Baby Steps: He Will Give You Rest

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I woke up to a new day, and accomplished a lot. I loved having “normal” and productive days. But they also made me wonder if I was crazy. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. Was I making a big deal out of nothing? I would compare my abuse to others and convince myself that it wasn’t that bad. It could always be worse.  

I wrote down the stages of my recovery and what it felt like so far. I described it like being on a Ferris Wheel. There were distinct highs and distinct lows. Sometimes, I would get stuck and it would take forever to move again. At times, I thought I was heading in one direction and then I would change directions find myself back at the beginning working though it again.  

The grief was awful. It wasn’t expected and suddenly it would overwhelm me as if I was going to burst. I felt alone in my pain. Others had no idea how much I was hurting. It was still my secret and I tried to manage my day-to-day life in spite of it.

I was overwhelmed and anxious. I wanted to keep it all pushed down. Why now? Maybe seeing my own children in their marvelous splendor made it come back up when I thought it was long gone. What was I going to do?  Tell everything now when I have held it in for so long? Now? To who? 

I had questions. It was like having glasses on for the first time and seeing things sharper. I was seeing my life, my heart, my thoughts and my actions through a completely different lens. And it was all about me. I was not trying to be selfish, but I analyzed myself to death.  Oh, that explains why I did that and this makes sense now.  No wonder I was reserved in relationships and had my emotional banks located in offshore accounts! 

I also held up a magnifying glass to analyze others. I revisited my interactions through the prism of my new reality. For example, my kindergarten teacher was not just a kindergarten teacher.  She held me on her soft lap and she told me I was smart. Another teacher singled me out and I thought she was mean but looking back, maybe she saw something and was just trying to understand and help me.

My emotions were all over the place. I looked at a child and cried. I heard a song and cried. The reality of my nightmare was overwhelming and I was the one who said it. I let the cat out of the bag.

What have I done?  

I was filled with shame. Not just the shame from the abuse, but the shame from my own mistakes and bad decisions. I thought I had already conquered this. I knew I was forgiven, but in revisiting it I now saw my broken self just trying to cope and manage the pain. Either way, it still made me feel green. There was so much shame.  

Even though I was weary, I was in control of my life, my body and my destiny. No one was making me do anything. I needed to protect myself and be patient with myself.  It was my decision to heal and I could take as long as I needed. I had the rest of my life.

When each step brought its own chaos, He offered me rest.  

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 

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