Not As Before

I’ve made some decisions and haven’t turned back, took some chances and opportunities recently, things that are teaching me that not everything comes by chance.

Fortune shines on others more than me and

Oh well, it wasn’t meant to be…these were the truths I believed.

Being a believer of a God who is sovereign, who is in control, led to my conclusion that only just enough good could be for me and that as a believer in sovereignty I must surely stay in my place, must not seek more than a little, must stay anchored by doubt and by fear of failure, not trying at all because of the unlikelihood of success.

I intentionally handicap myself.

I’m beginning to learn from my children, adults who have most likely seen this in me all along but never called me on it, accepted my ways for this long.

I wonder how it feels for a child to see a parent finally coming into their own?

Close to 60 years old and becoming strong?

I wonder if they realize in their own way, they helped me here.

To this season of wanting my legacy to be more than the timid and tentative mama, they may have always known. The one whose thoughts were always deep and bent towards worry.

Here now because I want their faith in God and His goodness to be strong.

Several months ago, I lost control.

Headed towards an important event, we were “T-boned” by a crossing car and my car jumped it seemed into the deep ditch and the front end was crushed by a timely positioned pine.

The Labrador, my husband and me. He jumped from the passenger side and I screamed loud and long. It was a very odd and out of control sounding cry. It was fear.

My daughter answered her phone.

“Mama, are you okay? You are okay. You are okay. Now, stop crying, just breathe and calm down.

You’re okay.

Calm down.”

She called her brother. He called me.

Same reaction, the same level tone in a child of mine’s adult voice. It was the same assurance, same calm.

Control what you can control. my son

Months have passed and changes have been made, changes are on the brink of being announced, career, home, and faith.

Changes are taking place.

Last night, I gave up on watching “Ozark”. Intrigued by the young actor with the authentic twang, I told myself to try it again, watch something that at least causes thought.

Fifteen minutes later, I switch to a Julia Roberts movie simply because she’s beautiful and required less attention.

Told my husband I couldn’t watch, don’t want to go to bed with those thoughts.

Still, I was startled awake before light and had to shake off a horrific dream. I knew it was partly me to blame. I watched the gory scene, heard the horrific words, saw the actor’s fear and grief and evil exchanged.

I went over my average daily screen time. I ate extra spicy food and then had red wine and then topped it off with chocolate milk, Advil and crunchy peanut butter on a spoon.

I recalled the nightmare to forget and move forward. Remembering times before. I had the damaged perception to believe that bad dreams were God sent messages to me.

Messages like you’re still that wild and mistake making girl, you’re still the too attractive and easy for your own good young woman, you’re still the poor girl in the ill-fitting tops, you’re still the fat middle schooler in your brother’s husky jeans.

You’re still the woman in the pew unwelcome by the women who are already there.

I don’t think nightmares are for anyone’s good. If there’s nothing else I can control today, I will control this new truth, this new optimistic conclusion.

And I will carry it into my day, I am no longer living the trauma victim way.

“Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭16:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Hagar was a slave girl who followed along with circumstances that caused her to carry a label we today would most likely call “whore”.

I can barely type the word. You see, I’ve been called that before.

In the nightmare last night, I revisited that woman of before; but, she ran, ran, ran ironically away from a church and through the streets to find herself alone in prayer, her face to the floor.

She found God there.

She rose and she walked freely, more freely than before.

What mindsets have held you captive?

You are never in God’s eyes the person you were before.

If you have experiences that lead to nightmares, don’t succumb to the belief that these bad dreams are your restitution for your bad before.

Use the sense that God gave you. Combine it with good and trustworthy therapy and then add in what you know. Know what God knows and can control and then assert yourself to control

What you can control.

Your “resurrection power”, your “freedom living on the inside”.

You called me from the grave by name
You called me out of all my shame
I see the old has passed away
The new has come! Chris Tomlin

Be found in your wilderness, come forward to be seen and to be fully known.

3 thoughts on “Not As Before

  1. Oh, this is such a beautiful telling of your story and how like Hagar you do see the God who knows you so well and loves you so much. I am in my sixties and it’s really only been in the last few years that I’ve realized how much freedom I have in Christ – freedom to pursue dreams knowing that He loves me and cares for me. I always knew He loved me, but somehow I was afraid of tying new things or getting things wrong, but He has brought me out of that into His freedom. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #InspireMeMonday.

    Liked by 1 person

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