“Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelations 21:5 NASB
Yesterday I experienced perhaps the most important epiphany and revelation about myself of my entire life. It was a life altering game changer, and I KNOW I will never be the same again.
It all started when I found a private message thread in my facebook inbox from a group of people, many of whom I have not had any meaningful interaction in almost 20 years. It was a thread with a group of people from a rather nasty church breakup I had been involved with back when I was the tender age of 21. They were discussing our experiences from that church all those many years ago.
My reaction to seeing these folks all talking about something that has had a profound effect on my life was immediate and physical. I was shaking, my feet and hands had gone cold, and I was very much on the verge of tears or hysterics. Or perhaps a full blown panic attack.
As this interaction was occurring, a friend of mine was sick, and I had agreed to go over and give her a raindrop treatment. I was in such a state, that my husband questioned whether or not I should even be driving. But I felt I was honor bound to go to my friend, regardless of my issues from the past, and that I would just have to deal with it and go to her.
When I got to her house, I began setting up my oils and massage table, but as I was setting it up it became clear that I was NOT in a good headspace to minister to her, and that I would need to face what I was going through head on before I could move on to something else.
I started by going back to when I was 19, and had a brief, but intense, period of rebellion and walking away from God. He pursued me and called me back, and used that church to renew, revitalize, and revise our walk. But within a year and a half, there was a church split, and many of us left, many more stayed, and the church itself went on for a few more years, before finally dissolving completely.
It was a scarring experience.
For me personally, my experiences with this group of people was truly a mixed bag. I had a ton of issues, and the folks there did not seem to know what to do with me and my issues, and it seemed much easier to ignore or freeze me out than to actually reach out and minister to me.
But that is the enigma of Christian ministry. The ones with the most needs are often the neediest, and the ones who are unloveable are the most in need of love. It’s kinda like that.
Our problem as fallen human beings is that we often do not know how to receive, welcome, accept, and love people who are not like us, and since we were all pretty much kids back then anyway, with zero ministry experience and not much wisdom and maturity amongst the lot, there was a lot of room for hurt to happen.
In the ensuing years, I have recognized many patterns of my own, and grown in wisdom, maturity, and my ability to see my issues and recognize my strengths and weaknesses. One constant has been this Brick Wall that I have encountered over and over again, that has stopped me from achieving my desires, hopes and dreams. I have banged my head against this Wall time and time again all of my life and I have never understood why the Wall was there, of what it was composed, or how to get over it, around it, under it, or dismantle it.
In the last year or so though, the Wall seems to be… retreating. I have gone further than I have in my entire life, and many of the old thought patterns have been crippled and destroyed. But though weakened, the Wall still remained. (I know… it’s SO Pink Floyd.)
For the last 2-3 months, I have been having dreams about babies. In my dreams, I am either pregnant, having a baby, or surrounded by babies. These dreams have been consistent and I have had at least one (but usually 2-3) every week for a couple of months now. I knew that the dream had to be symbolic, that it was not about literal pregnancy or having a literal baby, but I could not figure it out.
So yesterday, I was bringing my friend up to speed on my history and all of the things I had been going through. I laid out all of these seemingly unconnected elements: the dreams, my physiological reaction to the message thread, and this Wall. As I was explaining all of this, another friend of ours showed up. They both began to lay hands and apply oils on me, and hear me as all the yuck came out in deep sobs and gut wrenching gasps.
As she was applying oils to my back and ears, the second friend said, “When you were 8 or 9, your mother said something to you. What was it?”
Now, I couldn’t think of a single thing that my mother said to me when I was 8 or 9. But something that immediately came to mind was that was the age I was when I encountered Christ in a powerful way, and received the baptism of Holy Spirit for the first time.
I don’t remember what my mother’s reaction was at the time. But I definitely remember her reaction to every other spiritual or emotional epiphany I have had since then.
The very core of my being; the center of who I am, and how I identify myself, is my relationship to and in Christ. And I have sensed all of my life that is something my mother not only does not understand about me, but has (openly at times) mocked and rejected.
Despite having her own walk and relationship with God, I have always sensed that she did not approve of mine. If not of my actual walk with Christ, then with… my method of walking. We are vastly different personalities, and I have always been more emotive and demonstrative that she was ever comfortable with.
I’ve known for years and years that I had “Mommy issues” but it was not until last night that I finally could see and understand the very core of it. To see over that wall to the barren plot of ground that it contained and the shriveled withered plant that was hidden there. The tender shoot that had begun to sprout when I was a small child had been placed under a barrel almost as soon as it had started to reach for the light.
After sharing all of that, my friend said, “You are the baby in the dreams. You need to be rebirthed.”
And she was right.
KNOWING and SEEING that was so freeing. I UNDERSTAND now. I understand why I have carried this rejection and dejection about with me, displayed like a banner for all to see, and why others have followed suit and treated me with the contempt I adopted for myself.
I’m not angry with my mother, or bitter toward her. I love her and have so much compassion for her. I know she did not mean me harm… We all bring our baggage to the table and often, a lot of it is sharp and pointy like razor blades, or heavy and blunt like a cudgel. If we make it through this life without inflicting damage on those whose paths we cross, it is a miracle indeed.
Seeing the core of my issues, and finally understanding WHAT WAS WRONG in and of itself was incredibly freeing. But my friends helped me to go even further. I wrote down all of the lies I have believed about myself all these years. The words of rejection and despair, that either spoken or unspoken, I had internalized and repeated over and over again for over 30 years. And then one by one, I wrote down the opposite of those words on a colorful piece of poster board, crossing each negative word out as it was nullified and contradicted.
Then, I took the paper of crossed out words, and burned it.
My husband and I then played this song, while I read my New Words.
As the song ended, I was filled with so much… TRIUMPH. Release. Victory. Life.
It is done.
It is finished.
He has made me NEW.
The old has passed away, and the new has come. HALLELUJAH!
What’s truly amazing is that I called my father to share with him my epiphany, and he told me that a week ago, he had a dream that I died, but that he could still see me standing in front of him, alive. God is so good.