Even after years of counseling, I was still fighting a black presence in my life that lingered on. I was stuck, unable to move on, unable to overcome. I needed a quiet time again, and so God gave me one. After a long battle with health issues, the time finally arrived for me to have a hysterectomy. Following the surgery, I stayed on the couch in my pajamas for two weeks, and God used that time to work on my heart and to share some of His Truths with me.
In particular, God led me to a devotional in the book Come Away, My Beloved by Frances J. Roberts. This is the passage that spoke directly to me:
“You are in My hands. You are not keeping yourself; I am keeping you. If I choose to hide you away, it is for a purpose. If I wish to give you a time of rest, it is for thine own good. Nothing is amiss that is in My will. Do not think that it will be as times in the past. I have deeper lessons to teach you.” (Page 148)
So I began to wonder just what deep lesson God meant for me to learn concerning the black presence in my life. And, when I least expected it, I found the lesson on TV, not from an evangelist but from a character on a television drama.
This fictional character had been shot in the chest and bore a terrible scar on her chest that symbolized the incident and reminded her of the fear that now filled her life. Throughout the episode, she battled her fear alone and would not accept help from anyone. At the end of the episode, her conversation with a counselor caught my attention and I rewound the scene and wrote down what was said. In essence, the character believes that being wounded by a gunshot has defined her and made her who she is. She longs to be more than that, but she does not know how to make peace with the scars on her heart. She asks, “How do I do it?” Thoughtfully, the counselor replies that the real question should be, “Are you ready?”
For some reason, that dialogue opened a dam within my heart and my tears began to flow. I was in physical pain at the time, recovering from surgery, unable to lift anything, and confined to the couch. I wanted to do more than just take it easy. But I knew that I had to be patient and let my body heal, and that afterwards the scars would just be scars and would not hurt any more.
Similarly, I had let the emotional scars from my past define who I was and was still suffering their painful effects. I said that I wanted to be different, but in reality I feared learning the whole truth of what had happened. I live in pain, asking myself, “How do I do it?” when perhaps I should be asking, “Am I ready?” I searched my heart and knew that the honest answer was no. I was not ready. In fact, I was afraid of the memories and the emotional trauma that my black persona holds. So, what next, Lord?
Another passage from the devotional book answered that question for me:
“I would spare you if I could do so in love; but this kind of protecting love would be false, and would rob you of much treasure. I only love you truly as I give you My best. My best cannot come to you without pain, even as it could not come to the Lord Jesus without pain. Pain is the result of sin, true, but sin is still an existing problem to be dealt with. It must be grappled with. I want to make you strong. I have brought you to this place. Make the most of it.” (Page 148)
What happened to me as a child was the sin of another person, but I needed to deal with it, to move on and become strong. And I needed to address my own sin of not trusting God to be with me through the healing process and to ask forgiveness for my fear and doubt. That was the real issue, the deeper lesson that God was trying to teach me.
God led me to Revelation 21:5, “And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true’” (NASB). Yes, God alone can make all things new, heal all scars, and take away all pain. He alone can make me more than I am today. I believe that the words He has given me are Faithful and True. I truly do want to make the most of my counseling and confront the black enigma in my life.
What about you? Do you have a scar that will not heal, that keeps you stuck in your pain? Is the real issue your readiness to heal? If so, let’s ask God for the strength to be ready. Let’s ask Him to take away our fear and replace it with action. Only then can we ask the question, “How do I do it?” and really mean it. Let’s do it today, for He promises that He can make all things new. I cannot wait. How about you?
Blessings – Lisa