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16 February 2011

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Monte King

Thank you... I agree with Anne...

anne jackson

You are beautiful and lovely!!!!!!

Melinda Lancaster

I'm pretty sure I know why you had to write about. I've never read your blog before but saw a tweet with the title of this post on Twitter.
Your words mirror my exact feelings right now. You're much braver than I for I have kept them to myself.
May God restore joy to all those who desperately need it.
@heartcures

Mike

You are a heck of a brave woman. I am humbled by the privilege to limp alongside you with my own dark side. Thankyou for putting just the right words to so many things some of us just can't. You matter in a HUGE way!!!!

Gail Hyatt

Oh, my dear, sweet, precious, Shelia. I just read this out loud to Mike. When I was finished, he asked. What does that make you feel? I paused. Cocked my head, thought some more and said, "Hopeful." "Wow," he responded. "If I would have thought of 10 possible answers you might have said, that would not have been one of them."

I told him that I was hopeful because, this is true spirituality. The ability for one to tear off the mask, strip down and stand there, for all to see. This is a spiritual act. How scarey. How vulnerable. How beautiful. To see what's ugly and undesirable and to confess it - to agree with God about it - is HUGE. You may not have said you agree with God about it, but you did. You don't hate yourself. You hate the you that is you apart from the abiding presence and Lordship of Christ. Good.

And I've got news for you. When you said, "I am sick to death of my lack of originality. I battle the same demons over and over," you are expressing the reality that we all experience. I TOTALLY MUST PUT MYSELF IN THIS CAMP! AND I HATE IT, TOO! But, frankly, I have to ask the question of myself, "So you want new sins?" "Uh, well, no." Yours—and mine—are the ones that are OUR arenas where we do battle. They are necessary for our salvation. NECESSARY. And the promise of victory is ours, ... if we will loose.

I'm so hopeful, Shelia. This is breakthrough. This is what MUST happen to us if we are to get rid of the CRAP inside of us and realize true freedom and true joy. Remember, "Joy is not the absence of suffering but the presence of God." To get rid of the crap that is blocking us from fully experiencing the presence is hopeful.

Step one: Be HONEST! Get it out. Tear off the mask, strip down.
Step two: Grieve over our sins. Scream. Stomp. Throw. ... Cry.
Step three: Receive His UNCONDITIONAL love and his cleansing. He delights in YOU. He came that our joy might be FULL.
Step four: Begin to truly live.

I'm going to tell you something. You know when you said, "no matter how dark and difficult they may be, we give others permission to speak. We help them understand they are not alone"? And when you said, "it is the first time I have been sure I had to write about it. I'm not sure why."? I'll tell you why. It was for me. And that gives me hope.

Laura Hamm

I can so identify - my problem is trusting the Ann's in my life with that dark ugly side -

Maureen

Sheila
I too saw your Tweet, have no idea who you are at this moment, yet it spoke for me to follow. I took Gods lead followed the path
and found the comfort of a mirror of myself and a temporary battle worn and temporary phase riddled with life situations I cannot control that I am moving through just now. Your words inspired, gave me comfort, ended isolated thoughts and simply reminded me of His tender gracious presence in a strangers heart.
Reading your post I realized a few things. How much I have grown in faith and that the the once familiar inner veil imposed on me in childhood of resistance to share my true inner self is no longer my way of being. That self expression and truth is the path to our interconnection and the fastest road to God.
Over the years I have been called courageous because I was forced to speak my truth to find the heart of God. Yet I found that courage came by following His lead to be do say what ever he evoked me to. For it was the longing in my heart to remove the veil and return to Him that fired my courage.
We are a world of facades and cover ups. It was those who simply took off their veils and revealed their humanity that drew me to the light and heart of God and in the wee hours of the morning I say bless you and thank you God for His face and truth illuminates my path yet again through your spirit of truth.

Jennifer L. King

Dear Shelia,
A heartfelt thank you for writing this. For it is truth.
Every day in this foreign world in which we live, and for me exaggerated by living in a foreign C. Europe, I hear myself saying, "Life is so hard." Daily, it is so difficult. Daily, we all fail. And then I remember the passage in the Psalms which says "He remembers we are dust." God knows we are nothing but dust, and loves us just the same. I always find it astounding.
Thank God He loves us just as we are-- broken, hurting, trying, yet filthy. And He still proclaims us beautiful.
Thank you for sharing the truth of your heart, and for confirming for others that we are not alone, here on earth, and with God. He is near.
Praying the richness of God's blessings on your night, and in the coming day and days.
Jennifer L. King

Laura

Cannot tell you how your words mirror me at this time in my life, how they resonated deeply within. I feel so stuck and so ashamed I am still battling things, two in particular, year after year....just despondent lately over them. It helps to be reminded others do feel the same...thank you.

TC

Wow! and Thank you!
I did not need my dictionary and I'm confident that was God's design.

Shelia

Thank you, dear ones, for your words of encouragement, and for telling your own stories. It means more than I can say. I am overwhelmed.

Ali

Oh, Sheila, how I can relate to this post all too well. All too well. I have struggled a long time with insecurities, and just when I think a handle on them, I find out that I don't. I have wonderful, amazing friends who wonder why I am so insecure, and I have a wonderful priest who lets me complain bitterly about myself in Confession--and who provides wonderful affirmation--and for whatever reason, that still is not enough for me.

I all too often compare myself with others, thinking they have something that I lack: they are prettier, richer, better, thinner, different than I am--and I think they have more to offer than I do.

And I don't think it is arrogant to think that others want to know the crap inside your heart; I think it is being honest. All too often, Christians act like everything is perfect in their lives when really it is not. I made a comment on Anne's post about this similar topic that with social media now so prevalent, people can really hide the broken, flawed, less-than-perfect sides to themselves; and the rest of us who do examine ourselves think something is wrong when really we all have some inner struggle.

Thank you for your honesty in voicing your struggle. It is nice to know that I am not alone in disliking myself at times and feeling insecure.

Joel W Smith

Shelia,

How beautiful and honest! That's why the Christian experience is a journey, not a destination. The irony is that the more we become like Him, the more we realize we are so much unlike him. I am reminded daily that faith is a fight to keep on striving to be like him, to face our demons and to humbly bow at the cross of Christ. That realization is a good thing. Keep on keeping on sister because God is with us!

PL

I often read your posts and envy the fact that you are so "together"....oh how it helps me to know you are not!!!! That may sound terrible but it gives me strength in my battle. Thank you for being so real and unafraid to say what all of us endure. I salute you and look forward to hearing more of your journey.

Vickey Banks

This was one of the most stunningly transparent and well written pieces I have ever read. You have indeed made others feel safe to share their stories, and that is no small feat. Now, sweet girl, curl up in God's lap and let Him remind you of who you are in Him. No matter how and where and how often you feel you fall short of who you long to be, He is looking at you through Jesus-colored glasses. I'm confident you "know" that you are loved to the point of staggering sacrifice - but it is a blissfully beautiful fact that no attitude or action of yours can ever alter.

Please keep running to Jesus and writing about it. Your words, no matter how dark they may seem to you, are breathing life to many.

Because of Him,
Vickey
www.vickeybanks.blogspot.com

"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:38-39

For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope ; for who hopes for what he already sees ? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. - Romans 8:24-25

"Trust in Him at all times, O people. Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us." - Psalm 62:8

Shelia

To those of you who have come and stood by me, naked and exposed, thank you. It has made it easier to walk in this place knowing that in some way we are helping one another.

To those who have shared wise counsel, I am profoundly grateful. I know darkness and deceit are of the enemy. You have helped dispel that with light. Truth is elusive in the midst of defeat and exhaustion. Thank you for cutting through the fog on my behalf, and on behalf of others.

To PL, if I have appeared to have it all together, I have been less than honest. For that I apologize. I am glad that desperation forced me to be more candid. And I am not at all bothered by the fact you were pleased. :) I know that it is for my good. My head knows that anyway. My heart will catch up at some point. I hope.

For the prayers and words of encouragement, I offer my sincere gratitude. Running has taught me that sometimes you don't ask if you want to run, you just run. Quitting is not an option. Right now, I don't want to fight. That is the truth of it. But you have reminded me that quitting is not an option.

So, I will lick my wounds and try to remember who I am...who I really am...not through my eyes, but His...

You have helped me.

PL

Praising God that people have courage to display weakness. Imagine the world for a moment if everyone did. Why are we so afraid to be weak? It is not wrong. Our weakness began with our first breath.

All the posts have helped me. What a wonderful feeling to be helped by total strangers. Thank you Sheila for this. I pray I didn't seem harsh in my "together" comment. It was not meant that way at all. A poor choice of words it was. So now I worry that I only made you feel worse. Why? Because I am weak....but stronger because of you. Thank you.

Shelia

PL, you did NOT seem harsh! I was not hurt at all by your comment, only encouraged to be more transparent. I tried to e-mail you, but it was kicked back to me for some reason. I think I have felt that what would help people most here is hearing about the things that bring me joy. But, of course, that is not the whole story. What I have learned over the past day and a half is that there is value in telling ALL of our story. The beautiful, exciting, glorious bits. AND the dark, difficult, scary bits.

Thanks for your kind words. Blessings to you in your journey...

S

PL

I appreciate you trying to email. I have been unable to get in my email today as well. I'm working on it. :)

dana

Leonard Cohen sings....... There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.
It is so difficult to feel that raw sense of vulnerability...it hurts! The dark side is a frightening place to be. I wish I didn't slide into the crevasse so often. It happens..... and for good reason. A good friend of mine I've met through blogging writes.... "growth does not reside in a place called comfortable..." There is no place more uncomfortable than when we are struggling with truth in the dark. We just have to "kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight......." as Bruce Cockburn sings.... and if we do that? We walk out into the light with heightened senses and new learning.

Samantha

I actually googled the phrase "I wish I weren't me" and you were the first that was listed. I could have written that. I'm right there. The only difference, had I posted this somewhere no one would have commented. At least you have people that care and encourage. Those people are important too. I'm sure you try your hardest to make sure never to say a cruel word to anyone too, but the world does not return the favor. Kudos for sharing. I honestly believe all the other posts are right. You made me have a little hope, so thanks.
The Darkside

Julie B

Shelia! I remember reading this a year ago, but never commented. Today, after following your blog for quite a while now, I am so grateful for your vulnerability to share your heart -- the good, the bad, the ugly...and it always becomes Truth & Beauty! I don't normally recommend books I haven't read all the way through, but I just started reading Abba's Child by Brennan Manning, and it is speaking so much to me, and I believe it would speak to everyone who has read and commented on this post. "Beloved" -- that is what we are, what our Father calls us, yet we so easily forget! Blessings on this continued journey! And Samantha, I'm praying for you!

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