February 22, 2016
By: Cindy Lundhagen
(A continuation from Monday) – warning…this covers a period of separation (from God that is) and you probably won’t like me much after reading this one (I’ll have to accept that risk and if necessary pay that price). It will be worth it if, in the end, you understand that this period illustrates that God never leaves. He is patient. He is faithful. And He is full of all-consuming love, mercy and amazing grace.
After graduating high school, I found my ticket out with an Air Force ROTC scholarship to Louisiana Tech University. I thought I could simply run away from my past and everyone in it. But I brought along a ton of baggage…more than I could carry. The way I survived my childhood was all about self preservation…fight when possible, flight when necessary and avoidance at all costs. The costs were devastating to both my sisters. My older sister endured some horrific things; my guilt lies in not saying or doing anything to save her. I left home when my younger sister was only 13 knowing full well the fate that could await her. They are both deeply troubled today. Psychologists would call it “Survivor’s Guilt”; I call it a personal hell you carry in your soul.
Don’t let anyone tell you that physical and emotional scars don’t hurt. Scars are surface repairs that simply try to bind; the healing has to occur down below the surface where the actual wound (aka pain) is found. If you don’t heal there…the scars will hurt. My scars were still hurting. I began to struggle with PTSD…nightmares and fits of pure rage over minor incidents most people would blow off. I confided in and loved someone for the first time…only to be devastated when I couldn’t be what that person wanted me to be. The relationship fizzled and eventually died. I vowed to never allow myself to be hurt again…by anything. I built a fortress to protect…from all things.
Graduated college and got assigned to Charleston Air Force Base. Finally freedom and money. But my issues followed me once more. Managed my life in ship tight compartments (or so I thought)…doing extremely well professionally and not so great personally. I didn’t know how to love and trust…so I didn’t. I got involved in lots of relationships where love and trust were not requirements. I discovered I could get physical satisfaction without emotional attachment…with virtually anyone I wanted whenever I wanted…so I did. I broke hearts and I broke marriages. Eventually…it all broke me. It was like I was emotionally vulnerable and emotionally dead at the same time. The turning point was when a man left his young child home alone to come see me. Potential harm to a child was a line I dared not cross. The thing was I didn’t know how to get out of my mess. I wanted to kill myself but I didn’t want to die. Yet again I had no where else to turn…except back to God. I begged him to either help me to end my life or to save it. I poured my heart out to Him that night; completely surrendered everything and left it all in His hands. At the end of the night I was still there and had reconnected with God in such an incredibly intense and powerful way. A few weeks later I found out I was pregnant. And I thanked God for saving us both…
The good stuff starts next Monday.
Cindy Lundhagen — Summerville, SC