Through the Eyes of a Friend

Through the Eyes of a Friend
That is me, Brenda J Wood through the eyes of Eleanor Shepherd

Eleanor Shepherd Award Winning Author
http://twgauthors.blogspot.ca
http://emshepherd.blogspot.com

The Interrupted Life VI – A Consequence of Sexual Abuse

The story I want to share of an interrupted life this month is a difficult one. There are so many people whose lives have been put on hold because of the devastation that has come to them through abuse of various kinds. One of the most pernicious seems to be sexual abuse, because it is often linked with an abuse of power that takes advantage of innocence. That seemed to be the case for my friend Brenda, who shared with me two significant interruptions in her life. Many of her own reflections about her experience of an eating disorder are detailed in her book Meeting Myself: Snippets from a Binging and Bulging Mind.
My friend suffered from bulimia for years as a result of being a victim or sexual abuse from ages 11 to 14. Before she even knew that there was a name for her condition, it was well established, as her way of coping with the emotional and psychological damage that she suffered.

The abuse that she received caused a numbing of her emotions, and she tried to fill the emotional void, with food. Her eating disorder did not mean that the food brought any satisfaction. She just kept stuffing it in to try to fill the void. Then she tried to get rid of it, so her choice of self-soothing would not be obvious to others.

Unlike many of the interruptions in the lives of others, both the abuse and the bulimia were not sudden interruptions in Brenda’s life, but rather subtly crept up on her. They became elements in her life that crippled her relationships with others because she was unable to experience and express emotions and thus grow into the person that she was intended to be.

Fear was the only emotion that she was not able to keep down and it came to dominate her life. Her reaction was to battle with it by attacking her own body through an eating disorder. She wanted to be able to tell them about the abuse and the toll it was taking on her life, but fear and guilt convinced her that nobody would believe her. In a way, she was trying to punish herself for what she was doing, as a result of the guilt that accompanied her abuse.

In addition to all this, her eating disorder also caused Brenda to undergo two bouts with cancer and a syndrome that causes her saliva glands to work overtime.

With the burden of her bulimia, Brenda struggled for years to finally regain a healthy lifestyle. It was only after she entered into a vital relationship with Christ, and grew in her relationship with Him, that she was able with help to gradually find freedom from her eating disorder and to allow her emotions to become a part of her life once more. Part of her recovery involved forgiving the one who had abused her, and although he had been dead for many years, it was only then that his power over her life was broken.

Many people suffer from the long term ravages of abuse and although it is difficult, I would not be surprised if like me, you want to be willing to listen to their stories and accept them wherever they are on their journeys. We do not want to pry into people’s lives, in a way that is unhealthy, but simply be ready to listen, if and when they feel safe enough to open the door a crack. Perhaps we can help them to more quickly recover the years that have been stolen from them by abuse. Maybe we can do this for each other and grow together. I think that was what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he told the early Christians in Galatia that they were to bear one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6: 2). This key can help us to deal with our own interruptions.

Wounded

 

There was a wounded gal standing on the sidelines, covered in loneliness, poor self-image and fear. She was surrounded by great people who all said “Hi, how are you” before moving on to their friends. They had no time to listen to her answers.

One lady told her to stop moping around, get her act together and join the crowd. Another invited her to the mall but the gal couldn’t keep up with the money, the crowds and the noises.

Finally another woman gave her a hug and asked, “How are you really doing?” She sat down with her and listened, really listened as she shared her loneliness, heartache and assorted other troubles. They spent a quiet hour together. “Don’t worry,” said her new friend. ‘We will get through this together. You can count on me.’

“A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, and ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’ (Luke 10:33-35, MSG)

Yes friends, love thy neighbor…

 

Love thy homeless neighbour, Love thy gay neighbour, Love thy Muslim neighbour,

Love thy black neighbour, Love thy white neighbour, Love thy immigrant neighbour,

Love thy Jewish neighbour, Love thy Catholic neighbor, Love thy Baptist neighbour,

Love thy atheist neighbour, Love thy addicted neighbour, Love thy disabled neighbour,

Love thy born-again neighbour  “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.   And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40, NIV)

The Worst Day Ever (by Chanie Gorkin)

 

Today was the absolute worst day ever
And don’t try to convince me that
There’s something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
This world is a pretty evil place.
Even if
Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.
And it’s not true that
It’s all in the mind and heart
Because
True happiness can be attained
Only if one’s surroundings are good
It’s not true that good exists
I’m sure you can agree that
The reality
Creates
My attitude
It’s all beyond my control
And you’ll never in a million years hear me say
Today was a very good day

Now read it from bottom to top, the other way,
And see what I really feel about my day.

Since this is our truth, why should any day be a bad day?

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8, NIV)

Prayer- Lord, we choose today to experience everything that happens to us through your eyes. Amen

How Honest Are You?

 

What do you do when someone else makes a mistake in your favor? Do you blindly accept it or do the right thing and speak up? That’s the choice I had to make when ten (yes; TEN!) food processors arrived at my door.

A clerical error on someone’s part sent me ten food processors instead of the one I had requested. I had no problem sending them back. What boggled my mind was the number of people who told me that they would keep them and sell them for a personal profit.

Yes I sent them back. What would you have done?

God’s sense of humour

 

This is the devotional i sent to Everyday Christian a few weeks ago   now God sends my own words to me as I nurse my own worry and this broken arm…  okay God  I get the message.

Worry Wort

Do you worry? Nothing I say here will change that. That is your personal choice. As a worrier you must enjoy being bothered, sleepless and unsettled. You must crave anxiety and useless concern.

You love restlessness, irritability and muscle tension. You enjoy headaches, nausea, and numbness in both hands and feet. You live with twitching, hot flashes and rashes. Of course, you must experience all these symptoms and more because you keep on doing it; worrying that is.

There is a cure, but you don’t bother with it because you like your current state of discomfort. That must be so because otherwise, you would have chosen the cure for worry.

Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?
And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?
And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, what are we going to have to eat? Or, what are we going to have to drink? Or, what are we going to have to wear? (From Matthew 6:25-31, AMP)

You? Sleeping Beauty

 

Sleeping Beauty slept undisturbed for years and all you want to do is get one good night’s rest! Do you ever envy her?

Are you plagued with insomnia, a snoring partner, or a sleep apnea problem? What about leg cramps or restless leg syndrome? Do you have nightmares or maybe even walk in your sleep?

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:2,  KJV)

God says he gives us sleep; so how do we get it? A few simple things include going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. That means no sleeping in, even on weekends, and no napping during the day.

Avoid screen time before bed—no not the window netting but all those electronic gadgets we are addicted to.

Exercise early in the day. Avoid caffeine and don’t drink too much liquid. Your mother was right when she limited your milk intake by 8 pm! Some people need a light snack; others find that causes indigestion. Do what works for you.

 

Me Too

Why don’t women tell? Because no one listens; because you get blamed; because almost all of us have been there; because people in power think they have the right; because when you tell people they don’t want to face their own truth.

My book, Meeting Myself, Snippets from a binging and bulging mind addresses what happened to me and the aftermath effects in my life. The latest news on this topic affects me all over again. This heinous crime harasses for a moment of time and then lingers for ever.

Lettuce Turkey

It’s hard to pull a meal together when the oven is taken up with a big old fat turkey, isn’t it? I’m giving you this saving grace recipe now. Print it off and save it in case I forget to repeat it for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

  1. Cook the turkey the day before.
  2. Carve the turkey into serving size slices.
  3. Separate Romaine lettuce leaves.
  4. Wash them and pat them dry.
  5. Put a layer of Romaine lettuce in an aluminium pan or large roast pan.
  6. Add a layer of turkey.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6, ending with a layer of Romaine leaves.
  8. Cover tightly with foil and put in fridge.
  9. To heat the turkey, add about ¼ cup water to the pan.
  10. Heat in 250ºF oven till turkey is at the desired serving temperature.

P.S. Here is God’s recipe for lettuce: Let Us Love One Another.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35, NIV)

Prayer – Lord we pray that you give us the strength to do just that. Amen