Sunday, October 26, 2014

Finding the root cause...week 5 of #TheBestYes

“If people pleasing were my goal, I would never be Christ’s servant,” Galatians 1:10 NLT

“The fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord will be kept safe, “Proverbs 29:25 NIV

Is the disease to please in anyone’s DNA, is it passed down through the nurture or lack thereof, through the generations of your family and not in your very nature?

I lived in a protective bubble the first four years of my life. My maternal grandfather was twenty one years older than my grandmother and from the moment he met me he decided he was going to utilize every moment he had with me because he just knew it wasn’t going to be much. This bubble had me on the outside of the demons in my family, it kept me blinded from the dangerous darkness that was lurking, waiting to punish me. I knew something was there, always feeling the cool and empty touch of my Uncle, seeing that my Father wasn’t welcome at family functions and when allowed there was a stink of hatred in the air but my Poppi kept me close and those enemies in my family as far away as he could. It is no wonder that when he died January of my fourth year I turned to God and declared war, I knew the charmed life I had was over, I knew something evil was coming for me and I told God he was a real jerk (not the word I really used) for only giving me protection for such a short time. I was a terrified, lonely and entirely too intelligent for my own good. So, I shook my small fists to heaven, put my head down, and hunched my shoulders preparing myself for this unknown battle in front of me.  Within weeks I knew what was so foul in my family, what was hated do deeply that we were feared in our neighborhood, because if you can feel this way about your own blood who knows how dangerous you really are: it was me. Turned out my beautifully unique, tan all year round skin tone and my midnight black hair were a constant reminder that I was not “pure blooded.” That when my Mother got pregnant with me at 18 she had chosen someone unlike anyone she ever had a chance to know until she started a city community college. We were a proud South Side Irish family. My Uncle the unofficial Mayor of an intentionally all-white neighborhood in Chicago and she had chosen a man who had recently come from Guatemala. By my fifth birthday, six months after I lost my Poppi, I knew that after two attempts to have me aborted my Nana and Poppi stopped speaking to my Mother throughout the rest of her pregnancy, that my Uncle upon being told I was on the way threw her down a flight of concrete stairs.
I was no longer gushed on I was gagged over. I was treated as a servant: only being accepted if I watched the other kids, made drinks, lit cigarettes, grabbed snacks, change the channel, allowed my Uncle and his extended family and friends to ridicule how I looked and bash my father, who at this point I considered scum as well for doing this to me, for making me so disgusting. Growing up the only time I was wanted was when I was doing something for my family more of the same but also as I grew older rides, bail money, an alibi. My Mom was so desperate for their forgiveness and love she never stood up for me and eventually my brother. The greatest gift my family ever gave me was letting me take it all and leave my helpless and doubly defective brother alone for the most part.

When I was saved by grace I first thought people pleasing or my issue with codependency was a part of my molecular being, it had to be after watching my pathetic Mother. As I have gotten closer to God and have more victory over this disease to please I see that I am not this way when the people around me aren’t demanding with their actions I be. When I am around healthy, Christ centered people I don’t grovel at their feet but walk beside them. The past four weeks at my home church the sermon series has been unmasking us from our shame, insecurities and today on overcoming our need to please. This past week with my online Bible study, #TheBestYes we also tackled this hard topic and for months God has been rewiring me to stop seeing myself as that rejected girl and accept myself as His chosen daughter, He has repeated this message to get deep down to the root lie that happened months into my conception: that I didn’t belong in this world and my existence ruined lives. God’s truth is clear; he formed me in my Mother’s womb, chose the very time and place I would be born and planed this fabulous skin tone of mine. The verse of the week for my online Bible Study, “If people pleasing were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant,” and I am proudly, passionately and born to be Christ’s servant. I will let God choose who I surround myself with, I will let God guide my choices, my words, my friends and every other moment of my life. You probably are wondering how I went from being that four year old girl who declared war on God to a disciple. How I can thank God for decades of that pain and harshness. I no longer fear man, I trust God and know God is good all the time and all the time God is good. I was saved by grace the moment I needed to be and every moment of my youth can be used to glorify Him and redeem me!

 “When someone makes a request of you, you should be able to make that decision without emotional consequences. And if you anticipate that telling them no will make them not like you – then you saying yes isn’t going to help that situation. It just won’t.” Lysa TerKeurst in “The Best Yes”

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