Peeling Back a Layer or Two

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I want to peel back a few layers today, and write straight from my heart about what I'm feeling.  This is an unscheduled post.  In fact, I'm writing it directly on my blog without edits.  I don't even know how many people will see it as I'm not sending it through Facebook.  I'm not going to pin it on Pinterest or link it up to another blog.  I'm just going to write and share.

I like to be an encourager.  By nature, I'm a cheerful person.  In the past, I've even been sweetly teased for being overly cheerful!  (Can anyone really be over cheerful?)  But right now, in fact for several months now, I haven't felt cheerful.  I've let a bit of my hurt out in a few posts, but I haven't shared the depth of my sorrow.  Do you know why?  Because I want people to like me.  How sad is that?  Part of me is afraid to share my pain because I feel like I sound like a broken record.  And broken records are annoying and disturbing to listen to.

I want to be strong, but I'm not.  I cling to God and my faith, but I still hurt.  But I don't want to hurt. I want to always  have a positive outlook on life, but I don't.  My mind goes back to simple times years ago, but I dare not bring out the photographs that I took back then or I'll really be a mess.  I did that once a few weeks ago -- that was a big mistake!

I miss my daughter.  Plain and simple.  I don't know why she's gone.  I don't know why she doesn't love me anymore.  I. Don't. Know. Why.  And I can't stand it.  I know I'm still going through the grieving process following her rejection and I know one day I will be healed.  But I'm not right now.

I miss her.  I miss the relationship that I always longed for, but that she didn't want.  I miss what could have been.  I miss being able to sit down and talk about things as women do, maybe while sharing a cup of tea or getting our nails done.  I miss being able to laugh with her.  I miss the little girl who was so strong-willed and independent that it was frustrating!  But, her independence also comforted me for I knew she'd be able to take care of herself.  I miss the little girl who at 3 had such a huge vocabulary people would stop to listen and be so surprised as they heard her talk.  I miss her curiosity and her love of her kittens.  I miss how she would wiggle and squiggle next to me as I read stories to her. I miss how she would love finding "cool" rocks and then save them under her bed.  I miss how she was fearless when it came to riding her bike or swinging in the swing.  I miss her saying, "Higher!  Swing me higher!"  I miss how we shared the same favorite color...

I miss the time she told me that she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart...I'm hanging onto that one.

I miss seeing the strength and maturity she showed when facing a teenage pregnancy.  I miss watching her be a mommy...and I miss her sweet daughter.  I miss her son whom I only just had met.  I miss the courage I witnessed in her when she had open-heart surgery and told me everything was going to be alright.  I miss her tattoos.  I miss holding her.  I miss telling her that I love her and that I'll love her forever, no matter what. I miss her uniqueness.  I so miss her.

My heart is broken but I'm tired of hurting.  I don't feel like me anymore. Where did I go?  I'm tired of hiding my pain.  But, I don't want to scare anyone away by my tears.  I don't want to depress my husband...for he is hurting, too.  I have so much to be thankful for.  I know it, I do.  And I am so thankful.  But some days...the hurt in my heart overwhelms me.  Today is one of those days.  So thank you for letting me get it out.  I hope I haven't discouraged you, for that is not my intent.  I know God loves me and will bring me through this.  But today, I hurt.  I'm praying as I write this.  In fact, I was just going to lie down and try to sleep for I didn't want to feel for a little bit, when I had this sudden desire to write this post.  Was it God?  Was He telling me I needed to get this out?  To share my pain and be truly vulnerable? To take a chance and open my heart?   Maybe...I hope so.  Anyway, thank you.  If you've gotten this far in my ramblings, maybe you could say a little prayer for me.  Just one to give me strength when I feel sad.  And one for my daughter, too.  She needs Jesus.  She needs to feel His love for her.  She needs to know that no matter what, He'll always take her back, and so will I.

Ok.  I'm going to go make some tea now.

Love,















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29 comments

  1. No easy answers...or hard ones for that matter. But I know He is faithful to hear the cry of His people and he is always at work accomplishing His good and perfect will. Praying that He will keep your heart tender toward your daughter and that you will find peace resting in His mercy.

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  2. Hi, Joan,
    I've been reading the blogs I follow while watching the news tonight and I'm sitting here weeping. I have 2 daughters and one is very strong willed so I understand turbulence. I offer my sincere compassion for you now. I'm an intercessor and I promise to pray for you and your daughter. Your vulnerability is a gift to any woman reading this. Sending you hugs!
    Mary

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  3. Hi Joan, thank you for sharing your beautifully God shaped heart with us. I want you to know that as your sister in Christ, I hurt with you. I am kneeling before our Comforter at His throne of grace. I love you and am here for you. Please know I am holding your hand across the ocean. xx

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  4. Thank you, Anita! This morning is a new day, and I can feel God bringing my strength back! Today I'm going to focus on all the wonderful things in my life and the miracles that God does everyday!


    Blessings, Joan

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  5. I'm so sorry you had a time of pain with your daughter, but what a joy to have that relationship restored! God is so good and I am trusting Him for whatever He has planned for this and through this. Thank you for your prayers and your sweet hugs!


    Blessings, Joan

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  6. Joan, I know now why God put us together. I'm sitting here with tears running down my cheeks because we share a story. I too have a daughter I miss more than words can express. Oh dear friend, please know you can contact me any time to listen, empathize, and cry with you. Our daughter left over eight years ago, and although the pain isn't as raw as it used to be it's still there and always will be until the Lord restores our family. You are in my heart and in my prayers. Deb

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  7. Wow. I'm so sorry that your heart hurts, too. Though, isn't it amazing how God brings people together like this? When I found your blog, I was so encouraged because I WANTED something to celebrate every day, especially while I was going through this trial. And now, every day, I can pop over there for a reminder of a blessing! So, thank you for that. And now, a great big thank you for sharing your heart with me and for your prayers!

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  8. You're most welcome. I believe child rejection is one of the worst experiences in life. But God is stronger than our circumstances and He's always at work for His glory and our good . . . even when it doesn't feel like it.

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  9. Oh, Joan. Some moments are just not meant for platitudes, are they? There are just some things that no words can "fix". You know, as human beings with complex emotions, it is completely natural to feel God's blessings and know He is still by your side, and to feel devastated just the same. It's possible for us to accomplish both, and the fact that you are broken right now doesn't lessen your awareness of Him or make you less thankful for His blessings and favor. The fact that you are willing to share your real life with us so that we can gather you in and pray for you... well, that is God's glory right there. You are a blessing in my life. I am praying for you, and I'm always here if you just need to cry for a while. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

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  10. Yes, I think so, too. But I am so glad that, just like you wrote, God is stronger than our circumstances. Way stronger! I am encouraged today by several things. One of them may sound rather contradictory, but, I'm encouraged when you said it has been 8 years for you. Not that you've had to go through pain for that long, but that you've survived it! (Do you know what I mean?) I look to the months and years ahead and I can't imagine what it will be like. But here you are...encouraging, writing, and counting blessings, while being a bright light for Him. So thank you, Deb. I think God is showing me through your comments and through each of the other comments here on this post, that He is with me. He hasn't forgotten about me and He understands and cares.

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  11. I am so welcoming your heart hugs, Shelly! Thank you. Yes, feeling both these emotions - sorrow and joy - at the same time is an odd thing. But, I'm glad for it. If we only felt the sorrow, it would be too much. But, God is so good that He brings encouragement to us in many forms! One wonderful way is through the love and prayers of friends both near and far. I am glad now, that I shared. I almost pulled the post out of fear, but then let it stay. My word this year is courage, so I knew I had to be brave! lol Thank you for your heart and for your compassion. I'm praying for you, too, as you face your surgery tomorrow.


    Blessings, Joan

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  12. He definitely understands and cares. I never thought it would be this long, and definitely didn't think I'd be doing well. God has given me a peace that I didn't think possible. I still pray everyday for her to return, but with God I am able to LIVE. This situation is why I titled my blog, Counting My Blessings. I wanted to hold myself accountable to watching for God's goodness in my life. And yes, I know how much it helps to know we're not alone. He is always faithful. So glad he put you in my life.

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  13. Valerie RichardsonJanuary 23, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    My beautiful heart friend. I feel like you laid out my heart on paper for me. I too am experiencing one of my biggest heartaches yet. I feel with you. I was just praying for our kids - yours and mine. Sometimes my heart hurts so bad I would like to rip it out of my chest. I think you know what I mean. I know you know. There is somehow a sweet connection that I am not alone, though I am so very very sorry you are hurting as you are, missing your beautiful daughter. I so get this. I love you. Thanks for being brave, for being vulnerable. It's a huge gift for me today. oxox

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  14. Oh Valerie, I am keeping you in my prayers! As I posted this, my thoughts went to you and what you are going through. This kind of hurt and rejection is a terrible thing. But, we are not alone, are we? Besides other moms out there who are joining us in prayer, we have a compassionate and loving God who is right beside us, deflecting the greatest blows. I heard something the other day that helps. A lovely lady was sharing part of her testimony and she said that God is like a punching bag. Sounds odd, doesn't it? But what she meant was, He is the padding that is in between us and the most painful hurts. She used the example of going to the gym with her son and of him asking her to hold the bag for him. As she did, he punched the bag as hard as he could during his work out. She could still feel the impact of the hits and the sting on her hands, but she was protected from the full impact of the blow. I'm thinking about that now and am so thankful that God is standing in between us and the blows that are coming at us. I can't imagine going through this without Him...I wouldn't want to go through this without Him. He is our comfort and strength!


    I love you dear friend!


    Love, Joan

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  15. Deborah in EnglandJanuary 23, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Thank you for your honesty and courage, sharing your situation and the raw emotion you are feeling. Isaiah 40 v 11-12 says "He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart. He gently leads those that have young." Praying that our Heavenly Father would gather your daughter and her children in his arms and carry them close to his heart, and that he would gently lead you and your husband at this time, through this valley. Be encouraged, you are not alone, and God is able, and God is with you , your life is in His presence and He is good. He is your comforter and will strengthen you. Tears, love and prayers for you and your family. Love Deborah x

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  16. I am so thankful for God's comforting hands as my husband and I go through this time. I can't imagine trying to handle this without Him...it would be impossible! God is supplying such strength and comfort. I'm feeling better than I was yesterday when I let it all out in my post, and I know it is because of God working through the kindness from people to pray and leave such encouraging comments! Thank you so much for your prayers!


    Blessings, Joan

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  17. Oh Joan, thank you. Thank you for sharing your pain and hurt. I think there are far too many writers out there who hold back, for fear that they will not be liked or welcomed. But you, my friend, have given me courage to face my own pain. I pray for you and your daughter often. I know that God has His hand upon her and I am trusting and believing that in due time she will return to Him and to you and your family. Nothing will ever be able to separate her from His love and there will come a day where she will choose Him again. Hugs!

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  18. Hi Barbie! It is so hard to be vulnerable. But today, I have been so blessed by the encouragement that people have given me. God is good and I am trusting Him for His plan. I know that He knows what is best in this situation and is already working out the details! Thank you for your prayers and friendship!


    Love, Joan

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  19. Joan-Oh how my heart winged it's way across the ocean to embrace yours. No one can say"I know what you're feeling"- not at all- but I have experienced a daughter's rejection, and know that pain that causes- I have been in some deep grief recently because my daughter said to me " I don't need you in my life". Joan- I will pray for you- people are praying for me and I know it is helping. I pray that all your readers will also pray for you. When I feel as you do I say to my friends- I need my Aaron and my Hur- they held up Moses's arms when he got tired- and we need people to lift us up when we have become exhausted by the trauma of it all.
    May God pour out His comfort and His strength upon you until you are restored to your usual cheerful self once more, how ever long that takes.
    Allow yourself time to grieve.
    God told me once that I couldn't feel JOY again until I acknowledged the depth of my pain- which is what you have done right here- so you've taken one giant leap on the road to recovery, whatever that might look like.
    so much love coming your way.xxxx
    Mary, New Zealand

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  20. Thank you for your words of comfort and your prayers. Rejection is a terrible thing, especially when it comes from someone we love. I'm so sorry you have experienced it, too. But, our God is bigger than this, isn't He? I am so thankful for the people He has brought into my life, both in person and across the internet, who have spoken words of encouragement and love. God is leading me toward healing and I am looking to Him!


    Blessings, Joan

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  21. I'm so glad you shared your pain with us, Joan. I can't imagine the depth of your hurt. :( I'm sorry for all you've been through, and I pray that one day there will be total reconciliation with your daughter. Try to be gentle with yourself in the meantime and know that you are loved.

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  22. Thank you, Lisa! I'm glad I let it out. I think God knew I was going to burst if I didn't! I feel so much better today. The pain is still there, but I can feel God's healing touch through the encouragement of this wonderful community of friends!

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  23. Joan, I want to jump through this computer and cry and pray with you. Sending you big hugs from Florida. I firmly believe in the powers of a mama's prayer to move mountains.

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  24. I had no idea my sweet friend. My heart aches while sitting here reading your heart. I want to send a great big hug through the screen to you. Praying for you, your husband, daughter, and grandchildren. Love you.

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  25. Caryn Jenkins ChristensenFebruary 1, 2014 at 7:36 AM

    Sitting here in a puddle of tears. I can relate to that exact pain Joan. My eldest daughter left home just days after she graduated high school and turned 18. And our relationship has been tumultuous and tenuous ever since. There are so many times I miss the little things that you spoke of above...the things that never were, like having our nails done and laughing (or crying) over coffee and dessert. I miss not celebrating. I miss not being able to participate in going off to college, marrying, having babies, etc. because she hasn't done any of these things. I've had to swallow hard when people talked about their kids and my Better Half and I stood silent. I so get this. Especially this..."I miss the time she told me that she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart...I'm hanging onto that one."
    You keep hanging on Mama. You keep believing in Jesus, who formed your daughter in your womb and has her inscribed upon the palm of His hand. You keep asking him to take her heart of stone and make it a heart of flesh.
    Thank you for being so vulnerable. May the God of all HOPE bring you comfort while you wait on His perfect timing in restoring your daughter's heart.

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  26. Oh, thank you so much, Caryn! I miss so many things, but I'm also taking such comfort in God's promises! She may have turned her back on God and on us now, but I know God is working on her somehow. This is part of her journey. Though it is incredibly painful to not have her in our life, I am trusting that God is watching over her...loving her, shaping her and drawing her back to Him.

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  27. Joan, wow. On so many levels, wow. Because I hear ya, I relate to all of this. {hugs}

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  28. Thank you, Tammy! And thank you for taking the time to come over here and visit my blog. I saw the link to your blog on FB and am going to go check it out, too! Blessings to you and I'm looking forward to getting to know you!

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