Can I be honest with you, Reader?
I feel smothered.
“Smothered by what?” you might ask.
I could smoothly and indirectly respond with words like “just life or school or work or my peers.”
But that is not me being honest.
That’s me skipping around the truth.
And Lord knows, that man demanded that I not do that.
And I am tired of dancing around the truth with myself and the people who surrounds me.
So the moment of truth and honesty,
I feel smothered, Reader.
There are so many expectations placed on myself all of the time. The guy I’m talking to asked why I’m always uptight, and I could not answer it for a long time. But then it hit me.
There are so many things people expect me to be or I think they expect me to be.
Be a good woman,
Be smart, don’t do anything stupid and reckless,
More importantly, don’t screw everything up. You’ve got so much going for you.
Don’t let boys be mean to you,
Don’t let yourself go and gain the weight you lost.
Don’t conform to the ways of the world.
Get over that man that broke you in every way possible, find a good Christian man.
Become a college pastor, teach women about Jesus.
Graduate from college, use your degree.
Get married, have four kids, and a dog named Fido.
Keep yourself together,
Tell everyone around you that you are, “doing great and God is doing a lot in your life right now.”
Announce to the world that you are over him and moving on,
I could go on, but I can’t.
I just can’t do this anymore.
This is the year that my life was ripped out of my hands and I was taken for a hell of a ride. This has become the year in which the person I, Katie Scroggins, once was for the last twenty one years of my life, is now gone. I have been broken like a piece of glass, shattered like the ceramic coffee mug I dropped this morning, unraveled like a Christmas gift box bow, shredded like a piece of paper.
There are so many broken pieces just filling myself. I think of a thought I had when I was talking to this guy and then it struck home with how much brokenness has become my life. And it sure as hell doesn’t look good on me.
I have this image of me standing before God with my shattered soul, simply reaching out and crying.
“God, I am so broken, I have nothing good left in me. I know that he once told me that everyone always has something to offer to the world, I don’t feel like there is anything left in me that the world would want. I have fallen so short of grace that I cringe when I look in the mirror, I am ashamed of what I have become. I wake up in the morning and cannot fathom that the person looking back at me when I brush my teeth is even me. All I have are the shards of my soul… ugly, jagged, minuscule reminders of the person I once was and the destruction that I brought upon myself.”
I feel like in this period of my life, I have been released from the cage holding me back for so long. I am free! I am released, but I keep making the same motions I made when I was ramming myself into the sides of the cage while I was in captivity. In the space, in the open, in the pasture where the Shepherd cares for my soul, I am still beating against the hidden bars that somehow carried with me into freedom. It is as if the muscle memory has kicked me into overdrive out of sheer necessity to remember the constant state of my soul in captivity… desperate to be free, restless to roam in the ways that God created me to roam. My self cannot recognize this new found state.
It’s as if I cannot figure out what to do with my freedom…. What to even begin doing with this broken state.
But then I feel my heart being cradled by this being, this person. I can’t explain it but it is as if I feel these hands cradling my brokenness, gently saying, “It’s okay darling, just let me carry you for now. Let me fight and protect you. Let me rebuild you, let me carry you through this. Let me love on you, let me perform works of healing and restoration on your soul. Child, let me be yours, let me fill every nook and cranny of your soul. I won’t hurt you, I won’t leave you, I won’t disrespect you, I won’t be any of the things that this world has done to destroy you.”
I think it’s a person, I think that maybe some other person on this earth is doing exactly that.
But it’s not, because this is not a natural state or act.
It’s the Heavenly Father covering me with his unending grace and love. It’s the God I blatantly disregarded carrying me through this valley. It’s the Lord of Lords that I tried running from that is so carefully piecing me back together, piece by piece.
And then everything changed.
The desperation I avidly avoided is now catching up with me. I need Him, more than ever before. I need to be the sheep that is in such a state of protection and guidance that the enemy couldn’t even come up with such a way to attack this protected sheep.
Suddenly, I feel my self being stood up again, moving on, like a child learning to walk for the first time.
You get up, you fall down, but there are this voice deep within you who keeps telling you to “keep going! You’ve got this! Don’t give up.”
But I might fall down, I might break a little, but the Father picks me up, loves me tenderly and encourages me to try again, to be persistent over this trial. Because one day I’ll be running, skipping, I think in so many ways I am already doing just that.
All because the Lord my God took a chance and kept loving me in spite of my terribly messed up self. All because He loves me in ways that this world couldn’t begin to fathom.
All of the expectations, all of the faults and blame fades away in his Heavenly love. Nothing can even be comparable to the affections and adoration the Lord has for his children.
Even when it’s dark, scary, and the direction in which we are going is unknown.
He still cherishes us in the ways that he does.
As the Bethel song says, “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.”