Freedom

What do you think about when you look at me
I know we’re not the fairy tale you dreamed we’d be
You wore the veil, you walked the aisle, you took my hand
And we dove into a mystery

How I wish we could go back to simpler times
Before all our scars and all our secrets were in the light
Now on this hallowed ground, we’ve drawn the battle lines
Will we make it through the night?

It’s going to take much more than promises this time
Only God can change our minds

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I’ll bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we’ll last forever is broken together

How it must have been so lonely by my side
We were building kingdoms and chasing dreams and left love behind
I’m praying God will help our broken hearts align
And we won’t give up the fight

It’s going to take much more than promises this time
Only God can change our minds

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I’ll bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we’ll last forever is broken together

Oh Casting Crowns, how I love you. But I couldn’t disagree with you more on this song.

I understand that we live in a fallen world and relationships get broken. I get it. I really do.

But I don’t believe that God intends for us to live this way. Not our whole lives. I know there are seasons of pain and heartache and total brokenness. And sometimes those seasons turn into years. But I don’t believe we have to settle for that in our lives for our whole lives. Nope, I don’t believe that at all.

Respectfully,

Cristine

I’ve had so many people tell me lately that they or someone they love are/is seeking out counseling and I’m telling you, it makes my heart so happy to think about the freedom ahead. I always tell people, “We live in a time where you can get help. In fact, help is all around!” Never in the history of the world have we had more mental health resources than we have today. We have free access to self help talks and inspirational messages on TV. For no charge we can check out library books that coach us on life and address our fears and inhibitions. We can search the internet for answers from people who share our struggles. For those who seek it out, help is readily available. In fact, many insurance companies offset the cost of counseling and some offer free counseling. That’s where my story began.

My dear friend, Ade (who I recently wrote about) let me know that her husband and my FH (former husband) who worked together had work benefits that included 6 counseling sessions a year for employees and their family members. When my brother-in-law passed away I contacted her counselor for a consultation for me and my boys. The boys ended up with Erin and I ended up with the woman who had consulted with me. I’ve said this before, we were not a match made in heaven…I was looking for empathy and kindness and she was offering tough and love. (By the way, later I asked Erin if she would take me on and she accepted the challenge. And she WAS the right match for me…kind, compassionate, honest, challenging and someone who pushed me to do hard things that really changed my life.)

So the three of us diligently went to counseling, every 8 weeks (or close to it). I welcomed this gift of a sounding board, not realizing that it was preparing me for something bigger and more challenging than I had ever known before. I was learning how to organize my thoughts and articulate my feelings. I was growing more confident in sharing, more open and honest about my mental state. I was realizing how broken I really was. (And isn’t that key, to know that we have come to a place where something inside of us has shattered; in some cases it may be something small but it’s in a million pieces). I made myself a priority and went deep into my fears and insecurities. I sifted through my emotions to find my deepest pain and allowed it to float to the surface so I could deal with it and then discard it, no longer needing it as an anchor. I didn’t know it at the time but I was going through the discipline of healing my soul.

Here’s what we know: Hurting people hurt people; healthy people help people. And do you know why that is? I believe it’s because hurting people feel badly about themselves and spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to pull out of that hurt as they seek to find self-love and acceptance by others. Healthy people understand God’s love for them and find peace and comfort in knowing His love. That love is a catalyst for them to be able to love themselves and others well.

I’ve lived in both worlds. Not in a past life, but within the last five years. I had very little understanding of love when my marriage ended, not because my husband didn’t love me, but because I didn’t understand how to receive or give love in a healthy way. Hurts in my marriage caused me to emotionally curl up like a roly-polie bug and play dead (because when you’re faking being dead, you don’t have to feel pain or hurt).

This may sting a little but this is truth: Choosing to stay broken is selfish.

When we are hurting and living with emotional pain, insecurity and hopelessness, we are typically only able to focus on ourselves. There is no room for others. We are looking down at our own problems, shortcomings and deficiencies rather than looking up and being aware of those who may be hurting around us. When we get help, we can give help (think oxygen masks on an airplane).

If you’ve felt stuck in your life, take a small step this week toward healing. Look up counselors, research and check out a good book that addresses your issue, or call a wise friend and ask if they can help you process where you are and how to get to where you want to be. Also take it to God in prayer. As we celebrate our country’s freedom this week, let’s also be thinking about our own personal freedom. John 8:36 says, “So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.” The meaning here is in reference to freedom from sin through relationship with Christ, but I also believe that God offers us freedom from anything that isn’t of Him. (For example, we know that God is love so God wants us to feel loved.) If this resonates with you, stay with me because next week I want to give some insight on how we pick up hurts and offenses along the way, what these look like in our lives, and how we can start to weed them out.

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If you know someone who could benefit from this post, please share. God carved out a path of intense healing for me and I would like to share it with as many people who need or want to hear. 

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