The Miracle of Going from Fighting Like a Junk Yard Dog to the Joyful Pumpkin (Part 1)
I have spent many years keeping my mouth shut, holding back being afraid to speak.
With a failed marriage, financial ruin, and a God crisis, I just flat out lost my voice. I didn’t want to speak, as nothing I had taught or done seemed to be true or working. It worked for all my other friends, so why was everything in my life hitting the skids?
But it was. It was ugly and I lived—barely—but I did.
I think about the day so many years ago. I sat in marriage counseling with my second husband, who I thought was the love of my life. But looks can be deceiving. He wasn’t who I thought he was. As I would learn later, I wasn’t yet a whole person myself.
We sat in front of the pastor for marriage counseling. This man, my husband, was someone who could not tell the truth if his life depended on it. I was always the one left grappling to survive because of the things he said or didn’t say which left me out to dry.
At one point, the pastor looked at me and said:
“You fight like a junk yard dog.”
I thought it was funny. I thought it was a compliment. It wasn’t. I have spent the last several years sorting out that fighting heart. That broken, self-protected, justified, injured heart.
What I wish the pastor would have said is, “What are you believing about your husband, your situation, yourself, God that causes you to respond with such hurt, animosity, fight?”
Who are you really fighting?
What are you really fighting for?
What do you really want?
What do you really want to have happen?
What is your belief?
On that day, I believed I had to fight. I had to fight for me because no one else was going to. I had to take people down before they took me down. I had to make people think I was big, bad, mean or they would hurt me, I have to be big like a bear. I have to keep my guard up all the time because people are out to hurt me even when they are family or are supposed to be caring for me, no one really had my back. The people who loved me were going to make me struggle and suffer, because that is the only way I could learn. Of course I don’t learn, I just feel weak and stupid because I struggle and suffer.
Those are all lies told to us by the enemy.
I was and am a Christian. I went to church, tithed, and did it “all”. But just being there physically wasn’t enough. I needed to be there in spirit as well. I needed to give my heart. But I didn’t know that, or even how to do that. Plus, I didn’t want to do that. My heart was all I had. It was mine.
I wasn’t going to release that heart or the right to defend and protect under any conditions. You can have my money, my time, my attendance, my child, my marriage but you are NOT getting my heart.
I am going to put that heart back here behind the fortress with moat stocked full of crocodiles and turrets well equipped with assault weapons. Because everyone that has gotten near, has broken it more.
But sometimes, when you hit rock bottom, you have to find a way to pick yourself back up.
I did hit bottom. My husband’s lies, the control battles we both held, our lack of communication on matters of the heart and our financial issues, which drove us into marriage counseling, took me down and I was rendered helpless. Everything I had ever used to protect myself, prop myself up with were not knocked out from under me but completely demolished beyond recognition. Nothing that used to work, worked now. It was so painful returning to my old ways like a dog to its vomit. NOTHING worked!
It not only ruined my personal life, but then it hit my professional life as well. I had been successful in the corporate arena but all of a sudden I was failing. Nothing worked. I couldn’t sell anything; my boss was breathing down my neck. He was confused, and I was confused but mostly terrified. Because everything was slipping.
My husband had come in with debt and left debt free. I came in with assets, stocks, 401K, a house, money in the bank and was leaving with nothing. Nothing. No car, no home, no credit, penniless and unemployable. I was fired from my job and the thought of showing up with a suit or heels was more than I could fathom.
I was destroyed. What could I do now? Something had to change.