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Hannah has a heart to connect with women of all ages and demographics in a way that is authentic, simple, and relatable. Hannah’s desire is to ignite an understanding, so women live with value and a knowing, that God is unconditional love and has great purpose and intention for all His daughters- regardless of their mistakes and stories.
FINDING YOUR PLACE IN THIS CRAZY WORLD
I walked towards the gate of Sunny’s new school this morning, behind the bars was an enclosed area for children to sit. My eyes found four children in wheelchairs. One little boy dangled bare feet from his chair, while another had his eyes closed and dribbled quietly in the corner of the school yard.
I gulped, took a breath, this is now where my boy ‘belongs,’ the revelation taunted me. I shut the gate behind me realising the severity of Sunny’s disability- it is worse than I thought. I heard a conversation in my head replay itself. “He can’t go to the local school; it doesn’t accommodate his needs- this school will be a better match.”
I felt my eyes prick with tears and my heart cracked just a little bit more. I cleared my throat and saw a teacher, introduced myself and felt my chin quiver. I could barely speak, “This is Sunny and it’s his first day here.” The warm, smiling face directed us to his classroom. I felt his hand touch mine, as he became scared, a child was walking towards us screaming, another was wearing ear phones to block the surrounding noise out.
I tried to still the noise in my head. “Hold it together Hannah. Hold.It.Together.”
I slide the glass door open to find his teacher calming more crying children in the classroom. I hung up Sunny’s bag, pulled diapers out and placed them on his desk and then put his lunch in the fridge. I stood wide-eyed and looking around, doing my best to ooze positivity. A short amount of time passes and I knew it was inevitable; I must leave for the day.
I found my car, placed keys in the ignition and turned it on. I can’t hold it in, I break, sobbing silently.
I feel sadness oozing out, like hot lava from a volcano.
My grief struck me and took my breath away. I tried to stop the tears, as it was the first day that I was actually wearing make-up in a long time, and of course it was now down my cheeks. “Typical” I think to myself- my sense of humour stops me from weeping for a moment.
Before Sunny was born, I thought he’d be ‘normal and healthy.’ The reality is he’s seven, wears diapers, can’t have a proper conversation with me, has melt downs in public where I would like to tell people to “Please stop staring, as we are not a circus,” And my life, my family’s life is strained daily.
A strange feeling washed over me as I wept against the steering wheel. I felt displaced all of a sudden.
Who do I fit in with?
Have you ever felt displaced?
The type of feeling where you just don’t.quite.fit.in?
Oh, it may only be one degree of separation from those surrounding you, but that tearing is just enough to make you want to become invisible at times. A nagging feeling fills the pit of your stomach causing angst, you try to ignore the pull which brings you down…even if it’s just a little bit, but it lingers.
You might be in a room filled with people who you’ve known your whole life, yet the truth be known, they are strangers to you and you to them.
Or you hold the attention of those around you in social settings, oozing confidence, yet if you’re truthful; you’re the loneliest woman standing in front of others and who would never suspect.
There’s lack of finding a home, a tribe, where you identify with others and they identify with you.
There are barriers, some you can’t express or put language to, as they are unintentional and others you have built which are blind spots in your life and work as a repellant towards those who attempt to connect with you. They barb and spike people and send them retreating quietly but quickly.
The girl who is willing to look at her blind spots by getting on her knees and asking God to reveal them, is the girl who reflects great courage and strength.
And if you’re really honest, you might fess up to being the girl who deliberately places a wedge between yourself and friends, as you use distance to protect your heart. You hate the thought of being displaced but what scares you even more-is to be deeply known by someone.
This breeds a cycle which spins around and around which contributes and heightens your feelings of not belonging, but isn’t that safer than being known?
For being known, seen and loved by another, runs at a risk of being hurt, for revealing your heart requires authenticity, and authenticity demands truth. And who in the world really wants to be truthful?
So you submit to fear and the enemy who brings it to you, permitting the lies to swirl around your mind, you listen to the snickers and believe the quiet whispers. You swallow the deceit like a pill, which is digested deep within, and what we allow to be planted in our lives is manifested through thinking, behaviour and actions- it’s an outpouring.
- You hear the word ‘courage’ and believe it’s for everyone else,
- You hear about being ‘valued’ yet that’s for the girl next door,
- You hear stories of others having their hearts healed, but that’s not for you, surely not?
- Yet the truth is, you have been formed for relationship, connection and a joyous life.
- Isn’t that why Jesus left the heavens and came to earth?
- Isn’t that what Christianity is built on?
So I beg you friend, if you, like me, have felt displaced, than I pray, that you have the courage of a lion to rise and face the lies which keep you chained up, to rebuke the fear which wants to settle in your life, to smash the walls which keep you caged, to call out to the God of the Universe who leans in and hears the cries of his daughters, and live in friendships that are full of joy and satisfy the innate and very real feeling of needing a place to be seen, heard, known and loved.
Hannah’s newly released book, Ravishing, is written candidly, vulnerably and with transparency about the journey of being married to a Pastor and discovering God’s relentless love along the way. Ravishing is a story where Heavenly grace trumps every time and shows that God is truly in the game of changing lives. You can find out more about Hannah on her website, hannahbryant.com or follow her on instagram – @Ravishingcollective.
On Monday, Oct 14th, Robert & I will be celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary. I’m ebarrassed to say this, but I thought our anniversary was Oct 12th. I can’t believe I forgot what day we were married. I use to be so good at remembering dates. Now I’m lucky to remember what day of the week it is. I need to start playing games on that brain exercise website, but I can’t remember what it’s called. 😃 So how did I realize I was wrong? My wonderful, sweet husband. I’m not saying it sarcastically either. I’m serious!
Last night Robert, my husband, says “I must really be losing it, because I thought our wedding anniversary was October 14th.” Then he continues saying “You’re the one who’s best at keeping track of that stuff, so it must be October 12th.” Suddenly I wasn’t so sure. Thankfully I was able to look at the Certificate of Marriage on the wall under our wedding photo, which clearly states October 14th as our wedding day. So how sweet was that for him to doubt himself not me. Then when I told him he was right he didn’t give me a hard time for forgetting when we were married.
Before I was a Christian I thought marriage was simply two people coming together to have a family, each person having individual responsibilities. I thought both had to work to be able to afford the things the world said were important, but the man was ultimately responsible for taking care of the family’s financial needs while the woman took care of the house and kids.
After becoming a Christian I learned God created man, who wasn’t meant to be alone, so a woman was created to be his helper (Genesis 2:18). I love that! Not a servant or the boss, but a helper.
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18
My husband keeps me grounded. I don’t know what I would do without him. I rely on him for so much. Where I am lacking, like cooking, he is efficient. We have a deal, he cooks & I clean. He enjoys cooking for others and is good at it. The same way I enjoy (obsess with) cleaning and can be good at it. When we work together we accomplish a lot, with time to spend together.
The great thing is, every couple & family, is different. The world tries to put marriage & families in a box. Like there is only one way to do it. God created each of us uniquely different. We each have different strengths and weaknesses. God made man and woman to work well together, to be together. Genesis 2:24 talks about a man united to his wife and becoming one flesh.
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Genesis 2:21-24
Each couple needs to figure out how to do things together, however, they can’t do it on their own. They must each put God first and then their spouse 2nd, before themselves. I don’t mean never getting to do anything for yourself. I mean we should always communicate with our spouse before doing anything and consider how it will affect them.
This was such a foreign concept for me. I didn’t know how to be the helper my husband needed or even how to let my husband help me. My friend suggested I pray daily for my husband. That seemed weird at first too. Then I was given a daily devotional, The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. This helped me focus on God and listen to what He wanted/planned for our marriage.
My Prayer for us today ~ Lord, thank you for giving us the gift of marriage. I pray you equip us to be the helper you created us to be, Amen