Around this time, my best friend Betsy, practically begged me to visit with a good friend of hers who also happened to be a counselor. I reluctantly agreed, but had few options.
While sitting in the first session with her I knew right off the bat this woman was NOT your typical Counselor.
I shared my history with her as she sat there listening to every gory detail. When I finished sharing, she matter- of- factly said “Ok, lets ask the holy spirit to reveal to you where this really started” Confused I reminded her of what I had just told her.
She calmly smiled back “Amy, we are all walking around like little Sybills, we have woundings that go way back and walk around trying to hold it all together while tormented by these unresolved issues. As we sat and prayed and waited for what seemed like an eternity, God started putting pictures in my mind of past hurts, and the lies I led myself to believe to accompany them.
We prayed and asked God to replace these lies with His truths. He addressed the lies one after another, revealing to me the truth!
Lie number 1. I never should have been born, I was an accident, unwanted. She pulled out psalm 139:13-14
For you formed my inward parts; you wove me together in my mothers womb. 14-I will give thanks to you. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
God revealed lie after lie, and replaced each lie with His truth.
I don’t think I had ever cried so hard in my life. I felt as if my entire perspective changed.
Within 2 sessions, years worth of bitter roots and pain had been pulled up and I was flooded with a deep sense of peace.
I chose to forgive all those who had hurt me in the past. Not that I had forgotten the hurts, but they lost their power over me.I asked God to forgive me for causing others close to me pain.
This is still something I need to do regularly by the way.
I was starting to, 15 years after accepting Christ finally start seeing myself through His eyes. Finally realizing how deep His love for me.
Honestly though I was still looking for acceptance and approval from people, various family members, children, fellow believers. I was not yet at a place where His approval and acceptance were all that mattered.
I have not always walked through these trials gracefully. As a matter of fact have not maybe 80% of the time. I have complained, whined, felt sorry for myself and at times have fallen into a deep depression. But just as I find myself in the depths of despair another wave of His mercy and Grace hits me, and I find myself renewed.
I think there is value in allowing others to see us in a vulnerable place, we connect with each other on a deep level in these times and the reality hits us that we are human, and in need of a loving Papa to see us through.
Through sharing my struggles I have been connected with others facing similar situations, and together we have laughed ,cried, rejoiced and spoken truth to each other.
Through my trials I have had a deep revelation of my mere humanity and how I am so in need of a savior…I simply cannot navigate through life’s trials in my own strength.
It is His arms of grace that get me through each day. I will never be good enough, holy enough, or perfect enough.
The most painful times for me have been when I refused to let go of these lies. Feeling justified to hold on to unforgiveness, entitled. By releasing the lies we also release the people we have associated with them.
It’s a good thing He has guided me through this process, and patiently held my hand along the way.
God has sent special people in my life who have helped me find healing for both my physical problems as well as emotional. My health is being restored, although not totally healed yet, I have been stable for the past 10 years, and because I have been open and honest regarding my physical, spiritual and emotional struggles God has used these people to hold my hand through the tough times and radiate the Fathers love.
I no longer feel the need to have others approval, because I know that God approves of me and thats all that matters. How else would I have really gotten this unless I had not experienced the pain of rejection over the years?
If not for these trials how would I ever see God’s love flowing so beautifully through His children? How would I ever know this peace and comfort if I had never been tested?
How would I know just how close He is to me if He never felt far away?
I have given up on trying to earn His love and favor, but am learning to walk in His unforced rhythms of grace. (Matt 11:28-21)
How would I ever have received such a deep revelation of James 1:2-4(The Message)
2-4Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
How would I truly know this had I not suffered through the trials of life?
‘It’s all about relationship. The process is just as important if not more important than the goal.’
In closing I want to share with you a FB post I put up a few weeks back. This is where my heart is now. A stark contrast to where I was 20 years ago.
“My paradigm has been shattered and I find myself walking into unchartered territory and I LIKE it. Once all the props are taken away, the walls down and its just me and Him ‘being’ something beautiful happens…I feel like a rose bursting open…blooming….ALIVE! I never want to be in that place of confinement ever again. I feel born again again. :)”
I am in a nutshell ‘getting’ that all my striving for intimacy with Him was just that…trying to earn His love and favor..ex read the word more, pray harder, more ministry. When I could never live up to my own expectations I would become discouraged and frustrated, asking Him where He is!
What I am now just getting is the biggest tool the enemy uses is THE LAW! He wants us to strive to obtain Gods love and favor through works.
He wants us in this perpetual state of striving to fufill the law, when all along Jesus stands there, arms wide open wanting to shower me with His grace, saying it is finished.
This was what he accomplished on the cross! I attested to this all along, but I finally ‘get’ it! I do my best to walk in obedience to His Word out of a loving relationship, not out of guilt. I cannot possibly make Him love me more.
I now spend my days just ‘being’ living my life, my life is ‘ministry’ farming the land here and blessing my family and others is my ministry…being there for a hurting friend is my ministry…providing a hungry friend with food is my ministry…BEING, I am becoming a human ‘being’ instead of a human ‘doing’, and not because I feel pressured to do so, but because I have an earnest desire.
Now when I read the bible, it is no longer viewed as a book of rules to keep.
I am walking one with Him, and as a result these fruits I read about in His word are a natural result of intimacy with Him. I want to please Him.
Oh I could go on and on forever about where He is bringing me, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
Hard to sum it up in a nutshell but if I had to I would say.’Grace trumps law, and I am now fully alive’
Fully alive original painting ©Melody perez