Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Gimme a “K”…Gimme an “E”….

cheerleaderI couldn’t for the life of me figure out what my beautiful niece was starting to cheer spell.  So I listened as she kept going.  Gimme a “T” and another “T” and then it dawned on me.  She’s cheer spelling her last name.  Kettell.  Pronounced (Kah-tell) I have to admit, I was taken back as she cheer spelled our family name and then gave the final cheer out; “what’s that spell?” “Keeeeeee-tellllll.”

When she was done, she jumped up in the air, clapped her little hands and then bounced off to her next adventure in a whirlwind of giggles. I, on the other hand, stood there perplexed that she chose to cheer spell that name.

Growing up with the name Kettell wasn’t a horrible thing per se.  But it sure never made me want to jump up and down for joy and give accolades through cheer praise.  I could in no way be proud of a name associated with such family dysfunction and tied to generations of alcoholism and abuse.

It boggled my pea brain this untainted little girl was cheering for all her worth because she was proud of her last name.  But she didn’t know what I knew.  She didn’t grow up with my family, and she will never be afforded the opportunity to meet her grandfather and be privy to his style of abuse. She only knew the life she has. Anything else she might learn about her grandfather will be passed down from those who knew him.

You see, when my parents got divorced, my father went out into the world and had another baby.  For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why God would allow this abusive man to have another baby.  But, it was permitted and my half-brother was born.  By the time he was born, I was in the military and other than having a baby picture of him with his name and date of birth, I would not have contact with him for 16 of his years.

I had already had several conversations with God about all this, but I never stopped to hear what God had to say, only what I wanted to tell Him.  That’s what our “relationship” was back then; me telling God what was wrong with His plans and thinking I knew it all.

I grew up with 2 brothers. I was the middle child and growing up we learned to survive life.  Ask us to share stories about growing up and you’ll hear different versions.  Not sure why that is, but when you survive life, your brain does things to protect you. Or so I’ve heard.   So when our half brother finally learned about his half siblings, he reached out.  My brothers freaked out a bit.  They didn’t know what our half-brother wanted and they for sure didn’t want to re-hash the past, so they chose not to speak with him.  Eek-gads, let the fear of the unknown take root.

I, on the other hand, wanted very much to talk with him.  Hello, I’m a girl, and I’m nosey, plus he was family.  So we spoke on the phone. I now had a link to a brother I often wondered about.  For years that one conversation was all I knew of him.  It would be many years later before we met face to face through circumstances only God could have arranged. Talk about mind boggling awesomeness!

So here we are, 14 years later and I’m watching my niece cheer our family name and I stand in awe as God no doubt smiles down of a piece of this family.  A piece only He knew about all those many years ago when I was telling Him what was wrong with His plan.  This puzzle piece that He made and knew would fit together for such a time as this has been one of the best, most awesome blessings in my life and I can’t thank God enough for His love and grace.

While my family as a whole still suffers from dysfunction and separation, I hold out hope for reunification and healing.  With faith as small as a mustard seed, I pray and lay our wounded family at the foot of the cross and hold onto God’s promises and know there is nothing too hard for Him.  Where there is no way, I know, God can make a way!  To God be the glory my friends.

To be continued….

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Internal Bleeding

I was watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy yesterday.  It was an older episode and since I’m no doctor or any other type of medical professional, I have no clue how medically correct it is.  I just really like the show.  In this episode, there had been a train wreck.  A woman was in the ER, but not as a patient, though she had been a part of the accident.

She was walking around the ER, talking on her cell phone, yipping at the doctors; she appeared perfectly fine…on the outside. But inside was another story…though outwardly she had no symptoms, or obvious signs she was hurt, inwardly she was bleeding to death. One minute she was “fine,” the next, falling to the floor…dead.  Though the ER docs attempted to resuscitate her, she was gone.  The internal bleeding had been happening for hours and she bled to death.

I remember the first time I put make-up on.  I stole my mom’s Cover Girl foundation and a handful of other make-up items.  I went in the school’s bathroom and pulled out the make-up, all kinds of excited to be a cover girl. I shook the bottle of foundation, unscrewed the lid, and swiped the liquid lovely all over my face having no clue how to really apply it. Didn’t matter, I knew when I was done, I was going to be cover girl pretty that day.

My plan was to remove the make-up before I was caught wearing it by my parents.  My plan failed.  Not only did I get caught and berated severely by my father, I also got a good moccasin butt beating. If you’ve ever been beaten with a leather soled moccasin, then you know when I say, I wore the imprint of that moccasin on my behind for weeks, it’s a true story.

Sometimes discipline can have the opposite effect. I was more determined than ever to wear make-up.  I liked the way it made me feel pretty.  I liked being part of the girls who wore make-up “club.”  Who were my parents to keep me from feeling pretty?  Clearly, they didn’t understand the pressure I was facing by not being allowed to wear make-up.    I wanted to feel pretty and make-up was just the palette of color I needed to do the job! Putting “my face” on, became my art. Who needed super powers, when you could wear make-up?!

Years later, I was running late for work.  My boots looked horrible.  Dull, no shine and dull boots in the military was a bad thing back in the 80s.  Boots shined, I ran out of the house to work neglecting to put “my face” on.   I didn’t wear a lot of make-up, so really, who would care if “my face” was left behind?  Apparently, my co-worker cared because he said, “what’s different about you?”  I explained I was running late and had to shine my boots so I didn’t have time to put my make-up on.  Simple truth.  He replied, “next time, put your make-up on.”  Ouch! I had become a walking banner for make-up–“don’t leave home without it.”   American Express touted that motto for their credit card…I applied it to my make-up since I didn’t have an American Express card.

More years later, still in the military, in a new state and career field, for whatever reason, I had become allergic to something and when I went to the doctor, his prescription to my itchy eyes and red eye lids was no make-up for 2 weeks.  Excuse me? What? Flashback–“next time, put your make-up on.”  This doctor was asking me to put my hideous, naked face out into the world for all to see!

Do you see what happened? My co-worker back in the day never said I looked hideous, but I internalized it, added it to the wounds he never saw, and now, in my  mind, I was a walking mutation of a human being who without make-up was less of a person.  Words matter my friends!

The next day leaving for work, playing in my head over and over again was, “next time, put your make-up on.”  Instead, I put my shield up and prepared for the worst.  No one could hurt me anymore than I was already hurting.  No way was anyone going to see how vulnerable I felt.  So, shields up, I was mentally prepared for snide remarks.  To be honest, I was the one who brought it up.  I was the one who pointed out the obvious before anyone else could.  Weird way of protecting myself, by being my own worst enemy, but it worked and things went pretty well that first week.  Whew!!

The next week, I was getting somewhat used to the no make-up thing and so I let my guard down a bit.  One more week…I can do this.  And then it happened…a co-worker said, “how much longer before you can put your make-up on?”  I explained I had a week left.  He said, “thank God.”  And not in the get on your knees and thank the good Lord way.

I didn’t wait the week out, I put “my face” on the very next day.  I let make-up and snarky comments define me.  I let them define my comings and goings.  Everything revolved around “my face” being on.  Make-up had become a chain in my life. I trace it back to the day those many years ago, I first put make-up on.  The day after a boy at school told me I had a better mustache than he did.  Ouch!  Already wounded by a dysfunctional home life, this is the moment, “my face,” became victim to internal bleeding.

Make-up can cover up flaws on the outside.  But no amount of make-up will fix the wounds on the inside.  Just like the train wreck victim who appeared fine on the outside, no one knew the internal battle she was facing inside.  She was dying on the inside for hours.  What you say, can leave a person dying or dead on the inside for years.

I’ll say it again.  Words matter.  “Words kill, words give life; they either poison, or fruit–you choose”~~Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)

It’s funny how God will drop something into your brain so He can get closer to you.  You just never know when He’s going to use something and then in your quiet time with Him reveal things you locked up.

And then He shows you things that hurt you. Things that separate you from the love He wants to give you.  You realize once again how amazing He is and after the tears flow,  you give the hurts, and the snarky comments to Him.  Forgiveness begins and now He can bind up those wounds from the inside out.

The things the enemy tried to use against you are now weapons to help someone else.  I don’t know who this is for…but if you’re reading this…know that Jesus loves you and He’s pursuing you and He’s waiting for you.

 

 

 

 

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Will You Love Me?

Have you ever tried to “win” someone’s love? You went out of your way to show them you love them by being there, by paying attention to what they like and surprising them with those things? Have you ever dropped everything to go and help them and yet, you get nothing in return? Your pay back is harsh words and lip service in the way of gratitude. You feel empty and depleted because you realize that nothing you do….nothing you say….can make them love you. You don’t understand because you’ve done “everything” right…they should totally love you, yet, they don’t.

It’s not your fault they don’t love you. You’re not a horrible person but they’ve made you think you are through their actions and their words. There’s several problems in this….you’re desperate for their love so you try to people please your way into their heart. They can’t receive your love because they are broken and can’t see past their own hurts so they only know how to hurt….they actually expect you to give up on them and are fully prepared when you do and they will make you feel bad for it. It will be your fault because they can’t, or they won’t accept the responsibility for it. To do that, would mean they would have to accept they are damaged and in need of help.

No doubt you’ve heard them tout they don’t need anyone and will even say, they’re a good person.  Self-affirmation is the balm on top of their oozing wounds they think they’re hiding from the world.  So before you can hurt them, they will hurt you. It’s a sad state of affairs when you try to pour your love into an empty vessel.  They are depleted because of what ever has transpired in their life.  They know how to assault you and are quite proud of how they can knock you down with those negative verbal punches to your brain and more importantly, your heart.

If you should happen to try and defend yourself, they will lash out harder and then smear your name to anyone who will listen to them.  After all, they need that proverbial pat on the back to let them know they did the right thing.  It’s you who were out of line because how horrible were you by trying to let them know how they made you feel.  Clearly you lost your mind because only they are allowed to dump but don’t you dare dump on them.

Truth be told, they’re not equipped to handle what you have to say.  They are not equipped to deal with your strength.  They are not equipped to deal with your truth…I can hear Jack Nicholson  screaming, “you can’t handle the truth.”  And, they can’t.  So it’s useless, your trying to let them know how you feel, because it’s not about you for them…it’s about them and what you should be doing for them.

And if you don’t know what you should be doing, they will be more than happy to tell you how you.  They will tell you how to you’re allowed to speak to them, how to behave around them and they will tell you how horrible and awful you are when you don’t do things their way.

You’re not allowed to be yourself, so you slap on a mask and pretend to be who they think you ought to be only, you can’t do this for long because being told how to be, how to act, how to talk will bog your soul down and eventually you will erupt in some way.

You were never meant to have someone else tell you how to be you.   It fights against your inner being that just wants to be loved simply for being you…not some version of you that someone thinks you ought to be.

But they won’t give up.  As long as you stay, they will find some way to “beat” you into submission.  Yet, all you wanted was for them to love you.  So, they put you down, rob you of your joy, your confidence and your worth.  They grab onto those things that make you, uniquely you and stuff them in a bag and take pride that they stripped you down so they could dress you up in the chains of their adversity.

I don’t have the answer why this happens.  I just know when it does, at some point you have to make a choice…let go and let God or keep the insanity going.  The pattern will continue to repeat until someone breaks the cycle.  They say people don’t change…I beg to differ.  When God meets you where you are, and you open your heart to Him, change is inevitable, healing begins, and hope is restored.  His Word promises “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” ~~Psalm 147:3 (NIV )  His Word is truth and when you dare to believe in Him, than you can bet your bottom dollar, miracles will happen. Lives will change and glory will be His and His alone.

So, for now, I stand in the gap.  I let go and I’m keeping my eyes on the only one who can resurrecte dead things. I pray for healing, for restoration and things that have been temporarily torn asunder to be healed and made whole.  Because nothing my friends is too hard for God!!  He is King of all Kings and no one, that’s right, no one will love you more than He does.  Dare to Believe ❤

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