Where Do You Run?

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First grade was a turning point in my young life.  If given the chance, most children will relentlessly tease tiny, freckled-face redheads.  And if you’re a chatterbox, teachers get frustrated with telling you to be quiet, and in the sixties they used paddles to get their point across.   First grade was a culture shock and set the stage for twelve years of teasing which, at times, could cross the line to bullying.

Do you feel sorry for me?  Don’t.  I was a fighter…not with fists, but words.  I was too little to take anyone on physically, and many times other children took advantage of this weakness.  But I was smart and I could talk.  However, many times I wished I had an older brother to come to my rescue.

Fight or flight?  In a moment of crisis what do you tend to do?  Do you get ready for a fight, fists held high, and jump into the fray…or…do you run as fast as possible for the nearest help?

Fighting comes naturally for me.  Mother Bear can rear her frightening head when children are involved or when an injustice is obvious.  But I struggle with this tendency.  Mom taught us to always be ladylike, it’s a “suthun thang”, and the Word tells us to be controlled by the Spirit, not to fulfill the deeds of the flesh.    Balancing being a ladylike Christian and a fighter is not always easy…I’m learning to be a runner.

Yes, I understand we are told to stand firm in the strength of the Lord with our armor on, and I agree wholeheartedly.  But I now see we are not told to engage in the fight, but allow the Lord to be our strength.  It is His battle.  You see, one way you are fighting with your own strength, be it fleshly words or fists, it’s still about you.  The other way, running for help first, allows the Lord to do the fighting for you.  He will give you the words…His words…spiritual words to deal with the situation.  Keep your sword sharp (the word of the Lord) so when the battle comes, you will remember His words of truth and only speak when He has told you what to say.

Do you believe He will fight for you?  If you are in Him then you have been given covenant promises, and one of those promises is protection.  He is your big brother.  He is your friend.  He is ready to protect you when the need arises.  Do you know you can run to Him for help in the time of need?

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe. ~Proverbs 18:10

The battle is the Lord’s and you have all the strength you need in His name.  Let Him protect you.

Rejoicing!!!  😆  I have a big brother!!!!  😀   Do you?  😉

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167 responses »

  1. I can’t remember where it is in the OT but something to the effect off not talking too much…”turn off the flow”. That’s a good word for me.

    I’m definitely a fighter. I don’t run. It’s not a trait I’m proud of. And you’re right. It is selfish. It makes it all about us.

    I grew up watching my mother get beat by her boyfriends and she would just stand there and take it. But NOT without running her mouth (which always made it worse) So even though I learned that talking back or fighting might get you an extra bruise – I still wanted to be tough like mommy and argue my case. I struggle with that to this day. But am really working on my softer side 😉

    Thanks for this Michelle!

    Love you so much!!!

  2. Wow, Tam. That type of home life would certainly teach you to be a fighter.

    No fists flew within our home, but the words sure could…I’m thinkin’ that’s fairly common, unfortunately. I really wanted to be tough too, but more often than not, I just looked comical because I was so little. You know that “Friends” episode with Joey dating the little girl who kept hitting him? Yeah…I just looked comical. 😉

    The softer side…we sure have similar struggles…

    Love you too!!!

  3. WOW. Thank you so much for this post Michelle. God definitely humbled me in that area. I learned to lean on Him instead of my own instincts which were [sometimes still are :X] to respond, to fight back, to ‘return evil with evil’ Lord have mercy! It was no easy process and I’m sure Daddy was looking down at me like “Child when are you going to learn?” but I am a work in progress and just like anything else, it is taking time and experience for Him to get me to where I need to be.

    Tam: I’m so sorry you experienced that as a child. I have worked in domestic/sexual violence for 4 years and my favorite Aunt has been in an abusive marriage for over 10 years now so that issue is very close to my heart. I know victims [primary + secondary] of any kind of abuse have a natural instinct to fight back. I was sexually abused as a child by my cousin and I believe that’s where my idea of how to respond to “bad people” came from. Again, God had to work that out in me and still is but praise Him that it’s a workable issue–in all of us!

    NE: I just want you to know that I am so humbled by your life experiences and more specifically, by your response(s) to them. I praise God that you look at the blessing in all your situations no matter how rough they may have been/are. And yes, I agree, God does have a sense of humor!! I have learned to laugh with Him over the last two years 😎

  4. I took a long nap and woke up to heartfelt, vulnerable testimonies. It’s so good to have this way of communicating. Y’all have no idea what it means to me to have others who want to talk about their needs, struggles and victories…

    NorEaster, Have I told you lately that I ♥ you? Your stories have helped me to not feel so lonely and your outlook is inspiring. You do not sound like you have a hearing problem; you are right, if you hadn’t told us, we wouldn’t know.

    “But I’m convinced God has a sense of humor. Because it is only when I started to lose my hearing that I learned to LISTEN.”

    He does do that, doesn’t He? You’re making me think…

    Gchyayles, I’m glad you’re part of this little blogging community, you have much to share and yet you’re SO young!! 😉

    “A work in progress” – aren’t we all? It’s sad to know how much some of us have in common and that so much abuse is out there. One of many favorite passages:

    “Consider it pure joy my brother (sister) when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let endurance have its perfect result so that you may be complete, lacking nothing.” ~James 1:2-4

    I know as kids we didn’t exactly see it this way, trials to help us grow up, but on this side of the cross, I better understand why we were allowed to go through such nonsense…

  5. Michelle: HUG! I love all of you and have been so blessed by your wisdom and love. In the absence of a real family in this season of my life, I am so blessed to be surrounded by God’s family 🙂

    I love that scripture too. I have no complaints or regrets about my life anymore. I used to ask “why” all the time before I came to know Jesus. I was praying to a god that didn’t exist and who did not have the answers I was looking for. Finding Christ has brought much peace in my life regarding the trials I went through as a child/teenager. And wow, have I found the new meaning to forgiveness since I studied the scripture [paraphrased] “Forgive others as I have forgiven you.” It took a long walk ‘n’ talk with God for me to get to that point in terms of forgiving my cousin [sort of like that moment in Narnia when Aslan is talking to Edmund at the top of the hill–yup that was me and Jesus many days when I still hadn’t forgiven my cousin].

    *tear* I just love all of you. Thank you again for blessing my life.

  6. Huggin’ and lovin’ you too, Gchyayles. 🙂

    Someday I would love to hear about praying to a god that didn’t exist. People are so confused about how to speak to God and if we don’t call Him by His rightful name, is He hearing us…

    Love the reference to Edmund – a long walk ‘n’ talk to get the point… 😉

  7. I was a little freckle faced kid, and learned by fifth grade to fight and win..and learned that I was actually good at that..what a terrible thing to be good at! God has softened my heart since then, and now instead of fists, I fall before my God and know that HE wins the battles for me, so I do run right into HIM, sometimes burying my face in HIM…I have seen HIM win some fights for me, and also have learned that those are teaching times for me as well.

  8. This reminds me of a Petra song:

    “Get on your knees,
    and fight like a man!”

    And Jesus Loves me:

    Jesus loves me this I know,
    for the BIble tells me so,
    Little ones to Him belong,
    They are weak – but He is strong.

    Yes Jesus Loves me,
    Yes, Jesus Loves me
    Yes, Jesus Loves me.
    The Bible tells me so!

    It is when we are weak – when admit we are weak and get out of the way that Christ is strong in our lives. The one throne in the heart concept. If we choose to sit on our hearts throne, then Christ cannot because there is only room for one on the throne. (Hey there’s a blog in there somewhere)

    If Michelle will indulge me:

    If you want an unpublished second verse to the Jesus Loves Me song,
    Visit my site: http://blueeagletimes.wordpress.com

  9. ♥ ♥ ♥

    Love you, Phat, you are indulged!!!

    ♥ ♥ ♥

    Hey, Darla! What is it about the freckles? Running and letting Him do the fighting is so much nicer…hard sometimes…but nicer. Glad to see you around here again. ♥ U

  10. Michelle,
    Hey, I’m running to God in retreat. It’s cool we had sort of the same theme going on at our blogs and I hadn’t read your’s yet today.
    Keep up the great writing. I’m reading even if I’m not saying much.
    -Sam

  11. “Do you believe He will fight for you? If you are in Him then you have been given covenant promises, and one of those promises is protection. He is your big brother. He is your friend. He is ready to protect you when the need arises. Do you know you can run to Him for help in the time of need?” (Michelle – that red haired kid)

    This is an interesting aspect – is trusting in God putting God ‘to the test’? As you say ‘we are given promises’ – is relying on those promises when they are needed (ie: security) – and in my life I rely now – am I putting God ‘to the test’ via my trust in such an idea (security)?

    I actually was quite dis-heartened today – but I thought ‘my hope is in God’…but it gets very tricky…I am hoping God will come through (for me and my wants/needs). It’s a confusing situation – but I will trust God either way!

  12. Hey, Sam, it is cool we were talking about the same thing, I kinda thought it was a God thing…I’m reading your’s too, but don’t always comment…love reading your thoughts. 😉

    Hey, Society! If trusting God is putting Him to the test, then in a sense I suppose we are to test Him. He did tell us to test His promise about tithing. He tells us to trust Him in everything and has made many promises to protect us. He is the Shepherd of His sheep, guiding and protecting us. He assures us He will supply all of our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus our Lord, that we are not to be anxious for He knows what we need.

    I would say God brought to your mind, He reminded you, that your hope is to be in Him. If you want to be encouraged, read through Philippians. It’s very helpful. I’m finishing up Hebrews now and have been struck again by the wonders of our God, how He has given us an amazing New Covenant with better promises…really cool.

    Take heart in Him – if He is for you then what can man do to you? (Hebrews 13:5-6) 😉

  13. Hi there. I’m a fighter…but learning more all the time to state the case, don’t argue, walk away and pray. I have no problem being there to back a friend, run interference if things get rough….but our fight is NOT against the flesh. THere is always something deeper. When I have my time with the Lord and He shows me something, it isn’t always met with welcoming arms. It used to bother me, but not anymore. The more I stand firm in His revelation, the more He blesses, the more He heals, the more He moves.
    My best friend, Laurie was a little red-headed freckle face. I’m a bit partial to them myself! Love you sweet girl!

  14. Love this post Michelle! 😀

    I’m a fighter when it comes to my kids and my family, but when it’s about me I do get defensive, but I internalize it instead of saying/doing anything. I tend to withdraw when it comes to defending myself, but go after my babies or my family and I’m roarin’. 😉

    I do though need to learn to run in the way you speak of here. You have some great thoughts! I am so glad, once again, to “know” you. And believe me…. I know what you are talking about when you say “relentlessly tease tiny freckle faced redheads” 😉 Seriously. 😆

  15. I’m reminded of a Kenny Rodgers tune here, but I won’t go there.

    I was listening to a John MacArthur teaching about the armor of God – the sword of the Spirit driving home from Bible study last night. One point he made wsas that ‘sword OF the Spirit’ is more accurately thought of as the ‘sword PROVIDED by the Spirit’. We don’t brandish the sword, but the Spirit of God wields the sword through us.

  16. Michelle,

    Could you email me? I tried to post a comment twice and it hasn’t shown up yet. I just had a devotional I read this morning that I wanted to share with you.
    You can decide if you want to share it with anyone else I guess(?). It could be related to your “Strengthening the Weak” post, which is where I tried to put it.

    Thanks,
    D-

  17. Back from Bible Study…finishing up Hebrews…”run the race set before you, with your eyes fixed on Jesus…Let love of the brethren continue…Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good work to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever, amen.”

    I think that benediction is an outstanding reminder of who He is and what we’re to do through Him…

    Hey, Debs, you do a great job standing firm upon the truth you have learned…I love reading your insights. 😉

    Good afternoon, Brandy. I understand Mother Bear all too well…at least when we learn to run, we have a chance to calm down and think through what needs to be done/said…that’s what I’m learning. 🙂

    Hello, Mandy, 😯 Are you sure? You don’t seem to be a chicken…I would’ve guessed you were a Southern spit-fire. 😀

    Sure Laz, I’ll get right on it…

    ‘K, it was eaten by the spam monster…should be showing now.

  18. Hey, Dan. I didn’t see you there…”you gotta know when to walk away and know when to run…” That one? LOVE Kenny Rodgers!! 😀

    So MacArthur is saying the Spirit will bring to mind what needs to be said/done/remembered…not that we are to use it (the Word) as a weapon to knock others down, or cut them up into tiny pieces? 😯

    I’ve been in a few of those ugly encounters…if I’m hearing you correctly.

  19. HAPPY @%TH BIRTHDAY RED!!!

    It’s been the 8th for 9 hours here already 🙂

    I’ve sent you a present for your Glorious Day via email! 🙂

    Mandy only talks tough – she folds faster than Superman on Laundry day. 🙂

    <B

  20. Thanks, Love!!! Especially for not mentioning the number!!

    It must have been the do-rag that got me thinking Mandy was tough. 😀

  21. Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog:) I appreciate your kind words.

    I’m lovin’ this post. My girls and I put on the Armor of God every morning. We pretend to ‘physically’ put it on while reciting each piece. However, when it comes to my kids….I sure have a tendency to come out swinging. I am SUCH a mama bear when it comes to my kiddo’s. I’m sure you can relate:) God is slowly teaching me to let go, though. He is teaching me to run to Him and not rely on my razor sharp tongue (does He realize how many years I spent sharpening that tongue?:). I am relieved to know that He is there….waiting for me…..waiting to fight my battles…..giving me strength…..providing all that is necessary to defeat the enemy…..loving me endlessly. What a mighty God!

    Love and Blessings…..

  22. Thanks for the adorable gift, Love!! Made my morning. 😉

    Welcome, Heather. Razor sharp tongue? OH, do I know what you mean!!!

    “I am relieved to know that He is there….waiting for me…..waiting to fight my battles…..giving me strength…..providing all that is necessary to defeat the enemy…..loving me endlessly. What a mighty God! ”

    AMEN – wonderful words!!

    Thanks for the birthday wishes, y’all!! 😀

  23. HAPPPPPPPPPYYYY BIRTHDAY MICHELLE!!
    Have a wonderful, holy-ghost-filled day!
    This is the day…this is the day…that the Lord has made…that the Lord has made…we will rejoice…we will rejoice…and be glad in it….and be glad in it!!
    Love you XO

  24. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUUUUU!!!!!!!

    Celebrate to day girl! What a beautiful day.

    This day, x amount of years ago, God gifted us with you. He knew we would glean from you and learn from you. he knew He would be able to use you in our lives!!!

    thank you Lord for Michelle and her life!!!

    Thank you!!!

  25. Hey Michelle,

    Well first of all hippo birdies (or in normal person speak, happy birthday)!

    Anyway about the post I just wanted to share this scripture with you all:
    “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness-” Jeremiah 31:2

    I don’t know exactly why but it seemed relevant to me, unfortunately I am on the other side of the fence, so to speak, from you guys. I have needed to learn how to fight (with God at my side, always). See I’ve needed to learn how to fight because I used to just run, not towards God, just away and in doing so I realized I was actually harming myself, I was letting others walk all over me and it wasn’t pretty. So I am happy for you guys and I hope that one day I will be where you are at but for now I am glad that I am learning how to fight and stand up for myself with God right there leading me and holding me back when necessary.

    So yeah, just thought I’d pitch in my two cents. And one last thing, I am so very glad that I found this blog and all of you, I cannot tell you how much it has helped over the last few months to have that Light shining from all of you (that includes you, Michelle). So thank you.

    G

  26. Happy Birthday Michelle!
    And congratulations on completing yet another trip around the sun!

    And thanks for this post. I always lacked the brawn for actual fight so flight seemed inevitable until I discovered WORDS. I learned how to use words to my own advantage. I could make just about anyone feel intimidated or small. I could also use words to get what I want. After being saved this thing for words took on new meaning.

  27. Thank you all!!! Wow, Tam, thanks for the blessing… 😳

    Gothique Fae: I appreciate your comment and understand what you’re saying, “I am glad that I am learning how to fight and stand up for myself with God right there leading me and holding me back when necessary.” I find the key to your words in the last phrases…with God right there leading and holding back…He is faithful in that way.

    You’ve been a light to me as well. Your stories hit a very vulnerable place in me. 😉

    Yeah, Ric, my fighting was with words too…but I guess you read that already…letting the Spirit take control of our mouths is a hard struggle for me. I love the James verse, “be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” It’s convicting.

  28. It’s your birthday?!?! WHEN DID I MISS THIS?!?!?! 😯

    Well HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 😀 We should throw Michelle a bloggy birthday party! 😀 Everyone, here tonight for a comment ho-down! 😆 😆 😆 HAHA!!

  29. HAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE BIRTHDAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [yes I do know how to spell hehe the eeeees somehow create a more dramatic effect!!!]

  30. When did this happen??? I had to see Grey’s Anatomy and Lost – Don’t y’all ever watch TV!!!!!!!!!!!!

    HAHAHA 😆

  31. Our Aussie version ( that i avoid like the Plague now ahs the catch phrase in their ads ‘I Don’t Think So’.

    That is ironically perfect from my perspective – Big Brother? I Don’t Think So! 🙂

  32. I think I saw one episode and hated it – I can’t believe it’s made it so long…

    Did you spend time at the beach yet – oh, your day is just starting isn’t it?

  33. Hey, Tam!

    Y’all have made it a wonderful day – I didn’t expect any of this – y’all are great!!

    Thanks for the email…

  34. Love, that picture of you freaked me out…you and I could have been twins!

    I always wanted a Big Brother to protect me…I had Jesus…but one in the flesh would have been nice from time to time… 😉

  35. i had big brothers. thy smell. break your arm. hit youin the face with a b-ball bat and wipe boogers on you. they’re not all what they’re cracked up to be.

  36. Being what i thought was an Only Child taight me an ‘independence but i really wanted someone to share with – and i would SO have been protective of my ‘lil Sis’ 🙂

    Jesus is all the protection we ever need though – if we live in Spirit 🙂

    But i hear you – sometimes it would be nice to have him sit next to us instead of always inside of us.

  37. 😆 Do you know something about Love I haven’t learned yet, Tam?

    I thought he was just a sweet comfy teddy bear with an Aussie accent…

  38. hahaha!!! well….

    occasionally he likes to instigate…in LOVE of course!

    BUT – if there’s one person who will come to your rescue – it’s Love!

  39. Michelle:

    I actually have one written already. A serious post. But, like I always do, I want to wait on it for a few more days before publishing it. Ideas always come to me a few days after I’m done writing that I want to add.

    And the other one I’m working is…complicated and controversial. Serious, too. I may even lose friends over this one. 😥

  40. do you think God is watching us shaking His Holy Head thinking ‘OH MY… ‘ME’ I better build them their own wing in Heaven!”

  41. lil ol instigator me – you know that’s just between you and Miss Mandy-pants huh? Tam 🙂

    NE’er are you still with us? or trying to get a word in edge-wise ? lol

  42. Dag burnit!

    I called him “LOVE!”

    And I swore I would never do that!!

  43. Never an ill wind – a soothing breeze it more like it…he says it’s all about storms but I have only felt cool fresh breezes from him…

  44. Thinker – that’s how i am on your constantly updated blog-roll Tam! 😉

    I am happy way down the bottom there – it reminds me of when we ‘met’ 🙂

    Mah Rutz! 😉

  45. Do you think I should change it? Cuz I will if you want. We can come up with a totally different name!

  46. Thinker, huh? Yeah, that fits…he always makes me think.

    NE’er did you see my compliment for you?

    Love, a sweet, comfy THINKING teddy bear…

    NE’er, a soothing gentle breeze…

    Tam, a funny thoughtful wise sister…

    Y’all are great.

    Phat is sleeping next to me, Foxnews is blaring and I’m falling behind…my fingers are slowing down…

    I might not last much longer…

  47. I’m happy with it Tam – Truly 🙂

    Ne’er – Tam has a special way of slipping her sweet way completely inside your heart – at least she does with me – Just watch out if she starts twirling her hair round her finger! 🙂

    Or batting her eyelids 😉

  48. I like funny and wise and thoughtful.

    that made me smile Shell 🙂

    So…what did you get for your b-day?

  49. I received a bouquet of flowers, omelette for breakfast, served in bed…

    After dinner we had a variety of cheesecakes and yes, I did get my chair…

    NE’er sang to me on his site – AMAZING…

    Love sent me a picture of him at 8 – ADORABLE…

    You (Tam) sent me a blessing via email – UPLIFTING…

    And so many well-wishers – I feel LOVED!!!

    It’s been an amazing day, Thanks!!!!!!!!

  50. Michelle we DO love you!!!! You have so quickly found a home in all our hearts!

    You are lovely through and through!!

  51. LOL @ TJ 🙂

    So do we wish you a sweet Good Night Sis? – it’s ok we can kep the party going – we’ll just turn the ‘sound’ down – NE’er can live withthat i’m sure 🙂

  52. Nighty Nite Michelle.

    I love you sis!

    You are priceless and precious!

    Thank you for being you…

  53. Hmmmm…

    I feel so loved around here 🙂

    But since it’s Michelle’s day, I will ignore it and just focus on her 🙂

  54. Tam has taught me the importance of not competing for someone’s love…

    Now i just have to learn how to ‘share’ 🙂

    Love you Whasisn Brent. 🙂

    I could get the hang of it – in time 🙂

    <B

  55. Love just Grows as it moves from Heart to Heart…

    Jesus knew He would not always be here and selected 13 Disciples (one whose end was foreseen) to ensure He Continued forever with mankind.

    Tam – you need some disciples! How about the Side-kick? you know – the Young’un over east? 😉

    <B

  56. Some might think i’m just ‘on’ something! 😉

    love is the drug for ME 🙂 ( Anyone old enough to remember THAT song?)

    ‘Night Tam, Vinny. ‘Morning Sis ♥

    <B

  57. Good to know that he’ll come to your rescue…

    We are just a vapor, kind of comes to light as the years pass by…

    I wonder, often, what will be the reality…

  58. Night y’all – stay up and talk as much as you like – I’ll try to read it in the morning, if I can make any sense out of it.

    Won’t heaven be great when we’ll get to see eachother face-to-face!!

    Hugs again and ♥ Y’all!!!

  59. gothiquefae….”“The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness-” Jeremiah 31:2″

    I SOOOOO needed that!!! Thank you!!
    Michelle, I’m only on comment 32, working my way down, then I’ll have more to say;)

  60. Wow! I missed a whole party last night! Happy Birthday a day late, Michelle:)

    Runner or fighter? Hmmm. Growing up, in school, I was such a fighter. Kicked out of school on a regular basis for being such a fighter!

    Perhaps taught by my big brothers??

    “I had big brothers. thy smell. break your arm. hit youin the face with a b-ball bat and wipe boogers on you. they’re not all what they’re cracked up to be.”

    Um, Tam, perhaps we had the same big brothers?? I’m thinking so.

    Fighter until I gave my life to Jesus, then runner to Him. But also, runner away from Him. Oftentimes I find myself neither fighting nor running to Him, but lost somewhere in never never land hiding away from it all. I’m learning though. One day at a time. One opportunity at a time.

    There was one time recently though that I did stand up and “fight” for myself, instead of letting God be my defender. In ministry, there is almost always opportunity to defend yourself, or allow God. by the grace of God, I will never do that again. It allowed anger like a venom to come dwell in my heart….and took some time to get it out!

    Just yesterday though, God spoke to me about another reason I run, but not to Him. Disappointment. Have to go allow Him to unearth that in me today…but it was so good to hear from Him concerning that!

    Michelle, thank you for being a treasure full of the Word. I love how the Word of God just flows from you in every situation. It makes me even more hungry to feast there daily.

  61. Well THAT was fun!!

    Thanks, Brent (I would NEVER call you whatisname) for the joining the party with a timely entrance. 😆

    Good morning, Kelly, I’m glad you came over…

    “Oftentimes I find myself neither fighting nor running to Him, but lost somewhere in never never land hiding away from it all.”

    I can see how this might be easier in the short term, but I’ve found He continues to bring things up until we are willing to work them out. I’m not a stranger to Christian counseling and have gleaned much insight from time spent “on the couch”. Yet with all of that help, I gain the most from time in the Word…it is the balm of Gilead…it is the water that washes us clean…it is the sword which cuts to the depth of marrow and sinews…it is the guide for our paths.

    I’ll be praying for you, Kelly, that you will cease hiding and come into the light. You are beautiful…fearfully and wonderfully made! 😉

  62. Reading back through here, maybe I’m glad I didn’t find my big brother until late in life…yesterday, actually…y’all don’t have such great stories…sounds like abuse would be the operative word.

    Do y’all even have relationships with them now? I might have chosen to walk away as soon as possible… 😦

    Broken arms and baseball bats? 👿

    Mother Bear is rising within…I’m very sad for y’all. I hope y’all have had a chance to work through that crude…ugh.

  63. Good morning party girl!!!

    Hope you slept well 😉

    ya know, i have no idea where my brothers are today. its so sad. most of family is just so angry they disappeared.

    Anyways….the key is breaking that cycle in the next generation. Learning from the Dont’s and creating some strong Do’s!

  64. Wow, Tam.

    Phat’s family had quite a bit of abuse…they really aren’t too close these days…though they talk, it’s all superficial…

    We’ve worked hard to break the cycle in our family, as well…God has been good to keep Phat close and teachable. I do see a spirit of anger in one of my guys, the one who growls, but trying to help him see it is a challenge…he knows he can’t physically take out his anger on people – we do have a couple of holes in walls (which he then repairs) but I’m sure that has something to do with the growling…I wonder how much is genetics???

    I do understand his tendencies…he learned to growl from me…breaking the cycle…hard work, that. Any advice you feel like sharing, I’m teachable too.

    Thanks for the party last night…Phat and I just went through it all…I think, he thinks, we’re fairly crazy!!! 😀

  65. “I can see how this might be easier in the short term,”

    Michelle, it’s not even easier in the short term anymore. You know how in Genesis the Philistines had filled in Isaac’s wells with dirt? Well, the wells that I drink from in running, are filled with dirt. And it has begun to taste like dirt. Thank God. Because it has made me want to dig deep to find the water again.

    “I’m not a stranger to Christian counseling and have gleaned much insight from time spent “on the couch”. Yet with all of that help, I gain the most from time in the Word…it is the balm of Gilead…it is the water that washes us clean…it is the sword which cuts to the depth of marrow and sinews…it is the guide for our paths.”

    I also have spent my fair share of time “on the couch” and also been the one counseling the one on the couch! And time and again…the Word is what I long for and lean to most also. I’ve recently grown quite tired of “looking back” as is often done in counseling, and found a driving desire to simply let my gaze rest on the cross…the death, the resurrection….and the Word.

    Thank you for the prayer Michelle. 🙂 As I wrote in my fig leaf blog, hiding seems to not be much of an option anymore. Because even if I choose not to come out into the light, the Light has suddenly come to me. Is. 60….arise and shine, for your light has come.

    As for brothers….well….
    One brother (I have 3) left when I was young, and is 12 years older than me, so I never really had much of a relationship with him. See him on Thanksgiving, that’s about it. Another brother, 8 years older, was my best friend and strong tower for me to run to as a child. He was my parent in a home of neglect. But a 14 year old can only handle being a parent to 5 young children for so long. He joined the Nave when he was 17, I was 9. We didn’t reconnect again for 20 years. What a sweet reunion that was! But it is still hard for him to keep relationships with us, with so much pain of a lost childhood attatched to us….yet he does love us fiercely. That left my brother who is 2 years older than me, feeling abandoned and neglected, having lost his older brother. And I was the landing place for all of that anger, still in a house of neglect with no one to protect me. I was beat up and verbally torn apart daily. I did leave home when I was 16. And it would be years before I realized that my “norm” was not normal. God has certainly walked me through quite a healing to say the least. Yet it is still all too easy to fall back into that fear of rejection, because of haunting actions that say “you are not enough”. Because I wasn’t enough. None of us could fill his void that was created by not having parents who parent. He is also a Christian now, but a very harsh, legalistic one who feels it’s ‘his way or no way’. And his ways and my ways aren’t always looking the same, to say the least. From conversations he’s had with my sisters, I believe guilt over his actions eat at his heart. Yet when I try to speak with him, I am still met with anger. So, I have forgiven him, and leave him with God. Who will heal him.
    BUT…God provides:) I have recently adopted NorEaster as my brother:):):)

  66. I CAN’T BELIEVE I MISSED THE PARTY!!!!!!!!!!

    And Michelle….we watch the same Thursday night line up!! 😯 Freakin’ me out girl! 😆 We’ll have to get together on a Thursday and watch Anne of Green Gables all day and then watch our Thursday night shows. 😀 heehee

    Seriously, I am WAY BUMMED I missed the party! 😦 Dang kids (and tv). 😆 HAHA!!

  67. I’m backkkkk! Why did I join the party and find myself knocked out on the couch with my laptop half falling, three hours later? LORD HAVE MERCY! I am so sorry Michelle! I usually don’t leave parties without telling the guest of honor bye *giggle* Yall had a good time! I’m mad I missed it

    NE: Just wanted to encourage you with the scripture “A friend loveth at all times.” If you have thoughts and opinions that your friends don’t agree with, they will continue to love you and respect you for who you are. If they don’t, then friends may have a different meaning for them because God’s Word says that a friend will love at ALL times not just when opinions are the same or when one does or think what the other tells them to. Praise God for His truth!

    Tam: *hug* Just cause…:)

    I don’t have any brothers. It was just three sisters in the house growing up. I am the middle child. When I was growing up [up until I got saved at 24] I never wanted a brother. I was sexually abused by my father’s nephew from ages 3-6 who was supposed to be a “brother figure” in my life. That completely tainted my view of that role.

    Then I found a big brother who loved me unconditionally. Who showed me grace and mercy. Who protected me and didn’t take advantage of my vulnerability. What a wonderful big brother Jesus is!

    God has blessed me with spiritual older brothers who treat me like I am a princess and who would do anything to protect me. One is my pastor who is in his thirties and just recently got married to my best friend. He took on a big brother role 2 years ago when I first met him and it was when I had just started to learn about Jesus and was confused and scared about all the changes. Then my husband’s older brother is definitely a big brother to me. Prays with and for me and is very overprotective.

    Who says brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers always have to be blood? Praise God for His family!

  68. Wow.

    I’m beginning to think no one is without a story…it seems we all have had struggles we’ve had to endure that have made us into the people we are today. (duh)

    I just returned from lunch with my husband where we talked about the choices we’ve made and why…

    We met at eighteen and were both desperate for love and acceptance. We knew our parents loved us, but other things, the struggles of life and the “squeaky wheels”, received more of them. So when we found eachother and knew it was true love, not just teenage hormones 😯 , we hung on tight.

    I was already in counseling with the college chaplain so, many times, Phat came along. We joke that we had two years of marriage counseling before we were even engaged. The best advice we received from those sessions: remain teachable. Socrates said it another way, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

    Some people don’t want to examine things, to look at the source of the wounding or test the bacteria which caused the infection, and are then bound to carry the wound with them, festering and never completely healed. As hard as it is, I think it’s best to get the wound lanced (Brandy, does this sound familiar? 😉 ), let all the “gunk” drain and apply the healing source of God’s Word. Things heal properly when wounds are treated effectively.

    That’s what we talked about – why have we have enjoyed 24+ years of a marriage. We don’t think we have all the answers; we continue to seek professional Christian help when we need it; and we rely upon the Son of God to lead us through our trials…one day at a time.

    If that sounded like I’m being a know-it-all then please read back through it and hear my heart…I’m so glad to be married to the man God gave me.

    And yes, of course, Gchyayles (or is it Donkey?), you can join Brandy and I for AOGG, but will you watch the evening line up too (Smallville, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost)? If so, then you’re in!!! 😆 So how are we gonna pull this off? 😕

  69. Hmmm.Phat thinks we’re “fairly” crazy???

    hmmm…well, until we arrive at totally crazy then we haven’t done our job.

    we have much work to do people!

    much work!!!!

    gchyayles – huggin ya back girl!!! big one!!!

  70. YES gchyayles!! You can join us! The more the merrier! 😀

    Taaaaaaaaaaam, would you like to join us???? huh huh huh?? (we need an emoticon that raises it’s eyebrows 😆 )

  71. WOAH my husband may buy another tv if I spend that much time in front of it. He’s a huge anything-sports-and-ill-watch-it person 😀 I don’t watch a whole lot of tv but hey, this may be the change of the season [they did say this was a year of new beginnings hehehe]. I do like Smallvile; haven’t watched Gray’s Anatomy a whole lot and never seen Lost but again, never too late. I could give it a try.

    CARRRRROTS! haha I just thought of that–anybody know what I’m talking about? Brandy? Michellllleeee? 😉

  72. Gchyayles – Anne of Green Gables!!! That’s another reason I love the series – I GET her!!! I think I need to read it again, it’s been too many years…

    Alece – good to see you…me too…I need it hourly these days.

    NorEaster and Tam – I know it’s not the same, but I’m beginning to think of y’all as family. Brothers and sisters in Christ…

    ♥ Y’all!

  73. usually my eyes don’t leak well right when i wake up…but Michelle…i think you just fixed that

  74. wow! I am soooo impressed with your amount of comments! You are a blog superstar now! sorry i missed your birthday..happy belated!!

  75. Morning Sis 😀 Sorry i missed Y’all yesterday but now i’mall caught up here – What a great &#th B’day party 🙂

    Chelle’ – your comment #189 siad so much and although it has a very different perspective to mine ( only Child, loving parents, counselling only after the ‘break-up’ of my marriage) what you and Socrates said about a life unexamined is totally my mind’s philosphy ( Jesus is my ♥ Philosphy!)

    I so wish all understood it better in their lives. Thank you for explaining it the way you said 🙂

    You’re a Sister i am truly proud of 😉 ( and love)

    <B

  76. Wow, Happy Belated Birthday, my gift is on the way!!! Happy Mother’s Day too…I tagged you, so come on over! Love you and catch up with ya soon, 🙂

  77. Thanks for all the good wishes everyone – it was a wonderful birthday and a very happy Mother’s Day!!!

    I decided to expand comment 189 into a post…just thought it might have been lost among all the birthday wishes.

    Again, thanks! Y’all have certainly been a source of joy in my life!! 😀

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