I just watched a film called ‘Run the Race’ (it’s on YouTube) and the last lines in it were “You can either run from God or to God and for a long time I was running from God, but I tell you, turn around and embrace Him because He’s just there right behind you and He loves you like crazy.”
And there it is my message from God, one of the many that come my way every day since I got back from Australia, regardless of how I have felt – and I have hit some really low points, God has never stopped sending me messages or signs. Many would say that is just my interpretation and maybe it is, but too many synchronicities, too many drops in the ocean of my anger, despair and shame have stood out.
Returning to England after the Volunteer Selection Programme I felt initially relieved to back in the familiar. But within a few days I knew I was angry – angry that I hadn’t received the approval; the validation that I was okay really; the reassurance that Jesus and Mary understood my sin – the reasons why I had done these things; the excuses I have used and the pain I have felt: He got that I was messed up and I was a bit of mess, but “it wasn’t that all that bad really.” I wanted to know that they was as convinced of my good girl facade as I was. I had thought that my “trying” was enough – after all this has been my lifelong go-to – the use of my will power and intellect.
But God is not conned and is certainly no fool and those that are growing in God’s Way of Love are not fooled either. I couldn’t fool them: they saw me, they saw my injuries, they saw me “trying.” They did see the good too and I stayed beyond the first week because I was so happy to be there, and willing at that point to hear a bit of truth. But by the second week of the VSP I was in a panic, I got overwhelmed and didn’t even recognise it because as soon as that happened I fell into my desire to “manage” it, manage my feelings, and get them under control again. When I was asked a question, instead of saying the truth, I tried to say the answer I thought they wanted and I didn’t listen: my fear muffled my ears. I didn’t want to speak or hear the truth – it hadn’t worked in the past and even though I was there for the truth, when it came I didn’t like it because it exposed all the unloving things I was doing to avoid my pain. Now I could have gone wow, I know what the problem is now and be humble to feel the emotions, but I didn’t. I wanted to hide from my ‘good girl’ facade being confronted, no matter that was what I was there for.
I felt huge shame and still do feel shame that I was told I was very needy and to be blunt that has made me an emotional vampire and open to those that will either reassure me I am not or those that will use my neediness to use and abuse me: something that has happened many times already. I couldn’t emotionally feel the sin of my neediness or the position it has put me in my life. Many of my friends and family see me as a strong person: I am strong in controlling my emotions, in presenting a face to the world, that hides the fear and shame that I am inherently flawed and worthless and I am angry about the things that happened to me and I have held onto this anger, but with a smile or seriousness presented to the world. With gritted teeth, “I’m not angry and I am not terrified – I am a good girl and I will become whoever you want me to be just so that I am not hurt, judged, attacked or rejected.” ( Hasn’t worked, by the way)
So for the first two months back home, I went into an angry state and then a depression because I wasn’t feeling it. I felt unwell, exhausted, numb, foggy, de-motivated and hopeless. I hid away in my cave, spacing out on TV and food. Then I got afraid about what was happening to me and a book fell from my shelf and a few other things – it felt like God was saying “I haven’t given up on you, don’t you give up on you either.”
So I listened to the feedback I received a couple of times and I felt the compassion and kindness in it and I recognised intellectually at least everything that was being said was right, painful as it may be, it is right.
Then I remembered the love, compassion and tenderness in the feedback.
Then I remembered that the truth was told to me so that I can change it.
Then remembered that whilst I was there I felt like I was experiencing real love for the first time in my life and it felt beautiful and different and I was curious to know more.
Then I remembered that I got to experience this new way to live, what it is like to be around people who are always truthful and that it is actually far less exhausting (even when it freaked me out).
Then I remembered all the moments, the special moments when I got to hear some of their future plans, when I got to share with friends, laugh, wonder, talk – all of us with a common interest
Then I remembered that I can no longer look at the green, rolling hills of Devon in the same way without seeing the decimation of the land from agriculture and wonder how God really made it before we stomped over it without due care or responsibility.
Then I remembered that when Jesus gave me a farewell hug I got to feel the beautiful, powerful, softness in his soul. I think I said to a friend can you receive a rainbow in a hug? I think I did. It’s there because so much of God’s Love is in his soul…. and he’s telling us we can be that.
Then I remembered that I had met other brothers and sisters, and that somehow we had all got there, that there was something in our soul wanting this – a seed that needs watering (and soil that needs a lot of weeding).
Then I remembered that I was experiencing and hearing things that very few have heard yet and what I do with this matters, not just to me, but to everyone.
So many memories and feelings about that 3 months I can’t name it all: so much magic and in such a magnificent place in the world.
I would love to say I was ready to return, because as I come out from my sulk I want to be there again and again and make much more of the opportunities I was given, but I know I have emotional work to do first. Tristan, Eloise, Jesus and Mary said they want to experience the real me and they meant that sincerely. I was confused by that, if I am honest, because I don’t know who she is. When I am alone is maybe the only time I let her pop her head up –where it’s “safe.”
Basically, I have got to walk my walk and stop just talking about it and I know I need to soften. My facade is rigid and hard and wants to hang on tight. So I have started doing things to understand why I want my facade so much and what I think I gain in this state, what I am covering up, what I am ashamed of, what I am avoiding wanting to feel. I know I have to deconstruct my facade so I am just going to try anything and everything for a while.
That film that I mentioned at the beginning was one of the things that “popped up” unexpectedly and of course the main character has an issue with God – he’s angry about the things that have happened to him and he can’t pray because of it. He’s really pissed at God….
I’m not sure why God thought that would be good for me to watch 😉
But seriously, I love these ‘synchronicities.’ They happen all the time and are an indication of how much help we have. I would love to be ready to do the next VSP and wish I could re-do week two with what I have now realised about my behaviour that week, as I had such a huge opportunity to change something right there, with the gift of loving, honest people around me who would longed for me to be truthful because they care.
I feel more positive right now (today) and like the idea that God loves me like crazy. It must be crazy love to be so incredibly patient with me.
Jesus said that when our facade is confronted, as mine was, it is the time many walk away from God’s Way and Divine Truth. I’m not walking away, but I’m having trouble letting go and really getting started, but I have decided it is better to clatter my way experimenting with different things and it might look a bit like a bull in a china shop, (if fact an angry bull might be a good description!) but it’s better than doing nothing. Then one day I can look back at this post and go .. oh boy there’s my facade, and there and there and there… thank goodness those days are over – what was I holding on for?