Time: Its Okay for Our Children to See Our Brokenness

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Becoming a single mom is almost like becoming a parent again; there is no instruction manual. You had tidbit of information, a few shared opinions and well meaning advice; before you are thrust out into the world vulnerable and fragile. You already are raising babies, but now you have to do completely alone?!

 

As scary as it can be. I feel like many parts of life, God does not give instruction manuals because we are learning as we go. We are learning what is right for us and what is wrong. We get our hands dirty to patch up the holes and we work tenderly and heal the wounds that were left behind.

 

And as we learn to parent alone, we also learn much deeper lessons about life, our children and ourselves. One lesson I learned  on this journey is; it is ok for our kids to see our vulnerable moments sometimes. 

 

For awhile I tried everything I could to keep myself calm and collected during my separation and divorce. I followed the advice of the kids counselor and school. It was what everyone told me. “Even if you are breaking inside, don’t ever let your kids see. They don’t need that burden.”

 

Part of this advice is very true. You don’t need to dump the load of brokeness and scary concepts that come with divorce. But I also know, you can’t pretend to hide the truth. My kids knew their dad was not around and they knew mommy was working really hard to keep things held together. They didn’t hear it from me. They saw me live it out daily.

 

So many times I became overwhelmed by the chaos and broken and exhaustion, I found myself crying. I tried so hard to pretend I was ok, because I didn’t want my kids to worry. Diving into bathrooms; sending them outside, handing them my phone were all distractions to keep them from seeing the pain, I couldn’t hold anymore. However in one moment, I wasn’t fast enough to hide myself away. I sank to the kitchen floor crying. I had hoped the phone and tv would distract my kids, but my barely five year old son heard me. Coming into the kitchen I made some quick lie, I could say, but instead, he walked up to me with his strong little arms. Wrapping them around me, he said, “You are ok, Mommy. I love you.”

 

My daughter soon followed the sniffling noise of her mom and asked, “Are you ok, Mommy?” And with her arms she wrapped them around me and there I sat. Both of my kids hugging the life and energy back into me, I was able to stop crying, embrace them back and then get right back up to take on the world again.

 

That was enough. There was no need to lie or explain everything or share some big story. There is a time and moment for that. But right then, my children knew I was hurting and they needed to make sure mommy was ok. Everything was still difficult to handle and their was still too much on my plate to handle, yet through them God reminded me why I was fighting this battle. 

 

Its funny how God made small children have big hearts. Maybe this was one of the many reasons the Bible says we need to have faith like a child. Children have a lot more strength without having all the answers to life. It is ok in some moments to let our children see, we feel broken sometimes. They will see the strong example of the powerful you are as you get back up and handle the world. And they will be your reminder to keep taking one step at a time out in faith.

NaTacia Z.

See more blogs from her at her site https://blessedsinglemom.wordpress.com

The Thirsty Heart

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A heart, fragile yet so enduring, was designed for human connection. For relationships to build us and strengthen our character. Our downfall as human beings is that in the process of connecting, we find ourselves damaged. Left to pick up the pieces of another person’s freewill. We reflect on the damage of our lives, pinpointing what left us with the greatest hurt. We can easily see reminisce of the trauma that can be characterized in each of our lives. Whatever name it might be even it is still visible and charts the trajectory of our lives. Some overcome more quickly, while others fight the hurt for the course of their lives settling in with a bitter heart.

What if we think outside the trauma we have experienced? Beyond the physical, to uncover the deeper unknown. Our fragile hearts have also been affected by the things we haven’t received. The affirmation we so desperately longed for and never heard. The affection we prayed for that was withheld. The acceptance we wanted to feel and never received. In the book “Heart Made Whole” Christa Black Gifford discusses these two types of trauma as Trauma B which is “all the things that happened that never should have”, which often leaves us victimized. And Trauma A which is “the absence of all the things you should have received, but didn’t”.

Understanding this concept was life changing for me. For so long I felt there was something wrong with me as I needed affirmation from others.  I felt happy, confident and whole but still needed affirming words from the people closest to me. It’s when I realized that somewhere along the way my need for affirmation was neglected. Leaving me with a longing to be filled, a trauma I didn’t even realize I had experienced. It wasn’t an event I can recall. It was years of my greatest desire to be loved not being fulfilled by others. I felt as though my heart was being starved to death and was left thirsty. It’s then that I realized this need could never be met by other people. Only God, who created me and knows this deepest desire can fill my need. He is my affirmation. He is the one that covers all that I never received and makes me whole. He allows my heart to be fully understood and known.

What we experienced or didn’t experienced is the past now. We have the present to decide how our trauma dictates our future. As Gifford explains so beautifully, “The space inside of your heart is the only place where you will ever have full ownership and authority. You are the guardian of your heart, and as the final say over your inner realm, you’re the only one who can decide what happens next.” My prayer for you is that can lay your pain down and allow God to be your healer. For him to fill your greatest desires and allow you to be fully known. Only then can we move past our pain and step into our beautiful healing.

~Daisy 

When Love Isn't Enough

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I can still hear the words “Show grace and forgiveness” echoing in my mind as I asked God once again “Why me?” It was just two years ago when my world came crumbing in around me after the news of my husband’s infidelity throughout our marriage.  I remember the moment my knees hit the floor with tears streaming down my face, crying out to the one that was suppose to protect me. Yet here I am facing the same question again. Shaken with all the unknowns. Facing the question of love and forgiveness for the second time in our marriage. 

When the news first came to light, I felt a level of brokenness I had never experienced.  The feeling of suffocation was debilitating. I never wanted this and to hear from my husband this brokenness all started from his deep routed issues with pornography. I felt so betrayed, yet still had such an overwhelming sense of love for him. I couldn’t understand how I could still love someone after they caused me so much pain. I knew this love must only flow from a place greater than myself. I wanted more for my life. I wanted to know that I did everything I could to save the marriage I chose so many years ago. I fought with all the grace that was given to me to save what was left of my marriage, pleading with my husband to save himself from the path he was heading down if he walked away from our marriage. I knew what the Lord had laid on my heart to do and I wasn’t going to give up on my marriage without a fight.

After a period of separation, we were both ready to reenter the marriage. I didn’t know at the time, but I was headed down the path that would lead me to the greatest freedom and struggle of my life so far.  Over the next two years I faced much opposition as I defended my forgiveness of a man that didn’t deserve it. Friends and family thought I must be in denial if I could move forward in a marriage built on lies. I myself wondered it myself many times, but always felt a gentle reminder that I was exactly where I was suppose to be. I had to consistently pray against worry and fear and learn to live in trust.

What I learned during this time is that it wasn’t God’s plan for me to experience this pain, but he allowed it happen. Therefore, it must have a greater purpose even if we can’t see it in the moment of the struggle. The hurt that I healed from during this time of restoration allowed me to truly understand forgiveness. The bitterness I laid down and walked away from taught me freedom. The love I was able to extend showed me a picture of God’s grace. These things do not come from our human nature, but only when we open ourselves up to be used for a higher purpose. The choice to forgive was only the beginning, but it prepared me for my future.

I wish I could say my marriage had a happily ever after, but that is not the case. The truth I learned is sometimes love isn’t enough to save a person from their own free will. There is always a possibility for hurt, because the ones we love are only human. It’s how we choose to respond to that hurt and trust in a greater purpose that allows us to move forward freely. We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond. I chose love.

I now have a beautiful son to remind me of the love I once shared with my husband, but that love wasn’t enough for him overcome his own brokenness. So once again, I ask God “Why me?” I did everything I felt the Lord led me to do and it still ended in divorce. I could choose bitterness and turn my back towards the Lord, but I am further down the road now and I understand “the why”. Sometimes we have to experience difficult things so we can grow into the people we are designed to be. The Lord has not abandoned us and it hurts Him to see his children walk through such pain. There is something wonderful on the other side of your struggle. It might be out of sight but His promises declare it is there for those that call on Him. Had I walked away from my marriage the first time, I would have missed out on so many beautiful lessons. I would still be devastated by the pain and taking that into my future. I would have been left with so many questions. Instead, I am moving forward whole and free knowing that I am growing into the person I am designed to be. I know not everyone’s marriage gets a second chance, but having the opportunity taught me that even ones best intentions fall flat when we don’t fully surrender to the Lord. There are still many lessons ahead and the hard days will still come, but I now know there was purpose for my pain. Whatever your story is and wherever you are on your journey, it is never too late to choose forgiveness and surrender your own efforts. It is the first step towards claiming your freedom. Be free and choose love. There is a purpose for your pain and you are not alone.

~Daisy