Today, I am so honored to share with you a blog form my sister, Hannah Crawford. God has done such amazing things in and through her life, and I pray that her vulnerability will open your heart up to be honest and vulnerable with yourself and other safe people, and find the freedom that you long for, just like Hannah.
Trauma hurts. The feelings and emotions that come from something or someone hurting you can be so unbearable sometimes, that all you can do is push the feelings down; way down.
But what happens when you start to realize that you have pushed them down so far that you forget what your reality is?
Did that really happen to me?
Did I really go through that pain?
I have been going through Jena’s book “Free” with a group of women. Initially, I thought that I would be the leader (sorta say) of our group— by helping them navigate through the book, by leading by example, and by helping them work through any personal issues that came up.
Boy, was I wrong.
This book has made me come face to face with bondages I have in my life that I didn’t even know were there. Before I share what God has revealed to me let me say this—I have forgiven the people below. But, forgiving someone over the wrong they caused in my life did not release the PAIN that I still felt from it. Now I know (from Jena’s book) that the pain has stayed there because I have never dealt with the pain. I didn’t/couldn’t come face to face with the pain because it hurt too bad to bring it up. The only way I knew how to deal with it was to push it down and numb it away with worldly things.
He is revealing to me that I am still living in bondage through trauma and it’s time to start letting go. It’s time to learn how to open up completely, and it’s time to start living free. Here are some bondages that I am referring to:
1. First Bondage: The feeling of abandonment. Knowing that my birth father chose a life without me. Growing up in the Alabama Baptist CHildren's Home, having 4 different sets of houseparents, and living with over 50 girls during a ten year span— I numbed the feeling of having a concrete family. I have amazing siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, but what I wanted was that “picture perfect” family. To be able to go home to a set of parents and “siblings” that I knew would be the same day after day. I taught myself at a young age to look inward. To learn how to try and love myself because I was the only person I could count on (so I thought).
2. Second Bondage: The feeling of guilt and shame. I was raped my sophomore year of college. I was hanging out with a friend and her friends but didn’t know any of the guys. I remember crying out to God to save me and thinking “is this really happening?” Afterwards, everyone knew what happened but did nothing. My friend hesitantly offered to take me to the police but I didn’t want to get anyone in trouble. We had all been drinking so I blamed myself for letting it happen. Looking back I know I shouldn’t feel guilty about it and should have gone to the police but I put the blame on me. There was no validation for what happened. I never spoke to that guy again, heck I don’t even remember his name. But I never talked to anyone about what really happened or received any counselling for it.
I have learned that I do a pretty good job of putting up a front. But these bondages that I have kept down for so long are starting to leak through to my other relationships. My poor husband. I know sometimes he doesn’t know which way is up and which way is down. He deserves so much more out of our marriage but I have been letting bondage control my love for him and for God. Having fear in the back of my mind that I would once again be abandoned.
Man, I thank GOD for my husband. He has been my rock, supporter, protector and comforter even when I didn’t realize it.
I tend to be an open book. People probably think I share more than I should sometimes BUT I shared all of this in hopes to help someone realize if they may be living in bondage, it’s time for you to start your path to FREEDOM as well. It’s going to hurt to feel these feelings again, but you are not alone. You have a friend here and one who has never nor will ever leave your side, God.
You are not alone.
You are accepted.
You are wanted.
Thank you, Hannah. You are one of my heroes.