My life was humming along pretty well. At least on the outside, which in honesty is all I really cared about. I had been working as a nurse for 25 years and was respected. I had 2 young adult children who were in college and on a "good track.” I had been married for 20+ years, we owned a home, and had a retirement plan in place. I was active in my church and even a member of a community group.
Then over the course of a year, my life began to crack and crumble. I had lived in a state of anxiety most of my life, which I had been able to contain by controlling all the situations and circumstances of my life...controlling the people around me and their feelings by being a "giver" and a "fixer" and a “caretaker.” I was trying to make them as codependent on me as I was on them. I had built my life on shifting sand—bearing the fruit of my efforts. Then my life came crashing down because I hadn't lived my life on the solid foundation of the Lord as it says in Matthew 7.
While my grief was fresh over my mother’s passing, I became estranged from my siblings over my job as executor of her estate and the years of caregiving that I had done in her final years. Then addiction was brought to light in my children and my marriage. Our finances took a hit and our retirement was threatened. I couldn't face the world with all these failures. My husband and I separated and I isolated myself physically and emotionally. I was depressed and ashamed.
It had become clear that the inner me and the outer me didn't come close to lining up. I felt defective on a very personal level. I didn't know how to make anything right. I had come to the end of myself... I didn't realize it at the time but this was a great place to be. I no longer had anything to offer. Through God’s grace, I learned that it is in my weakness that His strength shines greatest, as it says in 2 Corinthians.
By this time I had found Summit Church and a recovery program whose sole purpose was to point people to Jesus. I found a safe place to be me and learned how to own up to my own sinfulness without being judged, just loved. I also discovered the gift of community and accountability. A place where we are all learning how to receive God’s love and healing and become more like Him. I didn't realize it at first, but I had been carrying around so much hurt and fear and this burden was crushing me. In God, I found the healing that I had looked to others to provide.
I can honestly say I am a new creation in Christ… and this version is so much better than anything I was able to create out of my own efforts! Every day I reach the end of myself. Now I don't run from it, but embrace God’s gentle, loving transformation.