Compassion
Empathy
Hard Working
Caring
Dependable

Are we not called to be those things in our own lives, so why would we accept any less from our friends, family and employees or employers?

I am just in a place in my own life that it must change…

I am on a different path than many others but that doesn’t mean I am any better or worse than someone else, but it does mean that I have a right to expect better from those I choose to have in my life.

I will not tolerate:
Dishonesty
Neglect
Two-faced
Backbiting
Drama filled
Evil Words Spoken
Negative
Rejection
Abuse
ANYMORE

LET GO

scrabble free

” YOUR FINGERS MIGHT BE CRAMPED FROM DRAGGING YOUR PAST WITH YOU, BUT LOOSEN YOUR GRIP AND GIVE YOUR BAGGAGE, ONCE AND FOR ALL, TO THE ONE WHO KNOWS YOU AND CHERISHES YOU. ” source unknown

Over this last 10 months, my life has been a journey of many new beginnings as well as endings in some areas.

I am not one who likes change… (Control Freak)

Yet, God has allowed me to walk into new in so many areas of my life, that a year ago I would not even have ventured out of my comfort zone to set out to accomplish.

I have always enjoyed writing and wrote a printed newsletter for about 4 years that I mailed out to friends, family and other ministries, yet about 2 years ago, I stepped out and began blogging about my journey with fear, anxiety and agoraphobia.(older blog is at joyfuljourneynewsletter.blogspot.com)

I then slowly ventured out and took small, baby steps as well, in telling my story of growing up in a abusive, fear based, controlled, neglected home as a child. None of this process has been easy at all because when I hit PUBLISH, it is all laid out bare for others to see and read for themsleves. I am not in their mind to see how they perceive my words or what they think of me after they read my words, yet I have decided I must give up worrying about what others think of me and tell MY STORY and allow others to tell their stories.
( I will have a guest blogger in a few weeks that will share her story)

We all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and I know that as a child of very intimidating, controlling, angry parents, I have a tendency to struggle with people pleasing. Thankfully, much of that problem has been alievated by God’s help and His strength, but at times, I still wish EVERYONE liked me and EVERYONE wanted to be my friend. But that just isn’t reality. I may not be everyone’s cup of tea and I am okay with that now. Before it would have drove me absolutely crazy trying to figure out how to be like so and so or write like so and so..

All I can be is ME: ANGIE WEBB, a child of God first and foremost. A wife, a mom, a grandmother.

I can’t base my worth on what others think or feel about me. My worth does not depend on anyone but Jesus Christ and He says I am valuable, beautiful and worthy because He died on the cross so that I may have an abundant life, full of God’s blessings.

Over this last 10 months I have stepped out of my comfort zone by doing the following:

1. Went on our first family vacation in about 8 or more years due to my anxiety. We traveled about 12 hours away and had an awesome time seeing family; most important was my 96 year old grandmother, Johnnie.

2. I began a new job after leaving my job of 7 years. I first began subsitute teaching, which I didn’t think I would like because of going to a new building to teach, which often would cause me some anxiety. But I have really enjoyed this time of learning and growing.

3. I began and cordinated an online group for others that struggle with anxiety, agoraphobia or fear. We meet online through a FB group. If you are interested in joining, let me know.

4. I have begun driving more and more alone, even in areas that I am uncomfortable driving.

5. I have recently received a new job working in a clothing store and have had another job interview that would require me to work for Hallmark as a merchandiser two times a month. This would not interefere with my permanent job, but would be a great opportunity for this greeting card addict.

6. I have recently began teaching myself to acrylic paint. My grandmother that was murdered in 1996 was an awesome oil painter, but I never learned any techniques etc from her, so most of what I have done has been self taught. I am not that great yet, but I keep plugging along and trying to improve.

7. I have had the opportunity to meet some great authors/artists/bloggers through my writing and through Facebook. Many of these relationships have turned into some great friendships outside of Facebook. ( some here)

Check out:
http://www.onlyabreath.com
http://www.danaarcuri.com
http://www.make1break1.blogspot.com
These are a few of my friends blogs/websites.

8. I am currently working on my memoir, “When Your Home Becomes Your Prison: Out of Fear, Anxiety and Agoraphobia.”

I am not mentioning any of the above to pat myself on the back or to draw attention to myself in any form or fashion. The reason I mention those items is to allow you to see that God can bring new into our lives if we LET THE PAST GO..

Easy to say; I know.. I have been there. I have been in a place where I physically and mentally did not think I could go one more day of carrying the pain and hurt of my past anymore.. Yet, once again I would get up in the morning and reach down to pick all of the junk up again. At night, I would try to lay it down so I could sleep, yet most often, I would lay awake trying to figure out why I was such a failure and why everyone else seemed to have their lives all together, when mine was such a mess. One day, about 10 months ago, I decided to let it GO…


I can’t change anything that has happened from the day in 1965 when I was born to today, but I can choose to make the second half of my life better than the first half
. I am almost 50 years old and I certainly do not want to give the enemy anymore of my life.. I have so much more to accomplish and so much more love to enjoy…

Today I want to offer you a short statement to think about:

What do you gain in continuing to carry around the baggage of your past?

I believed I was doing the noble thing by carrying all of that junk around. Yet, the noble act came when I laid it down at the foot of the cross. It takes a bigger person to realize that the past is just that: The past.. Nothing can change what has happened, but the future is a blank canvas waiting for God to splash His plan and purpose upon.

Friend, today I hope you can find the courage to let it go. That doesn’t mean we don’t learn any lessons from the past or offer others wisdom we have gained from the journey we have been walking, but it does mean to realize that now is the day to be FREE.

Father, today I want to offer those reading this post the hope that the past can be left behind us. We only have to reach out to you and connect our hearts with you. You, Lord will carry the pain and junk from the past. We no longer have to carry that baggage with us. You have a bright future for us that only can be accomplished when we LET GO… Today, we are asking you to give us the strength and courage to move forward with YOU and to allow YOU to paint on the canvas of our lives in the way you so desire. We are open to new beginnings and new endings as well. Today is the day for a bright, new future.

Life Is a Theatre

Life is a theatre

Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in our lives. There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a DISTANCE. it is amazing what you can accomplish when you let go of, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going-anywhere relationships/friendships.

Observe the relationships around you. Pay attention. Which ones lift and which ones lean? Which ones encourage and which ones discourage? Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill? When you leave certain people do you feel better or feel worse? Which ones always have drama or don’t really understand, know or appreciate you?

The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you… the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row and who should be moved to the balcony of YOUR LIFE.

” If you cannot change the people around you, Change the people you are around.” (not sure of source)

Remember that the people we hang with have an impact both our lives and our income. And so we must be careful to choose the people we hang out with, as well as the information with which we feed our minds. We should not share our dreams with negative people, nor feed our dreams with negative thoughts.

It is your choice and your life. It is up to you, who and what you let in..

LIFE IS A THEATRE.

INVITE YOUR AUDIENCE CAREFULLY

Friendships

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Where and when do friendshps begin? For me, many of mine have begun in times of need such as after the death of my grandmother to murder and grandfather to suicide.. Yet, often friendships begin in the smallest fashion. Often it is seeing their face and knowing that there possibly could be a connection between the two of you. Other times, it could be having something in common such as a child the same age, employment in the same place or a church home.. But often there is no clear reason why a friendship works or why you treasure someone so much or why they have touched my heart so deeply, yet in this life I have had the privilige of having a few, treasured friends that have been placed in my life for “such a time as this”.

Friendships don’t always stand the test of time. Sometimes there is just an issue, a disagreement, life happens or things change which can cause the friendship to not stand the test of time.

I truly believe that God sends people in to our lives for different reasons and different times to meet specific needs. Some friendships will last a lifetime, others may only be for a season. Usually if the friendship doesn’t last, don’t be chasing after the person. Let them go because the time and place for that person to be in your life is over. God has a better plan. I also know that there are those friendships that often are only for a period in our lives where we need someone to walk along side us for a short time, but then their place in our lives is over. God knows the right people to send into our lives, yet we sit and fret and wring our hands trying to make all of the relationships in our lives work the “way” we want them to.. Wait.. Be patient. He has a better plan for us than we could ever imagine. I know the plan and purpose He has for me is for a good future, full of peace and purpose. If the friendships we hold onto do not build us up, make us look at life in a more positive way, offer us hope and healing, then we do not need to hold onto that friendship.

Let it go.. I know that is easier said than done because I have definetly been in the position where I so desperately wanted a current friendship to not end. But end it did. Now, I can look back and I am so, so thankful that I let that go because I would not be in the place in my life that I am today. This person was not healthy for me or them either. Drama was never ending. Contention was ever present and anxiety was always lingering whenever we were together in any setting.

Friendships should honor, love, cherish, build up, protect, help, heal, cheer for, offer peac.. This one did none of that for me.

Today, I want to offer a few shout out to some really dear friends of mine.. Linda H. Cheryl F. Lenna R. Lisa B. Linda H (2nd), Melinda F, Johnnie H. Sheryl P, Teresa B. and many others… Great bunch of ladies who are always there for me when I need them.. I hope they would say the same about me. Thankful for my friendships..