EHS - Chapter 5

The title of Chapter 5 is Going Back in Order to Go Forward. So, let's start with going back to what Scazzero writes in Chapter 1.

"We can't change–or better said, invite God to change us–when we are unaware and do not see the truth...Pain has an amazing ability to open us to new truth and to get us moving."

For many of us, this might be the hardest, most painful part of the journey to emotionally healthy spirituality. Going back in order to come face-to-face with our past and how it has shaped our lives today is probably something we would all love to avoid or put off. The reality is that we all have baggage from our past; there's no escaping that truth. Facing it, rather than running from it, is what will make all the difference for our lives in the here and now.

Scazzero writes, "True spirituality frees us to live joyfully in the present. It requires, however, going back in order to go forward...breaking free from the destructive sinful patterns of our pasts to live the life of love God intends."    

Are you a joyful person? Do you experience joy everyday? If not, can you remember the last time you felt joy?

Scazzero makes it clear that we won't ever experience true joy in the present without first going back to our past. This journey has to begin with knowing our true selves, and we can't fully do that without first going back to what shaped and formed us from the very beginning. Before we dive into how you can begin this process of going back, we want to start by asking you one simple question:

Are you afraid to go back?  

< < <

If so, why? Are you scared of what you will find? Or do you know what you will find and try to avoid it at all costs? Again, we recognize that this might be one of the hardest things for many of you to do because of the pain attached to your past. So, take your time. If you are afraid and not ready to go back, that's OK. Be where you are. If all you have to bring Him today is your fear, then do that. He will meet you in that place.

Now, in Chapter 5, Scazzero provides several exercises on how to go back (listed below), and we encourage you to do them. Again, take your time, there is no rush. Maybe start with one of the exercises below and see what you discover.

Identify patterns/imprints you see throughout your family. Go back as far as 2-3 generations. Are there patterns of abuse? Divorce? What are the patterns for gender roles? Raising a family? Sexuality? 

Identify the rules or commandments you grew up with, both spoken and unspoken.

How have these patterns/imprints/rules affected your current relationships? How have they affected how you view yourself, and even how you view God?

Read through the Beaver System Model on pg 111.

Which best describes your family growing up? Which describes your current family? How has your family origin affected the way you live your life today?

Scazzero concludes this chapter with the story of Joseph, which is such a powerful model of what it looks like to go back in order to go forward. Below are the 4 ways that Joseph was able to do this in a healthy, fruitful way. There is something for each of us in this story that God wants to highlight. We've provided questions with each to help prompt you into discovering what that is for you. What did you learn from Joseph's story?

1.  Have a Profound Sense of the Bigness of God

This all comes down to trusting and surrendering to a God much greater than we will ever know or comprehend. What have you experienced that you still don't understand?  What circumstances in your past that brought such pain and loss still remains a mystery to you? Do you still believe God is good even after experiencing pain, loss and confusion? Is God a safe place for you?

2.  Admit Honestly the Sadness, Loss and Pain of Your Family

What do you need to grieve? What hurt and pain do you need give yourself permission to feel?  You might need to grieve things that happened decades ago.

3.  Rewrite Your Life Script According to Scripture

What do you need to rewrite about yourself? Your life? What lies do you believe about yourself? What "old patterns" are you using that need to die? How are these patterns affecting your current relationships? Bring all of these to God and let him rewrite your story with His truth, love and grace.

Scazzero writes that these “scripts" we develop early on 'powerfully influence our present relationships and behaviors as well as our self esteem.'

4.  Partner with God to Be a Blessing

What do you need to let go of? What/who are you holding onto? What relationships do you need to entrust God with?

> > > by Stefanie Drawdy