I grew up believing I didn’t deserve God. It wasn’t anything verbal it was just how I dealt with the abuse. I wanted God, or at least what I heard from the church podium, the Bible sounded like something I should revere. Not to mention religion seemed like a better bargain than the soiled secrets that I ‘d been masking.

The church doors to that steeple became my place of hiding from the world, it also was the same place I hid my problems. I unquestionably didn’t know I needed God just as much as I didn’t know I needed Him with skin on. Someone to help me untwist the lies that I was convinced were unerring and shed light on my dark afflictions.

But I didn’t share my difficulties.

I just cauterized them.

In my twenties I became domesticated and hid behind the title of motherhood. I became solely devoted to changing my life by scripture studying. I did a radical overhaul and transformed my old life following the example of the Proverbs 31 woman. I loved my family well. I was happy, contented and for the first time in my life I was in a rhythm with more than my flawed past. I thought as long as I stayed on the straight and narrow I’ve got this charade of shame licked until I realized God wanted to do surgery on my innards.

I felt the call to write and the more I did God began leading me back to the familiar memories of my childhood. That blanket of shame enveloped me till I struggled to breathe and I didn’t bother praying my way out. What’s the point? That part of my life was like dysentery an infection that I couldn’t get rid of fast enough.

When you’re no longer walking in step with God, there’s something scary about wandering loose in the desert. My about-face to ignore the bad parts that I’d packed away I feared would reemerge and swallow me up. So I skimmed over the parts of my past I preferred to forget.

Running from God is like the butcher’s knife.

You have to put it down before you can let God in – Mary Karr

I settled in and again tried to surrender to my writing while God began amputating what I’d been unwilling to let go. I didn’t know that surrendering my shame was really a story of salvation even though the cross already saved me. God uses what I feared to build my hope and faith so that I can see Him in my circumstances instead of basing my life on how I thought I was supposed to feel.

Speaking from my experience, it’s only through the grueling crucifix of Christ that we’re able find God in our circumstances. I’d encourage you to let go and surrender the build up of ugliness you’ve been holding on to that suffocates the eyes from seeing the signs of our visible God.

If you feel like you’re living on an island and going through the lather, rinse and repeat cycles of life. There’s a real life, a God-filled life where you can see Him in others, and find Him within yourself. We only get one life, one story to discern.

Are you one to hang onto the promises of the cross, or do you find yourself at a roadblock occupied by the dark days of the past? It’s easy on good days that God loves you, but maybe on those can’t get off the couch days you need a little encouragement?

I would love for us to be friends and help reassure you on your hardest days. You can find me at www.teresacoelho.com and while you’re visiting help yourself to what’s new. There’s a free download of a chapter from my book coming out soon Scarred-Up Holy I’d like you to have.