Growth can be painful, there is no doubt about that. I would even go so far as to say that all growth involved a level of discomfort. Some journeys are more painful than others.
I have been walking with the Lord for quite a few years now and He has been gracious. He knows what I can handle and what I cannot. I tend to think that surviving the tragedies in my life is enough. I came out of it, I survived and that is all that needs to be done. I found Jesus, I am forgiven, isn’t that enough? Well, of course it is. I can rest in the peace He has given me through the years. He certainly is not holding my past against me, only I do that. He does however bring me back to the places of extreme pain in order to bring me healing. This is not comfortable. Whenever past pains surface, I try to push them aside and move on. This has always been my preference. What is the point of rehashing past hurts? Well my friends, the thing is, if these pains continue to surface than true healing has not taken place.
I have come to a place where I am beginning to see that when true healing has taken place, I can look back upon these experiences with acknowledgement and am able to share with the sole intent of helping others. The way I know that I still need healing in these places is when they surface with anxiety, depression, when I feel me closing off to not feel all that goes along with those memories. When there is still pain. When I am tired from the effort that it takes to keep that part hidden, I know it is time to allow God to work there.
All too often we try to keep parts of our selves separate. Sometimes this is necessary for survival, but cannot be a long-term solution. Compartmentalization can be a great way to survive the tragedy, shame should not be the reason we keep those feelings and memories locked away. We can become prisoners of what may have started out as a survival technique. The funny thing is that we can become so used to this state that we forget how heavy a burden we carry. I carry many burdens and God has been moving in these places. It is not easy.
Personally, I would prefer that these parts of me would just die and disappear. I don’t want to delve back into the wounds that seem so far away. Yet they are ever near the surface and come out in the anger, anxiety, impatience and coldness that comes out of me. I must feel, acknowledge and replace lies with truth in order to heal.
The problem is that if I feel too much at once, it will cripple me. If I try to face my past without Jesus, it will make me crazy. This is why I chose to lock up those parts of me. It was easier. Safer. Just the thought of it makes my heart ache as I type these very words. Acknowledging, feeling, allowing these places to once again become part of me scares me more than words can describe. How can I allow such horrors to become reality again?
There is another side to this that I struggle with, guilt. I look at all I endured and compare it to others in this world and begin to shame myself for even feeling the way I do. I begin to look at the horrors people face that make mine look like nothing. There is a lie that I have come to believe, I have no right to feel this pain because it is not as bad as what other’s endure at this very moment in time. I have no right to feel this pain or to experience healing because the horrors I face were due to choices I made. I tell myself that it could have been worse, I should be thankful. What right do I have to mourn when others are enduring far worse than my wildest dreams?
The truth is that I can very easily become tangled in the lies of this world. Yes, there are people suffering through terrible terrors in this world. However, this should not keep me from feeling my own pain. Yes, I have made horrible decisions that have left deep scars, but that doesn’t take away my right to mourn and to find healing.
As I struggle through these things, I begin to think that I cannot be the only one. I am certain that some, if not all of you, can relate to this in some way. As I begin to see that I need to be healed in these places, I want to share it with all of you. We have the right to mourn, we have the right to work through the pain, we do not need to live with it locked away somewhere. When we try to keep portions of ourselves buried we set our selves up for failure. In an essence we are telling God that we don’t need Him in these places. We cannot hide anything from our Lord, He knows everything.
Today I decide to give it all up to God. Today I lay it all down and give up control. I cannot manage the pain on my own. No longer can I continue to bury my past in hopes that I will never have to face it again. Today I choose life. I know that when I allow Jesus to do the work He wants to do in me, I will find true freedom. Only then will I experience true healing and peace, not this made up contentment I keep trying to manifest and convince myself of.
I encourage you to look deep inside and ask The Holy Spirit to show you where He wants to heal you today. We do not need to manifest issues or to create problems where there are none, that is not useful. We do need to allow God to do the work in us that He desires. Allow him to free you from the pain, the lies and the wounds left festering. You and I are not worthy in and of ourselves, but Jesus has made us so. All we have to do is turned to Him, confess our failures and our sin, He will do the work if we allow Him the space to.
Love you all.