For those of you who don’t know my back story here's the the reader’s digest version.
I was raised in the house of a Southern Baptist Minister and grow up a to love the Lord with all my heart. Got baptized at 5 by my father and have stayed Faithful to Christ since. In my adult live had a pretty good life got married divorced and remarried and thought I was living a pretty good American Dream “Cosby Style”. You know the happy family that always appears to have it made in all situations, College educated, right backgrounds, upper middle class incomes and all the things that look good on the outside. But Four and half years ago my life which was comfortable, predictable, and somewhat normal changed. On December 1, 2007 my three daughters died in a house fire. My world which seemed to me at the time to be great came crashing down. I didn’t know how I would survived but I knew I couldn’t without God. God spoke to me when I was contemplating suicide on the way to Akron Children’s Hospital where my youngest daughter was hanging on for life. I told God that if I lose all my children I will jump out of the car on the ride back to Cleveland and please just let me die. It was in this moment that He spoke a promise that I have held onto since “ No devastation, no death in your life will ever out shine My glory in it. Trust me and I will restore to you all that has taken.” I can’t say that it was easy but I knew I had to trust Him.
Many more tests and trials have happened over the past four years but God has been faithful to that promise. I fought food addiction. I turned to food to deal with the grief, pain, abandonment and hurt after that loss and other struggles. God was faithful to deliver me and started to change me from the inside out. Giving up my drug of choice was hard but necessary to completely depend on God for all my needs. I struggled with a marriage that was unhealthy and wounding after the death of my daughters. Let me just say that I wasn’t healed from my first marriage before I started this one and I attracted someone who was equally wounded as I. God was faithful even in my disobedience once I turned to Him with a repentance heart and still blessed and healed me despite choosing my own way. God’s grace is truly AMAZING!
Throughout the past few years God was calling me into a deeper intimate relationship with HIM. An intimacy that would require me to stand“Naked and Unashamed” and walk with“transparency and authenticity” along side Him. I honestly asked myself “how in the world am I going to live out this walk from today forward? Is it truly possible to be that authentic God?” So I prayed as I usually do when faced with situations I don’t fully understand. "God you really want me to come out of hiding about my struggles and wounds? You mean I have to reveal things about myself that I'm not even ready to fully reveal in private... but your asking me to go public?" It’s funny that the answer God predictably gives requires us moves us far from our comfort zone. God’s growth plan is often uncomfortable, humbling, and at times down right painful. Dying to one’s own way and Resurrecting us to His way is the primary goal.
The answer was clear to me after the rain had gone :). To Come Out Of the Fat or Weights that held me back to become The Real Roschelle I needed be transparent during the process to achieve God’s seal of authenticity at the end. It meant I had to open up many of my scary closets and exposing those"proverbial demons" to remove the power they had in the dark. (Fear of failure, Rejection, Perfectionism, Shame, Self-Hate/Doubt, lack of personal-esteem, people pleasing, Anxiety, Abused, Religious Judgment etc).
I was always told growing up that there is placed in everyone a God Sized Dream that can only be accomplished with God. Well my God Sized Dream is to help others who are still locked in their personal closets of “Whatever” has or still is wounding them. The truth is it doesn’t matter what you label it you can’t heal what your not ready to reveal. If I'm going to truly teach people to know that God's Grace is Greater than our Grief I must fully walk in that knowledge for myself. That has been the biggest step in my journey toward my God-Sized Dream and I thank God for the power and courage to do it.
On a lighter note I want to share with you a God Moment.
I belong to this awesome mom's group at Garfield Memorial Methodist Church, Pepper Pike Ohio that meets once a week for a bible study and its is completely life giving. I love this group because I have found true authentic people who are working out their faith with transparency and humility. There is an unspoken knowing that we are all here to support and encourage each other to grow in our faith without wounding each other in the process. One of my favorite parts is when we go around and share how God has impacted us during the week or we just felt God's presence in clear way. They are called God Moments. These moments by no means have to be a burning bush experience or Peter's Walking on Water with Jesus either but its when you know that God was simply there. I’ve had many of these God moments over the last four year!
I would like to share just one of those with you as I end. One morning last Spring I woke up before 5am and went on a 4 mile walk. I felt so refreshed from this walk and time of mediation with God that as approached my house I slowed down to savory more time in His presence. When I reached the edge of my front lawn I stood there and just stared at the house. My intent of staring was to conjure up memories of the structure before the fire and during the rebuilding process. I stood there for almost a half hour and couldn't remember what it look like before or during the rebuilding process. I could only see it for what it was now a beautiful home. I felt a knowing deep in my spirit this "That is what I am doing with you." WOW! God you are making me into a new creation and the old is going away and the new is here. "I am moving forward from today towards an Authentic (Public, Private, Spiritual) Life even if it means I do it afraid." God Thank you for letting the old Roschelle Died once again and resurrecting a NEW CREATURE in your IMAGE for Your Glory.