Sunday, December 7, 2008


I have lived my life hobbled. I have been chained. I have allowed my chains to drag me down. I have used them to excuse my behavior. I have let them pull me to places I would never go willingly- into self pity, self doubt, and self loathing. I have let them rule me.

Shame on me. I will never get back the time I have wasted.

I cannot tell you of the time I have spent in self loathing and doubt. Wondering if I was good enough, strong enough, skinny enough, brave enough, funny enough, interesting enough. Enough enough. Damn it.

I am weary of carrying my baggage. I am tired of carrying the weight of my family's shit on my back. It's not mine. It never was. It was given to me, it wasn't something I created, for God's sake! But I have been carrying it anyway. Why?

I read a book a while ago. Max Lucado is an amazing christian writer who can make Christ so real it's as if you can actually touch him. "Traveling Light" is a masterpiece. It takes Psalm 23, something most people are familiar with, and transforms it into something that is life changing. The big idea of the book is this: carrying your burdens is not what Christ intended. He wants to bear it with us and for us. He wants us to cast it onto Him.

This is something I have always grappled with. Who would I be without my pain and anger? Who would I be without the weight of memory? Who would I be if I stepped away from it all and refused to pick it up again?

Because I can. We all can. We can drop it and walk away. We can leave it behind. We can be free.

See, my main issue is trust. I think that is most people who have been abused main issue. The same pain that draws you close to Christ is also the pain that makes you keep Him at arm's length, right? Because of fear that He might fail you like others have. Fail to protect you. Fail to cherish you. Fail to love you.

But Christ is not man. He cannot fail you. He will not walk away. He can be trusted. HE CAN BE TRUSTED. He can take it, bear it, and wash it away. Not only can he, but he will, with joy. It doesn't matter how bad it is. It doesn't matter what everyone else thinks of it. It doesn't matter if only you know. Nothing is too horrible for Him. Look at all He experienced. Look at who he surrounded Himself with.

God himself is well aquainted with pain, with loss. He is used to rejection. He was mocked, belittled. While on this earth He experienced the gamut of human emotion and pain. There is no feeling He does not know. Shame, hurt, betrayal, lonliness. He walked it all.

I have never been good at praying. But when I was a little girl, I had a dream that I took a walk with God. Ever since then, when I pray I picture a dirt road, overgrown with giant trees. Spanish moss hangs down nearly to brush the ground as sunlight filters through. I walk, sometimes in joy with my head held high. Sometimes in sorrow, my eyes never leaving the ground. Sometimes I am bursting with all of the things I want to share with Him. Ohter times, I come with a heaviness that doesn't even allow for words. At those times, I walk alone. But if I turn my head, He is there, behind me. He shadows my steps. I have learned to trust that he won't leave, even when I have nothing to say.

A few days ago I went to bed with a very heavy heart. I was sad enough to simply be silent and let the tears come as I tried to fall asleep. I decided to pray. Once again, I pictured a dirt road. I walked along, and I sensed God with me. Soon I was too weary to even walk. Instead I just stood and wept. I turned to look for Him, and He was close by, waiting. I was startled to see He was weeping as well. He held out His arms, slowly. His face was racked with pain.

"Won't you let me have it?" he asked.

I knew what He was asking for. All of it. All of the sorrow. All of the tears. All of the worry and doubt.

This time I was weary enough to hand it over. It was too heavy for me. It was too much. I am only human, with human strength. I needed Him. I needed help.

So I gave it over. My memories, my fears, my father's illness, my aches and needs and worries. I laid it down. I gave over my disappointment. I gave over my expectation.

I have never felt so free.

When I woke up, I went to Max Lucado's book again, and read Psalm 23 with new eyes.

Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, [a] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Peace be with you, where ever you are on the path, friend.

(To my dear friend that I know reads my blog- The other day we had coffee, and we talked. You showed me a side of yourself that wasn't just about laughter and humor. You were kind and sympathetic when I told you about something that hurt me tremendously. You shared with me. I know you are hurting and feel alone-you aren't. You are loved. You are worthy. If you need me, I am here. )