What I Used To Think

One sibling photo a week throughout the year. 44/52

Linking up with Sarah Bessey.

I used to think that I would hurt forever. That the inner turmoil I wrestled with daily would be my constant companion for the rest of my life. It felt dark all around, and all I could count on was the throbbing pain in my chest, and the tight hold in the back of my throat to be present with me as I awkwardly and desperately felt around in the dark for something, anything to pull me out of hopelessness. I knew brokenness better than I knew anything else, and I braced myself for whenever the next wave of it would come, believing that there would never truly be relief from it, not this side of heaven. Grief weighed heavy on my shoulders, and fear bound my feet, leaving me to painfully struggle, inching forward on my face—for years at a time.

I used to think that healing would never happen. That God’s promise to make all things new was nothing more than a platitude; that restoration is something that comes after this life. I used to think that the pain of the day would be the pain of always, and that I would never know the joy that other people seemed to have. I was like the woman with hemorrhage, bleeding out slow and sure, aware that no one I knew could fix my troubles and make the suffering disappear.

Then I touched the hem of His garment for myself. My story is a little different than hers. Apparently when she touched Him, she was instantly healed and knew she was healed in that miraculous and magnificent encounter. The process for me was a bit longer, and looked a little more like me fighting against the very thing that would bring me the freedom I sought. Surrender. Let the light in to the broken, dark places.

Could I forgive? Could I let go? Could I trust Him to meet all my needs? None of these are easy things to ask because things that hurt and things I fear are the things I hold—or they hold me—tightest. Yet, He asked me to do it. To leap into His arms and leave the rest behind.

I thought I had a right to be angry and stay angry, not realizing the bitterness that grows out of that cycle had power over me—power to keep me from freedom; power to keep me from wholeness, goodness, and life. I didn’t want to let go because I didn’t want to somehow diminish the magnitude of my heartaches.

Surrendering to Jesus didn’t mean erasing what I experienced…it meant redeeming it—or giving me new perspective about it at a minimum—a process that took longer, and required more of me than I ever expected, but has also brought about more blessing than I ever imagined.

Surrender more, surrender again, surrender all.

I didn’t know that I would find peace, or that I would find joy that blows my mind every single day, even in the midst of my soul aches that sometimes reappear. I didn’t know that learning to gaze at the Lord, not my own inner-hurts, is the very thing that helps me to see the hidden gifts that God offers me…gifts found in the invitation to know Him in both His suffering and His victory. I can’t have one without the other, and now that I see with new eyes, both parts of the journey are beautiful in their own ways.

I used to think that I would hurt forever, but now I know that the power of God is real, the love of God can heal all wounds, and that sorrow does not have the last word.

“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. “ Philippians 3:8-11

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Update on run/walk goal for week 44 (the goal is to complete at least 10 miles per week): 11 Run/Walk miles traveled, 523mi in 2015

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1091. the hell (help) button, 1092. rainy day stop at the library, 1093. new community group friends, 1094. glucose test behind me (no results yet) 1095. writing goal met for the week, 1096. friends coming for dinner, 1097. the joy of sharing photos with friends, 1098. new things in the heart, 1099. peace, 1100. clean kitchen

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September 1, 2016
As Leaves Let Go
October 8, 2016