This week is pack up the POD week to ship to Arizona. I’ve cancelled most of my coaching appointments so I can focus on packing and throwing out or giving away the rest of our worldly goods. It’s cleansing to go through all one’s treasures and evaluate whether or not something important enough to keep and pay money to transport across the country. Many things have served their usefulness and it’s time to throw them away or find them a new home.
Over the past 20 years, writing books and expanding ministry has taken up a lot of time and my house has suffered. We have a large attic and basement, so lots of stuff got put in these places that probably should have been recycled years ago. Letting go is an important discipline that we need more practice doing. Letting go of stuff, but also letting go of our ideas, our demands, ways we think people “should” be or how we think life “should go. Instead of letting go or holding these things lightly, we cling and grasp. I find that when I clutch instead of release, letting go becomes more painful than it needs to be. I’m learning that when we hold things with an open hand, letting go is sad, but not devastating.
The holidays will soon be here and my 2 session class Moving Beyond People Pleasing will start December 7th. This is the first time this year that this class has been offered and I don’t know when I will do it in 2017. If you’ve a people pleaser and are feeling frustrated at yourself and resentful towards others and need to let go of people pleasing, this class is for you! Click here for more details.
This week I’ve invited Dawn to finish up her thoughts on the lessons she’s learned through her destructive marriage. If you didn’t read click here for part 1.
Don’t Leave Home Without it
2. Be Rooted with a Firm, Non-Negotiable Understanding of Your Identity in Christ:
The battle ahead when you decide to leave, I found often to be palpable. This is warfare at the front-line level. I needed to be reminded breath by breath often times, of WHOSE I was and what my position was as Christ’s beloved. You either, understand this in your core fibers and learn to own every detail of it, or you can go headlong off of a cliff. With the exception of about three friends, I was truly alone … and I had a big life.
The uneducated church leadership coupled with the ugliness of our individual situation led to an ostracizing from the very body that I thought was supposed to supply support and be my advocate. “Too messy” was the message I internalized early on. If I was not drilling deeper into my Daughter of the King Identity Kit moment by moment, I would have remained off the edge far longer than I ultimately did.
Conclusion: You are a Front Line Warrior in an epic battle, you had better have a keen understanding of Whose you are and the inherent power you possess through the Holy Spirit.
3.Working Knowledge of Financial Situation and Access to Financial Support:
If you are called to leave, it should ideally be from a position of strength. If we are honest with ourselves, we know which way the relationship is heading, we need to be prepared. I think I would have left much sooner if I had been financially in a position to do so.
That requires a working knowledge of your finances, and access to financial support for at least six to twelve months. Compile records of bills, important documents, etc. Keep them in a safe place outside of your home as you amass them. Ideally, know that you have people who are willing to step in and help financially, or otherwise while you are in transition.
Conclusion: Work from a position of strength when possible. Have a plan and be able to support it financially, emotionally and spiritually.
4. Identify Your Support System:
There is a saying, “Make sure no one in your rowboat is drilling holes.” I found that this was easy to identify, as most had already jumped ship. The remaining few were extremely solid rowers. They were in for the long haul. The ironic thing was, they were not the ones I had necessarily expected.
However, the verse that says, “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” certainly is applicable in these situations… find those friends. There probably won’t be many, but they do need to be equipped and like-minded. A recovery support group was a life line. These are the healers. I ended up in places that I would have never set foot before I left my home ~ I would have been the one declaring, “Too messy” … funny how those things work.
Conclusion: Find your tribe, they may be where you least expect them. Don’t be afraid to look in those places. Then lean on them and into them and Christ ~ they will be your lifeline.
5. Be Open & Malleable:
Plunging into uncharted territory normally requires a tender heart, a listening ear, and a willing spirit ~ this is no exception. A keen awareness that you are broken and this is a time for healing is mandatory. I have called this my Mark 6:31 Year ~ “Come away with me to a secret place and rest awhile.” That is what was needed. That is what I leaned into ~ the pain, the work, the rest, the beauty of this sacred space. I came to understand how debilitated and damaged I was, and how much healing really needed to occur ~ how much I had contributed to the situation.
I committed myself to it as if my life depended on it, because it did. This part of the journey has been largely misunderstood and often misinterpreted, and that’s ok. I came to understand when we are in Christ’s will, that doesn’t matter. I learned to release … in my case, almost everything, in order to receive. To open my hands, and let things drop in order to receive more of Christ and the hidden things of God. That the mighty work which He desires to do in me, I can call forth. In that space, in that moment, He whispers to me what needs to be released so I can receive ~ a true, honest and intimate trust walk.
Conclusion: The more you release, the more you can receive. Be willing to go where you’ve never been before and leave what you’ve never left at His feet before. Release to receive ~ That is where you find the sweet spot of His heart, and His purpose for your life (Click to tweet).
In this fifteen-month journey, I have never been more isolated, alone, and critically injured. At the same time, I have never cared less about my fear of man, learned more about my identity in Christ, and been provided for by the healing hands of a Heavenly Father who is so safe to trust. His prescriptions have been remarkable. This patient is rising from the bed of her own making thanks to the intensive care of the Gentle and Great Physician and the healers that He has placed around me.
I look forward to seeing how it will be used at the appropriate time. For now, I listen, I learn how to “be” instead of “do.” I practice healthy self-care like it’s my job (it is) and I lean in to learn the lessons that He has been so faithful to teach, and I wait on Him to renew my strength, while He makes all things new again. That’s what He has taught me. These are the things I wish I had known laying in that dark space long ago.
Friend, it’s so easy to focus our eyes on what our spouse needs to learn, but if we do that we will lose ground. We all have our own healing journey to take, like Dawn, what lessons have you learned in this dark night of hitting rock bottom?