“It may be unfulfilled, it may be unrestored, but when anything’s that shattered is laid before the Lord, just watch and see it will not be unredeemed.”- Selah
I’ve used that quote before. It probably breaks some kind of rule. And this may be a bold, totally transparent blog post. So just a warning. But I haven’t really felt like writing lately. And then today, in an attempt to save my own ship, God spoke. And I stopped what I was doing and I opened a Word Document to write. Because I couldn’t help but write.
Everything was going fine except it wasn’t. I hadn’t slept all night-for several nights-before I received the message out of nowhere. You know the one. Or should I call it for what it was? A strategic attack by the enemy when I was more than susceptible to being attacked . Anxiety took over. Analyzation ran rampant. Distance and silence settled in like a thick fog and I got stuck in this rut of memories, low self-esteem, high emotion and just funk for DAYS.
What do you do when what you think is behind you, comes back to the front? Like a former relationship or a broken friendship or an ex co-worker? Or even on a more spiritual level- grief…guilt…a bad habit? Sure, you’ve seen that person again or fought those emotions and made it past that obstacle so to speak but you haven’t really. Not totally.
You’ve put it on your prayer wall. You’ve unfollowed them on social media. You have prayed it away more than once. You have completely fooled yourself into believing you are past the hurt and then WHAM like a blot of lightening-at the most inconvenient time I might add-there you are, face-to-face, with the past. The hurt. The unreconciled beast of emotions that you have done a pretty good job at keeping at bay but never fully conquered. That heart-wrenching, soul-sucking, life-losing beast who whispers oh so softly “It’s not over yet”. And you know. Deep down. You know. It’s far from over.
You never truly faced the music. Though you may have conquered “issues” and “consequences” of that time in your life, you never truly mastered it. You never got over it. You never dealt with it. Not really, not totally. And here you are, in a totally different place, when out of nowhere….you are falling back down the rabbit hole desperately trying to save your own ship.
Though you know you should be able to walk on water-heck you were just walking on the water-all of the sudden your knees go weak, your steps unsteady and the waves crash against you again…and again…and again. Determined, you post another photo, you try even harder, you blink back the tears and you focus all your attention on breathing.
You will conquer this. You have to.
But you don’t. You just suppress it even more. You just give it more and more of your energy. Then one day, when your energy is gone, it rears its ugly head and you give in.
After a several day stint battling this toxic vat of emotions, I found myself drafting a text message to “save my ship”. I was explaining myself. Apologizing for past hurts. Setting boundaries. And adding kind sentences to make it seem like I really wasn’t being authoritative but simply “guarding my heart” while “redeeming” an old, deep wound.
The problem is this particular relationship is completely shattered. Period. Yet, I’ve frantically tried to restore it-or at least control it on my end- when the opportunity arises. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because I want to feel like I’m the one in control. Maybe because I had to face the fact that there is still a lot of emotion associated with hard memories…and good memories. Or maybe it’s the fact that though the relationship was unhealthy by the end, I never could get over not having the last say.
And in that moment, that SOS moment where my fingers were numb from type and erase and type and erase….I heard the words “You have no power to redeem anything on your own. And that’s why this is still a problem. Give it to me.”
Instantly I felt peace. And instantly I felt like I was going to vomit. Because I’ve been here before….I know what it means….and I know what I have to do and I DREAD it.
It means this time, though many times in the past I’ve been allowed the opportunity, I don’t get the last say. I have to be quiet.
It means this time, I actually have to face what’s in front of me.
It means this time, so that I can focus on what’s in front of me, I have to turn around and deal with what’s behind me.
And that hurts.
And it’s uncomfortable.
And it’s the last thing I want to do.
It means that instead of blaming the anxiety…the hurt…the shattered on another person…I have to deal-and only deal-with the girl I see in the mirror.
And to do that, I have to be empty handed.
And to be empty handed…..I have to let go.
I bought Lysa Terkeurst’s book “Uninvited” at She Speaks a year ago. I haven’t opened it. Quite frankly, I don’t really want to open it because I know that the Lord is going to call me to the carpet (in His gentle, loving way) and I would rather eat a cactus.
But I also know that tonight, I am going to open it. And that dreaded knot is going to come up in my throat. And those feelings of anxiety are going to rush through my veins and I am going to be mad about it. I’m going to try to find an excuse to be too busy. I am going to try and put it out of mind. But as it has for almost a solid year, it will gnaw at me again tonight until I pull out my Bible, pull out my journal, open that book and dig in.
As my husband texts me, my babies wiggle in my belly, and my eyes are heavy with sleep, I realize I have too many kingdom assignments to be stuck with this any longer. And it’s time to set it free. It’s time to step into the freedom already given to me. And to look back with grace rather than guilt.