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when josh did the sermon series on psalm 23, I had a hard time with it. I had to go a little deeper and personalize it some in order to own some of the truth he was teaching

the surface analogy of the shepherd keeping away the predators and pests, making the sheep feel safe enough to lie down and sleep, doesn’t really work for me.

going to bed at night used to be the most dangerous part of my life growing up

it would be easy to put my dad in the role of predator and say that god as my shepherd did not protect me from him. and, honestly, that about sums up my reasons for rebelling against god as a teenager

but the lie that says god does not love me is the real predator in my story. and every time my dad’s actions told me that lie, god was there to hold me and show me the truth – and so I would go to sleep again — not hungry, because his love filled me up — not afraid, because his arms were around me — not suffering because I was comforted by his tending to me

and the green pasture? the shepherd creating an environment where I can settle down and rest, surrounded by goodness?

on the surface, god allowed me to be placed in a family where I was surrounded by abuse and pain. where was my green pasture – my “good”?

I think the green pasture is not analogous to circumstance. that god working hard to ensure that I have what is best for me, is him working in my life to mold my character to be christ-like. it is him using all that was meant for evil in my life to shape my passion against injustice and my love for the oppressed. to make my heart like his

and a heart like his is worth any cost…

it is the ultimate good and the greenest of pastures

birthdays

birthdays always make me think of my mom – not the one I grew up with, but the one who gave birth to me and then gave me away

growing up, I always wondered why she gave me up, why she didn’t want me – and I figured that if she ever thought of me, surely it would be on my birthday

I always knew that adoption records were sealed and I accepted that – but one day when I was 33, I was at work and the thought came out of the blue that I should call the courthouse and see exactly what the law was – so I did and they said I just had to make an appointment and I could get my records

I went there and signed a paper in front of the judge and was handed the adoption records for Kathleen Laurie Hubbard – which confused me for a second until I realized that that was me (very much a twilight zone moment)

8 days later, I found her

her name was Kelly and she was everything I’d ever dreamed of in a mom – she loved me and had not wanted to give me up, but in 1965 the welfare dept wouldn’t help a minor unless they lived with their parents and my mom’s parents were not having any of that

since she was only 17 years older than me, I thought I would have her with me forever – we had a great 18 months together and spent one birthday together in 1999, and then she died that October while I held her hand

I know it was god that put that thought in my head at work that day – so that I would get to meet her before she died and I would finally get to know what it was like to have a mom that loved me

and I know that she’s in heaven now, and we will have so much more time together some day – but today, all I can think about is how much I miss her…

9 weeks

it’s been 9 weeks without any pain management — no pills, no alcohol, no punching anything, etc…

9 weeks since I made the choice to trust him with my pain – that he wouldn’t allow it to be more than I could endure – and though I am still choosing to trust, it feels like more than I can handle…

every day I get bombarded by memories – the things I have done and the things that were done to me – and it all just jumbles up into a big cloud of hurt where I can’t even think, I can only cry, and it feels like if I don’t do something to numb it, my mind will shatter (which sounds really melodramatic, I know, but that’s really what it feels like)

but in these weeks, I have been learning that just because I feel a certain way doesn’t mean I have to act on that feeling — I can just feel it, and not do anything

and I think that’s what this is — that all the crap that I never allowed myself to feel – that I buried, that I told myself I didn’t care about, that I accepted as deserved, that I drowned in chemicals, etc — it all just has to be felt – I think this is the sad part of the healing process, the grief over it all…

and when I beg god to make it stop, he doesn’t, and it sucks and I’m miserable and it feels endless and I hate it

the last thing I want to do in the middle of this is to be around community (I’m so over being the debbie-downer all the time) but part of choosing to trust him is being obedient to him – and staying in the word, praying, and being connected to the body is a huge part of that, even when, or maybe especially when I don’t feel like doing any of those things

always more to learn :/

today I finally stopped and looked back over the last 7 days… wow – I have a lot to learn about ministry

and what’s weird about that is that I’ve been involved with situations like this most of my life – when I was 20yrs old, I got my best friend into an alcohol/drug rehab after a year or more of her and my 2yr-old godson living with me while I worked 2 jobs and took care of us all and did crazy stuff – like throwing drug dealers up against the wall threatening to kill them if they fronted her anymore coke — and when she finally went to rehab, I was left barely able to function…

and so I sit here and take stock of the last week:

I have slept a total of 23 hours – I have eaten 6 times – I missed 12 hours of work – I showed up at an interview for a great job exhausted, in borrowed clothes, and smelling like whiskey – I did not grocery shop, clean, do laundry, or any of my own ordinary life stuff – all of my time with god was focused on todd’s stuff and not my own – and I spent way too much time agonizing and beating the crap out of myself in my head over how much I was having to involve josh and others at the ring

when this started, I had 23 days clean and sober under my belt, and only by god’s grace and the involvement of community did I manage to make it through without going off and getting drunk or using pills to take the edge off the stress

looking at all of it, I realize I still take way too much responsibility for other people’s choices — and I still have a little of that “if I die helping someone else, maybe it’ll make up for all I’ve done wrong”, martyr complex thing going on

and so there’s a lot to process and learn about all this if I am going to spend my life in ministry to others…

choice

the undercurrent of my life the last 7 months has been the idea of choice  – that I have the option of choosing to heal or choosing to remain as I am — which is really the choice of life or death — and you would think it would be an easy choice to make, but it wasn’t

this line from the movie super 8 has been haunting me in the background of my mind for months, when the little boy tells the alien

  I know bad things happened to you, but you can still live

as soon as I heard it, I knew that that was what god had been telling me, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to live

it’s a hard choice to make – to lay down all of my anger and hurt, to let go of my self-protection and my pain management, to stop focusing on the damage — to lay it all down before god and trust him to do what he will with it no matter how much it hurts – to trust that everything he allowed to happen in my life was the best possible scenario and it would all work towards the good

I have not trusted him with my pain for a long, long time – I felt like my heart was expendable to him, that he would allow more suffering and pain than I was able or willing to endure – I couldn’t imagine how certain things in my life could ever be called “good”

but then I imagined if a brothel owner right now, today, offered to set a child free if I would take that child’s place and spend the rest of my life in that brothel being sold 30 times a day until I died – I would do it without a second’s hesitation – knowing full well the horror of what it would be like, it would absolutely be worth it to me

and I realized that if I can imagine that, then I can imagine a scenario in which my childhood could be something I would choose for myself

and so I made my choice – I choose to believe that

heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even agony into a glory – cs lewis

and I choose to trust god with it all

the foundation

I thought this blog would be about my rescuing girls from the sex industry and helping them heal…

and then I found out you can’t rescue anyone while you’re still drowning

that though I have been out of the industry for 17 years and god has gifted me with celibacy for 16 years, I still believe a lot of the lies – about who I am and how god feels about me…

and I found I can’t skip straight to the end of the journey without taking the first foundational step of healing for myself – I can’t convince a girl she is loved unconditionally by god and can trust him with her heart if I don’t believe it/do it myself

and so this whole “journey reaching back” has become one of personal searching for his truth and his healing in my own life – to find the freedom from bondage that I want to offer to others

and it’s taking a whole lot longer than I like