This chapter is all about letting go of the burdens, surrendering the secrets, getting past the guilt. That's how it spoke to me, anyways.
I wonder how often I have gotten in God's way of his plan for my life - in small ways and big ways. Just this weekend Jon and I may have had a moment like this. We had a wonderful dinner, watched the sun set overlooking the CDA lake with a drink and we decided to head back to the car. I didn't know it then but Jon was tired and very ready to go home. We were almost to the car when I decided I really wanted to check out Sherman and see if any potential dancing could be had for us. He made sure this was really what I wanted, and we set off. We ended up having a really great time and in the process came across a friend that we had not connected with in a very long time. The next day, Jon said he couldn't help but wonder that us turning from the car was one of those small instances where God was at work - however small it may seem.
"You're only as alone as your secret(s)." This was vaguely familiar when I heard the phrase in church but it has stuck with me since. I seem to have been struggling with feelings of loneliness for a long time. Ever since my life changed in November, 2011, there haven't been too many friends with me on my path. At least that is how it feels much of the time. There have been some who have reached out and I don't know if we got to busy or if I simply shut the door to those relationships.
The truth is that I have been dealing with some trust issues. I have even spent time shutting Jon out of some areas of my life. This caused such a deep loneliness that I started going absolutely crazy. I felt I had another secret, and this one was more dangerous than the first because I was so much more careful about it. Truth always comes out in one way or another. I'm thankful that I allowed the Spirit to work among the members of my growth group to allow me the freedom to express some very deep emotional struggles I have being a step-parent to a pre-teen with down syndrome.
I am working on getting past all the guilt that I have lugged around for years. Satan likes that I gather my guilt and bring it with me wherever I go. Unless I let go of this heavy pack, I can't get to conviction. This book makes this distinction so clearly, "While guilt makes us feel unworthy and causes us to want to hide from God, conviction makes us feel worthy and urges us to run to God." I am realizing that in order for me to heal, in order for my family to heal, I must confess. I must surrender.
Now every day I am practicing surrender in just a few simple words. I surrender my son, who is begging me to let him live with his daddy. I surrender my feelings towards my step-daughter whom I have to consciously decide on an almost moment-by moment basis whether I am going to be kind or mean. I have to surrender Jon's trip to Hawaii which will take him away for 3 weeks. I have to surrender my feelings towards my dad as he seems to have no idea what I am trying to say to him through our difficult times. I have to surrender our checkbook because it's become apparent that with Jon's new job, I must take a leading role in our finances. There is much to give up every day.
I am realizing I have not done any kind of surrendering since Friday or Saturday. It's time for me to sign off and do that right now because my heart is heavy after digging up all this dirt. I hope that you will do the same if you haven't already. :)