I’m scared. More scared than I’ve ever been before. The kind of fear that paralyzes you for years, that keeps you from moving forward and doing what you know you have to do. The type of fear that makes you say, "No" to God when He asks you to walk His path. It is this fear that has made me turn away from my most important belief. God first, my family and then myself. I have spent the last several years trying to compromise with God, asking for a path with less risk. It is because of this I broke my most fundamental life rule. Instead of putting God and others first, I put myself first, desperately clinging to the fear of loss.
I am so afraid of losing my husband that when God asked me to write my story, I froze. I knew God did not want me to write a pretty tale for others. He wanted me to write about the lost years. The years that I did my worst; to myself and others. All the shame and regret that went with it. He wanted the whole ugly truth. The truth that I fear will take a loving man of God who has been my constant pillar of strength for the last seven years, and change the light of love in his eyes to carry a shadow of doubt about who I am. The man I trust with my life but not my darkest secrets. I’m scared he’s going to finally know that he made a horrible mistake in marrying me.
“You are a powerful woman,” my therapist tells me in our third session. I look forward to seeing her each week, not because she gives me these grandiose ideas about myself but because she is real. She is a beautiful, daughter of God, a follower of Jesus, and she doesn’t let me lie to myself. I know why my therapist told me I am a powerful woman, but at this point, it’s only conjecture in my mind because my greatest power will be in fully complying with what God has asked of me.
I started seeing her to help me deal with the fallout of being verbally and sexually harassed at work. That was the catalyst that led me down the path to one-moment coping and the next in crisis. I had tried to cope relying on God and my husband alone to manage the stress and anxiety. It worked for a while until the moment that triggered a suicidal episode. God is big enough for everything, but he put other people on this earth for a reason; so I went to counselling.
In our first session, my therapist reiterated what the crisis counsellor had told me when I called the crisis line; I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from my past which was triggered by my current situation. Through the weeks with her, we talked about my path with God, what I believe God was asking me to do and how I felt about revisiting my past. We explored my fears of losing the love of my husband. I have forgiven myself for what I contributed to my secular years. I have told my husband, the 'need to know' version over time. He knows I have a painful past, so he doesn’t ask questions, but now we come to the idea of exposing him to the details; the ugly me.
How strong is your faith? It’s an interesting question because when you are first challenged with it in God’s presence, it is often not as strong as you believed it would be. I thought my faith was strong. I have no problem when faced with trusting God quietly with my past. However, when faced with trusting my husband with a detailed account of my past, I'm having a problem. I, first hand, know how flawed humans are and what we think is unconditional love starts accumulating conditions very quickly when our biases are challenged.
You are probably wondering, why then would I write a book about this? My answer is simple. I don’t believe God has asked me to write my story to share with my husband. I believe he has asked me to write my story to share with you. There is no half-way or compromise on this. My testimony is your hope. God uses our stories of bringing us up out of the ashes to show others His promise of a new life. Only through the truth does Satan lose his hold on us.
I finally found the faith to tackle this book after my therapist asked me three questions during a session, “Do you believe that God wants you to write your story fully and completely?” Yes. “Do you believe God gave you your husband?” Yes. “Do you believe He would give you this man, after everything you’ve been through, who loves and cherishes you in such a beautiful way, and then ask you to do something that would take him away?” No.
So I began writing.
Michelle M. Brown was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada. She has a background in Marketing & Design. An avid hiker and adventure junkie she has embarked on a journey to conquer 50 adventurous activities in her 50th year. You can follow her journey at https://www.instagram.com/michelle.m.brown/