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I am Healed

I’ve shared my testimony of healing and forgiveness a couple times over the past couple days and I’m so grateful for the heart of love and forgiveness God has put within me. Even though I came from a broken home with a neglectful dad, I’ve learned how nothing anyone else does is about me. Nothing is ever personal.

The problem is sin. People do the most backwards things to ease their guilt and the backlash on others is never fully recognized or considered simply because the first offense is against God, the Almighty. Who are we to be offended? We are to love as vengeance. We are to forgive with open arms. We are to pursuit with purpose and never wish for harm against any person.

Though it sounds hard and unrealistic, it’s my experience…a freedom and divine inspiration with unending encouragement to keep going to the end of me and all I can do…and let Christ continue His work through me.

To start from the beginning of it all, visit the DBMH Project, Inc. website, and explore my path from hurt to healed.

Music Monday: New Man

How much clearer can it get? Without dad, there is a listless sense of misdirection that creates an emotional cloud that fogs the vision of introspection.

Listen in and embrace the solution… With a New Life comes a New Father.

Here’s some commentary about the song from the lead singer and author.

I can remember when he left
It’s still pounding in my chest
The pain I felt when he said goodbye
All the nights I tried to call
Cause I needed a father’s love
To cheer me on, to lift me up, to be my guide

I try to find my worth
In things that didn’t work
My confidence was broken
I was hopeless

But God, You have made me new
You’ve restored my heart and
Turned these ashes into life
Oh God, You have pulled me through
And everything I was is gone
And washed away for good
I’m a new man in You

I’m trying to walk as a new man
I want You to show me who I am
In You when I forget that I’m Yours
Now I find my worth and it’s set in stone
And it’s done for good

Cause God, You have made me new
You’ve restored my heart and
Turned these ashes into life
Oh God, You have pulled me through
And everything I was is gone
And washed away for good
I’m a new man in You

Oh God, You have made me new
You’ve restored my heart and
Turned these ashes into life
Oh God, You have pulled me through
And everything I was is gone
And washed away for good
And everything I was is gone
And washed away for good
I’m a new man in You

Full Music Video of New Man Below:

Fixated Loyalty

Once you know what it’s like to be left without a cause, you can react to the abandonment by staying away from any commitments so you can avoid the possibility of failure or you attach yourself to people, things, and processes that make you happy – fixating yourself with a dog-like loyalty that is not easily broken.

I’ll discuss avoiding commitment next week. Today, I wanted to start a dialogue around this concept of fixated loyalty. As with anything, balance is a MUST to maintain a healthy equilibrium. Channelling the tendency into good things can make you a better person than the privileged people who have never suffered neglect from their dad.

From my own experience, I’ve found my tendency to fixate my loyalty to be beneficial to living my life to the fullest. I am committed to serving God, no matter what the cost or where it takes me. My love for Him is deep and true and not anyone or anything even slightly compares. My fixation blinds me to alternatives and keeps me focused on being obedient so I can be blessed and life a good life. Because anything less than a good life would include heartache and grief and I’ve suffered enough already…I trust God to keep me from breaking down, being my helping hand and comfort through any times of difficulty. And He has been that and so much more. Simply knowing that God would be devastated if I walked away from Him and went my own way is enough to keep me connected.

The same goes for my health, friendships, projects… anything! The balance comes into play when betrayal and deceit enters the scene and compromises the connection. A friend and mentor was struggling through some personal issues and disconnected herself from me. In the midst of my hurt and disappointment, I was determined to prove myself… prove that I was good enough, that I was worth loving. Though the disconnect had nothing to do with me, I was being sideswiped and stripped of any power to maintain the connection. Years passed before I was able to realize that nothing is ever personal. If someone chooses to live life without you when you planned to stick it out till the end, you have to let them go. Loyalty, after all, is a two way street.

You cannot allow yourself to be so loyal that you empower people to take advantage of the fixation. Know that you are worthy to receive the same time and dedication you put out. Don’t sell yourself short obsessing over staying connected. Most times you gain more in letting go than you ever could stubbornly holding on.

Humility Heals

Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise. Proverbs 13:10 NLT

Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. NIV

No matter the relationship, when contention arises, pride is nearby.

Pride points fingers. Pride gives up trying. Pride simply refuses to take the humble side.

The conflict you are experiencing in your relationship with your dad or whomever is the direct result of arrogance.

You might be sitting there, reading this, nodding your head in agreement saying, “That’s right, his/her pride is hindering our connection.”

Let me add one more definition to pride: Knowing there is a rift in the relationship and waiting for the other party to do something about it. Feeling like you’ve done all you can is equal to calling it quits. Putting off the responsibility to the other person is pointing fingers!

Take the humble side. Humility heals the breech and it’s worth the trouble.

Ignorance is not bliss

Whoever coined the phrase “ignorance is bliss” must have been replying to Solomon when he wrote, “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” (Eccles. 1:18) If you consider the idiom from a broad perspective, anyone who adopts such a frivolous perspective is quite selfish. Sure, knowing children are dying everyday from hunger, sexual abuse, and abandonment is a rough fact to stomach, but not knowing does not change the facts.

I’m taking this a step further. Knowing is not enough either. Is it worse to know there’s a homeless person freezing just beyond your door and leave him there than to know he’s there and call and inform a shelter or offer a blanket? Of course the former is much worse than the latter. Knowledge must move us to do something. Knowledge requires action. Perhaps you have no money to donate to a cause that alleviates the misfortunes of our world. What you do have is a voice. Knowing creates the obligation to share and spread awareness. Awareness then enables other players to change the game with the resources they have… a domino effect of good. So, how then, can ignorance be accepted as blissful?

All of my adolescent years were spent in the false world of bliss, ignorant of the deep searing pain of being abandoned by my dad. The problem with false worlds is that one day truth comes to demolish every square inch of deceit, leaving you in the ruins of confusion.

I wish I could go back and tell my dad I did indeed miss him… even if I’d shut off the feelings of missing him. I wish I could return to the day he left, to cry tears where he could see each violently fall to the floor instead of silently soaking my pillow in the middle of the night. I wish… I wish…

What can I do now? Explore my emotions, know my feelings, and express them now.
Every relationship is worth my fair shot of honesty in the moment.

How do you express yourself honestly in the moment?

Unveiled

Unveiled I stand, in the midst of a grand audience of onlookers, feelers, supporters, and my own fear…
Revealed by the ache in my voice, emotions in a haze, my vision unclear.
Naked without the covering of my lies
The lies I told myself to hide
Hide from the reality outside the walls
The walls that stall the people who surround me
from reaching me…who I am beneath
Beneath the façade of carefree
Woe is not the load I carry
But my definition of freedom is limited to the anxiety of being betrayed by somebody
Because no one owes me more than the man who walked away from me
The man who bore me with his own flesh and yet
Abandoned
Alone without him and any hope of ever knowing what trust looks like
Estranged from my faith in possibility
I drown my self in the very thing that keeps my dad away from me
Self-deceit

Unveiled you see a different me
A girl who is hurting
Hurting from the years of pretending
Aching from the hole burning deep within me
My inside raw from the searing
Inflamed, deeply bruised, bleeding
Trapped beneath my skin, deep bruising
Remedy in sharing
So, unveiled I stand
Courageous and daring
Fear gripping my hand
Truth falling from my lips
Freeing me from the grip of the past

Vulnerable and powerful
Lies quelled
Who I am, unveiled.

The Father Effect

This Monday we’d like to highlight media from the The Father Effect.

This 15 minute film highlights the need to forgive your dad, no matter what the circumstance. These are some testimonies of people who have suffered, abandonment, disappointment, neglect, abuse… you name it.

The wonderful thing about forgiveness is in the freedom it offers the giver. But don’t take it just from me, take a minute to watch this video.

See more on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Father-Effect-Movie/211007652267276

 

Skewed Vision

Any girl with a dad who’s fallen off (through divorcing the family, cheating on mom, running away, ignoring the children, dodging child support, etc. etc.) has an idea of what it is to have a skewed vision. Suddenly, any man with similar traits is demonized by the foolishness your dad keeps up and any man who is pointedly different from your dad in ways creates a halo effect. Be aware that both instances are flawed.

Demonization of a person based on similar qualities to your dad are least likely to be wrong, but still can be… in very rare instances. I knew a girl that started dating a guy that reminded me of my dad. No discretion. Couldn’t keep his word. Disrespectful. Sweet talker with no delivery. I immediately didn’t like him. She chose, instead, to see all the good things about him while praying the flaws were redeemable. (As a side note: Women should always assume a man’s flaws will forever stay the same. If you operate on that notion, you’ll have less heartache, headaches, and arguments.) Needless to say the guy revealed the true jerk he was as clear to her in time as I could see within hours of knowing him, but again, we are dealing with two types of skewed vision. Mine being judgmental and hers being naive and unrealistic. I’d say to stick to the negative notion if you have a reasonable reason to believe you’re right. Better safe than sorry.

The Halo effect, on the other hand is tricky. Meeting a guy who comes off as honest, trustworthy, punctual, romantic, thoughtful, and kind will put him in a realm so different than anything you have known having your dad around that you’ll be tempted to think that he can do no wrong. Suddenly you’re singing about Angels and Heroes and envisioning this guy as the perfect savior and redeemer of dumb jerks you’ve known in the past. This is sticky and dangerous because no man wants the pressure of being perfect or the judgement that would come along with his first mistake. If the guy is being deceitful, you’ve set up a perfect stage for a hypocritical show to continue for as long as he can keep up the act.

Try your best to know people for who they are rather than who they are in comparison to other people. Comparing people to others is not only unfair but unbiblical. With that said, be aware of your skewed vision, and look through the eyes of love and honesty to yourself and to whoever you’re dealing with.

“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 2 Cor. 10:12

Anxiety Lies

Anxiety is the part of us that always has something to worry about. Anxiety has a question about everything and is constantly nervous about what will happen, has happened, is happening… anxiety feels like an ever-surrounding force that presses in on you with tons of pressure. If you’re not careful, you’ll let it swallow you alive with exhaustion, migraines, and sickness.

Anxiety lies. You can’t waste your energy listening to all of the possibilities of probabilities and suppositions of suspicion or you can recognize that everything you’re worried about is untrue.

Anxiety lies. Outside your windows and doors, anxiety lies in wait to surround you with the aroma of doubt, fear, and discouragement. Recognize the traps and the smell of the no good anxious thoughts, and cast them off.
Are you letting anxiety hold you back from something you know you have to do? Are you listening to the lies anxiety has to tell you?
Consider this: If every reason that holds you back is false, how does that change what you would do with the emotional baggage you deal with? Remember, this is not about what your dad is or is not doing, and more about what you’re doing about it. Whatever you do, do not listen to your anxiety. Run in the direction of the fear. That is where you will find healing.

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Power and Demise of Connection

Electricity gives us power. Electricity is also a dangerous current if misconnected. Something meant for good can come as a deadly shock! Being connected to people is like electricity. Good connections give you power. Bad connections… ZAP!

My dad has someone he wants me to meet. He’s been trying to track me down to give me this person’s information and make it happen. “You all will hit it off!” he says, and I suck in my breath… resisting.

I stopped and asked myself, Why?

Here’s the reason: being connected to him makes me feel like I will be pre-judged through who he is. After all, that’s the power of a great referral… immediate access to blessings and accolades without knowing the person yet. Meeting someone I do not know through my dad just makes me nervous. I have to enter the situation on the defense because all I can think of is getting across the fact that I’m not anything like him. I am reliable. I am honest. I accept responsibility. I keep my word.

Am I wrong for assuming that this person I will meet will think the worst?

I see it as simply cautious.

There is power and demise in being connected to certain people.

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