I kind of dropped the ball when we went to Africa on our mission trip and I got so wrapped up in all the events at the Taylor house that I stopped posting about this series. But, I really want to keep going. I hope y’all are with me! This book is just too amazing not to share.
We’ve all been through different things in our lives, and these things have left us with different wounds. Whether it happened to us in elementary school, high school, or our adult lives, different events and situations leave us with different scars or impressions. These impressions can be of other people or they can be lies we start to believe about ourselves. But, we’ve all been told numerous things about ourselves or we have inferred lies from situations and left them on ourselves as labels that we have come to believe as true.
Regardless of all these lies or labels we have come to believe are true about ourselves, God gave us a purpose. He gave us a purpose that if we do not try to use it, it will go wasted.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)
This passage shows that Jesus wants to heal us. He wants to mend our broken hearts in order to allow us to fulfill our purpose. He wants us to use our past to comfort those who are mourning and to affirm the beauty of others. Why wouldn’t we want to take Him up on this promise? Now, how do we ask for this healing?
HEMMED IN AND TURNING FROM THE WAYS YOU’VE SOUGHT TO SAVE YOURSELF
Why does it feel like too much to work through? God created Eve and he cursed her with loneliness and heartache. He left her empty and she was unable to fill this emptiness on her own. Why would God do such a thing? I love how Stasi shows us in this chapter that God allows things to become too hard in order to drive us to Him. It is easy for us to try to fill our pain and heartache with things of this world, or things that we feel will help. However, only God can truly satisfy us, especially in a time of need. When we begin to hear only the labels we have been given, we need to take these feelings to the Lord.
“Jesus has to thwart us too – thwart our self-redemptive plans, our controlling and our hiding, thwart the ways we are seeking to fill the ache within us. Otherwise, we would never fully turn to him for our rescue.”
Can you think of a time that you have tried to redeem yourself by doing something, or fill your life with something other than the Lord to make you feel better? I certainly can, and it is so crazy that the answer is so simple, yet in the moment, turning to God seems like the most difficult solution. However, when you start making this your first step when things go wrong, it gets easier and easier because you begin to see how faithful the Lord truly is.
INVITE HIM IN AND RENOUNCE THE AGREEMENTS YOU’VE MADE
“You see, we all pretty much handle our brokenness in the same way- we mishandle it. It hurts too much to go there. So we shut the door to that room in our hearts, and we throw away the key… but that does not bring healing.”
Christ is always knocking on the door. He is just waiting for us to let him into our lives. He wants to be there through everything, every thought and every emotion. He is there when we are lonely, sad, betrayed, rejected, experiencing loss or anger. He is just waiting for our permission. I find it hard to bring God into my life when I don’t really like who I am in that moment, like I am ashamed of who I am, but without letting Him in, I cannot make myself better.
Once we have allowed him into our live, we need to let go of everything. We need to let go of all the lies we have told ourselves, believed from others and all the labels we have allowed to become attached to us. For awhile, I was reading out load the affirmations of Christ, “I am a daughter of Christ. I am a new creation. I am made in the image of God.” and it really did help me to believe what is actually true. It helps to release all of the lies that keep us from God and speak His truths into our lives, while allowing him to be a part of it all.
WE FIND OUR TEARS
When I was in college, my professor was writing a book in which she talked about priming the pump. She was talking about the neccessity of releasing your emotions through tears. Today, we are all trying to keep it together all the time, but really we are all imperfect and the face of the matter is that some days we are just not OK. It is good to let out your tears and your grief. Even Jesus himself let his tears out.
“Grief is a form of validation; it says the wound mattered. It mattered. You mattered. That’s not the way life was supposed to go. There are unwept tears down in there… Let the tears come.”
We have to forgive others for the wounds they have left us with and the labels and lies they have given us. Unfortunately, if you don’t forgive, the bitterness will hurt you more than you think. Not forgiving does not only hurt the person who wronged you, but it also hurts you. It is just better to “Forgive as the Lord Forgave you”.
“Forgiveness is a choice. It is not a feeling- don’t try and feel forgiving. It is an act of the will.”
I love this! I feel like forgiveness has come fairly easily in my life, but as I get older it is harder and more of a choice. We have the will power to do this. And, once we make the choice to forgive, the feelings will follow.
“Forgiveness says, ‘It was wrong. Very wrong. It mattered, hurt me deeply. And I release you. I give you to God. I will not be your captive here any longer.”
ASK JESUS TO HEAL YOU
Once you have denied the lies and given your emotions to God, you can ask him to heal you of your wounds. And, you know what the most wonderful part is, He will. I find this the most comforting. We have all been through so much in our lives and sometimes we feel like it will follow us forever or define who we are, but the truth is that God made us and he continues to shape us. We may never forget some of the things that have happened, but the Lord will help us forgive and he will begin to heal our hearts.
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