I’ve been in a long journey now for over a year, a journey where I’ve been learning about myself. Probably sounds crazy I know, how I could I not know myself. Pretty easy actually. We grow into this person with this personality, with these characteristic traits and all we know is that it’s who we are. But what I discovered was some of them I didn’t like and I wanted to change them. But how? That was the question for me, how do I go about changing them? I realized I would have to know why I was the way I was before I could even think about changing them. So how do you find that out? We’ll……..
In the Spring of 08 is where my journey of change began. After battling for years with these questions, dealing with some things, I decided I wanted to change. I started praying and really asking God to help me here, what makes me who I am? I mean the good and the bad too. We all have both sides to us, the good and the bad, we all have things we like about ourselves and things we don’t, and if we deny that fact, we’re in denial all together. After some time of praying, God sent me some help to figure it all out. My husband brought me home a paper from work about a program where I could go to counseling. I tossed it to the side at first, who needed or wanted that, I mean really. But as I continued to pray, I felt God telling me this is what I want you to do, pick it up, make the call. So I did just that.
This shouldn’t be too hard right, go in there, talk about your problems, blame everybody else for everything, that’s the way therapy goes right? WRONG!! I was there after all to find out why I was the way I was, and while there are things that have taken place in my life that has to do with other people, I wasn’t concerned with why they did the things they did, I wanted to know why I reacted the way I did, why did I feel the way I did? And yes, yes, oh yes, how people treat you, how they talk to you, how they act towards you does play a huge part, I wanted to go deeper than that though. You never realize how much you are holding inside until you go to therapy, it’s like what I like to call “emotional vomit”, lol, not a very nice picture I know, but you start talking about one emotion and why you think you felt that way and before you know it, emotions start rising to the top from things that took place in your life years before! What? Where did that come from? That’s not still bothering me, Is it? I guess so since it came right out. I was so surprised about things that came out that I totally thought I had let go years ago. But what we don’t realize is, these are the things that shape us, that start building up inside and creates all kinds of emotions and traits, good and bad.
I discovered so much about myself, it was mind blowing! Not to mention, so very painful!! Whoever said a journey to discover yourself is happiness, ha! All of us like to think that we are a pretty good person, but what is underneath all the masks that we wear? Yeah I said masks, because we all wear them depending on where we are at, or who we are around. Why do we wear these masks? To hide who we really are. Why do we want to hide who we really are? To hide what we are really feeling! Why do we want to hide what we are really feeling? Ah, there’s the question!! If we let people know how we are really feeling on the inside it opens us up, it’s a vulnerability. We know that there are people who would just love to see us hurt, there are people who would kick us while we are down, there are those who would take it and use it against us because they see it as a weakness.
So instead, we keep it all in, we hide it, we wear our own masks that tells the world we are happy and that everything is fine. In this process, the pain we are hiding, eats away at us, it cuts and cuts at us on the inside, it changes who we are day by day, month by month, year by year, until before we can even recognize it, we’re not the person we used to be at all! We never even realize it’s happening to us, it happens slowly and the changes aren’t as obvious to us as they may be to those around us. So why would we let this happen? It hurts! We look for ways not to feel the pain, everybody has their own ways to make sure that they don’t feel it. Eventually you realize, and you ask yourself, what has happened to me? What’s wrong with me? But by this point, you start thinking about it, and it’s painful to think about the person you have become, and you don’t want to feel it. So we keep moving forward, all while, chip, chip, chipping away at who we are.
So I discovered alot of reasons why I was who I was, why I reacted the way I did to situations, wow, the stuff I was holding onto without even realizing it! But some of the things that I discovered about myself was harsh. My therapist really called me out on it and helped me to see that there are better ways of handling situations and reacting to them. I came out more prepared! God sent me there, little did I know in the beginning, to prepare my heart for things to come. God is good, I tell ya! He knew what I would be facing in months to come and He knew that my heart wasn’t ready for any of it before I went into therapy. I was still playing the blame game, it was everyone elses fault for everything that was happening! It wasn’t mine, I didn’t do anything! Yeah okay Angie, God showed you! Yes He did! I’m not saying I was a terrible person by no means, and I did stand up and admit when I was wrong, but the problem was at the time, I didn’t think I was wrong most of the time. I’ve always been the type of person that when I’m wrong I will admit I’m wrong, but if I believe that I’m right, I will stand up for that as well. I’m not saying I was wrong about everything, but there was things I was wrong about, but it’s who I was, it was coming from all the hidden pains and hurts on the inside that ate away at me for years. Why I felt the way I did about certain things, why I felt strongly about certain things, why I had stronger convictions about some things more than others. It all started coming together for me. When I started realizing things about myself, I had to really pray and ask God to help me process it all, because I started really feeling down about myself, hurting in a different way. God stepped in and He did help me, and throughout the process I started becoming a much better and happier person. He revealed to me why He was working on my heart the way He was. He didn’t want to hurt me, He wanted to heal me and He knew that couldn’t happen unless I faced and dealt with all of these past hurts that were buried inside of me.
As I started facing the coming months of my life, thinking I was better and on the road to self recovery, WHAM! Things were happening that I couldn’t keep up with, there was so much to handle, so much to deal with, I didn’t know if I was coming or going most of the time, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I could barely function some days. The pain that I was feeling was gut wrenching pain, my heart was in total and complete shock! But to my amazement, I was stronger than I ever thought I could have been. I wasn’t being defeated and I was determined of that. Day after day I shocked myself of how I was handling things, but I take no credit, I take no glory, it was all God! He had opened my heart, broke it, and put it back together again without all of the missing pieces, it was whole, it was complete once again just the way He created it to be. I prayed like I had never prayed before, I cried out to God and asked Him for His help, He answered me, should I have been surprised? No not at all, He always has! God helped me look past things, He spoke to me and told me, Angie, don’t see things with your eyes right now, see them with your heart, Listen to my voice, not the other voices, I know you, I know better than anybody, Hear me, Listen to me, Stay focused on me. I did just that! It’s not always easy, we want to go by the old saying that “Seeing is believing”, no, my friends it’s not, not at all. I believe in my God, I have Faith, and faith is seeing with your heart not your eyes. I heard my God, and I focused on Him, His words, not the words of those around me. How glad I am too!
Flash forward, I sit here today and look back on my life, the journey that I started because I listened to God, because I obeyed God and I look at how far I have came. The blessings He has placed in my life, the healing that He has allowed to take place in so many different areas of my life, the relationships that are better because of it, the person that I have become through it all, I am completely and totally amazed at what God has done to me, for me, and through me. I know He’s not through with me yet either. I know that those changes He started in me and my life early last year is just the beginning, He is still changing me, changing us as a family. It’s not always easy to step out in faith and listen when it seems so hard to do, but we are, and just like then so many good things came out of it, I know it will each and everytime because that’s how God works. It may not always be the popular thing to do, it may step on some toes as you do it, it may aggravate some, it may hurt some, it may upset some, it may give some more reasons than ever to talk, but the important thing to remember is, you’re doing what God wants you to do, and that’s what is most important.
I think about how far I have come, and what I have survived, what I have made it through and I wonder how I’m sitting here today, as happy and sane as I am, it’s by Gods mercy, grace, love, and promises, that’s how! I am so happy and so excited about what He has done in our lives that I can’t sit still, I can’t keep it quiet! He has been so good to us, in ways that I could have never imagined. When I thought I was beyond help, that we were beyond help, God stepped in months and months before the broken moment would take place and He prepared my heart to be ready, and I am forever grateful to Him for that, and so glad that I let Him work in me, because had I not, there’s no telling where I or we would be today!