Since arriving at this place of confrontation a few days ago, where I have learned that I need to find my true identity in God, my attention has been brought back to my home - to my family, more than it was, and that not just by choice.
Take today for instance. Tim (hubby), Tim (son, 20), Matt (son, 18), Stephanie (Matt's girlfriend) and I went for lunch in a nearby park. We've found that we sit and talk more in-depth and more openly at such a place - even if only nonsense and laughter proves to be the main theme :) - and 'Dad' and I love it. While there, someone brought up the subject of the videos we have of the kids when they were younger. With all the DVDs we watch, I wasn't aware that we still had a video player, until Tim (h) informed us that we did. So, after the park, and before Tim (h) went to work, we slipped a video into the player.
Oh, how I ached to return to those days. Not because I don't like who my kids are 'today', for I do. I love them all dearly. They are great kids and wonderful people. I couldn't ask for better people to be the mother of. But going back would enable me to keep them close to my side again, under my wings, where I could keep them safe. But, beyond that, knowing what I do now, being more mature now, and less agitated (from the 'old' days), I would work harder to push my insecurities aside in order to raise them with more confidence than I did. To raise them to have more confidence than they have.
It breaks my heart to look at the carefree babies and toddlers they were, then look at them now, all these years later, at the wounds they've picked up along the way - especially knowing that my insecurities and fears and such have, in ways, rubbed off on them... :(
I tell ya what, I thank God that I know Him well enough to know that He has brought me to this place of healing not just to benefit me, but to benefit my family, also. Otherwise I wouldn't cope with the remorse. Neither would I have an understanding that the remorse is being used not to condemn or shame me, but to soften my heart in order to allow God to bring forth greater healing, and remove all scars...
Speaking of scars...I had a dream last night, where my youngest three were under the age of 10 and being looked after while I was 'somewhere' (I don't know where), and when I came back I found they had all been burnt. You couldn't see the burns on the skin, but the kids had received and experienced them, and suffered because of them, and I could - by looking at them - see this was so. They were scarred.
In the dream, Timmy (the oldest of the 3) suffered burns to about 30% of his body. Matt suffered about 10%, and Kathleen (the baby) suffered 80-90 %. Upon sharing this dream today, and relating it to wounds of the heart, Matt stated how he could see that was possible - and probable. The percentages made sense to him, and lined up with their personalities...
Kathleen, my baby, so quiet at the age of 17, who still looks like she's 12, is so far removed from the social scene that she doesn't care that there is one, nor sees the sense of it, basically. Timmy, at 20, is not as withdrawn as his little sister, but is more withdrawn than Matt - who, at 18, lacks more confidence than he should.
Amanda (who is about to turn 29) wasn't in the dream, but I often wonder about and ache over the scars my responses to life, and my choices, and the anger I took in after the abortion, have caused her - and most of that before I became a Christian. I also ache over the thought of any and all sorrow I brought to Tim's daughters, Amy and Brooke.
As I pondered these things, today, praying for insight into the hearts of my children, in order to help and encourage them, and praying God frees them in whatever way they may need, I was reminded of when I was driving along several months ago, when I realised that, no matter what comes my way in life, if I stick with God He would be free to help me psychologically, through the revelation and insight He brings to one's heart when we open our heart to Him. Upon thinking that, He kind of nudged me and let me know this would also be the case with my children, making me aware that I needed to release them more and trust them to His care... But, at the time, I wasn't really ready for Him to get too close to that part of my heart.
I was also reminded of how, a couple of months ago, I was called out for prayer at a church, and the woman who prayed for me (who didn't really know me), revealed that God had placed on her heart that I needed to trust my children to Him and stop taking back the worry. Or something like that. At the time, I thought 'pfft, I don't worry that much', but more and more I've come to see how right the word she gave me was. In truth, I've often noticed this, but not wanted to deal with it, and that because I was not free of fear, and that, as we now know since starting this 'Finding Our Identity' journey I'm on, was because my heart and 'confidence' were chained to the fears and insecurities born of believing I am not good enough.
Since asking God why I am still living with certain fear, after walking with Him all these years, I have had my eyes redirected in many ways, where truth has awaited me. Truth to heal me, and truth that strips away fear. I found more in that video today, and in that dream last night. Or, should I say, in the pre-wounded hearts of my children, that I was reminded of through the video and dream.
As I looked at that video, at all our children from 17 years ago, I ached over the chains my fears brought to this household. I ached for the freedom and the socialising and the confidence and the lack of achievements my insecurities and fears denied these precious souls. (You see, in my fear, I hated meeting new people and going new places and going out without Tim (h), so we stayed home more than we should've, and got involved with family and friends less than we should've. And because I continued to bury dreams, and visions, and passions, and so on, deep inside me, more and more as the years went by - either through fear, insecurity, or to appease 'man' - I didn't really encourage my kids o rise up and go out and achieve as I probably should have - as a confident mother would have.)
As I looked, and repented, and with my heart softening even more, and while knowing God does love these guys even more than I do - which means He will do all He can to heal and free them in whatever way needed - I was reminded of who they were prior to their first heartbreaks, prior to the chains that they've been laden with through their growing years, and I knew that the hope, and freedom, and faith and love, and so on, that they held back then, still exists in their heart - beyond the scars... with some scars being 10%, some being 30%, some being up to 90% and so on...
Oh, how the love I hold for these precious beings cried out upon viewing their hearts in their most purest forms. Oh, how grief ripped through my soul on knowing they've been wounded, on knowing they've been scarred, on knowing they are not as happy-go-lucky as they once were. And, oh, the grief that weighed heavily upon my heart as I became more aware of the part I played in forming some of their scars. My only relief in all this was knowing that they know they are dearly and deeply loved by 'mum and dad', that they are happy in our home, and they are nowhere near as screwed up as I was/am. :)
As I prayed and wished that I could remove any and all scars they possess, I realised that just as I see and love 'my babies', with their own character, trust and heart in their original, innocent, pure, unmarked state, and know that that IS who they are, my Heavenly Father's sees and loves me... Upon seeing this, I came to understand His love a little more, and felt closer to Him because of it. And from there, I became more willing to step down off the 'I'm not good enough' foundation, and climb up on my Father's knee. :)
But it's not just me He sees and loves. It's you, too.
In that dream, I wanted to heal my children. I wanted them free of the scars and the pain that continued to echo through the corridors of their soul from the wounds given them. I didn't see them as the scars. I seen my babies scarred. I wasn't repulsed by their scars. Rather, my heart was so moved with compassion that I wanted to do all I could to heal them - physically, emotionally and mentally. In being scarred, they didn't become the scars. They were still my sweet, innocent babies. I still loved them with all my heart. I didn't think less of them for their scars, or for the 'weakness of character' that can come from being emotionally wounded when suffering finds us. I wanted to do all in my power to restore them to complete health... and that's what God and His love desires for His children (for us), also.
God sees beyond the scars. He sees our heart in its purest form.
God literally knows why you react to certain things the way you do. He understands the pain. He knows the hurt and wounds you've suffered. He even knows you made those mistakes and those wrong choices because of the scars your heart holds, and because of the false foundation you were placed on after your first heartbreak. And He has the power and the desire to heal you and free you of those scars and all the negativity they produce in your life. He will/does love and accept you as you are, but He doesn't want you suffering or bound by anything. And His only motive for wanting your heart, and wanting access to, and into, your heart, is love.
I think that, in being broken, in being found not to be good enough, not being loved or wanted or accepted, we go on to view our scars as being our heart, and we (some of us) tend to view our reactions and actions born of those scars as being who we really are. But that's not so. After the brokenness, when healing doesn't come through love and acceptance as we need it to, we set our feet on a new foundation - one of shifting emotion, rather than on the Rock - as mentioned in blog #2. But God isn't fooled as we are. Nothing can fool Him, or blind Him to truth. He knows the pure state of our hearts. He knows we are not what our false identity tells us we are. He knows we are not the scars. He knows who we were before that first heartbreak, and He knows that in removing the scars from our hearts we will be truly free to live and love and 'be'. And He wants that for us even more than we do.
For example, Matt could live a full and healthy life with only 10% scarring, and be fine with never having it removed. But God knows part of Matt will always be locked away, and kept prisoner, and causing him to react in ways he won't even understand, if full healing never comes. So He seeks to have His relationship restored with Matt, His love made known to Matt, and Matt placing his confidence in God, so he can be set completely free.
Me, I allowed the fear of man to block God from getting to this percentage of my heart - and that for 21+ years as a Christian. It's only in arriving at breaking point where I've wanted to know about this fear in me - and why it was still there - AND arriving, at the same time, at a place where I was soooo fed up with man, their judgements and opinions that I couldn't care if I ever pleased one again, that I've realised this part of my heart needed seeing to; that this scar I founded my identity on was there. I'm so glad I've finally arrived at a place where I am so fed up with certain things that I am willing to surrender this percentage of my heart to God so He can heal it. But I really wish I had done it sooner. Not just for my sake, but for the sake of my kids and for the sake of many relationships, also.
Is there something in your heart that shouldn't be there? Something you know isn't of God? Such as fear... If so, I hope you will take a moment to ask God to reveal to you what is blocking you from being set free of it. I also hope that you will seek God knowing that He loves you even more than I love my babies - and that is a heck of a lot!! :)
To be continued...
(Be sure to come back. I'm yet to share with you, in this section, about my eyebrows - or lack thereof!! ;) )