God is the strength of my heart
Over this past year, especially this past summer, God has demonstrated to me the wonders of His love. Indeed, His love is unfathomable and intensely overwhelming. His perfectness, blameless, awe-inspiring love, extraordinary strength, and undeniable grace have been revealed to me through specific experiences that have brought up painful pieces of my past.
For a long time, I thought my past was behind me. Long forgotten. Most likely never to return and haunt the very depth of my soul. My past has always tugged at my heart strings, raising its ugly head to once again torment me with memories from my childhood. I close my eyes and try to imagine away the images of what I have been through. I push them aside, ignoring their existence, and hoping they will soon disappear and leave me in peace.
Lately, though, God has been reverently exposing these repressed feelings I have so carefully tried to bottle up and to hide. He brought me outside of my comfort zone and brought forth all the feelings, emotions, and rawness of the pain I have tucked away. It seemed to me, at the time, that God was intentionally trying to make me feel worse about my childhood. To blister my self-confidence me with the repressed memories and suffocate me with the repugnant fragrance of hate that has been, for a long time, boiling up inside of me. I couldn't breathe. I wanted to scream aloud and curse the very earth I was standing on. I didn't want anything to deal with my past. The past that I was hiding, I was trying to hide for a good reason. Or so I thought.
But, God kept pressing upon me the urgency to release these feelings and let them go. I wanted to. I needed to. It had become an insufferable irritation having to deal almost daily with the distasteful bitterness that had rooted deeply within my very soul. I was an angry person for a long time—angry at myself for letting those who I thought were my friends (those who made my childhood miserable) take advantage of me. I let them push me around, call me names, and sometimes physically assault me. I was the kid that saw the good in everyone. However, the very people I thought had to have an ounce of good in them somewhere, tainted my impression and hope in very notion that everyone had some form of goodness in them somewhere.
As I look back and read what I have written in my Journals, I can vividly see the change that has been in progress over the years; evidence that God has not just started working in me to heal the wounds and expose my feelings. From that moment something clicked inside my head--God wasn't trying to shove all of this directly in my face as if He was trying to make me feel guilty or sad-- but it was to expose to me how ardently and admiringly He loved me!
Just this past year, God has given me a Bible verse that I have taken much comfort in: "Yet I am always with you; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory…My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Psalm 73:23-24, 26). Whenever I feel the pressure of my past bearing down upon my threatening to jab its jagged edge into my heart, I remember this verse. It not only comforts me, but it gives me hope.
God is truly amazing. He not only has given me strength, hope and an endless supply of love and grace, He also has displayed His ability to be the Mighty Counselor and Defender that I have always dreamed He was. He is and always will be. In fact, just recently he has called to my attention the current status of some of my childhood friends. Indeed I was surprised to see how their spirituality had been slowly overridden by the lies and deceit of the world. He showed me that, my repressed feelings were almost unnecessary, and that He was protecting me from the same fate. Had I ignored Him when, instead I choose to listen, I would probably not be the same Christian girl I am today. Indeed, I have grown in my spirituality. And my connection with the Lord has blossomed.
I once was a girl deeply upset and angry with the world, blaming everyone but myself for the pain I had endured. It was, in part, my fault for letting it drag on so far, and allowing the pain to fester so deeply. God's been writing my life story all along. And I am not ashamed of the past I have lived, I am only ashamed that I did nothing to protect and defend myself when I should have. As of now, God is still mending my brokenness. I doubt His job will ever be complete! But I will take joy in letting Him mend every part of my mind, body, and soul that need His doctoring and expert skill. He's my all-in-all. My security. My rescuer.