Episode 21: Crisis Opens Our Eyes to Learning and Transformation.

With recent events of chaos and destruction how can we open our eyes to what’s happening in our own homes and learn to see things different so we can take action. 

Episode Transcription:

(This transcript was created using software. Please be advised that it won't be 100% accurate, and it may contain formatting errors.)

This week has been so heartfelt. And I've been really tearful with all of the events happening across the world with death and rioting and prejudice. It's been an emotional week, that's for sure. I'm sure for most of you. As I've been contemplating on my role in how I live, how I think, my view, how I've raised my children, I have been very thoughtful in my mind about things that I've been unaware of, and things that I do not know. As all of this has been happening, and I'm watching social media and post after post after post of people trying to be heard, and wanting others to understand their pain. In that part, I do relate. The the other I cannot know.

I am a white female, I grew up in Northern California, in a predominantly white community. I did have black friends. I have no idea if I'm doing things wrong or right. All I know is that I love people. And I love you. And I always want to strive to be better and do better.  So this week, I have been listening to a lot of media. I've also been listening to a lot of religious songs. And what I found is that what brings me peace is Christ. He has brought me the peace I needed in all the trauma that I've gone through in my life, things that other people didn't understand. People would tell me, oh, just stay, it's not that big of a deal. Just forgive and forget, it's better to stay with somebody, even if they treat you like that than it is to, to get divorced and raise your children as a single parent.

Things that people didn't know. They're, naive to my situation. And I had to take those things to God and process them and feel them and be angry that nobody understands that nobody gets it. So I'm not going to be someone to say that I get it, what's happening out there. I really, really don't. But what I do know is that Christ does, and that he always shows us the way out. On Sunday, we had the opportunity to go to a church leaders house for our church service, just a few families gathered together. And there he played this beautiful video I had seen it before. I didn't take it the same way this time as I had in the past. This time, felt so different.

As I watched this video in the song, play and listen to the words, how Christ has healed so many people in different ways. I began to see that I was each of those individuals. I have been blind. And he's helped me to see I can walk. But maybe I wasn't walking in the direction he wanted. And he needed to save me from that. I have been sick, sick over over a lifetime of infidelity. And he healed my heart and my pain. I relate to those words so much that I realized that in moments of heartache, or fear or anger or dissatisfaction, He is who we turn to. He is the one. So what I want to do today before I keep going and we talked about more about this is I want to share the song with you that played on that video.

It's called I heard him come. So I'm going to play that first. Feel free to listen to it. Listen to the words take them in how they apply to you think of the song differently, that yes, Jesus Christ performed miracles in his lifetime. He really did raise people from the dead he really did heal the sickness of them. Think about how those kinds of things have applied to you in your life. Those acts can be of symbolism to you in your life.

How did you feel listening to that and hearing those words. As I sat here and listened again while I was playing it for you I had so many heartfelt emotional things come to my mind. I have a really good friend who is raising black children. They're beautiful, their skin is beautiful. I was thinking about her and some of the things that she has said to me that her kids are so cute. And as they're young, everybody thinks they're so beautiful. But now her older son is becoming a teenager. And now she has to teach them to be worried. And I thought about my stepson who has white blond hair, and he's always wearing his hoodie, and he has his hood on his head. And I thought, if he walked into a store, with his hood on, nobody would think anything. But if my friends son does,  he's going to be looked at and feared and maybe even the police are going to be called on him.

And I'm thinking about these two boys that are similar in age and thinking, This is unfair. And how is it possible that this is how it is, and this is how we live. Things need to change for sure. That's one of the things I was thinking about, as I was listening to the song. So as we listen to those words, and we hear those things, "he looked on me, he must have felt my gaze. He came toward me through the crowded maze. And I leper in shame hid my head, till someone said, Jesus is his name." All of those kinds of things apply to me. I do not have leprosy, literally. But how many times have I made a wrong choice or said the wrong thing or been through something awful, whether I caused it or whether it happened to me, and I felt shame, where I didn't necessarily want to turn to God, and show him my faults, where I felt embarrassed where I hid my head.

But you know what he already knows. I don't need to hide my head from him. Being a leper, and being different than someone else, doesn't make a difference to Christ, to God, he's healed me. When I felt that way, he was by my side. He felt my gaze. He came toward me. I have felt him several times, as I have prayed, as I have pondered, as I have been distraught as I have been on my knees with tears pouring out my face, where I thought I could die. And he was there. And he showed up. I felt him literally wrap his arms around me. It doesn't matter to him what I have done or or haven't done, he is with me.

He fed 1000 with one loaf of bread. Now for me, I haven't had to go hungry or feed a lot of people. But there are some things that he has done for me that have proven that he will always make up the difference. I grew up in a religious home. I have paid tithing to God for my entire life. As a little child, my mom had taken baby food jars and she took masking tape, and she wrote my name. And she put on their tithing. And she made another jar that said savings. And every time I earned money, this is like when I was four or five, six years old, she would show me how to give a portion of it to God so that he could help his children. And she showed me how to save some so that I can continue to add to my jar so that when I wanted something, I had the money.

I've been paying tithing my entire life. That's something that I have not ever struggled with. For me, I would gladly give God a portion of my income because he's the one who provides it anyway. So when I went through divorce, I was told at a time to give my husband the papers. That same time, I looked at her account, and I moved half of the money over to my account so that I could start just in case, something happened and he didn't want to pay anything for a while I could sustain myself and my children. And I left half for him. So I followed the law. I called my lawyer, that's what he said to do.

A couple weeks in, I was outside and my neighbor was out there and my son at the time was serving a mission for our church. And he was in Georgia and he had been only gone for a few months but he would be gone for two years. Every month. I needed to pay for him to be there so that he could eat and all of that. And my neighbor all of sudden stops mid conversation and he says is somebody's paying for your son's mission? And I said, No, I am. I'm doing that. And he said, Oh, no, I want to help you do that. And his wife comes over. And he says to her, we want to help pay for his mission, right? And she's like, Oh, yeah, we do. Of course we do. And I'm like, No, no, no, no, I have the money.

I totally have been provided for I have exactly what I need. And he's like, No, no, we have been so blessed in our life. And we have been down before and other people helped us. And we have over what we need right now and we want to do this. We want to pay for his mission for the next six months. I was shocked. And I thought what that is a lot of money. I couldn't believe it. It was just so, I was kind of just taken back about it. And I went inside my house. And immediately I said, Heavenly Father, what is going on? You gave me the money already. You told me to take half the money. I have money to do this. And he said, this is the blessing of tithing.

This is what I want you to feel and know that your needs will be met, that I am not going to ask you to go down to zero where you do not know what to do. I know you have the money right now. But I also want to show you that you are supported, and that I am with you. So for me, he might not have fed 1000 with one loaf of bread. But he fed me and showed me that I am not doing this alone. He healed the sick, the blind man saw his eyes. I'm not literally blind. But I have been blind to so many things. I was blind to truth for quite a long time of what my reality was. I have been blind to learning my own weaknesses and faults, and where I needed to take accountability for what I was choosing to believe or do.

And I've also been blind to the massive amount of racism and prejudice that is going on in our country, and around the world. And as I have been awakened from this unconsciousness that I've been in all these different things, my life has changed. I have found more light, more love, more awareness, more hope, more opportunities to have peace and joy in my life. And now I have this extra abundance of love that I want to give to so many people. It's like it's exuding out of me, which is why I do what I do. So he has healed my eyes. "The lame man stood and joyous where his cries." Like I said at the beginning, I can walk I have never not been able to. But how many times did I not know where I was going?

I pled on my knees countless times. Please show me how to do this. Please tell me where to go. Please tell me the direction I do not know. And I stayed in that place in that spot until I knew, until I could hear him say I need you to move forward. I need you to take this step. He did not show me the whole path. I did not have joyous cries right at the beginning when he started to have me walk in different directions. I was scared and fearful. I was angry at times. But I continued to go back to him. Tell me what you want me to do? Where do you want me to walk? And as he showed me, and as I kept doing it, the blessing started unfolding.

My view was clear, I could see where he wanted me to go. I could see why he wanted me to go there. And now and even then, joyous were my cries. "I heard him come I saw his very face. I wondered who would come into this place. Where dead men walk and where the dying talk, of life before the curse upon them came. Mountains move just to let him through. Come and never leave him. Just let your heart believe him and never let his light go. Never let your love grow dim." He is our answer. He is the one he's the one who can help us through all of the things that we are going through right now.

One of my favorite messages that I have seen on social media is this sign that says, I don't know for word for word right now. But Black Lives Matter. Of course, all lives matter. But Black Lives are the ones being threatened right now. So we can look at that. And we can see that there is a problem and an issue and we can do better at learning and growing and loving. I also know that you, my listeners, also have threatening things in your lives. If you too, are being threatened, if you are in abusive situations, if you are not being treated right, your life matters as well, that movement of Black Lives Matter is to add to and show that abuse in any form is not okay. And this is what's happening.

Because I talk about addiction, and abuse, which also stems into the fueling of sex trafficking. All of those things are a huge issue. Those are something that are forefront on my mind of what happens when pornography is in the home. And abuse is involved. Can we take these moments when we are being made aware of what's happening in the world? Can we take those to also look at ourselves and say, am I in a situation where my life is threatened? Or where feels like, I'm threatened? am I walking on eggshells in my own home? Trying to manage and make sure somebody else's feelings, emotions, and anger are calmed and intact? Am I worried for my kids safety?

Is there physical abuse going on in the home, whether it is to me or whether it is destruction of property? If somebody is ruining things, breaking things, throwing things, and if you're there, and you're seeing it and your children are they're seeing it, the likelihood of that turning to abuse on you or your family is pretty high. If you are in a home and you're enduring verbal abuse, where you're constantly shamed, and told how awful you are, and how come you didn't do this, or do that you are in a situation that's abusive. Your life is being threatened in some form. Neglect, abandonment. mistreatment is all part of the abuse cycle. Sometimes it's really hard to notice what we've been in because it's been so long, and it's been such a small growth.

It started out with one little thing, and then it just kept getting worse. The hardest part is having someone treat you terribly, and then them apologizing later, and they're going to do better. And so you're like, Okay, okay, this is fine. This is going to be okay, only for them to do it again. And you've heard me talk about different scenarios like that. At one point, we were in our in house separation. And if you recall, I had picked him up from rehab in the end of July, and by January, we were doing an in house separation. I had given him a year to choose into recovery in a way that felt safe for me. And that wasn't happening. And so we were separated.

During this time, we had specific rules based on where he went, and things that he was doing. At this one particular time. He'd wanted to go somewhere. But he didn't tell me. He packed his bag, and he was just ready to go. And I didn't even realize and then I was like, Wait a second. Are you going somewhere? He's like, yeah, I'm heading out of town. And I'm like, you weren't going to tell me he's like, No, I'm just going. So that broke the rules that his counselor had set up with him on how to navigate and show me that he was going to live in recovery and that he was aware that what he did affected me. And he was trying to gain my trust back and doing things like this did not show respect for our relationship or for me. So he left we weren't talking.

He came home a couple days later. I had noticed on our account where he was and what he was doing. And he came home and he said he wanted to talk to me. And we went in our backyard and he was very tearful. And he was telling me how he had listened to these christian songs on his way down how he had stopped by a religious bookstore, and got these CDs to listen to and how they were life changing. And he cannot believe how he was treating me so terribly. And he knows that he was wrong, and that he is going to do better. Now in the past, I would have just melted and eaten that up and watched his tears and just wanted to hug him and love him and bring him in and, and just be so grateful.

This is a typical thing that has happened in the past. But the difference was was that for one I had seen this so many times. But for another I had seen the account. And I knew that these songs that he bought, were actually not at the beginning of his trip, but at the very end of his trip just the last few hours of the drive. And so coming in and acting as if he had this few days of remembrance, and all this Love was pouring in and he had this awakening that he needs to change. I knew that that wasn't entirely true. What I came to believe for myself is that now he was home, he did not want the consequence of the counselor or Me, me being angry or whatever was going to happen, because he deliberately didn't follow the rules and the tools that he had set with his counselor. And so he was trying to make things easier on himself.

And so even though it was true that he went and bought some of these songs, it wasn't how he portrayed it that he just had this few days of awakening. It was really just a few hours. And so I sat there, and I was like, Wow, that's pretty cool that you had that. And I'm glad you had that experience. I was able to let him keep his things that he wanted to feel. And I was actually able to just stay in my own space, and not ride the roller coaster. That's the idea of not getting in the swirling pot with them. Whether it's something that's causing anxiety, or even like this, which could have brought on a bunch of love, I was still staying out of the circle and I was being an observer. I was watching and noticing, okay, I'm noticing that he's tearful, I'm noticing that he had these experiences with these songs.

These are great songs. But I'm going to now watch and wait and see what happens. And I'm so glad I did, I was able to stay in this place of calm. And by the next day, all hell broke loose again. And he was the same and he was mean and mocking. And I'm like, What happened? What happened to yesterday and those songs. And it was the same as before, he doesn't care anymore. It didn't matter. He was over it. And it's because he was doing those for specific reasons. That's manipulation. When someone is kind and loving and attentive after they've done something wrong, it's manipulation. Because they're trying to have you not hold a boundary. They're trying to have you think differently of them so that they don't have to suffer. So that what they did no longer matters.

As you learn to stay out of that, as you learn to see things clear, you're going to be in such a better place to make decisions. As we've watched all of this happen on the news over this past week, we see how there are extreme circumstances, we see the writing and the pain and the the despair and the destruction. Some of that is coming from a place of triggers. And they don't know where to turn with all the pain that they've felt. It's triggered some past response. Some of it is just because it's evil, and people just want to cause destruction and hurt. But staying out of those extreme feelings in our insides, learning how to cope with can feeling extra angry, or I want to be destructive, or I want to hurt somebody in some way, noticing that that's the pain that's going on in ourselves. And we need to look at that.

We need to see what it is. Feel it, notice it, get help for it, talk to a counselor about it so that we can be even so when all of these things are happening around us. We can watch and notice, we can learn and grow. We don't want to be numb to it all. We want to be better after the fact we want to come out of crisis, having seen heard and understand what's happening around us. We want to have come closer to God and knowing our place and what we should be doing. Taking things that are unfair and unjust. Many of us have experienced those things in our own ways. Me with addiction, abuse, infidelity. Other people with prejudice and racism. Whatever it is that you have felt in your life that feels unfair, that God did not protect you that somehow you have gone unnoticed Now is the time that you can start looking at different.

Now is the time you can start healing those wounds in the pain, turning to God talking to them about the anger you feel that he didn't save you or, or that you don't trust him and heal those things. Heal the relationship with God that you have so that he can show you where to walk, how to do it, how to come out of crisis situations intact. That even though it's painful, he's there to fill your heart to fill your mind to fill your soul. There's so much to learn. There's so much to open our eyes to and we're missing out when we close them. He is the way to show us he really will show you. He'll show you how to get out of your circumstance if you need help. He will show you what to do and how to do it.

As we let go of the fear of possibility, as we let go of saving another person, It would have been easy for me to look at my crying husband and take him in my arms and coddle him and love him and nurture him. But at some point, he needs to do that for himself. He needs to turn to the right source so that he can actually change. Otherwise, the circle goes round and round and round. And that's what I had been stuck in for so many years. And at that point, I was finally learning. That was the beginning of 2015. And everything had come out fully in 2012. So it had been a few years. And I was finally staying out of the roller coaster, out of this cycle, this spin cycle of death.

I was watching and noticing and observing, and I was not taking him and coddling him and loving him every time he apologized. If this is your circumstance, let your spouse be accountable. Notice when they say sorry, Okay, thanks for saying that. I would like to see you not act this way in the future. And then watch and see if they do. If it keeps going round and round, they're not actually getting the help they need. They're just trying to manipulate the situation so that you're not mad at them after they've done something hurtful. So what can we take from all of us today? I really would love it if you looked up that song. Listen to the words and see how it can apply to your life.

See where God has healed you in certain ways. See where you feel like he hasn't. And you're wondering why he wasn't there. Ask him about it. Maybe he can show you a new perspective. Maybe he can show you where your wounds are. If he can heal your wounds, and you can find forgiveness for him. And whoever else that you need to, then you will be able to see more clear, you will be able to know what to do in your everyday life. And in times of crisis. You will know how to move forward, you will know how to learn and grow. And you will see the tools in front of you that have been placed so that you can do those things.

I'm so prayerful and hopeful that as we continue being aware of our surroundings, as we can love and care for all of our brothers and sisters, as we still need to set boundaries for those who are threatening us or hurting us in some way. That doesn't excuse bad behavior. All of these things that are happening, some of it is a lot of bad behavior. And those people that are causing that are going to need consequence. It's the same with our own lives. Don't excuse bad behavior, set boundaries, move forward in life, and strive to come from a place of love and care and concern. And mainly build that in yourself so that it can resonate, and pour out upon other people.

And just like Christ, he had boundaries. When he went into the temple courts, people were buying and selling there. He did not nicely say Hey, everybody, I need you to leave. And then they said no. And he's like, okay, he overturn their tables of the people taking money. He was saying that this house is a house of prayer. This is not for buying and selling. He had boundaries, he did not accept it. So even though we are asked to love and even though we are asked to care for our brothers and sisters, that doesn't mean letting people do things that are not okay. Christ is our main example of how we're supposed to live. Christ had boundaries. He did not let people walk all over him. He called it out. He said, this is not okay.

If you are not there yet to be able to do that in your own home, or with the relationships that are causing you harm. That is definitely something that would be really good to work on. This will help you in your own personal life. It'll help you with your families. It'll help you in your communities. It'll help you see different, what's happening in the world. And it might even open your perspective on how we should view these things of crisis that are coming our way, and how we can help those around us who need our help, and how we can also hope for and expect consequence from those who are harming us. There are so many insightful things that we can learn through all of the travesty that's happening around us right now.

There is always something good that can come from something bad. It's our choice, though. It's up to us on how we want to live. And if we want to live aware, do we want to close our eyes again? And pretend none of this is happening around us? Do we want to close our eyes to our own life, our own home our own situation? Or do we want to learn how to be powerful and strong and noble. We can be followers of Christ and love and learn and we can also take care of ourselves. If you have any comments or concerns and you want to discuss with me any of these things that we have talked about today. I am open to learning I'm open to hearing. You can send me an email and I would be so glad to have a conversation with you. Enjoy learning and growing this week and we will see you next time