stilled & stirred

I am terrified of healing. I am scared of addressing my wounds. I am apprehensive of the unknown that beckons me. (How’s that for an intro?)

Every day, a new hurt is brought to the surface of my heart. And, every day, I am shocked by the things I’ve suppressed. Is the state of my heart really that much worse than what I thought? Am I that broken, Jesus? That tattered and worn? I thought I was whole.

The more I recognized my need for healing, the more I backed away. If I ignore it, it’s not a problem, right? Wrong. So wrong. Because, the truth is, life is not always kind. And life is not always sweet. Sure, it is right now. I am in a new and hopeful season, but the Lord is not letting me off the hook. Some of the punches life has thrown at me left lasting impressions. Jesus sees that, and He wants to grow me. That reality makes my bones quake, guys. It makes me want to hide from Him.

I wish I had been there, at the beginning of creation. When the spirit of the Lord hovered over the waters, I wish I had been on a sailboat, right in the middle of it. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, no fear of drowning in the lies that had been an anchor for me. But, I wasn’t there. I don’t have a boat, and I’m terrified of letting my head dip below the surface.

I’m not alone in this, am I? Surely, surely, I am not the only human standing on the shore of the unknown, watching the salty sea flirt with her toes. Tell me, are we standing together? Is the water too cold, too alive for you as well? Baby, we’re missing out, I think. In fact, I am very sure we are.

Over the past six months or so, the Lord has been knocking on the cathedral-style door to my heart. “I know you’re in there,” He’s whispered as He leaned His forehead against the old wood. “You’re scared and hiding, but I am good and here. Won’t you open up? Won’t you let Me in?” Many times, I would just stand on the other side, not making a sound. I could hear the crashing of waves on that side He stood on. I could smell the salt, imagine the glassy sea. But, at the beckoning of adventure, I found myself choking on the fear that held me, keeping me silent. And then, one day, I pressed my back against the door and answered Him. “I know You’re there, and I know You’ve been waiting for awhile. But, oh my God, I have wounds that I’m worried run deeper than Your love for me, deeper than the waters that know Your voice. If I open this door, it won’t be pretty. Don’t You know how dirty I am? How afraid? I have turned these hurts into the clothes that are on my back, and they have become a part of me. I am too far gone for healing.”

I have spent many days and many nights, terrified of the place healing would bring me to. I would be exposed, vulnerable. I would have to completely remove that door to my heart and let the winds of His love wreck every corner. Like a fisherman overwhelmed by the weight of his catch, I would have to drop my safety net. Could I loosen my grip long enough to let go? And if I could, what was I supposed to do with these now empty hands?

Too long. Too long, I have let fear motivate me. Fear of past and future abusers; fear of abandonment and rejection; fear of the unknown that will inevitably meet me in the midst of healing. And as I open the door and step onto the sand, I now know that my portion lies only in the bloodied hands of Christ. “I will lead you by still waters,” He reminds me [Psalm 23:2]. “I will quiet you & all of your fears with My love [Zephaniah 3:17].” These empty hands are learning to hold on to His promises, my steps being established, even as I go deeper into both stilled and stirred waters.

So, yeah. I am scared to admit that I need healing, but I will. Because, as each wound is addressed, I am reminded that everything that has happened to me is for the furtherance of the gospel. I was not alone then and I am not alone now.

Why am I writing this? Honestly, I’m just here to word vomit. But, while I’m at it, let me ask you a question: what’s keeping you from going deeper? What heartache is demanding your affections? What fears, your heart? Scripture says that the Lord is our portion in the land of the living [Psalm 142:5], and as I’m called further into the process of being made whole, I can see no other truth than that. Do you believe it? Are you willing to empty those shaking hands?

“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” || Philippians 1:6

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