Like an Egyptian

I’ve been thinking about Moses’ mass… you know the crowd he miraculously led out of slavery and captivity? The ones who complained about it?
I wonder if I am one of those guys.

In order to make a solid decision about the whole thing, I cracked open The Old Testament and began reading the story of Moses which really begins with the story of Joseph. I read about the death of Joseph’s father -Jacob -not fully focusing on the words because the story was only meant to be a prelude to The Meat -The Story of Moses and His Complaining Masses.
But Joseph’s story stopped me in my tracks.

I read about his father’s death, and I could FEEL Joseph’s pain. He had spent so many years in Egypt -so many years away from his father. To have him and have him taken away again? Mortality is no respecter of persons.
Soon after Jacob passed away, Joseph’s brothers huddled up and wrote a letter they hoped would keep Joseph from unleashing his vengeful wrath upon their unholy souls. Why? Because years ago, they had SOLD Joseph.
He had trusted them fully, and they SOLD him into Egypt.
The brothers feared Joseph’s wrath now that their father had passed away. They crafted up a letter “from Jacob” instructing Joseph to forgive his brothers.

Upon reading the letter, Joseph wept. He asked his brothers -paraphrasing, “Do you suppose me to be God?” Meaning -I am not God, seek forgiveness elsewhere. I am not all powerful.  Seek not to serve me, but God only.
And then he said -not paraphrasing, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.”

Those words stopped me in my reading tracks.
“…but God meant it unto good…”

I looked up from my phone and let the truth sink deeply into my soul before I went about the rest of my day.
Yesterday I listened to Brene Brown’s TED talk, “Listening to Shame” in which she says, ” …some research by Mahalik at Boston College. He asked, what do women need to do to conform to female norms? The top answers in this country: nice, thin, modest and use all available resources for appearance.”

When I heard those words, I felt ill. I shook my head and wanted to scream and cry.
“Is that all we’re capable of?” I asked the television, hoping America could hear me… my question being rhetorical, of course. I know the answer. The answer is NO.

But that belief? That was my Egypt.  That was a large part of my captivity.

When I absorbed myself in my husband’s addiction -when I allowed myself to be taken, I lost myself. I lost myself to those false beliefs, to a lifestyle where I remained controlled, where my voice -once strong, loud and sure -was timid, scared, and halting.  I was in Egypt.

My freedom was gone.  Unlike Joseph, I always had the power to take my freedom back, but I didn’t realize that just as I had allowed my choices to be taken from me, I also had it within me to take them back.

During the last ten years of my life, there have been days where I have felt in prison, days where I have felt absolutely betrayed. There are days when God has blessed me with miracles. There are days where I’ve been wise, days where I’ve faltered.

And just as Joseph’s brother’s tried to illicit forgiveness from him, so did my own husband ask me to read a book in hopes that I’d come to forgive him.
But I am not God.
Just as Joseph did not want his brothers to serve him, so do I feel. I want Danny to serve -above all -God.

Because of my own captivity, I now recognize freedom. I now know myself -and I’ve learned above all that I can spend my entire life getting to know myself and I’ll never know an OUNCE of what there is to learn.
I understand more fully God’s grace.
I understand my worth.
I understand my place in God’s plan and my place in God’s heart.

I feel, as Joseph so perfectly said, “ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

God MEANT it unto GOOD.

My captive belief that beauty was something that made people say, “She’s really outdone herself,” was shattered and replaced by TRUTH.

The truth is that true beauty comes when I look at someone or some place or something and say, “Wow, God’s really outdone himself.”

There is beauty in newborns and the smell of brand new tomato plants, in giggles and ripples in a quiet lake. There is beauty in laugh lines, scars, and the sunset.

My captive definition of beauty had an insatiable appetite for MORE -more money, more time… some beach, somewhere -an unattainable tan, fit, thin body.

My new definition of beauty makes lunch beautiful.  It makes what I have, what’s in front of me now -my present -fulfilling and beautiful.  It has a appetite that is filled at every turn: every sunset, every quiet moment, even my tiny house filled with proof of little people traipsing around.

I look to the Japanese, “wabi sabi” which holds to three principles, “Nothing Last. Nothing is finished. Nothing is perfect.”
When it comes to THINGS -to youth, tight stomachs, movies, toys, computers… nothing lasts.  True beauty and peace is found in simplicity, in nature and nature’s natural ways.

Loving someone with an addiction is the HARDEST thing I’ve ever done.
Is it about the substance itself? No. It’s about the behaviors that come from not understanding how to manage emotions, how to connect and how to express in a healthy, productive way.

For the one who loves the one with an addiction, it is captivity.

Again, I turn to the wise Japanese and their art of “Kintsugi.”
They take The Broken and mend it -usually with gold -thereby bringing out beauty in the breaking.

Repairing broken ceramics!

It reminds me of Cohen.
“There is a crack… a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

For me, the light came in when I broke.
And that’s when God poured in the healing Gold.
It is good -I am good.

My life is a life of freedom, and I write my truth in blindingly honest vulnerability hoping -as Joseph -that God might save a soul or two.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll read up on Moses’ Ungrateful Mass and judge myself accordingly, but for today I’m going to thank God for freedom and for the ride there. I’m going to thank Him for being. I’m going to thank Him for my body, perfect for me as it stands this very minute. I will thank Him for the reminder of captivity, for it strengthens my resolve to never return.

Above all, I will thank Him for the return.
During my years of captivity, I was all but lost to my Father in Heaven and my parents on earth. The child they had known had been missing… missing for too long.
And so I emerge free, reunited with self and family.

God meant it unto good.

And maybe, just maybe, this experience answers my question… am I ungrateful to be set free?  I can only answer one day at a time, and today that answer is NO.




  1. How do you know me and just what I need to hear.
    God bless you for your faith in Him and your fellow soulmates here on earth.
    You have saved me more than you will ever know, just by being who you are and speaking the truth that a loving Heavenly Father gives to you to share.
    You are loved unconditionally by me.

    • Wendy -thank you!!!! I need to write more -fear keeps me from doing it, but I’m trying to shake it off :) Your words definitely help!

  2. Thank you for your vulnerability. It touched me tonight.

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