Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Escape Artist

Some years ago I went through some longterm counseling for my addiction to alcohol. As a mom of five children I really wanted to get better. Thought the drinking every day (all day) was the problem.

To my surprise it wasn't the alcohol that was the problem at all - it was my self-destructive patterns of "escapism". When I didn't like what I was feeling emotionally, I would find an escape path - seems alcohol, smoking, eating disorders, promiscuity, running from relationships - all of those were just paths I had taken in my life to numb out from pain.

With Paul's health situation I've had my flares out, my caution flags waving, and my substance abuse detectors primed to evaluate the slightest twinge of escaping or running away. Thought I knew my patterns backwards and forwards.

In fact, I've done even more studying on my personality type - highly "yellow" based on Taylor Hartmans' assessments. I'm fun driven, people driven and adrenaline seeking. I'd much rather be on a cruise to the Bahamas than be saddened by my husband going through cancer. (which I might add, he being yellow too, is his preference!) Escaping is a yellow's classic pattern.

I'd much rather be at a bubbly beauty pageant, a giddy glamorous fundraiser, a festive 5K, or a happy home makeover - really anything - rather than feel what I'm feeling watching Paul hurt so much.

As I bring this to God I can hear Him telling me I've still got the same patterns - just new methods. More acceptable methods. More discreet methods. I still escape in small ways and big ways - I just wasn't seeing it for what it was.

So, God is still healing that escape artist in me - just to a finer degree. He wants me to be here completely - even through the toughest of times.

"The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2 NIV

Doesn't sound like the Lord runs from pain does it? He is solid, grounded, strong and forever. Guess He wants me to be that too?