The beginning of my journey with the Lord starts like many others; I grew up in a Christian home, asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior and to forgive me of my sins when I was 4. I rededicated my life to Him when I was 7 at VBS, and was baptized when I was 9. I loved studying theology, I was lit up for the Lord, and shared the gospel at every opportunity I got.
My family and I attended a couple of churches that valued performance and where there were expectations to be the young single woman who was on fire for the Lord, was spending her life running full out for Him – to be what every parent looking on would want their young daughters to be like when they grew up. The pressure and weight of expectation was subliminal to me and I thought that this was what it looked like to be passionately living life for the Lord.
I had a health crash in my 20’s. My doctors said if I didn’t make a lifestyle change, then some of my struggling organs would be on the fast road to failure. I struggled to get out of bed and function; there were many days when the sickness, pain, and deep depression made me not want to live. During this, at times, I suffered from forms of abuse from my parents which ingrained in me a core struggle over who I was, my worth, as well as many twisted beliefs that I accepted and let permeate the way I lived.
I didn’t know what rest looked like or how to rest, because I felt so much pressure to always “redeem the time” and be productive. Go, go, go. Be perfect. This was one of the reasons my body started shutting down. And when I didn’t do well, when I heard the labels and experienced wounds, I lived in shame, guilt, and condemnation, fearful of not pleasing everyone. At the same time, pushing against it, though at the time, I didn’t fully understand it all.
In my late 20’s I met my husband, and he and a few trusted and prayerful friends who saw what was going on came alongside me. They spoke God’s word to me with hearts of loving-truth, grace, and prayer. The Lord affirmed over and over again that how I was living, what I thought and felt about myself, and what was going on at home wasn’t right, healthy, or biblical. But, have you heard the saying that you can’t heal in the environment that made you sick? There was only so much I was able to do to heal, but God used it to prepare me for the revealing of my root struggles and to prepare me to hear His heart for me.
When my husband and I got married, I finally had a safe, healthy place to hash out my past, my wounds, hurts, and twisted beliefs with the Lord. And it was brutal. I read “Boundaries”, “Captivating”, and “Shame Interrupted” and the flood gates broke and light bulbs went on. The Lord spoke truth and light into my past and into the roots of what happened.
I learned that the Lord isn’t out to hurt me and that He has a future of hope and peace for me. That He came to free me from captivity and that I’m not meant to live in shame, guilt, and condemnation. That I’m the daughter of the King, I am an equipped and powerful warrior that is more than a conqueror. I have been set free from fear, and from people’s expectations. That I’ll never please everyone and I’m not meant to; Jesus didn’t! That boundaries are good and biblical; God is our example of applying them. That if God took time to rest and enjoy His work then I should too. Over time He showed me how, and my husband encouraged me to take the time to do so.
I learned that I am worthy, valuable, lovable, and deserving of respect. That I’m enough because Jesus made me that way. That being humbly unapologetic for obeying the Lord is right. That standing up for truth and justice is on God’s heart. That fear shouldn’t be an idol or dictate my decisions. I learned that the Lord came to give me life and life to the full. I learned that even though my dad hurt me at times, my heavenly Father will never fail me. I learned that we’re not called to allow toxicity into our lives, but rather to pursue health, godliness, and Christ-likeness in ourselves and in our relationships, and sometimes God wants me to let go of toxic friendships. That having a tribe of friends who will climb mountains and trudge through valleys with me, who will faithfully pray for me, love me and show me grace, not condemning me, speaking truth and life into me is so important. Oh the list goes on!! As the Lord met with me, worked in me, brought healing into my past and wounds, all still very much a work in progress, I felt like I was starting to breathe and bloom.
As I started relaying the foundation with the help of the Lord and my husband, and grew and healed, the Lord started laying on my heart a deep desire to share what the Lord was teaching me and my testimony to help women who may be struggling with what I did/am. The journey can be so lonely and hard, and it’s hard to find help in one place. So the Lord laid on my heart to start sharing – to create a place to help women learn how to live confidently in who they are in Christ, to find freedom, and to find and live in their unique calling and purpose.
But I let fear talk.
What will people think of me? How will my family respond,? I’m not a good writer…. on and on… But the Lord laid the line for me this past winter and showed me that I was letting fear dictate whether or not I would pursue the unique calling and fulfilling life He has for me. Was I willing to put Him first and obey? So, March was the beginning of unboundandwild.us. As I write articles for it, I’m faced with working more through my wounds, struggles, fears; encouraged to celebrate victories, reminded of truth and over and over again the depths of God’s heart for me and you.
We are His. He knows your name, He sees and truly understands your struggles and pain. You are royalty, meant to live life to the fullest, in the freedom Christ won for you! Shame, guilt, condemnation can’t steal your crown. Put it on! Fear has no hold; crush it! The enemy has no power over you; reject him. You aren’t responsible for other people’s actions. Set your focus on Christ. Remind yourself of truth. Ask the Lord about what boundaries you should know about and how to apply them. Reach out to people who will go through life with you.
Pursue your dreams; like, really! Cling to Him always. And live the fullness of life He has for you!