My life took a new direction when my anger and other negative emotions began to come out into the open. I began having a hard time dealing with everyday activities. I cried a lot and had trouble making decisions. New phobias appeared, to take the place of the ones God had removed from my life. I started retreating from life. I gave up most activities and resigned from my positions at church. But I turned to my counselor, and she gave me permission to give myself some space.
Other traumas were happening in my life at the same time, and the combination of them all was just too much for me to handle. I’m not saying that going to counseling means locking yourself up in your house, but everyone has her own path to walk for healing. For me personally, I had to step down from some leadership positions because I was not capable of performing them at that time. People at church started noticing that I was different, even though I thought I looked and acted the same as always. People could tell. Thankfully, my “safe” friends loved and encouraged me through it all without having to know what was going on. I needed this time apart to heal and to learn the truth so God could transform my life.
Different books and devotions ministered to me mightily during this dark time. One devotion in particular centered on a time of taking away. That is, God takes something away for a time so that He can give something new instead. In my own life, my daughter was growing away from me, my husband had a new job in another city, and my job had been taken away from me. We were putting our house on the market because we were going to move away from our loved and cherished town and I was removing myself from the jobs at church that I had treasured for so long. Wow. That was a lot of taking-aways. No wonder I could not function: I was on overload.
Where is this leading, Oh God? I cannot see what You are trying to do in my life. Please show me!
Then God gave me a book that painted a great picture for me. That book is Malchus by W. G. Griffiths. Through it, God revealed the hopelessness of the onlookers at the crucifixion, the despair they felt because at that time they did not know the TRUTH. They did not know that they were being set free. They saw one side of the cross, and they thought that that was the end of it. They could not even imagine what was on the other side.
All of my takings-aways had brought me great despair, but the truth was that God was using all of those things to change my heart. He was using those things to heal me. In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (NAS). God did not kill, steal, or destroy any of those things that He took away from me. He was taking away so that He could replace all those things, fill my life so that I could live more abundantly. I had been just like those who looked at the cross and saw only hopelessness and despair. But, Oh, how their lives were changed when they learned the TRUTH. On the other side of the cross came the resurrection and new life–a more abundant and free life.
Has God taken something away from you, and you are spiraling down in despair? Do you see only hopelessness and agony? Are you having trouble just going through the motions of life because it is filled with so much pain? I am here to tell you this: There is a more abundant life awaiting you on the other side of this painful time. Jesus Christ gave His life for you because He wants you to have a free, victorious, and abundant life. Let God have His way as He takes away and gives. Believe the TRUTH. Believe that you can be whole. Believe that one day life will be good and you will be able to smile again. There is life on the other side. And it is good. I am believing it.
Blessings – Lisa