Digging Out the Hurt

So often times we go through life and we beat ourselves down putting “standards”, burdens, our past, our failure all on top of us and we bury the very person God designed us to be.

All of these things we are not suppose to even carry let alone have it bury us so down that we we lose all sight of hope. We begin to believe our shortfalls our what defines us, our failures are the only thing people see, and that life is pointless because no one sees you, hears you, understands you, or even loves you. So we turn to outside sources to fill the void, to make us feel something or even make us feel nothing. It can be anything, that gives us that feeling. We find it somewhere. It allows us not to feel invincible or hurt for a small window of time.

These are only temporary solutions that will not last. They will only bury us further and further down and it starts a cycle of needing that “high” because it feels that void. Some will lose their life fighting a battle against things they never were meant to battle let alone battle alone. This void we feel is found in God. , people often refer to it as “The God size hole in your heart” and how we fill it determine how we go through our life, day by day, step by step.

Hope, grace, and freedom can be found regardless how bad the situation or past may be.

Hope is found in God. Hope is the last thing we hold on to and the first twinkle we see in our road to healing. Hope is found everywhere. Hope can be found in a smile of a little kids face, or a cry of a baby. It can be a friend reaching out to you, or a mentor to tell you to hold on, it can be just someone finally getting you to see that hope isn’t lost, hope is just buried inside.

Grace is found when we surrender it ALL. It’s confessing every sin and every time you hear and feel the voice of God in conviction and you turn the other cheek. It allowing God into the areas of our life that we keep private in a dark closet in the basement, it’s allowing God in to everything he already knows but confessing it with our lips and on our knees in repentance.

Freedom is found after laying everything down at the foot of the cross. After putting EVERYTHING and surrendering EVERYTHING to God. It’s letting go of the control we think we have in our lives and giving the keys to God. It’s putting Gods hand back on your shoulder and allowing God to lead you. It’s the feeling of a heavy weight coming off your chest. It’s the first breathe of air after feeling trapped for so long.

Life isn’t about the temporary. It’s about the eternal. We either live a life trying to figure out which way to go or we live a life surrendered to God, prayerfully connected, confessing when we need to confess and staying in tuned to the frequency of God.

We all are buried to some extent. It just depends on how we try to unbury ourselves that determines the future God has in store.

Being Myself

“Only you can be the best you..” God has put a calling on my life. God has been stirring something inside of me to find my calling. I just have no idea what it is. Maybe it’s right in front of me, maybe I just have not found it yet. But I do have a purpose, I do have a calling.

Maybe I am just stating this because my devotional right now is “God’s Dream for your life” by Rick Warren. But God did not draw me to a devotional because it looked pretty, or it seems legit. I was drawn to the devotional because I want to figure out as Rick Warren puts, “God’s dream for [my] life”.

Growing up as a middle child, that I am sure has a slight form of Aspergers or some other social anxiety disorder, it’s been hard to find me. I always wanted to be my big sister, I wanted to do things with her. But she was mean and didn’t want me around, so I did my own thing, and if my little sister got closer to my big sister, it was on, I would hit her, literally, because it just wasn’t fair. Life wasn’t fair growing up with an older sister, a brother, and a little sister.

So I turned to other family members, I got really close to my Poppop because I was his favorite, seriously ask anyone in the family. He unfortunately passed in 1997. Which led to me being depressed for years, though right when it happened when I had a support system, I was “okay”. So my most important years to find out who I was, I was depressed, suicidal, and in a not so good living situation. So I did what I thought was right, I copied people. I just wanted to be liked by anyone and everyone. Sometimes, I wonder if I have a true personality.

My chemistry degree only happened because I thought my family would be proud because everyone else in the family had a science degree and/or a chemistry degree. But I found out I was a disappointment because they didn’t want me to make the same mistakes they did.  But it’s not that I didn’t like chemistry, it’s more so, it wasn’t me. I wasn’t science minded. I had intelligence, that’s what got me where I was, nothing else.  So I got a degree that I do not use, because I wanted to impress someone, not me.

Sometimes I slept with people just to have stories to tell people. Because that was the “cool” thing to do. I got drunk all the time in college, because I thought maybe I could find myself that way, but I actually lost myself that way. I constantly did what others did, I constantly wanted to be someone I wasn’t. I didn’t know how to have a personality.

I went to church because I wanted to be a support  person for a friend during her baptism. I went there for her the next time because I felt like I would be a disappointment otherwise. But that’s when that ended. On my trip home from my moms, I left in enough time to go to church, but wasn’t sure. I was battling with myself on whether or not to go back to church. It was in that moment, I heard God for the first time, he said to go for me. That day, I secretly in my heart accept Christ as I sat in tears during the sermon, but the next weekend I gave my life publicly to Christ, as my pastor did an altar call, talk about embarrassing…(Thanks Pastor!) But it was from that moment, that I have been battling to find Tanya, to find my true self.

Slowly God is peeling back the layers of me and slowly reveling them to both  myself and to others. I would say people know more about me than I know about myself, as I judge and criticize myself way too much. I can’t do what others do, I have to realize sometimes we weren’t born to be a Da Vinci or a Moses were just simply born to be ourselves. I was born to be Tanya. I have my own path.

Hiding Behind a Smile

Growing up in a dysfunctional family was not easy. It’s not easy when you can’t ask for help because your parents are sincerely afraid you will be taken from them by social services. It’s not easy because you were told as a young girl to pretend that everything is okay at home. Pretending especially in church that life at home was butterflies and roses because your parents and family were important members of the church. We couldn’t  be a disgrace to the Bowman name they said. That’s what we were told as kids, or maybe it was just me. Maybe I was the embarrassment  and disgrace to the family.

Regardless, I grew up with idea that I had to be someone different. So I always slapped a smile on my face to hide behind. I put on the mask of pretending that the little girl inside of me wasn’t broken and definitely didn’t need fixing. So walls were formed and chains were anchored.

Every challenge I faced as a teenager and young adult, I figured out how to solve it by myself. I figured out ways to do life alone. But that was just it. I was pretending to have it altogether and yet never ask for help. I never reached out to friends because I didn’t need them. I’ve been there and done it before by myself, why do I need a friend to help me through. No wonder why every one of my “best” friends abandoned me, I was a terrible friend, even though I thought I was the best friend anyone could have. I was so prideful on who I pretended to be, that I lost my true self.

Somewhere underneath the masks and behind the walls, there is a person God created for me to be. As I became a Christian my life changed. Walls that were built up tumbled down, chains were finally let go. But there was a problem; I became vulnerable and as a young girl, I was told never to be vulnerable. At first it was a great feeling of just trying to become myself. But ultimately the walls began to get built up again, chains of my past began to weld themselves back into place. It was were I was comfortable, as much as, I did not want to go back there.

I would say I am not exactly where I was before I became a follower of Jesus. But what I do know is my identity lies in Christ. I cannot dictate who I am, I cannot pretend to be someone I am not because that devalues Christ himself and what he died for.

I am slowly chipping away at the woman God created for me to be. But in order for me to pick up the chisel, I must first lay down my burdens and my sin at the foot of the cross and allow God to his will through me.

My Chains are Breaking

Why don’t I talk? I’ve contemplated this a lot. Am I afraid? Perhaps, of saying the wrong things and judgement. Was it something in the past? I have been told I talk way to fast and I need to stop collect my thought and then speak. How do you do that in a discussion? How by the time I “collect my thoughts” is the topic still the same? So I don’t talk.
I don’t talk to guys, regardless of who you are, because I trample over my words and been judged for it by too many men. I feel inferior to men. Because of certain men in my life. I can’t help it.
One man I am not inferior too is Jesus, he knows me, and he’s trying to pour into me. He trying to show me true love, the love that I was never shown. But he’s the love I’ve longed for my entire life. He’s the one who freed me from my own chains that I put on. He’s the one who is slowly breaking those cast iron chains that still linger. He’s my savior. I am forever a slave of righteousness because I am no longer a slave of sin.
If words go on “paper” as easy as this, they could come as easily to my lips.