You know, it’s been 12 months since I started my journey with the Lord, and I have learnt so much and also at the same time never felt so dumb in my whole life. Last July when I started this walk I could not get enough. I was reading two christian books at once, How to’s and devotionals and just really soaking in the Lords Words. My Bible has become like my other right hand it’s always there. I am starting to know the order in which the books are laid out… slowly.. but let’s face it, I’ve got lots of time and there’s no rush.
One of the first things I did was sign up for Courtney James’ “Blogging through the Bible in a year” free course. You can find it here (Good Morning Girls) I am so glad that I found out about it because truly the Bible is the only book that I have not previously been able to read, because some one tells me you do NOT read it cover to cover as with other books, this book is special and you are encouraged to draw in it, underline, highlight and mark the pages! I know right?! I almost fainted and making those first marks were REALLY super hard for me who all her life has never dog eared a page! I love being in Courtney’s “group” for bible studies because there’s always some one there to welcome a “newbie” and answer questions that seemed too dumb to ask even for me!
I also started signing up for emails.. so daily I get emails from different Christian mainly women, a few men, but I prefer the women’s ones they focus on women’s issues, you know family, recipes and Husbands… thank you Jolene Engle (Marriage) that was my favourite Bible study “Wives of the Bible” I loved it the most so far!
Another one I really enjoy getting in my inbox is from Club 31 women. The most recent one I got from Lisa was
“Here’s one thing I do not want to pass down to my children” and as soon as I saw the title I read it immediately.. although mostly my children are grown I still want to be the best Mum I can be.. so I knew I had to share this one.
You can find the original post here but basically the short version ( ha ha when do I ever have a shirt version?! right!) About us Mum’s passing our fears onto our children. This is one thing that has been very front of my mind their whole lives. I have always wanted them to be “Better than me” nicer, friendlier, braver etc etc.
Oh yeah I know, On my blog (in my safe little world) I am friendly and I am nice, but in real world, where I have to go out of my house and face real people and *gulp* actually have to “talk” to someone I am a bag of nerves! I am an Introvert, In fact I have been known to not go out of the house for weeks! My children laugh and say “Mum has “issues” and they are SO right I DO have issues. And they are very real Issues. I am scared of everything, I have been to the dentist like three times in my life, the last time my tooth had a massive abscess on it and they had to remove it and I almost passed out the Dentist made my ex Husband bring the car right up to the dentist door so they could practically carry me to the car.. the fears are VERY real.. go on laugh! I do now, but I am still not going back! I told that Dentist “I would rather than another two (at that time) babies than see him!” he laughed, I was deadly serious!
My biggest fear is going out alone. This too has a very real beginning, when I was about 7 or 8 years old, I was involved in an attempted abduction. All these years I kept having this “thought” kind of like a day-dream but I wasn’t asleep, I could see the car I can remember what I am wearing, where I was going and then I remember running to the corner store and they took me home and then I remember my Dad being so MAD, and police and my brothers and my Father and my cousins out looking for the car, and I remember that after that day I never walked to or from school on my own ever again! One day I casually spoke to a sister about it and she gasped “Oh my god! do you remember that?” and I went cold and said “Did it really happen?” and I told her what I was wearing and what I remembered and she filled in the missing bits… that is the root of the “not going out alone fear” When I was going to counselling a few years back about something else I casually remarked about that and she said “Let’s work on that next meeting” and then she asked me “If you have this fear how do you get here on your own for these meetings?” and I said “it’s really hard, I have to trick myself and tell myself lies to get me where I need to be and I need to see the route in my head and I have to never deviate from the route, and I know exactly how long it will take me to get there so I never leave a minute before I need to and I walk REALLY fast!” and some days I just can’t do it and so I make my daughter come with me and sit in the waiting room..
When my girls were quite small I thought I would be able to “trick” myself out of this fear of going out alone, so I signed up for a Voluntary course which was involved with helping teenage pregnant girls I would be a mentor to them. I was really excited I’d make new friends, get out of the house, and spend some time with “grownups” but then I realized I had to catch a tram and go about three suburbs away, and then walk a bit more off the tram. I psyched myself up for ages “I CAN do this, I can!” Guess what? I couldn’t! I went twice and then the third time I got as far as the tram stop and I turned around went back to my Mothers (she was minding the girls) and I broke down and said “I cannot do this!” The social worker running the course came by a few days later to visit me and asked me about why I didn’t go to the training? I made all kinds of excuses. And then she said “You can’t hide behind your children forever! what will happen when they grow up and go to school and then move out, what will you do then?” I had no answers, the thought made me shiver. I never went back to the training and I never answered her phone calls, I hid in the house and screened the calls.
But somewhere in the back of my mind, I was always thinking, “They can’t be like me!” I didn’t get my license till I was 22 yrs old, I never wanted it, I had a husband to drive me and I could walk WITH the babies to the shops, so why did I need to drive… because My Dad said “I don’t want YOU to be like your Mother, who never drove and now is dependent on everyone” So I DID it for my Dad, then he died and I didn’t drive again! I have not driven in about oh 12 years!
So when my Eldest daughter wanted to get her license I encouraged her and supported her and she had her own car before she even passed her test! So within an hour of getting her license she was in HER car and off she went and she’s never looked back. She is the one who has a career, she has a gazillion friends, she’s outgoing and smart and so very beautiful and so the opposite of me.. and yet sometimes I notice a little bit of fear creep in and I think “Nooo not her!!”
Daughter number Two she’s been independent in a lot of ways for a lot of years, except she won’t leave home! Well she has left three times and all three times she’s come back to me, at least shes safe! Daughter number two, went to school in a different neighbourhood, so she had to travel on a train or a bus or whatever it was but she went off happily never a fear in her mind, she catches the train into Melbourne quite often and in a group of girls might not get home till 3.00 am after a night out. I would never have been brave enough to do that! She got her license and then 10 days later drove herself and me home from Preston about 40 minutes drive in her own car! Already she’s driven further than me in my driving time! And yet there are times when she says “Mum come with me, I don’t want to go alone” and again I silently scream “NOOOO not her too!”
I don’t want my children to have my fears my fears have stopped me from doing so many things. When Star Son was starting school I applied for a job and I got it.. and then when it came time to do the training for the job, I baulked and rang them and said “I’m sorry I’ve changed my mind I’m not ready to be a working Mum” and I hid away in the house. I started a Volunteer job at the Youth Center in Sunbury, where I would work with Single teenage Mum’s and just be hands on helping prepare snacks and baby sit their babies while they did classes… I lasted two weeks and I quit that! It’s a reoccurring theme in my life. I have to STOP it and start living.
There’s been only one thing I have followed through with in my life, and to this day I still can’t believe I actually did that!
I went to America on my own, by myself, all alone. My cousin was supposed to come with me, we booked it and paid for most of it and then she had to pull out and use the money for car repairs and I was going to cancel my ticket too, in fact the person I was going to see told me “Do NOT come alone, you might freak out” at that time I was also seeing a counselor and she sat me down and we went through it all, all my fears, my hopes, my plan for the trip, and she asked “What would happen if you went alone?” I said “I can’t do that! I never go anywhere alone” and she smiled and said “yes but you CAME here alone” yes but that;s different “I had an appointment with you” and she said “and you have an appointment with him too on September the 8th 2000” She then spent the rest of that session and then next session telling me step by step what would happen as I got to the airport, as I got to the check in gate, as I got on the plane , as I got off the plane and as I went through customs, and then she said to me “I just went to American last month, with a 6 week old baby, all by myself, if I can do it with a little baby so can you!” That’s the thing with me.. if I can see it in my head if I know whats going to happen if I know the end result for some reason I am ok. I can usually make myself go out of my comfort zone and do it.
I had already told the American friend I wasn’t coming and he understood, But that night in my subconscious, it all played out in my head and for the first time I saw all the steps, packing my suitcase, getting to the airport, going through the gate onto the plane and finding my seat, getting off the plane and going through customs, two connecting flights and finally I was there and seeing him. I woke up with a jump and it was 4.00 am, which meant 2.00 pm his time the day before, so I called him and said “I am coming, I saw it all I can do this!”
I think he didn’t really believe me he didn’t dare to hope, but I did it. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t terrified, but I had a guardian angel watching over me, because they sat me next to a Business women who was chatty and I told her my whole story and she said “When we get there stick with me, I’ll get you through customs and point you on the way!” She also commented that not only had I picked the biggest country to visit on my own but also the longest flight to go on my own. And she was true to her word and it was exactly as my counselor has said, step by step. I went through customs I saw a familiar face a friend had driven a few hours to meet me at the gate and got me to y next flight to Chicago. That was scary I was all alone, and very lost, but I very nervously asked a security guard who lead me to the gate and then I was onto the next flight to Detroit. In Detroit, another friend, the sister of the friend I was coming to see collected me and I realized “I’ve done it!”
Sometimes I wonder if it were all a dream because now the thought of doing that makes me quake!
But daughter number one went to America when she was 19 with some friends, I howled like a baby letting her go, and yet at the same time I was so proud of her for doing it. Travelling so far on her own at a young age, she had a great time.
So when I read this from Lisa’s email:
She was unafraid.
Just like we’d raised her to be.
And I thought about how freely she lives.
Because it’s only the Enemy who wants us to fearful. To be afraid to try new things or step out from our comfort zone. To worry about what might happen and what scary things might be out there.
But not our God.
He says, Fear not.
I felt like she was talking directly to me! I don’t want my children to be afraid and I don’t want to be afraid any more. I need to lead by example, I am a Grandma now there are little people watching me, so on our Big Lap WA I will be driving.. I will be terrified but My Bloke will be beside me and with him there what can happen?
Baby Steps… I. CAN. DO. THIS!