Shadow Of Victory

Saturday, 20 June 2009

June 20th Midnight Ramblings

I cant have decided to blog for a bit and ramble you do at 12.20 am when sleep has disappeared and the telly has lost all promise of keeping my attention. Friendships are a funny old thing...there are loads of cliche type of sayings and the cringe inducing emails that go the rounds..(sorry to those who keep sending me them )...but all fall short of really explaining in a concrete and understandable way what friendships are all about.

I am not going to pretend that I have got it all sussed out ....all I know for sure is my life would be so much the poorer without the friends I have now and the friends I have known over the years.

Many years ago of the lead elders of the church did a sermon on friendship and as part of his message he had us write down the names of 5 people who we would consider to be close friends. I was amazed that so many people found this a difficult task . Over the years I have been involved in several groups where friendships were on the discussion agendas and again have found it hard to see that many people would say they don't have close friends. Even today I know several women who would say that they don't have close friends.

My biggest fear is that if people really knew what I was like they wouldn't want to be my friend. I am basically a people pleaser...built into my spirit is a huge fear of abandonment and I guess if you have followed my blog you will know where that comes from.There are times I am in church and I look around and everyone seems to be in groups all talking and I feel alone....not lonely....just alone. One of the things I struggle with most in church settings is the part where they say "turn to person near you and say hello"...or "get up and go chat to someone you don't know" If you look around at that time my bum will probably still be planted on the chair.The saddest thing is that often no-one actually talks to me or comes over to me and I still feel alone...

Please don't feel sorry for me or tell me to "get a grip".I am being honest both with myself and with you. I have been making a huge effort to change this in myself and to shake off the feelings of "no one loves me" syndrome. Mainly because I know its not true.!!!!...But there are times when feelings obscure the facts.

I will blog more sensibly in next entry....and begin the trawl through the years and share about the amazing people who I have known as friends...and how my life has shaped the way I have related to them .Looking back...I can see I have made many mistakes and caused hurt to some friends and if at any time I have caused pain to anyone reading this I hope you will forgive me. My aim in blogging is to grow more...learn more....understand more..

Mark ch 12 v 29-31 says this

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength . The second is this your neighbour as yourself."

I read somewhere that it is impossible to "love your neighbour as yourself" when so many of us don't actually love ourselves.! My quest in the last year or so has been to learn to "love myself" and certainly this last few months as I have kept this blog it has been an ongoing search deep within to allow God to show me how loved I am by Him and in doing this I am coming into a new revelation that I am actually quite lovable. How cool is that?!!

Monday, 15 June 2009

JUNE 15th Friendships we go with this "thorn". I am going to go way back and remind you that for many years I didn't live in same place ...If you remember my parents split back together..split up ...and on and on....I was in and out of children's homes and went to many different schools until I was 12 years old.

This in itself prevented me from making lasting friendships and I was always the "new girl" in class or the "new kid on the block" which could have gone two ways...either I would be excruciatingly shy or I would be very bolshie.!! There is no prize for guessing which way I went . Having said that ...I was also quite a nice little girl...very pretty and intelligent and able to communicate well.. Teachers liked me and that made it easier for me to fit in. Strange to think that I may have been the only youngster in the world who loved school I was treated was those days poor families got free meals and as I was bright the teachers would ask me to help them with the little ones.

I have one friend who has lasted the test of time...we met on my first day at primary school...we were both 5 and altho she lives in Amsterdam and I haven't seen her in decades we have always kept in touch . She knows all my bad history and some we shared as we grew up....we still have the kind of friendship that if she lived in Britain I know we would still be in each others lives. There is something about shared history which binds people together.

I hesitate to even put into writing this next part but again I am attempting to be open..honest..vulnerable and trusting that "writing is my best chance of happiness". After my mum left me...and I went to live with my dad I went to an excellent was the Scottish equivalent of a Grammar school...and I just didn't fit in....I was academically capable but the social strata was way above me...these kids had bedrooms to themselves...rather than sharing one bedroom with a dad and 2 brothers ...They had bathrooms rather than a toilet and a visit to public baths on a Tuesday evening. They had washing machines rather than a weekly trip to launderette.Their parents came to open evenings whilst my dad had to work .My worst ever nightmare was wearing the second hand school uniform and realising the name tape in one of the garments was the girl in my class and she recognised it.

Bullying wasn't really recognised as a problem in those days ...we were still in the era where teachers were law and the "belt" was given as punishment for bad behaviour and what Sir said..we did. I wish I could perhaps gain some sympathy from you by saying I was bullied but I am ashamed to admit that it was me who was the bully. It is a sad and awful episode in my friendship thorn and one I am deeply grateful to know that God has forgiven me and the girl in question has too.(I was able to ask her forgiveness about 17 years ago). This girl J had everything...she was an only child with loving parents she had a gorgeous pink room all to herself..she went horse riding...and she went ski-ing...and she was pretty with blue eyes and hair to die for...She was very popular and friendly and a genuinely lovely person. J took me under her wing and I found myself in the inner circle..invited for tea...parties...but always feeling as if I was on the outside looking in. I couldn't return the invites I was far too ashamed of my dads house and the life I had led.

After several months I began to bully J in a very subtle way...I never physically touched her but began to torment her in class when no-one was looking. I would take her book or pen and not let her have it back.I would tear up her homework and bin it. I would drop her school bag down the loo......AAAGGGHHHHHH...... I was awful and I am sure a child therapist would dress this all up in some way to excuse my behaviour. but all I know is I was a nasty horrible bully to this poor girl who didn't deserve to be treated like this no matter what kind of background I came from. Even worse J continued to befriend me for the best part of a year until her parents found out and I was called to the headmasters office with my dad...the one and only time my dad ever came to the school. I was asked to leave !! only it was dressed up as "perhaps it would be better to move Irene to a school nearer to your home and where she will find it easier to fit in with her brother being there too." Translation ...was simply that they didn't want my sort at their school and the one nearer my home was an ordinary secondary school with the same "type" of children as those with no bathroom and no bedroom of their own.

So there I was...transferred to yet another school and once again the new girl...I never really fitted in at this school as all the kids had been there for a year already and their friendships were established with many of them being continuations from primary school and so I danced around on the outskirts of every group having the crumbs of everyone else's "best friends " Maybe its only girls who know this but having a "best friend" was the only thing needed in adolescence..everything else goes by the wayside.I never had my own best friend but seemed to share other peoples who for a season would be mine before filtering off to better buddies.I don't keep in touch with any of my secondary school friends as the roots of life didn't go deep enough and I had some very embarrassing emails from Friends Reunited before I gave up as so many of them said the "didn't remember me at all" How sad is that then.!!!

Despite this chequered school life I did well and left school at 16 with 6 good academic O levels (sadly I was not given the choice to stay on for Highers...the Scottish equivalent of A levels ) and thus began a whole new chapter for me in the realm of relationships.Being at work is a whole different ball game from school and socially I was able to make my own circle of friends..more of which next time .I am eternally grateful that God is in the business of teaching us about relationships... He is the author and perfecter of relationships...He is the initiator of relationships in that He gave His precious son Jesus so that I might enter into a loving relationship with Him as Abba father....I had much to learn and He so graciously taught me ...but there was still a long journey to take ...I hope you will continue to walk this with me.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Tuesday 2nd June...Moving on

Its been a while since I last blogged and I was asking myself why?..and I realised that the next "thorn " I want to tackle is about "friendships and relationships" and to be honest this is a really hard topic for me to open up as I have made so many mistakes and caused much hurt over the years as well as also being hurt. Subconsciously I think I was avoiding the issue big time and letting the busyness of life be my excuse.

Having had two extremely busy weekends at my parents -in -laws 60th wedding celebration and then at Cherish women's conference I found myself with no excuse and had decided to move on.....only to spend hours weeping in the early hours of this morning over "stuff". I will be very honest and say that I haven't cried tears like that for many a long year poor hubby didn't know whether to hug me...pray for me...get me tissues or what.!!!...and in my continuing quest to be honest and open in this blog ....I also found my thoughts turn to suicide ...albeit for only a few seconds but this shocked me (and Chris) as it has been a very long time since these thoughts invaded my mind.

Please don't panic ....I am not about to do anything...but I am reaching high in the vulnerability stakes here in the sure knowledge that "writing is my best chance of happiness"...I wonder how many of us have these fleeting thoughts but are too admit to ourselves that there are times when "stuff" just overwhelms us and the load gets too heavy to carry alone. The enemy would keep us locked into our silences and dress us up with the "I am fine" response when friends ask .I believe fully that verbalising (or blogging) such thoughts takes away the power of them...its the secrecy and the shame that gives such thoughts the ability to damage and even as I have spent a few minutes telling you this I know they have lost their hold over me. Revelations ch 12 v 11 says this "they overcame him.(the enemy) by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony"
Being able to share such things with you..... isn't this the very essence of friendship...the very infra-structure of relationships is that "we carry one anothers burdens"...there are some great scriptures .

A friend loves at all times
There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Greater love has no man than he lays down his life for his friend.

And there are so many of these emails that go round that have all sorts of "twee" friendship mottos and words..(NB ...I very rarely open or pass these on....sorry.)...but in reality friendships can be a source of great joy...great fun....but can also bring pain and hurt altho I would hope as adults that we never set out to cause pain and hurt but as we are all broken human beings it is only to be expected that we sometimes will hurt and be hurt.

One of life's mottos I have come to understand is the one that says.

Some friends we have for a reason
Some friends we have for a season
Some friends we have for life

and as I blog my way through this subject I am hoping to unpack this in my life. I want to say quite clearly at the outset that any examples or stories I may use will be based on many different don't go looking for yourself.!!!...If I have a specific person in mind I will name them by initials but please don't pick up on anything and wonder if its you...I will be going back decades and I haven't known you all for that long ...Hee Hee

While away at Cherish one of the speakers "got up my nose"...and I found myself wondering why...and began to realise there was still "stuff" floating about within my spirit and yet another layer of self realisation was surfacing. This was in some way confirmed by several comments that were made that set me thinking and praying and asking God for revelation. A very wise man who I love and respect much used to say.."when comments are made...even in jest..ask God if there is a nugget of truth there that He wants you to deal with" and so I think this was one of the main reasons why the tears came with such force...the "nuggets" did contain some truth and I didn't like little bit.!!..but we all know so well that it is "truth that sets us free" and as I blog my way through this subject I know that I will gain a greater level of freedom.

Please continue to walk with me and share your own feelings and thoughts ......