I’ve operated most of my life out of fear, reacting rather than living.  Even as I learned about Christian faith, I always felt defeated. My life always reacting with fear continued.  The lies I was told were believed as truth because I didn’t know any other way. I would hear others speak of happiness, joy, excitement and freedom, but I couldn’t find it for myself.  I read my Bible and I prayed….I went through all the motions, yet I was dying inside.  I studied harder, prayed harder, read books and I was still dying.  I was a walking secret.  My heart held painful shame filled secrets I was sure I would die with. I believed no one could really love me (or even like me) if they knew my secrets, my thoughts, my struggles.

My brain and emotions exploded from the secrets two years ago.  I could not continue to operate the way I had been, believing lies and keeping secrets.  I was so lonely, even though I had an incredible husband and children. It is the kind of loneliness and pain that broke my heart and poured desperation and isolation to my very soul.  I know we are not meant to be alone but I was trapped.

It was from that place of pain that I began to share with safe people where I had come from, who I really was, and what I was really thinking.  I began to discover vulnerability was good and I began to find healing.  Do you know you don’t have to be alone?  We aren’t wired to be loners, to be independent, and silently dying!  We are meant to share one another’s burdens. All these were new discoveries for me.

I was introduced to Hope for the Soul and began speaking with David in 2014. We immediately began the process of peeling back my “layers” and discovering real truth.  David helps me see God’s truth in my life, in my pain, and in my circumstance.  Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

I now have people in my life who love me right where I am!  They help me compare my thoughts to God’s truth, (which is often far off from my “truth”).  Feelings aren’t always truth, but they are a reflection of our soul.  Just because we are Christians does not mean we operate out of truth.  We know what we have been taught by our family, and must ask God to show us real truth instead of inherited dysfunctional truth..

I am far from living an “easy” life, yet I feel happiness and freedom like never before.  I am now building up my children with my words, rather than tearing them down.  I am working through tough stuff, so lifetimes of generational dysfunction can be stopped ….so my children can be free and the cycle can be broken!

I am learning that while my heart is broken because of some current circumstances, I am now in a position for successful transformation because I allow God to work in me and through me. My oldest child is going through some painful life experiences and instead of using guilt and shame, David has helped me see how to love my son right where he is, and to be a strong mother that can lead him to a safe place of understanding instead of continuing the pattern of generational dysfunction that will only push him further away.  David has shown me God’s truth in the lies I have believed so far.  Because David comes from a tough life, he shows me empathy, he “gets” it and he has lived it.  David is a gift from God to me and my family….he not only “counsels us”, he has become part of my family. He stands up for us by speaking life and truth from God’s perspective. I am no longer secretly dying inside.

My secrets?  They’ve been exposed to the light.  In Jesus there is no darkness only light.  His healing has brought light and life to my life.  I am no longer reacting or surviving, I am living life. This is not my finished story, it is only the beginning. I am thriving.

Angela Maynard