I was having a conversation with someone on the phone recently. The person was telling me about their problems, and it took me right back to a moment from my past when I too felt sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
During that season of life, I remember telling Jonas, “I refuse to live like this for the rest of my life.”
I said it with heartfelt conviction even though I had no way of knowing how to change anything!
I felt like a victim and believed I had no choice but to stay in this place of constant confusion and chaos.
I thought relief would come by leaving my life behind and starting over. But how do you start over and turn your back on the ones you love? I couldn’t bear the thought of being without my family.
I also thought it was spiritual to forget the past and move on, but I couldn’t forget, and I certainly wasn’t making progress moving forward.
I didn’t realize my turmoil wasn’t about my husband, my daughters, my business, or my community. It was about my internal struggle with trauma, pain, and disappointment that I had never acknowledged.
I felt sick and tired because I put all my energy into wishing someone or something else would change. After all, changing ME was not an option.
I wasted so much time wishing, praying and manipulating in hopes of changing others. I had no clue that I was the only one I could change, and it was not within my power to change anyone else.
I complained or kept myself busy so that I wouldn’t have to think or talk about any of it. It was too painful to talk about, so I didn’t. I didn’t have the courage and besides, how do you talk about things in your past? Things like grief, abuse, abandonment, disappointment, and anger. I could not bring myself to speak of any of it. I didn’t know where to start.
I didn’t realize that nothing will change unless we have the courage to talk about the things that matter.
When I spoke the words, “I refuse to live like this,” I was making a confession that led me to a truth I didn’t see before – true freedom comes from confession.
Even though it took me a long time to understand this transforming truth, it began a journey of change within me. Little did I know the path I was about to walk would be the most difficult but lead me to a place of inner peace.
You begin the long journey of change by first setting yourself free by sharing your story. I love the picture Proverbs 6:5 paints: “Set yourself free like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter and like a bird from the snare of the fowler.”
To all of you who are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, find a close friend you can completely trust and begin to speak the truth about how you feel. A true friend will help you carry your burden. Be honest (with yourself, God, and others) about your anger, disappointment, loneliness, fear, and insecurities.
Then, begin taking responsibility for the way you responded to all that happened to you, including the pain you have caused. Learning how to embrace this took me time. It hurts to admit it all, but true humility is the result. Pride builds walls. Humility tears them down.
Today, I am not who I was, and I am still not ALL I hope to be.
We are all a work in progress, and the God of your past is trustworthy with your future.
Be courageous, and the results will astound you!
If you’re ready to take a step forward and impact your life and the lives of those around you, I encourage you to consider leading a STORIESX8 small group. You don’t have to be perfect or have it all together. You simply have to be humble and willing. Learn more at STORIESX8.com.