Bad day?.....Bad week! Heck, I've even been prone to share that I've had a bad year! Poor me....Right?.....WRONG! Although I have had a bad year, week and even today was not the best I ever had....there's no poor me about it. Truth is that I have journeyed through a very rocky time, but I have learned so much about myself, my husband, my family, forgiveness and God's grace....I consider myself sort of lucky to be on such a journey.
Bad day/Bad week....I have been lying in bed for 5 days now....so sick! It is the very middle of summer, I've been cooped up, my kids have been cooped up, we are all stir crazy and need a break....we are in need of a carnival.....so that's the plan for my husbands birthday! With antibiotics currently on board, I think its a go! Dang sinus infections are always lurking around with me and just when I think I am over the cold or allergy flair up....Bam....NOPE...You know that commercial for Mucinex? The one where those green snot blobs are having a party? That's me. Except a little Musinex doesn't do the trick. No, I have to make a trip to urgent care, and then the pharmacy which is always a blast....On the upside...I should be be back in business shortly!
Bad year....So in the past year, certain events have taken place that has created a rather large wedge between my immediate family and my husbands extended family. We have had to endure and overcome a lot...from accusations to horribly hurtful letters, which by the way were mailed to my husband on his birthday a year ago...not cool! We have had to see shauty looks and we have had to hear horrible lies regarding us spread like wildfire through our very small town and beyond. We have lost friends and family. In fact we have lost my husbands entire family.
Without going into too much detail I will tell you that our life with them in it contained a lot of manipulation and emotional abuse towards us and our kids. There was a huge lack of approval and also respect for our marriage, our parenting and our ability to make our own decisions. Now....I'm the type of girl that doesn't really take a lot of crap, but out of respect for my husband I tried and tried to make our relationship with them work. Eventually and through the events that have occurred this past year, we have had to set up boundaries for our family with full disclosure that if they cannot co-exist within our boundaries, for the protection of our kids and our marriage, then we simply cannot co-exist...bringing us up to date over a year later with no contact with virtually all of the extended family....brothers, mom and dad, grandparents etc. So yeah...It's been a hard year and still even a year later, their manipulation tactics and immaturity never ceases to amaze me!
The good news in all of this is that I have learned so much. The biggest obstacle I have had to hurdle is Mt. Forgiveness....Its hard to really know what forgiveness means in a situation like mine. Its hard to have people call you UN-Christian-like....Its hard to forgive period. I think there are defiantly steps to be taken for sure.....you see, I have experienced tremendous anger, even hate, depression, hopelessness, grief and finally forgiveness. I have been able to forgive whole heartily and I have been able to move forward with my family without their approval. I think its been amazing for me and those close to me to watch my progression through each of these steps, but I couldn't have done it without God's grace and mercy and forgiveness for me....I'm the first to say that I am not without flaw or blemish or tremendous sin.
In my situation, forgiveness towards them simply means that they don't owe me anything. It means that I can move on and let go of my hurt and the pain and move forward. Does this mean that we have a relationship? No. But, a choice had to be made....to be unhappy with their approval, or to be happy without their approval. We choose to be happy without their approval. In the end...its God's approval that counts.
When I see them now....I no longer feel hot and sweaty and all flushed, shaking uncontrollably with anger....I feel grief...I feel so sad that their choices have brought them a year without contact with us or our kids....I feel extreme sadness to know that they have missed so much. Through prayer and counseling, we are sure and stand confidently that we are doing the right thing...and its not about being "right" in our case...its for the protection of our children and our marriage.
Here is a verse that has recently been thrown at us from our extended family...
Eph 6:1-3....."Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise) that it will go well with you and you will live long in the land."
Verse 4 says....."Fathers do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
I think that sometimes this passage...1-3 is sometimes used as an excuse to be emotionally abusive....That's wrong, and I think if you are going to quote scripture, you should quote its entirety.
Please do not misunderstand me. I have not been the perfect angel daughter.n.law. And my purpose is not for others to find favor in me. My reasons for writing about this is simply to tell my story truthfully, without the intent to hurt someone else (though I am aware that this may offend some) and to share how God has been my anchor in rough waters and to share with you how God continues to show me that He ALONE is in control....I get to watch patiently and expectantly for His plan to be revealed one piece at a time.
One last thing is that even through my immense despair....God continued to bless me daily through the support of my amazing husband, my family and friends. My eyes were opened when I felt completely hopeless to the fact that "everybody" hates me...God was able show me that this is a lie, that I am loved and cared for....That even THIS is not bigger than He....He is in complete control.
So while I continue to pray for my estranged family, would you please continue to pray for me? I know God has a purpose, I know there's a reason, I know I am here today....On Purpose!
Til next time.....