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I was told to LEAVE! I then considered suicide, but a loving pastor and a supporting fellowship listened and encouraged me, helping me to feel safe enough to seek to understand where I went wrong. My pastor suggested I seek professional help. I started to meet with a Christian psychologist. I had many choices to learn a new life or death.
#. 1 Submission A New Authority Style - Submission was the first factor to understand. My perception of authority was wrong as aggressiveness and manipulations blocked my freedoms. However, fellowship and pastors revealed many other choices. One night in bed I complained to the Lord. I asked Him,” Are you with me or not?" I was not sure how and if Lordship worked. I wanted proof. I needed tangible evidence that the Lord cared that He could and would help me. Dr. Charles Stanley came on the radio. His message was on the believer's armor and that the armor protects and revealed God’s Presence. Since, Jesus cared enough to protect, I could make free choices. In Christ, I began to understand my responsibilities and wanted to do what is right. I trusted Him and learned faith. I remembered other past behaviors and effects had put me. I was afraid I would continue my past patterns. Every morning I prayed and put on the Armor of God. I assembled it piece by piece, in my mind. I reviewed The Assurance of Salvation, 1 Jn. 5:24, the Helmet of Salvation. My faith increased by the Sword of the Spirit, God’s Word. My life style changed and I was redirected drastically.
I began to trust the promises of God and His people. I then trusted in fellowship because it freed and supported me, so I could admit and deal with my suicidal tendencies. Acknowledging my fear of suicide, I chose to put my trust in Christ as Lord. I wanted to experience how and if this Lordship would work in my life. Christ was so much different from other authorities, I had experienced in my past. Acknowledging all truths are Gods, biblical and life's. I realized my rigid ways. To confront my past required a accepting a loving fellowship, the Word. Also a mediations by a Christian psychologist. I talked my and he would reflect back to me my reactions. I began understand the result was, I was hurting myself more than anyone else. Parenting became the next issue.
# .2 Modeling Love, Acceptance, and Choices to My Children - I did not have custody of my children, but they visited me three days and nights weekly. Christ models acceptance and love, a new parenting style to pass on. As a single parent with three children, I wanted to learn the process necessary to model acceptance and love. In my past, I had depended on my children to meet all my needs of love, but I realized they could not fulfill my needs. In my childhood rejection was modeled. Children for instance, were not important; they were second-rate citizens. Adults must control their every movement. I wanted my children to know they were important, loved and accepted.
Modeling love and acceptance, I felt I had little to offer them. In the past, I would tell the children to go outside and play or leave me alone. I talked this situation over with the psychologist. He helped me to realize what I really wanted was to be involved with my children in their playtime. I was afraid; I did not know where to start. On that evening I asked if I could play along. My children enthusiastically invited me to join them. We played Monopoly together, jumped rope, and went on a walk to the park. On the way to the park we noticed ducks on the ice and snow; we tried to get close, but they flew away. We also slid on the ice and snow walking like ducks and making angels' in the snow. In my past, I would have yelled at the children, "Get out of the snow."
We joined a weekly fellowship, so now the children and I had Christian models. Fellowship’s modeling revealed proper family involvement and more effective ways to handle children. Like in disciplining them to remember I need to encourage them. The children needed to be treated as gifts not like toys. I was their father and not their lord. In those old patterns I was not modeling God. I repented and focused on happier actions. I loved my children.
Next learning to think before reacting. For example, once my two daughters were washing the dishes. I heard a "CRASH! A large plate had dropped while they were drying them. It smashed to smithereens. I started yelling from my chair about their carelessness. I jumped up! I heard them laughing and splashing in the kitchen before the "crash" and my anger was building. I re-evaluated my reaction. My anger, started to settle. I stood up and went to the kitchen. I then told the girls that it was okay to have fun while doing the dishes but I was angry that they got carried away dropped the plate. My older daughter told me that the plate had slipped out of her soapy hands. Boy what a difference happened in my life I began to learn how to re-assess each situation before reacting!