N.B. (I realised how long this entry was going to be, so I've split it.) I guess sometimes it is necessary to go back for a while before you can move forward. I've been at Training Week. Its been amazing.
On Tuesday evening, Andy Clarke was leading the worship, and towards the end of the response he said about letting things go. Forgetting the things that God wants you to let go of. It was kind of ironic, because I was still struggling with the last thing that God has asked me to do, and it was pretty much the opposite. I shall explain.
Back in August last year, I felt God telling me that it was time that I went back and faced all the things that I had been locking away in that box in the back of my mind that very rarely got opened. He wanted me to clear it out, throw everything away, because He didn't want me clinging to it anymore. He decided that it was time to start the healing process, but He couldn’t do that until I brought it out into the open where it could be seen. (I guess now I realise what that analogy Kat had a year ago was all about.) Knowing the reason why I had originally put all those things into that box in the first place meant that I did not want to open it. The whole point of putting it in a box was so that it could be locked away and never brought out, surely?
If I'm honest, I was terrified that if I really looked into that deep pit of hurt and pain that I knew was inside of me, I would fall in. And as September approached, and with it the thought of returning to Avenue, I really began to feel the pressure of what God had asked me to do. How could I bring into the open things that ran deep within my conscience and unconscience thoughts, the very root of why I am the way I am and why I react to so many things? More scarier than that, was the thought of having to share all those things with people that I love dearly, and that I work with every day. What if they rejected me? What if they didn't understand? I had no idea how I was going to do it, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted them to know the truth about me, because I wanted them to know who I REALLY was, not just the person that hid behind a mask all the time.
I had been struggling all summer with things, and I reached the point where I just needed to get it all out of me. I needed to know that I wasn't alone, and that I had people who could support me and be there for me when the time came for me to face all of those fears. And so when it came to returning to Southend in September, I arranged to talk with Phil and Rachel, so that I could share with them some things that I had only shared with a few people since moving to Southend. When it came to it, I managed to share a small, but honest part of my journey, and I am so glad that I did, because instead of finding rejection like has happened so many times in the past, I found some friends who were willing to walk the road with me.
As the days went on, I began to struggle more and more with what God was asking me to do. I fought to stay as far away from the dark abyss of unknown hurts that I possibly could. I struggled a lot in those few months, not wanting to look too closely at the darkness, and yet needing desperately to clear it out of me. I walked around it for a long time, feeling the darkness closing in around me, and only dared a few times to lean over the edge to look inside. The scariest part was probably not ever knowing how I was really feeling. Good times could come crashing down around me within minutes, and I never knew why. Intense feelings of anxiety and fear would overcome me, and being unable to cry, my stomach would just tie itself into knots, and I would lay awake desperately trying to gather my thoughts.
Chatting to Jo/Emma online throughout September/October, they both helped me to discover more of what God was really asking me to do. They helped me to realise that the fear of falling into my abyss was greater than what would actually happen if I did. That in order to clean it out and move forward, at some point I would probably have to allow myself to fall in, and to explore all the things that were hiding there in the darkness, stirring up emotions that I didn't understand and grabbing at strands of recollective memory in order to bring my world crashing down into the darkness. (I guess it was working.)
But, ever since then I had been falling through the darkness of the world inside my head that no-one ever gets to see and attempting desperately to see those things that lurked in the shadows. It'd been really hard trying to discover the things that lay at the root, and often I felt like I was hitting a brick wall when I tryed to explore deeper the reasons why I did things. So when Andy told us that it was time to forget all those things, I just couldn't, because I knew I needed to remember them and get them out of me first.
continued in Part 2...