Today feels so surreal. I mean, who would have thought that today would be the day I stood up in front of my whole church and told them my biggest secrets?
This morning was normal, I got up, got dressed and had breakfast, tuned my guitar, and went to church early to practice for worship. Nothing out of the ordinary, practice was good. I talked to a couple people before the service, worship was good, everything was normal, I felt fine.
While I was sitting listening to the sermon I couldn’t stop thinking about the things I have conquered recently, and how fully surrendering myself to Christ radically changed who I am. Especially compared to who I was 4 months ago, or a few years ago. I’ve known for a while that I needed to declare these things publicly, God has been putting it on my heart for a few weeks, but he didn’t tell me that I had to do it today. Not until I was at church halfway through listening to the sermon.
He made it clear while I was listening, my brain was running full speed ahead. When? Where? How? Can I do this? How do I do this? Then it hit me that God wanted me to do it right then, at the service this morning. Right away my anxiety went through the roof, my heart was pounding, I felt like I was going to puke, and Pastor Dave wasn’t even half done his message. I just kept repeating to myself that I would, and if today was the day, so be it, but I couldn’t shake the anxiety. I finally realized that I was being attacked in the same way God was pressing the urgency of what He wanted me to do, I told the anxiety to leave and said to God that if he wanted me to go up, I would, He just had to make an opening for me. Well, He did, and I took it. I told Pastor Donna what I wanted to share and why and she was all for it, next thing I knew I was standing on stage telling all of my friends, and the people I love, my darkest secrets.
The fact that I have built up towering walls that I never let down, my fear of rejection and abandonment, and how I have lived in this box for so long. I told them I was depressed and had anxiety towards people, which had resulted in self-harm, starting years ago. I told them how in recent history I had been drinking a lot and smoking as well, I don’t remember exactly what I said but I know that whatever it was, it was exactly what God wanted me to say, and how he wanted me to say it. I prayed that specific prayer in the 30 seconds I had to prepare myself for this.
I told them all that I had let God go, I prioritized Him last so many times that I didn’t feel He was present anymore. How my mental state took a turn for the worse not long ago, and it made me realize that I can’t continue to live like this. I can’t continue to use these things to cover up the problem and to hide the pain. Living in the shadow of my choices, my addictions, and my past, is not an option anymore. How I realized that keeping these things in the dark would inevitably lead to even more destruction. I involuntarily voluntarily told my story, I left out most of my circumstances, I don’t know why. I guess God just wanted the real stuff; that is the most important part. Everyone struggles with different circumstances, but the repercussions of those circumstances, however different the circumstances may be, are so much more common than you’d think. I most definitely cannot take credit for my bravery, or my strength, because if it had have been all me I would have melted into a puddle on the stage. God gave me the strength because it’s what I needed to do, it was a big step and it was absolutely terrifying. Although, I don’t think it was just for me.
And now I’m telling you, unless you were there this morning and heard it live. I said it out loud, into a microphone, I can post it on my blog for others who would care to know. Even though I can’t look up from the view I have and see your face. I can’t see your response because you’re there and I’m here, not even writing this anymore. I know it will be alright. I owe it to myself to do what is best for me for once. If that means I put my heart on my sleeve and take a chance, I will do it, because God never intended for me to lock myself shut and throw away the key.
Who knows where I’ll go from here, it could be anywhere, but it won’t be back to where I was. I am excited for what comes next, and I am so relieved that this weight is finally off of me. I still have a long way to go, and a lot of work to do, but I feel like a completely new person. I have never felt a change this intense before. I know that God is back in my heart where He’s supposed to be. When I invited Him back in a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed of coming so far, so fast. God has healed me mentally, emotionally, physically, and in ways I didn’t even know possible. He has placed me in an amazing church, with amazing friends and people I know I can count on. He has given me a sense of belonging and sanity that I have longed for as long as I can remember. I am not the same girl I was last year, and I mean that literally. It’s funny how God works those things out. 2014 is the first step in a long line of decisions and changes, it is the first step in feelings of worth and belonging, it is the first step in the right direction. I can’t wait!