How Could It Be Okay?

Tim is reassuring me over the phone “It is okay.  Everything is okay.”  I am screaming back into the phone “NO IT’S NOT!  IT’S NOT OKAY!  YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!”  Totally hysterical, sobbing and almost hyperventilating, I can’t seem to get a grip on myself…  How can I?  In the past it wouldn’t have been okay – it would have been the beginning of another nightmare.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – or a flashback of sorts – I am not sure what to call what happened.  Whatever happened, I didn’t know that I could or would have something like that.  I know that it took me years to not flinch when someone was nearby and moved too quickly; that I still feel the need to apologize for every stupid thing that happens, regardless of the fact that it may or may not have anything to do with me directly.  I don’t know what it was – but it was completely unnerving I must tell you.  It has taken me some time to understand exactly what had happened.

Here is an inside view of my one (and I sure hope) only episode:

It was a Monday; my husband Tim had just started his position at a new church out of town.  Because of the distance, he

macro water drop

Image by Tanya Puntti via Flickr

would be staying a few days in our soon to be new city.  I have always credited myself for being strong and perfectly able to take care of myself so this didn’t seem like a big deal to me.  I came home from work, had dinner and was having a normal evening.  Normal until I decided to retrieve something from the basement office.  As I am rummaging around my desk for the item, I hear drip, drip, drip. I step out of the office and into the washroom to find the source of the noise.  I immediately see little drips of water from the ceiling falling into the base of the shower.  My first thought was how lucky I was that it was dripping into the shower instead of getting anything else wet.  I look up to see the ceiling sagging over the shower – not good.  After consulting with Tim, I got a ladder and a hammer so that I could gently remove the hanging piece of ceiling and see what was really happening.

As I begin to remove the ceiling, the water runs down onto my head.  Lovely…  I can see the leak now – just a slight little drip right at the joint.  It must have been leaking for days to soak the ceiling the way that it did.  It seems that all that needed to happen was to turn the water off to the shower.  Wow – that is a no brainer I thought.  Unfortunately, the plumber who did the shower was about as much of a plumber as I was.  The shut off valves were metal and the pipes plastic.  The weight of the metal was actually pulling itself off of the plastic piping – making the shut-off valve completely ineffective.

Now, if you happen to know me well, you likely saw my status on Facebook later this same night.  I am going to repeat it just in case someone new is reading:  IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE THE MAIN WATER SHUT OFF VALVE IS (AND HOW TO USE IT) IN YOUR HOUSE – FIND OUT NOW!!!

So, the plastic piping slips out of the metal shut off valve and wouldn’t you know it, it was the HOT water.  Now pouring down onto my head and scalding me.  I had no idea what to do now, the water was going into the shower and overflowing onto the tile floor.  I got off the ladder and ran around the basement like a mad person trying to figure out what to do.  I tried to call Tim and couldn’t reach him immediately.  In my running back and forth around the basement, I slipped several times and smashed my leg into the ladder.  At this point, water is flowing onto the unfinished basement floor towards the carpet – I run, fall but still get the water stopped before it gets to the carpet.

Now envision this, I am soaking wet – through and through.  The bathroom is drenched – the shower is full (bits of the ceiling are clogging the drain) and the floor is soaked.  Water is still pouring from the pipe hanging from the ceiling…  Finally, I am able to reach Tim.  He directs me to the main shut-off valve and instantly the water stops flowing.

I am trying to explain to Tim what happened – what a mess that everything is and I am sobbing and screaming (or at least screeching).  Tim is reassuring me over the phone “It is okay.  Everything is okay.”  I am screaming back into the phone “NO IT’S NOT!  IT’S NOT OKAY!  YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!”  Totally hysterical, sobbing and as near to hyperventilating as I have ever been, I can’t seem to get a grip on myself…

We hang up.  I start trying to call a couple of our friends from the area who can help with getting the problem fixed and get the water turned back on and finally I got myself cleaned up as much as possible.  As I sit numbly waiting for one of the two guys to come, I begin realize that it is actually going to be okay.

What you need to know is that Tim is the kindest, gentlest man in the world.  Still, these old feelings were suffocating me.  Soon I was afraid again and stayed nervous until he came home a few days later and inspected the mess.  Then he came upstairs and nothing happened.  A sense of relief ran through me that I can’t explain.  Nothing worse was coming – it truly was okay.

It is strange to know someone like I know Tim – to know that, of course it would be okay but to still have such a deep-seated fear that you can hardly breathe.  The Lord really began to speak to me about those things that I had hidden away so well – at least, I thought they were hidden well.  Obviously they were still there, still raw and bleeding and they needed finally to be tended to so that they could mend and heal properly.

If you have ever been involved in wound care, you know that a wound should heal from the inside out – not the outside in.  If it heals from the outside in, infection becomes trapped and can cause so much more damage than the initial injury.  I think that is the way that I tried to heal – I decided that it wasn’t a big deal and closed up the wounds.  All of these years infection has been there and now it is time to allow those wounds to be opened back up – this time to be cleaned out the proper way so that they can heal completely.

You see, what happened was that in the stress of the situation, my mind pulled me back to Alabama; back to a time where everything was my fault and where the price was very high for making/causing such a mess.  It was as if I was instantly transported to a time when I was 15-20 years younger, terrified of making a wrong move and completely isolated when I did.  My mind and my body seemed to go into defense mode.  It took quite some time for the barrier to come down and for me to realize what this incident meant.  Actually, I think that I am still learning from it…

I would love to hear your thoughts…  Something that you have to say might help me or someone else on their walk to healing, please leave a comment below if you are comfortable in doing so…  If you would like to contact me directly/privately, you may do so by emailing me at krislukings [at] gmail [dot] com or through Facebook using the link to the right.  Any personal messages that I receive will be kept in the strictest of confidence.

Also, if you don’t want to miss the next post when it comes, you can sign up to receive these messages in your inbox using the link to the right.

Blessings…

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Becky
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 17:45:19

    Great post! The difficulty with forgiving someone is so hard, but there seems to be peace. I really enjoy your insight on this. I’d love to read more on this topic.

    I recently stumbled upon another blog like I stumbled upon yours and I really appreciated their insight. I thought you might enjoy it: http://burisonthecouch.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/forgiveness/

    Thanks for the post!

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  2. Lawrence Willson
    Nov 26, 2010 @ 22:17:56

    It is amazing that after years of being free of abuse, that a person can still experience the same emotions that they felt as a child – “this can’t happen because I’m going to be in trouble” is a feeling that is felt by all people who have …experienced abuse, and it generally takes some focused ministry time to be free of those feelings. The more intense and varied the abuse, the more healing required, but I encourage everyone to take this journey. One key is, if you have bad fruit, there must be a bad root. Track the root back to its origin (the first time you were abused) ask Jesus to show you why that person acted that way, (understanding what happened to them helps you to forgive them, because you will actually feel sympathy for the person when you realize what they went through.) Next, ask Jesus what lies you have believed because of the abuse, and allow him to undo that belt of untruth, and replace it with the belt of truth (ask him his opinion – what the truth is) End with forgiveness. The parable of the unforgiving servant very pointedly tells us that when we fail to forgive, we are cast into prison and turned over to the tormenters until our own debt is paid. You can self counsel in this manner, and receive healing, but if you have problems with it you can book a session or check out our on-line resources at our website.
    Jesus is faithful, and he wants you to walk in your destiny of an abundant life, so, let him carry that old baggage for you.

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    • Kris Lukings
      Nov 26, 2010 @ 23:50:28

      Hi Lawrence,
      I can think of a lot of words to use to describe this kind of experience – I am not sure I would have used “amazing” LOL.

      Everyone who has been in any type of abusive situation should pray for healing/wholeness – it is so important. We each have our own journey to make and each person’s will look different than the next persons. God is such an awesome counselor for me. He speaks to me quietly when He knows I am ready for that next step.

      It took me so many years to even realize that I had buried my feelings and memories. Tim and I were talking recently and I was trying to pinpoint when this journey of healing started for me and I really can’t do that. What I do know is that about 7 years ago I began to realize that I was living my life completely for myself with no thought to what the Lord wanted from me or of me. I began to earnestly pray for God’s will for my life, that He lead me in every situation and help me to fix some of the messes that I had made while living my selfish life. I think that this was likely the beginning of the journey for me – being truly open to hearing what the Lord had to say about everything – whether I liked it or not. I can’t say that I always hear what He has to say – but that is the desire of my heart and so I am listening a lot more closely now that I once listened. I wish that it was as easy as a twelve-step (or less) program for me – but it wasn’t and isn’t. I just have to keep listening to the voice of the One that I can trust above all others to guide me through this process.

      Forgiveness is key in our own healing. This is something that I have stressed in several of my posts and something that I believe with all my heart. Forgiveness is a process for me – I think for most. It is also a choice. I choose to forgive those who were responsible for the abuse that I endured. In some instances, like after this plumbing mess, it takes me a bit longer to ‘feel’ like I have forgiven. Still, with every reminder that hits me of the abuse, I choose to forgive. It doesn’t mean that I forget – or that I don’t still have physical pain sometimes because of the injuries – it just means that I choose to exercise forgiveness towards the responsible parties. It is easier now than it was at the beginning and I go for long periods (until I started writing) without even thinking about that time of my life.

      I will admit again that I had a very hard time when I realized that I should be praying for those people. Forgive them, I can do that. Ask God to bless them and show Himself to them in a real way, to be with them in all that they endeavor to do? That was very hard for me to start doing. But there was a definite sense of release and peace once I finally chose to start doing this… It certainly does change the way that you view someone (that is a post that will come someday – I started it but was told to wait a little while). I don’t believe that you can harbor feelings of unforgiveness or resentment against someone that you pray for on a regular basis.

      When all else is lost – there is God. He loved me enough to find me where I was at and to show me that there were things that I needed to let Him work on… How cool is that! The God of the universe, the Creator of the world cares that much about me – and about every other person out there.
      Healing and forgiveness go hand in hand in my mind. It is a process and not always a comfortable one, but if we trust God to help us through it the results are incredibly worth it!

      Hope I didn’t ramble too much – I should likely have waited til morning to respond.

      Thanks Lawrence!

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  3. Bongo
    Nov 26, 2010 @ 10:30:50

    WOW Kris…I’m sooo sorry you had to experience this….so glad it is in yesterday and today is a new day.. and I soooo get it…. It’s horrible when the old tapes of yesterday re surface and take you on a horrible roller coaster that you really don’t want a ticket to ride…from my writings you know some of the things I use to drown out those old tapes…sometimes when it’s really overwhelming.. I have been able to throw on my music.. I so love praise and worship…at those times I am able to remember that yesterday is gone.. I am a survivor and God is with me even in the storm…hang in there…as always….xoxoxox

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    • Kris Lukings
      Nov 26, 2010 @ 22:52:33

      Hey Bongo,
      I imagine this is mild compared to what you experience. It was the first major thing that happened like that – and I hope the last. It was kindof the last straw in helping me to realize that I some issues I was burying instead of allowing to heal properly. Isn’t it great to know that we are triumphant through Christ!
      Much love to you…

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  4. Lisa
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 17:59:45

    Your story is going to touch lives. I shared your previous post, “God’s Holy Scooper” with a friend and it really ministered to her. Thank you for being open and honest. God is using you.
    Many blessings and Happy Thanksgiving,
    Lisa

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    • Kris Lukings
      Nov 24, 2010 @ 22:39:54

      Thanks for your comment Lisa. All that I want in this life is to allow God to use me as He will. I am so glad to know that the last message ministered to someone.

      God is doing such a work in me that I find myself realizing how odd I feel. The anxiety that used to reside in me, mostly without my knowledge, is disappearing. In its absence, peace abounds. God is so awesome…

      Many blessing to you as well – Happy Thanksgiving.
      Kris

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