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 . . .

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” 
Isaiah 42:16


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This article has 6 comments

  1. Dolly @Soulstops Reply

    Dear Carol,
    Thank you for trusting us enough to share your heart here. Praying right now that God will continue to give you strong reassurances of His love and presence with you. He sees you and He holds you close to His heart.

  2. Alia Reply

    Thank you for sharing your words and story and all the reality that comes with it. I can relate more than you know. Blessings to you in this time.

    • Carol Vinson Reply

      You are so very welcome Alia. The reality of it is a harsh thing but also necessary. And as I read some of your posts I saw myself so vividly. Blessings to you also!

    • Carol Vinson Reply

      You are so very welcome! Thank you for coming back to share in my journey. I need to be reminded often. Bless you and Merry Christmas!

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