It has been nine years this month.
Nine long years.
Forgiveness had already taken place, but reconciliation was nowhere on my radar. The pain was still just too close and the rejection was still too real, even after all this time.
But God . . .
You know how I have said over and over the Christian faith walk is like an onion? Well my word I think I’ve gone through a 5 pound bag on onions in the last nine months!
There was a season when I begged God to release me.
But He said, “No.”
So instead of dealing with the pain I stuffed and tucked it in to a tiny compartment of my heart. You know, nice and neatly so I would be okay.
My plan was to just survive.
But God doesn’t want His children to just survive.
God wants His children to thrive.
God wants His children to be set free.
God wants His children to walk in the fullness of Christ.
Unfortunately, because so much time had lapsed, that nice, neat tidy little chamber had begun to expand – sorta like how mold and rot will start off as a tiny speck and if not caught early there will need to be a massive demolition project at hand.
Eventually time took it’s toll on my heart – the barnacles that were forming over that nice neat tucked away chamber of my heart also formed scales over my eyes.
I couldn’t see clearly.
In recent months I knew the time had come where God was pushing me, confirming in me, and outright making me miserable if I didn’t deal with this deep rooted pain.
In order for that to come to pass I had to surrender.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28 – 29
But I was afraid because surrendering opens us up to vulnerability.
The fear took my breath away. I could feel my heart beating so hard I didn’t think I would be able to catch my next breath.
But God . . .
I have been praying for the last four days that God would overwhelm me. He has been doing just that every single day, and today is no exception.
This morning my daughter was crawling under my bed to help me catch a cat to give her her monthly flea treatments. While she was under there she said, “Hey, there’s a notebook under here (I’m thinking – there’s no telling WHAT she is going to find) and I think it has your handwriting on the pages.” Intrigued, I had her hand it to me – and what I thought was a monthly flea treatment mission actually turned out to be the God of all creation showing me His majesticness.
What Kaitlyn had found was one of my old prayer journals.
I have no idea how it got down there but the page was folded back and opened to a page where I was pleading with God to heal my heart.
The journal entry was dated March 10, 2015.
Today, I can praise Him for honoring that prayer. I wish it hadn’t taken Him two years to move but I had to be at a place of desperation where I was willing to make myself vulnerable again in order that I could trust again.
When God took on this monstrous task of healing this once small compartment of my heart something unexpected happened though.
He opened my eyes and it was then I saw my own sin and the damage I had been doing the last nine years to my family. In my new understanding I found brokenness. And in that brokenness something amazing happened . . .
I give praise for a God that came after that small compartment in my heart I had blocked off in order for another layer of that onion to be peeled away. I envision Him pursuing that small broken chamber of my heart like He pursues the lost sheep – and it overwhelms me.
I give God praise for honoring the prayer of a once broken hearted woman and sending her a Timothy.
I give Him praise for forgiveness and compassion, for His perfect timing and how He has miraculously orchestrated every detail of this journey the last nine months.
While waiting in the pick up line at school yesterday day I heard a song – a song that speaks of God moving mountains and how He will do it again. There is no doubt that through the continued growth process in my walk with the Lord that there will be yet another layer of onion skin to peel away. But because of walking through this particular journey, knowing the condition my heart was in, knowing He moved mountains that I couldn’t even dream of moving, I have been given a tremendous HOPE that what He wants me to face next, He will see me through.
And He will do it again and again and again.
Father in Heaven – I can not thank you enough for what you are doing. I never believed in a million years I could be completely set free from the pain. But you did it. Thank you for giving us earthly God-fearing counselors to help us when we just can’t work through the muck and mire on our own. Thank you for honoring that prayer from two years ago and sending me a Timothy. Thank you for letting Kaitlyn stumble upon it this very morning in order that I can testify of your goodness. Thank you for revealing the harm I was doing to my own family. Thank you for grace and forgiveness from my husband. Thank you for loving me so much and accepting me in every state I come to you. Thank you for moving mountains when I couldn’t even lift my arms to praise you. Thank you for giving me a newness. Thank you for loving me so much that You want more of me. I give you praise. Amen.
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6