have been working on my “stuff” for quite a few years. I’d say that I have labored long! If my life could be compared to an onion; my layers have been slowly peeled away, one after another. If you asked me I’d say a lot of healing has taken place.
But being healthy doesn’t mean I’m done. It doesn’t mean that life is easy now. It doesn’t mean that I’m never sad or tempted to “snuggle” with the familiar lies even though they lead to despair.
Recently I found myself in a situation where I felt safe. I was in a place where some women were sharing about their lives and the work God had done in them. We were talking about many deep things of our lives. As it was my turn to share I realized that something still hurt in what I was talking about. It hurt enough that I cried in this safe place, realizing that this part of me was still very sad and afraid.
There are parts of me that I have processed really well. I have come to grips with my childhood experience – grieved my losses and embraced my story. I have searched for God and know the truth of His love for me – my belovedness. His Word tells me I am lovable in his eyes and forgiven. I embrace this. My feelings about being Deane have had a long journey, one in which I continue to walk – and I am SO THANKFUL to be as far down the road as I am. But there is this one part of me…well, it still hurts.
So what do I do?
Shall I shove it down and wait until I forget it?
Perhaps I ought to get angry all over again and maybe get very depressed.
Or shall I continuously think on this part of my life until fear is all stirred up and I’m in despair wondering what will happen next? Sigh…
No, I don’t think so!
I have learned a few things about how to deal with such things!
- First, I need to ponder what is really going on. What is this battle really about? Ephesians tells me to put on the full armor of God so that I can take my stand against the devil’s schemes. I’m being tempted to not trust God. So who do I need to side with in this battle of accusation and fear? Yes, God, through Jesus, is the victor. I want to side with Him and not my accuser.
- And what does God say? What truth can I side with? Jeremiah 31:3 says, God has loved me with an everlasting love.” Ah! There is something that will settle me down! Psalm 139 says that He knit me together in my mother’s womb! He knows me. He wants me. He loves me. I want to side with that kind of truth. Psalm 31:3 says that my times are in His hands! He knows! That Psalm goes on to say that he has stored up his goodness for those who fear Him! Why wallow in my own fears when I can know that His goodness is stored up for me when I trust Him!
- A tool that we teach in The Ultimate Journey is to ally ourselves. So when I find a part of me that still hurts, I acknowledge the pain. I don’t tell myself to “grow up!” or “get over it!” There are some sad things in life that are OK to be really sad about. I also need to remember God and His great work in Christ.
- I often tell myself these things by writing to myself because writing helps me process and remember. Allying myself enables me to come to the truth and an understanding of what God has already done and is continuing to do in my life – even in that very sad part.
- Sometimes I do this by looking in the mirror and telling myself the truth.
- Searching the Psalms enables me to find great statements of tender truth about how God feels toward His people – and that would be me!
- Sometimes I talk it out with someone who knows and loves me so that I can come to a conclusion that is truthful and full of light.
- Then I ask God to help me to let him take it so He can make something beautiful of it. He will get the glory. It is His story and I want to see Him work in it. If I stay in the sad place my eyes will not behold his glory.
So, I’ve found a part of me that needs a big dose of processing and feeling. It needs a bigger dose of Truth about God’s work. And then I need to rest in Him so that He can do the healing work that needs to be done in my heart.
I better get busy. I’ve got some resting to do!
…for I am the LORD that heals you. Exodus 15:26b
From the desk of Deane Watters, The Ultimate Journey Director