My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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Konnichiwa to Peace

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Our son  and his friend were going on trip of a lifetime, a two week vacation in Tokyo. Beholding all the sights and sounds of a rich culture, not to mention it being an electronic mecca. A virtual treasure trove  of all things “arcadic”  that would be video arcade + archaic =  arcadic  my creative liberties for the day.  If anyone knows me in the ever so slightest way they would know  this was not going to be a cake walk on my part. In all the years of  being  a mother  I have battled fears, foreboding  thoughts of  possible abuse, kidnappings, accidents or sicknesses  and all the alarming stuff in the middle.  In fact, if you can name it I  probably have feared it.  Been there done that.

Any loving  mother no doubt has  combated most of all of these same fears for her children. It is a natural desire to nurture and protect our babies no matter how old they are.  However, for me it went far beyond normal trepidations that come from a caring parent, but rather  becoming irrational and larger than life ones. Going so far as to  crippling me from releasing our sons to go anywhere with their dad or anyone else.  Words cannot begin to express  how incredibly hard this was for my husband, children and even me.

Now  looking back, and having come to greater depths of healing in this area,  I marvel and am utterly humbled that Kevin stayed married to me.  Through those layers of  painful growth came revelation to why my fears where at critical mass, some were fostered  from past personal sexual abuse I was aware and unaware of.  Buried deep, pushed down by stratum of shame, denial and  trauma, manifesting itself through unhealthy behaviors.  Perhaps some came from  being  carried in my mother’s womb only three months after burying her 9 month old son Brent, he died unexpectedly from compilations due to anesthetic from what was suppose to be a routine hernia surgery.

Personally, I cannot fathom my mom’s fears and grief as she carried me… what a bitter sweet time for her.  It’s important that I make this very clear, I’m  in no way blaming anyone  for my behavior, we all have personal  choices to make regarding what we with do with what has been given us.  For whatever reasons my fears were real, intense and even when prayers like, “God has not given me the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind” * did not bring complete relief;  I would want to run away from the visible pain that I was causing my husband  and children.  Fighting  my fears seemed fruitless, freezing up and paralyzing so my only final option was to flee. Fortunately these were only fleeting lies, for I knew I could never ever leave my family that I love so dearly.

Today, I’m so thankful to God who has shone me His perfect love that casts out fear, for my husband and  children that endured the strain of my intense struggles for freedom with their love and forgiveness.  Plus, where would I be without the love and support of mentors / friends that have also walked with me through it all.  And though they did not  wrestle the same degree of debilitating demons as I, they chose to stand by me in my brokenness.  Loving me without judgement, offering me compassion and grace that became a breeding ground for my healing. Whenever  I mustered up strength to take a  baby step they applauded with such exuberance you thought I had run a marathon being the first to break the finishing line ribbon.

My boys are grown adults now and yes I still worry too much  I know.  It’s hard to know what is normal when your pendulum has swung so far in the opposite direction.  I do know I’m walking in more freedom than ever before and I’m trusting God that it will only increase.

Currently, our son Derek is thoroughly enjoying Tokyo, a dream of his fulfilled.  Counting down the days to see him and hear of his grand adventure.  Mindful of my tradition to keep a memento, a dated trophy if you will, of how God helped me walk in peace as my children soar to new heights. Just like I did many years ago by saving his glass Yahoo milk bottle from his first purchase, a walk to the neighborhood market with his friends… a huge triumph back in the day !.

Recently, I started rereading “Mountains of Spices” the sequel to “Hinds’ Feet on High Places” by  Hannah Hurnard’s.  Even though it has been over  twenty years of reading these two books, I still can relate to her preface to this allegory.  She writes about herself as follows,  “I can speak with the most authority.I was born with a fearful nature– a real slave to the Fearing Clan ! But I have since made the glorious discovery that no one has such a perfect opportunity to practice and develop faith as do those who must learn constantly to turn fear into faith. One must either succumb to the fearing nature altogether and become a “Craven Coward” for the rest of one’s life; or by yielding that fearful nature wholly to the Lord and using each temptation to fear as an opportunity for practicing faith, be made at last into a radiant “Fearless Witness” to his love and power.”

For this writer I’m so not there yet, I will no less continue to “seek peace and pursue it “, falling down and getting back up again and again, spurred on by the ground I have already won with God’s help… turning my weaknesses into His strength.

Whether your taking quantum leaps of faith or faltering  baby steps, God applause’s them both .  He delights in each step or leap you take towards Him. Cheering you on not matter where your starting line begins and rejoices with you at your victorious finish.

Father, we praise you, in awe of your delight for us and the comfort you bring in our storm tossed seas . Providing  perfect peace as our mind stays on you, trusting you over the mounding waves of fear. Learning to say  Sayonara  (Goodbye) to fear and  Konnichiwa  ( Hello ) to peace..

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Having the  Japanese symbol of peace painted on my big toe …. A beautiful reminder to stay in a place of peace.

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My  friend Kelli ordered this mug for me and it arrived the day I was starting to worry about the Typhoon that had hit Japan.

3 You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You  .Isaiah 26:3 AMP bible

*  II Timothy  1:7

Closer to God

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Whenever my mom would share something exciting that the Lord had done for her she would more then likely end her story with one of these sayings, the first one being ” I’m so excited I could jump up and click my heels”  quickly followed with “but I’m afraid I might fall and break my hip”. Afterward she would give a chuckle at the thought of it and I would gladly join in all her amusement. Secondly, she’d share was how she longed to go up to Columbia River Gorge and praise the Lord over the breathtaking scenery. Most of the time my mom talked of this while visiting our home, afterwards  she would then proceed to walk out to our small deck along the north side of our home.  As her feet landed on the wood planks she would lift her arms thanking and praising God. Returning inside, quite content her face beaming and she would gush how much she enjoyed the deck that Kevin built. Our modest deck with no sweeping views seemed to satisfy my moms’ yearning to stand and give God glory. Whether or not I accompanied  her as she positioned herself  to extol our adoring creator, in the back of my mind I longed to someday take my mother to her “dream spot”.
Years went by with only my good intentions, she never got to stand and worship the lover of her soul at the gorge…….until last week. The sun was shining, the air crisp and leaves ablaze with vivid hues forming a pleasant parade route up the scenic highway welcoming her long awaited arrival. Arm and arm Kevin and I escorted her to drink in the panoramic view and to finally stand in the place she always dreamed about.  Praise rolled off her tongue as she looked at all the beauty our Heavenly Father created.  While standing next to her I was hungry to hear every word that mom uttered.  Though it was hard to leave her side I managed to pull myself away to get a couple of photos to remember this day.  It wasn’t long before the sun slowly began to subside and the chill of the air nudged us to bring this remarkable event to a close. Thus, it was time to gingerly help my mom back into the warm cozy car for our trip home.
Leaves danced and twirled in celebration as we wound our way back down the old scenic highway; holding in our hearts warm memories of our splendid day together….a prolonged dream realized.
Beholding the work of a God that makes all things beautiful in His time. A brilliant and glorious crescendo with the best seats in the house. In humbleness we offered our God a  well deserved standing ovation poised on holy ground; filled with deep appreciation and gratitude, watching my mother’s desire fulfilled….to stand closer to God.