LEARNING TO TRUST AGAIN
Big week in our study this week, read Melissa’s NO EXCUSES post from her heart. You can get to her website here.
For most of my life I have been intimately acquainted with that word. Fear followed me through each and every day, fear kept me from living the life I was created to live, fear kept me up all through the night even as a small child and well into adulthood.
Fear was constantly at my side. I can remember as a little girl at the age of 7 feeling like I didn’t belong. I didn’t even feel like I belonged in my family – so much so I thought I had been adopted. I didn’t feel like I fit in at school and I was always on the outside of my circle of friends. I wanted to be loved, to be valued, and to be important to someone. I wanted it so much and I was so fearful it would never happen. I tried harder to fit in; I tried harder to be a perfect child for my parents – if I was more than they wouldn’t need alcohol or to be a member of a biker club. If I was better I could tell my parents what bad things happen to me at night. If I was better I would never feel lonely or unwanted.
In elementary school I wanted to fit in. I wanted to belong so I tried out for the cheerleading team, basketball, gymnastics and volleyball – you can imagine how I felt when even as a small girl in grade school I wasn’t good enough for any of those things.
My dad coached little league and I thought that would be perfect – I wanted his approval desperately and I thought this would be a way to be the “son” he never had. So my best friend and I joined the Yankee’s Little League Baseball Team – the only two girls (they didn’t have separate teams for girls back then). Remember though my fear – I was petrified of being hit by the ball, so being at bat was not fun and I never did hit the ball. My best friend well she did better, she became the star pitcher for our team. My dad and I never got any closer and again I felt on the outside looking in.
In junior high I finally decided I would be the best student, then my parents would be happy, wouldn’t fight and they would be proud of me. I also finally found something I could do – The Drill Team! I became a straight A honor roll student and was a member of the drill team for 2 years but that didn’t do anything to alleviate my fear to leave me, to fit in and for my parents to love me more.
By this time my parents divorced and while I was happy about that I still had a ton of fear. I also felt a sense of grief once – once my parents divorced I hardly ever saw my dad, it left me feeling afraid, unloved, unworthy and unimportant.
The years moved on and by the time I was 20 years old, I was married, had 2 children and still living with fear daily. I could never express exactly what was missing that made me fearful but it took over my whole life. I didn’t even recognize the person I had become.
At the age of 31 years old I lost my mom very suddenly and unexpectedly. I immediately felt like an orphan, even though at this time my dad and I had established a fresh start. However, less than 5 months later on what was my mom’s birthday – the first of many where she wasn’t here on this earth – the hoped for relationship with my dad came to a screeching halt. Some things are better left unsaid and this is one of those times. Essentially my dad chose between me and his newly wed wife of 15 minutes.
For weeks any progressed I had made in getting rid of my fear and living through the stages of grief where lost. I couldn’t explain what I was feeling but I grabbed my Bible and started searching for answers, I didn’t know what they question was but I needed an answer. I came upon this Scripture:
And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into fiery Gehenna. ~Matthew 18:9
In my life application study Bible the notes said this: We must remove stumbling blocks that cause us to sin. For the individual, any relationship, practice or activity that leads to sin should be stopped.
When I read that I thought “AHA – there it is right in the Bible. Any relationship – must be stopped.” I asked my husband “so you think that means I can walk away and have nothing to do with my family ever again?” He looked at me with sadness and concern and asked “why does it matter?” I replied “because I want to know that I can stop trying to fit in where I don’t belong. I want to know I can stop trying so hard and get nothing in return.” My husband asked again “but why does this matter so much now, you have been hurt, disappointed and sad before. Why does it matter so much this time?”
Can I say as I am writing about this day my heart is beating and I can remember everything about this conversation: the time 6:11 pm, what I was wearing – my favorite summer pjs and I was laying on my bed diagonally, the sun was streaming through the room and Larry was sitting at the end of the bed cross legged. The room smelled like fresh mowed grass – Larry had been outside mowing. And tears were running down my face, my heart felt like there was an empty hole in it.
And I finally knew the answer – the answer I was searching for my whole life. And without thinking about the words I blurted it out:
I want just once, just once in my life to know that I matter, that I am the most important thing to someone. Just once I want someone to love me enough to fight for me, to stand up for me
As the tears ran down my face, I heard clearly, distinctly and lovingly “I do Veronica and I did” I knew instantly that was the voice of Jesus and for the first time ever I left fear behind and knew I was worthy, special, important and mostly loved.
My journey to having the LORD as the love of my life started on January 26, 2003 the day my mom left this life. I have had a lot of starts and stops along with the way but one piece of advice from a dear friend helps me to get back up again. I share it with you today:
Step out of the boat, keep your eyes on Him, and don’t look down. Place your hand in His and step out of the boat. He will never let you go – He will never let you drown. Hold onto His hand and keep your eyes on Him.
Remove all distraction, sit with your eyes closed, slow your breathing down, now envision that, soak that in, and get that mental picture. Take a deep breath, open your eyes, step out of the boat my dear friend. He is there waiting for you.