Carolyn is a truth teller. I remember when she told me that my decision to pursue emotional health could cost me an awful lot. She wasn’t lying. She warned me that it could get ugly and that I had to be completely sure I had counted the cost. We talked about how desperately someone who struggles with narcissism requires a codependent partner. We discussed what the journey could typically look like. We talked about how me making the decision to stand in my truth meant I would have to let the Lord fight for me. We talked about how hard that would be. We talked about how my decision to chase emotional health would require my husband to do the same. OR it could very well mean that if he did not join the party, he could choose to bounce altogether. She held nothing back. I knew what was on the line. So, I pondered. For about 2 minutes before I confidently declared that I was ready.
My codependency had already been exposed. I had already acknowledged my ugly and had called it like it was. It was too late to go back. After months of research and self-diagnosis, I had uncovered some significant issues that I had disguised well. I knew if I had any hope at all of ever living in peace, I would need to go to war with myself. So, I armored up. I battled.
The battleground was familiar. I had been there before, many times through the years. I had been there in many relationships, both romantic and not. I had gotten very good at enabling, fixing, covering, rescuing, and stuffing. It was clear the armor had to change.
I had to stand in truth.
I had to watch as someone I loved dearly made choice after choice to turn away. I had to watch my family crumble and there was absolutely nothing more I could do to save it. So, I stood still. I allowed Jesus to fight for me. I didn’t rescue or cover or fix anything that wasn’t mine to own. And boy, did Jesus expose the kinds of truth that only He could. That’s the thing about Him.
God is Truth. He can’t be hidden. In the end, it is all blown wide open-whether you like it or not. (tweet this)
What I learned in that time of transition was that I could trust Him. Like, on a for real level. Not that Christian cliche´-ish type “trust Him”. I had to lay my head on my pillow each night knowing I couldn’t even defend myself to my own children. I had to earnestly believe that He would keep His promises. That the Lord would fight for me, I only had to be still. Just like in Exodus 14:14. I had everything I held dear to lose. LITERALLY. Yet, I couldn’t fight for it the way I had been fighting for my whole life. It was foreign and new. It was a whole new world to completely trust outside of myself.
It was an intense realization to sit back and evaluate how deep I was living in deception for so long. Even worse than that, it was a deception I had helped create. Not intentionally, but from a very genuine heart in pursuit of the things of God. It took the better part of two years to read, examine, expose my heart to a Biblical Counselor, attend Celebrate Recovery religiously, and research just how desperately wrong I was getting it. It was humbling and hard. It is a heartbreaking journey to transition from a woman who carried the weight of the world on her shoulders and called herself strong to a woman who walked in weakness, yet in complete freedom -resting in the sweet, tender arms of Jesus -as she became the fiercest warrior her world had ever seen.
So, here I am. Still standing in truth almost 3 years after this journey of healthy transition began. Having spent a whole year recovering from the kind of loss I never imagined experiencing.
Completely broken, yet perfectly held together.
Walking in weakness, yet stronger than I have ever been.
Deeply exposed, yet safer than yesterday.
Looking in the mirror and seeing the reflection of a warrior.
*This post originally appeared on Giggles, Laundry, and the Cross and is shared with the author’s permission.
Marie is a single mom. She has eight children. Her kiddos range in age from a 24-year-old (who was recently married) to twin 3rd graders. She gave birth to four of her children and gained the other four through the gift of adoption. Her beautifully, chaotic home is in Reno, NV. Marie works for her church leading the children’s ministry. She is passionate about children and families. Her heart’s desire is to encourage women of all ages with love and truth.
Marie was raised by a mentally ill mother and a grandma who is head over heels for her savior. She knows the value of encouraging words and what it looks like to fight for someone you love.
Marie is in love with Jesus and cute shoes. Coffee is her beverage of choice and she can make a mean dish of enchiladas. No dish is ever the same, because she never follows a recipe, and don’t ever ask her to bake ANYTHING. She is a Netflix binger and can still belt out all of the words to Rappers Delight. She never passes up an opportunity to chat about parenting, crafts, or sex. She is addicted to Bikram Yoga and loves to hike the Sierra Nevada’s. She worries too much and laughs at all of her own jokes. Her life is messy, but it’s beautiful.
She’s a giggle lovin’, laundry hating, Savior needing girl, trying to keep all the pieces together. Read more from Marie at Giggles, Laundry, and the Cross.
Read more from this series:
Bridging Transitions – Part One by Andrea Stunz
Bridging Transitions – Part Two by Dana Herndon
Bridging Transitions – Part Three by Courtney Ellis
Bridging Transitions – Part Four by Ellie
Bridging Transitions – Part Five by Andrea Stunz