Faith, hope and love

Today I went on a training morning entitled ‘Depression – how can we help’ Nice and light for a Wednesday morning. I figured, being the super vicars wife that I am, and our churches family outreach worker it would give me some super sparkly skills in supporting those both in my church and community walking through depression.

What I did not anticipate was it also touching the apparently still raw nerve of my own experience.

I think we all too quickly believe or hope that when we have come through something, whether that be depression, anxiety whatever it may be, that we magically come out the other side and it no longer impacts us. “I am free from… it doesn’t have power over me any longer”.

And while that may be true for some, for me it would appear that my experience with depression and an eating disorder are things which remain with me. Maybe not on a daily basis but they quietly linger in the background waiting to trip me up if I’ll let them.

For me, today it was the mention of using food as a method of control when it feels like life going on around us is out of control, slam, boy that took me back to those feelings! Those feelings of 6 years ago, those feelings of shame and isolation. Those feelings I thought were long gone.

But…I am not the same person as 7 years ago! That shame and guilt and isolation does not have the power it once did! I am more self aware than I was then, I am better at practising self care and asking for help, support, advice when I need it, I hold onto the truths God has spoken even though I may not always feel like they are true.

There have been times I have prayed for complete freedom but today I realised that I actually value that thorn in my side, it reminds me of who I am and who God is. It reminds me that God knows the plan and he asks me to trust him in it. I do not want that thorn removed because it gives me great empathy and a heart for those walking a similar journey and it gives me hope, a hope for my future and for yours.

I’m reminded of my new tattoo faith, hope and love.

Because of my faith I can have a hope in my future and from that place of faith and hope I can love others as Christ loves me.

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In the words of Bob Goff…Love DOES, it doesn’t watch!

I have always thought there are situations I would never want to be in because I would have no idea what to do or say. Where you wish someone more knowledgeable, wiser, better equipped, more this, more that, would come along and step in.

Today, one of those things happened.

Driving home on the M23 from my weekly food shop the traffic in front of me came to a abrupt stop. Trying to look the couple of cars ahead of me to see what the hold up way (I had ice cream in the boot) I saw a woman in the road with another woman trying to get her to the side of the carriage way and out of the line of cars and lorry which had swerved to avoid hitting her.

I saw her at the side of the carriage way highly emotional with a couple stood in front of her looking completely overwhelmed and in shock.

How easy would it have been for me to just carry on driving. I mean there were other people with her. Plus, what could I possibly do to help, if just get in the way. But something prompted me to pull over, let’s call the prompting what it was…The Holy Spirit. I managed to cut across the three lanes of traffic, pulled over and headed towards them.

“Can I do anything to help?” (Oh dear God, please give me what I need to help)

I have just finished reading Bob Goff’s books Love Does and Everybody Always. And the overriding message I’ve taken on board is that we are to show God’s love by loving people and to do that Always. Love everybody always. Simple!

Its not rocket science, it is simple, love your neighbour, that person you see at school, work, that person who gives you the creeps who who you find a bit weird, no matter how difficult or different, love them, 30 seconds at a time. That’s what I did today, I didn’t think how poorly equipped I was to help this suffering woman in front of me, I didn’t make excuses as to why I couldn’t help (i mentioned my I ice cream didn’t I?!) I didn’t wish someone else would come along but I showed her Jesus’ love for her. I didn’t preach that message at her or bash her with my Bible but I told her who she was as a child of God. I told her she was loved, that she was precious, that she had worth and that she was worth more than walking out in front of a motorway full of traffic. Because that is was Jesus would have done, he wouldn’t have chastised her, he wouldn’t have made her feel shame or unworthy, he wouldn’t have criticised her or berated her, he wouldn’t have called her selfish but he would have held her and looked into her eyes and told her that he knew her name and that she mattered to him.

It’s not hard to do that for another human being. It’s what I would want someone to do for me. We are all to often in a rush to get on with our busy lives that we don’t see or have the time to help those around us who are in need. It doesn’t take much to ask someone how they are and not accept “I’m fine” as an answer.

I don’t want to be know by people as the Vicars wife who preaches Jesus at people, I want to be known by people because they have felt I have given them my time and by ears. I want to be known because I value other people and through those actions of loving people point them towards Jesus who loves them far more that I could.

Love everybody…always.

Simple!

I am no gardener

While the sun was shining yesterday afternoon, and the kids were playing happily out the front of our home, I took the opportunity to have a little go at some gardening.

Now I am rubbish at gardening, I have no clue! Is it a weed is it a ‘wild’ flower, should I cut it/prune it now or wait? Don’t ask me because I don’t know.

But I know what a bramble looks like and out the front of our house (and back for that matter) they are getting out of control. So on went my nice new gardening gloves, which promised me they would protect me from brambles (big fat lie), out came the gardening sack and I got to work.

Now the thing I discovered about brambles is that they are not just the bit you see sticking out from your flowers or winding prettily around your fence. Those sneaky little brambles have whopper roots the snake and weave all over your garden. They go all through your pretty, tidy flower bed and you can’t even see them.

Remind you of anything?

The analogy of brambles certainly resonated with me and my life. How many times have I thought I’ve cut something off but in reality I’ve only cut off the bit I can see, I haven’t hacked out the root. How many lies have come my way that I have simply pruned back rather taking out the root completely.

And what happens if you just prune a bramble? Like any weed it just keeps growing back.

It’s hard work removing a root. Carl had to do it last year with a actual bush/tree thing in our garden, it took him weeks but he hacked and sawed at it and when he needed the help from others (who knew more about gardening than he did, he asked for it!). Together they made sure that root was dealt with properly.

Sometimes we think we know what we’re doing and so we go it alone, why would we need to ‘bother’ God with something we can sort out ourselves? But think of the time and pain we could save ourselves if we just asked for help and guidance!

Luckily for me, I know the best gardener and he is patient and gentle and he loves us to much to leave us with our overgrown brambles. If I give him the room to do so he gets right to the root and he removes it for me. Can I give you his card?

Let the devil know not today!

Last Sunday I came away from the Hillsong Colour conference in a difference place to where I was when I arrived on the Thursday.

Praise God!

Thursday I arrived with no agenda for God, I didn’t have a list of problems I wanted him to address (I mean there were a whole lot of issues but I didn’t come presenting them to God as his ‘to-do’ list). I simply came expectant. I say simply but actually I think it’s quite brave to approach God and say “I’m open, I’m willing, over to you, do what you want”.

I arrived open but I also arrived broken.

We talk about how we are body, soul and spirit but I had so neglected my spirit that it was shrivelling up…it was dying.

I had separated the parts of me out, body…soul…spirit and each part was broken. And I had fooled myself that if I could get one area ‘right’ then the others would be ‘right’ too. WRONG!

We were not made to separate ourselves out, we were made to be integrated with ourselves and I most definitely was not!

But thankfully Jesus stepped down into my mess and is beginning a restoration! Hallelujah!

So I came home Sunday with God’s truth both in my head AND my heart. Before it was separate, it was head knowledge which was not permeating into the rest of my being. But last weekend was like my whole being was watered and gently, lovingly, brought back to like.

I came home with truth! I came home with freshly toiled soil that God could plant into, but I also came home with a lie trying to sneak right up in there!

Over the weekend I had listened to incredible speakers, I mean like A..MA..ZING!! Speakers with such contagious passion for Jesus, with such heart to see people come to know Jesus. Speakers who do amazing things all over the world; relief aid, building schools, speakers who daily put their lives in danger as they serve and follow God. And the lie?

You are not truly serving God! Look at those phenomenal people, these true servants of God. What are you doing? Toddler group? phaha! Pathetic!

And while I came home with fresh truth I also came home a little deflated.

But only for a moment!!

At the conference we were given stickers (I love stickers!) and one of them said Boots on the Ground.

At the time I thought “nice sticker but what’s that mean?”

When that lie tried to creep in I saw it more clearly! WE are God’s boots on the ground. All of us! And God calls some to share his message around the globe. But he has given them the gifts by which to do that!

At this moment God hasn’t called me to preach around the world, thank you God, he hasn’t called or equipped me to do that.

But, he has asked me to invest in the lives of the people he has placed around me, in the lives of my local community. And that has just as much significance to God, otherwise he wouldn’t ask me to do it. So I hold tight to the truth God has spoken and in holding that I silence the liar!

I’ll sing the night into the morning

I’ll sing the fear into your praise

I’ll sing my soul into your presence

Whenever I say your Name

Let the devil know not today

What is God calling you to that the enemy is trying to get you to believe is unimportant?

The devil doesn’t need to destroy us, he just needs to distract us!

Let the devil know not today!

Jesus was not my focus!

Oh man…something is a shifting in me.

This weekend I am at the Hillsong Colour Conference in London with my big sister and I am #lovingit

I am 36 years young and I have spent far too many of those years putting myself down. Believing I am worthless, that I don’t matter, that I’m insignificant and stupid, ugly and a waste of space. Left wondering why God would even bother me when I can’t even bother to care for myself. Wondering what I could possibly offer to God when I believe I am, at the very core of me, NOTHING!

And I’ve heard the message before, so many times. I’ve heard it, made notes on it, shared it with others and yet NEVER taken it on board for myself. It’s not travelled the few inches from head to heart.

UNTIL TODAY PEOPLE…until today!

Oh my gosh! Yes day I stopped trying to earn and strive for it, I simply accepted it!

I am God’s beloved!

Today I heard talks from Bob Goff, Priscilla Shirer and Bobbie & Brian Houston. Incredible talks! And something has shifted.

In Bobbie’s talk she quoted the Beauty Myth

“an obsession with physical perfection that traps modern woman in an endless cycle of hopelessness, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society’s impossible definition of flawless beauty,”

This is what I have been trapped in for countless years. The pursuit of something I could never achieve and the consuming self hatred which goes hand in hand with it.

I have believed 2 things, firstly that I have nothing to offer God and secondly that I am nothing to God. One of those is true the other is most definitely not!

I have nothing to offer God other than what he has given me. Yet the things he had given me I had hidden in a drawer, what use is that? Priscilla said that God gives us treasure, but the treasure he gave to me I hide away, believing it wasn’t as good or as worthwhile as what I believed he had given to others. Yet I was wasting what he’d given me, I was not reaching the potential he placed on my life. I played my gifts and talents down, I diminished my God given gifts!

Having never heard Bob Goff speak before I now adore him, he spoke right to the core of me! He said that Satan doesn’t need to destroy us he just needs to distract us. How true is that! He just needs to shift us off course ever so slightly, and he’s been doing that to me for years! Slowly moving God out of the centre of the picture and putting me and my self loathing in his place.

I need to STOP wanting to be like other women, STOP comparing myself to other women and start living as the woman God has and is making me into. I need to believe Biblical truth about who God says I am and not who the enemy claims I am. Because those are LIES!

So if God’s treasure is already within me all I need to do is give it back to God and ask him to make it sufficient.

Today I am taking the message from Bobbie and choosing to believe that I am a women of passion and potential, nurture and creativity, instinct and empathy, strength and wisdom, with a desire to live and excel! That is a pretty incredible woman to be, why would I hide that away in a drawer and not celebrate that with those who love me? Hiding it doesn’t give glory to God it just renders me ineffective and Satan has done his job.

I’m going to do like Brian and dig deeper and trust that God can do more that I could ever guess or imagine, even with the small amount I can offer him.

My 5 loaves and 2 fish can be multiplied by Jesus and they are more than enough for God to work with. If I will just give him the permission to.

Today is a new day and God is moving me forward.

Amen

I am not ok…

I have a deep seated belief that in order for me to be ‘ok’ I must ‘do’ something.

For me to be lovable even likeable I must somehow be different to how I currently am or I must do more. I must earn acceptance both of God and other people in order to be accepted.

I tell myself that if I can just get control in this area or that, then I will be acceptable, if I can get these people to like me I will be ok, if I can be a Pinterest mummy then I will have a sense of self worth, of value, if I can look this way or act that way I will be good enough.

This is living under the Law, a system of Achieving (quoting LC). This is NOT what Jesus came to do in dying on the cross for me.

Philippians 3: 9-10 says ‘and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ’

Galatians 2:21 goes further by saying ‘for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose’

If I can earn it then Jesus came and died for nothing! I am still eating from the Tree of Good and Evil, putting myself in the place of God, making myself like God.

And yet this is how I live my life, if I can control my weight, what I eat, what people think of me, the parent or friend I can be, if people like me then my sense of self worth tells me I am ok. If I can’t control these things, and invariably I cannot, my sense of self worth tells me I, at the centre of my very being, are not ok!

I am not ok, because I place my value on things I believe I can control or affect and in actual truth I cannot do either.

But I cannot earn acceptance, I cannot do anything which will earn a sense of self worth a knowledge of OKness. That is God’s role. I can’t read my Bible more/pray more/meditate more in order to be more worthy of God loving me. IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY, as much as I would like it to it just doesn’t.

And I know that, I KNOW it, I KNOW IT, I KNOW IT!! I’ve been in Church my whole life, I know it, yet I don’t know it in my heart. It’s purely head knowledge, it hasn’t traveled the few inches down into my heart, it hasn’t taken root in my soul. It hasn’t made that difference in my life that that truth has the power to do.

I hold onto my truth that I can earn God’s love by ‘doing’ not just by ‘being’. But that is staying under the law not living in freedom.

Just because you believe something does not make it true!

So how do I move from head knowledge to personal knowledge of God’s love for me? I don’t know! That’s where I am right now, I don’t know what that looks like, and while I hate that (because I’m not in control) I have to accept that God knows what He is doing and I have to come to a point of trying to trust him. That he will bring restoration and healing and that I cannot do that for myself.

Ephesians 2:8-9 finishes it off for me “for by grace you have been saved through faith. And it is not by your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast”.

I cannot increase my self worth, I cannot earn my salvation, that has already been done for me, not through anything I have done or could do but what Christ did for me.

My debt has been paid and I wasn’t even the one who had to pay it, I owe nothing!

So here’s to God being in the driver seat and to being the map reader and me being the passenger in the back.

Pressing on despite discomfort

Why is it so easy to talk myself out of pushing forward?

Why is it so tempting to reward myself for reaching a goal but not pushing past that goal?

Why do I believe that I have ‘done enough’ and not see the discipline of being focused and reaching just that bit further?

I was finally out this morning for my first run in few weeks (I will admit that I am a fair weather runner, I don’t like the cold it brings out the complainer in me). I wasn’t sure how this run would go, my fitness drops very quickly if I haven’t been out for a bit so I set myself the goal of 3miles/5k. I was actually surprised by how comfortable it felt, I had thought even that distance might be a struggle but it felt good, helped by the sunshine I’m sure.

And yet, as I neared my goal distance I could hear a little voice whispering in my ear (other than the music I was listening to) saying

Well done you, haven’t you done well, you have tots earned a little walk, you got your 3miles, let’s just stop now, no need to go any further.

So back to my question, why do I set a goal which when I reach I don’t push on just that bit further? Why don’t I press on to develop perseverance and stamina? (Not just in running but in other areas of my life). I do this in relation to food, if I’ve had a good day or a bad day I can justify pretty much anything.

You did so well not snacking today, and you didn’t lose it with the kids, as a little ‘well done’ you can have a hot cross bun (or 2) and 4 creme eggs when the kids are in bed, well done you!

I also do it in my spiritual life.

You’ve done so well reading your Bible and praying everyday, your tired, why keep going? you totally deserve a few days break, you’ve worked so hard, come back to it next week.

Philippians 3:13 says “but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead”

The author of Philippians talks of forgetting what we have already done and straining to reach what is ahead of us, yet I often find it really unappealing to push beyond something, to allow myself to feel even just a little uncomfortable, I complain and moan at ‘having to be disciplined’ but if and when I do I can reap the fruit of my actions. Why then am I so unwilling to do it?

Romans 5:3-4 says “suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope” maybe not such a comfortable refining process but how often does change or growth come about without us being called out into a place of discomfort? James 1:2-4 says “consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”.

I think for me this is summed up in the Fruits of the Spirit “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” Galatians 5:22-23. God does sometimes give these fruits simply by us asking for them but most of the time I believe they come about as a result of discipline, through our perseverance and commitment to working with God, by spending time with Him, through relationship with God, through reading our Bible and prayer, by keeping in step with the Spirit and being disciplined in these practises as He brings about change within us.

So next time I’m out for my run I will be more in tune with God rather than Strava (other running apps are available) and I will listen to when he tells me to stop not to the little voice that tries to rob me of the gift of perseverance.

Jog on!

Silence the doubts…

I don’t know about you, but I often find it is after the times I have stepped out and been obedient to God that I then face a torrent of self doubt.

This morning I had the wonderful opportunity to speak at a women’s breakfast at the Church of a lovely friend.

Now this alone would normally fill me with a vast range of doubts and fears. I have struggled with accepting I may have a calling to speak in public. I am left worrying…

  • You’ve only had a week to prepare
  • You don’t even know where your going
  • It’s snowing, you’ll get lost/stuck
  • You don’t know these ladies (as lovely as they may be)
  • What qualifies you to speak to others?
  • You haven’t properly practised
  • Your talk will not connect with them at all
  • No one will even turn up

Now that list could go on as on but as I drove over I managed to silence my fears and give them to God.

I sang out my fears along to the new Rend Collective cd which is still banging out from our car wherever we go and then I turned the music off and prayed – I kept my eyes open don’t worry!

I admitted to God that I was, again, going into this in my own strength not his and I asked for more of him and less of me. I allowed God back into his rightful place and I stepped back into mine.

And you know what, he totally delivered – was that ever in doubt? When does God ever not show up when we ask him too? I mean, he’s already there so doesn’t need to ‘show up’, he’s already done that.

So then it was just me stepping up, trusting that God has gone before me. I remembered the person God has and is making me to be and I didn’t hide that person, in all her craziness, away!

I find that when we speak from our experience we cannot get it wrong, it is speaking out our truth and the experience we have walked through.

And then I left and headed for home and surprise surprise, despite the lovely positive comments afterwards, back came the doubts and insecurities.

Well that wasn’t very good, no one could relate to that at all, no one even really listened, that was completely boring, you are a terrible speaker, they all just felt a bit sorry for you because you looked a bit pathetic!

NO!! I am not listening to that!! The more we look to other people for affirmation the more we will crave it and seek approval from others, the more we will need to ‘check’ that what we did was ok. But if I get my affirmation from God, that I did what was asked of me then I will not be so easily swayed by the lies that try to work their way in.

So I silenced the whispering doubts and trusted that I had been obedient to the call God had given me, that was all he had asked me to do, anything else was down to him and I’m ok with that partnership.

1% me and 99% God.

I worry that I’m worried I’m a worrier!

I might just put that out there and leave it at that, I’m worried what will come out if I keep typing.

It has come to the surface recently that one of our children is suffering with anxiety and this is displayed by outbursts of anger. To start with I just couldn’t understand what she had to be anxious about; she is loved, she has a safe place to live, is settled and secure. What has she got to be anxious about?

I was left frustrated and angry. She appears to be dealing with something which Carl and I didn’t seem to be able to help her with. We have now come to a stage where we are beginning play therapy to try to help her deal with her anger in more healthy ways. Why as her parents can we not fix this for her?

I feel like such a failure!

A few weeks back I began a parenting course and it has been really insightful. I just wish we’d both done it before we actually had children then I might not feel like I’m making such a hash of it all.

Tonight we talked about how children display needs and how that can trigger something in us as parents and make us feel uncomfortable, sometimes so uncomfortable that we are unable to meet their need. If that is the case then children express their needs in other ways.

For us that is ANGER and ANXIETY. Some need is not being met and the result of that is anger and worry.

So we’re back to the anxiety, where has that come from? You’ll be pleased to hear I finally spotted it this evening, It comes from me! Turns out I am extremely anxious although I try to bury it down and make light of it. I play it down and shrug it off.

I’m anxious about oh so many things. Let me give you just a few…

  • My children love daddy more than they love me
  • Terrible things happening to my children if I lose sight of them for a moment- kidnap, torture…
  • That I don’t spend enough time with my children
  • That I don’t know how to be around them
  • That I’m not as ‘fun’ as Carl
  • That I am failing them EVERY SINGLE MOMENT and have been since they were born
  • That I’m a failure because I couldn’t breast feed (because we all know that makes you a terrible person)
  • That I let my children cry as babies so I’m a monster and I’ve left them with abandonment issues
  • That actually no one really likes me because I just plan boring

I could go on but that will just turn into a pity party!

And right now I don’t think I have a nugget of wisdom about all of this but I do know that God hasn’t washed his hands of me. I know he has given me people who love me and my family and support us and I KNOW that he can bring good from the suffering we are going through! I KNOW THAT!

A great line that I am trying to take hold of from tonights parenting course is that blaming ourselves or our children is a dead end street. What good comes from blaming ourselves or myself?

Its my fault my daughter is anxious, I caused this, if only I had…

It just leads to pain, hurt and regret.

I am loving the new Rend Collective album and one song in particular really speaks to me right now.

Weep with me

Lord will You weep with me?

I don’t need answers, all I need

Is to know that You care for me

Hear my plea

Are You even listening?

Lord I will wrestle with Your heart

But I won’t let You go

You know I believe

Help my unbelief

Yet I will praise You

Yet I will sing of Your name

Here in the shadows

Here I will offer my praise

What’s true in the light

Is still true in the dark

You’re good and You’re kind

And You care for this heart

Lord I believe

You weep with me

Part the seas

Lord make a way for me

Here in the midst of my lament

I have faith, yes I still believe

That You love me

Your plans are to prosper me

You’re working everything for good

Even when I can’t see

You know I believe, yeah

Help my unbelief, oh

Yet I will praise You

Yet I will sing of Your name

Here in the shadows

Here I will offer my praise

What’s true in the light

Is still true in the dark

You’re good and You’re kind

And You care for this heart

Lord I believe

That you weep with me

Turn my lament into a love song

From this lament, raise up an anthem

Oh I’ll sing it in the darkness, oh

Turn my lament into a love song, ’cause I love You Lord

And from this lament, raise up an anthem, oh

Oh I’ll sing it in the darkness

Yet I will praise You

Yet I will sing of Your name

Right here in the shadows

Right here I will offer my praise

What was true in the light

Is still true in the dark

You’re good and You’re kind

And You care for this heart

Lord I believe

That you weep with me

It’s a beautifully honest account of being real with God and acknowledging that we can be going through that toughest of times but that even in those times, and it may be really hard to do so, we can still praise God.

So that is what I choose to do, pour out my anguish to God because he’s big enough to take it and to keep worshipping him.

Just a bit broken…

Tonight I stood outside my daughters bedroom and I cried.

Over the past few months, as a family, we have all had to deal and cope with outbursts of anger. But tonight it has pushed me to the point of feeling just broken.

The flare ups started in spring last year and our lovely daughter was replaced by this child who’s temper would blow up at the smallest thing…

She/he looked at me

I can’t do my homework

I don’t want to be on my own

I don’t want to go to bed

I want another biscuit

It’s not fair

I don’t want to eat that

The list of complaints could go on and on. But my point is that the cause of the blow up was usually a very minor issue and not deserving of the severe response we got.

In the summer term our daughter met with a teacher in the school – whether this actually helped or not I don’t know but it at least felt like we were doing something to support her.

By autumn it felt like we had turned a corner and the frequency had lessened…until recently that is.

In the past few weeks the frequency and severity of her flare ups has gone through the roof.

She is regularly physical in her anger; things are thrown, people are pushed and shouted at and it can take till gone 10pm to actually get her to sleep.

We are exhausted and at a loss of how to help her.

She is like Jekyll and Hyde, we are never sure which one will wake up, which one will greet us from school, which one we will kiss goodnight and it has reached a point where I feel broken by her.

What a thing to say as a parent!

My child has broken me

I hate it.

I hate that sometimes I just have to walk away from her and let Carl step in.

I hate that there are times I want to scream right back at her.

I hate that I want to point out every single little way in that she is hurting everyone she cares about and is pushing them all away.

I hate that I want to reason with her and get her to acknowledge the impact of her actions, not only on herself but on her family.

I hate that I feel like we are failures as parents.

I and HATE that nights like tonight make me want to throw the towel in and say I’ve had enough, I’m not doing this anymore.

So why write this post? Especially while Carl is still having to be upstairs with her?

Because maybe I’m not the only parent in the world who’s child is pushing them beyond their limit and almost to the point of breaking? Because maybe I not the only parent who feels like they’re banging their head against the wall in frustration? Because maybe another parent out there needs to know that they are not alone either! Because maybe this is my outlet for the pain I currently feel, this is my screaming out This isn’t fair!!!

So I’m not going to walk out on her.

I am going to try my very best to stay with her in her anger and to try and empathise with her feelings. I am going to try to help her get to the root of what is causing her so much pain and I am going to make her feel safe and secure. And I am going to love her, man I am going to love her!

I am going to trust that God is with all of us and that he will bring our family through this still in one piece, that he will protect Carl and I, not only as parents but also as a couple as we struggle forward.

But for tonight I am going to try my very best not to plant my face in a box of chocolates in a bid to ease my hurting.