Monday, February 28, 2011

a shock to the heart

I hung out with a friend tonight and ended up sharing a large part of my testimony with him.That is not extraordinary in and of itself because I frequently share parts of my testimony with various people but what is extraordinary is the way that I see one part of my testimony now. I realised tonight that not only have I been given a new heart, I have also been given new eyes. For the first time in a long time as I shared some of my less flattering experiences I allowed myself to honestly remember the joy that I felt during that time & I allowed myself to see God's hand in that space. Tonight I let myself remember the love I felt and surprisingly it didn't hurt because now when I look back and I see that love I see it for what it was, the jolt that I needed to open myself up to true love, to real love..

Before I loved this man I was lost in the whirlwind of my life, I had completely sold out to the lie, to the career, the parties and the people were the games that I played to entertain myself so that I wouldn't notice that I was bored and hadn't myself and my life. I lived in the land of make believe playing dress-ups like a little girl and I was awe struck, too busy looking at the pretty dolls and the shining lights to realise that I was empty. I danced along, sipping on bubbles and posing for pictures, lost in the land I had created.

He was lost in it too, we had both forgotten how to be happy, what that looked like, what it felt like. We had also forgotten what it meant to be honest, to be open. We lived in a land of lies, our days were consumed by fake niceties. We were friends, best friends. We weren't when we first met, I didn't like him, I thought there was no depth to him, he seemed like a boy and not a man but somewhere along the line that changed. I think we were in a car on the way to pick up a woman we both loved when suddenly some honestly slipped out and into our conversation. Once it was there, the honesty it grew, it was addictive. Looking back now it was like shining light of freedom in the darkness of our day and all it was was honesty. Being raw and open with each other. There is great freedom in honesty, when everyone in your world expects you to play your part having one person who lets you be you changes everything.

Looking back now I realise that that was what he did, that was the gift he gave me. He gave me a space to be me, he opened that space, he invited me in and as I walked into that space and allowed him to know me, I began to know myself, I began to shed the costumes I wore. I also allowed myself to love and trust and for that I am thankful. It was right there in the middle of it when I loved him so deeply that it all came to a head, I knew that I had to leave him, the other option was to stay and die in my pain and I had just come from that place and wasn't going back there. It was there in that moment that I opened myself fully and completely to God, I caught hold of that realisation tonight and I find it extraordinary that God would use such an experience to bring me closer to him.

I remember at the time being completely heart-broken yet there was a peace about ending our relationship, I realise now that the peace came from knowing my God, from knowing deep in my bones that he was a good God and that he would replace this love with a great love. I realise now that it was in these moments that I received a revelation of who my God is and what he wanted to give me. It was in those moments that I chose to give my heart and my life to my one true love forever.

There is so much freedom and healing in that realisation. For the longest time I have stopped myself from thinking about the man I loved before I loved God, for the longest time it was painful and shameful and I didn't want to face it or me. Part of me wanted to pretend like it didn't happen and the other part of me was afraid to look at it. I choose to remember it as beautiful but know in my heart that it was wrong and I thought that revisiting it would change it and I didn't want to change it because I needed it to be beautiful. Now I realise that it was beautiful but that the beauty in it was God, I realise that this relationship was the shock I needed to surrender my heart to God. Before I met him I was dead and he shocked me back to life long enough for God to sweep in, pick me up and carry me away to my destiny. He brought me back to life long enough for me to know real love when I found it in God and for that I am so very grateful.

Our God is amazing, he will take the stories that you have lived, the ones that have shaped you and that you have told a million times before and if you let him, if you dare for just a moment to look at that situation with the new eyes he has given you.. well then you may just see the love and the grace of God in that situation, you may just see the way he lovingly swept you off your feet, the way he knocked you "head over feet over heels" in love with him.

I pray that we will have the courage to move past ourselves and our fear so that we can see God's hand tenderly working in every situation, that when God opens a door for us to share our journey we will let him but more than that, I pray that we will be wise enough to realise that he may be having us share for us and not just for the other person! I pray that we be open enough to allow him to show us our old story with new eyes.

May you all be blessed with hearts to receive the love God is waiting to give you xo

Thursday, February 10, 2011

For the record this is not something I would generally post here..

When I started this blog I made a commitment to myself & anyone reading it that this is a space where I would be honest & real & raw & share about what I was dealing with & how God was moving me through the space. Today's post makes me wish I had decided something else because I don't want to write this. I don't want to be honest about this & I don't want to share but at the same time I know if I don't write about it, well it will eat me up & I also know that if I don't write about it here I won't write about it properly. You see if I were to write in my journal I would gloss over what I was feeling & sweep it under the rug but I can't do that here because I made a commitment & so it begins..

Over a year ago I made a promise to a man that I had allowed myself to love & a man who loved me back. Actually it was a promise we made to each other. You see life meant that we could not be together, it meant that our love affair had to end so we made a promise that if ever our life circumstance changed then the one who's circumstances changed would find the other & we would be together. I told him I loved him & promised that if he ever came looking then.. I meant it, every single word of the promise we made to each other, the promise of our future together. We both cried as we spoke it. I remember in that moment feeling like someone had torn me apart & no matter how hard I tried I couldn't escape the pain.  

I had accepted the end of our relationship & went about finding myself as a woman of God. We let life happen, I moved away, built a wonderful life & I am happy. My life is amazing & right now there is nothing I would change. I hadn't thought about him for a long time until today.

I was reminded of our promise today & for the first time in a really, really long time I sensed him. I remembered the words, the emotions but most of all the utter conviction with which we spoke & it scared me. It scared me because I realised that on that day 15 or so months ago I gave away a piece of me, a piece of my future & I accepted a piece of him & a piece of his future & what if what we spoke became true? What if he appeared on my doorstep (for the record he doesn't have my address but that is beside the point, we have mutual friends, he could find it & besides he is one of those annoyingly resourceful men who always get what they want)? What if he rocked on up & told me that life had changed, that he still loved me.. What would I do with that? How would I clean that up? I had made a full on heart felt promise, I had actually given him me & he had taken it & stored it away for later & what would I do if later came? Even the thought of it left me paralysed in fear as I sat at my desk trying to read ASIC papers, getting up to get a cup of tea didn't help either. I was shattered to the core with utter fear that the words I had once spoken would come to pass.

This may seem a bit dramatic but I realised today what that promise meant! I realised that I gave him something that I didn't have & something that wasn't mine to give. Firstly I gave him my heart (or so I thought) but if I'm honest I was so messed up & broken & confused that I didn't even know what my heart looked like or how to use it! You see my heart was frozen solid wrapped in ice cold self-hate & even if you could thaw it out, it was hidden behind the walls I had built up to try to stop myself from getting hurt ever again & just to be sure I had placed in front of the walls an ocean of disappointment which I filled with words & emotions from the hideous relationships I had chosen in the past.. My heart was inaccessible yet for some reason I thought I could give it away. It was almost as if I mistook the warmth of his body & the excitement I felt for the beating of my heart. I realise now that I had deprived myself of love for so long, I was so frozen that I would have given my heart away for any kind of heat, anything warm! That's not fair, it makes our relationship sound trivial, it makes it sound like we didn't care for each other & we did but at the same time our relationship was wrong & I did give away something that I didn't even have access to & for me that realisation is huge!

You will be pleased to know that my heart is all thawed out, it works & I use it all the time now but to realise how little I valued it, that hurts. I hurt for the woman I used to be, for her pain, sadness, loneliness. It hurts to know the consequence of hating myself, to see how I would give away so much so willingly just to feel some love & warmth. wow. I kinda feel like I've been punched in the face by myself.

I also realised today that what I gave away wasn't mine to give. My heart & my future those things belong to God. He created me, he gave me my life, he guards my heart & my future is in his hands. My life never has & never will belong to me yet I foolishly gave a piece of both of them away. Ouch. I don't even know what to do with that.. I shake my head at myself & blink a few times but the words of the promise are still there staring back at me in black & white. Yep I really did try to give them away.

Sooo back to the big hideous, scary question.. what would I do if he rocked on over all ready to cash in? Honestly I don't know. I don't love him anymore, I know that. I am a new creation & he doesn't know me at all, I know that. What he accepted from me was not real so he can't cash it in, it would be like taking the money you won at monopoly & trying to buy something from the shops, it doesn't work, the store won't accept it because it's just not real. I guess that answers the question, he can't cash in what he doesn't have..

It is so easy to make a promise, to give ourselves away but promises are bigger than we think, they are important. I guess today I have learnt that a promise will never return void, you must clean-up that which you have promised. I pray that in the future I will value my promises xoxo

Monday, February 7, 2011

Standing still - I'm so not used to this!

Right now I am standing still. I am peaceful, quiet, wanting in anticipation for what is next. I am on the cusp of a completely different life. I am on the very edge, I see where I am going, I see exactly what it looks like but I can't access it yet. It is like I am in a big glass elevator, I have jumped in and pressed the button, the doors have closed; the lift has begun to rise. I can look down and see where I have been, I can look up and catch a glimpse of where I am going, I am on my way, so very, very close but I'm not there yet. So I stand still and wait..

Praying that I can get comfortable waiting xo

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Reflections: letting go of the golden child

"Dear Father, I am sad so very, very sad. I feel sad & alone & uncertain if my future. I feel like my dreams have been shattered into a million little pieces. Like my future is no longer mine. The dreams I once had seem so very far away like they belong to another. I feel lost Lord. So, so lost. So far away from my own happiness, so far away from understanding my joy.. once more I feel broken, hurting & afraid. Perhaps I am this sad or perhaps I am just afraid. Afraid to let go of the dream, the wonder, the title. Am I afraid to take off these ill-fitting clothes, this armour of sorts? Well yes I guess I am. I don't Like being the golden child but it sure is easier than not knowing. It's easier to be who I'm expected to be, to push myself around, to fit. At least I know these rules. I understand this game. Love Min 6.47pm, 11 October 2009, Sydney"

These words seem so far away, they are so removed from my current space that I almost can't believe I wrote them but I did, that was me and my life. That was the cage I lived in. I was the golden child, one of the chosen few, stamped with the future senior associate stamp by the powers that be. I wore the crown of my career proudly on my head, I let it define me, I let them define me. I built & shaped my life around my work. I became trapped in my own success & that success had a high price. I sacrificed everything on the alter for my career. I laid down the things that made me me, friendships, writing, dancing, relationships, I even sacrificed myself. All for my career. I became a workaholic superwoman, I ate in the places you were supposed to eat, with the type of men you were supposed to marry, I went to "THE" places to be, I was living the dream and I was miserable. I was empty. I was lost.

It is hard to read those words, hard to accept that I had chosen to walk that path, hard too look at the person I was, to hear the voice of fear that trapped me. It breaks my heart but then I turn the page in my journal and read the cry that sprung forth from that sadness:

"Dear Lord, I pray for your guidance & love. I pray that you will open my eyes to your wisdom. Unlock the fear that blinds me. Open the doors & lead me down the path you have laid for me. Give me the courage to press on & the wisdom to make the right decisions, Amen."

Such a simple prayer. Short & simple but from the deepest part of my poor lost soul. I wanted so badly for my life to be different but I knew that I couldn't make that happen, I didn't have anything left to give & even if I did I didn't have anywhere to pour into anymore, my career was nothing, my life meaningless, my relationship was over, I was worthless. I was stood in a valley when I looked behind I saw a wall of failure & pain, when I looked ahead I saw a wall of hopelessness, a life without love, purpose or direction, I couldn't see me anymore, I was lost & sad & paralysed by my choices.

I am amazed that in the depths of sadness, trapped in my own darkness, I could pray. It was such a simple prayer but it was all I could pray. And man did I pray it, during those days I prayed that prayer & a million like it, I didn't know what else to do. My soul cried out for guidance, for love, for wisdom. I didn't even know if he would hear me & if he did I wasn't sure that he would listen. I wouldn't have. I knew what I had done, I knew who I had been & I felt a deep sense of hatred for myself. It felt like the misery & pain was exactly what I deserved. But he did hear, he did more than hear, he walked right into my darkness & met me there.

He walked into my fear & pain & anguish, he scooped me up into his arms & he carried me home to my family. He gave me guidance & love. He opened my eyes to wisdom. He removed the fear from my eyes & showed me how to see with eyes of faith. He opened the doors, took my hand & led me down the path to this life of purpose & meaning & love.

It has not been an easy journey & the journey is not over, everyday I am faced with something else, a mindset, a wrong belief, everyday I am uncovering pieces of me that if left alone could have the power to trap & destroy me so everyday I make a decision to hand it over & live in his grace. Everyday I make the decision to accept his love. It's not easy to accept his love, especially when I am used to working so hard for everything, when I am used to hating myself. Right now he is challenging me to love myself. I love him, I love my life, I love the people he has put into my world, I like myself now, I am nice to myself & sometimes (if I am honest rarely) I love myself but I don't love myself like he does. I don't value myself like he does. I don't look in the mirror & see a woman who is worth far more than rubies..