by Dorothy Small
I read a reflection yesterday about where we stumble is where we dig for treasure. It caused me to reflect on my own journey as I stumbled countless times along the road littered with potholes. I guess a way to look at it is I have been on a treasure hunt.
The author of the reflection talks about how we all have leprosy. In the Bible the leper was seen as being unclean. Untouchable. How many of us feel untouchable out of shame or guilt or even emotional and spiritual struggles?
Having struggled with complex ptsd and it’s symptoms certainly felt like leprosy. Like a curse. Like the woman hemorrhaging for twelve years in the Bible story was unclean and ashamed to do anything but touch the tassel of Christ’s cloak hoping to go unnoticed. No one could cure her. She sought doctors who could not stop the bleeding and lost money in her search for a cure. No one could help her.
Most of my life I kept standing at the bottom of a dry well screaming for water only getting a mouthful of dirt when the solution for me was to drink solely from Christ. Narcissists are like dry wells.
Where our weakness is that is where we dig for our treasure. It was in my weaknesses that I felt driven to God not my pride. It’s my weakness that reminds me who I am before God. It’s in having to pour in knowledge, prayer and love into my weakness that I can be of help to others struggling with similar issues. It becomes the gift. Help ourselves and then be of help to another who is walking a similar road.
I pray not to be arrogant. The only time one should look down on another is when helping to pick them up.
It’s the very things I felt ashamed of and the absolute messiness that I believe God used when I stood up against the biggest giant yet, the church.
This weak and foolish thing, even a worm God used to place on the end of the hook on His fishing line casting me into the sea of difficult people thinking they got a bite of me but instead bit into God, would not have been as effective if I wasn’t such an emotional mess from enough trauma to take out the strongest of elephants in the herd. God knew what created the mess. God placed inside of me the compulsion to keep wiggling, to keep struggling to free myself from all I ever knew. The God who walked with me through countless “valleys of the shadow of death” as well as on the mountaintop moments of respite and higher perspective views before once again descending into the valley to battle more demons.
Every time I wanted to give up, I received soft inner words of encouragement telling me to persevere. Surrender. But don’t give up. Keep going the distance. Take heed, look up. Things won’t always be this way. Joy comes in the morning. And on and on…. The inner messages of consolation and encouragement became what I call breadcrumbs from heaven along the path to follow to show me I am being guided and seen. Heard. Listened to.
With the emotional wounds processed providing much needed relief I notice how much deeper scripture reaches inside of me. I pulled away from attending church while recovering for as long as it takes. However, I never pushed away from my relationship with God. I explored it outside any religious institution and discovered greater intimacy in myself through a connection with God outside church walls. Without the triggers of the church or priests I became closer to myself. I provided safety in order to heal from trauma so I could reach all the way into my childhood trauma. What happened with the priest had a ripple effect. I could not heal from what happened at the church without going all the way back excavating into my earliest childhood experiences.
I was digging for treasure, and I didn’t even know it. What did I find? Myself outside of anything or anyone but who I am through my God. I had to peel away layers upon layers of debris to reclaim myself. To individuate.
As I open up allowing love and kindness inside and more easily deflecting what isn’t love, or true I am being drawn closer to the center of love itself as it connects with me at my center. My core. My heart. My mind. The head and heart connection.
More shall be revealed….
It’s a journey that won’t be complete here in earth. But when asking to be like Christ, I feel that I can climb a bit higher each day toward infinity. I see no ceiling. No limit. I believe that as long as I keep looking up, God has the horizontal events unfolding according to His plan and not mine.