Lessons to learn: Don't ever give up! Live one moment at a time. God is in control and has the best plan for my future. Don't try to figure it all out ahead of time.
At the Single Mom's Conference I learned a couple things...
Brenda Warner was the speaker. Her story of being a single mom (in low-income housing, on food stamps, with 2 children, one of which was severely disabled), her parents dying during this difficult time (in a tornado no-less!!), and her healing and new life as Kurt Warner's wife (You can read their story here.) was very encouraging and uplifting. It made me feel so much better. Even in the mistakes that I am making, God will use those for good - for me and my children. I've been kicking myself so much for every little thing that I haven't been for my children, or myself!
Lessons to learn: God is in control. He wants to work for our good. I must trust in Him, that even in these times He wants to bless us, provide for us, and prepare us for our future. Which leads to...I don't have to know what the future will be.
In a Breakout Session at the conference I attended a talk on Forgiveness. This was very good for me, but even better...God used it to open my eyes about what GameMaster is going through. One of the statements was... "Unresolved hurt and anger lead to many types of defenses: exaggerating, a critical attitude, rationalization, excessive shyness, perfectionism, workaholism, or pleasing others. The breakdown of these defense mechanisms results in a life-style of depression, bitterness and excuse-making." I am better able to see what is going on inside him now. We've talked twice since learning this. It will take time. He has so much hurt and anger, it is hard for him to get past the last incident that hurt him (which may be as simple as his brother looking at him wrong). I feel better equipped to help him forgive.
In addition to this... I took another Breakout Session on Peace in the midst of Pain. I wish I'd taken this one a year ago!! God revealed the root of my self-pity and the other problems that it has been causing me! My self-pity was really rooted in anger. I realized how mad I have been at Martin for allowing this to happen and for not feeling more sorry for me! And to add to that (and this is more hard to admit), I've been mad at you (yes, you) for not feeling more sorry for me. I was feeling so sorry for myself. I just couldn't understand why no one else felt sorry for me. Then when someone actually did show their pity, I spiralled into greater self pity - I was validated! What a mess!
Lessons to learn: God will always guide me and show me how to help my children. I need to spend time with GameMaster - frequently - and help walk him through a path of forgiveness. I need to pray and ask for God's help for him daily. I need to forgive Martin. I need to forgive you. I need to forgive my church (what was my church during this time). I need to take my thoughts captive and not allow myself to go down a path of self-pity! I need to learn to be content with God alone. I need to learn that God is enough to sustain me when all else might fail me.
And then I went to small group at church on Sunday morning to the "DOK - Daughters of the King". Our leader talked on taking our walk one step and a time and how God will sometimes just show us the next step we need to take and how sometimes He shows us farther down the path. We read many scriptures on letting Him guide us, trusting Him and waiting on Him. Like:
"A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?" --Proverbs 20:24
"Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" --Isaiah 30:18
I don't know what my future looks like. The only things that I know are for this year:
1. God has ensured me that I am to be a worker from home right now and that He will provide for us.
2. I know that I am to be seeking Him and opportunities to grow closer to Him - through church, quiet times, Bible study, small group, Christian relationships, service and any other possibility that He may send my way.
3. I am to continue to provide a stable home environment for my children. I need to spend frequent time with GameMaster and help him to overcome what he is struggling with.
That's it! That is all I know right now. And I'm perfectly okay with that.
Lessons to learn: God is in control. He has my future all planned and all I have to do is wait to see what it will be. I need to seek after Him to guide me and show me His path for me. I need to be content with what He shows me and what He doesn't show me.
So, I think that is enough. Don't you? How is that for an open book? Anything else you want to know about me? If I know, I'll tell you. Sometimes I think that other people know me much better than I know myself. I'm just not very in tune with myself. This weekend helped me to see inside myself quite a bit. Now I just need to grow through it!