For weeks, I felt pressure and pain, The good news is the stacks of self-help books, the many trips to the therapist and lots of alone time were all doing their part to help ease my panicked and pressed state-of-self.
Long ago, I learned and experienced how important the healing power of healthy support can be. Each type of assistance strengthens and sustains a unique need. For me, the reading helped to remind me I wasn’t alone. As well, because others took the time to share their knowledge and record their past experiences, I was blessed with wisdom and what techniques worked. Visiting my therapist offered the opportunity to have an objective conversation, free of judgement, therefore, facilitating the customization of coping strategies.
Ahhhh, and the alone time allowed me to soak in the strengthening messages, the saving grace and powerful promises of my Savior. By reading the many passages that I have earmarked in Samantha’s Bible, then giving myself space and time to ponder their meaning and then apply them to my current personal situation was once again a game changer.
Over time, I began to feel better and I began to understand myself more. There are psychological shifts that need to take place in order to work through shame. I was learning how to talk to myself, how to perceive myself with compassion rather than criticism. and how to own my story so that I could write a new ending. Thankfully and as I was counseled, the emotional and psychological work was helping to change my self-characterization and how I saw my past circumstances. I was in tune and keenly aware as the embarrassment melted away and I began to embrace what was to come.
Honestly, the process was powerful! However, it wasn’t perfect!
Like a nagging hangnail that snags on all types of surfaces, I often reverted back to my old way of thinking, “Elizabeth, you should be ashamed! Elizabeth, this is awful and needs to stay a secret!”
When I heard the degrading message, I would go back to work to mentally distinguish it!
Eventually, I got fed up and I grew tired of fighting!
So much energy in the last few years of my life, has been spent on working to be well, to come back to life after loss, to caste off the mental strongholds that have the power to sink me.
Quickly, I grew weary of living this way again.
“Enough of this!” I ssshhhed myself. “Why do you think you can do this on your own?” I asked myself. Caught off guard at my own question, I paused and paid attention for an answer. And, that is when I remembered a woman, who had ultimately handled her issue in another way.
However her circumstances differed didn’t matter, it was her solution that I knew to seek.
So, I did.
That evening, I hurried off to my Heated Power Vinyasa Yoga class. As the sweat dripped down my cheeks and trickled into my inner ear, I knew the workout was about to end. “Thank goodness!” I thought. Yes, I was grateful the twisting and turning was about to stop. But, more importantly, I was ready to pray!
In a whisper I heard, “Ladies, find your Savasana.” I gladly obeyed and lowered down, flat on my back and relaxed my arms and legs. Spreading the cold towel soaked in essentials oils over my blotchy red face and closing my eyes brought a sense of stillness. I allowed a few seconds to lose myself and let go. And then, like I love to do while recovering from a especially challenging yoga class, I prayed
I ask for one special moment with you. I know that is all it will take. Just like the woman who touched the hem of your garment and was healed, I am asking for the same miracle for myself. Please rub away this last little bit of stain from shame deep in my soul. Please do for me what I can’t do for myself, so that I am free to carry out your work.
Repeating my prayer over and over, adding a few words here and there, I only stopped when the teacher instructed, “Now, wiggle your toes and wrap your wrists. bring your awareness back to the room and when you are ready come back to a seated position.”
Rising to my feet at the end of class, I did a double take, a body and mind scan so to speak. Unfortunately, nothing seemed different. I was momentarily disappointment, but lacked the energy to do anything about it. So, I directed my exhausted body home and on to bed.
The gift arrived the next morning as I woke up and got out of bed. I smiled, I thought of my situation and said to myself, “I can do this. I can get through this and go on. And, better than that I can now be content and peaceful about it!”
For the first time in 35 years, I could think about a certain “something” and know everything was going to be OK. I wasn’t aware of the specifics, but I sensed however things played out they would be positive and for God’s purpose. I don’t know exactly what happened, but gone was the doom and gloom. The freedom was immediate and overwhelming. So much that, for the first time in my life I stepped away from my shame and voluntarily shared my story.
Scheduled to attend, yet another exercise session, I headed back to the health club, skipped up the front stairs, swung the door open and said, “Travis, I have something to share.” It helps when your pastor greets you at the gym and what a relief it was to break free from the burden I had been carrying for so many years.
One day, when the time is right, I will write about my “something”, but for now I know it is the process that is important. As I take each step towards towards the full story, leaning into restoration, I know it is right to record the entire journey and to give God the glory for what is going on!
And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
Matthew 9:20-22 (KJV)
Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
Romans 8:38:39 (The Message)
You see, there is thing about faith, it works!
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