Breaking through....Trust renewed

I was in my junior year at MSU, had come through a difficult season of my life and just kind of bulldozing my way through. I didn’t care how I did it, or how well I did it, I just wanted to get through school and be done. I was both raw and numb emotionally as I was working through so much unfinished stuff in me. I have found therapy/counseling to be very beneficial for myself, for my marriage, and for my oldest child over the years. It’s stupid and incredibly arrogant to think at any point we can weather through life on our own, and I know some will not agree with this-but sometimes God is not enough. Sometimes God’s provision and deliverance for us through a terrible experience, comes in the form of a professional therapist. I was there, more than once, and the mind is a powerful thing. When you reach that point, the point when you are teetering on the edge and starting to lose hope, that’s the point to ask for professional help. I’m really glad I did. It was hard for me to admit God was not enough for me in that season. I was nearly buried by what I had endured and not dealt with. The hurt, the emotional abuse, the guilt, the shame of what I had experienced. I nearly let it define me. I nearly let it defeat me. But I was so weary from it all, and I was struggling to function on some basic level day to day. I knew if I didn’t get help, I’d be miserable for the rest of my life. I would continue to live in the pattern I had created for myself. It was not healthy. I was getting by, I was not living the abundant life God intended for me. I needed to be reminded of who I was in Christ, His greater purpose for me.

I will never forget the method my therapist used to help me visualize who I was in Christ. I had forgotten, but He knew all along I was in there. Underneath all the ick I had experienced and allowed to bury me, He knew the child He created was still in there and ready to be free. But I had to realize it, and accept it, choose it. Free will is a tricky thing. We aren’t puppets. God has so much for us to experience as His. But we have to choose it. He cannot force it, snap us out of it, make us do what He thinks is right. It’s not His nature. He loves us enough to give us that choice. He is a good Father. So my therapist asked me to close my eyes and visualize a chalkboard, and what would I have written on it about myself. That was not easy, was actually very painful. I didn’t like myself, I didn’t have much good to write up there, and honestly I found myself staring at the chalkboard with nothing. Just blank. When it started to flow out of me, it was messy and ugly and awful and gut wrenching…..but necessary and good. As I visualized this, spoke it and tried to find my way to some form of calm, I realized He was there in the room with us. He was there with me in that very moment. He had been there all along. But, somehow I had forgotten Him and become way too comfortable in my misery. That’s no way to live, and I was ready to find my way to stepping out of it. The next thing she asked me to visualize, was Jesus stepping up to the chalkboard. And she asked me what I thought He would write about me. More tears. Yeah, a whole lot more tears. My heart broke, as I found myself seeing for the first time in a long time truly how Jesus sees me. How He knows me. How He loves me. He calls me worthy, loved, beautiful, purposed for great things, blessed beyond measure. I can’t make this stuff up. The mind is a powerful thing. It is all too easy for us to blame satan for the struggles we go through, but we fail to recognize and own up to what we do to ourselves! When we release our grip on ourselves, the control we think we have, and throw off what threatens to define or defeat us, the things of this world, the way others have treated us, the experiences we have had that we think are all that we know to be true of this life… is a freedom that cannot be described, or captured outside of personal experience between yourself and God. I could try, but words are not adequate.

Freedom is found when we lay it all down, walk away from it and never pick it back up again. And sometimes it takes some extra help and intervention to get to that place. I am thankful that I found it. I am thankful I had family, friends who saw in me the necessity to dig deeper and said so. I am thankful for the accountability I had and still have to this day not only in family and friends, but in our church community. We cannot do this thing called life and live it to the fullest in Christ, if we are isolated. We need each other. We are better together.

As I am wrapping up this blog entry, a Big Daddy Weave song came to my mind. I love their arrangement of “Trust and Obey”. It is soothing to me. I am a musician at heart, so of course, I find comfort most often in music but it is especially powerful when I know the truth of it is based on the Word of God and His promises to us.

‘…But we never can prove
The delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay
For the favor He shows
For the joy He bestows
Are for them who will trust and obey….’

When we are battered and bruised by the things of this life, it is difficult to put our trust in anything or anyone. But God is faithful. He is the source of our hope and help. Always.

Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to GOD! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor GOD with everything you own;
give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent GOD’s discipline;
don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that GOD corrects;
a father’s delight is behind all this. Proverbs 3:5-12 MSG

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