There have been more days than I can count where I lay in bed struggling to get up again. Heavy sobs fluctuated with numbness. The blankets that covered me a metaphor for the way I felt covered and hidden from a world that moved on without me.
Somewhere inside, I wanted something different. I wanted to be healed. Getting there seemed like a far off journey. Nearly impossible.
Passions in my heart lay buried deep. God-given pursuits withered and I believed God should have given them to someone else instead of me. It felt as if the gifts I once thought I had were dying. Smothered due to circumstances and the impact of trauma. I felt constricted. My soul bound to deep pain.
Would I ever live free? Could I, someday, live with confidence like other people do?
The energized me I once knew faded into the background of someone else’s life.
While depression, anxiety, and signs of PTSD loomed, something else burned deeper still. Dreams surfaced time and time again, the ones that revealed a different kind of me.
Those dreams hadn’t been lived out, yet.
In those darkest of moments I nearly let go of them altogether.
But when you make yourself available to the work of God in your soul, something compels you to take one more step. And then another. And another.
That something is actually someone.
It’s the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit nudging you towards God. Prompting steps that nourish dry places and cultivate life again.
Truth be told, that nudging can feel downright painful at times. Especially when what you think you want and need isn’t what you get and the pain of letting go feels like a piece of you is stripped away.
In a sense, it is.
And it’s a good thing. Let it go, dear one.
When God takes you through the process of healing there’s often momentary pain and discomfort. We’ll feel the anxiety of change. Our beliefs and experiences will be challenged which causes tension and a tendency to defend. Our fleshly covering of self-protection gets peeled away so we can live courageously from the core of who we’re meant to be, not who we’ve been.
When what you’ve relied on no longer works and it’s scary to step in a different direction, do it anyway.
God is faithful in leading us towards emotional healing and spiritual growth.
Choosing Redemptive Pain for Healing
There were times when I had to grieve the loss of what I thought could be, even what should be, in order to face what really was. I still do. It happened just today. The incident was minor, but my expectations weren’t fulfilled. I let the feelings of loss surface just enough to feel and deal. Then I chose to trust God with what I can’t yet see.
Difficult emotions are difficult for a reason. But working through them brings healing to wounds and broken paths that destroy the soul.
The pain of healing is a different kind of pain than what we experience without it. It’s redemptive. Over time, as you stick with God and the process, it produces fruit like peace, joy, and freedom.
Redemptive pain settles an anxious heart and experiences more of God.
What Journey Will You Take?
We might live day to day with a dull ache that doesn’t go away. We may sense something is missing or that life is stifled in some way, but if it’s comfortable enough for us to stay in this place, we will. Until it’s not.
Even though we might complain about the pain, injustice, and hurts we experience, we’ll stay stuck in life and limited in our experience of an amazing God until we’re willing to do something different.
Do you want something different? Are you ready to know more than you know now?
I don’t mean knowledge that fills the head, I mean the kind of knowing that involves connection and intimacy with someone safe and loving. The way the heart knows it’s safe to be who you were designed to be.
If you’re on that journey now, or ready to take one eensie weensie step towards it, I am cheering you on.
May your courage continue to rise as God provides.
Weeping That Brings Relief
My forty some years have included various times of growth and healing, but the most palpable and sustaining changes have happened over the last five years. When I could no longer continue the way I had before, I chose a path of intentional healing.
I won’t tell you it’s easy. But I will passionately smile and look you in the eyes (if I could) and tell you, it’s so, so worth it dear one.
Those nights I screamed into my pillow from pain that cut deep, I thought I’d give up. I’ve acted and reacted in ways unbecoming, all while becoming something new.
Do you know this verse?
“…weeping may last through the night but joy comes with the morning.” ~ Psalm 30:5 NLT
I felt it more than once. Not immediately. Not the full impact over one night. But, the way this process brings a dramatic shift to the state of your soul.
Tears can bring so much healing when they’re the result of pain that’s being processed.
When God addressed areas of idolatry in my heart, when He didn’t allow the thing I wanted most, when I had to face my deepest fears and trust God was near, it hurt. A lot.
The crazy thing is that each time the pain intensified while my spirit wrestled with God, it ended with a choice to trust Him anyway. Step by step, we moved together. Sometimes two steps forward and one, or three, back, but towards beauty nonetheless.
With self surrendered to the Savior, soul relief eventually follows.
Through the process God has revealed numerous unhealthy beliefs, destructing though patterns, wounds that needed healing, and so much more. He’s been leading me through a path only He knows.
God Has A Unique Plan for You
He has a plan for your healing and growth too. I don’t know what it is, or how it will play out, but I know it’s there for you.
When you feel bound and constricted you can’t be who you’re called to be and you won’t know God the way He wants you to know Him.
Will you make space for emotional healing so you can experience the unleashing of your soul?
In this recent podcast episode, I chatted with my friend Jenni Eastin about emotional healing, inner transformation, God’s unique paths for each of us, and rising up to live who we are called to be.
I hope it encourages you wherever you are today.
CULTIVATE LIFE: What’s one step you can take today, or one you’ve taken recently?
Click on the image, or the button, below to find the podcast episode.