“It hurt to think of who I used to be and who I was now. I carried so many burdens. Not just the weight of my body, but the weight of my life. Everything was so heavy. I’d carried a burden my whole life, but I was coming to the end of my rope.”Set Free: How a Jiu Jitsu World Champion Found Jesus
Growing up, I didn’t feel like I had someone I could trust to talk to about things. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ve probably guessed that I have a lot of feelings. LOL!
But growing up I didn’t have a way to process those feelings in a productive way. My family didn’t really talk about those things: “feelings.” Feelings were something that got in the way of chores. There was a very high standard of performance set for us, and mistakes were often met with punishment rather than mercy. While I learned to do things “right” the first time, I developed some unhealthy tendencies like perfectionism and secrecy.
I would make mistakes or things would happen to me, and my first instinct was to hide it out of fear of being punished. When bad things happened to me, I didn’t feel safe talking about it, and had no one to tell me it wasn’t my fault. If I made a mistake, I didn’t have someone to teach me how to clean up the mess. The burden fell on my shoulders to figure out or sweep it under the rug.
One wrong turn led to another wrong turn until I was so lost I didn’t know how to get back to where I started. The burden of shame and secrecy and fear was a death sentence.
Sometimes trauma led to personal sin as a coping mechanism of dealing with the trauma. Sometimes sin led to more trauma. It was a viscous, deadly cycle. When you’re that lost and that broken, there’s no way to fix yourself. You must get rescued.
When I was trying to lead myself through this crazy thing called life, all my “good decisions” ended in bad outcomes that left me worse off than when I started. Yet once I was saved and God introduced me to my spiritual father, for the first time I started making the “right” turns. I started heading in the right direction!
I had leadership and oversight that set me on a healthy pathway forward. I had someone with wisdom and revelation from God leading me toward healing and restoration. I had someone to watch over my soul. Rather than destruction, I was finally building something positive!
In the world, things have a way of getting worse over time. People come to the end of their lives with regrets, broken dreams, and failed relationships. But as I’ve observed other people in the Kingdom of God and heard their testimonies, doing things God’s way ends up with better outcomes as time goes on. The longest marriages seem the sweetest, and every birthday gets people closer to destiny. The golden years are always ahead, not behind.
The more I learn about the culture of the Kingdom of God, the more I see that it is 10x better than anything the world has to offer. The old ways of living seem laughable after seeing a more excellent way!