Getting Unstuck

Journey Pink

I’ve been stuck. 

I haven’t posted much this year and I feel like I am so behind. I don’t even know where to start. I haven’t shared much here because I wanted to focus on writing my story. 

I came to a defining moment in my story and I struggled to write it.  

There were all of these emotions and personalities, and I was trying to write without saying too much. I always feel like I have said too much, as if I’ve already said it all.

But, when I look back at my blog posts I see they are all written in code.  If you can relate, “code” language means I haven’t really said much.  I say just enough to safely pull back if needed.

I am fluent in the language of code. It was my survival.  

When I reached this defining moment in my story, I found myself writing in code again.  I was trying to say just enough but not too much.  

And, I couldn’t do it.  

I closed my laptop on that chapter, and didn’t want to pick it up again.  I didn’t pick it up again.  

In the stewing, I came to realize that I can’t tell that moment in code.  It has to be real, even if it is messy.  

I couldn’t understand why I would write so many words, and then suddenly feel this overwhelming burden to be real.  Really real.  

God, really? 

Really. 

So, I am writing it with this new perspective and it is challenging. 

Writing (or speaking) in code shields my own heart from delving into the emotional sea of betrayal and pain. If I can keep it as flowery as possible, then I can smile as I type as if I am dissociating from the words on the screen. 

But, when I deep dive I usually end up in tears and I struggle to pick it up again.  Why go there, when you can watch Netflix and eat ice cream? 

It’s a vicious cycle.  

So today, on my walk I was listening to a sermon and when the verse in Hebrews 12:2 was mentioned, I thought … “Fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith.”   Jesus, the author.  

Let Him be the author. I want to be in control, but what if I let Him write it and be obedient to what He is asking me to do? God, be my author. Help me to write it. Write through me and help me to keep my eyes fixed on you and not on fretting.

As I snapped some pictures along the way, these images spoke to my heart and my struggle.   

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I was in bondage. Hidden. Afraid. Tangled in lies, fear, shame, and secrets. It was so dark. Remember what it was like? 

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I dared to believe that there was hope. I realized I was not alone. There were others like me. I wanted to get to the other side. I wanted to be free. 

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He rescued me. He brought me out of the darkness and into His light. I Am Loved.   

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He set me free, and I am clinging to Him.  I am no longer hidden, but out in the open air of freedom.  

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Obedience makes a difference. Am I willing to obey? Imagine the impact of obedience. What does that look like?  

The other voice in my head smirked, “Who do you think you are? No one cares and it’s already been said. There’s too much risk.  Are you crazy?” It’s loud, but just as I round the corner there’s more beauty.

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The harvest is plenty… but the workers are few. Don’t believe the lies. Do the work.

Are you feeling stuck? We all get stuck at times, but we don’t have to stay there. The first thing I tend to do when I am stuck is isolate myself, but that is not helpful at all. What helps me the most is to admit that I am stuck. This last time, I went to small group and it was just the leader and I. She started asking questions that led me to share what I was going through with her. She prayed for me and continues to encourage me. She also continues to check in with me and it has helped me tremendously. We were never meant to run the race alone.  

What about you?  What helps you to get unstuck?

 Scripture: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

Prayer: Lord, thank you for delivering me from the pit. You are the author of my story. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on you and to give you my all. My heart is encouraged when I imagine running across the finish line and jumping into your arms. Your love amazes me.  

Worship: This song has been my jam, especially the remix.  God Only Knows [Timbaland Remix] by for King & Country…

Embracing Christmas …when it’s less than perfect

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I am all about traditions, routine, order, and knowing what to expect.  When plans change, it can be very triggering for me. Even something as lovely as a vacation can set me on edge and make me feel vulnerable. As much as I smile and delight in the fun on the outside, on the inside I am fighting anxiety and panic with both fists. It is a weary battle.  

Bring on the holidays, and that is a recipe for pure angst. 

There are:

  • Fewer lights on the tree than the many strands I envisioned.
  • Explosions of emotion and memory from opening the boxes of ornaments.
  • Eleven destroyed ornaments so far from our sweet puppy, Maisy Jane.
  • Professional family photos that haven’t been scheduled.
  • Christmas cards that haven’t been created or ordered.
  • No pictures on Santa’s lap.
  • No long lists of oh so fun to find “hot toys” – instead, “just get me this one big item”.
  • Fewer gifts, which means less hiding, less wrapping, and less opening.
  • Painful aches for those who are absent.
  • Tears for the friend who received the awful diagnosis.
  • Sleepless nights tossing and turning in prayer for the heart of a child.
  • Changes in friendships, relationships, and traditions.  

In all of the dazzling merriment, there are disappointments, frustrations, and unmet expectations. 

How should we respond?

Mary was pregnant and traveling on a donkey with swollen feet and an aching back. She did not have a reservation at the Hilton. There was no guest room available for her.  She was going to give birth in a stable without an epidural. 

But in the smelly, messy, and painful circumstances surrounding Mary, light burst forth as she delivered a Love like no other.  

That same Love exists today in your smelly, messy, painful circumstances.
Do you see Him?  Can you find Him there? 

Just this week, I found Him in a powerful therapy session, a gentle rebuke, and an encouraging lunch.

He is with us always. We are never alone.
Like Mary, we can sit in the mess and hold onto to Jesus. 

Whatever this season brings, take the time to embrace Jesus especially when its messy, disappointing and even confusing. Be still in His presence and embrace His Love.  

Embrace Emmanuel, God with us.  

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:23 KJ21

Remember His Words

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Then they remembered his words.  Luke 24:8

When I finished the last post for Baby Steps, my plan was to continue writing my story.  Instead, I took a break and I have barely opened my laptop.

Sometimes, when I put it down it is hard to pick it back up. 

Truth be told, there are times when I would prefer to just live in the “now” and never look back.  

But God.

When I was writing the Baby Steps series, I saw His faithfulness intertwined with my tears. Yes, I would remember the pain. But, I would also remember the promises He brought to fruition.  

You see, looking back helped me to remember His words. 

In Luke 24, when the women went to the tomb they found it empty.  It wasn’t what they expected and at first they were shocked and confused. The angels appeared to them and said, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”
Then they remembered His words.  
They went back to the share it with the disciples, but they were not believed.  Their words seemed like nonsense to the disciples.  

Jesus is always speaking.  

His still small voice causes my heart to burn inside of me. 

Am I listening?  

Life is loud, and the noise can drown out His voice. My best time to listen is in the morning under the safe hum of the shower and hairdryer. My eyes are closed and my mind is quiet enough to hear. Speak Lord, your servant is listening.  

Then in the noise of life, the lies grow louder and take me under.  Suddenly, I feel sad. Defeated. Discouraged. Hopeless.

It will never happen for you. 
It is impossible.
Did God really say?
Who do you think you are? 
You are crazy.
You are worthless. 

It is an old mean voice that spouts the same lies that have taunted me for years behind my smile. Instead of delighting in the hum of the shower, I am now drowning in the pit of despair.  

The Word is Alive.  

As I was reading in Luke, I came across those five words: Then they remembered His words.  

It was as if that sentence was a neon sign on that page and suddenly His truth overpowered every single lie, one by one.    

Do you remember my Words? 

It’s going to happen.
I really said it. 
You are my child. 
You have a sound mind.
You are worth more than many sparrows. 

His truth ushers in hope.  

Do you remember His Words? 

What has He whispered to your heart? 

Was it about healing? Your marriage? Your child? Your job? Your calling?

Maybe right now the circumstances look bleak. In the weariness, the lies begin to fill your tank with doubt.  The old mean voices start to pound in your head. 

What did He say?  What does His Word say? 

Write out that truth. 
Say it out loud. 
Write it on a notecard and carry it with you.
Sing it.  

Look back and remember His words. 

Believe.

Baby Steps: His light breaks my chains.

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Something really big happened in me during that facedown laid flat prayer time.  He lifted me and He gave me a voice, but He also filled me to the top with courage, boldness and passion.

Something shifted inside of me. 

In my group therapy session, she gave us each a small box, magazines, scissors and glue. Our assignment was to cut out and glue words and images on both the inside and the outside of the box.  

The words and images on the outside of the box displayed what we were comfortable with others knowing about us. The outside of the box represented how others see us and what we are willing to show others. This was mostly public information. 

 Whereas, the inside of the box was private information.  The inside of the box was how you saw yourself and what  you did not want others to see or know about you. The images and words inside of the box made us uncomfortable especially if others knew about them.  

The room filled with the noise of the magazine pages flipping, scissors cutting, and pages ripping while music played softly in the background. 

Words started to pop off of the pages.  Some were just seemingly harmless words but they were very significant to me.  

We took the boxes home to finish them, and I continued to cut and paste away. I found a slightly bigger box to hide my box in, because I didn’t want anyone to see it.  I decided to cover the outer box with words of healing and truth.  These words represented what I truly wanted for myself and this truth covered all of the messiness that was inside.  

 I was afraid to share my box with the group. I shared the outside, but not the inside. I brought the box with me to my individual session and showed my counselor the inside and explained what each side represented. 

Creating this box was so powerful. I continued to bring it to my sessions and it helped me to find words to share how the abuse had affected my body, mind and soul.  

The inside of the box was filled with shameful secrets and it was all so dark and dirty. All of those words and images kept me chained to the darkness. I desperately longed to be free.

The box was open now, and His light was shining into the darkness.

His light broke through the darkness and
he led us out in freedom from death’s dark shadow
and snapped every one of our chains. Psalm 107:14 TPT

This is post #26 in the Baby Steps series.  To start at the beginning, click here.