I’ve been through it all.
Most of you wouldn’t know how hurt I’ve been and how low my lows were. I will spare you from my resume of pain and suffering, and just say pain has a scale and definition to me. I know and trust in God’s goodness to me, but I am also acutely aware of the brokenness of this world and the freedom that others have to do as they please with no regard to the wellbeing of those they hurt. I made the choice a while back to not let the hurts change me into a hardened person. I asked God to help me remain tender, soft, kind, and sympathetic. I asked Him to fill me with hope and give me a positive outlook. I’d like to think I’m remaining true to this, since I guess I’m practically a carebear. I cry when I’m happy and I try to feel, even when feeling hurts. I stopped beating myself up for “not knowing better” or being too trusting, when really I was just trying to love people well. For all intents and purposes, we shouldn’t be expecting to be betrayed all the time. The word for that is paranoia, and that’s not for me.
Lately, I’ve had a lot of good things going. I got a good job, and I like my city. I have a nice boyfriend, and I’ve been making new friends. There’s a lot of peace and quietness, and you know what happens when there’s a lot of peace and quietness? Well, the enemy hates it. Thoughts tend to run wild. And then that old fear comes along, you know, the one that worries I will lose it all again. It brought up so much anxiety in me, but then I decided to do the opposite of what I normally do. Usually, I will tell myself all the positive things and drown out the dark with sunshine, rainbows, and glitter.
This time it’s different. I decided to take a minute to get really honest with Jesus, and get right down to it. Jesus, if I lose it all again, will You carry me? Will You patch my heart together again? Will You give me just enough strength for the day again? Will You feed me, clothe me, hold me, and love me?
It felt like vows. For better or for worse. For richer or for poorer. In sickness and in health. I gave Jesus my worst case scenario, and He said “Yes” and now I’ve disarmed the enemy. The bomb is deactivated. The nightmare has no sting. If I should lose it all and find myself where I’ve been before, guess who will be with me then as He is now? My Jesus. My feet have found the solid ground again, the unchanging part in the storm.
This gives me more grace for others. That means I’m not so scared of them anymore, because I’ve made my peace with the risk and with my Guarantor. I can love a little harder, and try a little longer. I can breathe a little deeper, because I’ve already wept for the possibility, and I have surrendered all the control to Jesus.
Though I hope and trust that things will be good, that the day will be sunny, and that God will fulfill my heart’s desires here on earth, I have my peace in knowing that He is my portion. He’s my inheritance, and all that is good in the land of the living. Apart from Him, there is no good thing. I am living Psalm 16, my God, it is my heartbeat, my breath.
Father, strengthen my hands to receive Your promises, but train me to cling to You. Sharpen my eyes. Refine my words. Make me hunger for the things of You, only. Do not let me get distracted by anything that isn’t for Your Kingdom, because I do not want it. I don’t need it. Let me root down and be immovable in Your truth. Make me so brave and powerful in the Spirit, that the things that do not belong cannot coexist with me. Clean house, Papa. I give You full permission, and I know the cost.
Let me laugh at the days to come, with full confidence, not that the outcome will be pleasant or easy or favorable for me, but that YOU will be unchanging through it, and the punchline of my life. I can laugh at that. Oh death, where is your sting?