I often get asked if there were any red flags with regard to my abuse. As scary as this is to admit from one mother to another, I really don't think there were. I carried on in school, sports, church activities, and relationships. I wasn’t sullen, rebellious or even a “brooding teenager”. Instead, I was a rule-follower, outgoing and involved girl.
As you can imagine, the people dearest to us were devastated they couldn't see what was happening, most of all my mother and my dear husband. I never blamed them for not saving me, I only blamed myself.
And, if I’m being honest with you, I couldn’t let anyone in on what was happening because it would mean I had to first admit it to myself, which was, unfortunately, something I wasn’t willing to do. At least, I wasn't willing to do it then.
And no matter what you are wrestling with, it's this same unwillingness to admit where you are that is keeping you where you are.
Whether you are struggling with abuse, addiction, infidelity, abortion, loneliness or depression, if you don’t accept it for what it is, you will never be able to move forward.
I got married, had kids and healthy friendships. I walked into the difficult season of motherhood pretty seamlessly and maintained a good job. This coping skill of compartmentalization wasn’t something I set out to perfect as a sixteen-year-old girl, but after a while, I became pretty good at it.
But faking it will only sustain us to a certain point.
So, I want to ask you if there just might be something in your life that you’ve been putting to the side, waiting for a better time to deal with it. That same thing we talked about last week that you're lying to yourself about, putting just out of reach for the Lord to heal or you to deal with.
We all compartmentalize our lives in certain ways, asserting that A doesn’t (or won’t) affect B.
The conversation I am having at work will not affect my relationship with my husband.
The fourth drink of the afternoon will not affect how I parent my children.
The choice to terminate my pregnancy will not affect the rest of my life.
The rape I endured will not affect sex with my husband.
The abuse I witnessed will not affect my daily life.
Until it does.
At some point, though, the little compartments we made for ourselves collide. Some day, perhaps at the worst possible moment, the things that we think are two separate things entirely will become one.
Today you have a choice.
You don’t have to wait for the collision anymore, but instead, you can move right on through it.
You can confront your heartache, tragedy, or addiction head-on instead of ignoring its existence.
You can save time, save energy and start living in freedom right here, right now.
Whatever it is you think is separate from the rest of your life, my prayer today is that, at the very least, you would lay it before the Lord. That you would take that trauma, that lie, that deepest sin, and put it on the altar, trusting that God cares for you... like, actually cares for you. That His plan is not to harm you but for you to experience freedom in His grace.
Learn to lean on the Lord. Listen to Him. Trust Him. Hope in Him. He will direct you where to go, who to tell, who to ask for forgiveness, who else to trust. He will go before you and even if it feels rocky, He will make the rough places smooth for you. He will never leave or forsake you. He will be with you every step of the way.
But you have to take the step... so why don't you take it today.