Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Identity Thieves

I started watching a new series on Netflix. It’s a hot mess. I could tell you what the name is, but I figure if it’s meant for you, you’ll find it. The typical 45 minute show gives you glimpses of how the characters got to be where and how they are in the present.

I find shows like this fascinating. I mean, haven’t we all heard something to the effect of how we’re modern day versions of the collective experiences of our past? Reflecting on how the past factors into who we are is a good thing. Staying stuck in the past…that can cripple us.

In this new to me show are two main female characters. I’m gonna focus on the one who seems to be a present day hot mess. But before I get into that, I want to share a short personal story. I feel it relates to our hot mess gal heroine.

Back in my drinking days when my glass would get empty, I would raise my glass and sing a little ditty with my own high pitched flair at the end. It was for anyone in the house who happened to be up and about while I sat in my queen’s chaise lounge. The song went. “Running low, running on empty, running low, running drrrrrr-hiiii.” And voila, my glass would be refilled.

Running low.
Running on empty.
Running dry.

I never even knew singing that song was about so much more than an empty glass.

Ok, back to our heroine.

This gal grew up in a couple of homes. When she was a young girl she grew up in here grandmother’s loving, safe home. As an adolescent and teenager she grew up in her mothers drug addled, chaotic home.

All years in my opinion are formative years. I believe every second since we were formed and knitted in our mother’s womb, matters. What you believe is on you. No need to get defensive or divisive on the matter.

It mattered the way this gal was shown love and affection. We don’t really get to see the love she was shown in her grandmother’s home. But, we see a lot of the love and affection she desperately craved, but didn’t get in her mother’s home.

As our heroine steps into her grown-up life, she appears, happy. She drinks, does drugs, sleeps with whoever she wants and becomes a high-profile, successful talk-show host. That’s what you plainly see on the outside.

On the inside, she’s the scared, insecure girl who only wants her mother’s approval. Flash to a scene where our heroine thinks it’s safe to go see her mother and share that she’s successful. She’s hopeful her mother will be proud of her accomplishments to date.

Imagine her heartbreak and disappointment once again when she doesn’t get it, but instead hands her mother, money for “rent”. She hides her hurt well. She stuffs it way down inside and covers the punch in the gut with a false sense of bravado.

She then struts her stuff with her head tilted high, shoulders squared, and chest puffed out, seeking approval from all the wrong places. She keeps everyone at arm’s length so they can’t get close enough to ignite the deep raw anguish ravishing her soul. To her, that would be a crime against the core of everything she’s built.

That’s the problem with building your house on materialistic things. Eventually, it all tumbles down. The control you think you have over your trauma is misconceived and misplaced and it needs a place to go. Trust me when I say, it will find a place, and it won’t be pretty.

Our heroine only wanted her mother’s approval. She even said something to the effect of “I keep going back for more, hoping this time it will be different and it never is.” She’s shattered from not getting love from a mother who in this stage of her life is an empty well. Yet, our heroine wants what the empty well can’t provide. Why?

Why do we constantly seek approval for who we are and what we’ve accomplished from others who are just as flawed as we are? I can’t answer that question. It’s truly just a hypothetical question.

I do know that when we desperately seek approval from others and don’t get it in the way we want, we turn to our identity thieves.

Social Media
Working out (make our outward appearance an idol)
Unwarranted plastic surgery

I could go on and on. Almost everything on the list above, I could raise my hand and say without out a doubt I did that. To be honest, I still do some of that. Just not the ones I deem detrimental to my being. Or are they?

The truth is, when we’re running on empty, low, or dry, unless we look to God’s Truth to fill us, we’re looking in the wrong places.

I can relate to our heroine. I grew up in the drug/alcohol addicted, devoid of love home. I saw what being desperate for love looked like. I lived what looking for love looks like. It made real love in action look like somebody wanted something from me. I lived my life suspicious of almost everything. The trauma I experienced took away what “safe” felt like and put my nervous system in a constant state of high alert and panic.

I can’t even begin to describe what my body does in response to certain stimuli. The funny thing is, it’s just when I think I’ve conquered something that yet another “alarm” goes off. This is not living. It’s surviving. My body was never built for this kind of trauma. Neither was yours. There’s a difference between learning to live with your pain, and healing from your pain.

It takes great courage to move past your hurt into healing. Facing the giants of your past will no doubt cause lots of tears and lots more snot. Always make sure you have plenty of tissues close by. Seriously, where does all the snot come from?

I’m still working through a lot of my “issues” but each day, I’m one step closer to becoming all God created me to be. I used to dread meeting “her” but now I can’t wait. I bet she’s going to be phenomenal.

The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He’ll take all he can get from you. He laughs at your pain and constantly tries to get you to sit and wallow in what hurt you. Just what you’d seek in a friend, right? NOT!

Friends, God sent His one and only Son so you could live an abundant life. He cares greatly for you. But, like I always say, don’t take my word for it, take His!

“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” ~ John 10:9-11 (ESV)

Now that’s some good news.

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I actually started this post last year in October. I got one paragraph in and quit. As I read over what I wrote, I nodded my head in remembrance. I thought since it was already a one word title, I’d go ahead and see how I could salvage this one.

Enough with the rain already. There’s been so much rain this year and today it’s scheduled to rain all day. I would’ve loved to send all this lovely rain to the west coast where it was needed, but here we are, soaked in rain. The streets, sidewalks and yards can’t even soak up any more rain. It’s just making puddles to every child’s delight. – October 2021

Today – March 8, 2022

It poured rain yesterday and winds whipped all around us. There were all kinds of warnings to go along with the wind and the rain. Flood warnings. Severe thunder storm warnings. High wind warnings. The tv flashed with red banner warnings and made that obnoxious squawking screech. The electricity flickered more than once to let us know it wasn’t happy with the weather either. Thankfully, it didn’t go out in my neck of the woods.

Outside, the ground squished under my feet and made sucking noises with each boot raise I made in my oh so fashionable polka dot rubber galoshes. High fashion at its’ best right here. The water had no where to go. It just sat on top of everything.

The ground’s not the only thing that can become soaked. Our clothes can become soaked if we stand too long in the rain or foolishly dive into a pool because our brains are soaked with too much alcohol. I may or may not know a thing of two about the latter.

This was not the turn I saw coming for this post, but I guess given today’s circumstances, this is where I’m going.

I have a lot of drunk stories. Did I ever tell you I once got drunk on perfume as a child? Apparently, I scooted my crib over to my parents dresser and drank a bottle of Tweed perfume. I got that bottle of perfume into my crib by pulling on the scarf the bottle was on. Clever little minx. My mom told me when I “woke” up from my nap I was walking into the walls. Sweet baby Jesus!

We make fun of the things drunk people do all the time. We laugh hysterically at comedians who imitate drunks. TV shows, movies and such glorify drinking. As if drinking some form of alcohol is the only way to make it through the day. If I said I didn’t laugh, I’d be lying.

But there’s a darker side to alcohol no one really wants to talk about. It’s too much of a downer. Talking about alcoholism and the negative effects on the body is tossed aside because getting drunk and blacking out is way more fun. Right? Why else would people keep repeating this insanity?

I can’t answer that question for you. I only know why I chose to daily drink copious amounts of alcohol.

At the time, I didn’t believe I had a problem. I liked the taste of beer and wine. I loved the way if made me feel. Like I didn’t have a care in the world. It calmed my brain and let me be who I thought I couldn’t be sober. It was all just a false sense of deranged reality. I bought into the lie that alcohol could make all the bad things disappear.

It didn’t make the bad things disappear, it only added to the bad things I didn’t want to face. Now I had shameful behavior added on top. What better way to deal with it all than by drinking more?

I always thought if I moved beyond beer and wine into the hard liquor realm, then and only then I’d have a problem. Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids!

Earlier today I found out another person in my life died from alcoholism. He knew better. He’d been previously hospitalized for it. When he got out of the hospital, he did ok, for a little while.

The last time I spoke to him, he was drunk. He asked me to pray for him. I asked him what he’d like me to pray for and his reply was simple; “everything”. Even now when I think of “everything” I think, how bad could things have been that his “everything” needed help.

I’m going to miss him and his laugh and the way he said “aboot” instead of about. The world didn’t lose a drunk. It lost a beautiful life that fell into an abyss and no matter how many times it fought back, it never truly made its way out.

My heart hurts. My soul screams, why?! But I know the answer. Deception is all around us, luring us into traps that slowly rock us into addicted slumber. Some will recover. Many more will never make it out alive.

For my friend, he lost the battle here on earth. But the war has been won as he’s now in Heaven. No more pain. No more sorrow. No longer soaked in alcohol. He’s now totally soaked in the love of Jesus and singing in a choir of angels. I hope he sings better up there than he did here. Lord have mercy! Fly high my beautiful friend. I’ll see you again, one day! Give my brother and my Gabby gurl a big ol’ hug.

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