Chris jokes with me each time we go to a new small group or to some church event that I'm not allowed to give my testimony. He doesn't handle tears very well and all I seem to do is make people cry. The memory of my counselor is still etched into mind of watching steams of tears fall down his cheeks as I spoke my past hurts and abuse into the light. I had been seeing my counselor for almost a year and that particular day lay heavy on each of us. It seemed that my battle to recover from depression would never be won. The more I opened up about my life, thoughts, and pain, the more my life began to self destruct. The battle to be free was hard to fight for as the mental diagnosis's weighed heavy on my shoulders. Suicidal, PTSD, Bi-Polar Disorder, Low Self Esteem, Manic Depression, etc. I would make progress only to be set back by another repressed memory that was set on repeat in my mind that would play over and over. My counselor couldn't hide the tears as he despaired for me as I struggled to fight for my life and to trust men. Given the history of being assulted by a co-worker, being molested as a child, and growing up in a violent home at times, it was no suprise. It was so much easier for me to accept that this is who I was that it was to fight it.
I often tell people when they here my story, "Its going to hurt you more to hear it than it is for me to tell it. Yes, I did feel alot of pain in the past over the innocence that was lost, but that is what is so amazing about our creator. He is also our healer. He works in the supernatural realm just as often as he works through medicine in human hands. It wasn't until I came fully to the cross and laid all my issues at His feet. It wasn't a pretty sight. I had an armload of things I laid at His Alter of Mercy. Low self esteem, mistrust, a hurting heart, self hatred, fear, self harm, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and control were just a few of the items I brought to Him. As ugly was it was, I chose to dig deep down and reveal all that was in my heart. I was tired of all the toxicity it was leaking into my life. I was tired of all these things defining my thoughts, my moments, how I dressed, where I went, and how I presented myself to others. I wanted and clung to his promise in Psalm 103:3 where this Jehovah Raph removes all my iniquities and heals all my diseases.
Looking back today, I can see the evidence that He did indeed take my burdens, my hurts, my scars, and blessed me with His promise of life, of love, of freedom. Each day is filled with His promises. Even the hard days when I want to pull my hair out over the everyday issues of being a mommy, wife, employee, and friend. I can look a man in the eye and not worry over what they are thinking. I can confidently walk into a grocery store without the fear of being judged. I can hold and kiss my babies knowing that my problems will not be thier legacy. I can stand in front of the mirror and see myself as God sees me because I am covered in grace and blanketed in redemption.
Each of us has a story, yours may be harsher than mine or mundane. It's up to us to let God write the rest of the story. How do you want the plot to play out? God has the perfect end in mind. It's up to you to hand over the pen and expose all that needs healing. It's up to you to embrace all the promises He's given you. It's up to you to believe that you are worth saving. Perhaps that's why people cry when they hear my story. It's not that they cry over the hardships they face. They cry over the longing to be free from thier pasts. They long to be free from their daily struggles. They cry because they know how powerful our God is. They cry over the hope of God's grace and redeeming love. Go on and take it. He's waiting for you with arms open wide.