“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me by still waters, he restores my soul.”
Our pastor pointed out that the literal translation of the Hebrew word here, translated “restore” means “to put back together”.
I have been tempted to write and have drafted a few posts about struggles I've been currently facing. However, I don’t believe that airing out suffering, especially when others are involved, simply to speak it or try to benefit others on the internet is always beneficial. How does that benefit the one who imposed the suffering when someone they know might read it? Especially when that relationship is being used for the glory of God? Yet it’s been hard to think of anything else to write.
So I haven’t posted them because I haven’t come to a place of confidence that it’s truly good to share simply because someone might relate and be challenged to think biblically about their struggle.
When things get painful I get cognitive and academic about my situation. I’m separated from it. It’s happening but not right here where I feel it. This is a long practiced habit that has been hard to get rid of and it usually ends with an emotional meltdown of tidal wave proportions.
The most recent event was around March when my theme (not resolution ;) for this year passed the level of eye twitching and moved on to a full-on panic attack that lasted a week.
“What might cause such drama in the life of an average, growing 20-something Christian wife and mother?” You might ask. A small, simple word. My theme is invest. Invest in my husband. Invest in my son. Invest in the people around me. But my well practiced habit is there for a reason. Abandonment, abuse, shame, they foster lies I believe that I don’t even know exist. Years of handling suffering and sin biblically and still I hear whispers of, “If you love them they will leave you...”
1 year olds don’t leave by choice. By the end of that week I was mourning the death of a very alive, very well son. I felt like I had gone crazy.
I have felt compelled to share this part of my dealings with myself and my history and have wrote a few things, rewrote them, and ultimately discarded them because each time it was too much and not to the point.
I think I feel compelled because I see so little written on the effects of parental abandonment and rejection that is actually helpful. I’ve read some things on how to help your children through divorce and abandonment that were helpful for parents but little for adults who still feel the ripples of their parent’s choices in their lives from a truly Bible based perspective.
I can walk in obedience to the Lord without knowing WHY I’m freaking out about something that shouldn’t be such a big deal or why I am emotionally unavailable to my husband or why I fear having children. I can choose to put on faith, hope and love and put off fear, worry, and self-protection. The fact is though- if I don’t know why it’s like cutting down a stink weed tree- give it a few months and it will pop right back up. I want to dig out the root so I can burn the whole thing.
I have met so many ladies and girls who are driven by emotions they don’t understand to do things they, when they think about it, don’t want to do. When we sit down and talk it out I meet so many who have the same tree that just won’t go away. They had no idea how far reaching the effects of the sin of others, and then our childhood or sinful responses, would have. How far reaching the very nature of life is.
The Lord has put my soul back together. I am no longer a person walking around wounded and he has truly been my Father in my fatherlessness.
I love and forgive those involved and know the Lord is making it for good because he says he is and proves it to me regularly. This isn’t recent. For a few years now I have had quite a bit of freedom about it.
When I was 15, a year before things were really in the crapper, I read a book called, “Have we no Rights?” by a Christian missionary lady. I remember little about this woman’s story except that she served in China for years and that I agreed with her- as a Christian I handed over my “rights” to be defended by another. My right to a stable home. To a loving father. To a safe future. All of those things were given over to my Heavenly father. In deciding it wasn’t about me nor was it my job to fight for my rights, I was free to look at family members with the Love of Christ.
I didn’t know it then, but this helped build a worldview through which to filter my experiences. Of course I haven’t handled it perfectly. There were a few years where confusion, anger and fear dominated. And I still have experiences like the one this spring where I am completely debilitated. These are fewer and farther between and I’m so thankful for that. I’m also so thankful that I don’t look at this part of my life with performance in mind (everything else is a different matter). This part is hard to describe. I feel a push for growth, for this thing to not rear its ugly head once again in a different way. I am sorry for my sin and repent. But at the same time- This too is covered by grace, forgiveness and patience. I don’t even feel guilty for the months of emotional detachment from my son. Maybe I should? But the Lord knows me from conception to completion. He knew the family he put me in. He watched me struggle to understand and love. He has watched me stumble along and he knew much better than I that this whole marriage and motherhood thing would come at a high cost. And still he has woven it in- He saw March coming long before I did and still he covers me. This is freedom and rest. These are still waters and a soul put back together. I rest in a Great High Priest who knows.
This is all I’m going to post on the subject for now. If there’s interest shown in more practical how-tos in looking at the past Biblically and moving forward in Christ, I’d be happy to share the awesome wisdom of others in the biblical counseling movement that have so blessed me.
Great resources in the mean time:
Romans 5:1-4 and chapter 8 have changed me and continue to.
The books of Psalms, Isaiah, and Philippians
Instruments in the Redeemers Hands
Calm my Anxious Heart
I Really Want to Change, So Help Me God
When I Don’t Desire God