So I’m on day 4 of this 21-day-dating challenge and I’m learning some good stuff. There are a lot of confirming scriptures and methods of reflection which is to me God’s way of saying “You are on the right path”. It’s one thing to learn about being a healthy person through various blogs, podcasts and books. I mean, I pretty much have been teaching myself this past year the stuff I feel like God wants me to learn. But it’s so much nicer to have these things confirmed by a professional licensed counselor such as Debra Fileta. I have really appreciated her sharing her own stories of journeying towards healing and wholeness in her workbook. The fact that she “made it over” (at least to having a healthy marriage) gives me hope that I will one day do the same. 😉.
I thought that I was a pretty reflective person but going through her workbook has taken my reflection to a whole other level and the Holy Spirit has even led me into deeper revelations which were inspired by the information she shares in the workbook. I have greatly benefited from writing letters to younger versions of myself. I’ve done this sparingly in the past but practicing this while doing the dating challenge has led to even more revelations and breakthroughs. I realize my tendency to be “too hard on myself” (and others close to me) is due to me not fully receiving the Father’s unconditional, eternal love. I have put conditions on His love and therefore could not love myself and others unconditionally. I understood this prior to doing this challenge but need to keep revisiting this and meditating on His love. I need His love to permeate the depths of who I am so that I can offer it to others.
The letters I have written to my younger self are often affirming. We know that many of our issues and brokenness result from unresolved trauma in childhood. Over the years I’ve dealt with a lot of these issues and have worked through forgiveness and healing. I at least knew these issues existed, but can say until this challenge did not “sit” in those places of brokenness. Now I am revisiting and receiving truth about certain challenges I faced in my past. Now that I am more mature, I can see with more mature eyes and let go of the immature perception I had back then. I have found that speaking truth to the younger version of myself has helped for me to receive forgiveness and to forgive. I’ve found it beneficial to view my younger self as a separate person b/c I often find it easier to empathize and encourage others rather than myself. When I view my younger self as “me” I find it harder not to feel and taken on the negative emotions/thoughts/perceptions that I had as a child. For instance, as a child I was seriously bullied by my peers for several years. Now I can look back and tell my younger self “Nicole, there is nothing wrong with you that has caused you to be bullied. You are “cool” b/c you bear the image of Elohim. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and accepted. You are loved and wanted and desired”. As a child, I believed the messages that there was something wrong with me. “I must be rejected b/c of something I did.” But as an adult I know when I see others being bullied, there is something wrong with the bullies. It is their issues and their brokenness.
Debra Fileta says that it is so easy to focus on others and I couldn’t agree more. Women in general are relational and often define themselves by their roles as wife, mother, sister, friend, etc… but that can easily lead to a distorted identity of one’s self. Our identity will always be changing if we base it on relationships that are always changing and people who are always changing. We can only know our true identity if it is based on an eternal, unchanging Father. One who knows us through and through and can reveal the unbroken, undistorted version He thought of before we were in our mother’s womb.
More updates to come.