My entire life up until the last decade was pretty crazy. Quite dysfunctional. (And as I sit here typing this, my fingers just froze over the keys, overwhelmed at the thought of telling people anything about my past.) Funny thing: since I have become a Christian I have spent a good portion of this walk absolutely hating who I used to be, have felt deafening shame over my past and all those decisions I made and all those self-destructive things I did. It was tormenting, really, trying to reconcile who I was and who I thought I was supposed to be now as a “good Christian girl.” I tried my damnedest to kill off every part of me and shape myself into what I thought I should look like. I became very inauthentic and it drove my husband crazy. I was also driving myself crazy. I was trying to do God’s work for Him. (Are you thinking to yourself: how’d that work out for ya?)
I was living the try-hard life. The do-more-to-be-more way. Which is exactly how I lived my life up until then. Nothing was ever good enough and I received my validation in what I did not who I was and that attitude carried over into my walk with God. I created this perfectionistic standard by which I thought I needed to live up to in order to look like what I thought me as a Christian should be. So, even though I was trying so hard to bury my old self, I was still consulting that corpse as to how I should react and respond.
That dead girl still had a hold over me.
And she still does.
See, that dead girl lived a life a survival, just trying to live and get by, always wishing for something better but never expecting it. That girl made poor decisions, sought validation in a lot of wrong places, hurt herself and allowed other people to hurt her. Inside, she was still that little girl who only wanted to feel loved, to believe someone truly loved her and cared about her and would protect her but no one ever did, who always felt alone and abandoned and worthless and unlovable. She started writing novels at 10 years old to lose herself in other worlds where she was in control, who began to write dark poetry at 15 as a way to get the pain out, who, at 17 was compared to Sylvia Plath (and for those of you who don’t know, Sylvia killed herself by gassing herself in her oven while her two children slept in another room; she was 30).
That girl left home at the age of 16. Sixteen. (My son is 7 months away from the age I was when I left home. Incomprehensible.) She went from place to place, wherever anyone would take her, never really feeling at home, but always an outsider looking in. That girl went through a depression once so bad that for three months she suffered constant panic attacks, wouldn’t leave the house unless it was to go to work and lost so much weight that people feared for her life (she weighed in at 89 pounds at one point).
I don’t tell you this to make you feel sorry for this girl but only to give you an idea of the kind of person that for some reason I still insist on talking to even though she is dead. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” And Romans 6:6-7 says “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”
So, if that part of me is dead, I must be talking to a dead person.
Consulting her like a necromancer.
“What do you think? How should I feel? What does this mean? How should I react?”
I am grabbing that corpse by her tattered collar and asking her for direction. And the enemy is more than happy to oblige that kind of behavior. He cannot manufacture life, but he can certainly counterfeit it. He’s a ventriloquist, speaking to me from that corpse, giving me the answers he wants me to hear. A puppet-master with his hand in the back of that dead shell, making it move and respond, speaking to me through another source like he did with Eve in the garden. And I am listening.
Why? Why do I keep doing this? This is what I really want to know. I mean, if I am to be honest, all my old-nature responses and self-defense mechanisms don’t work, they don’t get me where I want to be but are only tiny little band-aids applied to gaping, infected wounds that desperately need to be HEALED, once and for all. Why am I still so intrigued by and in bondage to these old things when I hate them so much? Can familiarity be the only reason?
I’m praying the Lord will give me an answer but that means I have to want to hear it and be ready to move and act when He tells me what needs to be done. And I pray that Holy Spirit give me the strength I need to do so, because I cannot do this on my own.
The Word says that whom the Son sets free is free indeed and I need to walk out that truth in my life because until then I am a self-contained prisoner, choosing to live in the cell while the door stands open just waiting for me to leave.
“And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?” Isaiah 8:19