Tag Archives: #shame

Dear Younger Me…

Blameless Dear Younger Me

Blameless Dear Younger Me 4

… I Forgive You!

Every Decision To Live For God Will NEVER Leave You With Regrets!

Dear Younger Me…

I forgive you for not loving, even abhorring, the beautiful beloved God created you to be…

I forgive you for living your life trying to blend in and be accepted where you did not belong…

I forgive you for believing that you had to do anything but “Just Be” to be loved…

I forgive you for trying to look and act like others while burying the uniqueness, the value and the qualities your true self radiates…

I forgive you for giving away your innocence and purity to a boy who was dared and did not care…

I forgive you for hiding underneath your umbrella of protection due to the insecurities built around rejection…

I forgive you for allowing fear to cheat and defeat you…

I forgive you for allowing the lies of the enemy to rule over your life, thereby living in strife…

I forgive you for not prancing through the poppy flower fields and for not dancing everywhere you pleased…

I forgive you for not believing you are enough as you plowed through the rough stuff…

I forgive you for trying to question and destroy the life that God intended as His prized possession…

I forgive you for every slash of your wrist that you could not resist to prove you did exist…

I forgive you for calling down the rapture as you drove yourself off that cliff that God decided to capture…

I forgive you for not living, laughing and loving instead of striving…

I forgive you for not fulfilling your marital vows promising to love until death do you part instead of drilling…

I forgive you for believing you must perform and conform in order to be loved…

I forgive you for allowing your life to be buried and wasted underneath every shovel full of shame and guilt instead of being carried during this game…

I forgive you for believing you were not worthy of unconditional love…

I forgive you for allowing being orphaned to be equated with an abortion…

I forgive you for every assault and violation that you felt you deserved to receive…

I forgive you for not standing up and demanding your voice be heard in objecting to your uncle’s constant hands all over your body that resembled more like worms squirming through dirt…

I forgive you for choosing alcohol, drugs, depression and denial as a vice to numb the pain instead of embracing God’s peace and grace…

I forgive you for having to lay down on the bed just to zip up your jeans…

Blameless Tight Jeans or Friendship

I forgive you for NEVER wanting to wear those jeans again… (Yep, that’s what it looks like!)

I forgive you for your mistakes and failures and feeling like a disgrace…

I forgive you for not believing that you are chosen, pursued and loved beyond measure that would have ushered God’s favor of healing into motion…

These imperfections, mistakes and failures are what led you to be the beautiful beloved you are; one that is pursued after and one whom is highly favored by our Lord and Savior.

Without these imperfections, choices and decisions, you would have missed out having this relationship with our Lord, not knowing or receiving His grace and tender mercies, much less embracing the beauty derived from the alchemy of transformation that salvation offers.

God gave and forgave much so you could see the strong, joyful, bold and courageous beloved that you are today in being His prized possession!

For that I am grateful!

One last thing: I do forgive you for living a life without God. Now you embrace with grace knowing every decision to live for God will never leave you with regrets!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless Living For God

Threesomes Are Never Okay! Ask Hagar and Sarah!

Blameless Pulling A You

Shame Leaves You Feeling Utterly Alone and Forsaken!

Genesis 16

As the beautiful nurse attempted another I.V., she said, “Hey, you’re a chaplain, right?”  My reply, “Well, once a chaplain, always a chaplain, I guess,” not knowing where she was going. 

As she slammed the needle into my vein, she inquired rather nonchalantly, “It’s okay to give my man a threesome for his birthday, right?”

I nervously laughed and replied, “I know I’m a hard prick, but you almost made me pee my pants.” 

Then nothing but still silence

Can I hear awkward? 

It gets worse.

She wasn’t kidding either!

She continued, “I’m serious.  I mean, he’s my husband and in the old days men had many wives.  I’m kind of bi-curious anyways, so…”

Bi-curious???

I looked both ways, expecting my medical team to come out and scream, “Surprise!  You should have seen your face.”  They didn’t, and she was dead serious. 

God tells us to be ready and know what His Word says in and out of season, but this upset me.  Where’s our moral compass?  I’m trying not to judge here.

All I could do was grumble underneath my breath for God to give me “wisdom.” 

I shared how hard it was on me when my husband had numerous affairs and the damaging effects it had on our marriage and children along with sharing the lasting effects that the threesome related in Genesis 16 delivered. 

Threesomes are never okay.  Besides the obvious reasons, when a man is with another woman, a scornful woman generally retaliates!  You can’t run from the effects; just ask Hagar and Sarah.  It led to shame and feelings of despair for all parties, not to mention the cursing onto future generations!

Sarah’s friends got on the bandwagon by mocking Sarah for having a barren womb that was considered a disgrace in those days and encouraged her to fulfill this void, this “promised” descendant through another woman.  This lure prompted Sarah to take matters into her own hands and forego waiting on God’s timetable.  She reacted by seeking out another woman into her marriage bed.

Who needs friends like that???

As my friends know all too well, I may be wounded and joyful and can relate with the best because of it, but there are times that what flows out from my mouth needs some filtering, and in a girlie kind-of-silly way!  Just don’t let a tall, dark drink of water walk by.  I may be old, but I am far from dead!

Anyhoo…  Truth be told, with the selfish, spoiled brat side that is constantly at war with the loving and gracious side of me, I was at a loss for words.  Shock turned into embarrassment and then I became flustered which led me agitated with my medical team prompting my snap.

Do you get that way?  Please tell me you do.

As of late, with being overdue for my Florida vaycay that seems to constantly be pushed off, it appears I’m having more and more of those days where even the slightest squeak of a mouse sets me off. 

With my mind bouncing and spinning, spending way too much time occupying the wrong hood (bad neighborhood mindset), the exhaustion is setting in and the demands vying for my attention are making me feel more like I need an exorcism performed than the much-needed rest.

Normally I would scream and get on top of a chair when encountering the tiny varmint, but right now since I’m in THAT MOOD, I am ready to get down on my hands and knees and go whisker to whisker with these dirty little rats who appear to be having way too much fun!

Why when we get in a funk, in that lonesome place, where we hide underneath our covers or isolate behind closed doors engaging in our own pity parties, feeling like we’re not good enough or even loved, do we run away from our problems instead of facing them head on all because of Master Guilt and Shame?  We want to be validated, but…

Maybe it’s because we intervene and run ahead of God’s timetable like Sarah and Abraham because we’re such control freaks.  We forget to trust and call out to the One who knows exactly what we’re thinking (scary!) and loves us just the way we are and FORGIVES! 

We have a good, good Father; the One who loves us and promises never to leave or forsake us.  He cherishes us, even gets jealous for us as He chases us down just to pour love into our depleted and dry bones.  He understands our mistakes and needy minds that are in search of the Living One who sees us. 

Wanting a threesome is similar to what Hagar and Sarah did.  After the fact, their void and rushing ahead of God’s timetable turned into being ashamed, despised and rejected due to their actions while they both pointed the finger at others for the subsequent repercussions. 

Hagar ran away and hid while partaking in a pity party.  But God saw her and her pain and He received her.  The desperation in being a substitute wife; talk about shame!

We all run ahead and give up on God’s timetable from time to time when it doesn’t appear He is working or fast enough or when life seems dull.

If you think giving your husband over to another woman to conceive an heir is going to tap into God’s promises while proving your girlfriends wrong, you need a couple of Xanax and a couple of beers partying with the mice! 

Sarah strikes out and blames Abraham for succumbing to peer pressure and the subsequent mess instead of humbly accepting her involvement in prompting this mess.  She even proclaims, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering.  I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me” (Genesis 16:5). 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Living With Addiction & Strongholds ~ Mother Of Magnificent ~ Day 26 of 40

blameless-mamas-love

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Broken Behaviors

Mother of Magnificent

Day 26 of 40

Ticktock… ticktock… ticktock…  You know that relentless sound of time creating nuisance where you bury your head beneath the smothering pillow and the only thing it suffocates is your very own breath?  The sounds from the annoying clock marrying your erratic heartbeat threatens to blow out more than your eardrums.  You can’t breathe, you can’t sleep or think, and most of all, you can’t handle the noise or the speed of the world as it hones in for the kill!  How do we tell the world to stop existing and leave us alone as we grieve and process our own sorrows?

Death…  Death of Expectations…  Death of Identity…  Death of Perceptions…  D-E-A-T-H is really nothing more than the pathetic plea and damaging acronym I dared to reason with in what my family is experiencing right now:  Destruction Evolves Around The Hate!  Even the amazing Word of God briefly talks about the damaging effects of hate for good reason, not to mention why Love Himself might hate.  For an understanding on why “God hates,” check out Proverbs 6:16-19.

Hate to me is synonymous with death.  It destroys everyone in its path.  It causes bitterness and allows rage to take over and infect everyone in its tracks.  Hate bulldozes the strong like the plague.  Hate surfaces jealousy and insecurities.  It allows comparison.  It breeds division and promotes injustice.  Hate causes war!  The silent killer like cancer.  Hate oftentimes causes death without warning!

I don’t want to be that roaring lion shaking everything and everyone in a couple-mile radius.  I want to be that beautiful, loving lioness in the picture below who pulls others and her cubs out of trouble by releasing them where they should be; in their den (community) being loved on, close by and protected!  When this mama thinks of her cubs, though they’re grown men with their own families, I still lean on the fact that blameless-mamas-loveI’m a Mother of Mayhem, Mother of Memories, but mainly a Mother of Magnificent!  I have been blessed with strong, intelligent, and successful children that the Lord allowed me to be Manager of Many over.  But when that one extra-grace-required child finds himself in the misery of mayhem, the destruction and bite almost paralyzes this mama’s heart.  Can you relate? 

Nowadays, being honest here, I am experiencing the effects of being paralyzed with much fear and disbelief, and only functioning because of the grace and mercy of God who is the author and deliverer of this Mother of Magnificent’s cub.  This is helping me cling to His promises written in my love letter, the Holy Bible, stating He will never forsake or leave us (Deuteronomy 31:6-8), no matter what we’ve done!  The havoc from the breaking hearts doesn’t just exist within our own souls, but that connection we have with that cub; whether they’re fifty or ten!  It speaks to the very core of the lioness sitting back and letting her child make these mistakes with any and all subsequent repercussions in order to learn and grow from as others take charge of him.

Zach Williams’ song entitled “Chain Breaker” speaks to my heart and empowers me with hope by reminding me that “If you’ve got pain, He’s a pain-taker; if you feel lost, He’s a way-maker; if you need freedom or saving, He’s a prison-shaking Savior, if you’ve got chains, He’s a chain breaker.”  Girlfriends, we can’t give up and let the lies of the enemy spewing guilt and shame defeat us!  We have to join hands by sharing through transparency our deepest hurts so we don’t ever give up and claim freedom!  There’s hope just waiting to be released because there is no shame in our game; Jesus is His Name!

So many of us are full of sorrow, trials, confusion, betrayal, pain and exhaustion.  We need each other for a reason.  Don’t hide behind your walls of shame and insecurities.  Get out there and share!  When we share our hurts with others, it releases the key that unlocks the hope and peace for sustainment and victory.

This mama’s heart is hurting.  I mean, I’m like other mamas and grandmas, I already had my life and children’s and grandchildren’s script written out to perfection.  Though I knew there would be tears shed, hearts broken, and agreements to disagree, I can actually say I never thought seconds of my life would involve tragedy caused at the hands of my own child, especially coming from the one who has a heart full of compassion. 

I am finding out very quickly that oftentimes those of us who are filled with compassion have had great suffering combined with betrayal, along with abandonment and rejection that reared its ugly head somewhere throughout our lives.  Sound familiar?

What happens when the bleeding heart can no longer tolerate the strength from the taunting jeers that has been suppressed?  Sadly, I am finding out that when you haven’t exactly worked through your own fears and hurts, also known as heartbreaking anger, that compassionate heart quickly gets wiped out to what evolves as Hurricane Aggression destroying everyone in its path.  Can you relate?  I know I sure can.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

 

Denial versus Reality ~ Day 25 of 40

blameless-jail-2

Denial versus Reality

A Mother’s Grieving Heart

Day 25 of 40

Almost half the day had elapsed before the choking awakened the corpse gasping for breath.  As I struggled to get up to entice my comatose body to naturally react with a deep breath, the tickle stuck between my swollen tonsils grabbed ahold of the air bubbles just enough to satisfy the depleted oxygen.  Upon arousal, the air bubbles trudged wearily ahead through what seemed like a mirage from the lungs of a heavy smoker.  The coughing hurt and it needed to be stilled.  As I grabbed the glass of water to soothe my parchment, the time on the clock reflected 11:38 a.m.

Once the quieting was accomplished with the ahem, the normal rhythm of consistency transpired.  What is the first thing a person does the moment their eyes peel open in this technological-dependent era?  Yep, grab their cell phones!  Though my vision was greatly impaired due to illness, what my eyes saw quickly jolted this woman into crisis mode:  Seven missed calls, twenty-three text messages, and twelve instant messenger messages, and it wasn’t even noontime.

My heart quickly reacted by viewing the senders of the numerous messages.  I saw that many were mainly sprinklings of love sustaining me through this sickness to which I exhaled with praises to God for the outpouring of love.  But almost simultaneously, a knot developed in my throat restricting the natural flow due to the sender of several messages; my son’s girlfriend.

Receiving messages from your son’s girlfriend shouldn’t warrant the anxiety and fear that this mama felt.  Sadly, this relationship was strained due to unhealthy behaviors and lacking the understanding and respect to agree to disagree.  When there was communication, it required a whole lot of grace and mercy to endure.  This mama’s heart was usually willing and able with this tribe, but with healthy boundaries.  My tender heart believes with God’s Love that we can and will conquer villages, especially those filled with broken peeps!  The text message was something like:

Tammy please call me, very urgent.

Hello???

It is regarding your son.

My mind immediately flashed back to this time a year ago.  With lightening speed, someone who was once vital and healthy spent a period of another year living in and out of hospitals.  There is nothing worse than watching your child suffer with a disease that is not only debilitating, but uncontrollable and life threatening.  There were days, weeks, even months when I thought the Lord was going to heal my son by taking him home to heaven like his father.

Without notice, the floodgates of tears opened wide and started pouring down my cheeks.  Once shock mode took back seat, I frantically scurried about trying to listen to my phone messages.  The messages quickly dressed my heart with chaplain armor and prayer; equipping me with radar speed to hear the dreaded words that I thought I would never hear.

My heart solemnly reiterates, how could this be when I praise God daily that “as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14)?  The kryptonite explosion from those painful words immediately stripped me of my Super Hero Mommy outfit and left me naked and exposed. 

This is where we fall to our knees into disbelief.  Reality versus Denial!  Denial is easier because reality hurts like hell.  Without your Super Hero Mommy Outfit, all that is left is a puddle of tears, remorse, fear, shame, guilt, d-e-n-i-a-l!!!  Where’s your crown and royal blood when you’re hanging over the toilet?  The news is way too painful to handle so you scream…  You inhale and scream some more…  You exhale while your heart explodes and you fall on your knees exclaiming…

Really, God?  This is how you’re going to bring about healing and restoration?  Where’s the HOPE in that deliverance?

Many emotions occupy my bad neighborhood (mindset) while controlling my weak, overwhelmed and burdened persona.  The daunting and torturing flaming arrows that relentlessly attack my armor quickly demand that because of this destructive event, I should cease my love and trust in the Lord all because my son made an exceedingly bad judgment call reacting that hurt others that will forever effect the rest of his life due to the subsequent repercussions. 

Hurt people hurt others and anger is as much a part of mental illness as depression and living with addiction is.  Generational strongholds rear their ugly heads!  All eyes and judgment may lean on us mamas, but we must never lose sight during these times because of what Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…”  

Our sons and daughters need love and support and encouragement to face the consequences of their bad decisions.  This is never the time to turn our backs, no matter what anyone says.  Isn’t that what the Lord calls all of us to do; forgive others just as we have been forgiven?  We don’t forget, but we can still love.  Love conquers all. 

I know many mamas out there who are hurting right alongside of me and somehow or another claim and hold onto the guilt of what their children have done.  Seriously, we cannot carry the burden of our children’s conduct and decisions.  Jesus already suffered the consequences of those sins to set us free.  Let’s utilize that wasted time and energy beating ourselves up by devoting it to prayer and remembering we’re not to grieve with shame; that “the joy of the Lord will be our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Let’s unite with love, support and encourage our children to be the amazing individuals God designed them to be while walking alongside of them remembering the battle belongs to the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:15) and that God is the author of their lives and is writing their testimony, no matter how painful it is.

Until next time…

♥ Thank You For Being Beautiful & Amazing You

 

Living With Addiction Day 20 ~ Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Blameless Scars and Shame

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Shame

Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Day 20 of 40

How does a Beloved heal, much less move forward, after encountering one’s best friend cradled in the arms and refuge of her own husband?  Did I forget to mention that my best friend and I were both business partners in a court reporting business that required day in, day out contact and cooperation occupying the same space and airways as one another?  There’s no room for a cat fight in a court of law!

Do I hear awkward?  I don’t know whose motives were worse, hers or mine!  How about both being destructive and lost!  One vying for revenge through the scorn of power and the other like a mouse running for cover in the presence of a cat!

My motives and deliverance were based solely on Vengeance with a capital “V” with having the upper hand in holding the power brought on through daily punishment in working together.  Makes absolutely no sense, I know!  She worried about her reputation and profession and I worried about feeding my babies while controlling our business arrangement my way!

You may take my man, but you won’t survive my plan!  Can I hear kudos to the scorned Queen?

Honestly, what was I thinking?  After I kicked my husband out of our home, those two ended up cohabitating for a period of time, supposedly for the sole economic convenience, until reconciliation developed between my husband and I.  Welcome to the behavior of use and abuse! 

And here I felt pity and compassion for her when I allowed him back into our home.  Seriously?

My battle scars ran so deep, not only was I consumed with covering up my perceived failure as a wife which justified the actions of these two selfish individuals, but the shattered image that projected my source of identity could no longer thrive and survive.  I now became that dubious distinction; no longer desired as a Beautiful Beloved. 

Cells of hell are built on insecurities and identity blasters!

My shame evolved around spending countless hours and resources trying to hide and cover up the behaviors of others who needed to be exposed.  My sweeping it underneath the rug just enabled freedom for it to occur again and again.  It also robbed me of my voice and prevented healing, not to mention the acceptance in the behavior that would subsequently become violent!

Because denial lost its battle, I needed a new go-to, a new source of strength to handle all the pressures in burying this infidelity.  Since suicidal tendencies and drug abuse didn’t work in the past, my desperation sought out the comforts delivered from Coors Light!  Can’t lose the figure in the process, right?  I started covering up this pain through good ‘ole beer drinking just to take the edge off.

Herein lies the daughter of alcoholism and rage.  If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right?  Isn’t that the old adage?  Wrong…  This just further contributed to my alter ego developing a life that was similar in nature to court reporting; you’re hearing it and taking it all down, but it goes in one ear and out the other, blinding my reality and exposure to unhealthy behaviors.

Sadly, this left the door wide open for its festering effects of bitterness and anger to attach and disease all of my vital organs.  It also allowed full exposure for the flaming arrows to penetrate my tattered and bleeding heart.  My precious cubs were left unprotected and in an environment that was unhealthy over and over again.  I became so numb, infidelity and abuse had full rein and control over my life.

We have to be fierce lionesses standing firm, facing our enemy and looking him square in the eye, while being self-controlled and alert.  Not buzzed and medicated on alcohol or drugs.  The enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  We need to let the enemy know whose authority and power we are standing on and living under through the sharing of our sufferings with one another (1 Peter 5:8-9)!

After all, let’s continue to be honest here while remembering that our friends and associates mirror us, so let’s say cheese!!!  This is why the Lord cautions us to be careful with those whom we spend a lot of time with because we will become like those surrounding us; and bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33).  Some of us are slow learners and that would be me!

Betrayal in marriage is a double-edged sword and it hurts all who are near.  I have to believe that some pain and difficult trials are oftentimes the only doorway leading towards development that God uses for complete healing.  This enables us to receive His best that otherwise would never have been received!  God is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who call upon His name (Psalm 34:18)!  I’m living proof!

Until next time…

Living With Addiction Day 19 ~ Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Blameless Freedom

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Shame

Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Day 19 of 40

The Beautiful Mandisa sings, “There’s freedom on the other side of things that keep us tied up and afraid.  There’s hope in every situation no matter what you’re facing every day.  But it’s up to you, you get to choose.  I’m walking, living, breathing proof.  The Father is waiting there with open arms” in Dear JohnOh, how He loves us!!!

Beautiful lyrics to hold onto!  People will more than likely hurt us, that’s life and there’s absolutely no way to escape or avoid it.  In fact, I know this kind of pain myself all too well, but we don’t have to let it hold us captive in our prisons of anger, fear and bitterness.  The beauty that God brings from our ashes of mourning is worthy of sharing.  Broken lives can be put back together.

God’s Word is not what many perceive as a list of do’s and don’ts.  It’s a love letter announcing the freedom we achieve when we believe.  There’s no record of any of our imperfections or faults.  It’s all erased and it’s been forgiven.  The Bible shares why God sacrificed it all and gave us His son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for it all.  He loves us just the way we are and is awaiting for us to open up our hearts and receive Him!

Can you hear me singing?  These words penned and sing are especially dedicated to all my violators who have ever afflicted any injury to my person; emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially and sexually! 

How can a woman who has been violated in such a way that has been battered, stalked, abused, bruised, robbed, betrayed, amongst many others not worthy of listing, forgive, open up her heart, and walk proudly and confidently knowing where her worth comes from?  It’s called H-O-P-E!!! 

How have I survived, thrived, and stayed alive during such torment instead of understanding what a scorned woman does?  His name is Jesus Christ and the hope He promises when we believe and act out our faith!  I’m a friend of God and I know Him and love Him.

I also know and believe in the resurrection of God’s son, Jesus Christ, so I know what I can trust and what I cannot!  I know that His love is greater than any pain I could ever endure. 

There is beauty everywhere, more beauty than tragedy, and that is what I choose to hold onto and can because of the redemption of my pain!

Psalm 34:4-8 sums it up perfectly to describe my deliverance:  “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”  This poor woman called, and the Lord heard her; He saved her out of all her troubles.  “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.  Taste and see that the Lord is good”; blessed are those who take refuge in Him.

Martinis were their name, Cocky Bull was its game.  What started out as a typical night two-stepping at the local country bar holding our fame whereas not to be lame led to too many martinis and an uninvited guest into our sacred bed that was meant just to be shared between a husband and his bride.  This uninvited guest called my best friend at the time felt the need to sliver in through the midnight shadow and rob what was mine to begin with; my husband. 

After tending to the crying baby and hearing whispers filled with eerie secretive sounds, the only thing I heard loud and clear was my heart imploding as my bestfriend justified her actions in sharing how she had been in love with my husband since the first time she met him.  Excuse me???  That’s betrayal at her finest hour!  Now you might understand why I’ve said I’ll take any physical blow to the head than the pain caused from emotional trauma!

This shame I carried for years is being related for the sole purpose to share how God works in and through our lives with tragedies and brings freedom through healing.  Today I’m living in freedom and flying free of yesterday’s guilt, today’s fears, and tomorrow’s grave.  All because God loves me just the way I am!

There is a greater purpose and plan for our pain.  I agree, pain sucks big time, but we need to share our joys as well as our tragedies together as a community.  We’re more than conquerors in Christ, we’re overcomers!

Until next time…

Living With Addiction Day 18 ~ Broken Behaviors

Blameless Beach Peace

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Shame

Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Day 18 of 40

Peace!  Perfect Peace!  Can we actually have it through our storms of darkness and decay?  It’s hard to fathom that concept and wrap ourselves around it, but if we remember to grab ahold of the Hand of God extending down from heaven, He will safely walk us through it with peace that surpasses all knowledge.  This increases our endurance to overcome as we press towards the finish line with grace and dignity!

I don’t like pain.  Sometimes I even feel like a gentle touch from a loved one might hurt.  That may sound melodramatic, but I’ve endured more pain than I care or dare to admit and I just wish it would all end this side of heaven. 

We tend to forget that when we have emotional pain like depression from disease, divorce, loss of job, etc., we then encounter the cause and effect of physical pain to the body and spiritual loss.  Same goes when we have physical pain caused from chronic issues, disease, broken bones, we then suffer the effects of emotional depression, anxiety, anger and spiritual loss.

Notice how I put “spiritual loss” last above with both physical and emotional pain?  When we go through grief, pain, loss of any kind, we tend to lean towards isolation because we feel ashamed, we don’t feel anyone cares or understands or we just need time to process it all and we push others away, including God.  That’s the worst thing we can do, suffer spiritual loss and go at it alone.  There’s power in numbers; it’s called community.

God wants to help us during our grief and trials by receiving His love that He directs through others.  We need others to carry us and our burdens so we don’t push away the support that the Lord orchestrates.  This is a time to draw in and cleave to the Lord’s strong legs because He is the only one directing our stories.  He wants strong and healthy children that can go out into the world and help others while bringing Him glory.

If we become devoid of our connection with God because we have walked away from Him, then we are cutting off our lifeline of community and the life preservers that could have aided us in arriving at our next destination sooner and stronger, along with the perfect peace we are all striving for!

In writing about my cycle of abuse, I didn’t intend to start with sharing about my ex’s confusion regarding his sexual orientation preferences.  It not only brought on so much more pain through the betrayal in marriage, but being stripped down naked of any shred of femininity is what a lot of us live through each day!  Society dictates how we should look and act while being perfect in an imperfect world.  Wrong!  Our worth and value should be found in whom God says we are only; Beautiful Beloveds!

My emotional scars took a lot of healing and time with God, sitting at His feet and letting His love letter (Bible) permeate my soul so He could actually get his six-foot drill bit into my hardened heart and clear out all the disease (pain) that life with addiction, shame, abandonment, betrayal, and abuse developed.  Just getting through the scar tissue itself to bring back life was brutal enough, much less mending and sewing up my hemorrhaging heart through God’s meticulous precision and intricacies of love.  

So what’s all this hype about reading God’s Word?  The Bible isn’t about fables and stories, it’s about the Truth that sets us free and the nature of God and His goodness.  God knows the kind of pain and struggles we’d be subjected to here on earth and so He picked every kind of personality imaginable to relate their stories and the consequences given.  The world needs this great moral compass to gauge our conduct.

For example, I struggle with fear BIG TIME.  Every time I start freaking out, I flip open my Bible to the Book of Exodus 3-4 and read about Moses’ insecurities and fears regarding leadership speaking.  When God told me I would be speaking in front of women, I threw a Tammy Tantrum fit of the worst kind and ran the other way because I thought there would be no way I could ever do that.

Fear is paralyzing, not mobilizing.  Public speaking brings out the worst in me; peeing my panties!  I’m not kidding either.   God shares with me that though I may feel inadequate, He is right there alongside of me holding my hand and equipping me with what to say and the provision needed.  I am proof positive of both crawling to the finish line and receiving the blessings found from the favor of God through peace, favor and fulfillment.

Remember, I started reading the Word along with cracking open a beer, like I said, because God invites us and love us just the way we are.  When you spend time in someone’s presence, you automatically mirror what they project and give.  His transformation severs addictions, rage, depression, fear, and especially insecurities before we even realize it. 

God has taken my shattered life and molded it back together by intricately gluing each piece back together so not only is it stronger, but it’s more beautiful and it illuminates His glory through the transparency of the Superglue.  God loves putting broken and messy lives back together because, after all, Psalm 34:18 reminds us that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  God is Love, that is why He sent His son, Jesus Christ, into the world; not to just save those who believe and offer reconciliation, but He came to heal the brokenhearted just like me (Luke 4:18).

Forewarning, I will be writing sporadically in the next couple of weeks, but I will share graphic and violent events solely to show you the power brought about through God’s gift of healing and transformation.  Fear versus Faith.  Now I’m an overcomer.   Enjoy Mandisa’s Overcomer.

Until next time…