It has been so long since I posted, I am not sure how to use the software! But the lack of posting does not imply the lack of struggle or the lack of growth. I have come to see that some areas of life will always be a struggle for me. Involvement in church being the most difficult. But, I continue to try and find the balance that is right for me. Many leave to never return and I do not blame them. Trying to walk in the place of your pain is not easy.
Lately, I have backed off from an active role in order to avoid igniting my inner issues. I had pushed on in hopes of helping those who had walked in my shoes but came to realize that the very parts of me that qualified me to help, also disqualified me in the eyes of leadership. I am not fully healed. When I share a tidbit of truth, it is difficult to keep the damage out of my "voice", and what is heard is the damage rather than the truth. After all the truth can be very hard to look at and it is much easier to look at the damaged vessel that carries it and deny the message carried within.
I reached a point in my relationship with the church that I could not cross without undergoing a great deal of turmoil. I looked at God and said, send someone else. I cannot go. This brings to mind the story of Jonah but alas no whale has arrived on the scene to devour me. Perhaps the fact that I am not trying to protect my pride but my very soul is the difference between Jonah and I. Or maybe I am just blind to the pride and God's grace is simply overwhelming.
So why do I try? I never want to see only through the lens of my abuse. Perhaps, if I quit, the abuse will have won and I very much do not want it to win. Church is a place I continue to encounter God and while I went deep into the recesses of my soul, questioning the existence of God and His grace found in Jesus, I came out knowing He was real.
My husband loves church. For him, growing up in a confusing home with a mentally ill mother and absent father, church was a safe place. This causes conflict between us - his love for church and my hate of it. When I can, I go for my love of him. He likes me with him and I like being with him.
That I can do this at all - go to church - is a miracle. Sometimes I forget how big of one. When I remember I am grateful. I forget how far I have come. I ignore the courage it takes. But, when I remember, I smile at myself and embrace that courage within. I just have to be careful not to pretend that what lies under the surface is not real. If I do not honor it as a part of me, then it flares up and hurts me.
So i am trying to find the balance between the world I consciously live in and the one that unconsciously lurks below the surface. Like in the church, it is too easy for me to bury the truth.