When I was a child, I was a much different person than I am now. I was not yet a Christian and I was a captive to my fear. I daily experienced an anxiety that would catch in my chest and overtake my mind until I was frozen in place, unable to speak or breathe or think clearly.
I was a slave to anxiety.
When I was a child, I had trouble connecting with any person, in all honesty, even my own family. I couldn't bear to be touched; I could bear to talk about the turmoil in my thoughts. I was extremely lonely.
In other ways, I had a very normal childhood. I have wonderful memories of my parents and my siblings and my experiences. I don't want to sound like I had a horrible childhood, because I have hilarious stories to tell. But there were struggles.
By Christ's power alone, I have been set free from my chains and bonds. It's overwhelming to look back and see the transformation He has had on my life. I have gone from terrified to free, from horribly shy to confident, from depressed to joyful.
There was a day when I started high school after a long summer of transformation. Someone I had known for years looked at me and said, "Are you new here?" The freedom the Lord had given me changed everything about me, even my appearance. It's amazing the difference a smile can make. Three months earlier, I was a timid 8th grader who carefully wore long sleeves to cover up the scars on my skin and refused to smile or speak to anyone. Now I was redeemed. That's the first word that comes to mind when I think of myself: redeemed.
Because without Him, I would not be alive today.
This started out being about my family dynamic, but I've gone off on a tangent. I won't erase this, however. God is good!
I like the dynamic of my family. When I look at my life and at my family over the last twenty years, I can only see the faithfulness of God. He is so good to us.
What's your family dynamic like?
Two years ago: Letter to Juniors in High School