I was afraid to let my past come to the surface because I believed it would be too much to bear. If I opened up, I would just bleed out. Like a hemorrhage. I have guarded parts of my past for so long I believed I was the only one it could be trusted with. The pain was more powerful than the idea of freedom. I just wasn’t sure freedom existed.
It was the fall of 2014 and I was nearly two decades deep in denial. I had become an expert of disassociating with my past. I didn’t need to talk about it. I covered my deep wounds with an optimistic smile and a “doing good” facade so I didn’t run the risk of being found out. Though I wasn’t that person anymore, there was more than enough evidence and casualties to testify against me: guilty.
And then there He was. God intercepting my denial. My shame. He didn’t mince words. He reached straight into the deepest of hurts, my abortions, and released the pressure. My heart pounded as I saw in my mind’s eye, in a vision from God, the two children that I, selfishly, never had, instead choosing to end their lives before they started. The weight of the moment felt suffocating and liberating all at once. To see them alive, running and playing, was the most unexpected, merciful and emotional event I have had to date. (For more detailed account of this event, read Letting Go: The Vision) I had anticipated judgement and condemnation, but received hope and grace. I knew God was prompting me to deal with the past, not as a punishment, but as a merciful act of a loving father.
After that I went home, the vision still alive in my heart. I was ready. I said, “Ok God, lets do this. Let’s get down to the bottom, let’s confront everything! Let’s get it all out there!”
God’s reply: silence.
My heart could’ve burst. How could this be unearthed and now nothing? I just sit with it? What is the deal, God?! I don’t get it.
Months past as I clung to that beautiful image that I had seen on an ordinary October evening. I cherished knowing where those kids were. And the emotion of it all came rushing back. My heart confessed years of pain, hundreds of times that I condemned myself, told myself I was horrible, and doubted I could ever or should ever be forgiven.
He didn’t see me the way I saw me. He saw a broken girl who needed to know she wasn’t beyond hope, that she held more value than the sum of a decade of mistakes. He saw a girl who needed the kind of redemption only a savior could bring. And in those next months, slowly, over time, we walked through it together. You see, God knew for all those years I had hid, I had hated, I had lived in a state of repulsion for myself, I had to slowly uncover the wound, give it time to breathe, and then, ultimately heal. He isn’t just the God of the best outcome, He’s the God of the best way, the ultimate GPS system to live by. Freedom from my past wasn’t getting it out in to the open- that was only a step- but that the road to self-forgiveness is a journey which He wanted to guide me, step by step. I needed to grieve the loss: the loss of my innocence, the loss of my identity, the loss of so much time, but then to give it to Him, with confident assurance that because what He did, I could be free. It was a process, not a destination. And I have something way better than a road map.
I have The Guide.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems you from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like eagle’s.