“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!”
Psalms 30:11-12 NLT
It’s exactly as surprising and joyous as they say, being a grandparent. Some may say, it’s what I’m learning, an infant requires of your attention, a full percent and it’s never a demand, it is a precious gift.
Complement it with an idyllic setting, open field, blue sky wide, leaves changing colors and a quilt on a back porch situated perfectly for a breeze.
I sing with abandon. She listens, smiles. The acoustics are so good. My voice carries. God is near.
Being a grandmother, big chunks of uninterrupted peace. My granddaughter is privy to God’s refining of me.
Perhaps, it’s her and God’s idea.
How can I keep from singing your praise?
I welcome the unlearning of the traumatized me, I acknowledge it may take a bit.
I envision clarity like a treasure I bring up to my chest or it’s a tug of war, the big mean boy grabbing at what’s mine and me, scared of being overpowered.
I used to give it away.
Now, I’m angry over its thieves.
My little bit of peace and clarity jerked from my arms and the aggressor running away, turned back towards me, sneering and laughing his ass off!
I’d have used asterisks for the s’s but I decided not to veil the truth of this thought and image, the abusive act of my peace being stolen.
In the dim light of day as a way of escape, a rescue for my hurting heart came this morning.
All things are possible with God.
I thought it over and over.
This! This is real.
Not with self-care, not a new counselor, not a community or “tribe”, not a webinar or self-help book.
Not some instructor, well intentioned but profiting from my naive determination shadowed by doubt and discontent.
These are the things that draw me in, make me prey to promises only God and I together can fulfill.
Bold revelation, you may say.
When I write this way, I’m a little worried and then I decide someone else may need to explore this, this self-handicapping behavior, this lesson in knowing our weak places, being uncomfortable with settling there.
The closer we get to God’s gracious idea of us, the more miserable we are wearing any other garment or expression.
Clarity came and may be the less traveled road to peace.
This leg of my journey will lead to peace.
A rarely talked about truth for victims of trauma, I’ve heard it spoken many times by my kind and skilled counselor friend.
People return to negative patterns because this is familiar, this is safe. The sometimes unhealthy behaviors are the most fail-proof remedy we know.
Thankfully not return to allowing physical trauma, more the insidious spread of subtle abuses to self, the power of our thoughts, our mindsets that
Sabotage our freedom.
Compile all the days you lived under the thumb of something or someone, succumbing to the control, manipulation or unfair, cast aside treatment by something or someone.
The undoing doesn’t just happen like the snap of a finger and thumb.
Take it easy on you.
Then do two things, Lisa Anne.
Now that you understand what you’re doing, be grateful not debilitated, give yourself grace.
Stop seeking validation, support, or yet another conversation in which you expect another human to fully understand your distress.
It’s not possible and it’s not their place or fault.
Your wounds and your beautiful hopes are far too deeply layered for another human being to understand.
Something about early morning, God always speaks as if to say:
I filtered your fears overnight, here’s what’s left, the sure thing you must now know. All things are possible with me.
This place God has brought me to, saved me from, kept me safe…how on earth could I think it’s possible to continue on my own?
I jot the “Jabez prayer” every morning.
“He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.”
1 Chronicles 4:10 NLT
Today, I added little check marks next the lines in the beginning: I’ve been blessed, check, I’ve had my territory enlarged, check!
The last two things, I am still very much in need of, keep your hand on me God, keep me from self-harm, the thoughts that betray me, so that I won’t revisit, get caught up in my pain.
You see, I spoke of newfound freedom, the choice to live with hope not remorse. I made it seem so easy.
Yet, I didn’t give a thought to the multiple layers of harm that very hope would have to fight daily with the devil to stay real every minute.
The one thing just a glimpse of freedom will give, a strong and renewed will to fight hard against repeated entrapment!
An awareness that it is hard not to be a victim when you were one for so long.
It is hard not to be who you were.
It’s easier to be weak and manipulated than to be newly strong.
I boasted of hope, forgot I am not able on my own.
God is my counselor, my advisor, my strong encourager of looking forward not before.
This is not a grim post, only honest. I’m afraid honesty’s in my bones, got that from my father, God rest his quiet soul.
I rise now to continue the things He started in me, blessed me, continues to enlarge my territory through happy brave opportunities.
I’ve designed a 2020 calendar, available soon, each month, an image of a woman strengthened by hope and God.
(Hope to share by next week, tell you more about ordering.)
Some told me they were proud of me, well intentioned comments and I suppose make sense.
What I’m doing though, is just following through on a God-planted seed, an idea, God’s work through me.
Please don’t be proud of me. Together, let’s be proud of God.
I rise now to clean my “art and writing room”, to ready it for what is possible today.
Are you a victim of trauma, physical or emotional abuse?
My thoughts…be strong, believe in your freedom; but, don’t walk it out alone, without the one who knows you completely, God.
“Jesus looked at them and said,
“With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
Mark 10:27 ESV
Believe. Continue and believe.