Christ-centered, biblical counsel

Lindsey - posted on 12/16/2008 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Hi moms, I'm seeking counsel on a family situation. My parents are divorcing. I have a brother (28, engaged) and a sister (27, married w/ two kids under 3yr). The three of us and our families are strong in our faith and seek God's will for our lives and His direction, wisdom and presence in ALL situations. My father had an affair and is the petitioner in the divorce. My mother did everything she could do to keep him. They share a business together, were divorced and remarried when I was an infant, and neither of them are walking in the truth. My mother had ovarian cancer a few years ago, had a hysterectomy, and went through chemo. She now has breast cancer. Our family has faith in alternative treatments and has seen success with them. As a result, traditional treatment (chemo, radiation, surgery) is not an option for my mom. She attends church with the three of us and our families, but appears to not think any of the messages apply to her because of the pain she's in. I feel as though her children have become her idols. She invited us to spend Christmas Eve with her even though she knew that's the time we have spent with my father's family. She's unwillingly to do it any other time and when I made the suggestion, she lost control, began to cry and clean her house destructively. She's very emotional and continues to tell us that we "cannot possibly understand what she's going through" and we "just don't get it" or we wouldn't want anything to do with my dad or his family. She's REALLY not herself and we're concerned about her. We're all (her three kids and our families) seeking Godly counsel from our pastor, elders, bible studies, and trusted friends we know are in God's word.

I guess I don't know exactly what I'm asking...perhaps affirmation. But I think part of it is that I just want to know that I'm not missing something or not blatantly living outside of God's commands. I'm sorry this got long - it's even more complicated than I included. Got anything?

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Bethina - posted on 01/02/2009

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Lindsey- I totally understand what you and your family are going through. My parents got divorced my senior year in high school and it changes your life. I have started writing this a couple of times already and still don't know what to say. Your family sounds a lot like mine. In pain and looking for what to do and how to do it My parents were opposite of yours: my mom wanted the divorce and my dad didn't. They were both Christians but they took different approaches to dealing with their pain. My dad clung to God and my mom excused what she was doing. That was ten years ago. I have seen God change me and my younger sister in our attitudes and actions towards my mom. I took my pain anger and bitterness to Him and He helps me through my daily encounters with my mom even now. I know that God is using me to be a witness of Him for my mom to see. Have hope. He can do that for you too. I would love to talk with you if you want a shoulder to cry on or any specifics of what Gods done for me. Its really hard for me to give generalizations without an eight paragraph note, so send me a message or call me anytime. I'm available. Bethina 970-946-3215

Mandy - posted on 12/19/2008

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I'm so sorry you have to go through this! I will be praying for you and your family as you all work through this. God has a plan for all of you. Rest in Him.

Lindsey - posted on 12/18/2008

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I thank each of you for your words of wisdom and compassion. I'm so grateful for a community like this that encourages each other in our walks with Christ, no matter what our current circumstances are, no matter what our current struggles are. You've each blessed me and my family with your prayers and your attention to our needs. My brother, sister and I are attending my mom's counseling session with her tomorrow afternoon. Laura, she has been seeing this counselor for a while and I do believe she has been prescribed a medication for depression. She was scared for some time to investigate the possibility of depression, I think because of the label, but she is getting help for it now. Joy, your post was both freeing and difficult to read. We are continuing to remind ourselves that we didn't cause these feelings or behaviors in my mom. I admire your strength and perseverance for having endured your family separation for such a long time. You're absolutely right, we are to focus on our husbands and families immediately after Jesus. And love, love, love. You've all communicated gentleness and love and prayer. It's all so important and I assure you that each of those things will be my goals while seeking the Lord and His will. Thank you. I appreciate your words more than I can find a way to say.

Amber - posted on 12/18/2008

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As much as we want to make our parents see the TRUTH, we can't. Admit to your mom that she is right, you don't know exactly what she is going through. Ask her about it, sit down and ask her what she is afraid of. Give her time to be honest with you, and then ask if you can pray with her about it. Make it simple and remind her that you are praying often for her and her concerns. Remember, she feels like she is losing everything, her husband, her children(even though it's not true), and now her life. I pray for you as I write this that God will speak to her heart and yours.

Nikki - posted on 12/18/2008

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Hi Lindsey,

I wish I had a cure all end all for you but of course I don't. I do have a verse that I read this morning and would like to share it with you. It's Proverbs 11:28- He who trusts in his riches will fall but the righteous will flourish like foliage. Honestly as I write that I'm thinking, how in the world will that help her...but I just feel the Lord telling me to share that with you. Be assured that you and your family are in my prayers today. May God richly bless you in tangible ways. With love and prayers, Nikki G.

Melinda - posted on 12/17/2008

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Well first of all I think that your mom is going through more pain than anyone can understand except Jesus and until she realizes that He is the only person she can lean on she is going to search for peace and not find it. She is holding onto her kids because she feels like that's all she has lest and the reason the Christmas Eve thing is so important is because she is trying to make you decide between her and the man that had an affair. She isn't looking at him as the father of her children but as the man who broke her heart and probably never got over it. I think you still need to spend time with your dad and explain to her that this is a traditoin that you have always kept and that you would still spend plenty of time with her in Christmas. Tell her that you love her and understand and try to be reassuring because I think she is very fragile right now. She may even feel that her kids are betraying her and that they don't love her as much as their dad. Sometimes people can't help how they feel even if it doesn't make sense. Talk with her gently and pray that God will intervien.

Laura - posted on 12/17/2008

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Wow! Your mom sure has had a LOT to deal with and it sounds as if she is not dealing so well. By the things you said, I am wondering if she could be depressed. Some of the ways she is acting sounds familiar to me, though the person acting like this has not been officially declared depressed (working on getting her some help...). I would suggest that you start in prayer. Then try to get her some help, if you think depression COULD be a possibility. You might have to trick her into going. But whatever you decide, PRAY!! That will be something you must NOT leave out of it.

Laura H...

Keely - posted on 12/17/2008

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wow, dont know what to say except i will be praying for you and your family. Also dont forget the power of prayer and fasting. God will never leave you or your family. trust in him and lean on him. Please dont try to bear this all on your own. I went through a rough sitch in my family as a teen and let myself hate my father for what he did(affair). Mom and dad are still together, but it was not with out alot of prayer and counsling. Anyways, i am praying for you and i can understand a lil of what you are going through.

Joy - posted on 12/16/2008

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My parents divorced when I was 8, and my mother started a campaign to cause me to hate my father - which suceeded. Then when I was pregnant with my 2nd child, my husband and I finally found my dad so we could get to know him and obey God by honoring both my father and mother. Because of this, my mom legally disowned me, but through the next 35 years, we persistently loved them both, and had them share in our children's growing-up years as much as possible. My mom died last year of cancer, and, in the last 4 years, without her saying a word or admitting anything, we developed the sweetest relationship possible. God's unconditional love had the victory. I guess with you, I'd say that God wants us to leave and cleave to our husbands, and, even though your mom is going through such a hard time, she must still understand her place in your marriage and back off. She feels abandoned, but God is allowing this in her life so she will run to Him as her husband (as Psalms says). You married children can't be her substitute support to the extent that she seems to want. She says you don't understand, but the Great "I AM" does. He is her best friend and comfort - you can't be that for her. You can't let Satan use her problems to "divide-and-conquer" you and your husband. It's easy to accept the guilt she's trying to lay on you, but you can't let it steal your joy. It's almost impossible humanly, because you do love your mom, but with God, all things are possible. Sometimes we, sadly, have to step back and watch natural consequences take over - and who knows, if that is what God will use to bring her to Him?

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