Author Archives: Grace2Grow
Worth sharing 🙂
Are you ever troubled by doubts? Do you ever puzzle over unanswered prayer, or events that just don’t seem to add up?
I haven’t been a regular doubter in my Christian life, thankfully. I seem to possess an ability to accept things in an almost childlike way, without constantly asking why or needing proof.
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Amazing how this takes different forms. Please note, I am by NO means any expert with respect to Narcissistic Abuse, nor epigenetic trauma (e.g. descendants of WWII Holocaust Survivors), generational “curses” – or fill in the blank.
I AM trying “in real time” to figure out how to interpret, understand, evaluate, resolve .. I am trying to offer GRACE and FORGIVENESS where possible, while also not continuing to subject me or my husband to ongoing abusive behaviors – At least insofar as I must do so for my own peace with God .. but the challenges that manifest continue to surprise. Yes, new developments in the past couple weeks with my “FOO” –
It never stops. 😦
Just as you might think you’re putting certain aspects of the past LEGITIMATELY in the PAST .. leaving it behind .. life has a way of resurrecting things, bringing NEW offenses, and forcing you to re-evaluate your own convictions. “Someone” is doing much of this “on purpose.” .. And I do not necessarily mean the HOLY Spirit, but there is a “spirit” at work, here. (How much, though, do I need to joyfully say with Job, that the Lord GIVES and the Lord TAKES AWAY, Blessed be the name of the Lord?)
I cannot elaborate – the players are too aware of this blog, and anything I say “can and will be used against” me if I spell this out too much.
For OUR purposes (mine, this blog’s, my husband’s, any similar sufferers’) – I am wrestling “out loud” so to speak, with HOW to evaluate all these things in a way that is faithfully consistent with God’s requirements on me, as far as his own standards of grace, forgiveness, justice, righteousness, holiness and LOVE.
Today, I can only offer the following:
I intend to live HERE for the next several days. And PRAY for God’s grace for both mercy and understanding – because I have NO desire to visit my personal drama/trauma on my marriage or my job, et al.
Please read the full chapter, consider (re)memorizing this with me?, and THANK God for his grace in ALL of life’s dealings, as we face new challenges every day.
Weeping is momentary. Emotions are “indicators” and worthy of evaluation (but they are meant to be “in MOTION” – and not a place to live/stay/percolate). My husband is committed to bearing my burdens WITH me – I do not have the “luxury” of “processing” by myself, anymore ..
Thank you, Lord, for your myriad graces in this life! Please, now, offer wisdom as to whatever comes next.
~Love Moore ❤
Some days I don’t know how I’m still alive. Others, it’s all I can do to press forward.
It’s not that anything remarkable has happened. Maybe it’s that I was expecting something “remarkable” and NOTHING happened.
My “every day” is rife with trying (striving?) to be “normal” — in work, in wedded bliss, in household management, in the aftermath of what’s devolved in my FOO (“family of origin”) and the whole child-becoming-adult thing that STILL evades me, though I’m now undeniably in my 40’s ..
I am aware of too much, and not enough.
I love a now long-distance friend who is losing (may have already lost?) her beloved husband to cancer, in so very much the same way I lost a [[FOO] forcibly estranged] cousin who by ALL rights (natural law? youth and vigor and health, IN HIS FAVOR?!) should never have been afflicted .. ?!
I am squeezing in a few random, barely captured moments of my current political convictions with respect to the news, and find myself frustrated and disappointed and relieved all at once. Hm. 😦
We are – my husband and I – on the precipice of making MAJOR positive changes in something that has literally stalked us for the past two years, but it haunts and devastates as much as it provides hope .. and we live every day with the consequences of the damage, so any victory may be nothing but a wisp .. ? And may be no “victory” at all in the end. .. (How to balance desire for justice and the expectation that none will come this side of Heaven?)
*sigh* I’ve possibly offended a very dear friend into silence because of my inability to manage relationships with any sense of decorum, and she’s not the first .. [cue self-loathing, doubts, second-guessing, over-analyzing, chastising for all the ways my “social” ways are “broken” compared to everyone else…]
My health has been compromised with multiple surgeries over the past few years, resulting in chronic pain and attendant consequences that seem insurmountable. My job has proven a myriad of stressful challenges that – while larely IMPROVING – have nevertheless taken a devastating toll on my psyche and stamina, and our present debt load (in large part directly associated with the aforementioned “stalking”) is always ONE trip to the grocery store or mechanic away from collapsing us. ..
So far .. or .. TODAY? .. I can say, the LORD is our Provider, no matter what any other thing or so-and-so may say.
So far .. or .. TODAY? .. I can say perhaps ONLY that “I know who holds tomorrow” and that is my hope, but we MUST cling to Him.
So far .. or .. TODAY? .. All I know is that there will always be some measure of “pretense” or mere “pleasantry” that I must endure, but I must not let that destroy our pressing forward.
So far .. or .. TODAY? .. I will STILL always prefer the “honest” and “the real” over the hallmark fake, despite the pain of it.
So far .. or .. TODAY? .. Depression is as much a monster as the very real demons we seek to exorcise as the very real and absolutely MEANINGLESS monotony of day to day to paycheck to weight gain to missing children in our world to watching Beloved ones die to fighting always for “The Man” to acknowledge how MY (or our) efforts have ONCE AGAIN delivered “him” from the Fire of No Return. ..
So far .. or .. TODAY? .. I MUST rejoice. Not from any place of falsity, but from “speaking what is not as though it is” .. from KNOWING Whom I have believed, and being PERSUADED that HE is able to KEEP that which I have committed unto Him against That Day.
.. All while “feeling” helpless .. and yet not “helpless” enough apparently (what am I trying to prove?!), as I still “feel” I MUST accomplish some THING that remains tauntingly beyond my grasp.
.. How do I PRAY? How do I HOPE? How do I hold on to FAITH?
Such “emotion” (or “emoting” if you prefer) would have garnered me much discipline, back in the day. I was the “defiant” one, and I was told repeatedly, “I don’t care what you FEEL, I care what you THINK!” and so I battled most of my life with understanding my own emotions, always elusive and seemingly unable to TOUCH let alone UNDERSTNAD them .. while “feeling” VERY (too?) deeply, and DESPISING this aspect of my person.
But .. I do not write this for self-indulgence. I did not “journal” in such a way in years past for mere “self-indulgence” despite accusations – including my own condemning of myself.
Rather. There was a real “desperation” to my lost-ness .. and I still live with it.
But, I CHOOSE to at least aspire to follow the example of at least one who was FAR more devastated than I. (If for no other reason than I must “learn” to adapt to such devastations BEFORE I am incapable of again climbing out of the hole.) ..
So I again “COMMAND” my heart and soul to HOPE IN GOD.
In much the way that the beloved Martyn-LLoyd Jones talked about “spiritual depression” as a condition NOT in which we “talked” to ourselves too much, but LISTENTENED to ourselves too much ..
And I find myself again in Psalm 42 ..
Due to laptop limitations (not a private machine), and website “filtering” – I am not allowed to “paste” here! But please allow me to LINK to the passage! ..
Please CLICK HERE, and turn your eyes upon Jesus, and be blessed.
This video has a GREAT and very simple expression of how “narcissists” receive LOVE or what they mean when they say they love YOU.
I’m sharing this link – PLEASE take the 13 minutes or so to listen. It’s a truly perfect and SIMPLE synopsis – and if you’re hung up at all on the definition of a “narcissist” (as I was at first), this will smack you upside the head with CLARITY as you’ll be able to identify whether the person you’re thinking of (or perhaps even yourself) “loves” in this way.
And thankfully, Dr. Carter doesn’t LEAVE us only with the “bad” news .. He offers here also several key elements of HEALTHY love, and you’ll want to see the video through to the end.
Thanks for sharing in my journey and learning alongside me. 🙂
And I pray you have a blessed NEW year, full of NEW life and fresh beginnings.
Below I posted an update for the first time in over a year. Please feel free to read that “Christmas” update as a way to catch the “flavor” of how I intend to migrate the themes of this blog to better fit my life as it is, now.
A LOT can happen in a year; even in the life of a full-grown adult such as myself (as of this post I am presently 42 years old). I may sometimes convey what appears to be a rather self-absorbed naivete in my posts – perhaps that is unavoidable in one’s own journals or blog entries? – but however much of my OWN immaturities are betrayed or exposed by my continuous “shock”-over-life-revelations, I am nevertheless amazed by the things my husband and I have had to learn over the past few years.
It’s a bit like I’ve gone through an(other) adult “growth spurt,” so to speak.
In large part, I owe this to the fact that I now better (if only in part) understand, that I am definitely classifiable as “on the autism spectrum” – something that is only becoming more clear as this gets better understood these days (compared to my not-so-long-ago childhood), and as I have been FORCED by life circumstances to find answers to a great many struggles and difficulties. My preference is to maintain the status quo – I like variety, but I crave predictability (control?), so “sameness” is not my enemy. 🙂
I think this is not as much a function of my personality as it is my “ASD”-ness .. And my life – especially these past few years – has been ANYTHING but predictable or “the same” from day to day. The LACK of sameness or predictability has been its own kind of traumatizing, but I can’t truly be ungrateful, as I love becoming “more true to myself” in spite of it all. [This is not mere introspection – I genuinely seek to BECOME the woman God has INTENDED me to be; and NOT everything that is an obstacle to that goal “must” be classified as “sinful”!]
I suppose the butterfly has to love the cocoon even if the caterpillar is dying inside? ❤
SIDENOTE: As ASD is necessarily defined by the “D” … as in, “disordered” … I STILL resist the label. My life HAS been disordered, especially in recent years, but I am more “ordered” now than ever before. 🙂 So I may continue to use “ASD” as shorthand, but I am STRIVING and THRIVING in my pursuit of greater clarity and understanding, and adapting to better life-skills to manage my “quirks” .. or, as a beloved former roommate who is also an occupational therapist by trade once told me, “Those aren’t ‘quirks’, Leah, those are SYMPTOMS.” (Thank God she, along with a very few other beloved friends in my life, chief among them my best-friend-come-husband!, have loved me IN SPITE of myself. 🙂 )
So why this post? Why speak on this now, or here in the context of my “grace2grow” blog?
Well, in short? Understanding that I am in fact on the “autism spectrum” is one of the first clues that began the unraveling the “mysteries” of my upbringing – the APPARENT impact of some of the negative aspects of my upbringing (largely born out of the ignorance of the parental advice of the time – late 70’s/early 80’s) – and the degree to which even now, I am still somewhat necessarily “biased” in how I INTERPRET the things I am still working through in my efforts to understand “Narcissistic abuse” .. family dynamics .. my physical health issues (ongoing) .. being a new wife, etc.
And .. I am kinda giving myself permission to have a VOICE .. where elsewise in my life there is not much of a place for that, yet.
I am one who “needs” to journal to work things through, and I have found this format helpful in my OWN journey. 🙂 And maybe my musings will be a means of “grace2grow” for others as well?
So – historically and repeatedly having been accused of being both DEFIANT and even HISTRIONIC .. I am (these days) affirming to myself (or at least striving to) that NEITHER of these descriptions are fitting (or “defining”!), even if my behaviors have sometimes looked like these things.
To whatever extent I HAVE actually been “selfish” and “sinful” and thus “displeasing to God!”? I seek to be genuinely repentant. But I also still lack the discernment to know exactly when to stop apologizing for being MYSELF .. I [may seem to] convey a lot of confidence, in that I am perhaps too-often very “definite” about my own opinions (I’m sure that shocks you) .. but when it comes to a HEALTHY self-assertion? I am embattled and vacillate between OVER asserting (like the desperate fight just to be heard/understood/believed) and completely MARTYRING myself (like my own wishes/desires are to always take 2nd chair to everyone else’s).
My propensity towards extremes may have garnered the above “defiant” and “histrionic” designations, mostly within my own immediate family of origin (FOO) .. but in fact? I am becoming more aware how these traits were more the FRUIT of being raised ill-well, and not the ROOT of WHY I was ill-well raised. (if that makes sense)
If I may be so bold, I didn’t “deserve” the descriptions. I “deserved” better love than that. Or so my heavenly Father is trying to teach me. 🙂
With this revelation I am forced to dig deeper – both in understanding myself, and also in having greater PATIENCE with others when the so-called “behavioral issues” show themselves. If I can have greater LOVE for others, and understand that “awful people” are not just “awful” in the black-and-whitest sense, but that perhaps the “awful behaviors” have real causes that can be remedied? Including my own? Or at least real and understandable explanations (as to WHY so-and-so is this way)? .. I can rein in my OWN over-reactions and get a better handle on how to at least not *add* to the problem by getting angry too quickly or forcefully, or by being overwhelmed by the immediate and panic-stricken NEEEEEED to RUN AWAY from such influences. Making this differentiation – both with others and myself – ALSO empowers me to NOT TOLERATE the bad behaviors, and this doesn’t mean that somehow I’m being hateful ..
These finer distinctions I have always struggled with, and thus I have had a perpetual “love/hate” relationship especially concerning anything (or anyONE) that gives off the scent of being “right” vs. “wrong” or “just” vs. “unjust” ..
There are a LOT of shades of gray, if you will. Or there are a LOT of other colors than just black and white. (Note to self!) And, please. This is NOT to suggest that morality is subjective – that is not my conviction. But there are a HOST of things in this world that do NOT need to be classified as RIGHT vs. WRONG – they MAY just be DIFFERENT, and that’s ok! 🙂
Baby steps, eh? 🙂
This Christmas brings a lot of changes for our household. And the past 3 years have brought a lot of life lessons we would rather not have had to learn the hard way.
But we are grateful for Grace to grow in spite of sometimes devastating circumstances.
A few thoughts to share, in light of these lessons, and with hopes of reinvigorating this blog:
“Family” isn’t the be-all-end-all value in this life; and most who behave as though it is are likely enmeshed and co-dependent. NOT all is as it seems. In fact .. MOST is not as it seems.
SIN by its nature is INSIDIOUS .. and infiltrates even the best of intentions. And the ways we sin against EACH OTHER can cause sometimes irreparable damage in this earthly life ..
But there is a GRACE that is GREATER than all our sin!
Many “families” have their hallmark moments this time of year, many gathered at one house to share in the plentiful bounty – whatever that may mean from house to house. But just because you see many cars are gathered outside does NOT mean much love and joy are truly alive inside. In fact, I would venture a guess it RARELY means that. There are SO many pretenses, SO many judgments passing between family members of varying ages, SO many EXPECTATIONS as if entitled or “owed” instead of GENUINE gratitude .. (NO thank you.)
As for me and my house, we put higher value on Truth and Honesty and Integrity and HUMILITY and GENUINE Generosity and Authenticity – even with its flaws and struggles – over the gingerbread falsity of keeping up appearances. Give us REAL .. ANY day.
Going “no contact” when dealing with Narcissistic Abuse is THE best way to begin to heal.
PAIN is a powerful force. It can destroy in so many ways. But .. as one of my favorite movie quotes puts it:
“..You s’pose if a wound goes real deep, the healing of it can hurt almost as bad as what caused it?”
Yes .. and so in this way, “pain” itself is not always the enemy. It can also be the necessary surgery that saves you.
OH how I wish I had known even 3 years ago what I know now – HOW to “confront” the breaking of boundaries (instead of reacting to the failings), how NOT to try to “correct” the Narcissist in their “right-ness” (because they will NEVER see they’re wrong) – how to PREPARE myself for things like .. “Flying Monkeys” and “Hoovering” and “Narcissistic Rage” and “the Smear Campaign” .. et al. There is SO much I would have done differently. But some things once done can’t be undone.
IRONY: Over the past 2 years, a devastating [business] situation with a man who effectively crushed and abused us caused us to learn very fast and very hard what MALIGNANT OVERT Narcissism was .. and how to survive and overcome the “smear campaign” of such a wicked and conscience-less man? .. We aren’t fully on the other side of the mess yet, but this “revelation” (and the necessary, dedicated and INTENSE levels of DOCUMENTATION required to PROVE the truth in spite of his lies) shed a shocking and much greater light on the COVERT Narcissism embedded in my own family .. from generations before me. Nevertheless, the crash course we were forced to survive because of a business deal gone bad ultimately provided the seeds of recognition, awareness, and growth for my recovery from the far more subtle overtones that truly ensnared and defined me for so many years WELL into my adulthood. And the road ahead is still a very long one. 😦
At least now I have the words to DESCRIBE the problem, and the growing awareness of how very prevalent and pervasive the problem is (not just for me, but for so very many others!) .. AND how defining it has been in my own life, including in dramatic ways how this has impacted my health, my decisions, my dating relationships (or lack thereof) over the years, and perhaps most profoundly in my “CHURCH” choices and the Narcissistic patterns I can now clearly see overlaying much of the church leadership I was enmeshed with in my previous aspirations to “ministry.”
And thus I am learning greater insight as to the ways in which the “sins” of others (as well as my own!) ultimately KEPT me from seeing God for who HE really is .. and even now I struggle with how to walk by FAITH .. not by my own need for “control” ….
STILL – GRACE and reconciliation ARE possible even in the most unpredictable of circumstances, when there is HUMILITY on both sides. And the HUMILITY – as such a RARE precious gem – is all the more valued when found. 🙂
This Christmas and New Year, I pray you REJOICE IN THE LORD, ALWAYS, and again I say, REJOICE! For he is good, no matter what man may intend for evil, and no matter what evil may have had its way with and/or through unwitting loved ones….
The grace of God can break and make FULLY new even the HARDEST of hearts for all who will call upon him!
Reminded this past Sunday that people are gonna think what they think & say what they say. Can’t get too caught up in all that, you just DO what’s right REGARDLESS. Right now just praying for the calm confidence that the Truth will speak for itself, & ultimately we only answer to the Lord for our lives.
Joseph told his betraying brothers who had sold him into years of slavery & unjust horrors .. that what THEY had intended for evil, God nevertheless intended for GOOD. And Go…d used Joseph not only to save the betrayers, but the whole nation of Israel thru unfathomable hardship & famine.
Paul was first Saul, a murderer of Christians, but GOD GRIPPED him in a supernatural & miraculous way to reveal the TRUTH to him, & he was forever changed.
God charges us to love our enemies, to pray for those who despitefully USE you. Just wondering to myself how many of us really know how to PRAY for, & long for the deliverance & salvation of those who torment us? Can you even imagine the early church praying with LONGING for Saul of Tarsus to be saved?!
Even while our core is screaming to be rescued or heard & seen & understood & vindicated, is our heart broken for the one who is warring against us? How much more sad is it to see that soul in torment bcuz of the demons he subjects himself to? 😦
I confess it is a HARD empathy. That is a piety of which I can only catch the barest glimpse. 😦
Our brother in Christ encouraged us to receive the freedom to pray imprecatory Psalms .. & thank God there ARE such things. King David beside himself begging for God’s revelation .. Should I go into this battle or not? Should I fight or should I rather let it go?
All I know at the moment is to WAIT on the Word of the Lord. To “hold fast” & trust that HE will reveal things in their due season. And I pray to our Good Father that he grant us the strength to endure. Hold fast to the truth. Live & walk in FAITH & not fear. And allow ourselves to be humbled by HIS endless grace. ❤
(Would that I were more easily humbled!!)
… world-shifting revelation can come one tiny sentence at a time .. a wake up observation that connects a lifetime of dots in a flood .. God seems to wait, sharing only just enough until each previous discovery has brought enough healing and strength to make our heart able to weather the storm that can follow this new rock lifted to expose the scurrying underlife beneath .. and we must cling with faith to the hope that wisdom will come in the waiting and watching as he unveils you to yourself .. even if it re-wounds, he simultaneously administers the soothing salve ..
oy, we are so good at torturing ourselves. Thank GOD he isn’t like that. He is PATIENT for the “late rains” ….
sometimes we know what we don’t think we know and live like it couldn’t be so but it is, so .. where do we go with what we don’t know we know and what couldn’t be so but is .. especially if it seems everyone else must know too but never said, and it explains so much, and the pieces to puzzle are myriad, and the answers are never so simple as much as we might wish them to be, so the very puzzling of the pieces overwhelms, and the body has a way of telling us even when our minds refuse to acknowledge, so the heart feels constricted when the anxiety and panic physically rages, and the mind stays as baffled as before, and fear is ever at the door, but it’s not as much a mystery as we once thought .. it explains so much.
*Photo/art credit: Mark Klink
I relinquish Bitterness.
I choose to Forgive.
I cling to the HOPE that Jesus makes ALL things right in due time/proper season.
I refuse to live in Anger.
I recognize God is not the author of confusion, so as “confusion” seems only to escalate, I seek to BE STILL before God.
I SAY to the wind and the waves, BE STILL.
I will love my husband with Faithful Patience, and seek to be an Encouragement to him so he may see and GIVE THANKS for God’s Care and Grace and Provision and ultimately LOVE which overcomes.
I reject false accusations (authored by the father of lies and the accuser of the brethren!) and appropriate the discernment necessary to not further propagate them by gossip!
I willingly examine myself for teachable moments and GIVE THANKS for Humility.
I will KEEP my eyes open for our heavenly Bridegroom – Alert all the more against Strife and Division and any Spirit of OFFENSE as that is NOT sent by God.
I will PRAY even when I don’t want to.
I TRUST in the Power of the AUTHORITY of the name of Jesus, given to me!
I will not “martyr” for my OWN selfish Cause or Desires or Reputation.
I will LIFT UP my husband before God and BLESS him in the company of others as he IS Praiseworthy and Excellent!
I will yield in humility to my husband’s PROTECTIVE disposition towards me – not too proud to ASK for help when I need it.
I TRUST God has led and IS leading us, so I will walk as Jesus walked.
I refuse to either be led by my own untrustworthy and wayward emotions, or to so LONG for any kind of “feeling” as if it bears weight in my “inner man” any more than as a mere SIGNAL (an “indicator light” on my dashboard!).
I will live by our agreed upon “house rules” having gained Confidence in the WISDOM of “speaking in the now,” “owning my own center,” etc.
When I was a child, I thought as a child, I behaved as a child, but now that I am a grown woman, I LEAVE childish ways behind me! Including pettiness or the deep longing for (man’s) approval!
I will not be ruled or swayed by “the fear of man.”
Or lack Confidence that God is WILLING and ABLE to REVEAL himself to me!
I RENOUNCE! ANY! so-called CURSE of the “spirit of abortion” or “spirit of the bastard child” as if ruled by Rejection or allowing myself to be led into any culture of death/murder.
I SPEAK LIFE! over myself! over my husband! over our household! over our children! in JESUS’ NAME!
I LAY HOLD! of God’s precious promises for me, Confident of His FAVOR.
I am NOT what I was, and I AM becoming what HE intended me to be, what HE wills me to be, and I WILL REJOICE!
I W I L L R E J O I C E !