Tag Archives: Connect Groups

His Family (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

His Family (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

We try to face this world alone
I know that I have tried
And the world witnessed me fall
Still the Lord brought me to a family
That stands beside me evermore
Now we work through life together
Beside each other as we face the world
And if one of us should fall
We have our holy family to help us rise
This is the glory of the Lord
The way His family works for each other
And we call to all those who are lost
Or alone in face this world just like I
That this could be their family
And in the Lord
No longer called lost anymore

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Daily Improvements

It would seem that each day is actually getting a little easier, I am definitely beginning to feel as though I am getting back to some sort of normal again, there are still some lingering side effects, but in general I do feel a lot better.

Although I’ve been off work the last few days, I have done some work for the Architect’s which has kept me occupied and hasn’t been as stressful as it had been over the last few weeks.  I’m glad I told them any work last week would have to wait, okay I may not get any money from them for sometime, but I was at lot more comfortable working on my terms.

My frustration and anger are a lot more controllable now, I’m seemed to lose control very easily in the past month, which was one of the things I feared about looking after the kids, if they kick off how would I react, luckily they haven’t and I actually now feel I have control back.

At my Connect Group meeting last night I felt like I was part of the meeting for the first time in weeks, not completely detached and in tears like two weeks ago or a bit part player like I have been over the last month or so, my concentration is returning and I can focus now, I don’t find myself just staring out into nothing, this was something that was happening quite a bit, I would find myself just drifting off then not knowing where I was or what I was doing for a moment.

There are still things about myself I’m not happy with at the moment, I still get trapped in my own head from time to time, but on the whole I certainly feel like the medication is working and I coming out the other side of yet another trial.

The kids and I had a film night this evening, we watched Despicable Me 2 on DVD with pop corn, they want to do it again, so probably Monday night we’ll have another film night.  I have to say they have been fantastic so far, I couldn’t have asked for them to be any better behaved.

Last night I was reminded of something I was doing a few weeks back when I was at work, when things weren’t going very well and on a couple of occasions I was close to just grabbing my things and walking out, I would find myself working away from others and quietly singing a few lines from this song over and over again, it helped me get through some tough moments, it something I should keep doing.

WHEN YOU WALK INTO THE ROOM by BRYAN & KATIE TORWALT
When You walk into the room, everything changes
Darkness starts to tremble at the light that you bring
When You walk into the room, every heart starts burning
And nothing matters more than just to sit here at Your feet and worship You

We Love You, and we’ll never stop
We can’t live without You, Jesus
We Love You, We can’t get enough
All this is for You, Jesus

When You walk into the room, sickness starts to vanish
Every hopeless situation, ceases to exist
When You walk into the room, The dead begin to rise
Cause there is resurrection life in all You do

Come and consume God, all we are
We give You permission, our hearts are Yours
We want You, We want You

Connections

As I posted earlier this evening, since posting about my feelings of  being alone this last Sunday, I have been in a much better place.  Firstly a bit of rest and sleep on Sunday afternoon helped, writing about how I feel always helps, it allows me to try to understand why I feel this way and what I need to deal with it.  The response by Ian and Nick helped immensely and being out last night, just talking and sharing my feelings helped even more.

Sunday night went by quite easily, the only time I felt alone was when I could hear young families pass my front window early in the evening, it was around the sort of time that Victoria and the kids usually return home on Sunday from her Mum’s, every time I heard the sounds of kids pass by I paused to listen if they would walk up the passage next to our house, expecting them to burst through the door and the usual chaos ensue, but each time my hopes raised, they fell slightly when I remembered they weren’t coming home.

I started to listen to the message from Shawn Johnson of Red Rocks Church, I posted last week about Sharing Your Story, including a link to the message, I really connected with his words and as I sat quietly I picked up my iPhone, went to the Red Rocks website and played the message again.  Then after listening to it again, I decided to listen to another of his services, there is a list of many on their website, but I chose one from the same series, one that stood out and grabbed me was the message, Share Your Life.

WATCH: SHARE YOUR LIFE

Now I know I have written about my Connect Group many times, but I have to say I absolutely love my group, I look forward to my group coming around every other Wednesday, it takes a little too long for me, but I really miss it the weeks that it’s not on.

Listening to Shawn’s message about small groups at his Church, opened my eyes further to the importance of our Connect Groups and indeed connections with others from Church.  It reminded me that I should stop thinking I have to go through this alone, this had already been proven earlier that evening with the message from Ian and the text from Nick.  Even though Nick isn’t currently attending my Church, he felt he had to ask me around, that it was something he needed to do for me and I’m thankful for that, it was great to talk in that intimate environment, we both shared a lot yesterday evening and I certainly feel better for that, I hope Nick does too.

Shawn says this:

IF THERE IS ANYTHING GOING ON IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW AND YOUR THE ONLY ONE THAT KNOWS ABOUT IT, THERE’S A PROBLEM.

He certainly hits the nail on the head with that line.  When I think about the years that I was in my darkness, I know I had certain problems I couldn’t deal with, problems that were eating away at me, that were eroding life from me, I took the route of burying myself in a world of alcohol, to hide all the bad feelings behind this mask, I put on a real brave face for the public, I hid it all deep down and nobody could see my problems, not the real ones, not the ones that were destroying me, if they couldn’t see them and didn’t know what they were or that there was anything that was dragging me down, then they couldn’t help me deal with it.

It was only that real hammer blow of the reality of what my drinking had brought me to, that it had destroyed what I held dearest, it took me away from it and I lost it, I lost Victoria.  Then after days of failing to live with it, days of not being able eat, just drink and erode away what was left of the life I had, then I came to the point where I wanted out of life altogether, but I couldn’t do it, so I had to make a call.

I’m thankful Gareth answered that call and came to speak with me, that night I had no choice but to share what was going wrong in my life, I knew that I couldn’t sort it out if I kept hiding behind it.  Then when I made my way to Church I had to keep opening up, there was more to come out and over time it did, I talked about it openly and honestly, it was the only way I could let people help me.

Then I started this Blog and it gave me a different outlet for both my Testimony and my inner feelings, I could and probably still do, open up on here with my deepest things before I can speak openly about them, that’s because it lets me analyse them and then be able to discuss them.  After all once I’ve posted on here it’s on a public forum for all the world to see, there’s no hiding then and I’m okay with that.

Then in January I started attending a Connect Group, I had avoided being in a Group when I first came to Church, but now as our Church Groups were reformed I signed up.  My first night at the group I didn’t know what to expect, some of the group I had recently got to know and others in the group I had never really talked with, I had seen them at Church, but not connected with them.  But after that first night I returned home and I wrote this:

Connecting

A small gathering
Of us only twelve
All sat closely together
Each knowing only a few

My shyness is rising
I fight to keep it in
Time now to open up
A moment to be me

Introductions are made
New friendships are born
Relaxed I am now open
It’s OK to be just me

We trade tiny moments
Sharing snippets of our past
Creating tiny pictures
Of who we have become

Our goodbyes are spoken
Each heads home to rest
Seven days will slowly pass
Until we gather once again

I still struggle from time to time, things in my life aren’t easy, especially not back in March when the death of my Nan left me shattered, it hit me hard and I couldn’t deal with it, I felt guilty and angry with myself, I was back in a hole, I wanted to runaway, I wanted to walk into the lake, just disappear.  That morning I convinced myself I couldn’t go to Church, I told myself I couldn’t let these people see me like this, because after everything they had done for me, for me to turn up a real mess was just letting them down, I couldn’t face it, again I wanted to run.  But then another voice in my head told me this:

IF CHURCH IS THE ONE PLACE YOU DON’T WANT BE,
THEN THAT’S THE ONE PLACE YOU NEED TO BE!

I made it to Church and I couldn’t hide my despair, but because it was plain to see I couldn’t hide once I was there, one family took my under their wing, insisted I come back with them for lunch, prayed with me and put me back on my feet.  When I left their home later that day I was a completely different person, I felt normal and together again.

As much as I tried to hide my despair and my burden, I just couldn’t, I wasn’t allowed.

If the path from my house to Church that day was just sand, then there definitely would only be one set of footprints in the sand that morning and they weren’t mine, that morning I was carried.

Both friends from Church and my Connect Group helped me through the next few weeks, until my other Nan died just two months later, I coped better with it this time until the funeral, after the funeral I just couldn’t get my head straight, before it had been the other way around the despair after the death was lifted at the funeral, this time the real despair hit me after the funeral.

The day after was a Wednesday and I was as mess, work was just terrible I couldn’t get my head into it and I felt lost.  But then I walked to my Group, by the time I got there I was better, but still quiet and a little withdrawn, but as the meeting progressed I once again returned to a sense of normality, I spoke about it a couple of weeks later and thanked them all for their support, Sarah our group leader even stated that the change over the course of the evening was amazing.

There have been other times that my group have helped me and I know they will in the future, so tomorrow evening I will leave this house full of hope and anticipation, my group don’t have to rally around me, I just have to be there and soak it all up.

I’m not afraid to share my story or my problems in my group, I’ve become used to telling my story and discussing my issues, that’s definitely not an issue for me, even the things that are troubling me and I’m trying desperately to hide, I feel more comfortable about discussing there, because I know that this handful of friends will help in any way they can, if that’s just prayer or an encouraging word, well sometimes that’s all I need, just to know they are there and have my back.

Shawn’s message confirms the importance of Connect Groups in our Church and our Community, it backs up our current series we are discussing within our group and that’s the importance of community and making connections, real connections, it’s definitely worth a watch.

YOU’RE NOT ALONE by DOWNHERE
You feel the isolation, slowly take a toll
This season of waiting, is starting to get old
Looking for acceptance, and aching for a home
So tired of trying to make it out on your own

There’s no easy answer, but one thing you should know
You’re not alone, anywhere you go
You’re not alone, hear the voice whisper to your soul
A promise you can always hold:

You’re not alone, no

Stuck in a dive and you’ve almost had enough
Because of what you’ve been through, it’s difficult to trust
You’re still barely hanging on, trying hard to fight
If anybody’s listening, you want to know tonight

There’s no easy answer, but one thing you should know
You’re not alone, anywhere you go
You’re not alone, hear the voice whisper to your soul
A promise you can always hold:

You’re not alone, no

You’re not alone
You’re not alone

Reach out, don’t reach within
I’m at the door, if you just let me in
Reach out for what you need
What you won’t find in yourself, you will find in me

You’re not alone, hear the voice whisper to your soul
I’ll never leave or let you go
You’re not alone, I’m with you to the end
You’re not alone, I’m closer than a friend
You’re not alone, and I’m with you to the end
You’re not alone, closer than a friend
You’re not alone