What do I do with all this sadness?

Recently I have being working hard to be aware of my emotions and learn how to express them in a healthy way and live at peace with them instead of trying to avoid them in dysfunctional and unhealthy ways. The first step, allow myself to know what I truly feel. This proved more difficult than I imagined. First in knowing what I felt, but even more, what to do with it. I am surprised to discover how sad I am. What do I do with that?

It seems every time I start to rejoice in all the goodness that is around me some heart wrenching event sends me floundering on my knees in a pool of tears. I seem to brake a little more at every devastating phone call and tragedy that naturally hovers over abusive families and churches. I’m glad that my idols of family and religion are crumbling all around me, truth has set me free, but my heart still breaks for all the causalities and wounds of children and loved ones. My healing wounds seem to brake open again with every triggering event, judgement or memory. As I voiced to a trusted sister-in-law, “how much more of this can we take?”

At these times I love reading King David’s psalms. It’s nice to know that God encourages us to use the emotions He created in us without shame. No more fake facades of “happy perfection”. Only truth and vulnerability, two things I’m only now learning to be comfortable with. I may still feel uncomfortable with my sadness but I remember who is with me.

Psalm 25:16-21

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins. Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me. Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.

         

“God saved you from all that…”

Someone I love dearly and I know genuinely loves me said this to me recently in reference to my abusive childhood memories. This is a phrase I’ve heard before and have probably said myself but this time it struck me hard, because,

I’m not where I used to be.

I am confident that the intent was well-meaning, meant to encourage me to focus on my blessings. And I’d be happy to oblige if that statement didn’t leave me feeling so…

…hopeless.

Here’s the thing, God didn’t save me from my horrible childhood memories. I asked Him to many times. But my parents didn’t *poof* turn into safe parents. God didn’t *poof* put me into a safe family and change my brain to think like one. I didn’t have ruby red slippers to take me to a place I cherished. Even though I do feel a little guilty for my sarcasm, I do believe this statement is truly that empty and fantastical. Because it simply isn’t true.

God didn’t save me from my abuse, rather He saved me in spite of it.

This is a huge difference to me. You see, for me, if God saved me from my abuse than I shouldn’t ever let it affect me, …but it does. So what do I do? Well, I pretend. That fixes it right? I’ll just slap that Christian smile on my face and pretend that everything is just swell because “God loves me and I have been blessed”. I’m sure after a while I’ll act good enough that the emptiness of knowing I’m a fraud will go away along with those horrible fears of rejection unless I perform just right. But where is the truth is this nicely packaged lie? Where is the gospel?

But if instead God saved me in spite of my abuse, well now, for me this is a different story. My abuse isn’t something I need to hide or avoid, instead it becomes my song of praise. What does this mean to me? It means that God’s not afraid of my story, that he weeps with me and rejoices with me and yes, we can do both simultaneously. It means that God isn’t this jerk that let all of these things happen to me and then wants me to pretend they didn’t happen. It means that He loves me so much that He never left me alone in the darkness and that He not only desires the mess I am now, but desires to, in time, renew it into something of glory and honor.

LIKE MAYBE A BEAUTIFUL MESS.

So desired that it was worth the price of His precious Son. My past tells of the glory of what Christ did on the cross and why He did it. For me to pretend it never happened or not let my mind go back to those days in which we wept together I think cheapens and even mocks the gospel of the cross. I believe living victorious in this present world isn’t to forget the past or even to put the past behind you, but rather to live at peace with it ( for me, a greater fight than it sounds).

After all,

Christ isn’t ashamed of the scars He bears that testify His love for me, so why should I hide my scars that likewise testify His love for me?

No God didn’t save me from my abusive past, but I can shout praise, because as much as He hates abuse, God loves me in spite of it.

Rest

Remember me as you shut your eyes;

my love, my grace and my goodness.

Examine silently the thoughts in your heart;

expose, reprove and tackle the mess.

Stretch all the fear and tension away;

dream with courage and joy unfurled.

Take a deep breath, feel the pulse of my life;

now get up and go into the world.

A BETTER PLACE

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Bring me to a better place.
I’m tired of all the noise.
The temptations wear me down,
And I’m sick of hearing evil’s ploys.

Bring me to a better place.
I’m exhausted from being tough.
I do so much and try so hard,
But it will never be enough.

Bring me to a better place.
I want to leave it all.
The lies, the hurts, the betrayal;
All that’s cursed me from the fall.

Bring me to a better place,
This place of peace and rest.
Where confidence is bold
And trust is at its best.

Bring me to a better place,
I’m ready to face the fight.
I want to live in the truth,
And project its radiant light.

Bring me to a better place,
Where I learn to love above all.
Where hope and trust prevail
And courage hears the call.

Beautiful wings

   Sleek 
and graceful 
  you glide th
   rough the air. Dipping and swaying 
      here and there. Your flight is a mystery, 
      migration perplexing. If I had that ability I’d feel so free.
       You’re clothed by your maker most elegantly, feathers so delic
          ately strong, what a feat. Your song is 
             enchanting, sweet melodies that 
                          tickle 
                            my 
                            fa
                            nc
                            y. 
                         You are 
          an amazing creation, at least that is my summation.

Prompt:animal, Form:concrete poetry, Device:enjambment

The lies comparisons tell

I’ve never felt normal. I don’t even know what it means to be normal. Normal, to me, is a lie of the devil. Comparisons are an evil vice meant to discourage us from living out who we are. A lie to deceive me into thinking that somehow I am more than someone else. A lie to perpetuate anxiety that I am less then everyone else. I’m tired. I’m tired of trying to keep in step with this impossible dance. I’m a terrible dancer especially when I think everyone is watching.

Why am I so obsessed with looking all put together anyway? Like its creator, life is a mystery. I believe my obsession over a put together appearance is in fact buying  into the same lie as Eve; that I am a god in control of my own destiny. How can I be in charge of my destiny? I can’t control the weather tomorrow, I can’t control the flu than seems to be plaguing our family this year, I can’t even control my husband and kids or anyone else for that matter.

No, the only thing I am in control of are my choices. And I choose what I believe. If I believe that life is a competition, that I’m to fight to be above everyone else, then pride, jealousy, anger, manipulation, etc will be my tools. If I believe that I am to live to the glory of my creator, to live according to my purpose in Him, then love, joy, peace, self-control, etc., will be my tools. If life is about being normal, comparing myself to everyone else, than tomorrow is what I live for. If life is about loving my God and my neighbor than I live fulfilled and content in the moment.

We all have choices to make but I’d rather face an unknown tomorrow with love and compassion overflowing out of me to others than tossing and turning all night consumed with myself in anxiety and fear of others. This is what I choose and this is what I hope to teach my children to choose. It’s the greatest gift I can give them.

Me being Normal, I could care less about that; but I do know that I have immeasurable value just like every human that lives on this earth. Discovering the beauty of my creator by appreciating the lives of others, that sounds like a life worth living

The Building With The Biggest Doors (A Parable of Sorts)

Law vs grace beautifully portrayed.

john pavlovitz

DoubleDoorDrawing

One day, a boy was walking through the town with his father, just as they did every Sunday morning.

He so enjoyed their walks.

The boy held his father’s hand as they traveled from street to street, taking in every color, every sound, every scent of the new day.

As they walked together, the boy loved to look at the people as they passed by; so very different, so not at all the same. They were beautiful, and sweet, and strange, and sometimes even scary.

Whenever they happened upon someone, whether the boy thought they were beautiful, or sweet, or strange, or scary, his father would always look them in the eyes, smile, and say something nice to them.

Sometimes the people would smile back.
Sometimes they look surprised.
Sometimes they looked away quickly.

And on this morning, the boy finally turned to his father and asked, “Why do you do that, Father? Why do you greet everyone in the street…

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Journey

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Traveling down this narrow road,

I’m all alone so I’ve been told.

I wonder where I’m going,

what fruit I am sowing.

I trust You to carry my load.

Prompt:journey, Form:limerick, Device:alliteration

“Worn” from not being “strong enough”

I love music. It moves me in a powerful way. For many years I hindered my worship experience because I self-righteously thought that any music with real passion (aka: drums and emotionally connecting vibe) was evil. What a box I put God in.

But I am worn. I’m worn out trying to look perfect and happy in a dead religion. I’m sick of the hypocrisy, the back-biting, the hate talk, the comparing how my spirituality measures up to your spirituality. This is not Christlike. It is not what God’s church looks like. I’m drinking the kool-aid no more. It is not my job as a Christian to prove my “rightness”. It’s my job to love.

I wish it was that easy. The problem? I’m worn from loving too. It is hard to love, especially when it’s easier to be right. And it is especially exhausting to love someone who feels it’s their Christian duty to be right. It’s hard to love those that have hurt you terribly. But I know it’s what God wants. So here’s to those who struggle like me. Who are worn from trying to do everything in our own strength because that’s the lie hurt tells us and it’s how we’ve survived thus far. But now it’s time to let God take over, revive us and renew us and show us what life in His strength looks like…Rest. Let’s rest in His work together, unified in our created uniqueness. You are my ideal audience!