I have to admit, I am seeing a shrink.

I have to admit, I am seeing a shrink.

Yes, it’s true. I admit it, I am seeing a shrink.

But I also admit that…while I’m trying to make myself the advocate for the authenticity and transparency of the challenges of an abused single Christian mom’s life (and life in general), I thought twice before deciding to make this public confession, and write about it.

Because in the Christian circle I grew up in, it was taboo to talk about that. It doesn’t sound spiritual at all, actually. At best, we recognize the big impasses in our lives, we promise to go and see a professional, but we actually just talk about it to one of our friends and tell them not to repeat it. At worst, we despise the very idea of talking to a shrink, especially if they are not a believer.

I’ve actually been around so many Christians who have had a long walk with the Lord and the equivalent of a Master’s degree in theology just by listening to preaching, reading books and participating in Bible study groups, but who are consumed by their inability to forgive, are unable to even name their emotions – let alone deal with them – and hurt everyone around them by repeating old patterns from their unregulated childhood. I say this with a great deal of compassion, but also with a great deal of sadness. Because it’s sad.

I HAVE TO ADMIT, I AM SEEING A SHRINK.

I’ve decided it’s not going to happen to me. I’m dealing with some severe stuff. Being surrendered to adoption as a baby. I’m also dealing with a hard life as a single teenage mom and more recently, finding out that my (ex) husband had been drugging and abusing me for years, and that my daughter was his victim too.

So there is enough reasons as too why I should go and see a therapist. We can all agree that difficult grief requires a helping hand from someone who knows about it. And It helped me a lot, by the way. It’s been a few months now and I feel like we are just getting started, there is so much going on, so much to be processed and we only have 60 minutes each time every other week. But I still desperately need it and will need for some time to come still.

Not going into too much detail, but I still suffer from anxiety attacks, chronic stress and pain, depression, bitterness and the inability to let go. A classic example of an imperfect and tired mother. Except that I’ve decided I really want to fix this in my life.

Going to therapy doesn’t stop me from having a real prayer life you know. God and me, we talk a lot.

I have a relationship with God Almighty, even though we’ve had some arguments and even though I have a hard time understanding life, my relationship with Him is the main thing giving me strength.

But I needed a little more help, I couldn’t cope…and I admitted to it finally.

It should just be the first step in a real transformation process. Admitting. Acknowledging that we’re having a hard time. Then trying to fix those flaws, letting ourselves be transformed by God who calls us to walk from glory to glory and to continually become the best version of ourselves.

For me, going to a shrink and trusting God for a drastic transformation of my character…because often it takes a miracle…is by no means inconceivable.

It’s like believing that God can cure us of an illness, but going to see the doctor anyway, just to understand what’s wrong. It’s like believing that God can provide for our difficult finances, but going to an accountant anyway, just to manage our money well.


I could go on for a long time about the fact that I am convinced that God wants us to be able to be vulnerable but also wants to take advantage of the talents/knowledge that He has given to other people. He really likes to use human beings in general to bless us, and it’s just completely foolish to deprive ourselves of that.

What to do?

So, didn’t I convince you? You’re judging me, aren’t you? It’s really not a big deal. The point here is: do you have some boo-boos in your heart, some dead ends, some things inside you that are ruining your life and the lives of others? Are you convinced that you need to seriously work on living a real transformation to finally have a more peaceful and abundant life? (I hope so, because answering no to that question is a problem, in fact…! Haha! (uneasy laugh)). But you refuse to go see a shrink or you really, really can’t afford it, and there isn’t even a counseling service in your church? Well then, here are a few other suggestions, so you don’t become like the old Christians I described above:

  • Find yourself a series of good books on the subject(s) that concern you (that doesn’t replace your Bible, we agree) and seriously study them, with an open heart.
  • Talk to friends, real ones, who will challenge you and to whom you will be held accountable to on a very, very regular basis.
  • Find a mentor you admire and want to be like and spend lots of time with them. Ask her lots of questions too.
  • Put yourself in a “straight talk” mode with God…like, “What do you want to change about me? Where does that come from? What lie do I believe? Why am I reacting like this? “and listen to the answers, even if they might hurt! Afterward, ask Him concretely what you should do to experience healing (…suddenly He would tell you to go see a shrink, you know!). Hahaha!!!!!!)

Go for it!

Life by Mim

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My Armor of God

Armor of God

I have been wearing my armor of God.

It has been beaten.

It has been trampled.

It has been stomped on.

It has been crushed.

It has now been pierced.

It still encases my soul, but barely.

I feel that if it receives one more blow, it will be forever broken.

Lord, will you please replace my armor with a new one, before I am fully broken?

Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I cry to You all day long. Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul”(Psalm 86:1-4).

5 things you can do besides saying that “you’ll pray” ​

5 things you can do besides saying that "you'll pray" ​

Sharing today with you 5 things you can do besides saying that “you’ll pray”

I’ve done it and I’ve also been at the receiving end of it ( a lot lately). When someone is telling you about how they are suffering or hurting and all you can come up with at that moment is “I will pray for you”. If you are part of a Christian community you’ve probably said this a hundred times. That doesn’t seem quite good enough, but it was all you could think of.

As believers in Jesus, we are charged to walk alongside each other in our pain. We are called to mourn with those who mourn (Rom. 12:14). We are to bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2). We are to be compassionate, gentle, and patient with each other (Eph. 4:21 Pet. 3:8). So what else can we do?

Let us actually pray

Let us actually pray. I tried to write down the names of people who needed prayer. I tried to sum them all up in my daily prayers, but I am very guilty of often forgetting. I try to normalize praying as good as I can for my children. We live on a busy road and we often hear the ambulance speeding by, or a fire truck or the police. When we hear the sirens in the distance my 5-year-old and I say a quick prayer. “Lord help them”. So immediate prayer works best for us and I try implement that now in other situations. When talking to someone I offer to pray there and then. It’s funny how many Christians this actually throws off guard. “You mean, right now?” “Yes — absolutely. Let’s pray.” I also pray immediately when I read that someone is asking for prayer or is obviously suffering or going through something rough on social media. It doesn’t have to fancy, God knows that I’m a pretty casual prayer. He just loves us talking to Him.

Actually help

“Can I do something?” …People, in general, don’t want to bother others with their burdens. I’m pretty guilty of that. I don’t want people thinking that I am having a pitty party. But I have learned from a few very good friends of mine who have helped me through a crisis that sometimes, as a friend you just need to take over for a bit. People that are overwhelmed by grief have a hard time asking for help and sometimes don’t even know what they need. Like the “Nike” slogan says it, “just do it”. “Just” drop off that meal.” Just” drop by with flowers, “just” pick up the phone and call them. “Just” drop of some sushi or groceries (my favorite). What you sense they need, just do it.

Express sorrow, shock, and regret.

You must enter into the other person’s experience. Try to imagine how they are feeling. What are they thinking? What choices do they face? What might they be feeling physically? What would it be like to see the world through their eyes? What are their greatest fears?

Let them hurt

It’s hard, we don’t want others to be in pain. It makes us sad, it makes us uncomfortable, we don’t know what to do. But sometimes it is what it is and all they can do in the moment is hurt. You just can’t stop it. Acknowledge the inability of words to truly ease the pain.

Follow up

In dramatic life events, people are usually swamped by people’s offers of help and comforting words. But as time goes on people assume that the person has moved on, but moving on implies that the person is able to. Sometimes they are not. Pure and simple. That’s why it’s important to continue to let them know that you are still there for them. They need time and nobody can tell them how much is enough.

This is my personal opinion as how you can help others besides pray. These are things that I have found helpful and try to do for others as well. I would really appreciate knowing about how people have helped you in the past and what you have taken from it towards helping others yourself.

Be blessed, my friends and try these tips as to the 5 things you can do besides saying that “you’ll pray” ​.

5 things you can do besides saying that "you'll pray" ​

Will you make a way?

for me a friend is someone who that wherever they are, is it another town, another state another country, it will always feel like they are nearby.

After recently finding out about things that I was afraid of. Things that have happened in the past but have now been revealed to me, worse than I had ever imagined…I ended up going through a very rough patch again. I was just starting to recover from the first big blow a few months ago. My heart was broken, it was hurting, I could not stop the tears from rolling down my eyes, seeing images of things that had happened to us unknowingly. How could this all happen? Why was I chosen to carry so many burdens during my life? How could there ever be a way out of this despicable situation? I can’t see it; I am barely keeping my head above the water.

But yesterday, my dear friend came to pay a visit. She lives far away in Romania and she comes over to Belgium often to visit her grandmother who lives here, and now she is here for me, because I needed her. She is a Christian friend; I don’t have many of those here in Belgium. I have Christian people in my life who care and who I see regularly, but for me a friend is someone who that wherever they are, is it another town, another state another country, it will always feel like they are nearby. This friend prays for and with me, she gives me godly counsel and she encourages me. She helps me remember that God has everything under control and that it WILL be okay, even if it doesn’t seem like it now. She is full of encouraging thoughts, she genuinely cares, and she a has wealth of scripture knowledge that somehow really do make me feel better. Sometimes she will do this in person, sometimes by text, but she never fails to be that trusted friend.

A few days before she arrived, I was listening to my Spotify on my way to church last Sunday. You know that list on Spotify that compiles songs based and what you have listened to in the past? Well, there was this song that was really speaking to me, even though I could not really make out the words. I marked it, added it to my favorites and listened to it a frequently in the following days. 

So, when my friend left, I needed to bike somewhere, I plugged in my earphones and looked for that song straight away. It’s called “Maker” by Woodland worships. I started to really listen to the lyrics this time and it the refrain was speaking out to me so clearly “You will make away…you are the maker of my heart and you will make a way…when I can’t see a way out, you will make a way”

Oh Lord, please do that for me, because right now, I cannot see a way out” …my heart cried out to God.

I want to be more like David who too called out to the Lord when he was in desperate state. He prayed, “Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!”(Ps. 27:7). Then David testified expectantly, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart” (v.14). He knew that God would make a way.

I’m finding it hard to do so, but I am so willing for I know that our God is a strong, loving God and so in the evenings I am in an intercessory state of prayer, with this song on the background, moving my heart.

“Please Abba Father, will you make a way?”

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

Forgiveness.

The damage of sexual assault is extreme and it is lifelong. As much as someone forgives their abuser, as much hope as is found in the gospel, we don’t get complete restoration this side of heaven. It does not happen—that’s why the hope of heaven is so glorious. But the suffering here on earth is very real, and it does not go away simply because you forgive and release bitterness. Women who have been abused are going to live, myself included, with lifelong consequences of the sexual assault.

It means that I trust in God’s justice and I release bitterness and anger and a desire for personal vengeance. It does not mean that I minimize or mitigate or excuse what he has done. It does not mean that I pursue justice on earth any less zealously. It simply means that I release personal vengeance against him, and I trust God’s justice, whether he chooses to mete that out purely eternally, or both in heaven and on earth.

Rachael Denhollander 

Choose forgiveness.


Honesty is the best policy

Honesty

Honesty is the best policy

My adoptive mother passed away last January. She was not a good mother to me and I left home at the age of 16 with my baby girl as my adoptive mother was a drunk abusive alcoholic and the environment was no longer safe for my infant.

That has been 25 years ago and I have seen her maybe about 5 times since. So I can firmly say that we were not close.

That’s why I decided not to accept her inheritance and neither did my children. So yesterday we finalized the paperwork and the notary. But how to explain inheritance to a 5-year-old?

My youngest son always needs a detailed explanation about what we are doing and where we are going. A counselor once told me that it is best to be honest and tell the truth to our children, however old they are (keep in mind that it is age-appropriate). Like this, we can have a relationship built on trust. So, I have been trying to do this, but I am often challenged.

‘Those people are screaming because they are drunk. They have ingested too much alcohol and when you do this you become stupidly drunk and don’t use your best words.”

“We are not rich no; we can buy things but not everything”

“I don’t know why frogs don’t eat cheese; I think that they prefer flies”

“Well, do you think Santa exists?” (he still says yes, and he does not ask me back if I think that Santa exists, so I’m safe for now)

“yes, having a baby hurts, imagine having to poop out a melon”

“Uuuuh, the problem with the world is people?”

“Farts smell because we swallow air, and that air mixes with the food we swallow, and gases and somehow that makes farts stinky? I think…”

“We have two eyes to see one thing because God made us that way “(was my answer after having to google the question, this seemed the easiest answer for now) 😀

And then the answer (and discussion) to the question leading to this post that is not as funny as most questions my son asks:

“Inheritance is the stuff you get from someone after they die”

I also had to explain to him that I did not want any stuff, but that he could just not understand, he kept on whispering(loudly) in my ear while the Notary was reading the document out loud and my two other adult children were giggling;

When are we getting the stuff mommy?”

“We don’t want the stuff honey”

“Why mommy, why?”

“Just because”

“Because why mommy?”

Because mommy does not want the stuff, because this lady did not feel like a mommy to me and I do not want her stuff”

End of questions…

Being truthful is hard, sometimes you want to lie because the truth hurts, but I felt peaceful about it afterward. I don’t want to hide my feelings and real-life situations, I rather live like I have nothing to hide and hopefully, my son will learn from it too.

Honesty is the best policy.

Damn him.

Broken single mother's heart

Damn him, DAMN HIM! I find myself yelling in my head.

That happens when I let my mind wander off to happier times. How I miss so much of what we had.

Damn him.

Or like today, when we went to the zoo with another family. This used to be one of our favorite family outings. We were having a nice time, but suddenly my son would curl up to me, brushing his face up against my shoulder, whispering “I miss our family”.

Damn him.

Even writing this post, those two words are repeating in my head, while tears are streaming down my cheeks.

Damn him for tearing all of our lives apart from us. All of us. We were not perfect, we had our issues, but I always thought that we would be together forever. Even with those issues, there were many more good things that were going on for us as a family. Our son was so happy, so loved. We had a stable life and a loving family.

How wrong can somebody be? How can someone be totally oblivious to what is happening right under her/his eyes?

My husband seemed to have it all (or at least a relatively good life), yet he decided to do things, unthinkable things, despicable things, that have ultimately destroyed everything when brought to light.

The biggest victim?

The 5-year-old child who only knew the adoration, love, and protection of two parents not realizing that there was evil, constantly lurking, endangering him too.

He is too young to understand what his father has done. He only wants his family back. He does not understand why cannot be that family anymore.

And it breaks my heart.

I don’t like those words, I believe in forgiveness, even when things seem unforgivable, and call me crazy, but I do forgive him, but still…that pain and the loss.

Damn him.

That’s all my heart can say for now.