Grief

Keep Walking

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Photo Credit:

P. J. Di Benedetto

When we learned to walk as a baby, it was tough at times. We often fell down, cried or even through a fit, but over time we still learned to walk.

Our parents would offer us help and encouragement, but even that couldn’t teach us how to walk. Walking just basically required us “doing” the work to learn the process. One step at a time. Then one day we were walking more than a few step at a time and before long we were running with other children. Walking isn’t something we knew when we were born, but through trial and error, we eventually learned the steps to becoming more independent.

Now, when we think about the Christian walk. It is basically the same process. We don’t have any clue how to face the struggles life hands us, but over time we learn to use our faith even in the deepest pits of life. No life is a bowl of cherries. We all face hardships, difficulties and pain in this life;whether of our own doing or someone else’s. Life can hand us pain unimaginable at times. I know in my own life, I can certainly attest to that.

As a child I never knew how much pain I was carrying around because it seemed normal. Yet, over time the shoving the pain down began to manifest itself in the way of anxiety, fear, and eventually agoraphobia. This certainly was not the life I dreamed of as a child. Life became unbearable, yet I saw no way out. The roller coaster only intensified after the murder/suicide of my grandparents.

I am giving you that example because I can certainly relate to trials, pain and tragedies, yet over time I had to learn that my life wasn’t going to change unless I changed.

Changed my thoughts

Changed how I let the past control me

Changed relationships and the power they held

Began to trust and believe in myself

I can never change the pain of the past, the loss of loved ones to horrible tragedies, but I have learned that I must

Keep Walking

Even when it is hard

Even when the path is unclear

Even when the naysayers are loud

Even when the end seems so far away

Nothing in life is easy and usually the sweetest accomplishments are the hardest fought.

Praying for you today to feel God’s love and His peace. He has a wonderful plan for you. Love to each of you.

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Tragedy; Oh My!!!

Today’s world is so chaotic as we have seen in the recent news.

This leads to question WHY???

There are no answers for questions such as this, other than to say that evil exists even when we wish it didn’t.

After the Boston bombing during the Boston Marathon, as well as the recent explosion in West, Texas, we often wonder why lives much be lost in such horrible tragedies?

There is no evidence at this point that West, Texas was anything other than a freak accident, yet we do know that the Boston explosion as well as Sandy Hook shooting were planned and perpetrated by very sick, evil minds full of hate and violence.

What has our world come to?

I know from experience when tragedy happens, it changes our make-up and who we are whether we want it to or not. Life will never be the same but that doesn’t mean we can give up…

After the suicide of my brother-in-law and then the suicide of an uncle exactly a year later, the reality of my life changed on many different levels because I had to explain to my children why such horrible things happen. The worst moment in my own life was when I lost my grandparents to a suicide/murder in 1996.

This is when the WHY’S, the begging God to change the reality I was facing and the often points of unforgiveness and anger began. I was devestated and so lost with not understanding.

The families facing these tragedies will feel so many different emotions on many different levels as well as points of total shutting down. This is normal, yet we must continue to pray for those who have lost loved ones or they themselves have been injured. It is a devestating world we live in today, yet I am forever grateful that I know GOD is still in control even when it seems as though evil is winning.

The ones that continue to perpetrate evil on the world need to read the end of the BIBLE..

Proverbs16

AS believers: WE WIN… The Bible says we will receive all of the best if we believe in God and Jesus Christ.

Just an Unworthy Woman with a Powerful God

NEENIE

THIS IS MY GRANDMA, NEENIE AND SOME OF HER OIL PAINTINGS.

If you are like me, I often just sit back and wonder why my God is so good to me.. I don’t feel worthy and I am certainly not doing anything of great value in this life, yet for some unknown reason, He continues to bless me over and over..

I stay in awe of the power of God in my life especially when I look back at the way my life began and the tragedies I have faced through losses due to several family members suicides as well as the murder of my grandmother; I often wonder how I have the life I live now..

Each day the loss of my family members and especially my grandmother, Neenie is always there. She and I had a special relationship. She was a unique individual and a grandmother that few had the privilige of knowing, but through Gods grace and mercy He knew that I needed this wonderful woman in my life to help me through the abuse and anxiety as well as the rejection I faced as a child. Without my grandmother I would not know the Lord. Without my grandmother I certainly would not be a walking testament of the power of the Lord in my life because I believe I would have made another choice to go down another path in life to escape the painful home life I encountered day after day. I was told once by a counselor/therapist that I was lucky that I had not ended up as a prostitute, drug addict or alcoholic due to the extreme circumstances I faced as a child and young adult.

I KNOW THAT I AM NOT IN THAT PLACE BECAUSE I HAD A PRAYING GRANDMOTHER AND A POWERFUL GOD that saw something in me that I certainly never felt at home from my parents or siblings. For that, I am forever thankful.

I miss my grandmother because I know she would love getting to see the way my life is unfolding and how I have grown in my walk with the Lord. I know she would be thrilled to have the opportunity to know my sons as adult men with their own lives and children, yet that was not in the cards for our family. It breaks my heart to know that my children did not get the opportunity to know this Godly woman who made such a difference in my own life, yet I hope by the way I live my life and the memories I share with my two sons, they have a small glimpse in to the power of one person in someones life as well as the power of ALMIGHTY GOD.

I truly believe that God has used my past to help others struggling with fear, anxiety, agoraphobia as well as horrific tragedies, but that will never take away the pain of loss. Yet, thankfully over time the pain diminishes and the memories grow sweeter instead of only being painful, but the loss will always be a part of my story. Tragedy changes a person and it certainly has the capability to make the person more thankful for those we love and the time we share, but often it makes the person only bitter, angry and resentful.

I was bitter at one point after such deep losses in a period of 6 years, but through much time, prayer, counseling and love, the pain, bitterness and anger is gone. I know that without trials, loss and often pain, God cannot work in our lives. According to Romans 8:28, God can use everything for His glory if we allow Him to take the reins. Giving up control has been the most difficult for me personally because I am very much a TYPE A personality but each day when I look at my life and the love that I have with my husband and children, I am thankful even for the pain I have felt and the loss I have suffered. Each day I feel…. WOW, this is my life.

I am married to the love of my life for 30 years; since he was 16 and I was 18 years old. I get to write about my life and lessons I am learning. I have the opportunity to connect with other great authors, bloggers and FB friends. Both hubby and I are healthy and happy. Our children are making their own paths and finding their own way. Life is good and for that I am forever thankful.

I am just an UNWORHTY WOMAN WITH A POWERFUL GOD…

This peace and purpose is available to all who call on the name of the Lord and ask Him to come live inside their hearts while confessing all of their sins. God offers forgiveness freely and holds no grudges. He remembers our sins no more after we confess them to Him. Today, God wants to connect with you and have a relationship that only You and He can have. It is easy. Just speak from your heart.. God Bless.

With God on our side; WE AlWAYS WIN… I WIN AND YOU WIN..

Shhh… It Is A Secret !!!

secret word

Secrets are damaging.

I know this from experience.

Growing up in an abusive, neglectful, angry home with very domineering parents, secrets were a normal part of my life.

I still struggle at the age of 47 years old of really knowing the truth about many things that happened in my life.

When you live in fear everyday of your childhood and young adult life, normal is a relative term. Normal is what you live everyday. Keeping secrets about what happens in your home is what you are taught and what you “better do” if you know what is good for you.. This was my life.

Outside of the home, everyone thought my parents were the greatest. Perfect parents. Perfect home. Perfect children.. Oh, yeah.. Not so perfect Angie somehow made it into this “perfect” family.. How did that happen? I asked myself that question almost everyday for 46 years.. Was I really as bad as they said? What was wrong with me to get treated so horribly? Did God make a mistake when He created me? Why did my siblings get treated so differently and why did they not see our home life the way I did and do??

For 46 years I have carried the secrets of my childhood close to my heart. Only a select few have known the heartache of the past. Only a select few have I trusted enough to open my heart up and lay it out for others to see. Yet, at times, those same few I have put my faith and hope in to trust with such intimate details, have later used that information against me. Trust is not easy for a child, teenager, young adult or adult that has suffered abuse, neglect, as well as total rejection for just being themselves. Trust for me is a long road. I don’t lay my heart on the line very often and not easily, so when trust is broken, it is broken for good..

Growing up with secrets of my home life has followed me around for 46 years just waiting for me to open the door and let God take that pain and heal it.

Well, over the last 2 years I have worked very hard to heal from the pain of rejection, abuse, neglect, control, hate and just about anything else you could come up with… My parents and siblings have called me every kind of name in the book all of my life. I have lived under a dark cloud of believing that I was NOTHING;… NADA.. POO… Yet, God opened my eyes just recently to the power of darkness in my families minds, hearts and definetely their souls.

After I met with my only living parent a few weeks ago, I could feel the evilness when she walked into the counselors office. From the first words that came out of her mouth, the counselor could sense it as well. Sad for her but also offered me the final connection to my family to be severed totally. Nothing nice came out of her mouth about me and basically she said what she has said about me for 46 years in an hour long session.

I have lived my life beating myself up, wondering what was wrong with me. Yet, God revealed that nothing was or is wrong with me.. I am just as He created. I know that I have lost myself in this journey many times but thankfully, my eyes have opened and reality has set in. Only God can restore, repair and rejuvinate my relationships with my biological family.

I cannot change their opinion of me or stop their evil ways or words. Yet, God can and will hold them accountable for every evil word spoken and every evil deed done. I may or may not see in my lifetime any of this happen, but whether I do or not, I am FREE from the past and all of the power it has had in my life.

I am still walking a journey on many other levels through the anxiety, agoraphobia and fear, as well as losses of family to suicide and murder but I know that God is walking with me on the rest of the journey. It has not always been a Joyful Journey but I know the end will definetly be better than the beginning.

God calls out the hidden into the light according to 1 Corinthians 4:5. I am waiting for the hidden to be revealed. God knows what is best and He knows what is best for me.. I am staying hidden under the shadow of His wings. He covers me with His protection if I will be faithful and stay where I am called to stay.

I pray for you today that whatever secrets have kept you bound, that they will fall away with God and His power. Stay under the shadow of God’s protection and He will guide you to the place you are called to be. Let the rejection,fear, anger, hate or discouragment fall away. Look to God for your acceptace. THe world may not accept you, but God loves you and sent His son to die on the cross for you.. YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN THE SPARROWS. HE LOVES YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN EVER THINK OR IMAGINE.

IN THIS LIFE….I WIN AND SO DO YOU IF YOU BELIEVE ON THE SAVING POWER OF JESUS CHRIST. STAY STRONG…

Can God Heal a Broken Heart? Yes, He can !!!

Can God Heal a Broken Heart? Why, Yes He Can!!!!

In the face of tragedy, such as the Sandy Hook School shooting, we often wonder where was God and why did He not stop the murders of innocent people. Yet, God was there. He saw it all and it broke HIS heart as well.

As humans, we will never understand God or His ways, but the Bible has told us this already. (Isaiah 55:8)

 We beg and plead for God to give us an answer as to why we suffer, why there is death and why and why over and over.. Yet, He is the only one that will truly ever understand the purpose behind all of the brokenhearted souls and the weeping for the tragic we see in this world day after day.

In my own life I have had more tragedies than I care to admit.

3 suicides of family members as well as the murder of my grandmother by my grandfather who then took his own life. ..

 I don’t personally know anyone else that has had such dramatic, horrible tragedies happen one right after the other. All of this took place in a 6 year period.

You can count on the fact that I begged, pleaded, cried, screamed, demanded as well as just got plain, old angry over all of the loss my family continued to have with no clear answers and never understanding any better whether it was one day later or 16 years later as it is now. Time goes on and life continues to move forward even when we basically want to sit on the sidelines and grieve.  God grieves right along with us yet He does not grow tired of our questions. He definitely understands our feelings and sits there holding our hand and our heart as we grieve and ask our continual questions. Be assured; He understands. His Word tells us that He will offer strength to the feeble hands and steady the knees that are about to give way to anguish, loss and pain. (Isaiah 35:3) He knows the depth of our pain and offers us HIS help in many tangible ways but often in ways we don’t even see until days, months or even years later.

The loss of a loved one runs deep and carves out a place in our heart that will always be empty on some levels, but in God’s time, we will find a new life without this wonderful person in our lives. We will always miss them and always wish they were here on earth with us, but sitting in our grief for a time is understandable, but I do not think it is healthy to stay there.

I have never lost a child to murder so I cannot say how I would feel in that situation, but I do know that God gave His ONLY son to die on the cross for my sins so that I could have eternal life in heaven with my Heavenly Father. So God has felt the loss of a child and HE is there walking along side these parents that continue to have such deep, open wounds of loss. He understands. He has felt the pain of losing a child.  According to Genesis 6:5-6, God grieved so this allows us to see in the Word that God has the capability to grieve, which in such situations as Sandy Hook School, suicides, murders, and other horrific tragedies, we know that God is feeling the same sadness as His children are experiencing. Isaiah 25:8 says “The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces. “

I know that as a parent, we wish we could protect our children from any and all harm in this often, evil world, but evil is just a fact of life. God has a plan and a purpose for all that happens, even when we don’t understand.

I look back on the time from 1990 to 1996 and the way that 6 years changed me and my family on many different levels, but more importantly, it changed my children. My oldest son struggled with fear of death for many, many years. He was so afraid of losing anyone else he loved; he basically shut off all feelings at all. He became a very hard, angry person who continues to struggle today at the age of 28 years old. We, as his parents, did all we knew to do. I know in my own life, my fear and anxiety which I had struggled with my whole life, eventually led to agoraphobia. For 16 years, I have lived my life in a bubble of just trying to survive and make it day to day with a huge monster of fear, anxiety, and agoraphobia constantly sitting on my shoulder giving me the evil eye.

I had a good life with my husband and children, yet something was always missing.

My heart has now healed from the brokenness it has felt for 16 years. God has done a tremendous work in my heart, mind and soul because I can now talk about the fear, anxiety and agoraphobia and know that I was given that thorn to carry for a purpose. He used that time of anger, fear, depression and agoraphobia to refine me into the woman I am now becoming. I had lived a life that was defined by others, whether it was my family saying negative words to me about my fear or whether it was being described as the “granddaughter of so and so that was murdered.” Those words took a toll on my heart and I began to believe that was the only value I had in life; being defined by a negative. But, you see, God had a different plan for me and that plan includes good, peace, victory, hope, love, acceptance, joy… all good. You may be in the depths of a tragedy such as Sandy Hook or maybe something not quite so tragic, but regardless of the magnitude, God is still walking along side you. He never leaves you nor forsakes you according to Hebrews

Yet, I am here to tell you today, the negatives can be used for God’s positive. He will take the nails that someone else wants to nail into our coffin to say we are done in this life and use those same nails to build something new. (Isaiah 43:19) He has shown me that even though I will never understand the many, overwhelming WHY’s? of my life, He will continue to move me forward in helping me tell my story so others that have faced huge loss such as the Sandy Hook School, will know to never give up, never doubt God’s faithfulness and His sovereignty because He is always the right choice, even when we wish the outcome was different.

Father God, today I ask that you touch those that are hurting today, whether from the Sandy Hook School shooting or some other reality in their lives. I don’t know where the reader is at today, but you, in your all-knowing can meet them in the place of their need right now. I ask you to speak peace into their lives. I ask you to bring freedom from past pain. I ask that you guide them into a new place of healing. Break the chains of bondage from fear, anxiety, depression, suicide, generational curses and guide the reader into the healing waters of your love. Help us to feel your presence today and every day. I know the enemy uses the generational curses of our families to keep us bound to the enemy, but in your Word, we know that the freedom you have for us is ours if we ask. Lord, today I am asking you to meet us at our point of need. Whether it is to dry our tears, hold our hand, open a new door for us to walk through or close a door we need to leave shut, You know best. (Isaiah 48:17). God, we are thankful you are an ever present help for us in our times of trouble. Our world is facing times of trouble and I pray, Lord for the people to wake up… Lord, forgive us where we have failed you and fallen short. We know you want the best for us and I pray you will guide us onto the path we need to go..