Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Set Me Free

Tonight we are finishing the final touches, for our spring break trip to Orlando. The boys have never been on a real vacation. They got a glimpse of the resort hotel experience during Christmas vacation - that the result of winning a ticket to ICE from my favorite radio station! BJ is much older and has been to Disney, and many other theme parks and attractions; however, as a family we've never gone away just, for fun!

As I check the tire pressure, fill up the gas tank, overwhelm the shopping cart full of groceries I try to ignore the nagging, sinking feeling I get whenever I do something that brings me pleasure. I feel guilty.

Freedom has been knocking on the door of a host of life long maladies. I've struggled with anxiety, fear, misplaced guilt and guilt by association of misplaced guilt. If that's not enough guilt, try the daughter-of-guilty-parents-that-were-probably-raised-to-feel-guilty-in-a-Haitian-Catholic-culture guilt.

Wait-there's more: I am the only daughter of the town mayor in the land of people pleasers. This distant town which my dear parent's belong, (though they surely have meant well), is all they've known. Perhaps they were raised this way–to be suspicious everytime I'd ever ask to sleep over Jana's house. She was only two doors down, on the same floor of our apartment complex! I always felt guilty, whenever I went. I would beg to go, but would always be sent off with a speech that made me feel as if I was doing something wrong, for trying to have some fun.
This never appeared to be unusual growing up until I find the same feelings creeping in my head. These foreigners that seek to suck out and control any joy that I know the Lord wants me to experience. For years this view that I have been trained to have, has spilled over into my view of who God is, and how he sees me.

If I stop to take those eroneous thoughts captive, I will be able to see that God delights in me. He wants to bless my life with good things. I can never out sin His love, for me.

How far do these chains take me? Gosh, I must have been four or five and James (little bro) was just one years old (but could walk). Family friends were over and I wanted to go to the park and play. Its what kids like to do; have a little fun. These kind relatives escorted me and James to the park in the nearby Projects. The swings back then were metal and someone was pushing their child on it. They didn't see James in the arms of the adult who was carrying him, past the swing, not prepared, for the crushing blow to his head as the seat came down with enough speed to form a gash. Blood is every where and we are running back home. No more play time, but I don't care about that. I wonder if James is going to die, if he does it would be my fault since I was the one who wanted to go. My mom confirmed my guilty conscience. She yelled at me as everyone fussed over James' cut. He did'nt have to go the hospital, didn't need stitches, but it was a huge deal. Maman said, "always want to go outside; can't stay home! If it wasn't for you, he wouldn't have been hurt." When I cried, I must have hid somewhere. I was alone and isolated, feeding on the lies and garbage satan began to form as early as the 70's.

Now I'm still feeling like fun may equal doom that's sure to come, but I am not giving into it anymore. I am going and I look forward to it. I know that God has given me the keys to break away from that brain-sucking feeling. I choose to let go of my parents who probably want me to have fun - I am letting go of the feeling that I am abandoning them; how weird, I don't live with them anymore, but I feel like I am neglecting them. Should I spend so much money? Uhh, I've earned the money, I've paid my bills, I'm a cheerful giver. There, that checklist should satisfy the intrusive Pharissee. Or Orlando (my exhusband). I feel so sorry for him sometimes. I hear the thoughts "you are going on vacation with the boys, he will surely feel bad that he can't do anything like that". In reality, I really don't care about it, but somehow co dependent leeches want to attach themselves to me. I know he wishes we were all a family again, but I know I have made the right decision as his insecurity kept me connected to my indentity-void roots. Speaking harsh words over me, words that robbed me of my value in Christ. My parents initiated it, and I allowed Orlando to magnify it, and thank God I no longer recieve it.

Just being able to be on alert, able to see it, gives me hope. It encourages me to know that God is actively working to produce the whole heart I have asked him for. Kids, reared in "normal" loving households know the feeling of shear delight, trust, and joy. So I'm about to have me some.

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