30 September 2015

beginnings

I think I might have been in my early adolescence when I began to understand that there was childhood trauma in my history.  It wasn't a big, dramatic thing for me, just a vague knowledge that I had probably been physically, sexually, and emotionally hurt in my early childhood years.  I didn't remember any of it, but growing up, I exhibited most of the typical signs of an abused child.  As a teen and into adulthood, I didn't choose to make an effort to retrieve memory because I believed that God would bring to light what was in darkness, in his time.

There were emotional and physical things that I lived with:  depression, rage, self-loathing, fibromyalgia.  These were part of my "normal" - I prayed about them, struggled through them, and generally did my best to live well in spite of them.  I did all the things that people do:  went to school, got married, had children, went to church, served in ministry both at church and overseas, worked at several jobs, maintained many friendships, and just tried to be a good wife, mother, and Christian.  From time to time, I would invite God to do what he needed to do in order to heal me of the wounds I knew I carried.

I had my first "trauma memory" experience around 2000 or 2002 in the form of a dream.  In the dream, I was an adult with a little two year old girl in my care, and I had to leave her alone for a time.  Upon my return, I discovered she had been molested.  When I approached her to see if she was ok, it was like she "came back" from far away and said, "i go pay inna hunnert acre wood wif winnie da pooh." She pointed up at the window, which had Winnie the Pooh character clings all around the outside of it.

At the time, I had been seeing a counselor for depression, so I told her about the dream.  She explained the concept of dissociation, and told me that she felt something had very definitely happened to me as a child, based on the way I was able to fully relate with the dissociation of the child in the dream.  This was not to say that the exact thing in the dream happened to me, but rather it was a representation of some form of trauma in my life at an early age.  After that, I don't remember any more trauma memory experiences until 2004.

29 September 2015

what it's all about

Where to start....

I read the Bible as the love story of God's grace and redemption for man, from Genesis to Revelation.  The thread is unbreakable, woven through every story, poem, allegory, prophecy, battle, warning, celebration, journey, heartbreak, triumph.  Granted, this thread can be difficult to pick out sometimes, but I've found it there.

Just so, this blog is not about childhood trauma.  It's not about a dysfunctional childhood.  It's not about depression, anxiety, grief, anger, or mental health.  No.

This is God's story of my life.  A lot of the story is hard:  painful, raw, ugly, full of deep emotion.  But don't let that fool you...the most important part is the beautiful, redemptive thread that has been woven through it.

I've entitled this blog "taking the long way" because really, that's how it seems in my life:  like I take the long way to grow.  Most recently, I have been on a terribly long, arduous inner journey, through much darkness and pain.  But along the way, I have learned some things - even when I wasn't aware of learning them - and thanks be to God, I have finally come to a place of wholeness and freedom in Jesus that I couldn't have imagined! I long that God would use my story to touch you - to give you hope along your way and to lead you to his side.

Like Jeremiah, an Old Testament prophet in the Bible, "if I say, 'I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,' his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.  I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot." (Jeremiah 20:9)


28 September 2015

first

So, let me introduce myself.  I am wife, mother, friend, writer, singer, teacher, daughter, sister, and most importantly, a follower of the Way.  I will be clear from the start, with no apologies:  I love Jesus.  I believe he is fully God, fully Man, Saviour, Redeemer.  I believe God created the universe and mankind, that sin entered the world through the deception of Satan and the disobedience of Adam and Eve.  I believe Jesus died on the cross to atone for our sins, and rose to life on the third day, thus conquering death as the perfect sacrifice.  He offers the gift of salvation freely:  all we have to do is accept and believe.  I know it seems far-fetched to some, but when I look around at the world, the universe we live in, the miracles all around us every day, I find it easier to believe the Bible than to believe it all happened by accident.

I say this up front so that as a reader, you will know the grid I look through.  You don't have to love or believe in God to read, just understand that for me, everything comes back to Jesus.  If that is too offensive, I wish you peace and grace as you take your leave of these pages, and I lift you to God's care.

I welcome respectful, kind comments, and I'd love to encourage you be brave: put your name to your words, friends.  I welcome dialogue, but I reserve the right to delete unsavoury comments.  Know this:  even if I delete, I will pray that God continues to pursue you relentlessly, because he loves you and it is not his wish that any should perish (II Peter 3:9).

Whatever faith you claim or don't claim, I invite you to rest here with me.  Take the long way with me for awhile; let's share stories together and see where it leads.