I have not been to church in a while. When we were little, in our little Baptist church on Ridge Drive we used to give our "testimonies". In between the grown-ups talking about how the Lord had changed their lives, we little ones would take our turns and say "I just want to stand up and say 'I love the Lord!'" Such a simple statement. So pure and innocent.
It's funny how things appear just when you need them and make you remember little scenes like that from so long ago. I had posted this verse while recovering from cancer in 2011:
It was as important a verse to me that morning as it is today, five years later.
What we didn't make public at that time was that for years, we were dealing with an addiction to alcohol in our house. Folks, addiction and the emotional abuse that accompanies it, ruined our family. It drove out all the love we once had and replaced it with fear, bitterness and anger. Divorce doesn't cancel it out. It doesn't make it go away. It doesn't matter what continent you live on, you cannot run from it. The ONLY way to heal the wounds and start rebuilding relationships and trust is to make true change; to face your demons through faith and treatment. Divorce doesn't make you stop wanting the person to change. Though the relationship has ended, you still pray for healing. Healing of trust, healing of relationships, and healing of the physical body.
After my divorce, I have done my best to let go of the anger I felt. It's an ongoing process for me while my former husband still struggles with alcohol. Because we have children, my anger flares again after every incident with their dad. Though they are old enough to make their own relationships with him, when they are affected, so am I. I use each incident as a guide, helping them work through it, and learn something from it.
The lesson this week is that ignoring the actions of the addict continues to enable them. Their actions have consequences. Yet, being angry only allows for further manipulation and control. We must set healthy boundaries, even if that means excluding them from our lives.
Talking about the effects of the addiction helps. Knowing you are not alone has helped tremendously. I have had many angels along the way, who I know God has placed in my path, to help me deal. Some have counseled, some have just been a shoulder upon which to cry, or a ready ear to let me vent. Many are strong women who have been through it themselves. A few are men who have been through similar situations with their fathers.
I woke up this morning to a gentle rain falling. Lying there listening I came to the realization that while here in the Land of the Morning Calm, I have reclaimed my life, my strength. I have worked very hard through the years to show my boys that truly, you can do all things through your faith. I believe that we were meant to come to Korea for this reason. I have been shown that no matter where you are on the planet, God will be there too. All you have to do is look for the love he shows you.
If I can show my boys and others that you can come through the fire and be strong on the other side, then the pain will have been worth it.