• So

    Hello Colleen, I have so much to share with you. I am still by my mom, for probably another week. We speak of forgiveness in recent posts. My mom and me had one of those forgiveness conversations that your mom and her mother in law had from that Insight for LIving CD that was your mom forgiveness of mother in law in person. Wow. I did not anticipate the conversation we had but it all came out , the hurt of both sides for the time over past 4 years I needed remove myself from my family for the depth of hurt I could not continue to receive. We talked about it all. God arranged this meeting to happen and I know she heard my side clearly. There was no blame but expression of our hurts that settled into a clean slate now forward, with intention to communicate feelings that are uncomfortable moving forward. It was not a depth of her understanding some things easily, as issues were not clear to her over time, nor attention to some of the issues I have expressed with you, but it is a new start, and her truly listening and hearing my feelings and accepting what I have said, and my accepting her feelings is a true start of working forward with better communication. So much more happening ,a lot of good, and more areas that I so thrilled about. My sister in law approached me and began a conversation I was delighted to open up with her to talk about. It did regard death and my dad and her grappling with the same truth of death that I have come to you and in prayer about with my dad, that he receive and accept Jesus Christ before his passing. She and I spoke about Christian redemption and everlasting life, and in death knowing this truth and not to be afraid as those who are not afraid. My sister in law is in the process of redemption, she has a friend she is speaking to and now opening her heart with me and our new connection speaking of scripture and her growth as a new Christian knowing and seeing Jesus as Savior and Kind. It is a beautiful moment here to be able to see her heart opening in this way and to be a part of sharing scripture and my experience ,to encourage her and to be here to answer what questions she may have been called to come to me for. It is the Grace of God working within my family that yes I never believed I would live to see. My friend here in town I grew up has been also praying for this for me, and I have been praying, as I know you also are praying for me. I do wonder what I am being led to do , as per the purpose, it is so near, the volunteer prayer ministry is to begin when I return home mid June, and I am wondering where and what God has in store for me, so curious. I was looking for those recommendations that you shared to connect to see if any training within a ministry resource that you provided would be available to me, only God knows,and I will be looking over these suggestions and seeing where God is leading me???
    I continue to keep you in my prayer as well. How real and true this quote is for me right now “It’s time to open your arms and welcome those in need—-grace will always draw people to Christ”, (Colleen Swindoll Thompson 5/18/2017) I cannot believe what good is coming along my path, and so grateful to know and understand so “clearly” His work and this quote by you that is as if written for me, and God hand in leading me to read. Thank you for your remarkable insight as always and I know I have said before that I thoroughly enjoy reading your quotes created for your blog.
    Take care this evening and I look forward sharing more, and how I am going with God flow of all, and seeing where He is directing and leading me and am finding greater faith and trust each and every moment of every day even through what is uncomfortable or not exactly what I wanted or would have normally walked through but avoided. It is all in His hands and I wish to be as obedient to what this is and to have the discernment of boundaries etc that are healthful, and taking care of me in the process.
    WIth love and care,
    Sand

    • Sand,
      This note is nothing short of Miraculous!!!! I’m serious. I never anticipated that you would connect with your family as they had caused such pain. I recall you feeling like you needed to go see your dad before he passed and I was deeply concerned it would set you back. However, the total opposite happened….this is so AMAZING. I know you have written again so I won’t take time here except to say your life is full of miracles! To watch you grow in trusting Christ, being obedient and faithful, He is splashing you with abundance and I can’t wait to see what is to come. Much love and care, Colleen

      • So

        Hello Colleen
        It is you who has and always will inspire and encourage me greatly. I have the feeling of being incredibly touched again by your expression and such cheers for me. I wish I could feel more of your big cheers. I have always been told over many years from some who maybe thought same of my courage or who I am or whatever it may have been that I never know how special I am in any aspect to what one may have been referring. That never left me. I can begin feel an emotion of momentary tear from depth of my heart and soul for being acknowledged and so encouraged keep walking my path with building confidence this all is so good. I will never forget that day of my seeking God answer to go to my dying dad or what is it did he want of me and He gave me that sure spoken sign by a book falling from a top shelf of closet where I was looking for something else and the book page opened to the genesis 50:20 Joseph forgives his brothers ” you meant to do me evil ; but God meant it for good ” is the page sitting there open before me. I will never forget how this was a true turning point in my listening and following although what felt enormously difficult to me. When all unfolded I will never forget as the greatest gift God could have shown me in trusting Him . I often now recall moments that you shared when driving in car with Jon as passenger and His asking questions about things and his video games and how you ever do gracefully and insightfully responded well let’s ask Jesus and together did so speaking to our Lord for what He thinks. I treasure our friendship and sharing of a pure and open dialogue through the work of Jesus Christ , your continuous sharing of His word and with Him and His direction shining always for His glory for each other simultaneously to grow and love Him even more.
        Last nite I have to share that I came to another invitation to my youngest brother house for dinner and his in laws family would be there too and I was to bring my mom. I went to my friends house earlier feeling some residual discomfort and anger that I had not experienced this trip until my five year old niece actions that for me were not of God and a disrespect that left me vulnerable and feeling triggered not understanding what God wanted from me and feeling a little stuck not truly being aware of child development and how handle situation. So at first I was going dinner but praying for God lift my spirit and keep me focused on Him and my friend prayed with me and for my peace and this dinner be all loving and do you know it was one of the best evenings with yet another blessing of our Lord. I went and I was received with love by all and it was another growth for my brother , his wife , her family and their children. We laughed and loved as we shared meal and I even hugged my brother as leaving and said with tearful moment that he does not know how much it means to me and how I feel like I am home when with him and his family and I do wish we lived near each other and it just means so much. He was just as happy saying good and so happy smiling with me and hugging and I kissed him saying how much I love him. It is another moment only if God’s very blessing . My brother and I have so much in common that is helping me too with how diffferent my diet is , his opening tto gluten free and holistic care of his own is a change and that he and I now share a new level of shared awareness and in areas of my mom not accepting my diet is now being seen as supported by how my brothers family adjusting to his needs and making special foods and it being a strength for me how it is now becoming more familiar to others who do not accommodate me with this way eatting. So it was wonderful as my brother was eatting similar to me and talking about it with confidence with his family and my mom. My niece was playing most of time with her cousin her age and I noticed she was not filled with the aggressive disrespectful behavior I see when she exhibited with me at my moms house. There may be something about her feeling angry my dad death or my mom not having the same authority of her parents when at my moms and /or testing to see what she can get away with ??? It was not an issue this evening and I am still praying if happens again that I come from a mature place. Another gift God showed me during this dinner was that my sister in law sister was school teacher and now does something related and I noticed her being in role of correcting some things my little neice doing and she spoke even of other children she came across with what she clearly was saying was not acceptable behavior and how she answered once addresssing this child and the child ignored her so she said so then I gave this child the teacher look So it was interesting how this came up. Once again God knows what He is doing and has it all under control. Even my brother encouraged me share my house experience with his inlaw family as he had similar issues with his house but he was discouraged to press charges on his seller and he has many to have helped him and good finances and salaries of him and his wife good careers and it all just was do accepting and loving once again God bringing me to these amazing twists and turns that all I can do is be present and continue listen to His fullly having all in His hands especially by placing me in situations of molding and growth.
        I am going continue share updates and love to connect with you. I am so grateful for your incredible support and cheering me all the way with insight and emcouragemebt and feeling honor to be inspiring to you and others. All for His glory. Truly my honor to be used for His glory. I would not have imagined anything truly greater to know and see Him in action in this way with me and moving me toward the purpose I always prayed so hard for and for my love of Him
        With love and care
        Sand

        • Sand,
          As I read what passage opened for you, I thought you may want to write that verse on a card and keep it with you when you are stepping out of your comfort zone. I have to say, you have entered these family relationships with an incredible amount of courage and much more quickly than most would be able to do. That reveals how much God is with you as you follow Him. Usually there is a slow process to reuniting. Obviously, God has prepared you and filled you to make these gigantic leaps and fill your heart with warmth and hope. I’m so, so glad that you have continue to reach out. God is faithful indeed.
          One thing that is important to remember with kids is it’s easy to read into their behavior when our own history is marked with abuse. To survive, we learned to “feel out” or “scan” the environment…to keep safe, if things felt scary, we watch all the non-verbals and are intent on making sense out of chaos. That protective skill can be ever so wonderful as adults if we use it when needed. When your niece acts out, it could be related to a number of things…maybe she didn’t sleep good, isn’t feeling good, is struggling, who knows. What we must do is not read into the situation any more than it is. Maybe it’s related to grief but it could be something as simple as she’s hungry or who knows. The important thing is to be consistent, respectful, and to teach values by example. Kids stuff is hard because parents can be defensive or are insecure about their kids behavior. When a parent is secure, they model an attitude of humble respect and want the children to learn as well. Not forced, usually learning through doing stuff together, playing games, just simple life things.
          You are doing fantastic, I’m so proud of you. May our Lord give you His abundant grace and hope as you enter the weekend. Colleen

  • So

    Hello Colleen,
    Why do I feel less than good today? I know a lot is happening that God has His hand shaping my new life and where I need let Him place me, use me, create me in areas only His will is designed for me. I feel a little sick to stomach today ,a sadness and a little angry from what transpired after a lot of hurt was expressed by me and my mom. I think it is a clearing process although I did have something sit with me as mentioned in previous post that is although my focus need be on my own expression and my mom acceptance, it was a trigger in there with her not being able to see clearly why I had been so angry . I guess the fact that she listened to the emotion and accepted the emotion was what I need focus, yet the fact she thought a note I wrote was nasty in midst of my healing all the hurts, when I stated it was an honest letter in that she kept asking what is wrong with my not calling, my dr had read letter and genuinely said it was filled with wisdom when I wrote a year or so back. It was a very matter of fact letter and yes at that time I was healing hurt and deep deep pain, so it just would have been so much better for her to have said I am sorry that you felt so hurt. I believe this is why I struggle this morning with the after trigger within me of what was powerful expression of what I believed God led to opening up of my mom and me forgiveness of past silence between us., and the confusion with “then why am I feeling frustrated and sick in stomach”. I believed it was good ,esp that I know my mom does think about things and heard me so she may process my emphasis of she has to know how I hurt I was for the reasons of not calling for the time I had, and today I am going to be praying a lot and seeking His guidance and wisdom on all that has transpired. Honestly I do believe it is all very good, it is maybe a natural occurance through this process of healing wounded relationships, and some where there are glimpses of healing yet old patterns of lacking truth and reality still linger through my mom. She seems ok today, so one foot forward and see where God leading me in all this healing.
    I did want to ask if it was comfortable for you to expand on your thought of why you sensed discomfort with the prayer ministry, because I have a lingering gut instinct not about the prayer as much as the director, I had placed on hold the prayer line until I return back home to my own space where I can manage better a quiet environment and have prayer and quiet prior to prepare me for callers and full attention and no distractions for clear focus, and I received a call yesterday from Director wanting to know if I can start this week. I did let her know again that I was to wait until I return and she said that the evening slot may not be available and given to someone else and may not be available , so I simply said I am sure that there will be a time available when I return home that is needed. I sensed from training a sense of attitude I was uncomfortable, and have focused on the prayer and God and keep sensing this stomach sense from the management? I guess I wanted to know if you also had been uncomfortable for a similar reason? it would be helpful for me to know in this process if you are able to comment.
    The other issue today, simply I came to stay with my mom sooner than anticipated because of her cancer surgery and mothers day, and in doing so I needed revise my intention to stay for fathers day, as my dad headstone was to be in and I was supposed stay for his death so recent as support . Now that came here earlier I was to leave the 10th and I have my new counseling 6 month trauma program for my strengthening and healing further and that is 13th and support group that structured and facilitated by my counselor and to go hand in hand, and I was asked today by my sister in law that “I thought you were going to stay until fathers day” , I guess I was feeling pressured, yet I have my life 12-13 hrs away that I need lift off ground, and maybe a sense of guilt that it only one more week. It a hard place to be and I am praying for God guidance and wisdom for what He wants from me and wants me to do .
    Have a truly good day Colleen,
    I am hoping that God has answered any question for you in regard to allergy or cause of symptoms you were experiencing that were keeping you from functioning to your fullest ,and have kept this for you ,the answer from God,, without any doubt it is His answer for you, in my prayers.
    With love and care
    Sand

    • Sand,
      I’m sorry I’ve not been around for a bit…we were on vacation for a week.
      I hope to encourage you by saying that when we have changed the “rules” for relating with those who have hurt us, it takes time adjusting to a new normal. That adjustment will most often be uncomfortable. You all are learning how to interact in a more healthy way, resolving feelings from the past, wondering about the future; it’s all changing. Any time we choose to change, there is a period of discomfort. And, there may be many of them; we just can’t know what the future holds. I will say it is important to remember how God brought it all about, the work He has done through you, and how faithful He promises to be as we walk with Him. I have no doubt that there will be times when your tummy swirls and it’s uncomfortable…just give it up to the Lord and ask for His direction. It’s only then that we can stay focused on being present and learning to connect well with others. Your other question about the prayer ministry…I’ve never met the group so I don’t have an opinion about people I don’t know. The reason I was hesitant was because your growth is so fresh and new, your Biblical understanding is growing strong; yet I hesitate to have you in a ministry position where people would ask hard questions and you would not feel confident to answer them. Also, it’s easy for our personal triggers to get hit when our healing is so new. I would say let the dust settle a bit…your family connections are very new and different and need time to settle. As you become stronger and your roots of faith grow deeper, I think you would be a wonderful prayer partner. I got the feeling they would need you to do more than you can right now because of your healing process. That along with the home issues and all that has been disruptive over the past few years has taken so much energy, I believe you need some space between all this and starting something new. It’s the timing I was most concerned about, not you as a person. I hope that makes sense. Let me know if you have further questions. I pray you have entered summer with hope and peace. Colleen