I was looking for my Purple Book and for some reason, it has decided to hide itself. Forgetful me… or maybe it’s time to really clear the clutter. But as I was looking for that booklet, which still evades me as of this writing, I found something that I wasn’t even looking for. (So maybe I should stop looking for the booklet as it will turn up eventually, when I don’t need it hahaha!)
I found an old journal, my writings more than a decade ago. For maybe half an hour, I was transported through that time of heartaches and of surrendering that area of my life to God. I believe, that was the first time I actually surrendered something significant in my life. As I read through, there were no more tears welling up, nor was there pain in my heart. If there is, it’s hardly noticeable. It’s like I’m reading someone else’s journal. Was that really me? Did I actually go through all of that emotional stuff?
Here’s something I wrote back in August 2003:
“Lord, I just wonder where my life is going. Sometimes, I feel that after all this time, I’m still going in circles. I don’t know anymore what to ask for. I’ve stopped thinking and looking deep inside. Maybe it’s because when I do, it just brings tears and all the hurts and pains come back… But if I don’t deal with this inner conflict, how can the new person emerge? Help me, Lord. In my struggle, you’re the only One who can really help me. I do not ask You to take away the pain for maybe I need that to learn about life. Just help me to bear it with patience and strength…”
I’m a person who heals very slowly when it comes to emotional wounds. I believe it took me a decade or so to really let go of the anger and pain. They say that time heals all wounds. I beg to disagree. Time does not. In fact, an unforgiving heart may harbor ill feelings all throughout one’s lifetime and never heal. Time does not heal wounds. God does. In His grace and mercy, He heals even the deepest of wounds. On my own, I’d probably be stuck in that rut until now.
When I was writing about that particular season in my life, I can be most sure I was crying while doing so. Just as my eyes were blurry from tears back then, so was my view of the circumstances. But God, in His great love, walked with me through the healing process. He could have just snapped His fingers and I would have been over the pain in an instant, but He knew I needed to go through that and to grow in that trial.
Come to think of it, what God did was also painful for Him, as a Father. You see, when you love someone, it’s hard to look at that person suffer. And I know that He loves me but had to watch me go through the excruciating pain. He allowed it because He knew that it will deepen my faith and make me stronger as well. He knew that in my pain, I will draw closer to Him, my sanctuary, my safe haven. He knew that I will gain wisdom from the experience, and that the lessons would be hard to forget. He also knew that someday, my experience would bless people who would go through the same thing, because I have come out victorious and I am a living proof of God’s healing power, His abounding grace and mercy, and His unfathomable love.
I am healed. I know that because I can read through my journal without a single tear falling because of the pain. It seemed all distant now, like some faded battle scars. If I would ever cry, it’s because of that overwhelming joy of deliverance, that God, would go with me on that painful journey, comforting me and encouraging me to go on when all I wanted back then was to sleep for a long time or maybe never wake up. Tears well up right now, remembering how God has been faithful and loving, even when I am not.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
— Psalm 34:18 (ESV)
As I look now at what He’s doing in my life, I am beginning to see His purpose. And you know, there’s a smile in my heart, scars and all, knowing that I am deeply loved by God and that He’s with me…always. That’s all that really matters.