Tag Archive | Freedom

Raw and Real #7 – Process

So. If you read the title, and came here for an easy answer, I apologize straight away.

There are so many ways to process the events of our lives.

These events may be physical, mental, and/or spiritual.

Many times these events and their repercussions stay hidden deep inside.

Repercussions of continuous abuse.

If we do choose to address them, admittedly, we choose to work on the parts that seem “easiest”.

This generally means a little here and a little there.

Eventually, the hard stuff is what’s left.

What is the hard stuff?

It’s the stuff that makes up the “Soundtrack of our lives”.

It’s the stuff that has buried itself deep in our consciousness.

Being a “Soundtrack”, means that it can readily get played over and over.

What we believe about ourselves is often the thing that has been repeated to us over time.

Repetition is an amazing teacher.

So what of this “Soundtrack”?

Is it positive, or is it negative?

Do we even realize the harm it is doing?

For me at least, I came to the point where I was faced with doing a “deep dive”.

An  →“Excavation” if you will, to get to the heart of the issue.

My belief in the Holy Bible gave me a jumping off point.

In Ephesians 4:22-23 (ESV) to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds.

And in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV) We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

In the simplest of terms, what these verses are telling us that it is possible to change the way we think.

My “Soundtrack” was full of what every person I had ever come in contact with said, or thought about me, both positive and negative.

Unfortunately, the negatives are much stickier than the positives.

I’m told that it takes seven positives to overcome a negative.

So how does one go about renewing those thoughts, or “taking them captive”?

Scripture has an answer for that as well.

Philippians 4:8 (ESV) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Wow!

That’s a tall order.

To tell the truth, I had read all of these verses before, but it seems like only when I was truly ready to put them in place, did they come alive to me!

Believe me friend, it took all the intentionality I could muster to change those thoughts!

Here is some of what I thought followed by what God was thinking about me.

“You’re no good” – God says I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

“Use your head for something besides a hat rack.” – Blessed is the one who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (I’ll need my head for that!)

“You’re so dumb.” God says I have the mind of Christ.

“You’re so bad, God will never forgive you!” He is faithful and just to forgive me of my sins.

“What tribe you from? Blackfoot?” – How lovely on the mountains are the feet of Him who brings good news.

Blackfoot, bigfoot, gunboats, monkey toes – He drew me out of the pit, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

(There is a foot verse for any foot joke there is!)

Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” – “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

The only way that we can overcome, is to change the way we speak about ourselves.

We need to believe what God says, and to repeat it to ourselves again and again.

Remember that repetition is a great teacher.

After some time, I began to believe God said too; and my symptoms began to fade.

I keep adding the true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy statements to my tally of positives.

I believe God’s thoughts more and more, and am exceedingly more capable of living a most grateful and joyful life.

Thanks for joining me here today.

If you’d like to read→another post on “Excavation”, you can do it here.

My hope is that you too will be able to change the “Soundtrack of your life” into to one that is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy.

  • Psalms 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
  • James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
  • 1 Corinthians 2:16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
  • 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  • Isaiah 52.7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news
  • Psalm 40:2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

All verses from the English Standard Version

Join me back here on next time for #8 – Too Much Process

Until next time …

Raw and Real #5 – Little Girl

Little Girl – 6 months – 6 weeks

I often refer to this part of my life as an “Excavation”.

I had no idea that the endeavor I was beginning would take as long as it did; or dig as deep.

I had worked on my “issues” for a long time.

I’d remembered, and forgiven, and moved on.

I was unaware that there was a lot of residual ickyness left over.

(In the form of grief, and fear, sadness, and more)

Then, while chatting with a friend, who had taken some courses in psychology and such, recommended one of her study books to me;

The Ultimate Journey – Phase 1 (book and workbook) I did not need to buy them because I could borrow hers. 

 My intent was to borrow the book, read it, and have it back to her in a couple of weeks.

The excavation that I thought would be with a teaspoon, and take a month, ended up being undertaken with a massive “digger-thing”,

(My husband tells me it’s a back hoe)

and would stretch out over almost a six month period.

The work involved answering many, many questions on different things from each “era” of life;

Pre-born, pre-school, grade school, middle school, high school, early adult.

I cannot possibly tell you every step.

What I can tell you that once I began, I literally could not stop.

It was a long, arduous, painful journey; but in the end, it brought LIFE.

The two parts, I think, that brought me farthest out of darkness into the light were these;

*The first thing was to go through a prepared list of beliefs that you hold about yourself.

If you agreed with any of them, you would check them off.

This was followed by a prepared list of ways that those beliefs might cause you to behave,

again checking them off along the way if they applied to you.

Can I tell you that they were questions that I NEVER would have dreamed up on my own, and I think that’s why they were so helpful.

I saw things in my life that I didn’t realize were even there.

I recognized behaviors, I never knew I had, but once recognized, they all made sense.

It took a significant amount of time to work through

Each. One.

Significant quiet time, with many tears.

Often with the ugly cry thrown in for good measure.

*The second thing was perhaps the most difficult for me.

It felt strange to do it, but after I did, there was so much release in my spirit that I felt like a different person.

If I did not believe this scripture;

Ephesians 4:23 (ESV) And to be renewed in the spirit of your minds;

I would have gone no further.

Because I do not believe God tells us to do things that though Him are not possible.

Here is what was next;

The study guided me to go back.

Go back to the little girl that I used to be, beginning BEFORE birth.

I know, I know.

But if I had not done it myself, I might not have believed it either.

Stay with me here.

I just re-read my work, the sadness was overwhelming.

(I kept the questions and answers in a journal because I would have to return the books eventually)

I was instructed to write a letter from her, to me; then answer her back.

Each “era” had the same exercise.

Through these letters, I was able to “take her hand”, and walk with her out of the darkness of all the misunderstandings that kept her trapped for all those years.

Scripture tells me in John 8:36 (ESV) If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed, and in John 8:32 (ESV) you will know the truth, and the truth will set you that free.”

In my mind and in my heart, I told her the truth, and she is free.

Truly, the hurts that used to take six years to get over,

changed from that to six months, then to six days.

Now today, if I hold a hurt more than six hours it’s too long.

Depending on the hurt, I’ve been known to get over it in less than six minutes.

It is not always easy, but it is always intentional.

There is no way that I could cover this topic in full, but I wanted you to realize the possibilities of being truly free of the things holding you in your past.

For me it was two things that keep me moving forward,

my belief in God’s word,

and the tenacity and intentionality that is kept in this introverted heart of mine.

I hope you’ll join me here next time, while we look at

Identity. Until then …

Freedom to Be Real

At the beginning of this year, I was invited to a new meeting, new for me anyway.

The name of the group is “Raw and Real”.

(That should tell you something!)

My husband asked me before I went what it was all about.

I seriously did not know, and I told him so.

“So why did I agree to go?” was his next query; because I 100% trust the friend who invited me.

Turns out, it is a growing group of woman from many different walks of life, just sitting for a couple of hours and sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I was dubious, because I dislike the small talk involved with meeting new people.

I love the DEEP talk – just not always the small talk of getting there.

But did I mention I trust my friend?

This group was all women with a similar world view, even though their life histories were very different.

It was actually quite a joy to hear some of their stories, and heartbreaking to hear some others.

Let me tell you folks, no matter how bad you had it – someone always had it worse.

You can never tell by looking at them, just how difficult their journey has been.

I won’t share their stories, but I can sure tell you what happened in my mind while I was there.

I did not share my story there, but as I listened I was reminded, and considered my own journey.

Sometimes when you have walked thru so much, over such a long period of time –

You know where you’ve walked, but some of the steps get forgotten.

What I’d like to do here, is share the BIG steps that I remembered during this meeting, and then in subsequent posts, share some of the little steps that were involved in becoming the free woman that I am today.

So here is the list I made while listening – many of their steps reminded me of my own!

1. Toxic turmoil  

2. Lament

3. Quiet (pjs)

4. Introvert

5. Little girl – 6 weeks – 6 months

6. Identity

7. Process

8. Too much process

9. Write

10. Travel

11. Relate.

12. Freedom

During the process of writing this out, I am positive that even more will be revealed and remembered. 

Over the years I have come to “Love the process”.

It always takes me to new places, with further vistas, and hopefully, you can realize some new freedoms too, just by following along.

Until next time …