Saturday, July 19, 2008

Turmoil and encouragement... What's in a name #5

It’s been rather silent on my blog.

I have made some comments on others blogs. But here, I have been quiet.

I guess it is because, not that I don’t have things to say, I just don’t know how to say them.
My sleeping has been off. Very off.

I was up and down last night until almost 4am. The past few nights it hasn’t been any earlier than about 1:30am. It makes for a long week.

I also feel like I am fighting a cold. A cold aggravated by allergies. Not sleeping is NOT helping. I have been trying to keep from drugging myself up on medication to get to sleep. Because, I don’t know what is worse. Getting to sleep and then waking up midway through the night and not being able to settle down again, or never getting to sleep in the first place. I can’t decide.

But deeper than all that, my heart is in turmoil.

Sometimes it is a good turmoil because I know that God is authoring it. He is working through it and causing me to stretch and grow.

Sometimes it is a bad turmoil because I know the enemy is using pain from my past to work me up and work me over. He is using it to try to hold me captive to pain, fear, hurt, depression.
You see, I am coming to the point now in my counseling where I feel like we have really hit some of the biggest issues in my past and present that have been holding be back from being who God wants me to be. It is good. It is wonderful! I am slowly learning to counteract the lies with Truth, almost every time they come up. I am learning to recognize when I am acting out of the lies rather than the Truth. It has made a huge difference in my life.

I am also at the point with Tricia, in our counseling, where we are working through a couple of lies that are really holding me captive.

I am dirty.
I am damaged goods.

The truth is that in Him I have been made complete. (Colossians 2:9-10)

I am facing issues of abuse that happened between the end of high school and through college that really ground those lies into the fiber of my being.

These are lies that were put in place through an abusive trauma when I was very young. Then after high school, each subsequent event built upon those lies. “Proved” them true in my mind and heart, I guess.

Now, Tricia is trying to help me get to the point of believing that I am complete in Christ, even though those things happened to me. I have to be able to not only acknowledge it in my head, intellectually, but I need to believe it in my heart. I have to know and believe it is the truth.

It is extremely hard for me, when I feel in some of the situations, I asked for what I got. Not only am I feeling pain from the abuse, but I am also feeling guilty from “my part” in it. Whether I really had a part in “making” it happen is open to interpretation.

The thing we worked through 2 weeks ago, an attempted date rape, was something that I never really dealt with before this. Not on any deep level. I never cried, I never showed my anger, never showed any emotion at all, and didn’t tell ANYONE until a few years ago.

As I have gone through these two weeks between sessions, I have let the emotions out some. They have come unbidden once, the day after my last counseling session. Every time I have let them out, I find that the images of what happened are so vivid, that I am almost re-living what happened. So I ran from the situation as well as facing it some these weeks.

Some of the memory is easier now. I mean, I know it happened, but when I think of it, it isn’t in the same, with all the emotional power still behind it. So I know that our therapy is working. However, I still can’t shake the intensity of specific moments in the encounter.
So that shows me that I am going to need to work through that a bit more with Tricia on Monday. I guess that is where the enemy is really working me over. The thought of having to face down more of those details is causing my heart to roll in turmoil… and by association, my stomach as well. Sigh.

I guess why I am sharing so much of this here is two fold.

One, I am asking for prayer, from anyone who will read this.

I need prayer to get through tomorrow and actually go to counseling. (My appointment is at 1pm CST) I need prayer to face my intense fears, feelings, and memories. The more prayer cover I have, the better off I will be. I know that God has carried me through some other tough sessions on the wings of the prayer support I had. There have been a couple of times where I seriously felt lifted, held, supported, and had such peace knowing that people were praying… even when I was scared out of my mind of the things I was facing. And God answered the prayers of my friends, by working in amazing ways.

Two, I guess I am sharing with this much transparency, because I know there are others out there who have experienced similar things. Similar hurts and traumas. That others have believed the lies that they are dirty, damaged good, unusable by God.

I am writing this to tell you what I KNOW to be truth, what I am struggling to believe. I am not there. I am still on the journey. But I am working at it… even through the turmoil in my heart.

God loves us. God cherishes us. We are His beloved. No matter how dirty we feel, or guilty we feel, Jesus has washed us with His own scarred hands. He has draped us with a robe of white to cover our nakedness and guilt. He has gently looked into our eyes and, if we dare to look back, we will see nothing but love and acceptance.

In our dear Savior, “all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him [we] have been made complete, and He is head over all rule and authority.” (Col. 2:9-10, emphasis mine)
God fully lives in Jesus. Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Him, and we are in Jesus and He is in us. We have been made complete, whole, undamaged and clean in Christ… and Christ is the head… the King over all rule and authority… He was raised far above all powers and principalities, the rulers of this dark world.

But the ruler of this world does not want us to know that.

He doesn’t want us to live in that truth, and so he uses any and all painful things in our lives to hold us captive. He knows that if we live in the truth, we will will proclaim our freedom to all those who will hear… just because of the overwhelming joy and thankfulness coming from our Savior rescuing us as He said He would. The enemy doesn’t want you, doesn’t want me, to find that freedom. He doesn’t want us to use our voices to help others.
He wants to keep us silent out of shame and fear.

That is why I am being transparent here.

I want you to know. I have walked in paths of pain and shame. Things I have done, and have had done to me wrap me in chains of lies that are so thick and tangled, I don’t know where to begin. But God does. He has untangled me from so many already. I can see the light. I am starting to be able to breathe again. I can feel the fresh air on my face and feel the warmth of the Son. There are still some very thick chains tangled around my legs. But I know that Jesus will break those chains too.

I want you to know you are not alone. There are others who know your pain. You don’t have to hide anymore. Come out into the light. Learn the names that God gives you. They are so much more powerful than the ones the enemy and world give you. Listen to God’s names for you, and one by one, you will feel the chains start to drop. Don’t give up until they are gone!
I encourage you with my whole heart… even through the pain I am facing this week… I know the pain of facing the lies is so worth the healing on the other side. The fear I feel is out weighed by my determination to get through this, to cooperate with Jesus in my healing. I refuse to let these chains suffocate me anymore.

Get angry, and let that righteous anger strengthen your resolve. Get mad at the enemy of your soul. Seek Jesus with all your heart and He will be found by you. Cooperate with Him in your healing. Do whatever it takes. Face whatever you have to. Join me in seeking freedom. It is a life long process, but it is so worth it.

I have seen the hope.
I have further to go.
But I have seen Hope and, oh He is so beautiful!

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