This is Lynne and this is #herstory . My story has many familiar as well as peculiar elements common to the human experience, but in the interest of sharing, I tempered my reluctancy and decided to move forward. I grew up in a home in the 60’s, and while I had every material and creature comfort, I bore the shame and stigma of my parent’s divorce. Although, I was a toddler when they divorced, and my father and his side of the family were active in my life, I still felt ostracized by this. I lived with my mother who was very strict and placed an obsessive premium on education. I learned early the importance of performance and exceeding standards in school and at home. The better I performed the more loved I felt. There was a constant pressure to keep up at a fever’s pitch. Everything had to be perfect and I had to be the best at everything I did. I quickly developed a Type A personality, before I entered my teen years. In high school the same mindset prevailed, I had to be the best, I would spend more hours studying than the average college student to impress my mother and ensure that I performed at peak efficiency. I had become a full fledged perfectionist. The toxic combination of performance and perfectionism created the perfect storm in robbing me of my peace of mind, nearly ruining my life I did not have Christ in my life, and frankly didn’t feel the need for him. I thought that people who needed religion were using God as a crutch. I had my intellect and my parents to get me whatever I wanted. In addition to my obsessive compulsive nature, I also learned very early to internalize and mask my feelings. I was living a life of quiet desperation, which could have imploded at any given moment. I thought these defense mechanisms would protect me from the hurt, pain, and abandonment I felt, sadly they did not.
This cycle continued through high school , college, and well into my adult years. Once I married, I thought these feelings would dissipate, but they remained simmering just under the skin. I would find myself easily angered and resentful, at the masks I felt forced to wear. The worst of it was that I had directly and indirectly transmitted these thoughts to my children. As I approached my thirties, I was unfulfilled professionally, emotionally I was a train wreck waiting to happen. My marriage was in shambles, and I seriously contemplated divorce. The only saving grace was the fact that didn’t want my children to experience the stigma associated with divorce.
Little did I know that help was on the way! In 1994, my husband recommitted his life to Christ and began to live a life of faith before me. I was initially skeptical, but began to see a radical transformation unfold before my eyes. He would invite me to church, and I would decline. He didn’t push the issue. Yet, the effects of his Christ-centered living were undeniable. He had a peace which couldn’t be explained from a human standpoint. On a subconscious level, I wanted that peace as well. I decided that the next time he invited me to church, I would accept.
As it would happen, he invited me again right after the holidays in 1995. Although still apprehensive, I went to worship with him. I experienced the Lord that Sunday on an unprecedented level! I felt the peace which had alluded me for decades. I realized that Jesus loved me as I was, I didn’t need to perform or excel to gain his favor. Through the warm tears which fell, I felt the mask I had worn for so long finally disintegrating! It was liberating, as this captive was finally free.
From the day forward I have served Christ with gusto! My marriage strengthened as we truly became one in Christ! My husband and I were called to begin a church plant in our home, and just celebrated 16 years of service to the kingdom in pastoral ministry. completed my bachelor’s, master’s, and am expected to finish my doctorate this year!
God has blessed me beyond measure! I could write a book about my story both before and after meeting Christ. What I will say is that, it’s by far the smartest and most profitable thing I have ever done! Take it from me...Jesus is the real deal! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
That’s #herstory so what’s yours ?