Part 3: The blessed darkness.

This is the hardest post I’ve written so far. This post, when written the first 3 times, included my family and my husband.

But I trashed all those drafts. This is my testimony. Mine. Not “ours”. I had to find a way to tell my story, which I’m so ready to tell, without disrespecting the privacy of the people in my life.

My mom introduced me to Mark around 2004 and we fell in love. I remember when he told me he loved me. I said “I love you too”, but he protested, saying “no! This is my time, I’m loving you right now”. He’s loved me that way ever since. Even when my moods and addiction made it difficult. He loved me despite me being me. I still don’t know what I did to deserve such a loving man. Not everyone saw that though, which is my fault. I was never really good at sharing myself, or my life, with family or friends. After all, I had a secret to hide, and my bipolar mood shifts didn’t help. So opinions of Mark suffered because of my selfishness. I’m so sorry for that.

Relationships are being healed now. Slowly but surely. I love my family and their willingness to just love purely. Despite mistakes and lies, despite time lost, my family has always loved me. They always will. I have no doubt about that. And for that, I know I am one of the lucky ones.

Mark & I moved in together, and lived in several cities, moving for jobs. At this time the economy was faltering and jobs were difficult to come by. But life was difficult for many reasons. Self inflicted reasons. Like razors taken to the goodness of the skin of my life, my poor decisions cut that goodness into bits and pieces.

One day I’ll be able to fill in these blanks. When I’m ready. When we’re ready.

I’m skipping a lot of years here because I haven’t figured out how to talk about those years yet as just my story. But I want to keep going so I can tell you about my Savior, and we’ve still got two years to go.

We landed in Jacksonville in 2012 for the best job I’ve ever accepted. I was so happy to be leaving home. Honestly, I was always happy to leave home. My life was so miserable there because of my poor choices. Choices which affected everyone I loved, and the guilt of which is so hard to let go of. I’m good at letting go of anxiety, fear, sadness. But guilt? Guilt is difficult to get rid of, to leave at the foot of the cross like I do with my other negative emotions. Guilt sticks like a stain in your head and heart that you just cannot get rid of. That guilt, is always in the back of my mind, and has seeped into the depths of my being. I carry this guilt of what I did to my family. Hopefully one day I will learn how to let that go.

Am I even supposed to let that go? Because I feel like I deserve to carry it with me forever.

After one month of working at that job I moved to Jacksonville to accept, I was fired. They never told me why. Shortly thereafter we were evicted from our apartment, which was always more expensive than we needed. We moved into a hotel. We thought it would be temporary, but it wasn’t. We lived there for almost two years.

And so here we are, the point in my story where, believe it or not, things start getting really difficult. I was spiraling downward faster and faster. Life actually got worse. Worse than the years I cannot talk about yet because they’re not just mine to tell. Worse than the years I spent in South Florida in a relationship with a serial cheater. Worse than threatening myself with suicide.

Things were about to get real.

What comes next are the darkest of days. Days when I didn’t know what I would do from one second to the next. Times so foggy that I could not see beyond the next second of life. When I didn’t know if there would even be life in the next second. It was so dark, I couldn’t see myself in the mirror anymore. It wasn’t really me I was seeing. My mind was failing, then my body started failing. It was scary and strange. For example, at work, I could not type as fast, my fingers were slower. Something was wrong with my neurological system. My whole body with being affected by the darkness in which I was dwelling.

I can now say that I now thank God for those days. The days full of prolonged seconds which seemed to last hours. Those millions of miserable moments spent alone in the darkness of my mind. I lost myself there. And although I didn’t realize it at the time, that was the best thing for me. I needed to lose myself before I could find God.

But like I mentioned, we’re still 2 years from that. I was still trying to fix things on my own. I hadn’t yet considered giving God a chance. God wasn’t a blip on my radar, or a thought in my head. Not yet. God was the furthest thing from my broken mind . Or so I thought.

God was there, but it would take a miracle 20 years in the making for me to see Him, and one question to one friend that would change everything.

©

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10 thoughts on “Part 3: The blessed darkness.

  1. Keep writing, Bree, this is fabulous! I agree with everything Amy said. You have been through so much and have found your faith- God loves you, and so do I.

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    1. Thank you Tat. That means so much. I kind of got stuck trying to figure out how to tell my story while keeping the privacy of my husband and others. It’s just my testimony. But I will keep writing. I really want to get to the part where I came to Jesus at 36. It’s what I set out to tell. Thank you for your support.

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  2. Keep writing Bree! You are an awesome writer and Christian sister! I hope you will be able to lay down the guilt, but I empathize with your struggles. I have a problem myself with laying down the anxiety 😦 I keep praying and working on it though, God will provide so I shouldn’t worry!

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  3. Just think, God is in the business of writing such stories every moment of every day! Thank you, Bree, for so graciously sharing your story. I, too, haven’t commented on IF:Equip, but have been blessed by your story. I’ve been a believer for many years now, but would list you and your story as one of the most encouraging the Lord has used in my life. So, thank you so much for being brave and humble and obedient to share what the Lord has done in your life! May He continue to bless you and meet your every need!

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  4. Bree I too struggle with guilt. But I think mine comes from a place of not being able to reveal/confess the me that is so broken. Through Jesus things are getting easier and so little by little, I allow the vulnerable parts of me known to my friends and church family and in my private times with God he is healing me. Which comes to this, you’re story so closrly matches mine and I find strenghth in it. So thank you Bree for allowing everyone see and share your healing journey and for giving God all the Glory. Bless you my sister ifster 🙂 Nancy

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    1. Bless you Nancy. Thank you so much for your comment. You are truly a blessing to me by sharing these encouraging words. My hope, when starting this blog, was that it would help others who might have similar problems to myself, or a similar background. I also hope that anyone, with any sort of adversity in their life, could find a way to relate to me and my journey towards Christ. I’m so glad you commented and said what you did, it warms my heart and drives me to keep writing. God bless. Have a great day.❤

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  5. Dear Bree, I’ve been following your story through IF:Equip for the last couple years. I love to read what you have to say in response to our scripture and videos each morning. I’ve never left a reply to anything you’ve written, but I immediately subscribed to your blog when you told us “Ifsters” that you had begun it. I look forward to your “rigorous honesty” – as they say in recovery. I missed hearing from you while we’ve had this break since the IF Gathering, but am so glad to read your blog as it comes out. Praise God for turning your life upside down and all around for His glory! I, too, understand finding the right words that make it “your” story and not yours and Mark’s or yours and your parents, or yours and anyone else’s story. My husband and I have a recovery story, but so far his is his and mine is mine, because so much of it was before we met and our lives were pretty messy on our own! I loved seeing your sweet and lovely wedding photos (What a gorgeous bride! I face booked stalked!) I think all your Ifsters were so excited and counted down with you till your wedding day! I say all this to say THANK YOU for sharing your life with the rest of the world. YOU are making a difference in so many lives who read about your heart’s desire to serve Jesus, and who know you at your church and where you work. YOU inspire and encourage me/us to be the best for our King. YOU are touching lives in ways you may never know until we meet you in heaven. Keep living for Jesus, and putting Him first, and sharing your story. It’s really HIStory. I wouldn’t trade anything I’ve gone through in my life to get me where I am today – the pain, betrayal, rebellious kids, broken marriage, estrangement from family, struggles with family members’ addictions and co-dependancy. God has taken our mess and made it our message. You are such a bright spot in so many lives, a shining example of someone who hit bottom and knew all they could do was to surrender to the One who loved her most. Thanks Bree, for being you, and sharing that beautiful you with us! Love and prayers, Libby

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    1. Libby, thank you for your sweet, encouraging words. I’m so happy that some of my IF friends are following my blog, enjoying what I write. I miss you guys too during these breaks, just like I miss it on the weekends. I look forward to our next study starting Monday. Thank you for your comment here it’s meant a lot to me, and has uplifted me and encouraged me to keep writing. What a blessing you are to me, thank you.

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