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Unafraid: Why I Went to See a Therapist

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When I started this post several days ago I had no idea that our lives would again be filled with a new crisis with our adopted son. I just knew I needed help coping with my own feelings and hurts God had been revealing to me.

As we continue to walk forward with our son, loving him and getting him help to continue the process of healing his heart, I am grateful that God knew what I would I need before I did.

I hope this post encourages you to face your own wounds so you can better help your own family.


I am a big believer in modeling the behaviors and beliefs I want my children to claim as their own.

My husband and I are very intentional with our ideas on parenting.

After walking through 15 years of therapy with my adopted children, I’m pretty good at analyzing people and situations.

I recognize when something is a “trigger” for old emotions or unhealthy thoughts.

For me personally the month of December and early January were full of these triggers.

October 2nd is the anniversary of my sister’s death. This year I will turn 53, the age when she died.

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My husband had two surgeries in December and will be out of his normal work for six months.

My daughter had our first grandbaby by emergency C-section the day after Tim’s second surgery.

My mother died on Christmas Eve, 2010, due to hypothermia and nursing home neglect.

Each of these triggers contains enough challenges on its own but together they represent 15 years of my life spent poured out for those I love. Hard years with many unknowns and overwhelming loss.

At some point I just knew. KNEW I needed to model recognition of my grief and the need to talk to someone outside our family.

God poured out favor on our family when he blessed us with a therapist who walked us through our years of crisis with our oldest adopted daughter and the ensuing years of healing for her younger biological brother and sister.

When Tim and I ran into a pretty big bump in our marriage we went to see her for a few sessions, just to help us communicate better with each other and keep on moving forward. Our relationship has been stretched many times through the challenges of parenting wounded kids and we needed fresh eyes and perspective.

That included asking for help and working through our own imperfect relationship.

Two weeks ago I took care of myself and went to see our therapist. And it was good. Really good.  

And it was hard. Really hard.

She asked me why I had come to see her and I shared the anxiety I had been feeling concerning driving, especially on the highway.

With Tim’s shoulder surgery he hasn’t been allowed to drive for six weeks so I have been chauffeur for all of us.

When the situation was frantic with Rachel being admitted to the hospital four weeks early and my needing to be with Tim, my anxiety was high. I flew to the hospital 30 minutes away in early morning rush hour traffic, with an old car that was trying to overheat and an accident on the highway. My nerves were shot.

Since that most joyful AND anxiety producing day I’ve dreaded driving but knew I had no choice. We couldn’t just stay home and barricade ourselves inside the house.

Though I thought about it.

I needed to get back to where I trusted myself as a driver and was calm and present as I did so.

Being the self realized woman I am I knew there were other variables playing into these intense feelings.

God had revealed to me so very specifically through a powerful church event that I have some deep fears that I’ve hidden under my outer super woman shell.

I feared dying alone.

My sister died of a heart attack while at work one night alone.

My mother died of hypothermia outside the locked doors of her nursing home.

I desperately needed to replace the picture of my mom on the ground frozen and alone with the knowledge that she walked out of the nursing home and into the presence of God. No more pain.

I feared letting all my pain spill out through unbridled emotions because I didn’t know if once open those floodgates could ever be shut again.

Our youngest daughter doesn’t ever cry, and my therapist wisely told me to look at who she was modeling.

Ouch, that would be me. 

Tears are a gift from God to let go of control and release the fears that are sent from Satan to distract and hurt us.

Expressing grief doesn’t mean you’re not grateful for your blessings. Quite the opposite. It’s a choice to let go of our hurt and let God heal our pain.

I feared death because I didn’t want my family to experience even greater grief.

As our therapist reminded me, my family would be okay if something happened to me. 

This earth is not our home. 

 A woman holding a baby

Recently we babysat our little baby grandson and as I rocked him to sleep I wept.

I wept for my son whose first empty months of life have forever scarred him.

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I wept for the years when hope was scarce and faith was putting one step in front of the other in the darkness.

I wept for the wounds my adopted children may always have. Wounds that only God can transform with a plan and a purpose.

I grieved for the pain my son is allowing to lead him down the path of bad choices and separation from the truths of God.

Tears streamed down my face as I laid his very life at the feet of the Father, knowing He alone knows my son’s heart.

I am broken but not alone.

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I gazed down at the perfect little form of my grandson Aiden and prayed truths over his life and his parents.

And I thanked God that blessings come through trials.

They may weigh less than ten pounds but are powerful evidence of a God who loves all His children and will stop at nothing to reach broken hearts.

My word for 2015?


Unafraid - Word for 2015 from Marty's Musings

I am trusting God with my future, unafraid. feeling no fear or anxiety in His presence.

The verse I’m claiming? Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

What is causing you to be anxious today?


You can read about my word for 2014: simplify.


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  1. Just wanted to let you know that this touched me just where I am today, with a wounded child and anxieties that I need to give to the Lord. Thank you.

    1. I’m so glad of God’s timing, Kristin. We all have hurts that we are afraid to talk about and my goal is to be transparent as much as I can in allowing others to see into my heart and the difficult journey we’ve walked. It’s okay to be anxious, but God wants to reach down into our very core and teach us to rest in Him. So very, very hard at times. Thanks for having the courage to comment! Love ‘ya! Marty

  2. Thank you for allowing us to read and feel your thoughts and pain. We all have them but do not open up to others. I had a bitter divorce after 43 years (He wanted it and I made him file). I was so broken and could not stand up for myself that I ended up without as much of the assets as I was entitled. Thought a woman lawyer would fight for me-NOT! Now 4 1/2 years later he is married and happy. I am living in an apartment with my cat. God has been good to me and I trust him to watch over me. Good therapists are a blessing. Thank you for sharing with your readers. I have always thought that women need to stick together. Blessing to you and your family in 2015 and the future.

    1. Dear Paula, I’m so sorry for your pain and struggles. I believe women need to be transparent and real in both our humanity and faith. God loves us beyond what we can comprehend and hearing of someone else triumph through heartache sometimes gives us the strength we need to go on. We are definitely on the other side of our struggles but God’s faithfulness in the midst is our strength. God bless you today!

  3. Isn’t it funny that we all want to put on that “company face,” when it means not being true to ourselves? Isn’t it strange that we think we can do it without the help of others? I think the posts like this one are so important to share–that these are the human experiences that connect us. Thanks for sharing, Marty.

    1. Hi, Kirby. My comment reply plugin wasn’t working but I wanted to make sure you knew I had tried replying! Anyway, thank you for taking the time to comment so meaningfully and I want to encourage you to keep using your writing gift and transparency! You do have an audience!

  4. I am so proud of you! You are an amazing woman. May all of you find peace and healing and strength. Wishing I could wrap my arms around your neck and cry with you!

  5. Wow! This really hit home and has given me much to think about. I too struggle with crippling anxiety from time to time and can relate to so much of this. Thank you for sharing your story.

    1. Hi, Elizabeth. My reply notifications haven’t been working but I wanted you to know I’m so glad you left a comment. Anxiety strikes everyone at some time or another and sharing this story has been such a good tool for me. I believe you’re local here in the Triad? Thanks for stopping by the blog!

  6. A lot makes me anxious. I have dealt with anxiety sense childhood. I recently told my therapist ( I’ve spent this winter back in his office facing fears and uncovering buried feelings…like you said it’s both really good and really hard…exhausting even, but so worth it) that I’m so tired of being anxious…that I want to learn to relax and live in the moment and truly enjoy life.

    My husband and I have sought counseling over the years for our marriage as well, and are about to start couples therapy again. And, my husband is currently doing his internship for his counseling degree. The plan is for him to graduate by the end of summer and start his own practice.

    I am so sorry that you’re going through a hard time. But, I can sense your strength (not the outer super woman strength..btw, I’m familiar with that) but an inner strength that comes from healing and hope. We’ll have to be sure to encourage each other through this dark time. xo

    1. Hi, Sharon! My email reply hasn’t been working but I wanted to make sure you knew I was grateful for your comment. We all deal with anxiety at some time and I believe learning to trust God and let go is harder in certain situations. I’m so glad you’ve gotten counseling because everyone needs an impartial eye because we’re just all trying to survive living with each other! Congrats to your husband for going back to school! Love you!

  7. p.s…. This morning I woke up with a post on my heart about blooming where you’re planted. It’s in draft right now, but your photo with the little flower in your hand fits it perfectly. And this is the second post that I’ve read tonight with a photo that represents my words to a tee.

    I’m always afraid to actually publish those kinds of posts, but now I believe God is showing me that He gave me that post to share.

  8. Very powerful. Great message! It’s too bad talking to someone is viewed upon in a negative way. It’s such a positive thing. We have gone, and will continue to go, for our marriage and for our adopted son.

    1. Thank you so much for commenting, Deborah. You and I have been such a similar path and it’s okay to need help. It’s hard! (And by the way, I just found out my comment plugin wasn’t working so if you haven’t gotten a response to other comments that’s why! I try to respond to all of them.)

  9. Pingback: Sleep Deprived Mom
  10. I just “stumbled” upon your site, and I am so thankful to God that He orchestrated it!. Thank you so much for all the nuggets you share, your willingness to be so open, and the heart that you do it with. I was looking for craftroom organization tips, and found SO MUCH MORE! Several hours later, I was encouraged to be more of the woman of God He wants me to be. THANK YOU!!! Blessings to you and your family:)


  11. Wow…looking for slow cooker soup recipes and I got so much more. God is using your blog in a most powerful way. I feel weary and over burdened much of the time….but for the few minutes I just spent reading this post…it was just God and I…speaking to me…through you. Thank you for your beautiful insights and your openness in sharing. May God bless you.

    1. Ingrid, you’ll never know how much you blessed me with your comment! God is definitely working in my ministry and family through tough times and proving His faithfulness over and over. I’m so glad this post helped you in some small way! Have a blessed week!

  12. Oh Marty, I read this post through swollen eyes from crying for days over putting my mom in a long term care facility with hospice. Your post touched me deeply and I thank you. I pray for your family, their health, safety and happiness. Hope you boy finds his way back to you.

    1. Hi, sweet Karen. I know you’ve had such a hard few weeks. Thank you for remembering us when you were suffering on your own. I hope you’re finding peace and eventually, rest. I appreciate all your kind words and prayers. We’re both walking through difficult waters. I’ve been where you are as well. God bless you! Marty

  13. Having become legal guardian of my 2 1/2 year old great grandson in February, unexpectedly lost my mother on Mother’s Day of this year, and then moved from Missouri to Indiana and into her home shortly after her death, has been overwhelming for me in so many ways. Reading your messages always brings me comfort, hope, strength, and courage. You are truly an amazing woman of God and it is wonderful that you are able to share your life and experience with so many. You touch my ❤️

    1. Hi, Pam. You have been given such a huge task from God and suffered such losses at the same time. Give yourself grace and try to take care of yourself. Personally I know how hard this can be. I’m glad that my posts have encouraged you in some way. Blessings to you today.

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