My Truth

Worry Does Not Change Outcome…

I took this picture outside my office window after a late afternoon storm. I love how the light changes from one area to another. Some darker than others and some with such bright light as sun peeks out from behind the clouds.

Rainbows represent God’s promise. His promise to be with us when we are afraid during a storm and that storms end.

I seem to have been overcome by worry here lately. Which reminded me that I struggle with codependency and that codependency is about control.

Trying to:

  • Control a situation.
  • Control what others know and think about a situation.
  • Control the outcome of a situation.
  • Control my pain.
  • Control others pain.
  • Control being out of control.
  • Control of owning all of situation, when it’s not all mine.
  • Control wanting to make amends when I’m I don’t even know what I’m sorry for doing or not doing.

It wasn’t until yesterday when a friend was facing a health crisis, that I said things to her that I needed to hear for myself.

I sent to her, remember:

  • God is in control.
  • God goes before and with you.
  • God knows the outcome.
  • Breathe.
  • You are so loved.
  • Worry does not change outcome.

Isaiah 41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you! Don’t be frightened, for I am your God. I strengthen you – yes, I help you – yes I uphold you with my saving right hand.

So here I am at 2 am, ready to lift this situation I have found myself in with someone I love very much. God is in control, God is making a way, Thy will not my will, I just need to breathe and remember that I am loved even with this current struggle. And worry does not change outcome…..if I’m worried about or not, what’s going to happen is going to happen without my intervention.

I’ll have to look up the verse but someplace in the Bible it says….in my weakness, He is strong.

After all, am I really that powerful…..no no I’m not but He is.

My journey continues…

My Truth

It’s a season, not a sentence…

It’s been far too long since I have written. I have started many posts since my last one but are all unfinished thoughts. Not coming together easily. Which is how writing works for me.

I think I’ve posted about seasons before but I didn’t even go back and look. I write what’s put on my heart. Most often it’s what I need to hear in this moment. And the words just flow out of me. Sometimes so fast that I can’t type fast enough or catch that auto correct changed put to out (that one happens all the time)

So I love to refer to time periods as seasons. I’m in a season of waiting. Or I’m in a season of growth. Or I’m in a season of asking questions.

I love to refer to these times as seasons because it reminds me that these times are not permanent. They change. They bloom. And then they transform into something else. They are still. And then experience new growth. And they even are wonderful and warm and those seasons change too. But again not forever.

I have been in a season, maybe several the last few months. A season of contentment but still wanting more. A season of stillness but still wanting more. A season of what i thought was understanding and great communication but knowing something was wrong. A season of learning to ask for help and learning to accept it.

And now a season of exclusion and not understanding but trusting anyway. This is an opportunity to step back and let someone else work out their pain and hurts without my interference or influence.

And even with how hard this is and how much my heart is hurting,

I MUST remember this it’s a season, not a sentence.

I MUST remember that God is in control.

I MUST remember that while hurt people hurt people, healing people heal people. But it’s only when that hurting person seeks healing.

I MUST remember that what someone thinks or says about me, doesn’t make it true.

I MUST remember that recovery is about progress not perfection.

I MUST remember that 2 people can be in the same experience but see and feel things so differently.

I MUST remember to give grace when I love someone but disagree with them too.

My very first Bible study, 10 years ago now, was The Prodigal God. A 12 week study on the Prodigal Son. My brother teased me that it took 12 weeks to look at 21 Bible verses! But it was a deep dive on looking at everyone in the story. How was the Dad feeling? What was the other brother thinking when his brother returned. Anyway it was a cool study on relationships and feelings.

So I’ve been reflecting on how the Dad must of felt. Giving his son his inheritance and letting him leave. Not understanding or wanting this for his son. Not knowing where he was or what he was doing. Being concerned for his other son’s feelings. Did he watch every day for his son to return.

His must have known that it was for a season and not a sentence. And that seasons change.

My journey continues….

My Truth

What someone else thinks of me, is none of my business….

I heard this saying very early in my recovery walk. What someone else thinks of me, is none of my business. Clearly it stuck with me. And bubbled back up to the surface recently.

In the beginning, this saying was comforting because I felt judged. I felt like people looked at me and said I can’t believe what she put her family through. But that wasn’t really true in most cases.

Most of the time it was me, making it up. Knowing all I’ve done and the shame it burdened me with. I felt that shame and figured people could see it. Like it was written across my forehead.

But it wasn’t, it was written across the slate of my soul.

But what I found in recovery rooms was grace not judgment. And what I found each time a shared a little bit more of myself was genuine care not disgust. And what I discovered with my sponsor was after knowing all I shared with her, she loved me anyway.

Now I won’t lie, there was that other end of most….which is just a few. They were judgmental. They knew parts of the story and said I was a terrible person. And one even wrote me a letter which included, wouldn’t your parents be disappointed. That right there is guilt and shame. And no one is going guilt and shame me into being someone who I am not. This type of reaction is unwanted, unnecessary, unkind and unhealthy.

I’ve been reminded this week that what someone else thinks of me is none of my business. And all I need to do is keep my focus on God and my deeper understanding of codependency and continue to grow into the person God made me to be.

I am exactly where I was meant to be. Today, in this moment. Mistakes and all. Flaws and all.

So here’s a little something about me. I march to my own drum, always have. Don’t mind marching alone but prefer with a drum line! I think snap chat is fun and silly. And you never know what color my hair might be next time I see you. So here is a few of my favorite snap chat pics

Because Of the work Ive done and continue to do, in the 12 steps God has been rewriting what’s on my soul.,

I’m just going to keep being me.

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

Who Does God Says I Am???

Ever since I wrote my last post, A Fork In The Road, there has been one line repeating in my head. Nudging me to write more about it. Look that up, go deeper there.

“Living out who God says I am.”

So who DOES God say that I am??? Well I looked it up and this is what I found.

  • He doesn’t see me as less worthly because I am blessed
  • I am loved because I am His daughter.
  • He doesn’t see me as inferior because I am chosen
  • He doesn’t see me as a sinner because I am forgiven
  • He doesn’t see me as hurting because I am favored
  • I am not alone because He sends other to join my journey with me.
  • He doesn’t see me as rejected because I am accepted
  • He doesn’t see me as flawed because I am made in God’s image
  • He doesn’t see me as lonely because I am His child
  • He doesn’t see me as a loser because in Him I am victorious
  • He doesn’t see me as weak because I am strengthened by Him
  • He doesn’t see me as damaged because I am healed
  • I am new because I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ
  • He doesn’t see the chains that hold me back because I am delivered
  • He doesn’t see me as ransomed because I am set free
  • I am redeemed because His son died for me.
  • He doesn’t see me as broken because I am complete
  • I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made
  • And I am a masterpiece

The Bible is the one book that the author loves the reader. And if these words I found are a representation of WHO GOD SAYS I AM…..I need to read this list everyday to remind myself that no matter what others say, no matter what others may think of me…..this is my truth of who I am.

My journey continues…

My Truth

A fork in the road

I taught the lesson on Grace last night at my Celebrate Recovery meeting. I heard this story on a podcast for the same lesson and adapted it for the group. And I’d like to share it with you. 

There is this girl that went on a journey. She goes walking on a path, trying her best to be a good person. Life was hard sometimes but over all life is good.

And then she comes to a fork in the road. And she had to make a choice.

One way is clear and easily passable.


The other road seems to be less traveled and on the surface looks hard. She has to decide which way to go.

There is a sign that says This Way to Please God and the other sign says This Way to Trust God. Hmmm, she thinks, well I want to make God happy so I’m going to continue on the path to please God.
 

 She starts walking down that road, and she comes a house with a sign on the door that says ‘striving to be all that God wants me to be’ YES!, I made it. That sounds pretty good. So she goes inside. And all the people there were happy and welcome her and say ‘it’s go good to see you’. And then they go off to do other things. ‘Hmmm, I’m not sure how this works so I’ll just watch what they are doing.’

After the first how are you doing, they are not really engaging with her. Some disappeared for a little while and then came back. She notices the happy exterior, smiling when looked at but when no one is looking, they were not smiling. She looks a little closer and then she notices that everyone has masks on. What she is seeing isn’t really who they are but the idea that they have to do to please God.

So many times I have followed that thinking and I strive to be everything that God wants me to be.

I have gotten caught up because my basic belief system is that I am not loveable and that I am not enough. So I must perform for people to love me and I must perform for God to love me. And so I do. I try to please people and make people like me. And I try to please God.

We live in space where everything has rules and checking off boxes. I try to live by the do’s and don’ts. But I find myself falling short.

I had rules at home growing up. Like, you have to be home when the Church bells ring. Or Did anyone else have Hewho for dinner? Well Hewho in my house was he who is hungry fixes it themselves and cleans up after. And there unspoken rules too. Like not talking about certain things. 

Rules at school. As someone who had learning disabilities, I learned to keep up by cheating. And I was good at it because I never got caught. But I was falling short.

Rules at work. I have always worked in places that I help create processes and create rules on how to handle situations. But I make mistakes and I fall short.

Rules with friendships. Helping to fix problems. Trying to meet everyone’s needs and pleasing them. I have fallen short there too by getting overly involved.

And then there is God’s rules, of going to church and following the 10 commandments. Maybe if I prayed enough, God would be pleased. Maybe if I checking off boxes of His law, God will be pleased. But all of these things come down to me performing well enough, how good I could be as a person. Me striving to be all that God wants me to be.

I check off the boxes and following the rules. I try to live by the do’s and don’ts in all parts of my life. But I find myself falling short.

No matter how well I preformed, I was standing in a room of good intentions. I was standing in a room that I would always let God down. I would let others down and I would let myself down. Because I cannot live up to perfection. I’m tired of failing and I just can’t keep this mask on.

Hmmmmm, what did the sign say back at the fork in the road? Oh yeah, This Way to Trust God. So I’m going back to the fork in the road and take that road. I’m don’t really know what this means but I am going to go down this path of trusting God.

I start going down this new path. It’s less traveled and there are roots to trip on and overgrown brush in the way but i continue. And I start to feel like I don’t have to white knuckle life anymore because I am just trusting God and trusting His word that all things work together for my greater good.

I travel down the road and come to clearing and I find a new house. The sign on the door that reads “Living out who God says I am.” WOW. So I go in that house. And I am again greeted with people. They are not hiding. Some are smiling and some aren’t. But you can see there is genuine joy in their heart. Even in their sorrow, or pain or current trial, their heart is full of love and joy.

And then she realizes she is in the room of GRACE. They didn’t care if I followed the rule or checked off all the boxes. They cared that I just trusted God on my journey. It didn’t matter how good or bad I was.

This journey takes humility. The humility of taking off that mask. To show the world who we really are. 

That is what it takes to get into this room of grace. We have already 

  • stepped out of denial
  • realizing we have a mask on
  • we have surrendered
  •  made a fearless inventory 
  • we confess that inventory 
  • we made a list of persons we harmed 
  • we made a list of those to forgiven who have harmed us.

And now we are in the room of grace.

Now let’s look at the word GRACE.

G is for God’s Gift. Grace is Gods freely given gift. You can’t buy it, and you don’t get it by check off boxes.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor 12:9

We do this every time we introduce ourselves. Hi I’m Mary grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with codependency. I gladly now boast about my weaknesses.

In the past I preformed for God to love me and today I have a relationship with Him. He gave me strength to make amends and offer forgiveness.

The R in grace is for Received by faith.

No matter how hard we work, we cannot earn our way into heaven. Only by professing our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior can we experience His grace and have eternal life.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not for yourselves, it is a gift of God not by works so that no one can boast.

Romans 5:2 Through whom we have gained access by faith into the grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope for the glory of God.

 I kinda love that word boast. So the bible is pretty clear on those couple of passages. Don’t boast about what you are doing but rather boast about our weakness and hope.

The A in grace is for: We are Accepted by God’s love. God loved you and me while we were still sinning.

Romans 5:8 God demonstrates his own love for us in this. While we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Ephesians 2:5 reminds us that though we are spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, he gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God’s grace.

I don’t know about you but I know that there have been times that I didn’t feel that  I deserve God’s love But here is the good news, HE accepts me in spite of myself. He sees all my failures and loves me anyway. And the same is for you as well.

The C in grace is Christ paid the price.

Jesus died on the cross so that all our sins are forgiven. He paid the price. Over 2000 year ago, He died for me. For sins that had not even made yet but He knew I would. He sacrificed Himself for us so that we may be with Him forever. Jesus paid the price and separated us from our sins as far as the east is from the west.

When we accept Jesus dying on the cross we are made a new creation. We can rely on Gods strength and power to enable us to forgive those who have hurt us. We can set aside our selfishness and speak the truth in love. We focus only on our part in making aments or offering our forgiveness.

Ephesians 1:7 In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God’s grace.

The final letter in grace is E. God’s grace is an Everlasting gift.

Once you accept that Jesus Christ is your lord and savior, God’s grace is forever.

2 Thessalonians 2:16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father encourage you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. God loved us and through his grace he gave us a good hope and encouragement that continues forever.

 I’d like to close with some final thoughts. That no matter what step you are on. No matter where you are tonight. Know that God loves you. Choose the path of Trusting God that leads you to “Living out who God says you are” and know that you are standing in the room of grace. That you do not have to check off boxes or perform for his love. Just trust him. Know that in your weakness, He is strong.

Thank you for letting me share. 

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

Keep your spoon in your own bowl! 

I heard ‘keep your spoon in your own bowl’ a while ago a podcast about codependency. I just love that visual. 

It’s about not getting involved in others problems. Or help them fix them. To not give your opinion about what’s going on. Or solve it for them. Often times we just need others to listen and allow us to figure it out ourselves. 

There is a thing happening in our world today that for some reason everyone thinks they have to share their opinion even when it wasn’t asked for. And especially if it’s an opposing opinion. Everyone has a solution for every problem because they think they know the answer. 

But it occurred to me today that there is another side to this that I learned about through recovery. 


That is, to be careful who you invite to put their spoon in your bowl. 

Inviting unhealthy people into my problems, it’s actually a terrible idea. Inviting highly opinionated people into my bowl just may change what’s in my bowl. And suddenly I am not trusting my program or even trusting God but seeking others approval or wanting to just rehash the same story over and over and over with no solutions. 

That reminds me when I was a kid, I’d stir and stir and stir my icecream and my dad would say ‘can you please eat the icecream otherwise you are making icecream soup.’

Stirring and stirring and stirring problems just makes problem soup. Stirring problems with the wrong person ends up with just a big mess with spills and arguments and spoons getting in the way. 

I get to choose who and what I share. It’s called boundaries. I know which friends I can share with, and thinking about that they are my recovery friends. Because they get the sharing without offering solutions until I ask for them. 

And they get that often I just need to process what’s going on and they allow me time. 

And they get the thing about trusting God and really We don’t need every detail, all we need to know is that we are heading in the right direction and all we need to do is trust God. And things fall into place. 

And finally, they know to keep their spoon in their own bowl. 

My journey to serenity continues…
And I took the picture of that spoon after I had some icecream =] 

My Truth

Meeting you where you are….

One thing I love is that God meets us where we are. No need to perform before we start over. No check lists to check off. Doesn’t matter that it’s the 1st time or the 100th time we messed up, we have as many start overs that we need. And the one that matters is the last one. 

What does the Bible say about starting over…

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

See not only do I get to start over but I am also forgiven for the past mistakes. The old had passed and the new has come! 

What does the Bible say about the future…

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

My future is bright because of Gods grace and love. 

As I continue to heal and grow in recovery (it’s 18 months by the way) I love the direction my life is moving. I love the friendships that I have with others in recovery. 

I was thinking about how much this blog means to me and how I love to share about my recovery. And was also thinking about how I’ve been able to use my artwork in my posts. Art work that I made a year before my journey to recovery started. God knew that I would be in this place and be able to use both of these creative outlets. 

What’s next for me in my recovery? 

I’m finishing up a step study, we have a couple of weeks left. We are planning on staying together as a group and do another study together. I was also asked to co-lead the next women’s step study. I am now part of the leadership team for CR and I hope to start to do more for our group, like be able to teach now and then. I am working on a book about my experience in recovery! It’s an extension from my blog. I am in the process of writing it now. I started a local group of bloggers to support each other. We meet twice a month. It’s a fun group and we all blog different topics. 

God met me where I was and sent the right people to walk me out of the mess and chaos that was my life and now the more I trust His plan for me, the more amazing things are revealed to me. Because I’m ready now. I’m ready to share more with others about what God has done in my life! 

Stay on this journey with me….the best is yet to be. 

My journey to serenity continues…