Can I be real? I mean, really real?
Isn’t that what we all want, is to feel safe enough to be transparent?
All the years that I was a single mom were hard. Really hard. I lived every day on the edge. On the edge financially, emotionally and mentally.
I struggled immensely. I experienced betrayal, foreclosure, repossession and bankruptcy. Dealing with my ex-husband added a lot of unpredictable, volatile challenges into my already challenging load.
There were scenes. Some were like scenes you’d see on the TV show, Cops. “Whacha gonna do when they come for you?” Yes, that show. No, they weren't coming for me.
I suffered shame, embarrassment, and heartache to the umpth degree.
While enduring all these things, I went to work, church, family get-togethers and church functions wearing a calm, happy face.
I served on mission committees, stewardship committees, played piano in the worship band, taught Sunday school to pre-teens and toddlers. I was room mom and team mom. All this I did while stuffing and suffering inside.
I learned at a very young age how to put up pretenses. I’m okay. We’re okay. We’re all okay. Only I wasn’t okay.
Often I was the object of emotional abuse or received bad news, and stuffed it down on my way to church or work. I’d show up, put that smile on my face and pretend like everything was fine. When I lost my home I just acted like it was a trip to the post office. Bankruptcy court was just a stop on my way to work. I pretended like stuff didn't bother me.
I stuffed and stuffed, until I no longer had much emotion about anything. Over the years I’ve noticed that callousness and apathy has set in. I covered up and hid behind different masks. I haven’t been a complete 100% pretentious person, but any pretense and covering up enslaves and holds me back from being who God created me to be.
I have to add though, that I wouldn’t trade those hard years for what I’ve gained with the Lord. I’ve learned that He is an intimate, loving Father. Jesus became my Husband. I learned how to trust God and my faith grew. God was and is my Rock, Redeemer and Strong Arm who was and is always right here. He has been my refuge and comfort through all the toughest of times. I’m fully convinced that nothing can or will ever separate me from His love.
I became fully convinced that the God of the whole universe is the God of the Bible who sent His son Jesus to take our place as He went to the cross on our behalf.
After losing my mom this past December, I got somewhat of a wake-up call.
I need to have some HE-art work done. The Lord Jesus is the artist and I’m his subject. The best way I know to have this He-art work done is to join a ladies Step Study group through our Celebrate Recovery Program at church.
This is a safe place where I’ll be able to uncover the hidden emotions that I’ve stuffed for more than 45 years. The plan is to spend the next nine months digging, uprooting, planting and growing. I want to let God work His artistry in my life, as He chisels, whittles and repaints.
We’re all God’s handiwork. His artistry compares to none else.
Galatians 5:1 tells us, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
If you’d like to know more about Celebrate Recovery, visit www.celebraterecovery.com. It is a Christ-centered recovery program for any and all who have ANY hurt, habit or hang-up.