Ok, I’m not going to lie…this is another one of those times that I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to blog about but I feel led (both internally and externally) to write. We’ll call it sparked…because that seems to be a common thing in my life lately…sparks. It reminds me of when you’re trying to start a car. Or any engine for that matter. Or even a fire. But what I really get an image of is a firework. You know when you’re kneeling down on the ground and you have your punk stick and you’re so anxious to get that thing lit. On one hand you can’t wait for it to catch fire and see the beautiful display of fireworks—and on the other you’re nervous as all get out and wonder WHY on earth do I want to blow this up…what if something goes wrong? Well at least for a worry wart like myself, that’s many times what I’m thinking. “This seems really unsafe” is a phrase that often flits through my mind. And I’m not just talking about with fireworks either. I think with life in general I tend to be in a constant state of protection mode. Do you ever feel that way? And if not, could you maybe be feeling that way and not even aware of it…much like I was for many, many years? Well that protection mode, it’s not so great. At least not for me anymore…
My counselor encouraged me yesterday to journal (note I say JOURNAL, but for some reason God has to take that a step further and tell me to blog) about the spark that I had a few weeks ago. A spark no other than what I can call Jesus. I was so encouraged and just felt different. I felt lighter…joyful…dare I even say hopeful?! I remember going into her office and saying I was excited about life for the first time in quite a while. And when I say excited, I mean that kind where your gratitude seems to just overflow because you are so alive and can take every moment…….every thought……..captive. It’s odd too because this spark came at a time when I had been wrestling with God. Wrestling about not wanting to commit to something that will last for months and is going to be painful and require me to be extremely vulnerable at times—but yet deep down I know it is something God wants me to do. So perhaps more of my wrestling was with the enemy and I just needed to say yes to God and give the devil the finger. So that’s what I did……a little begrudgingly at first, but nevertheless, I said yes. And once I did…something ignited in me that I couldn’t put my finger on which is why I know it was God. And now, here I am three short weeks later and in need of going back to that moment. Because you see, that thing I started and committed to that I was hesitantly excited about, it’s amazing….but it’s also really hard. This week I opted to share my story with a group of strangers. Seriously. I shared EVERYTHING. We were asked to be bold and basically hang it all out there so we could get to know one another within our small groups. Some what like what people do during small groups at treatment….be open. Candid. Real. Whatever you want to call it. Knowing that every one else is there for the same reason you are and there is no judgement. But when I was at treatment almost a year ago I wasn’t ready to do that. In fact, I didn’t even really want to do that one-on-one with my counselor. But then again, I didn’t think I had any real brokenness or problems then—other than some pretty stupid choices throughout my years of life. I might have even mentioned to my therapist at treatment that I don’t really need to talk about my childhood because it was fine. *Enter the sound of myself laughing hysterically at that now—protection mode really is quite impressive when it wants to be* No joke, I just thought I had a drinking problem. But then I got to sit in on my first day of group with these ladies that had already been there a little while and I couldn’t believe the sheer courageousness they had. The things they were sharing. The brokenness they were exposing. I sat in awe. I actually sat and felt my heart breaking for them…and I think I broke a major rule of group therapy engagement and got up and hugged one of them. Whoops. It was so inspiring yet seemed a
little lot crazy to me. But then underneath that crazy, inspiring boldness they seemed to have, there was something more I noticed and I wanted to be a part of. There was this bond they had that was incredible. Even though their stories were all so different, they still had underlying similarities. And no, I’m not talking about the similar addiction thread. I’m talking about the heart condition part. The part that is the only part we should focus on rather than the symptoms which come from it such as addiction. They all had hurt in their lives. Yes, I’m going to say it, they all had so much unexposed brokenness. And it seemed to me that once they began exposing that brokenness, they began to heal. It took being truly known for them to begin to forgive others, begin to forgive themselves, begin to trust again and biggest of all for me, begin to love and BE loved. Because I am really seeing that in order to be able to give love……true, unconditional kind…..we have to be able to receive it. And how can we receive it if people aren’t really loving us for WHO we are at our core? And how do they know WHO we are if we can’t be exposed. Vulnerable. Honest. Simply put, they can’t. Beyond this….how can I let God love me if I can’t even let people love me? Oh my. What a revelation. If you get nothing else out of this than what I’m about to say, I think that’s what God is trying to get across. If I can’t be exposed (which takes great vulnerability and courage) then I am unknown. If I remain unknown, then I unbeknownst to me feel unloved or perhaps even unlovable….which leads to a whole host of problems like feeling unworthy…….ashamed…never going to be good enough…….for people, or for God. I know I’m struggling with that right now. I’m struggling with accepting God’s love for me. I know the truth. I know He died for me. For you. But I am at this point of my healing that I really don’t believe I deserve it. Just like I really don’t feel as though I deserve my husband, who has been there for me through ALL of my crap. And then he continues to be there for me as more crap has come out over the past year. I want to believe it, but honestly, my hands feel too dirty to praise Him and to accept his love AND my husbands.
So typically, this is where God brings it all together…………so please Lord, show me.
3 weeks ago, God sparked something in me. He inspired me AFTER I said yes to Him. After I trusted Him (and gave the enemy the finger). He ignited my punk stick if you will…and now I’m beginning to see why. He knew that in order for me to continue down this road of healing and have it be long lasting—it was going to require me to be known. Truly known. So that I can learn to accept being loved. For who I am at my core—-which is NOT an alcoholic or addict…but a beautiful child of an almighty God who gave His son so that I could live. And let me tell you, after experiencing that spark, I am SO ready to live. And what’s so amazing is that’s where He knew I have struggled……in my identity……which is precisely where I believe He is showing me, slowly, yet surely….Keeley, let me love you. Simply put. Let me love you for WHO I made you to be. Let down your guard. Your self preservation and protection is no longer necessary because your life is in my hands, just as it always has been. Which speaking of hands, I need you to understand, yours are washed clean in my blood and you bring me so much joy. So strip down, get ready to feel naked at times when everybody else is still clothed—because that’s what it’s going to take. Bold vulnerability and trust. Oh and your husband, you do actually deserve him because he’s a gift from me. Let him love you unconditionally. And remember that punk stick……..well, as soon as you learn to accept my love, grace and mercy exactly where you are for just what it is——a gift——get ready, because there is going to be the most spectacular fireworks show you’ve ever seen.
So for yet another day, I stay knelt down by that firework. Even though my mind says run away, this is too dangerous—too unsafe…..what good could come of this??? I know now….God’s just getting started and like he told me, I’m about to experience the most beautiful part.