“Apology Girl”

I promised myself I would no longer dwell in the shadow of my past…but old wounds have a way of resurfacing, reminding us that we’re not as healed as we think we are…

My apologies for my brokenness…

I surrendered my pieces to God a long time ago…and I prayed he would give me a fresh start…a new beginning…but what do you do when God gives you exactly what you prayed for, but insecurity convinces you that you don’t deserve it? How do you dispel the memories from relationships past that have convinced you that you’re not worth staying for? I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but it’s easy to expect the worst when you’ve become accustomed to things not working out…

Forgive me for my pieces…

I don’t mean to project my insecurities onto you…because I know what we have is nothing like what I had to lose in order to find you… I believe this may actually be the start of something beautiful…but I’m terrified at the thought of having something/someone to lose (again)… and I’m hesitant to entrust my heart to someone new, because I don’t think I can survive another heartbreak…and although I want to give you the very best of me, the shadow of my doubts has me convinced that even my best won’t be good enough…that you wouldn’t be able to accept my truth…that you wouldn’t be able to see past my pieces…and I can’t bear the thought of being disappointed again, nor do I want to disappoint you…so, I push you away…

I’m sorry…

If its perfect love you desire, I can never give that to you…the truth is, I’m a mess…and I just might get it wrong more times than I get it right…but if only you could see past my scars into who I really am, then you would know that I’m worth every bit of struggle we might go through…if you could truly see my heart then you would know, my love may not be perfect, but it’s strong…and it would never give up on you or cause you to feel diminished…and while I can’t undo the pain from your past, I promise to handle your pieces with care…to lead you out of the shadows and to saturate you in the light of the future…I only ask that you would have a little faith in me…and don’t discredit my love before you’ve even had the chance to experience it…I promise, I’m nothing like the before…

Wounded: A lesson in healing

Allow me to share with you a little story about healing…

So, when I was 12-years old I developed a scab on the outer part of my right elbow.  The scab was the result of a mosquito bite which I didn’t allow to heal properly (but that’s neither here nor there).  I had to deal with this unsightly black scab on my elbow for approximately 16 years!!!  I consulted with my Doctor on many occasions and every time her advice was the same, “just leave it alone…stop picking at it…it will heal on its own.”  For awhile I would take her advice (and when I say awhile, I mean a few days)…I would leave the scab alone, I wouldn’t pick at it….However, after a few days, I would become bothered looking at the huge black dot on my elbow and I would start picking at it again!  Honestly, I had this scab for so many years I did not think it would be possible for it to ever heal.   Finally, I became so flustered that I went to my Doctor and said, “I need the information for a plastic surgeon…this thing is never gonna heal…I have to get it removed…its been way too long!”  The Doctor gave me the information for the plastic surgeon, along with the same advice she had been giving me all along…to keep my hands off of the scab and allow it to heal naturally…

Moral of the Story…

In the above story, I’m talking about physical healing but how much is this just like our capacity to heal emotionally?  How many times have you found yourself struggling to overcome a wounded heart?  How many times have you allowed doubt to convince you that God is not going to heal you because, if He were going to heal you, he would’ve done it already?  How many emotional scabs have you prevented God from healing because you refused to stop picking at them?  How many times have you grown weary waiting for the Lord? And when weariness set in, you looked to something or someone to heal you of your hurts instead of looking to God?

On my journey to wholeness and healing, one of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn is patience.  As a believer, there are a few things being patient entails: trusting God’s timing; being still; and persevering in spite of difficulty.  It’s Gods desire to see us healed and to restore us to wholeness.  However, just as a physical wound won’t heal overnight, neither will a broken heart.  Healing takes time…and everything happens in the Lord’s perfect timing and not a second sooner.  Some of us may come to a place of healing in 16 weeks, others 16 months, while for some of us it may just take 16 years…Hence, the importance of perseverance.  We must not allow doubt to convince us that God has forgotten about us…that God can’t or won’t heal us.  God hears all of our prayers, He sees all of our tears and He WILL heal us! (2 Kings 20:5).  There is no heartbreak too great for God to heal but we must allow Him to work in us.  Nothing hinders the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives more than unrest and disobedience.  We spend so much time on the frontline trying to fight our own battles when all God wants us to do is lay down our weapons and look to Him.  The Word tells us to leave our troubles with the Lord and He will defend us (Psalm 55:22 MSG).  God is not impressed with our efforts, nor does He need our assistance.  Many times we prolong our healing by getting in God’s way.  I walked around with a physical wound for 16 years because I refused to allow it to heal on its own.  Likewise, I’ve walked around with emotional wounds for several years because I refused to allow God to deal with them.  As cliché as it may sound we really must learn to let go and let God.  I know this is no easy task because no one wants to feel hurt…that’s why we look for a quick fix…but, I have learned, it’s in the ‘letting go’ that we come to know peace and it’s in the ‘letting God’ that we come to know healing… and once God’s healing power begins to work in us, and through us, it enables us to release our past so that we may move forward into our divine destiny…

For those who want to know how the story ends (don’t worry, I wasn’t gonna leave you hanging), this year I actually did take my Doctor’s advice and I stopped picking at my scab…and it finally healed!!!  Now, isn’t this just what God will do with our broken heart if we stop trying to mend it ourselves and give it over to Him???

 “You make all things new and I will follow you…forward”

I Surrender

I was 20 years young.  I don’t remember the date or the time but I remember the pain just like it was yesterday.  I was lying in bed, ears full of tears as they streamed down my face.  My thoughts raced, “where is he?” “why hasn’t he returned any of my phone calls?” “I hope he’s okay.”  The “he” I’m referring to, was my boyfriend of nearly five years.  He and I were actually living together at the time but he hadn’t been home, nor had I heard from him, in days.  I was calling his phone like a crazy person, leaving messages, but all of my calls went unanswered.  I didn’t know what to do.  Then the phone rang.  I looked and saw his name flash across my cell phone screen.  Hurriedly, I answered the phone.  He said he had been staying at a friend’s home and that he wasn’t returning my calls because he “didn’t feel like being bothered with [me].”  He then proceeded to tell me he didn’t know when he was coming home and hung up the phone…and I cried…

“As we get older, we look for a man who will bestow on us a sense of beauty and belonging, a sense of being chosen and wanted…” (Renee Swope, A Confident Heart) 

I know a lot of people who read this will think I was pretty pathetic…and I was…but before I continue with my story, allow me to give you a little background…As I stated previously, my boyfriend and I had been together for nearly five years (two of which we lived together).  We met my junior year in high school and, although our relationship was full of ups and downs, we had remained pretty much inseparable since that time.  Throughout my adolescence I struggled with low self-esteem and self-worth issues…and you may as well go ahead and add middle child syndrome and Daddy issues to the list!  You see, “he” was the first person who ever made me feel beautiful…“he” was the first man who ever told me he loved me…“he” was my best friend…and, for the longest time, I thought “he” was my soul mate.  However, as time went on, my love story turned into a nightmare and, what was once an enchanting romance, became toxic and tumultuous.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very much a realist and I knew my relationship was dying at least two years before it officially ended.  I also knew “he” and I were not compatible anymore.  He was not a bad person, by any means, but he most certainly was not the person I was supposed to end up with…this much I knew.  So, I didn’t stay with him for so many years because I was head over heels in love…I stayed because “he” was all I knew.  Our relationship had become my identity…my false God…and without it I had nothing…I was nothing.  So I stayed…even when the love began to dissipate…because to lose “he” meant to lose “us”…and to lose “us” meant I went back to being that depressed adolescent girl…with no value…curled up in the fetal position, on my canopy bed, in my one bedroom apartment…alone…

“Our hearts leak and we will always end up empty when we find our worth in anything but who we are in Christ.” (Renee Swope, A Confident Heart) 

So I cried…I cried until silent streams of tears turned into gut-wrenching sobs…I cried until it hurt…until dying began to look a lot more attractive then living.  Once I came to the realization I had hit rock bottom, I dropped down to my knees (literally), threw my hands up and cried out to God.  That following Sunday I went to church (something I hadn’t done in years) and I’ll never forget, the theme of the sermon that day was “Get up…Arise!!!”  It was as if the Lord had hand-picked the message just for me!  So, that’s just what I did…I got up….took up my mat (John 5:6-9)…and walked straight into the arms of the Lord!!!

…And then I lived happily ever after…

…Or at least I wish this was how it happened.  In her book “A Confident Heart” author Renee Swope talks about how women desire unfailing love…love that doesn’t fail even when we do…love we can never lose.  This type of love is very much what I longed for.  Yet, even after I surrendered my heart to Christ, I failed to realize Christ was the only source where I could receive this unfailing love.  So, I found myself walking with God, for years, with doubt on one shoulder and faith on the other.  You see, I had no doubt in my mind that God loved me, with an unconditional love.  However, I seriously doubted this love would be enough to fill the gaping holes in my heart.  So, I continued to search the world for something or someone that could “fill my cup.”  I was with…and I was without.  My relentless search for unfailing love led me to one toxic relationship after another until, like the Samaritan woman, I found myself right back at the well…with an empty cup and a scattered heart…Oh, but the goodness of the Lord!!!  Even in my disobedience…even in my rebellion…the Lord didn’t turn his back on me!  In fact, I could hear the voice of the Lord saying, “Return to me and I will return to you,” (Zechariah 1:3)….and when I returned to the well, Jesus was waiting there with open arms…waiting to heal my broken heart and to fill my cup with his all-conquering, everlasting, unfailing love!  Who wouldn’t serve a God like that?!!!!

I Surrender!!!