Recently the Lord has been helping me navigate how childhood trauma has affected me as an adult. I am healed, I no longer live life with a million bullet holes and feeling like I need a life vest to get through. But, all this healing doesn’t mean I am completely done. I spent most of my 20’s healing from childhood trauma and God has done miraculous things in my heart. I have forgiven people who have abused me, people who have hurt me with words that stemmed from their own insecurities, people who have tried to limit me or use me for the giftings God has given me. Forgiveness has never been a hard thing for me for some reason – I have never been able to hold a grudge. But, I have struggled with building cases against people out of fear or being rejected, hurt, used, or dragged through further pain and trauma. I have spent most of my life rejecting people before they rejected me and keeping people on the outskirts of who I truly am. This will probably be the most vulnerable, personal blog I have ever written but I do it knowing that my testimony will give hope and courage to others and hopefully point people to Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the Healer.
The two photos below are me as a newborn and me today. The newborn photo was sent to me in 2015 by a relative in my birth family.
A couple of weeks ago I found a box in my internal attic that the Lord showed me and I’ve been unpacking it – very slowly.
The box was labeled “FEAR”.
Most of you reading probably have heard me share about my childhood – foster care, sexual abuse, emotional and mental abuse, did a number on me as a toddler and girl. When I was just a small girl I created a defensive wall around myself that helped me get through foster care and early childhood abuse. I built this massive wall that kept me and my brother inside and other people out. It allowed me to go from home to home without getting attached – though most of the people we lived with weren’t worth getting attached to anyways.
I think my (adoptive) mom was the first person to break into this wall. But, I developed this wall out of fear, terror even. My mom and dad embraced my brother and I with such tenderness, love, and affection. The first home I felt safe and settled in and the first adults who fought to know me, love me, and be my family. But, I still had the wall. I still had fear of rejection and abandonment.
I have lived my whole life in fear. Fear of being rejected by people (my own birth mother rejected me so why wouldn’t everyone else), fear of being too much or not enough, fear of being abused again, fear of being abandoned again, fear of being hurt. I have been constantly waiting for people to use me and dump me – even subconsciously. I don’t let people truly know me because I am scared that they will find out how “broken” or “intense” I am and reject me. I also developed other fears – fear of hurting other people, fear of excluding people, fear of saying the wrong things, fear of being dependent on other people, fear of letting people down.
I am 32 and fear has been my constant companion since I was a newborn. Fear has never not been here. I’ve gotten so used to it that I barely even notice the hold it has had on me. It has kept me from forming close friendships, trusting men easily, and letting people truly know me.
Fear has been a safety blanket that if it were taken away – could I handle the freedom?
A few weeks ago my pastors/close friends (Mark and Amy Calkins) and Holy Spirit sat with me for hours breaking my heart free from fear. It was painful, I had a panic attack, but the Lord showed me the moment that fear came and attached itself to me. I was a child. I was a little baby who was not wanted or expected from conception. My birth father didn’t even wait around to see me when I was born. Fear came and attacked my identity when I was just an infant and it has stuck around ever since – taking from me, stealing from me, and costing me so much.
But, that night in my friends living room changed the game for me. Fear was cast off of me and I exchanged him for the spirit of peace, the spirit of hope, the spirit of freedom. Since that night of accepting freedom, I have seen an increase of courage and I have noticeably felt less and less fear. Every day there is less fear than the previous day. Every day I am aware of things that triggered me into “protect yourself” mode are either gone or greatly lessened.
This past few weeks has been a bit of a haze – I am now so aware of areas I’ve allowed fear to dictate my decisions, my desire to only let people know me to a point, my irrational fears, and my trauma based fears. I am aware of its absence, I am aware that the blanket that covered me for 31 years is gone, but I don’t feel exposed – I feel the covering of God’s peace, courage, and strength. I am finding myself doing things and realizing that I didn’t even think about being afraid.
I’m finding more and more freedom every single day. Fear has lost. I no longer have fear as a companion but now walk in peace and joy as my companions – and I will for the rest of my life.
I’m not done working through this. It is hard to choose peace when all the bells in my head are sounding alerts – rational and irrational. But, I get to choose and I am choosing His peace in spite of fear’s constant attempts at wiggling back in. There are big changes coming in my life – major things that have been lifetime habits that I am working on breaking. But, I no longer identify with fear. It is not my companion and when it rears its ugly head I am able to command it away – though it isn’t always instantaneous. Sometimes, it requires deep breaths and me speaking truth over what I actually real and what is fear speaking lies.
The battle IS truly the Lord’s and I cannot do this alone. I am making it a goal to let more (safe) people walk with me and share more of my story for His glory. All of my testimony belongs to Him and He alone deserves all of the honor and glory for the work He has done in my life over the years.
I choose peace and joy. I reject fear and his companions – shame, panic, and rejection.
I am a work in process – but, aren’t we all?
I know many of you are struggling with fear. I know many of you reading this live under the same terror and fear. But, you don’t have to. If you want to talk with me and have me pray with you for freedom, please message me! You don’t have to do it alone. I am grateful for Mark and Amy, my best friend Sierra, and a couple other people who are walking this path with me. Don’t do it alone. I pray God sends you safe people to work through your pain with. You are worth it.
God is good. So, so good. ❤