Baby Steps: He gives me hope.

February 14, 2013

I decided try to find blogs that related to my story. I’d looked before I started counseling and didn’t come across any.  This time I found a Tumblr blog where a girl took pictures of women holding up signs with statements that related to their story.

For example, one lady held a sign that said, “No one will ever believe you.”

I started clicking through each photo, and noticed at the bottom of the page it listed all of the blogs that were following this blog.  I finally found the blogs I’d been looking for and I started reading. Real stories. True life. Despair.

By the time my husband came home, I was sobbing and my eyes and nose were a puffy red mess.  I was a wreck.

Every other page said, “trigger warning” and the stories were so sad. Some shared all of the details. Some abruptly stopped posting so I had no idea how it ended. It was really hard stuff to take in.

I closed my laptop to put it all away and then, the voices started.  “Who do you think you are?  You think your story will end any different? You really want to put all of this out there for others to read?  What are you thinking? You will regret it.”

At the time, I had an anonymous blog  using the alias, “pink” and not my real name. I was already worried about being discovered.  What if someone read it and figured out it was me?  By the time I went to bed, my eyes were wide-open in panic and my heart was sinking. I’m going to be found out and everything will be ruined. Worries kept popping up and it felt like a full force attack.

I finally fell asleep and had a vivid dream and I wanted to write it down but I couldn’t wake up enough. Then, I had a another dream and it was about two pretzels.

There was a plain pretzel, and then another pretzel dipped in white chocolate and covered in sprinkles and in the dream I kept saying, “Yes, but a pretzel is still a pretzel”…and the message was they were both pretzels, but the one that had the sprinkles on it portrayed HOPE.

I woke up encouraged because Jesus is the sprinkles on my pretzel. I could relate to the stories and the life experiences on those blogs, but it all felt like the focus was all on the pretzel. My story didn’t change, but with Jesus there was hope.

The pretzel is important and it is a big deal, but I never wanted to forget the sprinkles.

Oh, the sprinkles.

Hope changes everything. Jesus gives me hope.

Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.  Psalm 119:49 NIV

Baby Steps: He Gives Me Rest

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Everything around me feels unsteady and raw.

Lately, I have experienced quite a few disappointments. I am not sure if I am noticing them more, or simply feeling the hurt more but I am completely aware of being let down. In all of the disappointments – He has shown me HIS FAITHFULNESS. People will disappoint, life will disappoint, but He is faithful.  

He remains when all else fails.  

The place I went to yesterday in my counseling session was filled with despair, and yet He was my ROCK and I held on for dear life.  It was as if He said to me, “These things that you think are important to you and big to you – keep them in perspective.  They can’t give you what I am able to give you…I am the only gas that will fill your tank.”

So I pulled into His station, and I was filled:     Psalm 119:33-40

Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
How I long for your precepts!
In your righteousness preserve my life. 

And today when I slowed down to fill up, I heard, “Rest in Me. Balance. I will tell you where to go and when to step. You are so bent on old patterns it may be hard to even see at first. Be aware of it and look for it. Before you take one step, pause… is it me taking you there or are you ahead of me?  You have given it all to me now.  All of it.  You are infused with my light. Walk to my beat. Slow down and walk in step with me.”

One step at a time.  

“Come to me, all you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest.  Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls. Serving me is easy, and my load is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIVR

Baby Steps: Your King is coming.

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2/1/2013 

I kept hearing Journey Pink. I was reading Zechariah 9:9 in The Message and the words were popping off the page:  

Shout and cheer, Daughter Zion!
Raise the roof, Daughter Jerusalem!
Your king is coming!
a good king who makes all things right,
a humble king riding a donkey,
a mere colt of a donkey.
And you, because of my blood covenant with you,
I’ll release your prisoners from their hopeless cells.
Come home, hope-filled prisoners!
This very day I’m declaring a double bonus—
everything you lost returned twice-over!

Then, like a whipser I heard, PINK: Princess In Need of a King.

I was on a journey and the color pink was my visual reminder to stay on task and to cling to His truth and His promises.  

I wore it to remember I was His daughter, His princess.  I wrote with pink ink to remember that He was my King and He loved me. I especially wore pink on Thursday’s for my counseling sessions because the green (shame) could be so overwhelming. I took all kinds of pictures of pink throughout my day. Pink flowers, pink cars, pink skies. I noticed pink, and looked for it.

Pink represented the passion that He had for me to pursue HIM.  It was having the faith and the courage to keep taking steps. I was discovering His Names and what He truly said about me.  These truths were new to me and I was letting them sink into my very core.

It reminded me to keep saying,  “I want to follow you Lord – but I need you to show me where to go, and what to do. Lead me and guide me – show me the plans you have for me. Give me courage and strength because I quickly grow weary and give up. I easily retreat and think this is too hard! I can’t do this.”

Shame and hot memories were colors and those colors held me back. They covered me in lies. They were filled with voices that told me I wasn’t loved and that I would never ever be healed. 

Pink loudly told me otherwise.  

Your king is coming!
a good king who makes all things right… Zechariah 9:9 MSG

Baby Steps: He Protects Me

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The Basement

In my next session, I went into the basement where the worst memories and deepest hurts were hidden.

I sat for a moment and opened that file. If this memory were a color it would be red/orange.  Red for the Rage and Anger, and Orange was the color of the gown that I had on that was too big for me.

As I described what happened to her, I felt crushed again.

She said, “Take a deep breath.  Catch your breath for a minute and think back to red/orange and find God in that room with you. What do you think? What do you see? Where is God in this?”

What? I couldn’t even imagine God being anywhere near!

I said, “I really don’t understand how God could be anywhere near that room, but if he was then I imagine he would be weeping.”

She quietly said, “Find Him in the room. What was God doing with you in that room?”

I paused and finally said, “Well mostly allowing me to escape I guess. Which is why I probably felt smothered and suffocated. I wasn’t all there.  I would look to the corner of the room and escape and go somewhere else in my mind and leave my body behind.”

She said, “So, looking back can you see He was with you?”

I assured her I didn’t see it then, but looking back I could see where he was with me and protected me a bunch. He provided buffers and safe, encouraging people for me.

She said, “Breathe, let’s go back to red/orange again.  Where do you see God in that room for him?”

As I tossed a rock back and forth in my hand, I shared “Well, I am sure He was upset, angry and disappointed.”

She said, “Jesus was torn and battered into shreds to save us and make a way for us … but the same God who is able to love – has wrath that is withheld because of that night on the cross. He has both – anger and wrath and grace and love.

In that room – Wrath.

Absolute wrath, but by his grace and mercy he withholds that wrath – but he hates sin. God is able to perfectly balance what we struggle with…he balances anger and grace and mercy and justice. Can you see his wrath in that room?”

I paused to take in all in. “Yes, but that is really hard for me. I get it, but sometimes it is simply easier to take the blame and responsibility. To think Red/Orange for what it really is just breaks my heart.

I whispered, “I never expected red/orange. This was different. It was awful.”

My shoulders hunch over and I shrink a bit and sob. I took deep breaths and made my way back into the window.

She asked me if she could pray for me. She stood by me and put her hand on my head and prayed the sweetest prayer of love, wrath, justice, and mercy.

I left feeling okay considering everything.

I had moments of sadness and tears throughout the day. There were times when I felt like “This file is too heavy to shut and I don’t want to see it anymore. It’s too much!”

I knew I couldn’t climb out of the basement yet because if left it would be too hard to come back.

Like a bird protecting its young, God will cover you with His feathers, will protect you under His great wings; His faithfulness will form a shield around you, a rock-solid wall to protect you. Psalm91:4 VOICE