I believe each of us has a story, a book filled up with chapters detailing our greatest achievements and our most intimate moments. I wish my story was a little bit neater and not so chaotic. If my story was prettier, if the heroine always won after following “the rules,” then it would make more sense. And yet, my story has a great editor, and sometimes, actually a lot of times, He’s stepped in and made some corrections.
My beginning chapters were far from perfect, if I’m honest. My childhood was filled watching my mother cry as my father put her through a drug-induced hell. I don’t think my mother knew how much I watched her in her most vulnerable moments.
In the midst of all the instability drugs can bring in a home, the one stable thing I had was my mother’s prayers. Every day, twice a day, She taught me and my brothers no matter what happened, Jesus loved us and we could take all our problems to Him in prayer.
By my teenage years, the . Jesus was my closest friend and spending time in the Bible was my sanctuary. Looking back, I now understand I had a lot of trauma to deal with. The best my now-single mom could do to provide was an apartment in the heart of gang territory.
Waking up to the sounds of people begging for their lives was not uncommon. Going to school and finding a newly-empty seat because of violence was not uncommon.
In that environment, I built walls to keep people out and myself protected. So I did the only thing I knew: I prayed. Eventually, I found friends and began to learn Jehovah Jireh (“the Lord will provide”) can also provide relationships!
I wish I’d held onto this lesson and not retreated back into my sanctuaries. I used to give myself the excuse that I’m an introvert, so of course, I don’t do well around people.
But there is a difference between being an introvert and building walls to keep people out because I didn’t properly heal from trauma.
Eventually, God used uncomfortable situations to help me to see I needed a healer for those invisible wounds. God can bring healing to even our deepest places of hurt. In my case, Jehovah Rophe (“the God who heals you”) became my healer as I learned to open myself up again to healthy relationships.
Eventually, I learned that although people can be a source of pain (such as when my parents divorced), God can also partner with people to send His comfort.
For years, I’d suffered in silence while pretending I was strong.
But when I no longer had the strength to hold up the walls around my heart, God gave me encouragement through other people. There were times when I would cry, thinking no one cared . . .and He would prompt a friend to call, speaking words of healing and strength.
Not only did I get to have my quiet time with my Savior, but I was able to experience life in a community of love! I think one of the most beautiful parts of my story is when His healing came in and I no longer had to hide from the world.
So now, in chapter 40, I find myself helping others to heal hidden wounds by showing my visible scars. While I don’t know how my life’s story will end, I hope throughout each chapter, people will see the great Editor’s redeeming grace in every correction and in every change. I pray He uses my life to create a story that tells everyone about the mercies of God and His love for us!
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