Archive for the ‘healing’ Tag

You Too?   Leave a comment

There has been a lot of news about the #metoo movement in the past few years.  Women coming forward, speaking out, revealing sexual assault and harassment they have gone through.  Perhaps it is the way my brain works.  Perhaps it is because I could join the ranks of #metoo.  I am not sure, but when I hear stories about revealed sexual assault, my mind goes to all the victims of – let us go ahead and name it – the crimes.

The mother, the father, the brother or sister who saw, who knew. And never said anything.  The teacher, the coach who saw.  Maybe they were even confessed to.  And they did not say anything.  The co-workers who noticed the bruises and changes in behavior and didn’t ask.  The family members who saw what was happening but didn’t say anything because — that is the way it happened in their family.  It happened to them, and now it was happening to another generation, and no one ever said anything about it.

What about those people?  What are they going through, hearing all this recent talk about standing together, speaking up, not being silent, calling out?  What kind of guilt, anger, loathing they might be feeling?  And what do they do with those feelings?  Who helps them?

What about the men?  The men who were boys once.  Teenagers.  Now they are grown men.  Do they feel guilt?  Do they feel bad about what they did?  Do they even remember?  Do they care about lives forever changed?  Lives forever scared because of what they did?  Who helps them?  Who do they go to for support, for help?

I know someone who I am quite sure had a sexual assault when she was in her 20’s.  I saw the changes in her.  I asked her about it.  She denied it.  She denies anything happened to this day.  Do these news stories dredge it all up for her?  I know someone I worked with who came to work every day in long sleeves and/or turtle necks.  She finally told us a little bit about how her husband treated her.  We listened and were supportive.  We let her know we were there for her.  She finally left him and lived with my friend for a few months.  That was 30 years ago.  What does she think when she hears these stories?  Does she wonder if things would have been different if she had spoken up and reported her husband?

I have my own sexual assault stories.  Over the years, God slowly healed me.  It would take too long to explain how that happened. I am not sure why God chose to heal me so slowly instead of all at once.  But I am healed.  I have forgiven them.  It happened a long time ago.  It is past and gone. Forgiven.  Not forgotten, but it is behind me and I am looking ahead.  So what do I think when I hear these stories?  What do I think when I read the articles about someone finally speaking out about something that had happened 20 years previously?

I grieve with them that it ever happened.  I accept that their healing process, their way of dealing with what happened, is not the same as me.  I accept that though I am healed and I have put what happened behind me — not everyone has had the same experience.  Not everyone can say that.  And for some, it is part of their healing, part of their process to put it behind them, to finally speak up and say something.  Even many years later.

Though, I still can’t help thinking of everyone else who also were/are affected by what happened.  What kind of #metoo movement can there be for them?

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Posted October 30, 2018 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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RENEWAL & HEALING   Leave a comment

It has been nine months since my dear wonderful husband Randy passed away.  Just before New Years I felt a healing by God over my grief.  I still miss my Randy just as much as I ever did.  I still think about him and even talk to him.  But the daily crying jags and the horrible pain of my loss has lessened quite a bit.

I had the last two weeks of December off, and spent it at home.  I did some things outside my apartment of course but I didn’t make any trips or go out of town.  One of the new things I tried this year (or, retried would be a better way of describing it) was to try paint-by-numbers kits again.

When I was around 10 – 13 years old I did a lot of paint-by-numbers.  You used to be able to buy these kits for very little money in the Five and Dime stores.  Those were the equivalent of Dollar Stores today, for those of you not old enough to get the reference.  I did a lot of them.  Mostly they were horses, since I was horse mad and I enjoyed the pictures.  I don’t know for sure if it started then, but I have always had a love of painting.  Using watercolors and acrylics.  I truly do love to paint, and I am truly bad at it.  I am not being modest – I really am.  I have tried and tried over the years to get some idea, some vision, some memory down on paper or canvas in watercolor or acrylic.  And I have always failed miserably.  It has been pretty frustrating to me, but my love of painting has spurred me on to keep trying.

So when I stumbled across paint-by-number kits on a web site I thought, “Hmmmm….. I wonder if I will like doing this as much as I did when I was younger?”  Turns out, the answer was YES.  As you might guess, they have made a lot of improvements in the paint-by-number kit market in the 40 odd years since I last tried one.  I bought one that was not on the cheapest end, but not in the middle price range either.  And started working on it.

While I can’t paint, I can follow instructions to paint a specific color of paint in a specific area of a canvas.  And when I was all done?  It looked like something!  It looked like what it should look like!  You can actually, you know, recognize what it is!  And the thing is, I found that I enter into a kind of zen state when I paint.  In fact, I found that there were times I sat for four hours at a stretch, painting.  So I have had to set the alarm, and purposefully get up more often.  Painting does something to my crafty, artistic soul.  And I believe it was God-led.  I do believe God pointed me in that direction because He knew I needed it.  He knew what good it would do me.

One of the things I did on my vacation was to go to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.  It was something I had wanted to do for a long time, but Randy wouldn’t have been able to do all the walking and standing.  I had been there before, about 6 months after it had reopened, and really enjoyed seeing everything again.  I found myself talking to Randy as I made my way slowly through the exhibits, and it was very comforting.  When I was there they had a special showing of minerals and gems, and Randy really loved that stuff.  We had a long conversation about the stones as I looked through all the display cases.  In the rain forest, they had several glass cages set up for newts.  And I heard him clearly in my head reciting the lines from the Monty Python movie: “She turned me into a newt!”  “You’re not a newt”  “I got better”.  He could do the accent, and his timing was perfect and every time he said those lines it cracked me up.  It cracked me up again when I stood looking in at the newts.

My time at the CalAcademy was sad, yes, but it was also fun and loving and warm and … comforting.  It did not make me cry, it made me smile.  It made me happy.  It made me grateful, yet again, that my Randy was in my life and enriched it in all the ways he did.  And that was a blessing, and a healing from God.

Here is a picture of the second paint-by-numbers kit I completed.

tree-pbn

Posted January 9, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Memories, Uncategorized

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GIFTS   Leave a comment

I’ve had some time off at the end of the year, before and after Christmas.  It is a perk and a blessing of my job that I can take this time off.  I’ve so enjoyed it!  One of the things God has done during this time is work more healing in me.  I didn’t know I needed it, but He did.  I feel more healed from my dear husband’s passing.  I no longer have daily crying jags.  My memories are more often happy and comforting rather than sad and depressing.  Praise be to God, my healer and provider!

I am going to try to post weekly, at least in January.  I usually wait until I have something to say to post on this blog, but I will try a weekly post and see how it goes.  What do you think?

Something our Pastor’s wife shared on Sunday is what I want to share with you this week.  It may be that you have heard this already, but it was new to me.  She was paraphrasing from what she was told by someone she knows, so I am going to pass along that paraphrasing.

Imagine that you have died and gone to heaven.  At last!  St Peter is there to meet you, and offers to show you around a bit. You walk through the gate of pearl, on the street of gold.  You see trees and a river.  You see God on His throne.  As you walk you see mansions, but you also see large doors with names above them.  You stop — suddenly you see a door with your name.

“I want to go in there”, you tell St Peter.  “Oh, you don’t want to go in there”, St Peter says.  “Yes, I do. It has my name on it.  I want to see what’s in there.”  “Okay,” says St Peter with resignation.  “But you may be sorry.”

He opens the door and you look in.  It is a large, high ceilinged room, lined with shelves.  And on the shelves there are packages.  Gifts, really, because they are beautifully decorated and wrapped.  The most wonderful paper and with ribbons, and all of them are gorgeous.  You look around the whole room, at shelves and shelves of these beautiful gifts.  There are some empty spots on the shelves, but there are just so many gifts!

“What are all these?” you ask St Peter.  “Those are the gifts God had prepared for you and was ready to give you while you lived on the earth” he tells you.

“Oh!  I want to open them!” you exclaim.  Sadly, St Peter shakes his head.  “No, it is too late.  The boxes are all empty.”

See, it is not enough that you know God has good gifts to give his children.  It is not enough to know God is waiting to give His gifts to his precious children.  We have to receive them, and open them.  Unless or until we do, they just remain on the shelves, unopened.  Open your gifts this year.

Posted January 2, 2017 by Maureen in Musings, Stories

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FORGIVENESS   Leave a comment

I recently sat down and talked with one of my sisters about two things that she had said and done that really hurt me.  It was hard for me.  Our family does not share feelings among ourselves.  We were taught well by our parents not to.  We have the feelings, and I’m sure all my siblings have people in their life they can share those feelings with.  We just don’t often share them with each other.

I don’t know if I am unique in this, but when something (or someone) makes me mad or hurt, the deeper I feel hurt or mad, the longer it takes for me to be able to talk about it.  I know from past experience that I have to really think through my feelings and not start talking about them right away.  If I do, it turns into incoherent, disjointed, and non-logical emotional rambling (or even raving) that leaves everyone confused and me feeling horrible with no resolution.  I don’t stew about it – I process it.  Examine myself and my motives.  Pinpoint my feelings and why I’m feeling that way.  Think about and pray about my response.

This one sister had hurt me very deeply on Christmas day.  Yes, that means I took about 5 months to process.  Like I said – I was hurt deeply.  Once I got over the worst of my hurt and also got past the self-righteous aspect of my feelings (“She had no right!  She was in the wrong!”) I was able to spend time asking God what I could have or should have done differently, and what my response should be.  Miscommunications and hurt are very seldom only one person’s fault, and if I was in any way at fault I wanted to own that and admit it.  And I wanted to respond in a Christian way, since this sister is not a Christian.

It took me almost 5 months, but I was at the point where I could talk about it without getting all emotional and incoherent.  So I sent an email.  Probably should have made a phone call, but with an email I can be sure to put my thoughts down, reword them, change things around, and all without being interrupted.  So yes, I will often write things down in an email when I have to communicate something that is hard for me.  She responded, and then we decided to meet face to face.

I was surprised that she thought I hated her.  She was surprised that I was hurt by her response, as she thought I had different motivations than I did.  We explained to each other.  She didn’t apologize, but then I never expected her to, nor was it why I met with her.  We communicated.  We cleared the air.  We saw things from the other person’s perspective.  And I think it made a big difference in our relationship.  And, I was able to do all that in love and non-hateful way, which I believe was a good witness to her.

So I give glory to God that He was able to heal me and help me be a better person, and use an opportunity to witness my Christian walk to someone.

Posted June 5, 2015 by Maureen in Christian, Memories

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