i've been reading through 'emotionally healthy spirituality' - a book written by the pastor of our new church, pete scazzero. it's been a lot to process, and i've been contemplating over his words of wisdom. the most recent chapter i read was about generational sin - and how the sins of our family profoundly impact who we are, how we form relationships with others, our marriages, families and thoughts about ourselves.
pastor pete points out that the old testament is filled with generational sin:
- lying (abraham lied twice about sarah; isaac and rebecca's marriage was characterized by lies; jacob lied to almost everyone he encountered; jacob's children lied about joseph's death.)
- favoritism by at least one parent (abraham favored ishmael; isaac favored essau; jacob favored joseph and later benjamin)
- broken relationship amongst brothers (isaac and ishmael were cut off from each other; jacob fled his brother esau and was cut off for many years; jospeh was cut off from his brothers after they sold him into slavery)
- lack of intimacy in marriages (abraham had a baby with hagar-who was not his wife; isaac had a bad relationship with rebecca; jacob had two wives and two concubines)
generational sin ran rampant amongst these BIBLICAL people. it gave me a little peace to know that God still used these people to write history and display his Love for us lowly humans. in order for me to move forward, and not repeat the generational sins of my family's past, i needed to take a deep look into my family's generational sin.
the obvious sin that immediately came to mind was addiction. addiction infests both sides of my family. alcohol, drugs, gambling - we've got it all! i have grandparents, uncles, aunts and a parent who have struggled with addiction. i desire for this generational sin to stop here - with me (and jeff.) i will not allow satan to ruin my marriage, the lives of my future children, my relationships with others through addiction. this generational sin will end here, with me (and the Lord's help.)
looking and praying more about addiction, and how it has effected my extended family and my immediate family is painful. to think about the lies that covered up addiction, how fake the sense of security we had as children shakes my reality. what was real? truth is that i saw a counselor in high school about my dad's addiction and the subsequent divorce, but i think i was in survival mode - i just needed to make it through the day. my brain wasn't mature enough to process all of the baggage that was to come along with this generational sin of addiction. now, as jeff and i dream about what God has for our future, our family, i know that i need to really face it.
i need to embrace the fact that addiction ruined my parent's marriage. addiction ruined relationships amongst parents and siblings. addiction ruined my sense of home and security. addiction messed with my body image and worthiness.
i need to admit that i miss having a family. i hate holidays because they are busied with running between my parents. my dad has made choices that will leave him alone. anxiety has infected my life because addiction. i am in constant fear of a relapse. i'm still sad. i won't ever get over it.
yet, i need to embrace the fact that The Lord can set me free from this generational sin. i am not responsible for my parents. addiction can stop here. my children do not need to live with the profound effects addiction can have.
...this process of facing generational sin may take a while...addiction is only ONE sin! maybe this is why the Lord has us here in NYC - I don't know that i would have looked into this if i were still in detroit, near the addiction.
on a lighter topic, jeff and i took a 'new members class' today at church - it feels good to be 'anchoring' down here in nyc (although i like to think of it as a temporary anchor, haha, i'm a control freak.) tonight at dinner we discussed how we actually felt like we were a part of a church family today -- like we had friends. praise god for that :)
well, i need to get ready for the week and get to sleep (yes at 9:30pm, i go to sleep.)