Confession is good for the soul...
Several months back, I participated in a weekend retreat entitled, “Faithwalking.” It was a wonderful spiritual experience; one that changed me in many ways. The weekend consisted of group sessions as well as times of solitude, biblical meditation, and journaling. It provided a time for self-reflection seeking God’s direction.
On the final day of the weekend, the participants were asked to share a “vow” they made in their early formative years that they thought would help their relationships, but the ongoing facade wound up making relationships more difficult.
As a result, I realized that I made a “vow” to myself at a very young age that I would never, ever allow anyone to accuse me of something that I did not do. One early experience in my childhood launched my struggle with being falsely accused and not given the chance to explain.
When I was very young, my sister Becky stuck a straight pin into our family’s tube of toothpaste. Please keep in mind that in the early 1960’s we did not have multiple bathrooms. Our family of six shared one bathroom taking turns in the mornings and at night. My sister was just being a kid. I suspect she wanted to see what would happen when you stuck a pin into a tube of toothpaste. The problem was that my Daddy was the first person to squeeze that tube when he went to brush his teeth after her experiment. Toothpaste went everywhere. It was a huge mess.
My Dad came out of the bathroom asking, “Who stuck a pin in the toothpaste?” My sister instantly pointed to me and said, “Roni did it.” I can remember trying to explain to my Daddy that I didn’t do it without getting my sister in trouble. I had to make a quick decision whether upsetting my Daddy would be worse than having to go to the bedroom I shared with my sister knowing I got her in trouble. So, I kept my mouth shut. I took the punishment despite not committing the crime.
It’s funny how experiences early on in life mold us. I think something clicked in my heart during the toothpaste experience that said, “You matter! Don’t put up with people’s crap!” However, I am certain I didn’t use the word, “crap,” since I had no clue the word existed back then.
The only way I can rewire my brain to relax and not take things so seriously is to think back to that toothpaste experience and realize – it really didn’t matter. My Dad washed his hands, made me clean up the bathroom (Becky helped, by the way), and sent us to bed. We were headed to bed anyway so I’m not sure why the experience wounded me so deeply.
Becky is in Heaven right now with a very puzzled look on her face. I’m sure she turned to my sister Debbie and asked, “Are you hearing this?” Debbie’s response is, “Told ya. She needs to learn to let it go.”
“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
For more information on Faithwalking, please click here.