This is what I do, don't try to understand how I do it; I don't really know either

Archive for November, 2017

What if no one believed me?

I have revisited my life in bits and pieces, exploring manageable chunks at a time. Right now I am going through a season where God is showing me the bigger picture and I am looking back at it all, at once. I have commented a few times that if I were to tell someone my whole life story, no one would believe so many of the things that have happened could have happened to one person – well for sure not to one person and still be reasonably sane (hopefully I am).

I shared this same concern with my counselor Tom; he is amazing, both as a person and as godly counsel. We started wrestling with the ideas of being thankful to God for what we went through and we landed on the story of Job. Job is significant because God was bragging about him and that actually was the sources of his troubles (BIG TROUBLES). Tom shared his perspective when he hits difficult times – that God must have been bragging about him to Satan and now Satan is trying to tear him down. I don’t think this might always be the case, but two truths are: even if God isn’t bragging about us as the cause of our trouble, it’s still a great view of how God sees us and also that so much of what happens in our lives isn’t about us, but it’s about whats going on in the heavenly realm.

The next stop on our wrestling tour took us to Luke 17, where Jesus healed ten lepers but only one returned to glorify God, and that one was made whole. Tom explained that there was a difference between healing and wholeness. See, lepers lost body parts and had all kinds of gross things happen to their body, but when they were healed they no longer had the disease of leprosy. The one who returned was made whole, so he no longer had the disease but also any body parts he lost grew back, any hard skin was made soft and and physical deformities would be gone. It was as though he had never even had leprosy.

Tom said that he believes I am at a stage where God isn’t about just healing me anymore – He wants me to be whole, to be restored to be like before anything ever happened. It was then that I realized that I now have a deep desire that if and when I tell people any part of my story, let alone the whole thing, I HOPE they don’t believe me! What if when people looked at me they saw such freedom that they could never believe I had been through those things? I would be ok with that, because I could point them to my Savior and tell them that those things did happen to me, but He has made me whole.

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The voice of the tree

There has been a sequence of events this year that has opened so many wounds – so many old wounds.

It has taken me back to childhood. A lot of bad things happened when I was a child, some around me and some to me. I have dealt with all these things in different levels and sometimes when you are brought back it’s for a short time and you move forward, but this year it’s not that way. It’s been a long time that I need to lean into and not fight against. It’s painful to go back so no one ever really wants to, but there can be healing when you do – sometimes a deeper healing than there was before.

This time I have had to revisit many places and not just once singular event – I am sure that’s why it’s been harder but it also had a purpose. I looked back with an overall view of my childhood and it’s very painful. It’s given me a deeper realization for all the things that happened in a cumulative way.

I looked back and I saw myself and just myself. I love my parents deeply but they were battling their own issues. I have countless brothers and sisters but I hardly lived with any of them and when I did it was not the best. I look back and see this girl who was on her own, had to fight for herself and find my way by myself. It has been painful to see that that was the reality of my life. Children are not meant to be alone.

And as I grieve this reality, God meets me there. I know He was with me the whole time – it’s not the same as growing up in a loving family who cares for each other, but God is there and He is enough. He was then and He is now.

Stepping back and looking at the big picture I see something else as well. The best illustration I can give is that I am like a tree. Like a Christmas tree. Please bear with me, because Christmas is not my favourite holiday nor do I like decorating. But I am like a tree and there have been significant people who came and added something beautiful to my life. Each is different and though I didn’t have one or two central people who were always there, I had many who each added something. Some of my branches are bent or even broken off. Because of the deformities of my tree and the fact that there is no consistent pattern or decorative theme to my tree – since all the people who added to it were unique and added unique contributions, it is very much a Charlie Brown tree.

No one ever wanted a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It was scoffed at and ridiculed. Everyone wanted the asthetically pleasing tree with its perfect balance of lights and matching ornaments. That made people feel good to look at.

Things have changed and my generation and younger are challenging the status quo of what is acceptable. We’re tired of fake. We’re tired of putting on a show and pretending that in real life everything is perfectly put together. If you need an example please read about the fiasco in Montreal and their “terrible” Christmas tree which initially drew public scorn but was quickly turned around and that tree now has its own twitter account. People are now wanting imperfect trees publicly displayed. Being real is ok. Being vulnerable is strength not weakness.

My life purpose is to bring glory to God. The most significant way that I do that is to be a voice for those who are voiceless and to help others find there voice. I realize this passion comes because I had to do that for myself and those times that I had someone beside me deeply impacted me. Voices together are beautiful. If being alone created in me this bold voice that I proudly have – then I will take it! Not everything good comes out of blessing. God can make amazing things come from the deepest, darkest places. Because he is awesome like that.