I am going to tell you one of my secrets.
“I am no where close to where I want to be.”
There. I said it.
Now there’s no way for me to pretend I’m someone I’m not. One thing I want to always portray to my readers and to you, my friends, is this. I want to be real. You see, I’m on a journey and though I may not be where I want to be, with God’s help, I’m sure headed in the right direction. Of course there are days when I fall a few steps back, well sometimes more than a few, but even then He embraces me in His love and His grace pushes me forward.
I am on a journey of healing and restoration, a journey of discovering who I am in Christ. It’s a journey of recognizing, accepting and living out my purpose and my calling. This is a journey I believe many of you are on.
Am I right?
Several years ago when I first felt called into this ministry, I was not immediately obedient. I very much doubted my ability to do this and I had little confidence that God could use me to accomplish much. It wasn’t necessarily confidence in God but confidence in myself. It was almost non-existent and it kept me from stepping out in obedience.
You see, I grew up hearing words that destroyed my self-worth and my sense of value. Hurtful words that bounced around in my head and echoed off the walls of my heart. These were words that I then internalized and allowed to become a part of me.
The intensity and weight of some of those words crushed my spirit, blinding me to my strengths. They birthed fear and insecurity in my mind and heart, leaving me to question who I was and wondering if even God could use me.
Many of you may know the words of which I speak. Spoken by bitter parents, angry spouses, jealous friends or right out bullies. Casually or with destructive purpose, they came like shrapnel, implanting into our very soul. And just like shrapnel, those words produced internal wounds that we then learn to live with, embedded deep inside.
Some of you might be saying ‘mine was rejection, not words.’ Regardless of the source, the wounds are similar, if not identical.
So, we dress up and mask our wounds, slap a smile on our face, creating the illusion that all is well but inside we are bleeding out. We limp around, appearing to have it all together, all the while wearing that mask, afraid to be vulnerable. A mask that is a temporary scab. A mask that helps us to fit in, disguising our hurts, covering up our guilt and shame. That mask that helps us to by-pass the unpleasant judgment that we think will come uninvited from others.
We are afraid that if people really knew us, if they were to see our brokenness and our wounds, they would never accept us. In our world broken things are often seen as worthless and are easily discarded. Joyce Meyer, Christian author and speaker, says this …
“We are experts at building walls and stuffing things into dark corners.”
In deed we are! Sometimes we are so used to covering up that we don’t realise we’ve hidden ourself from the One who can bring healing to us. And, as long as we continue to hide behind those masks, behind the illusion, we will never truly be free to live our lives at our fullest potential.
So what do we do?
According to Psalm 34:18
“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Does that not just bring a smile to your face, hope and encouragement to your heart? This is what I’ve been learning to do. Opening up myself to the love of God and allowing Him full access to my wounds so He can heal my heart and set me free. That means taking off the mask.
Is it easy? No!
It takes courage!!!!
Is it necessary? Yes!
To remove the mask is painful. It exposes the wounds we work so hard to keep hidden. The removal of that temporary scab will certainly cause those wounds to bleed but, it is the only way God can get to the core of our hurts and start the healing process.
A process that takes us through the path of forgiveness. Though difficult, we need to first forgive those who have caused us pain. Honestly, it is easy to get stuck here. But we need to keep in mind that forgiveness does not release others from their accountability. Instead, forgiveness hands us the key that releases the shackle from off of us so we can move forward into our freedom. And even as we walk out this process, we take every opportunity to saturate our mind and heart with God’s word, embracing His truth about us. It is then we will begin to realise our true worth and value.
The word of God brings hope, healing and renewal. Proverbs 4:20-22 tells us to attend to His word and incline our ears to His sayings. It encourages us to follow, pay attention and listen so that His truth can penetrate deep into our hearts bringing life and healing. We need to surrender fully to God, trusting Him to help us grow and develop in our new freedom. Then we are able to move forward in confidence towards His purpose for us.
May I encourage you in this. God’s plan for your life and mine is greater than you and I can imagine. Let us take courage in the knowledge that He loves us and be patient while He heals us. I encourage you to take a step of faith and be an active participant in your healing. It is not easy but it is a fascinating journey of hope and restoration as you learn to view yourself through God’s eyes.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
I am learning that although we would rather not experience it, there is purpose in our pain. We become stronger, wiser and according to Pastor Rick Warren,
“Our most effective ministry will come out of our deepest hurts.”
My blogging not only serves as a platform to encourage and inspire others, but also as a platform for my continued healing.
So come on dear friends, let us journey together by faith today. God bless you!