Thursday, February 16, 2012

One at a Time

It's inevitable. Everyone faces pain. There are circumstances that cause us to grieve. There are situations that shake us to our core. There are things in life that bring about such raw emotions it causes a literal physical aching.

What I'm learning is the more I share about my own personal journey, the more people share with me about theirs. My circumstance isn't the same as yours, but I can guarantee we can relate on some levels. What God uses to teach me may not be the same lesson He needs you to learn. But the emotions we may experience as a result of our own individual testing bear something in common: we both know what it's like to feel completely and utterly reliant upon God.

Today alone I have had conversations with five different people related to their very individual and personal struggles. Not one of them was the same circumstance - but each of them are dealing with the pain of a broken heart. Not one had experienced the same kind of loss - but each of them are grieving. None of them are walking the same journey - but they all shared with me the process God is leading them through. From my vantage point, the tears and struggles each one shared allowed me to gain perspective on my own broken heart and grief-stricken situation.

This is unlike other posts because I'm actually going to share with you some real pieces of advice.

1. Feel. Allow yourself to feel the very real emotions you're experiencing. Pain. Heartache. Loss. Grief. Anger. Frustration. Depression. Hurt. Disappointment. Abandonment. Rejection. You may experience a laundry list of them - and in no particular order. They may fluctuate back and forth and one single instance or memory may trigger an unexpected flood. But allow yourself to feel!

2. Heal. If you resist the urge to supress emotions and determine not to stay camped there eteranlly, you'll begin to open yourself up to healing. God cannot enter the darkened, hardened corners of your heart...but He can enter into the opened, bleeding, wounded pieces, which is exactly where He begins to bring healing. Healing takes on a different time and form for each person - as individual as the pain you're experiencing. You may find solace in singing songs. You may find peace in scripture. You may need to be alone. You may surround yourself with people. What we so often want to do is speed up the process, which can never really bring healing. Rather, we must be willing to get to the place where nothing and no one can replace that which only God can do. And here is where we begin to heal.

3. Reveal. Whether you're the victim of someone else's poor choice, or you yourself have caused the mess you're in, you must now sit back and ask yourself, "What is it I'm supposed to learn?" What lesson does He want to teach you? What testimony can you now share? Whatever pain you've had to endure, whatever healing that's had to take place, it's producing something in you that wouldn't have come without this refining process. Your situation may need to be kept private, but the person God is creating you to be is meant to be shared. Out of the overflow of His love and grace at work in your life comes the outpouring of who He is to those around you.

Consider 2 Cor. 1:9: "But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God..."

4. One. Moment. At. A. Time. That's right. Not even one day at a time. You've heard me say it before, the trouble with a living sacrifice is we keep getting up off the altar. In a moment, things can change. In a moment, feelings can overwhelm you. Thoughts can overtake you. So what I'm learning is to give Him each and every moment. This is sometimes an audible expression of my surrender. "Lord, take this....(pain, hurt, frustration, emotion, thought, person, situation, fill in the blank...)"

I love what Oswald says: "God does not give us overcoming life; He gives us life as we overcome." - Chambers, February 16

Truly. He gives life as we overcome! One small victory at a time. One emotion at a time. One circumstance at a time. One. At. A. Time.

I invite you to share your own testimonies. How are you dealing with the pain and healing?

1 comment:

  1. You know, for a long time I thought it was wrong to pray while weeping. I thought prayer was a time when we just praised and asked. It wasn't until my heart was completely broken that I said, "God, I have nothing, not even strength to praise You or any cohesive thoughts to ask for anything, but here is my broken heart." With family issues, marital issues, health issues, and baby issues, there have been times with all of these I've just come to God and said, "Here is where I am." I think we have to remember He's the Great Physician. We shouldn't be stuck on telling Him what to do (how to heal us), but it's absolutely great to tell Him where it hurts and what the problem is. We don't have to hide it from Him, and we don't have to know how to fix it. We can come broken, and know that even if it's not fixed, we are accepted and loved beyond our wildest dreams. Sometimes, that's just exactly what my broken heart has needed.

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