Over the last year or so of my life I've been focused on coming out of a huge denial about painful things I'd experienced early in my life. As a result of my inward focus, I have been able to finally start working through the pain, accepting it, grieving, processing and taking small steps forward from it. I have also learned that perhaps a season of deep introspection can be necessary and vital but it is important not to remain stuck in this place for too long.
At some point in dealing with grief you reach a place where you realize that God is not going to take away your pain...at least not in the way our hearts desire. I recently heard this great quote by a Christian Psychologist, "We want God to take away our fear, remove our pain and provide a reasonably pleasant life. But God wants to meet us in our pain, and comfort us with himself." As soon as I heard these words it was as if God himself was speaking them to me.
I had been praying and hoping that I would somehow reach the end of my pain. And as a result I've been sort of limping my way through life, putting most things on hold in order to wait for the pain to go away. And in this waiting my focus has been mostly on the pain, mostly on my feelings, mostly on my memories, and when you are this focused on the struggle, the solution is almost completely hidden from your view.
On the way home from Thanksgiving I started to realize that God was working on my heart, a lot. He was nudging me away from focusing on all the pain and trouble and remembering to keep my eyes on the one who could provide the comfort, peace and healing that I need, Him. My husband and I had plenty of time to talk about this on our nine hour drive home from Ohio. He wholeheartedly agreed that it was getting to be the time that I should start focusing on the solution and less on the problem.
In many ways my faith walk recently has been stifled, as I've faced doubt and uncertainty as my protective shield of denial has cracked and fallen. I've had anger pouring out of my soul that burns white hot, often sending me into a state of rage then panic when triggered. I've been scared of who I am, and what I am doing in my life. And I've been afraid to take these very raw and painful emotions to God. I've been scared to admit that I'm angry with God for not intervening to prevent the abuse I suffered as a child. Even though I know that God will not take away free will...even though I know that God orchestrated freedom from those who hurt me later in life. Even though He has been with me and never left my side through it all...and yet it still hurts to know that some one's choice to sin against me could leave me so deeply wounded.
That person's choice has had an impact on every aspect of my adult life, from the way I relate to my husband and others, to the way I parent my child.
And now my focus has to shift because there is one who is so much greater than the one who wounded me, and I made the choice to believe and put my faith in Him. And now, that choice is the one that will make a much greater impact on my life going forward. I am choosing to now look to my God, my savior and trust in Him to meet me in the midst of my pain. No longer am I praying for Him to take it all away, no, I am praying that He would use my pain for His purpose, that He would help me find joy and peace in the midst of the sorrow. That He would teach me to be a Godly woman, deep in compassion and overflowing with grace, mercy and forgiveness.
As I approached the Christmas holiday, I focused on the gift that I've already received in Jesus. And that means my eyes are now on the solution. My eyes will magnify the great and glorious God that has loved me from the beginning, accepts me in all my brokenness and promises to never leave my side.
I've missed you all terribly, but what can I say - I've been sojourning in the valley for a while and just starting to begin my climb up from below. I'm back and will be bringing you up to date soon with lots of really fantastic things coming this way this year in our lives.
This week there will be a lot of catch up work on this blog - things might be a little hectic in terms of layout/design/etc. plus I have a few reviews I need to post, stick around anyway and watch me as BaxtronLife evolves!