Monday, April 7, 2008

Fighting the good fight.

I was privileged to be able to listen to some beautiful messages from our church leadership this weekend. Two in particular stood out to me - One on motherhood given by Elder Ballard and one on overcoming abuse, given by Elder Scott.

I've been reflecting on those words over the weekend, and I thought I would share. Once these talks are available online, I'm going to post them on my blog so you can read the full scoop.

Elder Scott spoke of abuse, all kinds, but mainly sexual abuse. His comments were directed mainly towards the ability to heal fully, through the power of the Atonement, provided to each of us in Christ. This...... This I fully agree with. I also felt satisfied in his realization in how mountainous this burden is to many, including myself. While I realize that full healing is attainable, the amount of work that it will take to achieve that goal is such a large task, I cannot even begin to express. I can only speak for myself, but it is some thing I have been working towards for years - and would imagine that I will continue to work on for years to come. I know the Lord is capable of stirring with in me a healing that in unimaginable, and I have felt that process in my life for years.

What struck me also about Elder Scott's words, was how clearly and beautifully he was able to describe the war with the adversary that takes place with in my soul. Never have I EVER felt such a war waged with in myself concerning breaking the cycle of abuse in my home, in my own life. I can truly say that it is the fight of my life. Not a single moment passes that I am not thinking about the choices I am making. Not a moment passes that I am not aware of my triumphs and failures. I cannot express the amount of self awareness and self control it takes to constantly be reminding myself of the woman I should be, the mother I want to be. The task is daunting, the task limitless.

The strongest words of encouragement I can give to any one in my shoes, and to myself, is to continue on to wage the war. Continue on to fight the good fight. Repent, and repent often. Mess up? Try again? Fall short? Stand back up, make it right, and keeping fighting. I often wonder if during this life time will I be able to mother in such a way that causes little distress to my children? Often times I find myself quick to anger, sharp in my words, hurtful or unrealistic in my approach to parenting, yet my mind is quick to remind me of the truth that lies deep with in me. I am fortunate to being able to speak to my children about my struggle with in. We have sobbed together, held each other, and promised to keep on towards the goal of a better tomorrow. They are loved. They are content. They are happy, excited, and valued in and for their lives. I truly wish that my children should never fear me, yet they see me fight often to stay in control, watch me hold my tongue, force myself to not yell, watch me walk away. They are witness to the battle that lies with in, and how hard I fight to make their lives safe and secure, some thing I never had, yet still long for. Some days I'm proud of my progress, some days I am miserable when I regress. Nothing has exhausted me more.

I wish with my whole heart that my effort is good enough. I truly can say that I cannot do more. I plead that my effort is worthy, that my children forgive me for my short comings, yet I am quick to make any wrong right. There is promise of a bright future ahead, and with the reminder that I am progressing with all that I am, I have to believe my family will triumph in the end. We will beat down the adversary with every chain we break, ever step of progress that is stepped, some times crawled in my home. The war wages on, and this one... this war, I am assured I will win.

14 comments:

Are You Serious! said...

♥ Those talks where really good! I find myself doing some of the same things as you! Being harsh in my words, quick to anger & hurtful or unrealistic in my parenting! I find somedays of course are easier for me than others. I'm not sure why I lash out or why one thing will irritate me more than another! I like what you said about being quick to make things right and repenting quickly! Very good insight! THanks

Trish said...

I was abused as a child too, verbally and physically but NOTHING, NOTHING like what you have endured. Butt I have had some of your same inner wars and there are many times that I have wanted to crack (and have cracked) under the pressures of parenting. But the real truth is that you are golden inside, and if you do whatever you can do to find that gold and pass it on as often as you can with out expecting yourself to be perfect, you will survive, your family will survive and you will not pass on what you had to endure.

I read this passage from Romans 12:17-21 when I am tempted..

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"says the Lord.
On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Misty said...

Trish. It is those times where I "crack" that I feel the most sorrow for. I wish, wish with all of my being that I could be perfect in this road that I walk. For those times, those are the times when I talk to the children, and we share, and we heal..... it's those times that I remember how far I've come, and how far I have to go, but by the grace of God am improving day after day..... The "cracking" lessons and lessons, and we move on and forward.... but it pains me so... it pains me to cause grief to my children, even it is, by far, incredibly less then I endured..... and it's all of the many times I get it right, and keep the magic and love alive, that bridges the gap between the two..... and thank you, from the bottom of my heart for your open and candid honesty. It helps me more then any thing to not feel alone and worthless in my errors. Love, Misty

Kami said...

What a great picture for you banner, so fitting and it evokes much emotion in me. Both happy and sorrowful.

Life is a journey, not a destination and the fight you fight? It's the same. There will be peaks and valleys. But you pull yourself up each and every time and for that you should hold your head up high.

:-)

just jamie said...

Misty,

Just want you to know I am here. There's nothing I can say that you didn't already just say, perfectly.

The world is lucky to have YOU.

Jamie

Ashley said...

This was such a wonderful conference. I really felt the spirit so strong hearing the new Prophet of the church speak. I feel that conference talks are like the scriptures, they always seem to answer and address things I am pondering or questioning. We are so lucky to be able to listen to and read them.

I think you are doing a great job, but I understand how you feel. It is hard to be a super mom because you never get to go home at night or take the weekend off! It is a true full time job. At times the good, the bad, and the ugly rear themselves. We just have to keep going and vowing to be and do better. That is all that is required of us. Striving for perfection, not being there yet.

Klin said...

Misty and Trish-
As we overcome our abuse and make every attempt to break the chain we are doing our children a great service. True healing is attainable. During the process you will do things that you hate. The things that you hated about what was said to you and done to you.

The good news is that you can go to your children, apologize, and then do it the way you want. Children do not need perfect parents. They need good enough parents. Good enough parents make mistakes and then say, "I'm sorry" and then show their kids how to do it the right way. Good enough parents are brave enough to admit to their children that they are human and make mistakes.

You are a good enough parent. Go easy on yourself.

Misty said...

Klin - This is why I felt it was meant to be that I see your son's truck in our home town, and through some crazy blessing find you - - a therapist - - online, with a blog of her own.

Your knowledge and know-how is fantastic, and what you expressed to me through this comment is JUST WHAT I needed to hear.....

I cannot express what a blessing it is to me, to have found you.

That is one thing I feel like I have done well..... the apologizing, the communicating with my children. Early on, if I did wrong by my babes, we would talk about it. I would ask for their forgiveness, apologize. I explained that my bad choices have nothing to do with them.... it's some thing I own, some thing I am having to learn, and I then explain how my choice was wrong and what I want to do differently.

What grieves me though, is to know I have hurt who I love the most. And I truly understand that it is part of the process, but I HATE to hurt my babies. I know first hand how that hurt effected me. I also know what I am doing to make it right for my children which WAS never done for me. How freely my little ones forgive and forget, and then... we move on... and keep on keepin' on.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the good "talking to".... that is JUST what I needed tonight.

utmommy said...

That was a wonderful talk. I loved it. Keep fighting that war. You are doing an amazing job overcoming all you have been through. I can't even begin to imagine all that you've been through.

Your kids are so lucky to have a mom like you.

LaskiGal said...

That fight you fight, makes this possible . . .

"They are loved. They are content. They are happy, excited, and valued in and for their lives."

"I also know what I am doing to make it right for my children which WAS never done for me. How freely my little ones forgive and forget, and then... we move on... and keep on keepin' on." You SO get what many other parents NEVER, EVER do . . .

Misty, you are one amazing mom and one very amazing woman.

linda said...

Misty...Klin said it perfectly!

And even for those of us that didn't have the severe struggles of childhood like you and many others out there experienced...us moms are all doing the same things and asking for our children's forgiveness too. It's just part of being a mom. We're not perfect...and our kids really don't expect us to be. They just want to feel connected to us and to feel our love...and that my sweet friend, your children feel!

Lynell said...

Thank you for your heartfelt words. I appreciate your openness. I may not have the same battles as you. But I am definately in the war! Every day we all have to strap on that armour and wake up ready to fight! The natural man is an enemy to God. Well so is the natural mommy.

Marie said...

I found all the talks from conference uplifting and inspiring. I was thrilled to find your page from a comment you left on Lynell's page. I have been a member of the church for roughly the same length of time that you have. Joining the church was a journey that took me over 30 years and having the strengh to break away from an emotionally and mentally abusive husband. Sadly I lost my children and home in the battle, but I gained so much more. I know that the Saviour said that blessed are those that had to give up home and family to follow him, and that does give me comfort at times, but then there are other times when my heart breaks because of it. Nevertheless, I love the Gospel and I love this church. I am blessed daily because of it. Happy to find your page!

Amy said...

Misty,

Please forgive me. I never added your new url to my google-reader. Sorry about that and thanks for the email.

You are amazingly strong, and I admire your courage and perseverance.

Best,
Amy