Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Beauty from dirt...
Isaiah 61:3 states, “To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (feelings of depression/despair) that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Learning to finally over-come past sexual abuse has been the hardest journey I have taken in my 37 years of life. Even the experience didn't seem so difficult at the time. Struggling with letting go of emotions such as shame, guilt, fear, and trust has been hard. I used to think, "how can I trust a God, whom I felt was not there for me in the hardest of time? " Yet, looking back now, He is the one who protected me, held me, cherished me through evil acts of mankind. The one who kept me prisoner to those feelings was the devil (the enemy of mankind/the deceiver). He fed my mind with feelings of dirty and unworthy, not God. (Genesis 50:20 - But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.)
The questions I ask myself now are:
What can I do with the experiences (painful/life-changing) I've gone through to show His Love & Grace? (Forgiveness)
How can my suffering be used to draw closer to Him and let people know about who God is? (Character)
How can I be used to let others know they are not victims but loved by an ever loving Creator? (Serving)
Show me how to share my story with others and find Light after dark... (Being authentic and transparent)
Believing and absolutely knowing that His good has come out of my pain, confirms Hope of a new future. A future of Love, Mercy, and Grace.
I am not defined by my past, nor am I prisoner to the evil acts of others. I refuse a future filled with anger, hate, mistrust, shame, or guilt. I choose love, forgiveness, hope, and restoration. I don't blame God for the evil of man, because He gave mankind the choice of free-will. I do choose forgiveness because it frees my heart and allows me to truly love myself and others. Forgiveness does not mean I condone the behavior, but it means I don't have to bear the burden. I am free because He died on the cross to save us (all) from sin, even those who may not deserve it. (Salvation) (Matthew 6:14-15)
Do any of us deserve it? Not so much... but I believe forgiving someone when they least deserve it allows me to be free, not a victim, and no longer stuck as a prisoner of shame or guilt! I don't have to blame, I just have to claim (Him!!) Grace in abudance. It has been offered to me, therefore, I must offer it to others. I'll never be perfect, but I will find perfect peace in Him and within the Truth given me.
So for those who have asked how did I just forgive? I chose it. I took an active step to understand the process of healing the past. I let go and Let God. I could not carry the burden any longer, nor was it ever mine to carry to begin with. Is life perfect? NO! However, I am taking the difficult steps to lay it at the cross. Apologizing to those who got hurt along the way because I didn't deal with painful past. I shall stand idle no more! Following the "light"(er) path...