Have you felt that there are old wounds hidden in the closet of your soul?
Often times we hide the hurts, disappointments, fears and doubts in a little shoe box that we think no one will ever find. The problem is that these shoe boxes eventually resurface in other areas of our lives, demanding attention.
This is exactly what happened to me in 2016. I eventually had to face the truth and clean out the closet of my soul. There was no more denying they were there, they needed to go!
If like me you have found yourself in a situation where nothing seems to work, and you are so frustrated you could cry, you’re going to love this…
In this week’s episode I “bare all” and share a very vulnerable time in my life where I had to open my heart to God, so He could help me get rid of the junk in the trunk!
Listen in and be blessed:)
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Come and enjoy a conversation I had with Dr. Pam Morrison on her podcast, “Rooted by the Stream.” Enjoy.
I had grown up in a very traumatic environment. I grew up with a serial entrepreneur father. We always had people in and out of the house. We had a construction business, so there never was peace in our home. As things go with some families, unfortunately, there was a breakdown. My parents got divorced when I was 10 and then I got bullied at 13. I kind of always felt like the weirdo, like the odd one out. I never quite fit in with what the world was doing. So I pretty much kept to myself and tried to stay out of trouble.
At the same time, I was always trying to get attention and get approval. I would try getting straight As and doing everything that I was told to do to be a good girl. I would read those habitual ways of functioning and thinking, which started to determine my trajectory and change the way I saw life. And so for me, it was all about what can I do to not feel stupid? What can I do to show people that I’ve got value? And of course, that dirtied the whole outlook of where God really wanted to use me. But at the same time, He still uses everything. Nothing is wasted.
I went through this process. 2016 was a horrific year for me, it was like the perfect storm. I was struggling with my business, having a hard time physically, and feeling exhausted. I was running on burning the wick on both ends, was really pushing myself beyond what I could handle. I’d had my third baby in 2010 and I never gave myself enough time to heal from that. I just kept going from one project to the other. And in early 2016, we’d been having issues with one of our kids who was depressed and not feeling motivated, and struggling with school. And for me, I’m a non-traditionalist. I’m always like, “If this ain’t working, I need to find another way.” That’s the entrepreneur in me. Like, “This school system ain’t working for me.” Being told by the psychologist, “Oh, you need to medicate your child. You need to do this and your child isn’t doing this.” And I’m like, “Listen, something’s not right. If the system isn’t working for my child, then my child needs to be taken out of the system.”
What happened was I was at a conference and my husband phoned me. This was right about February 2016. And he said, “Something is seriously wrong with our child.” And I was like, “What is going on?” So I just knew, with that mother’s instinct, you might be miles away, but there’s something’s wrong. So I tried to get out of there as soon as I could. And when I got home, my child couldn’t get out of bed, was depressed, and was on the point of being suicidal. And I was like, “Oh my gosh.” Awakened in that moment, thinking that I had been in denial; I’d been in denial about the signs that eventually this had come to such a serious head. I needed to do something. I had to deal with that and deal with pulling them out of school and looking at different ways of educating.
Back then, doing online school was not a thing. Now it’s popular. Not long after that, about six weeks later, my mother-in-law, who’d been suffering with cancer, passed away. She was a very strong Christian. She taught me a lot about inner healing when I had met my husband when I was 16, and she’d helped me go through a lot of prayer and inner healing. She and I were very close. When I saw her suffer the way she did, and what she went through—she had a brain tumor and colon cancer, then she had chemotherapy and radiation; she lost the use of her legs and seeing her going through this process, I kept asking God, “Why are You allowing her to suffer? How is it that somebody who loves You so much, who is on fire for You, is going through such immense pain?”
So you can imagine, all the prayers and the hope for healing got shattered when she passed away. My faith got rocked; I was so angry at God. I was like, “How can You let this happen?” Besides her passing away and the issues I had with my child and my business falling apart, my body was physically exhausted. I literally hit burnout and couldn’t move. For three months, I couldn’t stop crying. I’d be in my pajamas, and my husband was like, “I don’t know what to do with you.” Men are fixers, but he couldn’t fix it. It got me to a situation where I was on my back, and laying there thinking, “God, You just gotta do something. Because I don’t know what’s going on.” And instead of fighting it, and getting offended by the situation, and saying, “I’m not going to receive that, I don’t have a problem,” I decided to press in and learn what I needed to learn.
And really, once you make a decision to allow God to teach you and show you, and you stop resisting, it’s amazing how quickly the growth happens. Quickly after that, I got consumed with books and courses and research and looking into things, anything from how to deal with anger to the neuroscience, especially with how to deal with the roots of depression. From a spiritual side, like how to end the process. I realized a lot of the problems stemmed with me, that even though I was dealing with a very difficult situation with my family, a lot of it had roots of rejection or unforgiveness or self-pity or offense towards others, and even words of judgment and criticism I spoke of others and of myself. God took me through a really deep soul healing process of digging out the junk, going through it, filtering through; it’s kind of like spring cleaning for your soul.
I also had to admit that I had a problem with pride. I had to admit I had a problem with perfectionism. Every part of this, I had to learn through this process that even though outwardly people were like, “Oh, well, this is happening to me; woe is me. I’m going to fall apart,” I was like, “No, something has to change. So if I’m the problem, let’s get to work fixing it.”
So the whole book was a journaling process, and as I was writing it, the Lord said, “I want you to share this.” I’m like, “Oh no, we’re not,” with tears running down my face. “I never want anyone to hear about that.” Eventually, He wore me down and said, “There is purpose in your pain. What you’re going through right now, somebody else is crying for a solution, is praying and pleading with Me for a solution.” But not many people are prepared to put themselves out there on the line and say, “Okay, God, use me.” So I was like, “Okay, God.” So you cover your eyes and take a step and just hope and pray for the best; it’s an act of faith.
And the book was published in 2018, the two-year anniversary of my mother-in-law’s passing, in celebration of Mother’s Day. And even though it’s written from a mother’s perspective, I have had so many people reach out to me, fathers and grandparents, and even kids and single women, who have said they have learned a lot from it because they could see themselves in my story. And that’s when I realized what it means by “there is power in our testimony.”
When we’re scared to show our wounds and to show our story, we could be depriving someone of a breakthrough. So if we are prepared and are willing to say, “Okay, God, I’m going to be brave enough. I want to put myself out there. I know this is scary, but use me as You wish.” You think you’re going to get criticized, but surprisingly, people are like, “I have been through that. Me, too. I’ve experienced that. And if she can get through it, I know that I can.” So I just want to encourage you that every one of us has a story. Be willing to have the courage to step up and share because there is power in your testimony to break people from bondage; it has an immense power to enact God’s story because we are His history, it’s His story lived through us, especially for anyone who’s thinking of sharing or even writing a book.
I believe, after doing a lot of study on neuroscience, we can change the way we think. And for me, my background is I am a dedicated ballet dancer. I grew up learning classical ballet. I never noticed skates, but at the age of 33, I took my eldest daughter to a skating party and I was like, “This feels like flying. I want to do this.” So over the last 10 years, I have been working with a coach, and I’ve taken this and used it as a personal mission to retrain my muscle memory. So after 18 years of ballet, I’ve been able to relearn (you can teach an old dog new tricks) and re-map? my brain to think in different ways and to learn something new and to constantly challenge myself.
The reason why I love figure skating is you never arrive. You can do something great and you get fit, but then if you let go and you fall off the training schedule, you go backwards a little. It’s kind of frustrating, but it’s also very motivational because if I have a goal that I want to achieve, and I work with it step by step, and I’m willing to do the work and go through the process, I get better. And believe me, you fall a lot as an adult; it hurts to fall. Kids say, “Okay, cool. Let’s do this.” And they don’t overthink things. But it’s really hard to teach an adult because we overthink and analyze everything.
So my coach and I have this understanding. She just rolls her eyes. She goes, “You’re doing it again. Just be quiet and do the moves. Just do it again.” And I’m grateful for that. It helps me look at life the same way that often life feels like we are skating with finesse. We are on this tiny little plate. We know that we’re on this hard surface, that if we fall, it’s going to hurt. But if we are able and willing enough to take the risks of falling—because sometimes, it’s good to fall—you realize you get stronger, if you’re willing to get up again and just try it again. And oftentimes, it’s not necessarily about trying something fancy, it’s about just doing the same thing over and over until you get that muscle memory; retraining your thinking and retraining your body and retraining your whole habitual way of looking at life and just saying, “Okay, this is a challenge. This feels scary. And it feels new, but I know I can do this if I just follow and trust the process.” So for me, it’s a personal goal-setting thing, and I still do it. We’ll, I’ll admit, oftentimes, I’ll go, “Ugh, I don’t want to go. I don’t feel like it. I just want to stay in my pajamas.” My coach is like, “See you there on Tuesday,” and I’m like, “Okay….”
Books are like babies. They need to be birthed. And they decide when they want to be birthed. And so I often think about marinading and thinking of ideas, and then when I’m like, “Okay, it’s time to sit down and get this baby done.” So right now, I’m in that stage where I’m collecting information, and the book is called The Heart of a Champion: How Ordinary People Achieve the Extraordinary with God. I’m doing a lot of research on biblical characters, as well as pop culture characters, and sharing how God can use anybody, if we are willing and able to say yes, and are ready to partner with Him.
I mean, even the likes of David, you think he was something special, right? We all look at these biblical characters and think they’re all so special. No, they weren’t. They were just ordinary people like you and me who said yes to God and decided that they were going to partner with God’s plan and were willing to be real and transparent. God was still able to use them, with their flaws and mistakes. So I’m really excited about this one, because I know it has a broader reach in terms of understanding that each of us has a champion within us. It’s just a matter of finding the pieces, and going through the process. And I have a 15-step process that I’ve looked at over analyzing a lot of these things that we can follow and replicate if we trust the system and follow along with God’s plans.
Be encouraged that there’s always someone else who needs to hear your story, that no matter what you go through right now, stay strong, rely on God’s Word, press into what He has to say for your life. Forget about the rest; just put those blinkers on. It’s so much more peaceful, staying in your lane and realizing God has something for you, even though the seasons are changing and for many of us, breathing out of your comfort zone feels really scary. But on the other side of the comfort zone is where the grass is ready to be grown and where you can plant things and grow. And it’s just so good on the other side. So I think we can stay encouraged and stay out of fear and that’ll be great.
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