Monday, July 26, 2010

HOT TOPIC!!!

This blog may be very sensitive to some...but I am telling you from the very beginning, that what you are about to read, are things that have happened to *ME* personally, during my many years of service in the "CHURCH."

I write this...because I hope with all my heart, that no one has to ever go through what I did. Some of what you are about to hear, I hope may be an eye opener to some.

I am also going to say from the get go here...that I have had some wonderful dialogues with many...both those who believe in God and those who don't, in regards to this. I just want to thank those of you who reached out to me from the Christian community before, during and after my brain surgery.

I grew up in a Christian home. My Mom was the one who took us girls to church and she was pretty much the spiritual leader in our home. My Mom has a quiet faith...she lives by example...as I have mentioned before in my blog on her.

I went to Sunday school, church, Vacation Bible School, during summer breaks. I sang in the choir, sang solos, was involved in a puppet ministry for a few years, which I really enjoyed. I was actually pretty good at that too.

Now...you would think, that after having served all those years in the *CHURCH* that when trials came along, there would be people that would be there for you. At least, that is what I thought.

My experience was pretty much...that when I got sick, I was basically told, that I didn't possess enough faith...and that's why I wasn't being healed. That is the worst thing that you can ever tell a person. How dare...they judge me and tell me that what I am going through is a result of less faith than what they have.

If the the tables were turned, believe me, these same people that told me this...would look at this a lot differently. I am also here to tell you...that I judge no one...never have, never will.

This has been bothering me for years and I just need to get it out, once and for all and move on.

I got sick and tired of sitting in a pew Sunday after Sunday...and made to feel like my life wasn't in line with God's will....just because I happen to be living with a disease, that I knew, I would have the rest of my life. I was in despair, people here...I really thought my life was over, as I knew it. That was the last thing I needed.

I ended up leaving that church and trying another one. I was not a church hopper by any means...but I just didn't feel like I could stay there any longer.

I got involved once again..but it was very difficult, because I was still in the very early stages of my RA and I could hardly walk. Standing for choir was extremely difficult...but I enjoyed it so much, that I toughed it out. All this time, I kept getting advice from people...who were so clueless about it all.

So I tried to plug along, but it got more difficult all the time. I was so fatigued with the RA and
simply couldn't keep up with everything. Little by little, I dropped my involvement. I finally left that church and tried another one. This time...I decided, that I would just take it nice and slow and just maybe sit back for a change. It was alright for a while...but I never felt very welcome there..so I just decided, that I was just going to quit going once and for all.

My Mom attended that same church and when she asked some one to visit my Dad...when he was in the hospital...no one came.

When my sister died...no one called me from the church...that I had served so long in. That really hurt. I lost my sister and I felt so alone.

When my Dad died...it was pretty much the same thing...so there we were once again all alone.

So when I got my brain tumor...I just told my Mom, that I wanted no one contacted because they didn't care then...and I wasn't expecting much...so why bother. This is when I had my heart to heart with Mom...about how I had been treated in the church and why I don't attend anymore.

Even after all of this...I believe in God...because I realize, that it's the people who did this...are the ones, not truly living up to their Christian values.

This is my whole take on my relationship with God. Christianity is a relationship. Relationships are personal and no one has a right to judge what is in my heart. ONLY God knows my heart and no one else. Don't flaunt it..just live it! Don't make others feel inferior...just because you don't think...they possess enough faith.

They don't have any idea...what my personal life with God is like. I don't know what your lives with or without God are like. I don't have any right to judge and neither do you. You also have to be careful when you are talking about religion...that you don't do it out of hatred or malice. You don't know...what that other person believes and really, that is just none of your business.

I also don't go around telling others how great I am...just because I happen to have God in my life. I don't think you should EVER have to tell someone, that you are a Christian...JUST LIVE IT!

I have lots of people who come to me...for advice because they know, I don't judge them. I have been through so much...that I never want another living soul, to go through what I have. It hurts so much.

I just hope you will read this with an open mind... without any one taking umbrage...with what I have just shared. Like I said...these are things that have happened to me...I can't change them...but I don't have to allow myself to ever go through this again EVER!

I want to close with this...don't ever tell someone just because they have God in their lives...that it is going to be an easy ride. Life is not always wonderful all of the time and yes...even people who have God in their lives get depressed. Don't make them feel ashamed for those feelings. Stand by them and help them get through those rough times.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

FRIEND OR FOE?

Nobody ever said life would be easy...making friends is no different sometimes.

Recently...I had to make a very hard and difficult decision. I had been involved in a friendship that I thought was going pretty well. We had some rocky times...but that is to be expected. Each time..thinking it would get better.

I tried to be there for this person as much as I could...and in turn thought..I would get the same results. Depends on the day or the situation.. and so I found out the hard way.

I was just about to share something really spectacular that had just happened to me..and the response was.."That maybe so, but I have more important things going on in my life right now." Believe me that hurt, as I was only trying to maybe cheer this individual up..but it took me by surprise..that I decided right then and there....that I was done investing in this friendship. That person really just told me..that what I had to share was of no value and that all their problems is all that I should focus on.

If this person had just said, "That's great...I'd love to hear about that sometime...maybe when things settle down." They just said, what they did and walked away. I was really in shock and angry all at the same time. I actually shed some tears over this...but that's over.

You gotta understand..that I have become a little thin skinned due to the location of my brain tumor..that being the frontal lobe. I don't think it would have hurt me or hit me so hard...but I still felt it was uncalled for.

This person is also what you would call an emotional vampire...which can be very exhausting!

This person is also a real piece of work, as I found out. Since I have severed all ties with this individual, I have really begun to see their true colors. Taking advantage of any situation, etc. I'm not at all belittling what is going on in their life..but we all have problems and we just need to learn..in a friendship there is give and take.

I wanted to give that day..and it was just discarded.

I really write this because...I am here to tell you, that toxic and one-sided friendships never work. For all the friends that I have established...it was no great loss. I also have been assured by some..that it was rude and my choice to move on has been encouraged.

If you happen to be involved in a friendship...such as this, RUN LIKE *HELL* and don't look back!

After all, it's their LOSS!

I really feel kinda sorry for this person..because they will never realize what a great friend, I can truly be. I will give my all to something, if I know it's worth it in the long run.

I think there is a saying, and it goes something like this. "In order to have a friend, you need to be a friend."

I hope this has given you some food for thought. I was really upset about this at the onset...but as the weeks have marched on, I know that I did the right thing.

Really think about what you could be getting into before you extend yourself so far. Always test the waters first. You will know in time..if that person is worth investing in. Believe me...you will know.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

FAMILY REUNION...MEMORIES, FABULOUS FOOD & LOTS OF LAUGHTER!!

Recently, I attended our bi-annual family reunion on my late Dad's side. This was the 2ND one without him...and also the first one for me, since I had my brain surgery...which made me realize, that I had not been on a road trip for almost 2 years. WOW!

My cousin took Mom & me up to Bowdon...which happens to be the town where I grew up. The event was held at our local community center.

Bowdon is about 100 miles from Bismarck, so we saw some beautiful crops on our journey. The flax was especially beautiful this time of year...and you should have seen all the hay and the sunflowers looked good too. They have had a lot more rain than we have.

We made a stop to the cemetery, where my Dad is buried and some of my other relatives as well. His tombstone still looks beautiful after almost 3 years. There is a badge engraved..as he was Chief of Police..and the funeral director, thought this would be a nice touch. They really keep the grounds looking really nice.

We arrived at the community center around noon and right away..people were coming up to greet me. You see...some of us have gotten connected on Facebook, so I had the advantage of knowing what some would look like..as I had not seen some of my cousins in over 20 years.

We had some old friends from our church who were there, as well as some new faces. We had over 80 people in attendance. I thought for a one day event...that was pretty awesome!

The food was great. We always do potluck...so we had a wide variety..from hot dishes...to salads and loads of desserts. Needless to say...we had plenty and nobody went away hungry!

After we were done eating...we had a program. One of my cousins was the MC and did a fine job...keeping everything organized, etc. My cousins, aunt, uncle, sister, brother-in-law, nieces and great nephew...all did a fine job of singing.

We also had a time of sharing memories...I shared my previous blog I had written on Dad...in honor of him. My cousin from another state shared a letter with us...as she was unable to attend. We also had many stories and jokes.

We had a lot of laughter and even some tears...as we remembered those who are no longer with us.

I had a great time...and some of my cousins are even talking of attending the next one in 2 years. It was great to see so many young people in attendance..as they are the families of the future.

I was glad to be a part of this..as it all begins with family.