Thursday, October 23, 2014

People Can Help You (31 Days of Healing in Him)

People hurt people. You have heard that before, I'm sure.

We have been talking about healing and I could guess that most of us are healing from something someone did to us. So it would make sense that you might be wary of trusting another person again.

I know, because I have been there.

Trust is a complicated thing, especially if you've been hurt.

Rick Warren, in The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?, writes, "Trust requires a track record."


At some point, in order to trust someone, what they say and what they do have to line up. Their words and actions will reveal who they are and whether they are safe and trustworthy for you.

In spite of the fact that people have hurt me in the past, healing that hurt actually happens best in relationship with people.

Whether it is a close friend you can confide in or a group of people who have experienced similar pain, having a place to share your story, your honest feelings, disappointments, fears and doubts without judgement is cathartic.

I've had the privilege of walking alongside such a group of women since May. To watch how God can work and heal in this kind of environment is an honor. It has been a true testament to how feeling connected and safe with people can encourage and break down the walls we build to protect ourselves.

God uses the "right" people to help you. They will hear you, affirm you, and love you no matter what you share. They will pull up a chair or "sit in the mud with you" because they care that much.

And they will be a healing balm to the wounds other people have caused.

A relationship built on a loving foundation won't be perfect. It might even be hard sometimes. But it is one on which you can rely.


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I am in no way an expert on this topic. For more information on finding safe people you may be interested in reading the book, Safe People (How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren’t) by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend.

This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hope in the Wilderness (31 Days of Healing in Him)

I have been fortunate enough to have done a lot of traveling and I have been in many a wilderness.

Anyone who has visited Death Valley in California can attest to the literal nothingness that surrounds you. This barren land is my best visual for the wilderness described in Exodus 16.

And God led His people there — on purpose.

Moses and the "whole Israelite community" were brought out of slavery and bondage. But before they would arrive in the "Promised Land" where they could settle and thrive, they were led into the wilderness — a barren desert without food or drink.

The land was harsh and as you might imagine, it was difficult for them. They were hungry and thirsty and didn't know how they would eat. So like any of us would, they began to complain.

"Why were we led out of slavery and into the wilderness," they demanded. They had been rescued and yet they still struggled. It wasn't the "freedom" they had in mind.

“If only we had died by the Lord's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death” (Exodus 16:3).

They reminisced about the "good old days" enslaved, but not hungry. They were disillusioned — no longer slaves, but not living in that freedom. Do we live in that freedom?

Moses and the Israelites were saved, by God's grace. But they were completely and utterly dependent on God to provide for their needs — and He did. But even then, they continued to quarrel, complain, and question the Lord.

Last Sunday, my Pastor talked about how God had a purpose in leading them into the wilderness — it was for their good, to teach and train them.

"It's a process to learn how to 'not be a slave' and it's in the wilderness that God can show us our own heart" (Tony Taylor).

The healing path can feel like the wilderness to me. It's hard and lonely, sometimes.

God provided food in the desert for Moses and the Israelites. Their only job, besides obeying and trusting God, was do the work to gather it. In the same way, God provides for us in our healing, but we have to be willing to do the work.

Instead of the wilderness being a punishment, it is a means for God to help us break the chains of bondage we still hold onto.

We are free people. But there are things that keep us stuck.

The path may feel unending. It may twist and turn and seem like it isn't leading anywhere at all.

But take heart, your time in the wilderness, ultimately, is the road — to the "Promised Land."

Art Journaling by Christy Mae Willard

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***My Pastor, Tony Taylor, preached this sermon, Desert FoodExodus 16 (Oct. 19, 2014)which inspired and directed this post. You can listen to it HERE.

This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

You Deserve A Break Today (31 Days of Healing in Him)


It's day 21 of my 31 day series on healing. I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted!

Healing is a beautiful and necessary process, but it's never good to hang out there too long without a break.

It's a journey, not a race to the finish.

When I start feeling overwhelmed or anxious or just plain exhausted from all the muck trudging, I know I need to stop.

Caring for myself means making time for healthy distractions. A quiet walk, reading a good book, listening to my favorite music, taking a warm bath, art journaling, or crocheting, or making time to chat with a friend.

It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you are taking time to refresh. Like a deep, cleansing breath, participating in activities I enjoy grounds me to the present.

I am alive! And my life is not "reduced to the abuse and its pain" (Diane Langberg, On The Threshold of Hope) or whatever the trial you are working through might be.

Today, I'm feeling tired of the heavy. So, even though I feel like this might be a little unconventional, I'm sharing a funny video. I had a good laugh watching it. I love rollercoasters — at least I did before I had children and I "forgot" how to have fun.


Find ways to rest in between the "rollercoasters" in this life.

Laugh, play, indulge in activities you enjoy. You are loving yourself well when you do.


This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days

Monday, October 20, 2014

Go Ahead and Grieve It: 31 Days of Healing in Him (an incourage guest post)


One of the most critical stages in any healing process is grief. We cannot move on or let go of things without grieving what's been lost. I'm including this repost in my 31 Days of Healing in Him series because it is so important. And as you will read in this guest post I wrote for (in)courage, it doesn't matter how big or how small the loss is, there are distinct benefits to grieving.
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Here's an excerpt:

I knew it was coming. I had suspected it would be soon, but when the time came it still hit me hard.

The end of a job I had loved -- an unexpected, yet temporary, opportunity that only God could have orchestrated.

I numbly stared at the email pink slip when it had arrived in my inbox, not really sure how to feel about something I knew was inevitable.

I casually emailed a friend about what happened and she replied simply with, "Go ahead and grieve it."

Five simple words and yet the minute I read them the floodgates opened. It was like all I needed was permission.

Read more over at (in)courage and leave me some comment love...


This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blessings: 31 Days of Healing in Him (a song)

Sometimes our circumstances keep us from seeing who God is. But God is beyond our own comprehension.

He is sovereign. And we cannot know more than God.

Sometimes God uses "the wilderness" to get our attention.

If we believe that God is good and that He loves us fiercely, then our faith and trust in this truth can give us hope, even in the darkest of times.



The struggles we face, the heartache and deep need for healing may not feel "good," but we can believe that God is working in it — ultimately for our redemption and His glory.

How do we know He loves us? The cross. He sacrificed His son for you. He chose death on a cross for you. He became flesh and experienced pain, betrayal, persecution, rejection, brutality, so that we could be free.

Love costs and He paid the ultimate price.

Today I'm sharing a song by Laura Story called BlessingsListen to it. Contemplate the questions asked in it. Let the Truth of it sink into your soul.



We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near?
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

Writer(s): Laura Mixon Story, Liz Story Copyright: Story Duke Music, Laura Stories, New Spring Publishing Inc., Warner-tamerlane Publishing Corp.


This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Using Art to Remember (31 Days of Healing in Him)

Art journaling can be a worshipful activity. I use it to express my thoughts and feelings. To create with words and images ideas I want to meditate on or scripture passages I want to remember.

There is a common misperception that trusting in God means that he won't give you more then you can handle. If we hang our hope on this idea, we will surely be disappointed.

Here's an art journaling page I created of one of my favorite passages of scripture, Isaiah 43:2.



Whether I feel like I'm drowning or my feet are to the flame, God's promise to be with me, not if, but when the trials come, is a great comfort.


“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.
 Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but
for the heart to conquer it.”
~ Rabindranath Tagore, Collected Poems and Plays of Rabindranath Tagore


I believe that God can use the course of working through our trials to help us grow, to strengthen and refine us.

CHALLENGE: Create an art journaling page that expresses or represents your favorite bible verse. Use it as a reminder and an encouragement of God's faithfulness and love.


This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days



Friday, October 17, 2014

How Long, Lord?: 31 Days of Healing in Him (a five minute friday)

How long, Lord?

I feel like a kid strapped in the back seat of a minivan on a long car ride, nagging her father, impatient to arrive.

I'm not sure of much. Not sure what the destination looks like. Will I even know when I get there?

My restlessness affirms my longing.

I search in vain for my justice, my redemption, my peace and comfort. They do not come from me, I know, but sometimes I forget.


"I'm continually reminded that it is not in my own strength that I can stand under the weight of the struggles of this life. While beauty and growth unfold, so also does hardship and suffering ensnare the heart, and tempt it to doubt and grapple with bootstrap faith that says, "I can do this, I can handle this". But the truth is that I can only move forward because God bears me up. He carries us not only when life beats us down, but even in seasons of prosperity, in which we can also be tempted to say, "I did this, I got this". Whether we are in a season of struggle or a season of wild success, it is always and only God who bears us up. He is our deliverance, he is our strength."


I don't get my answer — "how long" is not mine to know. But He gives me “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” instead (Hebrews 11:1).

I know justice will come and wholeness. That He is not done with me yet.

Such a beautiful mystery, to be part of the story He has written. To walk in the mystery is to trust. And when the impatience of waiting rises again in me I know there is grace.

I will go home one day and He will smile at me and say, "It's been long enough." 



This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days


I am also linking up with the Five Minute Friday community over HERE.
Today's words was: Long




Thursday, October 16, 2014

Owning Your Worthiness (31 Days of Healing in Him)


“I believe that owning our worthiness is the act of acknowledging that we are sacred. Perhaps embracing vulnerability and overcoming numbing is ultimately about the care and feeding of our spirits.”
BrenĂ© Brown, Daring Greatly

I may brush my teeth, shower regularly, and eat three meals a day, but that doesn't necessarily mean I take care of myself.

About a year ago, something inside started brewing again. I could feel the tension, as though I were still tied to something, so I decided to go back to counseling.

“The worst kind of brokenness is the kind that you don’t know you have.”
Amy NeftzgerThe Orphanage of Miracles

What was unearthed through counseling, prayer, and self-reflection was an issue with worth. A deep down belief that I wasn't enough. Informed by what people said or did, I have struggled with feeling unacceptable and not worth choosing.


Even in sharing this I start to feel a crushing pressure on my chest. I don't want to give people so much power.

Existing this way makes an enemy of my own reflection, threatens my relationships, and leaves me skeptical of everyone, especially myself.

But it's in this space that God speaks and is working to heal me. With grace He opens my eyes to see the idol of my heart, my "need" for people acceptance, but ultimately, my lacking.

I breathe in a new truth — that I have always been acceptable. And He unravels the string that has kept me bound to people.

I find how little I've thought of myself, cared for my heart, or acknowledged my deepest dreams and desires. I feel the pain of my own choices to belittle myself and ignore the voice that tells me "I am His."

Fear and doubt has kept me from "feeding and caring for my own spirit" (Brene Brown).

I watch the struggle in my own children to carve out a place for themselves, not rattled by the words and actions of others. It is a battle we all face.

The balm is belief. It's the confidence of knowing who you are and whose you are. A verse comes — "You are fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). Why do I struggle to believe that?


On the way to school this morning my daughter and I were marveling at how amazing it is that God made us so different and yet so similar. How there's no one in this world just like her. Triggered by the complexity of friendships I wanted her to know how special and loved she is — regardless of what other kids say or do. But also how important it is to find ways to appreciate the uniqueness of others and extend grace when the differences sometimes cause conflicts.

I can articulate these thoughts and believe them about her, but I need to believe them about myself, too. 

I study this verse — "in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?" (Psalm 56:11). I ruminate on a friend's honest response to it:

"What can mere mortals do to me, Your word asks? I've got a long list of what they can do. And what they did. And if I stayed right here too long I will become afraid again. But I'd like to answer that question while there is praise on my lips because here my thoughts are the purest and the most truthful. They can't touch my soul. They can't take my name off Your engraved hand. They cannot make me matter less to You or be loved less."

They can't touch my soul, if I don't let them. They can't inform, dismiss, hurt, who I am if my confidence comes from God. When I accept His words as truth, His thoughts of me matter more than the noisy crowd.

Caring for my soul is like learning how to walk again. Being honest with myself about what I need and want and honoring that. Some days it looks like setting boundaries and other days it looks like making time for creativity or crocheting or just rest.

Once we "own our worthiness" (Brene Brown) we will take better care of our souls. What does this look like in your life?

This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Making of Something Beautiful (31 Days of Healing in Him)

"Relieving people's suffering is not always the compassionate thing to do."
~  Kevin D. Huggins

My son loved reading the Harry Potter book series. But I wonder sometimes, what about it makes it so wildly popular?

Is it the battle between the forces of good and evil? Maybe it's the steadfast loyalty of Harry's friends and classmates working together for the same cause?

Or perhaps it's just simply magic. Have a problem? Just wave your magic wand, say a few latin phrases and all is right in the Hogwarts world.

Casting a magical spell to fix my problems does seem easier, less painful even. If I'm honest, the idea of living a safe and comfortable life never having to "do hard" seems appealing.

That's what we want from God, isn't it? To use His power to fix things?

But life doesn't work that way and neither does God.

Hard things do happen and there's no avoiding it. But why? Why can't He just fix everything? Why do people have to suffer?

I don't know. But here's a thought…

The free-will God put within us means we can choose. Choose God or the world. Choose healing or denial. Truth or deceit. Light or darkness.

Fixing the hurts so I don't have to experience them wouldn't actually help me. It might feel better, but what would it really mean to me?

I just learned how to crochet. I can buy a scarf or a winter hat at a store and it's just a hat or a scarf. But when I make one, suddenly it's not just a hat or just a scarf. Its value increases because it represents me — invested time and energy, creativity. Each "yarn on" the hook creating a stitch now means so much more.

In the same way, time invested in working through trials can have a rich reward. I can stop wondering "what if this hadn't happened" and thank God that it did. Not because I'm a masochist, but because in the overcoming, something beautiful has been made in me.


It's not a flawless process. It does require perseverance. But anything worth having takes work.

There is a story God is writing in my life and yours. It's a story filled with good versus evil, loyal friends, disappointments, battles waged, and victories. A tale that won't be completed until our days on earth are done. And it's beautiful — broken, healed, scarred and all


“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.
~ Gilda Radner

This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Healing Resources (31 Days of Healing in Him)



I remember sitting dismayed on the side of my bed. Sadness had enveloped me and my body was wracked with sobs. A wave of terrible hopelessness and despair threatened to drag me under, like a rip current after a storm at sea.

What was wrong with me?

The burden of my secret wounds had become too much to bear. After 20 years of denial, it was time to seek help and face my past. It was the only way.

Counseling became an opportunity to speak the pain I was holding onto. To receive objective insights that began a healing process in my life.

If counseling was the cake then books became the icing, opening more doors for God to heal my heart. 

Here are a handful that made a real impact on me.

  • Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
  • Not Marked: Finding Hope & Healing After Sexual Abuse (and study guide) by Mary DeMuth http://www.marydemuth.com/store/find-healing-joy/marked-paperback/
  • The Wounded Heart by Dr. DanAllender
  • On the Threshold of Hope by Dr. Diane Langberg
  • Undefiled: Redemption from Sexual Sin, Restoration for Broken Relationships by Harry Schaumburg


Here are some other books that had a strong impact on others I know.
  • Wounded by God’s People: Discovering How God’s Love Heals Our Hearts by Anne Graham Lotz
  • Changes that Heal by Dr. Henry Cloud & John Townsend
  • Safe People (How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren’t) by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
  • When a Woman You Love Was Abused: A Husband's Guide to Helping Her Overcome Childhood Sexual Molestation by Dawn Scott Jones

Counseling can be expensive, but is a worthwhile option when dealing with issues that are too complicated to work through on your own. I don't believe I would be where I am today without it.

Are there books that have helped you? Feel free to share them in the comments.


This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days

Monday, October 13, 2014

When Your Fence is Wobbly: Four Ways to Reinforce Your Boundaries (31 days of Healing in Him)

I have lived most of my life without a fence. But I never realized, until just recently, how much I needed one.

The fenceless life wasn't working for me anymore, so with encouragement and a new awareness I began constructing one.

Boundaries don't just magically appear because you want them. And it's far more complicated then pounding posts in the ground and threading some rails between them.

At the heart of a fenceless life is fear. I didn't set boundaries because I was afraid — afraid what other people thought, of other people's reactions, that I wasn't making the right choice, or perhaps, afraid of what I could lose.

One negative reaction could send me reeling or cause me to doubt myself. It takes time to build a confident boundary that can stand strong and a fence is not built overnight.

My fence is new and a bit wobbly right now. The posts and rails aren't very solid and I'm concerned that one strong gust of wind could blow the whole thing down.

To reinforce my wobbly fence I have constructed four reinforcements, a plan, if you will, to keep the fence from caving.

1. Take time before you answer. I used to pressure myself to answer someone's request right away, which typically resulted in an impulsive "yes" response. Taking time to consider your answer helps you to make a more honest decision. Give yourself a fair deadline and let the person know when they can expect your answer.

2. Repeat your request. Sometimes people don't take no for an answer. My fence can become wobbly when people ignore or don't accept my "no." I know it can be hard, but sticking to your answer is key. Confidently repeat yourself until they listen. Don't let other people steam roll your fence.

3. Physically remove yourself. Boundaries set limits for you — how much you are willing to accept and what you will do if someone tries to go too far. If someone isn't listening to your boundary and you have confidently repeated it, then by all means, physically remove yourself from the situation. There is a time and a place for being polite. And polite should never be an excuse to allow someone to tear down your fence.

4. Stop talking and regroup. You may think you have built a strong fence only to find that familiar people or situations knock it right over. Maybe you struggle to set boundaries with a particular person. Perhaps you get so tangled in a familiar way of relating that you forget about your boundaries all together. If you find yourself in this type of situation, just stop. Stop talking or take a break from that person or situation until you have a chance to regroup. Less might be more for a while.

We all need some fence support sometimes. Confident boundaries come with practice. The more I set boundaries, the less scary they become.

Boundaries help me to understand and love myself better. And they affirm, to myself and others, that I matter and am worth considering.

What are some reinforcements you use when your boundaries are threatened or ignored?

This is a follow-up post. To read The Field and the Fence (A Story About Limits) click here or A Gap In The Fence: Risking Rejection With Boundaries click here.

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**I decided to re-post this from the archives. Learning about and creating boundaries has been a significant step in my healing process. Not only understanding what they look like and how to set them, but valuing myself enough to know that I need them has been empowering.

This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days



This post was also linked with Jennifer at:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Valley: 31 Days of Healing in Him (a song)

Today I'm sharing a song by Ellie Holcomb called The Valley.



Maybe the lyrics will remind you of those dark times when you didn't know where to turn. Maybe it was in that darkness that God found you. Use it as a prayer or a reminder of the hard times that you have made it through. Let it be a confirmation that others understand and have cried out to God in this way, too.




So come and find me
In the darkest night of my soul
In the shadow of the valley
I am dying for you to make me whole
For you to make me whole


~Ellie Holcomb, The Valley



This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Only God Can Unlock Your Heart (31 Days of Healing in Him)

This Healing in Him series is inspired by an (in)courage group I co-lead. Last Spring, one of the ladies talked about how her heart felt locked up tight, and it was only God who had the key to unlock it.

There was something really beautiful about that visual and I felt led to create an art journal page depicting what this idea looked like in my life.


Ten years ago I was in denial about my past. I was self-protective, guarded, locked up and closed off, not wanting to deal with the cause and effect of my abuse.

But God had other plans for me. It took time, but I found God to be completely trustworthy and His love is healing and redeeming my heart.

It's a big, brave step to let God into your mess. But He is the only one that can add light to that darkness.
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Want to learn more about art journaling and how creativity can become a powerful outlet for healing? You might be interested in reading last Saturday's post on Creative Healing.

This is a post in my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days

Friday, October 10, 2014

Care: 31 Days of Healing in Him (a five minute friday)

Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.
1 Peter 5:7 (MSG)

We think we know God, but do we? We contemplate this question at bible study today. 

My circumstances can keep me from seeing who God is. From believing that He is good, even in the darkest of times. But should it?

I have asked the dreaded why and come up empty. How can I possibly know the sovereign plan of God?

And the more I learn about and experience Him, the smaller I feel. He cares for me in ways I cannot fathom.

If I stop analyzing my hardships through a filter of good or bad I will begin to see, with greater clarity, that "for my good" is relative. I cannot define it by my own standards.


What I think I need, what I worry over and fear are in God's care, not mine.

And I see a glimmer of what it might be like to live a "carefree" life before God. 

Where I no longer need to provide evidence to support my worst fears or use the past to justify my anxieties.

My eyes open and I see that the most important parts of my story are how God was there. How He helped me, changed me, chose me, saved me.

Through this healing process He's using the past to do "immeasurably more than I could hope or imagine" in my future.

I cannot understand all that God is, but in this I can trust:

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:32


This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days


I am also linking up with the Five Minute Friday community over HERE. Today's words was: Care

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Why I Stopped Writing Fiction (31 Days of Healing in Him)


I am not an author. I don't have a bookshelf full of novels or a bestseller label preceding my name. But I do write a lot of fiction.

One warm summer day I slouched down on my kaki-colored couch and started concocting a riveting story about how my friends had decided they didn't want my friendship anymore. I wrote compelling dialogue — conversations they must have been having with each other about me. And how I had been replaced, irrelevant, and overlooked.

My spiral downward took only a matter of minutes and it left me a weeping mess and completely out of sorts. I was convinced they were conspiring against me and I had proof.

Only problem was, none of it was true. Not one word of it actually happened.

In essence, it was all fiction.

This would have been a fine thing had I been aspiring to write my first novel, but in life, the kind of fiction I was writing stunk.

It took me several long, emotional days to realize what I was doing.

As I struggle inwardly with accepting my worth, the lies, if I'm not careful, will continue to give voice to my deepest fears and insecurities.

With help, I am learning how to stop writing fiction. I can do this through awareness — knowing when I'm reacting to fact or whether I'm just making stuff up — and by understanding my tendency to allow my emotions to run wild with my imagination, so I can stop the lies before they send me reeling.

It's hard to recognize something that has become a pattern of thinking. Harder still to stop it. But it has honestly been one of the most positive, peace-filled choices I have made.

Instead of filling in the gaps with my own, uncomplimentary tales I am learning to rest in Him and the truth that I do know.

When we stop writing fiction we stop assumptions, uncertainty, and worry from taking control and we learn to live in and be okay with the mystery.

Are you a fiction writer? Do you ever catch yourself being angry, sad, or frustrated about something you made up? (It sounds strange, but I've done it.)

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**I decided to re-post this from the archives. I wrote this last year, but the truth of it stays with me today. It was an important step in my healing process to stop "writing fiction" about myself, about my relationships, even about God. And I hope it will encourage and challenge you, as well.

This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Acknowledge How Far You've Come (31 Days of Healing in Him)

I had been working hard with my counselor to change some ways I view relationships. And the progress was tangible.

The high of unearthing and reframing an issue left me feeling unstoppable.

But it wasn't long before my resolve was tested. My response to the conflict surprised me and I found myself back in a familiar place, struggling with thoughts and emotions I thought I had worked through.

Frustrated, I recounted what happened to my counselor, making sure to put myself down for thinking I had made progress only to find myself right back where I started.

But she was quick to correct.

I'm not sure where I got the idea that because I trip and fall sometimes that I don't know how to walk.

Slipping into old patterns is not an indication that I haven't healed.

The familiarity of my response does not mean that I never left the starting line.

As we untangled my response and the feelings caught inside it I began to see that although I could recognize the angst, it was slightly different this time. Within the struggle was awareness, shrouded at first by my self-doubt.

Recognizing the familiar was actually a sign of healing. Because healing comes when we can acknowledge what needs to change. Realizing, in the midst of the struggle, that I was stepping back into an old pattern was progress!

I tend to chastise myself. I have been my own bully. But I cannot allow myself to disregard victories in my healing journey. And neither should you.

Don't ignore or explain away the milestones you have hit along the way. Acknowledge them! Celebrate them! They are victories, no matter how big or small they might be.

"What are some milestones you can acknowledge in your process of healing? If you have trouble seeing them, ask a spouse or friend to help you." (Mary DeMuth, Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing After Sexual Abuse)



This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Beauty of Right Now (31 Days of Healing in Him)

It's one thirty on a Tuesday when I climb the short ladder and crawl my way through the black netting.

"Now what?" I ask myself.

It's been nearly 10 years since my pink painted toes touched the pad of a trampoline. I feel awkward and my eyes scan the backyard for gawking neighbors.

What on earth am I doing on here?

I stand on wobbling legs and begin a light bounce — my feet stay on the pad. There will be no "big air" today.

A smile creeps across my face and I quietly laugh at, I mean, to myself. Why is this so hard?

Author, Laura Boggess, talks about the "self-imposed rules (we) subscribe to" in her new book, Playdates With God: Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-Up World. These unwritten rules squash my joy and my freedom and hold me back from who I want to be, but more importantly, from God.

It's while I'm standing unsure, feet glued to the trampoline that I wonder where all the fun went.

As a kid I was very active in sports, in music, in theater. I laughed with friends and I went on long walks around the arboretum where we lived. I rode my bike and I climbed trees. I scampered down the tree lined bank and threw rocks in or fished or just listened to the murky crick water as it slowly flowed by.

Adulthood hit me like a swirling tornado. It scooped me up and I never looked back. It was in this season that I began to deal with the scars of my childhood sexual abuse. Joy became a forgotten memory. The playfulness of youth replaced by responsibilities, demands, and emotional turmoil.

But I feel a nudge inside of me now. A longing to break free — most days from my own self.

Laura shares this quote from Donald Miller, "People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain."

I see my longings as a healing gift. There was a time, not too long ago, that I didn't recognize that my desires matter. That I mattered.


The past drags me down some days and the healing process can feel long and hard. I busy myself with routine and schedule, filling my days with important things — but not the most important thing.

For the "rule bound," meeting with God may feel like another thing you have to do. Perhaps you think it needs to look a certain way making the structured quiet time feel like just another thing to check off the "to-do" list.


What if I deliberately invited God into my day? What might that look like?

Perhaps Joy is waiting for me as I feel the sun's warmth on my skin or listen to a bird's song from the trees or in discovering beauty in the right now.


And maybe these sacred moments with God will mend the tears and remind me of all that God can do.

"When did my imagination become so small that I stopped expecting the seemingly impossible (with God)?"
Laura Boggess, Playdates With God
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To learn more about Laura Boggess' book you may be interested in watching this trailer:



This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days


Also linking up today with Jennifer Lee for #TellHisStory.
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