I was sitting at the auto shop having routine maintenance performed on my favorite car ever when I dove into Chapter 3. Again, I went highlight bananas. Chapter 3 is about the painful parts of your life and just OWNING them. Stop running from them. Stop hiding them. Stop pretending they aren’t there. In order to work through healing her heart and her scars, she had to acknowledge her predicament and own her own story. She said…
So many of us press through the pain without paying adequate attention to our brokenness… we convince ourselves that somehow we don’t need to deal with the distance between our expectations and our reality. We think that somehow, if we just keep going, the distance will simply close by itself. It won’t. When you choose to own your story, you are not choosing to wallow in your mistakes, your pain, or your disappointments. You are simply choosing to be honest with yourself so that you can begin healing and move forward.
Her personal description reminded me of the Mommy Makeover I had surgically performed after giving birth to and nursing three children. As much as I loved those babies, they wrecked havoc on my body. It was bad. Real bad. I wasn’t sure which was worse. The handfuls of loose skin, the stretch marks, or the fact that parts of my body completely faced the wrong direction. I looked in the mirror and didn’t even recognize myself. So, I spent thousands of dollars and many weeks of pain working to correct the deformities. Even though the “after” pictures looked so much better, they still were not nearly as beautiful as the “before”, and now I had very large visible scars too. I was so thankful that it was better, but I was still devastated that it would never be as good as “before”.
That is so much of what this chapter – this book so far – has been showing me. We have these hopes, dreams and desires and REAL LIFE simply doesn’t measure up. We work diligently to make it better, but it feels like it’s never enough. As I read the paragraphs, it’s as if I could have written them myself. She feels EXACTLY like I do.
The same is true with our Blended Family situation. 7.5 years later we are so much better than we were but we are no where near where my hopes and dreams were for our family. The distance between my initial hopes and our actual reality has always left me with disappointment. I call it “the Plan B life”. And each new challenge and situation is another opportunity to feel that sting of hurt and sometimes regret or even resentment.
But I love the challenges, encouragements and reminders she gives and I’ve seen them work to help heal and restore that little faith girl that lives way deep down – really deep down – on the inside of my heart. She said that healing begins with telling the truth, acknowledging that things aren’t working, that parts of your life are disappointing (the things I’ve been sharing with my blended family small group). She said maybe you’ve had broken relationships [yup], have gained a few extra pounds each year waging a battle with your body [yup], have found yourself 20 years into a career that sucked the life out of you [yup], and you’ve finally decided to reset what’s broken, put together what’s been fractured, and give rest and restoration to your mind, heart and soul. Yes, please!!!
She said: Choose to take Step One. Choose to own your story. Be honest. Tell the truth. The good, the bad, the ugly. You’ve survived. You’re still here. The girl you want to be is depending on you.
Yes. Yes. Yes. And I am so glad I found this book. It’s the right book at just the right time and I’m thrilled to be working through it.