God talks to me in funny places. Usually it’s when I’m moving. I have a thing for movement—walking, driving, cleaning, dancing—just about anything when my body is actually in motion. But not today. Today, he whispered to me as I was sitting in the dentist’s chair—mouth agape, a ton of spit swirling around inside, and my eyes trying to find a focal point on the dizzying square pattern on the ceiling.
“You’re coming into your own”, He whispered.
“Huh?” I thought. Because I’m not exactly feeling at my most presentable at this moment. And my thoughts had been nowhere near spiritual things. In fact, I had actually just been mulling over the reality that I was talented as a spit factory, and I was wondering how many times “regular” people had to use the suction tube in one dental cleaning. I’m good at recognizing anomalies.
But God has a way of reaching down to us when we are in just such a humbled position (of mind, heart, or even body)—and building us back up, encouraging us.
I almost dismissed His words at first because of the irony. I just wanted to get past the teeth scraping, aka nails-on-the-chalkboard torture.
However, His words intrigued me. So I asked Him, “What does that even mean—coming into my own?” Because I was familiar with the idiom itself, I just didn’t understand how it applied to me.
He answered me pretty simply:
“You’re finding your own place. You’re leaving the realm of others and coming into yourself.”
Hmmm…that got me thinking. “Leaving the realm of others”—it made sense to me in my spirit. Intuitively, I understood it right away. However, my soul—my big ol’ analytical mind and emotions, which liked all my t’s crossed and i’s dotted, needed a bit more clarity.
So I looked it up online.
One of the definitions I found from freedictionary.com was “to become independent; to be recognized as independent and capable, usually after much effort or time.”
That was encouraging. I liked it. Becoming independent implied a breaking away from things upon which you were once dependent. It sounded good to me.
But it was the next definition that especially struck me: “to get possession of what belongs to one.”
And I realized a few things from what God had spoken to me and from reading these definitions.
I realized that I was coming into my own—spiritually. I felt it. And I understood that becoming who God made me to be was a process—a process of leaving behind something in order to enter into something new. And what I was leaving behind was the “realm of others”; what I was entering into was “my place.” I was becoming independent and capable and also getting possession of what belongs to me—the things God gave me when He created me in my mother’s womb: My spiritual DNA and heritage.
But I realized that I had spent years in the “realm of others”, trying to fulfill their expectations, recommendations, and predictions. Too many years. I’d spent so much time learning the societal scripts and then trying to adhere to them. I’d embraced values, attitudes, opinions and mindsets that I was taught growing up. I had run hard and fast, trying to please others, be the good “Christian” girl, fit into whatever societal group, church or community that I was a part of, and say and do all the right things. I had been so diligent trying to follow society’s unspoken rules, trying to fit into my family’s unspoken roles, that I had allowed myself to be pigeonholed and typecast in so many ways and situations. And I lost myself somewhere in the midst of it all. I became a wanderer, looking for who I was.
However, embarking on my healing pilgrimage (from trauma, from PTSD) has been quite the game changer. I didn’t realize when I said “yes” to God to allow Him into my pain, my trauma, my wounded heart—in order to heal me, that I was signing up for a complete life revampage (and yes, I do realize that this word wouldn’t count in Scrabble). I didn’t realize that EVERYTHING in my life would shift. Everything was going to be recalibrated. That my life would come under major reconstruction. But it did. And it continues to be.
And this is where leaving the “realm of others” became so important in my life. It was true. I had broken away from so many things in my past. I had in a way disassembled myself, taken myself apart and scrutinized every piece of my life—and then very carefully made conscious decisions as to what I would allow back in.
I don’t mean people per say, although I did have to step away from certain relationships that I found were more toxic than life-giving. I mean questioning and taking apart assumptions, parenting tactics, ways of communicating, patterns, self-condemnation and guilt, coping mechanisms. I was constantly asking myself, “Why do I think this?”, “Why do I respond this way?”, “Why does this hurt me?”, “Why do I default to this?”
I’ve discarded so many things—attitudes, mindsets, priorities, etc. that I can’t even count them. I’ve changed family values and priorities. Certain things that were a big deal in my home growing up, like keeping the kitchen spotless and the kids’ hair brushed and perfect, just aren’t a big deal to me. If my kids go to school with a ratsnest in their hair—as long as they don’t get teased, I’m okay with that. I have bigger fish to fry.
But I’m not okay with family secrets, the generational skeletons in the closets— so I’ve pulled them out and discussed these things with my kids in age-appropriate ways. I refuse to continue the cycles and patterns of the past generations. I’ve changed little things. I’ve changed massive things. I’ve redefined priorities, life, me.
And so God was right. In order to come into my own—to be who He made me to be, I had to become independent from my past, from what I was taught, from what I was told was “right” or “the way” to do things. I’ve had to come to Him and say, “What do you say about this?”
SO much healing has come. And so much more is around the bend. I can see the light in the distance. I’m still wandering in my wilderness of healing, but the picture of who I am is becoming so much clearer as I continue to come into my own.
And He has called you to come into YOUR own.
You have a spiritual place too.
You have a spiritual heritage (things that belong to you).
You have a spiritual destiny.
But you can’t get there unless you leave the “realm of others”, and we can only do this with His help. We need His supernatural power and strength to break free.
So let Him start to untangle you from your past. Let Him redefine you. Let Jesus lead you into who you truly are.
Because it’s God who gets the final say. Not all the “others”.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:13-16)