This is a part of a series about forgiveness and handling memories, first to last
- Healing – The beginning of wisdom (God taught me something) OLDEST POST
- Healing – Facing the hidden iceberg (My memories begin to surface, bit time!)
- A vital step to health – thankfulness
- Forgiveness releases us to be healed and whole
- The desire to find our missing inner self (Imago – part 2) (about identity)
- How we build an Imago – Part 1 (about identity)
- Seeing the truth, accepting, forgiving and recovering
- How to forgive someone
- Forgive to be forgiven
- Christian forgiveness (used to be called “The truth will set you free” – FINAL POST, the most helpful post showing the easiest way to forgive painlessly!)
- I now have another very personal, intimate blog http://attaching.wordpress.com and I invite you to read through it, from the start to the end. It has a LOT of memories that surface and I blog how I process them. It’s only 31 posts and each of them is short.
- How can I forgive when it hurts so much? NEWEST POST
This post begins here…
Then the next day a good friend, Andrew, phoned me. We were yakking along and he suddenly interrupted himself and started randomly telling me how his life had changed when he began to look through the bad and sad events in his life, and give God thanks for them.
Well, I really didn’t want to hear this! Go back there? Nooooo… that stuff is submerged for a reason! What the h*ll is wrong with you?! 🙂
There’s nothing there but bad things. Bad people. Humiliation. There is no way there is something good in sexual abuse or heartbreak. No way.
But by the end of the conversation I had remembered what God had placed in my heart – each thing had to be brought to Him and He could heal it. (A simple thankfulness list of verses).
Oh noooo… I didn’t want to go back there. All those horrid memories, those things the people did, the daily sadness, the loneliness. How could I thank God for that?
So that night (sunday) I lay in bed, done my day’s chores, bed side light on, journal and pen at the ready… I tried to say
Thank You God for…
I struggled. Deep down I really really didn’t want to do this.
As I lay there, I could see how much of my identity would be lost if I did this. At the time if someone really listened to me and my life story they would come to this conclusion: I’m the guy who has all this bad stuff unfairly happen to him while he has been a Christian.
But if my bad story turns into a good story, if I’m genuinely able to see the good in what happened… then what? Then who am I? No one? I’ll have to invent a new me. Find a new story. Evolve a new identity.
No wonder I didn’t want to do this. I’m the victim. I’m the one who was brave in the face of the bad people. I gave when it hurt. I was longsuffering. Yadda yadda.
I lay there, pen in hand, journal in front of me… I could see so clearly how my sad and bad past was keeping me in bondage. If it was possible to find good in what has happened, then I can find a new identity. A new life. A freedom. A positive self image.
So I change my approach. I wrote:
Please Lord God help me to find good in this. Thank You God for…
and it just flowed. One thing after the next just morphed into good. The bad thing was still bad, but the outcome was good. I didn’t BS myself into believing abuse is good, but I saw the incredible good that came out of it in my life and in many lives since then.
- Sometimes the bad thing had brought me closer to God.
- Sometimes it had forced me to see that I lacked boundaries and I had emotional weaknesses that needed strengthening and maturing
- Sometimes I saw that I had lost something, but I had gained so much empathy for other people that I’ve been able to help many many people since then. Without my experiences, could I write this post?
It flowed. As I asked Him to help me find the good, I miraculously found the good. I am not someone who fakes stuff. Bad things happened. I won’t deny it. Divorce is utterly painful. Abuse is devastating. Loneliness as a child stunts emotional growth. But I could find good things in all of those.
On monday I felt a massive change in my physical body. Real freedom. I did it again on monday night. Tuesday was another good day.
Last night I took on the really big one. My divorce. I felt such a failure as a man and as a Christian during that marriage. I felt a fool afterwards. During tuesday I had been to a relationship counsellor who had ,compassionately and with great wisdom and mercy, helped me explore the good things that had happened in the marriage.
I wrote a letter to myself from the ex (pretending the letter was from her 10 years from now, fully healed and well adjusted and happy). The letter was tough to write. Balanced, honest and positive. In it I wrote as though she was thanking me for the good things in the marriage.
Then that night I journaled the positive again. Little did I know that this is what I had entered into…
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – Rom 12:2
Today I feel a bit exhausted. Maybe I bit off too much and didn’t take care to slow down and smell the roses.
But there is another aspect to me that needs to be changed – see the next post.
I now have another very personal, intimate blog http://attaching.wordpress.com and I invite you to read through it, from the start to the end. That page is the end. It’s only 31 posts and each of them is short.
Keep on reading
Leave a comment on this page if you’d like? Use a pretend name if you’re not sure you want to reveal your actual name. For further reading maybe try this post Emotional healing… what’s it like? or read some of my other posts on healing. Get into the discussion. Share your experiences. Help someone. Receive help from someone too perhaps.
This post might help you:
- Heal your identity – it will help to fill the emptiness inside
- A vital step to health – thankfulness
Other posts that I wrote: