A few years ago, I had experienced a difficult time within my personal life. I was going through a major refining moment, and really had to dig deep inside of myself. I had to make some changes. My comfortable family life was being jeopardized, because of my actions. There were a lot of things that were being pointed out to me that had never been pointed out by someone who I had cared so much for. Sure, there were times when the harmful characteristics that I possessed were brought to my attention by others, but their opinion didn’t matter. If they didn’t like what they saw, I would tell them to stay away. What did I care? Many people had come and gone throughout the years. If someone didn’t like me for who I was, I would send them on their way. Rudely, usually.
There was a woman who started pointing out my harmful characteristics at the time. She was a person who influenced me tremendously. I couldn’t tell this woman to leave my life, because I had made a serious commitment to her. My wife, my sweet lady, was starting to point out some things about my character that really had me jumping around like some sort of caged animal. The things that she was saying to me were hitting nerves, causing me to throw some serious fits. Those things that she was mentioning; my temper, control and perfection issues, yelling, cussing at her children, my isolation, were interrupting my emotional boundaries. There were many different things that she was saying that were cutting me up, leaving me with feelings of worthlessness. You would have to understand the trauma that I was experiencing when all of these things were brought to my attention, through my personal lens. A lens that was clouded with the chemical imbalances within my brain from abruptly cutting myself off from medications and substances.
What was going on within me is not something I can really put into words. I have always been clinically depressed, and the mix of meds along with substance abuse was a really bad decision, especially for as long as I mixed them. It was really bad when I cut myself off from all of it, that stemmed from a very unhealthy understanding I had about God. I quit everything, because I thought I would go to hell if I didn’t. That’s a different story, and a stupid one. Anyway, my head was messed up, and the animal that I was becoming had a huge role to play within the reasons why my wife was saying what she was saying to me, and ultimately why her and the kids moved out.
It was a long process; finding myself again. I had to rethink everything. I had to get my head right. I had to get the facts about my faith together. I had to look at the real me. I had to come up with a complicated formula, of my true self. But who was I, anymore? It started with being alone. There was a total meltdown while my family was away, which sent me to a few specialists that provided me with the tools and medications that I needed at the time. There was a class that I attended for a few weeks that opened up new doors that were conducive to a new way of thinking. I had really considered what my wife had said, and really saw the sincerity in her eyes when she told me that she wanted me to get better. She wanted me to be her loving man, and not the crazy man that she didn’t know. I had reached another low in my life, and the only way to climb was up. I thank God for what He had planned. My choices and toxic ways had put me in a position that would ultimately bring me into a deeper position within His glorious light. I was climbing. Just me, and the Lord.
My time alone was what I needed in order to look at myself, and change some things. I spent many hours in the evenings after work, reading the Bible. Studying His Word, and researching those words by referencing many different views online. I would pray earnestly for His guidance, and would experience many different things that would point to His presence while I was going through this cycle of renewal. I would research how the mind and body works. What my anger, anxiety, depression, control, and uneasiness was stemming from. I had professional advice and knowledge at my fingertips, and I soaked it all up. I was determined to change myself, for the better. It was time. It was His guidance and strength that started to heal me. It was in His timing, that my journey came to this defining moment. My family was far more valuable than I had realized, and the changes that were occurring also felt better than anything I had used before. The climb was a challenge, and painful. It was not nearly as painful as losing my family, and myself. It was worth every painful moment. Even though my family had cleared out, I started to rely on the Lord, and started trusting His ways.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
I had a list of things that I needed to keep at my core hanging on a cork board in my kitchen at the time. I titled it, “E=MC2.” Long explanation short, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity points out how a small amount of matter can release a huge amount of energy. I thought to myself how this same formula is relative to my experience, and wrote it at the top of my list. A small amount of effort, when looking at the grand scheme of things, was exactly what I needed to do in order to become a more focused man. It was a short time within my journey, that led me to a different road.
I am becoming someone I have never been before. The core values and changes that needed to take place in order for me to become an easier, gentler, more loving and peaceful man, hung on my kitchen wall for many months. I would read it each morning, and then go about my day. I would keep these words with me, and meditate on their meaning throughout the day. I can honestly say that all of those times of painful experiences, refining and climbing, refocusing, learning, prayer and a new-found relationship with the Lord and myself, has brought me to where I am today. My family is here, and we are loving the life that the Lord has given us.
Daniel 12:10 (NLT)
Many will be purified, cleansed, and refined by these trials. But the wicked will continue in their wickedness, and none of them will understand. Only those who are wise will know what it means.