pride is next, i guess...
so the last couple weeks i have been studying more in-depth on temptation and sin, and the different ways that satan goes about his plan of destroying God's children. and last week one of the lessons in particular dealt with the past. it described the very real possibility of satan using things from our past to gain a foothold on us today through temptations and sins related to those sins or moments of weakness or losses of innocence that have happened to us in our childhood or adolescence... as i read this, something in my heart became heavy and i thought that maybe God had something to say to me about it. so i read on, this time listening more intently with my spiritual ears, if we even really have such things, about how satan can use the tiniest things from our past to develop patterns of temptation and sin in our adult lives, and how we need to let God deal with our past and heal our wounds from the past so that those things will lose their power over us. Bingo. God wanted to heal me from the past...and so i hesitantly began to think about what has happened to me in my past that satan is using today.
well the truth is, i couldn't think of one single thing from my childhood that could be affecting me so deeply today. i thought and thought and simply drew a blank. so i thought, well maybe if i work backwards, i will think of something. and i began to try to think instead of the temptations that are prevalent in my life now. so two of the biggest temptations i came up with that i have struggled deeply with and continue to struggle with are 1) a tendency toward being prideful and 2) seeking unnecessary male attention. (wow, i just laid it all out there, didn't i?)...(don't judge me)
the thing about pride didn't really grab my attention so much as the other did. i felt like God really wanted to say something to me about it. so i began to listen. and as i evaluated my life, i allowed myself to admit that it's true, i have developed patterns of behavior over time that have been very damaging to me and my relationships with God and people. and i began to try to think of when these patterns could have begun to form, but i got nowhere because for as long as i can remember, even into my childhood, i have always preferred being with groups of males to being with groups of females. i have had one or two close girlfriends, yes, but they have been rare, and i have had to fight for those friendships because i have never allowed myself to be completely vulnerable to them...there always remained one or two walls up around my heart.
so i started to think, maybe something happened to me during my childhood. something that i need to heal from, but that happened so long ago, i have erased from my entire memory. and i didn't really want to take that thought any further, but i thought, it might be difficult for God to heal me of something i am unaware of. so i decided, i guess i need to ask God to make me aware of the moment or event or circumstance in my life that led to these behavior patterns. so i prayed that he would.
and i am not kidding you...the very same moment in which i prayed that prayer, i suddenly remembered so vividly a moment from when i was in pre-school. i mean, i must have been like four years old! and i remembered this one moment, when i tried for the first time to make friends at school. this was a big deal because i was super super shy as a girl..i didn't talk to anyone...ever! i was scared of everybody! so, i remember timidly approaching a group of girls during recess at pre-school. in my memory, there were five girls sitting in a circle on top of a picnic table and i asked if i could sit with them....the one girl who was "in charge" said yes and i sat next to her. she told everyone that if we were all going to be friends we had to know each other's secrets, which everyone seemed to agree with. so she decided that everybody in the circle had to show everybody else what kind of underwear they had on.
it's ridiculous that i'm telling you this.
well, i did not want to do that. i was terrified. this is not what i was signing up for. but everybody else did it. it was like a big joke to them, they were all laughing and having a great time, and i was petrified. but i couldn't leave. i was too scared. and then it was my turn. and i said i didn't want to. so this girl reached over and before i could react, she lifted up my skirt and showed all the other girls my underwear...
there is a four-year-old girl inside me right now that is horrified that i'm sharing this moment with you because it is the moment in which she was most humiliated. she was so embarrassed, she got up and ran away and cried and cried and never told anyone what had happened.
and that was the last day i played with the girls on the playground. ever.
and so God led me through that moment that i had forgotten and tucked away deep in my heart, and i cried and cried last week when i remembered it all, and how it felt, and how terrified and embarrassed i was as that little girl. and i asked God to heal that spot in my heart...but the problem is that i have just ached over it since then. that's where the unrest part comes in. i don't have any idea what kind of healing process is supposed to be involved in getting over something that happened 22 years ago. i don't know what to do with this. i trust that God is the healer, not me. and i know He is good, and would not lead me into pain to leave me there. and i trust that He is already healing this hurt from so long ago. obviously a wound that has been left alone over so much time will also take time to be healed.
but i just wonder, what are the implications of this one little moment in my life? i mean, was this even the significant moment i was asking to see and be healed from? or was there something else? could such a tiny event be the cause of such destructive behavior patterns later in life? i don't know. and how do i apply this new-found information to my life now? how can the knowledge of this wound help me to change behavior that could potentially be harmful to me and my relationships with God and loved ones?
just some things i've been mulling over in the last week. any thoughts?