If you’ve read all my posts up to this point, it’s possible you feel
completely shocked and horrified impressed that I’m willing to state on the world wide web that my marriage was going down the toilet.
You might feel incredibly
disgusted and outraged better about your own parenting when you read that being a mom to a special needs child was not something I viewed as a gift. In fact, like many presents I had received over the years, I wished that my son’s neurological challenges came with a gift receipt. I would have loved to return it for something equally unique and character building, but less challenging – like perhaps the ability to play piano by ear or belch the Ave Maria?
No such luck. God gave me what he gave me, and I could either swirl around in resentment and anger like an anger management drop-out on a Tilt-O-Whirl (been there, done that) or I could choose to heal. Better stated, I could choose to let God heal me – in His timing.
After many, many months of feet dragging (did I mention many months?) I finally sought some relief in the form of counseling. (See Blog 11.) Let me also be the first to air all my dirty laundry out to the world fully admit that therapy was a life saver to me. (Literally. I found new life in Jesus. I reclaimed my marriage, my zest for motherhood and my life’s purpose. Can I please have a TV-bad hair-bobble head-evangelist-big AMEN?)
The way I see it, covering up one’s fears and hurts doesn’t help very much. It’s akin to carrying a bowling ball with you everywhere you go. It’s not impossible. You could purchase some hip accessories for it – potentially hiding your annoying dead weight. A cool bowling bag perhaps?
You could set that 20 pound weight it in a rhinestone studded backpack to evenly distribute the extra pounds. Perhaps you could carry it around in a Baby Bjorn to do the least amount of damage to your shoulders and save your lower back? But rather than go through all the trouble of dealing with the bowling ball, wouldn’t it be easier to just set it down?
Some well-meaning, but potentially annoying Jesus followers out there, might go Christian-eaze on my butt. (Translation for Christian-eaze: Using treacly language that smacks of church but can come off completely disingenuous to someone not yet in the Jesus camp.)
I imagine a Christian-easer patting my back like a proud parent. Insert the lilty sing-song voice: “You set your pain at the feet of Jaaaaysus!” To that I would answer, “Actually, I set my pain down at the feet of my therapist.”
As I mentioned in this post, I do not doubt that Jesus is my savior. But having a strong Christian in my life – a Jesus with skin on – is exactly what I needed to start my healing.
First step? Walk around without the bowling ball of my fear and hopelessness. Wow, that felt good! I was so much lighter! I could walk without feeling anchored down in desperation. I felt, what’s the word, oh yeah… free.
Lest you think I immediately began running toward the sunset, a la a magical hippy, dancing and bell ringing to the Hair theme song, the Dawning of my Aquarius took time. As with anyone who gets rid of something toxic – be it a negative friend, an abusive relationship, food, anything that hinders true growth potential – the transition wasn’t always easy.
Our brains take a while to be rewired from pain into joy, but once it happens, it’s near impossible to turn back. Sure, we have rough times in our life. As my pastor is quick to point out, being a Christian does not insulate you from suffering. No one suffered more than Jesus himself! But being a Christian means that you have hope despite suffering. That hope comes from assurance that like Christ who rose from the dead, our pain can rise up. Like Christ, our pain can also be restored to something AMAZING.
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you. —1 Peter 5:10
“Wow, Andrea, this all sounds great,” you might say. “What do I do to get there?”
I’m so glad you asked that, because I have some questions and a tip, followed by a visual. (My Power Point skills aren’t up to date, so you’re stuck with a boring graph.)
Are you willing to bypass platitudes and Christian syrup that smacks of do-good religion in order to get real with what’s actually happening in your life so that Jesus can actually get to work for you?
Check out these translations to help you answer the question above. (Note: No offense to anyone named Steve.)
As God loved us, I must love Steve
If Steve were dynamite I’d buy 10,000 matches
As we obey God, we must obey our spouses
Steve has the leadership skills of a farting gnat
As women we must be subservient
I’d rather serve Satan my marriage is hell BITE ME
While both Christian-Eaze and Honest-Eaze are vastly different, both are one-way tickets toward the same destination: Resentment, depression, anger and pain.
What both columns need is the translation effects of Jesus-Eaze: A real honest upgrade from suffering to redemption. Check out my next post for how I managed to find this happy medium!
Leave a comment: Anyone else out there hurting and ready to make a leap of faith? If you’ve done so already, give us your story! It really helps others.
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