40 Day Journey-Days 4-10

If you read my last post, I explained that I am on a 40 day journey to:

  1. forgive some people that have inflicted deep pain
  2. trust in God’s goodness and his desire to provide my every need
  3. to cease from using my protective strategies


Days 1 – 3 were not easy & I was left feeling like I was never going to pull off an entire 40 days. Since I’m doing the opposite of myself, rather than hide these feelings, I’m sharing all of my crazy with you. Instead of isolating myself & hiding away or behaving as if nothing is going on, you lucky readers get to read all of the feelings & experiences that I would much rather keep to myself.

The process Josie has set before me for this journey is:

  • R- Relaxing my hold. Releasing the tight grip I have on my pain, my finances, my job, my life & the hardest one- those self protective strategies.
  • E- Escaping my limiting mindset. You know, putting God in a box.
  • S- Start to depend on God. If I believe He is who he says he is, won’t he do for me all that he says he will do?
  • T- Triumph! Be successful in forgiving, trusting God & not depending on self preservation during these 40 days & at the end of that I will be able to rest! Whatever that looks like.

Now that I have given you the concept of the process let’s take a little closer look.

Let’s start with unforgiveness. Apparently I have been harboring some unforgiveness towards key people in my past. People that based on the roles in my life, there were expectations & boundaries that I needed them to maintain in order for me to grow up with a healthy foundation. Due to choices they made, the child in me has some cracks in her foundation. Yes, they created those seriously deep wounds. Yes, I’m better without them in my life today. But are they really out of my life with the unforgiveness still holding a spot in my heart? These issues are like an actual physical wound. If not treated properly, the unforgiveness forces the wounds to remain open, festering, becoming infected, filling my bloodstream with the negative results of unforgiveness. These people are still causing me to feel broken by choices they inflicted on me as a child. I don’t know about you but something about this makes me dig in my heels & think “oh heck no! You no longer get this kind of power in my life!” Funny thing about forgiveness. It’s just like most of our emotions, a choice. I have to wake up each & every day & make a decision to forgive them for these transgressions. Until the day it finally sticks.


Self Protective Strategies. I’m kind of a rockstar in this area. I use my self protective strategies at work, at home, at church, at the grocery, literally everywhere I go. Being vulnerable & exposed is not something I’m comfortable with. So this is also a literal choice that I have to make every second of every day. When someone asks me how I feel, rather than say fine, I need to be able to tell the truth. So for the last week, I have said “fine” followed by “no, wait…” I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to catch myself & backpedal from my standard safe response to give the truth. It has been mostly on small things that are inconsequential yet for me exposes potential for a hurt. I do feel like I have made some major progress in this area. I am very quick to recognize when I’m trying to hide, I have put myself first in a few instances. I even requested a meeting with the department director at work because I was struggling with some issues & I needed her help to create a better process.


Trusting God. This is still a daily fight. Though, I am seeing Him as I work through this obedience. I find myself enjoying my worship a little more, praying without even realizing I’m doing it, being amazed even more than I was before in his glorious artwork in nature. (I’m a sucker for a good sky!) I am still lacking trust in others, but I think I need to trust God more so HE can show me what that should genuinely look like. Oh! And in order to not put God in a box, I’m praying big giant prayers that seem crazy, ridiculous & impossible. I want to see what awesome blessings he has set aside for me & the people I’m in prayer for. I’m praying for my future, for his will to be my will, for that path to be clear.

Ok friends, I love love love you! Till next time, work on releasing your own uglies. Xo

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40 Days: Days 1-3

I have an amazing therapist. (I’m not just saying that because she reads this either. Hahaha!) I met her through my church & I loved her well before I ever needed her on a professional level. She specializes in PTSD in women & her end goal is to heal us right out her door. I often think of what an overwhelming amount of trauma she is subjected to on a daily basis, followed with my mind boggling “does that actually happen, will we ever be healed?” I love & respect this woman as a therapist, a friend & a sister in Christ. I know my best is in her mind when we meet.

I have been seeing Josie on average every other week for about 2 1/2 years. In my appointment Tuesday, she issued me a challenge. Basically, I am to spend the next 40 days, for lack of better phrasing, being the opposite of myself. Don’t get all defensive of the super cute self you all know & love. Keep Reading…

We all have our pasts: lies & experiences that cause our reactions & trigger our emotions in our current lives-good & bad. In my life, this past involves abandonment issues, distrust, insecurity, thick walls, a lot of emotional scar tissue & unbeknownst to me, some unforgiveness. Ok, so truthfully, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that one on the list but it was wrapped up in pretty paper labeled “I’m totally good, I’ve got this.”

Since my “normal” self would never want to share this gross journey with anyone, especially publicly, I asked Josie if she minded if I blog it. You know, as my opposite self would likely do. She encouraged me to do so & now I get to torture you poor readers with it. The challenge for me is to do the following three things:

  1. Cease from self. Do not engage my protective strategies to keep my heart safe.
  2. Trust in God’s goodness & His desire to provide me with my every need.
  3. Forgive. All the people.

Starting with number one. Not engaging in my protective strategies literally brings me to tears just thinking about it. We all have things we do at times to keep unsafe people from wounding us. Welllllllllllll……….I may have a teensy issue with this happening in every. single. relationship in my life. There. I said it. I admitted the most awkward thing I can think of to you. That means if you know me personally, I may be very open with you, but you will never know the millions of wounds, thoughts, feelings or emotions running through me at any given moment. Even if I share, it’s going to be very guarded. I am always waiting for you to quit me. Quit loving me, quit supporting me, quit wanting to hang out with me, quit being my friend, spouse, son, mother, father… It’s actually a very lonely way to live. Ugh. That was certainly more truth than I expected to come out. OH, & on your way to quitting me, I’m waiting for you to hurt me. I will never have a confrontation with you because that would mean I may hurt you. Your feelings matter more than mine, so I will “eat my emotions” as Josie says, in an effort to protect yours & prolong the relationship. Because if we squabble, you will certainly quit me. So during the next 40 days, I’m supposed to have the confrontation. I’m supposed to tear down the walls I have so carefully erected, allowing myself to be vulnerable.

This. Is. Gross.

And it hurts. Already.

Number Two. Trust in God’s goodness & His desire to provide me with my every need? WHAT?!?! Aren’t we supposed to work for what we need? And how does one go about trusting when one has never been able to trust others? That is a foundational flaw in me that is quite difficult to wrap my head around. Yes, I know. I am a Christian. I love Jesus. But that doesn’t make me perfect or mean I have everything in life all tidy on a shelf. I am pretty sure God knew I didn’t trust Him well before I typed the words on this page. I’m just being vulnerable (see #1). This part of the challenge is still perplexing me. I’m going to pray about it & get back to you.


Oh Number Three…the old wolf in sheeps clothing. I would love to say this will be an easy one. My pride wants me to say I have no problems forgiving others. Often times that is entirely true. The unforgiveness I have is towards the people in my life that did not hold up their end of the relationships, causing most of the other items on that list way up above. There are some seriously deep wounds from some seriously important people. They are no longer part of my life so why am I allowing unforgiveness towards them to cause their wounds to continue seeping negativity into my life??? Good question. Plus the angry side of me asks myself why I would let them have any headspace or win by continuing to cause me pain. Harboring unforgiveness will not only continue to cause me pain though, it effects my relationship with God. The Bible mentions forgiving over 140 times. I’d say it’s a fairly important concept we are to practice. Even taking Jesus out of the equation, studies show it has physical, often serious, impacts on our bodies, such as heart conditions (hmmm… ironic? I think not), high blood pressure, auto immune disorders & in one study of cancer patients, 60% had high levels of unforgiveness. 


So I have had 3 full days of this challenge. I have struggled with all three things. I have “conversations” that need to be held, people to forgive and trust that needs created. I neglected to allow myself to be vulnerable by sharing my ideas during a meeting. I didn’t voice my opinion on a project that was removed from my hands, I have truly cried at being so grossly real about where I am. 

I have no real update except this post. Putting the whole thing out there for everyone. Hopefully, my 7 readers will help hold me accountable in this journey. 

Today, forgive the uglies! Forgive yourself. Forgive God. Ask for forgiveness-from God and others.