Hope in the Midst

It has been a long time since I've had the courage to sit down and write about the things that the Lord is doing in my life. To be totally honest - its been a painful season - but it is in the midst of that pain, that I am learning to see the Lord clearer.

"God has been tenderly reminding me that pain itself is not the enemy. Pain is the indicator that brokenness exists. Pain is the gift that motivates us to fight with brave tenacity and fierce determination, knowing there is healing on the other side.... Pain is the invitation for God to move in and replace our faltering strength with His." - Lisa TerKeurst 

My journey started when the Lord called me to New Jersey, over three years ago now. I had no idea what He was asking me to walk into. As I've shared in previous entries, a short time after moving to New Jersey I began experiencing panic attacks. It wasn't until these past few months that I started to really learn why. Which is exactly why the Lord moved me to New Jersey.

In California, I was surrounded by friends and family, but I was also surrounded by a cloud of chaos that has followed me my whole life. It was in chaos that the voice of the enemy became some loud that I couldn't hear the voice of my Savior. The Lord needed to move me out of the chaos so He could speak life to what was dead and truth to the lies that had become the foundation of my life.

This is where I met pain. Honest and real pain, unlike anything I have experienced before. There is deep pain from past wounds and the brokenness I've walked in so long. To correct a broken bone, you have to reset it. And it is the same thing with the pain of your heart - it is the same thing when you have to renew your mind.

I've always wanted to run away from pain, run away from confrontation, run away from anything that left me unsettled because I couldn't control it. Pain and confrontation meant there was something not "perfect" and past trauma taught me that perfect was the only acceptable way to be. But running away didn't make the situation suddenly "perfect",  running away from pain doesn't make it go away. It just means you haven't dealt with it. After so long of undealt with pain, it bubbles up in some way and for me, that was my panic attacks.

But as the quote above said, the Lord is graciously showing me that pain is not my enemy. Ironically, pain shows me how imperfect, broken, and weak I am and how my savior is strong on my behalf, perfect, and just. And now, instead of running away from the pain, I am learning to embrace it.

That is not to say I don't still have my moments. I still hear the voice in my head that says to run, ignore it, it will go away. But I am learning, one situation at a time, to chose to embrace the pain, experience it, take it to Jesus and watch Him wash over it with His comfort, peace and joy.

Its a season of pain, but joy comes in the morning (Ps. 30:5) and that is my hope, that is my motivation to fight through to healing.

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