Monday, March 30, 2015

Truth Project: I Am Not a Victim

I didn't stand rooted in love but instead let fear dictate the direction of my life.

I was a victim. I walked around with my head down not realizing the value of myself. I didn't stand rooted in love but instead let fear dictate the direction of my life. I didn't know how to be confident in my worth, to speak up for what I believed in. I didn't know how to allow myself to intentionally be messy in my relationships so that they could be fulfilled and complete. I didn't realize that not striving to constantly be enough was an option. So I always put on my best game face and then drove home crying to God each night.

I knew I had so much love but I didn't feel it reciprocated. I didn't have that constant assurance that my past has engraved a need for. So I felt like an outcast within the most important relationship of my life. I felt neglected and unwanted and I didn't know how to ask for help. I covered up feelings behind other frustrations. I let my actions speak anger and then repented through text hours later when I was able to clear my mind. I fought for love by playing games in my head that determined when I was loved and when I was cast aside. I made rules for myself to follow and then punished myself emotionally when I failed yet again.

I was literally battling the ghosts of my past while living in the shell of a healthy relationship. I was destroying myself from the inside out because I was looking to this man to say I was worthy and loved and cared for and enough. When all that complete fulfillment can only come from the man who gave His life for mine. I didn't know. I was so close to receiving His love but so far.

No one pulled me aside and told me about grace and redemption through Jesus. No one told me directly that I didn't have to be perfect because it's an impossible feat that only a Savior can fulfill. No one told me that the scars from my past were just that - just imprints of the battles I have been through - but not indicators of my beauty or value. I went to church every week and no one there asked if I knew Jesus. I spent time with the pastor and his family and I loved all the people of the church as if they were my family - and I wanted them to somehow be - yet no one ever invited me to a bible study or women's group. No one invited me in to see that we are all messy and imperfect. But yet we are all loved and called to love each other. And because I spent years trying to impress the people I cared most about I never dared to speak my emotions. Instead casting all my frustrations on a miserable job and tough family life.

I wanted so desperately to be of some value. More than anything else, I ultimately wanted someone to fight for me. To take a stand and acknowledge that I'm a good person with a broken past. To offer more than just a devotional but the conversation as to why this is for me. I had the books and the tools but no one told me how to use them. No one told me the rules of how it all worked. So when I came to Jesus I must have looked a bit silly. After spending years going to church and running into the bathroom and crying on communion days- I didn't know where to begin. Could I take communion? Did I need to be a member of the church? Who are all these Johns in the bible and why does God keep changing everyone's names? Where do you start when reading the bible and what do you mean you don't have to read it in order?

I was so close, skating on the outskirts of grace.

I had so much need for a redeemer. A safe place. A hope and a light. I was so close, skating on the outskirts of grace. I had no idea the edge I was dangling on. I didn't realize the amazing love that wasn't locked up or hidden but was staring me point blank in the face. How could I be so close yet so far? I am so grateful for the people I've met and the places I've gone. The things I did learn and the ways it changed me ultimately for the better. Gosh, if I could go back and do it over, I would love nothing more. What an enriching experience it would be. To turn the pages and say- that was the old. This is the new.

But it couldn't happen that way. I sense it in my bones the way I can sense the seasons changing. That was never how God planned it to be. I needed to do this on my own. Not under anyone else's direction or leading. This way I know for sure this was my own desire and not the desire to impress anyone but God. Despite my constant want to lean on someone else to make the decisions and to drive the car - I also have this innate need to have control. It doesn't make sense. Oil and water I know. Perhaps a trait I developed from years of living in an abusive home I couldn't escape. Maybe the unspoken assumption that I would turn out the same as what my family history dictates. But something in me has this desire to feel somewhat in control and when that's not happening I feel an uneasiness and distrust. So I know that this is the way I needed to come to the Lord. Solely. Searching for Him just humbled and alone. Desperate for an answer because after trying, striving and failing there needs to be another way.

I am not a victim. I am not destined to repeat the history of abusive relationships or alcohol and drugs that bleeds it's way through my family tree.

He is the way. He is the truth and the life. He is the only way for me and He is the only life I want. Apart from Him I can do nothing and that is so incredibly clear looking back on the past 7 years of my life. Perhaps even more than that. I am not a victim. I am not destined to repeat the history of abusive relationships or alcohol and drugs that bleeds it's way through my family tree. I'm a conqueror. I am saved by grace so that I can share with the world that there is more to life. And if no one ever told you about it, please let me.

Anyone who has ever made you feel less than amazing has lied to you.

You don't have to do this alone and you don't have to pretend. If you feel unfulfilled and want more from your life, Jesus wants you even more than that. Jesus is not religion. He is not politics or rules. He is grace upon grace. He is light and goodness. He carries our burdens and lightens our loads. He gives us redemption through His blood and He saves all those who seek Him. I know my life is going to be so different than how it's been because He promises a hope and a future. It won't all be rainbows and sunshine, puppies and flowers. No, He allows us to be refined into His image which comes through suffering through trials of this life. But He is always with us, always constant and always good. He never forsakes us. He is for me and He is for you. We are not victims to the lies we have believed. Anyone who has ever made you feel less than amazing has lied to you. Don't believe those lies for one more minute. Pick up the truth and let it set you free. There is freedom in the cross and it is unlike any freedom you will experience in this world.

1 comment:

  1. Sheri, I've read this post three times through so far, and I love it! I'm on the other end of the spectrum from you - I grew up in church and took a lot for granted. The questions you asked ("Who are all these Johns and why does God change everyone's names?") made me laugh, then realize, wow I've never thought of that! I wonder how many ladies in my own church are waiting for someone to reach out and help them fit in. Thank you for opening my eyes to that! Thank you for such a candid, honest, raw, and beautiful post. I could really feel your heart in this. So so beautiful!! Much love! <3