My blog is a little late this week simply because I have had so much going on! I will try my best to catch you up!
This week I have gained clarity on the ministry I believe God has given me as a result of my brokenness. I have watched another young woman I deeply admire step out in faith as she begins to reach people at Penn State through her own ministry. Also,
I cut the head off of Goliath.
Before you are grossed or creeped out, let me explain! Last Tuesday I met with Dannah and another amazing woman of God, Kim. The Gresh’s made it clear when they hired me that I was not only coming to Pure Freedom to work, but I was coming to heal.
For the next two and a half hours, these amazing women led me through an indescribable time of prayer. The dialog began with me identifying my fears and the lies I have believed as a result of being cruelly and painfully rejected by the man I loved and trusted with all my heart.
Only ten minutes in, they instructed me to quit thinking – quit justifying and quit explaining. “You know, it is ok to feel Heather…” (I didn’t realize I needed the freedom to feel but I did) At that, the waterworks flowed; something I had not allowed to happen since I arrived in central PA in early August. Through tears I spoke of the hurt. The women guided me to truth in the Word. I could feel my spirit lifting as I finally verbalized my heart’s fragile condition. After eight months of clinging to it (why I have no idea) I decisively deleted the text that brought my world crashing down as well as the loving Valentine's poem I had received just one week earlier. Kim then moved on to the last prayer point for the day. She said the F-word.
Granted, this was my least favorite topic and I dug my heels in deep. “How am I supposed to forgive without any semblance of closure?!” I pleaded. Of course, they prayed their way through that obstacle and helped me realize that my closure ultimately comes from above. They tried again.
The deep and painful emotions rushed to the surface. The burning anger – the kind that makes your jaw clench. HOW?! “It’s simple Heather, just fill-in-the-blank.” This sounded doable to my teacher-brain…I’m listening.......... Just fill it in: “I forgive ‘him’ for_____________.” This process was like pulling teeth for me!
Forgiveness is a matter of the heart; a releasing of the past; a relinquishing of the man I loved. It is a choice that for the rest of my life I will need to make on a daily basis. Kim held my hand. “I forgive ‘him’ for lying to me…” For the next five minutes the Lord brought my hurts to the surface. Some were far more difficult to verbalize and release than others. I said his name and forgave him for each specific hurt.
Freedom filled my heart. I have always heard pastors say that forgiveness really frees you from bondage… they are right. I cried my makeup off and left with a box of tissues. As I walked out of Dannah’s office, I felt like I had finally cut the head off of Goliath. David had to. I had to. It is done. The job is finished. (1 Samuel 17:51) In David's day, to prove that someone or something was really dead, they were decapitated. The monster of bitterness and unforgiveness is dead. Who do you need to forgive? Will you finish the job? It is ugly and gross and you will get messy and probably shed some tears… Do you want freedom?
My definition of forgiveness has been changing. I thought for the longest time that forgiving someone meant never thinking about it again, never talking about it again, etc… just forgetting about six years of my life is not possible, nor is it necessary. This is now my testimony. I will always have a scar on my heart from what happened. My hip is covered in scars that will remain until I die and the Lord gives me a new body. But, my scars don’t still hurt – they are reminders of pain; they are a badge of honor; they remind me that I am strong. The scar on my heart will one day be the same. Right now it is raw and stitches are still holding the wound together.
Growing up, I hid the scars on my hip. I dreaded swim parties and went to great lengths to make sure no one saw my leg. In junior high, someone shared with me the beauty of Jesus’ scars in a way I had not considered before… I will forever see my own differently. What if Jesus tried to hide His scars?! Could you imagine? Jesus hiding the fact that He died for me – for you? Absolutely not. His scars are what make Him flawlessly beautiful. They are what give us life. Jesus would not be the Savior of the world without them!
This week has been one of healing wounds. Wounds eventually turn into scars. Scars don’t still hurt! Does this mean I don’t still hurt? Not in the slightest, but it does mean that I am allowing the Lord to doctor my wound. To clean the stitches and wash the scar with warm water and soap… It is a process that takes time and effort - and tends to be uncomfortable.
On his way out of my life, my ex-fiancé made it known that he was unhappy with the appearance of my hip and that it would negatively affect his active lifestyle… Those words hurt deeply and have been hard for me to release. Do not let the negative words or actions of others affect your healing process. You must see yourself through the eyes of the Great Physician. Each and every scar on your heart and on your body makes you unique and beautiful. What scar doesn’t come with a story?!
Also this week, Erin Davis, founder of Graffiti Ministry, operates the Lies Young Women Believe blog. She asked me to share the story “In His Sunrise” with her thousands of weekly readers as a guest blogger. I was honored at the opportunity and have been blown away by the comments and emails I have received as a result.
Many of you asked questions that I truly do not know the answer to. I wish I did! Questions like “Why didn’t he do it to your face?” “Was their another girl?” “Why did God give you all the signs and confirmations and then allow things to fall apart and hurt you?” “Was he even a Christian? Christians don’t do things like that.” Some of these questions stung… they are hard to read and even harder to answer. I don’t know! I doubt that I will ever receive a face-to-face apology for the way it was done or an explanation as to why he would recant every “I love you” and “I can’t wait to marry you” that he ever uttered. I don't know!!!!
I just know that God is the answer to every question. He is my Comfort. He is my Peace. He is my Groom and my Lover. Normally I fight for answers and closure. My heart is softening and thankfully I realize that it doesn’t matter. What matters is that God knows, and I trust Him. “All things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Don’t sacrifice the eternal on the altar of the immediate.
I remain confident that he was the one and God had appointed the time. However, he chose to walk another path and embraced the things of the world. Why? I don’t know – Why did Eve eat the apple? Why did Lot’s wife look back? Why did David lay with Bathsheba and then have her husband killed? Why did Abraham and Sarah believe God for a child and then try to orchestrate it on their own terms? I don’t know – Free will, maybe?! Selfishness? Doubt? Fear?
To me trying to comprehend why the all-knowing God of the universe would allow men to have a free will is like trying to understand the concept of infinity…. I don’t get it and probably won’t on this side of Heaven.
I was able to be reunited with my family, friends and my puppy this weekend. I enjoyed Sonic and green chili on the south plains of Texas. Never before was I happier to see the wide-open spaces of nothingness that is west Texas! I was reminded of the extravagant love and support of my family and friends.
Mom, Dad and Ky… I love you all so much and couldn’t have been blessed with a better family. Thank you for being my rock and biggest cheerleaders.
Haley and Chelsea… You went from maids of honor to helping repair my broken heart in a split second. What would I do without you two? I love you sweet sisters.
To the hundreds of others I see cheering in my corner, thank you all so much for holding my hand and praying me through this battle. Your words of encouragement have been the biggest blessing of many of my days!
Love you all so. God is incredibly amazing.
Go cut off your Goliath's head... and take a long look at that beautiful scar of yours in the mirror.