Just Me

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Seasons...Moving Forward...

I think it has been over a year since I last wrote. Life has been a journey to say the least. I am so blessed to be married to my wonderful man and we are getting ready to celebrate a year together as husband and wife!! Hard to believe. 

The past year has held many changes for us. Adapting to life together as well as blending our family. For the most part it has been a good journey. We have had some things that we have had to work through-no perfect people in this house- but I am thankful for a husband who makes protecting my heart a priority!! I am so blessed. I have grown to love living in Columbus and will actually miss it when we move next week to Tipp City.

I am going to try to make this short and to the point, but there is a lot I want to say. So, get ready...

Moving here took some big adjusting. I went through a very lonely season of not feeling connected. I came from a church that I loved and was very involved in and had many people that meant so much to me, to walking into church each week and seeing no face that I knew. I also began the "fun" journey of pre-menopause. Insert crazy woman here...

During this process, I started realizing that I was battling things from my past, that I thought I had already dealt with and moved beyond. I was falling into this self-condemnation mentality-after all God had done for me...after proclaiming that I was free and walking in freedom, why was I here again?? I am a "hypocrite". Between this mental and emotional process, and pre-menopause, I began battling depression and anxiety. It was hard to understand that during this amazingly happy time in my life with my sweet man, that I could be depressed and lay in bed at night wide awake with heart pounding from anxiety, at the same time. 

Finally in January, I was able to join a small group at my church. I am so thankful for this group of women and the friendships I have formed here. We are real and raw with each other. God is growing us each in our own way and it is such a blessing to be part of this group. Our hearts have been knit for eternity!

In February, I finally went to the doctor and was put on medication for hormonal related anxiety and depression. It has been such a huge help. I also began seeing a counselor, because I knew I had work to do. I had to experience FREEDOM (my word for the year) that God wanted me to walk in on this earth.

It seems like my journey has been two steps forward one step back...one step forward, two steps back...I wish I could give all the details of how God has moved in this process, but time and space doesn't allow, so fast forwarding to more recent events...

I know my "what" that I need to move beyond...I know the "why" behind it all...my issue is the "how"...How do I finally let go of hurts, stop believing lies, walk in freedom?? I know what scripture says, I know how Jesus sees me...so why am I STUCK here in this pit? Why can't I just do it?? Why doesn't Jesus just FIX me?? That is a cool testimony too! 

I dug in. I dug in deep. I started flooding my mind with studies on freedom, songs on freedom, seeking and praying for freedom. I needed to move past all of this and I knew I needed to do my part. 

God has used several things in my life through this journey. One was the book "Unashamed" by Christine Caine. I didn't realize shame doesn't just come because of things we do, but things that are done TO us as well. I was battling things from my early childhood, through elementary, junior high, high school, and into my 20's, 30's, and even my 40's. I had a life time of lies screaming at me. One key thought that I gained from this book, was that the season I am in was a good season. There was a purpose. I didn't need to feel ashamed and condemned because I was here...AGAIN...after proclaiming a testimony of freedom. You see, sometimes, God allows us to walk in a season of freedom, only to allow us to need more freedom. Because God is a good father. He knows that all of it at one time, may be too much for one person to deal with. So he gently, lovingly peels away layers. I am thankful He allows us to walk in those seasons and experience it, even if he knows we have more work to do with Him. I knew that my time in Grove City had a specific purpose. I wasn't to plant deep roots, but I was supposed to dig out of this pit of my past. It took a lot of pain and some deep searching. But I felt like God told me that by the time we move to Tipp City, the work would be done. And I began walking in that hope.

The next part of this process that He began using was confirming that I have control issues...if I can control situations, people, circumstances, then I will not be hurt again. Control is a form of self protection. I have been doing a Beth Moore study and one of the quotes that rattled me in this area was this: 

I am not in control, I cannot control my people. I can not control my situation. Even when I want what is best, I cannot control the outcome. I cannot make people behave. I cannot make people believe. I cannot make people be strong. 
Because I am not God.
He alone knows the end from the beginning. He alone knows how this thing will turn out. I hereby fire myself from his job. And I agree to see my fight for control as what it really is...
a screaming testament to my distrust.


God began prodding...deep...why am I holding onto deep pain? Why don't I release it? And it boiled down to a few truths...
1) I don't really trust Him with it. 
2) I am not allowing His love to truly reach my heart. 
3) I am honestly not willing to let it all go. I was holding tight to my hurt.

Our first homework for our Bible study group was this: "What is my 5%?" What is it that holds me back from fully serving God? I knew. I knew it was my past. I knew I needed to let go and let God...but wow is that hard! 

I reflected on a time that I fell into bitterness again. The truth that God spoke into my heart then, resonated once again in my life..."If you trust me with redemption, you have no reason to doubt, to fear, to be angry". 

Perfect love casts out fear...there was some deep fear in my life. I can't really put it into words, but fear played a big part in this pain and process. There were days I would put "Good Good Father" on repeat while focusing on the words of truth. 
You're a good good Father. 
It's who you are. It's who you are.
And I'm loved by you.
It's who I am. It's who I am.
You are perfect in all your ways.
You are perfect in all your ways.

Fast forward to this morning...I am cleaning my house and playing a powerful set from Bethel while I am at work. I'm finishing up cleaning my bathroom when they start to close out their worship set and transition into the service. The gentleman that was speaking said, "When worship started, the Lord reminded me of a line I once heard someone say. You fear the sovereignty of God to the degree that you are uncertain of His love. And it was just running through my head from the moment worship started. It was this idea of trusting ourselves to Him. And saying, You do as you do, because I am certain of your love. And it was just ringing through my head. And then all of a sudden the phrase "Into your hands I commit my spirit" the phrase of Jesus right at the end, right before that moment when he enters into death, he says this. What is beautiful about this moment in Jesus' life is that Luke describes it with one Psalm and then Matthew describes it with another Psalm and both are these beautiful songs of deliverance. One starts with Why have you forsaken me? David's honesty before the Lord in a moment of utter trust. In this moment it feels forsakenness. Psalms 22 ends with this...it begins with Why? Why have you forsaken me? Have you ever felt that way in the midst of your trust? And then at the end of Psalm 22 it says "Oh but you do not hide your face from me. And then Into your hands I commit my spirit, but I take refuge in you. You deliver me. So all across this room I want it to be a prayer of "into your hands I commit my spirit. I trust you. I trust you."

I knew. I knew right then, that I needed to get on my face before the Father and confess and make the choice to let go.

So I did. 

And I cried. A lot. As I was praying, the Lord showed me an image of me as a little girl and while wrong was occurring, He was looking on me and weeping and holding me. He was showing me that He is a good good Abba, daddy. That when I hurt, He hurts. That in those moments of sacrifice as a wife who was not always treated well, that He saw me. He saw those things I did as the sacrifice to Him that they were and He was smiling and letting me know that He was proud of me. I confessed the lies that I have believed and asked Him to replace them all with His truth. That I am good enough. That I am loved perfectly. That His love does not rely on my performance. That I am beautiful. That I am worthy. That I can trust Him with all my pain and that He will use it for good. That I am a kingdom builder. And that my pain will help build His kingdom. And by the time I was done praying, I was stepping into freedom. I laid there in the floor crying and listening to the song, "No longer slaves", rejoicing and thanking him for what He had done. 

Do I think the road ahead is going to be easy now? No...as a matter of fact, I am waiting on the enemy to strike...and I am armed. I have my shield of faith that His lies will not penetrate my mind or heart. That they will bounce off that shield and never even strike. To trust that my pain has purpose and that God has an adventure of service ahead of me fires me up! I am so excited about what is next for me in women's ministry. Now it's praying that He make my steps known. 

FREEDOM. I am free only because of Him. I am blessed. And I am thankful!