Archive | May, 2016

Family Dysfunction and Its Effects

26 May

I had never heard the term dysfunction until 3 years ago. I guess I was sheltered or something. There again; maybe I heard it and don’t remember hearing the term dysfunction.

I am going to start off by defining dysfunction; mainly family dysfunction. Here is Wikipedia’s definition of a dysfunctional family. “A dysfunctional family is a family in which conflict, misbehavior, and often child neglect or abuse on part of the individual parents occur continually and regularly, leading other members to accommodate such actions.” Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families defines it as: ” a consequence of a social practice or behavior pattern that undermines the stability of a social system.”

The Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families also state this…”A dysfunctional family is always out of balance, and is frequently teetering on the edge of crisis (or in continual crisis). The dysfunctional family is full of unresolved conflicts and negative emotions such as toxic shame and fear, and most often, some form of codependency. Issues of abandonment and enmeshment (personal boundaries are diffused) are typically present. Parentification of children is very common, as is infantilization.”

“Many dysfunctional families experience substance abuse on the part of one or more members; however, not all family dysfunction involves alcoholism or drug addiction. Families in which one or more members has a personality disorder or mental illness can also be highly dysfunctional. Family dysfunction arises when, for any number of reasons, parents are not able to meet their own needs and their childrens’ needs in a healthy manner.”

Some signs and characteristics of a dysfunctional family: (Childhood Trauma Recovery)

  • Parental alcoholism/drug addiction: puts the child at risk of various forms of abuse and increases the likelihood that he or she will be neglected (emotionally, physically, or both). It also increases the likelihood of conflict within the family.
  • AN UNPREDICTABLE AND FEAR INDUCING ATMOSPHERE:for example, the parent/s may be inconsistent with their child (eg in relation to discipline) meaning the child can never be sure as to how his/her parents will respond to his/her various behaviours. Or the parent/s might be violent towards the child, or prone to outbursts of extreme rage (click here to read my article on this) meaning that the child is obliged to live in an environment in which s/he feels constantly apprehensive and fearful.
  • A HIGH LEVEL OF CONFLICT WITHIN THE FAMILY:   this may be verbal or physical (although, of course, a certain amount of conflict within families is inevitable, particularly when children within the family reach adolescence).
  • PERFECTIONISM: for example, if one or both parents place excessive demands upon the child to constantly achieve excellence in a particular activity or activities, causing the child to experience damaging levels of stress and anxiety.
  • ABUSE:  physical, sexual or emotional
  • POOR COMMUNICATION: for example. the child being largely ignored by one or both parents
  • EXCESSIVE CONTROL: : for example, not allowing an adolescent child to ever leave the house to see friends or invite friends around to his/her own house
  • REPRESSION: e. a family in which it is unacceptable to show or talk about personal feelings and emotions (everyone must keep a ‘stiff upper lip’ at all times)
  • A LACK OF EMPATHY: for example, in a family in which the parents are never able to understand or relate to the child’s feelings about issues that are of importance to him/her, and are, therefore, be dismissive of them
  • ROLE-REVERSAL: for example, in a single parent family in which the child looks after/cares for a clinically depressed mother. whilst his/her own needs (emotional, physical or both) go unmet
  • DENIAL:  for example, in a family in which the father is an alcoholic but this fact can never be acknowledged or spoken about, meaning the problem goes unresolved and the child is burdened with having to keep a ‘family secret’)
  • SCAPEGOATING: for example, when the personality problems of family members are projected onto one individual (click here to read my article on scapegoating within dysfunctional families).

There are even examples of family dysfunction in the Bible: David and his affair with Bathsheba, Solomon and all of his “wives,” the Kings throughout 1 & 2 Kings, the cocubines, plus many more passages of family dysfunction.

I know a lot of families are abusive or dysfunctional or both and don’t even realize it. I know I never knew or realized that I was in a dysfunctional family; which isn’t my parents’ fault. It goes back to ancestral and generational sins; which starts with Adam & Eve.

I will say there is hope for those who belong to Jesus. Jesus can help us overcome the hurt and pain of dysfunction. Jesus can heal us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

I will say that a lot of it depends on you. You have to want to break the chains of dysfunction. You have to be willing to do what it takes to overcome dysfunction. Tears and pain will still ensue during the process of healing and recovery. The tears and pain are worth it, though. 

God is with you every step of the way. Like, He’s with me every step of the way. It’s hard and hurts like hell. I know that it WILL be all worth it. It WILL be worth it for you, too.


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I Need to Step Out of My Comfort Zone

25 May

I am in Celebrate Recovery. I really enjoy it. I have definitely learned a lot. I really like our videos by the Skit Guys.

I have been able to form a lot of friendships. All the women have something in common. We are not afraid to say that we are broken. We are not afraid to take off our masks and get to the roots of our hurts, habits, and hang ups.

I believe that more people should be in Celebrate Recovery. I don’t think that none of us can escape this sinful world without a hurt, habit, or hang up. Somewhere along the line, something has happened to us. It could be neglect, rejection, abandonment, feeling unloved or unwanted, etc.

We are about to start on a moral and spiritual inventory. We need to have an accountability partner. It is Biblical to have an accountability partner. Moses had Aaron. The main example; Jesus. Jesus had the 12 disciples. He walked with them for 3 years.

This brings me a lot of hurt and anxiety back to the fore front of my mind…an accountability partner. I’m not going to lie. I am not going to sugar coat anything. I have been hurt by some women in my church.

The last time was very devastating to me. I almost left the church I attend because of it. I have learned a lot since then.

I have learned that NO ONE IS PERFECT!!!! Satan is EVERYWHERE; even in the church!!!! Not every one that goes to church knows Jesus as their Lord and Savior. NO CHURCH IS PERFECT BECAUSE IT DOESN’T HAVE PERFECT PEOPLE!!!!  I have hurt people in my church, too.

So, I need to be able to step out of my comfort zone. I’m okay with the women as a group. I have my closest friends that I talk to. It goes back to afraid of being rejected, unloved, ignored, left out, etc.

Yes, I am going to be real; as always. I have felt left out by some people within my church. Sometimes, I think I’m the only person this has ever happened to, but I know that there is no way. My husband only has one man in our church that calls and checks on him if he isn’t in church.

People aren’t the way they used to be. We don’t go to each other’s houses. I don’t think I’ve seen one person in our neighborhood knocking on doors for church invitations from any church in our area. Heck, we don’t even talk on the phone anymore. We text and email or do social networking. We have lost the “hands on” in our relationships. I can’t imagine what it will be like in 5 years.

There’s a verse I seldom refer to. In John 13:34-35; this is what Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this ALL people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

How in the world can we love one another with texts, emails, or social networking? How can we love one another when we are too afraid to be really real? How can we love one another when we are afraid to take off the masks? If we aren’t able to take off the masks and be really real; willing to go beyond the surface, we can’t grow spiritually. Why can’t we be real? Jesus already knows our hurts, habits, and hang ups. WE CAN’T WEAR A MASK AROUND JESUS. HE KNOWS WHO WE REALLY ARE BENEATH THE SURFACE!!!!

I know I got a little off what I was talking about. That was definitely God making an interjection. God guides my fingers across the keyboard. Now, I can understand it when Pastor Wade says that God used human instruments to pen His words. I am a willing vessel for God.

Anyway, I am about to have to step our of my comfort zone. I have to keep in my mind that if I ask a lady to be my accountability partner and she says, “no.” It’s nothing personal. It’s not about rejection. She doesn’t feel led to be my acco0untability partner.

Please pray for me in this process. My next blog will be on process/sanctification. I thought I was going to write about that today. God had other plans. Thank You Jesus for letting me be an instrument that will bring YOU glory and not me.

 

Spiritual Warfare is Real

12 May

Ephesians 6:12 ESV    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

I recently laid something at the feet of Jesus. It was something from my past. I got tired of feeling the guilt and shame for something that Jesus had forgiven me for.

Let me tell you. I was ready for battle. I didn’t know that Satan was going to fight me as hard as he has been. Thank God, I was somewhat prepared. It’s all about God’s word and His promises that are written in the Bible.

Satan came at me really hard last night. He tried to put bad thoughts into my mind. He tried to tempt me. I just kept telling God to help me. I would tell Jesus that I loved Him, and I knew that He loved me. I also started praising God and telling Him how much I loved Him. NO ONE HAS EVER LOVED ME LIKE JESUS. 

That’s saying a lot. NO ONE HAS EVER LOVED ME LIKE JESUS. I am very blessed with a Bible believing Jesus follower as a husband. He is my best friend. Our relationship has grown to be very intimate. I give God the glory. I know that my husband loves me. I know that he is there for the “long haul.” There again, my husband is only human. I shouldn’t expect anything out of him that he can’t give me and isn’t able to give me. ONLY JESUS CAN DO THAT!!!!

I am here to tell you that spiritual warfare is real. Satan will come at us with everything he can. Take time and read the book of Job. Jesus battled with Satan, also. So, we know that we will battle him. It’s like a lot of people say, “Satan doesn’t want the ones that he already has, he wants those that he doesn’t have.” 

I know there are people that “dabble” into the dark side of the spiritual world. There is no such thing as a “dabble.” Once that door is open, you are in for a rude awakening. Satan will come at you with full force. He will wreak havoc on you and your family. Don’t mess with something that you don’t know anything about. Movies, ouija boards, witchcraft, horror movies, tv movies about the living dead, satanic music, etc. are all things that can invite Satan into your home. 

You may not believe me, and that’s fine. All I know is that I sure wouldn’t want you to find out on your own. Heed my warning…SATAN IS REAL!!!!

You know?! God does everything for a reason. As I was preparing to write this, I looked up the above scripture. Do you know what the Bible says after Ephesians 6:12?! The  Bible speaks about the armor of God. Isn’t that something?! The Bible talks about spiritual warfare then tells how we can protect ourselves with the armor of God. It’s there for a reason. As children of God, we have access to EVERYTHING that God has access to…PROTECTION…armor of God!!!!

So, I ask to please take Satan seriously. Don’t play with him!!!! Get into your Bible and memorize some scripture. Listen to Bible centered worship music. Listen to a sermon or Bible study. We have a lot of things at the tips of our fingers through the internet. Get Godly women to pray for and with you. Don’t let Satan take your soul to hell with him.

With the strength of Jesus, I will keep fighting!!!! What about you?! Will you fight along with me?! My life verse is Philippians 4:13 NJKV…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Christ can give you that same strength. REMEMBER…WE HAVE THE SAME POWER IN US THAT ROSE JESUS FROM THE GRAVE!!!!

Leaving the Past Behind

5 May

Genesis 19:26 ESV   But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

 

This passage starts Genesis 18. God tells Abraham that He is going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. God told Abraham that the sin of the city had gotten out of hand. Sodom and Gomorrah were worshiping idols, and the citizens there were committing a lot of sexual sins.

God sends Abraham to the city along with two angels. They went to Lot’s house. Abraham was sent there to warn Lot and his family of the city’s impending doom.

All of them were set to leave the next morning. The angels woke up and urged Lot to escape with him and his family. Lot was lingering. So, the angels took matters into their own hands. They grabbed Lot and his family to set him outside of the city.

One of the angels told Lot and his family to escape for their lives. (Genesis 19:17) They were told to escape quickly. God was more than ready to pour out His wrath upon this sinful city and its people.

As God was pouring His wrath upon Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s wife decided to look behind her. She just couldn’t leave the past behind her. So, God turned her into a pillar of salt.

I have been a lot like Lot’s wife. Remember; in one of previous blogs, I wrote about my self condemnation and self punishment. I have been my own worst enemy. I will “beat myself up” over things that I have been forgiven of. God no longer remembers them. Yet, I have felt the need to punish myself.

Well, I recently decided to put the past behind me. Finally, I got tired of running. Finally, I was tired of being held in prison for something I was no longer guilty for. I know that Satan will try to put thoughts in my head. I am going to be crying out to Jesus and quoting scripture. Satan wants me to be bound up in shame and guilt.

Here are a few facts about not leaving the past behind. This was given to me by a friend of mine.

  • I can’t build on the past. There’s nothing I can do to change the past.
  • It can cause self rejection.
  • Bringing up the past exalts Satan.
  • It prevents my realization of my dreams.
  • Repeating the past; in my mind, will keep me hostage.
  • It causes me to blame others.
  • I can glorify the act (sin) that happened in the past.
  • Repeating the past causes self punishment and self abuse.

This was more than enough to help me decide to finally let go of the past. I shouldn’t be running from Satan. Satan should be running from me. I decided to let go and let God give me peace in His forgiveness, grace, and mercy.

Here are some scriptures that I have been reading to help me replace lies with God’s truth:

  • Romans 13:12 ESV    The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness (sin) and put on the armor of light (the light of Jesus).
  • Philippians 3:13-14 ESV   Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it on my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.
  • Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV   Remember not the former things of old, Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
  • Luke 9:62 ESV   Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

There is a reason why God has given us the Bible. The people in the Bible are just as real as you and me.

So, we need to learn from Lot’s wife example. We need to leave the past behind. Concentrating on past sin will keep you in a prison of guilt and shame. You have to be willing to take the key and set yourself free. The key is to remember that ALL of your sins are forgiven. God throws them into the sea of forgetfulness; to be remembered know more. As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions (sin) from us. Also, remember, Romans 8:1 there is now condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

A friend also told me this, WHEN SATAN REMINDS YOU OF YOUR PAST…REMIND HIM OF HIS FUTURE!!!!

God Will Supply All Your Needs

4 May

(Philippians 4:19 ESV) And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

When I wake up in the mornings, I try my best to say a few words to God. After all, He did wake me up on this side of heaven. So, that means, that He’s not done with me, yet.

Tracy and I are desperately trying to find some drivers. Tracy is physically worn out. It’s hard for him to drive and take care of the other trucks.

I was in the midst of praying for God to send us some truck drivers. God brought Philippians 4:19 to my mind. I didn’t think about praying that verse before. God loves to hear His word prayed back to Him.

I know that I and other Bible believing Christians tend to lend on that verse during times of financial hardship. There’s definitely nothing wrong with that. I have done that. I will say that I never really grasped the total meaning of this verse.

In the NASB version of the Bible, Philippians 4:19 states that God will supply all your needs. All and every have the same meaning. Whatever need I have, God wants to supply it.

God doesn’t only want to supply my financial needs. He also wants to supply my spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical needs. God wants to supply us with drivers. God will supply you with all the love I can handle and then some. God wants to supply my need of acceptance. God wants to supply my need of Him being my Father. God wants to supply Tracy’s need of rest and relaxation. 

I know that a lot of times that I forget that God is so big. Without realizing it, I will set boundaries on what God can and will do. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around just how big God is.

Do you have a sincere need? Are you tired of rejection from others? Do you need God to supply your need of love and acceptance? Do you need rest and relaxation? Do you need a job? Whatever your sincere need is, bring it to God. Tell Him about it. Tell Him how you feel. I can promise you that you will not hurt God’s feelings when you are praying about a sincere need. He knows what we are thinking and feeling anyway. So, cry out to God, and He will hear your plea. I am…I have the faith that God will supply our need. Thank You Jesus in advance.