Archive | May, 2020

The UnKnown

17 May

By Beckie Halaska

I woke up thinking about the fact that we never really fully know a person, nor does anyone ever really know us.

I spent most of my life being unknown. Unknown even to myself, I suppose. It was something I longed for, somewhere buried inside.  I think my entire life was spent trying to make up for who I thought I wasn’t, or maybe trying to be who I thought everyone else thought I should be. Trying to gain acceptance when I felt unacceptable. From trauma and scars, I became a perfectionist trapped in an imperfect, unacceptable persona, desperate for approval and not even able to see when I received it. I learned to hide me, I learned to create a different me, to “become” instead, to “fit in”. I learned to seek approval from other’s, bending and twisting me to become the expected. Sadly, the bar I had in my head was too high, completely unattainable; Perfect. So I failed. Every. Single. Day.  Inside, I was lonely, angry, disillusioned, lost and desperate to be loved.

I share my life transparently now for purpose because I know I am not the only one. I know there are those still suffering alone. I share my journey for His purpose.

When my marriage ended 11 years ago, I went down a path that literally almost took my life but in the end, set me free. That journey could only have the outcome it did with God by my side. Truly.

Empty nested, my deep rooted fear of abandonment realized, believing it was all because of who I was or wasn’t as a human being; I withered away slowly inside. The week I hit my rock bottom, I had had enough. I broke.  I had an exit plan, but God had a different plan.

My pain became the greatest love story between God and I. He broke through my walls that fateful night and gave me a hope, a new joy and a will to live. He intervened and I chose Him that night. He broke my chains,set me back on my feet and let me leave that life of trying so damn hard, far, far behind me.

No, I didn’t wake up a healed person. I woke up knowing I didn’t have to be anything other than exactly who I was. He loved me all messed up. I was unfixed and God was here, present and loving me. Period. I didn’t need to know more. That realization alone was freedom for me. That was everything I needed. I finally understood grace.

It has taken 10 years for me to fully understand the healing that He was doing in my heart.  It didn’t happen all at once, and I know I am still not done being molded and lead to new ideas and new understandings. I am still imperfect and so happy that I don’t have to be more than that. He was changing me as I was seeking Him instead of me having to run so fast and hard after all the things here that will never fix us, never fulfill us, never make us whole.

The greatest gift I received from my reconciliation to my faith in Jesus in 2010 was to be known. I am fully and completely known. I have no secrets from God. I can’t lie to Him, I can’t hide from Him. He loves me, regardless, and because of that, I learned to fully love me.  I am loved by the same God who put the stars in the sky, who created the universe. He put this soul in me for a reason, for a purpose, and no one ruined it or will ever be able to.
Yes, some really bad things happened to me, and there are trials ahead, for sure, but God is never defeated. Even the most traumatic things can be healed, and true beauty absolutely comes from the ashes, I promise.

I think as humans, we want to be seen, want to be known, I believe we are created that way. The truth is, I was never unknown to God. He always knew me. He never stopped pursuing me. He loved me in all of it, through all of it. Every step of the way.

And the same is true for you. I promise.

 

The Unlovable

5 May

I heard myself the other day. Someone made mention of someone that I am not fond of. This person has been unkind to me and to others, is a churchgoer, so in my opinion, no need to “be the light” to her, so I avoid her.  My comment to this person about her was “I am not a fan of hers”.  Teaching moment! 

Interesting when you put things into a perspective of what Jesus tried to teach us in the Sermon on the mount. In that same vein of teaching, if I don’t love, I hate. Christ was very black and white in that sermon. (Matthew 5-7)

Hate is a strong word. I don’t know if I would say I have hatred in me. I would not call me an unloving person, but if you look at the words Christ tried to teach us, it’s exactly that. Unloving. 

The greatest commandment is love. Love God, Love yourself, Love your neighbor. Love those that do wrong to us? Those that cause great sorrow to us or those we care about? Love our enemy?  What about those that are simply unlike us, do weird things, talk about us?

Here is the truth I have learned. We simply are not capable of love like that on our own. 
I am, on my own, only able to do so much.I can try, but I will be caught off guard and in those times, I will fail.  In order to really love like the scripture tells us to love, we have to know we are loved. We have to be so full of being loved that we are able to love at all times.  Perfect love like that is simply not humanly possible. But with God, we can do all things. It takes an actual surrender of will.

So, how do you get there? To know God, to know His kind of love? Like any relationship, it happens over time. For me it was a multitude of things. It was painful at times. I began by just talking to Him. Listening to the words of song after song. It was me crying out from hurt and sorrow, and somehow finding so much comfort the minute I began to cry to him.It was inexplicable peace when everything was going wrong.  Jesus Calling Daily Devotional became incredibly restorative for me. It drew me in over a years time, to the heart of faith. I began to read His word. I gained the knowledge, that with or without my participation, I was loved. He was love and I didn’t have to be anything to receive it. He was not punishing me when things went wrong. Mostly,  I was not alone in this world.

It was years of studies, like the layers of a rose, it was a petal at a time. I remain open to learning. Learning to surrender to Him as I learn to trust Him. Over and over again.

So now, back to my unloving words. As He shows me the things in me, like this prickly part of me, I can confidently stand before my God and say “help me”. Help me love the hard to love. Help me to love those that are not kind. Those that do bad things. He answer’s me. 

He say’s “Love Me”.  I can do that. He say’s “see all the ways I have loved you”.  I can do that. He says “Pray that the person who did this, can love me and see all the ways that I am good and loving, pray they can receive all the blessings I have for them”.  I can do that. That’s it. If we really pray for the redemptive healing in the heart that caused a wound, or hardship, it shifts it all back to Him and our ego is removed. He says I need you to look at me and not at anyone else, because that is all I ask of you. Full attention on He and I. Not on what other’s do or say or don’t do or don’t say.

It’s important to remember that no matter what other’s do, if I react with my own ego, 
I am letting someone else distort truth.

I have a perfect God I can go to in prayer, lift the person to Him. Let go of the issue because it isn’t mine to fix. I need to say here that we don’t stay in abusive relationships and Jesus was absolutely not a doormat for anyone. He was strong and confident in His Father and we can be as well. We just have to be mindful of our heart condition when other’s do against us or those we love.  

So, today I began my day with this prayer: “thank you God for showing me the things in me that prevent me from fully receiving all your love. I lift this person to you Lord, may you bless them with the richness of your loving grace and kindness, and help keep my heart from betraying me. Amen”. Simple. Because now, He is already doing the work in you.