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  1. HikerMom

    A Lamp On The Stand

    Here are my thoughts dr3032. Ask God to help you forgive your parents and don't hold back this part of yourself from them. I know they let you down, but for your own sake you need to forgive them. I hope you will find a good church home somewhere where you can love and be loved in return! Christians need one another to make it through life! You need to be part of a church family where you can give and receive support. Ask God to help you forgive people...listen to one who regrets having unforgiveness. It spills out on all parts of your life. You don't want to be in that prison. It is normal for it to feel like you are losing when you forgive...Let God be the one to deal with your parents. You could try to tell them how they have hurt you and see if they could understand. But you would have to know they may not react in a Christ like way. You might not be able to get that deep connection with them that you desire. But in my experience, God more than makes up for what we don't get from our parents!! He will put healing people in your life. Trust Him. Ask for His help. I think you are VERY wise to be asking advice...I am sure others will have more valuable advice than me. Blessings!!
  2. HikerMom

    Just sharing

    LOL Justme007.....I don't know why I assumed you were a woman?? Blessings, brother...
  3. Thanks for sharing, Gandolph! I definitely have had an issue feeling pretty angry about Christians being critical. I think it probably stems from the fact that I am a "recovering Pharisee" and also the fact that I see that as a factor in my daughter's decision to become an atheist. I've always thought Jesus got pretty angry at the Pharisees in Scripture. But I can see now how much I dwelt on that anger rather than asking God to help me forgive. Today after I left from church, I felt the depression again. I only slept a few hours last night, so I am not sure if the depression is from lack of sleep or just discouragement again. Or if it could be some other anger issue I am not recognizing? I know I left church with the feeling of not being a part of that community. So maybe it is just going to take time? Maybe I am expecting to get healing too soon. I have deprived myself of Christian community for a long time. It is no wonder that I don't feel a part. And maybe it is just going to take time for the feelings of forgiveness to come around even though I am moving in that direction now. Anyway...looking back on my original decision to leave a few years ago (I didn't really leave but just slowly pulled back), I felt a ton of anxiety about it and wanted to find support that I was making the right decision. I see all that now as a sign that deep down, I was pretty sure it was a bad decision. I never do well without community. Maybe there is a healthier church out there, but to leave my church because I was angry was a terrible decision. I spoke with a KLove pastor yesterday who recommended me reading, "Bait of Satan," by John Bevere. I started reading but theologically it was hard for me. So I ordered Brant Hansens's book called, "Unoffendable." I just started reading it and like it much better. Both books are on the same topic. Gandolph, I am so encouraged by your testimony. I definitely believe God is "dealing with me" as He did you. I just have to trust that God will make a way for me....Please share any insight you may have from reading this and also what is an FWIW?
  4. I have terrific news if anyone has been reading this. My depression with this has been so severe at times that I've indulged in suicidal thoughts. I had talked with two counselors in the past who thought that none of my issues were related to me wanting to leave my church. I was told by one of them that I was just grieving not having control over my sleep...not being able to fix it. That did resonate with me but I have always believed that if a person is depressed, they need to make changes. I felt I had done a pretty good job accepting the insomnia but continued to really, REALLY struggle with depression. I have been doing all the "right" things. Getting up and being productive, reading the Bible and serving others. But STILL this horrible depression. So yesterday I told God that I would go back to my church, even though I don't agree with all their beliefs and have been terribly hurt by how they treated my daughter who is gay. Don't get me wrong, I would never attend a church that said acting on homosexuality was not a sin. I would not go somewhere where they were basically saying to gay people to act on it, to destroy themselves. But at the same time, the attitude of condemnation (which I have seen also on this forum) is painful and does nothing to help a person who struggles with homosexuality. When people talk about gay people as gross or disgusting or even saying their behavior is gross or disgusting it hurts the person and their family who dearly loves them terribly. Slander and gossip and condemnation are just as ugly. If neither you nor someone you love deeply has ever struggled with this issue, you should be grateful. And if we have not struggled with it, we should be careful how we talk about it. Anyway, my first thought about returning to my church was that I felt that I was betraying my daughter. That made me think I had some unforgiveness still to deal with in my heart. But I decided maybe God is trying to tell me to go back and just love people where they are at--just as I want Christians to do for my daughter. I immediately began to feel a weight lifted off of me. And over a day later, I still am feeling free of depression...even though my sleep is still not back to normal. I don't know if the depression will return, but I suspect not. I think this is just one more step toward healing for me!! Praise God! I hope this will one day help someone else dealing with insomnia...
  5. HikerMom

    Just sharing

    Blessings, sister!!
  6. HikerMom

    Just sharing

    Hi Justme! Sounds like you may be being awfully hard on yourself. I've just been studying Ecclesiastes using a book called, "A life well Lived." One of the major conclusions the author of Ecclesiastes comes to is that we are to enjoy life as God gives it to us. Here are a couple of verses that you could think about... "Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise-- why destroy yourself?" Ecclesiastes 7:16 "So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun." I know you didn't ask for advice, but you do mention there is a problem. It just sounds like you are trying to earn your way into heaven to me. And it sounds exhausting! We absolutely cannot be perfect or earn our way in. And God created the earth for us to enjoy as well. It's about balance.... We need to be spending time with Him, serving others, etc but we also need time to not take life so seriously!! Forgive me if I am out of place! Saying a prayer for you today!!
  7. HikerMom


    Acacia--If you think any of these things may be contributing to stress in your life, Henry Cloud has great books that can help. You can also follow him on facebook. jen
  8. I do believe God is beginning to really heal me. About 3-4 days ago I experienced another day of such deep depression over this. I decided to sing praises again and what relief. Such peace. 1to3 I used your song once as well. God has shown me that there is a way to peace in all circumstances. Not that He will necessarily change the circumstances unless it is His will. But that peace may be found in any circumstance of life. I do believe that He wants to heal this completely in His time....It is all about fear. Fear of His will. This is about a surrendering to whatever His will is for my life. Philippians 4:6-7. The decision to praise Him in all circumstances is vital to our peace.
  9. HikerMom


    Ask God to help you with your fears, Acacia! I think when I used to have bad dreams a lot, it came from not knowing how much God loved me. I suffered a very low self esteem because of my troubled childhood. Growing up in a dysfunctional environment created a lot of fear in me. Then I was always so afraid of what others thought. Afraid of failure. Afraid of so many things. Also sometimes I think taking on too many responsibilities created stress. Most of the reason I took on so much was the inability to say no. I was so afraid of someone disliking me or speaking ill of me that I could never say no. What I ended up neglecting was my own husband, my children, and taking care of myself as well. That created a lot of stress and I ended up with bad dreams. A couple of times also there were traumatic events that caused bad dreams. And the stress of unforgiveness created bad dreams. I don't like horror movies but occasionally have watched them with my daughter in order to spend time with her. I do not believe they were ever the source of anything more than one night's difficulty. The REAL issues were not knowing how much God loved me, People pleasing, and unforgiveness and guilt. Unfortunately I think sometimes we tend to focus on minor issues--not saying watching horror movies is a good idea!!--rather than on the soul killers like greed, gossip, jealousy, envy, anger, hatred, unforgiveness, bitterness. To me this is what Jesus is saying to the Pharisees when He says that they neglect the weightier matters of the law. They "strain out a gnat" and then "swallow a camel." Matthew 23:24. They clean the outside but not the inside. Philippians 4:6-7 have been wonderful verses for me recently. Read them and notice the part about thanksgiving. Praise music is incredibly healing. If I were you I would consider some godly counseling. You very likely could have some forgiveness issues....maybe you don't know who you are in Christ...You sound like you are VERY hard on yourself which is not helpful at all. We ALL sin DAILY and are continually and forever in need of God's grace. I hope this helps. God Loves you sister!!! Saying a prayer for you this morning!
  10. Yesterday morning I had made a determination not to give in to self-pity any longer. I have told God often how much insomnia hurts, but I really felt that I needed to make sure I was not allowing myself to feel pity for myself any longer about this. I went on a hike with friends in Glacier Park, but that morning and on the way home from the park I felt so much depression. When I got home, I spent time asking God to give me peace no matter my circumstances. After a good cry and asking for peace I felt much better. I did some singing and it lifted my spirits so much. Reading a wonderful book called, "Hind's Feet on High Places." It is a theology of suffering. Last night I read chapter 12. In this chapter, the main character called "Much-Afraid" begins singing praises to God in order to drown out the voices of her enemies--Fear, Bitterness, Resentment, Pride and Self-Pity. Thankfully I slept really, really well last night. But God is in charge, and I know I can't MAKE sleep happen. So I am determined to not have self-pity to the best of my ability. I find that singing praise songs really does help me hang on and sometimes really brings me hope.
  11. Thanks to both of you for the concerns! What a great song 1to3. Praise songs really help me right now...so I will definitely add that one to my list!!
  12. This week I have had some rough days but yesterday I really feel that I turned another corner in this journey. I have been off from work for the summer. So on a bad day, it is easy to dwell on things and not force myself to get up and function. But it is also easy to swing the other way and begin to get so busy as to avoid thinking of it. Neither way is helpful. So I decided to force myself to get up and function so as to limit how much time I allow myself to feel sad over this. I had a good day. And then the usual anxiety in the evening. I kept focusing on the verse about how our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. I can see how sometimes I focus so hard on a verse such as this that I am trying to calm myself so I can sleep---and that always backfires. Somehow it was ok though. For the first time, as I was able to focus more on the eternal, I found myself able to accept this more. And I asked God to make me at peace with whatever happens. I don't know if I will be there again tonight, but I KNOW that is where God is trying to get me and He WILL finish this work He has begun in me. Last night the fears of different terrible things happening to my kids came into my brain. God helped me to focus on the eternal plans though rather than the temporary difficult and terrible things that could happen. And He gave me peace about those possibilities in that way. And He gave me rest last night. So I know that if I don't sleep tonight, it is because He is still doing His work in me.....
  13. JTC...Have you thought about counseling? Is it possible you are doing something to put people off? It sounds as if you don't believe they are saved. If they feel you are judging them then that may be part of the problem. Are you open to considering that you may need to make changes? That you could be doing things that make others want to stop associateng with you?
  14. Just another thought, Christiangal. You ARE normal. We have all been broken to a different extent by the sins of others as well as our own sins. You are definitely "normal" in that sense. The good news is that God is always working to redeem what has been broken in our lives. Be good to yourself. You are dearly loved. I hope you are doing ok! jen
  15. And in the meantime, Henry Cloud has TERRIFIC Christian books and materials on the internet for maintaining good boundaries. You can follow him on facebook. He has a wonderful book called, "Changes That Heal." I just think going to a counselor and reading some good Christian material might help you get a grasp of when you are being manipulated and how to handle it. From my experience, this is a painful process but will set you free from so much. The truth, even when it is hard to accept, will set you free. Even if it's that you possibly have parents who are incapable of loving anyone. My father didn't love me...but it has nothing to do with me. It is that he is incapable of loving anyone. And that has never changed unfortunately for me and for him. But I have the best Father in heaven. And truly, God has blessed me with the most amazing, loving people that have helped me to heal and move on!! I know He will do the same for you. God has a way of making up for what we lose in childhood. He will redeem the years the locusts have eaten...Joel 2:25