Betrayal, God, Love, Trust

Time Brings Truth

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Trust is a heart purpose that begins with intention. 

We decide if we will trust. 

We decide if we will be trustworthy. 

As mentioned in my previous blog, trust is something learned at an early age. If someone hurts or deceives us we feel betrayed. Betrayal can cause us to carry wounds that change the pattern of our thinking and feeling. As we continue through life if that wound is not healed then it festers. As time passes we may find ourselves in what I call protective mode. Being in protective mode can manifest into doubt, bitterness, resentment, and a pain that creates a wedge prohibiting us to be transparent with others. It’s safe to say it impacts the way we love ourselves and how we love others.

My trust issues originated from lack of love and care from my biological father. At the time I was too young to understand why and it caused me to guard my heart as I grew up. I did not trust too many people. If I felt someone was unsafe or untrustworthy it was easy for me to walk away so not to get hurt. With each wound I became more guarded and it planted seeds of doubt regarding God’s love for me, and a lack of trust in him.

Through the years my relationship with God has taken many turns as I’ve grown in my trust and understanding of him. I did the changing. He remained the same. (Malachi 3:6)

As a teenager I began thinking of marriage and told myself I would marry someone I can trust because that was important to me. At the age of 19 I married a police officer, and because he wore a badge it added a false sense of security in that I could trust him. Unfortunately, he became the second man in my life to wound me with betrayal. I had been married about 9 months and was 3 months pregnant when his brother informed me it was good we were having a baby because his brother had planned on leaving me. It was approximately 10 years later when his sister shared with my cousin her brother would be leaving me when I turned 40. After a 21 year marriage, two sons, and turning 40 we divorced.

In life there are times we come face-to-face with truth but we refuse to look at it, walk in it and/or believe it. This has been the case for me in a few seasons of life. The truth can hurt. But in our weakness God gives us strength.

In the midst of trials and tribulations I have learned who I can trust, and the importance of being trustworthy. I have learned people let us down. I have learned I have let people down. Even the best of intentions can be misconstrued and cause pain to another. On days when trust struggles start to wear me down I cling to the promises of God because he never changes. He promises to work all things together for my good. These are the days I see him weaving the tattered pieces of life’s mistakes into a tapestry of his promises for a future and a hope where I am set free.

As I reflect my trust wounds were from men who took up the most room in my heart; starting with my birth father and ending with my youngest son. And in the midst of those trust challenges I have had to give God thanks for the men in between who He used to rebuild my trust. One being the man I have called dad since the age of 3, and the other is my eldest son. Both have opened their hearts to me allowing a relationship that is based on respect and transparency. These are love relationships God has used to rebuild my confidence in trusting.

On days when I feel anxious to trust I am reminded of God’s love and how he took the wounds of this world enduring betrayal so we could be set free from it.

When I look at how far I’ve come and the hand who has brought me here I can’t help but ask, who can understand the depths of his love? Because I cannot. It is beyond my comprehension but I am thankful every day for it.

In his compassion and love for me he provided a dad that has been faithful to my mom and our family. He has amazed me at how in times of trouble he is my helper. My peace in times of chaos. And joy when there has been sorrow. He has taught me the value of trust, faith, hope and love in a world struggling with betrayal, fear, loss and hate.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

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Trust, It Begins with Us

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Do things you know are right even when you don’t feel like it because it gets us in a pattern of right thinking, and acting. Learn to trust yourself. Learn to trust others.

I believe trust starts out small…it begins at birth. It begins with us.

As we grow older it grows in us and it forms our character and helps define us. We are born with it and we learn to die with it.

God planted the seed of trust into our being as He molded us in our mother’s womb. It is our compass to the True North. It regulates off of our conscience and helps keep us true to ourselves and to others. Trust is our guide to peace, prosperity and a life of abundance. Trust brings people together and a lack of it tears them apart. It’s a part of our character and it helps define us.

In our early years we learn quickly how betrayal can break our ability to trust. The inability to keep our own promises to ourselves can be what places us on the path of becoming unreliable and unable to trust ourselves and others.

No one man is perfect. We will let others and ourselves down. Most times than not it won’t be intentional. It usually will stem from a lack of prayer, care, or wisdom. Unfortunately, each failure with trust will take us further away from what God planned for us to become. It can cause us to shy away from the voice of God and of reason. It can cause others to shy away from us.

Trust is a heart purpose that begins with intention.

So I ask, what does trust mean to you? How do you know you can trust someone? And the bigger question, do you trust yourself?

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Make Each Day Count

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Yesterday was maintenance program day. It started at 8am with a dentist appointment. I told myself it won’t be that bad and to be brave. Like most people, I would have to say the dentist ranks low as a place I like to spend my time.

I decided to remain lighthearted and share some stories until he brought out the drill. He said if I need anything or feel any pain to just raise my left hand. It felt like an hour but it was only 20 minutes before I was compelled to raise my left hand. There was a sudden urge to let him know the brave was gone and the baby was coming out. How much longer I asked? I don’t like the taste and I don’t like the sound of the drill. After 1.5 hours, one filling and prep for the crown they let me go.

I headed over to my next appointment.

My next appointment was with the Ophthalmologist. I was getting my new frames sized for some fancy powerful glasses that will help relieve the eye stress when in front of the computer, and for reading. Oh, let’s not forget the nighttime driving. Is this what they call progressive? I checked in and kindly explained the drooling and puffy cheeks. After all I did not want them thinking I was showing up drunk and with a mouth full of chew! I decided I’d spoil myself and had picked out a cool pair of Coach. I will now be able to see myself smile!

As I drove home I was consumed with all the maintenance needed as I grow older. They say you’re as young as you feel. Well I must be in my mid 30’s because I feel young. It’s only when I look into the mirror or the computer that I am reminded of how quickly the years are catching up to me.

Once home I fell asleep from all of the drama and numbing from the day. Now trust me, I never take naps. Could this be another sign? I gently told myself to get used to it because I have been informed napping is common in the later years. Hmm, I wonder if this is due to not having time to nap while raising kids, building a career and a family. Now later in life when things are supposed to slow down, we do too?

Later in the evening I found myself sitting in yet another chair, my hairdressers. These appointments do rank high on my list because she massages my neck and I get to lay back with my head in the sink while someone else washes my hair! I think I fell asleep again. I wanted to ask her about the grey coming in but I figured if I could see it without my glasses than she knew it was there. (Proverbs 16:31)

While driving home I was thinking of friends who are a “little” older than me and I was reminded of how gracefully they are growing. How they embrace life and appear to be enjoying the “golden” years. They’ve put in the hard work and are now enjoying the fruits of their labor. (They’ve Bucket Lists) They take time out for themselves and appreciate the finer things. They’re living one day at a time.

Why is it we put things off until our “tomorrows” what we can do today? All of us can look back and think why did I not do this or that when I had the time? Why wait? Why live with more regret when you can make those changes now. Now is the time to live, while you’re still alive and breathing on your own. Now is the time to love while your heart is still beating. Now is the time to look good and to feel good while you’re able to take care of yourself, fend for yourself. In the last two weeks I’ve heard more stories of women who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Young women.

Life is fleeting.

James 4:14 “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”

Don’t put off today what you can do tomorrow. Don’t hold back love today thinking you’ll love someone tomorrow…Don’t stop taking care of yourself because you think it’s too late and no one will notice. Love yourself enough to enjoy the life you’ve been given. Seize the moments God has so graciously given to you. Make life count your blessings and not your regrets.

Psalms 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”

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As I reflect back on the people who touched my life with their Brave, I cannot help but think of my mother. At the age of 3 years old mom took me and a few of our belongings on the train from Colorado to California. She married my birth father and he ended up being an abusive man, a selfish man who left her wounded. His father did the same to my grandmother and his family.

Mom says, “I had no choice he would have killed us and I needed to take you out of there.” I say, mom had a choice. The day came when she decided to throw her Brave Cape on and take the necessary steps that would lead her to her destiny. In order for her to grow and experience her dreams she would need to leave the past and move into her future.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

This was a year of hope and change, a year of a new beginning for mom and me.

I know God was guiding my mom in 1963 when she purchased those 2 train tickets and packed our bags. I can’t help but think God used the changes happening around the world in the lives of women to encourage her in her bravery and to move into the better things He had planned for her and for me. I say this because 1963 was the year it was noted for women taking off their aprons and speaking more forcefully about their yearnings for a new identity and leadership roles outside the kitchen and the home. Women were being heard. It was Martin Luther King’s year of the infamous “I Had a Dream”. Brave Capes were being thrown on all over the world and steps were being taken toward change.

I am thankful mom threw on her Brave Cape and trusted God. At the time she did not know what was awaiting our arrival in California other than her two sisters and their children. But in God’s goodness and protection there was support and the things she would need to be successful in her new life. He had her back.

Throughout God’s Word we hear of brave women who made a difference in the lives of others. These women made change possible through their faith and trust in God. Brave women like Deborah, Rahab, and Ruth to name a few. I’m sure most have heard, “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” I believe this to be true. But most times you will find you will need to take that step of faith and put your Brave Cape on as you move through it. You will need to believe for more.

So I ask, can you hear it, the small still voice calling for you?

It resides in us. It’s powerful. It changes us.

And, He wants more.

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I Just Want to See You Be Brave

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The world is full of Superheroes. There will be times life calls on us to show up with our Brave Cape on. We may need to show courage when we don’t feel courageous. Let’s face it as good as life can be it can also be overwhelming at times. Over the years I have had people tell me to seize the moment because you might not get another one like it. Life is short.

As I approach my birthday I am reminded of how quickly life has passed and I am grateful to have experienced many answered prayers. Woven in and out of my life has been what I like to call, the storms of life. When these hit they can hit hard. They can leave one weary and discouraged. It’s in these storms of life I’ve known there is something greater in me. And that greater in me is God.

As I think about it, I am but a mere woman that stands 5’3inches with an unhappy weight when I step onto the scale. I am human. I have flaws. I don’t always act as I should, speak as I should, or love as I should. But God placed me in this world and there is a purpose in his plan for me. Even as a little girl growing up I  knew there was more to life than learning how to share, sit pretty, play nice, love others, and obey my parents. From the beginning God planted in me desires that have burned in my heart and allowed me to dream. I have walked in many of those dreams that have left me with wonderful memories and have helped mold me into the woman I am today. I have also been the victim of circumstances that have destroyed some of those dreams. Not to mention the ones I sabotaged, or gave up because I was not brave enough to see them through.

In life we will be called to put on our Brave Cape, stretch ourselves and learn to trust God more for the things we cannot see. To be brave enough to step out believing for the dreams planted deep inside us. And most of all, to trust when life doesn’t go the way we planned.

But because of God’s love and mercy he doesn’t leave us in the end zone. He rescues and protects us like the lion does his tribe. He leads and provides. He roars loud enough to keep those who don’t mean well at a distance so we can figure things out and make better choices. He roars loud enough to get our attention so we can hear only him, and see his beauty long enough to know He is with us.

Living life today takes a whole lot of BRAVE and especially when we turn on the news and see what is happening around the globe. We live in a time where there is plenty. Plenty to strive for, compete for, and even to die for. Don’t allow the lies of this world, the evil, hard knocks, and disappointments to stand in your way of living the life you were created to live. Be more. Believe for more. Be Brave.

The bravery we display just might bring us to the end of this life with less regrets and more love. And for you parents, the Brave Cape you wear may be what your children emulate when they too face fear and need to make those hard choices in life. Whatever it is you’re facing or believing for put that brave cape on and soar!

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If you find yourself in need of wearing your Brave Cape or you have overcome and want to share, please leave your comments below.