For the past few months I’ve heard God in bits and pieces, but I couldn’t find the “missing piece” to what I felt He was speaking to me. I’d jump on here to write and feel thoughtless within minutes. As I spent more time praying and asking, I realized the missing piece was simply me searching my own heart through His teaching.
In Jeremiah 2:13 it says:
“For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me–the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!”
That’s exactly it. I abandoned God and dug my own cistern at some point. I was bringing my bucket to be filled, I was searching my heart, but there was no water to take because I am imperfect, with sin, and my cistern has holes in it. I was truly feeling depleted (because my own understand WAS depleted) and that was my first warning sign that “hey, something isn’t right here.” I have had my quiet seasons with God, but if you have your own relationship, you know what it feels like when it’s actually dried up and deserted. Even in quiet seasons our relationship with God should feel like a flourishing green meadow; there should always be growth or movement of some sort.
Through a series of Instagram posts I ended up on yourenneagramcoach. I love taking quizzes and “finding out” more about myself so this was right up my alley. I discovered my personality type and wanted to know more, but these courses cost money and I wanted to be sure this wasn’t some scam I might find myself in. As I spent time praying and asking God if this would be a helpful tool in my life, I recalled two times recently where I was really doubting if I make a difference in anyone’s life.
Once was with Chris when I asked him out of my self-doubt, “hey, not from a husband’s point of view… but as a friend, just as someone who has known me for so long: what kind of person am I?” And then there was Christmas. Lewie needed to be nursed while everyone was eating dinner so I took him and sat in the TV room. As I ate my pierogis and listened to my family together, the thought crept into my head once more “you don’t make a difference.”
Low and behold the message my heart longs to hear (according to the coaching sessions with yourenneagramcoach) is: “My presence matters.” That was enough to pull on my heart strings and be a confirmation that figuring myself out more in depth could be beautiful thing. You see, we’re always changing… every little experience can change us in a big way or vice versa. I’ve just gone through my biggest life change to date and that’s becoming a mother. I want to be the best version of myself for my son’s sake. I don’t only want him to feel secure when he’s with me, but I want him to be secure, even from my own doubts and fears. If I’m not aware of when I’m in an unhealthy place then I won’t be a good leader.
I also admitted, through my first Enneagram coaching session, that I’m carrying shame and embarrassment that isn’t mine. I always make reference to my past as a story that needs to be told, but I never begin. Why not? First of all, it’s a very vulnerable place for me to go. My past isn’t “once upon a time a church girl turned promiscuous teenager drank too much, experimented with drugs, found God and changed forever.” My past (in a paragraph) is a girl who was raised in church, who at some point did become the promiscuous party-girl, eventually was unconsciously raped and only courageous enough to admit that to myself thanks to Chris being someone who wasn’t blaming me, or normalizing the rape, in some form. This healing process gave me the opportunity to know a real love for the first time. I fell in love with Chris and we got married, then I landed myself in legal trouble, finally bringing a repentance like never before. For the first time in my life I felt in control through entirely surrendering to God. Oh and then a few years into my marriage I remembered I was molested as a child. Why couldn’t I remember literal years of my childhood? That’s why. Why did I have such a perverted view of myself and my body growing up? That’s why. Why did I give myself away so freely? That’s why. Why did I stay in an abusive relationship? That’s why. It wasn’t the answer I might have hoped for, but boy did it make sense! In so many ways, it relieved me. The truth set me free from lies I had believed since I was a child.
It’s insane what our body and mind are capable of to suppress such hurtful life events. After recalling these childhood events I ended up sitting with a woman who works with the very person that took advantage of my innocence. A comment was made: “Oh, Keryn, she’s had everything in life handed to her.” Later, by someone entirely different another comment was made: “Oh, that’s why you hated me so much as a teenager.” Seriously? No, that’s why I hated MYSELF.
Those two comments were enough to make me run away and hide. They both made me so angry and I found myself discouraged about telling my testimony before I’d even began. It’s true, I don’t enjoy conflict, that’s why I didn’t think to question the guy who damaged my pelvic nerves when he had sex with my unconscious body. Instead, I let him take me to dinner a week later and I listened to him talk about himself and his accomplishments.
So, are you uncomfortable? I understand if you are literally squirming in your seat or even trying to tell yourself that maybe I’m exaggerating or not remembering my past accurately. I didn’t remember for over 15 years, so, details are surely lost somewhere. No, when God spoke that name from my childhood… I got my lost memories back. Here’s a blog post I wrote during that very time: Today’s Burden.
This is the beginning of me sharing my story. I am truly unashamed. I’m done living life on autopilot and I’m no longer going to avoid owning my past. I won’t own the shame the world attaches to my story. It isn’t mine to carry. I know God has forgiven me and He’s even forgiven those that have hurt me (and asked for forgiveness). I am His beloved.
I don’t carry blame for others and I want you to know and believe that I do not see myself as a victim. Thanks to God’s perspective, I see so clearly where and how the devil took advantage of others, and me, and it’s that simple. As a child I was thrown into a line of abuse that didn’t start with me, or even the “abuser,” but thankfully it did end with me. As a drunk teenager I was taken advantage of and as a drunk adult I was made to answer for my actions whether I recalled them or not. I rid myself of the common evil: drunkenness. When I was sober I was able to finally heal of the pain that I was masking with alcohol. I had demons; angry, vile, and hateful ones that had never been properly called out or dealt with. I overcame them and THAT is who I am today. I am a conqueror.
Today, I’m giving God my all. My devotional for today says that the tiny word “all” is used 5,675 times in the Bible. If we read scripture and ignore that word it changes the entire context. “All” leaves nothing outside of God’s control. If I’m afraid to speak of ALL that God has saved me from, I’m not giving myself the freedom to be healed from it ALL. I’m not believing that He has all power, knows all things, and loves me with all of the love that exists in the universe. God did not put my sin off to the side so He could glance over at it occasionally; He has removed them completely. I live apart from the sins that I’ve committed and that have been committed against me, but I won’t continue to live not acknowledging that I’M FREE FROM IT ALL! Glory be to God!!
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities… As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us… For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:10-14
I have had one thing handed to me in this life and so have you. It’s God’s forgiveness. Through His forgiveness and mercy we might find our calling. We might find our passions. So, what is your “all” that you’ve hidden inside of yourself? What are you hiding as though it not be spoken of to protect other people’s egos, or your own? However you need to give God your all, whatever that looks like for you, I encourage you to head in that direction. If you need someone to relate with, I’m here.
Forgiveness is our path to freedom. It will probably get uncomfortable, but instead of running from it, let’s try welcoming it. I encourage you to absorb the words of this song while you search yourself. I sat and wept the first time I heard it.
God loves you!