Sinking Honesty

…It’s amazing that you can…love me like I am…and even when I can’t…you still love me as I am…

Lyrics from For King and Country’s song ‘Love me like I am’.

<*I was tucked up in my bed, feeling all the emotions, but HE called me out of bed and told me to write…so I’ll obey, but I am feeling raw and I’m being asked to be vulnerable, this will be interesting…*> New year, new ambitions, new desires, but I am still me, and I still get in my own way. My flesh trips me up on old trauma that I experienced… it creeps up when I least expect it to… And if I am honest with myself, it is mostly me avoiding the fact that I still have some pretty deep unhealed scars that get easily triggered… Sigh… Truth is I am a mess…I am feeling unhinged…out of control if you will, and going with the theme of complete honesty here… I don’t like myself very much right now, and if I’m going to really ‘go there’, I don’t like myself very much at all….and alot of the anger I feel is mostly directed at myself… Self hatred is a thing, it’s brutal, it’s cruel, and the funny thing for me is that I know it is not okay. Therefore it sends me into an even deeper tail spin of feeling horrible about myself. I know who Christ says I am, I know He loves me for who I am, but it is extremely difficult, atleast recently to see myself any other way than this twisted self loathing I am experiencing. My brain understands it, my heart has checked out, and I am trying to climb out of this ‘trench’ but I think I am going about it all wrong… The other night I went out with my boys, we were checking out at a store and I almost rammed this woman with my cart, I of course expressed my apologies, and she looked at me smiled and said…

” you are so beautiful…”

I was stunned, I smiled, said thank you, but inside I was immediately rejecting her words, a knee jerk reaction, complete dismissal of it… My best friend yesterday in her van was telling me how much she loved me for who I am, she was saying all this as I was beat red in the face, all swollen, boogery, sobbing because of how stressed out I was, how frustrated with myself I was… …but still in the midst of that she still loved me? accepted me? I felt it again there, the urge to reject it, brush it off…instead I cried more, and opened up to her more… I cried out to her about my difficulties, that I wish I could see myself the way she sees me, the way my boys see me, the way my husband sees me, and especially the way God sees me… Oh I did the ugly cry too…sigh… I mean I am trying to not be so hard on myself, and I am trying to seek out God when I feel this heaviness, but my flesh fights against me, and it seems lately it is winning… …but in prayer God showed me that yes it is winning some of the battles right now, but ultimately He will win the war. I need to stop focussing on these damn waves that are crashing violently around me, because I am sinking, and I have gotten so use to that feeling that my flesh rejects anything else… God has even been sending people to me, they speak to me with such genuine love, I see it Lord I do, that you love me so much your ‘sending in the troops’…little reminders that I am not the monster I think I am… Sometimes I think because ‘she’ was my mother that I am part monster, that I’ll never truly shake that off…I know how ridiculous that sounds, but I am being completely honest here… There is so much I am wrapping my brain around about my upbringing, about why I react the way I do, what it all stems from, it is insane! And all of this just fuels me to make sure I don’t mess up my boys. I make it my goal everyday to make sure that they know their worth, that they are wanted, that they are loved…everything I questioned my whole life. I wish there was an easy fix, that I could take a few decades of what I call promgramming from my upbringing and just be like ‘poof’ it’s all gone…but that’s not realistic, or rational… The work has to be put in, and the only one who can truly deliver me out of this crap is God, if I lean only on my own understanding, or build my foundation on sand if you will, well I will sink every time, I’ll fail, and that is not a luxury I can afford to keep cycling through, because if I do that, I won’t survive, I won’t find peace, and peace is something worth putting in the work for… It’s time to walk through this fire, to get over myself… …running on this hamster wheel is tiring… When I say I struggle with control, it is an understatement let me tell you! Just look at what I have been saying… If I just Let Go and Finally Let God…ugh… Why do I keep doing this to myself? I am my own worst enemy… Times like these I am thankful for God’s grace… I bring Him my ‘ugly’, my harsh honesty, my disgust for myself, my frustrations, my anger, my flesh freaking out in fear… He doesn’t hesitate, He just loves me, gives me grace that I know I don’t deserve, and He calms the storm around me, and walks through the fire with me. He just asks me to take that first step, to try, to trust, and He has got me from there… This too shall pass… His Grace is enough!

Lighthouse

I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6)

….it was a cool May evening, we dined, celebrated, I can almost still hear you laughing…you hugged me tightly, pulling me down into your neck…squeezed me…I can still remember how you smelled…sigh…when we went to pull away you first held my face in front of yours, smiled, and told me how proud you were of me and how much you loved me…to which I told you how much I loved you, and then we parted ways in the parking lot…

I did not know then that that would be the last time we would see each other…

I have been running from this ‘letter’…scared, afraid of facing the hard truths…but you would want me to walk through this fire, you would tell me it was necessary, painful but needed if I was going to be the woman God has always intended for me to be.

So here goes…

Dear Nan,

It has been 16 years since we held that final embrace in the parking lot after celebrating Mother’s Day together.

I have gone over it in my head so many times, wondering if I missed a sign from God that my path was going to abruptly change so much that one of the costs would be you.

I didn’t know that in just three months from that day I would be faced with a choice…a choice to finally stand up to my abusers, to finally put an end to the nightmare I had been subjected to for 24 years.

In doing so….led to freedom for me, but I paid a price, and that was you. I didn’t know that in standing up and claiming the freedom that was rightfully mine that in turn my Mother would then stand between us and essentially give you an impossible choice to make…

Circumstances such as your age, your frailty, your health, and your needs are what made it an impossible choice…and you chose…sigh…

…and my heart shattered, but I understood all too well how my Mother, your daughter was, so I painfully accepted it.

I walked away completely, I thought I was protecting you from consequences from her if I reached out…

As the years started to pass I was faced with the hard truth that I was not going to see you again on this side of Heaven, but I clung to hope that atleast we were going to the same destination once death claimed us…but if I am honest…I mean really honest I secretly and desperately hoped you and I would see each other again.

You were never far from my thoughts, never really, everything you taught me about our loving Father in Heaven always rung in my ears, knowing you were out there praying for me, I felt it…

Then unbeknownst to me…

August 23, 2016 I woke up feeling such sadness, I couldn’t understand why?

I wouldn’t be until 5 months later I would discover that that morning you went home to our Heavenly Father…and in that moment a part of me died…and I have not been the same since…

…my heart knew that day, our bond was so strong even after all those years, and God was trying to tell me…

In these past six years since then I have been called to walk through some fires, to be refined, to seek healing, to really achieve freedom, the freedom that you spoke of many times…

I have been called to face some hard truths, to finally step out of denial about some things from my past, and I have been doing that, but when it came to you, I couldn’t go there, in my mind if I did I would disrespect you…but it is necessary…

….why didn’t you you fight for me? Chose me?

I mean I understand why, but at the same time that little girl who you held so closely on your lap rocking her back and forth singing to, loving on, she wants to know why she wasn’t worth it?

Was it my fault? Was I the coward? Should I have fought? Was I weak?

I could go on and on, but I know I will never know the answer to these emotional questions…what I do know is we are not perfect, and as you always said to me…

“…we are not perfect, if we were perfect then we would be Jesus Christ, and we are far from that, we are called to be Christ like not Christ Himself…”

You made your choices and I made mine, and I need to stop believing you were perfect, we inperfect people, and finally admitting this does not diminish who you were, or how you impacted my life…

…and you did impact my life.

It is now in my adult life, and with some serius healing and deliverance from some past traumas that I can look back now and see that God knew what lay ahead of me when He created me, He knew I would need a “lighthouse“in my life….

He knew the darkness that was waiting to engulf me, so He made sure I was going to be your grand daughter, He knew you would shine His amazing light on my life, that you would love me so unconditionally, and that you would sew seeds into my heart…you helped ready the harvest…

I am so blessed and thankful that God loved me so much He made a way for me, thought of me, and made sure I would not be alone in the dark.

You were such a beautiful witness of what it meant to be humble, kind, and faithful…if I had of been able to be there in your final moments, I would of simply said…

“…well done good and faithful servant…”

I have so many loving memories with you, sitting in your lap, you singing to me as you rocked me back and forth, cloud watching, watching you do your devotionals…but one stands out from the rest…

I was just a child, playing by myself in the back yard and it began to rain, I closed my eyes, and just stood there by myself…and suddenly I felt someone grab my hand and it startled me…it was you…I said to you “I thought I was alone…” to which you smiled and replied you are never alone, no matter how much the storm rages on”, and then we both just stood there in the pouring rain, eyes closed, holding hands.

Those words were burned into my heart, and bring me hope everyday.

I miss you with every breath I take, I will carry you in my heart always.

Until we meet again on Heaven’s shore…

Oh what a reunion that will be!

Yours in Christ, Your Grand Daughter.

“…as the thunder rolls I barely hear Your whisper through the rain “I’m with you”, and as Your mercy falls I’ll raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away…”

Lyrics from the song “Praise You on this Storm” by Casting Crowns

Scars

This past week has been rough on me, grant you my birthday was in amidst that week, to which I was loved on, and I am greatful for that, but through the roughness I had a “light bulb” moment. What was it?

I realized exactly when it was that I realized my mother did not love me.

Now some could argue reading past entries that that was quite obvious, and in fact that perhaps right from the beginning of my life she did not love me, and although I agree completely, for me it was always a bit of a question mark until one moment… Dear Mom, It has been 16 years, and although I try my hardest, your never far from my thoughts, much to my dismay. I have been on quite a journey of healing so far. I am often plagued with panic, worry that I will become like you. Being a Mother myself now I find that so much anger rises up inside of me, followed by disapointment when I think about how I was raised. Having my own boys sometimes I can not fathom the why of it? Why throw me away? Shove me to the side? Dismiss the gift God gave you? My earliest memory unfortunately is not a loving one… I remember coming to you for a hug, a loving embrace, reassurance…instead I was met with a literal shove, instant rejection, and then sadness followed by me asking myself what was wrong with me? Still I carried on… Rape at 3 by your brother, you ignored it, placed me in a tub, walked away, again I asked myself…what was wrong with me? Looking at you the wrong way was met with physical retaliation, again I asked myself…what was wrong with me? Preyed upon by your new husband, you ignored it, when he called me hot you blamed me, it was that day I felt the sting of the fly swatter, again I asked myself what was wrong with me? I even turned to cutting, and then attempted suicide, when I woke up in the hospital for a second I thought I had woken up from a bad dream, and finally you would embrace me, but I was met with ridicule, disgust, and disapointment, and again I asked myself what was wrong with me? I continued to hold out hope, hope that one day you would wake up and realize how much you loved me… …sadly that day would never come. The moment I realized you didn’t love me, and would never love me was when I was 15. It was the first time I ran away, a few months after my suicide attempt. I was sitting in a room at the police station, I had previously given them a statement over the phone about all of the sexual abuse I had endured at the hands of your husband. I had been brought in, and they had you come in as well. I was filled with hope, hope that once you knew the truth about him you would rescue me, declare your love for me, protect me, and finally it would all be over and we could begin a new life, the life I had always dreamed of. But what happened next was my worst nightmare… They brought you into the room, you sat about ten feet away from me, and then they handed you a copy of my statement to read… I watched as you read, you began to shake your head in disagreement, tears falling, I thought for sure you would stand up for me, embrace me…instead you slammed the paper down on the table next to you and glared at me. The officer then excused herself to go get something, and the terror ripped through me as I was left alone with you. Then you spoke… Do you remember what you said? Because I have never forgotten…

“You better fix this you little bitch! You are a liar! After everything he has done for us, well I will chose him a hundred times over you!…”

That for me was the moment I realized you never loved me, and would never love me. It was in that moment I shut myself off. It was the loneliest I have ever felt in my whole life, even as I think back on it now. And then in the midst of my nightmare I still wanted to make it all better for you, and when the officer came back I told her I made it all up…as I spoke it didn’t feel real, it didn’t even feel like it was me talking, and you sat behind the officer with a grin on your face. I was never the same after that day, and for a long time after I rejected hope, because when I had hoped before it only brought me disapointment and pain, and it was much easier to be numb and shut off. The beauty in all this is that God had a plan, and instead of letting it defeat me, end me, I took it and vowed to be everything you weren’t. And now being as old as I am and with the road of healing I have been on, I can now step back and see that the way you were was a result of your past trauma, and abuse you endured. You were not capable of loving me, yourself, or anyone. I have two boys whom I love fiercely, and they are not deprived of love, acceptance, or hope. I broke the pattern of abuse, it ended with me. All by the grace of God. You know I still find myself missing you sometimes, but then I realize I am missing the Mother I wanted you to be, but never were. I am thankful God has been able to show me the bigger picture of it all, not that it codones what was done to me, but it helps me understand the why of it all more, and it helps me understand that there was never anything wrong with me, but more what you had walked through before me that made you so broken, and unable to give me what I needed. So this is me making peace with some of the scars of my past. Yours in Peace with Christ, Your Daughter.

” I am thankful for the scars, cause without them I wouldn’t know your heart, and I know they will always tell of who you are…”

Lyrics from the song ‘ Scars’ by I AM THEY.

Acceptance

To understand the following you may need to go back and read this previous blog entry…

Dear Dad,

It’s almost been a year since I found out you were no longer on this earth.

That day, those words…it shattered me…

Immense sadness crept into me, confusion, grief, numbness…

I sat in those emotions for a long time, months…

To me it felt like a slamming door in my face, an end to a possibility of ever knowing the truth about you, me, and her…

She told me her side, and I had always hoped to know yours when life would allow it…

….but that is not going to happen now, and it took me almost a year to come to terms with that.

I never knew the heart could be shattered so deeply, and the spectrum of emotions it can go through while on a journey like this…

I was mourning, but not just you, I was mourning what we never had, and the possibility of ever having it.

I think the main thing I wanted was to know if I was wanted by you? Because I spent a large part of my life not feeling wanted by the woman who gave birth to me. So I always held out hope you felt differently.

So where does this leave us now?

Well, you are gone…

I am here without answers, just so many questions…

Did you want me?

Did you love me?

Did you think of me? Miss me?

Was she wrong about you?

Why didn’t you fight for me?

Such trivial questions to ask now…

…and I am not sure how important they really are to me anymore…

So instead let me tell you this…

I am okay, I turned out alright…

God was with me through every obstacle my childhood presented me with. Each fire I walked through I was never alone, and God allowed those fires to refine me and strengthen me into the woman I am today.

I found hope, love, and family. I have two amazing sons whom I love fiercely, and a husband who with the Father’s help had to pick up many shattered pieces from my wounded upbringing and mend them with patience and unconditional love…

…and with the absence of you from my life there is so much to unpack and work though even now, but with the love and healing that I have received so far I can approach those difficult moments now with so much more compassion and understanding, instead of sadness and anger…and that is Grace.

There was a bigger picture back then that I may never know of or understand, circumstances, choices made, bridges burned perhaps?

I am not your judge…

I am your daughter, and although the little girl inside of me wants to hold on just a little while longer, I need to let go and forgive you.

I may never know what it would be like to be loved by you, but I am loved by THE Father and it is and will be enough for me.

So this is me letting go, of you, the what ifs, the what could of beens…

…this is me leaning into God even more as I accept what is, and say goodbye…

Yours in Peace with Christ, Your Daughter.

Damaged Roots

“It’s amazing that You can love me like I am,
And even when I can’t you still love me as I am,
Oh, I don’t know how You do it and I know I put You through it
Yeah, it’s amazing that You can love me like I am…”

Lyrics from ‘Love me Like I am’ by For King and Country.

The past two months have indeed been eye opening…

This journey I have been on to healing has been a gaunlet of challenges, struggles, and revelations….beautiful revelations, to which I am blessed and thankful for…but sometimes the in between, the valley….well it can take it’s toll…

…but the revelations are worth it…to walk through the fire and come out the other side more refined as the Father intends it, to stay focussed on Him and only Him in the midst of the raging storm all around me, and the waves are not calming down any time soon…

…and that is okay….really, it doesn’t get me down like it use to, it all reminds me that when I was a toddler I had to crawl before I could learn to walk, and it didn’t all happen in an instant, it took time, patience, and I did fall down at first…

About a month ago I found myself in a circle of women, we were all sharing our brokeness, and at times in the past I had kept it surface level, but when I opened up my mouth to speak reality came rushing in…

…prior to this meeting I had been talking about how I apologize all the time, and I have mentioned this before to others and laughed it off saying “I was so very Canadian” but this time it bothered me inside, caused me to get quiet and reflect, and when it was my turn to speak, reality came rushing forward and it all hit me at once with no warning….

My eyes welled up with tears as I was realizing the following all at once in that very moment…

I apologize alot, because I apologize for my very existence.

As the tears fell and I spoke of this it felt so overwhelming, like someone punched me in the stomach…memories of so many times my mother pushed me away, so many times when I was a little girl I would reach out just wanting to be loved but just felt like a burden…and as I grew up how I constantly felt like I was a mistake, and if I just faded away I could make everyone happy…

…it was like a poison infecting my roots slowly for so many years, it became apart of me that I could not see how wrong it was, how it was poisoning me, hindering my grow, my healing, it had crippled me for so long…

My friend who was amongst these women said that as I started to speak she could see this breakthough unravel in real time across my face…

….to be honest I was so overwhelmed with this realization and emotions that I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I know I shared what I had just realized…and that God was being very clear that this was a lie I had believed for too long, because He created me, and He doesn’t regret what He creates.

For days after when I hiked I would reflect on this, God showing me memories of me constantly saying “sorry” and He taught me this initially started out as a trauma response, a form of protecting myself, and it got so ingrained in me that I instinctually felt that I had to apologize to anyone who came in to contact with me, it became a shield, a habit, and it detoured me from using the shield that is more important and that is my Father in Heaven!

Now I would like to say that I don’t apologize anymore in that way, but I can’t, it is going to take time to deprogram myself, this poison was put into me for 40 years, it unless the Father decides will not go away over night, and I think God knows that I need to walk softly, slowly, and heal over time, it is not always about the arrival, sometimes it is about the journey getting there!

And I am okay with that, sometimes I take the long way around and there are going to be many lessons along the way, the difference now is when I start to apologize for anything I will be able to differentiate whether it is because I am responding genuinely, that I did something that warrants an apology or I am merely responding because I am feeling like a burden and I am reacting from that trauma response cycle.

In the meantime God will show me love, kindness, and mercy, He will walk through this fire with me, He will be my shield, and He will see me through to the other side, and I will surrender to His will for me and wherever He leads me on this journey.

“When the days up ahead look a little bit brighter,
But the grip of the past holds a little bit tighter…
I’m reminded Your grace never asks for perfection…”

Lyrics from ‘Even Then’ by Micah Tyler.

Order to Chaos

There are many changes currently happening around me.

As I spoke of in the last post some of those changes require me to to literally take the advice I give so many and actually put it into practice and…..

….Let go and Let God.

It’s safe to say I will be a work in progress for a while on that.

But after I wrote my last post I took my anguish, my heart ache, and my deep struggle…maybe even my fear? and I took it all to the trail.

Just me, the trail, and the Father….and so many emotions in chaos.

Headphones on, Jeremy Camp on blast, I began to pray, as I do always.

This time I had some things I needed to express to our dear Father a little passionately, well okay passionately sounds all nice and calm, but nothing about that morning was calm or quiet…

Where other hearts cry out, mine was screaming.

My heart was desperate to understand the why of it?

Why I was feeling such intense emotions? Why!

I was wanting to peel back the layers to the core of it all…and I tell you this, when you ask you need to be prepared for the truth, whatever it is, and the Father will reveal the core of it all. But keep in mind it may be something you were never expecting, and most time for me it has always been unexpected and difficult.

So there I was, the Father helping me take inventory of my chaotic emotons, and when you are in the midst of chaos he will calm that storm inside when you ask, reach out, and sincerely want it to be done.

Sometimes people will get so use to the chaos it becomes a way of life, almost comforting for them, or they may not understand they have the power within them to turn to the Peacemaker that is our Father and have him silence it all.

As he silenced my chaos, I began to see the truth of it all…

I am seeing my boys grow, mature, all inevitable, I was never naive in to that, my growing pains as a Mom are natural, and I have wrapped so much of my identity, my role in being their Mom for so long….

Then surprisingly the Father showed me my husband, and how my fear had turned into resentment and anger towards him

Let me explain that further…

My husband has over the past year or so taken on painting, and he is rather talented, and I am proud of him. But at times I had been jealous, jealous that it took time away from me, but I always avoided really going to the Father and asking why?

Why did it bother me so much?

And those particular feelings grew more intense as my growing pains as a Mom intensified….

The beauty of our Father is he will answer your prayers, he will make you see, and this is what he revealed…

I was being run by fear, I was scared, my kids are in the pre launch phase and my husband had found something that he could continue doing well after they launched, and I felt like I was going to be left behind, because at the end of the day when I looked around with my kids gone, and it just be him and I, I had nothing

And when I say nothing allow me to dive deeper into that…

I know I have my Father, I know I will never stop being a Mother, or a Wife, and that is good enough for me, but my discovery of having nothing was that when you stripped all that away there was nothing left, no hobbies, no roles that would occupy me, nothing that showed who I was outside of all of that.

In that moment I felt utterly alone, sad, and left behind…but in all actuality I was the one that left myself behind, no one’s fault but my own, and let me tell you that ‘pill‘ was very hard to swallow.

So there I was on the trail, deep into hiking, music up, and tears just flowed…

I was thankful for the order to chaos, but I was not expecting what the order revealed. And truth be told I am still processing it all now, I am very thankful to the Father for helping peel back those layers to the core of it all, but I am in the ‘now what?‘ phase of it all.

Jeremiah 29:11 says…

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

The whole experience has made me look inward even more, made me want to rediscover what I want, and what am I about now in this stage of my life?

Tt has been a long time since I really asked myself that…

When last I asked myself these questions, I was sitting on a island with a man who loved me (and still does) fiercely kneeling before me asking me to take a leap with him and be his Wife…

The answer then was clear…

I wanted to love my Father, grow in him, be a good Wife, and a Mom. And it has been such a wild ride since, no regrets, only reaped blessings! The harvest has indeed been plentiful!

That day I took it all to the trail, where my fear urged my heart to scream out, and the Father brought order to chaos, and he calmed the storm…

I found myself at the end of the trail, it is industrial area at that end, quiet, maybe a bit creepy to some…

I noticed a woman walking a bit ahead of me, and she kept looking back at me with concern in her face, and then looking down at the fenced off canal next to us…

When I caught up to her I pulled my headphones down to which I discovered my music was really loud and all could hear it….and our interaction began…

Me: Are you ok?

Her: No..there is a man over there in the bushes sitting.

I looked over, through the fence and saw him.

Me: Oh we’re fine the canal is all fenced in and he looks harmless.

Her: Well what about you though?

Me: Me? I’ll be okay

Her: Oh…Are you sure?

Me: Certainly…

It was here she looked down at my headphones, my Jeremy Camp blasting…

Her: Your listening to that God stuff eh…

Me: Yes I am!

She nodded, smiled even…

Her: Are you sure your going to be okay? Your all alone out here…

It was right there it hit me, after the chaotic emotions, the fear, the worry, my heart screaming out, the whole hike, the answers, the truth, the Father peeling back all the layers revealing the core of it all…

My eyes filled with tears…I smiled and said…

“I am never truly alone out here.”

She nodded in agreement and we parted ways.

I felt lighter walking home, I still have some small worries, and I am sure my emotions might be tempted to get chaotic again, but I am never alone going through any storm, I must remember to keep my eyes focused on the Father, only then will the waves not seem of big and frighten me so.

I am thankful that even though I am perfectly inperfect, He loves me just as I am.

I must also remember daily that…

“I am no longer a slave to fear! I am a child of God!”

(Lyrics from Zach Williams song ‘No Longer Slaves’)

Letting go

“You’ll travel where my arms won’t reach,

As the road will rise and lead your feet,

On a journey of your own…

May my mistakes not hinder you,

But His grace remain and guide you through,

This is my prayer for you…”

Lyrics from ‘A Mother’s Prayer’ by Kristyn Getty

———————————————————————————

I find myself experiencing growing pains…strange for someone my age but these types of growing pains were inevitable I suppose, necessary even…

Let me explain…

I find myself sitting more on the sidelines of my boys lives than being a part of the action…..they are both growing more independant, maturing…..they are becoming what I have prayed for since the beginning…..fine young men of God and I couldn’t be more proud…

…but no one warned me it would be so hard to let go…

You know when they are babies and you can’t sleep the time goes by so slowly, and then before you know it your planning graduation parties, and watching them get their first job…when did time speed up?!

It feels like yesterday they needed me to tie their shoes, help them learn to ride their bikes, and nurse them through a cold…sigh…

A while back I was watching my eldest son apply for a job and it all hit me…that feeling of he doesn’t need me anymore, it felt like someone punched me in the stomach…and it must of showed on my face because with concerned brow my son inquired what was wrong, and I could not keep the tears back and I explained to him what I was feeling, he listened intently, then wrapped his arms around me and said…

“Mommy I will always need you, it will just be in a different way now.”

It was in that moment I felt God’s presence, his peace, and him telling me that he was beginning to prepare me for the next stage in my life, and that the process of letting go was going to be hard but necessary, and more than ever I needed to trust in him.

I’m trusting….and I am struggling…logically I get it, you have children they grow up, they get jobs, they move out, I get it…but my heart is breaking….and the weird thing is I get that it’s suppose to break, these growing pains need to happen.

See my boys were never really mine…they were gifts from the Father, they were his first…I along with my husband was granted the honor to raise them, so in a way the Father had to let go too when he gave them to us.

So as I experience these growing pains as a Mom, and I sit on the sidelines watching them grow into incredible men, I’ll pray they know I’ll always be right there cheering them on.

You know going through this right now has made me really think about how God must feel about all of us…he too sits on the sidelines watching us grow, waiting for us, and cheering us on.

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“I pray you’ll be…

Gracious in the fight of it,
Humble at the height of it,
Choose to love in spite of it all,
And when you’re questioning the why of it,
Rise up in the light of it,
I’ll be by your side in it all,
I’m cheering you on…”

Lyrics from ‘Cheering you on’ by For King and Country

Clarity

“Every day this never ending pressure, tries to take its claim over my heart,

I have tried to hold it all together, but time and time again, I fall apart…

But that’s where I find my life was never mine at all

You are the one inside… always in control…”

Lyrics from ‘Out of my Hands’ by Jeremy Camp

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Something that I struggle with, and have for years is control.

…and in turn I carry, and have carried way too much on my shoulders by monopolizing myself in this cycle.

It is only recently that it dawned on me the reason ‘why‘.

The answer was obvious, but I was too deep into denial to realize it until recently.

God brings clarity to chaos, and on one of my hikes he met me on the trail and everything just made sense to me finally.

He showed me the following things about my life…

Growing up I never felt safe, never knew from one moment to the next what was going to happen, and I suffered alot of trauma.

In turn it was also safe to say that I did not trust anyone either, which led to me making sure no one could ever hurt me again…

…so if I am always in control no one or nothing ever could.

I control to protect.

Whether it be me, my husband, my boys, or those I love.

It’s debilitating

It leads to a vicous rollercoaster I make myself ride…

Wanting everything to be in such a way that everyone is happy..and as long as they do it ‘my way‘ only then will I believe they are going to be okay…

Therefore making me okay?

But the truth is that I never feel okay because I’m too busy worrying about everyone else, because if I’m not making sure they are okay all the time then I can’t be?

I just end up chasing my tail, and never actually allowing myself to be okay.

And where is God in all of this?

Where am I allowing God to just do what he desires to do?

To love and protect me…

Where is my trust for the Almighty?

I claimed it when I asked him into my life, I believed it when I read the scriptures, felt it when I prayed, experienced it in my everyday life…

….I keep proclaiming these things but then turning my back when it counts most and by doing so I say “my way” is better”?

That’s bold, naive, foolish, and wrong….so wrong

There were no words to describe the sadness I felt when God brought this clairty to my mind, I sobbed, and he was gracious….

My way” only gets in my way, causes chaos, and stops me from furfilling his purpose for my life.

So now that I understand the ‘root‘ of my control issues am I cured?

…ummm no! Not yet…I am a work in progress, and daily being intentional to surrendering to his will only, not mine.

With God revealing the cycle, what triggers me, and the ‘why‘, I am now better equipped to disrupt it…with truth and the wisdom only he can provide.

His mercy is something I don’t deserve but he gives it willingly.

I am thankful he takes the time and patience to teach me, to help me grow into the woman of God he wants me to be.

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Letting go of worries I can’t measure, holding onto truth that’s healing me,

Knowing I can trust you is a treasure, with eyes wide open now I finally see…”

Lyrics from ‘Out of my Hands’ by Jeremy Camp

Being Seen

“I’ve learned to slam on the brake…Before I even turn the key…
Before I make the mistake…Before I lead with the worst of me…”

(Lyrics from ‘Waving through a Window’ from the musical Dear Evan Hansen.)

I recently had the chance to watch the movie Dear Evan Hansen, and it hit home more than even I expected.

All the lyrics just hit home for me, stirred up some emotions, thoughts, and really shone some light on my journey to self discovery…

Self discovery?

Yes…

I know who I am in Christ, but I am 40 and only now am I discovering who I am, who he made…what makes me me, not what the world labels me or who someone thinks I am.

I have spent my whole life being told who I am, what my interests should be and are, and most times I was a chameleon, changing and adjusting to suit what society or someone said was acceptable….

And somewhere along the way I forgot to stop and ask myself what I liked? what I wanted? how I felt?

Recently God has turned my attention inwards, made it necessary for me to face myself, to discover what makes me me, to see who it is that he made…

I have been avoiding her for a very long time, when I get a glimpse of her in a reflection I look away, and I retreat within myself often, too scared to really be seen

Growing up I was constantly told who I was, what I liked, who I needed to be if I was to be accepted by the world. And probably in mere survival mode I relented and just went along with whatever I was being told…silenced, no understanding then that I actually had a voice…

It just became easier for me fall into the titles or roles that were placed onto me. I was his wife, their mother, her best friend, an abuse survivor….

The only thing that has ever brought me comfort is that I am a Daughter of the King, it was my choice, one that would root in me and begin such a journey in me…

I have often said it is a rare thing for someone to really “see” me, other than the Father. I can count on one hand people whom I trust and love that have really ever seen me, but I am not one of those people, and God says it is time…long overdue…

All I know is that in order for me to get some necessary healing, I need to pull back the curtain and finally “see” her, and it scares me…

So it is time to roll up my sleeves, dig deep, and get to work…

Exciting, but scary…I can imagine when explorers were discovering new lands they were unsure, weary of what they would find…now I am not an undiscovered land…but I am undiscovered to myself…

I ask myself so many questions…

What if I don’t like who I am?

What if no one likes who I really am?

What if in this self discovery I am finally set free?…….

Wait…am I scared to be free?

Now that is a thought to sit with for a while…

By avoiding, relenting, ignoring the necessity for me to know who I am truly, I have kept putting the shackles of fear that have held me in bondage back on, every time the Father kept trying to take them off…

Do we really get so complacent in the monotony of this world that we have found comfort more in denial, lies, confusion, and fascade?

I don’t want that for myself anymore…time to peel off the mask of fascade and really “see” who I am…see who God has made, and I will embrace her regardless of what the world finds agreeable or not.

Unnecessary Burden

I am a fixer, a helper…

I see someone I love hurting, sinking on a ship, and I dive in with no regard to myself just to ease their burden

That’s the way it has always been with me…

I dive in, even if the ship is sinking…

I blindly ignore the ramications it has on me.

Nor have I ever really stopped to care, because it is easier for me to ignore the loudness within my mind than it is to drown on a sinking ship with those I love.

Here in lies the problem…

A problem I was vaguely aware of until recently…

Until the burden on my shoulders became too great, that I found myself so broken I was sobbing on my bed, hyperventilating, and the sad thing…

I had brought it all upon myself, I picked up one too many things from those I love around me, no one asked me to either but it broke me.

As I ly there the problem became crystal clear to me, denial was gone, there was no more vagueness.

I often tell those I love around me not to focus on the waves of the storm of life, fix your eyes on God…but I hadn’t been following my own advice…

I had done a pro job at distracting myself, convincing myself I was okay with helping everyone at whatever cost to myself, and I was pretty damn naive to think I could ever help anyone first before helping myself, and secondly and more importantly that I could ever do what my heavenly Father’s job is!

Thing is I already have baggage, we all do, we carry our burdens, God is right there waiting for us to lay them down and let him do his job, but we hang on to them, we convince ourselves we got it, we can fix it…

With me I took it one step further, I went into complete avoidance of my own burdens, and started picking up everyone else’s baggage, and I can imagine God watching me as I struggled to carry everything, watching me lie to myself, and being so foolish.

How that must of made him sad, because I should know better by now. But thing is sometimes our flesh screams out, and we take the easy way out…mine was to ignore myself completely, and get on to a sinking ship and convince myself everything was okay…

In this particular situation I found myself being given the following words that have literally woken me up

“I love you to no end, but I can not love you to my end.”

Those are the words God gave me as reality of my denial came crashing in as I laid on my bed with a tear soaked face.

I had told someone in my life several times I loved them to no end…

…but God made me realize the harsh reality of the second part of that phrase, and that I needed to say it to that person.

I had to put up that boundary, even if it meant it was going to hurt like hell.

And when I finally said those words, it felt like the scene from the movie in Pilgrim’s Progress, when Christian is finally released from carrying is huge backpack, his burden. He was free in that moment, at peace, and I felt that way after saying those words…

For the first time I understood what laying down your burdens really meant, and felt like…and I am realizing I need to work on not carrying anyone else’s burdens either.

I need to find balance

I need to know when enough is enough, being sure that I know the difference from caring about someone, showing compassion or sympathy, and to getting on to a sinking ship without no regard to myself.

God is never done teaching us, and when we get out of balance he is right there to help us, to walk us through our growing pains, to ease us as our flesh cries out, to keep us in check when we dare to think we can do it all, fix it all…

Where does that leave me now?

Well…I am learning about boundaries, and how deeply necessary they are, because without healthy boundaries it can cost you…

…and the only one who paid that price…who loved us to no end, and to their own end was Jesus Christ!

And I am so glad he did, it is a burden we could never carry, we were never meant to, only he was designed to…and we must remember that.

“At the top of the hill stood a cross, and a little below at the bottom was a stone tomb. In my dream, just as Christian came up to the cross his burden loosened from his shoulders and fell off his back. It tumbled and continued to do so down the hill until it came to the mouth of the tomb where it fell inside and was seen no more.”

(Quote from the Movie Pilgrim’s Progress.)