You know, God is always with you. Even when you are not seeking Him, he is there.
But, still, I wish I could have been home with you more. I feel often that I failed to protect you and keep you safe. You were only 10 when I left home to attend University of Illinois; but, I really left much sooner. Any chance to get away from that apartment, I took it. I went to Aunt Brenda's. I went to Grandma's. I stayed with friends. I often stayed with mom, too. I am still trying to figure out why it made me so uncomfortable (besides the fact that I have a strong dislike for stinky messes that our brothers rarely helped me to clean when I couldn't take it any more).
Knowing God. I am still getting to know Him. I pray to Him much, much more.
It is amazing to me that after going to church so much (often 4x/week or more!) and hearing dad speak and being part of it all, I never felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. I never learned to trust Him. I never learned to thank Him for everything. I felt very separate from it all. I don't know why.
But, I am grateful for the "God-sized" journey I am on, which I believe ends beautifully for us all.
It wasn't until I started seeking Him that I started really feeling Him. Knowing Him. Getting to know Him. I pray when I don't know if I should put down the baby. I pray before I react to something upsetting (OK, I try to remember to pray...it's just a tiny space I have to remember to see). I pray to decide what the most important task is at the moment (always a juggle, less of a struggle when I pray).
I pray to thank Him.
I started a list. A list of gifts. Things for which I am thankful. Inspired by studying the book, "1000 Gifts", by Ann Voskamp. I like looking for things for which I can thank Him. I am still learning to thank Him for everything...even the hard stuff. Like, growing up with so much anxiety.
In our house, I hated that I did not feel safe. When I was working, I learned that "harassment" is defined as anything that "creates a hostile environment". I would say what should have been the safest place in the world was really a "hostile environment". I guess that is one of the reasons I kept trying to get away. But, that was before the eventual divorce, before dad got that apartment...
I pray to thank Him. Everything that led me here is why I lead this life today. I feel it all. I feel forgiveness. I feel love. I feel truth. No more numbing--No more lies. No more pretending I am someone else with a "normal" life. No more hiding. No more hostile environment. No more stealing. No more overspending. No more drinking. No more drugs. No more.
I pray to thank Him.