When I began this journey, I never dreamed it would be so difficult. I was always the one who was in control, never letting anyone know how I really felt. I grew up in a household where showing any kind of emotion was perceived as weakness. I became a master at packing all of my feelings up and hiding them away behind my many walls. Now that the walls are crumbling, I feel like I have opened Pandora’s Box.
This has been an extraordinarily difficult few days. I have felt very much like David. Forsaken and abandoned by God. All of these gifts from my past acting as filters through which I see my present. Fear, insecurity, self-loathing, shame – these are the lenses the enemy is using to manipulate me everyday. And what a master manipulator he is! I’ve looked through them for so many years I’m afraid I won’t be able to see without them.
Or that I won’t like what I see once they are gone.
My fear tells me that any and every situation is dangerous and likely to cause pain or is a threat.
My insecurity tells me my fear is justified. That I am in danger of being hurt if I open my heart. So I keep my heart hidden.
My hurt tells me I am damaged and impaired. I don’t deserve any good things so I will never have any.
My self-loathing tells me I am unworthy.
My shame tells me I am a disgrace. Shame that comes from the filter of judgement – a lot of my own but also the judgement of others.
Because of my ingratitude and astonishing selfishness I neglect to look for Him in this soul wrenching, heart broken place. How arrogantly I forget that He is Immanuel, God with us. God with me. No matter what I am going through or how alone I feel it is never too big for Him and He is never surprised. As God breaks down these walls and unpacks all of my boxes, I am discovering that He has better gifts for me. He’s just been waiting for me to be ready to receive them.
Instead of fear, He gives me peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Instead of insecurity, He offers me safety. “You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about and take rest in safety.” Job 11:18
Instead of hurt, He gives me healing and comfort. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
Instead of self-loathing, He values me and treasures me. “And the Lord has declared this day that you are His people, His treasured possession as He promised . . .” Deuteronomy 26:18 “He brought me into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.” Psalm 18:19
Instead of shame, He gives me grace. “And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” Romans 11:6
Looking through my tears has blurred what I see of my future. Trust is an unknown for me. I’m afraid to take those unsteady first steps. Even though I know I have Immanuel. God with me.
Simply put, I can’t.
If I could, “grace would no longer be grace.”
As I walk this holy ground of brokenness I cling to the promise that I am not walking alone. No matter how hopeless and alone I feel He extends His grace and makes a way through the darkness of my heart . . .