I am not weak: guest post by April McCullohs

Today I’m blessed to have April McCullohs with us. She shared this entry with me, and it so blessed me. I know it will bless you too. I wonder if you relate. Let me know in the comments section.

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I told myself that it wasn’t as I felt it was.

I self-coached and prayed and even brought my husband into the crazy realm of my mind, letting him know that

I was struggling,

that my current conflict reeked with the scent of my abuse,

that I just couldn’t shake it.

It was a regular, real-world conflict, the kind you can encounter any time you work with people, rubbing shoulders with good people, different people, and things just go wrong for you.

For whatever reason, this particular conflict placed me in a position where the message of my abuse raised its voice, reverberating in my soul, chipping away at the fresh laid bricks of wholeness, truth still setting in and not yet impermeable. It spoke, clearly, brazenly, unmistakeably;

you are weak.

I felt bullied, taken advantage of, and then silenced.

And who was I kidding, thinking that I could run with the boys? It was my dare to believe I was equal, in strength and in agility, that landed my back on the pavement twenty-four years ago and the lie Satan etched on my spirit then is the lie that still haunts me now.

You are weak and those boys will always be stronger, and you will never, never be able to run with them.

When a woman, or a man, chooses to heal, to take steps toward wholeness and she begins to work through her story, there is the pain she must face simply due to the facts, to the actual event of abuse. The single act of bringing herself to the place of acknowledgement, where she can speak the words aloud, giving her nightmare a proper name, is heroic, requiring much strength. But that’s only the starting point.

Then comes the process of discerning the lie, the poison that was whispered after the tragedy, the toxic lens through which she would view herself, her world, her future.

The abuse hurts us, but we can heal. It’s the lie that will impair us forever, left undiscerned and unaddressed.

A dear friend of mine was able to identify her lie and it is

you are not enough.

Another sister wrote hers in her memoir,

you are not worthy of love.

These are simple sentences, comprised of few words, and they seem universally applicable–those words could belong to anyone. But because of how they were introduced to us, because of the violence with which they were delivered, those words became bound to our core, and only One Greater, One Mightier can set us free.

I have to know my lie. I have to journal it and share it with a trusted few. I have to remind myself of its source and its evil author because if I do not, it will inform my decisions, my motives, my gut-reactions and my thought patterns. If I do not know my lie, keep it close to me, it will know me,

it will own me.

When I know my lie, I can step into a conflict and spot it–there–and slowly work to extrapolate it from the truth of the situation:

No, he is not my abuser.

No, I am not being manipulated right now.

Yes, I am hurt, but this is not an attack on who I am, this does not speak to my value and worth as a woman.

And {just as important as the previous declarations}

No, I am not to strike back. No, I am not to exact vengeance on this person.

He is not my abuser. I am not his judge.

I am not weak.

If I am ignorant to my lie, it remains attached to me. My spirit will continue on the trajectory set decades ago in one, long, desperate attempt to disprove it, on my own terms. If I am ignorant to my lie, I am no different than Pinocchio, dancing to the music, unseen, unknown motives pulling my arms, my legs, my words, my actions one way and the next, wreaking havoc on self and others. If I am ignorant to my lie, I strike back, reveling in false strength, throwing punches at the ghosts of my past, unable and unwanting to become an agent of peace.

This time, I recognized my lie lurking around the recesses of my soul.

I shined the light of truth on its ugly face and it shrank back.

I declared its opposite, I bathed myself in scripture, I told myself what I know to be true and its grip lessened, its talons retracted.

I entered the process of reconciliation with my offender although fearful and not completely free from the lie. I did what I knew to be biblical and solution-oriented, and peace, real and authentic, was made. Only after the process could I look back and see just how small, how powerless, and how irrelevant my lie had been the entire time.

With every step towards truth, especially in the throes of conflict, the lie loses its power. One more soul string is cut from the puppeteer’s hand, one more measure of salvation is solidified, one more ounce of kingdom strength becomes me and I step closer to the kind of woman I want to be.

I am not weak.

Neither are you.

Let’s know our lies that we may walk in truth, growing into the freedom that’s belonged to us the entire time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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