Monday, August 6, 2012

Focus


When everything comes into focus I finally understand that my story is my own and it is mine alone to share in kindness.  I have been so fearful of ruffling feathers or hurting those I love most deeply.  I have been searching for a way to focus in on what I have experienced, what I have learned and how I have been miraculously transformed by a living God.  I have wanted to do that without placing blame on anyone else.  I have wanted a macro focus on where my life has taken me and how I have been carried through to freedom, grace, justice and mercy.  I have no desire to share details as a way of exploitation, or condemnation for me or anyone else, but rather to point to the hills where my help most certainly came from...right on time.  I want to lean into the freedom that I have a story to tell and this is my little property of real estate in this great information web we are all now attached to daily.  So I am going to step out and begin to share deeper about my individual story, and in doing so I hope to give my voice to some really important issues.  I feel like I need to be a little more transparent before I write about the things that are always so heavily on my heart.  Gender equality, abuse, forgivness, reconciliation, family dynamics, parenthood, faith, social justice, and more than anything else grace and mercy.
Many years ago I latched onto a truth that one of the most important core dynamics of personal growth is the ability to understand.  To be able to understand my past, my emotions and behavior.  To understand my thoughts and my desires, and ultimately to understand my identity.  It is not a destination to understand myself, but really just a pathway to understand how the person I am created to be, fits into a larger story.
In this season of my life it has become clear to my soul that I am meant to harvest deep understanding from the years diligent work.  And snap...everything comes into focus not just for me but for those with whom I live life with.  With this focus I am filled with gratitude, grace, sorrow, and ultimately a deep core peace that light is finally shining on the very elusive darkness that I have circulated around for more than a decade.
I am a child of God who happened to survive emotional abuse and sexual seduction in childhood.  I am a child of God who is precocious and tenacious, strong willed and loyal.  I am a child of God with a gift to love with everything I am, feel fully, think deeply, laugh heartedly, and connect intimately.  I am a woman who is codependent and sometimes rely on my own addictive processes to manage my anxiety and pain.  I am also a woman who endured years of chaos and addiction because I confused it for love.  I threw in my own nasty meanness while choosing to stay stuck in denial of my reality...clinging to my own well honed skills of helplessness.  I am a mother who has been taught about the depth of the human experience while watching three little people grow inside of me and then around me.  I have come to understand the graciousness of unconditional love through my connection with these amazing children.  
And yet there is more for me to understand.  With the picture of my life coming into focus, I am now propelled into a new space of deciding where to go from here.  Not in the immediate, but in the long term.  Questions I have not asked for years.  Even when I was able to ask them during past seasons, I had not yet developed the discipline to wait for, welcome, or frankly to even be able to listen well for the answers, should they come.  For to have focus, I must know how to be still and wait for the moment of decision.
So it has been the long way around to the same space I cowered from years ago, but alas, it is said that as we arrive at the question the answer is already near.  What is my calling in this world at this time?  What do I want?  What are my dreams?   What is my bottom line?  Do I wish to lay it down or continue walking with this one more day?  Now that I am in the space of these questions, I am beginning to understand that it is a wisdom to carry such curiosity  with me always down my path.  These questions can act as guardrails, protecting me from straying from my center very far and in them there is a depth of grace larger than I can wrap my mind around.  I am not the first to travel this road, nor will I be the last.  My path has been laid down for me and I am cared for deeply.  And because I have been so loved, I can develop the dreams I’ve long since dreamed- I can share love unconditionally with the people in my life.  That is grace in action.

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