Monday, November 24, 2008

A Step-Mothers Story

I don't think she has even a clue. It's quite possible that she does not realize just how much, how grateful I am for her. When no one else cared, when I'd been, deservedly, kicked to the curb, she still showed me love, unconditional love. She was and is the finest example of a true Christian; Love the sinner, hate the sin. And I know she prayed for me even when I never deserved those prayers or her love. And worst of all, she bore such pain alone. Yes, Teri was my step-mom but all these years later, I see that she has loved me like her own.

My Father, her husband died years ago of Cancer. In the midst of all that was going on at that time, near the death of my Father, I was in a relationship with an extremely abusive man. Long story short, I can not blame him for everything that went wrong in my life and at that time but he led me down the path to hell. I can not blame him for the fact that as my father lay dying, he ran from the situation as he had been close to my Dad. He loved and respected my Father. Amusingly, after he had beat me and blackened my eye, my Father came and put the fear of God into him. He knew that my Father allowed him to live, it was that simple.

He drug me with him and I allowed it. I didn't see that I had a choice. Maybe it was easier to let him tell me what to do, where to go, etc.? But the fact remains that all these years later, as I sometimes grieve for my Daddy, the man who held me close and made everything alright, the man who I know would have died and killed for me, I have the realization that it was Teri who lovingly and with great sacrifice, a sacrifice not known in words, let my Father know it was ok for him to leave. It was Teri who stood by his side, by his death bed. She faced it all alone. I was too immature to accept the finality of it all, too cowardly to look my Father in the eyes as he passed.

I never said good-bye and my last words to my father are not known except that I do remember simply saying that "Dad we are Fighting Irish, remember that." No, I could not accept that this man could die. Hell, he was bigger than life, stronger than steel and even though he wasn't a big man, he was huge to me. He was and will always be my Hero. Hero's don't die, do they? How can a man who I watched run into a burning building and carry out a child, singed but alive, how could he die, this man who carried two guns at all times and was never afraid, who taught me to "face my fears, head on" how could he die?

He had helped me climb the entire length of the fire departments ladder truck telling me, "Don't be afraid, I am right here. Now face your fears," as I climbed and climbed for what seemed like forever. When I finally reached the top, like climbing Mt. Everest, it was almost dusk. He smiled like he had a secret and told me, "Now look how beautiful it is up here. You've faced your fears and look at the reward," and he pointed out at the landscape of the city, lit up and just awesome. I no longer had a fear of heights which, much to his dismay, I was then busted after I'd climbed the water tower behind the yards across the street. Yes, I was in deep poo poo as I tried to get out of it. It was rather difficult to dispel when he pointed out to me, my name so boldly spray painted all over the water tower. But he was secretly smiling the whole time as he scolded me in front of my mother, sending me to my room.

What he taught me about facing my fears, I had applied to everything but his death.

I happily introduced Teri to Jim, that night, so many years ago. Oddly enough, actually, it's not odd at all but I feel that Jim was heaven sent, my own Father picked him to pick of the pieces he left behind in his death. I see now that my Father asked God to intervene on her behalf as she was so devastated at the loss of my Father. It had to have been a rather lonely period of time for Teri. God sent this hand picked fella, who became Teri's husband and father to my brothers, a package deal. Jim has raised my two brothers, Brian and Steven. My brothers have grown up, gone to college and have become productive members of society, guys that I am proud of. I just know that they will be alright, they'll make it. I realize that Teri and Jim's influence made all the difference.

If I never said it before I am so truly grateful that Jim has been there not only to raise my brothers but as a good husband to my Fathers wife. Teri loved my Daddy, took care of him and was there when he died. No, it was not me, who held my Fathers hand and looked into his eyes, lovingly as he took his dying breath. It was Teri, my wonderful, caring and unselfish to a fault, step-mom who bore this alone.

My daddy, even though he was stronger than life, must have been scared when he could no longer breathe but I believe with all the fiber of my being that it was Teri and Jesus that made it alright, that gave my father the calm assurance and permission, that it was ok to go and that we had the faith that all would be well. No, I was not there, a pain I have carried for more than a decade.

Although it may have taken me all these years, you know to mature enough to realize, I do see how much of a blessing Jim has been, it truly is an act of God. Yes, stuck in my own pain, with the loss of my Father and then my own husband and with all that was going on at the time, all the horror that was my life, my mind, my life was so clouded and I could not see.

My Step-Mother, through all these years, has been so supportive. Even in her busy life, you know the dredge of a working mother and wife, she has always managed to creep into my life in my moments of despair. How does she do it? Even this little email gave me hope...

I needed to read this...

We complain about the cross we bear but don't realize it is preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we cannot.

Whatever your cross, whatever your pain, there will always be sunshine, after the rain.... Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall; But God's always ready, to answer your call.... He knows every heartache, sees every tear, a word from His lips, can calm every fear... Your sorrows may linger, throughout the night, But suddenly vanish, by dawn's early light... The Savior is waiting, somewhere above, to give you His grace, and send you His love.

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle!

My Prayer

My Lord, I am grateful that they finally listened to me. This pain consumes me and having the meds to help me is primary. Please Lord, take this problem with filling the meds and handle it as I know only you can. I imagine it will certainly make me appreciate them. Right now I am chomping at the bit with worry over this. You are The Great Physician and I know you run that office. Cut through this red tape my Lord. I come to you sweet Jesus and I ask for you help. Forgive my sin and help me. Who might I turn to? You are my God, the King of Kings, my heavenly Father. Take my hand and tell me it will be alright. I feel like I've done something wrong. I feel like a junkie and I don't like it. Take this shame from me, please and help me Lord, please, I beg you? I praise Your Holy Name. Amen

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You Are "The Answer"

Oh Lord, I am so frightened. My world seems so dark. I know that Your Word is the answer. Take away my fear and replace it with calm assurance. Only You my Lord are able to do this. Yes, my world is dark and You are the Light.

Heavenly Father, give me the words and wisdom to attain the answer. Warm this Doctors heart, that he might listen to me and hear my cries of pain. You are the Great Physician, his boss. I ask Lord, that you guide this man in his instruction. I ask dear Lord, that You will give this man the answers that I so badly need.

I believe that You alone have the answers. I believe that You are the answer. Selah

I have begun to take notice. I have begun to understand that You alone govern all things, even the hearts and minds of man. I know without a single doubt that You have the power over all of this, my life, my pain. I have come to a realization that I have tried to do things on my own. This is a dark and desolate place to be. Light my path sweet Jesus. Take my hand and walk with me please. Hear my cries, my desperation. I can not do this alone. Only You, my Master can help me. I plead with You, I implore with You to listen to my prayers.

My prayers to You Heavenly Father are that I might learn from this and use it to Your glory. I beg for a pardon for the many years, a culmination of sin. My sin, my behavior has caused such great pain in my mind, body and soul. As well, I have harmed many because of my sinful and selfish behaviors. Forgive me Father and allow me to rise above it. Do not let this have hold of me any longer. I beg You my precious Lord. To this day, I pay for the consequences of my actions. I also realize that I will continue to pay but if I have Your forgiveness, I may live. My children pay, their children pay for the sins of both the Father and Mother. Forgive them for what they do not know. Forgive them for the wrong they have done because of what I may have taught them. These sins weigh upon me so heavily. I am drowning. Save me Father. I am Your daughter and I ask for Your help now.

This has been a long journey but I have arrived with the realization that You and You alone are the Answer. Allow me to move forward instead of the digress I suffer from now. Allow me in the Autumn of my life some peace and joy again. This can only happen if I know you have forgiven me. I can not go another minute with this sin upon me. Forgive it and allow me to live again. Why do I struggle so with all of this?

Today is important to me, my Lord. I was crazy sick last time. Let this Doctor not concentrate on that or any other matter but to hear my words. Let nothing else matter but to effectively treat my pain, please? Yes, warm his heart to my situation. Give him the answers as You are my Doctor, You are his Superior, You run that office. Why did I not see the importance of coming to You first and foremost? I see now that I was trying to do it all alone, relying on myself.

It was as if I was blind, driving a car. I wreck and wreck and wreck until there is but a shell. I ask You Sweet Sweet Jesus to drive the car. I lean upon You and I ask for wisdom and guidance. I am so very lost. Please take my hand and guide my way. I do believe that You are this Answer, the only Answer, the ultimate Answer and I must learn to seek You first, in all things.

You know my Lord, I have lived my life and learned all things the hard way. This is why it is such an "Ah Ha" moment for me when I do come to the understanding that if I seek you first and include You in all things, I just might do the right thing. I just might see a positive outcome.

Yes, I seek Your face, I seek Your blessings. I have barely made it through this life. I am scarred and scared but I know that if I seek You first, I seek Your blessings and rely only upon You, all will be well.

My Lord, my Master, King of all Kings, I come before You. I kneel at Your feet. I humbly ask for Your forgiveness and for Your blessings on this very day. I ask for Your intervention on my behalf. Please help me, my Lord. Please drive the car, hold my hand and light my way. I am so weak, my mind is muddled and such a mess. Calm my fears, take away this pain. Be my Answer, yes, You and You alone are the only Answer. I praise Your Holy Name. Amen

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Only Answer

My Lord and Master, how can I possibly thank you for making possible the impossible? I recognize the empty file that should have been full, brimming with my history, bad blood, bad deeds. But it was not there, the slate wiped clean. I thank you for the reprieve, a pardon I do not deserve. You are a gracious and loving King and I feel your blessings. That is and was a miracle in itself. I am so thankful and so very aware.

Forgive my sin, Father and allow me the strength to do what I must. I so badly want to walk in Your Light. Give me the wisdom to lead by example, the strength to carry on, carry through. Help me sweet Jesus, I need you now. My family needs you now.

There is an air of dissension and I don't know how to stop it. Let the truth rule, my Lord and allow his heart to be calm, be still in confidence. Let the youngest realize before it is too late that he is flirting with disaster. Keep him safe, please my Lord? I fear for him. Let him begin to understand that all this does not serve him. Let him begin to understand that the measure of a man is not, can not be what he has seen. Let the damage be undone. Let him begin to realize that the measure of a man is not just how hard he works but what he does with his family, the reason he works. He runs because he has such a hard time facing a sick son. He runs because he feels so frustrated, his hands are tied. Allow him to realize that his only answer is to rely on You. The answer lies in his faith because he must know that You and You alone are and will always remain his only hope. Let him begin to see that he must go to You, my King, bow down before you and beg for his sons life. I see how, I see now, how and why you use this child and his sickness. It will be to Your glory, my sweet Lord, will it not? Yes, You are the only answer to his suffering.

Allow the other son to realize that now is the time to man up. Let this be a joyous time, with the news of a baby to be born to my son. He is afraid and he does not know where to turn, what to do. He is stuck. Give me the words, allow me to plant the seeds in his heart that will allow him to proceed, to do the right thing by his family. It is time. Let him work through this self loathing so he might rise above it all, his fear, his shame
. It can not go on any longer as it is. I pray that You might spur him on and give him the strength to do what he must. Again, my Master, you are the only answer.

Comfort the oldest. Let him get past his pain, shame and forgive his sin. I plead for his life my Lord. Hear my prayers for this kind and gentle, loving and good hearted son. Forgive him, forgive me if it is wrong. Show me the clear and definitive answer as I continue to give him unconditional love just as he has given me. Let me not encourage what is wrong. Quiet the storms in his heart and mind. Guide and comfort him my Lord God. Let him see as well that You are his answer.

Allow me to be the Matriarch of this family. Thus far, I am failing. Give me strength and wisdom as they lean on me. I pray for these mothers, may they do right by their children, may we break the chain of sinful behaviors. Allow me to remember that they watch me for answers. May I remember that I do not have them but You do.

Lord, it's all culminating, coming to a head and I am so afraid. Give me the words and wisdom for these Doctors to hear me and help me. I feel as if I can not go on like this much longer. Something must give. You are my only hope, my only answer. I praise Your Holy Name my great and powerful King, my Answer. Amen