Rewriting My Story

I recently read about rewriting your own personal story after life changing events or other major internal changes. Our story in the past may have largely included fear, shame, victimization, blame and anger. But as we retell our own story “so that it includes new perceptions, new understandings, and new conclusions…and as we continue to retell this new story to ourselves and others….we provide even more support for our healing and recovery. Our story changes over time. It begins with confusion and fear and pain…but (in my own words, we are transformed by God) and our story becomes less self-centered, less about victimization and more about hope, empathy and service. In the process, our brain steadily heals as well. In bonding, we open ourselves to others and build trust, attachment, empathy, and vulnerability.” From A Gentle Path through the Twelve Steps by Patrick Carner, Ph.D.

There are several reasons why I haven’t written a post lately and I will seek to explain why in the next few posts.

I was trying to make it too complicated, too intense rather than simply letting it be personal. The blog is entitled Opening My Heart and I sort of lost sight of that. I got caught up in thinking there was this list of deep theological questions to work through rather than simply opening my heart and telling how my story has changed since 2000 when I came back to my home area to live. How I am rewriting my story, or how God is rewriting my story. How I’ve changed within and without.

I started this blog by sharing excerpts from old journals I had kept through the years but  eventually I had gone through all of them and have now thrown them away. I said what I needed to say.

Occasionally I have new insights about different ways of thinking or beliefs where the meeting church doctrines were incorrect and detrimental and how I don’t believe in that particular line of thought or concept any more. But for the most part, I’m done. I still default at times to negative self talk which was actually glorified in the meeting culture and wrongly called humility.

I am continually aware of the need of having my mind renewed (Romans 12:1-2). To stop worrying about tomorrow (Matthew 6:25-34), or fretting and worrying in general (Psalm 37:8-9). Instead to turn all worry into a prayer (Philippians 4:6-7). Replacing lies with truth so that I can know true freedom, and finally to think more about what is true, lovely and pure etc. (Philippians 4:8). Over time, like the quote I mentioned in the beginning of this post, my focus has shifted from a place of frustration to one of a new life. Like the dawn breaking over a dark horizon and gradually it gets lighter and lighter with every minute.

My story has changed a great deal. I will write about what I have been doing in the next couple of posts. These changes are the result of HUGE changes within; changes God alone has brought about. At times, the inward and outward changes paralleled each other, but most often, the inward ones took the longest and my feet wouldn’t move until my heart had. I’m a slow processor and analyze things to death. I am terrified of making poor decisions (because I have made a number of them) and of being deceived. I have to KNOW God is directing before I’m comfortable changing anything.

I’d like to think I’ve gone from being a really good Pharisee to a really good follower of Christ.  From being a lover of law to a lover of grace.  From majoring in the minors to majoring in the majors.  From following what was tradition to following the Holy Spirit.  From needing the approval of others to trusting I have the approval of God.  From involving God in very little of my life to involving Him in all of my life. From thanking Him not just for the big things but all the countless little ways He shows me His love, faithfulness and grace. From leaning on others to leaning more and more on Him.  From fearing Jesus’ return to “I can’t wait for His return.”  From constantly doubting my salvation to having a sure confidence in my salvation.  From believing I was saved by works rather than by grace.  From seeing Jesus as my friend and Savior to seeing Him as those things plus believing that He was God in the flesh at the same time.  From my focus being on the ministry and the meeting in the home to Jesus, The Minister, and worshiping Christ rather than the form.  Just to mention a few!

To be continued….

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5 thoughts on “Rewriting My Story

  1. Darla, thanks for sharing about your change in perspective. We all have a story to tell I suppose. I appreciate this comment of yours “our story becomes less self-centered, less about victimization and more about hope, empathy and service. In the process, our brain steadily heals as well.”

    It’s so easy to remain focused on regrets instead of focusing on living each day in full appreciation of LIFE and our deliverance. I look forward to reading your thoughts as you continue to share.

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  2. I am always checking on your new posts ,Darla….and you never disappoint!
    Only today I was chatting with someone and telling them it is all about our relationship with God …man can only guess (or judge)us but ultimately God understands all…I like the thought of focusing on Jesus and not on just a FORM of worship….also don’t feel pressured to write too often… you have written more than enough for us to think about L already!

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  3. Wow, you really hit the ball out of the park with this post, Darla! And, apparently, it is still going … 🙂

    I appreciate the honest and graphic ways you have illustrated the “before” and “after” states of your personal transformation in that last paragraph. I hope I can say a hearty “Amen!” to each of those comparisons and any others you choose to share.

    As anyone who has experienced or is experiencing the transformation from Phariseeism to simply loving and following the teachings of Christ can probably attest, it can only happen if we are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to completely change our hearts and minds. As Paul wrote to the Romans in one of your references, “ … but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind …”

    As the truth of Christ’s words began to sink in and take root, I often wondered how I could have been so deceived! The truth was always there in the Holy Scripture, but I was too focused on the doctrines and methods of men to see it. Truly, it was only by the grace of God that my blind eyes were opened to truth and a seed of faith was begotten in my heart to accept and embrace it!

    As you know and have expressed earlier, this transformation is a very emotional experience. On one hand, there are fears of rejection, being further deceived and leaving our comfort zone. There is also some remorse for “wasted years” and guilt for believing, propagating and enabling lies. But, on the other hand, is the incredible joy and gratitude of finally seeing the truth and being delivered from the bondage of deception and hypocrisy! Praise be to God!

    While it is perhaps natural to dwell on the past, I find it is a spiritually unhealthy activity. Yet, it seems impossible to completely purge the past from my mind. Remembering the past, without obsessing about it, should help us appreciate and stand fast in Christ’s liberty and also help us avoid ever again being entangled with such a yoke of bondage.

    Thanks for sharing those specific changes from your personal renewal experience.

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    • I especially like your comments about the past. I had a struggle with spending too much time there. It was very unhealthy! I like what Eckhart Tolle says: “give only enough attention to the past to learn from it”.

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  4. This is one of your best posts yet! It takes a lot of courage to “open your heart” and let others share in important aspects of your life. I, like many, can’t wait to read more!

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