We sat down to lunch. She knew my story...this woman who had been traveling with me off and on for a long time. We started out as classmates at the university and turned into friends. We worked together at a local high school. I continued teaching (from home). She went on to become a counselor. That afternoon she kept her counselor hat on telling me that the panic attacks were there for a reason. I had needed to get out. It is exactly what I did.
Has life been easy since then? Yes and no. It has been freeing to free myself. To be able to walk into church on a Sunday and not feel like a target. God has rid me of the fear of man to a certain extent. More than ever before I know He loves me and that is all that matters. When you are stripped of community you begin to realize that God is "real community". He is the only One that knows how to do it right. When you are left with a low PR somehow your reputation doesn't matter anymore. At least not as much...when anything is taken away there is no fear of losing it. It's already been lost. So why worry? No fear. Just freedom to be yourself. To be who you were meant to be.
Yet, it has been hard. Lonely times. A new normal. One in which I have had to rest in simply because there is nothing else to do. I have to rest in His love regardless of what others think of me. I have to rest in His plan even though many days I have no earthly idea what is going on. I have to rest that in all the brokenness He knows what He is doing.
Resting is hard if you don't believe you are loved. Ask the manipulator who tries to angle all for her benefit. Ask the jealous one who believes that she missed out on the goods of life. Ask the angry man who is ticked that things didn't go his way. Ask the worrier who fervently ruminates over how to make her world perfect. All believe they are not loved. All act out in an effort to "feel the love". We all do.
When we know we are loved the striving ceases.
We sat down to lunch. She,too, knew my story. She had walked with me through much of it. That afternoon she said, "Now you just need to stay here in this moment. Rest. Realize how much He loves you. Nothing is more important than resting in His love."
I think they both were right...
Bonnie Gray has a book coming out entitled Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest. I am a part of the book launch for it and can't wait to read it in order to tell you all about it. More to come!
Also, there is a giveaway happening at Goodreads for Bonnie's book. Check it out!
I am linking up at her site...