Friday, April 20, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Together

Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.

We write because we love words and the relief it is to just write them without worrying if they’re just right or not. So we take five minutes on Friday and write like we used to run when we were kids.

On Fridays we write with gusto, unselfconscious and flat out.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:



Together was not a word that I grew up feeling good connotations about. For the most part, I generally felt pretty alone. Even in a room full of people I felt alone. I felt like I was different. No no one liked me; I did not fit in. In my family together was not a good word. It was an opportunity for someone to abuse me.

The feeling of being alone and different followed me many years into my walk with the Lord. It was different, but still alone. I knew He was always with me. I knew He loved me no matter what.

But I did not feel like His people loved me that way. I did not feel like I had deep friendships. I pretty much kept everyone at a disposable connection level.

About 5 years ago, God began to unearth some really painful really dark secrets that kept me feeling alone. He showed me that I felt alone, not because people did not want to be with me; I felt alone b/c I was hiding. I was afraid people could not love me if they knew some of the struggles I carried and could not get free from.

When God took me to celebrate recovery to deal with my alcoholism, He began to dismantle the walls that I thought protected me. Those walls kept me alone and isolated. As I began to come clean about the things that I thought I could entrust to no one but God, an amazing thing happened. I wasn't alone anymore. I was truly together. As I dealt with the fact that years of sexual abuse and child pornography had distorted my sexuality and let others come into my pain and distortion and pray for me, walk with me through it all, I wasn't carrying it alone anymore. The secrets no longer had to power to keep me from experiencing together. I told and people loved me anyway.

Then an amazing thing happened; people began to have courage to tell their secrets and the chains that held them began to fall off.

Stop....... times up

But I can't leave this hanging. Today, I help women walk through the process of recovery. Today I get to help others come out of alone and shadows to walk in together and light. So many years I spent alone in a crowd trying to manage my sin and beg God to take it out of me. His way is together, not alone. He only set me free as I opened up the basement and allowed people to come and shine light and love on the little girl hiding in the darkness. He set me free as I allowed people to love me and hold me and remind me that I am not defined or limited by the past. I will always bear scars, but today the scars are beautiful; they are an opportunity to tell His story of redemption in my life. Today I am not hiding and ashamed. I can tell about my pain b/c my pain helps others find the way to open the door so we can go into the dark basement and hug the broken scared little people and bring them into the light to find freedom and grace, hope and peace, redemption and restoration.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Light

Linking to Five minute Friday with Gypsy Mama.

My life is so blessed. It is light and love and grace. I find sometimes I feel guilty for the abundant grace and blessing that encompasses my life.

I ask why me? Why are things so hard and so dark for others when everyday my life is filled with light.

Why are my two musicians friends, who are so filled with beautiful talent, lost in a dark desperate place. Why has reality fled them, and yet He brought me back from the darkness of a lost reality? Why do some get so lost in addiction that they can't find their way out; when He delivered me and took away the chains that bound me to repeat the addictive pattern.

Why do I get to have 3 beautiful children in spite of that fact the my reproductive organs are so scarred that they are supposed to be incapable of conceiving; when so many I know who did not make choices that lead to damaged reproduction cannot conceive.

Why do I look at my beautiful children perfectly healthy and growing in grace each and every day and another looks into the eyes of a child who dies of a disease that mother passed to child. I should have that disease. Dirty needles and loose living should have sentenced me to death and with it's death sentence on me an identical sentence to my children.

Yet, His grace.

Why in all my attempts to take life from my body, always He kept the breath of life in me? When all around me people fight to live and die none the less.

I am so grateful for the light. His light has led me from a place of such darkness, such hopelessness, such loss, chains that cut into my skin, chains that held my mind.

In His light, all the chains fell away, all the darkness fled, all that was lost has been returned with more than I could have ever dreamed. The girl lost in the darkness has become the woman of light and love and hope.

But there is always the why in the back of my mind. Thank you Lord, but why? What about the others?