Someone asked me recently…”How did we get to this place?”
I thought to myself, do you want the long version, or a simple, rehearsed answer? The road that led to “this place” began more than fifty years ago. And isn’t that the way it is with all of us? We are who we are at this very moment because of the accumulation of life experiences.
Writing about the hard places is hard work, and also scary. While I want to help people overcome their own fears and insecurities, I find it difficult to expose mine. Writing teachers stress you shouldn’t write about something for public reading until you’ve worked through it, and come out the other side. I think I’ve finally gotten there, to the other side.
I don’t want to miss an opportunity though, to reflect on how far I’ve come.
I know there are people suffering in silence with grief and sorrow, guilt and shame. There is a way out of the pit these emotions throw us in. I’ve been there and can tell you it’s possible to overcome.
Several years ago I was weighed down with burdens too old to name. It felt like I was walking through life with a chain wrapped around my leg. Every time I tried to move forward in joy, the chain pulled tight to remind me I was different. I was bound together with links of several broken chains, each representing a different hurt or grief.
But there was One who loved me enough to break the chains and strongholds of my life. He protected me, walked with me, and gave me strength when I thought I had none. He heard every cry of my heart, saw every tear, and every broken place in my soul where the enemy had sown lies and mistrust. He confronted me with the hate I’d harbored for those who hurt me, and replaced it with forgiveness.
God placed two, amazing, gifted, Christian counselors in my life who walked me through the painful steps of healing and recovery. He surrounded me with godly friends who never gave up on me. He gave me a husband who endured the worst of my brokenness, and loved me anyway. He gave me a son who checked on me every day to make sure I was ok.
Bonnie Gray says in her book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace,“Perfect peace from God isn’t found by forgetting. Peace is ours if we dare to remember our pain and our sorrow, and experience our fears fully with Jesus.”
This is my testimony in a nutshell. There are many good resources for healing in our communities, but I’m convinced that healing of the soul can only come through the One who created me, and died for me. Anything else will never be enough, though may grant temporary relief.
No matter what you’re going through, God is enough. If you truly seek Him, He is able to completely resurrect your life and give you a firm foundation to rebuild. Your pain does not need to define you any longer. It need not demand anymore of your life, the only life you’ll have on this earth.
On this Mother’s Day, I celebrate the peace I’ve found. My parents would’ve been so disappointed if I’d let my childhood destroy my future. My mom was the strongest woman I know. I learned how to die, but I also learned how to live because of her influence. Her favorite Bible verse was Philippians 4:13: I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. He gave her strength to fulfill His purpose for her. My goal is to do the same, whatever that may be.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who have poured love and kindness into my life. I am blessed beyond measure to have so many that have been Jesus to me. You are loved.