On Saturday we went to The Baby Show as a family. I really enjoyed myself & we even bought a new double buggy. Tom had taken quite a bit of persuasion to go as he thought we were just paying to go shopping. He doesn't really like shopping at the best of times. So after a lot of persuading off we went. Since before I was even pregnant I knew which buggy I wanted so even though it's expensive, when I saw it with a HUGE discount we snapped it up. It's the Phil & Teds sport so we'll be able to start using it straight away for Rebekah then convert it to a double when baby arrives. It's perfect because I use public transport or walk everywhere I need something fairly small. Check it out here. We got it in red.
At our church we have recently started a 'Supper Club' on a Sunday evening. The church is opened up for some of the local homeless people or anyone who needs a hot meal. The food is cooked by various members of the church & it's another opportunity to reach out to the local community. Last night I helped out & I wanted to share what happened.
I didn't really know what to expect when I went last night. It was only the second week so only a few people have been coming. I expected to just go down, help serve food, eat dinner with the people who came, clear up & go home. What I wasn't expecting was the emotional response that went on inside myself.
I was talking to a guy from our church who has recently come out of a christian drug & alcohol rehab program. He & his girlfriend have been coming to our church for a few months now & we were just chatting and sharing our experiences of addiction when the first men arrived for dinner. I have never personally struggled with addiction but I have experienced it first hand through my Dad & my ex-boyfriend. For those of you who have ever loved someone who is struggling with addictions you will know how hard it is to watch that person damage themselves and those that love them & there is nothing you can do. The lies & deceit, being constantly let down, not being able to trust the person you love the most is indescribable & I can honestly say that my experiences with my Dad & my ex have been the most painful times in my whole life. Even as I sit & write this I feel physically sick remembering some of those feelings. But thankfully I serve a God who can break the chains of addiction and bring healing, which he has done & now all those sad memories & feelings live in the past. Without Him I don't know how I'd have got through those times.
Anyway, as we were chatting these men arrived for their dinner. One was so drunk he could hardly walk so the other led his friend to the table & they sat down. I don't know whether it was talking about my past or being pregnant but within a few minutes of these men arriving I felt like I had to get out of there! There was no feeling of compassion or love for these men I just felt sick & scared. I thought I was going to break down & cry in the middle of the hall. It was like being in a room with my Dad when he was at his very worst. Homeless, smelly & very drunk. The smell of these men took me straight back about 10years & I did not like it or think I could handle it. My Dad is thankfully not totally like this anymore. He is not homeless & although he is still an alcoholic I do not see have to see him that way. One of the things that I respect most about my Dad is that when he comes to visit me & Rebekah he doesn't drink. He has told me before that he stops drinking the day before. It means a lot to me as I have no intention of ever letting my children see him the way I used to have to. We see him every couple of months.
I was not expecting any kind of reaction like that & I was shocked. As I said before I have no idea what caused it & when Tom & I were talking about it later we couldn't work it out. I've worked with homeless, alcoholics in the past & it's never bothered me but last night...
I managed to get over it pretty quickly & by the time we'd served the food I went over & joined them at their table to eat with them & it was fine & I even enjoyed myself. I guess I learnt that however healed your heart has been there are still things that can trigger old feelings & emotions. It's not necessarily a bad thing. After all it is often our experiences that help to shape us. You just need to pick yourself up, keep your eyes firmly fixed on Jesus & not dwell on them or give them a foothold again.
On lighter note if MckMama does a link for 'Not me Monday' I will post again later, otherwise I'll be back tomorrow!