The following is an excerpt from the new release, Fractured Into Wholeness, available on Amazon in print and ebook formats.
My friend took me into the mountains to a small town she had visited often when she was growing up. It had natural hot springs, and we soaked and talked and relaxed. We went to vapor caves. I couldn’t stand the temperatures as long as she could, but it was still a purifying experience for me.
The air was stifling. I was sweating. And then the toxins seemed to begin to pour out of me. Tears fell, and I reminded myself to breathe. I fell into a rhythm of deep breaths in and out, and as I breathed I prayed.
I had noticed on the trip that any time I focused on my ex for too long, I felt toxic. Any time I focused on God, even for a short time, I had hope. The pain was still there regardless but it had context and purpose when I filtered it through God.
Often when I am struggling and pray, especially when I can’t find the words to say, I keep it super simple and pray with the breaths. As I exhale, I commit to getting rid of my preferences and struggles, anything God wants to prune from me. With the exhale, I try to give more of myself to Him. When I breathe in, I commit to letting Him fill me, equipping me with truth and challenging me to trust Him.
As I sat in the vapor cave, some of the toxic things my ex had said to me bubbled up, and the tears flowed. But as I breathed, I let God truth check and release the lies. I didn’t believe them, but I also hadn’t let go of some of them. I was hanging onto the hurt they caused. I needed God to replace them with His truth.
You aren’t enough. I deserve more.
You are enough. Keep growing, keep learning, keep searching.
We have never been compatible.
No one gets to redefine the truth of the past.
Quit crying and get over it.
Cry when you need to, then move forward. Healing will be a long process.
You will never be as mature as me.
Maturity is not age-related. Character is always revealing.
You have never really known me.
People get defensive when you are close to them. Love them anyway.
I feel sorry for you if you thought I was your best friend.
His rejection is not as powerful as my acceptance.
Breathe out. Breathe in.
I continued to pray for many minutes. I was soaked in sweat and tears, but when I lifted my head and walked up the narrow steps, I was cleaner, lighter, freer.