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FMF~Good

When I first saw the fmf prompt of good the only thing that came to mind is “It is well with my soul” a bit of a surprise since that really has nothing to do with the word “good”. Here it is the next morning and that is still the only thing that comes to mind. Possibly it is because, last night we celebrated my youngest child’s First Communion, complete with a foot washing by the Pastor and Assisting Minister. It may be just as simple as today is Good Friday…..a day of sadness as Christians around the world ponder on how much the Lord loved us to send his son to die on the cross for our sins. I woke up at 5:30am this morning and unable to go back to sleep lay there thinking about how lonely Jesus must have been to have his disciples whom he loved fall asleep while he prayed. We humans are so weak, I know that I would have eventually slept as well, I have never been one to stay awake all night. Yet, in spite of our weakness and sinful nature Jesus loves us. What a wonderful gift to all of us whether we acknowledge his gift or not. So for today and this weekend, my refrain will be “It is well with my soul”. 

FMF~Wait

I could write for hours on this one word! Right now this word means Wait upon the Lord to me. I am not a patient person and this is becoming a very difficult lesson for me at this time in my life. I want to know where the Lord is leading me and He just gives me minute bits and pieces in the form of preparation for the future.
Can I admit to being beyond frustrated? I want to know what God’s plan is for me so I can just do it and not have to think about it or even make decisions!
When trying to decide what master’s program to accept, (I was accepted to all 3 programs I applied for) I was stressed until the Lord said to me ” you will make the right choice” and I did. The Lord has blessed my time at JCU in the most magnificent ways. However, I feel Him pushing me towards other places and to be truthful, I am terrified! He uses others to plant seeds in my brain so very effectively and then I panic wondering how to process everything and worry about making the right choices yet again.
Life would be so much easier if God would just tell me what to do since I am tired of making choices and at this time really would like to just be obedient and not think about it.
Ahhhh, yes I am bracing for the uproar I suspect may come from that statement! Yes, I know that we were given free will but sometimes, it would just be nice to not have to utilize it all the time. Having made serious mistakes in the past, I desire to not do so in my future.
So I will wait upon the Lord and continue to pray for guidance even if it is rather grudgingly at times, because of my impatience.

FMF~ Share

Ha how funny that this word was already on my mind when Kate picked it! The reason was because I am taking a course called Group Counseling this semester. it is supposed to help you learn how to lead counseling groups. Which is fine in theory. What i didn’t realize when I registered for it is that we would be required to actually participate in said group! Share~ changes to Sharing when in a therapeutic group.

It is hard work, one you have to trust the other members to not judge you or think you are crazy or worse yet not fit to be a counselor. You cry if you are me, because that is how you express your emotions even when personally you hate crying. 

It was our first group session and the things we all shared were so deep and raw, not something that happens very often according to the professor. I am not sure how I feel about that yet. Good? Excited? Sad? Definitely overwhelmed by the thought that we still have 10 more of these group sessions to live through and now realize just what I am in for. More rawness, more crying, more sharing. And the timer I set just went off……….

Finishing off my thoughts on this is that sharing is hard and even when you know the person you are sharing with. My dear friend shared something with me after months of keeping it to herself in Dec. and I know it was difficult for her. Imagine being in a counselor’s office and having to share deep personal thoughts or worse yet in a group setting and having to do the same! I share this not to scare anyone but to remind all of us that sharing is hard work and it is a privilege to be the person who gets to listen to another’s pain, joy and life struggles. 

Welcome~

      This word is one that seems so very positive to most but to me, it is not a word that I have a great deal of personal experience with, therefore it is difficult to write about. I immediately think of the origins of ‘welcome’ and remember that it is Middle English for someone whom one is happy to have met. I prefer the term ‘well met’ over welcome for some odd unknown reason, that I am not going to analyze today.

 Welcome~ can be taken both personally or transformed into welcoming which then can be about the environment in which one steps into. I was once a part of a yahoo group of conservative Christian women, and while they were welcoming, their ‘welcome’ was limited to those just like themselves and I did not fit in. So one day I quietly left the group to look for a safer, more positive space and more accepting women to share my time/space with.

When I married the husband, I had hoped to finally get a family that loved me but that did not happen as they were also ‘welcoming’ as long as one holds the same values as they do. So over the last two years I have gradually and quietly withdrawn from them as well. It took me about 16 years of marriage to realize they did not value me and I could not change them and that I needed to protect myself from their hurtfulness. 

So here I am, not having positive experiences with that word but yet, I keep on trying to find my space, the one where others love me for who I am and who may disagree with me but will not devastate me with hurtful words because of it. I wonder is it really so difficult to care about others without judging them? 

Most people are at welcome within their own families but even that was denied to me, as I am a product of rape and incest and my mother had signed over temporary adoption papers was allowed after a few weeks to take me from my adoptive family. I still hold a great deal of anger and sadness over her selfish decision. I grew up to be the unwanted child, who had no father and a mother who saw her rapist in my face on a daily basis. Not such a welcoming place in which to thrive.

Now, here I am at 51, wondering why it is so hard to be wanted in this society? What makes me so very hard to love and unwelcome? Or is it because I am far to trusting of others and wish to love them regardless of their treatment of me? I hate the fact that my whole life has been about my desire to be loved, accepted and wanting to feel welcome somewhere.

I, at least temporarily am welcome at the university that I attend for my master’s degree. It is a wonderful if weird sensation to me. But again it is only temporary, I will graduate May 2016 and then will be back into the not fitting in stage. I am hoping that I get into a doctoral program and one would hope that I would be welcome there but it will be at a secular university and with my Christian faith, it is hard to fit in there at times. 

So how do those who like me deal with never having experienced the feeling of being ‘welcome’? Well, if one does not have faith in God, then perhaps one does what I did as a teen and looks for anyone to feel in the hole, they have. A mistake that can adversely affect ones whole life. Now, I have a strong faith in God, which allows me to go to Him in prayer, or yelling as the case sometimes is with me. Talking it out with God, helps keep me focused and from making serious mistakes out of loneliness and hurt. 

I am becoming a much stronger person, who is able to see that being ‘welcome’ is something that while desired means one also needs to be discerning about where they look for welcomeness and with whom. At the end of the day or perhaps in my educational jargon~ the takeaway is that one may desire the feeling of being welcome but is that the only thing we need? and what cost do we pay for it?

 

Author’s note~ this was an exceptionally difficult post for me and will need serious editing one day, as there is too much emotion here and is too rambling and perhaps a bit too raw! I could not focus my thoughts into a coherent essay and that is frustrating to me! But as a grad student, I am ever comfortable with editing time after time until I get it said the way I want. I also went over the five minute rule because once I started writing I couldn’t stop…….