Sabotage to RedemptionMar 31, 2022
For years now, I’ve noticed a pattern. I have this self-sabotage thing going on. Whenever I make a plan to get healthy, to get in shape, or do something that will improve my health and livelihood. Something always happens. Some kind of physical symptom… years ago when I was running, I got pneumonia a month before the 5k. By the time the race occurred, I had lost mileage. Typically it’s something subtler like a cold or stomach virus. The pattern was so noticeable. I had tried to deal with it in the past to no avail.
This time, I started to analyze my thoughts and feelings. Noticing something about my own heart. I surrendered to God. I said, “God you know my heart better than I do. You know why this pattern is here and I invite you to show me, to teach me and to set me free.”
As I was praying, I realized that there was this underlying dread and distrust. I really wanted the Lord to divulge the inner workings of my heart; he knows my heart better than I do. I just stop to ask and listen… What is this God?
And then they started to come… the memories. These weren’t repressed memories. Some of them I thought about often. One in particular, was a time when my friends and I were out riding our bikes. I had some cash that was burning a hole in my pocket. We stopped into this little bar to get some candy and play pool. (In those days we were allowed in there and we often stopped in to play and get a soda.) As we were playing, I really wanted a blow-pop. It’s the perfect candy… it’s a sucker and gum. So I went up to the bar and looked at his selection of candy. I asked if he had blow pops. He didn’t. The next best thing would be tootsie pop. He didn’t have that either. I said, “Do you have any kind of suckers?” He said in a very nauseating and depraved way, “I’ve got something you can suck on.” I pretended like I didn’t hear him and chose a different piece of candy. I never forgot how I felt in that moment. I was so ashamed and repulsed. As we left, I kept trying to shake those feelings. After all I was 10, I’ve heard those things and worse for years. Even to this day, I don’t know why that moment stuck out more than all the other moments. Why was I never free of that memory or the destruction it did in my heart?
So why is that memory, highlighted in the midst of this discussion with the Lord? Why am I thinking about all of the many people who crossed boundaries with me throughout my young life? The events that stole my innocence and tainted my childhood… after all I’ve already dealt with those. I’m a healthy, whole adult… or am I?
Then I see it. It’s like the math starts to add up. Through those traumas, I believed the lie that in someway I had invited those situations. I’m the one the bartender singled out that day, not my friends. I’m the one who boys and men seemed to target. Somewhere along the way, I rationalized that I need to stop doing whatever it is that draws those people to me. So begins the sabotage. I need to make sure that I stop attracting abusers. I cannot stand out visually or physically. What I came to believe, because of countless scenarios, was that no boy or man ever really loved me. It was always just a ruse to take advantage of me. That was a lie.
I’m not saying it’s logical. There were a few men in my life that did love me and didn’t take advantage of me. They were the minority so I didn’t take them into account, as I developed my belief system. I contemplated that maybe those men weren’t safe either; the opportunity just hadn’t presented itself yet. (See how twisted my heart had become.)
So there it was God laid it out for me. He showed me the root of this issue. I had visited these traumas many times before in an attempt to heal. God had healed many of the traumas, but I realized I was holding back. I didn’t really trust him and I had believed that I brought on those traumas. As I prayed God spoke to my heart the truth, he whispered in my ear. I began to realize and tell myself, I can trust Jesus. He isn’t like the sons of the earth who gave into their sinful desires. He loves me. He is trustworthy; I don’t need to hold on to those lies. They aren’t keeping me safe. They are only slowly destroying me. I realized how even though I have walked in so much healing and freedom, I still held on to this thin layer of self-hatred and condemnation.
Tonight, I have broken those lies and revoked those vows. I have surrendered my rebellion and I am electing to fully trust the Lord. I’m surrendering to his will, to heal what I’ve refused to heal all these years.
These stories are tough to share but I know that my history is His Story of redemption. If you have a similar story and would like prayers leave a comment below and I will pray for you.
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