So I guess the aftermath from my last blog post has blown over. That was interesting to say the least. So now what? What happens now that I opened a little of Michelle Cooper’s life for public consumption? It’s been eight months. You might think those eight months must have been so freeing for me. I mean, why wouldn’t it be? I was able to get some stuff off my chest. Maybe helping others see me for the first time would help me feel unrestricted. Perhaps you have been thinking some of these things or maybe you have not. Well let me tell you, if you have not been thinking these things, I have been thinking them for you! Either way, the reality is, time has passed. So where to begin?
Over a year ago, I felt God telling me to write parts of my story down. I thought He wanted me to do this in order for a voice to be given to those who suffered from mental illness. What I failed to see, He had a completely different plan for me. There is a reason God made the choice to only fill me in on part of the plan. The truth is, if He would have disclosed the entire design, I would have run out the door and slammed it shut behind me. I would have made sure the door locked on the way out. I might have even stopped long enough to double check the lock to make sure it wouldn’t jiggle loose and become unlocked. Nope, I did not know the full plan God had for a very good reason.
If I had known that I would experience a perpetual winter season for over a year, I never would have done what I did. The wind is so cold and fierce that it burns as its tendrils stretch out to slap my face as they pass by. The bitter cold continues, it steals my breath away as it wraps around me tightly. The grayness of the sky has sunk into my soul causing such a deep darkness I am searching to find my footing. The blinding snow and sleet continues to fall from the sky like bullets careening toward its target ripping away any warmth. My stance becomes crippled causing me to stumble and fall. I have never felt so alone, scared, numb, and desolate in my life. My husband has been the voice pulling me in from the cold and wrapping me with warm blankets trying to breathe life back into my body. No, it’s not been an easy 8 months to say the least. It’s taken me a while but I finally figured out why God wanted me to take that step.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. 5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. 6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” 7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. 12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.” Hebrews 12:1 – 13 (NLT)
See, it’s not that God wants me to hurt so deeply. However, He knows it is necessary. I have been broken for most of my life. Because of people and events, I have built a very unhealthy reality for myself. The things that have slowed me down most of my life finally caused me to stop my forward momentum all together. God is not disciplining me in the way we traditionally view chastisement. He is loving me by taking me through the steps to begin to pick up the scattered remains of my life. He is taking me through the discipline of accepting myself and learning my past doesn’t have to dictate terms anymore to my most inner being. He loves me, the inside me! He said He does this to the ones He loves. He also said it would be painful but He loves me and I am His child. He is so patient to wait for me to take these steps so that I might know the freedom I have not felt in more years than I can remember. He longs for me to take my shoes off, have the blades of grass tickle my toes, jump in mud puddles, to dance in the rain, pick wild flowers, and have my skin kissed by the warm rays of sun. He wants me to be happy and strong. So for now He is calling me to take each footstep and to;
“Be still, and know that I am God! . . .” Psalm 46:10