repressed

“So, as we go through this process, will any repressed memories come back?”

I was really hoping the answer would be no.

I remember the first day I realized something traumatic had happened. We were working with a family whose daughter had been sexually abused and the warning signs she exhibited I had also displayed as a young girl. Sitting in an empty classroom, I wept as I shared with a trusted coworker and friend all of my deepest fears. It was the start of a long journey of counseling and prayer, which ultimately led me to no more answers other than I simply needed healing, and if God wanted me to know, He would reveal it to me.

As an adult I have struggled greatly with the record player stuck on repeat – replaying conversations. Reliving situations. Fighting to forgive that face in my head and the voice in my heart, just one more time. Crying out for God to heal me, to clear my mind and once and for all align my decision to forgive and move forward, with my overwhelming emotions.

No, He is not going to let me remember because He knows I will only be burdened more.

My daughter had a cut on her hand once. I asked her where it came from and she honestly couldn’t remember. She had been picking at it and it wasn’t looking good, so I treated it. Every day when I went to put more oil and a new bandage on it, we could see the subtle changes.

It didn’t matter where the injury came from – all that mattered was healing it now.

The girl who needed answers in her 20’s now just needs to be whole in her 40’s. Day by day, decision upon decision, moment by moment, the Lord’s soothing Spirit soothes me. Heals me. Restores me. Some days it would seem an infection erupts, and it’s frustrating. But, it’s usually because I have been picking at it. Again.

God’s Word is a soothing oil to my soul. His Holy Spirit is a bandage over my heart while it heals. And it’s Jesus who lovingly and patiently cares for my wounds every time I go to Him and reveal my hurts.

All I need to know now, is now. Yesterday is gone. Healing is coming. That’s all I need to know.

To just be whole. Today.

 

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peekaboo. still can’t see you.

peekaboo 2

Since I can remember, I have had a strong need to be understood. To be seen. I tend to be extremely (most often to a fault) transparent for this very reason. One would rarely have to ask how I felt about something because even when my people-pleasing tendencies forced my tongue to freeze, my face would always boldly share whatever I was experiencing inside. To this day, my emotions are largely worn on my sleeve.

I think if we were to be honest, that is one of the qualities we love most about social media – we can more “safely” share from behind a computer screen than we ever could in person. And, we feel a little voyeuristic thrill from the sensation of being able to “see” what other people’s worlds look like. Unfortunately, so much of what we see isn’t the complete picture, and the snapshots shared can cloud our bearing on reality.

It’s a game of peekaboo.

There have been so many times I have posted something that I had been thinking about with regards to a friend, or a movie, a personal past experience or one I read about, only to have a barrage of commentary which clearly revealed the impressions my friends and family had taken from it. Without having the entire story at hand, and all pieces set before them, they each come to their own conclusion based on their preconceived ideas about me, what they actually know about me, and their own filters and personal experiences.

And, I do it, too.

In today’s fast-paced world, it is vital we choose to make the effort to ASK. Question. Seek the why. Dig a little deeper. Choose to offer concessions over walking in assumptions. In as many times as a headline has turned upon new evidence brought to light, so are the opportunities we have for fully grasping the heart and ideas of those in our lives once we begin to dig even the tiniest bit beyond the surface.

On the flip side, it’s just as important for us to remember to share our own who/what/where/when and why. So often we are so wrapped up in ourselves, we don’t create the time or opportunity (or set aside our egos long enough) to begin or be open to, authentic dialogue. A steady stream of this-is-how-I-feel-take-it-or-leave-it, may seem like strength to us, but in the end, its only true purpose is to “protect” ourselves and will always put an end to being truly seen for who and what we are. Doors are closed.

Peek a boo.

I recently discussed a prior conversation with an important person in my life. After some dialogue, she realized that what she had perceived from my non-verbal communication was not what I was actually experiencing in that moment. And I came to a new understanding as to what I too, had misunderstood. The result was coming to an understanding that would not have otherwise come to light without obtaining ALL the information.

Regardless of the nature of the relationship, situation, or our personal views/filters, it’s imperative to not only ourselves, but really to the furthering of community, that we choose to pursue, understand, and..

see.

Peek a boo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

swimsuit flaws

swimsuit

 

I was recently brave enough to go shopping for a swimsuit. The expectations were not overly high, but I hadn’t brought one on our trip and thought it would be nice to hit the jacuzzi a time or two while here. As most women would probably agree, staring at one’s own scantily-clad body under the intense scrutiny of flourescent lighting is never appealing, and the opportunity for anxiety and self-loathing increases exponentially after giving birth to tiny humans.

So here I was, noticing the double butt, rippled cellulite and soft tummy before me, and I had a flash back to when I was a size 1. And, I smiled.

You see, I have always been a decent, proportional size – I generally watch what I eat, historically have been very physically active (not so much these days) – and have never struggled to overcome much more than the obligatory college pounds or the baby bulge. But there was a season I found myself a solid 3 sizes smaller than my usual self, and in the moment, I was thrilled. (My, how numbers matter to us!)

Food tends to be my comfort in times of stress, but there was a time when I gave up everything altogether. Somehow I managed to consume enough to nurse a healthy baby girl, but I was absolutely wasting away. I was so numb, so absolutely destroyed – it was lower than depression. My husband had left me for another, I had two tiny people, no job, no home, no hope… As my hope dwindled, so did my body.

Today, my flaws represent two more babies, a new love, a healthier outlook. While not perfect, and by some standards, completely un-sexy, the body I have today is a testimony to how far I’ve come. Never perfect, but always being perfected, God is slowly healing and restoring who I am and what I have.

So, while some might long for a size 1 frame, I am happy in the skin I’m in today. There is nothing in me that wants to go back; everything that wants to move forward, flaws and all…

 

psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God.

It is he who made us, and we are his;

we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;

give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;

his faithfulness continues through all generations.

injustice (simply live)

I always tell my kids that manners are not for them, they are for other people. Proper etiquette points to good manners as valuable in creating an atmosphere where others feel comfortable – free of having to deal with the awkwardness of moments that accompany farts and talking with food in the mouth bring. It’s extremely important to me that my children understand they are a part of community – at home, at church and school, and in the greater sense with all humanity.

Life does not revolve around them. It doesn’t revolve around any of us.

One of the greatest travesties in a generation of people who put their own needs first, is often the lack of consideration to others. I think it’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and agendas, that it can become very easy to believe our decisions/actions have no affect on other people – especially if nobody finds out. While co-dependency is certainly unhealthy, the other end of the spectrum is just as damaging. It’s easy to minimize the ripple down effect that our choices can truly have on those around us…

Grabbing a cup of joe is no crime, but choosing a bikini coffee stand fosters further objectification of women, supports the male perspective that women are there to serve them, damages the economy (as most men tip exorbitant amounts of dollars for an ego stroke), and breaks down marital and parental value.

Prejudice wears on the recipient’s sense of value and freedom. It robs the very sense of community, and creates chasms not only between individuals, but within one’s own soul. Racism and the devaluing of human life, attacks the very essence of a nation bent on equality, fostering an environment of distrust and unrest.

“White Collar Crime” creates uncertainty in the market place, deepens the socioeconomic chasm, damages economic health, and robs families who pay for such crime in increasing taxes and insurance premiums.

When members of a group, be it occupation, race, or gender, protects the injustices of a fellow member of their group, simply out of loyalty, injustice continues to reign and the belief in humanity further wanes amongst the people.

An affair destroys not only a marriage and a family unit, it violates security for those close to the couple. It sets up children for a legacy that they now have to fight against perpetuating in their own lives. It damages not only the heart and soul of the one betrayed, but the ones involved in the relationship also become damaged and savagely ravaged by the lies and deceit they have lived under.

Addiction wreaks havoc on those who love them; on those stolen from, whether financially, or of feelings of security and trust…

Lies bring chaos….

Every single action has a reaction, and each of us plays an important role in creating the atmosphere around us. When we say and do nothing about injustice, we are saying yes to it. While not one of us can change the world, each of us can effectively alter our personal environment. Freedom is extremely expensive; it isn’t free, not to a single one of us. True freedom only comes when we live by grace, awareness, love, honor and the knowledge that we are ALL in this together. Never live your life for others, but live in a way that they can simply live.

Shalom.