Open Letter to the Brothers & Sisters

1 Timothy 4:6a
If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus...
Dear Family, 

Who are you?

 

No, really…. do you allow yourself to know, KNOW you?

 

When you strip away every responsibility, every job you do, everybody you care for… who are you?

Before you ever knew disappointment, rejection, pain or abuse, who are you?

 

If you're like many people, you wear what I call an emotional spanx or jock strap that holds everything together so nothing 'jiggles' in your life.  But because you've mastered emotional charades, you really can't say who you are...unless its a title like “father” "mother" “teacher” “entrepreneur" "thug" “attorney” (or your chosen job title) “spouse” "employee". Those are roles you play, titles you hold but they don't describe who you are. 

 

You were who you were long before you got that job, had those kids or married that person.  Who you are runs much deeper than that.  You can't touch it; but it touches every aspect of your life.  Where you work, live and who you love is a mere reflection of the real you; who you really are.  Those things are the fruit of a tree that has been planted and nurtured within you for years.

So who are you?

You’re the summation of every thought, joy, pain, struggle, understanding, belief, misunderstanding, rejection, kindness, excitement that has been stuffed and stowed away within you. 

And you have a container that has collected all of those highs and lows in your life.  How you care for that container determines true quality of your life….and truly defines who you are. 

That container is your heart! 

When the "heart spanx" wasn't enough anymore...
 
Like many of you, I didn't always consciously "feel" like I wasn't living my best life; I was a Christ-Follower, I had a pretty decent job, nice home, the car I wanted, friends, etc.  But despite my successes,  deep within, I was riddled with fear, heartbreak, self-doubt, disappointment and uncertainty about the future.  It had been growing and growing for a very longtime.  Different experiences in my life watered and nurtured it:
  • a father who I felt prioritized his other family over me
  • a mother who left town and ultimately left me
  • a family who it seemed didn't understand me
  • a strict church-environment where I didn't feel suitable for God's approval
  • friends who were secretly jealous and envious of me
  • broken friendships that left my heart hard and bitter
  • ...and an assortment of other things!   
I had many nights of panic attacks; waking up gasping for breath with a racing heart in a puddle of sweat.  I had many days of insecurity, feeling like I wasn't good enough and fear of impending doom.  The spanx just wasn't holding it all together anymore.  
 
Then, in a very supernatural encounter, a woman at my then church (who some of you may call clairvoyant or prophetic)  stopped me at an event and said "God says you've been tortured and he's freeing you tonight."  She prayed, prayed and prayed some more and by the time she finished, I felt a weight lift...ever felt so free that you just ran? Yeah I hadn't either...til then.

But that was just the first step
Many people have "high" moments of hope, deliverance, clarity or victory...like the one I had with that sister at church that night. In our excitement, we put all of our hope in those hopeful words of encouragement...OR your moment could've been getting married, landing that new job, being accepted to that group, moving to that new city, etc.  We have faith that because THAT thing happened, everything else will automatically get better.  Has it gotten better? Have your feelings of fear or inadequacy left? Is it possible that that moment was just the starting line? The seed of faith that was planted to produce all your other hopes and dreams?
There comes a time in every 'faith walk' that action is required on your part.  My experience at church stopped the pain and emotional bleeding (healed me) but it also started a process of becoming whole. Unfortunately, THAT part of the journey many people don't actively take; with benefits most don't  get to experience.  Think of some of the older people in your life... you can tell the ones who took action and changed the course of their lives to do great things.  They are loving, caring wells of wisdom...versus those who wallow in regret and perhaps anger, sadness or bitterness because of what hasn't happened in their lives. You get to choose today which you want to be.
In the years to follow that encounter at church, I asked God to show me my heart...and my journey continued.  All of the fears, illogical thinking, irrational reasoning, etc came to the surface.  I got clarity and truth for that assorted list of issues.  Line item by line item, I dealt with those things that surfaced.  I learned who I was; the good, bad and ugly...it freed me to become who I was always meant to be.  I was able to learn:
  • that my dad always loved and valued me
  • my mother always wanted and loved me
  • my family cared deeply for me
  • my church family was incredibly supportive and I eventually understood received God's grace
  • I met friends who celebrated rather than tolerated me...And I did the same for them
  • And the pain from my broken relationships became the launching pad for life as I know it today
My heart and all the un-handled, ignored pain it carried, had drastically skewed my view of all of these situations.  And it wasn't until I did my work that I could see things clearly and appreciate my story for what it really was.
What about you?
 
Do you secretly blame yourself for abuse enacted on you or someone you love by a predatory person in your life?
Are you exhausted with the weight of #BlackLivesMatter and seeing dehumanizing police brutality videos?
Have you found yourself waking up next to a stranger that you aren't in love with anymore?
Are you still salty about a breakup or divorce? 
Did you think that getting married would curb your fear of commitment or cheating ways ---and it hasn't?
Did you believe that having a baby would make your relationship better ---and it hasn't?
Does the #MeToo movement have you feeling "some type of way" about an incident in your past? 
Are you still mourning the loss of a loved one?
Are you distrustful and suspicious of anyone who tries to get close to you?
Is your silent battle with fear, loneliness, depression, anxiety, disappointment, heartbreak becoming too much to bear alone?   
Do you just not feel like you're living your absolute best life?
 
​Maybe you're not crying or suicidal but despite all the great things you may have going on, your life is bland and speaking to you everyday telling you that something is off...that something is missing. There's only one solution for that: TAKE ACTION!
 
Though its not typical for 'us', it's not crazy or weak to admit you need help with this 'life" thing.  It's my goal to help you pinpoint your areas of needs and give you tools to make the necessary adjustments to trade in your brokenness for wholeness, your disappointment for approval, your fear for love, your broken heart for the full knowledge that you are valued, wanted, supported, celebrated and powerful enough to heal and become whole!
But where do I start?
 
Take the next, best step to removing your heart's spanx/jockstrap' and becoming the best version of yourself. Don't look at life's challenges as "something that is wrong with you"... they're actually the toolkit you need to construct the life you want. Though my faith played a huge role in my wholeness, this is not about religion. Its an invitation to take your next best step. Click below and let's start the conversation
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