Thursday, August 9, 2007

I am filled with comfort

One of the most poisonous things about poison is not what it gives you but what it keeps you from. Several kinds of poison (I learned from a forensic educational whodunit on cable) several kinds of poison bind with the oxygen receptors in your cells. Meaning the parts of your cell that are supposed to receive oxygen are binding to something else, something not oxygen, something not what they need, something other than what they were designed by God to bind to. It's not so much what the poison gives you, it's what the poison keeps you from...the thing designed by God to bring you Life. The thing you were designed by God to so desperately need and so freely receive. Like oxygen. Like love. Like friends.

One of the most poisonous things about the childhood sexual abuse I endured was that I experienced trauma at an age when I was way too young for appropriate self-comfort. I was not differentiated enough to be capable of appropriate self-comfort. The adults who I wanted to comfort me didn't know how.

I shopped for comfort at the only store that was open to a young child: the refrigerator.

So those receptors in my soul that were designed to bind to friends to bind to loving people, those receptors in my soul were binded to food. It was easy really. And it's easy as an adult. I've never had a Hershey bar tell me they weren't available or that my need was invalid. People are problematic some times. Course they are. Good Lord! Look at me! But food becomes poison when it blocks the receptor for the love and human interaction I truly need.

God in his infinite mercy allowed circumstances and my own heart to push me to a place of need that forced me to reach out to my friends. To tell the truth about where I really was and to ask them to love me and pray for me anyway. I have tears in my eyes just remembering yesterday. It's still that fresh. It's still that powerful. The oxygen receptors in my soul are getting real honest-to-God oxygen instead of the poisonous fake. Oh My God!

I'm sending this out to all my friends who gave my soul oxygen yesterday. Who heard me in my dark vulnerable moment and treated me with great care:
The biggest blessing/lesson in all of this is that I have substituted food for friends for most of my life. And by vulnerably telling the truth about where I'm at to a few of my friends has been a profound experience. My telling and their responding is in itself a huge antidote because it makes food as a friend irrelevant. Thanks for being a part of that.

And is this experience of feeling so profoundly loved by my friends, there's a scripture I memorized 14 years ago that I just now truly understand.

2nd Corinthians 7:4 "Great is my confidence in you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am overflowing with joy—in all my affliction."

I used to stammer that scripture to myself, sniffing and crying during a bout of loneliness and pain, crying out to God and telling Him that my confidence was in Him and telling Him I expected Him to fill me with comfort because I was being a brave girl and quoting scripture through my tears. It didn't work. Today I understand why.

Reading the context, I see that Paul was not crying out to God Almighty in a moment of solitary prayer. Paul was talking to his friends. His real flesh-and-blood friends.

2 Corinthians 7:1-4 "
1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Make room for us in your hearts; we wronged no one, we corrupted no one, we took advantage of no one. 3 I do not speak to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together. 4 Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction."

He calls his friends 'beloved' and asks them to 'make room for me in your hearts'. Oh. My. God.

I'm beginning to see that when you know someone well enough to call them 'beloved' and you have the oxygenating experience of someone making room for you in their heart, you will be filled with comfort, you will be overflowing with joy even though you are you smack dab in the middle of great affliction.

Today, I'm sucking in the oxygen and poison seems not only beatable but downright irrelevant.


grace said...

I hardly know what to say right now. I truly understand how hard this kind of vulnerability really is. But I also understand how integral a thing it is to the process of healing.

It is so easy to substitute other things in place of real flesh and blood relationships in our lives. Way too easy. People are so difficult! They are out of our control and that's what makes their comfort so valuable, we can't control it. It is also what makes them so dangerous to us.

I'm praying for you as you seek to let God rebuild those broken places and make them whole.


Eleutheros said...

"Love is like Oxygen..."

sang Sweet in the 8o's.

But, while their song was a paen to not letting in to much love:

"You get to much you get to high,
not enough and you're gonna die;
love gets you high..."

you've made the truth of that connection so much better than they did!

Well said, mi Lady!

I too have found that I was created to live my life 'high' on the oxygen of love, given by Jehovah through all the other humans He created that I can have a relationship with.

Enough to conclude that if any human expects to find His comfort in anything they're going through, they need to find another human being who understands and tell it to them, then they'll find His comfort.

It's really that simple!

Except for the finding of another Human Being who understands...

And is good, like His God.

But they're out there, by the 100's of thousands. And they always seem to be able to find each other...

May you continue discovering how good a God Jehovah really is, SW, through all the good human realtionships you can enjoy!

Sensuous Wife said...

I receive that.

Sensuous Wife said...

Oh, El-yew. May I indeed. May we all.
Thank you, friend. -SW

Happy said...

S.W. - I am so sorry for the hurt you've been through; and so glad that you have learned to dance! Thank you for sharing your story with me. I am privileged to know it, and I will celebrate with you the healing that God has done in your heart, and the blessing He has given you in such wonderful friends.

I am slowly learning to dance again... it's a process, one step at a time. And it's been so good.

Thanks for walking a bit of it with me; hearing your story was good for my heart. God bless you, sister - which sounds cliche, but I mean that as a heartfelt prayer - God BLESS you.

Sensuous Wife said...

(big smile)
Oh, Happy, I'll take it. I'll take that blessing like a kid grabbing the candy that is offered to him.
Thank you!
And lest there be any misunderstanding, I'm still on the journey. I have not graduated.