Breaking Statistics

Are you a social statistic?

Meaning…

Are you a product of your childhood?

Have you simply became who you are because of the environment of those around you?

OR

Have you became who you are despite the environment you may have been in?

For me, and for my husband, there is a defining difference.

Despite our childhood, we have chosen a better path.

I reflect back to a high school social study class I was taking.
By the statistics shared, I didn’t have a chance as far as becoming a decent person in society.
I remember being offended that my destiny was already defined for me.
By the mistakes and harms of people in my past, I was already condemned.

My family is choosing to break statistics.

Statistics that my husband and I are not only breaking, but shattering…

Childhood abuse:

Physical, Sexual, Verbal, & Emotional…
between my husband and myself, these are the core ones we were faced with as a child;
2 that I dealt with, 2 that my husband dealt with.

The harm produced in our own lives helped us to develop an empathy for such tragic things.
We know the fears, insecurities, anger, & hopelessness these abuses can create.
We also know the answer lies within knowing who Jesus Christ is!
His unconditional love can and will heal all things…in His timing.

So what can we do?
Reach out and love others, just as Christ loves us.

To love… on our moms.
Despite the poor choices they made for themselves when they were younger that unfortunately impacted us, they deserve compassion and understanding.  One needs to look into their childhood to better understand why they made the choices they did (that whole statistic thing ya know).  For us, we have to recognize that Christ was not in their lives, that they didn’t feel loved; that at the time, they did the best they could in the situation they found themselves in.
They already know the mistakes they’ve made; what they don’t know is the strength they had to get through it.
What they need to know is that we very much know how much they loved us despite the circumstance.

To love… on our kids.
This has been a gift for us.  6 amazing kids.
Parenting is a journey,
and I don’t care how many parenting books there are out there,
you get to write your own as you go.
What do you want the pages to say?
In the beginning, we all start out fairly clueless,
and honestly?  We grow alongside our children.

If I were to give one piece of parental advice, it would be…
COMMUNICATION.
Let your kids know why your no is no,
let them know why you reacted as harshly as you may have,
let them tell you how they are feeling,
let them have emotions, teaching them all the while that there is a proper way to handle them.
Let them know they are not perfect, that we are not perfect,
but that there is One who is perfect who loves us unconditionally.

To love… all children.
We have a heart for kids.  What can I say?  They are unique, beautiful beings.
Kids of all ages need to be heard, need to feel wanted, need to be loved.
God cares, they matter, and we intend to give them that message.

To love… the elderly.
There’s a lot to learn from the elderly,
it is only wise to hear what they have to say.
There’s a dignity that adds to the value of life
when we treasure those who have gone before us in this journey called life.

To love… the special needs, the disabled, the ill.
Not to lump everyone into one category,
because they are all unique as specific individuals.
My intent is to draw attention to them for what they offer.
Often you will find beauty, grace, courage in those loved ones who face challenges in things we take for granted.

To love… the lost.
Of course, as a Christ follower, this has a specific meaning,
in which Christ himself says to love your neighbor.
To share hope, to spread joy, to live by faith…
simple ways to live His love out loud.

Marriage & Divorce Rates

I won’t even go into the detailed statistics I read that would apply to me,
but I will share the obvious… both my husband and I were raised in broken homes.
Not just divorce, but multiple divorces in each of our childhoods.
The odds of us getting married and then staying married, I think has surprised a few people.
Me?  I am just grateful.  Grateful that the man I love is still with me.
Thankful that grace covers a multitude of flaws, in both of us.
But mostly, I appreciate that our relationship shares an example of how families can work through tough stuff and that through Christ, all things are possible.

Addictions

Children of addicted parents are the highest risk group of children to become alcohol and drug abusers due to both genetic and family environment factors.
Well, my dad was a drug addict.  My 1st step-dad was an alcoholic.
My husband?  His family has heavy drinkers abundantly in his family genetics; both maternal and paternal.

And honestly?  We’ve each had to face our own types of addictions early on, with hiccups along the way, but at some point a decision is made.  Do we repeat the insanity, or choose a way out?  Did you know God provides a way out of our temptations?  It is not meant to be an easy choice, but rather a faithful one.

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability,
but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Christian kids; Adult faith

Our journey is far from over in the parenting field.  We still have a vast range of ages (although we have past the baby stage 25 yrs into this parenting thing).  One critical thing close to a Christian parents heart is their child’s faith.    We get the honor of nurturing our children in God’s grace, guiding by the Holy Spirit as we go; however, when it all comes down to it, their relationship with Christ is a very personal one.

We can teach them truth, and doctrine, and moral values, and about His amazing love,
but when it comes right down to it?  It is their choice.
A relationship with Christ is personal.
As they become young adults (ie teens),
it does not matter if they go to the same church as us (ie appearances),
or even if they go to church at all (building attendance does not define the heart),
but that they know what they believe and why.

Then the question of truth comes…  will you be a statistic? 
Will you choose to walk away from your faith before the age of 23?

We have one son (25) thus far who has survived and thrived this passage.  (praise Jesus)
We have one son (20) in the thick of it, still choosing to be grounded on a solid foundation. (thank God)
We have one son (17) who is entering this journey with a level head and strong conviction… (hallelujah)

but truly, only time will tell…

What statistics are you breaking?

 

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