Be Still – Week 1

Exodus 14:14
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

It is easy to read this scripture and think God is saying not to do anything. However, in my
experience it is the opposite. Through my pain, being still has meant placing my trust in God.
Anchoring myself to Him. Hebrews 6:19 reminds us, we have this Hope as an anchor for our
soul, firm and secure. Where I choose to be anchored is where I am placing my trust, hope and
faith that I will be steady and safe. When I can be still, place my trust in Christ, I give Him the
space to fight for me. It takes a daily reminder to say – God, I believe in your promises, I
surrender my life’s circumstance to you.

This scripture tells the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt with Pharaoh and his
army was chasing them. The Israelites are cornered with the Red Sea in front and Pharaoh’s
army on the opposite side. The Israelites afraid began complaining to Moses. How often do we
look at our circumstance and complain to God. We may even blame Him for our situation.
Moses tells the Israelites to not be afraid. To stand firm and watch the deliverance of God. As
Moses calls on God tells Moses to raise his staff, stretch out his hands and divide the Red Sea
for the Israelites to cross. Exodus 14:? It was in that moment the Israelites saw God fighting for
them, all they need to do was, “Be Still”.

Trusting God to fight your battles is going to require you to get up, dust yourself off and move
forward when what’s in front looks scary.

Be Still – Week 2

Psalms 37:7
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in
their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

It is very easy to compare the success of others to your life. Especially if you are in a difficult
season of life. The distractions of the world and the comparisons to others can leave you feeling
disappointed with your life.

These words of David have been of great comfort to many who have been overwhelmed by the
apparent success of others. David reminds those to patiently wait on the Lord and keep your
eyes focused on Him. Comparison is the way of the enemy and he would love to have you
believe you are living a life of despair.

In this scripture you are to rest in Him and that he will fight your battles and ultimately succeed.
In order to rest in Him, you must slow down to quiet your mind and attune to His will.

Be Still – Week 3

Mark 4:39
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died
down and it was completely calm.

At times life can be a strong storm. The storms will be loud and distracting and all you
want is for them to quiet down. Life storms generate fear and worry.

This scripture tells the power of Jesus quieting the storm. After a day of teaching, they got into
a boat and were crossing the Sea of Galilee when a big storm threatened to sink the boat. The
disciples, afraid, wakes Jesus and He quiets the storm. Jesus then turns to the disciples and
asks, “Why are you afraid”?

In life today, our How many times do you cry out to God, like the disciples did, “do You not care
if I drown?” As normal humans, we only see the here and now that is visible. We cannot see
around the corner or into the future. No matter how big the problem is, God is going to take
care of you. Tell yourself the words that Jesus said: “Quiet! Be Still!” Do not allow yourself to
get worked up into a frenzy of fear and worry.

Yes, the storms of life are large and the waves are ominous, but God is bigger. God is in control.
Have faith in Him. God will take care of you, no matter how bad it gets.

Be Still – Week 4

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid do not be
discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Life can be scary. It can require so much strength from us but this scripture reminds us
that God has something incredible for you. This command begins with God telling Joshua that
he is going to lead the nation into the Promise Land (Joshua 1:1-2) and he will not be alone –
God will be with him. Leading the nation of Israel is a big job. Here God says to Joshua to be
bold and courageous, to not be afraid.

Although, you may not be leading a nation you are leading your life and that takes work. At
times it is overwhelming. God’s promise to Joshua applies to, God is with you. He has
commanded you not to be afraid for where you go God will go also. We keep our eyes on Jesus.
When we try to be strong and courageous within our own strength we fail. The ups and downs
of life is too much for us on our own. We need our Helper.

Here is a helpful way to be strong and courageous. Don’t take your eyes off God. Things might
get difficult in your life; he might call you to step into the unknown. But you can be strong and
courageous if you keep your eyes on him. One of the best ways to do this is to create a daily
routine connecting with God. You can do this through reading the bible, listening to worship
music and with prayer.


WEEK ONE…Jan Porter

Many of us people of faith feel we need to fix or change someone and that it is our responsibility to
do it. And…if the individual we are trying to “help/fix” doesn’t change we take on that responsibility
and usually feel hurt.

WOW, that’s a lot to put on our shoulders. We have enough on our plates to “fix” ourselves and be
accountable to God and His principles. That is where we need to start.

I am not saying that if someone is asking for help that we walk away. NO! We help by example,
training, counseling, prayer and the most important thing we can help people with is by examples in
the Bible and listening We are all a constant work in progress and thank God for His loving and kind
gentle nudges we get as we begin our journey of leaving our codependent habits. It is truly looking
inside ourselves. Once we learn to discontinue our codependent behaviors, we will see there are a lot
of relationships that are “making us responsible” for them and that we have lost who God intended us
to be.

This blog will help take those difficult and painful steps we need to take to not be codependent and
begin setting up healthy Godly boundaries.

Are you ready for a bumpy road in the next three weeks? A lot of truth will be said that may take
you a while to digest and to look in the mirror to see if what is being said is about the person in
that mirror. YOU


WEEK TWO…Jan Porter

Proverbs 3:5-7

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. As I write this, I want to make it clear that I am speaking about adult to adult. We are responsible for our children. We are responsible to teach and correct our children (till they become adults).

Codependency can become a problem in a relationship of a couple, relatives, co-workers, friends or even your neighbor.


1. Codependent people confuse love with the caretaking of, pity for and the needs of others.

They may have a tendency to be completely devoted to the needs of their partner. They tend to be excessively preoccupied and
consumed with their partners’ emotional and personal needs. There is often a strong compulsion to fix or to save their partner.

2. Codependent people are generally very loving, kind, and caring people.

They gravitate towards working in the helping professions or caretaker professions and they are exceptional at their jobs. But unfortunately, they can feel not quite good enough, despite all their giving, and feel an unwarranted sense of shame and worthlessness.

3. Codependent people can confuse intensity with intimacy.

Codependent relationships will be based on a lot of drama, chaos, breaking up and make up. Often a codependent person can feel
incomplete or worthless and afraid to be alone if they perceive abandonment or if their partner threatens to leave. They can have a sort of craving for a person or a relationship. In a very real sense, it can be an addiction to someone

4. Surprisingly, codependent people are actually biochemically codependent.

They could be named “love addicts” or “relationship addicts.” They often have unrealistic expectations for unconditional love, and
they can view their potential partners through a distorted sense of reality. They can also fantasize about their relationships and
can feel angry and disappointed when the fantasy fades or doesn’t materialize.

5. Codependent people tend to attract partners who have a lot of personal issues.

They often attract partners with personality disorders, such as narcissists or sociopaths. They seek the type of person who can take care of someone who clearly needs their help. They can feel bored or helpless if they are not attending to someone’s crisis or needs in some way.

6. Codependent people will use their relationship as a cover for loneliness.

They often have an intense need to be loved. They attract partners who are manipulative, abandoning, controlling, self-centered
and who have very little consideration for them.

7. Codependent people prefer giving to receiving.

Research shows they express confusion and frustration as to why some people don’t seem to care as much as they do. They can be
very good at pretending that they are feeling good but are in fact not. They have learn to suppress their emotions because their emotions are not considered the priority. This could result in repressing feelings with medication, food, drugs, or alcohol.

8. A codependent person may feel very responsible for another person’s thoughts, feelings, or lack of well-being.

They assume the responsibility to carry the world’s problems on their shoulders. They can often feel anxiety or guilt when someone else has a problem. They feel upset when other people don’t take their advice.

9. Codependent people will tend to try to stay with a partner even when facing serious problems like addiction, abuse, or infidelity.

A codependent enables this type of behavior to continue and will often deny reality so that their fantasy can continue. In a very real way, the codependent agrees to work harder on their partners’ issues than their partners themselves.

10. Codependent people pride themselves on being loyal, obedient, caring, dedicated, and accommodating.

They try to anticipate everybody’s needs but secretly they can foster feelings of bitterness, resentment, sadness, and pain.

Many codependent people who were raised in dysfunctional families had to grow up fast to survive. They learned how to take care of their parents or siblings and to take responsibility for much within the family.

Therapy helps us to gain self-awareness about all these issues and to become willing to work on and change behavioral patterns.

It helps to create better communication, to nurture ourselves and to break the bonds of codependency and dysfunctional behaviors.

Are you codependent? Do you feel you are one-handedly trying to fix something that is impossible for you to fix?

We can pray for that person. We can express our feelings. But we cannot change the other person by our actions. If we continue to come to their rescue, cover-up things or even feel like we are the guilty party for those actions you are fighting a losing battle.

May I suggest a book by Melody Beattie “Codependent No More”. Read it and see if you are codependent. It will help you through the process of healing.

Our approval is from God and not others. I Thessalonians 2:4 NKJV

But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.

We are being approved by God for ourselves, not the other adult. We are not responsible for that other person. As I said in the beginning, if we are taking care of being responsible for ourselves, we really don’t have time to “feel and act” responsible for others.

Who are you trying to please?

Are you codependent? Do you feel you are one-handedly trying to fix something that is impossible for you to fix?

We can pray for that person. We can express our feelings. But we cannot change the other person by our actions. If we continue
to come to their rescue, cover-up things or even feel like we are the guilty party for those actions you are fighting a losing battle.

May I suggest a book by Melody Beattie “Codependent No More”. Read it and see if you are codependent. It will help you
through the process of healing.

Our approval is from God and not others. I Thessalonians 2:4 NKJV

But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who
tests our hearts.

We are being approved by God for ourselves, not the other adult. We are not responsible for that other person. As I said in
the beginning, if we are taking care of being responsible for ourselves, we really don’t have time to “feel and act” responsible
for others.

Who are you trying to please?

Let’s begin looking in the mirror at ourselves. We are responsible for who we are. Start a list of how God is showing you
the things you need to change in your life.

We can pray for other people but we cannot change them.



I like to refer back to the book of James. If I feel myself slipping back into codependency or my thoughts are how to “correct/help/fix” someone else, I go back and look at myself to make sure I am in God’s will. Then you will not have time or energy to try and “fix” someone else that may not even want to be “fixed”.

Matthew 7:5 New International Version

5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Isn’t codependency and fixing a side bar to not wanting to look at ourselves but rather see the sins of others and then making those sins our responsibilities?

Let’s stop trying to control others…because we really aren’t anyway, and we need to start caring for ourselves and be responsible for ourselves.

“Love doesn’t hurt us. People-pleasing hurts us. Pretending everything is okay hurts us. Silencing ourselves hurt us. Having no
boundaries hurts us. Not having our own back hurts us. Self-abandonment hurts us. Another person’s unhealed s- – – – hurts us. Love liberates, and relational challenges shine a light on where we are not yet liberated.” Mark Groves

Isaiah 26: 3-4

3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the rock eternal.

Let’s take a moment to examine ourselves. Am I codependent? Have I lost myself trying to “fix” someone else?

Is the “fixing/help” you are trying to do with someone actually your “fix” that you need in your life?


WEEK FOUR…Jan Porter

Now that you realize that you are codependent and you are working not to be codependent, there is another ugly matter that
pops through called Boundaries.

You don’t have any! The people you have been trying to “fix” have crossed many of your boundaries. The longer you stay
codependent the more your boundaries will be crossed.

But because you were trying to “fix” their issues you allowed things to happen that should not have been accepted.

What are your boundaries. Have you been dishonored? How does that make you feel? Think or write your feelings down. Has it
been so long that you have not even though or realized that you were being dishonored? It is time to begin learning to set healthy

Write down five boundaries to begin. Pray over them. Write them where you go often around your home or car or office. Start your day reading what your boundaries are. Make note of when someone is crossing that boundary. When you finally get comfortable with your new lifestyle or not being codependent and you have set boundaries; it is time to implement your boundaries in your daily life.

May I suggest a wonderful book called “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.

The book gives examples of how people have crossed boundaries and helpful ways to not accept people to cross your boundaries in a Godly manner.

If you are in a domestic violence relationship, I can assure you that you have become codependent and your boundaries have been

~Do you try and fix things your abuser has done
~Do you cover up for them
~Do you miss events and opportunities because the abuser may get upset
~Do you make excuses
~Do you forget to take care of yourself as your body is God’s temple because your time and energy go to helping your abuser

What have you given away by being codependent without boundaries. Begin living the life that God has planned for you as His child.

Should I Stay or Should I Go: Part Two

should i stay or should i go

Hi, it’s Sunshine again. It has been quite a while since my first post on Should I Stay or Should I Go? went up. I ended that post with this word: Codependence.

It’s Embarrassing.

And frightening and a lot of other hard, negative “ing” words. I was out. Reach Out Speak Out helped me get out. And I went back. And I feel like anything I do is going to hurt somebody or make somebody else mad and it’s my responsibility to keep everybody happy.


I did some work with a wonderful counselor while I was away. I learned about codependence. Melody Beattie is the most recognized popular author on codependency with her work on Codependent No More. Stephanie Ellis Ecke has written on codependence here. Pia Mellody also did groundbreaking work and this infographic from here is pretty handy: Pia Mellody on Codependency (click to download)

I’m including all of these links because when I first realized (and accepted!) that I’m a codependent personality, it was like a lightning strike. I could accept all of the “A” programs that I might need, but CoDA (Codependents Anonymous)? REALLY?

I am strong and tough. I’ve withstood much. I haven’t stopped loving people. Wanting the best for them. Trying to make the best happen for them… and that’s where the train begins to go off the rails. There’s nothing wrong with wanting the people in your life to be happy and healthy, but that “trying to make the best happen for them…” Yowser.

Especially when that means staying with someone who isn’t safe — whether that is unsafe to your body, your heart, your mind.

Signs of Codependency

Here are 10 signs of codependency.

1. Feeling responsible for solving others’ problems.
2. Offering advice to others whether it is asked for or not.
3. Expecting others to do what the codependent says.
4. The codependent feels used and underappreciated.
5. Trying to please people so others will like or love the codependent.
6. Taking everything personally.
7. Feeling like a victim.
8. Using manipulation, shame, or guilt to control others’ behavior.
9. Lying to themselves and making excuses for others’ bad behavior.
10. Fearing rejection and being unlovable. 

The article in the link goes more in-depth about these things and also covers 10 questions to ask about codependent behavior.

I’m raising this issue of codependency because a) it is a part of my overall story and, b) while I am not a therapist or counselor, and there is some dissension about whether those who suffer domestic abuse are codependent, I have lived with domestic abuse and I am codependent. And I’m not alone. I have met many codependent women, many abused women, and there is blurring of the lines.

It becomes nearly impossible to make a decision.

And I desperately want the readers here to not give up hope on the women who go back again and again and again as they strengthen themselves for that final break.  I was rescued. And I went back. And I have regretted it a million times. Sometimes, we just have to have time to strengthen ourselves a little more. And, sadly, life with the abuser is familiar. And most of us crave the familiar.

Please don’t give up on the women you know who need to get out and just haven’t been able to find the strength yet. They are likely fighting battles you can’t imagine. Please be there for them. Listen without judging. Don’t “should” on them (you should do this, you should do that); they get enough of that from their partner.

Please help fund the efforts of groups like Reach Out Speak Out. One day, your friend or relative will be ready. You’ll want them to have support and help.

I will try to write soon to circle this around to a close. I’m sorry I rambled. This is the life we live, thoughts circling around. This is why Reach Out Speak Out is so valuable! They’ve been there. They get it.

Should I Stay or Should I Go: Part One

should i stay or should i go

Hi, I’m Sunshine. I have struggled for a couple of decades with “Should I stay or should I go?” I was a client of Reach Out Speak Out and then I wasn’t. This is my story, which I tell in hopes that potential donors and the public at large might understand how difficult it is to make the decision to leave. My story rambles because that is how my life has been.  I am planning it to run for the month of May so please say tuned. 

Is This Abuse?

I’ve been married twice. My first husband died. I never thought of myself as being abused. After my husband’s death, my children (who were more grown-ups than children at that point) told me that I had been an abused wife. Never physically. Well, maybe one time. No. Twice. Anyway. I pushed him past the point of him holding his temper. Of course.

He was verbally and emotionally abusive in many ways. There were a lot of reasons to stay. The kids. He was disabled and needed me to help take care of him. I was financially dependent. God hates divorce. The only reason to leave was that I was just unhappy. And using some really unhealthy behaviors to manage. You don’t break up a marriage, leave a good man when his health is failing, because you’re unhappy.


Here I Go Again

My husband died. I struggled with being both alone and lonely. Suddenly a single parent. After almost 3 years, I met someone. I just wanted someone to hang out with. I thought. This man made me laugh more than I ever had. He had been through some similar life situations as me and we were about the same age so we had a lot of cultural stuff in common, which was nice. My first husband had been 16 years older and, in terms of music/movies/TV, we were quite different. But we laughed and I wasn’t so lonely anymore.

There were red flags. Big ones.


I believe that you can tell a lot about someone by how they treat people like waitstaff, customer service clerks, other drivers. Does the person try to be kind? Put themselves in the other person’s shoes? That kind of thing.

NewGuy didn’t. Not empathetic or compassionate. Unkind.  Judgmental.  He didn’t like my kids or most of my friends and they didn’t like him.

I overheard conversations he had with other people that indicated that he enjoyed me spending my money on him.

He told me he didn’t find me particularly attractive.  

He corrected the way I talk. He tried to change my beliefs.

He tried to tell me how I should raise my kids. To be fair to him, a lot of people were doing that. But he wasn’t kind about it.

I still was so in dread — not just afraid but in DREAD –of being alone that I turned a blind eye to all of it. Lost a friend (at least for a while.) Damaged my relationship with my kids.

Heard over and over that I couldn’t, I wasn’t able, I should do it this way, etc. I started to believe it.

But I needed the companionship. Alone was worse than all of that. Besides, he didn’t hit me, so it wasn’t abuse. Right?



More to come next week…