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Reaching outside to grow.

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blakesteele posted 8/5/2014 21:53 PM

Been 2 weeks since I've been on SI. Today we leave a third world country to head back to the States. Exceptional trip!!!

I finished another Dr Henry Cloud book yesterday.

In this book he talks about the need to reach outside of ourselves in order to grow and change. The Bible also emphasizes reaching out and asking for help from God and others (fellowship).

Dr Cloud makes specific mention of "recovery groups" and "accountability partners" and "authentic friends". Which are the roles you all play in my life's journey.

As my family and I moved and lived in this third world country it occurred to me that, left unto our known ways of living (communicating, shopping, eating, moving about, etc) we would not survive. We HAD to reach out and learn new ways to live. We could not figure this out on our own!

It was uncomfortable. Trying to ask for directions without knowing the language....but recognizing when you are being mocked in a group of locals is easy to recognize! But I had to keep engaging if I were to get what we needed. I learned as I went and the mocking decreased, my confidence increased.

It costs to learn new things. I paid 10 times what I needed to for a ride to town! But I used his service and trusted he would not screw me. I had to take a taxi the next day, had to once again trust a new person...same trip was NOW paid for at the local rate. I learned, my cash flow slowed and my confidence grew.

God sometimes allows us to get into helpless situations in an effort to refine us, grow and mature us. Adultery as part of my life's journey is doing this for me. You all are helping me do the necessary things I need to do....and I am grateful for that. I desired to get out of the pit I was in....and had to reach up for help. It is painful.....but good.

Trip was well worth it. Our girls enjoyed it and jumped right into new experiences. Something to see such pain and joy in this country coexist.

Pain does not equal "no joy". Most of my life I spent avoiding pain......F my CoD pattern! 😊

Pain often is tells us something is wrong and we need to address it.

Sure is nice to have authentic friends who use 2x4's when you need them.

Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. (Proverbs 27:6 NIV)

Sure is nice to have folks support you as you heal! And that is what we mostly did on this humanitarian trip....offered love and support.

God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 10:11 PM, August 5th (Tuesday)]

MegM posted 8/5/2014 23:38 PM

A lovely and thought provoking post Blake.

I've been back around after a few months not being in SI much. Just lovely to see such a positive update from you.


blakesteele posted 8/6/2014 00:00 AM

Hi MegM....welcome back! Glad you enjoyed my post. There are times when I wish I were a part of a RL adultery recovery group to discuss what we experience. This is one of those times. The subject matter is so deep.

Your "sunshine" quote in your tag that a John Denver reference? Always enjoyed him. His songs remind us to live in the present....something that I am learning to do better. Something many people here do out of necessity.


MegM posted 8/6/2014 00:10 AM

Hi blake

Yes it is from "Sunshine on my shoulders"

It was our wedding song - after we shared our vows and signed the registry we were allowed to have a 'non-hymn' so to speak

So it represents just a you describe - my longing to remember my love for simple things and let them into my heart - to find happiness where I can during the 'darker' days.

It also represents our promises and my plea that they weren't for nothing - that we could again walk with the surety of our sacred vows.

I love his music and lyrics - although I understand he wrestled with demons was unfaithful and there were even suggestions he was an abusive husband. So sad!

That aside I love this song - During those complex dark days it is my beacon of hope for the return of simplicity.

thanks for the wb.

When I worked as a youth worker we used to talk about extending people's frame of reference so they could aspire beyond their current circumstances. Also that as people take on new experiences that a certain level of 'stress' is helpful for them to be open to learning - however once the balance tipped they could go into 'misadventure' where the quality of learning would decline rapidly - (this is a stage away from 'trauma').

I think your analogies are insightful.


FixYou71 posted 8/6/2014 00:11 AM

I agree. We are being refined by Him.
I keep hearing about Henry Cloud. I need to check out some of his stuff I guess.
Good to have you back! Glad your mission trip was successful and that your family got that experience together. Very cool.
Now for the culture shock returning. I went on a few when I was in my teens and it was so very hard to not feel spoiled when they were so poor and lived with so little.
On a side note our group was robbed by locals spewing hatred for christians toward the end of my last trip and some of us were raped (an attempt on me but I was on my period and he didnt go for that at the last possible moment...thank God) It was extremely horrifying. Nightmares for years. We were in the mountains in Jamaica way far from civilization. I remember most of that night like it was yesterday. We flew home the next day and none of our parents knew until we met at the church after our flight and had a meeting.

blakesteele posted 8/6/2014 00:41 AM

MegM.....John Denver did struggle. I feel for him AND his wife Annie. I suspect she tried to work on her marriage....I know he tried to change.

Don't know if I am sad about it though. Still working on this.......Perhaps I NOW see life more authentically. There ARE real struggles in life. For far too long I tried to "medicate" that truth away. Facing truths has proved a challenge for me. I have developed new compassion for people....John and Annie included.

(((FixYou71))). Saying a specific prayer for you now.

God us with us all.

hihn posted 8/6/2014 04:18 AM

Thank you for your post blakesteele, & thanks for the proverbs quote. Had a rough last seven days and your post made a difference for me.

blakesteele posted 8/6/2014 05:13 AM

Your welcome hihn. You continue to be on my SI specific prayer list.

Keep the faith.

bionicgal posted 8/6/2014 07:22 AM

In a lay-led service this weekend, the speaker played a John Denver song. Both Mr Bionic and I remarked on how we had forgotten how pure his voice was. It was a true pleasure.

Any time I travel I am humbled - especially if I go somewhere where the native language isn't English. (And I haven't gone too far off the beaten path - just Europe, where most people can speak English if pressed.) It is vulnerable, travel. One has to work extra hard just to get their basic needs met, (i.e. can I find a bathroom? Water? My hotel?).

Husband has floated the idea of a 2 year work-stint in a foreign country. . . I am intrigued, but China is the most likely candidate. Not sure I am ready for that. However, Germany is on the list. . .

deena04 posted 8/6/2014 07:46 AM

I am glad you had a good trip. Sometimes getting away can help slow down life a bit and help you think about things and put into perspective things we don't always do.

tired girl posted 8/6/2014 09:50 AM


Facing truths has proved a challenge for me.

Why do you think this is?

hopefull77 posted 8/6/2014 10:19 AM

Welcome back!
Acts of service are so good for the soul....
what a life lesson for all of you....
I look forward to hearing more...
Fixyou71 I am sorry for your experience
Mans inhumanity to man is oft times unexplainable
I wish you peace

blakesteele posted 8/7/2014 08:22 AM

Why do you think this is?

Simple. Some truths are painful. I don't like pain.

The truth that my "sex talk" with parents is actually sex abuse is painful.

The truths that surround my use of porn are painful.

The truths that are associated with my wife's affair are painful.

The list goes on.

I have made a habit of avoiding painful truths part of my life for 3 decades.

I am learning new habits and skills.

God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 10:18 AM, August 7th (Thursday)]

blakesteele posted 8/7/2014 09:02 AM

Also facing truths rolls into acceptance....which then allows growing through and past painful events. I NOW see real value in it, and the futility of my old habits patterns and coping skills. Doing so is healthy....but exhausting, because I have to learn new ways of processing life. I seeking guidance on how to do that through therapy, spiritual growth, reading, and fellowship (RL and SI).

It's exhausting, scary and often reveals even more pain.....but it is what needs to happen so that I can break my part of unhealthy relationship cycles.

God is with us all.

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