(Please feel courageous enough to read) lol
I just got done reading Captivating today. From the very beginning I knew it was
going to be a great book. Within the first few chapters there were some parts that mirrored my
own life. It puts my heart as ease to know that others DO struggle like I do. I am uneasy today though. I have been searching for answers but I cannot find peace and I don't want to go down roads that may not be good for me. I've been depressed for the past 7 months. It has gotten worse and worse. Coincidentally, 7 months ago is when I became a Christian. My long time boyfriend steadily prayed for me for nearly 10 months and then one day after visiting my mom from school in San Francisco, I was standing on the beautiful southern california beaches at sunset with the sky many different colors, beautifully scattered clouds, and I said, "I need God". I turned to no one other than by boyfriend who I called and we both just sat and cried on the phone because we knew that we were going to journey life together and we would have God together. I was studying astronomy at SFSU, a decision I made purely as an athiest but knew that It wasn't my calling going into it, I wanted to know what else what out there... Then after really learning and really thinking, NONE of astronomy would ever make sense to me nor fulfill me, it only continued to drive me more crazy because I felt cut off from a God if there was one and I would live a life of lonliness. When I found out you could have a relationship with God, nothing else filled my heart more than that. I have attended church reguarly, been baptized, and read my bible frequently and other Christian literature. Christianity made sense to me and Jesus was who I had been looking for all along
My boyfriend and I have an amazing relationship and we are talking about getting married in the future as well. He comes from a great family who brought me in and treat me like one of them. Jon, my boyfriend, has the dad I never had. When I am with his family I feel like I am experiencing LIFE, the real thing. We talk about God, politics, and share what is within our hearts.
I have been though, just like many women, scarred from our past. The readings I have done don't let me forget that because out of nowhere I'll experience sadness, anger, confusion, and a lost sense of reality when I think back to my past. My parents had my sister out of wedlock which forced the swift decision to marry. I was the alleged "accident" where I guess my dad left my mom during her pregnancy with me. The folks decided to call it quits when I was 3-4 and I had a pretty confusing upbringing between 4-7. My dad would 'holla' at or whistle at girls right in front of me, my brother and my sister. (My brother is not biologically related to my dad, but he came around when my brother was a small child, maybe 2, and that's how my parents became attached) My mom wanted a father for her kid but picked a bad one. He was abusive towards my 2 year old brother, leaving welts on his butt if he went to the bathroom in his diaper or just acting threatening towards him). Anyways, my dad had a life threatening cancer during the time of my parents divorce which then brought them back closer together through God and my dad said he wanted his family back... So my mom gets back together with him.. He's somewhat "changed", moves the 5 of us up to WA with a new job where we got a new house and all these nice "things". All hell broke lose though not too long after living there. Fights would erupt often, my dad was fired from his job, my mom had to start working and started earning more money than he did, my parents would fight over my weight out in the open which was embarrasing for me since it was something I didnt really have control over at such a young age. My dad and I lacked a very affectionate relationship once he became more distant and cut off from the rest of the family. His dad died which then caused him to fall into alcoholism. It was a terrible existence. One I remember so vividly even though being at such a young age. My family before that just called themselves Christians but just merely acted according so and only attended church on major holidays, if that. The whole idea of it was confusing to me because we never discussed issues as a family or even what a relationship with God really was. I was a very active kid who wanted to try every sport and be good at it, i was involved in horseback riding, soccer, swimming, tennis, and played the viola. I was the 'active' kid of the household but coincidentally the fattest one. My dad came to me one day at the young age of 10 and said I needed to lose weight. I was 160 pounds and sky rocketing! He came in a loving way and he helped me all the way through it. I lost 40 lbs by the time I was 12 and made the select soccer team, came back a better equestrian, and could run for forever. My diet consisted of me running everyday for over a year and eating well. I don't know how I did it! lol.
That is the only great experience I could share with you about my dad. During all the years of him and my mom fighting, I remember my dad coming to me and saying "me and your mom will be together until you get through high school". It shocked me that he knew we could all see the disfunction going on since he always acted so oblivious and disrespectful towards my mom and all of us in the first place. Well what he said to me wasn't a promise nor my reality. My dad moved out while I was going into 8th grade, him and my mom were gonna try and "work it out" and "weren't getting divorced". It was a relief though for all of us, we could all finally breathe, and all of us started to know each other better with out him there. My dog even sprang to life once he wasn't constantly getting yelled at and always cowering at my dad. My dad came over for christmas and he and my mom kissed which through out my whole life, I could count on one hand how many times I saw them kiss, hold hands, or hug. To me this meant... things are gonna change? is he gonna come back? It inspired some hope in me that was then again... VERY short lived. About 5-6 weeks later my mom picked my sister and I up from soccer practice and had to pull over before we got home. We all felt our hearts sink just because we knew something was happening. My mom said that (lets called him G), Lisa's husband, found a cell phone in their closet with all the messages and phone calls coming from my dad. Lisa and G were next door neighbors, our families went on vacation together in Mexico, we were best friend with their kids who were the same ages as us. Me and my sister stayed countless nights there and we actually once joked about becoming sisters. They had been having affair. Soon after this news erupted, Lisa fully moved out of the house and everything, I mean everything, spiraled out of control. Accusations and lies came pouring out and my siblings and I got to know maybe a little too much? I don't regret how involved I was in knowing the details of what happened, I could sense what was going on and refused to be lied to so I wanted to know the truth from both sides. Come to find out my mom was cheating on my dad for years during his alcoholism phase which explained why for years we only saw her when she came home at night.
....... years go by, damage has been done and I barely have a working relationship with my dad. He has deceived me and lied to me so much that the damage has caused me to not be able to talk to him. It was been 5 years and the chaos is still not over. Lisa's kids have been hurt so much that everyone can see damage, one of her kids has been in and out of rehab and in jail, the other confused and misses her mother to death. Both my dad and lisa decided to get married and bought a house together all within two years of the affair being uncovered. They bought a house together just 5 months after discovering about the affair and my dad thought it would be a good idea to take her to the family reunion we were having that summer but my sister and I shot that one down. My dad could not for the life of him understand the devastation that we all faced and what "a little too soon means". This drove me away from God, my dad claimed to be a Christian and I did not want to be anything he was. I thought it meant not being held accountable and having an excuse to do whatever you want and not have to fix damage because God only fixed the damage in you, so screw everyone else right? They're not happy for me? well screw them too. This was my dad for years and still very much is.
One last point. In all my years of batteling my dad between right and wrong and cursing his name. I realized the reason I wasn't a Christian was because of him. I knew my dad was corrupt and wrong and probably wasn't walking right with God. This poor excuse for a follower of Christ was convincing me I shouldn't be. The devil was victorious in persuading my whole family. I however didn't buy this. Åfter years of being an athiest I realized the truth to life lied within Jesus. My life has been forever changed.
I would not be able to endure the battles I am enduring right now with out Jesus. I am borderline homeless. I moved back to washington and moved in with my dad to take a shot at our relationship since I saw it was going well for some time. He refused to help me pay for school though after that was part of the deal of me moving back, so I had to rearrange my whole life and look for work. This was not easy. my passion and gift with horses caused me to look into a career with them. I was let down from several job opportunities and was downright told to leave one interview where I left sobbing actually lol. Then I got a job as a veterinary assistant. It was hard work, 4 interviews, and I was absolutely ecstatic!!!!!!! Before I got hired though, my dad told me I had to move out because literally, his wife was going crazy. His words. He kicked my pregnant sister out because of his wife (whole other story) now he was kicking me out. I looked for places to live but since I wasn't hired anywhere yet and was still going through the interview process at the vet clinic, I stopped pursuing somewhere. Then one day my dad came to me out of anger and said that I was lazy, didn't clean my room, didn't eat right, didn't excercise, the list went on. This to me showed me that my dad hadn't changed. Those were his excuses too for kicking my sister out and he was pulling it on me. I packed my bags that night and left for my mom's friends who i stayed with for a month.
That was the end of March, I haven't really been around my dad since.
My life is complicated to say the least. But while writing this I realized that if I didn't have the Lord Christ, I would not have made it this far. I am working early mornings and taking classes at night to be a certified nursing assistant, I have a wonderful boyfriend and family. BUT, what a burden this has been with my dad.
Every church service seems to be about forgiveness and I've approuched ways to forgive my dad but he says I need to apologize to HIM for "talking to him disrespectfully". So we're at a barrier. I recommended getting counseling with him but he told me he wanted to go first to work on himself before he brought me into the picture. It's been almost a month since I recommended that and haven't heard from him since.
Would it make sense that this area of my life is causing this depression and negativity that I experience so heavily on a daily basis?
God Bless whoever read all of this. I have felt so isolated though that it's good to get it all out.
That's my truth as much as I could explain it.
"Would it make sense that this area of my life is causing this depression and negativity that I experience so heavily on a daily basis?"
Bless you my dear, and I pray for you to experience the deep healing of Jesus for all of those wounds. That is what you need right now, and it does not depend upon your father being "fixed". It seems [to me] far too early for the two of you to do any counseling together. May God help him, but you need to be healed/helped first. Commit your father to almighty God and reach out for help for yourself, [before committing to marriage!]
You seem to know what it is to be ravaged by the enemy, but it can be harder and more complicated in a marriage relationship, when we bring emotional baggage in like that. I believe all of us do to some degree, but you and your wonderful boyfriend [thank God for him and his family] will have a much easier start if these things are dealt with in your life first. You want to be free to love your husband and have more to give. The enemy fights against a marriage, although two people standing together with God can be powerful, and you will need to do that, we all do! I would want to give him [the devil] as little "material" to work with, as possible in a marriage, because believe me, he uses all available means.....I have been there, and thank God for his ongoing healing in our lives, but how I wish my husband and I would have understood some of those things in our earlier Christian life, before marriage! [there was no one there to teach us] John and Stasi's book Love and War would be great book to read, btw.
Read the book of Ruth, and let Jesus speak to you. God blessed and provided for Ruth in an amazing way, but not until she reached out for whatever was available. She went with Naomi, she went gleaning, [which was hard work, and probably at least a little humiliating......that was the "welfare system" of the day] and God provided for her in a wonderful way. It wasn't only for her, though; she got to be a part of the great, universal plan of God! She was in the lineage of King David and Jesus. She was also "taken in" by a family, a people that knew God and his ways.
I feel like during especially needy times in my life, whenever I read the Bible, pray, or attend church, prayer meetings, Bible study, etc., with other Christians [that really know God, and are for real!] it becomes a way of "gleaning" for me, and just like Boaz, Jesus often drops "handfuls" of blessing for me!
I hope you have a supportive church and friends in your life to help you through all this, and if you have a church that offers good, Biblical counseling, go for it. [for you, first of all!] This ministry may be able to connect you with a counselor as well, through the "Allies" link. I'd like to know how you're doing, and will be praying.
I almost cannot believe it's been only 3 weeks since this post.
A lot has changed since then, it feels like much longer ago. Thank you and I totally agree with you on
all that you said. I actually got done reading Love & War today. There's just something about that couple
that I find them extremely easy to relate to and easy to understand. I can't wait to read Wild at Heart next.
I saw a counselor with my dad two weeks ago this Friday. Him and I have had serious communication issues and
this was a great way that we could go and hear each others points of view. I am blessed that he is trying and that he knows that he has hurt me. The counselor he had been seeing is not a Christian counselor though which mainly focuses on behavior modification(so true). I believe that Christian counseling is the only way to get to the heart of the matter as I will make my point on that later. Earlier that day before meeting or speaking with my dad in a long time, I wrote a prayer to God saying, "Dear Lord, Please allow me to let go and accept the things I cannot change. I cannot change the past, I couldn't say I'd do it over because I wouldnt be here right now. I want to be at peace. Please keep the past from my mind and my mind in the moment. In Jesus' name, Amen." Just simple and I actually forgot having prayed that. Once we started having to bring up the past and the hard memories I had of growing up, I noticed my body language. I spoke straight into the wall with out looking at anybody, I was constantly rubbing my head and closing my eyes just because of the mental toll it was taking on me. I realized how hurt I was and the link between this and my depression. This was the source of most of the hurt I had been dealing with. Over the months I wasn't talking to my dad, I was trying to learn how to forgive but nothing was coming to me. Reading about forgiving isn't the same as finding the will to forgive. I still thought about how angry everything made me and asked God why my dad did what he did.
At the same time, this is the happiest I've been in all my life, mainly because I have Jesus now. We breached the topic of when my dad kicked me out this year for no clear reason. He did give two reasons; one because of his wife, and two because I was allegedly not pleasant to live around, didn't clean up after myself(all not true). I just gave up after hearing it and began to cry with my hand over my face. The counselor lady asked me, "Nina... now if you could choose a parenting style for your dad to have, what would it be?" I got this confused look at my face like what kind of question is that? I'm really not here to choose anything for him, what's done is done, I came here to learn how to forgive. God was in the room and grace took over. That's the best way I can explain it. Something in me softened towards my dad and I said, "I wouldn't choose any other way, I'm happy now, how could I choose it to be different?" Before saying that, the answer grew and was thrown into my heart, I don't know where from but I have an idea. It took a lot of courage I think for me to say that, I realized I could've made accusations and told him how he should have treated me and what should have happened differently. I think by me saying that, the outlook of the rest of the appointment changed. My dad had tears in his eyes and he looked shocked. So did this counselor who really isn't my favorite to be quite honest. I said what was in my heart and that's how I found forgiveness. Boom. It was the most loving way God has shown himself to me and what he has done for my life since having truly met him. He has made opportunity for me that has come from the most devastating event that has hit my family. I kept asking, Did you really just do that for me God, am I really that special to you? I felt fully liberated for the first time in 6 years.
My dad and I are on good terms right now and I know what to do if I feel the need to make accusations again the future. I don't think I will on purpose like I have before.
All the events leading up to that appointment were surely spiritual attack. It was real and at some points I was truly scared. I even questioned my sanity at some points. I had blood work done to find if I was suffering from any physical reasons for being depressed (hypothyroidism and diabetes), all came back normal. I am the first one in my family to truly forgive my dad. My mom is still bitter towards him very much so and is not walking with God, my brother doesn't talk to my dad and hasn't for the past nearly 5 years, and my sister is in counseling right now suffering from post dramatic stress disorder from her childhood and the current relationship she's in. I feel extremely blessed... I experience joy all through out my days, not every moment, but when I think of what God has done for me and how he has transformed my life. He has given me new life, I couldn't ask for more.
One more thing I'd like to share. I have moved 3 times this year, had to quit my job, currently work at target in the early morning, and I took a class to be a certified nursing assistant and graduated two weeks ago from it. I could not have done all of this with out God who was walking by my side as my dad told me I had to move out. I have been trying to find a job working with horses since my last job as a vet assistant at a horse practice. I saw that I needed to do other things and serve people (thats why I did the CNA class). I got a call two weeks ago for a barn manager position in a city nearby. I trusted in God and said, why not just go see what it's all about, you never know. I'm on my third interview there today and the lady who owns it could see my love for horses which is the most important thing in the horse industry that sets you apart from the rest. I can finally see for once in my life. Because before God, I was as blind as can be.
I pray to God all through out the day. One thing is for sure and that is that we're all in this together.
My boyfriend and I are going to a "Considering Marriage" seminar at our church this week. I am dedicated to him and I know better than to enter marriage with baggage like mine. I wouldn't have been able to give myself to him fully. We're on our way. I am so excited!!!!! What a miracle.
I'm sooo thrilled to hear what God is doing in your life!!! Yes, Lord! Yay God! Amen! That testimony is so awesome; isn't it totally neat what Jesus will do for us when we depend on him? Some of the greatest miracles in my life have come when I was in the midst of a great trial.......thank the Lord, Sis! Keep responding to God and his word, loving him, trusting him, following him. I'll be praying for you at the seminar. God wants to do awesome things through you, I just know it, these trials are not just for you, but also for others. BLESS YOU!
Thank you : )
I heard the story of Ruth today, it brought tears to my eyes. I feel like God gave me something similar
just by me finding him and embracing all that has been sad and tragic in my life.
He has done many glorious things in my life. He continues to work on me day in and day out and I can't wait
to help others in the future.
Thank you for the strong support, that's what I really needed. There is such thing as redemption and true change
of the heart.
I have struggled with depression for over 20 years. Its almost all from being abused by my parents. There will be days when you may feel angry, sad, other emotions..my best advice is just deal with them as they come. the vast majority of depression comes from feelings of sadness or anger that has never been expressed. If you are angry then be honest and say you are angry. If you are sad, then be honest and say you are sad. If someone hurts you then be honest and say "when you did or said...that hurt me." Being honest about emotions is vitally important in every significant relationship. its the only way to have healthy, lasting relationships and to find true forgiveness. you are on the right path. I am currently reading love and war - what a book huh ? I think i am on chapter 4 - incredible that they are still marrried !
Nina, I read through this, and I am so awed by your story. Your mother and sister and brother were there and lived the same things you did, but you have God... and you have moved forward, broken free from the past and from the prison Satan tried to close you in. Keep what you wrote her, keep it always, and when the hard days come read it , and remember the feelings you had and what God did. I have learned that things like these tend to fade when we face hard times and the importance of keeping them close, things we write while they're fresh in our minds.
Also, isn't it interesting how God has given YOU (who chose Him) another family that drew you in and loved you and showed your God's love in a human way?
Be blessed Nina!
I am truly blessed knowing how I was saved every day. When times do get tough, I do look back
and see the course that God gave me and the trials I had to endure. When life is confusing, especially right now,
I try to remember that in this time I may not understand it all but know that God is working and that I am not alone.
What's even more amazing is how I was able to forgive my father just shortly after posting this. God was working during that time and one day I said a prayer to Him and it came true that very same day. I asked to truly accept the things I could not change. During the counseling session with my dad, the counselor asked me if I could change my dad's parenting style and some of the things he did to me, what would it be? Nothing! I said. I wouldn't change a thing, I accept the things that have been done to me, Lord knows I'm not perfect, and plus, I love who I am today. And that was it, forgiveness.
God is great! Thank you :)