Childhood trauma has a way of sneaking back up years later. I am forty-six years old, and I have many unanswered questions and feelings about the tragedy that I lived through. Letting go and moving on after that dreadful night has not been an easy thing for me to do. It has been thirty-five years! There are days when I think I have healed. Then there are other days when I am in a constant struggle with my feelings and with God. Admitting this to myself (and to you) is super difficult for me.
If you knew me back in my Pursuit ministry days, then you have probably even heard me speak publicly about my story. You may have heard all the details of the night that my mother was shot and killed in my childhood home. Most people are aware that that happened, but the details surrounding that night are what are so traumatic. I have stood behind a microphone and told those details many times, always pointing to how God allowed me to experience my trauma because He needed me to be prepared for something that He had waiting on me… and my goodness did He have something amazing in store! While I still wholeheartedly believe that, I also believe that I am not as healed as I thought I was.
Struggling With My Faith
For many years I have struggled with my faith because of what I went through. It isn’t a struggle in the sense of “why did God allow this” or “why me.” And it certainly isn’t a struggle that has left me wondering if God is really there. I know He is because I have seen Him work in my life way too many times. It is more of an internal struggle for me to be “Christ-like” when what I really want to do is scream and cry or tell someone how I truly feel after they have hurt me or made me angry!
I fail in this area more often than I’d like to admit, and then I end up feeling convicted for my actions. With social media being as available as a megaphone, I’m ashamed to admit how many times I have posted a rant only to turn around and delete it because I knew I should have kept my mouth shut.
I want desperately to continue growing in my faith. Living a Proverbs 31 life and growing into a Titus 2 woman of character is something that I find very important. Looking back on my life I am able to recognize the many years of wasted opportunity where I could have been maturing more in my faith instead of focusing on the trauma. I could have been allowing God to use me for His glory way sooner had I just been able to move past the pain sooner than I did. I believe that in order for me to do that, I need to take another look at allowing God to heal my heart. How can I truly mature as a Christian when I haven’t TRULY released all of my pain and anger to the Lord?
Escaping To The Farm
This is partly why I left the city and moved out here to rural Louisiana… well that and the fact that it was time for me to leave an eighteen year abusive marriage. He was just one more bad decision in my life that resulted from me looking to fill a void that my trauma had created. I desperately needed to simplify my life and find joy in the mundane smaller things in life. Somewhere that I knew I would be able to feel God’s presence without all of the city noise and busy schedules holding me back. And I don’t regret moving here one bit. It was a much needed step in the right direction to truly heal. But I am realizing that I have to do more than just move locations in order to heal. I have to be able to tell my story and get a little personal. I need to face my demons so to speak.
I struggle to extend grace to other people. It is difficult for me to truly forgive someone even though I may tell myself that I have. I have somehow created this life where I know in both my head and my heart what Christ has asked of me. I even preach those words to my children. But in reality, I am not living those words myself. I pretend I am, but the truth is I am still hurting and sometimes feel painfully lonely.
Maybe It Is Time To Tell My Story
After the death of my mother I wasn’t allowed to talk about her. I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone what had happened in our family. As a matter of fact my father even packed us up and moved us 700 miles north in order to escape the media publicity surrounding the tragedy that took place. I guess you could say I was conditioned to hold it all in. And to be honest… even thirty-five years later… I am sort of still doing that. My own husband doesn’t even know most of the details about that night.
Maybe that is what needs to change. Maybe it is time to tell my story!