We too often carry the weight of wounds inflicted too early in life to know how to properly cope with them. When we were wounded, something changed in us. We can’t always describe it, or even explain how we were affected. But it is there.
As a pastor I have heard some of these stories of these old wounds. They linger in our memory and come to the surface when we least expect them to. When I sit and hear these stories, I wonder, “What can I do to help ease the weight of this burden?”
Recently, the thought has come to mind that one of the most important realizations any of us can have is learning we don’t have to carry these burdens forever. We don’t have to carry these memories wondering if we can ever lay them down.
It is not necessary to hide our pain because we don’t want to overburden others with our suffering. Someone may have violated our trust and are now hesitant to try again. I understand that feeling.
But we can’t allow that to stop us from seeking healing and spiritual health. It is scary being vulnerable. It can be frightening to open up to someone else. But it is the path toward freedom. The path away from an unhealthy way of living.
There are people who can help us. We have to ask God to help us find them!
The process of spiritual awakening and ultimate surrender to God’s grace is the only path toward lasting peace. Not because it makes us holier, but because it makes us whole.
This is the promise offered by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He does not promise to eliminate the scars or even the memories.
What he promises is the healing touch of redemption. By taking what we give to him, broken and tattered as it might be, and uses it to fashion something new, and dare we say beautiful.
In the span between lost and found is searching. Our search for purpose, meaning, and salvation. His search for the lost, broken, and longing.
And then, in a moment we did not plan, on a road we did not chose, in a place we never expected to be in, he shows up and sets right what was wrong. Not necessarily in the world around me. But in me.
I become new.
I am changed.
My perspective shifts.
My heart feels hope, as if for the first time. But not like in the way I tried before. Not in my own strength. But as naturally as a sail catches wind. Because that is what it was made to do.
This is the journey of transformation we should seek. This is the path of spiritual health we must not give up on.
There are many who are on the “fake it ’til you make it” plan. May I encourage you to cancel that plan. It is the path of self-deception. It only makes the burden heavier and the hope we desire harder to find.
We must seek those who do not operate out of pretense or a competitive nature. Not those who have hidden motives and transparent agendas. Or those who saw what we want to hear but who are never able to unlock the chains that keep us bound. These are the marks of those still operating out of a system designed to mask what is true and good. These are the signposts of those who are just lying better than the rest of us about what’s really going on in our souls!
Freedom, the kind we need more than anything else, comes at a cost. But if it is real; if it is genuine; if it is lasting, it will be worth whatever it takes to get it.