Journeying into a New, Happier Chapter…
“…listen to the heartache and hope that are etched in the narrative of your life…find the meaning God has written there” – Dr. Dan Allender 
Even though she has been known to many for several years, I only recently learned about Brene’ Brown, a social work researcher whose collection of statistical data led her to explore the topics of vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame. (To learn more about her work, books and talks, visit http://brenebrown.com).
Dr. Brown’s definition of shame feels spot-on accurate to me: “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore, unworthy of love and belonging.”
I’ve been reading Dr. Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, and even though I don’t know if my faith beliefs align with hers, I’ve found myself saying a hearty, “Amen!” to several of her statements. Brown is a strong proponent of the importance of telling our stories. She says, “If we really want to live a joyful, connected, and meaningful life, we must talk about things that get in the way.”
The Bible is full of stories that describe not only God’s unending love but also is filled with stories about many of the things that got in the way of humankind accepting and embracing that love.
The decision Bethany made to say, “Yes,” when I asked if she’d be willing to share her story, took courage. I’ve attempted to treat Bethany’s story as a treasure—‘a pearl of great price’— because to me, it’s exactly that! Exposing our stories’ darkness to the light is an important step toward wholeness. Today’s post concludes Bethany’s story (at least for now) Thank you, daughter of my heart, and dear friend! Your courage, resilience and friendship inspire and bless me. I love you, Bethany! (If you didn’t read Parts 1-3, they can be found in the March 28, 31 & April 4, 2016 Listening… blog posts.)
Choosing to Stop the Craziness!
Bethany’s ‘little girl’ story – (Part 4)
Where we left off last time: Four words in the guest speaker’s talk impacted me deeply. Concerning her minister-father’s repeated sexual abuse, the woman said she reached a point where she finally decided, “The crazy stops here!” That’s where I’m at now!
I want my life to be focused less on my past and the hurts others inflicted on me, and more on how I’m going to let those hurts shape me into the woman God created me to be. Focusing on my past kept me stuck for too many years.
No more unnecessary and undeserved burden bearing!
I want to change for many reasons, but my children are at the top of my list. I don’t want my kids to go through the same things I did. I won’t let my children pay for what another broken person did to me. I will not allow my past to define my children’s future.
I know this process of healing won’t be easy. I will need to face emotions I didn’t realize I had because they had been stuffed so deeply for such a long time. Re-living painful experiences so I can learn how to change the cycle will be difficult. I know I need to tell my story, which is why I’ve allowed Sue to share it with you. Even though the process of writing these words has at times been difficult, I know in the long run, telling my story will benefit me—and I hope others.
I want to leave a legacy of love and wholeness. I want my beautiful children to know I loved them so much that I was willing to do the hard work of sorting through my past pains. I’m going to let those changes make me better. I want my kids to reap the healthy benefits.
Yes, the crazy is going to stop right now!
Let the new chapter begin!
I’m praying God will add meaning, create hope and bless the pages of your story…
Walking into a New Chapter…The green light on the horizon says, “You GO, Girl!”
- To be told – God Invites You to Coauthor Your Future, Dan B. Allender, Ph.D. ↑