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Remember, I have moved my book reviews to their own blog. Tracy's Book Nook is now active.

Friday, March 20

My Great Epiphany!

Ok, so I mentioned on my Facebook page the other day, that I had an epiphany, but didn’t elaborate at the time. I guess people really do read all those blurbs, because I’ve had several people mention it since, both in person and through e-communication. So, I’ve decided to go ahead and divulge this great “Ah-ha” moment that I had.

Many of you know from reading this blog over the last year that I didn’t come from a close or healthy family. I’ve divulged much of my testimony in various posts throughout the year. But for those of you who may not know, I grew up in poverty and a single-mom household that was dysfunctional. My mother has a lot of . . . issues. Depression, hopelessness and a victim-mentality rule her life. I experienced hunger and humiliation, emotional and sexual abuse, and neglect. My growing up years were based on survival and as such, I was fiercely independent and headstrong. In many ways, I was more like the parent of the household, for myself, my little brother and my mother.

Obviously we are not a close-knit family. Even to this day we are not close. I try to honor my mother as best as I can, but her choice has been to remain distant from my life. I love her, and I pray for her, but I have strong and healthy boundaries, and will not allow myself to get sucked into the drama and dysfunction that I once knew. And I feel good about my life and know that God is ok with it too. What remains is in His hands. My mother gives what she can, which is very little, but now I can accept that, and further I'm happy for that.

The summer before my senior year, I signed up for the Air Force in delayed enlistment. Within two weeks of my graduation, I was off to basic training. I was thrilled and excited and full of fear too! When I left, I said a quick goodbye, with a quicker hug, to my mother and turned to face my new life. Then I noticed something. Others, guys and gals, who were making the same journey, were holding onto their families tightly and crying. I was shocked and confused by this. I just didn’t get it. It never occurred to me to cry, that this might be a sad or lonely thing. As far as I was concerned, it was an exciting new adventure and I was free!

Through the years since, I’ve seen this type of thing many times. I’ve seen tears at saying goodbye to and missing family, a longing to be together, through the good and the bad, talking to parents and siblings often on the phone, and getting together for holidays and even just because. I came to realize that that was “normal,” and I was not. I still didn’t get it, and I didn’t understand it, but I accepted it. My normal was independence, distance and friends – not family. In fact, I held tight to my belief in family by choice, not by chance, meaning my friends and pets were my family, not those I was blood related to.

Fast forward to now and my recent epiphany. We were watching The Biggest Loser the other night and the remaining contestants all got to go home for the week. It was touching and emotional and just… nice. When it was time for them to go back to the ranch though, it was so clear how hard this was for many people – especially the moms who had to say goodbye to their children. I was incredibly moved by these scenes.

I began thinking about how would I handle a separation like that from my beloved husband and precious daughter? Just thinking about it made me cry. Literally. And that was it! That was my great epiphany! I realized then that I had made it to “normal.” All of a sudden, I got it. And I realized once again, the amazing faithfulness of God. He took my deepest longing to have a family that I loved fiercely and enjoyed too, and He gave it to me! I realized that He gave me an Eph. 3:20 family, that He gave me beauty for ashes, and He restored all that the locust had stolen. And I was, and am, so very grateful! Thank you, Jesus!

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” ~ Ephesians 3:20


Anonymous said...

Amazing story, Tracy. Thanks for sharing it!!!

God is amazing!

Terri Tiffany said...

Wow! What an emotional journey you've been on! I still can't see you going though boot camp either!
We've all got some of those past issues that keep us wondering but when we overcome and realize who we can be in Christ--what a day that is!

Lori said...

A beautiful ephiphany Tracy! Great to be reminded of the "good" stuff God has in store for us:)

I think of the end of the book of Job, and that God restored to him DOUBLE of what he lost. You're a blessing!

Billy Coffey said...

I love this. It take an extraordinary person, I think, to feel normal. And an extraordinary God to make us so.

gzusfreek said...

You are an amazing person and I get so much from what you write. This post gave me a new, more intimate view of you, and I adore you even more. I was hearing Eph. 3:20 (the song-have you heard that song?) the whole way through the last few paragraphs. Thanks for sharing this! :)

Tamela's Place said...

Hello Tracy,

Your testimony is similar to my husbands, He had the same epiphany when the children were young. I was so thankful to the Lord for this, because at that point God took a hard heart and gave my husband a heart of flesh. He now is a man of great sensitivity and compassion, since then he has been a wonderful husband and Father. Praise the Lord for these Revelations in life, God is truly wonderful!

God bless you Tracy

Crown of Beauty said...

Hi there! I sort of stumbled into your blog, meaning it wasn't my intention. But what a revelation... I was over at Vickie's blog when a beautiful button with the words "Seed Thoughts" caught my eye. I clicked on it, and lo and behold, here I am reading your epiphany story. It was a good, honest post, and thank you for sharing your heart. So glad I discovered you!

By the way, how do you get those cute buttons ( I saw two more here, Character COunts and Choosing Life ) ?

Crown of Beauty said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AnooCre8ion said...

Oh Tracy, there is absolutely nothing like the faithfulness of God.

Psalm 145:10b says, "The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all He does."

Isn't He amazing?

what a journey you have had and He has been there with you all along.


Today's Christian Mom~ said...

Look how far you have come! My family is not close either and I have always wanted that. Sometimes it makes me sad we are not close. Thanks for sharing!

Travis said...

When Doc Brown had an epiphany, he discovered the flux capacitor, which makes time travel possible.

As much as I like Back to the Future, I like yours better.

Normal is a good thing, as long as it's the right thing!

God's Not Finished With Us Yet... said...

Thanks for sharing this post with me Tracy; you're so right....funny how you and are both estranged from our own mothers. Even when you mentioned that your mother lives a 'victim like mentality' mom does to; blames everything on everyone else and never sees or at least convinces herself that everyone else is in the wrong while she is in the right. I am so blessed to read that so many of us who felt so abnormal are now normal once again, by the mighty hand of what only Christ can do; restore and heal a person back to wholeness.

When I read that you began to cry when you realized that you are now 'normal' I wanted to cry for you as well, because I can so relate to this feeling.

I love how your wrote your testimony; You present it so well; I need help in this area BIG TIME. I'll be rewriting my testimony soon so that it doesn't sound so graphic....LOL...(but not really LOL). I've just never shared my story before the last time (which I took off temporarily), so I have no idea how to present things....agh! It's a mad, mad world.

God has truly blessed you girl! And I am truly blessed to know you! You're such a sweet, sweet girl.

Did you get my return email? I wrote below your email in reply to some of's written in red.

Air Hugs,

LauraLee Shaw said...

Wow, I hope we get to sit down sometime and chat. From my POV, your story is very "normal," because much of this was my experience too. I'm so glad you shared it. I'm sure I've missed many of the blurbs about you since I only get to sit down and read a little now. There is such freedom and victory when you reach this place in life...the realization that the Lord helped you break the cycle.

That's it, sister. We are not victims...we are overcomers because of the victory He has given us. I love it that He never abandoned us or left us orphans. He was our Guardian from the get-go. And I am so thankful to call you my sis with the same loving Papa to teach us and guide us. I hope our paths cross physically one day soon.

Love this post. One of my favs of yours.