God Is In It


I feel scared. 
I’m uncertain of the future. 

“One day at a time…one moment at a time…”

Don’t think future, think now.
Yes, that’s what I’ve learned.
To survive in traumatic times…think now.

I gave what I knew to give, but it wasn’t enough.

“Stop beating yourself up, Michelle.  It’s done. 
You’ve sought forgiveness.
A new normal will come…eventually.”

“…to accept the things I cannot change…”

I tried to create a life of serenity for my family, but how could that be when in my innermost being I did not feel peace?  I was continually striving…trying to reach a place outside of this realm.  Perfection.

As long as my body would allow, I created a faςade of peace.
As long as my mind stayed intact, I could do this thing called Life.

Life comes through death…

Death to self, yet alive to God.

Poignant memories teach:

On good days I’d gather the kids together and we would take off for a park or a nature trail. Someplace to explore to our heart’s content. I remember the time we were exploring in a nearby creek and all of the sudden Al disappeared. He popped up a moment later exclaiming, “Wow, that was deep!” He lost his shoe in the muddy bottom, but we weren’t staying in the water any longer! The murky water had become a dangerous place to play, not being able to discern where the next hole would appear. Both boys were upset. They didn’t understand the danger involved. In their minds the adventure had just begun. But, being the adult and having such young charges, I knew I had to call an end to the exploration. We had been going long enough. It was time for showers in the backyard and snacks in the treehouse. Another fun day homeschooling. We would write about our adventures later, after dinner, and maybe make a “special book” entitled, “The Day Al Disappeared.”

Maybe that’s where I am now…
Writing the story, “The Day Michelle Disappeared.”

I tried too hard. That had always been my way. Hadn’t I already learned the dangers from striving to be the best?  In my second year of teaching I had my first meltdown.  A couple of years down the road, another one almost led to a nervous breakdown.  The cause: working hard to be the best.  I resigned from teaching, due to stress, and started having babies…but, the cycle didn’t end.

The best teacher…The best wife…The best cook…The best mother…The best bible leader…The best friend…The best gardener…The best decorator…The best neighbor…The best daughter…The best sister…The best (whatever).

And my prayer?  The one that would fall from my lips at the end of the day:
What do You want me to do, Lord? 
Show me, anything…I’ll do it.

I thought I was crying out as a willing servant.
In reality, I was still working to earn His approval. 
Someone’s approval…please!!

Life takes us by surprise,
And we learn to embrace what is meant to be,
rather than what we meant to create.
Determination only takes a person as far
as their body and situation will allow.


I did what I could do in my own effort for as long as my body allowed. Then, I had no choice but to give in to my weakness. I couldn’t keep going. It was done. Although I didn’t know it at the time, and continued to grieve the loss of ability, I waited for the day my health would return.  It didn’t happen. Not then. Not while I still had children to nurture and a husband to help. 

The stress from constant disability took its toll on all of us.  When  the deep settled peace doesn’t dwell within, one pulls from wherever and grabs anything close enough to bring serenity.  The filling of a vacuum.  Even if it’s a false serenity, it relieves the angst for a while. 

However, eventually, the pseudo-peace wears away and reality sets in. 

The husband has gone. 
The children are raised.
For better or worse. 

And now…bitterness seeks to take root in the soul.

How does God deal with your bitter heart?
He reminds you that what you have is more important than what you don’t have.
You still have your relationship with God. No one can take that.


“Hello. My name is Michelle.
I’m a believer in Jesus Christ and I’m Celebrating Recovery from shame
Due to sexual abuse as a child and performance-based religion.”

“Hi, Michelle!”


7 responses »

  1. What a powerful and brave post, beautiful Michelle. And what a confirmation He brings with it, as He talks to us about our weakness and His strength. About using those hard things, those shameful things, if we will risk sharing them, to help others to celebrate recovery and redemption in Him.
    God bless you and all you are to Him and in Him . . .beloved and precious, a treasure and a song. love you!

  2. Is it still considered brave if I mention how scared I am…? I sure don’t feel brave, Deb. I feel stupid and…well…stupid. I’ve made a fool of myself. I do believe, with every decision in life, we either move toward wisdom or foolishness…and I know I haven’t made many wise decisions in the past few years. But…God. I still believe the truth of the gospel. Grace is for sinners…The only thing I can stand on now is God’s grace. It always was my only source of strength…I guess I just understand it now, like I never did before. Thank you for encouraging me. It helps. Love you, too. ♥ ♥ ♥

  3. I have to agree with Deb. You are sharing your truth and you are opening up a dialogue for others who may not have found their voice. When divorce hit my life I felt like the swollen appendix of the Body. It was so painful to walk this alone. It is so important for other women to see that they are not alone and it takes bravery to be the first one with their hand up like you are doing. You are doing what you are meant to do and good on you for that. Thank you, Deborah

  4. Michelle,
    I don’t even know what to comment except that you have just been amazingly, brutually honest and shown us yourself and I love it!
    I have tears in my eyes because I can imagine how hard it is to look back, reflect and put it all out on the table. It is amazing how “doing good”, “trying to be the best” and “working to earn His approval” can look so correct to the world but yet not be and cause so much hurt. Thank you for sharing and helping me to learn to be real and to learn to let go of myself and grab onto God to make it through each day. Nothing can fill the void except God, Amen!

  5. Welcome, Deborah! Thank you for commenting…
    “…the swollen appendix of the Body…” I get that! I have found understanding and deep care from Celebrate Recovery at my local church, for that I am very grateful. I understand Divorce Care is another helpful ministry. It is difficult to feel the aloneness after being part of a whole. I do want to share the truth of what I’ve experienced without whitewashing the ugly parts. It’s hard to do, but I feel healing is happening in the process.

    Hey, Punkin! Thank you so much for caring for me as you do. You have been vital to my sanity…in not allowing me to become totally isolated. It has been wonderful to have your whole family in my life. I’m so glad I can call you sister. And you said it, “It is amazing how ‘doing good’ ‘trying to be the best’ and ‘working to earn His approval” can look so correct to the world but yet not be and cause so much hurt.” The hurt it causes…sigh…

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  6. “Don’t think future, think now”.
    I used to live everywhere but here. It took painful calamity to wake me up to the present.

    I discovered slowly that each day, we wake up with a cup of emotional energy. Each thought and each experience spills out a small portion of that cup. I did not know it, but I had a choice as to what I would spill it out on. I spilled it out on events of the past that could not be changed and possibilities of the future that may never materialize. There was nothing left for today. In today, I was a disaster, yet in my mind, I had mapped out all of the necessary justices that needed to be executed to bring balance to the past, and anticipated many potential outcomes, both positive and negative, of the future. And spent the time and emotional energy required for all of these intangible nothings.

    It is no longer this way. Ok, it is barely this way anymore. I can get drawn in if I am not careful. But today I am armed with the knowledge that I have a choice as to where I want to live, and some tools to get and keep me in the better place of the present.

    The seemingly paradoxical thing is that the best thing I can do for those pains and injustices of the past, and the fears and dreams of the future is to have a good today. Because a good today makes me into the kind of person who is strong enough to close out and let go of the past, as well as sets me up to be a strong person arriving at tomorrow. So when tomorrow turns into today, I can better deal with it.

    Thanks for your thought-provoking post.



  7. Thank you for commenting, Chaz. I always appreciate your insights.

    Your point: I spilled it (emotional energy) out on events of the past that could not be changed and possibilities of the future that may never materialize.

    I so understand this now. Although I don’t follow the sage advice of living in the moment every day, I do find I am much more able to deal with life when I do. As you stated in your last paragraph, “The seemingly paradoxical thing is that the best thing I can do for those pains and injustices of the past, and the fears and dreams of the future is to have a good today.”

    Here’s to living for today…so that we may stand before Him on The Day without blame. (1 Thess. 3:12-13)

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