We are in year 2 of a seven year prison sentence with one of our sons. In year 2 we are seeing an increasingly amount of growth in him! We’ve been through prison sentences with him before but never one this long. But this is what happens when he chose to self-sabotage his life instead of dealing with the shame that has been the voice in his head most of his life. And the secrets that were strangling him. This 7-year sentence from his self-sabotage has cost him quite a bit plus he’s not a young thing anymore to bounce right back into his life.
This is his story to share. As he is putting words to the shame and the secrets he is beginning to put truth into his life. He has started to share some peeks of that with John and I, the parents who took him in at age 12. And he has given me permission to share it with you all. Because this is the beginning of how you live a real brave life–to stop allowing the shame to keep your life a secret.
I often found myself trying to impress by appearing to be righteous, not voicing my opinions, pretty much doing and saying things I thought would be “Christ like things to say.” I was only acting. Practicing to act only gets you better at acting. Problem was I got tired of acting. Frustration to the point of checking out of conversation after conversation then gathering after gathering which resulted in ruined relationships.
I read a book that described how a person sometimes experience different situations as their ideal self instead of experiencing these situations as their real self. This only stunts the growth of one’s real self causing relationships to fail. This made a great amount of sense to me. My real self needed healing, not my ideal self.
I eventually noticed that the practicing of acting was for those who did likewise. It was a coping mechanism if you will. Dragging this bad characteristic into relationships was a sure way to sabotage them given these relationships were with healthy individuals.
But that was it! With the healthy individuals I could be who God intended me to be and grow into who he wanted me to grow into. I’ve noticed a less strenuous road in maintaining a healthy relationship.
God’ divine design of the church would not be so divine if one did not feel liberated to be his real self–who God intended him to be. The Holy Spirit has His way of showing all believers how much God loves us. This feeling we believers have is a common bond we share and encourages fellow believers to be themselves in Christ. I believe my feeling of liberation derives from the acceptance of my true self in Christ by His people. Liberation in practicing my faith. Liberation in praying to my Savior. Liberation in lifting my hands. Liberation in lifting my voice. Liberation in pleasing my God. Liberation in being who He created me to be.