To start of with a quotation from a friend in a note I read recently:
"You are not your job, your grades, your relationship, your school, your clothes, your acceptance in society, your screw-ups, your success, or your religion. You are beloved by God, because you are human, His creation. He seeks you, to unite you with the Truth."
There have been so many thoughts running through my mind as of late, and I have had very rare a chance to actually pen them down. When I think about how this past week and how stressful it has been I want to break down into tears. Not because of any one emotion, but because of all the emotions built up inside of me just begging to come out. I've been so busy, and it has been bugging me to no end. When I finally realize that I need to take time and just be, the time for getting the most done before school ends comes around. Truly it is an annoying thing.
If you have texted me in the past week you would know that my signature has changed recently. It used to be "Free in Him" which I still hold strongly too, but now it says Son in Healing. I am using it to be a constant reminder that I am indeed a broken and wretched soul. Everyday I am reminded just how damaged I have become over the years. Not that being damaged is a bad thing; in fact, I believe that there is something incredibly beautiful in the brokenness it creates, but it has called for a time of rehabilitation.
I am not one to blame the church for my problems... at least, not anymore. However, I do think that the wounds and scars that I have given and received over the years has been within a church setting. You see, I was taught, like most of you, that I had to be certain things. When you think of masks, and people acting like two different people between church and the other 6 days of the week, then you are thinking of someone like me. For as long as I can remember, I have been pressured subconsciously, and sometimes even explicitly to be a good Christian, to do what Good Christians do, and to honor God. I do not believe that these things are wrong to desire, but I believe that the magnifying glass that accompanies them can be extremely harmful. So, at a very young age I began to tell myself and identify myself with the things that I did. Even now I am still fighting the urge to put my identity into my actions. This is why I posted the quotation above, because the truth is that my identity of self changed on a whim for many years.
In the core of my self, I know who I am. I know because who I am is in Christ and no one could ever take that away from me. However, if I feel like I have failed, then my identity was that I AM a failure. This is true for any other emotion or feeling. I began to compile it all together to present to myself exactly how worthless I was, and I became chained in something so dark, and so much more insidious than even my lust had taken me. For I began to discover (only within the past month or so) that my actions are a mere reflection of a much greater and deeper wound that has been bleeding untouched for years.
Recently, God broke those chains over me. It wasn't anything I did that influenced Him to do that, but merely a timing thing I guess. The truth be told, I don't know if He was waiting on me, or if I was waiting on Him. Either way, the point is that now I have been freed and the healing can begin. Unfortunately, that healing never takes place overnight, and so I am having to rediscover myself (again), redetermine what I believe (again), and perhaps the most difficult of all is that I am having to relinquish any control I thought I had so that I can obtain the freedom and the power that He gives. It really is fascinating.
I guess, in some ways this note is an echo of a testimony that was shared in Chapel on Monday. When the man speaking brought up all the words he used to define himself as, I could look at myself and see that I was and still struggling with being just like that. It has been a long and hard road to travel, and yet, I feel that I have made some true leaps forward in my understanding of what it means to be a "Follower of the Way"
I can only hope that you will continue to seek God and to listen to His gentle prodding so that He can show you something truly magnificent every day.
Grace and Peace