About two weeks ago, I wrote about pain and wounds and tragedy and how I felt all of those things had maimed me. Almost as soon as I hit ‘Publish’, I felt a check in my spirit, asking the question: is this really what you want to be true of what you’ve experienced? And is it really what you believe about this pain? My words refused to settle well with me. So I read back over the post (Lamentations), and I started thinking. Then I read some much older posts and unwittingly walked back through the last eight months, one story at a time.
Reading those stories made me so sad, and all of a sudden, I was so terrifically tired of being sad and talking about being sad and writing about being sad and I thought: I am so over this feeling of victimization. This is not me, it’s not the choice I would make for myself.
And yet, it’s the choice I was making.
The thing is…sometimes our pain can be comfortable. Sometimes we’re so well-versed in being wounded that we find ourselves terrified at the concept of being healed. Sometimes we think that if we allow ourselves to heal, no one will have to pay for what happened to us. And I think that’s partly where I was stuck. But as I weighed my options – be brave or be a victim – and I felt myself yearn for the safety of the walls I was building around myself in the name of What I’d Suffered, I heard: this is the sin of pride.
God is so gracious to prepare us for the words He has for us, isn’t he? Two days earlier and those words would’ve leveled me, and not in a good way. But I was ready, and how infinitely sweet it is to hear His love when your posture is readiness. My weeping had remained for a night, and now the Spirit was whispering: awaken to joy, child. So I did. Plain and simple. And it’s been amazing.
I’m writing new stories now – stories of joy and peace and grace. Stories of provision beyond imagination. Stories of dignity and triumph. Stories of trust and rest. And unlike the stories of yesterday, I’m reading these stories and thinking: this is precisely the choice I would make for myself.
So if you’re hurting, and you’re tempted to close in on yourself, or as Ann Voskamp so eloquently puts it, to live a life “snapped shut to grace”, please, dear one, know that you have a choice. No wound, regardless of its ugliness, has the right to own you or define you, unless you hand that right over. Join me in refusing? The wound will still hurt. But His healing comfort will pour into those crevices, running always deeper still.
Tonight I rose up with the moon, and looking down from high above,
I saw a world carved and confused, into valleys deep in need of love
And falling down all thick with grace, Heaven’s cloud of mystery
Was filling every empty space, down to the depth of human need.
This love that heals me, it’s deeper still…