Wednesday, October 17, 2012

God's wisdom at hand.... pun intended

God works in mysterious ways, I know we have all heard that saying before, however there is nothing mysterious about the way he has been working in my life recently, this week was yet another confirmation of that, that even when I can't see it or don't really understand what is happening that God has it all under control and knows exactly what he is doing and why he is doing it.

Romans 8:28 says: and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I realise this post is a bit all over the place so I shall attempt to give it some structure.

The past 5-6 months have been a difficult time for me injury wise.. I developed chronic and continuous pain in my right hand which has spread up through my wrist and arm, it hurts.. everyday it hurts to varying degree's but always.. it hurts.  So it has been a time of hospital visits, G.P visits, x rays in and out of casts, braces and slings, an MRI, steroid injections several visits to a plastic surgeon, a case conference surrounded by 15 or so plastic surgeons, visits to an upper limb therapist who poked me full of dry needles each week (which was awesome for pain relief by the way) but did not treat the actual problem. My pain remains.

During this time we also decided to start looking at buying a new house,.. * no this is not a tangent the two topics coincide I promise**.... We had been renting a small house after selling 12 months earlier and as our lease drew near to ending we thought we would look and see what the market was doing and whether  it was the right time to buy or not. We found a couple of houses we really liked one in particular we fell in love with and started to check out our finances and our options in order to put in an we did this we began to battle with the thoughts of was this the right house, was this the right time, financially how would this work.. we knew God had the perfect house for us ready and waiting for when the time was right.. was this the right time.. I struggled with this.. I REALLY loved the house we were looking at.. it seemed perfect, big bedrooms lovely outdoor areas loads of space and a massive kitchen, I felt for sure God was providing us this house that met all our needs and 99% of our wants,.. there was just that little issue of the would take every bit of our savings and money from the sale of our house plus take us to our very limits on applying for a loan to buy this house. Yes we would have a beautiful home but it would really really stretch us financially. We sought council and after prayer decided that this wasn't the home for us and that it was not the time to buy and have since rented another house which is beautiful and just as spacious and comfortable as the house we were intending to buy.

 I could not help but have a few moments of thinking why would this beautiful house be available and God not provide a way for us to buy it. I firmly believe that God provides all our needs 

Philippians 4:19 — But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

and wants to give us the desires of our heart  

Psalm 37:4 - Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. 

This house was definitely a desire of our heart but we felt strongly we were being told no and to wait on buying a house.

 Back to my wrist/hand. Things the past few weeks with my hand have gotten increasingly worse, the pain has intensified and I have developed tremors and numbness on and off throughout the hand and several finger, I had been referred to yet another upper limb specialist who was a little confused as to why I was seeing a plastic surgeon and not an orthopaedic surgeon.. (and now so am I, feels like I wasted my time and a big chunk of money for no answers) This doctor referred me on to see an orthopaedic surgeon who was able to look at all the tests x-rays and MRI and actually give me a diagnosis and an action plan of how to treat it.  So the diagnosis is I have a disease called Keinbocks disease and this has caused vascular necrosis of my Lunate bone..which means I have a lack of blood flowing to certain areas and bones in my wrist and this has caused the bone to begin dying (hence the extreme pain) and also my x-ray was misread the first time by the plastic's doc and one of the other bones in my wrist is shorter and therefore not supporting my hand properly which is most likely what caused the Keinbocks disease to take hold. The great news is that this can be fixed... the bad news is it takes surgery to fix it... my arm is going to be broken and they will remove a piece of bone from the wrist and place a metal plate into my arm therefore aligning all the bones properly and hopefully restoring the blood flow and stopping the necrosis.

We do not have private health cover. To go on a public waiting list I am looking at a waiting time of around 2 years since it is categorised as non emergency despite being in sometimes extremely agonising pain. I cannot wait 2 years, I will end up addicted to pain medication or going insane front the pain and it will get worse the longer it is left untreated. So we are paying for the surgery. Now this is how I know God has things in control, We have to pay for everything the doctors fee's, the hospital room the anaesthesiologist.. everything coming out of our pockets and very little coming back from Medicare a quote was given today for around 7 and 1/2 thousand dollars for this surgery. 

I thank God that we have this money all ready to go. That he guided us away from spending everything we had on a house.. a house that would bring stress despite its beauty. If we were given this quote and had bought the house there is no way possible we could afford this surgery and we would not be able to get a loan to pay for it either as we would of borrowed already to our maximum limits. I would of been stuck on a public waiting list for 2 years in pain suffering everyday. Instead because we sought out God and actually listened to what he said I will be having surgery in a couple of weeks to fix the damage in my arm, yes it will be painful for a time after as I recover however that pain will be the pain of well worth it-ness (yes I made that word up)

I am so grateful that God is the God of today, tomorrow and yesterday. That he cares about me and is looking out for me and my family in all areas of our lives both big and small. I am grateful that he provides our needs and places people in our lives who have biblical wisdom and also care about the decisions we make and how the outcomes of those decisions affect the rest of our lives.
As a friend said I will have the rest of my life to save for a house, at least now I will be able to enjoy it pain free and that is far more important to me then simply having a house I can be in and not fully enjoy because I am suffering with pain.

 My hospital papers arrived today and my surgery should take place in the next few weeks, I am so so happy that I will be having this operation as soon as I am.. made possible only because we are covering the cost ourselves, which is made possible only because God spoke and thankfully we listened.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Healing the trauma of abortion - an 11 year journey.

I am writing this with the knowledge that I may not actually publish it, it could just be something I write in order to help along the therapeutic process and be the final chapter in what has been a long journey... 11 years in fact of letting the past rest and my recovery from the trauma that is abortion.

While I am not one for public confession this is more about getting the events and thoughts out of my head and onto paper... well screen.  Yes I had an abortion. Yes even just writing those words leaves me a little uneasy still, and I wonder how many of you will take this revelation, though I have no control over what you will think of me once you read those words I can't help but still fight a tiny part of me that fears your judgement. This has been a closely guarded secret for many many years, many of you, my trusted and closest friends do not know this about me, I don't talk about it.. well I never used to but I am starting to now. Shame, guilt and disgust have held my lips silent for too long and over the past month with the help of a wonderful couple I am letting go, in fact I have let go handed over my lost son to the hands of God and forgiven myself for a decision made under intense pressure a decision I didn't realise at the time would be the beginning of the undoing of my mental health.

 Already a young mum to my beautiful daughter I found myself in a fairly messy relationship with an emotionally unstable man, whom I will not name because that would not be right,  I thought he was all I deserved, we had not become intimate under the best of circumstances, he was already in a relationship when I met him and he left his partner to be with me, I was a mess, as our relationship behind closed doors became verbally abusive I found out I was pregnant. Utterly horrified, overwhelmed and literally sick with fear that I would be forever bound to this man I sought council from an older woman (someone whom I thought wiser at the time)  who advised me the best thing I could do was terminate. I told the baby's father I was pregnant and he also suggested abortion - desperate, utterly totally desperate I could not see any other option then to go along with his wishes and have the pregnancy terminated.

Appointments were made, examinations had and within 3 weeks I was walking into the ** Hospital (again not going to name names) I was booked in and told of the fee I would need to hand over, (which was more then expected) rummaging through my bag my partner came up with the cash and I was
told that I would need to cook him a nice dinner that night to make up for the fact that he was spending more money on me... which gives you a small indication of the calibre of arsehole we are dealing with here. Completely disillusioned and completely terrified I headed into the operating room hefted up onto a small cold bed and blissfully I was knocked out. I say blissfully because I no longer had to deal with the 25 voices in my head telling me 25 different things, the voice of my parents telling me how shameful I was, the voice of my friend telling me I would not cope with another child, the voice of my partner telling me how he didn't want this child... and my voice in my own head just screaming over and over.. screaming and not being heard.

I was roughly woken up by a nurse and informed I needed to get dressed and move along to a quiet room where other woman recovering from their abortions were seated. It was horrible. I was in a drug fuelled haze and stumbled about getting dressed and then waiting to be picked up. Finally I was taken home where I forced a smile for my mum and baby and acted like everything was normal despite the fact that I was bleeding heavily and felt dizzy and sick.  Afraid to tell my mother and too worried about my baby daughter to let her see me fall apart I pushed aside the hurt, the incredible pain and mental anguish and carried on like nothing had happened. Outwardly I was the same. Inside though I began to feel like I was dying... in the days and weeks that followed I forced myself to interact with my daughter though it was so difficult.  I was shutting down emotionally and began to battle massive waves of guilt and shame, I felt like I did not deserve my daughter knowing that I had willingly given my unborn baby away. Thoughts of suicide came and went frequently and for a while things got very very dark for me. I continued to stay with my partner...almost a form of punishment for myself, again what I felt I deserved. The only glimmer of light was that through a former neighbour of his I began attending church which somehow helped. Don't get me wrong, it didn't help right away and it was difficult for people to reach me given the black hole I was living in and the pain that  hovered over my heart constantly, but eventually (over the space of maybe 12-15 months) I let down some of the wall that I had built around myself, I gave my life to Jesus and ditched my partner.

 Things got better, I got a job, became a better mother, became busy with church activities and friends and met my now husband. Things were going well until I switched on the computer at David's house (then boyfriend now husband) and was searching the web when somehow an abortion website popped up on the screen... kind of like a pop up ad thing and I began screaming, flashes of the hospital room, the smell of sweat and blood filled my nose and the memory of the nasty infection I was ill with for weeks later came flooding back to haunt me, and haunt me it did. Filled with shame and humiliation I confessed to David that I had had an abortion and that what had appeared on the screen triggered some intense trauma for me. I will forever be grateful for his response to me, which was sadness for my pain he held me tight, never judged me but let me cry and shed tears along with me, he was and remains my rock, my soul mate and best friend.  Putting that experience aside I again swallowed my feelings planted a smile and got on with life. We got married and within 8 weeks were pregnant with our first child together. Memories of the abortion came flooding in again when I found out I was pregnant and  although we were thrilled to be having a child together I could not help the times where my mind would wonder  to what would of happened if I had given birth to my son rather then terminate his pregnancy. My emotions continued to be a roller coaster after our son's birth and 6 months later we decided to begin trying to conceive another child. We wanted our children to be close in age and grow up together but I could not seem to fall pregnant again as easily as I did with our first son, in fact after 2 years of trying I was really beginning to despair and blamed myself, I convinced myself it was a punishment that because I had had an abortion I would not be able to have another baby, again things got pretty dark for me and again my husband supported me through.

 I fell pregnant again and it was a time of big celebration for us we were thrilled to have what we thought was our third and final child, however God has a sense of humour and 4 months after I birthed our second son I was pregnant again.  God is good, so very good and we have been blessed with 4 children 2 girls and 2 boys, perfect.

It's been about 11 and a half years since my abortion and only over the past couple of months have I been dealing with it. Eaten up with shame and guilt and heart ache over my decision dealing with random triggers that set off spirals of depression and shame, I knew I needed to let the past go, forgive myself, forgive my partner at the time, even forgive the doctor who took my son out of my body. A very tough ask. I had attempted to let go several times before but this time as I have gotten specific with God about the things I have needed to do in order to let go I finally feel as though I have made some real progress. Guided through prayer I realised that I am still the baby I aborted's mummy, he is still my son, and I believe I will see him again, he waits for me in my saviours arms until he can be handed back to mine. I have given him a name and I have said goodbye for now. I have forgiven myself for a decision made  many years ago when I was nowhere near the person I am today, different from the inside out, slowly transforming into the woman I was created to be.

Abortion was not the quick fix we thought it would be, for me anyways. I thought once the "problem" was gone it would be as if it never happened, how very very wrong I was. I would never have an abortion again, under any circumstances, however I would never ever judge someone who did, who am I to judge,... who are any of us for that matter, unless you have been put in that terrible situation where you actually have to make the choice when you get so desperate and can see absolutely no way out then you have no right to judge. Do I wish I could go back, yes I would of made a different choice if I knew then what I know now, I would of birthed my son and perhaps raised him or perhaps given him up for adoption, either way he would of had a life, a chance to grow, to experience, to love, to laugh, to live, but instead I took his life away from him in one terrible moment. I have lived with the trauma and shame and guilt of that for a long time and now I am finally ready to speak about it, to let it no longer consume my thoughts on Mothers day and what would of been around the time of his birthday. To now have a memory of him safe in Gods arms is what I can focus on. To know not only am I forgiven by God and  free of judgement, but have been able to forgive myself allows me the freedom to heal and restore the hole that has been eaten into my heart by shame and guilt for over 11 years.

I came upon this website a couple weeks ago and it really spoke to me, it is a  loving christian website that I found helpful, I know some people probably won't agree with the content, but the stories of other women working through their abortion trauma really helped me face mine and the video clip was incredibly beautiful and encouraging.

Thank you to my husband, who has as always held my hand as I walked through this journey, for his encouragement love and unfailing support, I will love you always. To my Son Mathew, I love you and will run to you when it is time until then remain safe in God's arms.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

It's not about the number

Hi there,
hope you are all enjoying the loves of YOUR lives at the moment.

So here we go… weight loss…. yeah I know right,… someone else has written another post on being fat or being skinny etc etc there is lot about weight loss or gain out there, but I just wanted to share somethings I am dealing with and wonder if anyone has similar experience. About 10 weeks ago I got on the scales… something I had been avoiding because I knew I had gained a lot of weight over the past 12 months, and even though I was living in a huge state of denial about how I looked my clothes and lack of energy and easy huffing and puffing on a short walk would tell me that my weight was rapidly rising…. so I stepped on the scale having my own biggest looser moment as the numbers flickered away. going up and up .. and burst into tears… surely that can't be right… not THAT number, the biggest number I have ever seen on a set of scales I have ever stepped on… 116.8 kilos….. first emotion…. shame…. first thought…. where is the Timtams….second thought…maybe I should check the battery in the digital scale cause that number has to be wrong…. (it wasn't) I looked at that number for a long time, and knew it had to change, I have 4 children and my kids need a mum who can play with them and chase them at the park, not sit on the sidelines cheering them on as they play without me. My resolve began to grow I was going to change this number…. after a few hours of thinking about it, praying and crying I begin to really realise something…. it's not about the number…and I think for a lot of people this is true… it's what that number represents… it represents me burying my feelings in a bag of Dorito's, me eating my stress through blocks of chocolate about me not relying on God but relying on the guy at K.F.C to provide my emotional stability and comfort in times of need. It had to stop.

I made up my mind that I was actually going to use the gym membership I pay for each month though hadn't actually used in about 18 months, I was going to do this weight loss thing, eat better and excise…. and that was what I did, not telling anyone for fear of failure and also judgement…. what if someone who knew I was dieting saw me eat a burger, I could not deal with the shame so for many weeks I kept it to myself just sharing it with hubby and the kids… and for the first couple of weeks things were going great, the weight was coming off and my eating was slowly coming under some sort of control, I cut out all fatty and junk food and put a stop to take away dinners… but it wasn't enough, I realised that simply going on a diet to loose some weight just would not cut it.. there had to be some real emotional and lifestyle changes made. I could not hide my feelings from people if something was upsetting me,I would have to get brave and *gulp* start voicing opinions on things that really bothered me or that I had an opinion on rather then eating my way through a packet of biscuits for comfort I had to start to turn to God who is always ready and waiting to hear from me in good times and bad, The bible says my body is a temple for the Holy Spirit…and I had to start taking better care of that temple, to not hide the fact that I was going to the gym and making better decisions for myself and family when it came to the food we were eating. After about 4 weeks I had lost 5 kilo's and was already feeling fitter and stronger I decided to post on Facebook a check in that I was at the gym and was encouraged later by positive comments and such about this post.

I continued on, getting my act together health and fitness wise and about 2 weeks ago during prayer with a lovely woman from our church (someone who knew nothing about my weight loss journey)I was told they could see a new stronger authority rising up in me ( nothing about a number on a scale but an internal change happening to me) and it would affect the way I parent and the woman I am, I am a strong woman I have a voice and I can use it without fear of judgement, I have to say I felt it to… physically a change being made on the inside and I strongly believe that it is tied into how I see myself and the role food has played in my life. Things in terms of my weight loss and life gain are going great, I have been on this road to re discovering who I am .. who I really am, not just the funny fat mum who is a good cook, and I have to say I really like this version of myself, I can speak up about things I have experienced that had me eating more and going out less (post natal depression springs to mind) and have been able to shake off a lot of the shame that went along with my eating habits of old. Now I am 10 kilos lighter and I am beginning to see a real change in my body shape and feel so much stronger and fitter, I meet with a trainer once a week and go to the gym 6 days a week.. most weeks. I have seen a dietitian who gave me some great pointers and meal ideas that have me always feeling full and satisfied… and NOT soaked in oil. I have 6 kilos to loose and I will be under a 100 kilos, which is my goal for now and I will re-assess when I get there… but really it's not about the number… it never was, it's about what the number represented, it's not about "being good" and eating a salad it's about making right choices as often as possible choices that don't actually have anything to do with food but with how I choose to deal with decisions that need to be made in my life, walking away from the confectionery aisle in the shops and heading for the fresh fruit and vegetables… discovering that healthy options really aren't the work of the devil and are actually really really enjoyable, choosing to get my arse off the lounge and going for a walk.. or really punching out strong so I hurt my trainer in a boxing session… these are some new loves of my life.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Can a 3 year old have an encounter with the divine??

This post is more of a question then a story but I'm wondering as you can most likely tell by the title of this blog post if it is possible for an almost 3 year old child (in this case my ladybug) to have a true encounter/ experience with God...

You're right you need more information here goes :

I have to assume that most of you know we are a Christian family who attend church every week, we pray as a family and role model for our children (as best we can) (sometimes not so great) how God expects us to live as Christians.

Olivia our youngest daughter who is almost 3 has been attending church since she was one week old, so she is comfortable and accustomed to prayer and praise and worship time within a church service. She even at 2 is always happy to participate in group prayer and loves to sing and dance along with praise music, however recently I noticed during the quieter and more solemn time of musical worship in church Livvy closes her eyes and raises her hands up and sings along to the music. The first time she did this (a few months ago) I assumed she was just mimicking myself or the people around her who were connecting with God, Then I looked at her face not just her actions and she had a look of pure and total joy on her face she was aglow and intent on what she was doing and I was fascinated and have been wondering as she has done this a couple of times now... (not every week but certainly 3 or 4 times over about 3 months) is she really connecting with God or is she mimicking?

Is it possible for a toddler to connect with God In such a way? or any child to have such an experience for that matter?

I realise that to a degree she would be mimicking what she See's around her and I understand that since this is what she is growing up with she would be comfortable with joining in and doing what other people are doing, however it's the look on her face as she closes her eyes and raises her arms that gets me wondering. I guess its hard to explain but there is a gentle softness that comes over her, a calm but sweet joy as she softly songs the words she knows, sometimes she is not singing at all but just appears to be having a quiet moment with God . Am I reading to much into it? Am I just projecting what I want for her.. Which would be to experience the fullness of gods love for her, Or is she truly entering in to worship and connecting with God in a real and personal way?

For now I don't have a definitive answer ( am happy to hear peoples opinions and thoughts but please be respectful in how you express them this is my child and my faith both are precious to me) Like I was saying I don't have a definite answer but I will always encourage all of my children to connect with and encounter God in a way that is personal and meaningful to them. I know he has amazing plans for all 4 of my children and hubby and my desire for them all is to know then Lord and experience daily his love for them as we do. Weather this happens when they are 3 years old or 10 or 15 I don't know, all I can do for now is watch on with joy and pride as they experience and respond to their creator who loves them.

Mathew 19:14 14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

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