Today's Smack in the Face Brought to You by Staci Eldridge from the book Captivating...
"Over the years we've come to see that the only thing more tragic than the things that have happened to us is what we have done with them.
Words were said; painful words. Things were done; awful things. And it shaped us. Something inside of us shifted. We embraced the messages of our wounds. We accepted a view of ourselves. And from that we chose a way of relating to our world. We made a vow never to be in that place again. We adopted strategies to protect ourselves from being hurt again. A woman that is living out of a broken, wounded heart is a woman who is living a self-protective life. She may not be aware of it but it is true. It's our way of trying to "save ourselves."
And, we also developed ways of trying to get something of the love our hearts cried out for. The ache is there. Our desperate need for love and affirmation, our thirst for some taste of romance and adventure and something to be wanted for is there. So we turned to boys or to food or to romance novels, we lost ourselves in our work or at church or in some sort of service. All this adds up to the woman we are today. Much of what we call our "personalities" is actually the mosaic of our choices for self-protection plus our plan to get something of the love we were created for.
The problem is, our plan has nothing to do with God.
The wounds we received and the messages they brought form a sort of unholy alliance with our fallen nature as women. From Eve we received a deep mistrust in the heart of God towards us. Clearly, he's holding out on us. We'll just have to arrange for the life we want. We will control our world. But there is also an ache deep within, an ache for intimacy and for life. We'll have to find a way to fill it." Captivating, pg 74-75
I (Toya) needed a nap and a cold compress after reading that. This rang true to how I used to be as if she put my first, middle, and last name in the book. If you haven't read Captivating, Tia and I highly recommend that you buy it, put Kirk Franklin's "Imagine Me" on repeat, and go sit down somewhere for a while. It'll bless you.
August 20th of this year marked my 10 year anniversary of living in Nashville. I did myself a big favor that day. Everything that happened prior (being laid off, mistakes I've made, embarrassments, Tag, Guy A, and other disasters) were put in what I call the "10 year vault". Anytime those things creep back up I quickly say to myself "Nope, that's in the vault. Can't bring it up." This has been so freeing for me because it has given me a clean slate. I can't not do things because of past failures because that stuff is locked away. I can't be afraid to love anyone based on past mistakes because there is now no reference. I think this will allow me to love from a healthy place versus expecting someone to fix something that someone else jacked up. It allows me to be fair to others and myself. The last thing I want to do in this next season of my life is bring old baggage over. Thank God for clarity! I am really looking forward to new experiences and fresh beginnings. At the same time, I am really grateful for the lessons I learned from what's been stored away forever in "the vault".