Thursday, January 22, 2009

Journey to the scars....

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a one day women's healing retreat last weekend. I must say I expected to laugh and to cry but not to be impacted like I was. What I did get from it was way more profound and less emotional than I expected. The speaker said something at the beginning that stuck with me throughout the session -- It was something to the effect of "you can only minister to someone as much as you have allowed God to minister to you." I am sure it was not the intent of the speaker to zing me between the eyes in the first 5 minutes or that this would be my take away from the day -- BUT the Lord knew it! I think back over my life and realize that I am not alone in the world and the majority of the issues that I have encountered are the same ones that others like you have endured as well. The exact situation and circumstances may be different but the feelings and remnants of the fight are the same. We all have suffered from rejection, loneliness, wrong choices, abandonment, loss, sin and so on. In the process of living, we are not immune from these things -- either by choice or by circumstance.

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30 (NIV)
I have gone through a lot in my life that many would be shocked to know but the Lord has allowed me to be able to relate to a myriad of people and know the pain they feel because I at one time or another felt a similar pain in a similar place in my life. This is where the zinger comes in -- I have not dealt with ALL that stuff thus I cannot help these people as much as God wants me to. I may be able to offer a kind word, an empathetic ear, a prayer or some advice but to know how to truly be free of it -- in some cases I am in need of redemption. It is not that I haven't taken it to the Lord. In some cases I have but at the same time, I find that I don't think about things and just assume that I have dealt with them, moved on or the event just lacked significance. What the Lord showed me over the past week of digesting the meeting, was that if I can still recall something and have a visceral response to it some 10, 15, 20+ years later -- then I AM NOT OVER IT!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 (NIV)
What I have done, as many others do, is covered up the pain and the subsequent scars. In some cases, I have scars on top of scars. After a while, callouses appear where innocent smooth skin once thrived. From the outside, I like many of my fellow soldiers, look and act completely "normal." Yet, there is a vast selection of camouflage available to suit every need -- drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, work, relationships, busyness, religion, school, legalism, and so on. If I tried one and it didn't seem to work, then there were plenty more to choose from. Life is not easy but God is with us at all times. In the Bad..In the Scary..In the Daunting...In the Sin... He sees it all and has experienced it all with us. We are all works in progress and God has allowed others on this Earth the ability to look into the hearts of man and offer the Love of God through counseling, support, prayer and so one. The difference between them and me - is that they have allowed God to meet them and minister to them in the deepest, darkest places in their life.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
As I have reflected on my life this week, I realized that I just thought if I closed that room off in my life then I wouldn't have to deal with it, God wouldn't have to deal with it and life would be just find. The problem is that I have built a life for myself around my battles and scars. Now, I want to be the person that God intended me to be not the one that I allowed myself to morph into because I didn't know there was help out there and in some cases, I chose not to divulge.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:1 (NIV)
I plan to go to more of these events plus some individual healing retreats to get to the root of my life... To start to rid myself of the bitter roots that have dug down and became part of my foundation. I have begun to open that room where everything was supposedly forgotten and locked away and I have invited God to take a look around and help me see where to start with all the clutter. It will be a journey but I can't wait to see Who comes out on the other side... a new and improved Paula!!
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8 (NIV)
Dear Father - I thank you for the recent revelations in my life. I pray that you help me to work through each area in my life that I have neglected. Please bring healing to those little girl areas and subsequent battles. Please help my callouses to soften, bring down the walls I have built and smooth out the scars. I pray for redemption. I thank You for loving me enough to get my attention and show me that I am missing out on so much more that You have for me. In the precious name of Jesus. Application:
  • What area(s) of your life have you not really dealt with? Are there situations in your life that you have brushed off as insignificant yet remnants of them haunt you from time to time?
  • Pray that God will open your eyes and heart to the things that are blocking your happiness and true freedom in your life.
  • Find a pastor, trusted Christian and counselor to help through the things the Lord has brought to mind.
  • Check out for a great resource for moving to the next step of restoration.


Dawn said...

Thanks Paula for your words on this difficult topic. I feel exactly the same way, and reading your blog really reminded me that I could author the same words about my own life. My first thought while reading this was, oh how nice for Paula, she's ready to take the steps to healing. The "zinger" for me was your use of my own life verse, Isa. 58:8 at the end. It's time, isn't it? Thanks for the reminder. God is using you.

In His Hands... said...

Paula - well said. Man, I could have written these words myself. I would love to learn more about the healing seminars you mention. I always struggle to and end up writing in my blog a lot about the "forbidden room" that is so hard to let God into full time. Luv ya' sister :)