Thursday, June 23, 2016

on wounds and redemption...

Somewhere down the line, you have been wounded. You have a terrible father or had a terrible relationship; you experienced death of a loved one or of a dream. Your heart took a pretty big beating, with one too many punches, and it ended up in a really scary, broken, bruised place. 

We all have it, the wound. I know what mine is as I write this, you know what yours is as you read these words. Wounds always leave scars. My body is host to many, both physically and emotionally, and I am sure They say that the ugliest scars have the best stories, which can be true, but sometimes the ugliest scars have the simplest stories. Simple, common experiences that are very heavy and painful, because simple does not always means easy. Simplicity can still have a profound impact. 

"I didn't get the job..." Simple, but great.
"She cheated on me..." Simple, but great.
"My parents divorced..." Simple, but great.
"My best friend passed away..." Simple, but great.
"He told me he never really loved me..." Simple, but great.

These experiences lead us to a re-wiring. It leads us to believe lies as a coping mechanism. Suddenly, everything was different... The things you believed about yourself, about people, and maybe even about God completely changed. The wounds begin to whisper into your life, subtly gaining traction, becoming louder and louder. Now, your filter is a little bit skewed and you can't really discern the difference between a lie and a truth. We get confused about who we are and what makes us; we begin to live out of self-given titles and insecurities. We begin to believe that we are not worthy, we are not impressive, we are not strong, we are not beautiful, we are not accepted, we are not wanted. I understand this grey area. Too often, I live out of this place. And our culture does not help us out with this, which is why we MUST lean into the grace of God and the identity given to us as His children. 

Scars are not pretty. They expose the wound that once was, that thing that led to excruciating pain, bleeding, possible stitches, maybe even an actual surgery. They remind us of the fear, the turmoil, the pain. Scars will always be there, but we can choose to see them as evidence of brokenness or evidence of healing. 

Scars will always be there, but we can choose to 
see them as evidence of brokenness or evidence of healing. 

And what about healing? Healing takes time, yes, and a huge dose of the Holy Spirit. Healing looks different for everyone. Your healing might look like a night out with your crew, complete with some seriously great pizza, car-dancing, and a Redbox. Your healing might look like sitting in a counselors office every Monday at 5:30PM for two years. Your healing might look like a creating a blog or reading a book or having a coffee date with a mentor. Healing takes time, and only you know how much you will need. Don't rush it, but do be open to it.

Do not let your wounds define you. Do not believe the lies that the wounds will tell you. Do not be afraid to invite people into those wounds. YES THIS IS SCARY. I understand that this is uncomfortable and opens a door for potentially even more damage BUT, this also opens the door for redemption. 

I am thankful for people in my community who have redeemed my wounds, who have replaced my broken images with ones full of love, grace, and truth. I can only pray that I am that for others; that I can be a safe, redemptive place. Maybe I will be the one to redeem someones view of friendship, of a Christian, or of a woman in general. 

We are all wounded, we are all limping away from the process, seeking healing and redemption for the broken, beat up things. May we see our wounds be a part of the story, but not the story. 

So buckle down, choose to believe truth, and dive into the thing that scares you and requires a little bit of risk, because that is the evidence of healing. 

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