My experience in this life is no different than anyone else with a testimony. Only the details are different.
I have opportunity like you do.
I have choice like you do.
I have will to do ….like you do.
I grew up with a mother and a father, they separated when I was 10.
I endured parents who had their issues just like anyone else.
What I chose to do while growing up in their world became part of my world.
I overcame being a drug user.
I overcame the snare of nicotine.
I overcame the lure of alcohol.
The real test of my life has been overcoming the want to have something else, be something else, be somewhere else. ESCAPE where I was, who I was, where I am.
See my parents use of these things as I grew up to escape their own lives and issues. I learned those behavior patterns.
I call it : The struggle to be myself.
When I was young I use to wish I was different, that I grew up different. I would create worlds in my imagination where I lived.
I remember role playing behaving like I was a whole other person.
I would be Stacy my twin sister. (I don’t have a twin but I would be her instead of me. Stacy was bold, confident and unafraid of life. I was fearful, insecure and needed attention )
I was a clown that always made you laugh. I would play act…I was a singer, a dancer, a writer, an artist. I tried to create something worthy out of the nothingness I felt inside.
I would behave like other people. I would take on their characteristics. I believed that if I could just be like so and so….. I would be happy. I would be loved. I would be accepted.
What I ended up doing was burying my heart and feelings to the point that I couldn’t feel much anymore.
It has been hard to think my own thoughts…without thinking what someone else might think of them. To feel my own feelings without the worry that they are ok for me to have.
I have grown much after meeting the Lord but I am still often fearful to share my heart but I am learning to do this afraid. It often turns out to not be as scary as I thought it would be.
For as much as I have grown I still struggle ….
Recently I was completely undone by a few things lining up to be my lesson: a message preached at church, a video I found on stumble upon and a worship book we were studying with the worship team.
I got up to sing the last two songs of the worship set and I knew that I should not be there. I knew I needed to be down getting prayer. I needed to think and feel and let it all sink in….but I feared that it would be a distraction, that I would look weak and frail. Instead I sang with a swirl of thoughts and emotions in my head. instead of being focused on God. I was lost inside and on the stage. The flow of the worship felt empty because I was a leader broken and dry inside. I thought everyone could see it, feel it …I just knew they knew it. I left feeling that I should never get up there again…I was embarrassed….I was giving myself a terrible berating in my mind. My pity party started and all I wanted to do was hide me.
Over the next few days I cleaned out my spirit and soul …unpacking the garbage in their with the Lord . The built up fear of rejection, the worry I wasn’t doing it right, the anger held against another, the perfectionism, the expectations…
I’m a mess but God loves me, and I love Him. I am learning that when I get my eyes off of Him and on to others, just like I use to do as a kid when I felt rejected. I walk right out of who I am and I try to be like what I think others want instead of who God made me.
My habit is to run and hide.
Even in writing this I am thinking …
(NO WAY AM I POSTING THIS!!)
I struggle ….and maybe you do also in your issues.
The way we grown up seems to condition us in this world for certain obstacles. But we must always remember that no matter what–
He loves us and He is our help.
We are called to be overcomers….
and sometimes that requires the practice of many hurdles.
If I post this -know that this was not easy….
John 16:31-33 (MSG) Jesus answered them, “Do you finally believe? In fact, you’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with me. I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”
STARLA – thanks for listening….