God Wins

I want to talk about something….most of the time we find it a difficult thing to speak of but I have a story and I need to tell it.   I think maybe someone needs to hear it.

I went to the funeral of a 17 year old girl yesterday.  She was my youngest daughters age and I don’t really have words to articulate what that was like.  She had taken her own life because of the unending pain that she was enduring.  But that is not her story.  How she died was not who she was.  How she lived was who she was.  Cait was love.  And because of her story, I want to tell you my story.  Someone needs hope.  Someone needs to know that the crushing weight does not have to be WHO YOU ARE.  It can be WHERE YOU CAME FROM.  It can be part of YOUR STORY that gives someone else HOPE.  The hope they need to keep putting one foot in front of the other to find victory.

Twelve and a half years ago I tried to kill myself.

I went into my bathroom and took a bottle of pills and prayed I would never wake up.

I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I couldn’t feel the pain without relief anymore.

I just wanted out.

I wanted peace.

I wanted to be with Jesus.

I didn’t want to hurt anyone.  I was just consumed and crushed by the weight.  The weight of my life that was not how I had planned.  The weight of the hurts that had burrowed into my sensitive spirit.  The weight of dreams and ideas I had for my future that I knew were never going to happen because of my own choices.  The weight of the lie that I was a bad mom and a horrible wife.  The weight of depression that had planted it’s dark seed in my family way before I was ever born.

It was crushing me and I didn’t know how to claw my way up to the light.

So I took the pills.

And it started a tidal wave.

A tidal wave of love that I had never seen or felt before.

There was a friend.

She sat with me in the hospital.

Charcoal.

Stomach pumped.

Ugly.

Dirty.

Ashamed.

She never left.  She stayed and refused to be rejected by my silence.  She fought for me without my even noticing.  I wouldn’t look at her.  I was so ashamed.  Humiliated.  Embarrassed.  She loved me anyway.  She showed me Jesus and made me question the lies I had been believing…and she didn’t have to do a thing but be there.  She just chose to be there. With me.  Like Jesus.

My act of desperation sent me on a quest to find out who Jesus really was.  I had grown up with Him but I had never truly known Him.  I found Him.  He healed me and has changed my life.  I cannot say that I have never struggled since then but I know how He feels about me no matter what.  I know there is always a way through no matter how I may feel.  He is so personal and He has picked me up and carried me through more storms than I ever imagined I would endure.  He has also shown me myself.  His kindness, even in His correction has opened me.  It makes me want to let Him change the not so good parts of myself.  It makes me crave a life lived in love and kindness, compassion and mercy.

Here is what I know.  God tells the truth.  I believe that in my very core.  He says that He knows our days, beginning and end.  And if God tells the truth, and He says He knows our days, then don’t you think that no matter the cause, we will go to be with Him on the day He has ordained?  Maybe that is another Pandora’s Box that I am opening but I also know that God is bigger than suicide.  I am already seeing that with Cait’s family.  I have seen it in my own life.  And all I know is that GOD WINS.  It may really be horrible and devastating for awhile but if we allow Him to, He can work absolutely everything for good.  I have experienced it myself and I am living it again in this season that I am in.

My intention here is to show you that there is hope.  Hope in the crushing weight.  Hope in the heartache.  Hope in the devastation of lost hopes, dreams and expectations.  Hope in the unkind words.  Hope in the loss of innocence.  God IS that hope.  He is love.  And GOD ALWAYS WINS.  ALWAYS.

Advertisements

Light Invades the Dark…

Ok.  Here goes….

I know you may think this a strange platform to open everything up but this is my journal at the moment.  And in my journal goes the truth.  And I am going to speak the whole truth.  Not for judgement or comment or sympathy or comfort but because God has asked me from the beginning of this journey back in August to be transparent.  To not hide. To not be quiet and only tell parts of the truth.  But I have been hiding.  Yes, I have been talking about my struggle.  I have been talking about my hurt.  Yet I have veiled the specific reasons because I don’t want to create offense.  Even in my frustration, I want to bring honor to the One who carries me so gently.  However, I have not been as transparent as is required of me.  I have not been as vulnerable as I should be.  I have only told parts of the truth.  I have omitted.  And that is still lying.

You may think this explanation means you are finally going to get all the details.  You’re not.  I’m not here to expose things that are not mine to tell.  I am here to talk about my sin…..to be vulnerable, real, open.  There have been times I have felt like the only one and that is a lonely place.  I don’t want you to feel the same….so here is my darkness…

I have been living in a world where I have believed that I should be betrayed, rejected, abandoned because I deserve it.  I have done things and lived lies that I never thought I could or would be a part of.  I spent many, many years being a liar.  It started small enough….I’m not even sure why I told the lie other than somehow inside of me, I was afraid.  It was small but it started a cycle in my life that I have battled for years.  I remember going to the store that shall remain nameless shortly after I was married and buying things for our home.  They were small and silly things like cleaning supplies, a mop and bucket, a broom, pretty couch pillows, some new clothes for our son…nothing extravagant but I remember thinking to myself on the way home that I had spent too much money and my husband was going to be angry.  I don’t know why I thought that…he hadn’t really ever shown anger up to that point….but still it was there.  And I bowed low to that fear. Without even realizing it,  I welcomed her in, served her iced tea and became fast friends with her.  We began a lifelong friendship.  We talked every day. I submitted myself to that friend named fear and she dominated me.

When we bought our first home in December of 1997 is when she really rose up and took over.  My husband had his own business and I was in charge of the finances.  I knew all the right things to do…I had worked in a bank for heavens sake, but somehow I could just never make the math work to where we had enough.  I didn’t buy extravagant things or make horrible decisions but I couldn’t get it right and my dear friend fear refused to let me ask for help.  And because she dominated me, I cowered to her demands.  So I lied.  By omission.  I didn’t speak up and say, “we don’t have enough for that” or “we need to cut back on this.”  So my husband was always left with the impression that there was plenty and he could do whatever he liked, within reason.  And honestly he did wonderful things.  He bought dirt bikes for him and the boys, they went on road trips to find antique trucks, camping trips were had and enjoyed.  And me and the girls stayed home and watched.  I felt sorry for myself because I was never going to get that new couch.  I got angry because the girls wanted to do things but there wasn’t enough money so the answer was always no for them.  Our home needed some upgrades but we just couldn’t make it happen.  And I listened to my friend fear and believed that it was my husbands fault….that somehow I wasn’t valuable enough to take care of.  That I was an afterthought. I believed that if he thought I was important enough, he would step back and look at it and see what was happening and take it over….or something.  But in my mind, if I made it about his neglect then I wasn’t at fault.  It’s funny how the mind works when you let fear take over….and you don’t even know it’s happening until it’s too late.  I have spent years battling the spiral of this cycle.  I would do better for awhile but then it would wear on me and I would cave to the pressure to be what I was not. There are many years of this road.  Omitting, lying to cover the omission, frustration, anger, regret….and again and again.  I look back on it now and think how ridiculous it all was.  And it was.  But I also see how I bought fully into the lie that I was messing up continually so that made me worthless. I didn’t deserve to be cherished.  Everything I got was what I had coming to me.  And I taught my family to view me in the same way.  So what I believed about myself was what I manifested on the outside.  But then I would punish those around me for not loving me enough.  It’s exhausting just thinking about it now.  I have made so many things hard and painful.

I realized the other day that I have a very specific thought process.  I have been told many times recently by different people that they think I’m amazing.  That I’m real and authentic, talented and strong.  This is such a huge compliment to me.  The problem lies in what goes on in my head when I hear these things.  I literally think to myself, “You wouldn’t say that if you really knew me.  My family knows me for real and they don’t think I’m amazing.  You wouldn’t really like me or compliment me if you really knew me like they do.”  Now how on earth can I go years and years thinking like this and never realize it you ask?  I have no idea but I have.  Simple as that.  I just have.  But I’m done with that.  I must be done with that.  I cannot live the rest of my life never writing that book or thriving in relationship or experiencing God to the fullest if I keep going down that road.  It stops.  Now.

Please hear me clearly.  I am not taking ownership for everything that has ever been wrong in my family.  I am owning and bringing into the open my stuff….where I have allowed the enemy entrance to accuse me and determine my value. I must allow God to shatter my darkness. I no longer will allow the enemy this foothold in my life.  He has run me for long enough.  I am done being controlled like doll on a string.  Because these things have been hidden in the dark, I have allowed these accusations to come at me, not just in my own mind, but by the people I love the most.  I can’t do that anymore.  I am here to say, “The Lord Rebuke You satan.  You will accuse me no longer.  You are convicting me of crimes that I may have committed but that my Lord refuses to even charge me with.  My garments are dirty.  Really dirty.  But God washes me anyway.  Over and over and over again. I have failed, but in His great kindness to me, He holds my hand and leads me out of the darkness.  It’s time to live in the light.

Next the Messenger-Angel showed me the high priest Joshua.
He was standing before God’s Angel where the Accuser showed
up to accuse him. Then God said to the Accuser, “I, God, rebuke
you, Accuser! I rebuke you and choose Jerusalem. Surprise!
Everything is going up in flames, but I reach in and pull out Jerusalem!”
Joshua, standing before the angel, was dressed in dirty clothes. The
angel spoke to his attendants, “Get him out of those filthy clothes,”
and then said to Joshua, “Look, I’ve stripped you of your sin and dressed
you up in clean clothes.”
I spoke up and said, “How about a clean new turban for his head also?”
And they did it—put a clean new turban on his head. Then they finished
dressing him, with God’s Angel looking on.
God’s Angel then charged Joshua, “Orders from God-of-the-Angel-Armies:
‘If you live the way I tell you and remain obedient in my service, then you’ll
make the decisions around here and oversee my affairs. And all my
attendants standing here will be at your service.
“‘Careful, High Priest Joshua—both you and your friends sitting here with you,
for your friends are in on this, too! Here’s what I’m doing next: I’m introducing
my servant Branch. And note this: This stone that I’m placing before Joshua,
a single stone with seven eyes’—Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies—‘I’ll
engrave with these words:
“I’ll strip this land of its filthy sin, all at once, in a single day.”
“‘At that time, everyone will get along with one another, with friendly visits across
the fence, friendly visits on one another’s porches.’”
Zechariah 3 MSG
email logo

Continue reading

Pieces of Me…

Warning…written during an emotional tsunami…read at your own risk. No, I’m not joking.

I am a mess. I keep trying to have it all together, say the right things, think the right thoughts, act the right ways, pray the right prayers….but still I am a mess.  Is my heart position not genuine?  I feel like it is, but would I still be a mess if it was?

I finally, after all these months, got really mad at God a little bit ago. I screamed at Him in hysteria.  Raged at Him about the state of my life, the painful circumstances, the seemingly never ending pain that stalks me no matter what I do.  No matter how much or how hard I pray.

In an argument that I had with someone close to me, I was told that I am the reason for all the problems in my life. I’m the reason I’ve been abandoned. I’m the reason I may end up divorced. I’m the reason that my relationships are all failing. It’s my fault….And I believe it. Somehow, in me, I still believe this. If I didn’t, would I have gotten so “out of control” upset?  Something in me still believes that I am the sole reason for every failure in my life and family. I know, I know, pity party. But seriously, I know that too. But I still believe it. Why? Why do I believe this?  I want to figure it out but it’s elusive. It’s floats around just out of my reach.  I don’t want to believe it but I do.

Sometimes I feel like I’m being teased. Like this isn’t really my life.  That somehow I’ll wake up and be a better person. Have a better heart. Be more patient. Less pushy. Listen better.  Be easier to love. Somehow I am hard to love by the people who “really” know me….those who know who I am every moment of every day.  I must be or wouldn’t I be loved well? I so long to be loved well.  By a human being.  But somehow my brain tells me I’m the reason this isn’t possible.  And it’s spouted at me by ones I love.  So it must be true. Right?  What is the secret to being loved well?  What am I missing?  Did I somehow miss showing up the day God handed that out?  Or maybe it’s because I feel this way that pushes people away when they want to love me like I crave. Maybe I just can’t accept it. Maybe I can’t even see it.  Maybe I am blind. I don’t want to be but maybe, just maybe, I am.

So maybe it WAS me who shattered me….or allowed myself to be shattered. Maybe I refused being loved well because I didn’t even see that it was there….right in front of me.  I was so busy screaming “LOVE ME BETTER” that I missed the actual love.

Maybe I shouldn’t write when I am in this state of question asking but I make no excuses. It is my process. And I’m letting you in a little deeper and a little sooner than I usually do. I always seem to find my way….eventually. It may take awhile, but I have to ask the questions to get to the answers.

I hope you don’t think me a crazed lunatic. I hope you find something in here that makes you feel not quite so alone.  I don’t wish this ache on anyone.  Maybe you can ask the questions with me and walk along as we find the answers. In my weak place, I still know that He will eventually show me because i am His.  Maybe this time, He will show us together.  I sure hope it’s soon.  I want to be free.  I don’t want to be broken anymore.