Recently in Bible Studies, I’ve heard teachers talking about how everything repeats itself. Generations are circling back around to “doing it as my mom and I always have”. We learn effective or ineffective communication skills from your family, no two ways about it. Were there boundaries? Was there genuine affection? Was each sex in the household held to a high standard for the similarities AND the differences to be admired? Did we pray and ask God for anything as a family? All these communications from our moms and dads shape what we see others as and life as. I have to tell you, although I knew what I wanted to say to someone when I was hurt, I never had the ability to do it with genuine love for that other person.
In 2014 I started a women’s ministry to share Stasi Eldredge’s Captivating (I am excited to say I am getting to go back for my fifth time this coming week, YAY!!), it was a desire hubby placed in my heart a few years before then, but due to illness, it wasn’t possible. Also, we didn’t have videos like the men did for Wild at Heart, I would have to teach it, AND I had never even finished the book! I had gone to the retreat in Colorado and marinated in the message for a year, but I was very immature in Christ. I had that ministry stolen from me, that is precisely what the enemy is doing. I’m praying we WILL have an Oklahoma Captivating! We DO have videos of Stasi now, and I can offer it with her beautiful teaching. Hubby did that for years with John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart Boot Camp so I have his help and some day, I will get it here for you!
That being said, I started the ministry, but because we have an enemy it was taken from me. One night we had a social wine and palette evening, I drank too much and it wasn’t lady like and it wasn’t pretty and I was embarassed when I awoke the next morning. I got in a hot tub and blacked out and I couldn’t remember everything that happened but I knew enough that I spent the morning crying and admitted to hubby what I had done. I don’t know why I did it, it doesn’t really matter, I did it and I regretted it immediately. I was called in the following Sunday by a man from hubbys ministry and he said we would meet with he and his wife. I was ready, I was willing to receive whatever they had decided humbly and apologize for my actions. When we got there we realized it was eight people not two. I was asked to step down and rehabilitate. They were not careful with my heart. It was one of the worst “people” experiences of my life. It was also one of the best things that could have ever happened. “. After that error in judgement I was held at arms length by everyone. Hubby tried to get the ministry to at least let me be in community but it didn’t happen. My heart was broken for quite some time. No one would even talk to me. A year later I got sick, really sick. Imagine that. Seven surgeries later, um praising the Lord I didn’t get stuck there.
That one poor choice, it cost me, my husband, my children, and our church eventually. Hubby and I fought for a year or more because of the cost he had to pay in friendships and ministry. He doesn’t blame it on me, I messed up. His heart aches for those that couldn’t see the pain they caused. I’m grateful to say we are on the other side and God has worked all of it for our good, I think hubby thought he was only capable of something that small when I know that was just training and a stepping stone for the great things He has planned for him. (He just said last night that he may pick up our old blog and begin writing, and OOHHH I pray he does!) The cost, though painful, ended up being very little. Hubby and I grew closer and his real friends are still here, and God has taken us to a church I am grateful to call home.
So, that is backdrop to catch you up on what has happened from the What If? blog, so here’s a new snapshot of hope for getting off the circling way of results you get when you keep doing things the same way. In friendship, when one person is hurt, from what I’ve gathered it is better to not say anything because the friendship will end. When I tried sharing my heart with two of the ladies that came to me after all the breakdown of that meeting, they didn’t want to hear anything I had to say. They wanted full remorse for everything, and for me to be okay that they were cutting me completely out. So, talking out feelings has proven to cause greater amounts of pain, however I feel compelled to do so. (As you read in my last post) Gratefully, I see God has gotten me in fertile soil with friendships, thank you Jesus! The sister I was referring to, she contacted me after miraculously reading the blog and she asked me if it was her. I seriously have no idea how she got to it, I don’t think she does either because she didn’t even know I had a blog but had just seen Cement Walls and liked it so she read on. She really had no idea I was hurt, we communicated over text and sometimes things get missed or miscalculated and the enemy runs away with it.
We talked, she listened and made me feel safe and that was a blessing. She was what I have been seeking in friendship most of my life, only I didn’t know how to do it like I did until now. After all that happened with the ministry, I asked God a desperate question and it was this, “God, I don’t want to have to take this test anymore, can you please teach me how to pass it?”. I HATE losing friends, at that time I just didn’t know they needed to be lost, those women hurt each other and I DO NOT want to be a part of that, so though I hate it, it is sometimes necessary. When she and I went to talk, hubby was praying for us, along with a pastor friend and another girlfriend. I have never felt such peace going into a conversation where there was hurt on one or both sides that had to be talked about, I knew I loved her genuinely and wanted and prayed for a blessed outcome. Guess what? That was exactly what we got, a blessed outcome. She asked me a question I want to share because it is one I will ask in my future and it is this, “How can I help heal your heart in this?”. Wow, how special that she saw my heart and the wound and she is desiring to help heal that. My answer was I didn’t know but talking with me, hearing me, and loving me in it was a good start! I forgive easily and rarely look back to painful times in a friendship, it’s not in my nature. I want to talk about it, come to some understanding, forgive for our parts, and move forward in love. That is what love looks like to me and gratefully in the fertile soil God has planted me in, there is hope for mature, adult relationships that aren’t totally self focused. We are all in training here, and most disagreements are simply not knowing another well enough for important conversations via text message. This painful place I went this week has blessed me with a closer relationship with God, hubby, my friend, my church, and my soul. Thank you to my friend if you read this, God has a mighty plan for our friendship!
We are circling the earth, but we are not on the same course of life as our parents if we choose differently. Our choices bring most of our outcomes. That being said, I serve a God that has many times told me that I don’t have to succumb to the same choices and circle the same hamster wheel as I always have, or my family always has. I get to make new choices that change the outcome of the life I live here, now. I will not have diseases because my mom or grandmother did! By the saving grace of Jesus Christ, I will stand against the diseases that have haunted our family for generations and I will surrender to the original design God created me to be. God bless you all in the journey for that design!