A Quest for Self-Truth

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About September, 2003 the pastor of my church, Pastor Peter Scazzaro, wrote a wonderfully powerful book entitled “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality”. Opening up those pages began a journey for me that I had no idea I would go on. Many times, over the years, I closed the book, putting it away for long periods of time, and then finding it and picking it up again. As a church, and in our women’s small group, we would read and learn and explore the paths together. But, I was blind. I couldn’t see and I couldn’t learn. I was in a darkness that was clouded over by anger over my life’s choices.  Eventually, this book would become my second bible, leading me to a path of self-truth.

In January, 2015, the last bits I was trying to hold together unraveled and was, unexpectedly, amazingly, put back together again, seemingly over-night … well, actually it took three days. Every so often, at different places in my life, I had the realization of there being a distinct difference between how it is when the world breaks me, and how it is when God breaks me; There is a universe of difference between the two. I know that when the world breaks me, the pieces are scattered, do not easily fit back together. Scars are formed. Some hurts do not heal. But when God allows me to be broken, under His watch, and by His hand, He knits me back together beautifully and wonderfully — all hurts are healed. He is the Potter and I am the clay.

I was given the gift of being broken by God, this past January, that allowed my husband and I to start over again from square one — a rare thing, I think. To actually begin again from a new place emotionally. To wash away pain, hurt, and anger of the past 39 years and 11 months, from the year we met to the present, of our own brokenness, together (“Broken Together” by Casting Crowns — a beautiful song!). It was three days of struggling for the purpose of clearing emotional space and verbally cleaning out; done in brokenness … so that, very unexpectedly, yet so much of the way God is: a fresh new married life came into creation for us.  I can honestly say we never were the way we are today. There really is something to the promises of God spoken of in Isaiah 61.

Sometimes I go back to “if only” — if only we had begun this way 39 years and 11 months ago…. If only. But its not about that — its about now and what we do with it. I have learned that I am responsible for what I do and decisions I make. I am responsible for bringing my sin before God and confessing it. And to receive the gift of the Lord that I am forgiven. I am not responsible for the decisions of others, nor their responses and reactions to me (as the saying goes: “what you think about me is none of my business”), nor am I responsible to their journey for their own self-truth.

Realizing this has been so up-lifting, freeing. I can breathe. And I do — I take deep, cleansing breaths and appreciate every day what God has done for me and my husband. He brought us through a wilderness journey that was just short of 40 years and gave us new life.

I am amazed, and grateful to God, for the husband I married — his stability, how he wakes up everyday happy and joyful! I am thankful that he was able, and willing, to go through the wilderness journey with me and come out on the other side, together.

And in my gratitude, I place one golden brick down at my feet at a time, step upon it and ask the questions: is this my truth? Is this who I am? Is this who I want to be? I look around for a good long while, and enjoy the view from this new vantage point. I have found that living in my authenticity, my own self-truth, has brought me peace, love, and joy … and is priceless to me.

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This is about my Lord and Savior and what He has done for me — and what He does for one, we can take comfort in knowing He will do for another. It is He who has restored, renewed me. and so as a testimony to Him — these are my stories…..

Summer, goodbye

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Labor Day Weekend. The End of Summer. I don’t look forward to the end of summer as it occurs in the Northeast. I don’t like the early darkness, the cold weather approaching. I dislike the feel of heavy coats. I live for the early sunrise, the late sunsets, the warm stillness of a summer morning as it gives way to the beating heat of the afternoon. The first feel of cold water under my feet, whether from a lake, pond, ocean, or pool. I like short sleeves, the freedom of no shoes. I like summer. And here it is coming to an end — traitor that it is.  It takes such a long time to arrive, with winter not wanting to release its grasp long into April. Once here, she seems to waiver on her commitment to stay: some days this year were as cold as spring. And once she is given her assignment to leave, it seems she can’t wait to go — her Florida vacation booked, her bags all packed. She has no problem making way for the bullying line-men of winter barreling down upon her. I wish she were more of a fighter. But, that’s life in the Northeast. One day I hope to follow her around, getting out of town myself, before the first frost covers the grass. I keep reminding myself that autumn is wonderful, too. (Although, as it is winter’s little brother, I keep one leery eye on it.) In the meantime, I’m armed to the teeth with my newly acquired super-duper ice scraper — let the games begin.

But on a more positive note, the cooler air does bring along the promises of hearty comfort foods — soups and stews simmering on the stove, apple and pumpkin picking, all ending with a Thanksgiving dinner at a long table with family … not so bad.  But I will tell you the truth, we summer bumpkins will be counting the days until the summer sun still shines at 8:30 p.m., the beach chairs are set on the sand, and the blue of sky and water are only separated by a thin line of white clouds, or the haze of  the sun rising peaks out from behind the trees …   Yes, the countdown starts this weekend … IMG_2146