When Messing Up Is A Chance To Practice – {Sheli Massie}

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Today’s guest is Sheli Massie: a brave friend and fellow writer in the Redbud Writers Guild. I love Sheli’s honesty, her grit, her gift of encouragement… and I love her message in this post. Leave her some comment love, won’t you?

What if, instead of seeing ourwe saw

There are things that start to happen to you when you are on the other side of healing. And by other side, I mean be brave enough to say you need healing. To acknowledge that you are a broken person who needs to slow down and that you have pieces to put back together. When things are clear in my head and I don’t feel like I need to be in therapy three times a week I find myself being able to complete thoughts and realize where they need to go and where they came from. For example why I repeat patterns when certain times of the year come around or something someone does triggers a reaction that is let’s just say is “not sane healthy “. Well to someone who has lived in trauma for so long I am met face to face with the crap I have kept in there. Like for instance. I can improve on relationships. ( I suck at it) Now before you go all “Pollyanna” on me, realize that I have learned coping strategies through the years and some are not all good. For instance.

I sabotage good things. Like relationships. Or big occasions. I sabotage things are new or make me feel uncomfortable. I sabotage anything that makes me feel afraid. Do you see how I am operating here? Out of fear. But I am a work in progress and Jesus in his sweet gentle voice tells me this is something I am ready to walk through and figure out. That He and I will uncover what makes me feel so insecure and bless me with someone to hold my hand into this brave scary place called freedom.

I never wanted my husband in the delivery room. And until now I didn’t think this was a big deal. I just stated that he drove me crazy and I wanted my girlfriends in there, who knew what I liked and didn’t like. Do you see the problem? I didn’t want him near me. I didn’t want him to be a part of a very intimate moment that lasted 22 hours for one child and thousands of hours for the rest. I wanted other people closer to me. So when you begin to unravel what healthy is and your head comes clear, Jesus reveals things to you in small doses that you still need to unwrap. Like my inability to trust. I didn’t trust my husband, I didn’t trust hum to take care of me. I didn’t trust that he could comfort me. I didn’t trust him with my safety. I didn’t trust him as my legs were up in stir-ups and every stranger was up in my business yet I didn’t trust the one I made a covenant with. Perhaps I had some issues….

Do you see how alarming this is? I know others think this is crazy and strange. But I am seeing it as a chance to “practice” (new word I am learning from my wise people). It helps me to realign my thoughts that I am practicing and not making mistakes. I have to catch myself saying that I “messed up again” but this is just “practicing”.

I am learning that this is my turn to practice trusting. Practice inviting myself to pause in the unknown and sit there. Practice staying in the quiet when it makes my skin crawl and I want to hide in my bed and binge watch House of Cards. Practice sitting in the moment and finishing the conversation when all I want to do is say something sarcastic that others would find funny. Practice telling the truth even though it may make others upset. Practice slowing down. Practice leaving space. Practice saying yes to what really matters. Practice filling my space with things that are only useful and beautiful. Practice connecting to those I claim to love. Practice being present when my mind wanders to wherever I am not.

Practice is hard. Practice requires that I show up and put in my best effort. Practice makes me cry and wish for another coach. Practice leaves me exhausted and wanting a water break. But from what I have learned practice makes me ready for the game. It helps me to show up when it matters most and be ready to do this life thing together. It helps me know what works and what doesn’t work.

So when we “mess up” and get overwhelmed with how many times we have yelled or pouted or ignored to get our way. We take a deep breath and acknowledge that this was “practice” and we can try again.

So what if we all practiced together? Instead of repeating the patterns of our past or blaming it on a personality trait what if we all were brave enough to show up. In the little things? In the big things? If we were all brave enough to reach out to someone and say “help”. If we were brave enough to write that letter and say “I’m sorry”. If we were brave enough to fall and get back up again. If we were brave enough to tell that story. If we were brave enough to say “no more”. If we were brave enough to look him in the eyes. If we were brave enough to walk away. If we were brave enough to stay. If we were brave enough to turn off the TV. If we were brave enough to say the first words. If we were brave enough to love. If we were brave enough to forgive ourselves.

You can. We can. We can be brave.

You are brave sweet one. You are.

View More: http://snohling.pass.us/massieloveAbout Sheli: ​I am a writer on good days when a child isn’t puking or screaming or the dog hasn’t run away for the zillionth time or when the house doesn’t look like a Hoarders episode or I didn’t forget to pick up one of the five children from school. I live in the western suburbs of Chicago with my husband who has pushed me to be a better version of myself for sixteen years. I adore my best friends and I get anxiety attacks around anyone pretty or skinny, so I stay in my yoga pants and write about my redemptive story at shelimassie.com. I am a proud member of Redbud Writers Guild.


Photo Credit: Georgio____, Silhouette (Flickr Creative Commons), edited by Bronwyn Lea.

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14 thoughts on “When Messing Up Is A Chance To Practice – {Sheli Massie}”

  1. That didn’t help her marriage. Gee thanks honey for trustingm me so little that I am the last person you want to be there when our child is born. I wouldn’t have responded well to that.

    1. Robert, I’m not sure you read the entirety of the post. The author is owning her stuff – super vulnerably, I might add – and saying that she’s a work in progress. She’s not touting not trusting her husband as the way to go. It’s a shame that you read this, took one small part, and added to her shame.

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      I think she realized that, Robert. That’s part of the story where God is at work. I’m grateful to Sheli for her story. I’ve done some pretty damaging things in my life too: but seeing that God is the one who gives us do-overs and opportunities to grow (to practice) is one of the graces of the gospel.

  2. This is super helpful and a great change of perspective. I totally relate to wanting to “hide in my bed and binge watch house of cards” instead of really facing the issue… It’s definitely a chance to practice and be brave! Thank you for this!

  3. Brave words, Shelli. I relate to much of this, especially the issue with sabotaging good relationships. (I am stellar at losing–or not even making–friends because of trust issues.) Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing this with us!

  4. Robert, I’m not sure you read the entirety of the post. The author is owning her stuff – super vulnerably, I might add – and saying that she’s a work in progress. She’s not touting not trusting her husband as the way to go. It’s a shame that you read this, took one small part, and added to her shame.

    Ms. Massie, very, very brave of you to share your heart, especially knowing that splaying yourself out there like this can open yourself up to being wounded by people you don’t even know. Keep writing. Your voice matters.

  5. Arthur Frobisher

    I am not sure you can speak to what helped or hurt her marriage. owning her faults in her marriage may have brought healing. It is the honesty Sheli brings that allows healing to occur in relationships and rebuilds trust. How about praising honesty and openness rather than tearing down someone that has opened their heart to help others.

  6. Thanks for the reminder that we need to slow down and own the little things that, if ignored, become bigger and bigger mountains of garbage. It takes courage to go back and work at that mountain until you see chunks of it falling away. Your honesty helps me to see why others have crawled into their shells and I carry your insights into this day.

  7. First of all, if you have been saved, shame is of the devil. Shame leads to worldly regret which leads to death. Godly sorrow leads to repentance and restoration of the joy of the Lord. The only reason a person does not have the same joy of the Lord as when they were saved is unconfessed sin. As far as my observation goes, it was an observation. Everyone does things that hurt their marriage, form time to time. That is called living with sinners. Make it right with God first and your spouse second.

  8. Sheli, you’re awesome and you are a beautiful creation by Jesus himself. He love you with an everlasting love and I’m just so blessed to call you friend. Keep clinging to Jesus.

  9. You would be surprised how much being honest about the past can help the marriage, even when it is raw. My wife and I have spent years trying to make it work by just trying to be Christian enough. Being vulnerable with each other and having difficult conversations to strip down the walls that that wedge us from each other, creating a new intimacy that many have yet to discover. Knowing now that I have completely earned my wife’s trust pushes me to lay down my life down for my spouse through forgiveness and submission has helped develop the trust we deserve to honor Christ through our marriage. It is not my belief that my happiness is not equal to the Lord’s because I have unforgiven sins, but that Satan tempts us with lies and deception to drive us away from each other and Christ. When we become vulnerable with brothers and sisters in Christ, it is important that the brothers and sisters encourage each other and not take swords to their vulnerability and challenge their faith or redemption in Christ, because the evil one uses those for deception to keep us away from oneness in Christ and separate us from safe community. Do not believe the naysayers, my wife, as I support you and know that your vulnerability and your honesty has brought us to a place in our marriage the honors Christ.

  10. Shelli, I am 80 years old an am still practicing. God is still teaching me and I am thankful He is a God of second chances. Love your honesty.

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