Summer is almost over, everyone is returning to school, the weather’s getting cooler. And so i find myself reflecting on what happened during my what seemed to be never ending summer. The summer of ’09 was definitely a memorable one for me, i had some of the best moments of my life, made some great new friends, took older friendships to new levels, and made memories that will always live in my heart. It really was an awesome summer. But it’s wasn’t just because of those things that my summer was unforgettable. See, while all those experiences were incredible and i wouldn’t trade them for anything, the one thing that happened to me this summer was something that wasn’t too pretty at first. It was, in fact, the most painful experience that i went through that made this summer, the summer of 2009, one that i will always refer back too and give thanks to God. I’m talking about the experience of healing. My friends this summer God healed me.
It’s a funny thing, last summer i was in such a different place, a place that i don’t even like thinking back too. It was a strange state of being that i was in, sort of in denial but yet completely aware…and very jaded. I was also very exhausted. I think back to last year at this time, it was like i was walking around as a ghost…i really can’t even describe it. At that time i was dealing with a lot of things…actually i should correct myself, what i should say is that i was going though a lot…i wasn’t actually dealing with anything at all, and that was the problem. I learned to deal with my issues in very unhealthy ways, ways that just further tore me apart and served no other purpose then to keep me in a broken state. Thinking back really makes me realize what a emotional journey i’ve been on. I really have come so far, i am no longer dependent on the things i was, no longer a slave to my pain. I had started running to other things instead of going to God with my pain…not good.. I’ll be honest, i’m not quite ready to talk (or should i say write) about all these things yet, maybe at some point i will be, but right now it’s just too fresh. But i will say, that every time i used my vices to deal i just ended up more broken, and more vulnerable…which is funny because that’s what i was trying to avoid all along. The vices that i ran to just increased my want and need to hide away, to not be known, not be found out. But the thing is, you can run from people, but you can’t run from God…He’s everywhere, and in everything. I couldn’t run from my Jesus, He saw me for what i was…He saw me broken, bleeding, and desperate…and He didn’t think less of me. He loved me through it all. Even though i was a mess, He saw me as beautiful. Shriveled up on the floor, pathetic and damaged, He picked me up in His ever strong loving arms and loved me until i was whole again. And it took time, it wasn’t a overnight process. Oh no, God had His work cut out for Him. But He never stopped, and He’s still not stopping, He never will.
However, that’s not saying that i don’t still struggle to stay free of those things that once held me down…i think everyday is a new struggle. Everyday i make a choice to either deal with things or run and hide, and in turn hurt myself. It’s a process of dying to self, it’s day by day, hour by hour, second by second, we have to constantly die to our flesh and make the conscious choice to live in Christ. I am not perfect, i sometimes feel that i have to be. And i think that’s what always held me back from dealing with my issues in a healthy manner, i didn’t want people to see that i was weak and imperfect. I was afraid to show that i was hurting, afraid to be small in the eyes of the people around me. That was very flawed thinking. Everyone has their weaknesses, everyone hurts in some way. No one is immune to pain. The thing about pain is that people are afraid of showing it, they are scared to look weak, so they put up a front. They put up walls. I don’t want to do that, not anymore at least. I refuse to run from pain in any form, whether it be the pain of my friends and family, or my own pain…which is the scariest one of all.
I have a really hard time validating my feelings, i think that i have no right to feel a certain way, that my feelings are just me over reacting…that i’m being dramatic. And because of that thinking, i bury everything deep inside me. But the thing about burying my emotions is that they tend to come out anyway…just in different and unhealthy ways. But not anymore. I have actually started to talk about things with the people around me. My sister Krystal being the one that i go to the most, she lets me know that the only person that needs to validate my feelings is me, no one else has a say in how i feel. It’s my choice and my feelings. It doesn’t matter if someone thinks they aren’t valid, it doesn’t matter if i come off as naive or dramatic to some people. What matters is that i give myself the permission to FEEL. Feeling is something that i stopped doing around the age of 14, and i’m finding it very freaking hard to start again, but i’m trying my darnedest and i never plan on stopping. I want to feel. I want to take it all in…even the painful things. Because if i close myself off and not let myself feel pain, then i won’t be able to feel the good things, the beautiful things…and there are a lot of beautiful things to feel my friends.There’s a song by Switchfoot called “Concrete Girl”, i tend to feel like that, a girl made of concrete. It’s like there’s this wall sitting in between me and my emotions. It’s a strange way to feel. It’s like i can’t connect with what i’m feeling, there’s a block. I don’t want to be that way anymore. And i feel like i’m being challenged to break down that brick wall and FEEL. To be a clay, not concrete. God is has slowly been chiseling away at my concrete heart for a while now, but as of late, in the past few months actually, he has sped up the process…very rapidly. And i’m not too sure how i feel about that. Part of me loves it, and the other part of me hates it with a passion. I don’t understand it, and i suppose i don’t always like what i can’t understand. Why is it so hard to feel? Why is it not okay for me to have a certain emotion? I really can’t answer those questions. I mean i do have some clue as to why i feel this way, but i don’t know why it’s so hard for me to overcome it. it’s not like i don’t want to, because i very much do. And i think i am making a lot of progress. It’s been hard, but every time i feel like concrete is setting in on my heart, and i can’t feel a thing, i reach out to God, and i reach out to the people around me. and when i do that i’m able to break the concrete every time. I’m so thankful for the people around me, seriously God had been good and blessed me with some really amazing people, people with beautiful souls, i don’t know where i’d be without them. It’s funny, because now that i actually have started to let myself feel my emotions instead of burying them inside or running to other vices, things have been more intense for me…i think i just am so new to this whole feeling thing…i’m very used to running. I still am dealing with things, there are vices that i have yet to overcome, because in all honesty, i am just not ready to give them up yet. And i think God has patience with us in these things, He meets us where we are at..Hetakes us as we are. Now, in saying that, i am not saying that you should just stay in your “vice box”, no you have to break out of it…you MUST leave it behind. But letting go is a process (ha don’t you just love that word!), and Jesus will be with you every step of the way.
My Jesus is my hero. He is my warrior, my rescuer, my pursuer, my love…He is my everything. And i would never have realized that if i hadn’t gone through all the pain that i did. I needed to experience what it was like at the bottom of everything. I had to come to the end of myself to find myself, to find healing, to find restoration, to find love. And i found all those things and more in my God. I now can say i know what grace is. My Jesus picked me up off that floor, He dusted me off, cleaned my wounds, and made me whole…my Jesus healed me. Oh what a feeling it is to be healed, what a joy, a pure joy, it is to be rescued. And i know with everything in me, that you can find that too. You too can be healed. Jesus is waiting. He is standing there with His arm wide open. All you have to do is reach out to Him. Oh my dear friends, just reach out to Jesus Christ, let Him in. Don’t push Him away. I have done it, i have fought Him for years, but in the end it got me nothing, i was still hurt and still bitter. It wasn’t until i dropped my pride and fear, that all the pain and anger, all the bitterness and hurt, all the insecurities, fell away.
Jesus knows your pain, He understands. When you are crying, He is crying with you. When you are cutting your wrists just to feel like you can breathe, just to find a way to deal, He is right next to you, ready and willing to be the release you need so desperately you can taste it. He will be your peace. When you are getting drunk because you just want to forget everything, He is holding you. He will be your escape. When you run to sex to fill that void inside your heart, He’s standing right there calling for you to run to Him instead, to let Him fill what any guy or girl could never fill. He will be the love you never had. He will give you the acceptance you never had from the people close to you. Let God inside your heart. Let Him hold you. Let Him love you. Let Him heal you. Let Him take you to places you never thought existed.
I can not describe how thankful i am. How truly amazing my God has been to me. I don’t deserve it. My God is always fighting for me. He never gives up. He is in my corner. He covered my scars with His precious blood. He washed my heart with His perfect love. He clothed my soul in unexplainable peace. And he showered me with His unlimited grace. Jesus bled so i wouldn’t have to bleed. Jesus shed His blood so you wouldn’t have to shed yours.
I am no longer broken.