Let me start out by saying I have intentionally left out names and relationships as not to offend anyone. Plus, the drama surrounding this situation is not important to the lessons learned.
This past Sunday, my son and I got to share our story. Our struggles, our challenges, and how we ultimately overcame all of them to become close, and have a great relationship. It was brutally honest, emotional, and felt very vulnerable for both of us to share our journey, but we did, and people were blessed by it. I was blessed by it. It's not everyday you get to share your struggles and help other people feel like they are not alone, and there is hope for any situation. I felt hopeful, encouraged, victorious. Until afterwards. Two things weighed heavy on me. First, some people who had witnessed how dysfunctional things were, who should have been there, weren't. We didn't even invite people. We couldn't. Whether they don't agree with our faith, which was a huge part of our transformation, or there are strained relationships, or even people who refuse to see positive changes. Although surrounded by a loving, accepting, and encouraging church family, it was lonely. One of the things it caused me to do was to question or minimize our journey.
The second thing that weighed heavy on me, was that instead of celebrating the place my son and I were in, we had people close to us turn the message into a personal crusade for them, and in response to that, another person insinuated that I was filling my son's head with garbage, and that our relationship came at the expense of others. To put finishing touches on it, I was informed that I have been the cause of heartache, disappointment, and uncertainty. The kicker is, the person who spouted all of this, was coming from a place of anger, and only knew one side of the situation. Not the whole picture. Not even a sliver of what my family faces day in and day out, and have had to deal with-pretty much alone. All this made me second guess everything. I felt like it cheapened the growth my son and I have experienced. I also felt like our victories were small, and very misunderstood. This weighed on me for a few days. Before it got to the point where I dismissed all the growth, and all the positive changes we have made, I had to really look at the situation for what it was. I was letting other people's opinions and reactions tarnish the truth. I didn't spend alot of time trying to figure out the motives of certain people, to be honest, I wasn't interested. So once I licked my wounds, calmed down a little bit, I was able to put it all in perspective.
The fact of the matter is, your growth, and your victories are important. They do matter, and they should be celebrated. Even if it is only by you. I have had to learn that I can't let other people take away from the good things going on in my life. I have also had to learn that I can't expect everyone to support us, encourage us, and help us through the bad times. Two very valuable, and life changing lessons. So whether it is big or small, a step or a leap, or a small hurdle overcome, or a large wall overcome, do not let others take away from that. For my part, I am going to make sure that I never cause anyone to feel the way I did for a day or two after Sunday. Any step forward is progress. Don't let others take away from that, or stand in the way of that. Be victorious!!!