Life built on a foundation of fear .

Day 27 – Lent Challenge – Fear.

Children who have experienced instability, frightening events, or inconsistent care build foundations of fear.
Beliefs which come from a foundation of fear tend to be negative, such as:
• I can’t trust adults to take care of me
• I have to be in control to stay safe
• It’s not safe to love or be vulnerable

Children with such negative core beliefs often have concerning behaviours such as stealing, lying, defiance, etc.
As a foster carer it’s our job to understand these behaviours. We look beyond the fear to the child that is hurt, confused sad and afraid.

They are afraid to love. This blog is for one young person who’s fear of love turned my world upside down.
God prepared me for this. In that preparation I understood this child acted out if fear. It was not personal, they were not to blame.
I understood that fear and love could not co exist. I knew the only way forward for me was to trust God and stay with love.
Love came with understanding and forgiveness. I felt so loved. In the darkness it was love that removed doubt, gave hope and purpose.

The fear this young person felt was contagious. It spread to others they pulled away.
Logic and reason was replaced by fear. The fear of making a bad error of judgement.
Those that came alongside us and walked us through our pain held and loved us. Their love came from God not fear. They listened with love. They prayed for us and with us,
held and surrounded by love.
Love does not take away the pain that fear causes. Love does not stop fear trying to destroy your life. Love does not have the answers.
Gods love gave us a future and hope. Gods love stopped the pain becoming fear. Gods love gave us focus through the blur and numbness.Gods love was supporting and always their.
I have learnt to put my trust in God. That trust gave me the strength to cope with the devastation left by fear.

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Love.

Day 20 – Lent challenge – Love.

This blog is to my parents – They are all 40 of my blog tiles and so much more. 40 words of love and thanks to my wonderful parents.

1. Learn – Dad thank you for all the hours we spent at the allotment together.
2. Remember – Dad remember when my baby hedgehogs escaped into your bed in the early hours of the morning. Thank you for seeing the funny side. (mum did not)
3.Breathe – Mum and Dad you breathed your life into me .
4.Hospitality – Mum you are the queen of hospitality. I still have so much to learn from you.
5.Receive – Mum and Dad you welcomed and received my husband into the family. Thank you.
6.Listen – Mum thank you to reading to me.
7.Search – Mum and Dad sorry for stoping out so late that you had to go out looking for me. The sunset that night was beautiful and worth getting into trouble for.
8.Faith – Mum and Dad thank you for not forcing my faith. You allowed me to discover it myself.
9.Follow – Dad thank you for the lovely cycle rides around the country side. I would follow you for miles, listening to stories of your childhood.
10.Joy – The joy I felt when I came home from school to find you had been to the dogs home and brought home lucky a little collie cross.
11.Despair – Mum you always say you despair of me. I love that you understand my scatterbrain.
12. Hunger -I was always asking for some new pet. Some ridiculously impractical others not so. I remember my hunger strike for a pet mouse. Not sure how long I lasted but I never got the mouse. Thank you for saying No to me and the mouse ( The mouth turned out to be pregnant )
13. Refresh – Mum and Dad thank you for being such wonderful grandparents to H. For the holidays and the baby sitting. We valued that time to be together as a couple as much as H enjoyed her time with you.
14. Journey – The holidays we had where always eventful. Our unreliable cars only just getting us home was all part of the fun.
15.Family – Mum thank you for being the granny to our foster children. You have treated and loved them as you have loved us.
16. Still– I love the stillness of water. Our trips to abbots pool were always a favourite. The joy of collecting tadpoles and watching them grow.
17. Celebrate – Mum and Dad I celebrate your marriage and your love for each other.
18.Ask – Mum and Dad thank you for saying no to me.
19. Forgive – Dad thank you making lots of rabbit hutches for all the baby bunnies. For forgiving me when I went to work and the boy bunnies got into the girl bunnies as I never shut the door properly,
20.Love – Thank you for your unconditional love that I never once questioned.
21.Deliver– Mum you have delivered the church magazine for over 40 years. I always loved this monthly ritual. We would stop for coffee and biscuits and share conversation.
22.Longing – Mum I know you long for some sort of reconciliation between me and my sister. I pray for this too.
23.Challenge – Thank you for always believing and encouraging me in all that I did.
24.Refine– Mum I am so much like you. In looks and ways just slightly different.
25.Live – I am the 4th generation to live in our village. Mum and Dad thank you for give me such a good foundation in life.
26. Sacrifice– Thank you for being wonderful parents. You gave everything for us to have a happy childhood.
27.Fear – The only time I can remember fear is when we lost my sister for 3.5 hours on a busy beach. With the tide coming in police coastguard all involved in the search.
28.Endure – As a family we have said goodbye to so many, friends and family. The pain of this has made us stronger.
29.Questions – Thank you for answering my questions with honesty.
30.Friendship – Mum thank you for supporting my friend when her life was difficult.
31. Retreat– Dad your garden was your place to retreat, thank you for sharing your space with me.
32.Remain -Dad you might no be here, but a bit part of you remains with me.
33.Give – Dad my favourite Christmas gift was the dolls house you made me. You secretly worked in the garage to build the house of my dreams – Thank you.
34.Accept – Dad we had to all accept that you had cancer and that it had spread beyond treatment. You never gave up. You never gave us false hope. You helped us come to terms to a life without you.
35.Lead– Dad you lead me down the isle. Thank you for making our wedding day so wonderful and perfect .
36. Review – Dad you always reviewed you work, checked and double checked everything. I loved that about you. I love my sister is the same yet I am the opposite to both of you.
37. Wait – As a family we loved to fish down the docks. Rods out feet dangling over the dock wall.Their was something in the waiting in the not knowing if we would catch anything.
38. Hope – I always had hopes and dreams. You never said I could not, you never thought my ideas were to wacky.
39. Freedom – Mum and Dad thank you for the freedom to learn by own mistakes.
40.Begin – Thank you for having me baptised.

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When I asked my mum for her favourite bible passage, hymn that comforts her she emailed me back a few lines from Dear lord and father of mankind.

Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

The Song of Kit.

Day 12 -Lent challenge 2018 – Hunger.
Today’s thank you is to my girl guide captain. This amazing lady inspired and encouraged me . She pushed a shy teenager to experience the life she was to often afraid to experience. She believed in me and still does.
Going on guide camp was the highlight of each year. Before the world of health and safety we travelled to guide camp in a removal van. All our kit was loaded we than all piled in on top. To secure us a old door was roped across the front.
We sang songs all the way to camp, we sang as we washed up and of course we had the campfire songs in the evening.
I loved the evenings wrapped in my camp blanket sat outside under the stars.
I still sing many of those songs today. The song of kit was just one of many we sang. It seemed a strange song to teach a group of teenage girls.
The song of kit has stayed with me.
Some 35 years later; our teenage foster placement was causing massive disruption and pain. Every time I wanted to walk away,turn my back on her and all the pain she was causing.
The song of kit would come to me. I would find myself singing it as I rode my bike, humming it as I cooked tea. I could not get away from the words
The chorus repeating its self over and over again in my head.

So take this child by the hand.
And lead him back to love.
Leave the fear and the misery behind.
Take this child by the hand.
And lead him back to love.
And show him that people can be kind.

It’s not within me to turn away from someone in desperate need of help and love. Every person needs love even if they don’t understand what love is or have never had it.

God crated us in his image to love one another. I could not turn away because it was the easy thing to do. I stayed with her as long as I could because it was the only thing I could do.
To trying help someone understand they are loved. Showing them that people can be kind.

Song of Kit
See a child standing there.
In the rubble and the dust.
He is standing all alone.
There is no-one he can trust.
The soldiers took his father.
And his mother ran away.
He’s a politician’s game
And he doesn’t want to play.

So take this child by the hand.
And lead him back to love.
Leave the fear and the misery behind.
Take this child by the hand.
And lead him back to love.
And show him that people can be kind.

See a child standing there.
With hunger in his eyes.
He is standing all alone.
While a nation slowly dies.
He knows that he is hungry.
But he doesn’t understand.
There are just too many people.
In that dry and barren land.

See a child standing there.
As he sees the world go by.
He is standing all alone.
And he’ll always wonder why.
When nations spend their millions.
On power and on might.
That he never had a chance.
To learn to read and write.

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If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. (Matthew 5:41)

Meeting  Destiny .

Three things happened this week.

I meet Destiny
I built a cardboard wall of Jericho
Had to make a big decision.

I sat with Destiny chatting stringing beads together making bracelets. I made her a Yellow bracelet with the words “ you are amazing “. I made myself a bracelet with the words “No fear in love”.

Destiny explained to me the meaning of her name. We talked about fate and destiny what it meant to us. Destiny excitedly told me her life plan, how she was going to be a fashion designer making Yellow clothes.  She explained to me that as I was already grown up I must be doing what my destiny had planned for me.
It was a big conversion to have with 8 years old. I  think it was a conversation that Destiny enjoyed and has many times over when she meets people for the first and proudly tells them her name.
It was a privilege to meet Destiny. Reflecting on our time together I got an email that required a lot of thought in its reply. My instant reply was  No, I can’t do this.
I have had enough given up let fate take control. I have no control or influence it will only open myself up to more pain.
Whatever happens, happens, and I  can’t do anything about it. Apparently, this is called “fatalism,” and it is not biblical.

I prayed my problems holding the bead bracelet that I made with Destiny. It’s  words spelling out “ No fear in love “.
I asked myself the question is fear saying no?  Am I  just sheltering myself from pain? Am I looking for a place to escape the harsh reality of this meeting and the consequences it might bring?
Running is not going to help, I need to face the pain and the system that caused it.

Still undecided about what I should do I set about the task of preparing my cardboard box wall of Jericho for the children’s group Bible story.
The higher I  built the wall the more I thought about the fun and laughter we would have as I told the children  Joshua’s story. I planned that we would march around the church  7 times shouting, blowing trumpets than knocking down the cardboard box wall.

The message I wanted the children to hear is we need to listen to God. I am going to tell the children the importance of listening to God when today I am too scared to listen myself.

“The walls of Jericho were so thick that chariots could be driven on them. Joshua knew that they could not conquer the promised land until they conquered Jericho. There were many more obstacles in front of Israel. There were many cities to be taken, but Jericho was the greatest obstacle to everything God wanted for them. It was the gateway to their destiny”

As  I prepared the cardboard boxes for the children to knock down I saw my problem as my Jericho wall. It’s one of many walls that I have met on my journey it’s a big wide wall that has until now always been in the distance. Like Jericho, it’s strong scary but it’s my gateway to my destiny.

I need to confront the obstacles in front of me overcome them. Resisting the temptation to walk away, not to compromise.  This is not just about me, I don’t want other families to go through the pain we have. People need to be seen as people and not a piece of paperwork that can be moved from office to office desk to desk.
I am a person with hopes and dreams and with a heart that wants to keep on loving and giving.
We live in a physical world apply and judge on what we can see.  I need to be seen and heard.
It’s the world that is of God that is important to me.  This meeting is not a battle to be won, no winners or losers.
By being honest and open with them. I pray that at as a big organization they will take the time learn by their mistakes and listen to me with their hearts before they make their decisions.

I can only do this because Jesus is with me. When I walk into the room tomorrow It’s with Jesus. I will never be alone again, When I cried out he came to me. The gifts he has given me are the only reason can do this. Fighting for justice I can start to see the suffering and the pain is for the greater good.
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1 Peter 5:7The Message (MSG)
6-7 So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.

Someone Else’s Fear.

Today the sun is directly overhead shinning so brightly it’s almost unbearable.
When the sun is not shining, I know it’s still there. Just as I know God loves me even when I might not be feeling it.
Gods love was not on my mind a year ago. I was so trapped, not knowing which way to turn. Those that should have been helping me where not: I was left in an impossible situation.
Twelve months today I was reading “ From fear to love by Bryan Post” a love based approach to helping parent children that have been adopted or in care.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” 1 John 4:18
I wanted to find out more; just reading the bible passage as part of Bryan’s book that night did not seem enough.
I wanted to read it from the bible. Their was a strong need to want to try understand what was being said and why.
Reading a Bible verse more than once was something that I would not normally do. I read 1 John 4:18 over and over again that evening. Stopping to spend time researching the verse on the internet. Desperately trying to understand why love and fear cannot co exist.
Learning that some of us can be so afraid of love we push it away. I understood that if you feel Gods love you cannot be afraid . God will look after you.
Within hours I suddenly found myself home alone and very scared.
Someone else’s fear had shattered my life and those that I love where also destroyed.
God is so amazing giving me that one verse to hold onto. Curled up on the sofa: crying, rocking and shaking I was not angry only scared. I understood why it had happened.
Through my tears and uncontrollable shacking somehow I understood God was with me.

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Trust.

I wanted to blog about trusting the wrong people. Why do I keep allowing myself to trust and then be so hurt?
The betrayal, the feeling of failure, for having trusted an untrustworthy person keeps happening to me. It raises questions about my judgment; I feel so used and gullible.
The people I trust keep hurting me. They are using my good nature for their own benefits. These are professional people working in the public sector that I keep believing. Believing they will do their job in the professional manner that I would expect.

I keep on praying for a way to forgive them. Wanting the negative energy that it generates to stop; pain to ease and the hurt to be a little less. Repeatedly broken trust that just never seems to get the chance to heal.

It’s hard to forgive when deep down you are no better: I told a very special little person they could trust me. I still cannot move on from the way I unintentionally caused them pain too. The pain of this haunts me every day. It’s a constant reminder of the hurt I caused.

Do the people that hurt me feel the same as I do? I would not wish this pain on them, the constant hurt and questions that go round in my head when I have an idle moment.

I know I will keep trusting and keep getting hurt but it’s the way God made me.
Sometimes I wonder if I am putting too much trust in the wrong people; these people don’t love me. It’s not in their hearts to want to help me. But God does and that’s why I put my trust in God.

Putting my trust in God means I am not alone. God knows me: my thoughts, my fears, my hopes, and dreams. God wants me to put all my confidence in him all the time in everything I do.

I don’t need to get to God through someone else; God is in my heart. I need to learn listen to his voice, the voice inside me that I can trust, the voice that will guide me, help me make decisions, and the voice that will teach me to forgive those I trusted that hurt me.

I still cannot forgive myself for hurting such a special person. I pray that she one day will forgive me, and learn to love and trust again.
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Rules of love

Day 29 – Live _ Lent Challenge .
The rules and laws set out for us in our modern world seem negative and often their seems to be a gap in how we want to live our lives as Christian’s and what the rules say we can and can’t do.
How often do we read rules ? That include the words love, strength, heart, soul and forgiveness . We are more likely to read rules which include words threat, cannot, restricted, prosecute, judge, illegal and penalty .
Laws and rules are set rigid they do not allow for compassion they do not bend listen or understand circumstances .
Rules that are made in fear , to protect governments , organisations and the population as a whole and do not cater for the individual.
We are a society scared of being sued , scared of each other , so we create rules and laws out of fear.

” Love the lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your strength and all your mind, and love your neighbour as yourself”
It’s a rule for life, away of living ,no negative words, just being told what we can do and most importantly you most do it with love.

Luke 10:27New International Version (NIV)

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.”

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