You ask in your essay in Soul Bare, how does one go about unraveling the wounds of the past? How have you done so? Or have you used other ways and means to decipher your past?
I never considered professional therapy an option because there was such a stigma around it, but after seeking pastoral care and finally receiving healthcare benefits through getting a job after college I decided to go for it. Plus, at that time I was at a complete rock bottom and physically unable to get out of bed. It was definitely time for some professional help! I didn’t know what I was getting into, but a professional therapist really helped me gently unravel the complicated layers of my soul.
We’ve all suffered at the hands of others. And yet, what hope would you provide for Mudroom readers who have undergone abuse and don’t want to perpetuate the lineage?
It really is amazing how common child abuse and neglect is, isn’t it? It’s quite disturbing. What’s even more disturbing is the fact that we keep it to ourselves in shame, which can contribute to the perpetuation of the broken script. I think that the shame leads to locking up our pain in the basement, which is hard to hide for very long. The hope that I offer is that there is so much healing in being honest with yourself and God, as painful as it may seem. It’s not as if God doesn’t know everything you’re experiencing, but God waits patiently for us to bring our full selves to him, scars and all. And because of the delicate nature of shame and pain, I highly recommend considering a professional help you, or a really great group of trusted friends.
Tell us a bit about how God met you in your place of darkness. What hope can you offer our readers in their own versions of darkness?
It’s kind of amazing, the process of laying it all down before God. Every time I show God a little part of myself that I’ve recently discovered, I feel God saying, “I’m so excited that you discovered a little bit of my creation in you! Isn’t it cool? Keep exploring!” or “Thank you so much for risking everything and laying this before me. I’ve got you, and you can do this.” There’s no shame in what I’m hearing from God, such as, “Why can’t you get it together? Why do you keep taking me for granted? Why do you keep insulting me and other Christians?” I don’t think it’s God talking at that point. Keep going until you hear the truth from God.
What is your hope for this book, your story and your words?
My ultimate hope is for every broken, imperfect person to know that they are among other broken and imperfect people, and to be encouraged to be open and authentic before God and each other. Every person’s story is important, and we need to start telling these imperfect stories to build authentic Christian community. I want people to know that God wants us to be real, not perfect, and that is the good news of the gospel we need to spread.