Breaking Away Silence, in the Midst of My Whirlwinds. . .
PART 1 – Where it Begins. . . God, Breaking My Silence!
The past year has been eye opening to say the least! For those who know me, know I’m usually a chatterbox. Over the past 5 years or so, I’ve become increasingly silent. Definitely not my norm.
I’ve had quite a long season of whirlwinds since 2007, actually since 1996, wait a minute – no, even before that. . . Hmmmm, 1994, nope – before that, 1992? – uh uh, even further. . . 1991 that’s the year, it was quite a whirlwind for me – the steps beginning a long drawn out season of messes along my way. Yep, 1991 was the major turn of events for me.
Granted, when I was 14-15 years old, my family went through some messes and truths forever changing relationships w/my parents and extended family. However, that time in my life was an awakening, a rebirth that cleansed my soul to a life of knowing God’s love. I was energized and moving on from those messes – now as a Christian, a teenager – exploring life with an open heart to God & my hands wide open.
Back to 1991, my life as I knew it – was shaken. I had lost my only known Grandma to cancer (she lived with my parents & I). That moment spun many webs of struggles, messes and whirlwinds. This life event, my test of true faith – I failed miserably. I was 17, I had no clue what to do after this life changing moment, nor did my Mom(her Mom who passed) or my dad, not even my aunts, uncles, or my cousins I grew up with knew what to do or say to us.
By failing miserably – I mean, I turned my back on God, I was confused, hurt & angry. My heart & hands clenched closed.
After years of heartaches, pain, depression, bad personal life directions, dealings with relationships in my life men/family/friends/churches/etc., my physical health issues, challenges in motherhood, an oppositional defiant daughter, abusive home environment in my marriage, divorce, custody battles, financial hardships, losing my home – foreclosure, becoming a single Mom – three children (three dads-not the same mistakes twice!), my permanent disability, family health issues, death of my Mom October 2013 (cancer – Stomach/Esophageal), my daughter out of home at 17 (fight or flight issues after my Mom passed), etc., etc., etc.
I’m here today, truly blessed in all my messes, closer to God than I ever imagined.
This past February, God’s purpose, my calling became clear. My turning point, the moment that opened my eyes and overflowed my soul – February 27th 2014 – the day I opened my Mom’s book “The Purpose Driven Life”. My dad had dared me – to make this 40 day commitment like she did & he had just done 2 months after my Mom passed – knowing I’m not much into reading – like him & that I’m a scattered crazy mess – hence the “dare”. I took this dare, hoping I could keep it, I went ahead and opened the book, not sure what to expect.
I read the opening letter and turned to the “My Covenant” page – accepting the challenge “a 40 day spiritual journey”, signing my name under my Mom’s (finalizing my commitment), I glanced at my phone for the date – as I wrote it, looked above and saw my Mom’s date written: February 27th 2012! I busted into tears, uncontrollable tears, I couldn’t even breathe. I pulled it together and continued on with “Day 1 – It All Starts With God”. I can hear my Mom saying those words to me over & over “It All Starts with God”, “talk to him, pray to him everyday, I do it all day”! (tears falling as I’m typing this, I can’t even see the screen)
That moment, right there – February 27th 2014, is exactly where God knew I needed to be to reveal what I was meant to experience – the moment he pointed me in the direction I was destined for. But it didn’t stop there with a date – God knew I needed more than that.
Finished with Day 1, I grab “The Purpose Driven Life Journal” my Dad gave me, to dig deeper. Opening it to “Day 1 – It All Starts with God”, I realize right away – God also knew I needed this journal – that I enjoyed writing, and in order for me to “get it” I had to write out my journey in this particular journal, not just blank pages before me. And my ever increasing silence, was all going to change with “Day 1” of “The Purpose Driven Life”.
So there I was, in my journal, “Day 1”, one page – front & back. That was it, simple, right? The front page went smooth, however I stared at 17 empty lines on the back page, frozen, blank, almost dumbfounded. Above those empty lines I had just read about the “true discovering of your life’s purpose”! What do I do now? I continue to stare, feeling like a deer in headlights!
Eventually, the words came, and I began writing to God, these simple words:
The more I look back at my life so far – I see my mistakes I’ve made when I lost sight of you. And when I was stuck at many of my lowest points I asked for help.
I stopped, for quite some time – again, not exactly sure what to do next. I knew the letter wasn’t finished, but where do I go from here? I prayed, silently – telling God I was at a loss for words (I’m usually not), I wanted to know where God was in all my mistakes, in my life – period, even when I was doing better with everything – taking the punches of life graciously, I wanted to see it all. I knew he was there, I just wanted an depth view. Something to make sense of so much senseless stuff.
Then, the unexpected happened – I began to write a list on the page, not just a list of mistakes like I had intended and knew the 12 lines left was no where near enough room to list them! I was writing a list – of God’s presence in my life – he was answering my prayer – showing me his gifts in some of my so called mistakes! I read what’s written:
- My daughter was conceived (out of wedlock-I was stuck in a life unimaginable with her father), I was injured (on the job – still suffering today) my gift, her conception got me out of that relationship stronghold and my injury allowed me to raise her on my own full-time.
- My first son he was conceived (in marriage, but life was rough after a few years) my gift, my son – my second gift of life.
- Still unable to work (my injuries didn’t get better, only worse) my gift, “homeschooling my kids”.
- Divorce – my gift “my daughter & I bonded, my 2 kids with me on our life changing trip to Utah”
- GBS (Guillain Barrè Syndrome), my 2nd son conceived (out of wedlock) – my gift, my unexpected 2nd son, third gift of life.
- I was unable to complete schooling (I had began under pressure of little ones dad) – my gift, still disabled & pushed me to apply for SSI, to somehow have an income.
- My Mom’s cancer & my daughter with knife in bathroom – my gift, more family counseling to help my daughter & all of us.
- Losing my house (foreclosure) – my gift, my 3 kids & I moved in with my parents (Moms cancer was bad, helped take care of her)
- HHD (Hailey-Hailey Disease diagnosis/8 years of suffering this progressive disease), single Mom, again – my gift, focus on my kids (my family), my Mom.
- My daughter’s father reappears after 15 years of abandonment, tried to take my daughter from me – my gift, fight for my daughter, protect her.
It was clear God was with me in my messes, my so called mistakes, and when I went to him – he was there all along, mapping my path, answering my prayers, giving me what I needed. I pause, with no more lines left, I thought I was done with the list, ready to put my journal away. But there was one last thing God had to show me! I wrote the hardest moment that happened in my life, on nothing in the page, no lines just floating there:
Mom passes (cancer)
I stop, halting, ready to close the book, releasing myself from God’s hand. Seeing those words – I felt nothing, empty, not wanting it there on the paper, wanting to erase it. Instead, in my hand, I angrily write 3 question marks after (cancer) ???
I say to God, “what was the point of this? Why my Mom, why my best friend? Why the 1st person I went to for advice for everything in my life? Why my Mom, the one I went to – to talk about you, God? What good was this, what gift was given in my life – for my Mom to be stripped from me? I’m crying, as I sit there talking to God, questioning him, huge tears on my face, (now weeping as I’m typing these words for others to see, for me to see) in my weeping mess with my pencil in hand that day, on the page after my ??? – words were being written, not my words – Gods words!
His words on my paper in my journal:
Be closer to you GOD! (underlined as well)
As my eyes cleared, I read it. I read it all together:
Mom passes (cancer) ? ? ? Be closer to you GOD!
I lost it entirely, I wept even harder than I had when I wrote the three question marks. Reading “Be closer to you GOD!” Hit me hard, realizing this pain, losing my Mom was the turning point in my life to truly be closer to GOD! Not to turn my back on him this time, like I had done as a teenager with my Grandma. To surrender everything!
I didn’t even question him any further, no need to. Without hesitation, I surrendered more of my heart to God that day, and have been hearing & listening to him guide me along the way, on this new path – still in my crazy chaotic messes, but this time wholeheartedly with God & His guidance. My new best friend, the 1st one I go to now. I’m amazed, experiencing God in this way.
As the days passed in my 40 day journey (which was 50 days for me) – I continued on, on my new path with an open heart, not completely afraid of change. In fact, less than 4 days into my journey – I was called to a new church March 2nd 2013 after 5-6 years with my previous church. In addition to this, God’s been whispering, nudging me to tell my story, my life struggles, my joys, my divine moments, my “whirlwinds” to others – even loader than he had been telling me years before.
My silence, now shaken, I’m finally letting go a bit more each day.
It’s about time, I tell you!
The awesome thing about breaking my silence, it’s breaking it with everything – my past (struggles & joys), my faith journey, my growth – day to day living as I am now.
Moving forward on my path, searching my daily written notes, the ones I have for only me to see, I let go even more. I’m able to look back at what I was then, silent in my faith, just being a simple Christian – lukewarm – and never even knowing I was. Seeing and feeling the difference in my life.
As I’m struggling, typing this – gaining confidence to share my story to others in a less safe environment (online), not only by personal texts or emails – to my select few. I’m finally listening, and openly sharing God’s love in my life to His selected audience.
Up next, Part 1B – Fear of Posting, God’s Answer in Numbers. . .