When life makes you numb and hope is nebulous you need to be awakened.
I finally had a moment to grieve but nothing would come forth. I sat there as the warm water rushed over me yet my soul felt cold and numb. I wanted to cry but the tears lay dormant in my heart.
Once again I found myself in an all too familiar situation.
Once again I was allowing His truth to be buried under the rubble of destruction and pain. It wasn’t just any destruction, it was human demolition. The kind that hurts to the core: hatred, lies, gossip, and anger.
Even though it has been well over 6 years, since the last time I had a person physically and emotionally rip my world apart with their insecurity, lies, anger, gossip and their unstable mental health I still shuttered.
Through God’s grace, I came to a place of forgiveness without any apologies.
So how did I end up here, staring at the same open wound? I found myself once again reliving all of those feelings. Those feelings that had found calm in the midst of the storm were now being stirred and haunting me to the core. I was afraid and confused.
I sat there shaking–another human tornado was out to destroy.
The battle within had begun long before I noticed. In the midst of the darkness, flashes of His truth would cross my mind. The words that echoed deep within my soul sounded like this:
He is my refuge.
He is Truth.
He shines in the darkness.
He is for me, not against me.
Do not fear.
He fights for me.
Oh God, I want with all my heart to believe these truths.
The battle began! God’s truth against the lies that felt so real at that moment. I was fighting the present pain and at the same time the words and feelings from long ago.
God gently nudged, “Don’t fight it. Let yourself go there.” I’ve got you.
As I sludged through the mud of yuck trying to dig myself out, I kept slipping.
He fought for me. He whispered His truth.
He took me in His arms and said, “Let me!” In the shadow of my wings, my dear child find refuge.” (Psalms 91:4)
I couldn’t fully let myself go there. I was not going to let myself cry. I didn’t want to revisit that grave. Not again. I continued there in the darkness silently weeping, fighting, praying. Cold.
God was relentless. He continued whispering. Then, I finally let go.
His truth broke the numbness.
I began to feel but instead of more yuck what I felt was warmth at my fingertips. Oh, it was a bittersweet sensation of His love and my pain. Here’s the thing when we numb we can’t selectively just numb out the hurt we also numb out the good. He knew I was ready but I was afraid.
The flood opened wide and the tears began to trickle down. I was reminded of why I wouldn’t allow myself to feel. It hurts too much to hold the pain, see it exposed. His warmth took over my heart, and the tears turned into sobbing.
It was a strange feeling of emotions–freedom and pain.
Once again, the tears came to a halt. I was unable to fully embrace it all. “It’s too much. It’s just too much!”, I yelled. He whispered, “I don’t want you to fully embrace it alone. I’m here with you.”
I sobbed, “Oh Lord, why are people so evil? Why would anyone do that to me?”
I was overcome by the pain and the evil nature of the people involved. I bawled until the streams dried up.
He let me cry. God held me in His arms. He didn’t condemn me for my thoughts and feelings that I’m sure at the moment were in some shape or form, irrational.
But this is what gets me, this part right here–He gently approached me and He began to whisper His truth. His truth began to rise up to the depths of my heart out of the rubble and darkness. Then He ever so sweetly reminded me:
I rescue you.
I am here with you. I can help you Love your enemies.
Pray for your enemies.
I am greater than this evil.
I am your Healer.
Out of ashes, you will rise.
You will stand blameless with the fullness of joy before His presence.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy. Jude 24
My lips uttered their names.
The names of my enemies. And I began to pray.
“Lord, I don’t hate them but I also don’t know how to love them. Help me feel your healing hand. Help them see your Truth. Your salvation.
Awaken in me, Lord. Awaken in me your love. I want your peace. I have walked around in the darkness buried by the lies.
Arise, oh my soul, Arise.
I trust you! I believe your truth. Not for one minute have I doubted Your greatness in the midst of this but still I carry the burden, my joy has been robbed. My soul is downtrodden.
Awaken in me, oh Lord.”
This has been going on in my head for about thirty minutes in between sobs and silence.
He calls me again, “Arise, arise my beloved.”
He brought me to my feet and my hands went up in the air. I am not a “hands in the air” kind of girl, but nevertheless, my arms stood there suspended, hanging in mid-air symbolically saying to God–It’s yours, take it.
The pain I was holding just a few minutes ago, in the palm of my hands, was now being handed over at His feet. I believe, help my unbelief.
“Help me Lord, help me leave this in your hands. Awaken your truth in me that has been buried in the ashes” “
At that moment Chris Tomlin’s song began playing, and with boldness and with tears I sang:
“Let faith arise. I lift my hands to believe again. You are my refuge. You are my strength. As I pour out my heart….. I remember you are faithful God forever.”
Surely, I will rise like the sun in the darkness. Let the Smile of your face Shine on me, Lord. Psalms 4:6
Sometimes we have to call our faith to rise up out of the darkness. Not because we don’t believe but because it has been buried in the rubble of destruction and pain. You can’t see clearly and it all becomes nebulous but we are not without hope.
Sometimes we have to call our soul to awaken and to rise out of the ashes. Not because we have lost our hope but because we are weak.
Even though we have been holding on with a tight grip, our hands go numb and we lose feeling, we lose our joy. The truth gets distorted and we begin to question.
At that moment He holds out his hand and reaches for ours, to help us– Arise!
Arise my friend. May He awaken in you, what He has given to YOU. Don’t just claim His truth, but believe it. Don’t just let him save you from eternal damnation let him save you from the schemes of the enemy that cross our paths throughout our day to day. Love arise in us even if you have to remind ourselves of it every 10 minutes.
You are not alone. He rescues you!
“Arise and shine for your light has come and the Glory of the Lord rises upon you. Isaiah 60:1
What are ways you find encouragment in the midst of hard times?
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