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"Wendy Redroad is our go-to girl on the topic of forgiveness. She shares a powerful journey intertwining healing and forgiveness for women who've suffered all manner of abuse. She is relatable, compassionate, and biblically sound in her approach as she takes women by the hand and gently walks them through their own journey to healing and freedom."

--Carrie Gurley [Executive Director] Valiant Hearts

 

 

 

 

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Click the heart to sponsor my service work at Valiant Hearts throughout the month of October. In their weekly support group, I will offer practical steps to overcoming the effects of childhood sexual abuse. For more information about this organization, visit www.valianthearts.org

 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 7:23 PM

1, 2, 3, 4, Acceptance (Part 2)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 7:23 PM
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 7:23 PM

Last week, I wrapped with plans to expand on the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. (If you missed it, scroll down--it's beneath this one.)

Here's my personal take on said stages during the first year of my divorce. True to form, they're twisted and yet, truthful:

  1. Denial. Anger expressed over trivial things because I was devastated by the minimization of the major things.

  2. Anger. Outward expressions (aka meltdowns) of the inward pain caused by the ex-hub's blatant disrespect for me and the female gender.

  3. Bargaining. This was my "anger management" phase where like Esau in Genesis 27, I consoled myself with the thought of murder.

  4. Depression. In this stage I conceded as to just how vulnerable a position I allowed myself to be in when I got "hosed," which included a parallel phase replete with rhetorical questions such as: Why did I eat, drink, smoke (nothing illegal), or text that? Followed by the tearful prayer: Jesus, please forgive me.
    I refer to this stage as "downward dog depression." (Google yoga position: Downward Dog for hilarious and highly inappropriate visual.)
     
  5. Acceptance. I resolved to be angry about what happened. I refused to allow the enemy's version of anger to define me, and I sought God for His expression of righteous anger. (Baby girl, this is where new life begins. If you've been "hosed," if you do not yet have control over your anger, take heart. In the arms of All Mighty God, you will. You will, because it's HIS will.) 
Well, there it is, folks. Anger was a staple emotion in every stage of grief for this bible-study girl gone wild with emotion. But you know what I've learned through this experience (still learning)?
It's okay to be that angry. God's big, and He can take it. I learned that He was angry, too.
There's a bible verse in Ephesians that I didn't fully understand until I came face to face with more anger than I ever thought any one human being could feel over betrayal.
In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the enemy a foothold (4: 26-27).
I'd been taught in church not to go to bed angry. To move through anger quickly. But for me, this passage means something entirely different now. My Savior is my Light. When I stopped trying to let go of the anger and instead allowed the Light to hold me--angry me, I began to trust that one day, the sun would set on my personal anger (which often felt like a curse) and give rise to a bright cause.
The take away for me is, "Don't be angry in the dark. Be angry in the Light."
The following is an excerpt from The Betrayl Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relatioinships, by Partrick Carnes, PH. D.

"Healthy anger expresses limitations--i.e., what is acceptable and what is not. Blaming anger recycles the history of betrayal and all the intense feelings that are a part of a trauma bond."
 
Angry? You can trust Jesus with your anger. Ask Him what He has to say about it. You're greatest challenge may not be to let go of anger by sun-set, but rather to use it righteously in order to express limitations on behavior you know is unacceptable because the word of God tells you so AND let go of the "blaming anger" that is fueled in the dark, where half-truths and  omission of truth can deceive and therefore, keep a bible-study girl in bondage.  
The truth that sets us free requires honesty and conduct that reflects our belief in God--not merely with words, by also in deed.   
You are not alone,
Wendy 
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 3:44 PM

1, 2, 3, 4, Acceptance (Part 1)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 3:44 PM
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 3:44 PM

Healing from the death of a relationship due to betrayal is a journey through grief and toward wholeness. There's nothing overnight about it. Today, I offer a refresher on the five stages of grief in contrast to Jack Donaghy's take on them. Jack Donaghy was a character on 30 ROCK, a television series I hold in higher regard than chocolate because the writing is twisted, and therefore, sweeter than candy for someone like me.

 

The five stages of grief, according to The Kubler-Ross model, are

  1. denial.
  2. anger
  3. bargaining.
  4. depression.
  5. acceptance.

The five stages of grief according to Jack Donaghy are

  1. denial.
  2. anger.
  3. bargaining.
  4. depression.
  5. shoving down emotions and proceeding as if everything's fine.

 

In my own journey to healing, I've discovered there's validity to Jack's wise-crackin' version of #5. The reason why is because living in acceptance requires of me, the willingness to face more and more truth as God reveals it. And to this day, sometimes the truth I'm faced with is painful . . . still.

Today, when more truth is revealed, I pause. (Except on the days when I don't and then I'm snarky to him on the phone. Hey--I'm just being honest.) If I'm able to set a little time aside to acknowledge how I feel about it to God, I do. If it's not an appropriate time or place, I make time later in the day. (And on the days when I've blown it, I talk to Him about that.)

The point is, it's easier than it was even three months ago. Now a days, I give myself permission to cry and even miss what I thought I had with a man it turns out I only thought I knew. Taking a moment to acknowledge this--even cry over it, is the mark of acceptance--not the mark of wanting him back. And who knew, even the not wanting him back hurts at times.

Here's what I mean: Sometimes grocery shopping still makes me sad because I loved cooking for my family. I loved setting the table every night and being asked what we're having for dessert. I loved my family. So when I'm sad, I load my groceries and take a few minutes to cry in the parking lot. And then I drive home, where I'm love-bombed by two labs who will love me until death.

Zach and I no longer eat dinner at the table EVERY night. But every night he practice-drives us to the school play ground so our dogs can run. And sometimes we sit on the swings and talk. Other times, he taunts me by shadowing me as walk-jog the field.

And yes, this single mother is guilty of occasionally schlepping dinner upstairs and watching 3 episodes of That 70's show on netflix.

Life goes on. And I, for one, am going with it! Rain or shine. All things new.

Where are you in the stages of grief? Remember, they often vary in order and intensity. FYI: A sure sign of stuffing emotion is a sudden eruption of emotion.

And who better to describe this scenario than Jack Donaghy:

Milton: Before I go, I think we should talk about the other day.

Jack Donaghy: Miton, the Donaghy's do not talk. We let things fester until they erupt in inappropriate anger, preferably at a wedding or an elementary school graduation.

I hope you got a chuckle out of that. If not, stick to chocolate. :) Next Tuesday I'll give my personal spiel on these five stages and how they unfolded the first year of divorce--ever in the care of Unfailing Love. 

You are not alone,

Wendy

 

 

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