I made a promise to myself while I was at the beach.
I promised that I wasn’t going to call myself “the girl who got kicked out of church” anymore. I wasn’t going to keep talking about it. I didn’t want to be that person any longer.
So, of course, here I am writing about it.
I realize now, finally, that “the girl who got kicked out of church” ceased to exist the moment that curse was spoken. Every day and every week and every year since then has been a process of discovering who I was created to be, not what the curse spoke of me. My life is a precious vase shattered in a gravel pit; it takes awhile to sort the real pieces of me from the stones, and longer still to fit them back together.
A few weeks ago, John Trent held a conference at the church community we are part of now where he spoke of blessings and curses. He referenced this verse:
I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants. Duet. 30:19
He also provided the following definitions:
Life/ Blessing – A movement towards someone, to add ( like coins on a scale)
Death/ Curse – to send away; to isolate. To subtract. To dam up (like a stream)
That was when pieces began sliding into place for me. The first curses mentioned in scripture are in Genesis and they both are enacted by eviction. Adam and Eve are forced to leave the garden. Cain is forced from his home into the world. Until this month, it never occurred to me relate that to my own experiences. I never truly understood the power of a curse or that I was under one even though I’ve spent a great deal of time beating my own self up for continuing to carry that curse around.
But then I looked a little deeper at the power of curses and I saw that many of them lasted not days or months or years but generations. I don’t want to be that girl either, but at least I can have a little self-grace about the healing process after only a few years.
What’s really important, though, is what comes next.
There’s a way out from under the curse, and I can choose it.
I can choose not to be afraid of my words. Choose not to expect to be judged harshly and cast out. Choose not to pass fear and guilt and suspicion on to my children. I can choose to live openly without my guard up all the time. I can choose freedom from imaginary expectations. I can choose to trust what comes from within me and share it with others, and even if it does come back and hurt me again, I can choose to believe that I will survive that too. I can choose to not just say, but really trust that all things work together for good.
But choosing means I have to stop waiting and start BEING. Healing isn’t just going to fall on me and continue to fall on me, I have to actively choose it, and then, I have to live it.
Living it means doing some things that, quite frankly, scare the absolute pants right off of me.
I can’t keep avoiding those things. It’s locked me in a cage that’s shrinking and I can’t keep battering myself to death against the bars.
Here goes something.
And NOW I am done talking about it.