With Family Like This, Who Needs Enemies?

I was thinking about crazy-making this past week and this one situation keeps coming to mind and I thought I would share.

A few years ago as we were needing a place to live and things were not looking good, I had sat in my parent’s kitchen visiting with my mom. My mom said that if we got desperate and needed a place to stay we could come and stay with her and my father in their home. I sat and nodded thinking all the while “Over my dead body will I come and live here!”  As I left  she added, “Your husband is not welcome here .” Well, not a big deal, (I thought silently to myself) I didn’t really like him that much anyway – and I wasn’t planning on moving there! I just nodded, said thank you and left.

A day later I got a phone call from my mother. “How dare you ask to move in here. There is no way you are welcome here. You should just get a real job and divorce your husband. I cannot believe you would even presume to think you would be able to just move into our house.”

Huh?

Oh, wait a minute. I apparently asked for something I never ever wanted? Why would I go live in a home with a verbally abusive – and obviously crazy-making mother who never liked me or my children anyway? Why would I subject my children to that?

I was dumbfounded but it highlighted something I suspected was true. My mom played mind games with people. She’s had a fight with her mother-in-law for eons and tries to get her children to side with her on how “evil” Grandma is. I’m probably the only one who sees through the game playing. I’m sure she’s nice to my Grandma just like she was to me and that WHAM! All of a sudden the unwarranted accusations fly and she tells it to all and sundry to show how evil Grandma is and how wonderful my mother is.

Right. (I’m shaking my head here.)

I’m sure my siblings have heard how awful I am too. Needless to say – we are not close.

I love my Grandmother because I can see the same confusion in her that I felt when I got that call and everything was twisted around. Psychological abuse. Gas-lighting. Whatever you want to call it. It’s just nasty and evil.

Did I mention my mother is a psychotherapist? Or maybe she’s just – psycho. Any wonder I’m married to a man similar to her (no wonder they despise each other!). Interestingly enough, my sister who is employed and recently divorced – is now living with my parents along with her son and dog. Apparently she was welcome but I’m not?

Sometimes it’s hard to see our reality as true when we are hit with this kind of stuff. I’m more and more seeing for what it is and as sad as that reality is – it’s also freeing to me.

Do you have any examples of this kind of crazy-making in your own life that you need validation for?

Blessings,

Lilly Grace

My Deepest Need

We have an enemy and too often I forget that he coils like a snake, poised to strike when I least expect it.

And then the bite comes.

Always to my most vulnerable areas.

I need affirmation.  The attack will come on my worth and my abilities to do what God has called me to do.

I need love.  The attacks come in that being withheld and and venemous words are spewed forth that mean anything but love – only disrespect and disdain instead.

I need security. The attacks come in threats against my ability to stay in a house I love, or buy food we need, or take care of medical expenses that come up.

Why does this hurt so much? Because in my humanness I want these things from a man. I want these things from a husband. I want to know I’m loved and cherished and that somehow I will be provided for and that the things I do matter.  Even when I sometimes fail or have a bad day.

This is not my reality.

Sometimes I look for this elsewhere.  Friends?  But they all have their own needs too. And their responsibility is not as great as that of a person who has made promises before God and others.
How about those I minister with? Again, sometimes the strikes come from there as well. Friendly fire which sometimes comes as an arrow aimed to hurt but masked in pious language.

Chocolate? Oh, wait. That doesn’t quite work either.

So what’s a girl to do?

Cry.

Pray.

Seek to reorient myself to the One who made me, died for my sins and is ultimately responsible for my every breath. Ultimately I need to depend on Him. Why is this so hard?

David lamented as he hid in caves hunted by King Saul, separated from his wife and home and responsible for the care, safety and feeding of the men who were with him.

Similar to me shepherding my children while under attack.

But David, even though he was in sorrow and grief and wondering was able to comfort himself with the truth that God stored all his prayers in a bottle.  Every tear we cry is precious to our Heavenly Father. And then, in Psalm 56:9b he says: “This I know: God is for me.”

For me.  God is FOR me. Not against me like human sometimes are. He is FOR you too.

Love, security and affirmation. The holy, almighty, sovereign, eternal God of the universe – is FOR me.  He treasures my tears, how much more my life and basic needs?

Life is not going to get easier.  But if I can rest in the truth that a good and great God is FOR me, maybe I can make it through the day clinging to Him and not lamenting how those needs are not met elsewhere.  And trust Him for my next breath as well as where I will live and how I will feed my children in the months to come.

He has always been faithful. Always. I have no need to doubt that now.

So I will cry.

I will pray.

I will cling to Him.

How about you? What are your deepest needs?  Can you find your fulfillment of them in Jesus? If not, what’s keeping you from that?