Narcissism: Finding Freedom in Forgiveness

You loved him once.

I did. For more than once. 

I loved him with everything that I had and all that I am.

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That’s a lot of love.

It’s who I am. When I love. I love with my whole heart.

That’s how I made you,  Christelle. 

Sometimes, I don’t want this. I don’t want to love.  To hurt. To feel so incredibly much.

It’s too much. 

Silence

What are you thinking about Christelle?

You know what I’m thinking, God. You’re God.

You’re hiding. You don’t want to feel. But you will need to feel. To heal. Go there. With me.

Silence.

It’s o.k. to cry, Christelle. It’s time. To go in. It’s time. To heal. Those places. Those wounds. For You. For us. For them. Let’s go. To the places. The places you’ve not wanted to go back to. 

Silence. Beginning to remember. Beginning to cry. As I remember.

What are you afraid of.

I let my heart be hardened.

I don’t want to admit. How much I loved him.

It’s easier to look at the label and not the heart. It’s easier to say that he’s a narcissist and leave it there.

And not have to work on yourself.

Silence.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. 

Let’s go there Christelle. It’s time.

What do you remember? What dream was broken and needs to be healed?

Silence. Thinking.

Tears fall. I feel the breaking point. Courage, Dear Heart… the ancient whispers begin to sing over my soul. Forgiveness is beckoning my heart forward as my mind begins to remember

What do you remember, he whispers gently through my soul…

I remember laying in bed as a young girl, praying every night for my future husband. Praying that he had a heart for you. Praying for him, much like I prayed for me. 

I believed in love. I believed in my happily ever after. I believed you created one man, just for me. And it would be forever. I believed with all my heart that you would answer my prayer. I believed that if I was good, everything would turn out all right in the end. I prayed my prayers of forgiveness, never leaving one thing out. Terrified I might not make it to heaven. I prayed for purity for myself. And him. 

Are you angry at me, Christelle?

I saved myself.

For him. 

I did everything right.

Silence.

And I let you down. 

Silence.

I need to forgive you. For not answering my prayer. 

I didn’t realize

Silence

I’ve been blaming you.

And him.

And them.

Are you angry at yourself, Christelle?

Do you need to forgive yourself?

There’s so much toiling in my heart, God.

I need a break. 

I’m tired.

It’s o.k., Christelle. I’m not going anywhere.

I’m tired, God. So incredibly tired.

I go to sleep. Tears fall. I pray, my dreams tonight will take me into a healing place.

 

 

 

 

Love Your Neighbor

Portland Tragedy Reminds Us: Who is Our Neighbor?

Over the weekend, 3 men were stabbed in Portland while stepping in to protect two teenage girls. Sadly, two of the men died and one is in critical condition but expected to recover. One of the girls was wearing a hijab. This all happened during a commute on a Portland light rail train.  The story is described in more detail here.

Love Your Neighbor

Who is our neighbor?

The Portland event hits close to home for me and my boys. The girls targeted are my middle son’s age. A very large percentage of students at my son’s school wear a hijab. In fact, one of the reasons we chose the school that he attends is so that he is immersed in culture. We want him to get to know people. We believe that it is important to meet people, hear their stories, try to understand hearts.

We believe that we are family.

We believe that every person is a child of God. We believe that humanity – all of humanity –  is created by God. Therefore, we are ALL brothers and sisters, regardless of the labels placed upon us by others or ourselves. My son’s school includes all religions and cultures. Not only do we embrace this, but we absolutely LOVE the diversity.

  What happened in Portland can just as easily happen in my hometown: San Diego. It can happen at my son’s school. It can happen in the surrounding areas.  It can happen with my son and his friends.  And I’m left wondering, would San Diegans step in as these men did?

Would someone step in for my son and his friends if this were to happen to them?

Would I step in, as these men did for someone in need of help? Would I step in, for anyone, for that matter- or simply do the easy thing and ignore? Pretend that I don’t see it and that if it’s not happening to me, it’s none of my business.

The Portland event reminds me of an ancient story I grew up reading,  a parable I was taught over and over again – In the story, many people passed by a dieing man of a different religion/culture, only one was willing to step in and show love.

The stories many of us grew up reading seem like a no brainer, until they come to life.

Would we pass “the others” by or will we stop seeing “others” and start seeing brothers. Sisters.

We are all more alike than we are different.

We are all created by the same God. We are all loved by the Father. And in this incredibly sad and unfortunate event, love wins. Love always wins. In death, love stands out the most. There is no us and them. There is only we. Love. Family.

Our very existence is to love. To be love. To show love.

Who is my neighbor?

And last, dare I ask:

Who will love the ones who hate? How do we do this, while keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe?

*It’s important to remember, this was not just an event, a circumstance, something that happened somewhere else. This entire tragedy is about lives. People’s lives, families, hearts have been deeply effected. Many are hurting and I don’t take that lightly. This is about them, us, all of us. We are family.

I Screamed at God and He Listened

I screamed at God.

Tears streamed down my eyes as I entered into full-blown panic attack mode.

I swore at God too.

I screamed at God and He listened

I drove my car toward the beach, sat at a red light and wondered if others could see my tears. I wondered if the driver next to me had also sat at red lights while screaming at God, tears streaming down their face. I wondered if this would be my life forever. I felt stuck. Alone. Devastated. Hurt. Emotions that can only be deeply felt and never accurately described.

“I CAN’T  $%#@**$ DO THIS ANYMORE!!! I can’t do this. Why aren’t you listening?! God, I need your help! WHY are you allowing this to happen?!!! I CAN’T %$#&* DO THIS ANYMORE!!!”

I screamed between breaths, beating on my steering wheel, broken, beat down, and ready to run away.

I wanted God to immediately intervene and fix my situation. Right then and there.

The truth is, God wanted more from me. He wanted all of me.

He wanted my full surrender.

The truth is, I wasn’t there yet.

The truth is, God created me to be his greatest work and he saw me at the finished line as his most spectacular master piece.

The truth is, he wanted my story to be a glory story, not a victim story.

The truth is, I heard a whisper in my ear that night,

“One day your story for my glory.”

And that would take some gardening in my heart and soul.

Pruning, watering, sunshine, growth.

The truth is a glory story leaves no room for blame, finger-pointing, offense, nor defense.

God’s glory story is about love, redemption, surrender.

God’s glory story is always a happily every after for every character written on every page within every chapter of our hearts.

It begins the moment we turn the page of our ugly chapters and declare:

My story for your glory. God, I’m ready for you to do your work in me.

Today, I’m gardening with God. And it’s the most beautiful adventure of discovering holy spirit treasure, hidden deep within the confines of my heart, soul, and mind. It’s a journey and a daily surrender. The truth is, growth hurts and I’m experiencing growing pains. NOW! In THIS season!

The truth is, I’m still in process.

What are you discovering in this season? Have you uncovered your treasure? Have you discovered the treasure in others? Are you in the process of gardening? Together, we learn. Together, we grow. Together, we are getting better at love.

The truth is, he wanted my story to be a glory story, not a victim story.

Going on a Treasure Hunt

Today, I had the amazing opportunity to write about a subject that is very close to my heart. I titled it: Going on a Treasure Hunt, 5 Truths I Learned about God in Parenting my Boys.

Please visit Sacred Stories, to read my story and let me know if you can relate. Thank you, Courtney for allowing me to guest post on your beautiful blog. Truly an honor and privilege to be part of a project that inspires grace, love, joy, and hope. All words that make my heart leap with glee!

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.(1)
 

Politics Schmolitics: Where’s the Love?

Are we so intent on being right, that we are willing to hurt the hearts of others?

I don’t want to be right if being right takes the place of showing love, forgiveness, grace.

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Are we so determined to win at all costs, that we are willing to destroy our own peace of mind?

At what point to we put down the dagger and determine to win with love?

True Love.

The truth is: love wins.

Love always wins.

But I think that too often, we forget what love is.

Love is gentle, kind, keeps no records of wrong.

Love is not jealous or boastful.

Love seeks to honor everybody.

Love is not easily angered.

Love perseveres, gently.

I am still learning this love thing. It’s a process. But I’ll choose love over and over and over again. And I do believe our souls recognize beautiful love. Authentic love. True love. We see it, feel it, hear it, seek it.

What is love to you? Are you actively pursuing it? Are you allowing love to pursue you?

Look up. Look around you. Look at the child beside you. The butterflies that fly by you. The birds that sing to you and the ocean that roars to a harmonious beat. Do you feels love’s embrace? Smile with me, love’s got you.

Love wins. Love always wins.

Child of God: Come OUT of THAT Cave!

In the past, when I didn’t feel safe, I hid. Serious Elijah style: In a cave! No, I’m not coming out. It’s safe here. Gossip. Talking behind my back. Assumptions. Betrayals. All things that make me feel Unsafe. I find Elijah’s story rather humorous, simply because I can relate. Elijah had a cave. I have my house, room, bed: Places where no one will find me.

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“What are you doing here, Elijah?” The Lord asked.

If that was me, I would have given my own excuses, blame, victim story. But it all boils down to feeling unsafe. Fear. Forgetting that God is the great I AM. He knows all. He sees all. He cares for each of his children the same. EXACTLY, the SAME. And regardless of our humanity, choices, actions, mistakes, good intentions: Creator God loves us. He is near to us. He waits for us. Arms wide open. Always.

I know this, because He is a father.

The soul desire of a father’s heart is to be near his children. To delight in them. To celebrate them. To laugh with and to listen to them. And while we are in our own hidden caves, he bends down and whispers to us: I love you. I see you. I know you. Take my hand and come out of that cave!

Psalm 91:4

He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Have you ever had an Elijah moment or season? How did God bring you out? This is healing season! Together we learn. Together we grow!

Offense: Be Gone! This is Freedom Season

Today I allowed myself to be hurt and offended.

I knew immediately what God was asking me to do.

“Invite me into the broken place. The hurt. The fear. Invite me into the place you need healing. Daughter. You are mine. I love you. Ask. And it is done.”

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Often, the place of offense is the point where we need deep healing.

Offense causes us to want to hit back. To want to hurt others where we’ve been hurt. But there can be no offense where there is healing. God is inviting us into a place of stillness with him. The Bible says ‘be still and know’… The original hebrew root for be still is also Let Go.

God is good. All the time.

To all of us. ALL. And he works in each of us. EACH.

He is calling us out of offense and into healing.

The opposite of offense includes words such as joy, pleasing, happiness, love, cheering, pleasure… all life affirming and life giving words for ourselves and others.

This is why it’s time to be free and to walk in freedom! When we are free, others will be free. Can you relate?  

This is freedom season

For ALL of us. We are family. Children of God. We are learning how to be brothers and sisters:

Forgiven & healed!

We are sons & daughters of the same Father. We are called to live powerfully with love and in humility. We are called to allow others the same.

What we are freely given, we freely give!

ALL ♡ Honor God ♡ Honor others ♡ Privately & publicly ♡ Offense has no place in our lives. We are free! 

The time is now. This is Freedom Season!