January 22, 2013 by A Girl Like Me
It’s almost 8am this morning and here I am retyping everything I had written for you guys today. This morning I woke up with a deep sense of conviction that my post, well it was a vague attempt to show you Jesus. I was honest, but only at surface level. I wanted to show you enough, but not too much because if I did, you’d see me for who I really was, and no one ever likes to be exposed. But isn’t that what the enemy wants from us? Fear? Fear of exposure. Fear that if we really let the weight of the darkness that breeds inside us out into the light that we will be met with rejection and dislike? So I am starting this post over. Ironic too because starting over is exactly what I want to talk to you about.
It’s been almost eight years since I took my first steps into a counselors office. I remember the fear and anxiety that swept over me as I entered her office not knowing what would happen. I sat down, and we began to talk. As we moved deeper into the chasms of my heart, something glorious happened. I was getting better. Shackles that had been clenched so tightly around the weight of my body were beginning to crumble and I could feel as though I was breathing again for the first time. It was wonderful. It was painful, tiresome, and painstaking yet somehow redemptively glorious all at the same time. After several longs months, I walked out of her office told that I was fine. I had been healed.
It’s funny how those words “You’ve been healed” can give you such a feeling of empowerment but also a feeling of expectation as well. For years I lived life as though I had conquered all my demons. I did my work. I did the hard thing. God certainly would have healed me simply because I was humble enough to go. So when some of the same old lies, the same old wounds, and even wounds I never knew existed began to resurface into tiny holes in my heart and mind, I wasn’t prepared.
Like anything satan tries, it’s sneaky and cunning. You never see really whats coming until one day you look at yourself in the mirror and you have no idea who’s looking back at you. And that is where I came to last week. You see, the lies had come back but I ignored them. I mean, I was declared healed so they of course weren’t of any damage to my soul, right? But that’s what the enemy wants. He wants us to take this idea that healing from our past comes in this one magical moment never to be dealt with again. But the truth of the matter is, healing, true godly healing, takes a lifetime. So here I was on this amazing cruise ship with my husband when God hit me square in the face. It was almost as if I could hear Him saying, “Heather, I’m not done with you yet. We still have a lot of work to do.”
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever felt like you worked so hard and have come so far to find freedom only to be smacked back in the face once again with all of your pain? Why would God do that, you might ask. Why wouldn’t He let us suffer once and be done with it? To you, I say this:
Sometimes God has to take us backwards before He can move us forwards.
Proverbs 16:9 tells us that “The heart of a man prepares his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” I could tell myself all I want that I’d never be burdened by my past ever again, but if that were to be true, I’d never need Jesus again. I’d never be faced with my own depravity so that in joyful adoration I could run into the arms of my Father, allowing his grace and mercy to sweep over me and bring me peace. If I never let Him thrust me backward into my pain, I wouldn’t be sitting here in my robe, sharing with you. I’d never have moved to Tennessee, met my husband, or been a mother. Each of those times God had to take me back. Back to my sin so that HE could redeem it, and thrust me forward onto the plans he had laid out for me.
Are any of you there girls? Battling the truth that healing won’t be one pretty little package, but a lifetime of peaks of valleys. Is God asking some of you, much like myself, to take a step back into to your pain, back into the mistakes you made not so that He can wound you deeper, but so that He can heal you more fully? If that is, take hope my friend. For “The Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
I don’t think Hosea 6:1 could have said it any better than this: “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.”
Next week, I begin my journey again. I’ll take another step into a new office. I’ll feel the same rush of anxiety and fear I did those eight years ago. But this time I go in with a new perspective. This isn’t the end, nor is it the beginning. It’s just another step. Another step taking me back to pain, but taking me forward to my Christ. And so I begin to walk.