When Abuse Results in Lasting Grief

So many times, growing up, I feared for my life and safety. When I was no longer welcome to live at home, I experienced guilt so crushing it pressed like a heavy weight on my chest, and I returned “home” as often as possible, intentionally inserting myself into dysfunction so that I might deflect as much abuse as possible to myself.

The guilt was so weighty it took almost a decade to lift. I felt guilty for being SAFE.

I still have nightmares. I still wake up crying. Fear still stretches its fingertips toward me like a snake that must twist in order to inch forward.

And it has taken me years to be able to cry.

One of my dearest friends tells me this is a beautiful gift. She tells me it is a testament to all that God has healed in me.

Isn’t there just something so powerful about R E L E A S E ?

Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest… 

Relentless abuse is so depleting and weighs on you. Really, what we need is all that rest before we can even step into the deep waters of healing.

Today, be kind to yourself.

Trust that His timing for you is perfect.

Be brave with your heart.

For you are treasured beyond jewels and finery. And our Heavenly Father…Oh! he cares so much more about the state of your soul than the condition of your physical surroundings.

Rest in Him. Let the guilt and shame go. And I promise that He cannot fail you.

 

 

Our Stories Reflect The Power of The Gospel

 

In my Sophomore year of college I was introduced to Anne Lamott. Basically, she is a fabulous writer who writes raw words and loves Jesus. She’s also basically nothing like me.

But I couldn’t help be drawn to the way she unapologetically exposed herself. The way she wrote all the words about her life and never failed to tell her own sin and her own struggles, and all her hopes for the future. Continue reading Our Stories Reflect The Power of The Gospel

When My Soul is Weary

Yesterday was one of those once in a lifetime sort of days. Mostly, the type of day you hope you never have to live through.

And my soul is tired…

Yesterday, I read 3 pages of allegations and all I could do was stare at all that black ink and wonder, how did it get to this? how did it ever get this far? and how was I ever so blinded by hope? 

It is the hardest lesson I have learned: that you can’t change someone else.

Intervention can’t change them. The law can’t change them. God can absolutely change them, but he only walks into hearts that want him…he only changes souls that ask…

I once heard a counselor say that it was her job to listen to the story and then pour God’s truth over it. I have never forgotten that comment. It’s beautiful.

And so…this is me, attempting to pour all the truth.

Truth? God was in the car yesterday as we made the early morning drive and he was in the touch of my husbands fingers against mine. He was beside me as I clenched my anxious jaw on that wooden bench, and as I fought the migraine. He was in the moments of peace and sadness and he was in the weight of all the consequences presented. He was present in the community of friends and loved ones praying steadfast over us.

He was present in every moment leading up to this single instance and he will be present in every moment following.

Listen to me…God is not surprised by your life or your sin or by mine. And he is certainly not caught off guard when you are sinned against. He is not seeking counsel elsewhere because he has no clue how to intervene. He is not hesitating to act. He did not set the earth into motion and then step back – a silent observer to the chaos. Throughout scripture we see a vivid and powerfully consistent God in his response to evil. He calls us to mercy and to fight for justice for those who cannot fight for themselves.

He offers us free will. WE choose. WE sin. WE invite brokenness. WE fail to repent. WE break the nations.

The Gospel is modeled to us in sweeping gestures of love-fueled grace across the course of history. There is God, Father, Son, Spirit, living in perfect community, relentlessly pursuing. He was present in creation; in the mercy of sacrifice for a thousand years. He pressed himself into humanity and walked among us and ate at our tables and smiled at the outcasts and wept over death. God used the two most powerful elements in existence to RESCUE: Love and Story. THIS is the Gospel – a love story of the purest and most eternal kind.

He offers us free will, just as his will is free, and HE choose us. HE paid for our sin. HE bore our broken. HE redeemed us. HE longs to reconcile the nations.

And so…here I sit, my soul overwhelmed, and yearning for all the highest ground there ever was.

Today, I remind myself of the certainty of Christ’s promise to never leave or forsake me, to choose me, to call me his.

No matter the brokenness of this planet we walk on, God is still good and faithful and present.

It is impossible for him to fail us.

It is impossible for me to be forgotten.

I Will Thrive Anyway

One of the most devastating side effects of abuse is self doubt. Honestly, I struggle to put into words the heartache that physical and emotional and verbal abuse have on a child’s sense of self…and how we carry a longing to know who we are and to be known into adulthood. Continue reading I Will Thrive Anyway

And This is How He Heals

 

Have you ever heard someone tell their story without a hint of shame?

In my senior year at Northwest University, we had a guest speaker; a man who had lived a wild life of parties and dark sexual pleasures. There he stood, with so much humility and joy and theatrical storytelling it was almost like he was telling someone else’s story. But he wasn’t. He lived every second of the heartache, the brokenness, the shame. And yet here he was: healed and thriving and generous and vulnerable. Continue reading And This is How He Heals

Living With ALL The Intention

Listen. You don’t have to be famous to be successful. You don’t.

Living a Well-Lived life might not be easy but it is SIMPLE. Really…you only need TWO things: Willingness & Intention.

Willingness – Cheerfully consenting or ready.

Intention – an act of determining mentally upon some action or result.

Take some time to brew yourself a cup of coffee and sit with a blank sheet of paper and write down all the hopes and dreams and visions for your life. Just write. If you should live to be 100, what do you want to look back on and be proud of? WHO do you want to be? WHAT do you want to do?

Me? I want a PHENOMENAL marriage. I want a home full of joy and peace. I want to be healthy in body, mind, and soul. I want my children to grow to love others and love God and I want them to find joy in life. I want to help impoverished people locally and globally in practical and sustainable ways.

What do you want from this one, beautiful life you get? What do you need to surrender? to change?

It takes absolute bravery to step into a life you love, especially if you come from brokenness or a place of abuse. It might actually be the hardest and most scary thing you’ve ever done. You might shake. Hear me when I say, that it’s ok to step forward unsteady. If we waited for fear to leave before we chose to act, we’d be stuck in the muck of indifference indefinitely.

Be brave, dear one! Step into the sun. Pull that foot out of the muck. Turn your eyes toward Jesus and look FULLY.

I promise you will be changed.