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Breaking walls, busting shackles, and running out of graves

August 19, 2018
"Hurt people hurt people" @MarkCrossman #TheCrossMountDora

After sixteen years of undiagnosed PTSD, I was devastating my closest relationships, betraying and hurting those closest to me.

I would “self medicate” on binges. Selfish desires, telling myself I could quit anytime, only to get confronted by them. The devil had me convinced of the lie that I could be in charge.

News flash: I’m a horrible god.

After a horrible series of poor decision making, not considering consequences, I almost lost everything and everyone who have loved me and cared about me.

My M.O. would be to subconsciously drive people away, so they wouldn’t know my hurt, my feeling of not knowing who I could turn to. I was reliving a near fatal accident (drowning) that one of my kids had experienced and I had no control on the events of the day nor the outcome. Over the course of sixteen years, I would receive two similar phone calls about the same child (much later in life when he was in the service). Each time, I’d run right back into a freshly self-dug pit, driving people away and building a wall to keep them out.

Sixteen years, and I had heard (and believed) everything, like God was punishing me (I’ve since began to understand that lie is more damaging than I could have possibly imagined) coming from family members who were there, and from “Christian” friends who were nothing but law and no grace (I was raised Southern Baptist, looking back I’m not surprised, I also heard this from family members in a few other less graceful denominations). It was devastating. No wonder people leave the church. I know I did.

From June 29, 2002 to July 28, 2018 I believed the lie. I believed that I could wear a mask, hide my true fears and feeling of hopelessness.

I could say all the right things, act like I truly cared but would go frantically digging my own pit, a grave, each time I felt someone getting too close.

I believed “I love you” was a physical act. Not a sacrificial one, though I could say differently out of selfishness.

My mask was a scowl. Rarely, my wife and kids would see who God made me to be. Not who I had become.

July 28, 2018 my life was broken.

God fixes broken. He heals. My life is not the same.

I started prayer walking July 30, 2018. I started with a mile. On July 31, 2018 I felt the comfort of a ghost. The Holy Ghost. I was reminded that I was saved for His purpose because He loves me.

I was told to quit digging my graves and jumping in them. I didn’t need that grave.

When Jesus Christ was crucified and buried He did something more life changing than any of my hurt, anger, and fear.

He went to Hell, and told Satan it was over. I imagine when Jesus walked out of that grave He looked Satan in the eye while pointing at me and simply said “Steve’s mine”.

Sure, the battle is always ongoing but on July 30, 2018 I had the willingness to listen, be comforted and allow 16 years of believing lies, and holding in anger for so long I was emboldened to say “Fuck you Satan, you lost. Go back to hell.”

Freedom.

The Gospel set me free. Good news sets us free.

And cursing out Satan? Well that felt liberating!

And yes, I’m finally getting professional help too, it’s been a life-saver.

This song in just a few short weeks, more than any other in YEARS, has reminded me that God is faithful even when I couldn't be. Feelings of hopelessness, anger, despair when I would keep digging my own pit to hide in. 

Hello Beautiful by Mercy Me
Hello Beautiful by MercyMe

No more
I quit
I’ve had enough
I wasn’t made for this
To all the lies that have tried
To cripple me with doubt
I think it’s time to say goodbye
I know who I am now
Part of me says I’d be smart to walk away
But before I leave, I think I need to call you out by name

Goodbye regret
Goodbye alone
Goodbye to emptiness
Say hello to beautiful
Goodbye afraid
Goodbye ashamed
Goodbye to hopelessness
Say hello to beautiful

Can you hear it?
That’s the sound of me walking out
Of this prison cell
That I’ve come to know so well
I used to play the victim
Singing take these chains from me
They’ve long been broken I was free and would not leave
Somehow I got too comfortable locked up here in this prison
That I missed the doors wide open more like ripped off of its hinges

Goodbye regret
Goodbye alone (Goodbye)
Goodbye to emptiness
Say hello to beautiful (Beautiful)
Goodbye afraid
Goodbye ashamed
Goodbye to hopelessness
Say hello to beautiful

Hello, hello, hello beautiful
Hello, hello, hello beautiful
Hello, hello, hello beautiful

Before I go, just so you know
There will come days again
Wrestling not to believe
The things you say I am
When I’ve forgotten what’s inside and who I’m meant to be
I’m reminded what’s inside has not forgotten me

Goodbye regret
Goodbye alone
Goodbye to emptiness
Say hello to beautiful
Goodbye afraid
Goodbye ashamed
Goodbye to hopelessness
Say hello to beautiful (To beautiful)

Hello, hello, hello beautiful
Hello, hello, hello beautiful (Beautiful)
Hello, hello, hello beautiful
Hello, hello, hello beautiful

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