Sunday, September 14, 2008

Returning

It's been so long since I lasted posted. So much has happened. So much I could say... But won't. For one thing, I haven't the time. But I feel a desire to revive this, though I have a feeling no one reads it any more. A dead blog this is, buried in the back of busy minds occupied with other thoughts. I almost forgot it, but not completely, I have merely been to busy and too confused to write. But I'm able to again. Life has changed and I can breathe. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I can breathe freely. For that's what I am. Free. Soaring through the night on wings I had thought were long gone. But He had not abandoned me. Nay, I had hidden myself from Him. In my shame and fear I pulled myself away and convinced myself that it was He that had left. That I had been forsaken. And it took so much, it took so long, to realize the truth. And I nearly died.

For four and a half years years I have struggled with depression. I have hurt so badly. I have been so alone and afraid. I have been numb in the dark with no hope of the return of light. For almost four years I have been addicted to something to free me from that numbness, to release the anger inside of me, anger at myself and at the world that caused me so much pain and fear. Pain. The feel of a blade against my skin, the knowledge that I could feel something and the knowledge that my wrongs were being repaid twining into a cage of twisted desire, holding me captive. And I was a willing captive, if a frightened one. Hate bloomed in me. Hate for myself, hate for who I was, for who I had become. I despised myself and in my brokenness I only fell farther into the cage that was slowly tightening its choke-hold around me. Strangling the life from my weakening spirit. Nearly three years it proceeded such as I spiraled farther and farther into this twisted addiction.

In February of 2007 I discovered a book series by Christian fantasy author, Bryan Davis. The book I was given was Eye of the Oracle. I devoured it, my heart yearning for the caring Father I saw God displayed as to the characters. They seemed so real and the one seemed so much like me. When she danced with Elohim, I cried. So broken, I went searching for what I had seen. I found a forum for his books, Dragons In Our Midst, and joined it. By the time I was able to post I had seen nearly every part of the forum and I had hope that this was some place I could belong. My hope was right. A year and a half as of yesterday, the forum family has become my family and I feel as if there is the one place I truly belong. In joining I met a few people right off, one of which I am speaking with on IM at this moment. An Angel in human skin. Meeting these people and seeing the love and reflection of God first hand impacted me strongly. Somewhere along the line I decided I wanted to be like them. Despite having grown up in church and a Christian home, the way they loved God was something I never remembered having seen before, something I had never felt. I wanted it. For a while I improved. In September I was struggling and I told three of my friends what was going on. They were magnificent and stood by me through everything. One of my closest friends, Feastel, asked me timidly if I would mind talking to another friend of hers who had struggled with the same thing in the past. I agreed. Even in my desire for pain, I was still afraid and a part of me still wanted to change. As I got to know Are, Feastel, and my other friends better, that part of me grew. I wanted to be free of this, but at the same time the cage walls grew tighter and thicker. The chains holding me seemed to grow heavier and weighed me to the ground, though I longed so much to fly with my friends.

Come January I had reached a point of desolation. In my heart I knew I would never fly. A confrontation with my two closest friends pushed me to the edge. On January 18 I nearly killed myself. But I made it through the night. And told my friends. In what followed Are told her mother, who took control of the situation. My parents were alerted, to what had almost happened. But it was left at that. Things remained that way for a while. I continued to fall into the trap I had woven for myself. I continued to fear and to hide.

May came and things seemed to be going wonderfully. I was going to be meeting Are and Feastel in person for the first time and I was so excited. But the same thing that kept me trapped in the cage trapped me there as well. Unable to get past the chains, I wasn't able to fully enjoy the time with my friends. And I blamed myself. I was miserable upon coming home. In the next week I hurt myself twice. I told Are and Feastel what was going on and things went downhill. Are's mother was alerted once again and this time communication with Are was cut off until July. It ripped my apart, but in an effort I resisted for nearly a month and a half. In June I got to know another friend, ValaVanima, much better. We had met the year before a bit after I had joined and she had been told about me not long before the gathering in May, but we had never had the chance to grow that close. That June and July our friendship took off after a few conversations. In a matter of a few weeks we grew extremely close. In August I went to stay with Are's family for the month. Though I shan't go into detail, I'll say that it was hard. Very hard. I hit low points I hadn't hit in a long time. My last Thursday night there I lost the battle. I struggled for a long time before giving in, but I wasn't strong enough to win the fight. When Han found out what happened, she told her mom. Once again my parents were informed. In terror I wanted to run, to flee. I didn't think I could get though what was ahead. Additionally, my communication with ValaVanima, who I had been relying on during that month for fear of burdening Feastel, was cut off. I crumbled inside, what little was left of my fighting spirit dying within me. I wanted to follow. I longed to let go. But I had made a promise. I had promised ValaVanima that I would hold on until I saw her again. She needed me as much as I needed her. I knew I couldn't leave her. Even though I believed Are and Feastel would be fine with only each other, I knew that ValaVanima needed me. So I held on. I returned September 2, cowering in fear. I knew that I would not be able to avoid a confrontation with my parents for long. But it didn't come that day. On the way home ValaVanima called and I talked to her the entire time in the car. It was a Tuesday when I got home and she was going to be coming to stay with me for a week that Saturday. I just had to hold on until then.

As I'm writing this now, I suppose it's clear that I managed to. The Friday night before we left my dad tried to talk with me about the cutting. But I didn't let him. In my fear I panicked and pulled away. He finally gave up and left. The next day I forced my sister to come along in the car to pick ValaVanima up so that I wouldn't be faced with riding in a car alone with my father. It held off the conversation and then my Vala was here. The week was amazing. We were busy beyond belief, but we still had time to talk and enjoy each others company. I was happier than I had been in a while. But still the bars of my cage choked me, drowning my attempts for joy. Finally Thursday night, two weeks exactly after what happened at Are's, I found myself there again. I stood on the edge of the brink. The day that been hard I had nearly run away that evening. It was that bad. So that night after getting offline I went to see ValaVanima where she was chatting with some friends on Facebook. I acted all go-lucky-happy and she never suspected a thing. But when I got downstairs I collapsed. I lay curled on my bed for a bit. I had become completely numb. After a few minutes I got up and put on Whispers in the Dark on the stereo system pretty loudly, just trying to drown out what was in my head. It didn't work all that well. I found myself kneeling on my bed, a pair of scissors clutched in my hands. I held them for the fist time through the song, just staring at them. Then I dropped them, pushing them away to arms length. I stayed like that, curled up in a ball, staring numbly, for the next two times through the song (it was on repeat) and half way through the third. By that time I was losing what small control I had left. I lifted the scissors and gripped them tightly. I was on the brink, but still trying to resist. I opened them. Then closed them again. Opened them. Closed them. I wanted so badly to feel the pain, but I was resisting. During the fourth time through the song I nearly did it. But I stayed stronger than that. I closed them and gripped them in my hands so they couldn't be seen and just sat there, frozen. All the while through my mind had been running scenarios. I heard the voices of my friends telling me over and over that I was worth more than this. I could hear them telling me that they loved me. That I didn't need this. That I could be free. I saw them as they were. Loved by Him. Beautiful. Free. I looked at myself. At all that I hated. As I pried down beneath the surface I realized something. The only difference between me and them was this. For the first time I saw the cage clearly for what it was. A flimsy web of lies and hate. For so long I had blinded myself to it, allowing myself to believe that I wasn't being trapped, but that what I feared and hated was part of myself, not the captor that had trapped me. But I saw the truth. And I saw the door. It stood wide open before me and without I could see my friends, their hands outstretched to me, calling my name. And I could see Him. Waiting there. Waiting for me. And I was so afraid. But I looked inside again. I broke, the deadness falling away and I finally was able to see what was left of the part of me that I once was. The part of me that is able to love and be loved. I saw her. And I allowed myself to become her, even though I was so afraid. And even though I was so scared, so terrified of leaving... I did. I left the cage.

And I'm free.

For the first time in years I'm free. I can feel and smile and love. I now know that I am loved, that I am not worthless, and that I am not alone. I have so much yet to learn, but all of that I know. And I'll have help learning the rest. He's there and so are all of my friends. It's a long path and I know it's going to be so hard... but I'm not going back into that cage. I am NOT! It tried to take me back the next morning. It tried to drag me back and capture me once again. But I'm still free. I didn't let it win. I am still free. He saved me because I finally stopped running and let Him. And I am free! I cannot even begin to describe how amazing it feels to be free after so long! How it feels to be able to breathe. But I am free. And he can't have me back!

I don't know if I was ever actually saved before, but that night might as well have been my spiritual birthday. From now on I will consider it such. It was the night I was saved. It was the night I was set free. And I am free. Forever free! And I can only fall to the ground and thank Him for saving me. I can never thank my friends enough for sticking with me through it all. I am so blessed. And so grateful to be alive. When I have come so close so many times, I can only shiver in gratefulness that I was given this chance to live. To truly live. For the first time in so long. There have been struggles already, attempts to drag me down again, but I'm leaning on Him and letting Him be me strength. I'm still scared, I still feel alone at times (the night after ValaVanima went home was pretty tough), but I //know// that He's there. And I know I can get through this. I know I can make it. Through Christ, all things are made possible.

I feel like jumping, skipping, dancing, crying... It's so overwhelming and beautiful.

I have yet to talk to my parents about everything, but I know now that I can make it through this. I know that He's with me. I know that I am not alone.

Well. I never started this out intending to write all of that, but I felt that He was telling me to. That He was telling me it was time to come out of hiding and face the light of day. My sins have been washed away. The filth made clean. I have no cause for shame. My only concern now is that my life from this point forth be focused on serving Him.

This is my history. This is my testimony. God has saved me from the person I was and made me new. The person in the paragraphs above is no longer me. I am His child now and no old guilt can be held above me. My soul is clean. Washed in blood that has saved me as my own never could. To quote a bracelet from a dear friend:
Creation
Corruption
Catastrophe
Confusion
Christ
Cross
Consummation
My spirit has been set free. My wings have been unbound. He is shaping me to His purpose and I will be more than I ever could have imagined. I can fly. I can breath. I am free.

I am a Vala in Shaping.
I am a Child of God.
I am a Christian.
I am Forever Free.
I am Never Alone.

5 comments:

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Well I am absolutely speechless.

It'll take me a while to get past the "shock effect" but my heart was reeling by the end of this post!

You are a very gifted writer, girl. God can use that gift to touch and speak to other people like very few other things. Let Him.

As for your cage, leave it behind. You may have heard this before, but I'll say it anyway: the enemy is nothing more than an unloaded gun. It's scary to be faced with it, until you see it for what it really is.

But what you have is a Sword. Sharpen it. Grip it. Use it.

Thank you for opening yourself up to me, and sharing such intimate details of your life. I will be back here to keep reading. I have read several posts, but I still have older posts I want to read. But then again, they've already been conquered!

Love, Chel

The Nameless One said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyheJ480LYA

Vala... Angel... you're finally there. *hugs her hard and close* Jessi love... Angel, you're free.

Dance with Him.

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

You should come back and read the last half of this post when you start feeling the enemy coming after you.

You gotta know he will. Draw your Sword. Remember your testimony. Remind him of it.

KaleCharis said...

I had trouble not crying as I read through your post, but as I got toward the end they turned to tears of joy so it's all good :)

I'm so glad! I wish I could rejoice with you. Don't ever doubt what God did in your life. *hugs*


Wow, God loves you girl!! (And I do too :P)

BookRyder said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!

Btw, I tag you...

- FOG