Saturday, 19 January 2008

MY STORY Chapter 15 - Family Matters and More

During the time that we were not involved in any organised fellowship and were very much on our own, some difficult family events took place. My Mother who had suffered serious bouts of depression involving hospitalisation over the years became very ill again. She had all kinds of treatment including Electroconvulsive Therapy but she did not improve. I think she had finally given up, life had become too much for her and she was hospitalised again and became an in-patient. During this time my Father again could not manage without my Mother and this time instead of losing his memory, he tried unsuccessfully to take his own life, so on every level life was difficult. I lived 250 miles away and it was not an option taking my children to stay in view of past traumatic events.When I visited the hospital my Father would walk out of the ward.

After two years in hospital with only the occasional weekend at home my Mother decided one day to leave, in the middle of winter dressed only in flimsy clothes, and made her way home 15 miles away. My Father was out so my Mother sat on the doorstep until he came home. By this time she was suffering from Hypothermia and much against her wishes had to be readmitted to hospital. In view of what she had done, she was placed in a locked room.

This so traumatised her that after a few days she pleaded to go home, and with the agreement of the medical staff, my Father took her home. Two days later I got a phone call in the middle of the night to say she had passed away. My Father was traumatised and in his grief and guilt blamed me for her death, accusing me of not being there when she died and berated me for moving from the north of England to the south when I married. This continued throughout the funeral and from then on whenever I phoned it was to listen to constant accusation. In some way he was trying to assuage his own guilt. He was a very unhappy man and who knows what disappointments and issues in his past had turned him into the man he became. All I could do was pray for him knowing that God was his only answer. Emotionally I felt distraught, bursting into tears when least expected, but I knew that nothing had changed in my spirit and I still knew that God was in control of my life.

Soon after this in 1985 a missionary friend of ours asked if we could have an American lady who was visiting this country stay with us. We were due to go and stay with friends in the West Country, so instead of hosting her in our home we organised bed and breakfast for her near to where we were staying. This lady who we will call Pamela for privacy reasons was in the country linking up with contacts of an ex-missionary friend. He was an Englishman, the son-in-law of C.T.Studd, who had spent his life on the mission field and was now living in America. He had spent his ‘retirement’ years as an itinerant preacher but due to great age and ill health was no longer able to fly.


When Pamela arrived in the West Country she and I drove out into the countryside and ended up sitting in the pews of an ancient country church. We sat there for most of the afternoon chatting and found we had much in common in our spiritual journey, including our desires for the future. However when we said our goodbyes a couple of days later I had no idea the effect this meeting would have on my future life, nor the domino effect it would have for years to come. God arranges these divine appointments and my journey was about to take many more twists and turns in a way that would have been beyond my wildest dreams in the past. I was about to launch on a faith journey like never before.

16 comments:

Sharon said...

Barbara:
I found you via Melissa Michael's blog(The Inspired Room).I have bookmarked you for I want to continue reading your story of His amazing grace in your life.I am American born and bred but have ancestral roots in both England and Ireland!I love all things English and Irish.Most importantly I have seen His amazing grace in my life as well!Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated this post.My own mom had mental illness herself.Both paranoid schizophrenia and depression too I think.She'd had electro-shock therapy as well when I was a small child.Was not easy growing up with her.Thankfully she is with Jesus now as of 2001.Healed and whole.Thank you Jesus!Bless you Barbara...Sharon from Oregon

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

My dear Barbara, no writer extraordianaire has anything on you for your skill at cliffhangers! Ohhhh, I so want to read more...

God bless you as you share it with us. Is it painful still or has there been such healing that you are looking at it all from a much different place?

(I don't know why I can't seem to edit before I hit "publish..." ;>)

Betty said...

Barbara,

I continue to be amazed and enthralled with your life's journey...when I think you can't have more trauma and mystery...you do. I continue to see how God gently leads you from one seemingly hopeless situation to a higher place.....I can only imagine how you felt growing up dealing with an abusive father...I'm so glad that you can look back on your life and see the graciousness of our Heavenly Father and that you are sharing it with us.....Love, Betty

Willow said...

Those 'chance encounters' are really 'God appointments'. We never know where they are going to lead!

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

Dear, Dear Barbara, all that you have been through and have come through is just another proof of God's amazing grace. He takes care of us in ways that we can not even think of. What a Great God we have. God bless you and looking to read more of your life and God's care of it. connie from Texas

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

You are such a sweet, loving, caring person to have come through all of this. As i say, You don't always have a choice what happens to you in life, but you do have a choice in how you react to it.

Mob said...

Hi Barbara,
What an awful thing for your father to put you through. I do agree that God puts people in our lives that cross our path for a reason.
Paula

Isobel said...

Dear Barbara,

If you don't mind me asking, have you ever thought of writing a book of your biography? I think it would be such a inspiration find to many people out there. Your stories are so amazing and full of faith! I love to read them.
Hope you are having a great weekend.
x

Jeanne said...

I love your stories...........
We all have a story to tell do we want my lovely friend?
God bless you and yours...........
Love and hugs

A Woman Who is: said...

Rats! I can't take reading this in parts:]

It is like the show 24. I can't stand to watch it one episode at a time. I have to wait till the season is over than watch it on DVD. At least 3-4 episodes at a time....

Seriously, it is very precious for you to share this story of your life journey with the King.

Linda said...

Families can be so hard, can't they? I'm looking forward to see what happens next in your story.

Elizabeth said...

What a difficult and tragic life your parents led.
You write beautifully and clearly.
So glad you enjoy my photos of life in Marrakech.
I left England in 1972 to live in Italy, then the US -where my husband (of 32 years!) and I brought up our children.
I visit England often and look forward to looking at your garden pictures
all best wishes

Becca said...

I just wanted to leave a note saying thank you for sharing your faith and life. It is very encouraging ... even while being very honest about pain. God bless you.

Penless Thoughts said...

You have certainly been through a great deal of trama in your life, Barbara. Not of your making.

I like others appreciate your willingness and ability to share God's grace with us.

God works constantly in our lives. That's the wonder of it all!!!
Susan

Teresa said...

I am sorry about your mom. My heart is broken for you right now. I know this took place some years ago, but as I have just read it, I am truly saddened. I am sorry you had the stress of all she was going through up until the day she passed away. That must have worn heavily on you.

I am excited though about your encounter with "Pamela". And, I am very excited about the journey of faith you are about to go on.

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