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A death must take place

One of the hardest things to have to face is the death of a loved one. I know it is a part of life, but it is tough to go through. In 2007, my mother died of cancer, and there were so many different emotions that were taking place. I recall being numb and in denial, then came the outpouring feelings of rage and anger. The only way I know how to describe it is when you go on a rollercoaster and like it so much that you decide you want to ride it again and again. That is how I felt with my emotions, yet I had not permitted myself to go on that ride.

I am not one to go and visit the grave where my mother is buried. Every time I have gone, it brings pain that she is no longer here. I feel like she was buried before her time. I begin to reminisce of all our memories together some which are good and others that are not. I can hear her laughter and see her smile. It is a sad and hurtful experience for me. Emotions are raw, and technically her remains are there, but she is not. Even if I were to pull her out of the casket, it would not bring her back to life.

How about those emotional deaths that take place in our lives that we were not prepared for? The death of something that was done. Something that was buried before it’s time. Never taking the time to grieve the loss of whatever that was. Whether it was a betrayal, a relationship that ended or an unexpected loss of a home or a job, or a family member that decided to disown you at a young age. Do we ever really take the time to grieve the loss of those wounds. That pain is so unbearable that we disassociate ourselves from it and act like it never happened.

At the beginning of the year I decided to go back to school to get my Master’s in Counseling. Little did I know that I was playing two roles, the student and the client. You know that feeling of “Surprise,” but there are no balloons or party favors and realize this is not a celebration. Yes, that was my party and I was the only one attending! It has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions that have been oozing out of my pores. Things that I had buried before it’s time and never grieved.

Brene Brown says, “One must grieve the loss of what that was for something new to be born.” In my mind, this did not make any sense to me. Until I started pondering on the meaning of this. When things happen in our lives, it creates emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that came from that death that took place in our lives. Somehow we recreate this new identity due from that death that took place.

Remember that part of not liking to visit my mother’s gravesite, well this has been the process for the past 12 weeks. I have had to go to the gravesite of my deaths that have taken place and pull out the casket and look at those things in the face and mourn, cry, and scream. At times it is as if I am revisiting those same deaths. It has been one of the hardest things to face, harder than the emotions of the actual death of my mother. Different waves of emotion that surface without an invitation. I am not sure if I have ever felt so broken and to my recollection, I thought I had buried those things for good.

What I am learning from my schooling, and the wonderful Brene Brown is learning how to visit those deaths in the face and grieve the loss of what occurred and then close the casket. As you are reading this, I am praying that this particular blog touched your heart today. I am not sure where you are in visiting those areas of your life that caused death to take place, but I do want you to let you know that it may be painful at first but at the same it is so liberating. For something to be born something must die in us first!

So I say to you, “Do it afraid!” Face whatever that is, whether it is fear, bitterness, resentment or unforgiveness and mourn the loss of whoever caused it and go back and close that casket for good! I promise you it will feel so liberating and bring freedom and something new will be born out of it!

Sandy Cortes

Carrier’s of Hope,

Breathing Hope One Life at Time!

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Where is that sharp pain coming from?

Man Wearing Polo Shirt Holding Left Chest

Have you ever walked into a room and there was a group of people laughing and having a conversation? Everyone stops, looks and then continues to laugh and carry on.  Or do you ever recall being in grade school and the teacher picks a different helper week after week and your never picked.  You begin to wonder “Why are they not associating or picking me, and begin to think something is wrong with you.  Rejection can take on a root system over the years that can happen in so many ways.

My mother had me at the age of 15.  I can not even imagine being so young and knowing how to raise a child at the age.  My grandmother raised me until I was about 8 years old. She was this short little Hispanic lady that her attitude was much taller than her height. She was strict and reminds me of “Edna Mode” from “The Incredible”.  At times my mother would pick me up and take me with her for the day and I would see my father. He would come in at late hours of the night from partying and then the arguments came that led him to striking my mother every time.

The next day my dad and I were sitting at the stairs with this big basket full of chocolate just talking and laughing.  Little did I know that was the last time I would see my father.  So my mother came back home to grandma and we were all a happy family.  I never wondered what had happen to my father.  Years went by and my mother meet a new guy that swept off her feet.  I began to see less of her and I was so jealous of him taking all the attention I was finally getting. Eventually my mother decided to relocate from New York to Florida and take me with her.

This is when the physical abuse came from my step father, but this time it was towards me.  He was angry all the time.  Then our family began to grow and my mother had two beautiful boys.  My step father was protective over his boys.  One day as we were sitting at the dinner table I asked, Dad, can you pass the green beans”, he quickly responded, “Do not call me your father, because I am not your father”.  Everyone continued to eat like nothing was said.

There was years of abuse and a lot of days of missing school.  There was name calling and jokes about my weight and my brothers being told, “Don’t turn out like your sister, She will always be a failure”.  My step father never communicated love to me and whenever I would go to hug my mother she would push me away.  This is when I began to wonder where is my dad?  I began to have those feelings of no one likes me and I am a bad kid!  Which created the belief that I was not wanted and was a mistake.

Rejection is to be cast aside and having no value; to refuse to give affection or recognize.  That day at the dinner table, those where the feelings that spoke to me in wondering why doesn’t he tell that to my brothers?  Why am I being treated so differently? Why does my mother push me away, is there something wrong with me? Those lies began to take root and created a system of beliefs that intertwined together.  I questioned who I was and wanted desperately to be loved, accepted and valued.

It became a vicious cycle trying to figure out who I was.  Spiraling out of control having an identity crisis, eating and throwing up my food in trying to fit in whatever was the perfect size.  I was broken and felt like such an outcast.  In 1999, is when I had an encounter with God and he took this broken, damaged girl and showed me who I was.  I had to allow God to rebuild who I was and allow his word to begin to dictate who I was. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).

Maybe you were an unwanted or parents wanted a girl/boy instead or were adopted? Compared to your siblings (Why can’t you be like your brother/sister?) Maybe you were in a relationship that was unfaithful or a friend walked out on you.  Exposed to abuse or were withheld love?  Lastly, maybe you felt rejected by God that he didn’t come through for you.  Rejection can be so deeply imbedded in us and not even know the source of where it is growing from.

Beloved, I am not sure what you’re experiencing today.  I want to encourage you today and let you know I understand how hard this can be for you and I believe that God is wanting to bring healing to you today and know the truth.  You are loved and accepted!  I leave you with this scripture “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created YOU anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Grab ahold of the truths of who you are! 

Carrier’s of Hope,

Sandy Cortes

Breathing Hope One Life at a Time

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Beware of the Signs…

beach-blue-sky-cliff-555709Don’t you just love it when something is being exposed in your life that you never saw the signs?  There were never any inclination that it was coming your way so that you can prepare for it.   Like an “Stay Back” or “Road Work Ahead , so that you can chose to go different route.  If only things in life where that easy right?

My husband and I host a small group in our home for relationships every week.  We have covered this curriculum for many years.  Then the organization implemented a new topic that I had never heard or prepared for prior to that evening.  The topic was,  “Destructive Husbands and Wives.”  It went through things that can occur in a marriage that can be very toxic to a relationship.

It went over 3 types of past hurts: Emotional, Relationships and Parental Hurts that you feel you brought into the relationship.  It went on to cover different behaviors that occur like Criticism, Control, Dominance and Checking Out.  There I was being a sponge and writing away, so I can be ready for recap.  I love our small group because they are so good about engaging and being so personable.

I feel my husband and I have a way of creating a safe environment for open discussion.  So I probe the question “Which past hurt do you feel you have brought into the relationship that has affected it?”  Everyone went around the room and shared and that’s when the impact came without even seeing the signs ahead. It was as if I was seeing a movie being played right in front of me.

The scenario was that I was sitting at a dining room table and my siblings and I were there and I heard the words of my stepdad, “Don’t talk to me I am not your father”.  My father could go months without speaking to me.  SIx months had gone by and not one word was spoken to me.  Then I saw my husband and children when they would be upset and not speak to me.

This is where the behavior of “Checking Out” came full circle.  When someone is checked out they are not present. There physical body is there but they are not engaged.  That is when I heard God say to me,  “Sandy, when life gets overwheming or you begin processing things, this is what you do”.  “You become disengaged and close your heart towards your loved ones and me”. “This stems from what your dad did to you growing up”.

The hazard lights of my heart were flashing and my heart rate began to rise.  This is called, “Emotional Abandonment”  This is when someone shuts their emotions and feelings off because of what they are experiencing.  They abandon the situation that is going on.  This is when I saw how my dad emotionally abandoned me many times in my life.

This is pretty raw and I knew had to share it with our group.  God has called me to be real about my life experiences.  This is why I am sharing this with you as well.  I have been completely undone by this topic. I knew God orchestrated this setup for me.  Maybe throughout my life I avoided the signs, or maybe I saw them but chose a different route so I did not have to face the pain of that abandonment.  But God knew it was the time.

Ecclesiastes 3 says, “There is a time for everything and a season, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and time to build, a time to tear and time to mend.  But through it all God is there every step of the way for us.  God shows up and redirects the route and does not allow you to avoid the signs any longer.

Life Application

  • Have you seen the signs?
  • Have you avoided them all together?
  • What past hurts are you experiencing?
  • What seems to be the ongoing behavior?

IF you feel this ministered to you or know of someone who could use some encouragement, help me spread the word.  Help me be a “Carrier of Hope” for those God is trying to reach.  To Breath Hope One Life at a Time!

God Bless You!

Carrier’s of Hope