I spent some time with a dear client of mine these last few months and I am happy to say that she has gotten to the "cloud space" where she feels lighter after years of a true internal battle. She gave me permission to share and of course, her name is only for me and God to know.
Now in her 30's, she came to me with a haunting derailment from her teen years. At 19, she was diagnosed with cancer. She had a very slim chance of surviving. She spent the better part of two years fighting for her life, begging for mercy, making promises to change and developing friendships along the way. She is fully recovered for 15 years now but some of the friends she made along the way didn't make it.
You see, during her time of healing, she made promises to God that if He saved her, she would spend her life transforming anyone she could and serving Him. What she wasn't prepared for, however, was the survivor guilt that entrapped her. Don't get her wrong, she tried. She was the poster child for servitude and obedience and keeping her promise that she made during her moments of bargaining.
She started to feel the pressure of performance. Why would he save her and not the others? She slowly but surely felt herself pull away from her promise. The expectation to perform and the guilt of surviving almost felt insurmountable so she stopped everything and hid.
Instead of feeling joy and contentment from surviving, she felt shame and pressure. She left the friends she made that were still by her side. She stopped worshipping. She stopped spending time with those that loved her.
She felt, for years, more comfortable denying her destiny and becoming distracted with making money, finding a man from her past, staying distant from her family and focusing on establishing independence.
She realized something wasn't working. She came looking for me to help her look for God; for her purpose again. She came to me because she was tired of hiding. She was tired of denying the beautiful calling she had on her life placed upon her by God. She confessed to me that she believed ignoring her faith would make the pain of survival guilt paired with the heavy expectation of fulfilling some perfect purpose driven path would be much easier. It wasn't.
We spent each week uncovering the enemy's sneaky and cruelly deceptive lies. I asked her to write down what she felt HIS truth was versus the enemy's unrelenting warfare words she felt. With slow and steady confidence, she began to unravel what she was going through; what she was hiding from, and she emerged again with a new perspective.
She joined life again outside of the cocoon she so comfortably thought she had made for herself. I witnessed that transformation while she did the work. Two of us are very glad she did.
You'll see her. She's everywhere. She's your neighbor. She's your best friend. She's your co-worker. She's your barista. She's your daughter. She's you.
Don't hide anymore. The freedom you find outside of that cocoon enlightened by His grace and unexplainable power is worth trying.