I’ve been reading some *new books….books written by women who have been broken in much the same way as me….in an effort to begin healing the sore parts, the living-afraid pieces, the I don’t-really-trust-anyone girl inside who just can’t let go. I’m learning a lot.
Much of what is written I have highlighted. Many of the same kinds of things these authors are writing in their books, I have thought to myself or expressed aloud to my husband, who is really the only one to hear me lament about these issues. Highlighting these phrases helps me to know I am not alone. I’ve got company in my struggles with low self-esteem, my inability to trust, my anger, my lack of confidence, my desire to be heard, my paralysis when I learn I’ve disappointed someone, the feeling that I am ‘marked’ and forever a target to certain kinds of people.
I don’t want to be this way. I understand that as an adult and a person who has free will to choose her behavior, actions, and words, I have a choice. I own it.
When in the midst of my struggles, I often forget. I’m taken back to the summer of my 9th year and I disremember that I now have people I can call on. I forget that Jesus, my Savior, my Saving Grace, is here, was there, and will be here for me for all time. My thoughts do not immediately go to the fact that He is a friend who is closer than a brother.
Flashes of memory, quick images, rush to mind. Various pictures of my childhood and teen years come back to me. They haunt me. As a grown woman I look back. I see the truth. And it hurts me. I was living scared. I mourn for that girl. And I am sad for the effect that parts of that girl’s life still have on my own.
Over the last several months, I have spent much time thinking about events in my younger life, how they are intertwined with my life now. Many poor decisions I made as a teenager are directly related to a fear that began in me at the age of 9. It has permeated my life. It’s a daily battle, this fear. It makes me angry. I rail at the turn of events that has led me here. Tears are shed over how my fears and mistrust affect my relationships. My first response is to turn inward and away if I feel I’ve disappointed someone or when others hurt me, basically shutting down, which hinders relationship. And when I feel cornered, targeted, forced….I sometimes lash out with hurtful words.
Recently, I awakened in the middle of the night. When this happens I often spend time in prayer over my family, friends, my blog. This particular night I was praying about my trust issues. To be honest, I was railing at God about how I got to this place. I told Him my desires and hopes, and asked Him why He has put me in this place……this place of fear and mistrust which causes me to doubt people. It paralyzes me and affects my ability to move forward.
Do you know what I heard from my Comforter, my Healer, my Savior, the Lover of my Soul during those wee hours in the morning when I was railing against the situation I’m in?
“But do you trust me?”
My answer was “Yes, but…” but I didn’t get very far before I heard again,
“Do you trust ME?”
What does one say to that? I am in a place that I don’t like right now. I’m not comfortable, I’m hurting, and often feel alone. However, I’m not. Even in my struggles, God has surrounded me with people, even if many of them are through books or the internet, who have been where I am. And people in real life to whom I can turn. We have not been promised a life of comfort, a life we will always like. In fact, God promises that we will experience trials, tribulations, hurts, sorrow, along with our joys, happiness, peace, and love.
God has shown me that He wants me to dig into His word even more and learn about his love. His desire is for me to learn what it means to be loved, to truly understand His great love for me, so that I can live loved. So that I can love others His way.
Someone recently reminded me that perfect love casts out fear.
1 John 4:18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
I just had to smile as I agreed with her, knowing that God always knows better than me, and there is no one better to teach me about His love than the One who loves best.
Each year I choose a word for the year. I’ve done this for several years now, usually choosing a word that is meaningful in my life, a character trait that I know I need to work on, typically prompted by God through prayer and reading of His word. I thought that my word was going to be related to fear, since it has been such a struggle for me in my life. Instead, He has gently nudged me to begin learning more about His love, to experience it, trust it, revel in it. Then I can extend His agape love to others.
I’m becoming increasingly excited about what He is going to do in my life through my study of this word, and in what ways I will begin to learn about living loved in 2016.
Please join me in January as I spend 31 days learning about what it means to be loved by the One whose love is the biggest. The series begins January 1, 2016. I will be adding the link to each post here so feel free to come back to this post each day to read, or subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!
Day 7 Living Loved ~ $35 Gift Card Giveaway Seven Waters Creations (for hand-painted pendant)
Day 9 Living Loved ~ One Life
*Recommended resources, as mentioned at the beginning of this post:
This series is a part of a month-long series being written by the Homeschool Blogging Connection Team. Each one of us hopes to encourage and bless you with what we will be sharing on our blogs in January. Be sure to click on over to read about what to expect from each blogger over the next 31 days!
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