It’s very early. I can’t sleep. The thoughts in my head are consuming me. So many thoughts. Waves and waves of them. So many things I want to say, so many reasons I keep things to myself. It can be summed up in a word: fear. I’m just that afraid.
Even now, as I type, my fingers start to hesitate, my throat gets dry. I swallow hard. The blogging game has changed so much since I started, and so have I. It used to be easier, simpler, not complicated. In a way, so was my life. At that time God wasn’t calling me to share all of myself with others. He wasn’t asking me to use words like ‘fear’, ‘grief’, ‘pain’, ‘anxiety’, ‘abuse’ or ‘depression’.
He’s never asked me to be this kind of brave. The kind that keeps typing through clumsy fingers fumbling along a keyboard to find the letters to spell out ‘I struggle with rejection’. He’s never asked me to do it for all to see and that takes a courage I’m not so sure I possess on my own. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve NEVER been brave or courageous on my own.
Here I am, a grown adult, crippled by a mere four letter word. If you only knew what my life has been, you’d understand, but that would mean I’d have to tell you. So here’s my dichotomy: I want to be understood but I don’t want to tell you why I’m so messed up so you CAN understand. It would be so much easier if you could just take my word for it, know what I mean? But it doesn’t work that way. No matter how much I want it to. I need to give you something to go on and that, my friend, is why our relationship hits the wall. I’m that afraid.
It’s hard to tell people you’ve been wounded. It’s hard to tell people you have always battled with awful things. It’s even harder when you’re a Christian. We’re supposed to be living this ‘put together life’, but when our struggles collide with that and it makes a huge mess…well, I’M not necessarily going to be the first one to own it. I’ll be the first one scrambling around looking for a blanket to cover it up! Nothing to see here, move along! We can’t possibly let others know the ‘put together life’ isn’t so wonderful at times. My goodness, what would NON-CHRISTIANS think?? *gasp* (that was sarcasm and a wee bit of an eye roll, just so you know)
Sometimes, I don’t care what anyone thinks and sometimes, I think they would think, “Huh. That person’s a Christian and they struggle too. But look at that, they STILL believe in God. Huh.”
My fears are founded on real things that have happened to me. My faith is founded on real things that have happened to me. What changes the game is the fact that my faith in Who God is intervenes where my fears want to rule me. I have an ‘out’ that leads to life instead of death.
Before I had my faith in Christ my only ‘out’ was death. Now that I believe Jesus Christ takes my sins and burdens from me when I ask Him to, I now have the choice of life. The weight of my sins and the sins others have committed against me are no longer mine to bear. That crushing weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Instead of drowning, I can at the very least, tread water.
In all honesty, there are still areas in my life that I am still learning to believe and trust. Yes, I believe in Jesus Christ and that He truly is the risen Son of God that has conquered sin and death making those who believe in Him victorious. I also believe some lies that have been so engrained in me it would take divine surgery to separate me from them. That’s where I am. This is who I am right now. I’m learning that all of it is really ok.
In trying to be more open with you I want to share what else I wrote while sitting here this morning that I wanted to delete… *deep breath*
When I think back as far as I can, through the memories of childhood and ‘carefree’ adolescence, there are but few things I remember that fear wasn’t attached to in some way or another. For instance, I remember waking in the night, looking for my parents and realizing they were upstairs at the neighbors partying (we lived in a duplex). I don’t remember why, but I desperately needed them, yet I knew if I interrupted them, I’d be in trouble. So, in the middle of the night, I quietly sat at the top of the brown shag carpeted steps outside the neighbor’s door, too afraid to knock, but too desperate to give up. I could hear the muffled sounds of music thumping and adult voices through the door. I kept trying to will myself to knock, but I wasn’t convinced my parents would understand my need and comfort me. It was too risky of a gamble, I was more convinced I’d choose wrong. I remember hoping my parents would see me and lovingly wrap their arms around me and tuck me back in bed. I remember remembering their anger too and wasn’t positive which one would prevail. I was 4, maybe 5 years old. I can still feel my heart pounding in my chest from that night and the wetness of my silent tears on my cheeks. I still remember the inner turmoil of struggling to decide if it was worth the risk of getting in trouble to be comforted, my brain feverishly weighing out the consequences. By that young age I had already learned so much…
When you’ve grown up always hearing you are wrong, stop doing that, can’t you just be quiet, no one wants to hear you (and much, much worse I can’t bear to type), it doesn’t take very long for the picture to be clear. Even a small child can quickly come to the understanding that their value and worth are, well, not much other than a nuisance, at best. Whether intentional or not, parents, WORDS HURT. Even idle words are daggers thrown at a child’s tender, forming heart. They will be internalized and processed through an immature, irrational filter and will shape that child into its image. Sometimes, all it takes is hearing something like ‘you’re ugly’, just once, and that child will believe you. Oftentimes, for the rest of their life.