I’m starting on a new journey, and to be honest I am not sure I will be taking you all along with me. But right now, in this moment, I’m excited. God continues to renew me in these dark days. He continues to take things long worn upon my soul like tight and uncomfortable clothing and gives me the strength to shed the layers one by one. I am beginning to make connections where there weren’t connections before. I am beginning to let go of anxiety. I am beginning to understand my anxiety. I am beginning to replace it with comfort only Christ can give.
This journey involves looking back on traumas I have experienced in my life. Including those things I chose to inflict on myself; those things that continue to be the core of the unbearable anxiety which surrounds my present and daily life. This anxiety, or at times post traumatic stress, pulls me from a fairly sane (but no doubt scorn) woman, and turns me into a pile of crap at the slightest hint of an unpleasant memory. So the idea is to reprocess these events, including the trauma of Matt’s death, and learn to identify them internally for what they really are – my past.
Armed with the vision of Jesus at my side, today was Day One of reprocessing. It was hard, draining, and truly . . . it sucked. Well, it sucked in the most freeing and healing way one could imagine. I never would have guessed this would be the way to healing. A re-treading of shark infested waters, in order to find the peace Jesus always wanted me to have.
I realized after the fact that one of the hardest parts for me along this rugged road will be admission to the fact that I have done what I have done. And that does not affect the kind of person I am, the love I deserve, or the way others should view me. This sounds immature. I suppose because it’s easy for me to pin point what I ‘need’ to do, but doing it has been an ongoing struggle for years. For now, that struggle is still very much present within me. I hold my past, at least the terrible stuff, so tightly to my present I cannot tell where one ends and the other begins.
The truth is over the last two years of my life I am slowly learning two very important things:
1) I am not alone. Some of my traumatic events are worse than yours, but some are not. Some of my choices were more devastating than yours; again, some were not. In this very moment we are all suffering in some way, in some capacity. We all feel inadequate, unworthy, and unattractive in a certain life area. We are not alone.
2) Secrets are lies. I talked awhile ago about my ‘lie’. About how my ‘lie’ is that I’m not worthy of love. Would my life have looked different if I had told my father in high school that I felt unlovable? I imagine it probably would have knowing how kind my father is, and how gently he holds my heart. If we don’t allow those who love us to invade our lies for the craziness that they are . . . they fester. Fester like an infected wound. The longer the secret is there the harder it is to evict it from your soul.
I realize that not everyone needs what I need. Some people are happy with their pasts. Some people are free from traumatic events. Some people are confident in their choices, their path, and their inner rantings. In which case I suppose this isn’t for you. For the rest of you – the ones that were brought to a thought, a moment, or an event – I dare you to share that. Pick a person you trust. Pick a person of faith. Pick a person who mirrors the image of Jesus. A person who understands what grace looks like. And then? Let it go. Let go of the thing that haunts you. Of the lie you tell yourself. Of that event that embarrasses you. A moment of humiliation. Go ahead and tell the story of the person who tore your soul to shreds.
When you are done take a deep breath. Thank God for freedom, for grace, and for the new creation within us. Remember that Jesus taught us about Kingdom living here and now . . . in this life . . . on this Earth. Reach for it, because He wants you to.