Warning: Today’s blog is more of a journal. I don’t write this to be narcissistic. I’d actually rather not write it. There’s nothing in this that I would want to speak out loud, let alone to allow for an instant, global, permanent record. But I write it anyway because God deserves to have His glory be made known.
The last two years of my life have been really painful. I have to start with that statement because none of the rest will make sense unless I admit that first. In the last two years of my life, I lost a church family that I loved, the hometown I thought I’d never move from, my health, my pride, security in my marriage, financial health, and so much more. In addition, I was at a church that continuously hit on every open wound, fear, and frustration. I was an outcast there. And I was powerless to change any of it.
In most situations like this, people have something to turn back to: family, friends, a loving church community…. While I have some of these things, the weight of all of the loss was too great. I would start to speak of one of the wounds, and the pain of all of them would try to explode out of my heart. At some point, it became easier to stuff it all down and just leak out in small intervals with people I trusted. I would watch as they struggled to help me grieve.
I stopped praying about any of it. It became easier to cope than to hope for a change.
In October, in a move of pure desperation, my husband and I started to transition out of the church we were in. I couldn’t take it anymore. The pain of everything was too much when I had to go to a church that hurt me every week. We went back to a comfortable denomination. They didn’t have much, but they had the two things that matter: people who are willing to be broken before the Lord, and a commitment to seeking out the presence of God.
Being there has been a process of healing. I’ve watched as God has done miraculous things in our marriage, our finances, and our hearts once again. But this weekend, more than any other, has been intense. Because this weekend, God literally called me out in front of the whole congregation and told them my stuff. I didn’t get to say it. He just told it to them, and they said it for me in one of the hardest prayer moments I’ve ever faced.
I had to choose: let God and let them love me….or walk away and carry this pain alone forever.
I would be lying if I said I complied 100%. I didn’t. I walked away still trying to hide some things. And then God called me out again.
This morning, a very dear friend, who we haven’t seen in a month and rarely get to talk to, wrote to me at the crack of dawn. He told me that he was praying for us this morning and that God had shared some things with him. It was just enough for me to get the message. Let me work in you now, or I’m going to bare it all.
I could get mad. Or worried. I can be concerned that God would expose me like that. But I actually see it as loving. I thing I was on a path to self-destruction. And I have a God who won’t let me do that.
He would rather embarrass the crap out of me — He would rather call me out — than to let me walk in the pain and the shame that I’ve been carrying.
The wounds from this friend can be trusted.
If this touches you at all where you are at today, I pray that you soften to letting Him do whatever He wants to do. Let Him heal you. I’ll be attempting to do the same.