It is so easy to get distracted from our purpose, higher calling. We live in this world, it permeates our beings. We find instant, temporary solace, in distractions from our troubles and pain. It is much easier to sweep our cares away under the rug to be dealt with later than to confront our fears head on. Or is it? We have become blinded, desensitized to God’s healing touch. We turn away from healing choosing to stand on our own and power through another day where we get caught in the perpetual loop of strife and turmoil.
I have been guilty of this. Change is difficult. For me the familiar pain of survivor-hood was comfortable. Better the pain I knew than the tremulous hope that God could lift this burden from me only to bury me deeper in it again. This shadow I carry with me is mine, no one else’s. And yet somehow it owns me. Because I could not relinquish it to God, that trust in Him was incomplete.
Confronting my demons terrified me. I would rather pretend that it isn’t REALLY that bad; that they didn’t torment me at will. With every step forward, I fell further into the trap of anxiety and loss. I had seen this pattern play out in my mother’s life. A survivor of brutal physical abuse by an alcoholic father, her pain was denied by her family, dismissed, it never happened. And in her life, every time she reached out for help or acknowledged her weakness, the legion rose up and devoured her. Over and over again, they preyed on her. She was a survivor. But she never overcame her past. Until the day she passed away, she never had peace.
This legacy continued with me. A ‘survivor’ of abuse, the daughter of an alcoholic/drug abuser, I learned to enable and be the perfect fixer and co-dependent. I knew that I would never be the abuser. But I didn’t dodge the victim/survivor title. The lies by abusers, the lies of surviving… I learned that I could only count on me. Everybody else would fail to protect me or exploit me. I only had me.
I bought in to the title survivor because it sounded so much better than victim. But as I grew in Christ, I found that I didn’t even want to own that title. I am redeemed of my sins by His sacrifice in becoming sin on the cross for me. I get that. What about the sins of others? The injuries I have sustained?? I require justice. I don’t want to deal with these festering wounds, BECAUSE I haven’t seen the scales of justice balanced. So… I will stay right here and wallow in the infection of my soul. Thank you very much.
I have stood too long in the sun soaking in the words of man calling me away from my inheritance. The flashes of lights dance through my vision, blinding me to the danger all around. Until all I see is my own small world and all of the hurts I have gathered along the way. When do I lift my eyes to learn the truth of God in my heart? How far do we have to fall before we stop seeking validation in the fickleness of man?
I chose God. I choose to be an overcomer rather than a survivor. My pain does not define me and I don’t have to follow the path created by the past generations. I can choose to set down this garment of perpetual shame and step into the light of God’s promised inheritance. My heart does not need to stagnate in the shadows, but can soar into the heavens TODAY. The beauty of God’s redeeming promises is that it is NOW that He can heal us and restore our hearts into the fullness of hope that will overfill and destroy all of the pain that confined us.
The hard part is declaring that YOU cannot truly change without the grace of God. It is counterculture thinking; that I alone am lack the ability to be my own savior. My strength is limited by lack of heavenly perspective. Again, I choose God. He is the hope of my heart, my promise that pain is not His plan for me, that through Him I can be transformed beyond this world.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.