Psalm 27:10 “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord cares for me.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Both the verse in the Psalms and one of the most well known bible verses in the world are tattooed on my back to help cover the markings of a past trafficker.
The words of the verses echo my often unacknowledged feelings of loneliness and desertion when I reflect on what family has done and what their actions have meant to me—while at the same time it leaves exposed the only constant source of care, comfort and hope that I have so desperately needed.
There were many times when the wounds of my past seemed to be so much more than I could handle. In my heart (and many times physically) the intensity of them would bring me to my knees. I didn’t know how to let go, I didn’t know how to move on—and so I sat in the truly exhaustive state of holding on to those pain-filled places in my heart and allowed them to be the ones that directed and moved me.
I couldn’t last under that burden that I tried to carry on my own and soon I felt the crushing weight of it as I alone tried to be the one to bear it…I didn’t have the strength to do it on my own. I had a hard time drawing my next breath.
I soon found out that I couldn’t do it…I couldn’t carry the weight of the pain of my own past…and it became a thousand times heavier as I understood that I have a daughter that I am supposed to be leading and guiding. How was this all going to work? I knew I was in constant fear of being overwhelmed because I could feel the emotions ready to boil over just under my façade of “everything was fine.”
I knew what just opening a door to that emotion looked like and I was terrified of what would happen if I couldn’t control it…and in all honesty…now I knew, I couldn’t convince myself any longer that I could hold back the torrent that I was sure would come. In what felt like a desperate place I tearfully asked God to take it…take it all.
Ironically, in those times where my feelings of being alone surpass all others—and contrary to what my heart desires—I wanted no one with me or around me. It seemed to be easier to sit in my loneliness than to bring others into that place of deep vulnerability and extreme exposure. So many times, I can see and feel the discomfort in their fidgeting or their stories of “that’s not so bad…” and I end up feeling either judged and belittled or I feel so bad for their inability to be with me in my pain that I put on a mask of contentment on so that they would be ok to be around me…and in all sincerity the loneliness deepens.
God knows how deeply I have been hurt in relationships…he knows the vows I’ve made to keep myself from hurting and the walls that have been reinforced in that pain.
God also knows what I need in order for me to heal past those hurts.
One of my dearest friends shared with me, “we are hurt in relationship and we are healed in relationship.” The first time I remember hearing those words were from this beauty-filled woman and as soon as she said them, I sucked a sharp breath in—knowing that as those assurances were shared, my heart couldn’t accept the implications of what it meant.
She has taught me what being hurt and healed in relationship mean. She shares of her life with me and with utter amazement I have found in the fact that I can share my life with her…and she is still there after I share the hard things. She doesn’t condemn or belittle me. She doesn’t try and cover up my pain because she’s uncomfortable and I don’t feel as if I have to pretend to be something that I’m not in her presence.
I no longer have the constant feelings devastation and intensely overwhelming heaviness of the struggle that had become my daily existence. Those feelings aren’t completely gone, however, the destructive impact that they had on my life that had become common and normal is much reduced and for that I am astonished. I am continuing on a journey of healing and freedom that is so much more beautiful than I could have ever imagined on my own…and I get to do it alongside incredible friends that continually point me to a deeper relationship with God…and who brilliantly enter into deeper relationship with me.
I am overjoyed and filled with gratitude,