Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A Journey Begins by Susan L.

  Ten years ago I began a quest. It began with losing everything I had which, at the time, defined me. My role of wife vanished overnight because of the sudden and shocking dissolution of a twenty year relationship. (The best thing that could have ever happened!) My role as mother changed drastically because my last chick left home for school. I guess it could be called a mid-life crisis that was a bit early.
  My journey with the Lord began with a simple prayer, "Who am I?"
  The Lord has proven faithful in providing answers. He has been with me as we plumbed the dark lands of a sad history of abuse. The best part is as I have grown to know myself, I have come to know Him in a most intimate manner.
  I have made a momentous decision. There's no second guessing, no doubt, no fear. This is not the norm when I make up my mind about anything as I've shared before. I feel in my heart and soul that this is the next step.
  I have done a lot of prayer work surrounding the circumstances of my birth. I was adopted as a ten day old infant by caring and wonderful people. (Thank you, Mom, for your sacrifice, your grace and understanding as I seek answers.)
  I have never known any other parents.
  I am blessed to have a wonderful and loving step-dad. He came into my Mom's life after she was left a widow some twenty-five years ago. But still, there are questions. In fact, there's a giant question mark that sits in the back of my mind. Part of the "Who am I?" is "Where did I come from?"
  God bless the miracles of modern science. It is now possible to have DNA tests done that will reveal the heritage that runs in our veins. That is part of the decision. I am going to send away for the kit and have the test done that will trace my genetic line far back into history.
  The second part is getting in touch with Children's Aid, who initially handled the adoption, and getting hold of my file. There are still some choices to be made. I haven't decided whether or not I want to know my birth parent's name. I have no intention of getting hold of her anyways. It might be good to know. Or not. I'm not sure either if I want her to get hold of me. This is possible once I connect with Children's Aid unless I state otherwise.
  I am hoping there will be some medical history because that's always been an unknown. There a DNA test to find genetic markers for various illnesses. It may be something to think about down the road.
  "So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until Christ are fourteen generations." Mat 1:17

Sunday, 28 September 2014

A Gazillion Things by Susan L.

  The brain is doing the greyhound thing: chasing rabbits all over the place this morning. Ideas, daydreams, images, and vague impressions scamper blithely through my conscious but I have yet to find something worthwhile to write about.
  Renovations are at the top of the list. My living room is painted a burnt pumpkin colour (my choice). I wasn't particularly happy when it was originally done a few years ago. It was way too orange. Now I can't stand it so repainting the room is a top priority. I could even finish it off. The room has no baseboards or trim around the doors and the big picture window. It never had any when I bought the place in '06. It's a job that kept getting put off but since the furniture will be pulled away from the walls, it's a great opportunity to get 'er done.
  Now I have my own table saw it'll be easy to re-do the woodwork around the window.
  I could also replace the trim around my bedroom door. I lost my temper with it when I put in the laminate floors and made a mess of it with hammer dents and a bent nail that isn't very pretty. That doesn't happen very often, losing my temper with renovations. I'd like to get rid of the evidence.
  I want to paint the living room in the same colour we used at the centre, the gray bluey green. I should probably cover the orange with a gray primer first. I hope the blue goes with the sunshine yellow in my kitchen and hall. That is not being re-done although it is looking a bit tired in places and could use some touching up.
  It would be nice, too, to replace the bedroom doors with French doors that have frosted glass. It'd let more natural light into the front room and hall. I should check out the re-store. Maybe I'd find them there. But I am getting ahead of myself.
  First step, take the stuff off the walls, take down the window blinds and do some hole patching.
  "Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. We have blessed you from the house of the Lord." Ps 118:25-26

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Dare to Dream by Susan L.

  I was chatting with someone who lives with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I made a slight mistake in telling them that we are able to recover from this illness. That's not really true. (Bear with me.) The impact of trauma, usually what causes PTSD, is far reaching. It affects us emotionally, physically and mentally. It's hard when circumstances trigger the fight/flight response. It affects our every waking moment and even when we sleep, birthing nightmare after nightmare. (I thank the Lord for medications which, for me, have mostly eliminated these symptoms.)
  What is true is it's possible to discover new ways to live in balance and harmony, where we can make our own choices about what is right for us. It's possible to uncover the truth of our identities in Christ despite the hammer blows to our innermost, precious self that caused things to be the way they are. We can reclaim innocence and the ability to trust. We don't have to go it alone.
  We are able to move forward in new and astounding ways. We can and will reach the point of believing in a future, to know we are worthy of good things. There will be a day we can hope and embrace our destiny in Christ.
  We have the ability within us to grow and appreciate who we are and actually love ourselves and others the way Jesus did. Even those who were part of the traumatic events that have crippled and stifled our lives can be regarded with love and compassion. This does not mean an acceptance of the status quo, we deserve better, much better.
  It's possible to choose to forgive and be forgiven. The Lord can change our hearts and set us free when we are willing to let Him do His work in us.
  We'll never forget the terrible events that have helped shape us but the stinger of memory will be removed. Jesus is pretty good at redemption. Surprisingly we can even become thankful for our experiences instead of being embittered and lost. We can let hate go and let the good things in to fill the void. Truth, honesty, faith, hope, love, life, laughter, desire, patience, acceptance, will sweep away the last vestiges of darkness. But most of all ,the profound knowledge of who God planned us to be at the dawn of time will enter into our soul and spirit.
  In a way the journey begins like reaching the peak of Mount Everest and sticking a flag in the snow. Only this time it's sticking a flag (or perhaps the Cross) in the mountain of emotional torment that is part of PTSD and claiming it.
  "Yes, these things have happened to me. It does not mean they have the right to steal my life. Lord, set me free in Jesus name, Amen!"
  As much as I have written this for another, it has done me good to hear it for myself. Much of this has yet to take place in my own life but, thankfully, the seeds have been planted. Nevertheless, I will dare to dream of the day I will be well and whole and no longer afraid.
  "When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Mat 19:25-26